Casual Friday : Age of Zombies (PSP) Review

This post is part of the Casual Friday post series when every Friday for the next few months will be ‘Casual Friday’ where I will post some sort of blog post about casual gaming. We can’t all be hardcore gamers with month’s of play-time on our CVs, so now I’ve devoted an entire day to less obsessed gamers!

Age of Zombies Logo

Many of my PS3 owning friends ask me ‘Jasmine, why do you download First Play?’ And so I reply ‘because the quality of the content is amazing, they have amazing footage of games and it’s entertaining too’ , sometimes I tell them to read this. For me, it isn’t just the sheer awesomeness of First Play that keeps me subscribed to it, it’s also the freebies that they provide more or less every week. This week’s episode gave me an early download for the demo of  the console version of the new American Football game Backbreaker as well as an exclusive PS3 Red Dead Redemption XMB theme. Something that First Play has been doing for the past few weeks is giving First Play downloaders a new PSP mini to download for free each week. 4 minis have been given out so far (some of which I’ll be reviewing soon as part of Casual Friday) but the game that has fast become my new obsession is Halfbrick Studios’ Age Of Zombies.

Click ‘Read More’ to find out why I love this game so much.

Halfbrick Studios’ new game pits you as the too-cool-for-words badass Barry Steakfries, the only cool dude in the history of Barrys. Playing as Barry you have to defend variously themed levels from wave after wave of creepy bug eyed zombies. The buttons X,O,Square and Triangle allow you to fire in the direction that they’re positioned on the PSP ; down, right, left and up (respectively) but what you’re actually firing with is a whole different matter altogether…

From the get go you’re given an atrocious single fire pistol which fires like a pea-shooter if that’s anything to go by. Pants default weaponry aside, you are able to pick up new guns such as shotguns and mini-guns as well as secondary weaponry (grenades) from the crates that are littered across each map. The variety of things to blast zombies with keeps the game fresh and new even when you’ve been fighting the same wave of enemies for the past 5 minutes. I also like the fact that every level ends with a boss fight. Each boss is different, right until the end of the game and while it may seem a little repetitive, it allows you to be prepared, which is useful in a game that’s quite tricky. Plus, it’s a little salute to the ‘games of old’ when every level would end like that. Badass Barry Steakfries also has 3 lives (another salute!) which are depleted if he becomes surrounded by zombies and cannot escape in which case you respawn with the pistol and no secondary weapon, though you can pick up extra lives from crates too.

Age of Zombies 1

Humour is the game’s strong point. With comedy gems such as “this bad boy is gonna mosey. Shit’s getting hot!” and and as he says to Barry Brains “You’re such a little bitch! I like my brains fried”. While these may not be things that you’d yell in a real life battle against the undead, it’s sure as heck what I’d like to be yelling in a game where I fight the undead!

Don’t let the humour fool you though, this game is as tough as nails. And I’m talking iron nails not the ones on your fingers. Even for a hardcore gamer like me, I found Age of Zombies unrealistically difficult, now it’s not Demon Souls sort of difficult, as that game has been called the hardest video game ever made, though it is pretty tricky without some sort of strategy. I prefer the ‘run in a circle and shoot in every direction’ tactic if I’m honest. That being said, I think the difficulty of AoZ makes it great for anyone to pick up and play. Hardcore gamers can play it for hours trying to complete the game over and over again and casual gamers can play it for a few minutes whenever they feel like and still be able to have a lot of fun with it.

The game really is quite addictive. Actually, it’s frustratingly so. Not since the Mexican/Wild West levels in Little Big Planet with the impossible spike pads have I played anything non-stop. Even games with great multiplayer modes like Modern Warfare 2 haven’t kept me playing for so long. My play time in MW2 may be 2 days but bear in mind that that’s since its release in November and when I recently took my PSP with me on a trip to visit some family, I played Age of Zombies for about 4 hours straight. Needless to say, my parents were pissed!

The only thing that annoyed me a little was the reason for the game. What I mean by that is ‘where’s the story?’. Ok, I get it, it’s no Heavy Rain story-wise but I would have liked a little more depth into why and how Mr. Steakfries knows a scientist who appears to have escaped from the loony bin and also, who is the woman on the intercom who gives you advice?

Besides the story, the only thing that I want Halfbrick Studios to work on is a sequel. If Age of Zombies hadn’t annoyed me so much with its addictiveness and its difficulty I would’ve given it a 10 so I would definitely like to see an Age of Zombies 2, maybe as a full game and not a mini.

 

Overall Score : 8

 

You can get Age of Zombies for free if you go to the PlayStation Store and purchase episode 9 of First Play for 99p!

Normal Price : £3.99

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