the voluptuous star of the Tekken series branches
out to star in her own videogame, Death by Degrees.
The result is not unlike any movie that starred
a cast member of Friends.
by Degrees sounds good when you read about it.
It supposedly blends fighting, puzzle solving
and stealth all wrapped up in one big, adventurous
story. But as we know variety does not a game
make. There just wasn't enough attention paid
to the details of the different facets of the
gameplay. All of these elements would not be
able to stand on their own for an entire game
and are barely passable when combined here.
I embraced the variety but only because I was
under the impression that the game would perhaps
get better if something new were introduced.
Unfortunately I was unable to maintain that
optimistic attitude to the bitter end.
is a robust chick with lethal moves and a body
to match. If you like to ogle at giggling breasts
then you'll find no shortage of stimulation
here. It's too bad the developers spent so much
time animating a pair of boobs while the rest
of the animation is less than fluid. This entire
game is a vehicle for Nina to show off her assets
but not necessarily here depth. Tekken fans
will be disappointed in just how little control
they have over Nina.
a cruise ship for a fighting tournament, Nina
becomes embroiled in some subterfuge when some
undercover Brit agents from M16 mysteriously
disappear. She learns that a high-tech weapon
is in the wrong hands. To retrieve it and save
the day she's going to have to find her way
deep into the enemy's lair. To do this she will
fight countless guards, use stealth to avoid
detection, and solve puzzles to gain access
to new areas.
is capable of using guns, swords and her Evil
Mist but her fighting skills are just as deadly
- although none of them are particularly fun
to use. The R stick targets the enemy. This
is necessary for a 360-degree combat radius.
Nina starts out with only a few moves but she
can purchase more. For a time all you'll find
yourself doing is moving the stick and pushing
it forward to activate some moves. Throws and
submission holds can be added to the mix but
it's so easy to see that the animations are
pre-rendered that it feels unnatural.
of Nina's best moves is her ability to crush
bones and target vital organs. Using her X-ray
vision, she's able to locate the vulnerable,
internal targets within the enemy. By aiming
the cursor on the glowing red area and pressing
the stick you will activate an animation of
Nina delivering a deathblow to her antagonist.
This works fine for the first part of the game
but eventually you will run into stronger opponents
that don't seem phased by a broken neck or a
are not terribly varied although there are different
obstacles that you will encounter that slow
you down. Many of these are locked doors in
which you must use scanned fingerprints to access.
It's a time-consuming process and one that tends
to disrupt the pace of the game. There is nothing
particularly difficult in this game and if it
were just balls-to-the-wall action it might
even be enjoyable. The puzzles and stealth elements
are tedious and require more routine work than
genuine reasoning skills.
by Degrees is a few notches above a budget-title
in terms of presentation. The graphics are decent
but there are some low quality textures that
reappear throughout the levels. The animation
isn't smooth and load times are longer than
average. The voiceacting is terrible. The sound
effects are fine but the music repeats endlessly.
There are certain loops for different situations
but these loops just keep repeating, giving
rise to a been-there-done-that feeling to new
value is limited. It's doubtful that the average
gamer would even care to finish this game. The
story is predictable so there's little incentive
to complete the game just to see the conclusion.
There is no multi-player mode but there are
some mini-games to unlock and there's a playable
demo of Tekken 5 which is by far the most exciting
thing you'll play in this entire package. My
advice is to wait for Tekken 5 if you want a
good fighting game. If you really want to see
some jiggling jugs then rent an exercise video.