Trigger might look like it belongs in the Sly Cooper
& Jak & Daxter club, but appearances can be
28, 2006 - Ruff
Trigger: The Vanocore Conspiracy is a budget platformer,
but even with the low price, it's difficult to imagine
being in a situation where you are forced to make
a decision between this game and a good game. (Read
between the lines on that last sentence and you may
not have to read through the rest of this review).
You can always rent a handful of good games for the
purchase price of one budget title. So, there really
is no good reason to even bother with Ruff Trigger
unless someone has bought it for you as a present
- those lousy %$#@s.
Trigger isn't awful but it's just not a very good
game. The platform elements have all been heavily
borrowed from classic platformers and while that may
sound like a good thing, the gameplay is spoiled by
faulty technical issues. It shows promise but that's
what even makes it more frustrating. It's like going
to a buffet with your jaw wired.
Trigger can best be described as a poor man's version
of Ratchet & Clank. From the gameplay to the art,
to the character interaction, Ruff Trigger tries so
hard to emulate this classic series but instead falls
hard and short of the mark. Even if it were a brilliant
game, it would lose marks for being so derivative.
the star of the game, Ruff Trigger is a cartoonish/humanoid
dog character employed as an interstellar bounty hunter.
A Vanocore shipload of cutesy, Pokemon-inspired creatures
called Piglots has been inadvertently unleashed on
a distant and hostile planet while en-route to the
marketplace where these creatures were genetically
engineered to replace normal domesticated pets. Ruff's
job is to round up the little critters and place them
into the various teleports located in the levels.
When Ruff saves enough Piglots in each level mini-games
will be unlocked. Of course there are enemies, obstacles
and pitfalls in your way. The gameplay is an amalgam
of combat, puzzle-solving, platforming, collecting
and vehicle driving. It's a good assortment of elements
but they don't all work in harmony.
are plenty of large-ass weapons with names such as
giga gun and mega cannon but they all suffer from
a wonky lock-on targeting system that drifts too easily.
It seems that as you move the weapon, it targets another
enemy so that you seldom end up shooting at the enemy
that you want to kill. You have to move the gun around
and let it take its time to settle back on the intended
enemy. This leaves you open to taking a few shots.
Speaking of open, Ruff has some martial art combat
moves that he uses when he doesn't have a weapon or
runs out of ammo. Running out of ammo is a regular
and annoying occurrence. You often have to go back
through the level to find ammo that has been respawned.
The marital art melee moves may be somewhat effective
but they aren't a very good alternative to weapons
since they can take long to charge which leaves you
even more open and vulnerable to attack than the drifting
order to acquire weapons, armor and other gadgets,
you need to collect money. You can do this by smashing
electrical crates and lights where you will find cash
inside. It takes quite a bit of money (and time) to
get some of these high-powered weapons, only to find
that they have such limited ammo. To give you more
to work with, Ruff can transform himself into a werewolf
which will empower him with monstrous strength. He
will have wolverine-like claws and lasers at his disposal
to more easily dispose of his enemies. You can even
use the Piglots to help you solve puzzles and you
can fire them out of a cannon at one of the bosses.
Being able to combine these elements makes the gameplay
more interesting but it soon becomes repetitious as
you encounter the same kind of enemies, puzzles and
traps in each level.
is Ruff's sexy-looking assistant but there are no
sparks flying during the dialog. The voiceovers are
flat and the writing is forced. It tries to be funny
but the humor is very immature, probably created by
one of the programmers. Don't quit your day job, buddy.
Graphically the game doesn't look bad, but the backgrounds
are rather sparse. I've seen better on the original
Playstation. The mini-games offer some motorcycle-style
riding in addition to a maze and various other puzzle
and skill games. It adds some replay value if want
to get more out of this game. More than anything it's
just that the characters don't have any pizzazz. They
are dull and uninspired. At least if we cared about
them and what happens to them we might be able to
ignore some of the technical issues. But with nothing
else to focus on, the problems are as glaring as a
three-headed clown in church.
storyline involving dozens of missions and submission
large worlds to explore for an average of 20 arcade-style
levels of frenetic action
playable characters to alternate during the game
with different playability features
points to gain access to nine devastating weapons
payable using the Tykels released from each creature
killed during the mission
hand to hand combat system with different attack
combinations and damage typologies thanks to power-ups
you'll be able to pick up during the adventure.