Rock of Ages Review
Xbox 360 | PC
Rock of Ages Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Dev: ACE Team
Pub: Atlus
Release: August 31, 2011
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Cartoon Violence, Crude Humor

Rock of Ages has excellent graphics for a downloadable/budget title, especially one rendered in three dimensions. Each period has a distinctive look, the cutscenes do a great job of blending the look of classic art with offbeat humor, and I never noticed any visual glitches. The sound is terrific as well, with excellent sound effects, amusing vocalizations, and well-selected music.

Rock of Ages Screenshot

The only truly significant problem I have with Rock of Ages is that it doesn't create the kind of high that a game with this much kinetic action—jumping boulders, crushed obstacles, dead leaders—really should. Maybe the problem is that you can't let the boulder move too fast if you want to take corners effectively, so there's no real sense of speed. (If you fall off the side, it takes a couple of seconds to re-spawn, which is a significant setback.) Or maybe the problem is that the two-joystick controls are kind of imprecise, thanks to the fact that they're based on the idea of controlling a huge, heavy, inanimate object. But either way, bear in mind that the game won't give you too much white-knuckle excitement.

I have one less significant problem to point out as well: During the tower defense segments, it can be difficult to select the correct location for each item with a console controller's joystick. The PC version isn't out yet, and I haven't played it, but I think this game would work best if you used a two-joystick setup for the platforming and a mouse for the defense of your castle. Bear that in mind when you decide which version to get.

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However, these aren't reasons to go without Rock of Ages entirely. If it won't make you sit up straight in your seat the whole time you play it, Rock of Ages will make you laugh, strategize, and race intently toward the enemy's gates. And the whole time, you'll never lose sight of the fact that you're playing one of the most innovative and clever games to come out in a long time, all for the price of $10.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.1
Graphics
The visuals are colorful amazing for a downloadable title, and glitch-free.
3.8
Control
They're a bit imprecise during platforming, but that's because you're controlling a boulder. There's less of an excuse during the tower defense segments.
4.3
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Excellent sound effects, amusing vocalizations, and well-selected music.
4.2
Play Value
This is an insanely clever game.
4.0
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • A rock-solid combination of rock-rolling action, deep strategy, and captivating art and music from different ages of history.
  • Two castles stand opposed; one is yours, the other is your enemy's. They're a jerk and their castle sucks, so you're going to try to smash it using an enormous boulder.
  • Even as they build up their defenses, you're ready to roll over them in order to raze that unsightly tower. But beware! There's a giant boulder headed your way, too.

  • Screenshots / Images
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