Review By: Joe
"Oh oh um oh uhhh oh how will he save Trinity?" "Well you know he will just be able to fly faster for that part." "How does that make sense?" "He is THE ONE!!! He can do whatever he wants!" "So technically shouldn't he be able to just make Agents' heads explode just by thinking?" "Shh no! Then we would have no movie! The powers only reveal themselves when they are integral to plot continuation!" "Ah, yes! Wachoochooski Brothers genius secrets revealed!!"
Anyway, it is nice to look at pretty graphics in the film and the fighting is good to watch as well but wouldn't it be cooler if you could CONTROL DA FIGHTING?! LIKE A SUCKA?!? Well now you can, boyo! With this here video game!
This game is made by Shiny! They made Earthworm Jim, which is like one of the best games EVER. The Matrix game is fun! It has a lot of problems though. In general, it moves a bit too quickly but that in itself helps to add to the fun of the game. It's just so CRAZY FAST! The controls are a bit iffy and loose sometimes and the sniping is THE WORST THING I HAVE EVER HAD THE MISFORTUNE OF ATTEMPTING TO CONTROL IN MY ENTIRE LIFE EXCEPT FOR THAT TIME I HAD TO TAKE AN AUTISTIC KID TO THE PUBLIC LIBRARY. Now for the good things.
The game has this WHACKED-OUT fighting engine that is mostly context-based so, for example, kicking someone in front of you will just give you a normal kick but kicking them near a wall will cause your character to jump off the wall and give a kick to the face. It's quite nice! Actually, it's very odd to me that Shiny made this nifty fighting engine and yet they couldn't get down basics like sniping. I MEAN COME ON! SNIPING!! EVERYONE ELSE DOES IT FINE! THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM, SHINY!!? Christ.
You also have a slo-mo ability called Focus. It's basically like the bullet time in Max Payne (which was stolen from the first Matrix film in the first place) in that you get a certain amount of Focus that you can use whenever you want. The cool thing about it is that using it doesn't just slow everything down, it also makes all your moves different and more powerful. When you use your Focus up, you just have to wait for it to regenerate, unlike Max Payne where you had to waste some peeps to get it back. I might also add that your health always regenerates to full if you just keep out of harm's way long enough. So all this adds up to an easy game sounds like, yes? Well, no, not really.
At first the game is incredibly simple. You can basically just run up to people, turn on Focus, and wildly kick and punch at them and you'll end up pulling up awesome shit that you didn't even know you had in you. The cool thing is that even though it's all so easy, you won't really care because you'll be like "WOAH DUDE! LOOK HOW KICK ASS I AM!!!" because you are easily fooled into thinking you are good at things, aren't you? You can fly better than that of a bird! Go to jump off a cliff and attempt such! AHAHAHAHA! I am villainous.
However, the game ramps the difficulty up relatively quickly as you begin to have to fight lots of people at once. You (or I anyway) start dying a bunch pretty quickly. Luckily, the game gets more fun too as you get to do sweet stuff like cartwheel from behind corners mowing down mothafuckas like a gangsta and jumping forward in a spiral shooting like a crazy bitch! It's awesome! That said, if you were really to get good at mastering these controls, I think the game would get even better. I'm not to that point yet and I'm already enjoying myself so OH THE JOY TO COME!!
The graphics are very pretty too, if you've got the powah to make them so. Naobi's red leather jacket, for example, looks absolutely perfect with all the shininess on it and such. It is quite nice! I am not going to dwell much on the graphics because they very nice and that's about all I need to say. The music is okay! It seems a bit out of place sometimes (really frantic orchestra playing when you're just running down halls) but it's all stuff from the films so it's cool.
The other portion of the game I should mention is the Hacking dealy. In the main menu of the game there is this thing called "Hacking." What you do is go into it and load up a saved game and you are presented with a fake computer screen that looks like what DOS might be if everything were in green. From here, if you twiddle around a bit, you get to actually change the game. You can unlock a secret level, activate cheats, and drop more powerful weapons into levels so that you can use them later in the game. If you go about it right you get to talk to Trinity (and this fag named Sparks that nobody cares about) and hear messages from Morpheus and Neo. It's all quite corny but it's like a puzzle in itself and, frankly, I enjoy using it! I am a dork!
What's also nice about it as that when you talk to these people, you are actually (surprise, surprise) not really talking to anybody so what you say doesn't really affect the progression of the conversation. Needless to say, I abused this fact.
Oh yeah, one thing that is sorta lame is that to discover a lot of the secrets of the Hacking part, you pretty much HAVE to get the strategy guide. It is full of lots of stupid little things (like different colored letters on pages that add up to sentences) that pertain to the Hacky-Hack. Score one for Andy and Larry's superfine marketing strategy! Drink Powerade! Haw haw haw! There are Powerade machines in the game too, actually. Um, anyway, if you don't wanna get the strategy guide just wait for some fat kid to write an FAQ and put it up on the internet. If one isn't up already, I'd say wait five minutes and then check again.
I should probably mention that I've barely gotten anywhere in this game. I'm still on the first level. That said, there are driving portions in the game that I understand are horrendous. I can't tell you though because I haven't reached them and I can't tell you about anything else that might be in the game because I haven't reached that either! In other words, in case you hadn't guessed already, this review is based on next to nothing! Glory days!
You know, I just found out that Gamespot has finally reviewed this game (they didn't get advance copies because the stupid idiot brothers think their movie is SOOOO amazing that they just can't let secrets be revealed!) and they seem to think rather unfavorably of it. They also claim that it's easy. So, the question is should you trust Gamespot, a professional site that does nothing but review video games or me, a stupid idiot who can't even get past the first level? Well, I don't know about you but if I were you I would trust me but then if I were you, there wouldn't be a me or if there was he might be completely different than who I am now and might not even like the game and then I wouldn't know who to trust, so you really are in quite a pickle aren't you?
All in all, I personally feel like the fact that this game manages to make a loser like me feel like I'm cool (I'm easily entertained and mislead) outweighs the somewhat shoddy controls rather well. I would say rent the game so you can at least say bad words to Trinity and walk up to people and kick them in the butt repeatedly. I've done this. It's not the proper way to play but it looks very funny. I mean, you just keep kicking them in the butt. How funny is that? It's funny.
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