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Halves Of A Whole

Good morning, minions! The P1L9R1M is back from his wayward travels, this time bringing light to an unexpected revelation. Now, like many of you, I have played many games that were simply amazing yet also lacking. How can this be!? Well, it's quite simple, you aren't playing a whole game. Hear me out! Walk the P1L9R1M's path as I enlighten you about the "Halves of a Whole."

Of course, this could happen with many games, but I have to "work" and be a good little "civilian" so I cannot bring you a full list of such half games. The two in particular I want to reveal are "The Haunted: Hells Reach" and "God Mode." By now, I am sure many of you have at least heard of God Mode whereas I am sure almost none of you know what The Haunted: Hells Reach is. Haunted, unfortunately, never released on console as it was destined to be (it was purchased by THQ, we now miss them dearly). It solely exists on the PC, haunting the Steam players with its ingenious and entertaining gameplay. First, I must talk about God Mode though, or else this journey will seem like one of those Quinten Tarantino films.

God Mode. The plot is simple: reclaim your God hood by defeating the magically melee hordes of Hades with your modern day firearms and supernatural powers, in third-person deliciousness  I know, IT'S CADAVERIFIC!!!! Before even delving into one of these mazes, you can play dolly dress up with your cadaver of a character, tweaking the clothes (which has no function but at least it's an option), the firearms (which is the main thing to purchase with your blood money), and the oaths (similar to the Skulls from Halo, which increase your acquired money and experience all the while making the game hate you even more). Currently, there are six levels, half of which have bosses at the end while the other half has an extreme trial for you to outlast. Along with each level, you are taunted by your guide through Hades (who reminds me an awful lot of HIM from Powerpuff Girls...not that I've ever watched that show). Each level adds variety while your weapons, powers, and oaths spice it up. Not leveling fast enough? Turn up the difficulty and get rewarded for your stupidity...uh, bravery! (As it should be when you play on a harder difficulty *cough* Diablo *cough*). But here's the best part, when you actually complete a level you are allowed into a vault where infinite money spawns...the timer and friendly fire should not alarm you at all. So, where is the bad? Well, for only being a $10 game, there isn't much. It really comes down to the idea already being done before, such as The Haunted: Hells Reach.

Haunted is a third-person shooter based on survival during what I can only discern as a demonic uprising/human apocalypse. You choose one of the four playable characters, each with their own colorful quotes (SATAN IS A BITCH!), then you choose which stage you wish to outlast your enemies on. The stages are fairly large, each with their own unique nooks and cranny's and super weapons hidden about. The game is played in waves, each wave increasing in enemy difficulty and variations. Sounds easy? Wrong! You can't even play on anything past Easy, minions! THIS. GAME. HATES. YOU! But wait! There's more! During each wave, a random soulstone pops up that, if not destroyed quickly, will temporarily cause some level wide catastrophe such as a thunderstorm, flies, meteor storm, falling boulders, fog, hurricanes, acid rain, and fire eruptions! While you battle against the various enemy hordes (which can spawn ANYWHERE THEY DAMN WELL PLEASE) you will also accrue experience, which will eventually drop an upgrade box from an enemy. You can then pick it up, upgrading whatever weapon you were currently holding. The choice of weapons are simple: melee, pistol, shotgun, or machine gun. These advance in powerful and awesome ways such as a mace Hawkman would be proud of and a throwing blade that even the Predator would be begging you for candy! You want more!? How about multiple game modes, including versus where the player can spawn enemies wherever they like and even take control of them! You get what you pay for, and I only payed $20 for it.

Now, we get to the point. The Haunted: Hells Reach costs twice as much as God Mode but also included more game modes and enemy types as well as weapons. Yet, God Mode has character customization and persistent level ups and it is half the cost. As my co-op comrade Outlaw told me "God Mode has what Haunted needs AND Haunted has what God Mode needs." The point is, why do we make games that don't seem finished or feel lacking? In a perfect gaming world, I would put the two games together! Start topside, battling hordes and dodging cataclysms, then descend and battle bigger foes and bosses until you reach the final boss, gunning it down like the BITCH it is! Don't get me wrong! I enjoy both games, and I actually bought God Mode on both Steam and XBLA however I honestly enjoy Haunted more due to its ingenuity and sheer chaos, even though it doesn't have persistent levels and equipment. It just feels like these are "halves" of a "whole." I play one, thinking the other should have the perks from this one, or vice versa. It's maddening and I had to bring it to the attention of my fellow gamers.

The only other games that remind me of this game type are Dawn of War 2's Last Stand game mode (also THQ) and Gears of Wars Horde Mode. Unfortunately, Firefight was taken out of Halo 4 and for that they lose points. Go back to Reach and ODST, where you don't need Master Chief and the campaigns are better (mainly because I don't have some stupid hologram stopping me every five seconds because she is a GLITCH). With that, I am off! I shall bring more enlightenment from my journeys. Until then, don't forget to save often and frequent, minions! Because, the game hates you!

-P1L9R1M

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