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When it appeared on the PC, Serious Sam quickly earned a reputation as ?that game with tons of dudes onscreen,? and that was a pretty accurate assessment. For $20 you could own one of the most frenetic first-person shooters ever created; now that same intensity has almost been duplicated on consoles for the same price.
Taking all of its flaws into account, the final tally still comes up in favor of Sam. Sure, it gets old, but $20 for a decently long single-player and well-done multiplayer is more than reasonable.
So, by a show of hands, who here likes action games? Oh… wait a sec, let me rephrase that. Who likes games with tons of action? Hmm… still not quite right. All right… who likes games that feature nonstop, edge of your seat, murdering action that can only be described as a killing spree to the nth degree? Well, if that’s you, than the recently released Serious Sam: Next Encounter is your ticket to fun. It’s not deep and it’s not real purdy, but for a pure visceral killing experience, none do it better or faster.
Der erste Eindruck war schon mal nicht der Beste; ein halbes Dutzend Credits- und Ladescreens stehen als erste Hürde vor dem Hauptmenü. Dann die ziemlich unspektakuläre Grafik, die weder der PS2 noch dem GameCube und schon gar nicht der Serious Sam-Reihe gerecht wird. Aber dann das Wunder: Es macht immer noch Spaß! Klar, optisch kann sich der olle Sam schon lange nicht mehr mit kleinen Meisterwerken wie Painkiller messen, aber dennoch macht das Ballern mit dem T-Shirt-mit-Bombe-drauf-Träger immer noch einen Heidenspaß – jedenfalls eine Zeit lang. Auf Dauer (was angesichts der recht kurzen Durchspielzeit ein relativer Begriff ist) ist die Endlos-Ballerei doch recht ermüdend. Doch gerade dank der netten Kooperativ-Variante und der brauchbaren Mehrspielermodi kramt man die gelbe Verpackung immer wieder gerne aus dem Spieleschrank heraus.
Ever since the early 90’s when I sat down and ran through Doom on a friend’s PC, I’ve been hooked on FPS gaming. All the top titles, all the “under the radar” titles, you name it … I’ve probably played it. A couple of years ago, a good friend of mine from work brought me a copy of a little game called Serious Sam to try out, and honestly I really didn’t know what to expect due to the silly looking t-shirt bearing hero on the front and the goofy name. Well, after playing it for an hour I was hooked into all of the constant firing and furious strafing and backpedaling that the game had to offer, and I found myself cracking up at a lot of the one liners that Sam tossed out during the game. I still play the original on PC, and you can imagine that I was excited to get my hands on Serious Sam : The Next Encounter for PS2 as well.
To put you in the picture, Serious Sam is a game where the brain is put to rest and your fingers do the talking. Traditionally you control Sam through a series of levels and pit yourself against wave after wave of marauding creatures with the sole intention of racking up some serious kills. In the same vein as Duke Nukem, the main character has razor sharp wit and observations that makes the titles so popular. The PC versions were known for frantic action, often with scores of enemies on the screen at once.
Serious Sam has done a lot of damage on the PC and has spent quite a few rounds of ammo on the Xbox as well. Now the PlayStation 2 and GameCube get a taste of Croteam's outrageous, ridiculously fast-paced shooter with Serious Sam: Next Encounter. That it's not actually developed by Croteam definitely puts the odds against it, though despite this handicap, and the game's poor visual fidelity, Next Encounter is able to deliver an experience that is at least a rough approximation of a Serious Sam game.
In case first-person shooters have been getting too complicated to keep track of, Serious Sam: Next Encounter could be just what you're looking for. Continuing the series' tradition of piling on the enemies and keeping the ammo supplies high, Next Encounter brings the fun of big, stupid action to the PlayStation 2. It's not a masterpiece, but now PS2 owners can see the mayhem that's been running rampant on the PC and Xbox.
Given Duke Nukem's continuing refusal to kick any ass at all for the past eight years, the world evidently needed another lantern-jawed, smart-mouthed gaming character to fill the breach. 'Serious' Sam Stone has done his bit for ludicrous firepower and insane quantities of screaming enemies with bombs strapped to their backs, but he's no match for the cigar-chomping babe magnet from Texas in the one liner strakes. Or for chicks, for that matter.
Outre le fait qu'il soit laid comme un fruit moisi, c'est surtout le manque de souffle épique de ce nouveau Serious Sam qui fait un peu tache. Trop facile et surtout pas assez fou, pas assez drôle et ne nous balançant pas assez d'ennemis sur la tronche. Un tout petit épisode donc, que certains essaieront peut-être avec plaisir vu son prix réduit. Rigolo mais vraiment très limité. Mieux vaudra se refaire les épisodes originaux sur PC.
S'il n'atteint pas la qualité des versions PC, ce Serious Sam : Next Encounter pour PS2 et GameCube a tout de même su conserver une bonne partie de l'essence "bourrine" de la série. Accessible à tous, le titre constituera donc un défouloir efficace, et bon marché qui plus est, mais juste le temps de quelques quarts d'heure étant donné son flagrant manque de profondeur. Enfin, si l'ensemble reste suffisamment fluide pour garantir un certain dynamisme à l'action, on regrettera que les ennemis n'affluent que par petites grappes alors que la version PC nous avait donné goût au massacre de monstres par centaines.
Serious Sam: Next Encounter is definitely a budget title. The graphics are gritty, the sound is bland, the AI isn't all that difficult, and things just get repetitive after a few hours. The single-player game should take around ten hours to beat, but the multi-player modes aren't inspiring enough to warrant much playtime. I'm reluctant to recommend either a rental or purchase, since both might be a waste of money, but if you had to choose, pick the latter, due to the cheap price.
When life’s frustrations and disappointments are getting you down, it’s a good idea to have a scapegoat handy. A punching bag or one of those lame little stress balls usually do the trick.