Friday, April 6, 2012

Maximo vs Army of Zin

Maximo vs
Maximo vs Army of Zin
by Capcom
Platform:   PlayStation2
4.3 out of 5 stars(14)

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Like going to a high school reunion without the nagging self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, Capcom's Maximo Vs. Army of Zin reintroduces you to old friends while at the same time making the situation current. Fond memories of old hack n' slash titles make gamers smile with recollections of long combo strings, the satisfaction of annihilating unending scores of enemies, and limited save points. This sequel brings out these same feelings in gamers of today, while updating the controls and general feel to current standards.

Mixed in with all these great highlights of the old-school action genre are the old-school ways of managing the difficulty level – limiting save points and the number of available continues. Some players will surely find this frustrating, as you'll be required to execute platforming and action exercises with nearly surgical precision if you want to make it to the end. But, to those who will gripe, I think that Zin isn't intended to be played all the way through in one chunk – do a few levels, maybe you'll get frustrated, but you'll surely come back to it later. The game is very linear and the rewards are big enough that you'll feel satisfied after completing a level well.

There were more than a few times that I chucked the controller with disgust and thought, "I hate Maximo. I hate his dumb lack of continues and I'm sick of this level." Then, I'd go away and come back to it a few hours later. Finishing the level that I had cursed at before, I thought, "I love Maximo. Maximo is great and I want to play it all of the time!" I remember that this is exactly how I felt playing some of my favorite games in the early days of home console gaming. I hate, then I love, then I hate, and I love again.

Zin certainly does take all of the good parts of gaming's past, but how does it compare in other fields to current titles? It's certainly not a graphical powerhouse. The texture maps are pretty low resolution, but the environments generally make up for it with nicely vertical level design and lots of depth. The character designs are a perfect meld of kooky creativity and enemy types that fit in with the landscapes.

Some of the expected trappings of a current title are missing (co-op play for one), but ideas like purchasing lessons to learn new skills are present. The boxers made famous in the first title are back, but are more interesting because the undergarment you choose has an effect on your attributes.

Zin is a solid return to the golden days, but there's a reason that games changed. Fans of frequent save points will be frustrated, but devotees of the old hack n' slash will be satisfied tenfold.

Bring the old-school mantra of frequent, combo-laden combat with few distractions to the current generation

A step behind others of its ilk, but still features nice character designs and animations

Eh. It's not bad, but it certainly isn't noteworthy either

Great difficulty ramp-up and nice combos make the whole trip a pleasure

Like days of gaming yore, Zin is satisfying and challenging at the same time

Moderately High

Rated: 8.25 out of 10
Editor: Lisa Mason
Issue: February 2004

2nd Opinion:
Maximo is the kind of game mom used to make, assuming that your mother is a middle-aged Japanese man who worked on NES action games. I, for one, am glad that Capcom decided to make another iteration of the franchise. It's a simple principle: great hack n' slash action, gripping platforming, tons of power-ups and hidden goodies, and uniquely humorous deformed character designs. This game executes these concepts brilliantly, forcing you to conquer each level through lightning reflexes and perfect play, sending you back to the beginning of the world if you fail – just like in the old days before infinite continues. I like the new items and character-building features, which lets you keep more attributes from stage to stage, and hands out slightly more continues. Still, I wish as much progress had been made on the visual side of things, as Maximo Vs. Army of Zin looks painfully behind the times.

Rated: 8.5 out of 10
Editor: Matt Helgeson

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In Maximo Vs. The Army Of Zin, you'll become the gaming hero and fight for the safety of your kingdom, against a new threat!

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