Retro Game Review: Destroy All Humans! (2005, THQ)

I’m looking forward to 2020 for one reason and one reason only and it’s not the presidential election.

No, I’m looking forward to 2020 because that’s when I’ll finally be able to play Destroy All Humans! again!  The classic alien invasion game will be getting a full remake in 2020 and, once again, players will be able to help Crypto steal Furon DNA and conquer the planet.  It probably won’t be a minute too soon, either.  If 2019 is any indication, 2020 is a year that’s probably going to inspire a lot of people to wish they could beam up to their spaceship and blow things up.  With the remake of Destroy All Humans!, they should have the opportunity to do just that without causing any real world damage!

Back in the day (the 2005 day), Destroy All Humans! was the best reason to have either an Xbox or Playstation 2.  Crypto was a little grey man who sounded suspiciously similar to Jack Nicholson.  He came to Earth in 1959, on a quest to harvest brain stems, blow up cows, disrupt pool parties, and battle a mysterious government agency known as Majestic.  Though the game had a storyline and missions, it was also a sandbox game.  Once a location was unlocked, you could revisit and blow it up whenever you wanted to.  I lost track of how many times I took out Turnipseed Farm.  Being an industrious race, the humans always rebuilt as soon as you flew away.  It never seemed to occur to them to add any extra security precautions, no matter how many times you returned.

Because the game was set in 1959, it featured a full-on barrage of pop cultural references.  Crypto could read minds and it turned out that people all over America were thinking about Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, and whether or not they really liked Ike.  Crypto could also temporarily disguise himself as a human but, after a certain amount of time, he always reverted back to his original form.  If he reverted back while surrounded by humans, panic would ensue as the humans shouted that they were being invaded by “space commies!”

Of course, Earth was a dangerous place in the 1950s and it was common for Crypto to get killed.  Luckily, every time he died, a new Crypto clone took over and was even more eager to destroy all humans!

This was my favorite game on the Xbox and it’s one of the few that I really miss playing.  (I still have the game and the Xbox.  While the Xbox works, the controller’s seen better days and, whenever I do play one my old Xbox games, it seems like I spend the majority of the game trying to keep characters like Crypto and Tommy Vercetti from running over to the left side of the screen.)  I’m looking forward to once again taking control of Crypto and invading this lousy planet!

Is it 2020 yet?

(By the way, Case Wright once reviewed Tom Abernathy, the writer of Destroy All Humans!  Read that interview here.)

Song of the Day: Jade Empire Main Theme (by Jack Wall)

Today marks the end of E3 for 2011 and I have chosen one of the best intro music for any game ever created. The previous two songs chosen were from Bethesda role-playing games and while I stick to the same game genre I’ve moved onto who I consider the best RPG developers currently working today. The latest “Song of the Day” is by music composer Jack Wall and is the “Main Theme” to that oft-overlooked, but a classic rpg nonetheless, Jade Empire.

The “Jade Empire Main Theme” just hints at the epic that would become the Jade Empire story. Jack Wall does a great job of not just sticking to the usual classical European orchestral sound. He brings in traditional Asian musical instruments from throughout Chinese history. He even brings in some Japanese taiko drums to give this theme just a touch of that martial sound. This main theme really highlights the Asian themes and influences BioWare used to create the fictional realm that Jade Empire takes place. The way the music plays out it wouldn’t be too farfetched to hear it scoring an Ang Lee or Zhang Yimou wuxia epic.

Jade Empire is one of those games, despite having not as big a following as some of the bigger and more popular rpg franchises, whose fans are very vocal about their love not just for the game but for the soundtrack which I consider one of the best soundtracks ever composer for a video game.

Halo: Reach Finale

As Lisa marie correctly guessed I have been quite busy with some other  things to continue my level of blog posting these past couple weeks. This has been due to my heavy immersion in something called Halo: Reach. This game is the prequel to the mega-successful and extremely popular Xbox first-person shooter franchise which first came out in 2001. I’ve been with the franchise right from Day One and this latest game pulls me back into the franchise like all its predecessors before it.

Microsoft and Bungie (developers of the franchise) have always been in the forefront when it comes to promoting their latest Halo offering with some of the best tv spots and commercials. This particular one I’ve highlighted and chosen to post just for the fact that it thanks the 100,000-plus or so players who have finished the campaign part of the game and thus seen the aftermath of the game’s protagonist, Noble Six and the rest of his comrades in Noble Team.

The video may not show it but I am one of those hundred of thousands points light. 🙂