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Author Topic: Men of Valor on XBOX - A 31 yr old gamer's review  (Read 1861 times)
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Alice
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« on: November 14, 2004, 12:57:16 AM »

Hi,

I didn't see much posted here about Men of Valor, so I thought I would throw in some thoughts.

The instruction booklet is a little on the light side.  The cover is in color but the inside pages are in black and white, and the information that it offers is limited.  It list a few guns and then tells you to go to the website for a listing of the rest.

The game itself is very nicely done.  You start out on a basic training level that is not very exciting at all.  But you are immediately going to realize that this game has the best in-game Dolby Digital that has yet to be produced on this hardware.  Warplanes screeching by overhead, helicopters circling the room.  And this is just the training level.

Then the game starts.  And this is where things get simply amazing.  You are on your base throwing a football around.  One of your buddies throws it and it lands under a jeep.  You have to crawl under the jeep and to get it.  You can throw it to whoever you want, so you aim and fire.  And you are controlling all this, this isn't a cutscene.  As soon as I began smiling at the cleverness of this mini-game and laughing at the comments of my platoon mates, all hell breaks loose with a surprise rocket attack.  

I will not give away any more of the game away, because you have to experience this one for yourself.  

This game definately falls toward the simulation side of things,.  The walking speeds are realistic.  This is much more in line with the PC version of Raven Shield than with most console FPSs.  You can crouch, go prone, steady your aim, lean.  If you take a hit, you have to to bandage the wound to keep from bleeding to death.  You can try to bandage on the run or you can stop and concentrate at the task - with the latter much more effective.  The targetting reticle is simular to the Rainbow Six series, with it tightening up if you stop and purposefully (with the right trigger) steady your aim.  If you run and gun your reticle with be wild and wide making it difficult to hit enemies unless you are close up and you are on full auto.  The recoil effects of are accurate for each gun.

One of the the coolest thing about this game is that it feels NEW.  No game has offered combat like this before.  A lot of this is ranged combat, with muzzle flashes giving away enemy positions.  And the amount of flora and foilage in these jungles is incredible dense and all of it is animated.  

One particular mission involved hiding in the dense underbrush as a VC unit slowly patroled by on foot.  This quiet intensity was almost enough to make me just pull the trigger and get it on.  They were literally walking right on top of us and I had my finger just lightly brushing against that XBox left trigger with my on screen reticle drawn right against a VCs chest.  "Easy..." whispered quietly the guy laying beside me in the jungle.  AMAZING!

I could see how this particular game would infuriate younger Halo players, because if you take a bullet to the head - you die.  No shield regeneration, period.  Take one in the arm and you may have time to bandage yourself and fight on.  Take one in the arm in the heat of combat and you may bleed to death as you fight off the enemies.

This game is for adults.  Saying that the language is salty would be putting it mildly.  The language is very caustic.  BUT it lends itself so cleverly to the chaotic ambience of the warfare that unfolds around you.  After cleaning out a VC village of all enemies and seeing the lone last female scream a sob choked death scream as she picks up her husbands AK-47 and hopelessly charges your platoon screaming in broken English, "F*ck you, GI!!!!".  Wow, you feel sorry for her and admire her bravery as you shoot her dead; and then you start thinking about how insane war really is.

I've played them all.  Call of Duty, Halo, Medal of Honor, Rainbow Six: Raven Shield, Soldier of Fortune 2.  All good games.  But this one is refreshing.  Not a substitute and not a clone.  It feels like 2015 did something new and took a huge risk at taking on the simulation and realistic side of war with the MATURE rating - that surely hurt sales.

If you played the PC Demo, you may be missing what this game has to offer.  I liked the PC Demo, but it is merely a drop in a small bucket of what you can expect to experience on a big-screen television with Dolby Digital.  

There are a flood of other good games out now and more on the horizon, but if you skipepd out on this one you should really reconsider.
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Soulchilde
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« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2004, 01:17:53 AM »

Nice review!
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2004, 03:30:15 PM »

Alice, I agree completely.  Men of Valor is awesome.  My friend and I were going through it coop up until Halo 2 came out.  Now we're going to beat that, but we'll go right back to finish Men of Valor.  The swift boat level is pretty darn fun to, hard, but fun.  

Very good game that should be checked out by any fan of FPS's.
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mikeg
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2004, 03:57:17 PM »

I am only going to say this once becuz of the flames licking my heels, but I actually think MoV is a better single-player game than Halo 2.  I agree with everything the reviewer above said.
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AgtFox
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« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2004, 04:10:04 PM »

I believe I'm getting sent this for review and I'm looking forward to it.  I've played a lot of crap Vietnam games this year and it's sounding like this one is the cream of the crop (which doesn't take much honestly) with Vietnam games.
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Chrisoc13
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« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2004, 05:15:38 PM »

Hmm, interesting. I have been looking for a vietnam era fps to play, but I almost always assume they are crap. I may have to check this one out. Sounds interesting. What kind of multiplayer options are there? Is it xbox live?
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Alice
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« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2004, 06:09:33 PM »

Yeah, is is Live.  With the most appealing being the coop modes.  You can also system link up to 12 XBox together.  One one machine, you can play through the entire game in coop mode.  I believe there are the obligatory deathmatch modes also.

One additional thing that I love is the amount of control you have over the sound configuration.  There are sliders for in-game music, menu music, spoken dialog, jungle and ambient sounds, and gunfire.  So if you want to make your rifle report really punch, you can slide the others back a bit, keep the gunfire slider to full and turn up the volume on your theater receiver.  Pulling the trigger sounds you are on a rifle range!  And the Dolby Digital effects will crackle and echo the report off of any hills or valleys.  It's really amazing if you tweak it right.

I love the documentary feel to the game also.  There is a generous portion of real video and spoken documentary dialog before each mission.  So before any major mission in the game, you are treated with a quick 10 minute mini-documentary that explains the history behind the scenerio you are about to be dropped into.  There are also a lot of quotes and still frame photography intermixed with the loading screens.

One more thing to note is that the cutscenes are fully panaramic, meaning you have full control of the camera to look around in any direction as the cutscenes unfold, often with different things happening all around you.  This adds a nice feel of interaction with the story and makes each time you watch a cutscene unfold possibly unique.

The save system is great.  You need not worry about saving, the game will do it for you.  It is sort of like Halo's checkpoint system but probably not as densely spaced.  When you are in a gunfight, you do not want to die.  When you are patrolling a jungle, you are careful and you look carefully for traps.  The are detectable, but only if you take your time and move slowly through the underbrush.  

This game sort of reminds me of Thief to a certain degree.  When that game was first released, there was a flood of negative reviews that hit the internet.  Everyone complaining that it was too hard and that sword fighting was unbalanced.  They were trying to play the game like everything that came before it and did not realize that it was something completely new.  Over time, it became a classic.  So will Men of Valor.
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Caine
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« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2004, 07:55:59 PM »

thanks for the review alice.  i'm wondering, if you've played vietcong, how does mov compare to it, both in gameplay and in immersion.  i loved how you could read the journal in vc and practice with enemy weapons between missions.  

one thing i didn't like as much in the demo was the large amount of ammo you could hold for multiple weapons at the same time.  

i do like the coop modes though, so this could end up replacing vc as my lan party vietnam game.  is there a small limit to how many can play through coop?
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« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2004, 08:54:53 PM »

Is coop for 2 players only?  Or can you do more via system link?
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Alice
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« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2004, 09:28:13 PM »

According to the manual:

Quote
Play single-player missions on a single Xbox in split-screen.  Or use System Link or Xbox Live to play five other multiplayer game types for up to 12 players!


Quote
System Link allows 2 to 12 Xbox video game systems to be linked via an Xbox System Link Cable or multiple Xbox systems via an enternet hub and standard ethernet cables.


Multiplayer Classes

Allies
Marine Rifleman
Marine Machine Gunner
Tunnel Rat
Marine Sniper
Green Beret
ARVN Ranger
MArine Corpsman

Communist
NVA Rifleman
Viet Cong Sniper
NVA Sapper
Viet Cong Guerrilas
NVA Machine Gunner
Viet Cong Forward Observers
NVA Medic

Multiplayer Game Types
Multiplayer Mission
Team Deathmatch
Deathmatch
Recover the Documents
Search and Destroy

Multiplayer Match Settings
Time Limit
Score Limit
Rounds Per Map
Unlimited Map Rotation
Max. Players
Dedicated Server
Max. Respawn
Even Teams
Class Restriction
Server Name
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Alice
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« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2004, 09:43:51 PM »

Weapons
Colt M1911 Pistol
AK-47
AR-15 Carbine
Thomson Submachine Gun M1A1
M60
M79
PPSH4
SKS
Russian TT3 Pistol
Type56 AK-47 Underfolder

images rendered from ingame models and skins
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Jeff
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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2004, 04:59:31 PM »

I used my blockbuster gamepass to pick this up today. I'm pretty impressed so far. You were definitely right about the language. They hold nothing back.

Isn't it odd that MOH had no foul language, or even blood IIRC, and it was for the PC platform, which is supposedly geared towards adults. On the console, supposedly geared for the younger crowd, they go all out with the language and blood.

Anyway, I can see my delving deeper into this one, it seems pretty cool.

If anyone knows, how are the save checkpoints, is there a lot of having to play and replay the same areas over and over?
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Eco-Logic
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« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2004, 05:06:55 PM »

Quote from: "Jeff Jones"
I used my blockbuster gamepass to pick this up today. I'm pretty impressed so far. You were definitely right about the language. They hold nothing back.

Isn't it odd that MOH had no foul language, or even blood IIRC, and it was for the PC platform, which is supposedly geared towards adults. On the console, supposedly geared for the younger crowd, they go all out with the language and blood.

Anyway, I can see my delving deeper into this one, it seems pretty cool.

If anyone knows, how are the save checkpoints, is there a lot of having to play and replay the same areas over and over?


My friend and I had to replay the same area a few times.  It was rewarding though.  It was on the swift boat mission.  At the end of it you have to take the bridge and it's pretty tough.  There is a machine gunn on the bridge and a ton of enemy soldiers.  It took us 3 times to pass it, and when we finally passed it only one of us made it (me).  Luckily there is a check point after that part so we were able to move on.
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Alice
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« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2004, 10:41:49 PM »

I was watching the credits and saw that Sean Austin (Sam from Lord of the Rings, Goonies) was the voice of Hodges.  Nice voice work in this game too.
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