Final Zombie XII

By Alec Meer on August 6th, 2008 at 9:05 pm.

It’s increasingly hard to tell whether or not the zombie joke’s gone too far. On the one hand, the living dead are irritatingly ubiquitous throughout both gaming and web culture; on the other – zombies!

A random poke at Armor Games’ oft-bounteous site today turned up Sonny, a Flash-based Final Fantasy clone starring a well-spoken and terribly English zom. It isn’t doing anything especially out of the ordinary, but you do get to dress a zombie in Samurai armour. Surely that’s enough?

It’s a little lost between taking itself terribly seriously and very lightweight humour, which means it lives or dies on its fighting and the looting. Fortunately, there’s plenty of that, and it’s strategic and compulsive enough to make the, erm, enthusiastic voice acting worth enduring.

What stands out is the degree of choice over your character build – it’s very much in the Diablo/Titan Quest mould of ability point attribution, but there’s clearly been a lot of love and a lot of planning put into the expanse of powers and buffs available to pick from. There’s even a re-spec function, for heaven’s sakes. Where it might stumble on presentation values it more than compensates with the under-the-hood planning. Less so the balance – it does get bastard-hard very quickly.

I’m not entirely convinced it feels especially zombiey, but I suspect that’s an inevitable by-product of its hero hurling electro-bolts and carrying mechanised swords. Not traditional zombie behaviour, but hell, I’ll take it.

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16 Comments »

  1. Charlie says:

    Well a traditional Zombie is a voodoo Zombie isn’t it? I mean our Zombies now come from I AM Legend and they were Vampires anyway.

    Maybe I take Zombies too seriously…

  2. Chiablo says:

    Usually the worst part of an RPG game is the combat system. Random encounters are an unavoidable evil that clogs up the storyline between village A and Apocalypse B.

    Enter Sonny… they’ve done away with that meddlesome story and exploration that makes RPGs so fun and instead focuses on the encounters. In a normal RPG the difficulty is more or less a steady upwards slope… in sonny it’s more or less a cliff face.

    The graphics and production values are top notch, but the actual gameplay and story are terrible. There is a well known bug in the game that lets you apply the stats of any item to your character (as if he equipped it) without actually equipping it that makes that game bearable in the later stages.

  3. Stan says:

    Zombies are no joke, the threat is out there…

  4. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Surely, the time has come to write up a feature about zombies in games vs. actual zombie gaming?

  5. dartt says:

    I came in here to say what Stan said.

    Stay alert boys and girls.

  6. Eschatos says:

    If only it weren’t so short. I was actually shocked when the game ended, I was just getting into it.

  7. LSTAR says:

    The title of this post was easily the worst pun I have ever read. In my life.

  8. InVinoVeritas says:

    LSTAR, you haven’t been here long have you?
    http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/05/13/high-stakes-for-the-medium-rare/

  9. luckystriker says:

    Decent FF clone, but like Eschatos said, shockingly short.

  10. Aldaris says:

    Bah, I already finished that long before this was posted.
    And until area 4 you honestly shouldn’t need any help or exploits, it was chalenging, but cliff face? nope.

  11. Ian says:

    I’m another who discovered this a while ago and finished it. Or just about, I simply couldn’t be bothered grinding through the extra level after the “end” of the story just to fully kit out all my fighters. Basically it gets to such a point where you give your guy the right couple of abilities, and then fight with the medic and A.N. Other powered up character and squash everybody, slowly but surely.

    Fun while it lasts, though.

  12. Dorian Cornelius Jasper says:

    I think Charlie deserves some recognition for calling out the zombie facts. And by facts, I meant meta-facts that apply to the history of zombie media in the real world, as opposed to practical facts that apply to the history of zombie outbreaks in the real world.

  13. Ginger Yellow says:

    What does a zombie need armour for? Maybe a bulletproof helmet and neckbrace.

  14. Redford says:

    It would be better if the enemies weren’t bastard cheaters and if your partner’s AI could be directed. For example later in the game we have enemies with stats way higher then yours could ever be and several of them possess a special ability which will basically one-hit kill you unless you gain a skill that will allow you to remove it. On the other hand, not only can you not pick the skills for your partners, they never seem to level them up. They use them randomly with no logic at all, which makes certain battles (one in paticular) way harder then it should be. Many later battles can be lost if your stupid medic buddy decides he isn’t going to use charge on you or himself with zero focus and instead whacks the enemy with his gun.

    I like everything else.

  15. The Guy says:

    Oh yeah, I played Sonny…

    … Over a month ago when it first came out…

  16. Danfishblue says:

    Sonny 2 is out on armor games now.

    armorgames.com/play/2900/sonny-2