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Published on June 17th, 2010 | by G. Bargas, Managing Editor

The Grinder

My initial plan was to make haste over to my High Voltage appointment and get knee deep in blood and guts on The Grinder for Wii. Before coming to E3 I found out that The Grinder would be a FPS on Wii and a top-down view/action shooter with RPG elements on Xbox360. Wanting to see another great shooter from High Voltage (Conduit/Conduit 2) I can say I was a little disappointed when I found out that technical difficulties would impede my efforts. Although vampire slaying FPS action was stalled, I was ENOURMOUSLY satisfied with the way the short yet sweet interview with David Pellas, the design director, panned out.

The four main characters that you will be able to select are Doc, Hector, Mika and Aj. Each character has their own player strength attributes to the game and all of which can share weapons. Weapons, money, and upgrades are the items that the 4-player co-op to battle on with. In the build that we were able to see, we were heading into the mines where storm crystals were being drilled because of their value. A giant “grinder” was being used to work its way down, but when the grinder starts coming back towards the surface, a ton of monster begin to disperse from the depths. In this alternate reality, these monsters are not uncommon, but would like to be distanced from the regular folks.

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The Grinder gameplay
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Gettin down and dirty
The most common form of enemy in the game are the vampire form monsters. Different weapons affect enemies, so in this case, the bow/stake gun proved most damaging. Some other damaging items strategically placed were in the environment itself. The physics based mines that you are clearing out in this level have such pleasant hazards as metal grinders that enemies can be thrown into as well as bridges for to be thrown off of. Gun blastin’ gut spewing fun for four players!

Speaking of 4-players, The Grinder offers one of the most unique in-game sequences that I have seen on a top down shooter. There are many elements of the 4-player co-op and RPG upgrades, but there are also guick time events. How is that unique, you ask? While watching a few play through the first area we came to one of the monsters that appeared and grabbed Mike. In one big sequence, all players were prompted to hammer down on the correct buttons in order to complete the event. Windows opened for each player as they watched their buddy dangle from his feet for dear life. Each player patterned it out successfully and saved their pal from the jaws of a lone wolf. There are also a few transformations that you the player can take on. The wolf comes into play again. This was one of a few that was released to us. Can you say, OwwwwWoooOO!?
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The Grinder-Gameplay-Wolf shows up
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Some of the other cool things that enemies will also take on and change are their A.I. states. Doug was filling us in a few points that would prove to add to the games already unique style. While taking on monsters that have certain weaknesses their A.I. states will change with the fear or weakness. For example, an enemy might be prone to fire attacks. When assaulting those enemies with weapons dealing with fire, they will actually stop fighting for a bit and make sure to pat themselves out. There is a Smokey The Bear joke in there somewhere, but the day has been wearing on me.
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The Grinder is definitely one title to be on the lookout for. Hats off to High Voltage for such an amazing lineup of games, as well as their community involvement with all of the titles I have been able to see. If you liked games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Smash TV, Total Carnage, Gauntlet Legends, or even the Conduit, definitely check out The Grinder when it makes its way to Xbox360 and PS3. Wii will have to wait on the FPS, but I can expect quality.

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About the Author

I am Greg, aka LaWiiG. Thanks for coming to take a look around! Retro is the way to go! Do yourself a favor and show love by playing retro games.



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