PS3 Reviews: Afrika Review

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Afrika Review

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Graphics:

 

5.2

Gameplay:

 

3.7

Sound:

 

4.8

Control:

 

4.4

Replay Value:

 

3.9

Overall Rating:       4.1

 

 

Online Gameplay:

Not Rated

Publisher:

Natsume

Developer:

Rhino Studios

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

Miscellaneous

I am not one of those people who can best be categorized as “twitch gamers;” i.e., I need constant motion on the screen, and my fingers always need to be in the process of pressing buttons. I’m a patient individual, I enjoy great storylines in games, and I like taking my time and relishing various elements like the environment, backdrops, atmosphere, and overall attitude and style. Therefore, I actually went into Afrika with a bit of excitement; I have always been a fan of nature and while the idea of snapping photos of various wildlife may not appeal to everyone, I was prepared to embrace the idea. But after several hours, my eyelids were beginning to fall and my brain was loaded with the many, many ways Rhino Studios could’ve made this a worthwhile, rewarding experience. The number of glitches and wasted opportunities just kept piling up and that’s really unfortunate because the concept is quite original and even promising.

As always, we put most of the emphasis on a title’s gameplay but when we’re faced with a video game based around a safari, the visuals are crucial. After all, people don’t go on safaris to do much of anything but look and see; it’s a feast for the eyes and ears as travelers come back with hundreds of pictures and excited statements like, “guess what I saw!” Unfortunately, Afrika’s graphics fall well short of the intended goal, despite a decent amount of color and nice animal detail. The problem lies in the overall polish as the natural pieces of the landscape – bushes, trees, watering holes, etc. – are decidedly lacking. They just aren’t all that crisp and clean, and even worse, they don’t respond realistically to the surrounding wildlife or your character; you’ll notice this as soon as you step near a bush and half your body disappears while the bush never reacts to anything. So yeah, kinda pretty but still very late-90’s-like.

There isn’t much to say concerning the sound, unless I can spend the next four or five sentences talking exclusively about the animal sounds. There are no human voices in the game so don’t expect your chosen character or your tour guide to say anything, as their lips will move but we’ll still have to read the text. …like I just said, outdated. The soundtrack is okay and it’s somewhat fitting, but it’s nowhere near effective enough. As for the gameplay effects, all you’ll ever hear is the crunch of your shoes on the soil, the click of your camera, and the best part of the game (by a long shot), the sounds of those interesting creatures. Just about everything, from the hippos lounging in the water to the cheetah chasing down a gazelle to the vultures overhead, sound just about right and helps to immerse you into the safari adventure. Being outside on your own and looking for the best possible photographs isn’t unpleasant, but with an uninspired soundtrack and no voices, things just seem a little bland.

Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking: how can a game where you take pictures be any fun? Well, I can pretty much guarantee I would’ve had a great time with this game…provided the developers had put a true-blue next-gen effort into Afrika. Instead, we get a half-complete, technically flawed production that is little more than a disappointing shadow of what it could’ve been. At the start, you choose either the male journalist or the female zoologist but as the first example of a missed opportunity, both characters are identical with the exception of gender. Furthermore, while the other character will be involved, he or she will just sit in the tent and feed you painfully obvious advice. You have a laptop, a map to check where you’ve been, a set of relevant tools, your trusty camera, and even a diary that keeps track of your safari accomplishments. Every day, you set out via jeep and see if you can snap pictures that will satisfy your “mission” requirements.

These missions come in the form of e-mail assignments on your laptop and the good news is they can range drastically and force you to be inventive in the field. For instance, while your first few trips into the wild will only result in you snapping shots of all the new animals you see, you’ll soon be trying to catch a hippo yawning, a giraffe bending down to get a drink, and a cheetah that chases down its prey (you have to take the shot from the moving jeep, too). When taking a picture, you have to consider all sorts of things – as any photographer would – and you will be graded on Angle, Technique, Target, and Composition, and other factors like Rarity and Clarity. The better your grade, the more of the reward money you will see; only an “A” gets you the full amount. Using the camera is as easy as accessing it with the Square button, moving it around with the left analog, zoom with the right analog, and snap the shot with a careful press of the R1 button. Too hard of a press will cause your hand to shake and the picture will come out blurry.

You can even tilt the controller on its end to achieve a vertical (landscaped) picture, which might be best for creatures like giraffes. Furthermore, better cameras – which you will unlock as you progress – and different lenses will have a significant impact on your photography skills. And of course, it’s best to stay out of sight and approach your job with a calm and quiet demeanor. Sadly, it’s really only this last element that feels as if it was implemented correctly; the photography aspect just never comes together. It’s a science, of course, but the difference in cameras really didn’t have as big of an impact as we would’ve liked, and to combat shaking, it would’ve helped if we could actually see ourselves shaking. The view through the camera always looks exactly the same, so it’s tough to tell if it’s going to show up blurry, regardless of how you press the R1 button. The photography is just nowhere near dynamic enough. How’s about holding our breath to steady the camera like we do in some shooters? Just a thought.

But that’s what I mean. This is the driving force behind the game: a mediocre effort the whole way ‘round that is never dynamic and only feels tedious. For instance, you can never control where you drive in the jeep, which is, in my opinion, the single biggest drawback of the game. The tour guide drives like a little old lady and besides, wouldn’t it have added to the strategy to have control over our vehicle? You know, if you drive too fast or get too close, you can scare away your targets, which is why you would have to be careful. No, instead we get the on-rails gameplay that only lets you start and stop the jeep with no manual control over the direction. It’s all the more linear because you almost never run across any animals that aren’t on your mission agenda, which is ridiculously unrealistic and essentially eliminates the exploration aspect. The latter should’ve been a big deal but all we do is go where we’re driven, take the shots we’re asked to take, and that’s it.

Some of you may be asking about the possible tension and fear involved with photographing the more dangerous animals out on the African plains. But it’s basically non-existent. While it’s certainly true that you might be a bit more cautious about approaching a lion, the entire process still feels the same and if you’re attacked, you just lose all the photos you’ve taken (guess the animals eats the film, but not you), and you’re returned to base camp. You can shop a bit with the money you earn and trying to take the best picture possible isn’t entirely devoid of entertainment, especially if you’re a nature and/or photography fanatic. But if the barrenness of the plains doesn’t get to you, the lackluster gameplay will, especially when you consider the technical shortcomings: the jeep will hitch and jerk its way into base camp (and come to bizarre starts and stops when out in the field), the animation of the animals is barely average, and for some unknown reason, it takes an eternity to save a game. What’s that about?

I liked the field guide that allows us to learn more about the animals we’ve photographed and I suppose they did try to make the actual practice of taking pictures a “simulator,” but in the end, it’s just too dated and uninspired. The graphics don’t cut it, not being able to explore on our own is a huge issue, being led around by the nose throughout gets tiresome, and the limitation of the character (he/she can’t lie down, crouch, or move stealthily; just walk around) is downright silly. We first heard about Afrika even before the PS3 launched, which might be why this game feels as if it should’ve been released years ago. And even then, it likely would’ve been viewed as a disappointment. For $49.99, it’s a definite pass; maybe when it drops down to budget price all you nature fans might give it a try. Just don’t expect much…at least it’s cheaper than a real safari.

11/2/2009 Ben Dutka

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Comments (57 posts)

Juanalf
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 9:53:23 PM
Reply

Judging by all of the supposed glitches and minor yet constant issues, I'm wondering if you were actually playing the alpha stage of the full game.It just seems like game that was still being worked on.

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Poor_boy
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:01:25 PM
Reply

Had the potential to be a great game. Maybe Naughty Dog should've made it.

Agree with this comment 13 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

kevinater321
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:03:16 PM

lol you can say that to any bad game :P

Agree with this comment 11 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

kevinater321
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:02:59 PM
Reply

I actually heard this game was pretty good. it kind of reminds me of Ever Blue 2 for ps2 (my first ps2 game) and i loved that game so it can't be that bad.

Agree with this comment 3 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

AnonymousPoster
Saturday, November 07, 2009 @ 2:51:31 PM

Yes!! Everblue 2! Fantastic title that everybody missed.

I'm looking forward to picking up Afrika, when I get the chance, and money. I don't let game scores sway me when I get really interested in something. Besides, a lot of other people do like Afrika. It seems like a "love it or hate it" sort of title. I'm sad you didn't enjoy it, Ben.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Highlander
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:04:19 PM
Reply

That's a shame, the idea has a huge amount of potential, as you point out Ben, there were many ways in which it could have been improved.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:09:11 PM
Reply

i hate to beat a dead horse but this shoulda been a 5, because well because its a ps3 exclusive...

sorry bout that i shoulda left it alone i just couldnt! im sorry!

n e ways thats a little upsetting to see, what may have made it worth it to me would have been able to control your character in various ways, crouching, stealth, that kinda thing! that could have made it alot of fun, especially if animals reacted to the noise and stuff, maybe chasing you down lol, i could only imagine. it seemed to have huge potential for this type of game that could ahve made it fun, and had lots of enjoyment, but seems to have failed, o-well!

another great review though, very detailed to show the reader (considering they read it) what the game consists and where it excells and fails! thanks!

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/2/2009 10:12:00 PM

Agree with this comment 4 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:10:26 PM
Reply

Afrika brought "teh suck"

Agree with this comment 10 up, 9 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:15:01 PM

i really wish u people would stop typing like that, i terribly hope you dont speak like that. I'm embarrased for you!

its obnoxious lol and just plain dumb!



Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/2/2009 10:16:19 PM

Agree with this comment 11 up, 12 down Disagree with this comment

Doosharm
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:28:46 PM

One could say the same about people who ignore proper capitalization and punctuation while still using internet jargon terms like "lol" and "u". Plus, he at least put his internet jargon in quotes to suggest that it is indeed a jargon term.

I mean no offense, but maybe you should take your own advice?

Agree with this comment 18 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:40:28 PM

Don't lump me in with "you people." Doosharm was correct, I put that in quotes because I'm qualifying it being used in fun. I do pretty decent with my professional writing and all jargon is interesting to me.

You kids and your drugs...

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 11/2/2009 10:42:06 PM

Agree with this comment 16 up, 4 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 11:33:34 PM

lough out loud*! at both of you!

where my jargon is to cut corners and make typing easier. that is some dumb found language that is rediculous for people to use, and ill say it again makes me embarrassed! That jargon is by no means interesting, makes me just remorse at all the people who think gamers are "vidiots" because you talking like that almost proves their point. i can see it now the headline would read "video games make people stupid. one man? named worldendswithme started talking gibberish after playing for a couple hours saying", "Afrika brought "teh suck".

im sorry but its cliche and makes you look like you're the one on drugs.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/2/2009 11:43:04 PM

Agree with this comment 2 up, 19 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 11:56:51 PM

im just gonne end it now! i dont really care anymore. you had your fun with it!

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/2/2009 11:57:19 PM

Agree with this comment 3 up, 11 down Disagree with this comment

Banky A
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 12:08:30 AM

LOL bigrailer, what?
"Pwnt"

Agree with this comment 7 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 12:23:15 AM

Here's another piece of jargon for you regarding that statement: You fail.

Agree with this comment 14 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

Doosharm
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 12:38:29 AM

Is this guy serious? Can we take points off for penmanship?

Agree with this comment 9 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 1:00:47 AM

:) u guys put a smile on my face, i love it!

Agree with this comment 5 up, 11 down Disagree with this comment

GuernicaReborn
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 1:07:27 AM

So World can't type the word "teh" but it's ok for Bigrailer to type the word you as "u"? Throw in the lowercase I's from his post, the fact that he spelled laugh l-o-u-g-h, and I think he is teh suck. Listen guy, nobody made you grammar police. If you're take that role, expect to have your posts torn apart. As Micheal Scott once said to Toby, "I hate everything that you choose to be."

Agree with this comment 12 up, 3 down Disagree with this comment

bigrailer19
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 1:17:42 AM

your absolutely right im not the grammar police thats why i tried to drop it.

gosh you guys are makin me sick! i appologized its over, now get over yourselves please so we can all move on, i did!

IM SORRY, IM SORRY FOR POINTING SOMETHING OUT I CANT STAND. AND IM SORRY FOR TRYING TO DRAG YOU DOWN FOR WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 11/3/2009 1:22:29 AM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 13 down Disagree with this comment

Banky A
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 3:00:44 AM

/Sorry if I sound angry.

You shouldn't have replied after being done ;). But seriously man, I didn't problem with you. Just a bad day? And yeah, World was joking hard.

[Nobody reply after me plzzz]

Agree with this comment 7 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

NeoHumpty
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 7:44:48 AM

GAWD!!! I H8 it wen ppl rite in ALL CAPS! :D lololol

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Diggity Dan
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 8:08:12 AM

"your [sic] absolutely right im not the grammar police thats why i tried to drop it. "

Oh the irony :)

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newchef
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 9:04:56 AM

lqtm teh hole convo

Agree with this comment 1 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 10:16:25 AM

STOP.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 8 down Disagree with this comment

Jed
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:17:04 PM
Reply

wow. I kinda felt the same way you did about this game. I figured at the worst possible scenario it would still have some stunning graphics. shame

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MyWorstNightmar
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:24:45 PM
Reply

thanks ben. you play so i dont have to!

Agree with this comment 8 up, 2 down Disagree with this comment

WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 11:38:34 PM

"you play so I don't have to" that's classic. We'll call it bad game torture.

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MyWorstNightmar
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 10:15:18 AM

World, whenever I see your avatar, I think of Tom Cruise behind a mask in a movie that either was never released, or went straight to DVD. What movie is it really from, so I can finally fix my brain?

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 2:29:16 PM

It's not a movie, its me when I was about 22, I just threw a winter scarf over my face and grabbed one of my swords to mug for the camera.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 3:26:27 PM

and I get a thumbs down for that? Christ almighty.

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Killsignal
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:45:33 PM
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i'm a photographer and was really excited about this game. i'm sorry to hear it went south... it's very important to crouch, stand atop something, or even lay down to get that great shot. just your comments about not being able to do that makes me despise it already... what a shame!

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 11:23:21 PM

Yeah, you can't do any of that, unfortunately. At least the animals respond somewhat realistically to your presence, but that's nowhere near enough.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Cholo Gamer
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 10:49:13 PM
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Thank you Ben you saved me 49.99$. It looked great at first but I guess not.

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chucknasty
Monday, November 02, 2009 @ 11:36:51 PM
Reply

bummer

Agree with this comment 2 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

ExhumeART
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 12:02:03 AM
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Haha I knew this game was going to be bad! My friend owes me $10!

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Banky A
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 12:09:15 AM
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Garrrr'.

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Qubex
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 12:38:17 AM
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From the early screenshots it looked promising. Again, being spoilt with engines such as Killzone 2 and GoWIII, you expect today, that Afrika would have incorporated all the whizz bang technology necessary to make the African landscape really come alive and feel real in all aspects... the hazy sunshine, the dust being kicked up by the animals hooves, the realistic water... stunning sunsets and sunrises... great lens flare effect and post processing effects... real changeable weather, realistic thunder storms and rain... and of course, last but not least, realistic animal behaviour and exciting challenges...

I think it is a wasted I.P. from what I gather from this review...

Q!

"i am home"

Last edited by Qubex on 11/3/2009 12:38:51 AM

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A2K78
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 4:44:17 AM
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This games reminds me of Jambos Safari(Naomi Arcade game)and I loved Jambos Safari so I'm picking this up.

Anyhow in an age where you have Nintendo kicking out an endless flurry of Pokemon, Mario and Zelda games whereas Microsoft is kicking out nothing but Halo games and FPS its nice to see Sony taking a different direction and taking some risk with something creative as Afrika.

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RustEDalex
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 4:49:14 AM
Reply

GOTY

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www
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 8:05:50 AM

True.

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NeoHumpty
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 7:46:23 AM
Reply

Thanks for the honest heads-up as always, Ben. I was hoping for more from this game. Heck, even Cabella had voices and crouching.

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mastiffchild
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 9:03:12 AM
Reply

I remember way back when they first showed this at E3(before PS3 was even launched wasn't it?) and the target footage looked sick as.

Sadly I fear it's fallen into the trap that a lot of different or niche game ideas have this gen. As HD games are so dear to make making one for a potentially small audience creates a host of issues and for many games you could get around them with clver ideas incrporated inot the gameplay(though here they haven't seemed to cover even basic photographic things really!)but for a game based on a safari experience the looks are parmount.

If they couldn't get this to look invredivle just what was the point? I could fotgive a few jitters and rough edges had you been able to act like a real camera addict would but you can't, it looks like crap AND has tech issues? We don't need to accept this from anyone these days with so much quality on offer and Sony, of all people, should have knosn it was time to sut their losses on a ag,e they clearly didn't improve after it's non stellar Japanese release over two years ago!

I imagined the interim time had been spent making the great idea into, at least, and interesting, different and mainly mor functional game as there's precious little localisation needed here. But no they just seem to want some dev cash backand this isn't up to the mark-not even if it was a cheapo priced game which it isn't!

It's a shame as this is the kind of game that SHOULD knock games like Endless Ovean(IIRC) on the Wii and it's ilk into a cocked hat(no-idk what that really means either-what is a cocked hat?)and with some good gfx and some care it would do but as it is it's a badly missed chance and something of an embarrassment for Sony.

However, as I say, many niche titles thi gen have shown they're exactly that as they just haven't got the budget of mainstream genre games and with HD it REALLY shows more than before and means they have to be amazing in other respects to compete. Even games with their own fanbase and niche to live in like Disgaea3 looked like crap this generation-well not crap but there was very little thsat would tell you by looking it was a PS3 exclusive now was there? Afrika didn't have the luxury of relying on Math Pron to save it either!

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newchef
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 9:05:35 AM
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it looks like ta game you would find in an arcade or something....

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Random_Steve
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 2:43:59 PM
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4.1?? i cant think of any redeeming factors, let alone enough to warrent 4.1

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Robochic
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 3:14:03 PM
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not suprised by the rating for this game, it just doesn't sound good, it may be a little fun for a bit but it's not really a PS3 title, it sounds like a Wii title or DS

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Axe99
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 4:10:26 PM
Reply

Hey Guys,

I'm only early into Afrika, and I agree on Ben's points on the visuals, but as someone who's done a dash of photography and co-authored a photography book, I think Afrika is a brilliant photography sim. Sure, the menus are clunky, and it's less polished than me in the morning before I've showered and shaved, but the core gameplay - the photography - is nailed spot on.

Walking in the open with a camera, trying to get that metre closer to the gazelle drinking at the waterhole, it feels just like the real thing, or the closest I've come to it. I've only done it with kangaroos, birds, and a couple of Alpacas in Albury and never been to Africa m'self, but the animals respond to a human in their environment in a way that feels incredibly real (although they calm down a little quicker than they might in real life, to keep the game moving), and gives the gameplay a really authentic feeling. The mechanic of upgrading your kit (camera bodies and lenses, and things to help you get closer to the animals) also gives a sense of progression (and caters to the camera collection junkies). This game should _never_ appeal to action junkies, as wildlife photography is all about finding a spot, hunkering down and waiting for the right moment.

And that complaint about camera shake - did you try adjusting your shutter speed? As a broad rule of thumb, you want your shutter speed to be about the same as you focal length in mm, so if you're fully zoomed out on a 110mm lens, you want a shutter speed of around 1/120 or you're likely to hit camera shake (unless you've got image stabilisation, or a tripod). But out there in the real world, you only know if the image is blurred by reviewing it, just like in the game.

On the by Ben, tilting the camera puts you in portrait mode - wide = landscape, portrait = tall ;).

Afrika is clearly intended as a photography sim, and it does this well. However, and as is the case for this review, it's suffering badly because it's being reviewed by people that don't seem to know a lot about photography. I'm a photographer and a gamer, and I'm absolutely in love with Afrika. Sure, I wish it had MW2 production values, but a game this niche is always going to be a bit rough around the edges. I haven't finished playing it yet, far from it, but if you want I'd be happy to write you a review of this game from the perspective of both a photographer and a gamer. Think of it like Demon's Souls - Demon's Souls ain't for everyone, but it's intended audience will love it. Just the same for Afrika (although the intended audience I suspect is considerably smaller - I have to say that as a business decision, it confuses me a little, but I'm sure not complaining!)

I have to say - I saw a little of this kind of inexperience in your review of IL-2 when you questioned the plane handling - which just suggested you hadn't tried out the Sim mode. Don't get me wrong, your reviews are usually spot on, but when the games start tending towards niche markets, you still seem to judge them by mainstream standards, which may be a little unfair. You're not reviewing GTA: Safari Africa, you're reviewing a photography sim (and a niche one at that, being a wildlife photography sim).

In short, if you love photography (and I'm talking about relatively serious photography, being patient, stalking subjects, knowing your gear, all that stuff), then this is a good game. Unfortunately, if you're not into serious photography, and I suspect that this covers around 98% of PS3 owners, then the rough edges around this game are going to cause you no end of frustration. But if you are, then choosing the right kit, and then stalking your subjects for just that 'right' shot, is a lot of fun.

Last edited by Axe99 on 11/3/2009 4:11:49 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 04, 2009 @ 10:23:02 AM

I appreciate your insight but while you're a photographer, I'm a critic. ...in other words, I'll accept that you know what you're doing in your realm but you should accept that I know what I'm doing in mine.

Just because you liked the camera aspect doesn't mean I can just ignore everything else. The major glitches and hitches involving the jeep, the extremely mediocre technicals, the lack of any real player incentive to be inventive because you're led around by the nose with missions, and above all else, the total lack of freedom...it all detracts from the score. These are things I have to take into account, whether you like it or not.

You're trying to tell me that as a photographer, you get DRIVEN around to all the places you wish to try your artistic hand? Without even being able to tell the driver where you wish to go? You're saying that, even if you can crouch, you don't ever want to lie down? You're saying that when you're searching for certain animals, they all magically show up when you head out (and almost NO other animals are around)? You're saying the natural stuff around you like bushes don't respond to your touch or make noise when you push through them? You're saying that different times of day wouldn't warrant different lenses or angles or what have you? You're saying that when you look through a camera, everything remains absolutely perfectly steady at all times as if you've got robot arms and hands?

This is supposed to be a simulator, and we have the technology to make it good. But they failed in many respects. I was fully aware of what I was playing and to think I approached it as "GTA: Afrika" or something like that is a little insulting, quite frankly.

You should look at this from MY point of view AND from yours. Think real hard about what you REALLY do with a camera in your hands - from the time you set out to the time you return - and ask yourself again if Afrika is indicative of that experience. I think you may find you won't question my review as much. ;)

P.S. As for IL-2, I did try the Sim mode. ...no pilot is going to tell you that's 100% accurate. And my issues were still quite minimal, anyway, if I recall.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 11/4/2009 11:07:23 AM

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N a S a H
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 4:26:46 PM
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I LOL'd

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Axe99
Tuesday, November 03, 2009 @ 11:42:39 PM
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PS - you can actually crouch in this game, it's on page 12 of the manual, at the bottom of the page - use down on the d-pad.

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LegendaryWolfeh
Wednesday, November 04, 2009 @ 7:00:11 AM
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B-b-but you have to buy it everyone! the spiritual successor of pokemon snap much live!! LOL, but also gotta remember this game is what, alittle more than a year old with something obviously not a full budget.

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javon_27
Wednesday, November 04, 2009 @ 2:39:22 PM
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Arghh!!! I'm very disappointed. And I know my local Blockbuster won't have it for me to get a try before buying.

I'm starting to get into photography myself and I would have loved to learn a little something from this game. Maybe once it pops up in a bargain bin somewhere I can give it a shot.

On a side note: Not to take sides, or take away from your article, but I have to kinda agree with Axe99 on some points. But everyone is entitled to their opinions; I mean it's not like you're the god of all critics, so I can't expect myself or anyone else to agree with you 100% of the time. I guess that's my $.02.

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Axe99
Wednesday, November 04, 2009 @ 6:36:59 PM
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Hey Javon, deffo recommend trying before buying on this one if you're not already a photography (or African Wildlife ;)) nut. I'm in Australia, so it's not even released here and could only import (although as a bonus, with a ridiculously strong Aussie dollar, it was relatively cheap). Do you have places over there that do rentals over the mail?

And in terms of Ben's review, I'm deffo not trying to knock it or Ben - it's absolutely a legitimate and honest perspective on the game, which is one of the many thing's Ben is great at :). I was a bit harsh with my words in my second-last paragraph, and would like to apologise to Ben as he has done and continues to do a great job and didn't deserve that.

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johnfirewire
Friday, November 06, 2009 @ 8:05:18 AM
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Ben,

Judging from your review, and these comments --

"No, instead we get the on-rails gameplay that only lets you start and stop the jeep with no manual control over the direction. It’s all the more linear because you almost never run across any animals that aren’t on your mission agenda, which is ridiculously unrealistic and essentially eliminates the exploration aspect. The latter should’ve been a big deal but all we do is go where we’re driven, take the shots we’re asked to take, and that’s it."

-- it appears that you did not even get past the first few missions. Fairly quickly in the game you lose the guide and you drive the truck yourself and go wherever you want to go. This is when you still have your first basic camera that takes lousy pictures.

When you get better lenses for your first camera body, the quality of the pictures and in camera view improves a great deal.

In many ways the graphics and animations are very good but I agree some things could be better. People should know that the visual quality through the camera and on the pictures that it takes, eventually become on par with what you are seeing through the binoculars as you upgrade your lenses. Animations and animal graphics look great through the binoculars.

For photography buffs, depth of field, shutter speed, aperture and other manual settings are done well, my main gripe with the game so far would be that the areas you explore seem smaller than I imagined they would be. Other than that, this is a great photography sim IMO.

Last edited by johnfirewire on 11/6/2009 8:09:20 AM

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tridon
Thursday, December 10, 2009 @ 8:16:32 AM
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Right from when this was originally announced, I was excited about it. Then it was released and along came the horrible, horrible reviews.

I'm honestly glad I didn't listen to them. I traded Modern Warfare 2 in for this and I'm so happy I did. MW2 was, to me, boring. Yeah, it had big sound and cool, flashy explosions, but it was just another 'been there, done that' FPS. This game, while slow at times, is something I hadn't really experienced before.

Yes, it's boring at first when you're being driven around, but once the guide leaves you and you drive yourself around and witness all the different species of animals, it's becomes rather fun. And WOW, is it addicting! I played this game for 10 hours straight last Sunday. I don't even remember the last time I kept focussed on a game for that long.

For everyone who's not willing to try Afrika due to its reviews, go rent it and give it a chance. It's something different from all the rest of the 'shoot this, blow up this' games that have been released this year. In my opinion, this game is easily one of the best PS3 exclusives this year.

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spaceboy
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 @ 12:00:50 AM
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Quite irresponsible to say you can't drive in the game because YOU CAN. After about 5 days (the cheetah mission) you ditch the driver and your coworker jumps in back while you drive. Free roaming driving too. Get out and walk around as you wish, you can even do a weak skid if you crank the wheel and hit the brakes. I understand reviewers not completing a game entirely but come on.

He says "For instance, you can never control where you drive in the jeep, which is, in my opinion, the single biggest drawback of the game." There are controls for driving right in the manual that say after a few assignments it'll be your turn to take the wheel. This is not news either, they've always said you can drive around. So there you go, the single biggest drawback is now removed...

I'm not saying the game is a 9 or 10, but it ain't a 4. I don't know yet actually but I assume I'd say 7 or 8. This early on I prefer not to rate it until I play much more of it.

sorry for the long post, but I can't stand half hearted efforts to review games. If you think the game is not relevant enough to play a good portion of it, then don't review it.

Oh, and you can crouch too. (On day one actually!)

Last edited by spaceboy on 12/30/2009 12:02:15 AM

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ZombieToast
Friday, March 19, 2010 @ 4:51:43 AM
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The reviewer obviously didn't play this game for more than an hour. Like spaceboy stated, you CAN go wherever you want. After a few missions, you get to drive the jeep yourself. And crouching is one of the handful of things you can do with your character. There are also unlockable gestures, you know.

Ben, you should be ashamed of yourself for providing so much misinformation about this game. So many points in your review are inaccurate and it is painfully obvious that you didn't even play a quarter of the game. This isn't one of the most reputable sites out there, but I would still expect more.

Taken from one of your comments: "I'll accept that you know what you're doing in your realm but you should accept that I know what I'm doing in mine."

Obviously you don't know what you're doing. If you didn't play through the game, that's fine. Just say that it was too boring for you to finish (it actually gets quite interesting after a couple of hours). But please, don't start making crap up.

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AnonymousPoster
Friday, September 23, 2011 @ 3:06:45 AM
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Yikes. I'd remembered there was a review site that claimed you couldn't leave the car in Afrika. I'm sad to see it was here :-/

I can understand not playing the entire thing, but to not even finish the introductory missions? Bad show, Ben. I hope this practice isn't going on currently.

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