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Serious Sam Indie Series Talk about all your favorite indie Sam games here! Serious Sam: Double D XXL, Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, Serious Sam Kamikaze Attack!, or Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter!

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Old 10-23-2013, 11:26 AM   #1   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

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Serious Sam Double D XXL is an expansion of Mommy's Best Games "Serious Sam Double D" originally released for PC. It debuted on the Xbox 360 in February and was recently released as a completely free updated for current owners of Double D on PC! Whilst the original game was entertaining, Double D XXL promised to surpass the original, this review will see if that holds up.

The story of Double D is simple, Sam must travel back in time in order to stop mental and his minions from destroying humanity. A simple story, much like the other Serious Sam games, which takes a backseat to allow the characters to share enjoyable dialogue. Nectrisa, much like her appearance in Serious Sam 2, will have conversations. Straight off the bat, as soon as you start one thing that was added becomes clear. The game has official voice acting, John Dick makes a return as Serious Sam with other characters in the game also receiving voices. The voice work is very well done and enjoyable, making the cut scenes enjoyable for those who have already finished Double D several times. If you don't want to view the cut scenes, the fast forward button makes them skip at super speed which is a much welcome addition. But with all the new voice work, you don't really want to.

This isn't the only change that becomes apparent as you make your way through Serious Sam Double D XXL, the player can now earn money! Many mechanics in Double D XXL have been changed or added in order to make the game more in depth and enjoyable. As Sam kills enemies and progresses through the story he will grab money from the corpses of the fallen. At first their inclusion in the game was confusing until the game shows you the trader. The trader is definitely an enjoyable addition to the game as he leads you to more customization for your guns. The trader seems to be a direct parody of the Trader from Resident Evil 4 if his voiced lines are anything to go by.

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"The trader is definitely an enjoyable addition to the game-"

The changes to Double D XXL aren't half-assed either. The games levels are enhanced to account for the additional money mechanic, with treasure chests to be found and more secret areas as well. The levels themselves have been improved in general from Double D. In Double D, you'd find yourself using the Jump Pad or corpse piling to find secrets, but in Double D XXL things are much different. Secret finding adopts the classic Sam style of finding secrets, which is blowing shit up. Or cutting it down, either way you'll be rewarded for keeping a sharp eye out. Secret finding in this sense is great as it gives the player a reason to go back after they've gained new tools to tackle the level again and find something new as there are quite a few inaccessible locations at first until you've progressed through the games acts.

Gun stacking has been re-balanced completely, with the trader offering to improve separate weapons for you in exchange for money. This allows for a heavily increased customization experience in comparison to the original. Whilst in Double D you may have 4 tommyguns and a shotgun on one stack, in Double D XXL you could have 2 Tommyguns with specific add-ons to better suit your needs, whilst a shotgun is at the base that shoots bees. If that doesn't sell you on this game, I don't know what will. It shoots BEES. Each gun has it's own set of 3-4 power ups that can improve it in a way that best suits your needs whilst still using the normal guns ammo. Unfortunately, you can no longer switch your stacks on the fly. You may only edit your gun stackers when you are at a Nectrisa check point. This makes the game more difficult, which is a good thing. But it also makes the player more wary of trying new things if they regret what they change. Luckily this becomes insignificant later on as you are given plenty of gun stacker extensions to mess around with by the end of Act 2.

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"Gun stacking has been re-balanced completely"

The changes to the Gun Stacker system also come with handy tutorials that appear as you play. They're easily skipped but can be very informative to help point out what has exactly changed in the game, but sometimes these things can take a while to be explained and you are left wondering what something is for, or why you can't do something you could do in Double D. Luckily these issues are quickly rectified, but sooner is better than later. This certainly isn't a negative point but is something that bugged me as a Double D player from the start.

Cooperative play is the biggest addition to the game. Serious Sam players love cooperative, mostly. It's one of the main bragging points of the game and that still holds true. I enjoyed playing it with my friend on his laptop today. The popular Double D commercial man, Dan Huffington, makes his game debut as the second players character. He's not much different from Sam except from appearances which is a good thing as this means no one is disappointed by being player 1 or 2. Unless you like Dan more than Sam which is totally reasonable. With Co-Op also comes Head to Head mode, which lets you shoot the crap out of each other with your gun stackers, a fun mode but it won't last as long as the campaign will as the head to head matches don't last long and can be hard to enjoy with just two people. It's a damn shame that there's no other characters to play as. Changing your player character would have been a great addition and is definitely a missed opportunity.

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"The popular Double D commercial man, Dan Huffington, makes his game debut!"

One of the original issues I had with Double D was how the aiming worked. It felt a bit wonky and imprecise at times, and the crosshair not being as free as it could be due to sliding along a visible line of sight was bothersome. It felt restrictive and that's still the case here. But Sams jumping and movement is quick and precise to make up for this so dodging whilst you try to reconfigure your aim is still a saving grace for this particular issue. The game fully supports a 360 Game pad and the keyboard and mouse, and it feels quite comfortable on the game pad. Both options work well but you may find yourself taking issue with the mouse at some point.

Graphically, the levels haven't changed much. The great art style is still there and it looks as beautiful as it did in the original release. Not many changes can be seen, so I may have missed them. But that doesn't stop me from being impressed with the detailed backgrounds and characters that appear through out the game. Each one has vibrant colours to them and the world is never dull in colour. This works well with the games bright dialogue and atmosphere. Double D XXL has more in common with Serious Sam 2 than any other Serious Sam title, with levels that take you through ruins full of Vuvuzelators poo to Hamster tube mega constructions. This both differentiates the game from the rest of the series in a refreshing and engaging way, but also keeps it tied to what we are used to as well. It's fun to note that all the new enemies are rendered just as beautifully as the rest and still keep the game feeling mighty fresh!

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"The great art style is still there and it looks as beautiful as it did in the original release."
An interesting note about the game is what it adds to the Sam canon, or assets available to those that enjoy modding or editing the game. Double D XXL adds new screams for the kamikaze, plenty of new voice acting lines for Sam and more. These sorts of additions will appeal to those that have played Sam for years. I personally found that Double D was a bit of the same, as each enemy was basically the same as their counterpart in the earlier games, but subtle changes like the Kamikaze scream made me smile. The tiny extra effort was worth the change, just to make an enemy sound different. If you still wish to play the original Double D, the developers have kindly given you the option to do so upon launching the game!

Double D was a fun game, which got dull as eventually you got everything you wanted and didn't change. There wasn't much reward for going back and replaying and once you found an OP stack of guns, you stuck with it. Double D XXL fixes this with the increased amount of customization, back tracking to find extra secrets with new equipment and the cash making mechanics. Mommy's Best Games have made a clear effort to make the game a more enjoyable experience and they have definitely done so with this expansion. It's worth playing over a second time if you beat Double D and it's definitely worth playing if you love the Serious Sam series.

Final look:

Positives:
+ Cooperative play!
+ New customization options and gameplay additions
+ Revised levels and enemy sounds to accommodate great changes
+ Voice acting is superb
+ New music is enjoyable

Negative:
- Aiming still feels wonky, even on menus
- Head to head mode feels tacked on, gets dull quickly.
- Dan needs more time on screen, damn it!
- Some backtracking secrets aren't as good as they could be.

Mixed bag:
+/-: Unlocking head to head mode
+/-: Enemies feel a bit TOO crazy in comparison to others, but gets a pass due to being so unique.
+/-: Egypt again?
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Last edited by Pan; 10-23-2013 at 11:32 AM.
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Old 10-23-2013, 11:58 AM   #2   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

Great review Pan.

It seems you can't run away from gun customizations and trading these days, every game has a bit RPG elements
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:01 PM   #3   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

Soon there'll be gun customization trading. Then all hell breaks loose.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:10 PM   #4   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

I do agree it adds a lot of choice to players and a reason to replay the game over and over. The main SS series should have a similar system as well imo, because I think the never changing weapons are what's the most monotone about the series right now.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:24 PM   #5   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

In Serious Sam 2 customization and trading would work, since the game already looks like a RPG if you count all the various enemies and environments. And with the goofy style of the game you could just plug in a trader there, and nobody would say it doesn't fit the theme.

But in a "realistic" game like SS3 I don't see how that would fit in.

Now if they would make something like Borderlands in a SS world...

Edit:
Actually, Sirian(?) technology/artifacts could be used as weapon upgrades or something. That could work.

Last edited by AntonioR; 10-23-2013 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:33 PM   #6   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

Great review, nice work!

I just couldn't get into Double D for some reason, only completed a few missions before I got bored and put it away. It sounds like this expansion (?) adds enough content that it might make the game interesting for me. Might check it out at some point.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:10 PM   #7   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

That's no amateur review, it was actually a good read so I'd call it a pro review! I agree with all the points except I can't really criticise them for not adding more player characters since it's just 2 people at best, and it's only local co op. That being said, the game would have been just amazing with actual online co op, it sucks that all these great 2D titles like this and Rayman Legends just don't bother with it. That's something I'd criticise it for. But really the only thing.

I'm enjoying it tremendously and I definitely think the shop mechanics were a great addition to keep things fresh. All the new voiceacting's nicely done too and the levels seem to have gotten tons of changes themselves so it's definitely worth replaying for any old player.

It's just incredible they aren't charging any money for this and just hand it out as a free update on PC. The game deserves more promotion than it has too.

Last edited by Finzy; 10-23-2013 at 02:14 PM.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:13 PM   #8   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

Thanks, Finz. That's nice of you. I try hard when I write these reviews so to know I didn't do a bad job is refreshing. Well I wasn't criticizing the lack of player models, I was just mentioning it as a missed opportunity. Can't hold it against them really.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:16 PM   #9   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

I don't see a problem with adding this review on the front page even, as it's pretty informative and details pretty much everything new added. And it's free promotion for SS: Double D XXL right there.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:53 PM   #10   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finzy View Post
I don't see a problem with adding this review on the front page even, as it's pretty informative and details pretty much everything new added. And it's free promotion for SS: Double D XXL right there.
I agree. Even if some "pro" would review SSDDXXL PC I doubt it would be so detailed like this one.
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:40 PM   #11   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

Awww, you guys. Thanks
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:31 PM   #12   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

Pretty good review there, maybe you should take over Squadala's job.
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Old 10-24-2013, 10:51 AM   #13   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

I accept your challenge, Valerie.
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Old 10-24-2013, 12:39 PM   #14   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

I approve this message.
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Old 10-29-2013, 11:04 AM   #15   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

Bumping this thread to promote this good review in the front page of the forums.
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Old 10-29-2013, 02:46 PM   #16   Add To Ignore List  
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Default Re: Serious Sam Double D XXL Amateur Review

Well, you are an admin now, couldn't you know, do something about that?
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