Super Gamer Dude
If you have been ignoring the SOCOM series for years, then you might get pulled to the game this time, with the newest franchise, SOCOM: US NAVY SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3. Developed by Slant Six Games and Published by Sony Computer Entertainment, this first-person shooter game is definitely something to look out for in the PSP handheld.
Your character in this game is Wraith, a SEAL squad leader who recently put together a squad made of four men under an ultra hush-hush mission. The story seems to involve a U.S. operative behind Soviet lines and everyone that the government is sending to check on in with the mole never comes back and report. So, the SEALs are moving on their own to get to the bottom of the mystery that has been happening. Fireteam Bravo 3 puts the focus on action with the responsibility resting on your shoulders, which you probably hardly noticed in past SOCOM games.
The guys involved are on Black Ops mission so there is no HQ present, whispering instructions to their ear; no fancy intelligence using 3D; and no rescue boat around the corner. Before embarking on a mission, Wraith and company dwell upon an old map and some black and white photos, discussing their plan of attack. As things go wrong in the inside – a squad mate being held-hostage, for instance – the SEALs then react of their own volition and and move to attack almost impulsively. Another important factor that’s really quite challenging is you can choose how you and your squad may solve each situation.
Indeed, SOCOM absolutely excels in putting you (the player) in Wraith’s shoes. You can give orders to your squad, like tell them to hold their position and then run ahead to kill the patrolling guards stealthily; or you can also send your squad ahead of you and order them to fire at will to clear the path. You can also order them to kick open doors; to contact or toss flash bangs and kill just about everyone that get in your way. With this, you get the feeling that you really have your own team backing you up, as well as counting on you to lead. You get that amazing feeling of being looked up to with the guys taking orders from you and the fabulous sense of satisfaction of knowing that you are able to make your squad function like a very well-oiled machine, when you finally shut the system down.
Overall, the presentation of the game is superbly done. Every mission is presented with the right level of action and the game is also filled with exquisite cutscenes. The graphics also are very good in the sense that the environments and all the action really look good and realistic throughout the game, though one could do with more details on the in-game SEALs. The audio of the game is also nicely done with the great voiceovers and music. However, there are portions where sound drops out in some scenes, especially at the beginning. The gameplay unquestionably earns a thumbs-up; though you might wish that it was a bit harder, and the rocket/helicopter scene could have been totally dumped. You totally feel like a true SEAL when you play this game.
With all its fantastic features, this one is absolutely dream game to play.
Peace Walker is definitely one good game to play, especially if you’re the type to dig more action. This game surely has the right stuff that keeps you playing on and on for quite a while.
Super Gamer Dude
Red Dead Redemption is an impressive videogame that will take you to the Wild West. Developed by Rockstar, the name behind one of the most popular videogames GTA, Red Dead Redemption offers a quality that has been associated to the trademark of this game developer. From dialogue to presentation, the game approaches every gamer with enthusiasm and excitement.
The storyline of Red Dead Redemption puts you in the character of John Marston, a former outlaw who has travelled to a bizarre location to hunt down a man. The game begins with a train journey which provides a little introduction to the game, but once John Marston gets off the train, you’ll look forward to the adventure that awaits you in the vast Wild West. You’ll journey through broad cactus-filled plains and mountains of countryside that spans through the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
Along your journey, you will get to meet a wonderful supporting cast. The characters present first-rate dialogue which makes you feel as if you’re part of the game. Other characters appear throughout the scene which offers a variety of storyline missions and events. Red Dead Redemption's environment of animals and plants is also one of the highlights in the game as it brings the whole setting into life.
The main story of the game is not that long, but because of dozens of missions, activities and events in the game, there is so much to do and you could spend hours in just doing one thing. These procedural events are the unsystematic events that happen in the game. You will have the chance to have duels, play poker, hunt down outlaws that terrorize towns, herding cattle, sharpshooting challenges and much more. These events allow you to have a lively feeling towards the game world. It keeps the flow of the game diverse and makes the game interesting. If you want a game that will serve as pastime for months, this is the game for you.
Red Dead Redemption gives you the freedom to stroll into the wilds and explore. This is where the game stands out. It offers an enhanced balance to the game in terms of main and secondary missions. It also offers an enjoyable understanding in developing your character. Though there is a legal system in Red Dead Redemption that will restrain the most ill-famed actions in check, you still have the choice whether you do moral or immoral things during any situation. A morality meter, together with a separate fame bar marks your actions and the citizens you meet in the game will begin to respond to your reputation.
Red Dead Redemption is a striking game with its fantastic concentration to detail. Its attention to color is also excellent. The geology of the land is one of the most impressive, making the hills and highlands come to life. The area you can travel around is very vast, dotted with ruins and towns. The game also features outstanding soundtrack that brings you more into the game.
For the multiplayer, the modes of the game are soundly crafted and more amusing especially when playing with your buddies. The multiplayer offers a wide array of missions for players to take on. The mode can reach up to 8 players, but 16 players can fill a lobby at once.
Red Dead Redemption is one of the most enjoyable and most dazzling games ever. There are occasional bugs but these are not enough to stop you from having fun. Red Dead Redemption’s single player and multiplayer modes are superb. There’s no doubt it will entertain you.
Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars is the portable version of the massively popular GTA series for the Nintendo DS. This is not a letdown, swear! It has based its controls and features on the DS features such as insightful use of the DS touch screen feature. Liberty City is still recognizable despite the limitations of the DS, and it offers a substantial storyline and a variety of optional activities.
Chinatown Wars happens in Hong Kong where a power struggle between and within triad gangs are happening. You will play as Huang Lee, the son of a powerful crime boss who just got killed. Lee flies from old Liberty City to Hong Kong to avenge his fathers death and gets involved with the people who hope to replace his fathers standing in the triads. The whole story will center on you, Lee, as you work for certain people in the triad this will involve crime and surely the triad will make a laughingstock out of you, not to mention abandon you, in case you get caught by the police.
Basically, Chinatown wars is essentially the same as the other games in the GTA franchise, but the addition of auto targeting of targets during driving and steering assist adds up to the user friendly factor of the game. GPS is also available if you would like to, since it is better than focusing your eyes on the map at the bottom part of the screen.
We all know that there are numerous side missions in GTA; and Chinatown Wars is no exception. However, it is the first game in the franchise to let you replay a mission in case you were not satisfied with your first time. Also, if you happen to fail a mission, a trip skip option is available that will let you skip the road trip and get right back on the action that killed you on your failed attempt and be able to correct the situation.
A local multiplayer support is available, but only for 2 people. Why only 2 you ask? Because its better than the story and various modes are unlocked and can only be truly enjoyed when there are 2 people playing. Wifi support is also available, but it only involves trading up codes, weapons, items, and sending out messages. This game is freaking awesome!
Super Gamer Dude
The Sims series is not all blood and guts action that some gamers prefer. Neither is it an out and out fantasy adventure. It is in fact at heart, despite some of its wacky ideas, fairly true to life as far as the characters go. Now we have Sims 3, its the same old thing with the same old welcome variations. That is not a criticism, the formula works and if it doesn't need fixing don't fix it.
Each Sim has an aim in life, chosen by you, and in the end that is what you aim to achieve for it. But like real life, there are smaller, short term aims, and obstacles which require attention now rather than later. This of course is allowed by the now traditional open Sims experience. Success in these lesser aims earns Lifetime Happiness Points to unlock Lifetime Rewards of various kinds. It seems there is a limitless rainbow of situations and opportunities provided by the The Sims 3. There are still interactions between the Sims, many trivial and true to everyday life, and all the more amusing for that.
Every self respecting Sim wants a career, but you don't get to see them at their work, you only have control of certain aspects relevant to your life situation, such as enhancing promotion prospects or dodging work for a day. There are too mmany jobs and rewards to mention here and it will take you a long time to explore them all.
Much of the experience involves looking after your Sims and keeping them happy, and again with so many possibilities for happiness and unhappiness thhis is quite a complicatedd task when you realize all the possible complex interactions that are pesent.
There is also much online functionality with players being able to share custom made videos and content. It is a great shame that add ons, such as new towns are not available for download. There are other tiny drawbacks, like the boredom of wathching sleeping Sims, but many of these have not been a major problem in the past, so why should they be now. Hopefully these things will be resolved in the future.
No-one claims that the Sims experience is perfect, but then, nor is life. Its my sort of game.
Super Gamer Dude
Ben 10 Omniverse is a new Wii-U game based on the Ben 10 television franchise. While the game is sure to satisfy die-hard fans of the tv series, newcomers may find the game content enjoyable but a bit lacking. One of the upsides of the game is the sheer amount of characters to play, and while that adds a lot of seeming diversity, the characters themselves lack a commensurate diversity of functions and abilities. The general premise of the game (and franchise as a whole) is that the main character, Ben Tennyson, has in his possession a tool which allows him to mutate into a variety of alien forms.
The aliens are all very interesting and distinct looking and the game allows you to shift into these different entities at any point during the game as they become unlocked. Even the storyline within the game radically shifts between past and future points, there isn't a lot that changes between each time shift, therefore the game comes off as that much more creatively shallow as a consequence. If the developers had added more diversity and richness to the settings contained within different time frames, it would have added a much needed sense of immersion.
There is a certain degree of creative problem solving within the game that can be quite compelling, however. When different environmental challenges present themselves, Ben must inhabit the different alien forms he has it his disposal in order to use their specific abilities to overcome an obstacle. These physics-based situational puzzles are relatively entertaining and fairly engaging, yet the simplistic difficulty seems to skew to a younger audience.
Besides the numerous environmental puzzles, combat tends to make up the meat of the game-play. As you travel from one obstacle to the next, you're bound to run into a variety of enemies that need to be dealt with. By far, the most rewarding element of the combat-based game play involves the initial experimentation you find yourself immersed within when trying to find the optimal strategy for dealing with the opposition.
After you get the hang of how to properly take down the enemies, however, the challenge begins to wane, as does the fun and engagement. An interesting quirk contained within the battles, however, involves an energy meter which you have to keep an eye on while inhabiting an alien form as Ben; if the energy meter depletes, Ben's bulky alien incarnation disappears and he is left relatively defenseless until the meter charges up again. This game mechanic makes the combat a bit more involving and requires some planning.
While the Wii-U is capable of fairly impressive graphics, Ben 10 Omniverse is somewhat lackluster. The graphics are not terrible, but they are somewhat sub-par. Additionally, the game is very linear and feels somewhat formulaic after a while. There aren't many surprises to behold. An annoying restriction of the game involves needing to have access to a television in order to activate non-TV play with the console, which is somewhat inconvenient.
Ben 10 Omniverse looks like it had a lot of potential while in development, unfortunately, the overall gameplay is somewhat hampered by a lack of depth and an abundance of repetition. While the puzzles are the main strength of the game, these elements are unfortunately the least prevalent. All in all, a fun game for lovers of the Ben 10 franchise, and a so-so diversion for others.
Super Gamer Dude
Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga is exactly what fans of both Star Wars and the Lego video game franchise want it to be: Over the top, button mashing excitement, augmented with classic Star Wars and Lego franchise humor. It's not going to win any awards for best combat or game control, but with a game like this, you kind of know what you're getting. Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga is not trying to compete with the huge holiday blockbusters. It just wants to be a fun title to pick up and play on the weekend to share some laughs with your friends. And in this goal, the game is a smashing success.
With that said, you can stop reading now, if you've already played Lego Star Wars or Lego Star Wars II, this latest offering for the Nintendo Wii is simply the first two games in the series put into one box. Yes, it has some graphical updates and minor tweaks, but you're getting the same story and gameplay that were in the previous titles. This game is for someone who hasn't played the two previous titles or just for someone who is a true devotee or collector of the series.
One nice touch is that the game now features an overworld which you can roam inbetween all six episodes. After you beat the first level of Episode 1, all other episodes will unlock. You can play the six episodes of The Star Wars franchise in any order you want. All six episodes take about 12 hours to get through but the fun isn't over there. The game lobby, modeled after a cantina, offers mini games and arcade style play for you to tackle in between episodes.
These games offer quite a bit of replay value. You earn currency to play the mini games, called Studs by playing through the main six episodes and smashing things with your lightsaber. The games you play with these studs can then unlock special characters, costumes and other prizes. It's a system that works well for adding longevity to the game. You'll want to go back into the six episodes to get more studs, so you can then use those studs to try and unlock more hidden features. For even more replay value, the game features a free play mode. You can run through the game again with any of the other characters you run into during story mode, like Yoda or R2-D2. This mode requires more studs, which sends yoou back through the cycle all over again. It's well designed.
With that said, the problems that were in the original two games are still present here. The Lego series has always suffered from an awkward camera and the platform jumping sequences can be especially frustrating as the controls are not very precise at times. But honestly, Who cares? This game is about button mashing fun and unlocking your favorite Star Wars characters as you travel through the galaxy with your friends.
Super Gamer Dude
Shiver me timbers, ya landlubbin' bilgerat, Assassin's Creed has abandoned the quiet killing days of the American Revolution and set sail for adventure on the high seas! Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag continues the story of the Animus, a complex system that allows the user to explore the genetic memories of their ancestors, and this time players will inhabit the shoes of Edward Kenway, a previously straight-laced lad who finds himself becoming a secret killer among pirates.
Ubisoft has once again changed the setting of its popular stealth and platforming series, but if you're looking for the kind of roguish charm found in something like Pirates of the Caribbean, a replay of a Monkey Island game might suit you better. Playing Black Flag means a lot of following and tracing subjects until you can get your greedy assassin hands around their necks. Again, the controls have been changed and streamlined for the worse, as longtime players will greet moments of confusion as they adjust to new ways of doing old things that aren't particularly any better. One exception is the gun controls, which are significantly improved over Assassin's Creed III.
Instead of making substantial improvements to the stealth engine, Ubisoft has opted to again dial up all the optional things a player can do in their historical setting. There is a truly dizzy array of what Ubisoft calls "content," but what a lot of increasingly disgruntled players call "check boxes." If you enjoy said content, there isn't a lack of it in Black Flag; the game will keep you playing for days. But much like Tomb Raider, from earlier this year, it's hard to shake the feeling that it's more highly bureaucratic office work than a game.
The graphic environment players explore is breathtaking, detailed and enchanting, but from a character perspective, it's dull and significantly less colorful than one would expect from everyone's favorite swashbuckling era of daring escapades. If you always wanted a more down-to-earth example of what life was like on the islands back then, you might warm up to the landlocked assassin's life.
If, however, you're the type who loves to sing along to the "Yo ho, yo ho" song at Disneyland, the sea is where it's at in Black Flag. Everything about the ship mechanics in this game screams of far more originality, soul, fun mechanics and fresh ideas than the staid land portions. Boarding other ships, in order to climb the mast and silently destroy your target while the chaos of a storm or a pirate raid erupts around you is an exhilarating and heart-thumping, original take on how the series has always set dizzying heights for its assassins to climb and conquer. Outfitting and improving ships, firing cannonballs, hunting sharks, recruiting nasty new pirates -- if this was the majority of the game, we'd have a masterpiece here.
Unfortunately, it's more like half the game. We're left with a good game saddled with a boring open world tax duty between the juicy parts.
Super Gamer Dude
At some point in the past, when the first LEGO Star Wars game was released, we would have dropped the LEGO games into another genre of video games, probably in with 3D platformers or something like that. Today, there have been so many LEGO games released that the series has practically become a genre unto itself.
These days, everyone knows what to expect when they get a LEGO game. The games are co-op centric, require the collection of a massive amount of currency in the form of studs to unlock new characters and fun collectibles. There have of course been minor changes to the formula over the years, such as the addition of an open world and allowing LEGO figures to finally speak out loud, but the games have mostly remained the same.
Sadly, The LEGO Movie Videogame continues this trend. While this latest entry in the LEGO series of games adds a few new gameplay features such as a new pick-the-brick building mechanic and a rather dull hacking minigame. Other than those tiny additions that are used sparingly throughout the game, The LEGO Movie Videogame remains the same LEGO game you've been playing for quite a few years now.
That said, one of the things that made past LEGO videogames so interesting was the conversion of a piece of media such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings that you are so used to seeing in film into the LEGO form. Making that leap always created a large number of comedic opportunities that the game would capitalize on.
By simply making a game out of something that was already made of LEGOs, like The LEGO Movie, you lose the comedy of the transition. That is not to say that this game isn't funny, it has a ton of great moments, but every single one of those moments was present in the movie. Moreover, this game is almost exactly the movie. You absolutely need to see the film first if you don't want every single plot point spoiled for you in a short time span.
While the plot and comedy bits may not be as original as past games, the visual style does stand out, even among other LEGO games. Just like the film, the game very much still looks like it is still made of LEGO bricks while still having its own unique look and feel.
As far as visual differences between different consoles go, the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 versions are all more or less identical. The graphics do look a little sharper on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, but not really at a level where it's all that notable.
The portable versions of the game on 3DS and Vita are completely different from the console and PC versions of the game as usual, but if you've played the portable versions before you pretty much know what to expect.
At the end of the day, if you're looking for a LEGO game to break the mould and really try something exciting and new - that's not here. If you're looking for something to add on to the experience of the movie with some more story and fun additions to the plot, that's not here either. Everything in The LEGO Movie Videogame is something that you more than likely already expect. However, if you're looking for a fun co-op game in the vein of all the other LEGO games that have come before, this is very much that. No matter how tired the formula gets over the years, these remain fun.
Better than 2k12.
NBA 2K13 continues the NBA series but has anything changed? The problem with this type of sports game is that only so much can be done before you run our of ideas and repetition becomes inevitable. There is only so much tweaking you can do to existing titles such as the predecessor, NBA 2K12, and no doubt it left the developers, Take 2, with the tricky problem of how to improve on the existing title while maintaining quality and gameplay.
For some reason the developers decided to introduce Jay-Z, who is a well known American Rapper, although the influence he brings to the game is not great, and apart from music and some character presentation elements, it made me wonder why they even bothered.
To try to make NBA 2K13 fresh the makers have introduced what is known as virtual credits, where winning matches enables players to earn virtual coins, which can then be used in various ways such as in My Team Mode. Or you may to use your acquired coins to purchase booster packs, unlock players, court surfaces or head coaches amongst a bunch of many other things designed into the game. As a manager you will also have to pay players, and the amount of coins you have to dish out depends on the skill level of the player in question. Playing exhibitions matches will earn you more credits.
They have also introduced a new system which enables 33 different Signature Skills. These Signature Skills are very varied. For instance, the Microwave Mode enables a defense player to be momentarily boosted into attack for a short period of time. Another example would be the Closer Signature Skill which enables a player to have a boost in certain defense and offense skills for a period of time. These 33 new Signature Skills can also be taken to online play.
The seemingly authentic AI is really well mapped out, the players actually respond like they would in real life, adding that element of realism to the gameplay. The controls too are very well done, but may take a little time to get used to. The fluency around the arena, the shots and the dribbling all look authentic, but then they have had several previous titles in the series to perfect it.
Like so many of the sports franchises such as FIFA, I feel that once you have initially set the bar it is hard to be able to keep making that type of game better with each succeeding title, but the additions in this game certainly add to the overall experience. They have managed to make the graphics sharp and the gameplay fluent. They have also improved the overall scoring, and the cinematic dunks now look much more realistic, unlike 2K12 where dunking the ball looked very unrealistic and unbalanced.
The online play does have a few glitches which are to be expected with online gaming. Various players and bits of stadium sometimes appear distorted, so don't be surprised if during gameplay your scoreboard suddenly goes for a walk. You may also find a player is missing a leg from time to time.
In conclusion this is a great Basketball game that has managed to surpass the 2K12 edition.
Fun and more fun.
Super Gamer Dude
Mario Kart 8 does the exactly the same thing that Mario Kart games have been doing for over 20 years and we have now come to expect it from them. But that is in no way a complaint because the series is all about high-speed racing drifting around corners and shooting shells at your opponent and that formula feels as good as it ever has in Mario Kart 8.
When you start a race a you are able to choose from dozens of characters taken from the Mario series, then you piece together a vehicle, choosing the body, tires and glider parts to suit your preferences. The races and tracks play a major part and are one of the main sources of depth in Mario karts' otherwise simple gameplay. I have spent many a happy hour playing with different character and vehicle combinations and comparing Mario Kart 8the handling of peach driving a race car versus the Iggy Koopa on a motorcycle. Some experiments were miserable failures but I were just as much fun because of this.
No matter who you play as you have to master the art of drifting. Drifting is a simple but important factor in Mario Kart 8, and making sure that you centre your vehicle around the corner at an angle shaves off the odd fraction of a second that would normally be spent turning and also builds up small boosts of speed. Those speed boosts are essential as in winning races on any difficulty above the lowest you have to take advantage of every drift you can to have a shot at first place. Mario Kart games have been using this drifting system almost from the very beginning, the game really drives home the brilliance of it. I felt skillful and my characters looked cool when I was able to pull off perfect drifts. The drifting system also forced me to keep my wits about me at all times, but the game would have kept my attention riveted anyway.
I think this has to be the single best looking game that Nintendo have created to date, from underwater courses to music blasting stadiums, everything is colorful, bold and brilliant, and those graphical flourishes also hold some wonderful surprises with cameos from across the Mushroom Kingdom.
There are also loads of shortcuts and hidden items, taking advantage of these shortcuts was useful against computer controlled opponents but it was absolutely essential when I went online. Mario Kart 8 features a much more robust online multiplayer experience than we have come to expect from Nintendo, I was able to create my own tournaments and rooms with a mix of roles. I could set races as mirrored versions of the tracks or turn on frantic mode in which the most powerful elements in the game show up more frequently. And, best of all, the online mode ran smoothly with no lag and with very fast flow times. If there is anything I am concerned about in Mario Kart 8 it's that a player might move on from it faster than it deserves.
Even if the game does not go on forever it is going to be fun for as long as it lasts, it does not bring massive innovations to the basic tried and trusted formula but it is jammed full with that Nintendo magic that makes it so easy to overlook or not worry about the few shortcomings that it does have. The game is such good fun that even when you lose you cannot complain.