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Posted:
2010-05-12

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.2

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.

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Posted:
2010-09-17

Bazza

Lowly Worm

8.7

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 father’s death and gets involved with the people who hope to replace his father’s 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 it’s 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!

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Posted:
2010-12-17

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

6.4

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.

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Posted:
2013-05-22

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

6.3

Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing is a game that was released for the Wii in 2010. The game is similar in fashion to the more popular Mario Kart Wii. In Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing, players are allowed to choose from popular Sega characters including Sonic, Chu Chu Rocket, Ryo Hazuki from the Shenmue series, Alex Kidd, Amigo from the Samba de Amigo series, Jet Set Radio's Beat character, AiAi the monkey from Super Monkey Ball, Dr. Eggman, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow the Hedgehog and many others.

Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing has many features and modes that are available in either single player or multiplayer. While similar in design to Mario Kart, Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing is able to present a totally unique gameplay experience featuring the most famous Sega characters. The vehicles in the game vary and are dependent on who the player is choosing. Although players will also come across hidden vehicles at times from completing events or other challenges.

The controls for driving the vehicles are user friendly allowing the person to race through the levels without losing control over their kart or other race vehicle. There are many items in the game race courses that the player may collect and use. These items may be used by the racer to stun or throw other opponents off course similar in fashion to Mario Kart. Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing places items such as boxing gloves or rockets to be launched at an opponent. Other items might include Sonic's Sneakers which enable the racer a temporary boost on the course.

Like any racing game, playing Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing in multiplayer mode is where the most excitement is to be had. There are many game modes that the players can choose from to race or battle it out in different types of arenas. When playing multiplayer, the screen is split so that each player may see their on screen actions clearly. The Battle Mode is on the more popular multiplayer modes and lets players battle it out by using the items on the race course.

When the player is driving, they'll not only be able to perform basic driving techniques but they can perform power slides which will give them a boost of power around a corner. Power slides can be useful when the racer is trying to get past another racer on the course or whipping around a tight corner. When on the course, the racer can look for hidden shortcut tracks that will put them ahead and save time off their finishing track time.

While items on the race course offer a racer an edge on their opponent, each character also has their own unique special move they can perform. An example is Sonic has the option of charging up and boosting through the course whereas the other characters have their own unique moves relative to their character theme. The graphics, texture details, vehicle animations and level-specific tracks all tie into making this game a Sega racing game that is a fun game to play whenever.

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Posted:
2013-05-24

deanowen

Super Gamer Dude

6.5

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.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

rtuman

Super Gamer Dude

7.4

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.

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Posted:
2013-08-17

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

8.6

Mass Effect 3 on the Wii U is the latest title in the long running Mass Effect series that started back in 2007 on Xbox 360. Mass Effect 3 is action packed and thrilling, a true powerhouse of a game and an epic way to conclude the trilogy.

CAMPAIGN

Before you play the campaign you are given a choice of how you would like to play. You can choose role-playing mode, action mode or narrative mode. Role-playing is similar to how the 2 previous Mass Effect titles are played. You build your squad and make important decisions involving your character and events. Role-playing mode gives you the choice of customizing your character.

Narrative seems like a much easier way to play the game than action mode is. Damage from enemy fire is minimal and shield regeneration is insanely quick. The enemies move around much slower and are easy to dispose of.

Action mode is more difficult, although combat remains the same. In action mode, you don't create your own character, you'll be playing as the default character Shepard, you don't get to choose a class or choose how you level up. Action mode seems to cater more to hardcore gamers, while narrative mode will appeal more to a novice who wants to check out the game.

The story line is well written. You play as Commander Shepard, whose home planet Earth is being invaded by Reapers, a highly advanced machine race of aliens. The Reapers are wreaking havoc on Earth and it seems that nothing can stop them. Your job is to travel across the Milky Way and unite different Alien races to go to war against the Reapers. Your main goal is to unite all these alien races and take back Earth. An important aspect of the Mass Effect 3 Wii U version is that you can not import saved data from previous Mass Effect games. However, this is remedied by allowing you to make decisions during the comic which influence events from the past.


MULTIPLAYER

This is groundbreaking for the series since it marks the debut of the first ever multiplayer experience for a Mass Effect title. It is a cooperative multiplayer game mode with one option, survival. In co-op you'll go up against powerful foes made up of Reapers, Cerberus, Geth and Collector forces. A total of four players can join the battle. One cool thing is the ability to choose from characters, each with different powers and abilities.


GRAPHICS

Concerning graphics, Mass Effect 3 is a work of art and a masterpiece. The game is aesthetically pleasing, with every environment rendered beautifully and incredibly detailed. The characters are very realistic with life-like movement. The Mass Effect 3 Wii U version does have a slight drop in frame rate during the most action packed parts of the game.


EXTRAS

The Mass Effect 3 Wii U version uses the Gamepad tablet controller. One great feature is the Gamepad's touchscreen, which adds a top-down tactical map where you can see enemies and move your squad accordingly. The Gamepad is a defining feature that enhances game play for Mass Effect 3.

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Posted:
2014-03-26

scrogg

Super Gamer Dude

6.5

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.

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Posted:
2014-03-26

rtuman

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

For quite a few people, some of their favorite Super Nintendo games were the Donkey Kong country titles. Released late in the Super Nintendo's life cycle, these games were psuedo-3D side scrolling platformers that were known for their often extreme difficult and their somewhat revolutionary graphic style.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is more directly a sequel to the recent Donkey Kong Country Returns for the original Wii. While the gameplay from that iteration remains almost completely intact, almost nothing has changed either. Co-op play has been added as well as a few powers, but Donkey Kong is all about the core platforming, and that remains completely unchanged.

This is doubly disappointing since this new game is making its home on the Wii U. Tropical Freeze makes absolutely no use of the features that make the Wii U unique, and as Nintendo continues to try and keep the Wii U relevant this game does nothing to make the core features of that system seem necessary at all.

One of the most important lines for a side scrolling platformer like Tropical Freeze to straddle is the one that represents the game's difficulty. The game needs to be tough enough to keep the player's attention while still being fair. Donkey Kong nails that balance. If I died in Donkey Kong, nine times out of ten I was able to immediately recognize not only that the death was on me but the things I could do to remedy it.

There isn't just the standard platforming challenge to be had in Tropical Freeze though. Sure, there are several worlds full of normal stages and bonus stages - all with a boss at the end, but what sets Tropical Freeze apart is the exploratory aspect that it has added. With different co-op partners, you can ferret out parts of the levels that are otherwise inaccessible and contain cool items that are fun for players to find.

This feature is not only great because it adds extra content, but it gives cooperative play a point. There are countless Nintendo platformers where the co-op play is completely pointless and often actually makes your experience worse. In games like New Super Mario Brothers, other players get in your way and keep you from completing the level, making the experience extremely frustrating and convincing most people that the only way to play a Nintendo platformer is by themselves.

Tropical Freeze not only gives you a valid reason to play co-op, but it also has a number of different changes to the formula that make it easier for co-op to work properly. In short, the co-op mechanics in Tropical Freeze work similarly to how Diddy Kong worked in past games. You can bring him back almost constantly, and if the player wants to stay out of the way, they most certainly can.

At the end of the day, Tropical Freeze is very much the well-made platformer that you would expect to get from Nintendo. Retro Studios knocked it out of the park with Donkey Kong Country Returns, and they've done it again with Tropical Freeze. They've added just enough new features to make the game fresh without stripping away any of the elements that people loved not only about the Wii game but also about the original Super Nintendo games.

If you are a fan of Nintendo platformers, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a perfect game to pick up. It may not take advantage of the Wii U's core features, but what it lacks in control methods it makes up for with a fantastic art style and great gameplay.

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Posted:
2014-03-29

8times8

Super Gamer Dude

8.8

Sniper Elite V2 will definitely have you sitting on the edge of your seat from start to finish. This game is refreshing because it is anything but a Call of Duty clone, it is a smart shooter game that requires careful strategy and planning in order to accomplish your goals.

The game allows you to play multiplayer missions or solo missions. The multiplayer missions are best played with a friend versus a complete stranger, because communication between partners is essential for these missions to be a success. The one thing that this game received criticism for was the missions being too brief. Also some people thought there should be better stealth options because it was somewhat difficult to be stealthy at certain points in the plot.

The great thing about this game is that there is more than one way to complete a mission. Another nice touch is the ability to fire a bullet so that it will kill two enemies at once. Another is the use of x-ray vision to show the kill, with the sniper's bullet in slow motion. The advantage of x-ray vision is that it will show you exactly where the bullet hits your enemy, even the vital organs. It's all very gory and there is a lot of tension because there is always some sort of danger lurking around the next corner. The game is of course perfect for those who like the accuracy of the sniper's art.

Another complaint is the fact that enemies often seem to have superhuman vision. They can spot you from unrealistic distances. The enemies also have poor AI, which can make it easy to get past them. What is good about this game is that you are rewarded for having patience. Not many games reward players for their patience.

Overall, this is a great game to add to your collection. You will be thoroughly impressed by the fun you can have with some of the features and you might even learn something in the process. The great thing about history games is they teach you as you play them.


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