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Posted:
2010-05-12

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.20

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:
2010-12-16

ryan1980

Super Gamer Dude

7.50

Kinect Sports is totally different from other games currently on the market. This game not only captures the upper body’s movements but the whole body which is necessary for the player who often needs to use complex moves. In some scenes, these movements are a slightly abstracted. For example, the player need not run 100M for the track and field events. However, the player needs to run in place and jump when needed. In bowling where the player doesn’t actually hold a real ball, the game makes almost accurate guesses of the player’s shot.

The game also has events that the player needs to move around the play area. Kinect Sports has this unique feature almost not present with most games. The game does not merely require the players to raise arms and expect things to be done. The game requires players to estimate their position and actual movements. They need to move and hit around all throughout. It’ll surely make players sweat. Within the first 45 minutes of playing, players will be having covered all the playing area. Indeed, this is a very active game. The game is so precise that slight changes with technique and style of kicks in soccer results in different outcomes. It is also evident with table tennis where the player can use different paddle techniques. Kinect Sports is also physically satisfying with all the movements and actions the player has to make. Aside from that it also offers an engaging progressive level of difficulty. The higher the level the better the CPU players are. In table tennis, for instance, the shots get more difficult to catch in the difficult levels and the rivals seem to be more experienced. All these make the fun department of the working.

Unlike other sports-based Kinect game, Kinect Sports’ controls are easily accessible. It’s good for a wide variety of players. Playing it in a multiplayer mode will even be better. The rich variety of sports within the game keeps players busy most of the time. Kinect Sports has six events Bowling, Boxing, Volleyball, Table Tennis, Soccer and Track and Field which is actually in a compilation of mini-games like discus throw, javelin throw, and long jump. Aside from these mini-games there are other mini-games under those major events.

Kinect Sports could have been awesome save for the annoying lags in the game especially with multiplayer mode. While some games work perfectly on a multiplayer mode, the others appear to have some glitches. One game that works perfectly for two players is volleyball. All said, the accessibility offered by Kinect Sports makes it a perfect game for all kinds of players. The whole game is also perfectly rendered in terms of graphic quality aside from the snappy audio background. Kinect Sports is a great game for all sports lovers.

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Posted:
2011-02-11

nursespock

Lowly Worm

8.30

Puzzle games are very popular for they pose a different kind of challenge compared to the shooting and killing types of online games. A Boy and His Blob is one of those time tested puzzle games with beautifully designed backgrounds which were hand drawn by gifted artists. It is even more enjoyable for there are so many levels to overcome which increases the game fun.

The game is all about aliens invading Earth. Not a totally original concept here but for one thing: they love jelly beans and they want to develop a relationship with humans. Nope, no killing here, that is the most obvious thing.

The alien blob and his human friend are the main characters of this fun game. Now, don’t get all crumply-faced when you first see the visual. The visuals are, for lack of a better description, cute. Ok, so maybe people will say they are worse than cute, the graphics are Really Cute! But, this is just an illusion for deep in the heart of all the cutesiness, there is a challenge that could not be denied. The challenge is not for killing or blood and gore either; the challenge is for the mind. So those of you who are not thinkers, think again.

The obstacles which have to be overcome need a lot of planning. The player has to think and think again to go around the tasks set in front of them. The lower levels are easier, but then they gradually get to challenging challenges that can be hard to finish in one try.

The pacing of the game is smooth which makes the increasing difficulties more interesting, and yes, more challenging. An obstacle can be so hard to go around in that it can block the player’s progress for the next level.

What you need to do is to help save the blobs from captivity. It all starts out when an evil and mighty king captures and imprisons the blobtizens of Blobolonia. However, one of those blobs was able to escape and then befriend a human boy. With the tools in the form of jelly beans, they travel many lands. The alien blob can never get tired of eating the jelly beans and he gets transformed into something that will help the boy clear the obstacles if he eats one.

The boy, or you the player, have an infinite supply of the lovely jellies but can only use some types in every level. There are some levels where the alien blob can transform into a ladder to take you above ground, while in other level he is not a ladder but a trampoline to get to higher ground. The boy is human so his movements are limited to what the alien blob can help him out with, the bag of jelly beans is therefore your key to survival.

As there are 40 stages, this makes it a challenging and occupying game. Play it straight and without fault you can go on for about 10 hours. Play it as a human who can make mistakes and soon you will find yourself sitting in front of the game after a day or so. Fun, yes! Challenging, definitely. This is a game that should not be missed by those who like to think rather than kill.

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Posted:
2013-04-14

payola

Newbie

7.50

Total War: Shogun 2 is the latest installment in what has been a very successful strategy/war game series by The Creative Assembly. Set in feudal Japan during Sengoku Jidai, the game has you take control of one of eight factions (more are available through downloadable content) to fight for the Shogunate, the rule of Japan.

The game has received excellent reviews by most publications since it was released in March of 2011, scoring a 90 on the aggregate critic organization Metacritic. The two standalone expansions, "Rise of the Samurai" and "Fall of the Samurai" respectively, also received good reviews.

Shogun 2 concentrates on combining two popular strategy gameplay types TBS (turn-based strategy) and RTS (real time strategy). The game revolves around the campaign map, where you make economic, diplomatic and military decisions to guide your clan to victory. "Agents" are featured; ninjas can be deployed to assassinate enemy generals or agents and to sabotage enemy buildings and armies, missionaries or monks can inspire a populace or army and also convert enemies and metsuke can be recruited to administrate a province or apprehend enemy agents. Armies and navies have "movement points" that determine how far they can move in a turn, making logistical strategy important.

The campaign map is made up of Japan and is divided into provinces. Each province contains several buildings. The capital's castle, building slots in the capital, farms and roads are available for upgrade in all provinces. Some provinces also have a port or other resource such as a monastery, ninja village or gold mine.

Battles are conducted in real time, requiring good tactics to emerge victorious. There are three types of fighting: land battles, siege battles and naval battles. Land battles are conducted by up to four armies per side (allies or reinforcement armies of your own) and are limited to 20 units per faction on the field at a time. The terrain varies widely from dense forests to open fields. The terrain also mirrors the campaign map; if you see a river by your army avatar on the campaign map, you'll see a river on the battlefield.

Siege battles happen when an army attacks a garrisoned city, whether it's garrisoned by an army or units that are automatically garrisoned based on buildings in the city. If you were attacked, you're manning the walls. You're on the attacking side if you initiated the battle. On the defensive side, all you have to do to win is defeat the attackers or last for a predetermined amount of time (ff the length of battles is limited and time runs out, the defender in a battle automatically wins). The attacker must capture the central point or defeat the occupying army.

Warships are used to protect shipping routes, trade nodes and ports, or to attack those of your opponents'. In combat you can board the enemy ships or shoot at them (arrows unless you have developed the right technology for guns, which requires trading with Europe) in order to win.

A single Shogun 2 campaign can take a lot of hours to complete, so this isn't a game for someone that is only casually interested. If you like an excellent strategical experience complemented by a good physics engine and beautiful graphics, this game ticks all the boxes.

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Posted:
2013-04-23

trinity

Newbie

8.00

Resident Evil 6 had one of the most controversial development cycles of the series. Capcom expressed an interest in getting more casual fans to gravitate towards the series, and this acknowledgment caused an uproar among long standing fans of the series. Capcom's attempt to reach out to a wider audience does not go unnoticed, in Resident Evil 6, nor does it help make the game better. Only the strong points of the game, the ones that more often than not come from past entries into the series, pull Resident Evil 6 from out of the dregs on mediocrity and make it a game worth playing, just not one that is must play.

Instead of simply making one game that appeals to a certain niche, Capcom decided instead to combine four separate games and smash them into one game under the same engine. The result is the largest, most epic and most varied entry into the series, but it is also the most muddled. Rather than having one campaign Resident Evil 6 has four. Each campaign follows one or two different character from the Resident Evil series. The game's storylines intersect and overlap but each one can be played individually and has its own beginning, middle and end. The Tarantino-ish take on story telling is very effective and when they intersect it can be very satisfying. It is encouraging to see Capcom take this approach with Resident Evil, and it provides hope for where the series might go in the future.

The issues with Resident Evil 6 become apparent when the player realizes that some of the campaigns are simply not fun to play. Each campaign has its own feel and pace to it, Leon Kennedy's is a fantastic journey not unlike previous entries into the series, and is full of suspense and legitimate fear. On the other hand Jake Muller and Sherry Birkin's action-packed campaign seems like a generic pop and shoot game with a broken cover mechanic.

Extended fire fights and car chases are not the things fans remember when they think about the Resident Evil series, and Capcom's attempt to grab some gamers from Gears of War and Call of Duty by adding these elements did not work in Resident Evil 6's favor. Ada Wong's campaign is similar to Leon's, only with more stealth elements and it too is a great testament to the Resident Evil series. Chris Redfield's campaign meanwhile, falls somewhere in the middle of the two extremes.

Fortunately, regardless of the campaign, the graphics are top notch. With a greater emphasis on dark environments than in Resident Evil 5, the atmosphere is incredibly creepy, when it isn't being interrupted with gun fights and car chases. The controls are mostly solid, except for the cover mechanic, which is border-line broken, but most of the game can be played without it.

The good parts of Resident Evil 6 are some of the best in the series, and are a real testament to how good Capcom can do the survival horror genre.

Unfortunately the campaigns that put an over emphasis on action bring down the experience quite a bit. If those shortcomings can be overcome there is a great storyline and some terrific game play to be had here.

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Posted:
2013-05-22

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

6.30

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:
2013-05-29

rtuman

Super Gamer Dude

7.40

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:
2013-05-29

rtuman

Super Gamer Dude

7.00

The Lord of the Rings, Aragorn's Quest was developed by Headstrong Games and released by Warner Brothers Interactive Entertainment on September 14, 2010. Reviews of the game were mostly mixed, earning an aggregate score of 58/100 on Metacritic. The game features Zelda-style gameplay, although players have complained of too many item fetch quests and some repetitiveness. Graphics are decent, but not spectacular;but for the Wii it does very well, especially when having many characters on-screen at one time, something the Wii has historically been bad at handling.

The game is based on the books and movies, with Sam, whose voice is done by the original actor in the films, Sean Astin, telling his children the stories of the Fellowship of the Ring.

Controls on the Wii are responsive and accurate, making the action parts of the game, of which there are plenty, feel absolutely excellent. This takes some of the edge off the pain in the early half of the game, which feels like it goes overboard with fetch quests, go to one area of the map, pick up a certain item, bring it back.

As the game goes on and your abilities expand, it starts to feel more and more like a Zelda title with a Lord of the Rings skin. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as Zelda is an excellent franchise after all, and Lord of the Rings could have been an excellent setting.

The reason the game isn't better, or better reviewed, for that matter, is that it doesn't draw you in like a Zelda game. Many of the quests seem pointless and don't seem to further the plot, and the game occasionally feels graphically lost and it wavers between cartoons and realism.

By the standards of the Wii, the graphics are great. Even in late game, with many enemies and allies fighting it out on-screen, there is virtually no loss of frames or tearing, a problem that other Wii titles have struggled with.

Gameplay is centered around melee combat. After a while, it starts to feel somewhat monotonous, as it doesn't diverge from that much except for occasional missions wherein you must keep allies alive or complete similar objectives.

Cooperative play in Lord of the Rings, Aragorn's Quest isn't only possible, it's encouraged. A second player can start playing anytime, joining in as Gandalf, and because there are certain tasks that can only be accomplished by Gandalf the wizard, it appears that the game was designed specifically with cooperative play in mind. Note that the things he can do aren't necessary for game completion, you can play perfectly well by yourself.

Reviewers of the game were mostly neutral, earning Aragorn's Quest mostly mixed reviews. IGN gave the game a notably higher score than average, 7/10, citing only the repetitiveness and poor port to the PS3 as downsides. On the other hand, GameZone stated that both the combat and some quests were mostly pointless, and that Tolkien deserved better. Overall, this is a decent game but will mainly appeal to the many fans of the series.

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Posted:
2013-06-06

tpaa

Newbie

6.30

Command and Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath is fun, has tons of things to play and a lot of variety to enjoy. Unfortunately, the disjointed effect of the game is very unsatisfactory and the overall feeling of disappointment leaves a bad taste in the mouth for this could have been so much better. The right elements are there, but the lack of follow up from the part of the developers is a pity. This game could have been greater instead it came out mediocre.

Compared to its predecessor, Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars, the improvements made on Kane’s Wrath did nothing to improve the game’s core. Yes, there are still the terrific fights, the planning and the explosions and yet it leaves one hanging free and unsatisfied. For one thing, the story line is ridiculously elementary. It jumps around without any reason why, and the shift of perspective is astoundingly strange.

Once the gamer gets into the battlefield, there is a lot of action. Lots of explosions, lots of gore, lots of destruction and lots more. But in the end, it is anti-climactic and it is really surprising how this can be so. I still can’t quite wrap my head around how incredibly lackluster the whole game turned out to be. Yes it was fun, but there is that big question mark.

There is the global conquest campaign where the gamer gets to have a chance to try out something different. Here, the real time battles are played out and optimized. The global map sets a good setting for fighting out who gets to carve out their territories successfully. The multiplayer mode is really the best feature of Kane’s Wrath and the gamer gets the opportunity to fight out to the best of their abilities or else get massacred in the process. There are super units which have been added in which can help out should there be an impasse. It's quite surprising to see a war machine that looks much like an insect and a humongous tank rampage across the battlefield killing and knocking down structures. That is great help and it can take the gamer out of a messy situation.

Graphically, they are sharp and the presentation is obviously good. But the storyline being chaotic and disjointed, makes the lasting appeal not so long. It’s great for six or eight hours of gameplay and there are a lot of multiplayer games to tide the player. However, the sound is effective enough but nothing to drool over, the gameplay is okay, but feels old school.

Basically, Kane’s Wrath is an old game set in new technology and although there are many of the older generation who may like the feel, the new generation definitely can cringe and get anxious. There is just not enough to interest the many, although it starts out well enough. For those who are looking for something exciting and innovative, this is not the right game to indulge in.

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Posted:
2013-12-17

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

8.50

Is the horizon of the endless sea on sunset evenings a sight that inspires a deep desire to see what's beyond it? Do the quiet spaces in a forest where the leaves form dappled shadows intrigue you? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live on a volcanic isle with a dragon as your roommate?

If these questions resonate with you, The Wind Waker HD, Nintendo's Gamecube classic reborn in high definition resolution, is a game you should consider.

What awaits is a sprawling adventure in a whimsical, dangerous cartoon world amidst colorful windswept ocean breezes and the mysterious depths of unexplored islands. When young Link's sister Aryll is kidnapped by a giant bird, he sets in with a talking boat called The King of Red Lions to find her. He is embroiled in a conflict far bigger than the player imagines when his fate crosses that of a band of sea-faring pirates.

Link will make friends with leaves that play fiddles, fire cannons at monstrous sea creatures, climb a tower of light and encounter an island wrapped in a powerful gale. He can also choose to chase pigs, feed map-writing fish, confront a roving band of bratty bullies, take selfies and hunt for buried sea treasure. The adventure is diverse and vacillates between humor and pathos like a well-kept metronome.

This installment does not follow the classic Zelda formula of journeying around 10 dungeons on a sprawling land, like Ocarina of Time. The sea is mammoth, but no island is larger than a typical Zelda dungeon. Oddly, the amount of those traditional experiences is low. Instead, it subverts the franchise's expectations with bosses without dungeons and areas to explore that do not conform to the long-running franchise's expectations. The closer you are to a dreamer and an explorer at heart, the higher the chance you will be enchanted into its world.

For those who have played The Wind Waker before, the question remains: is the Wii U version worth it? Visually, any rough edges have been smoothed out, the images are bursting with renewed clarity and vibrancy in widescreen, and the journey is brighter for it. Some prefer the original look. It's like choosing between two wonderful landscapes in an art gallery -- make a choice by experiencing it beyond screenshots or movies.

Due to common and long-standing complaints, Nintendo has tweaked various elements like sailing, using the grappling hook, a certain hunting quest and the Nintendo gallery. Elsewhere, little additions like Miiverse messages that wash up in bottles upon the shore add to the dreamy escapism. A Hero mode is significantly more demanding.

Unfortunately, Nintendo says the missing dungeons were later used in Twilight Princess, but surely they could have designed entirely new ones. They've done it before with Link's Awakening, so that sounds a lot like an excuse. Even 10 years later, Wind Waker has areas that still feel unfinished.

Still, an unfinished masterpiece is still a masterpiece. Wind Waker HD awakens the dreamer.


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