Super Gamer Dude
To start off, let me specify my personal computer specs: Pentium 3.0 GHz processor, 2GB RAM and an ATI Raedeon X 850 with 256MB RAM. You might be wondering why; but this is very crucial to the observations below.
Flight Simulator X comes in 2 DVDs and is huge in terms of system requirements! It takes a solid 30 minutes to install it and once finished, there’s a few minutes of waiting before the menu finally show on screen. Apparently, Microsoft has programmed a code to optimize the Flight Simulator X’s settings in your computer. And after the screen has appeared there is a menu that looks like Flight Simulator 9, along with a sweeping music score straight from an Indiana Jones movie.
The Deluxe Edition includes 24 planes you can choose from. When you have chosen and your selection has loaded, you then see a cockpit. The game default places you in a virtual cockpit; however, you may still choose the 2D instrument view. The controls are rather simple, save for the frame rate. At this point, you may set your settings at medium-low. There is a chase plane view by pressing the S key – this view allows you to see outside the plane and the surroundings.
Next, you get a clearance from the Air Traffic Control to taxi into an active runway. The frame rate at this stage still isn’t good. I discovered that minimizing the graphic settings can improve this issue a little, but it’s still worse compared to FS9. And on this note, let me emphasize that FS9 runs on the highest settings in the PC I just described earlier, with no problem whatsoever when it comes to frame rates. This is why I still have my FS9 multiple third party add-on packs installed, to enhance several features such as weather, the cockpit, and other AI planes.
Much to my disappointment – and most likely yours, too when you get your hands on it – the so-called “new” graphics is not at all new but just the same as in FS9. There was nothing substantial that added or improved on the planes. Some changes are mostly on the effects, such as the cloud features and the water effects.
It occurred to me, though that this is probably because I have the settings in minimum; but that’s the only viable option. I have noted that if I set it at Ultra-high, the game turns into a slide show presentation. The minimum setting is the only way I can play the game on the PC that I have.
But I decided not to give up on FS X – yet; and still give it a chance. I went off to try missions. There are more than 50 missions in the game which includes rescue missions and cargo runs. Twenty of the 50 are beginner missions, 14 intermediate, 10 advanced and 7 for experts. The missions sound fun. And there are unique challenges that make the most seasoned pilot sweat. I have to warn you, when doing the missions, the frame rate still interferes.
So here’s the verdict for FS X. If you have a PC that is only at par with what I have described earlier, this is not a recommended game for you. The frame rate is going to be a real problem; and expect the graphics to be dull. I would recommend that you try FS 9: A Century of Flight, instead. For those who have high end PCs, however, install the game and play to your hearts’ content. The game’s strength lies on its mission and on the graphics when in ultra high settings.
Super Gamer Dude
Rabbids Land for the Wii U lets people play as the popular wild, buck-toothed Rabbids characters that are also known from the previous Rabbids games. This Rabbids game is a party game that people may team up to progress or battle each other to win. For example, one player may control a part of the action on the Wii U gamepad while the other player utilizes a Wii remote to simultaneously control the action on the television screen. There will be many instances throughout playing Rabbids Land where the players will be required to team up and figure out what to do next to progress to the next stage in the level.
Some examples of how the Wii U gamepad and Wii Remote are used together is that one player may steer a boat on the television screen with the Wii Remote while another player might make a blowing sound into the Wii U gamepad microphone which would move explosive penguins into their opponent. When players are battling against each other in a mini-game, it is only ever two opponents at any given time while the other one to two players must wait their turn.
Rabbids Land for the Wii U is similar in nature to other party games as well. Many times throughout the game, players will interact in mini-games. The mini-games consist of the players taking turns to roll dice and then moving the corresponding spaces on the game board. While moving spaces on the game board, players may also pick up trophies. However the trophies must be taken from defeated opponents or may also be won by the player themselves in mini-games. Once the player has accumulated up to 10 or 20 trophies, they may then return to the center of the game board to win the game.
The game board that is played on consists of traditional game board spaces like roll again, move forward X amount of spaces, move back X amount of spaces and so on and so forth. The player can also pickup powerups or be given the chance to spin the game wheel which results in board-shifting events. There are many different types of mini-games all of which have their own unique themes and gameplay modes. For example, one game has the players shaking the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk at the right moment so that flames launch out the back of their space vehicle. The second player who is attached to the first player's space vehicle bumper has to tilt the Wii U game pad to tilt out of the way of the flames. It's games like these that tie multiplayer together in fun, entertaining ways.
There's also another mode to the game called Treasure Hunt. The Treasure Hunt feature lets players engage in mini-games and collect tokens that they may later use to unlock gameplay videos. The final touches to the game involve more defined Rabbids characters with better graphics and the A.I. is also tweaked to challenge solo players better. If playing alone, up to three Rabbids characters can be controlled by the CPU to offer an exciting gameplay experience.
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
When Nintendo and Sega first announced that Mario and Sonic would be teaming up for a title together (along with their many friends) for 2007's Mario and Sonic At The Olympic Games, the title was heralded as exciting by many long time gamers because it was the first time we've ever seen Mario and Sonic together in the same title. The once fierce rivals from the 16-bit era then saw fit to fight each other in the Wii's Super Smash Bros. Brawl and then joined up again for Mario and Sonic At The Winter Games in 2009. We were able to forgive some of the flaws in the previous two Olympic outings for these two, simply because we enjoyed the novelty and feelings of nostalgia we received by seeing two of the industry's greatest icons finally together. Now that this spell has worn off however, we have to say that the game at its core doesn't really live up to what you'd expect from a Mario or even Sonic game. It's fun in bursts, but lacks the polish of a true high end Nintendo or Sega title. The city of London does shine bright though, and the backdrop it provides does add some charm that makes this game worth at least a look.
The games in this release are almost identical to the games released in the 2007 version. But getting to see Mario and Sonic jumping around on a pretty decent cartoon recreation of the London venues and the city itself is amusing at least for a little while. Big Ben and other London landmarks make an appearance. The game has added a bit of a Mario Party feel to it, you'll navigate to the different menus through a map of the city of London that looks similar to a Mario Party map. This is actually called "London Party" mode, so it's not like Nintendo is trying to hide the inspiration. Up to four characters can compete against each other, just like in Mario Party.
Beyond London Party are the game modes you've played before. Dream Events are mini-games where the characters get to recreate certain Olympic sports competitions with a cartoon twist. When you do the Long Jump, you'll also be trying to grab rings from the Sonic series as you fly through the air.
Finally, the game does bring back the actual Olympic sporting events, but just like in 2007, these feel uninspired. There are four new games for this version, horseback show jumping, soccer, badminton and canoeing. None of these are especially inspiring.
What's most ironic about Mario and Sonic at the 2012 London Games is that the best gameplay the title has to offer comes from the party mode and the Dream Events. The actual London games themselves don't really have much excitement or replay value. Still, seeing London in cartoon form and watching your favorite characters from the last two decades of video games jump across the screen does warm your heart a little.
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
First of all, I recently watched LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload which I loved. I thought the unique use of LEGO graphics was genius and fun to watch at the same time. So, when I came across the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game I was doubly pleased. The graphics are amazing! The style, look and feel of the game is comparable if not better than the movie. You even feel like you're part of an extended sort of choose your own adventure version of the movie when playing. I have good memories of LEGO from my childhood and Marvel Super Heroes was another favorite, so this game has combined some of my favorite things together in one, making it even more enjoyable to play.
The game takes place in a highly populated New York City and offers you the choice of a wide range of Marvel characters, both heroes and villains. Following the Marvel comics story line, the basic idea of the game is to stop Loki and the other villains from destroying the world with a super-weapon they are trying to create. You get the choice of which characters you control, and by using their different abilities like Spiderman's web action. You also get to build new constructions in the city, smash them up, solve puzzles and travel through various environments. Some of the places you will travel through are the Green Goblin's Oscorp Tower, Grand Central Station and Doctor Doom's Castle. You can also sky dive and explore the city in between missions and do so many other things. In fact, you really must explore the city in order to uncover all the secrets present within the game.
Each mission or level is quite involved and the secrets are very well hidden. Through exploring you will be able to unlock over 100 characters you can play and discover other things like hidden bricks. Every character has a unique voice and animation, making the game even more memorable. Most of the characters have multiple abilities. It's fun to figure out what character abilities are need to move past the various challenges. Personally, my favorite Marvel characters are Captain America, Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk.
A really nice feature of the game is the ability to control multiple characters by pressing a button. In order to move forward in the game, you have to use a mixture of the super-hero powers and battle the bad guys. There's plenty of humor packed in the game as well that makes it even more entertaining. During the game there are plenty of tutorials and prompts to help you play.
Overall I really think the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game is fun for all ages. Visually, it's bright, interesting and full of a narrative that offers plenty of fun jokes. Effects like cascading water, debris flying around and super hero powers are very entertaining to the viewer. It's also reasonably priced at about $25. It's also available on all major consoles, so anyone who loves video games can easily purchase it. Christmas is coming up so it's a perfect gift for all the game lovers in your life.
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.
Nothing much new but lots to do.
Super Gamer Dude
When a hardcore gamer sees that a 'licensed' product, their likely reaction is to be something between revulsion and/or passive aggressive detest. These products are normally rushed, usually buggy, and with few exceptions cash-ins pushed out the door to strike while the 'iron is hot'. Thankfully, games like The Chronicles of Riddick, the recent Batman series, and even the venerable Goldeneye have proven that licensed quality can be had if games are made with the right goals in mind. Unfortunately, Beenox's fourth foray into the Spider-Man universe (among many other tie-in games), fairs about as well as one would expect amidst little change, rushed development, and a release across seven platforms that run four different generations deep.
Dating back to the well-liked Spider-Man 2, the series has been an open world staple and this iteration is no exception. Players can emulate their spidey hero and swing to their heart's content while finding missions and unearthing various collectibles along the way. This freedom delivers tangible thrills to the player but the newness doesn't have quite the same appeal, and because it hasn't really changed since the early 2000s (we're talking 2002), it can feel like an exercise in redundancy. Sure, the fidelity of the city and the animation have improved, but the sensation of flight has aged into mundanity despite its superhuman trappings.
Aside from this selling point, and it definitely is to fans, the game offers a host of collectibles and a ton of missions to pursue. In order to hit all of these side missions and goals, players are offered up a more robust combat system that attempts to borrow the look and feel of the newer Batman titles. Sadly, there's little added nuance within the increased complexity of the mechanics, and while there's a move set to expand and some experimentation to be had, players can easily dial back to a couple of simple, and early-available combos. Why press seven buttons and swivel the analog stick twice when you can mash X and accomplish the same result more efficiently?
However, a bright spot in regards to the open world traversal are the hidden collectables strewn throughout. While their placement bounces between arbitrary corners and un-ironically lazy, these items actually give players a reason to look around. Not only are devotees given expansions to their move sets, they're also afforded neat pieces of Spider-Man lore and nuggets of outright fan service. This is a certifiable bright spot amongst the familiarity of the title, and if anything, should represent a selling point to die-hard Spider-Man fans.
Aesthetically, the game is fluid and presentable but caught between generations. If you're looking for a next generation showpiece look elsewhere. Really, on any level, it doesn't do any of the systems it's on a great service (considering the stretch of development platforms should we be surprised?). Aurally, the game carries itself okay; fitting in one-liners and an acceptable score that helps to not let the buildings blend together. The best way to describe the presentation here, outside of the mediocre story replication, is serviceable. It gets the job done between moments, but it does not, in any way, add to or enrich the experience.
On the whole, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a forgettable experience. It's charms are few, its trappings are many, and as a fourth go-round for a developer it puts forth many of the qualities that gamers have grown to dislike about licensed products. There isn't much growth here, and it would be a difficult proposition to suggest that there is a light at the end of the tunnel if this continues. Still, collectibles are the highlight here and while some may argue that's a valid point to fans; this game is made for those looking for a Spider-Man experience, not for those looking to relive it for the umpteenth time in new fidelity. As it is, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is not worth its full asking price (on any platform), and it will only serve those absolutely desperate for their spider-fix.
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.
Super Gamer Dude
War sucks, at least it does in real life. In Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare it is hard not to see it as one giant and entertaining playground. From the guys that basically reinvented what the shooter genre really is, Advanced Warfare is a continuation of their boundary pushing concepts. You've probably seen the commercials and watched the gameplay videos but those experiences will pale in comparison to getting your hands in a sweaty death grip with your controller. Released for the Xbox One and PS4 as well as the 360 and PS3, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is another blockbuster entry into one of our generations most storied franchises. Let's dive in and see what exactly makes this game so much fun.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has a pretty clear mission from the outset: it seeks to continually blend cinematic and gaming experiences until the line is indistinguishable. We can see how this happens with the addition of Kevin Spacey and Troy Baker to the line up of voice and motion capture talents for the game. Kevin Spacey plays the role of Jonathan irons, the President of Atlas Corporation. He is deliciously evil, dangerously charismatic, and always interesting. In short he's the kind of villain that you enjoy hating because you never know what he'll do next. These characters are brought to life with the type of reality that has only become possible in recent years. You can count the pores on the faces of the characters you run across and you'll be amazed by how realistic every little detail of these characters is portrayed. That's a lot of detail, right? Now imagine that level of detail while the world is blowing up around you.
The Call of Duty series has always been about trotting your character around the globe to kick butts, take names, and try and save the world. Advanced Warfare is no different. The chapter-by-chapter gameplay style works especially well as you traverse the planet as Mitchell, the protagonist for this story. You kick things off with an action packed tutorial-turn-full blown introduction mission in Seoul, South Korea. The gameplay tips come flying in almost as fast as the bullets and you are charged with quickly learning how to carry yourself on the field of battle. It's hectic, eye opening, educational and quite fun. The rest of the campaign will have you marching through a series of sort of familiar missions. You'll traverse battleships and fight your way through closed in cities all over the planet. You'll find yourself forced to take over bridges, defend them, and ultimately leave them behind. The gameplay has the traditional up and down flow of any Call of Duty game.
Advanced Warfare is set in the eponymous future but it never feels unbelievable. While much of the environment, in particular the cityscapes, feels kind of new and different it never takes away from the games tone: things are bad and about to get much worse. In fact there are elements in the campaign that starkly remind players of World War II. You'll see dark segments that include human experimentation, torture, and death. These are uncomfortable to watch but they give you the sort of juice you need to move forward and kick some baddie butt.
For fans that aren't enamored with the campaign and merely here to serve up some butt kicking online, never fear. Advanced Warfare brings the same sort of hectic, manic, and infuriatingly fun online multiplayer as the previous franchise installments. You'll find yourself weaving through all the different levels as you try to one up your opponent in the fast and furious game of modern warfare. You'll see new tactics employed by your opponents that make you furious and then curious. You'll have to spend hours online getting to a point where you can play competitively and defend your precious Kill/Death ratio.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is an excellent game for fans of the franchise and those looking to take their first mission for Sledgehammer Games. Advanced Warfare is sleek, sexy, and filled to the brim with popcorn guzzling action. The performances by the sound team and motion capture artists make this one of the defining chapters in first person shooter history.