Starcraft II Wings of Liberty for the PC has been eagerly anticipated ever since the end of Starcraft: Brood War over a decade ago. Luckily, Blizzard does not disappoint with this new continuation of the Starcraft saga. As the story goes, Arcturus Mengsk has regained support after his disastrous defeat at the hands of Kerrign at the end of Starcraft: Brood War, but his vendetta is aimed primarily at Jim Raynor. Raynor, now an outlaw engaged in guerrilla warfare with Mengsk's empire, is shocked to discover his old friend has been released from prison: the cigar-smoking Tychus Findlay. From here the story twists and turns until coming to a satisfying conclusion, with just enough of a teaser for future expansions that could only be done so expertly by a company such as Blizzard.
The campaign itself is interesting for its since of persistence: upgrades can be purchased aboard the Hyperion that directly affect future missions. This also makes optional mission objectives much more important, as they are what directly fund these technological upgrades. The value of upgrades range in importance: from giving marines permanent increases in health to providing medics with the ability to heal multiple units at once. In addition, "xenos samples" can be gathered from Protoss and Zerg artifacts to research further advantages for Raynor's men.
Owing to how long it's been since the first Starcraft was released, and how much games have evolved since then, this new one offers a branching narrative. Raynor can choose which missions he wants to undertake and which he wants to ignore. Each of the optional missions ultimately culminates in a choice that will dictate not only where Raynor's story goes, but what units will join him in his cause. Without spoiling too much, Blizzard has interwoven decisions into the campaign that will leave many players scratching their heads as to what is the most appropriate decision.
Of course, Starcraft is known for its amazing multiplayer just as much as its known for its interesting campaign. Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty holds its own as a great real time strategy game (RTS). Blizzard has shown commitment to its support of Starcraft II with its endless release of patches to fix any exploitable mechanics in the game until the end result is a perfectly balanced RTS experience. Players can form parties with their friends to participate in matches of up to four on four.
If the normal matchmaking isn't of interest, players can also join their friends for custom games. Made by the players for the players, these custom games can range from simple tower defense games to highly complicated role playing games that save your progress from one custom match to the next. Blizzard takes its custom map-making community very seriously, working around the clock to make sure these Starcraft cartographers get the support they deserve. It is through them that Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty remains such an endlessly replayable game.
Ultimately, Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty PC version is a great choice for anyone interested in experiencing Blizzard's sci-fi masterpiece.
Super Gamer Dude
Sony Playstation continues to head on the right track in reforming their successful PS3 video games into PSP formats. From their popular Resistance series, here comes Resistance: Retribution, which continues the story of James Grayson, the British soldier on a fight against the Chimera force, aliens trying to invade the Earth.
In Resistance: Retribution, developer Bend decided to do some tweaking to the game for improvement and adjustment purposes especially to more restricted specifications PSP could offer. First off, instead of the first person point-of-view, they switched to a third-person over the shoulder perspective. It does not give you the same Resistance experience but is effective for the PSP version, which also becomes a solution on the tight controls it has been developing over the years.
Because it is smaller, the PSP handheld version has several limitations and adjustments have to be made. The left stick is used for movements; while aiming is done through the four face buttons found on the other side. This is actually a good thing because of the auto aiming and target lock-on features that you have to rely on. If your weapon is at the right direction, the game itself will guarantee that you hit the opponents. You can opt for free-aim by tapping the d-pad; but this is not recommended because it is so slow.
This game also has new enemies like the Boiler, a skinny creature with a swollen head that blasts when it is near you. The game does have exploding enemies but these Boilers are more irksome because you spend a lot of bullets to defeat them; unless you shoot them on their heads, then you save a lot of ammunition. The bad news is this is near impossible with the auto-aim on, so you just have to do it manually. Enemies that blow up charges at you anytime out of nowhere, is another source of exasperation, especially if you are caught off-guard. Good thing there is a polished cover system that automatically glues you into place when you are in close proximity to a wall, a doorjamb or a box, which saves you the trouble of a blind fire or the complicated motions of holding a direction, leaning over and firing.
Resistance Retribution may not be a purely original game with all those gameplays but they are the best on PSP pure shooting games with their polished controls and consistent action. They have great graphic designs that could compete with other PSP games and even exceed in some areas. The game is very detailed when it comes to enemy graphics and location. If you’re looking for snags, it is most likely be about the quality of the audio.
Besides being able to enjoy a single-player campaign, one of the unique features of this new PSP version is the availability of a multiplayer mode. This is all possible through a local wireless connection or play online with PSP’s Infrastructure mode. Eight players can tough it out with each other in teams or in everyone versus everyone games or the most popular of all, the Assimilation type.
If you loved the Syphon Filter games, this is definitely much better. Although they have a lot more in common, the adjustments in the new Retribution has made the game a lot easier and faster to play.
Super Gamer Dude
Wii Sports is undoubtedly the best seller in today's video gaming, the Wii Fit bundle that comes with the innovative Balance Board closely follows and just slightly behind. Now here's good news. Wii Fit Plus now takes the place of the original Wii Fit, so aptly named, because of the many enhancements that come along with it, including additional mini games and several new exercises with the much needed extra layers of tips for calorie burning.
Nintendo simply recycled the core Wii Fit package for its latest version, which is not bad really; most of these features, the menus, interface system, virtual trainers. Balance games and strength training exercises, are well-executed and definitely worth trying out. And here's one delightful thing, you can even bring in you previous workout data from its predecessor so you can just continue from where you left off. What's more, if you haven't unlocked any of the advanced routines before because you weren't really committed, you don't need to sweat it out as they are now automatically opened for you in Plus. All other added features can also be accessed right away.
Speaking of added features, Plus does boast several worthy ones. For starters, three new yoga and three strengthening exercises have been added. Also noted is how Nintendo has emphasized putting on more balance games in Plus, a total of 15 well-planned extra modes that are really a lot of fun! The games are great but are too easy and as far as exercises go, you can't expect to sweat and shed some pounds if you just play them and avoid strength training and yoga.
The one remarkable enhancement that is likely to become a favorite of many is the calorie counter. Get this, every activity in the game has a metabolic equivalent of task, also called METs, number. Most of the mini games are assigned MET ratings of 2, which is about the same as the most leisurely walk you've ever embarked on, but the more rigorous exercises, such as push-ups, have higher rates. Here's how the calorie counter works, just multiply your weight by the MET ratings you get for each exercise you perform and you'll get the amount of calories you burned.
This can either be encouraging or discouraging; encouraging, because you can envision a scientific demonstration of your workouts, and discouraging because the outcome don't really register double or triple digit calorie numbers. Understandably, since the Wii Fit Plus workouts are relatively simple and easy, it will take you sometime to burn those calories.
Don't get disappointed now but Nintendo has decided to warn customers not to make the calorie counter as the be-all and end-all indicator of calorie burning; rather, that you are well advised to still rely on BMI or body mass index scale as your fundamental gauge of success or failure with regards to burning calories. In a sense, this can make you have second thoughts as to the accuracy of the results when you use Wii Fit Plus.
Another thing that you're going to miss with the Plus is the inclusion of any online functionality. It doesn't even have leader board features. Wii Fit Plus would have benefited from similar online functionality such as that offered by Nike Plus, which lets users track how far they've run and compare the results of their efforts with family and friends online. It is truly a major lapse on Nintendo's part not to include this feature, and offer instead a fast and easy local multiplayer mode where players take turns, which doesn't even come close to motivational.
One thing that you have to be thankful about is the measures taken to address one of the biggest issues of the original Wii Fit, which was the inability ot create a customized workout program for individual preference and needs. This time, you can conveniently go to My Wii Fit Plus Routine section and choose your own set of exercises that are designed and aimed at trimming down specific body areas. This you can do either by using the presets that Nintendo has or creating your own routines from scratch.
To sum it up, Wii Fit Plus is a fantastic way to burn some calories while simultaneously having fun. There are issues that could have made the Plus even stronger, had Nintendo given the appropriate attention to resolve it and did not ignore those few shortcomings. Still Plus is a lot less expensive that paying for a gym membership. With proper diet and by using it right, you can actually lose weight and tone your muscles, while having a fabulous time.
Alan Wake is a well known writer, he and his wife take a holiday to Bright Falls. However when his wife goes missing Alan is taken on a story that will make him question not only reality but himself.
Story -- 8.5/10
One of Alan Wake's most powerful aspects is the story, full of twists and turns it will drive you to find out more. With small cut away levels that will allow you to delve into Alan Wake's life to understand more about how he thinks and what lead up to them going on holiday.
Graphics -- 7/10
The graphics are fairly good and does feel realistic enough, but as most of it is set in the dark the lighting is the most powerful effect for this game. It is clear the designers knew this and concentrated on it, unfortunately it is sill nothing to be amazed by. Cleverly you will probably soon forget about the graphics as this game will make you so paranoid and edgy that not having the best graphics in the world actually helps the game.
Game-play -- 8.5/10 (Suite's the game)
One of the other powerful aspects is the game-play, while it doesn't have the best aiming system, the best movement controls or any real cover system. This all manages to fit the game perfectly, your character is a writer not a soldier of course he cant aim a gun very well and the same for the movement. Him getting short of breath after running makes it a whole lot scarier when being chased. As for the no cover system this forces you to keep moving into forward (into danger).
Extra's -- 9/10
Alan Wake offers many hidden extra's with parts of manuscripts to be found and TV show's to watch which will make you feel even more on edge though out the game than normal.Not forgetting some great download-able content. If that doesn't make you carry on playing the game after you have completed it, then try playing it in the dark on nightmare mode.
I hope this was helpful =)
Sam Fisher returns in Splinter Cell Convition; as all great fans of splinter cell will know Sam Fisher is now on the run. He has gone in search for his daughters killer for revenge. If your new to the game series and you didn't know the background story...unfortunately they don't really tell you in the game. Other than the obvious remarks to him trying to find out who killed his daughter your going to be pretty lost, which was kinda a big error to start with. Especially when they talk about people you never meet and then you find out they died and your left sat there like "well why mention him if hes not in the game?" and the game (if it could talk) would say "well you should know". Which is awful stance for the game to take.
Story -- 6.5/10
Tom Clancy is a well known writer who would never write the same kinda crap over and over again, oh wait! The game starts off well and different from the last Splinter Cells, you are on your own and on the run from your old organisation which sounds fun and refreshing until you hear some terrorist are about to take over America. Classic Clancy stuff, which is the problem. He's done this many many times and its got to the point where the next splinter cell either has to be unbelievably brilliant or the last one for Sam Fisher at least.
Game Play -- 6/10
Nothing new other than the pretty awesome tag and kill system. In which you...tag and kill, it gives some pretty fun kills to watch but I always think anything you just watch in a game that isn't story relevant shouldn't be their. However the beauty of jumping down on to some guy and shooting 4 other guys in the head in about 2 seconds makes up for the fact you really do nothing. The control layout is different as per normal to Clancy games showing that he is "a head" of the gaming world. Takes a while to pick up but not to difficult.
Graphics -- 6.5/10
Over all, pretty good. That's about it really...
The other thing is that it gave a good cinematic feel which is a good and strong way of keeping the story going, however the story isn't that strong to start with so after a while the cinematic interrogations become a pain.
Online -- 4.5/10
While you are probably already getting the feeling that I hate this game and i am picking at all the bad points, I promise you this. The online is AWFUL, certain games are not meant to enter the online world and is clear that Splinter Cell Conviction is one of them; in the past Splinter Cells it was ok but with practically no players online and many bugs it falls short of what it could have been.
So overall I would say this game is not the worlds best, especially for the great Tom Clancy its a bit of a disappointment. For all of those great fans out there I would say buy it despite all of the above, its interesting to see the direction of the NEW Sam Fisher in a darker mood and it reveal's some secrets that you may remember. Most importantly to all new customers who are thinking about trying Splinter Cell for the first time here is what I say: BUY SPLINTER CELL: DOUBLE AGENT its much better and you don't need to know anything other than the basics (Sam Fisher is one awesome super agent). The story is way better, along with the characters and the choices that will impact on if each side believes your a traitor makes it even more difficult to make some moral decisions.
(Just like to add; some other reviews may say the opposite but I aimed this for people who are new to Splinter Cell)
Hope I was helpful =)
Super Gamer Dude
They call it the beautiful game, and this package demonstrates to some degree why it has this well deserved description. This latest offering in the series presents you with delicate touches and accurately controlled passes taking the place of the more crude brute fiorce tackling, and kick and run passing found in many football games. The players handle better and are much more controllable allowing for more subtle close contact play, and allowing the whole game to flow with less interruption.
Heading action is now more powerful allowing goal scoring off the head from a longer range. Not always a good point as now goal line scrambles are less likely. The result of all these improvements is a much more open and not always predictable play action both inside and outside the penalty areas. Fouls in the form of non deliberate handbalsl are another, not always welcome, introduction which, though sometimes causing unwanted breaks in play, make it more realistic, quite often occuring when defenders get in the way of a hammered shot into a defensive wall from a free kick or a tightly packed defensive formation.
Having said all that its tactically not all that different from FIFA 10, but that's not such a bad thing. But with the world cup in South Africa not present this year to boost football interest, sales will probably be less, but this is not a reflection on the package itself.
A great game not only for football fanatics.
Super Gamer Dude
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.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is the third of four expansions for the wildly popular MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game), World of Warcraft. Cataclysm introduces entirely new areas as well as updating the game overall and revamping the original areas. As an expansion it received wide renown, generally getting ratings of 9/10 and up. The expansion was revealed accidentally in February of 2010 and officially unveiled in May of the same year; it was released on December 7, 2010.
Cataclysm expanded the leveling system from 80 up to 85 and introduced two new races, one for each main faction. The Alliance gets the Worgen while the Horde receives Goblins. The new races come with new abilities, skills and story lines; Cataclysm also gives more in-depth back stories to the original eight races.
The expansion adds a ton of new content, with IGN's review stating that you can "expect to play for well over a hundred hours before you've really touched upon everything Cataclysm has to offer." Ten new dungeons and five new raids have been added along with 3,500 new available quests, and other quests have been restructured and improved. Archaeology was also added as a new secondary skill.
It also brought a huge update to the game, with major redesign of the original two continents with new areas and a somewhat different appearance, as well as allowing for flying mounts which weren't in mind during the original WoW release. The UI (user interface) was also updated as were the graphics for the game.
The plot for Cataclysm revolves around the reawakening of a dragon that hasn't been seen for two in-game decades (an aspect of the dragon appeared during the real-time strategy game Warcraft II). The dragon, formerly known as Neltharion the Earth-Warder, makes a return as Deathwing the Destroyer. The game also makes use of the current political atmospheres of the Horde and Alliance factions, which saw a number of changes with the new expansion pack due to Blizzard's habit of having expansions reveal in-game history in the making.
Reception of the expansion was extremely good. 3.3 million copies were sold within 24 hours of release, putting it second all-time in one-day sales. Anecdotally, the game in the number one spot, Diablo III, was created by the same developer (Blizzard Entertainment). Metacritic, the aggregate ratings company, gave it a 90/100, which usually means universal acclaim. IGN gave it a 9/10 and is cited as saying that, "Cataclysm is far and away the most impressive expansion to an MMO ever made." GameSpot rated it 8.5/10.
Essentially, Cataclysm is a good expansion to a well-loved MMO. The millions of sales should tell you that if nothing else. If you're a fan of MMOs and RPG-type games, or already are playing World of Warcraft, this may well be worth your time and money. It prices for $10 on the Blizzard Store website.
The Walking Dead has been widely described as a 'point and click adventure role playing video game' using a third person perspective in which the gameplay focuses on the story rather than puzzles it contains. The game draws heavily from the comic book and TV series of the same name whose writer, Robert Kirkman, played an advisory role in the making of the game. Although the story takes place in locations from the comic series many of the characters in the game are new to the Walking Dead series.
The action starts in the state of Georgia in North America soon after a zombie invasion and its catastrophic outcome and is played out through the eyes of Lee Everett whose part the player assumes. The Zombies or 'Walkers' as they are dubbed due to the slowness of their gait are thought to 'infect' the survivors of the invasion by biting them but it comes to light later that they become zombies themselves irrespective of the manner of their death.
Lee Everett, the principal character in the story was once a university Professor who was convicted for the murder of a senator who became a little too friendly with his wife. There are many other characters in the tale with various backgrounds who interact with each other in somewhat complex ways.
As well as Everett, the main cast consists of:-
Clementine a girl eight years of age to whom Everett becomes a sort of father substitute.
Kenny, Katjaa his Belgian wife and Kenny junior ( nicknamed Duck )form a family form Florida. Kenny is a fisherman and his wife a vet.
Lilley who is or was stationed at an US airbase and who comes along with a bunch of survivors including Larry her father and Carley a newspaper reporter who are both aware of Everett's murky past.
There are many others too numerous to name here but who come from all walks of life and who form a rather unlikely bunch. Many are introduced as the story moves on through the five consecutive episodes into which the overall narrative is split.
Although the interaction between this motley crew of characters can become quite complex, although a little contrived, the main story is as follows:-
We start as Everett, form now on referred to as Lee, is being transported to prison and the vehicle he and his escorts are in flattens an unwary pedestrian and leaves the road leaving the vehicle's passengers unconscious. Lee regains his senses some hours later only to find that the officer escorting him is now a Zombie and Lee thinks it is expedient to kill him.
Taking refuge in a nearby house and discovers Clementine hiding in a tree house and on discovering that her parents were not with her he offers to take her under his wing and to help search for them. They travel on to a neighboring farm where the meet the aforementioned Kenny and his family. They travel on as a group and meet up with other survivors and hole up in a drugstore owned, unknown to the rest of the group, by one of Lee's family. After accidentally setting of the store's alarm so drawing attention to themselves they make a run to a motel intending to use it for a defensive position.
All is well and they are safe from Walkers but unfortunately being human they need to eat and are fast running out of food. They are then approached by a family called called St.Johns who own, of all things, a dairy. But it is soon discovered that the St.John's diet is not limited to milk products as they have dabbled in a little cannibalism. The group must flee once more when Walkers and bandits, who are in cahoots with the St.Johns
This more or less sets the tone for the rest of the action and there are too many events and complications to describe in a short review. But the group and others with which they meet move from crisis to crisis fighting off Zombie attacks and losing some of their number along the way. The closing shot does show Clementine and two figures in the distance, are they her parents, wait and see.
The game has the usual character and object interactions with many choices to be made which affect the other game characters' reaction to the main character Lee. Major decisions need to be made at the start of the five episodes into which the overall tale is broken down and although these decisions affect the episodic outcomes they can each be completed irrespective of the choices made. On the whole it is fair to say that the complex interactions are more in number than in most games of this genre. Beware that some of the decisions are time limited and so quick thinking is needed.
There is a useful save function and a facility to rewind as it were to an earlier stage and reverse previously made choices. There is also an optional 'choice notification' feature which can be switched on indicating how choices made in play affect the relationship of the characters to the main mover Lee.
Graphics and audio are, needless to say of the excellent quality expected of a game which has undergone such long development.
Command and Conquer 3: Kanes 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 Kanes Wrath did nothing to improve the games 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 cant 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 Kanes 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. Its 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, Kanes 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.