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
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.
Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars is the portable version of the massively popular GTA series for the Nintendo DS. This is not a letdown, swear! It has based its controls and features on the DS features such as insightful use of the DS touch screen feature. Liberty City is still recognizable despite the limitations of the DS, and it offers a substantial storyline and a variety of optional activities.
Chinatown Wars happens in Hong Kong where a power struggle between and within triad gangs are happening. You will play as Huang Lee, the son of a powerful crime boss who just got killed. Lee flies from old Liberty City to Hong Kong to avenge his fathers death and gets involved with the people who hope to replace his fathers standing in the triads. The whole story will center on you, Lee, as you work for certain people in the triad this will involve crime and surely the triad will make a laughingstock out of you, not to mention abandon you, in case you get caught by the police.
Basically, Chinatown wars is essentially the same as the other games in the GTA franchise, but the addition of auto targeting of targets during driving and steering assist adds up to the user friendly factor of the game. GPS is also available if you would like to, since it is better than focusing your eyes on the map at the bottom part of the screen.
We all know that there are numerous side missions in GTA; and Chinatown Wars is no exception. However, it is the first game in the franchise to let you replay a mission in case you were not satisfied with your first time. Also, if you happen to fail a mission, a trip skip option is available that will let you skip the road trip and get right back on the action that killed you on your failed attempt and be able to correct the situation.
A local multiplayer support is available, but only for 2 people. Why only 2 you ask? Because its better than the story and various modes are unlocked and can only be truly enjoyed when there are 2 people playing. Wifi support is also available, but it only involves trading up codes, weapons, items, and sending out messages. This game is freaking awesome!
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 =)
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.
Since this is a puzzling adventure, the connection between the puzzle realm and the main character appears at the outset of the game which is quite an integral component of the games design. The real challenge of Hatsworth is the combination of 2 game types which will also work. When there are boss battles, every attack will make the bottom screen of no use or perhaps, you can add in the brand new puzzle areas which will require more work for removal. The 2 sections of the game will not make every section a half-game. Henry Hatsworth has an action or platform that is complete along with a puzzle game in which the size is life-like.
Although, there are basically several downsides to look into, the advantages are more superior to the bad. Even if there are knock-backs on the attacks, the game will not be overbearing. Yet, Henry Hastworth has made it a point to make the game for the youngsters and at the same time, give contentment to hard core fans. The down/attack is possibly the most influential conventional move in the game.
Considered a trivial complaint is the juggle system of the game resulting to a remarkable gameplay. But you will not have the chance to pick up some of the loot they have released since the juggle system will depend on the emergence of the pop up baddies and to keep them in the sky in combination. Furthermore, the design level is strong with very lengthy stages but you can have the chance to go back where you left off in the game once you have opened it again.
Henry Hatsworth is considered to be among the most original and well-constructed platformers in the system since the introduction of New Super Mario brothers. The gameplay is reliable and the style is witty and very funny. The characters of the game converse in a nonsensical twaddle and there is attitude found in the combination of the visuals, the designs of the characters while the sound aspect is sincerely amazing.
The pop-up combat is remarkable and is the ideal way to conceal more hardcore elements in a very accessible game whereas the enhancements, mobility, the design levels as well as the progression of the game all make Hatsworth an appropriate and perfect game of all ages. Though, there may be drawbacks to the elements in the platform, these are overwhelmed by the extraordinary and distinct mixture of 2 screens, 2 genres and mechanics that are in full realization.
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.
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.
Super Gamer Dude
Taking a much loved literary series and movie franchise and turning it into a successful video game can be a tricky proposition, but Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 for the Nintendo Wii manages to accomplish the task with relative ease. The title is a one or two player co-op adventure that allows the players to explore the world of the famous boy wizard that was revealed through the first four books and movies.
Gameplay is centered on exploring the Hogwarts castle and grounds because that area serves as the launching point for each level of the game. The castle and grounds are huge, but the game takes full advantage of whatever horsepower the Wii can conjure up because the graphics and sound are top notch and could have come right out of the films themselves.
The control scheme is pretty simple, at first because of the usual combination of Wii remote controller and Nunchuk dictate movement, jumping, spell casting, and all other player moves. The game uses a submenu, easily controlled by the Nunchuk, to select individual spells collected through playing. The spell casting menu is a bit difficult to control at first, but fortunately becomes second nature after spending some time on the game.
The biggest asset of Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 is the familiar and famous characters that players get to control. Exploring the world of Harry Potter as Harry or Ron is one thing, but walking around as Dumbledore or an evil wizard is something altogether different. In typical Lego game fashion, players start out with limited character options but can unlock other characters by redeeming studs and discovering new faces around the Hogwarts grounds.
Those unlockable features are what makes the addictive gameplay of the game. Players need to find owl posts and collect as many studs as possible to get bonus abilities, like invulnerability, that make the game easier and a bit more fun to play. The co-op nature of the game requires players to work together to solve certain puzzles, which only enhances the need for certain special abilities or characters to be unlocked and playable. Luckily, this only adds to the fun of the game.
One issue in particular that changes things up for players is the split screen that occurs when players are far apart. At first the split screen can be a bit frustrating because the play area gets shrunk by nearly half for both players; however, after a few sessions, this issue becomes invaluable because both players can explore areas of the level or the castle without having to be in close proximity to each other.
All things considered, Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 is a fun game that doubles as a platformer and a puzzle game. This combination has served several Lego titles well, and it does complete justice to this particular game. Players will spend hours combing through the world of Harry Potter and facing down the challenges the famous character encountered, which makes for some familiar and entertaining days and nights.
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.