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Posted:
2010-05-10

homer

Super Gamer Dude

7.9

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.

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Posted:
2013-04-14

moffatt

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

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.

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Posted:
2013-04-23

trinity

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

User Reviews

del - 2864 reviews

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Posted:
2013-12-17

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

On June 9th, 2013 Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released for the Nintendo 3DS. New Leaf offers players something all Animal Crossing games do, hours upon hours of entertainment. This simulation-style game will keep the player enthralled for years to come. The mechanics of this franchise that fans have come to love will not disappoint in this new addition to the series. The changes and new features that have been made are sound improvements that make play smoother and more exciting.

The Return of Successful Mechanics

In most simulation games, relatively mundane activities are played out by characters over and over. The trick to making the game entertaining and eventually successful is to make each activity fun as opposed to tedious, and to offer incentives to the player for completing the tasks. Animal Crossing games have been well known for entertainment value in the past, and they do deliver again with New Leaf. As always, the player moves into a town and builds a life there by decorating their home, catching bugs, managing relationships with the NPC residents of the village, and many other similar tasks.

What’s New, New Leaf?

In New Leaf, for the first time in the franchise the player is the acting Mayor of the town. This allows the player to decorate the inside and outside of their home as well as the rest of the town. This new feature is a large and welcome change to the previous games in which the player only had control of their own home. Starting at the beginning of the game the player makes important decisions about the layout of their village. The organization of the town and its buildings, and the decorations will be up to the player and their creativity throughout the game. The possibilities can seem endless from more traditional ideas up to a miniature Stonehenge. The more the game is played, the more options open up to the player. With the addition of the resell shop players can even personalize individual pieces of furniture, making their town completely unique from any other player’s.

Ah, the Possibilities!

Somehow, New Leaf seems to have maintained the adorable simplicity of its predecessors. This is exceptional news considering the plethora of new options to choose from. What does this mean for the player? There are new activities like swimming, new clothes and furniture, and even new holidays. With all the activities and ways to make each town unique it is truly impressive that the game has not become too busy or confusing.

Show it Off in Multiplayer.

The multiplayer from previous games is expanded upon greatly in New Leaf. When picking up this game, one expects to be able to visit the home of friends. As usual a visitor can be friendly and leave gifts, or be a butthead and mess up the landscaping. This can be done online or locally.

The new feature, called the Dream Suite, allows players to visit a dream world version of other player’s villages. In this way, a player’s town can be shown off to anyone without the fear of having their flowers stomped on. It is only a dream, so the town can be toured but not affected by the visitor. This is also a fun feature for the visitor because they can still run around interacting with the town, just without permanent consequences.

While that is all incredibly impressive, there is still more! New Leaf makes use of Street Pass by allowing the player to view the homes of every other player they pass in the real world. As long as someone has a copy of the game, their home is available to view in Street Pass.

Resort Island Multiplayer Minigames

For a more personal multiplayer, players can visit Resort Island. The resort is run by former Mayor, Tortimer, and hosts a multitude of games players can enjoy together online. It should be noted that it is not necessary to play with others online, as the island can be visited offline as a single player. This can be convenient in some ways.

The Final Word

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is so much more than just a game. It will offer up more entertainment value for the price than most games on the market, today. The new additions of content, activities, and multiplayer features will keep the game new and exciting for literally hundreds of hours. The online world of other players across the globe helps this game stay current and refreshing. From the huge changes to the tiny improvements in gameplay, the whole game has been revamped without losing its original simplicity and charm. Anyone who owns a 3DS can consider this game a sound investment.

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Posted:
2014-11-06

Garfedout

Super Gamer Dude

7.8

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on the PlayStation 4 was published by Activision and Developed by Slegehammer Games, the video game is geared towards a first-person shooter.

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.

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Posted:
2014-11-07

brownie

Newbie

6.5

'Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition' for the PlayStation 4 is an action role-playing video game and is rated M for Mature, the game contains blood and gore and was published and developed by Blizzard Entertainment.

You ask a dozen different fans what Diablo means to them and you will no doubt get a dozen different responses. Some will shout out in joy about the way the series sculpted their gaming life to follow while others will mention sleepless nights spent at LAN parties. No matter what answer you get you will no doubt find yourself staring at the same core answer: Diablo is important and it means something. So when 'Diablo III' finally landed it came with an appropriate amount of fanfare. The initial offering was met with exuberance and then that exuberance turned to acceptance before everyone acknowledged that, well, the game was juts OK. Blizzard isn't okay with just O.K. So now we have the Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition hitting the marketplace and fans everywhere are once again going nuts.

For those people that played the 'Diablo III' release they noted that there were a lot of good things mixed in with a lot of not so good things. The action was all there but the reward system seemed out of whack. Let's not even discuss some of the difficulties fans had with getting online and playing with other people. So on that note we can definitely see where Reaper of Souls set its sights as it came to consoles and PC's everywhere. With two years of patching built into the release as well as a whole lot of fan feedback, this expanded edition of 'Diablo III' makes for a special treat.

An expansion without new content doesn't make any sense so let's take a look at what Reaper of Souls brings returning players to try out. Ultimate Edition first takes aim at the avatar of your control itself. You will see an increase in the maximum level cap along with an additional passive slot to play with. The skill system has been re-worked and streamlined and returning players can import their old avatar with ease. There is a new class as well to focus on: the Crusader. The Crusader is a special sort of Holy Fighter that capitalizes on medium to close range melee. All of these glossy new additions, tweaks, and re-works make the gaming experience so much more enjoyable and smooth. If this is your first foray into 'Diablo III' then make it your only one, do not look back.

Looking past the avatar itself we can see that there are a few new game modes to be played with. Kicking things off is the Adventure Mode. Adventure Mode offers players a completely unlocked game to play through. The storyline quests from your traditional Campaign Mode will be unlocked an in their place all of the waypoints will be accessible. In this mode it is time to kill things, a lot of things perhaps, on your way toward maxing out your avatar with the sweetest gear available. Followers of the 'Diablo III' storyline, no matter how cheesy it may be, will be excited to see that there is a fifth chapter of the storyline being added to take place in Westmarch.

As you fight your way through dead, undead, and dying enemies you will no doubt come across loot and goodies. Reaper of Souls changes the way that we interact with these things as the loot system has been re-worked. Loot 2.0 has lowered the amount of overall drops in favor of giving more frequent useful drops that fit your class. If you are playing for a friend there is now an in game mail system for you to send loot to wherever you need it to go. The endless hack and slash gameplay is as smooth and polished as ever and it will play just like any other Diablo game released before it.

'Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition' for the PlayStation 4 is a must own addition to any Diablo fan's library. This is probably the best, most complete, Diablo entry that we have ever been lucky enough to have in our hands. Who knows when Blizzard will drop something as good as Reaper of Souls in the future? It just might not happen. There is an almost endless replay value to keep you coming back for more.

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Posted:
2013-08-17

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

8.6

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

CAMPAIGN

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

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

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

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


MULTIPLAYER

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


GRAPHICS

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


EXTRAS

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

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Posted:
2014-03-29

8times8

Super Gamer Dude

8.8

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

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

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

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

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

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Posted:
2014-11-06

Garfedout

Super Gamer Dude

7.8

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.

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Posted:
2015-03-08

Darren_Summerell

Super Gamer Dude

7.4

"#IDARB" has been bringing people together in different ways since it premiered on the XBOX One last year. The hashtag/acronym title stands for 'It Draws a Red Box' and the experience is something reminiscent of the sort of game we'd invent as children. Other Ocean developed the game with the core idea behind it to be collaborative, creative, and chaotic sports that you could play with your friends. We hadn't ever heard of the title before we got our hands on it so we went in with an empty opinion and the motivation to see it through to the end, wherever it actually took us.

Not like anything else...

If we had to boil down "#IDARB" to a sentence it would be this: put the ball in the opposing goal at all costs. At its core this game really just stresses that simple gameplay element. You want to score points. In order to score points you need to avoid enemies. In order to avoid enemies you need to utilize the different platforms in the level. The farther back you are from the goal post, the higher your score will be if you actually somehow make the difficult shot. That's a pretty simple concept and one that shouldn't surprise anybody.

Only "#IDARB" exists on a 2D, platforming world. This 'sport' works in both horizontal and vertical styles and can be played by two big and opposing teams. You can play against the AI in offline mode by yourself but the heart of the game will only come out when you have a crowded room of your friends drunkenly, or soberly, screaming at the television because you just punched the ball out of their hands again.

At face value this isn't a particularly unique experience. There isn't anything here that hasn't been done before on some level. After all, 'Tecmo Bowl' has to lay claim to the original 2D sporting game, right? What IS special about this game is the fact that it is a collaborative effort by players who aren't typically looking for this kind of competition.

It's unique blend with social media also makes the game feel so much bigger than it actually is. There are specific hashtag codes (used on sites like Twitter) that gamers will use to broadcast their thoughts on the online game. The messages gets displayed across the bottom of the screen and, in its own lame way, this makes us feel like our competition is being broadcast on ESPN or something.

One of the more creative elements in the game, which also lends to the pure hectic nature of the 'sport', is the fact that we can custom design our own character elements. Nope, no uniforms for us thank you. Instead you can go into a 2D character creation tool and completely mock something up from scratch. This bit of creativity opens the door for clans to create similar outfits or for the troublemaker to make a character that looks absolutely and distractingly bizarre.

Along this same path of customization we found out that we could also create our own team banners to hang up in the background of the different 'arenas'. Things can get pretty unique quickly. We found ourselves often times laughing at the sheer incredulity of a team of clowns alley ooping over our panda/cat hybrid defenders. Seriously, this is the stuff that really weird dreams are made of.

Users can also dig into a superficial sound editor to add their own music to the game. Maybe we aren't good at programming songs, or maybe the editor is a bit bunk, but either way we found that the musical selections ranged from the weird to the un-listenable.

The essential action on the screen consists of some sort of weird basketball and soccer hybrid. The games begin with a descending clock and the emphasis to go, score, as quick as possible. In this sort of game you only helped yourself if you were willing to work together as a team. Mastering the alley oop is one of the most potent maneuvers that you can pull off in the game and it is the foundation of a competitive squad. Still, there is some fun in joining in as a rogue player. If you are good at dodging incoming opponents then you can duck, jump and climb your way to an easy 'score' on the other end.

The game features fundamentally non detailed 2D graphics and we aren't sure that this is a complaint. If the game became any more graphically advanced we are almost positive that there would be some charm lost in the process. No, we like the way that the game sticks to a short list of assets and art styles. The absurdity of it all really ramps up as a result.

The rest of the interface is pretty simple. You have your scores in the bottom right and left hand corners as well as a clock at the top. You race up and down the platforms in order to move the ball, sort of like a 2D version of Quidditch, as you get close to the opposing goal. On defense you are allowed to attack other players in order to steal the ball and run the opposite direction. Great scores are hit with instant replays and buzzer beaters will get the slow motion treatment when looking back.

Scoring in the game is complicated bordering on nonsensical, so it fits in with the rest of the experience. If you score from farther out then you will get more points. Likewise, if you manage to score off of a pass that also bounced off of a wall or something, your point total will really start climbing.

What we loved about "#IDARB" is that it was a competitive game meant for non competitive gamers. How absurd the whole title is lends itself to a friendly experience, even in the online matchmaking system. We rarely found ourselves truly upset with losing and instead were more eager to jump into the next game.


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