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Posted:
2010-05-12

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.2

If you have been ignoring the SOCOM series for years, then you might get pulled to the game this time, with the newest franchise, SOCOM: US NAVY SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3. Developed by Slant Six Games and Published by Sony Computer Entertainment, this first-person shooter game is definitely something to look out for in the PSP handheld.

Your character in this game is Wraith, a SEAL squad leader who recently put together a squad made of four men under an ultra hush-hush mission. The story seems to involve a U.S. operative behind Soviet lines and everyone that the government is sending to check on in with the mole never comes back and report. So, the SEALs are moving on their own to get to the bottom of the mystery that has been happening. Fireteam Bravo 3 puts the focus on action with the responsibility resting on your shoulders, which you probably hardly noticed in past SOCOM games.

The guys involved are on Black Ops mission so there is no HQ present, whispering instructions to their ear; no fancy intelligence using 3D; and no rescue boat around the corner. Before embarking on a mission, Wraith and company dwell upon an old map and some black and white photos, discussing their plan of attack. As things go wrong in the inside – a squad mate being held-hostage, for instance – the SEALs then react of their own volition and and move to attack almost impulsively. Another important factor that’s really quite challenging is you can choose how you and your squad may solve each situation.

Indeed, SOCOM absolutely excels in putting you (the player) in Wraith’s shoes. You can give orders to your squad, like tell them to hold their position and then run ahead to kill the patrolling guards stealthily; or you can also send your squad ahead of you and order them to fire at will to clear the path. You can also order them to kick open doors; to contact or toss flash bangs and kill just about everyone that get in your way. With this, you get the feeling that you really have your own team backing you up, as well as counting on you to lead. You get that amazing feeling of being looked up to with the guys taking orders from you and the fabulous sense of satisfaction of knowing that you are able to make your squad function like a very well-oiled machine, when you finally shut the system down.

Overall, the presentation of the game is superbly done. Every mission is presented with the right level of action and the game is also filled with exquisite cutscenes. The graphics also are very good in the sense that the environments and all the action really look good and realistic throughout the game, though one could do with more details on the in-game SEALs. The audio of the game is also nicely done with the great voiceovers and music. However, there are portions where sound drops out in some scenes, especially at the beginning. The gameplay unquestionably earns a thumbs-up; though you might wish that it was a bit harder, and the rocket/helicopter scene could have been totally dumped. You totally feel like a true SEAL when you play this game.

With all its fantastic features, this one is absolutely dream game to play.
Peace Walker is definitely one good game to play, especially if you’re the type to dig more action. This game surely has the right stuff that keeps you playing on and on for quite a while.

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Posted:
2010-06-17

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.6

Red Dead Redemption is an impressive video game that will take you to the Wild West. Developed by Rockstar and Published by Rockstar Games, Red Dead Redemption offers a quality that has been associated to the trademark of this game developer responsible for the Grand Theft Auto series. From dialogue to presentation, the game approaches every gamer with enthusiasm and excitement and detail.

The storyline of Red Dead Redemption puts you in the character of John Marston, a former outlaw who has traveled to a bizarre location to hunt down a man. The game begins with a train journey which provides a little introduction to the game, but once John Marston gets off the train, you’ll look forward to the adventure that awaits you in the vast Wild West. You’ll journey through broad cactus-filled plains and mountains of countryside that spans through the border between the U.S. and Mexico.

Along your journey, you will get to meet a wonderful supporting cast. The characters present first-rate dialogue which makes you feel as if you’re part of the game. Other characters appear throughout the scene which offers a variety of storyline missions and events. Red Dead Redemption's environment of animals and plants is also one of the highlights in the game as it brings the whole setting into life.

The main story of the game is not that long, but because of dozens of missions, activities and events in the game, there is so much to do and you could spend hours in just doing one thing. These procedural events are the unsystematic events that happen in the game. You will have the chance to have duels, play poker, hunt down outlaws that terrorize towns, herding cattle, sharpshooting challenges and much more. These events allow you to have a lively feeling towards the game world. It keeps the flow of the game diverse and makes the game interesting. If you want a game that will serve as pastime for months, this is the game for you.

Red Dead Redemption gives you the freedom to stroll into the wilds and explore. This is where the game stands out. It offers an enhanced balance to the game in terms of main and secondary missions. It also offers an enjoyable understanding in developing your character. Though there is a legal system in Red Dead Redemption that will restrain the most ill-famed actions in check, you still have the choice whether you do moral or immoral things during any situation. A morality meter, together with a separate fame bar marks your actions and the citizens you meet in the game will begin to respond to your reputation.

This is a striking game with its stunning attention to detail. The geology of the land is one of the most impressive, making the hills and highlands come to life. The area you can travel around is very vast, dotted with ruins and towns. The game also features outstanding soundtrack that brings you more into the game.

For the multiplayer, the modes of the game are soundly crafted and more amusing especially when playing with your buddies. The multiplayer offers a wide array of missions for players to take on. The mode can reach up to 8 players, but 16 players can fill a lobby at once.

Red Dead Redemption is one of the most enjoyable and most dazzling games ever. There are occasional bugs but these are not enough to stop you from having fun. Red Dead Redemption’s single player and multiplayer modes are superb. There’s no doubt it will entertain you.

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Posted:
2010-09-17

Bazza

Lowly Worm

8.7

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 father’s death and gets involved with the people who hope to replace his father’s 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 it’s 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!

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Posted:
2013-05-23

martinraven

Super Gamer Dude

7.4

Rabbids Land for the Wii U lets people play as the popular wild, buck-toothed Rabbids characters that are also known from the previous Rabbids games. This Rabbids game is a party game that people may team up to progress or battle each other to win. For example, one player may control a part of the action on the Wii U gamepad while the other player utilizes a Wii remote to simultaneously control the action on the television screen. There will be many instances throughout playing Rabbids Land where the players will be required to team up and figure out what to do next to progress to the next stage in the level.

Some examples of how the Wii U gamepad and Wii Remote are used together is that one player may steer a boat on the television screen with the Wii Remote while another player might make a blowing sound into the Wii U gamepad microphone which would move explosive penguins into their opponent. When players are battling against each other in a mini-game, it is only ever two opponents at any given time while the other one to two players must wait their turn.

Rabbids Land for the Wii U is similar in nature to other party games as well. Many times throughout the game, players will interact in mini-games. The mini-games consist of the players taking turns to roll dice and then moving the corresponding spaces on the game board. While moving spaces on the game board, players may also pick up trophies. However the trophies must be taken from defeated opponents or may also be won by the player themselves in mini-games. Once the player has accumulated up to 10 or 20 trophies, they may then return to the center of the game board to win the game.

The game board that is played on consists of traditional game board spaces like roll again, move forward X amount of spaces, move back X amount of spaces and so on and so forth. The player can also pickup powerups or be given the chance to spin the game wheel which results in board-shifting events. There are many different types of mini-games all of which have their own unique themes and gameplay modes. For example, one game has the players shaking the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk at the right moment so that flames launch out the back of their space vehicle. The second player who is attached to the first player's space vehicle bumper has to tilt the Wii U game pad to tilt out of the way of the flames. It's games like these that tie multiplayer together in fun, entertaining ways.

There's also another mode to the game called Treasure Hunt. The Treasure Hunt feature lets players engage in mini-games and collect tokens that they may later use to unlock gameplay videos. The final touches to the game involve more defined Rabbids characters with better graphics and the A.I. is also tweaked to challenge solo players better. If playing alone, up to three Rabbids characters can be controlled by the CPU to offer an exciting gameplay experience.

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Posted:
2013-05-24

deanowen

Super Gamer Dude

6.5

Ben 10 Omniverse is a new Wii-U game based on the Ben 10 television franchise. While the game is sure to satisfy die-hard fans of the tv series, newcomers may find the game content enjoyable but a bit lacking. One of the upsides of the game is the sheer amount of characters to play, and while that adds a lot of seeming diversity, the characters themselves lack a commensurate diversity of functions and abilities. The general premise of the game (and franchise as a whole) is that the main character, Ben Tennyson, has in his possession a tool which allows him to mutate into a variety of alien forms.

The aliens are all very interesting and distinct looking and the game allows you to shift into these different entities at any point during the game as they become unlocked. Even the storyline within the game radically shifts between past and future points, there isn't a lot that changes between each time shift, therefore the game comes off as that much more creatively shallow as a consequence. If the developers had added more diversity and richness to the settings contained within different time frames, it would have added a much needed sense of immersion.

There is a certain degree of creative problem solving within the game that can be quite compelling, however. When different environmental challenges present themselves, Ben must inhabit the different alien forms he has it his disposal in order to use their specific abilities to overcome an obstacle. These physics-based situational puzzles are relatively entertaining and fairly engaging, yet the simplistic difficulty seems to skew to a younger audience.

Besides the numerous environmental puzzles, combat tends to make up the meat of the game-play. As you travel from one obstacle to the next, you're bound to run into a variety of enemies that need to be dealt with. By far, the most rewarding element of the combat-based game play involves the initial experimentation you find yourself immersed within when trying to find the optimal strategy for dealing with the opposition.

After you get the hang of how to properly take down the enemies, however, the challenge begins to wane, as does the fun and engagement. An interesting quirk contained within the battles, however, involves an energy meter which you have to keep an eye on while inhabiting an alien form as Ben; if the energy meter depletes, Ben's bulky alien incarnation disappears and he is left relatively defenseless until the meter charges up again. This game mechanic makes the combat a bit more involving and requires some planning.

While the Wii-U is capable of fairly impressive graphics, Ben 10 Omniverse is somewhat lackluster. The graphics are not terrible, but they are somewhat sub-par. Additionally, the game is very linear and feels somewhat formulaic after a while. There aren't many surprises to behold. An annoying restriction of the game involves needing to have access to a television in order to activate non-TV play with the console, which is somewhat inconvenient.

Ben 10 Omniverse looks like it had a lot of potential while in development, unfortunately, the overall gameplay is somewhat hampered by a lack of depth and an abundance of repetition. While the puzzles are the main strength of the game, these elements are unfortunately the least prevalent. All in all, a fun game for lovers of the Ben 10 franchise, and a so-so diversion for others.

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Posted:
2013-05-25

deanowen

Super Gamer Dude

7.6

When Nintendo and Sega first announced that Mario and Sonic would be teaming up for a title together (along with their many friends) for 2007's Mario and Sonic At The Olympic Games, the title was heralded as exciting by many long time gamers because it was the first time we've ever seen Mario and Sonic together in the same title. The once fierce rivals from the 16-bit era then saw fit to fight each other in the Wii's Super Smash Bros. Brawl and then joined up again for Mario and Sonic At The Winter Games in 2009. We were able to forgive some of the flaws in the previous two Olympic outings for these two, simply because we enjoyed the novelty and feelings of nostalgia we received by seeing two of the industry's greatest icons finally together. Now that this spell has worn off however, we have to say that the game at its core doesn't really live up to what you'd expect from a Mario or even Sonic game. It's fun in bursts, but lacks the polish of a true high end Nintendo or Sega title. The city of London does shine bright though, and the backdrop it provides does add some charm that makes this game worth at least a look.

The games in this release are almost identical to the games released in the 2007 version. But getting to see Mario and Sonic jumping around on a pretty decent cartoon recreation of the London venues and the city itself is amusing at least for a little while. Big Ben and other London landmarks make an appearance. The game has added a bit of a Mario Party feel to it, you'll navigate to the different menus through a map of the city of London that looks similar to a Mario Party map. This is actually called "London Party" mode, so it's not like Nintendo is trying to hide the inspiration. Up to four characters can compete against each other, just like in Mario Party.

Beyond London Party are the game modes you've played before. Dream Events are mini-games where the characters get to recreate certain Olympic sports competitions with a cartoon twist. When you do the Long Jump, you'll also be trying to grab rings from the Sonic series as you fly through the air.

Finally, the game does bring back the actual Olympic sporting events, but just like in 2007, these feel uninspired. There are four new games for this version, horseback show jumping, soccer, badminton and canoeing. None of these are especially inspiring.

What's most ironic about Mario and Sonic at the 2012 London Games is that the best gameplay the title has to offer comes from the party mode and the Dream Events. The actual London games themselves don't really have much excitement or replay value. Still, seeing London in cartoon form and watching your favorite characters from the last two decades of video games jump across the screen does warm your heart a little.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

rtuman

Super Gamer Dude

7.4

Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga is exactly what fans of both Star Wars and the Lego video game franchise want it to be: Over the top, button mashing excitement, augmented with classic Star Wars and Lego franchise humor. It's not going to win any awards for best combat or game control, but with a game like this, you kind of know what you're getting. Lego Star Wars The Complete Saga is not trying to compete with the huge holiday blockbusters. It just wants to be a fun title to pick up and play on the weekend to share some laughs with your friends. And in this goal, the game is a smashing success.

With that said, you can stop reading now, if you've already played Lego Star Wars or Lego Star Wars II, this latest offering for the Nintendo Wii is simply the first two games in the series put into one box. Yes, it has some graphical updates and minor tweaks, but you're getting the same story and gameplay that were in the previous titles. This game is for someone who hasn't played the two previous titles or just for someone who is a true devotee or collector of the series.

One nice touch is that the game now features an overworld which you can roam inbetween all six episodes. After you beat the first level of Episode 1, all other episodes will unlock. You can play the six episodes of The Star Wars franchise in any order you want. All six episodes take about 12 hours to get through but the fun isn't over there. The game lobby, modeled after a cantina, offers mini games and arcade style play for you to tackle in between episodes.

These games offer quite a bit of replay value. You earn currency to play the mini games, called Studs by playing through the main six episodes and smashing things with your lightsaber. The games you play with these studs can then unlock special characters, costumes and other prizes. It's a system that works well for adding longevity to the game. You'll want to go back into the six episodes to get more studs, so you can then use those studs to try and unlock more hidden features. For even more replay value, the game features a free play mode. You can run through the game again with any of the other characters you run into during story mode, like Yoda or R2-D2. This mode requires more studs, which sends yoou back through the cycle all over again. It's well designed.

With that said, the problems that were in the original two games are still present here. The Lego series has always suffered from an awkward camera and the platform jumping sequences can be especially frustrating as the controls are not very precise at times. But honestly, Who cares? This game is about button mashing fun and unlocking your favorite Star Wars characters as you travel through the galaxy with your friends.

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Posted:
2013-12-11

monk

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

First of all, I recently watched LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload which I loved. I thought the unique use of LEGO graphics was genius and fun to watch at the same time. So, when I came across the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game I was doubly pleased. The graphics are amazing! The style, look and feel of the game is comparable if not better than the movie. You even feel like you're part of an extended sort of choose your own adventure version of the movie when playing. I have good memories of LEGO from my childhood and Marvel Super Heroes was another favorite, so this game has combined some of my favorite things together in one, making it even more enjoyable to play.

The game takes place in a highly populated New York City and offers you the choice of a wide range of Marvel characters, both heroes and villains. Following the Marvel comics story line, the basic idea of the game is to stop Loki and the other villains from destroying the world with a super-weapon they are trying to create. You get the choice of which characters you control, and by using their different abilities like Spiderman's web action. You also get to build new constructions in the city, smash them up, solve puzzles and travel through various environments. Some of the places you will travel through are the Green Goblin's Oscorp Tower, Grand Central Station and Doctor Doom's Castle. You can also sky dive and explore the city in between missions and do so many other things. In fact, you really must explore the city in order to uncover all the secrets present within the game.

Each mission or level is quite involved and the secrets are very well hidden. Through exploring you will be able to unlock over 100 characters you can play and discover other things like hidden bricks. Every character has a unique voice and animation, making the game even more memorable. Most of the characters have multiple abilities. It's fun to figure out what character abilities are need to move past the various challenges. Personally, my favorite Marvel characters are Captain America, Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk.

A really nice feature of the game is the ability to control multiple characters by pressing a button. In order to move forward in the game, you have to use a mixture of the super-hero powers and battle the bad guys. There's plenty of humor packed in the game as well that makes it even more entertaining. During the game there are plenty of tutorials and prompts to help you play.

Overall I really think the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game is fun for all ages. Visually, it's bright, interesting and full of a narrative that offers plenty of fun jokes. Effects like cascading water, debris flying around and super hero powers are very entertaining to the viewer. It's also reasonably priced at about $25. It's also available on all major consoles, so anyone who loves video games can easily purchase it. Christmas is coming up so it's a perfect gift for all the game lovers in your life.

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Posted:
2013-12-16

omanic

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

Shiver me timbers, ya landlubbin' bilgerat, Assassin's Creed has abandoned the quiet killing days of the American Revolution and set sail for adventure on the high seas! Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag continues the story of the Animus, a complex system that allows the user to explore the genetic memories of their ancestors, and this time players will inhabit the shoes of Edward Kenway, a previously straight-laced lad who finds himself becoming a secret killer among pirates.

Ubisoft has once again changed the setting of its popular stealth and platforming series, but if you're looking for the kind of roguish charm found in something like Pirates of the Caribbean, a replay of a Monkey Island game might suit you better. Playing Black Flag means a lot of following and tracing subjects until you can get your greedy assassin hands around their necks. Again, the controls have been changed and streamlined for the worse, as longtime players will greet moments of confusion as they adjust to new ways of doing old things that aren't particularly any better. One exception is the gun controls, which are significantly improved over Assassin's Creed III.

Instead of making substantial improvements to the stealth engine, Ubisoft has opted to again dial up all the optional things a player can do in their historical setting. There is a truly dizzy array of what Ubisoft calls "content," but what a lot of increasingly disgruntled players call "check boxes." If you enjoy said content, there isn't a lack of it in Black Flag; the game will keep you playing for days. But much like Tomb Raider, from earlier this year, it's hard to shake the feeling that it's more highly bureaucratic office work than a game.

The graphic environment players explore is breathtaking, detailed and enchanting, but from a character perspective, it's dull and significantly less colorful than one would expect from everyone's favorite swashbuckling era of daring escapades. If you always wanted a more down-to-earth example of what life was like on the islands back then, you might warm up to the landlocked assassin's life.

If, however, you're the type who loves to sing along to the "Yo ho, yo ho" song at Disneyland, the sea is where it's at in Black Flag. Everything about the ship mechanics in this game screams of far more originality, soul, fun mechanics and fresh ideas than the staid land portions. Boarding other ships, in order to climb the mast and silently destroy your target while the chaos of a storm or a pirate raid erupts around you is an exhilarating and heart-thumping, original take on how the series has always set dizzying heights for its assassins to climb and conquer. Outfitting and improving ships, firing cannonballs, hunting sharks, recruiting nasty new pirates -- if this was the majority of the game, we'd have a masterpiece here.

Unfortunately, it's more like half the game. We're left with a good game saddled with a boring open world tax duty between the juicy parts.

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Posted:
2014-03-26

scrogg

Super Gamer Dude

6.5

At some point in the past, when the first LEGO Star Wars game was released, we would have dropped the LEGO games into another genre of video games, probably in with 3D platformers or something like that. Today, there have been so many LEGO games released that the series has practically become a genre unto itself.

These days, everyone knows what to expect when they get a LEGO game. The games are co-op centric, require the collection of a massive amount of currency in the form of studs to unlock new characters and fun collectibles. There have of course been minor changes to the formula over the years, such as the addition of an open world and allowing LEGO figures to finally speak out loud, but the games have mostly remained the same.

Sadly, The LEGO Movie Videogame continues this trend. While this latest entry in the LEGO series of games adds a few new gameplay features such as a new pick-the-brick building mechanic and a rather dull hacking minigame. Other than those tiny additions that are used sparingly throughout the game, The LEGO Movie Videogame remains the same LEGO game you've been playing for quite a few years now.

That said, one of the things that made past LEGO videogames so interesting was the conversion of a piece of media such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, or Lord of the Rings that you are so used to seeing in film into the LEGO form. Making that leap always created a large number of comedic opportunities that the game would capitalize on.

By simply making a game out of something that was already made of LEGOs, like The LEGO Movie, you lose the comedy of the transition. That is not to say that this game isn't funny, it has a ton of great moments, but every single one of those moments was present in the movie. Moreover, this game is almost exactly the movie. You absolutely need to see the film first if you don't want every single plot point spoiled for you in a short time span.

While the plot and comedy bits may not be as original as past games, the visual style does stand out, even among other LEGO games. Just like the film, the game very much still looks like it is still made of LEGO bricks while still having its own unique look and feel.

As far as visual differences between different consoles go, the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 versions are all more or less identical. The graphics do look a little sharper on Xbox One, PS4, and PC, but not really at a level where it's all that notable.

The portable versions of the game on 3DS and Vita are completely different from the console and PC versions of the game as usual, but if you've played the portable versions before you pretty much know what to expect.

At the end of the day, if you're looking for a LEGO game to break the mould and really try something exciting and new - that's not here. If you're looking for something to add on to the experience of the movie with some more story and fun additions to the plot, that's not here either. Everything in The LEGO Movie Videogame is something that you more than likely already expect. However, if you're looking for a fun co-op game in the vein of all the other LEGO games that have come before, this is very much that. No matter how tired the formula gets over the years, these remain fun.


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