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Posted:
2010-09-17

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

7.1

Knowing how the PSP is, it can be easily said that flight simulation is one of the game genres weakest platforms, and with the release of the new IL-2 Sturmovik on the Xbox 360, PC, and PS3, it is a bit of wonder how the PSP can catch up on the platform wars.

Set in the World War II, Birds of Prey gives you control over planes flying high in the European theater. The player can choose from the Battle of Berlin to the Battle of Britain and fly high, aiding allies both in the land and skies, and defeating enemy subs, fighters, and bombers.

For the PSP console, Birds of Prey makes heavy use of the analog stick which makes flying tricky as the plane you are taking control of readily straightens itself once you let go of the nub. With a little practice, however, one can master the controls of flying in little time at all.

Staying true to the World War setting of the game, the primary weapon used in fighting are machine guns. Due to such, it is advised to avoid a frontal approach in your enemies since avoidable damage is more likely to happen, and collisions happen rather frequently in this game. The artificial intelligence of the enemy fighters is quite good actually, performing maneuvers to avoid your fire as well as hit you and ultimately bring you down.

Once you are hit, you can objectively view your plane's status via the numeric health bar located on the screen. On a campaign mission, each aircraft that will be used is preselected per mission, but you can always go back in the free mission mode to do the mission using the plane that you have chosen. Something expected from such games, don't you agree?

As you progress through the campaign, branching choices are given out to the player to decide where he will go for the next mission. It is highly advised to go back to complete all of these choices for you to be able to fully maximize the flying experience before finally completing the campaign since the missions tend to be quick, the maximum lasting a little over ten minutes.

Mission briefings are voice guided, providing quick information about the battle but no historical content at all. It feels like a gladiator simply fighting rather than a gladiator fighting for a cause, no that it matters.

This arcade style game supports only two players and lacks additional challenges for the player who expects more; you only get the fly your chosen plane on the same missions with the same game play

Overall I feel anyone who has an interest in flying and aerial maneuvers will really enjoy what this game has to offer, I give it the thumbs up, I will certainly play it again and keep the game rather than sell it like most PSP games I buy online.

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Posted:
2011-01-22

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

6.4

I have been a huge fan of the Mortal Kombat movies since its first film, and that fanaticism has continued into the gaming aspect. Mortal Kombat: Unchained takes off from the storyline of the 2004 Mortal Kombat: Deception for PlayStation 2. Being patterned after the 2004 release, Unchained features mostly the same strengths and weaknesses that Deception had.

The game features the classic One-on-One skirmish with two added quirky extras namely: Chess Kombat and Puzzle Kombat. Chess Kombat puts on a basic tactical layer over the one-on-one bout similar to that of the traditional computer game Archon. Instigated by Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, the Puzzle Kombat is, as you can probably guess, a cutthroat puzzle game. Also featured is a story-based mode called KONQUEST, which unfortunately gives the player a dizzying spin into heaps of interminable and convoluted tales about the Mortal Kombat universe. One new feature that the game offers is the Endurance Mode where it lets you fight with consecutive opponents, which ironically has too many interruptions. Players new to the game are likely to get awed by the overwhelming counter-intuitive quality of the controls. Each featured fighter has 3 different fighting stances that include a weapon-based stance. Each stance has its own moves and combos that you’re supposed to memorize; plus a set of special moves unique to each character.

The roster has about two dozens of diverse characters to pick your choice from, featuring newly added characters such as Shao Kahn, Jax, Frost, Goro, Blaze, and Kitana fighting alongside the series of favorites like Liu Kang, Scorpion, Raiden, and Sub-Zero. With various interactive fighting arenas for combat, the game provides more exciting gameplay. The combat has an inflexible feel to it, though. It seems unresponsive no matter how hard you try to click; it may take some time to learn all of the controls as well as particular fighter’s move combos. However, fighting can be very tactical and full of thrill once you get used to the controls, especially if you’re trying to get the upper hand on the ad Hoc WI-Fi match with a friend.

The full 3D visuals don’t seem quite as detailed in the PSP as Deception in PS2, although the game still appears and sounds great and definitely runs smoothly enough. The audio is so evil-sounding with some hard core sound effects, a suitably vicious announcer, a decent collection of authentic grunts and realistic screams topped with some moody, sinister-sounding track; adding to the images of gruesome fatalities – these all add up to the classic dark feel of the game.

Now, this may seem very exciting to newbies, but to players who got to play Deception in PS2, nothing much has changed in Unchained with the exception of the Endurance mode. The online mode which was a key feature of Deception was removed from Unchained for the PSP. Another annoying thing the game has is its extremely lengthy loading time during the extras and even in One-on-One fighting; taking as long as 20 seconds to load and slowing down your progression from one fight to the next. But if you’re an avid Mortal Kombat fan like me, all these things are negligible and the game remains to be very enjoyable indeed.

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Posted:
2011-01-23

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

5.0

Tony Hawk games are quite tricky when it comes to handheld systems; though Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 proved that it could actually work well with handheld systems. However, Tony Hawk’s Project 8 was not given the same attention and is denied the chance to perform better on PSP. It’s basically fun with spurts of excitement along the way, but it destroys the whole concept of innovation aimed at the new addition to the series.

Based on Underground 2’s engine, Project 8 has 10 varied areas, none of which are actually connected. Just like old Tony Hawk games, you need to finish one area first before you can open another; then you can choose the particular levels that you see fit for you to play. It’s not entirely one city just like other next-gen versions. Your main goal is to rise up from that embarrassing #200 amateur skaters ranking and emerge among the top eight. You move up the rankings when you find every secret token in the game, cross gaps, and beat challenges. If you complete ample number of challenges, you may enter the Birdman’s cream of the crop Project 8.

There are moderately sized levels that have a number of healthy challenges. Skate towards highlighted characters; this opens up challenges that are added to the traditional Classic mode, which now works better in the Career Mode. Yes, you read it right. Instead of you going around short challenges, you can basically roam around to play challenges and at the same time increase your rankings. In fact, if you get to complete ten challenges it can definitely boost your rankings up.

Quite new to this release is the Spot Challenges. These challenges basically test your skating skills in grinding a specific distance or when you’re trying to gain air. Though, for technical reasons, you need to talk to certain characters to activate the challenges. This effectively negates the reason for the challenges in the next-gen versions in which you’re supposed to get the tasks done while also performing free skating in the levels. It’s a separate event, but it seems to be quite pointless.

Most of the contests involving skill have three precise rankings: Amateur, Pro and Sick. You can surface to Project 8 when you’ve mastered the Amateur level of difficulty in the challenges. Playing the Pro level is a piece of cake. Your skating skills are truly tested when you play in the Sick level, though. Some of these Sick level challenges can be extremely tough but Tony Hawk fans would probably just sweep away through these challenges.

The Classic Mode is exclusive to the PSP version. In this mode you can pick a skater and then play in 8 redesigned levels. You need to accomplish 10 different tasks in a 2-minute time limit. You have to collect the letters S-K-A-T-E to earn high scores, and find the secret disc, which is another part of this quite-old-school mode. It’s a perfect addition to Project 8, especially for those who find the Career Mode to be quite a drag.

There are definitely extra modes and the wireless play makes Project 8 a good release but it doesn’t quite pay up for its many deficiencies. The graphics are a so-so and runs relatively smoothly for the most part. As for the sound, the game has a lot of music tracks that you’d be able to listen to; though the game lacks voice acting and also ambient noise. As for the gameplay, it’s not really that hot and you can’t really be jumping for it. Overall, the game is quite a nuisance to play but if you enjoy skating games, then it might be a good idea to help yourself to Tony Hawk’s Project 8.

User Reviews

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Posted:
2011-01-23

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

If you were a major fan of “Tekken: Dark Resurrection” game on PSP and you still are, then for sure, you’ll love Tekken 6 just as equally. Though the game has a certain familiar feel to it being that most of the characters featured in Dark Resurrection make a comeback here, Tekken 6 like its predecessor, still maintains the “oomph!” and punch that the series always has from the start.

The game offers a brand new mechanics for returning players to master but still retains its accessibility for newcomers. If you think Dark Resurrection’s roster of playable characters was positively crazy, Tekken 6 gets even crazier. With the addition of 6 new playable characters to the roster, Tekken 6 has a total of 41 characters to choose from; making it the most comprehensive roster in the entire history of the series to date. Some minor changes have been made to old characters’ moves and combos, even new moves have made its way to some character’s list, but only to a small extent so no need to worry about your favorite character being completely alien to you.

Even with brand new fighting mechanics to boot, newcomers and veterans alike don’t have a problem using the controls with the four buttons assigned to all four limbs and the control stick to aid in combos. Learning the moves is a piece of cake and you can see some flashy moves in combat sooner than you think. The game becomes more deeply spectacularly when you learn how to string together combos and moves to impact more damaging combos, leaving your opponent helpless. Important moves like wall juggles, throw counters and roll evasions add to the depth that the game already has. As an added bonus to the 10-hit combos that veteran players have grown accustomed to, the game introduces the Bound system, which allows you to extend combo damage by slamming an airborne opponent to the ground and leaving him/her defenseless to more attacks. Rage is another cool thing added to the game; when a player’s health hits 10 percent, the rage system activates, which is a power-up that gives you rage-fueled strikes. It can either give you a miraculous win if you still can pull it off in a split-second or it can be completely useless to you.

On a negative note, Tekken 6 has omitted the one relaxing part of the game - Bowling; where you can earn money just by having your favorite character play a game of Bowling. But not to worry, everything else is there, from the classic Arcade mode to Challenges like Gold Rush. Another sad thing about Tekken 6 is the removal of the game sharing feature that Dark Resurrection offered. The game is played with wireless ad hoc connection, which means that your friend must have a copy of the game in order for you to play in a battle together. But I rarely consider this as a misfortune, given that Tekken 6 has a big roster of characters to choose from, you can still do a bunch of things and never get tired of playing it whether you’re a newcomer itching to get his fists bloody or a returning player exploring his undying love of the game.


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