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Posted:
2013-08-17

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

Wii U

7.1

Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge for the Wii U is another installment of the Ninja Gaiden series and takes place after Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. The storyline features a lot of action and includes stories from both the point of view of the main character and his sidekick.

The story feature the master ninja, Ryu Hayabusa and look in depth into his character Ryu as he fights off the curse of the "Grip of Murder". Ryu becomes the main focus as a cult of alchemists try to destroy the world and create a new one by using Ryu as a sacrifice. Ayane gets her own storyline and is added in with the use of cutscenes.

Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge uses the Wii U Gamepad to change weapons, view the character information, and to perform Ninpo. Control can also be performed by using the touchscreen if the player wants to opt for it, but they do not have to use it if they do not want to. Things that players liked in the earlier games in the series are brought back, such as decapitation and dismemberment. Players can also choose between four different modes to start off in these being easy, normal, hard, and hero mode.

The game also features new abilities to the series such as the ability to have Dual Katanas and Lunar Staff. Players can upgrade their weapons by using the "Karma Counter" as in previous games. These Karma points can be used to upgrade their weapons like Ninpo spells, characteristics like health bar extensions, and special attacks. Players are also able to fight brand new enemies and experience battling on new grounds.

Razor's Edge offers a new online co op mode that lets players have the choice of using a new character, Ayane, a female ninja. She has the same moves that she normally does in Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 and will allow for the addition of cutscenes if the player decides to use her. This mode also provides competitiveness for players by featuring new modes that set up to 8 players against each other or they can work together.

Ninja Gaiden 3 Razor's Edge keeps to all the strengths and controls of the series which are popular with existing fans but offers easy enough gameplay for newcomers to absorb.

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Posted:
2010-12-28

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

8.5

Sonic Colors Wii edition might well be SEGA's redemption yet as it proves once again the embodiment of SEGA excellence in this final offering for 2010. Although not quite flawless, Sonic Colors offers more than enough excitement rather than disappointments in this new adventure, with great looks, flashy abilities and breezy action, making this entry much more creditable compared to other offerings in an occasionally wobbly franchise. Saving the best for last, SEGA ultimately came up with a Sonic that's as vivaciously modern and fun as it can get.

Sonic Colors starts at a peculiar place created by Dr. Eggman Robotnik where the Wisp's planet is trapped and its power-granting alien creatures are held captive by the evil doctor. The astonishing beauty of Sonic Colors appears to be a fantastically wacky combination of Super Mario Galaxy, Captain Eo, and Tron, which incorporates all the Sonic indispensable essentials, from the casino to the grassy meadows of the Wisps' home planet. Among my personal preferences that many of my mates likewise find fabulous are the Starlight Carnival where you can witness the endearing blue hedgehog zip through space on an energy road and the Sweet Mountain scene from which you get a glimpse of Sonic racing trenches of popcorn flanking huge mounds of cake. Sonic Colors is undoubtedly the most excellent graphics on Wii in 2010, with its outstanding lighting and marvelous animation.

The gameplay itself is a pleasant surprise; already, the remarkably crafted smart and precise controls are astounding, but the presence of the wisps adds another dimension to the game where each wisp color corresponds to a certain power that Sonic can use. There are 8 colored wisps which give Sonic the extra quirks to some of its fascinating basic moves and abilities.

The addition of the new features in the gameplay is anything but lackluster and can absolutely test the capability of a diehard Sonic fan with unexpected twists and turns as you continue to explore the game that comes with amazing design and intricacies of the most intriguing puzzle concept ever. Sonic Colors definitely challenges your prowess through numerous paths, which you can only explore every time you secure a new Wisp that grants you a specific power.

The creators of the game made a near perfect work of blending the new and the old aspects of platforming that Sonic games are famous for. It provides a fresh and distinct flavor into the game as the players experience the evolution of the game in the last twenty years of its inception.

However, as colorful and wonderful as it gets, the game has its loopholes. There are certain parts of the game that are ridiculously too-easy and illogical they take the challenge out of the game. These areas are so downright dreary it even made me toss my Wii Remote and nunchuk from sheer disappointment. Worse, there's no other way to go around it but finish each stage of every world to make headway in the game. These parts with underhanded design seem like death-generators and are the main problems in Sonic Colors. The lack of warp pipes and alternate paths to create a fast traveling game necessitates following the long routes; a monotonous approach that plainly kills the fun in the game. Towards to the end of the game, checkpoints could not be located, making me waste a good three minutes stuck on the same level, throwing life after life and doing the same maneuver over and over.

Despite the few flaws that spoil an otherwise totally splendid gaming experience, Sonic Colors still ends up quite an awesome experience overall. This is one game that Sonic fans and Wii owners shouldn't miss grabbing. As an indicator of future offerings from SEGA, Sonic Colors undoubtedly delivers a taste of forthcoming treats.

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Posted:
2010-12-30

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

6.0

Big Beach Sports is the first attempt of THQ as a third-party publisher in the ever-increasing competition for sports compilations in the industry, brought by the huge success of Wii sports. The game is basically a compilation of six different seaside games that includes American football, volleyball, soccer, disc golf, cricket and boules. The games are basically designed to create a buzz and appeal to the Wii players with varied approaches to enjoyment, despite its lack of depth and challenging reward system.

The game’s appealing aspect begins with the controller of the Wii. The motion sensing abilities of the remote controller is the main element that provides players with the experience of real-feel when playing the game. The controller depicts the right movement in playing the game such as aiming for the hole in golf or executing a spike in volleyball.

Some of the games were given a little twist to add more fun, like disc golf which is actually golf played with a Frisbee. The players are challenged to make the right throws or moves toward the holes with different types of discs while also trying to evade trees and water. Boules is a French outdoor game very similar to the popular and classic bowling. American Football is a two-on-two, beachside variation of the football we are familiar with. Only the game of soccer is the most unlikely and unsuitable game for the motion sensing capabilities of the controller. Movement is kind of awkward even for the motion sensitive Remote, and with a terrible AI and lack of team members; this component is simply awful and boring!

The games are also built with options to play in tournaments or short events. Although the games offer pleasant diversion, the delight and hilarity is very much short-lived due to lack of depth and meager rewards. Some games like volleyball and boules are very easy to master; so easy in fact, that after a few rounds, my mates and I are consistently winning all the tournaments in the game.

The game also has option that allows you to create your own character by infusing your own style right on the main screen – you can choose a name and clothing. However, the customization option is kind of restricted and not that extensive, so don’t expect to customize your own face in the game.

Being THQ’s first crack at WIi sports, the budget constraint affected the scoring aspect of the game. You won’t see any tabulation or records of the scores you made. You may see the scores listed when you create a user profile but you cannot even compare it with other players’ scores on the same screen.

Despite the budget constraints and limited resources, Big Beach Sports is still worth checking, if only for the novelty of disc (Frisbee) golf. The wholesome selection of sports at budget price certainly has its merits. It is worthy of anyone’s time and players are bound to fall in love with the simplistic view of the overall presentation that provides fun-filled experience and keeps you and your mates momentarily occupied for short periods. If you’re up to it, you can even turn Big Beach Sports into a daily group exercise!

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Posted:
2013-08-17

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

Wii U

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:
2010-11-03

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

5.4

This is more of a minigame than a game, with so many flaws and cost quite a lot for its kind. The game has twenty five different games within it and some other unlockable games in it as well. The game as well has many other bad things in it. Talk of the boring graphics and most of the games are either too short or suffer control problems. The game is principally full of problems. These games are Carnival games.

Here Carnivals roar and yell at the would-be suckers trying to get them to win a prize that will cost a few dollars. The game costs $40 which is way too much for such like games, as much as they are many in one, they are not fun. You will encounter games that are too easy or some that are too broken to be real. When you win in the game, you are rewarded with some virtual toys.

This is a classic carnie scam, just to get your money. The games range from skeeball, knocking over milk containers to target shooting. All the games use the Wii control. The common and major problem with all these games is that after a few minutes into the game you get bored, there is no fun in playing the games. Some of these games are so easy such that you have to be daft to fail them. At the same time some of the games like the Football toss do not feel right at all, the controls feel quite dodgy and you cannot have a consistent play using them. Other games do not have a strategy at all like the Lucky cups; you will rely on fate so as to win this game.

There are a few games that you can play a number of times but they are quite few. The prize you get for completing the games are some ridiculous animals and jewelry that comes in all sizes; large medium or large varieties. These prizes can be used to play some stupid side-games like a fortune teller, and love tester. The uniqueness of these runs out so fast almost immediately.

Everything about Carnival Games feels dull, from the presentation, the game to the soundtracks. Maybe the producers were on a tight budget but whichever the case, the game looks quite awful. When you create some limbless people, I bet the game was inspired by Miis or the producers expected the game to use them. Customization is quite limited here and the people you make loo stoned. You can give the people hats, funny shoes and some other trivial items to try to make them look weird. All in all, it beat anyone’s understanding why such a game should cost such an amount, with all the setbacks and little to offer the player.

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Posted:
2011-01-22

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

7.7

Hot Wheels has long been here since and has continued to be a source of extreme fun over the years for many kids, especially for those who are big on collecting stuff. A lot has changed, of course and the Hot Wheels that some of the kids still play with (or collect) these days are all high-tech, battery powered versions. Now, THQ has just provided another era for Hot Wheels – a surprisingly competent game despite its being created basically for young gamers. The Need for Speed series better watch the road; Hot Wheels is hot on their trail.

Hot Wheels is so much alike the Trackmania; players have to pick their own cars from a selection of 32 diverse vehicles in various track settings. The tracks consist of amazing gravity-defying loops coupled with treacherous hazards that spring at you out of nowhere; plus there are a number of extremely dicey corners. These all make the game such a thrilling fun. If and when you finish the tracks you can unlock treasures that may be useful for further pursuits in the game.

The most fun part for me, however, is the enormous heap of Hot Wheels pieces provided by the built-in track designer. I can just construct any fantastic circuit that comes to mind. That’s right, mate, you can build your own fantasy tracks – any number of tracks, in fact – that you fancy. Here’s where it gets quite challenging to the game’s targeted market, which are obviously the younger gamers. The designer is simple enough, so the challenge is really in letting your creativity juice flow to come up with magnificent results (and it can churn out some really terrific ones, mind you) – with layouts that are as spine-tingling as you want to make them; heck, you can have it as precipitous as you like, defying gravity to the max!

Another nice touch is how kids can customize their own vehicle, which gives them a sense of creating something uniquely their own that they can flaunt and show off to friends and opponents later. Not just show, actually. The game has thoughtfully thrown in a split screen action that allows kids to create a track where they can later challenge their mates to a race – imagine…your self-created car and track against that of the other kids’ on a head to head competition! The only limitation here is that, unlike in Trackmania, you can’t tweak individual settings to its full extent.

The graphics of the game is definitely just suitable for the Wii platform, so don’t expect too much in terms of realism; no real light or shades or super accurate depictions of the cars. You just have to rely on your own Hot Wheels knowledge to identify some of the cars, which most of the time, you really can recognize in spite of the inaccuracies. They have included quite a range of the classic ones like the dragster type machines that I recognized as among those I so yearned when I was kid. Unbelievable!

The races are so competitive there’s only one way to win it – surpass your opponents in every way possible. The concept of a Super Mario Kart style tilt controls are used to power up your speed. You can also use the bonuses to propel you at super high speed. Unfortunately, it’s very tempting for players to likewise engage in dirty tactics to nudge a competition off the game; that’s how extremely competitive it is.

Thank goodness to the well designed graphics and concept, the game provides a different ambiance to the world of Hot Wheels. The game has honest-to-goodness values that make it one superb release.

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Posted:
2011-01-23

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

6.5

Though you do not win any cash prize, the feel of the game is just exhilarating. Spin that wheel and hope to bag the cash prize. Do not forget to avoid getting bankrupt for all the money you saved will be taken away. Albeit a game of chance as we all know it, Wheel of Fortune needs a lot of your neurons working to solve that mystery phrase and move on to the next round.

Playing it on Wii is simple. Holding the B button down and flicking it to the left spins the wheel. By using the infamous Wii pointer, you can choose the letters you wanted. Guessing it correctly gives you a chance to spin again, otherwise, your opponent is up for his/her turn to spin. The game moves on only after you or the opponent solves the puzzle.

The huge number of the game’s puzzles is fairly well-placed; although there are some annoying instances when you get stuck in delivering your answers. The diversity of the puzzle subjects that obviously reaches to eight thousand or so is certainly a welcome feature. With the level of challenge involved, you’d soon realize that you need more than just luck to win the game – you have to somehow have the skill to get to the final placement.

Toss Up rounds are also pretty cool. Words appear randomly on the screen and buzz in right away if you are sure with your answer. Though not found in the real TV show, a number of mini games during “commercial break” are also available – basically the typical Wheel of Fortune related trivia, but is quite a welcome distraction.

Except for the exaggerated visuals of Pat Sajak and Vanna White who appear in the game, the Wheel of Fortune visual aspect is actually very well-presented, with as much personality as other Buzz games have, plus with a lot more cheerful colors in its palette. The fast nature of the game with its constant forward motion makes it as charming as this type of quaint game comes. The sound quality indicates a remarkably clear understanding of the game’s central demographic.

Playing it solo is okay but not recommended. It is not as enjoyable as playing it with family and friends. A reasonably priced yet entertaining game, Wheel of Fortune can truly make family reunions or even small gathering of friends much more exciting and fun, despite the absence of genuinely distinguishing features. In a manner of speaking, Wheel of Fortune on Wii is worth adding to the family treasure.

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Posted:
2013-08-18

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

3DS

6.7

The Adventures of Tintin: The Game is a 2011 action-adventure, platforming video game based on the film The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, which is also based on the series that preceded it. The game was developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and later published by Ubisoft.

In The Adventures of Tintin: The Game you can experience action and adventure while investigating a mystery that may ultimately lead to an immense underwater treasure. The journey proves to be difficult and requires teaming up with the smart witted canine Snowy and the crotchety Captain Haddock, in an attempt to outsmart grasping greedy art collectors, insane arms dealers, and sundry crooks to discover the truth which lies behind the Secret of the Unicorn ship.

Designed to tie-in with the Spielberg movie, The Adventures of Tintin on the 3DS is a fast paced, engaging game featuring one the world's most followed comic book heros, Tintin, his lovable floppy dog, Snowy and sometimes sober, Captain Haddock. As in the comics books by Herge, Tintin is a newspaper reporter always on the ball looking for an exciting scoop. This one starts when Tintin buys a model ship called the Unicorn, the mast of which Snowy accidentally breaks to reveal a piece of paper hidden inside, a clue to the whereabouts of an enormous treasure. Thus, the adventure begins.

As Tintin, Snowy and Captain Haddock, search for one of the world's greatest underwater treasures, they encounter a host of villains including; art collectors (who knew?), arms dealers (goes with the territory) and assortment of other dastardly crooks. It's fun because it's not just all sword fights. Its got race elements, puzzles, and of course the engaging background story of Tintin to discover. It comes with more than 20 hours of possible gameplay, and it take you to some exotic locations such as the city of Bagghar and the Sahara Desert.

This is a single or double-player game with 20 different globally scattered environments. The platform of the 3DS lends itself well to the game. In 3D the graphics are visually fun and at times really quite stunning. The puzzles (although simpler than the Wii versions) are challenging enough to give your child some mental exercise. There is also some additional material included as well, such as the fun and helpful Haddock's dreams. You can also play in the present or the past which gives the game an interesting spin. There is a real story here and fans of the book are certainly going to become fans of the game.

Pros

Story is portrayed like the original comic book, so Tintin and his cohorts only speak through a bubble above their heads. Additional characters are unlocked as you move through the story. You can compete against AI in challenge mode.

Cons

The 3DS games does NOT work in the plain DS platform, you will need a 3DS to operate this game. It also helps to know the movie to figure out what's going to happen next. The action gets monotonous after a while due to some repetition. This game was clearly designed with kids in mind so I was not expecting a plethora of problem solving. That's not to say adults won't have fun piloting a bi-plane as Tintin, but for the most part kids will probably get the most enjoyment and righty so.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Game on the 3DS is a worthy title which is geared towards the younger generation, or younger generation at heart, it has appeal, good graphics, good storyline and is well worth a dabble. There are plenty of forums on line that offer hints, cheats and walkthroughs if you need it, and finally the challenging aspect of the game is enough to keep you engaged, but not frustrating enough to warrant giving up.

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Posted:
2013-08-18

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

3DS

5.9

In Zoo Resort 3D for the 3DS, the player gets to build a world-class zoo destination by first choosing your animals, hiring staff and entertaining visitors with your animal’s talents. There are over 100 realistic 3D animals to collect and discover to bring to your zoo to life, from penguins, lions and elephants to even extinct animals, each with lifelike movements and noises.

Looking at the outside of the box of Zoo Resort 3D on the 3DS, many people may get the impression or think it is just a zoo management simulation game, but the actual mechanics of the game may portray this, the game is far from your typical management simulator but does adopt elements from this genre type.

The player starts the game by inheriting a small run down zoo that is in need of much work to make it a viable business, as the player and the new owner of the zoo, the player must bring in many more animals, put on entertainment and facilities and even create an online blog to promote it. The narrative is easy to follow and serves as a guide for the player to manage the zoo and make improvements as he sees fit and proper. Or to put it another way, the player main objective is to increase the overall size of the business in whatever way he/she sees fit, which would obviously benefit the overall business moving forward.

Players are given just one elephant and a zoo full of empty enclosures awaiting to be packed out with various animals as the game plays out. The animals must be placed in the existing pre-built enclosures and there is no facility to make changes to the layout of the zoo which is a shame. The tutorial will guide and advise the player on expanding the zoo by buying more animals, caring for them and breeding other animals from them. The open interface guide is simple to use and incredibly well designed with no misleading information which is a refreshing change. More so because I expected the same old routine after reading the storyline, very little scope and imagination, typical story being like other titles, you inherit a zoo, or farm, shop, it would have been nice to have a storyline that was thought out, rather than hashing of old games with similar themes.

Most of the player's time is spent gaining the trust of the animals, learning all about their character and moods and presenting them to the visitors. Feeding the animals is a great time for making friends with the animals and an easy way to lure them to where you want them to go. Photographing the animals in different lighting situations, while they are eating or just moving around will give the player plenty of content to post on their in game blog. Using the Circle Pad and the Y button or the 3DS gyroscopic controls the player can zoom in or out for better pictures or swing the camera to locate an animal for a perfect shot.

Points are earned as the number of visitors increase and the bonding experience gets closer. Food is unlocked so players can feed the animals and new animals can be bought with points. Challenges will give the player more rewards and if the player loves photography then the game will keep the player entertained for hours.

Overall, Zoo Resort 3D for the 3DS doesn’t really offer anything different to other titles which give the player to option to manage things, perhaps that Is a good thing, I suppose the old saying is, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.

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Posted:
2013-08-18

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

8.8

Battlefield 3 is the first "core" Battlefield game to show up on the PS3, and EA certainly made sure to push this fact as hard as they possibly could. But is Battlefield 3 demonstrably better than the Battlefield Bad Company games were, or is it simply just another, albeit slightly better version of the same game?

One of the things that the Bad Company series was often praised for was its campaign. In a series that had always had an entirely multiplayer focus, the Bad Company games created a humorous off color group of soldiers that were relatable and interesting, something not seen all that often in your run of the mill modern military shooter. However, Battlefield 3 throws all of this good will out the window by creating a campaign that is utterly generic. More importantly for its genre, the campaign only has one memorable set piece, even as it constantly attempts to create them.

But alas, it is a Battlefield game, and if we're realistic no one comes into it looking for a high quality single player experience. The multiplayer gameplay of Battlefield 3 pulls heavily from the entire back catalog of the series, but it pulls most of its mechanics from Bad Company and Bad Company 2. Both Rush (originally from Bad Company) and Conquest (the original battlefield game mode) make a return in Battlefield 3, with a maximum of 24 players on each map.

Compared to the last Bad Company 2, the multiplayer class system has seen some minor changes. For starters, the assault and medic classes have been merged, eliminating the light machine gun toting medic from Bad Company 2. In addition it has been made much more difficult for snipers thanks to the scope that now realistically sways back and forth, and can glint in the sun, revealing their position.

Perhaps the biggest problem that has emerged with Battlefield 3 has gone on is DICE's tendency to continuously try and make the game more like Call of Duty. One pack of DLC in particular contains a number of extremely tight maps for team deathmatch. Most Battlefield players play the game because they love the enormous maps and the strategic gameplay, so to introduce Call of Duty style gameplay seems completely pointless. Hopefully, the Battlefield franchise continues to be an interesting, seperate thing from Call of Duty, but at the end of the day, profit is king.

With Battlefield 3, I really wish I could write two separate reviews. The single player campaign is an aggressively mediocre military shooter that has very few redeeming qualities, while the multiplayer is a welcome change of pace in this world chock full of Call of Duty clones. Just be sure that as EA tries to steer the game towards competing with call of duty, which they see as a far more profitable position, vote with your dollar, and perhaps we won't have to have this same conversation when it comes time for the release of Battlefield 4.


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