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Posted:
2010-05-06

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.2

To start off, let me specify my personal computer specs: Pentium 3.0 GHz processor, 2GB RAM and an ATI Raedeon X 850 with 256MB RAM. You might be wondering why; but this is very crucial to the observations below.

Flight Simulator X comes in 2 DVDs and is huge in terms of system requirements! It takes a solid 30 minutes to install it and once finished, there’s a few minutes of waiting before the menu finally show on screen. Apparently, Microsoft has programmed a code to optimize the Flight Simulator X’s settings in your computer. And after the screen has appeared there is a menu that looks like Flight Simulator 9, along with a sweeping music score straight from an Indiana Jones movie.

The Deluxe Edition includes 24 planes you can choose from. When you have chosen and your selection has loaded, you then see a cockpit. The game default places you in a virtual cockpit; however, you may still choose the 2D instrument view. The controls are rather simple, save for the frame rate. At this point, you may set your settings at medium-low. There is a chase plane view by pressing the S key – this view allows you to see outside the plane and the surroundings.

Next, you get a clearance from the Air Traffic Control to taxi into an active runway. The frame rate at this stage still isn’t good. I discovered that minimizing the graphic settings can improve this issue a little, but it’s still worse compared to FS9. And on this note, let me emphasize that FS9 runs on the highest settings in the PC I just described earlier, with no problem whatsoever when it comes to frame rates. This is why I still have my FS9 multiple third party add-on packs installed, to enhance several features such as weather, the cockpit, and other AI planes.

Much to my disappointment – and most likely yours, too when you get your hands on it – the so-called “new” graphics is not at all new but just the same as in FS9. There was nothing substantial that added or improved on the planes. Some changes are mostly on the effects, such as the cloud features and the water effects.

It occurred to me, though that this is probably because I have the settings in minimum; but that’s the only viable option. I have noted that if I set it at Ultra-high, the game turns into a slide show presentation. The minimum setting is the only way I can play the game on the PC that I have.

But I decided not to give up on FS X – yet; and still give it a chance. I went off to try missions. There are more than 50 missions in the game which includes rescue missions and cargo runs. Twenty of the 50 are beginner missions, 14 intermediate, 10 advanced and 7 for experts. The missions sound fun. And there are unique challenges that make the most seasoned pilot sweat. I have to warn you, when doing the missions, the frame rate still interferes.

So here’s the verdict for FS X. If you have a PC that is only at par with what I have described earlier, this is not a recommended game for you. The frame rate is going to be a real problem; and expect the graphics to be dull. I would recommend that you try FS 9: A Century of Flight, instead. For those who have high end PCs, however, install the game and play to your hearts’ content. The game’s strength lies on its mission and on the graphics when in ultra high settings.

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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 videogame that will take you to the Wild West. Developed by Rockstar, the name behind one of the most popular videogames GTA, Red Dead Redemption offers a quality that has been associated to the trademark of this game developer. From dialogue to presentation, the game approaches every gamer with enthusiasm and excitement.

The storyline of Red Dead Redemption puts you in the character of John Marston, a former outlaw who has travelled 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.

Red Dead Redemption is a striking game with its fantastic concentration to detail. Its attention to color is also excellent. 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:
2010-04-23

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.8

If you have been addicted to video games since the 90s, you’ve probably developed an addiction to the Super Mario Bros. It’s one of those first few games that people used to play on older game consoles. It has also proved to be very addictive to children and adults alike.

The popularity of the Super Mario Bros. game has now gone several levels higher with new versions of the game in more modern game consoles. It is unquestionably a forever part of the history of video games.

The newest Super Mario game called New Super Mario Bros released for use in Nintendo DS is beyond doubt something special. It remains true to its roots depicting Mario’s side-scrolling environments, with almost the same but more enhanced look and feel; and even a gameplay that has an unbelievably classic touch to it. There are new elements that add up to the game making the game even more fun.

It’s the first time in 15 years that a new Super Mario game has been classically designed. New Super Mario Bros. features stunning 3D graphics in a 2D gameplay. Although this new version offers a variety of superb changes in the game to fans and gamers; almost all of the original elements remain intact. The main plot and central goal of the game is … you guessed right – To SAVE THE PRINCESS!

This game doesn’t have much of plus points for its story, as the original concept, which is Mario going up levels to the challenge of making it to the castle, collecting coins, defeating Koopas, Goombas, and all other oddly-named monsters of Mushroom Kingdom, is still basically the same. If you have played the original before, you surely need a refresher because this game in Nintendo DS is just about the same except for some breezy twists. It is a remarkable super sequel to the original.

It actually took more than a decade to develop the Mario mechanics in the side-scrolling design. The dilemma was, how could the company further go without wandering from the existing formula of run/jump/bounce and without ending up in a game that is not-so-Mario? Fortunately for the creators, they were able to successfully and beautifully do the innovation without departing from the original concept.

There are a number of areas which made it quite ideal to produce the new Super Mario game on Nintendo DS. For one, the market of hand held game consoles is more open to game designs like the side-scrolling action games. And two, Nintendo DS has more horsepower under its console than the system of Game Boy Advance. The advancements of the gameplay is more likely brought by the capabilities of the Nintendo DS processor and not the system’s more unique elements.

the presentation of the game is terrific and really well-designed, overall. The only disappointment is that the extras found in the game are recycled mini-games from the Super Mario 64 DS. Other than that, fans and gamers can count on pure delight and enjoyment of the game’s presentation. The graphics of the game are also quite awe inspiring. The really slick hybrid 2D/3D engine enables level designers to have some splendid effects and gameplay elements.

These are stuff that weren’t really possible way back in 2D days. The sound is also exquisite. There is of course the unforgettable, very famous Classic Mario soundtrack that goes with each level and with Mario’s voice now more enhanced in each level; there really isn’t any reason to complain. So you ask, and the gameplay? Well, there’s no doubt about it; you have to be exceedingly picky not to give it an excellent rating.

Indeed, Super Mario will forever be remembered in the video gaming world. It’s one of those games that remain original yet offer fun that is at par with the challenges of the newer hybrids in the video-gaming world.

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Posted:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.1

Need for Speed is one of the best and well-embraced racing games of all time. It gives you that adrenaline rush of how it is to be in front of a wheel, driving at a high speed while dodging other cars along the way. Coming from a very successful line, this PSP version falls quite short when compared to its console counterpart but still remains to be relatively better when compared with other portable racing games.

The PSP version still has that arcade feel to it, but minus the customization part this time. The only thing you could alter or change in your car is its color. Thus, all you have to do is just race, beat your competitors, and eventually try to win the race. Maybe they took into consideration the fact that most PSP players just focus on actually playing the game rather than making all those adjustments.

Without all those adjustments or upgrades available for your car, what is there to look forward to after each race then? Luckily, you get to drive different cars; a selection so wide, there are just enough cars to choose from to suit different types of players. But don’t get too keyed up just yet. You just can’t choose which car to drive from at the start. You still have to earn them by unlocking each one whenever you finish a race or when you beat other players in a game.

The game also loses the ability for the player to manually change gears. Instead, cars are set to automatic, taking away the thrill of how it is to actually change gears. Some may think it’s cool but many are of the opinion that it’s a total bust since you are just left with simply stepping on the gas and waiting until it actually climbs up speed. Since it automatically changes gear, it frequently fails to do so and you just notice that the car you’re driving is running low on revs.

The graphics aren’t that bad. There are some places indicating well-thought of locations; others are just downright dull and simply boring. In addition, when you make your way to the city, it doesn’t feel and look as though it is a city. For example, there aren’t much people you could see. And if you could spot a couple, they look kind of weird and just seem to just blend in the crowd instead of popping out.

Its audio however rivals those of its counterparts. Sound effects are placed just right and quite accurately at that. The screeching of the wheels, the changing of the gears, as well as the crashes, all of them sound pretty close to the real thing. The soundtrack of the game is also a good one. It offers you a wide variety of music unlike other racing games that only offer a couple at most, which can get pretty annoying with its repetitious playing.

The PSP version might not be the best among the Need for Speed games; but at least in this game you get to live the experience of driving the best cars in the world, in places you’ve never been to before.

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Posted:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.6

People do often say that the greatest ideas are also the simplest. When Nintendo unveiled the four-player mode of the New Super Mario Bros. on Wii, people thought that Nintendo has already lost its creative juices. But now that the New Super Mario Bros. is already here, it’s hard to think that the new mode is a downgrade of the legendary game.

The original Super Mario game has a formula that is so easy to understand that its very simplicity became its charisma in the video gaming industry. You just run make left and right turns, and jump until you reach the new level. That’s it. There are no sophisticated moves or weapons. Just try one level, do the same moves over and over; and you’d probably get the whole trick. Amazingly, it appears to be the charm that has made the game quite famous to date.

This new Super Mario game on Wii reiterates the same Super Mario world vibe. It has playful ingenuity, lumpy environmental hazards, and power-ups that have been refined almost perfectly. This new Super Mario game might not be totally original but much of the game remains familiar to gamers who have played previous classic games by Nintendo. This new game is infused with Nintendo’s trademark of excellence in design, using the traditional Mario figures and giving it a new twist.

Mario has new abilities in this game that have very significant improvements from the DS game’s largely superficial inclusions. Here, the propeller outfit and penguin suit play a vital part in the game. These two can grant you abilities that will be to your advantage when used wisely. You can zip over troublesome areas, freeze enemies to become ice cubes and use them to defeat multiple enemies or have better maneuverability underwater.

Also one of the game’s favorite characters, Yoshi is back, too! It adds up to the game being skillfully designed; and has remained as family-friendly as ever. Nintendo might be pushing the multiplayer focus on Wii; but it is absolutely a bona fide Mario platform, whether played alone or in groups.

Speaking of the new multiplayer mode, it is also unquestionably fun. You can have a full group of friends play with you in either story-mode or multiplayer-specific extras, New Super Mario have become thoroughly compulsive with its chaos that is hilariously slapdash. What makes it an incredible game is its lack of enforced objectives. The game is not competitive and not even cooperative. The main goal is, to reach the end. This alone makes the New Super Mario Bros. a superb, relaxing, undemanding game to play.

The overall presentation is stunning, to put it modestly. Nintendo has polished it flawlessly this time. The graphics also look astounding. It may not be the best but the combination of 2D and 3D graphics works so faultlessly. The audio and sound effects also accompany and complement the game so well. With familiar ditties and new arrangements, players will no doubt have the most enjoyable fun time with the game. I bet you’re toying with the question, “And the gameplay?” Awesome! Though it remains true to its roots, it doesn’t detract from working perfectly and giving players pure, unadulterated fun.

Sure, Super Mario might come as quite too familiar. A new game with the same good ol’mechanics might not wow us to the extreme. The thing is, it’s a Nintendo classic, with new twists, enhanced appearance and much improved features - and that says a lot!

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Posted:
2010-04-27

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.6

God of War is probably one of the best fantasy games Sony has ever produced. Ask any game player about the game and they will probably give you not just a brief description but a very detailed one at that. Some may even give you a couple of tips. Give any new detail or development about Kratos and it becomes an instant Internet sensation. No doubt this game has a lot of loyal fans and the legion just keeps getting bigger by the day.

The God of War Collection is a collection of the two previous God of War games available in Play Station 3. Both were equally good games and to have them played side by side is really cool. The stories have not been altered which I believe is really brilliant on the part of Sony since altering it would have ruined the whole game and most like leave a lot of people quite upset with such change. This is a very good example of predictive maintenance or what the old school would describe as, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And since the stories work pretty well, Sony is quite smart in its decision to leave them be.

With no change whatsoever in terms of the game flow, there isn’t much to say about the gameplay but that it is similar to the previous ones. Even if it was released a couple of years back, the experience of playing would still have been as unparalleled as today. The game still remains to be at the top of the pack even after a long span of time and no matter how many times you’ve finished it, you still won’t get bored with doing it all over again. It’s like an addiction – the good kind, of course.

One good thing about releasing this game in PS3 is that you get to experience playing it in high definition. The players look better, the places look more natural, and the whole feel is just breathtaking. During battles, the characters are more responsive to controls and game lags are hardly experienced even when there are a lot of onscreen goings-on. If you’ve played the previous versions then you will most definitely love this improvement.

There are still some minor flaws already encountered in the past that stick with the new release. There are a couple of frames with some shaky camera movements and awkward camera positions. Also, there are collision problems that undeniably need some polishing. However, these are just minor setbacks which hardly make any difference to the overall quality of the game.

If you haven’t played any of the God of War games then this is the perfect opportunity to do so. If you had, then here’s a chance to relive the whole experience one more time. Whatever reason you may have for buying or playing this game, the satisfaction it brings about till the very end is absolutely worth your while. This is a must-have collection you shouldn’t ignore. Grab the opportunity now and start playing God of Wars.

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Posted:
2010-04-27

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

7.6

Singing is a great way of expressing oneself and one’s emotions. You can do it anywhere, anytime you feel like it. But for those who love to sound like pros with the music and on the microphones, you can now do karaoke in your own living rooms with your very own Xbox 360 console. The karaoke game Lips was released last 2008 and was the predecessor of Lips: Number One Hits; which let you do what you probably love the most - sing. Now, the second installment is released for the same Xbox 360 console karaoke game; and is called Lips: Party Classics. This second song pack contains 40 famous, well-played songs that many people love and are already familiar with.

This game is just an add-on which means you don’t have to buy new accessories (like the microphones); although if you feel like buying new accessories, it may interest you to know that there is also a new innovation on Lips microphones. These innovative accessories now come as wireless gadgets with some simple motion-sensing features that allow you to do moves like tapping on a tambourine, and the game kind of automatically recognizes your moves; thus making appropriate sounds.

This game has basically the same feature as its predecessor with the single player mode that has a ranking system for players; and the multiplayer mode that features a competition mode or a co-op mode with an add-on of three mini-games. This is a fun game for those who aren’t too competitive because there is no score that says you fail at singing, which could get you pretty much discouraged. The scores are essentially for hitting the notes right; if you can’t hit the high notes, then you get lower scores and vice versa. The motivation comes from endless number of awards you can get and the idea of elevating your rank when you sing the songs right.

Being attached to an Xbox Live allows you to correlate your standing with other singers in the Lips community. You can also buy new tracks to enhance your song list. The Party Classics edition also sport some upgrades like the ability to create your own playlist for convenience.

The modes have been altered, too. The jukebox mode is gone but there is a freestyle mode that lets you coordinate songs from external devices like the Apple iPod. This allows you to sing new songs without necessarily buying new tracks.
Alright, it’s not a perfect world, so even a seemingly perfect game comes with some snags. Since there are different installments and different CDs, jumping from one track to another can be inconvenient when songs are not in the same song pack. Players have to change CDs, which is really a waste of time. But it’s not really a big deal if you really love to belch it out.

For singers and aspiring singers; professionals or amateurs; young and old and just about everyone out there who could and would like to sing, practice and bond with family and friends, Lips: Party Classics is absolutely a great game to enjoy with your original Lips Karaoke Game. When it comes to singing, this game can definitely deliver.

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Posted:
2010-12-14

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

7.3

As the title says, this game is all about hunting monsters; there’s not much of a storyline, so don't expect one. Seriously, the storyline is non existent, but don't get me wrong the game is epic. You also get to play cooperative games. You will be experiencing quests, rewards, weapons, and crafts. You may get to think that this is an all adventure game but it has added extras like farming and animal culture. In other words, the game is somehow confusingly fun.

The farming part is very good, it gives you a lot of work to do which will keep you busy and prevent you from getting bored. You can also be playing cooperative with friends which is very enjoyable to do. But when you get to the part where you need to hunt down the monsters, this is where the action is. You will be doing fighting, combats and battles. But before you get in the hunting part, training will first be conducted. The things that you will be doing in the training are exactly what you will do in hunting part. So there really is sense of putting in the training part. Maybe this is just a way to lengthen the game. You will be going through quest and win over challenges like in every game. There are three quests that you need to get over; gathering, hunting and slaying. For the gathering quest, you will be getting herbs, mushrooms, or hides that can be collected from the flora and fauna of a given environment. In the hunting quest, you will be after a beast. And in the slaying quest, you will be killing several enemies. These will all have different challenges that you need to win over.

The graphics of the game is good. The audio and voice acting are also good. The presentation and plot are somehow misleading as you might get lost in the game if you really do not follow from scene to scene. The game play is a bit different but the difficulty and challenges are common. However, the farming and cooperative scenes are good and impressive.

All in all, Monster Hunter Freedom is fun and at the same time confusing, you really cannot identify the connection from hunting down to farming. But still, this is a good game to play especially with friends. The cooperative play is the best part of the game. If you love farming, you can just stay in the part where you will be dealing with the farm. It is still unique and gives us a fresher way to play games on your PSP. I have to repeat that you really NEED to play it with friends though; it is really at its best when enjoyed with your mates!

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Posted:
2013-08-15

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.6

The latest edition of FIFA 2010 World Cup is now making its way to Wii. The game has invested much on colorful characters and models, with wonderful on pitch player physics and some out of this world slow-mo effects. It really emphasizes the all important cool and awesome effect to gamers.

The game play is still old school with only eight directions available for movement. Anyone can figure out how the game is played. And the best feature that they have added is the momentum meter. The effectiveness is determined by the meter. As you work up the ball on the field to a better position, the meter goes up; and the higher the meter the better shot you have on the goal. If the meter is half full, and then you make a strike on the ball, you acquire a fantastic Ala-Matrix slow-mo effect. As one may observe, the gameplay is easy. FIFA 10 on Wii is a very good game for those who want to have that old school arcade-style fun.

And parallel to the gameplay, the graphics are also kid friendly. Bright colors are found everywhere and the player models look cartoon like. But many would probably prefer to have some realistic look incorporated to the game. Adaptability in the animations would have been a great addition.

But alongside these very appealing and attractive features, the game also has flaws and disappointments. First, the cool effect of the slow-mo is only good the first few times you see it. Afterwards, it gets a little boring. Moreover, the momentum builder can easily be used every time a team makes it across three fourths of the field. It would have been better if the slow-mo feature is saved for really special shots. This way its novelty is not diminished and it is more fun for gamers when they attain such.

With regards to the gameplay, it is somewhat difficult to make effective runs; and it's even more difficult to turn the corner when somebody put up their defense against you. The creators of the game should have incorporated the 360 degree movement in FIFA 10 on PS3. Its absence is not beneficial to a good soccer game. Of course, it is understood that such feature can only be effective in high def visuals and is not possible on Wii, but there must be a way to make a player run a circle.

Another thing that bothers is the pass movements here are somewhat inaccurate. It's difficult to weave passes through the defense because you cannot properly determine the power of your pass via the controls. In the past, when you hold down the button, the power of the pass increases. However, holding the button down in this format results in a through ball. Often times, the player you want to pass the ball to do not detect it. Thus, the AI of the entire team should also be considered as subject for improvement.

The main thing to remember is that FIFA 10 is made especially to cater to hardcore gamers that want the game to be as close as reality. The target market for the game is those that want to have fun, arcade style! - the type of game that people play with their family and friends; not caring about the details. All that matters is the gun the game offers. The most important thing to them is FUN, FUN, and FUN!

FIFA 10 World Cup is recommended to this type of people or group. And those that want the real thing must we wary of the above sighted observations in the game.


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