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The Mario franchise has been in the market for a long time now. We have seen different genres where Mario was in but what seems to be common to each is the core gameplay. Each Mario might be unique in itself but you cannot take away the fact that each one also has similarity to the rest, one way or another. What simply vary as time goes by are the graphics and mechanics of the game.
Can you imagine how primitive the other Mario games appear when placed side by side to Galaxy? Super Mario Galaxy raises the bar relatively high enough that its concept alone put other games to shame. When you play the game, you instantly notice how well the game was designed. It somehow even brings both nerds and game fanatics together since it makes use of a lot of physics to bring the game to life.
Each level in the game is worth playing and nothing seems to be considered as an “add-on level” just to make the game longer. There is so much variety in the game that you never get bored playing it, considering the fact that you have to accomplish quite a number of tasks before you can proceed to the next level. The standards might have increased in a sense that you have to collect more stars this time around but it’s never a problem when you play the game.
Do you remember the first time you ever got your first Nintendo game? Well, Galaxy gives you that same ol’ feel. Because of the countless things you can do with Mario, you begin to be very protective of him and simply keep him to yourself. Well, that definitely doesn’t pose much of a problem since the game is very weak in terms of multiplayer. The second player is very limited in the things he could do and even look kind of dumb at times.
The graphics and sound of this game are also topnotch. They even combine so well that it makes the whole gaming experience really unforgettable. It can even be said that the graphics in this game is one of the best in its era and can compete with games ahead of its time. You are immersed in a different world … a world that seems to be very real because of the details in it.
But like everything else, there is no such thing as a perfect game. Every game has a glitch here and there. Super Mario Galaxy might have imperfections but it doesn’t hurt the game in any way. These are just minor things and are forgivable. In fact, the defects can be cured by constantly playing the game since the more you play the game the easier it becomes to use the controls.
It is safe to say that Super Mario Galaxy is the best game ever made by Nintendo and one of the best games of its time. When you play this game, expect to be blown away with the whole gaming experience.
If you have been hooked for some time to the ever amazing adventure experience from playing the Age of Empires III, then the new expansion pack of the game will absolutely fill you with utmost excitement. The new expansion pack which don the title Asian Dynasties, adds three new Asian Civilizations, packed with new units and buildings and a campaign that rests on five missions. The new expansion still maintains the amazing unit balance and stunning presentation that the game has been known for. There’s a catch, though. The new Asian Civilizations might be exciting, but it seems to be lacking in drama and variation that fans may have hoped to see in the game.
Asian Dynasties seems to move away from the fictional approach of the campaigns prior to the release of this expansion. Asian Dynasties adapts a more historical approach. Still, the fictional characters found in the campaigns provided the designers a leeway to recount a very unique story within a solid historical background. The Japanese campaign incorporates historical events such as Tokugawa’s efforts in uniting Japan. Given that, you will then be able to witness a mutiny in the Chinese navy as the Treasure Fleet travels from India towards the New World. Finally, the Indian campaign players are given the responsibility of handling a British office, which is in the limelight and will later decide whether to aid India in their independence or not.
Asian Dynasties boasts of charms in the likes of finding and securing beached treasure ships; or elephants gone on a stampede throughout the enemy towns. In general, the missions require players to seize and handle trading posts, ruin town centers of the enemies, and keep your own structures from the attacks of the enemies. Throughout the game, the best missions come moving back and forth between objectives giving players the right to choose on how they tackle each different scenario.
The apparent disappointment though is that there are only a handful of scenarios instead of the wide range that the players probably anticipated. More often than not, an option regarding the path you take towards the enemy base is a choice between “right” and “wrong”. A lot of the missions actually give the players some decision-making in determining the order on how they tackle secondary objectives but in almost all campaigns, this installment feels a little bit more linear than they had been in previous versions.
And for those who are big fans of sea battles, it is sad to note this is another disappointing area, as there is a definite lack of emphasis in the sea battles in the expansion. The Chinese Treasure Fleet and the British East India Company are being featured in the game but even that seems to be a letdown considering the fact that generating war in the seas is not emphasized here.
But can still expect cool units within the Asian armies like the samurai, firework rockets, and howdahs. The developer, Big Huge Games, positively captures the taste of combat very nicely with a very extensive range of colorful units that give out enough significant advantages to encourage the players to have a versatile army.
Indeed, Asian Dynasties is a great addition to the Age of Empires franchise. Besides the features already mentioned, it is packed with exciting combats, and even hints of history that will make fans of the franchise investigate more. Though this may not be as exhilarating as Age of Empires III or as historically grounded as Age of Empires II, it definitely is a great game that keeps in great action.
One game comes along and leaves a mark in the gaming world. The game that has so far achieved that kind impact is the World of Warcraft. It has changed the way multiplayer should be played. Every person from every walk of life can relate to this game and enjoy it in the process. The developers have made this game so entertaining that to date; it still remains to be at the top of its game.
With the rise of numerous multiplayer online games, World of Warcraft doesn’t look like it’s ready to give up its spot; and instead, continues to challenge these other games to a point where sometimes it just makes even more obvious the inferiority of other games.
World of Warcraft is one game that thrives on the success of similar themed games. They put their own spin on it eventually making it their own and most often than not, make it even better than the ones they based it from. WoW has everything you look for in a game. You get to fight different creatures, go on various missions, get the thrill of gaining experience to learn more skills, not to mention get to play with a huge number of other players. You are likely to try and expand your experience to have power over the rest of the pack leaving you playing for hours and hours. The more you play this game, the more you definitely get addicted to it.
The game is easily thought of “user-friendly” despite its being a complex game. Ironic isn’t it? But the game was drafted really well, making the players get the hang of things relatively fast. There aren’t any tutorials that show you how the game should be played. Rather, you have to figure this out for yourself and use whatever knowledge you get from playing again and again to your advantage. You also get good 3D graphics that allows you to play without too much interruption. Games are loaded really fast, taking away the whole boring waits that are present in other games. With all of these, you get a game that makes you just sit, play and care about nothing else but the game.
Aside from it being played in multiplayer, WoW also has a lot of quests that allow you a whole new different way of playing the game. The huge number of quests available is more than enough to keep a player busy. However, you can’t set out on just about any quest you want. You have to earn your way into being able to play it. This isn’t half as bad, though; at least it prepares you for the different types of quests rather than just unleash you on a mission you have no inkling how to finish.
The whole experience of playing this game is just so amazingly fantastic in almost every aspect. So before deciding to play this game, be sure that you have a lot of spare time since it will undoubtedly take a long period of time before you would want to stop playing.
World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade Expansion Pack is finally here, a full featured retail add-on for the popular game World of Warcraft has finally been released. Fans have waited for years and now it is already out. The release created buzzing feelings and emotions to the gaming world of WOW. The addition of two new races, starting places, new trade profession and plenty of new caves and dungeons to explore together with PVP options come with this new expansion of the World of Warcraft game. As the saying goes, first impressions last, the game is very impressive with the changes and additions presented by Blizzard.
The new races are the draenei and blood elf races. The game gives older players to make a start over and the new players get a resounding introduction to the game. Blood elves are the more famous between the two. The blood elves can play paladins being a horde type, which adds up to its being billed famous among the servers. However, the new class on the side of the alliance balances the feature of the blood elves. The draenei’s can play as shamans. Because of its newness, the balance of power could not yet be determined in raid groups. The Burning Crusade, in spite of its much awaited debut, falls short on the area of leveling up for Levels 20 to 60. The price is too high for players and many are quite contented with the only available level that their character can experience.
The addition of a new profession, jewelcrafting, also makes the players enjoy the experience of creating a variety of jewels. Together with mining, it presents and offers a good profession. Patterned from Diablo II, players can learn how to cut the jewels and put them in socketed weapons. Part of the challenge of this game is the patience that low level jewelers need to endure so that they can fully maximize their power. They need to undergo leveling up for their characters to improve.
The draenei and blood elf starting points are not so integrated with the existing land of Azeroth. Each area is a little less isolated and finding trainers requires extra work. There are NPC’s that are available in Azeroth and quests also let the new classes integrate with the previously existing ones.
Through years of experience, Blizzard managed to improve the player experience, especially the new races as it is more adept and advanced. Running on early levels lets the user enjoy the quests with its compelling story. It’s a wonderful ride for beginners as well as old players in this expansion set with the use of the new available races.
Level 60 players can now roam the Dark Portal in Blasted Lands and enter the new Outland areas of the game. The new zones provide new monsters, quests and capture areas as well as PVP-oriented gameplay. In fact, the game really provides enough balanced experience for players that are already in level 60 to reach level 70. The new feature of the game has multiple rewards that can motivate any player.
An example in the feature is to own three citadels in Hellfire. Players definitely have to engage in PVP’s to grab this kind of opportunity and experience this added feature. The addition of a wide range of flight paths and portals in Shattrath City lets the players enter and face the wild. The Outlands also offers players a chance to buy some flying mounts available only to level 70 players. In preserving the balance of the game, the flying options are only available in the Outlands and the training is also pricey.
The Outland zones provide a unique environment. From the forest of Zangarmarsh with its mushrooms to the Blade’s Edge, the golden lit land of Nagrand and to the twisted beauty of Netherstorm; these areas cater to players’ expectations on what the World Of Warcraft is like.
The Burning Crusade is performing very well. With the same issues such as lag and population considered, the overall play of the expansion set is great and stable. Despite the problems encountered that seem to recur all throughout the game Blizzard still provides a very good game. All in all you can absolutely enjoy the wonderful ride of the World Of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade.
Scribblenauts (Nintendo DS) Review: Living Up to Expectations Despite the Frustrations.
Are you intrigued by the thought of having a puzzle game that gives the player the ability to conjure up any object they can think of? Well, that's exactly what Scribblenauts guarantee their gamers. It is one of the rarest games Nintendo DS ever have. This game is incredibly stunning!
The concept of this game actually stirs up skepticism. You might think it is quite impossible to begin with. Scribblenauts is a 2D side-scrolling platform-like encounter. The whole idea is to use any item or material in the real world to solve a given situation in the game. The creators encourage players to invoke anything by writing it on the screen. However, you cannot use words that are vulgar and inappropriate for the game. Also, you cannot utilize words with trademarks, such as Superman, Batman, and other similar terms. No matter how vast a vocabulary you have, there are limitations to this game. As long as you type objects that are applicable and acceptable, you can make it exist in the game.
One of the most fantastic aspects of this game is that the items you have evoked take on their own distinct characteristics and behaviors. For example, if you conjure up a car, you can ride on it; if it is food, it can be eaten; and if it is a weapon it can be used to attack enemies, and so on. However, the big BUT is the player can only make use of all these conjured up objects through Maxwell, the game's player-controlled protagonist. You have to tell Maxwell everything. If you want to dig a hole, give the shovel to Maxwell and tell him to begin digging. If you want to drive around, tell Maxwell to jump in the car and start the engine. Get the drift?
Now, you would think controlling Maxwell is a piece of cake. Sure, if you use the D-pad and buttons. And this is where the first frustration sets in. The thing is you have to use taps on the control screen to control the little fellow. It is so much like those RTS games where the troops tend to do things on their own, even after you tell them what to do. It can be real confusing and frustrating when Maxwell can't seem to get things right!
You thought that this game is all about absurdity? Well, think again! This game implements a physics engine. If you have dropped multiple objects at the same time, and you find yourself losing sight of what happens next, you can either stack up all those items or throw them around in the surroundings.
After a well executed tutorial, you can start solving dozens and dozens of problems. The first part is pretty much basic. However, as each level is raised, the difficulty is also amplified; which implies the need to think seriously and logically.
The reason behind making it as 2D is probably to preserve the player's sanity and to fit all software into the DS cartridge. It does not only have its own unique concept on how to play the game; it also has its own unique graphic designs. Nintendo supports the Wi-Fi Connection. You can download new creations and upgrades through the Internet. If you want to pass that kind of method, you can still trade levels in the game without even using the internet.
As an interactive toy, the game is enormously fun despite the cumbersome controls. It's like a sandbox for players who enjoy mucking around outside the normal realms. The puzzles can be very challenging and can even encourage some outlandish thought processes. It's not far off to think that this franchise may soon have a sequel. Hopefully, when that happens, Maxwell gets a control upgrade, too.
Lego Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (Wii) Review – It’s Still a Great Misadventure Even Without Whiplash Restrictions.
The original LEGO Star Wars game was a uniquely created game. It provided a new and fun experience. Due to the success of the original game, the creators made similar games such as Batman and Indiana Jones. Now, its latest offerings include the sequel of Indiana Jones. However, the new game is more likely the same as other Lego games and the gameplay is more or less like the other LEGO titles. The character destroys everything that can be destroyed and collect the rewards.
In this edition, the most notable addition to the gameplay is the unrestrained usage of the whiplash already. In the first Indiana Jones game, the whiplash could only be used in a restrictive manner where you had to be near the target, for one. The Wii now allows you to use the whip your target whenever and wherever you need it; which gives you a wider spot, rather than a small or restricted area. The only limitation is you can only use it on specific characters in a certain level.
This new LEGO Indiana Jones 2 title put huge focus on the movie, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Surprisingly, the creators of this new game somehow ended up integrating the past movie editions of the Indiana Jones series. This created a mess as players are thrown into confusion on what really is happening; other things that are not part of any movie edition even happen inexplicably. Also, while all other LEGO games feature buying new characters and vehicles capabilities, that aspect does not exist in this new installment.
The story line of the game does not present any surprises and that makes the whole experience boring. The addition of bonus stages even fails to save it with the dismal approach that can really bore you to tears all throughout. Some parts of the games let you fight off enemies in bunches, but they’re not even particularly created not with combat in mind; you get the feeling that its sole purpose is only to make the game longer and the experience excessive.
The essence of having a single approach that focuses on a specific movie series of a certain movie to the game is gone in this new game. The game was not created in support of the Indiana Jones movie editions; it was then a destruction of the movie editions as it is put into a one single game that makes it confusing. The creators have forgotten the former aspects of the original game in this new game by now making the character purchasable. It is done through fighting enemies and acquiring them directly in a certain stage. It has contributed to lack of inventory and upgrades to the brick collected in the game. By reason of the integration, there some parts of the game that will eventually make you lost. It is already very hard to cope up with the storyline as it involves other storylines of other Indiana Jones movies as well.
A new thing introduced in the game is the level creator where you can create pre existing levels but it will never look good as to the original made by Traveller’s Tales. At first it would be exciting to create your own challenges but it will be for naught because there is no online connectivity for the game.
If you plan on buying this new game, my advice is to buy the original Indiana Jones game. with too many loopholes in this new game, any beginner would not be satisfied and would be asking for more.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior (PC DVD) Review – Meet Stealth, Your New Best Friend.
Can’t help falling in love with games that have guns from militaristic wars and battles? Can’t stop liking being on stealth or being on the front line in a battle? Then Sniper: Ghost Warrior is definitely the best game for you!
The Sniper is kind of misleading. In this game, you can either be the soldier who’s fighting on the front line or be the one lurking in the shadows and killing enemies with a single bullet on headshots. Yes, you can experience both in this game. Your character may be assigned to a fictional South American country; and from there, your main mission is to bring an end to the regime of a tyrannical dictator. You can alternately play the two characters on any given time. However, the game’s focus leans more on the sniper.
When playing the sniper, you need to disguise and blend yourself with your environment. Different missions are given to you, which mean you employ different styles and methods to carry out your objectives as a sniper. In some parts of the game, you are thrown in a jungle landscape set at night. You have to sneak from one spot to another and fish out some fully-equipped guards on the area. This is where the HUD mechanics gets interesting and being focused on the screen for vital info becomes essential. It is crucial that you keep constant awareness of the visibility meter at the bottom of your screen. Know that when the gauge is full, it means you’ve been uncovered and the enemy has seen you. You can expect to have an open fire battle. Also, be careful not to expose dead guards’ bodies to their comrades. It may lead to a panic and eventually reveal your presence. When numerous enemies have spotted you, just say bye-bye to your character … and to the game as well.
Once you bring up your sniper scope, a few diagrams are seen on your monitor; like the heartbeat of your character on the upper right corner of the screen. If you keep on running around and the heart rate continues to rise, the accuracy of your shot may be affected. Not only that, bullet trajectories, movement scopes and even your breath sounds differ with every action and movement you make … Pretty realistic, huh?
If you are still a newbie in this game, you can select the difficulty level according to your preference. Since the most common situation in this game is gaining the perfect timing to pull the trigger. It might be a little tricky on your part at the beginning, but there are tutorials and some demos presented in the game. Through this, you can learn on how to become a skilled professional sniper.
All in all, Sniper: Ghost Warrior shows potential of becoming a top game played on FPS genre. Expect having plenty of stealthy experience when playing this!
Ever since Sands of Time - way back in 2003, I have already been a fan of the Prince of Persia installments. The high flying acrobatic actions are truly appealing to the fans of the franchise. The downside to this, however, is the constant release of sequels by its creators, UBISOFT. They have literally toned down the excitement and thrill of the series because of frequent repetitions made. They made the game boring because of the many titles already on the market. It seems that the character in the game needs a little break because of too much exposure thats not really doing him or the franchise any favor anyway.
The last Prince of Persia was released n 2008 and it was like an eye opener for the creators finally recognizing the need for change. Besides, the prince literally needed to rest before he can give another shot at being on top of the order for the best games ever created. The game and the franchise reached the point where theyve done everything and there was nothing left to do. It came to the point of dullness for the franchise that the game has stagnated, regardless of the many sequels that have been released.
This dullness catapulted the re-creation of a new Prince of Persia and this is how the Forgotten Sands installment came to be. While some of you might think and say here we go again the new game establishes some points that balance out the reward and punishment. The creators made some magnificent changes in the mechanics, particularly in the combat system where it has really rebounded by holding its own all throughout even towards the end of the game.
The gameplay in the Forgotten Sands lets you be the Prince of Persia. A highly acrobatic warrior with the trademark of handsome looks; but is also very much adept at scaling walls and fighting anyone of the enemies that get in his way. The storyline revolves around the prince being tasked to save the world. This may sound familiar to you as this has been the storyline of the past Prince of Persia predecessors particularly Sands of Time, which set the bar for all installments of the Prince of Persia games. Despite the non improvement in the storyline, the platforms for acrobatic moves that the game really managed to master can get you excited all over again. With the ability of the Prince to climb and scale walls, you cant help but think that the Prince might be a ninja as well. The game has actually given you more time to figure out what moves to make in every level through the game.
The first taste of this new game can possibly make you conclude that the game is easy; however, the game gets more laborious once the Prince acquires more powers. It goes to the point where the player has to combine all the powers of the prince to survive in the game. The creators of the game undoubtedly made a wonderful combination of platforms and action rolled into a single rhythm.
The caveat of combining the skills is glaringly obvious. Its because in the past, it has led to the death of many Princes in the game. The creators provided a wonderful twist to this by bringing back a familiar and favorite ability: the ability to turn back the hands of time. Watch out though; there are certain limitations to the usage of this ability. And you even need to collect more blue orbs before you can use the ability and once you have used it all up, it necessitates going back to the nearest checkpoint. This is the presentation of the risk and reward attributes of this game.
The platform of the game can perk your excitement instantly. But when it comes to the combat aspect, it presents quite a drag down because the earlier opponents were much easier to kill. The new game still maintains the feature of getting experience after experience of killing enemies. This projects the prince as a lot stronger and with even more powers.
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands is alright but it has yet to match the bar that Sands of Time has established. Nonetheless, the new game itself presents a wonderful array of visuals and colors from its lighting effects down to its graphics. Be warned though, because some parts can be dull and boring at times; basically because you have seen it all over before. All in all, despite not being at par with its long time great predecessor, its still an astounding game.
When you hit the ice to play some hockey you want things to feel smooth. You want to be able to feel the ice glide beneath your skates as you dribble the puck toward the opposing teams net. You want to feel the sweat drip down your forehead as your try to beat out the rapidly approaching defenders. You want to hear the crowd cheer as your slapshot hits home. That's what NHL 15 does for gamers that decide to pick up the controller. The latest installment of the NHL franchise is as good as it has ever been. The puck glides between your stick as you carve the ice in search of a crease to push the pace and hit that go ahead shot. The game feels like the most competitive night of NHL competition. How does the rest of the game fare?
Any serious sport simulation will live and die based on how the action controls once the game clock has started. If the game doesn't flow right, if the shooting feels clunky, if checking doesn't really work then forget about it, the game is trash. Fortunately this is where NHL 15 really takes its time to shine. The controls feel like an extension of our arms in the game and you can make beautiful moves with the barest press of a button. Passing is an elaborately beautiful thing, if you are good at it, and it is pure chaos if you are poor at it. There is no moment in sports gaming more exhilarating than that frantic dash up the ice as you try to beat the last defender in order to take your shot on goal. My palms can get sweaty just thinking about it.
Upon booting up NHL 15 and actually getting into a game you will be presented with the classically beautiful view of an arena ready to rock out to some great hockey. The crowds look great, the players look awesome on the ice, and the logos for the teams are authentic. Upon entering competition you will get a pre-game set of commentary from Doc Emrick and the man himself, Eddie Olcyzk. Once you are in the game and experiencing the ebb and flow of competitive hockey the commentary will blend into a background of enjoyable, comforting, commentary. Don't worry about the announcers getting stale or annoying as it seems that the NHL crew went all out in recording their lines. You'll go quite awhile before you start hearing repetitions. The final cap on the presentation graduation is the fact that the crowd actually feels like a crowd. You'll hear cheering and ooh-ing and ahh-ing at all the right times.
While the classic game modes are all there for long term fans of the hockey franchise, there are a noticeable lack of features missing. Playoff Mode has gone the way of the dinosaur to be followed by the Hockey Ultimate Team and Online Team Play modes. While these are tertiary gameplay options at best, their absence is a head scratcher. Why nix something that so many people enjoy if you aren't going to replace it with anything better? The absence of these modes has lead many fans to believe that the game was shipped half finished but that will come down to personal preference. The other issue with the game modes made available is that there is no traditional 'season mode'. Seriously! It's strange that NHL 15 would hatchet this feature, due to how common and popular it is, but it's gone. In order to actually enjoy a season of gameplay you have to start a GM Mode campaign. It's a little bit of a bother to go through this extra step to play a mode that should have always been available, but that's the nature of the beast and you can play or let it go.
NHL 15 brings a whole lot of great things to the table for the modern hockey fan. The gameplay on the ice is borderline revelatory and the packaging of the whole thing is gorgeous. Hockey has never looked or felt so good. There are some noticeable absences in terms of game modes and that may turn many people off. If you are here for hockey, though, you will still find a lot to love in this game.
Blur (Xbox 360) Review: It Gets Really Blurry Ahead.
I am not bragging about this; but I am considered one of the best gamers around. I’m saying this to put forward my credibility when I make my statement about BLUR, the new racer that Bizarre Creations created. I have played in almost any games and Blur is just one of the most difficult I have ever encountered.
The game features brutal A.I in the single player career mode. The A.I keeps attacking you and then you get caught off guard as it fires weapons at you. The game is not all about speed as in who’s the fastest; it’s more like a modern death match racing. The one who survives the onslaught wins.
There’s a point in the game where there are at least 20 cars that are poised to race. This can make the game chaotic with all the attacks and the dirty tactics that you encounter with every turn. If you talk about racing aspects and racing speed, this is one hell of a difficult game to play. You can even catch the AIs cheating; you can easily tell by how they can just effortlessly pass you while aiming all those shots at you. You can say that in so far as AIs go, these are not programmed to be dumb like ordinary AIs. Man, they are good – and tough!
To ease up the beating, I eventually converted the game difficulty to easy. But this in turn made the game too easy and the challenge and delight of defeating a worthy opponent is nowhere to be found. The easy mode is advisable when your aim and goal is to have fans. Fans let you do some stuff that enables you to perform some quests for them and in turn you receive new objects for your car - or even a new car after a while. But if you are more concerned about getting the upper hand against your opponents in a relatively matched environment, then the easy mode is not an option for you.
The huge problem of the game is the imbalance between your abilities and those of the AIs. They are so good that you get pissed off. It would have been easy to get addicted to this game but the glaring holes in the entirety of the game are just too palpable that it can dampen your enthusiasm.
Blur also has online feature that enables you to find and receive items that boost your car’s performance. This game is all about chaos as what I have said earlier; 20 players online is just simply asking for disarray. Simply put, this is not the kind of game that you would want if you are particular about racing games features. Still, it can be quite fun to try it sometimes.
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