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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.
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.
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 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.
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!
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (PS 3) Review – The Prince Attempts to Reclaim His Throne.
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, the UBISOFT. They have literally beaten 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 that‘s 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 they’ve 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 can’t 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. It’s 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, it’s still an astounding game.
If you were to ask: Which fighting game should gamers buy? Chances are, you’d get a common answer: it’s Super Street Fighter IV. The iconic game from Capcom is back! And you bet, it’s a whole new improved Street Fighter. And get this - the online suite has also been recreated.
The mechanics and the battle system are familiar to everyone as they are basically the same as the last Street Fighter. The old Super Combo Gauge is still there. This is where you unleash your EX moves and specials. And the Revenge Gauge is a counter that permits you to pull off ultras upon enemies. The 25-member fighters are still there. Hence, the issue here is whether or not the so-called expansion of Super Street Fighter IV is worth it.
Now the game roots its strength from a combination of complication and convenience. The game appeals to the beginners because anybody can handle the controller and make decent moves. The Focus Attack feature is there to assist everyone. That spells convenience. This expansion is not a revolution of the original, but it is still the best fighting game around. Along with this, the challenge of game complication still exists. The moment you know the basics and the special moves of the characters, you can go to the next level and learn combos and go to EX Focus cancels. The characters have basically the same inputs; thus, the challenge is on how you time these skills in a fight. Character acquaintance should not be forgotten; knowing the skills of your opponent gives you the edge of anticipating what comes next. The expansion pack has added 10 characters which are completely new to the game. This again present a venue to play around and learn about them.
The game has now a total of 35 characters, so you won’t have any difficulty finding someone that suits the fighting style you like most. All the characters are available even at the start of the game. No more vexatious arcade campaigns to unlock characters. But should you still want to go to the arcade mode, you can still find some neat cinematic.
You can also find another improvement in the online mode. The problem of having only Ranked and Player matches as the available options is now a thing of the past. The point system in the game is also enhanced by implementing the more straightforward two-point system. Players can now gain points for victories in online contests and lose them if they are defeated. In addition, Battle Points are also awarded to those who attain a certain rating with a character. So you can now experiment with other characters because the points you gather when playing with each is unaffected by the result of the others. The only blow you receive is the overall points. There are now two aspects to look into with each player, the overall score and the best fighter score.
Still more on the online mode; the game is now supplemented with the team battle that is played on 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4. The players take turns to fight each of the opponents in the opposite team. Endless Battle mode is also present; which actually feels more like an endless arcade mode.
But the game is not perfect. Super Street Fighter IV did not include the Championship mode. As Capcom always hosts tournaments, the Championship mode would have been a good practice or training ground for players. This necessitates downloading the game if you want to join competitions, which are quite inconvenient, to say the least.
Given all that was mentioned, Super Street Fighter IV is highly recommended for both hardcore fans and newbies alike.
LEGO Battles (Nintendo DS) Review: Strategic Block Busting in Real Time
Lego sets – the authentic ones (not the ones you’ve seen on the Harry Potter movie) – are all about epic battles. Just about everyone who has an ax to grind with something or someone – space men, knights, pirates, ninja, treasure hunters – has had a LEGO set at one point or another. Here’s the good news for the avid fans: besides your imagination, you can now have (and hopefully, win) all those battles on the Nintendo DS. Although it has an undertone of “my-first-real-time-strategy” to it, the game is truly appealing and relatively impressive from a technical view point.
LEGO fans who’ve been in the know for a long time can easily distinguish some of the classic sets, such as the Space, Castle and Pirates pieces from a couple decades or so ago. LEGO Battles now makes it possible for the player to be in control of these various mini figures in a game that has a story mode of over 70 levels. The video cutscenes thankfully retain the humor charm and style that LEGO has been famous for.
Unfortunately, RTS fans who are expecting more challenging strategies aren’t so lucky, as LEGO Battles are really a piece of cake. The sad thing about LEGO franchise is it seems to just cater to kids, not realizing that everybody just loves LEGO! Still, LEGO Battles isn’t such a bad choice for neophytes in real time strategy. Although the six story modes are inclined to get repetitive, they are quite lengthy and maneuver the players smoothly into various units and buildings, showing each function as you go along. These are nice and helpful if you’ve never had any experience with an RTS in the past.
On the technical side, the touch screen controls seem to work well. At some point though, picking a single unit gets to be a little tricky, especially when a number of people and buildings appear on screen. The AI gets pretty irksome as they often get stuck somewhere when you send troops out over an extensive distance. You think you have better things to do winning a battle than babysit an AI that can’t figure out how to find its way! The workers are equally annoying as they simply just cease working and have to be prodded to continue gathering lumber.
The story modes reflect varied areas of expertise of different armies; and this is where the most fun part is; when you can actually mix and match diverse armies in the free play or multiplayer. Players get to choose their own heroes, vehicles, infantry and other paraphernalia from any of the unlocked sets, with available options that range from 5 to 25 selections.
The multiplayer is actually the highlight and best part of any RTS, and LEGO Battles, for all its shortcomings, has at least done an extremely good job at this, making the game as challenging as you opponent’s skills makes it. Be warned though, there are some snags in the caps on troop numbers and the maps aren’t that big. But all in all the mode works great, with just a very minimal slowdown and looks pretty impressive with two dozen characters fighting each other on screen, all at one time.
If the well known LEGO charm and humor are enough reasons for you to play the game, then you won’t be disappointed as there’s plenty of that in LEGO Battles. However, if you’re looking for more challenges, then this game probably would just bore you. It’s just too much of a “cakewalk”, which is such a shame as the multiplayer really is pure, solid fun and has lots of potentials. It could have been an excellent game to recommend to everyone. As it is… it’s really your take!
Mass Effect 2 is the sequel to BioWare's hit space-based role-playing game (RPG), Mass Effect. A single player adventure, Mass Effect 2 allows players to continue the adventures of the fully customizable series hero Commander Shepard, as you take on a whole new adventure and a new cast of supporting characters. Additional new features include the ability to import game save files from the original Mass Effect game to continue the adventure in an unbroken fashion, a new damage system, a new, more flexible dialogue game mechanic and much more.
Like any game nowadays there are some problems with Mass Effect 2, the use of profanity was not warranted in certain scenes but i feel in some cases it was not justified and to be honest just didn't quite fit with the game itself.
The graphics on this game are OK, they reminded me of Gears of War, I was not happy with the overall graphics and would rate the graphics at 7/10
The sound quality and verbal communication in this game is second to none, brilliant, if only all game designers took this approach, crystal clear and would rate 10/10
The game play within this game at times can seem like a headache, an example being driving around looking for mineral deposits, with little else going on, the weapons have also been reduced someone whilst others have been altered.
It may feel like I am doing a demolition job on Mass Effect 2, if you like shooters and action then you will love this game, I just feel that perhaps they have tried to hard to improve on the original taking out some of the key elements which made it a classic hence the sequel.
Overall though the game is much better than many of the other games out there at present, within my top 10.
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