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Posted:
2010-04-08

homer

Super Gamer Dude

8.5

Battlefield Company 2 is one video game you really can’t miss. With the increased intensity and visual dexterity of its forerunner, it is absolutely one of the most gripping multiplayer games out there; you can actually call it the star of the Battlefield show.

The story is typical enough with a bunch of rag-tag soldiers tracking down a mythical weapon of mass destruction in an effort to save the world. These dubious heroes take you across a variety of locales as they trudge through ice-covered mountains and jungles so dense they’re almost impenetrable. The nearly photorealistic and panoramic setting blends each minute effects and dynamic game objects in the foreground with the more inert backdrops. The result: awesome cyclorama with intense profundity that not all video game scenes can provide. Things start to gather momentum and get even more extremely electrifying when the action kicks off.

The last Battlefield game has come a long way; and taking a few cues from the Call of Duty franchise, it has made some great changes and improvements to the sequel. The most noticeable change is the more cinematically updated and simplified approach to the action. The level design, for one, feels a lot more straightforward, holding the players’ attention from start to finish with plenty more fun than its predecessor.

The great mechanics shouldn’t come as a surprise. The guns and vehicles are definitely more realistic with terrific reactions and fantastic sound, making you feel like you really are the king of the battlefield; and the instant re-spawn and medical kits of before have been replaced with checkpoints and regenerative health bars that make the “feel” of war confrontations more authentic.

Bad Company 2 is intrinsically team-based and the very layout of the game is basically designed to encourage team work among players – right up to earning extra points for working with your teammates. But what’s most strikingly impressive is the flexibility of this multiplayer game.

The modes and maps included in this package, along with the class system allow you more options in choosing exactly the approach and kind of game you want to play. For instance, there’s a vast difference between the extended team Rush games (played out across expansive maps with vehicles featured more heavily) and the tighter Squad Deathmatch games (more like the standard frenzied and close-quarters shooter). Of course, you can always hop into a Conquest game, if you’d rather go for something in-between and try your hand at classic Battlefield fights. No matter what mood you’re in, Bad Company 2 has something in store for you.

The game is not perfect, that’s for sure and if you want to start nitpicking, there’s plenty of occasions to call out. Minute details like the environment streaming into view just a tad late; on the Xbox 360 version, the excruciatingly slow loading can get a player locked out for about 5 seconds from throwing grenades or picking up a new weapon. This issue can be resolved if you install the game into a hard drive. The real troubles are mainly on the presentation and pacing.

This brings up another feature that the developers must have been going for but sadly missed. Despite the streamlining, Bad Company 2 still failed to capture the “epic” feeling of the game, partly because of the cut-scenes direction; but most likely because of the high-intensity, non-stop approach of the game play. There are heaps and loads of variety and all of them are great fun, sure; but overall, they don’t quite come together as a top-level thrilling experience. The frenetic pace renders it over in short order and it often feels like an anti-climax.

There’s a collectible weapon system that can present some incentive to go back for a second or third run, but it’s not really the type of game that could keep you coming back for more.

Well, if the game isn’t enough grounds for coming back, perhaps you’d find the class upgrades system interesting enough to get hooked. You can unlock new weapons and gadgets and other little perks to give you the upper hand in the fight. It’s basically a system that rewards players for completing small challenges or for winning games or simply, for just playing well and earning a lot of skills.

All in all, Bad Company 2 is an explosive, action-packed game, although it probably can never turn into a campaign for the ages. As an online shooter, Bad Company 2 is really tremendously engaging and flexible, with several features that its competitors can only wish for. This is absolutely your game if you’re searching for a more strategic and team-based, fast-paced change.

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Posted:
2010-04-25

homer

Super Gamer Dude

6.6

Sony Computer has never failed to give us great gaming entertainment and now they give us Invizimals which brings fighting into an augmented reality by using your own Play Station Portable, along with a mini camera that recognizes a special card that serves as a trapping device for your little creatures.

Invizimals is very similar to the Pokemon series where you catch creatures for your collection; you train them and use them for fights. Through the mini camera, you look for these creatures and trap them with the special card. Fighting comes in the battle mode where you can try your skills against computer generated creatures or fight with your friends’ collection sitting next to you or online.

The game has charming visuals with tutorial videos but that doesn’t make the game easy. In fact, it is more complicated than you think because of the need to focus your camera during gameplay, which makes capturing and fighting harder. To be able to capture creatures, you have to move your camera around to stay behind a creature’s back and capture them. In order for your creature to be within view, your camera must have a clear vantage point of the special trapping card each time. Sometimes, while you are trying to go after your creature, you lose sight of this card; thus, the creature disappears.

As for fights, they use a real-time mechanic system instead of the turn-based one that was traditionally employed. They also make use of three attack moves, a block and a stamina gauge that should be monitored during game time. Invizimals also feature mini games cropping-up; but you don’t have to worry since they are really easy to accomplish.

This is indeed a breakthrough in video gaming because of the incorporation of the real world when capturing your own creatures and going on to an adventure with the use of the mini camera. Another great thing about this game is its slowly-voiced tutorials where instructions are given by an adoring cast of characters with videos to help you understand the game better.

Although the technology behind Invizimals fall short of expectation; and can’t quite deliver on its aspiration, it functions adequately enough to prevent it from failing dismally. There’s an obvious lack of real profundity in the critter combat and the mission structures are too restricted for sufficient satisfaction. There’s a real tendency for this game to become a passing fancy rather than a mainstay despite its undisputedly charming concept and implementation; which the younger players may find alluring for a while.

It can be treated as some kind of a cool novel creature-collection gimmick but the reality is it really won’t take long before the novelty wears off. Still, the chance to play in the image of your room and the minimal thrill of discovering the creatures hiding around is too good to pass and hold some level of challenge, if only momentarily.

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Posted:
2010-04-28

homer

Super Gamer Dude

8.4

If a guy bumps into you and asks a random question of which fighting game is really worth buying, the answer should be Super Street Fighter IV on XBOX 360. True to its roots and in the usual Capcom fashion, the company has made improvements to Street Fighter IV, a pioneering video game that has already carved its niche as one of the most popular, ever since one can remember. A great number of fantastic features and amazing characters have been added or enhanced to make it truly super. The game is now equipped with a bigger online suite and several other enhancements that definitely make Super Street Fighter IV an outstanding version, enough to say that this is one of the top fighting games around.

Street Fighter IV already has familiar gameplay mechanics, so the question of picking this game over other games boils down to the new content featured in the game. You will notice that there aren’t major changes to the basic fighting system of the game. The Super Combo Gauge that gives you EX moves and supers still remains. There is also the Revenge Gauge that lets you kill enemies with Ultras, which in this version has now two per character. These enhanced features found in the new expansion will truly make you want to go back and try out the original 25-character cast of Street Fighter IV, because the “new” Abel now possesses a delayable grapple Ultra; and Guille can set out a gigantic Sonic Hurricane.

The charm of the game rests on the game’s masterful mix of accessibility with complexity. Anybody could just pick up a controller and key in the charge moves and quarter/half/full circle motions to have special moves. The Focus Attack system which was brought in during Street Fighter IV is still present, and this can be attained while pressing down two buttons. Due to the fact that this game is more of an expansion rather than a really new release, there are only few surprises, but the game can still claim to be the best fighting gameplay around in the video gaming world.

The moment you get comfortable with the fundamentals of the game and you can already cast in special moves, you can then switch your attention to putting them together to achieve combos and dig into EX focus channels. Every character’s moves can be attained with similar inputs; it will then let you focus on how to properly use them in a fight, with less frustration and without sacrificing depth. Preparedness is also an important thing; you need to be familiar with every character’s techniques so you don’t have to struggle when using a particular character. Super Street Fighter IV surely needs some familiarization because the game offers 10 new characters in addition to the original 25 of Street Fighter IV. Now, that’s a lot of characters to choose from.

Although this version doesn’t have the same ground-breaking effect on the genre as its predecessor; Super Street Fighter IV still remains to be highly recommended for fans of fighting games out there. It is absolutely a fabulous game packed with a lot of additional features, with a selection of 35 awesome characters to choose from. The online suite of the game is even more developed than its predecessor. The gameplay has very cool and fast mechanics that are easy to dig into; but also challenging enough that you have to indeed delve deeper into discovering new ways to explore successive combos and develop your skills. Whether you’ve already been a long-time fan of the franchise or you have just started getting crazy over it, Super Street Fighter IV is totally a magnificent choice.

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Posted:
2010-04-28

homer

Super Gamer Dude

8.2

At one point in our lives, we tend to drool over that new flat screen showcased in front of the appliance store. You tend to think of opportunity costs and the praises and benefits you get when that new flat screen rests in your living room. That certain urge to have something expensive to be proud of is being fortified in Gearbox’s Borderlands; a first-person shooter game that feeds the urges of the thief, hero, and adventurer hiding in all of us.

For those who aren’t familiar, this is similar to Blizzard’s Diablo, which is a loot game. As the game begins, you are thrown out into the open world with a number of quests and legions of villains that will always do whatever it takes to prevent their leaders from being killed; you have to eliminate a big number of their compatriots, expose drain valves within their hideouts, snatch important objects and files, or obtain a big number of shiny objects. This game is not a choice and consequence game that is filled with issues on morality and a number of labyrinthine quests. What drives you here is the loot.

You’ll start your adventure with weapons that are old and rusty that gives you the vibe of using weapons buried under and resurrected from the ground. As you go through the game, however, you’d be able to find and acquire shotguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, handguns, and submachine guns that have elemental effects like lightning and fire. These new weapons can annihilate enemies with caustic effects or strike an impact that blows the target into a bloody mess. In addition, as you become familiar with your weapon, you’ll be more adept using it. This helps improve your character into becoming a fearless fighter who can shoot, break, and burn all hindrances along the way.

Going through the game, you will rise up to higher levels. You can usually barter weapons so there’s not a thing to worry because you will eventually have only the best weapons. Every time an enemy explodes into very colorful loot, you feel this anticipation of gaining new and interesting weapons. There’s also an array of different character class skill trees; though, there are some that are packed with passive abilities. In each class, there is one primary skill that you can use almost throughout the game. With the Hunter class you can toss out a bird to assault from afar, the Berserker class moves forward and knocks foes with his very strong fists, the Siren class can enter into a temporary invisible state, and the Soldier class can throw down a sentry turret to give aid in a fight.

Gearbox’s Borderlands is definitely cunning and a very satisfying hybrid for the gamers who know what to expect in games. The game has a very interesting user interface that develops the game’s complexities into something easy for everybody to have fun. There is a very clear-cut style and there are a number of character animations that keeps the action thrill-packed. There is also very strong voice acting and the game is equipped with a soundtrack that fortifies the sensations felt during the game. Indeed, this is one hell of a game if you’re the adventurous and action-seeking type of gamer.

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Posted:
2010-04-28

homer

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

Video games have stayed in the market for years but most of them become successful because of continuous upgrades and innovation. But, for over ten years of being in the gaming world, Virtua Tennis has hardly changed and their latest version Virtua Tennis 2009 is no different. Like other VTs, the series still comes with its three basic shots - the top spin, slice and the lob.

Virtua Tennis 2009 is not without improvement though. A tiny advancement is made on the players' movement where they don't dive for shots directed on the baseline; and you do need to practice a lot to be able to do powerful returns. But aside from that, the rest is basically the same, which is truly disappointing.

There are times when the AI doesn't work. Even though Sumo digital has done away with the diving that has damaged the playing in the past, players in this new game still have to charge for the balls, sometimes going down on one knee just to hit back. This is fine except that sometimes during matches, the AI would blast off, running right after serving; taking away the challenge of the game. It feels like when you move to a direction before the opponent serves, they take that same direction after returning the shot. All of this could be a form of guessing and anticipating where you're going to hit, based on the direction of your last hit. In any case, everything just doesn't seem to add up.

Animation is also an issue, especially when you are about to hit a ball. Sometimes players make sudden jerks when doing their moves. Interestingly enough, this only happens when games are played on a Melbourne court or online. The new sequel does not shout creativity when it comes to innovation. It could have been more exciting if they tried to develop new controls instead of doing nothing at all to expand the gameplay.

Most of the plays are done in World Tour mode where you get to create a player. Here the feature interface is a far cry from satisfactory as players often end up scaring gamers instead of creating tennis stars. This mode has not even changed a bit just like the gameplay. You still travel throughout the world in handpicked destinations. Everything from the home, to training in the academy to doing things with your partner or playing their mini-games; everything has stagnated into boring sameness.

The audio is even more of a let-down. They have this tennis music going in the background during each game that pervades like annoying little mosquitoes and their striking ball sound effects is pitiable to put it mildly. You bet gamers would rather opt for total silence while playing.

The one significant change that can probably save the day from a total rain check is the added feature of bringing your customized player online to improve career ranking by competing in multiplayer games. I'm sure you won't be surprised to know that even that has a hitch, too. There is an awful lag in every match you play, which can really drive you to the edge of annoyance.

Virtua Tennis 2009 is just like any VT available on the market. Nothing is new that would excite gamers about this new installment. There is no innovation that would pique up your interests. Although some would undoubtedly love its consistency, those who are looking for something new will most likely feel even more frustrated than before.

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Posted:
2010-05-06

homer

Super Gamer Dude

8.2

Toy Story Mania is a game that you can definitely appreciate. The game is filled with really fun characters from PIXAR movies. The scenes from the game may very well look like they have been cut out from the movie. That’s how good the feeling is when you play the game. And the gameplay is made for playing by anyone, without the hassles of going through instructions and all those complicated stuff; you just go right ahead and start playing. But looking at the game real close may reveal what it really is. It is just another collection of mini games.

If you were privileged enough to have made a trip to either Disneyland or Disney World in the past, you may know the “Toy Story Midway Mania!” This is both a ride and shooting gallery where you and your companions sit down in a cart and go through a series of rooms, and there are huge screens for you to shoot on. You may compete against your friend with the scores you get. 3D glasses are also available there.

Well, in a nutshell, Toy Story Mania on Wii is the home version of the above mentioned ride. The game was developed with the intention of using it in Disney park attractions, to maximize the functionality and the interactivity of the Wii. The shooting games in the ride are synonymous to the mini-games which are found on the Wii game; with the addition of some other games and other Toy Story characters.

The idea of the game seems really good, but in reality, it is not. For one, the presentation of the game becomes a bore quickly. The loading scenes are typically found on one location, which is Andy’s room; or if there are other locations, it’s only limited to the common scene in the movie. Number two, most of the options in the game are not labeled, which results to confusion on the part of the player, especially kids. Then there’s the Build-Your-Own line up of mini games option, which could have been a good concept; however, the grabbing claw graphics that makes up the theme in Andy’s room just hinders you from attaining what you want.

And then there is also a Story mode in the game -- which, by the way, does not have any story in it. It is a mere set up of a dozen mini games that you have to play in a row, without having the liberty to stop at the middle. The only break is the 5 second conversation between Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

The gameplay itself is good, as the shooting galleries have been well-transformed from the theme park to the game. The animation is dead-on. And the physics of the objects that are colliding with each other is also commendable. The conversion is really great, with the exception, of course, of the non-screen elements. You still do not get the feeling that you are actually in a Disney theme park with this game. Another disappointing thing that has to be mentioned is the bonus that the developers included in almost every mini game. The only thing you need to do is shake the Wii remote like a maraca and you’ll get extra points. Ho-hum. It’s just boring and tiresome.

Still, it’s fair enough to say that Toy Story Mania is great as part of the souvenir you can bring home after trip to the Disney park. The game reminds the player of the fun memories during the vacation, when they use their Wii, if nothing else. But for actual gamers, the game is still just another collection of mini-games.

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Posted:
2010-05-16

homer

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

Grand Theft Auto IV features Niko Bellic, who just got off a boat from the war-torn East Europe. In GTA 4 you can see that it is the best when it comes to technical achievement and narrative course compared to the previous ones. It incorporates the comic-book and comedy style of the previous ones and adds a ton of emphasis on the rough pragmatism of Liberty City with all its characters, which make it alive.

This time, the biggest change in the game is the story. GTA is departing from the stereotype rags to riches story where one starts poor and then takes over the whole city like a kingpin. This time the story is about Niko and his cousin Roman. Their path is dark, full of betrayals and tragedies written all over it. This gives the game some more dimensions and makes you feel connected with the characters even more. Specifically, Niko’s past haunts him, and you get to take on the challenge of using him.

The city by itself has not changed much. However, the details and the atmosphere are now greatly enhanced. Pedestrians and bystanders react more properly and realistically. They now interact with the environment even if you are not meddling with them.

Another notable revolution in GTA 4 is in the aspect of the mission structure. There is now a blending of in-mission and out-of-mission play. This results in a more freestyle game play. This means that the types of missions are more realistic and unique with a lot of twists.

In between these missions, there are ample choices to do and spend your time. Liberty City has a wide variety of social interests that you can do alone, or with someone. There are bowling alleys; gentlemen clubs and bars; and there’s the comedy club – with an array of unique leisure interests to get you into the game even more.

To extend the game, aside from the single player experience, you can play Grand Theft Auto 4 online. This is the first time that a player can go online, taking along your own distinct personality; and use a huge arsenal of different modes, in addition to 15 others already in place in Liberty City. The best mission here is when you escort a player to an escape point and the other team tries to get rid of him. And the most amusing and engaging is the Freeform mode, which transforms Liberty City into a recreational area. Here you can do anything you can think of in the GTA world.

Of all the additions that the creators have done to GTA, the best part to really appreciate is the story of the game. In the past, GTA has been compared to Saints Row 2 because there is a ridiculous amount of unbelievable content in it. But here, the world feels more authentic and credible. Well, it may be rough and desperate at times, but it’s just because of the story. It is consistent and more alive by a hundred miles compared to other games that I have played.

Moreover, it is not without humor. There are the quick remarks from the pedestrian, to the more bizarre characters you encounter in the game. GTA 4 still retains its satirical bite. Take note of Weasel News, the news station that’s as narrow-minded and dyed-in-the-wool as another news network that’s similarly animal-sounding; you know GTA 4 is right on the money!

However, the combat can use a little tuning up. One, you can get confused the instant the camera moves, when you are in narrow spaces. There are also some problems in auto shooting. You can still die, no thanks to the lock-on that forces you to look at pedestrians rather than the police at your back. Hence, this is one aspect of the game that still needs to be improved.

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Posted:
2010-05-21

homer

Super Gamer Dude

7.7

Lost Planet was very successful in the market. And now, the developers of the game have released Lost Planet 2. The momentum of the market should be in this game. The target market is Western gamers. And in this sequel, the Capcom has promised a multi player mode from the previous Lost Planet and the much anticipated four player cooperative mode during the whole campaign. To the gamers’ disappointment, however, Lost Planet 2 has failed in the online aspect of the game. The issues on the online mode in Lost Planet 1 are still present. Moreover, these are compounded by additional problems now.

Still, save for some aspects, the game is a very good one. The game experience here is really one of a kind; from the ice fields to the jungles and down to the cities and deserts, the world created is a sight to be watched. The limit in the kind of alien enemies is compensated by the variety of the factions that you have to overcome. Another plus is the music in the game, which is exceptional. The orchestration and the timing in the dramatic scenes in the game are superb. However, some of the levels do not have any accompaniment. This takes off some of the excitement, and would often lead to a silent hunting experience - literally!

The controls are basically the same as last time. The melee mode is still in the B button. And running is also in the B button. And if you want to use a data post or a vital suit, just press the B button. Easy, isn’t it? Graphics is good enough and animation is very well emphasized, which is sometimes a drawback as it sometimes get in the way of your concentration in the game. Another issue is the considerable wait if you are going to access the data post. Lost Planet 2 is full of complex activation sequences that you have to repeat the process every time you use it.

The game story is a bit incoherent, to put it delicately. It is set in six perspectives. There are no checkpoints in the missions, which mean you have to complete a chapter at once if you want to advance and save the game. If you die in the middle or towards the end of a chapter, you have to start at the beginning again. And because of this, the game shows you something different every time, which often lead to a disjointed feeling in the story of the game. You may even say that the game is a cliché when it comes to this aspect.

The multiplayer is also unchanged in the game. Using a giant robot suit to turn your friend into smithereens is still as cool as the last time. Even the controls are still the same. An electrical grenade that incapacitates the enemy is still as effective as ever to get the job done.

The game has many flaws as there are strengths. Hence, it is only an average game. All the issues presented and the cool features given, can help you gauge the playability of game but it’s all a matter of choice and you do have the final say on whether you like it or not.

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Posted:
2010-07-04

homer

Super Gamer Dude

7.7

Singularity (PC DVD) Review: Turning Back the Hands of Time.

The game Singularity gives a resounding approach to PC users as it is a polished first person game approach game that provides surprises in every twist and turn of the game. It presents a sophisticated game that can entertain you with the well-developed and well-executed superficial events. The game play revolves particularly in shooting monsters; it is the kind of game that ups the ante through its variety.
The story line behind this game started at the end of the cold war, specifically 20 years ago. It portrays a time when the Soviet Union discovers a source of element 99 that can warp monsters through time travel. The game provides a 5 minute introduction as you begin living the nightmare as the main character, Renko.

The game draws itself from other games such as BioShock. It is a game that features a lot of monsters to kill with plenty of weapons to choose from. You can continually upgrade yourself (Renko) as the game progresses. It also features puzzle solving that can give clues as to what transpired in the past. The creator managed to create a high octane atmosphere in the game.

The center point of this game is when Renko gets hold of the weapon called TMD also known as Time Manipulation Device. It has limitless power that can change time in its exact moment from the time of destruction back to creation – like it was never destroyed.

Now you’re already playing with your imaginations on what things to change, however, it can only manipulate certain things. You are best advised to use the TMD to solve puzzles for your clues. Be warned that the game does not really get easy when you already have the TMD. There are still things that could be solved and answered through ordinary moves. You have to be on your toes to take advantage of the situation and environment. You do not really need a TMD for these type of moves; you need your common sense!

The game has solid sound effects and the gory presentation is so disgustingly good, it’s very impressive. You also get the impression that the enemies in the game are sometimes dumb that you instantly notice their flaws. Although the challenge builds up as you continue your journey, and it gets harder as you go on. The game also presents an online multiplayer.

There are two modes to choose from such as the Extermination and Death Match, monsters VS soldiers. It’s a lot different in the multiplayer as you have the chance to continually upgrade your character with enhancements to have a faster speed or range as a monster. On the side of the soldiers, the presence of TMD also creates a different advantage such as healing. The multiplayer is a lot simpler with its strongly created maps; which is actually a relatively new feature. The essence of the multiplayer aspect is that you have the option to play as the monster or the soldier.

This game is not a bad choice, it has its own ups and downs but it is definitely worth your time to play the game. Use your imagination and take it from there.

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Posted:
2014-02-21

homer

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

Black Ops II on the Xbox 360 is split between two interconnecting storylines, the first set of dates include 1986-1989 and tend to be split around the Cold War era and the latter being set it the distant future, the year 2025. The game features various characters from the previous Black Ops game. It is the usual scenario, you take on various foreigners in various covert missions in an attempt to restore some sort of order from chaos and mayhem caused by enemy action.

It seems quite obvious that this game has had a lot of money spent on it, the visual graphics in this game are simply astounding, and the overall attention to detail is on par with the first Call of Duty Black Ops, the sound quality is also of superior quality.

During the gameplay you get to use a multitude of weapons, machinery and aircraft as you fight to survive as the whole world around you seems to be crumbling around you and your allies as the war rages on. You also have to take into account that how you interact with certain characters during the game will determine how the game ends as will how you complete certain missions. You also have other options where you can now set your preferred weapon of choice before the mission starts if required.

Given the nature and sheer number of vehicles, aerial combat machines such as helicopters and jet fighters, robots, and many other weapons, the designers really have not only provided a wide selection but they have also managed to get the controls reacting how you would like and expect them to react, making for a much more fluent game.

Overall this is a very good game indeed, and compares well with some of the other top rated games for the Xbox 360 or any other platform for that matter.


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