Ubisoft Montreal has now come up with a new game that marks the comeback of Sam Fisher. But Sam is not in a good mood now. Sam is feisty; and you can sense anger in every line he speaks. And with every move he makes, be it brutal takedowns or interrogation moves, you can truly feel the rage running through his veins. The fury and aggressiveness are not only present in the story, but on the entire gameplay changes as well. Ubisoft Montreal took a big risk deviating from trial-and-error style that the game has been famous for. Splinter Cell: Conviction is as awesome as its title, which is the best title for a game ever.
The story of the game happens a few years after the end of Splinter Cell: Double Agent. If you have played the previous game but haven’t finished it, there’s nothing to worry about. You’ll soon catch up quickly. Here are few of the events you might have missed: Sam’s daughter was killed; he killed his best friend Lambert; and he decided to split from Third Echelon, the agency of the government he considered to be his home for years. He later acquired new evidence leading to his daughter’s killer, so a grief-stricken and semi-retired Sam gets back into action; and thus, Splinter Cell: Conviction begins. Sam gets hold of information that the people behind the death of her daughter are planning a major terrorist attack on Washington D.C. His mission now is not just to find his daughter’s killer or killers; but he’s out to save the people of Washington D.C.
The pacing of Conviction is the main difference of this game from its predecessors. Throughout the game, you will really feel driven and pushed forward. Ubisoft has made a few neat tricks to achieve the unrelenting fast pace. The game unfolds in such a dynamic pulsating way that you can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next; and there’s a chance that you may even stay up all night playing the single-player campaign mode.
The game has no in-game loading screens but if you die, that’s an exception. As soon as the game starts, you won’t have time to mull and wonder about what’s in store for you. As the levels are being loaded, slickly presented cut scenes appear simultaneously. There is a new fancy new projection technology that integrates text into the scene you’re in, to lead you to your goal; just as there are movies about back stories playing in the walls as you play. These things help players feel fluidity throughout the game. However, the real reason why players feel so fluid throughout this game is because of the change in stealth.
In Conviction, stealth is fortified with the word speed. In the game, Sam moves lightning fast. Sam has been given “panther” attributes by Third Echelon and the codename just fits him perfectly. In the past versions of Splinter Cell, the trick was to avoid the enemies. But this time, Sam becomes a hunter of the enemies. Instead of avoiding them, he finds and kills them. This is his underlying mission throughout the game.
Conviction is indeed a fitting title and it has all the makings of a true Splinter Cell game. Incredible speed is the pivotal feature of the gameplay and Sam here transforms to a whole new different person – an extremely awe-inspiring killer. It’s an astonishingly superb, action-packed game so vastly different from its predecessors, you hardly recognize it as a sequel. Despite some problems in the design presentation, the elements still work together to make Conviction, a remarkable addition to the Splinter Cell game family.
The long wait is finally over for fans of Gran Turismo who have been looking forward to the PlayStation portable version of this game. The numbers in the PSP Gran Turismo are quite interesting with 800 cars, 80 tracks, and 60 track variations, which also include forward and reverse track formation, all running at 60 fps. Sounds impressive for a PSP title, don’t you think?
For the huge fans of Gran Turismo, it’s an excruciating pain to see that this version of Gran Turismo on PSP is a huge disappointment. Unbelievable? Yeah, you would think that of course; with those numbers up there, how can it be disappointing? That’s a valid question. Unfortunately, those numbers are the only things you get with this Gran Turismo version. The game lacks proper career mode. You don’t even have any reason or ability to get a car and slowly upgrade it so you can be in bigger contests. The game is just plain racing and even that has nothing to offer at all, in terms of motivating you to race.
Before actually delving into the disappointing parts of this Gran Turismo, let’s take a look at the good stuff first. On a good note, this game feels a lot more like Gran Turismo 4 which is a very good thing; but feels a little subdued if you have already played GT5 Prologue or Need for Speed Shift. Nevertheless, the game still offers the Gran Turismo driving experience at its best. It remains realistic and smooth while also being gratifying and demanding simultaneously.
The analog controls coming from the consoles – the acceleration and brakes, in particular – have been efficiently transferred over to the PSP. The AI hasn’t improved much, though. It just sticks to its racing lines and continues its business almost as if you were not there. It must also be noted that you can only race up to three different cars. This is pretty disappointing for the game mechanics.
The Gran Turismo on PSP has two single-player modes, the Driver Challenges and the plainly titled Single Player. The Single Player mode is just a quick race mode from which you can choose either a standard race, time trial, or drift challenge. Any one of these can be played on any of the game’s tracks. Take note that all these are just one-off event. When you win, you won’t really get much more than cash. But you can increase your driver rank from a D to an S ranking on each different track. This is a fancy way to say that you are able to race better against an AI on that certain course and you can also earn more loot while you’re at it.
The Driver Challenge is the other part of the single-player experience of the game. It actually offers goals to achieve. Of course, there’s a catch. It’s just an extended set of license tests that you don’t even have any reason for beating them, other than to … well, just simply do it. The mode has a total of 102 events and fans and gamers might think that there is a big prize at the end. But the sad thing is, there really is nothing to get. Well, if you count unlocking a custom soundtrack option and watching the end credits film – that would be it. You get nada from finishing those events.
A lot of Gran Turismo fans might find it hard to believe that this PSP version has come to be such a colossal disappointment. While it still has the driving mechanics you expect from such a famous racing video game, it’s sad to note that a number of presentation issues, such as the total lack of a career mode have rendered mediocre what could and should have been an outstanding game. Let’s just hope they come up with next PSP Gran Turismo that’s a lot better than this one.
Survival horror video games are fun to play, with all the anxiety, thrill and excitement, and the characters' vulnerability. The rush you get while fighting off those horrifying enemies, everything about the game just draws you into it. Metro 2033 is another survival horror video game that incorporates all these characteristics to create the same intriguing journey. Yes, it is successful in creating a journey with a very intriguing story and atmosphere, but it has failed in technicalities that can frustrate gamers.
This new survival horror game has plenty going for it despite the glitches. Its strongest asset is the atmosphere and its setting. They have made a breathtaking world that is fascinating in an odd and eerie sense. They designed a game that forces a player to crawl through broken-down sewers; or ride creepy trains plodding through cold wastelands.
Metro 2033 has a number of interesting ideas that comes with its standard FPS form. Guns in the game are easy with its traditional run and gun system and sometimes a little bit of sidestepping is needed. The character Artyom can only carry and use one gun from each type of firearms available and an assortment of knives and bombs. Aside from these, he also has a special gas mask to protect him from the poisonous air.
The developers have put in some great gizmos like the universal charger that boosts his headlamp and night vision goggles. Pneumatic weapons, which players are equipped with, are quite enticing. The game also allows the players to access Artyom's journal during his travels to see the objectives. This also has a built-in compass for directions.
Metro 2033 has it worst in the gameplay because of its intermittent dysfunction, sometimes it works fine; other times it fails. There are cases when you really get frustrated about the stealth areas where enemies do not follow the same set of rules. If you hit an enemy but not accurate enough to kill them, every enemy in the vicinity gets wind that you're nearby; and what's worse, they know exactly where you are.
This game also has a number of glitches, such as when gamers are bogged down by fences and walls; times when you do battle against indestructible enemies. Also, there's the filter-replacement for Artyom's gas mask, which is one of the weirdest things in the game because you can see the animation of swapping but the filter change never really happens.
Another baffling thing about Metro 2033 concerns the newbie. Although the game is equipped with tutorials that are supposed to teach you all the basics, there are areas that are not really taught well, like proper trading in the market, for instance. Beginners can easily get lost.
In conclusion, you can say that Metro 2033 could have been a blast with the success of its "horror-ific" atmosphere and the elements all working together to let you feel the tension you should when playing a survival horror movie. But this success is severely restrained by its technical problems in stealth and gameplay.
There might not be any real substitute to the actual football game but what 2010 FIFA World Cup offers is the closest thing out there. The developers do their best to make them as authentic as the real thing with the help of great technology. You might not actually be part of the World Cup in the real world; but you get to play it in the game world.
This game allows you to actually experience all the different thrills, if you were right there watching the World Cup being played. The game captures almost each aspect of the real-time setting and puts it in the game. When players start coming out from their respective corners, you see confetti here and there and even some fireworks from the back. The whole stadium is also filled with a lot of advertisements, and dancers getting everyone fired up, with the audience just as lively as the ones we see on TV when the World Cup is on. It gets you smiling even before the actual game kicks off.
But with all of these things going on, often times exaggerated, you get the feeling that the game in itself is over the top. Luckily, you don't see anybody in the audience getting suffocated with all the confetti, no stadium is burned because of excessive fireworks, and no dancers become exhausted since you can control these too. Apart from the typical control you have over players, being able to lay it on thick is a great addition.
The graphics has also improved really well. There's plenty added from the previous installment. You get a better lighting system; the pitches look more real this time and the players move a bit more fluid. The players appear more life-like, especially those who are really famous. They really captured the realness to the game this time. That's not to say they didn't in the previous ones; it's to point out how much things are even better. It's interesting to find out what they have in store for the gamers in upcoming releases.
The gameplay is likewise enhanced, making players a lot more responsive to the controls. They also move faster and the opponents are a lot smarter. They don't rush things and you get the feeling they are really studying your moves and try to beat you in almost every way possible. Stamina and performance are now vital in playing the game. So learn not to tire your character or he'll get exhausted and you'll eventually lose.
The game's appeal to the audience even has that addictive factor that keeps you hooked on playing the game. It is neither because of the different game modes available nor the improved graphics; it is a lot more special than that. It captures the whole experience of the World Cup so well and the improvements are so exquisitely done that even if you already have FIFA 10 you'd still be raring to go and buy this game.
The Sims designer Will Wright is also the maker of SimCity, a complex game that has also captured the hearts of many gamers from its first release 15 years ago, with its challenging goal of planning a city and turning it into a successful metropolis with you as the mayor. Now, the series reaches its fourth installment which is not that different from the previous SimCity games. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any changes, it does have new features and a major overhaul was done with its visuals but these aren’t enough to make you conclude that the game has maximized its capability of becoming the best. Still, its complexity and challenging goals can give you hours of playing time and experiences where you can actually learn from.
The most noticeable change in this new installment can be spotted the moment you begin to play where you immediately see the SimNation; which is dissected into a number of smaller areas where you can build a whole city in an area of your choice. To a certain extent, each city in the surrounding area can collaborate with another city, especially when trading resources. All you have to do is to click on a square, name it and commission yourself as its mayor.
Getting started is just like any of the other SimCity games; beginning with building your power plant and on to creating the commercial zone. But in SimCity 4, everything is made easy by its automated commands when making streets. This is fantastic since it does make everything easier on the other hand, it can also leave your city with little wasted spaces if you are not acquainted with the use of such automated commands. This feature can probably be appreciated more if it had been made optional for those who are more adept at manual operations than using the automated version.
This version has a more polished interface that gives you all the information and the building options that will help you become the best mayor for your city. The game also gives you a wider level of control over you city. Instead of just lowering or increasing your tax rate, you can now choose to differentiate the tax rates between the three zone types in your city. You can also adjust budgets not only locally but globally, too.
The fourth installment in the series also gives you the option to make your own volcano even in the heart of the city, which means you can also make calamities and natural disasters just happen out of the blue through the disaster menu. Be warned that you are not allowed to paralyze random disasters. You can even make yourself the worst mayor in this game like getting your city into serious debts and all! But that is definitely not the purpose of playing this game. The new MySim mode is also not necessary. Sure, your new imports can provide you with important information but why give your attention to that one person when you have thousand more that actually need you right now.
Sometimes, the game strikes some performance issues. The worst that can happen is that your game might not boot up because it is incompatible with some video cards. You can also experience crashes and some hitches on the graphics. Starting up can also be a bit slow and irksome and sometime the cameras become unresponsive when you want to monitor around your city.
These are just minor problems to a game that is still impressive overall, with its variety and attention to details. Among the four, this is the only one capable of giving you a night view of your city although seasons are not yet available. SimCity 4 is still the same complex and challenging game you love and with all its add-ons, you will categorically find it hard to stop.
Last year the release of FIFA 09 was a major hit. Today, FIFA 10 is rocking the world by its excellence. The realease of the newly improved FIFA 10 is now astounding football gamers worldwide with their newly added features that is taking it to a new level.
FIFA 10 now features the full 360 degree dribbling that is a far cry from the other versions that are limited to only sixteen directions. This new feature allows for dribbles in a lot of directions that make the game more realistic than ever.
Another brilliant inclusion in this new video game is the Virtual Pro, taking personalization to a higher level. Previous versions set you up on a career as a football player. Virtual Pro transcends it by giving the created player your own face through uploaded photos which will become your look-alike in a virtual way. Virtual Pro offers you the opportunity to make a player based on your preference when it comes to the style of playing you want to have. Your look-alike football player will be accessible in the group of the team you like the most in all options. This will allow your player to develop their statistics by just participating in an exhibition game. Many opportunities for achievements and developments can be made through Virtual Pro where some of it would most likely take a lot of time and effort to achieve but is still worth trying because it can actually increase a footballers abilities. You can start from practicing at the arena or on to playing matches online.
Another attachment, although not that fully developed, is the possibility of modeling your own set pieces. You can make and design your own free kicks and corner routines and try it by using the Arena. You can decide on how you want your line of defense to work and apply advancements on your crosses and goalkeepers who should probably watch out because they can be awarded with red cards.
These are the new inclusions that FIFA 10 offers but other than that, the rest still remains the same while some have been improved like the leagues which have been made better in physics, controls and in multiplayer options both on and offline. Teammates and opponents are now playing better together, and there is more focus on the ball, which is important in a game, all made possible by improvements on artificial intelligence. Graphics and special effects like cheering audiences and weather effects like rain and snow is also more developed. Another thing to be noted is the extension of the manager mode with a remake on its experience point system and improvements on staff, inteface and the chance to change kit numbers.
At first, it will be hard to adjust to these new features because of the drastic changes that lead to their great developments but everything is so worth it because FIFA 10 has brought up football gaming into a higher level of experience which everybody will truly enjoy.
Call of Duty has been a prominent first-person shooter throughout the years. The gripping action and heart-racing missions have proven to be addictive amongst players. Now with Modern Warfare 2, all the factors have been improved and will surely make fans and gamers begging for more in the end.
Modern Warfare 2 continues the legacy of the Call of Duty saga but this version is the least traditional among the other Call of Duty games. The main game package is divided into three pillars of gameplay. Fans who like single-player games will still have their main campaign, gamers who like to cooperate with other players either through a local or online connection will have the new Special Operations mode, and last is the multiplayer which got even better. Each mode is 100 % standalone that it does not have any connection with the other modes, so you actually get to have three different experiences in one game.
Gamers should definitely try the single-player campaign mode first, which is absolutely back and more intense than past campaign modes. Fans will truly appreciate the improvement in the mode as they are thrown into the bustling streets of Rio de Janeiro, the very cold mountains of Kazakhstan, the very dusty roads of Afghanistan and a whole lot more destinations. Modern Warfare also offers stunning visuals that are steps over Call of Duty 4 and World at War. There is an emphasis on intricate terrains in the environment, interesting weather effects, and a whole lot that adds improvement to the chaos and action of the entire game. A great audio also accompanies the stunning visuals with effects from returning weapons and a very captivating score by Hans Zimmer that will truly complement some game scenes. With the dazzling visuals and a captivating audio, you would feel like you are watching an action film when playing the game.
The campaign mode has its issues, though. For newbies, it’s quite short. But despite its shortness, Modern Warfare 2 is definitely more chaotic; brought by better visual effects, upgraded production values, and very tough scenario designs. Realism is even more exemplified in Modern Warfare 2 with better visuals, which is more pronounced when it comes to bloody scenes. There surely were effects in previous versions that showed blood with the screen getting red. But this time, blood splatter can truly be noticed as more real-looking on your screen throughout the game. Though others find this as a distraction, it’s still quite amazingly awesome.
Modern Warfare 2 is also the debut of the Special Operations or Spec Ops mode. This mode is actually an arcade-inspired challenge mode. The mode can be played with a single player for the most part, but is actually intended to be around two people’s team play. The Spec Ops mode is divided into 5 tiers that have missions where there are three possible stars to gain based on the level of difficulty in each of the 23 missions in the game. Fans and gamers will truly be surprised with this mode because of its entertainment value and is actually longer than the single player campaign mode.
The multiplayer in Modern Warfare 2 got even better, as well. Being the front bearer in the Call of Duty saga, Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer visuals and effects indeed got a good boost. You are guaranteed to be in for an engaging experience with the multiplayer mode enhancements.
Overall, Modern Warfare 2 really proves to be one of the best first-person shooter games out in the market. But there’s a catch for those who prefer to play the single-player campaign mode. It is really short and it only forms part of the entire Modern Warfare experience. If you opt to immerse on all three modes, then you will definitely have one hell of an experience and action with Modern Warfare 2.
Dante’s Inferno is practically an offshoot of the God of war series. With an added improvement in the system; some plus on the power-ups and items; some combat strategy changes; and visual difference, the new game is now a deviation from the original. This has become the reasons why Dante’s Inferno has become one of the most fluid games among the action genre in gaming.
The developers of the game, A2M have tried to transpose and make the game in the PSP. The story was basically the same. Dante is on a journey to save a loved one’s soul from the inferno; and he does this be destroying things, which is basically the same as before. And when you look at the game Dante’s Inferno closely, A2M has destroyed the essence of the game with the little resources and capabilities of the PSP.
The combat, at the first looks the same as the console version, but once you play it, you can feel the difference. The dodge move is now harder to control. The character is now less versatile in combat. The combo of a hero may easily be broken due to the difficulty mentioned above. Hence, frustration may arise.
And that’s not all; there are wrongly-created edits in the game. There are now perceived as imbalances in the skills of the hero. An example is the grab-and-judge skill that becomes too powerful in the game. As a result, other strategies and skill turn out to be impractical to use. Some skilled player however, can ignore this issue since they have what it takes to make use of other combat strategies and combos. But, there is still a downside to this; the hits of the combos you use are not registered perfectly, so you can still end up using the imbalance skill due to irritation.
Moreover, the holy dash skill that was effective against a mob has become virtually useless since it now requires you to aim manually using the analog while pressing down a directional pad (Did I say impractical?) Combine this with the reduced movement speed of Dante; the game is really frustrating.
That’s not saying the game is all negative. The developers were able to maintain some of the epic scopes from the console game. It is admirable for them to still have the maintained host of levels and encounters. The scale of the game is good, and the graphics is pretty impressive, even considering that this is a PSP game. The use of colors have compensated for the lack of detail in the background. And the game as a whole performs as it should.
In this version, most of the “punish or absolve” feature have been deleted. However, what is retained works well. Save when you are in the scripted kills in the game.
On the presentation of the game, it was really shabby and compromised. The soundtrack in the game does not perform well. There are skips and cuts in the game. And to make things even worse, there are load screens at every stage and for every move you make in the game.
The transposition from the console game to the PSP isn’t such a smart move for A2M. The game was virtually a disaster. Gamers, if you are looking for fun, this is not the game for you.
Dissidia Final Fantasy is a fighting game of all the RPG characters that Square Enix has created. Well, I must say that I had no doubts about an RPG game made by Enix, but I certainly had second thoughts about their capability when they made this fighting game. Luckily, that doubt was quickly dispelled when I started to play the game. The game is really one of the most well-thought of game that I have ever played -- easily one of my favorites. And more so, if you are a fan of the Final Fantasy series; you’ll regret it if you do not play the game.
The game has both the heroes and villains of up to Final Fantasy 10, along with some characters that you can unlock. Now, you have the chance to brawl with these forces of light and dark against each other. The plot of the story features the war in Dissidia between Cosmos, the goddess of Harmony; and Chaos, the god of discord. And their move is to summon all the warriors of light and darkness. Hence, the battle between the heroes of light and the villains of darkness begins.
Dissidia is basically a ‘one-on-one’ action game. The game is not the stereotype fighting game, and it does not need heavy directional inputs on the game either. It is more akin to the game Kingdom Hearts where you go inside a gigantic arena and send attacks to your opponents with only a simple button to press. It’s kind of a combination between an RPG battle and a fighting game.
Now, you may say that the gameplay is pretty shallow, but when you come to play it; it really requires a good amount of skills to play the game well. Timing is crucial in making attacks or counterattacks. The dodging system of the game also requires a player to assess the distance well. Hence, the game is a fighting game, with the added ability to roam around the arena at will.
You need to get along with the battle system at first. Practice will make you better, the Bravery points in the game is a critical aspect that a player must focus on. The game is a balance between Bravery and HP attacks. You start by accumulating Bravery points and then when you have enough, you make an HP attack that damages the enemy at the amount equal to your Bravery point.
But this is not the only aspect of the battle, there is also the EX mode that every character has. For every attack you make, adds up to the EX gauge. Once the gauge is full, the character can go to his or her EX mode. This greatly increases the attack power and abilities. When you combine the HP Attack and follow it up by pressing the box button, the character does a unique and amazing EX Burst attack — which is 90% finishing blow.
The characters include heroes in the proportion of Squall, Terra, Cloud and Tidus. Then they are clashed with villains as devious as Sephirot, Ultimecia, Jecht and Kefka. The characters have certain classes that they belong to. They may be close ranged or long ranged characters.
The game can still use some improvements in its graphics. An improvement in the details in the game can boost the game as well. Also, there’s a good amount of enhancement needed in how the characters in the game are introduced. People who have no knowledge of the franchise may have a hard time keeping up with the role of the characters.
But overall, the game is one of the best. Gamers should not miss this one. The combination of unique features and legendary characters in the game is quite an experience.
Tiger Woods PGA tour 11 has several new additions in Xbox 360 platform that avid golf fanatics may find quite fascinating. The primary and the 'cream of the crop' addition to the game is the True-Aim. Every golf fanatic wants to have an almost real game experience without having to go through the complication of the Tour-Pro set up. It's a much more focused set up and helps you aim your shot as it zooms in an over-the shoulder camera. It has a more realistic feel of putting a ball with a golf club in your hands. No more of that confusing camera views where it tracks where the ball goes. You can gauge how well you did from the audience's reaction and the commentator's input. Now isn't that more realistic and interesting?
Another great add-on to this gameplay is the Focus. Just like True-Aim, Focus is also effective at leveling up the difficulty but not to the extent that it gets frustrating. You can see the Focus indicator at the bottom left of the screen. The more you use the Tiger Woods's classic arcade style powers the more your Focus level gets depleted. Without the Focus, you are left on your own to play the game the best you could. You Tiger Wood shots are gone and it's all up to you, you and you to win or lose the game.
This actually shows you the importance of the Focus feature; but also that you may be relying heavily on the attributes that Focus gives. Thus, sometimes it seems you just stay in the game as long as Focus is there. Be that as the case may be, you should therefore utilize this feature wisely; or you get kicked from the game.
The famous Ryder Cup is another big addition to the game, or it could have been a good addition. The idea of having a USA team against the Euro team should have been great and more exciting. Unfortunately it fails to meet expectations. Still, Ryder Cup is a bit fun. But it's kind of annoying when you have to wait for those other teammates including the opposite team to have their shots. Though that part is time-wasting, it also creates some pressure on how you can deliver your next shot. The great thing is you can make it more interesting by creating your own customized golfer. In customizing a golfer, there's a bunch of exciting things off for grabs. But you need to get familiar with the deep creation mechanic or photo GameFace.
There are still plenty of skill challenges to compete against some of the world's best golfers, and the PGA Tour Season is still firmly intact. The only real change has to do with experience points. Instead of earning cash, you now get experience for your actions on the course. That experience can be added up to attributes just like before, but this time you can reallocate points if needed. If you find your player to be totally incapacitated by lack of power a few months into his career, you have the chance to redirect all your stats and make him a better golfer.
If you think it's more interesting to play the game with your friends, you may enjoy playing Tiger Woods 11 online. There are online team plays which comprise of up to 23 players. Same application is used as in the previous game. GamerNet challenges round out the game's online abilities so nicely, but my take is it would be better to add something that could make the games tougher and more thrilling.
Though Tiger Woods 11 is way better than what the previous installments have to offer, there are still flaws in the game, such as insignificant bugs and oddities that keep popping up. Among these are the hitches you encounter during a shift from your longest to shortest club for about a second and a half and some camera failures during the game that interrupts the flow of your game. Still, the game is something to dwell on.
With the cool add-ons of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11, you are assured of a better gameplay and a more enjoyable putting of gold balls online. Golf fanatics will absolutely find this game worth playing.