While it is true that this year’s Football Manager isn’t expecting any star signing (and shining) there’s been adequate augmentation to keep it running.
The setting off of the three-dimensional match engine last year was probably Football Manager’s most significant and apparent innovation. Unfortunately, the engine was still a bit rough around the edges; and overall, there wasn’t many enhancements done to the rest of the game that would have persuaded fans of the series to purchase the then new version. This year is different, however, There’s a marked improvement in that new engine; now sitting at the core of a game that’s a lot stronger than before, gratefully because of other across-the-board enhancements as well.
The game’s hub still remains the same, though and you still start by gaining control of your chosen team at the pre-season outset and going about the managing of you squad through the forthcoming seasons. Of course, you also get the option of watching your team play a training match, which would give you the chance of both handling your players and learning the nuances and match day controls, especially if you’re new to the game. The “assistant manager”, which is actually a bunch of helpful pop-ups, can guide you in handling player interactions; and if you’re feeling a little out of your element, it can even set the formation for you.
There really isn’t anything in the pipeline as big as the new engine, but there are enough enhancements and fine-tuning done in most areas of Football Manager 2010. The most noticeable upgrading is the game’s overview screen, which is a far cry from previous home screens that customarily focused on the mailbox. The new screen bring in together news feeds, league tablets, upcoming fixtures transfer information, in-game mail and even the summary of your current team status. The old mailbox still exists, though but more like a hub for most of your game interaction with players, fans, press and the management. Not much has changed on this angle.
Also much improved are the help and assistant-management systems, being more approachable to new players and much more involved with those who are more familiar with the series and have played before. Supplementary help takes the shape of superior transfer and system for scouting, not so much in the manner of scouting but more on the presentation of individual player reports; which make all information a lot clearer, allowing you to make informed choices over signings.
The 3D match engine which debuted last year is now sporting new coat and paint; which are actually among the more significant changes, giving the game a better appearance and appeal. And although some think that the match engine still looks positively hideous, at least it doesn’t endure any of last year’s snags, minor as they were. Apart from the physical enhancements, augmentations were also done during the game matches, giving you the option to change tactics using the touchline fly and shout specific instructions in the same way that you can also tell players to switch positions through accessible options from the match-day TV.
Unlike before, you can now do these two iterations without the need to keep going back to the main tactic menu. The main menu options are still very much there, of course, and you still need them when you want to make huge substitutions or some extensive tactical modifications; but the touchline interaction add-on absolutely works better, too.
It’s a shame that they haven’t come up with an in-game MP3 player to get your own tunes. Poring over statistics or waiting for screens to load would have been more enjoyable with customizable music. Another thing that can do with some fine tuning is the way crowd effects are carried out – just a little more variation and “synching” the cheers at goals and gasps when you rattle the woodwork; after all, you don’t really need those during an intra-team training game, now do you?
If you’ve been dreaming of managing your own fancy team or been imagining managing a new franchise in the Major League, Football Manager is the closest you can get to it. While the additions this year can hardly be called revolutionary, they have made the game more accessible to newcomers and have added more depth for the veteran players. It is simply a great game for anyone with the slightest interest in football wherever they may be in the world.
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 cannot hit an enemy – or maybe you can 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 hitches, 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.
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.
EA has taken over the Wii creation of the system and the golfing experience of the Game Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10. The feedback on the game is great and the experience of golfing is terrific. The way the gameplay is created has really answered the needs of gamers. The game just allows you to get immersed in it. It is the best entertainment in golf that money can buy. Moreover, PGA Tour 10 also features a wide selection of new courses with a realistic weather effect. The star of the game is the long awaited MotionPlus swing controls. This offers a very realistic recreation of real golfing. If you are still deciding whether or not to buy the MotionPlus, here’s a tip: YES! Buy one already. It is really THAT good.
The gameplay is really one fantastic feature. The menus in the game are slick. The style is very good and the pointer controls are well done. However, the game is still not a major revolution. The fundamentals of the previous edition are still intact; EA has just added and then subtracted some features to improve the game. And there are several game type modes, but the biggest part of the single player game is on the “My Career” mode. It is specially detailed that you are able to create a golf player basically from scratch. You may also customize as much as you want in the game. And when your player is ready you can take him to several tours like the PGA tour, the FedEx Cup, and Tournament Challenge. This type of career mode, I would definitely recommend to golf fans because the tournament is filled with seasoned PGA real life players as your competitors.
The game not only has the career mode, but it also features more than ten mini-games. These games range from cart competition to target practice and then to ring scores. Well, this mode actually featured in the previous edition; which up to four players - and the fun just keeps getting better.
Then there’s the online mode. The features in the last edition are still there, but some new fantastic live tournaments have been added. In this edition, you may join a tournament on a daily or weekly basis. You can even play with the pros in the ranked tournaments. And when you add this to the real-time weather feature of the game - the weather forecast - you’ll encounter unpredictable environments which just make the game a bit more challenging.
The Graphics of the game is superb when it comes to fluidity and the course looks realistic enough. However, the textures in the game can do with some improvements. The sound on the other hand is just average. The sound on the menus is decent but is not a stand out. And the sound effects in the gameplay are not that good either.
Despite the minimal drawbacks, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for Wii can still be considered one of the best. It’s filled with content and the game is made excellent with the addition of the MotionPlus, along with the great Disc Golf expansion and the online mode that add some other dimension to the game. Don’t be surprised if this game hits the top of the charts.
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.
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.
Red Dead Redemption takes you back to a time when guns and cowboys ruled the land. Set in the Wild West, this game allows you to relive the time when the world was full of bandits, thieves, as well as the presence of different issues like racism and immigration.
Judging by the issues this game tackles, you would think that the game would try to preach good politics and try to cloud your mind with different organizational reforms and stuff. But the developers have made the main character relatively neutral thus taking into account both sides. The main character can be both a “righter” of wrong in one scene and a typical bad guy on the next. The constant shift from one Persona to another allows you not only full capacity to control what happens in the game but it also allows you to see the effects of both actions.
It might be set in the Wild West but it also has a touch of the 20th century era. His then partners are still stuck in the era where illegal acts are considered legal while he is now living a life in a civilized world. It’s definitely fun to see how a once famous outlaw is now trying to do a somewhat good deed by tracking down his previous partners in crime. It’s like watching two worlds collide in front of you with you just glued to your seat until the epic battle is over.
Enough of the whole past meets the present; let us now talk about the rest of the things that goes on in the game. The environment is quite stunning in a sense that it actually captures the actual setting of the place. In addition, the game doesn’t just place different images and structures in the area. In the game itself, you get that sort of feeling that if you see something you surely can do something with it or you can enter it.
What really sets this game apart from the rest of its competition is its excitement factor. The game promises that at the end of each road or encounter, there’s always something that would tickle your mind. An unpredictable encounter that would make you want to delve more into it. And it’s even made more interesting with the fact that the happenings in the game are actually circumstantial. Thus, chances are, you don’t get to see them again when you cross the same path twice. Also, not everything is compulsory. These things are done simply to add excitement to the player with different rewards as well as dangers, whichever suits you.
Sometimes games are so overhyped that when you actually play the game you easily get frustrated because you expected so much from it and the game fails to deliver. This game, however, isn’t one to disappoint; although the hype could have been toned down just a bit. Nonetheless, it was overhyped for the reason that it was actually good and worth playing.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Mac) Review – Present Day Conflict with a Grittier and More Realistic Plotline.
A marquee video game series sometimes has a good reason for becoming a best-seller; and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is one such game. The latest installment of the COD series has just done a complete break-away from its typical World War II-themed origin and has decidedly focused on modern-day conflict involving super powers (i.e. US, UK and Russian forces) in a story conveyed from the perspective of a US Marine and a British S.A.S. operative.
If your hardware is up to it, you’re definitely in for a totally awesome visual treat. Call of Duty 4 graphics is pure delight with its realistic lighting, incredible texture and fantastic modeling and the result is simply stunning and one of the most enthralling experiences on any first person shooter game up to this time.
But the credits surely can’t be monopolized by the outstanding graphics.
It is actually the overall combination of the whole products that makes the game astonishing. The superb sound and vocal work are so vividly realistic. The potent combination can be seen and heard, especially in the midst of a full-scale heavy combat where the player gets the feeling of a full blown chaos that create an almost real temporary disorientation with the sounds of explosion, falling debris and smoke. It’s all so mind boggling that the player actually needs to gather and sort out their thoughts to respond with a counter-attack. Sure, you may have seen that sort of effect on some games; but it has never been this good on the Mac platform.
The other edge Call of Duty 4 has is its multiplayer mode, which seems to have nothing negative to it. It’s simplicity to the core – you just sign in, create a character and voila! The whole gamut of a great first person shooter and splendid role playing experience is all in your hands where every assist, kill and completed mission rewards the player with experience points and a level up status. When a new level is reached players can start unlocking rewards for new weapons and other add-ons or perks. Solid networking is also a big plus as the game rarely lags and works well with its server browser.
Because there are no medical classes within Call of Duty 4, it brings about a gritty feeling to the game – nothing is polite; there’s no mercy and there are no second chances. When you get shot, for instance, there’s no one to save you and it’s only a matter of seconds before you die. As the game goes, it’s no quarter asked, no quarter given. The players have to be on their toes and be aware of what’s going on around them.
Despite its being superbly crafted, COD 4, like all other games, is not perfect. It has its own flaws to contend with. There are certain things that can do with some fixing. Characters sometimes get stuck on some scenery, although it’s quite rare. Also the single player mode of the game seems to be too short-lived and it’s over before you know it.
Be that as it may, the bottom line is it’s close to perfect and Call of Duty 4 really does an astounding job as far as single and multiplayer game plays are concerned. Something you don’t easily get in most video games.
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.