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.
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.
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.
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 arent 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 games 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 characters 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 characters techniques so you dont 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, thats a lot of characters to choose from.
Although this version doesnt 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 youve 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.
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.
A current trend in the gaming world now is the incorporation or the invasion, if you want to call it that, of professional sports games on Wii. A perfect example is FIFA 10. Creators have made FIFA available on Wii today. But take note that the market for Nintendo Wii is casual players, and those that play professional sports are often serious about it. So here arises the difficulty in striking a balance for the two markets – the loyal fans and the casual gamers. But in spite of such situation, the game is still garnering good feedbacks because it still provides fun.
When you play FIFA 10 on Wii, the first thing you notice is that the Manager Mode you’ve known is now called the Battle for Glory. Still, the usual feel of FIFA is present with the addition of just a wee bit Wii-centric characteristic. The feature that allows you to transfer players and check stats are still present. However, the important feature of you being able to control a whole European Club is not there anymore. On the brighter side, they have added a new fun feature that both soccer fans and casual players love. Before each game, there is an option to choose 3 “Manager Moment” which serves as your goal for the game. When you accomplish these tasks, you earn points that you can use to improve your team.
This feature does not end there. Aside from team improvements, the Manager Moment goals also give you the “game booster cards”. These cards do many things like improve a specific player, increase his speed or the effectiveness in his shots. You may save these cards up or use them automatically in the next game. The choice is yours.
The game also has a Tournament Mode where you strive to attain one of the many cups that all teams vie for each season. This feature is the standard tournament in soccer. But the trophies you get at each tournament are the same as in the real world. That ought to keep you motivated. There is also the standard online mode that lets you play with other teams or a two-on-two soccer game.
The instant you are on the pitch, you immediately feel that the game is not the same as FIFA 09. The graphics are now cartoony, and the level of detail is not that great. The frame rate also raises an issue, especially on instant replay. However, the players move quite well and are almost at par with the real ones.
There are also mini-games; and penalty kicks, free kicks and corner kicks are some of the games you can play as a form of practice. However, there is no deep game mode like the “career mode” that sports fans absolutely love. This feature should have been in the game.
The biggest problem is not in the graphics, though; it’s on the game itself. Specifically, it’s in passing the ball. It gets annoying when you cannot control the speed of the pass you make to a team mate in the game. Such difficulty is critical to the playability of the game.
All in all FIFA 10 on Wii is definitely a good evolution into the trend of incorporating professional sports in computer games. The creators have done a good job at being cautious about the reactions of fans of the game who want the gameplay to be as close as it could be to reality; while there are also people who just want to have an old-school arcade fun. Save those that are mentioned above, which point to the game’s weakness; FIFA 10 still delivers great fun, of course. Hopefully, the next FIFA on Wii will attempt to improve on the weaknesses mentioned.
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.
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.
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.
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.