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Sly Cooper Thieves in Time, often abbreviated to Sly 4, is a follow on to Honor Among Thieves and takes place in a world once again populated by animal with human characteristics. It continues the story of Sly Cooper the raccoon, who is the latest in a long line of Coopers, a family of professional thieves. His mission in this story is to bring together his gang to repair the Thievius Raccoonius, a book describing the history of the Coopers which has been damaged by a time traveling villain. The player gets to control Sly himself and Sly's ancestors, as well as, to a lesser degree, Murray, Carmelita Fox and Bentley and some of Sly's ancestors, and he has to put their abilities to use to carry out robberies and to discover who was responsible for tampering with the above mentioned book.
The gang travels backwards and forwards in space and time, as do their villainous opponents, to such far flung eras and locations as the American Wild West where they manage engineer the prison break out of Tennessee Kid Cooper who was framed for a bank job. While there they also meet the character Toothpick, a gunslinging armadillo, now the town sheriff, and meet the skunk, the wheeler dealing Cyrille Le Paradox.
In Japan, during its feudal era, they rescue Rioichi Cooper, a Ninja and inventor of sushi, and there they encounter the military genius, the tiger El Jele, who overthrew several small nations in the Far East and auctioned them off. In England during the middle ages they meet Sir Galleth, a Knight of the Order of Coopers and the Black Knight. their travels also take them to Ancient Arabia and as far back as the Ice Age, places and times where they encounter other members of the Cooper family tree.
After much travel and adventure, countless twists and turns, and toing and froing in time, the gang ends up in modern day Paris. While there, Sly and Le paradox, who we first met in the Wild West, and who features often throughout the plot, do battle, ending in the imprisonment of Le Paradox along with most of the other villains. By this time most of Sly's gang have returned to where they came from.
Much of the gameplay is similar to the three previous Sly titles and it is Sly who the user mostly takes control of. There are various physical obstacles to be negotiated and many of Sly's abilities form before are inherited. New to this latest installment are the costumes and equipment which can be earned as the game progresses. These include such things as suits of armor and shields, useful in Medieval England. These costumes, having been earned, can be taken back and used in levels already completed to unlock and reach secret places not visited before. There are also other treasures and disguises such as masks to collect which act as in game currency to purchase upgrades and abilities.
When the game is completed successfully the player is treated to a scene of an Egyptian temple which gives a hint of a possible sequel to Thieves in Time.
Need for Speed The Run is not your typical racing game. It's premise has been done many times in movies, but never in a video game racing title that I'm aware of. Similar to the Cannonball Run series of movies and TV show, Need for Speed: The Run tasks players with being the first to reach New York City from San Francisco in a fast-paced racing adventure you'll find nowhere else.
Jack is strapped for cash and basically forced to enter a race across the country with $25 million dollars on the line and over 200 competitors standing in his way. Thats pretty much the entire plot, which is acceptable for just about any racing game. However, with a game as heavily promoted with Michael Bay cinematic videos as this one, I guess I expected a lot more.
Featuring the Frostbite 2 engine, Need for Speed The Run is a good looking racer. My favorite thing about the look of the game is by far the surrounding environment. There are some really interesting tracks with awe-inspiring views. You'll drive through the barren landscape of Death Valley and across the beautiful mountain tops of Yosemite National Park. You'll breeze past the flashing neon signs that plaster the strip in Las Vegas, and roam through the beautiful forests of Appalachia. You've never raced a track type in any other reality-based racing game that you wont encounter here. The cars are also meticulously recreated here with tremendous attention to detail. The cars don't just look great though, they sound great too. You'll truly feel like you're there for every bone-shattering collision on a crowded New York City street, and every spine-tingling tire screech as you sail around a tight corner on the streets of Chicago.
This game isn't Gran Turismo 5 or Forza 4 so you wont get top of the line physics. What you will get though, is an arcade style racer thats an absolute blast to play. There are 50 events to complete which take place over 10 stages. Each event represents a certain stretch of road between the countries 2 sides. During these stretches your tasks will vary, though not as much as one might hope over the course of 50 events. You might need to pass a certain amount of opponents, fight off the mob as they attempt to destroy your ride, or pass a series of checkpoints within the allotted time. Even the lack of variety doesn't slam the brakes on the fun though. As its the blistering sense of speed that gives you the adrenaline rush needed to see the story through to the end.
You can usually just stick to the racing in a review of this type, but thats not the case here. Black Box has added an almost unheard of element for this type of game, on-foot sequences. Yes, you heard that right. You actually get to stretch your legs and get out from behind the wheel from time to time. These sequences come in the form of quick-time events. Theres nothing groundbreaking here, but its definitely a nice change of pace and helps to break up the monotony.
Final Score 8.5/10
Need for Speed The Run is a one of a kind racing title that will appeal to gamers in general whether their gear heads or not. There's action, drama, suspense and even a bit of comedy. You really can't go wrong here and I highly recommend it to everyone, even if it's just for a weekend rental. Happy Gaming
Dishonored is a first person shooter created by Arkane Studios with the publisher being Bethesda Softworks (Yes, they do make more than just Fallout and Elder Scroll games.) The computer that this game was played to completion on has an Intel i7 processor (3.4GHz), 16 Gigs of RAM and an AMD 7970 3GB graphics card. This is to say, all bells and whistles were turned up to the max for the play through of this game. 1080p with 60 frames per second was the goal and it was achieved here.
Rats! No, this is not to say the game is bad as it is quite good, but that, there are rats everywhere. Welcome to the world of Dunwall, a town that has become infested with a rat plague. This plague is central to the story line of the game. The game's main protagonist is named Corvo. At the beginning of the game, you are the bodyguard for the Empress and are subsequently framed for her murder. From there, a very interesting whimsical tale of deceit and double (triple) crossing takes place that keeps the gamer enthralled until the game's end. The game was played with an Xbox 360 controller on the PC with the wireless receiver. Controller lag was negligible.
Technically, this game uses Unreal Engine 3, which is a very common game engine, used in games such as Unreal Tournament, Bioshock and Gears of War on the Xbox 360. However, this is a very modified version of it and it shows artistically in the graphics. This is a beautiful game as small touches such as debris in dilapidated homes and markings on walls add a distinct flair to the look of the game.
Gameplay has been the calling card of the game ever since the first trailer was shown. Imagine using Garrett from the Thief series, jumping around on rooftops, but also imbued with magical powers. Solid Snake and Sam Fisher do not have anything on this brand of stealth. Therefore, jumping from a three story building to do an assassination strikes a chord for the blood lust in us all. You are encouraged to use your environment for the best way to complete a mission as you are not given a large abundance of ammunition. In fact, it's quite scarce in the game so if you were thinking that you could Rambo through a level, think again. The game's story line can and will change depending on how you as the gamer proceed through the game. Are you violent and kill everything in sight? People in the game might not be willing to help you on some of your quests. These are some of the consequences that you face in the game.
As mentioned earlier, the story line follows the pursuits of Corvo after he is framed for the murder of the Empress. As in most cases, there is usually a heir to the throne for the sake of successful succession. In this case, is it the late Empress' daughter Emily. Emily becomes a pawn for many characters in the game as there are numerous people vying for power.
In conclusion, it's good to see that money was well spent here. Great voice actors and actresses such as Susan Sarandon, Carrie Fisher (Princess Lela of Star Wars fame) among many others lead this all-star cast. This is Arkane's first ever game together, but they have shown that they are willing to compete with the best developers out there. With knowledge that this game sold extremely well and this is now a franchise, let's cross our fingers that Dishonored 2 blows us away as much as the first Dishonored has.
The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword for the Wii is an action adventure game and is the sixteenth game in the long franchise. Developed by Nintendo this game is unique as it utilizes the motion features with the Wii in order for gamers to play through the game. This means that you have to have a feel for how to move around as if you were actually swinging at bad guys or aiming your arrow to shoot a monster. Now is the time to get off your feet and start your battle to Hyrule from the forces of evil.
Although this is the most recently released game in the Zelda franchise Skyward Sword takes place as the first Zelda game in the timeline. For all of those Zelda fans who want to learn how the adventure unfolded this is the game to play. In Skyward Sword you get to learn a lot more about the history and roots of The Master Sword and the main antagonist in the Zelda series Ganon. The plot goes into further details surrounding the game's history in general. Not only is the gameplay great, but the story makes this game one of the best Zelda games to date.
Throughout the you have to figure out how a lot of puzzles, which is why the Zelda series has always seen a lot of success. The puzzle and mind boggling aspect keeps gamers thinking at all times and gives you a sense of accomplishment when you figure out complex puzzles. The amount of side quests also make this game very fun and gives you a lot to complete in addition to the regular storyline. If you need a game that is going to keep you entertained for many hours this is it.
The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword was highly received and reputed to be one of the best in the franchise. Before the release of the game a the gaming community was skeptical of Nintendo's ability to keep gamers interested in a Zelda game. The previous game Twilight Princess did not receive as much positive reception as anticipated and as a result people thought Nintendo lost their edge. Yet Nintendo continued to prove people wrong by releasing a game that takes you back to the roots of how Zelda games are played. Even with the addition of the motion mechanics to the game it still feels like a wholesome Zelda game. Skyward Sword received many game of the year awards upon its release. In addition to winning game of the year awards from many reputable organizations it also received best original soundtrack, level design, graphics and story awards. Every long time Zelda fan will appreciate this incarnation of the game as it takes you back to that feeling you got when you played The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time. This Zelda game is a must play.
One thing that Worms: Open Warfare 2 is not is a new take on the Worms gameplay. Its the classic turn-based worm-weapon-wielding destruction-fest that earlier versions were. If you played any version before, youll be right at home with the game on the DS. There are a number of new weapons in this version like the Explosive Buffalo of Lies. With your arsenal at hand, youll command your troop of four worms across the crazy destructible landscapes against up to three other teams of worms.
There are multiple single-player game modes in Open Warfare 2 for you to battle through. There is the campaign mode, which takes your group of worms through a series of more and more difficult scenarios that are set in the backdrop of historical battles. This allows the game to showcase some of the more interesting tile sets. One new addition in this version is the introduction of boss battles, which are a more difficult take on the standard battles against AI worms. There is also a puzzle mode, where you have to complete tasks with a limited arsenal, and a laboratory mode, which lets you play around some with the touch screen and microphone.
The addition of multiplayer to this version takes it to the next level. Not only can you take your party of worms online to battle against opponents from around the world, there are also new game modes for you to play. One of these is called Forts, where the battlefield is two large forts on either side of the screen. The other is rope race, where you use the ninja ripe to swing through a level faster than the opposition. The options for online play are limited, but the important thing is that they are there.
Another nice new addition to this version is the new levels of customization that are offered to players. Now, you can customize much more on your team than just the worm names and what tombstone youll leave when you die. You can change your victory dance, flag, team color, and what fort will appear in Forts games. If youre feeling really artistic, you can even customize your flag with the built-in editor.
A little artistry has always been appreciated in Worms games, and this one finally adds an editor for players to create their own levels. This is a feature that, although standard in early versions, has been cut out of recent releases. Its nice to see the developers decide to take the extra time to include it.
If youre a fan of strategy games of any ilk, you've probably played a Worms game over the years. Worms: Total Warfare 2 has that same excellent gameplay, in an updated package with a bunch of new features. This is definitely one for any Worms fan, or strategy fan, to add to their collection.
The gameplay itself is split between two different kinds of games. The first is the adventure portion. Thats where you'll need to utilize all the capabilities your rat-form allows to move around the kitchen, snagging ingredients as you move about the environment. In order to get the ingredients gathered up, Remy the rat, who you play in the game, will need to dodge mousetraps and evade being seen. The level of awareness of the cooks in the kitchen is indicated by a bar that slowly rises as you maneuver around the level. If it gets too high, Remy will have to take some time hiding in a dark, quiet spot and wait for the heat to die down.
Once all those ingredients are collected together, the other part of the game comes alive. Thats where you take the ingredients you just collected and use the touch screen on the DS to perform all kinds of cooking-related tasks to get the ingredients ready to be made into a meal. Then, the actual task of cooking is performed, where you maintain temperatures under pots for the proper time to get the food made. Then, you have to plate and garnish your creations. From there, the food goes out into the restaurant to hungry patrons, just like in the movie.
For a DS game, the 3D graphics are certainly detailed. Puffs of white smoke pop out when you land on bags of flour, running through fire singes Remy's coat, and more. There are also a ton of different animations for the things Remy does, ranging from hilarious to adorable. The 2D items in the kitchen aren't always the most detailed, but the cooking tasks are so enjoyable you'll barely notice it. The scenes in between levels detail what's going on with still shots taken from the movie, and some text allows players to get a feel for where they're at in the story.
The biggest issue with the game itself is how short it is. The entire game can be beaten in an afternoon, since most of the adventure missions take about five minutes to gather all the ingredients, and then cooking them up usually takes between five and ten minutes per dish. It will only take you about three hours to kill off the whole story, although the external cooking mini-game lets you have a little more time on it.
When all the ingredients are put together properly, even a movie videogame can be tremendously tasty. Ratatouille is one of those games, and if you take the time to sample it, you'll thoroughly enjoy the flavor.
The player of the game represents a newly hired detective in the New York Police Department dating back to 1976. The setting has the latest version of the present New York City but the soundtrack is from the 70s. As a new detective who has not yet made a name in the industry, the player will be the assistant of the well known detective named Marcy Blake while doing errands for Captain Abbot. Just like in real life scenarios the murder ranges from clean cases of poisoning to highly distressing massacres.
The crime scenes are in different places such as dingy motels, parks and suburban houses. Just like in real police department situations Captain Abbot will be the one to explain and inform the two detectives of the current case then ask them to go to the crime scene and solve the case. They are also given a few hints and lists of witnesses and suspects. The player can view the scene in a first player perception. To those who love unraveling mysteries the game is for them.
But some things that still needs to discovered are oftentimes revealed immediately. Though as the game progresses the cases are getting more difficult but there is no improvement with the gameplays. While solving the case the player as the new detective will be presented with questions but there are given choices on what to answer even though the player is not making notes in his observations he can easily answer the questions because most of it them are really not connected to the situation. If the player mostly answered wrong there is no warning that he will be out in the service.
Being out of the game is no big deal since the player can easily go back on what level he left. But there are also times that four answer choices are not available and the player needs to pinpoint the exact answer in order not to be bullied by Marcy. In those challenging moments the game is engaging and the player will really think like a detective enhancing his ability to be sensitive in finding clues. The other disappointing feature of the game is that the player will not be allowed to do face to face examination of the suspect like most detective work does.
There are action parts of the game where the player will be involved in shootouts. The 3D designs of the settings especially in crime scenes are just plain and simple but it provides a little air of exploration. The computer generated characters had minimal expressions but their attitudes fit in the game. The sound effects are not much but some of it is realistic such as the constant ringing of telephones and typewriters in the headquarters. Each case will take an hour to solve but cannot inspire repeat playing. To some who used to puzzle solving games the Unsolved Crimes might not be for them but to those who love anything about detective games, it deserve some credits.
The game has a single player feature with still the same main character which is Jill. She is a baking expert in cakes. Jill needs to jump from one bakery to another every year and to six bakeries. She needs to spin her magic to let the bakery become successful. The bakery only offers cakes to its clients. The same gameplay is applied from the first game. Being Jill, the player needs to make and sell cakes to produce enough money so that the bakery can still operate for one month.
The player will now use the stylus instead of the mouse which is use in the first version in selecting the equipments and customers that need to be attended. The player needs to click the customer to offer menus, click the oven to bake the cake, click directions for frosting, and everything that needs to be done is accomplished by clicking.
The only and the biggest changes in the game but cannot really considered as a new feature because it is just to make the game look good, is the swapping of venue designs and costumes of the clients or customers. Other than that there are no more significant additions. The designers only altered the colors to make the setting more attractive but retained the same set ups.
There are a few appliances models to make Jill work faster and easier but not enough to recognize the game as new. The pattern of the game is the same all throughout the entire duration of playing. It is good only to those who love to start a game especially first editions but when there will be introduced a new version or sequel but turns out to be entirely the same it is considered old even when it is not yet explored.
The game is originally from a PC version but in the sequel it is played on the DS handheld. It turns out that the PC game does not fit right in the DS formatting. The result is a stretched and scrolled screen in order to reach the farther areas on the setting but this is just minor disadvantage compared to the annoying 2 minute buttons in every machine that made the player frequently having mistakes in baking the cakes. This error is in the first game but now in the second game it is still there as annoying as ever. The second game presents an endless mode but the designer still forgot to add a multiplayer mode which can actually add to its appeal. The game is really not that bad but it is just that there are no particular exciting new features and the DS version is really wobbly.
Just Dance 4 with the Kinect is a dance game in which the users have to mimic the dance moves that appear on the screen and they are scored on how well they can accurately repeat these dance moves during any given track supplied in the game. At times this is challenging, especially during the initial start of the game when you have had no practice, but after a little practice it becomes far easier to get a higher score and mimicking the dance moves becomes a breeze.
There are numerous problems associated with the menu screen where you use the Kinect in order to select the track, this is tedious and can at times become very frustrating as you often find times where you hover your hand over selected tracks and end up selecting the wrong track due to the awful menu screen. That and the limited number of tracks that have been assigned to the game make it really not everyones cup of tea. A good alternative would be Dance Central which compared to this title is a far better choice of dance game.
Depending on the song in question, you can at some points have up to four players in what is known as a dance off, where you and your friends can have a competition, but to be honest it still gets a bit boring without integrating the option to have more players and different dance offs.
There is a downside also to playing with a friend, as for some unknown reason tracking is much harder for the Kinect to keep of more than one person, why this is so I have no idea, but it adds to the overall frustration with the game. The other problem is the addition of a category associated with keeping fit. Again this does not make sense either, as when one or more players are using the workout the calories of each player following a routine with the same rating shows different calories.
Within the track listing you are able to play over 50 tracks from an array of artists, these include One Direction, Rick Astley, 2 Unlimited, Barry White, Will Smith and other artists to boot. All the tracks come from different artists and I feel they did this to try and reach a larger audience by making it more of a karaoke style setup.
For people who want to keep fit or who enjoy dancing this will solve a basic need, but personally I would go with Dance Central 3. The problems associated with this game and the lack of direction or finalization has made this more of an annoyance rather than a dance game which is fun to play.
Disney's Epic Mickey was a huge success upon release, selling 1.2 million copies in just a few short months. Because of this success, Disney, Nintendo and developer Junction Point decided to create a sequel. Epic Mickey: The Power of 2 offers up even more Disney nostalgia, complete with another heart warming story and all of the characters you fell in love with during the first game. The game even adds some new nods to Disney's amazing history.
Sadly, that's where the game's similarities to the first Epic Mickey end. The first Epic Mickey suffered from some minor control problems but it wasn't bad enough to ruin the experience. In Epic Mickey 2, the controls will make you frustrated and angry and detract from the experience significantly.
The idea behind Epic Mickey 2 is that you will travel through the game world not just as Mickey Mouse but also with the assistance of Oswald the Rabbit, a character from the Disney vault who was also featured in the first game. If you have another player to play with you with a second Wii Remote and Nunchuk, this player can assume the role of Oswald and offer at least some degree of intelligence to the character. But if you intend to play the game the same as the original Epic Mickey, as a solo affair, Oswald is not going to be much of a help. His artificial intelligence is almost laughable and he will frequently get in your way and just generally does more to hinder your progress than to help. Sometimes when you get to attack an enemy, Oswald will jump between you and the enemy like he's going to help you, but then he'll just stand there in your way, soaking up your paint brush attacks, effectively shielding the enemy while complaining that you are injuring him.
The combat is still seriously flawed even when Oswald is not getting in your way. The game suffers from some serious collision detection problems. Mickey can take damage when it appears that the enemy is still far enough away from him that the attack should have been avoided. You can appear to have avoided the incoming danger, only to then lose your life anyway, which is incredibly infuriating. Combat can also grow to be tedious. You're essentially doing most of the same moves over and over and even boss fights just feel way to drawn out.
The game's story offers many side quests this time around, but all of the extra quests add a bit of confusion to the game. It's not always crystal clear where you are supposed to go to complete the next main objective to progress the story. Non linear gameplay is usually welcome in most adventure games but in Epic Mickey 2 it sometimes makes you just feel lost.
If you are a hardcore Disney fan, there is enough Disney lore and nostalgia here to suggest at least taking a look. But as a game, the magic isn't there.
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