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Posted:
2013-05-25

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

8.30

Dishonored has been heralded as a new step in the right direction; a step back towards letting players actually play games. A sandbox game that allows for a variety of choices and solutions, Dishonored combines stealth, action and strategy into a single game that will appeal simultaneously to a wide variety of different players and styles.

Players step into the boots of Corvo Attano, the personal bodyguard to the Empress of a strange, Dystopian world. In the gritty port city of Dunwall, Corvo fails in his charge and the Empress is assassinated under his watch. Rather than sit and stew though, Corvo seeks the identity of the assassin and vengeance for what he did. However, just how Corvo goes about that vengeance is entirely up to the player.

Dishonored is, primarily, a game that allows players the choice to accomplish the mission however they see fit. For instance, Corvo can go in with bared steel, cackling like a madman and leaving a sea of blood in his wake. For players that don't want to play the game that way though, it isn't the only option (just the easiest more often than not). Players also have the option of manipulating other NPCs into doing the dirty work for them, or moving so stealthily that they can reach the objective without having to kill anyone. There are even non-lethal combat options, which are more difficult to make effective, but which keep the body count at an absolute minimum. For the truly skilled player it is entirely possible to finish Dishonored without getting any blood on Corvo's hands.

Which path a player chooses to take also has an effect on the world. Dunwall is currently dealing with plague, and the more bodies that Corvo leaves behind, the worse the plague is going to get because of all the additional death and food for the rats. However, the more guards Corvo kills, the more guards will be posted at later missions. This will just amp up the difficulty, so being sneaky might be challenging, but it will result in fewer guards being posted in future missions, which definitely sounds like a major advantage.

Beyond the creativity that went into designing a game with multiple ways to win, Dishonored also offers players a unique control system that helps them get the job done. With stealth and combat often so closely related, Dishonored takes a few hints from Assassin's Creed and makes sure that players have as little downtime between moving quietly in the shadows and pulling steel. After all, sometimes all it takes is a second of hesitation for Corvo to be stretched out dead in an alley somewhere, and the player left cursing and grinding his or her teeth. Of course, as with any game, practice makes perfect. Once players are more familiar with the controls and the world, it's just a matter of time until Corvo can slip through the shadows and bring vengeance on the person responsible for the Empress's murder.

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Posted:
2013-12-17

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

7.50

On June 9th, 2013 Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released for the Nintendo 3DS. New Leaf offers players something all Animal Crossing games do, hours upon hours of entertainment. This simulation-style game will keep the player enthralled for years to come. The mechanics of this franchise that fans have come to love will not disappoint in this new addition to the series. The changes and new features that have been made are sound improvements that make play smoother and more exciting.

The Return of Successful Mechanics

In most simulation games, relatively mundane activities are played out by characters over and over. The trick to making the game entertaining and eventually successful is to make each activity fun as opposed to tedious, and to offer incentives to the player for completing the tasks. Animal Crossing games have been well known for entertainment value in the past, and they do deliver again with New Leaf. As always, the player moves into a town and builds a life there by decorating their home, catching bugs, managing relationships with the NPC residents of the village, and many other similar tasks.

What’s New, New Leaf?

In New Leaf, for the first time in the franchise the player is the acting Mayor of the town. This allows the player to decorate the inside and outside of their home as well as the rest of the town. This new feature is a large and welcome change to the previous games in which the player only had control of their own home. Starting at the beginning of the game the player makes important decisions about the layout of their village. The organization of the town and its buildings, and the decorations will be up to the player and their creativity throughout the game. The possibilities can seem endless from more traditional ideas up to a miniature Stonehenge. The more the game is played, the more options open up to the player. With the addition of the resell shop players can even personalize individual pieces of furniture, making their town completely unique from any other player’s.

Ah, the Possibilities!

Somehow, New Leaf seems to have maintained the adorable simplicity of its predecessors. This is exceptional news considering the plethora of new options to choose from. What does this mean for the player? There are new activities like swimming, new clothes and furniture, and even new holidays. With all the activities and ways to make each town unique it is truly impressive that the game has not become too busy or confusing.

Show it Off in Multiplayer.

The multiplayer from previous games is expanded upon greatly in New Leaf. When picking up this game, one expects to be able to visit the home of friends. As usual a visitor can be friendly and leave gifts, or be a butthead and mess up the landscaping. This can be done online or locally.

The new feature, called the Dream Suite, allows players to visit a dream world version of other player’s villages. In this way, a player’s town can be shown off to anyone without the fear of having their flowers stomped on. It is only a dream, so the town can be toured but not affected by the visitor. This is also a fun feature for the visitor because they can still run around interacting with the town, just without permanent consequences.

While that is all incredibly impressive, there is still more! New Leaf makes use of Street Pass by allowing the player to view the homes of every other player they pass in the real world. As long as someone has a copy of the game, their home is available to view in Street Pass.

Resort Island Multiplayer Minigames

For a more personal multiplayer, players can visit Resort Island. The resort is run by former Mayor, Tortimer, and hosts a multitude of games players can enjoy together online. It should be noted that it is not necessary to play with others online, as the island can be visited offline as a single player. This can be convenient in some ways.

The Final Word

Animal Crossing: New Leaf is so much more than just a game. It will offer up more entertainment value for the price than most games on the market, today. The new additions of content, activities, and multiplayer features will keep the game new and exciting for literally hundreds of hours. The online world of other players across the globe helps this game stay current and refreshing. From the huge changes to the tiny improvements in gameplay, the whole game has been revamped without losing its original simplicity and charm. Anyone who owns a 3DS can consider this game a sound investment.

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Posted:
2013-05-25

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

7.80

The first time Square Enix showed Hitman Absolution to the public, there was quite a bit of outrage. The first slice they showed was filled with action, something that Hitman fans despise, and certainly was never associated with the Hitman series in the past. Thankfully, Hitman Absolution maintains the spirit of past Hitman titles while adding enough new features to make it worthwhile.

As is normal for Hitman titles, missions consist of hunting targets through specially designed levels that offer many different options when it comes to finally killing your assigned targets. While most of the basic Hitman formula remains unchanged, there are a few key additions, not the least of which being the Instinct system. This system allows you to see guards through walls or other obstructions, as well as their assigned patrol routes.

Instinct also allows you to cheat your way past checkpoints where guards might see through your disguise. Going right along with Instinct is a full-on radar system that not only shows guard’s locations, but the direction they are facing. For more veteran Hitman players, neither of these mechanics exist on the highest levels of difficulty, but for someone new to the series, they should be extremely helpful to navigate the often confusing world of Hitman.

While Instinct is certainly interesting, the most interesting new feature is the game's extremely autolog-esque leaderboard system. This system allows you to compete with your friends and people all over the world to perform the best hit in all of the games missions, which adds a massive amount of replay value to a series that used to have very little unless you were obsessive about perfection.

Though Hitman Absolution shares some of the best things about past Hitman games, it also carries on some of their greatest failings. Even the greatest hit imaginable can be broken by any number of AI problems, such as broken pathing or animations. For instance, I had just pushed a guard down one of the game’s innumerable deep pits, when a nearby guard "sees" his body through the ground. The guard then proceeded to stare through the ground at the dead body, constantly reiterating the victim’s need for medical assistance.

However, Absolution’s greatest flaw lies in its attempt at creating a more cohesive narrative. Instead of cutting at the end of a hit and transitioning to the next one, Absolution attempts to link these missions together with lengthy sequences requiring you to Evade the Police over and over and over again. Without an objective other than to escape, these sequences quickly become tired and monotonous. However, it seems as if the developers realized this, as each level is split into very distinct sub-missions, each with an independent score, allowing for leaderboard competition without playing through the entire level again.

So, is Absolution the game Hitman fans wanted? It probably is not, but that shouldn't keep you from enjoying what is a quite good game with a few glaring but manageable flaws.

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Posted:
2013-05-25

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

4.70

In the single-player game, you'll be flying as one of four different pilots. You'll begin fighting off German attacks that venture above the island of Great Britain, but end up fighting with the US and New Zealand forces over Germany itself. The character all tell their story of why they're fighting there, but the voice-acting that follows the cutscenes is absolutely dreadful, resulting in you not wanting to really be any of these terribly boring pilots.

The campaign itself jumps around some, since missions with your earliest squadron can only be played once you've progressed, and moved out of the area to some new group. You'd think that having crossed the channel and being based off the continent would prevent you from heading back to Great Britain and having to defend them, but it doesn't. There are a number of different airplanes that can be unlocked, especially if you're willing to play at a higher difficulty.

Likely, you'll play at the higher difficulty, even without the bonus of more easily unlocking planes. That's because the AI is not very difficult at all, and will often not even notice you trying to devastate their ride. The missions, also, are only somewhat different as you go through the game, and though there are some novel takes on the essential elements, they mostly consist of your dog-fighting enemies or bombing buildings.

The game does offer a new element of the gameplay, which are Ace kills. These allow your character to zoom in on the enemy and specifically target certain portions to shoot at, such as their engines or the pilot themselves. This option is a nice added feature, but it actually makes a game that is already too easy at the most difficult difficulty level even easier.

One feature that is nice is the extensive online play. There are four different game modes, as well as four maps for your flying pleasure. Up to sixteen players can play a map at a time, though it's very difficult to find that many people playing the game at any given time. The modes are fun, especially Team Survivor, where the last person standing wins it for the team. That will have you performing selfless acts to keep your survivors alive, like diving in front of bullets.

While Heroes Over Europe does certainly provide opportunities for fun in there, the simplicity of destroying AI opponents, combined with the lack of real opponents to fight, left there not much to do in the game. If you're a huge WWII buff who feels like they've missed out flying the aircraft of that day, then this simulation will offer that opportunity, but beyond that it's a merely average flight sim.

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Posted:
2013-12-25

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

5.50

The moment you start playing the game, you will take on the character of Rallen, the space cadet who has the power to lead and control spectrobes or space monsters. Aside from extensive conversations with boring characters, you can also expect to go through barren planets with nothing interesting to see or find along the way. Your missions will revolve around saving kidnapped comrades and preventing massive space destruction while trying to capture Mr. Big Bad Man and his cohorts to end their space atrocities. While it can be interesting in the beginning, similar and repetitive missions together with lengthy, unnecessary conversations will eventually tire you as you go along the goals.

Although the combats and walking through the areas are in 3D setting, these are not enough to make the game exciting more so because these combats are too short to thrill the player. Its poor D pad controls makes this game even more difficult to play leaving you unsatisfied and frustrated in the end.

Although Spectrobes has its share of faults, there are also interesting points about this game that will keep you playing on. For one, you can use the DS’s stylus to dig out fossils and minerals that you can use to increase the level of your collected critters. You can also find several items that you can use to unlock rewards and exciting goodies to feed your monsters. Although the menus may be difficult to manage, you can use them to dress Rallen in order to increase his energy and strength. You can also find in the menu the various weapons that he can use to fight his enemies such as laser gun, fists and swords.

However, if you lose a basic combat, you will be routed back to the start of the map which makes this game frustrating and annoying to the player. Going back to the start of the map means taking another 10-minute walk from the start of the map to the scene of the battle where the player lost. One good thing, there are minigames along the way and a chance to search and dig the area to provide the player some sort of distraction while repeating the process he have previously gone through.

You may be right in thinking that this game is not worth your time but one of the reasons why Spectrobes BTP is continually patronized is due to its Disney D Gamer features that allow you to open cool gadgets and outfits that you can use on your D Gamer avatar when you interact with your Disney community online.

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Posted:
2013-12-25

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

7.00

Fortunately, the team did not fail the game's followers this year. FIFA Soccer 09 is definitely way ahead of its previous season when it comes to graphics. Exient was able to get additional horsepower out of the Nintendo DS hardware in order to capture most movements with the game running at 60 FPS. This came about because Exient was not particularly happy with the 30 frames per second engine run for the 11-on-11-plus-Ref gameplay. Although the FIFA Soccer 09 is much better compared to 08, the texture blinking on athletes and its background environment remains noticeable. The switching from one camera to another also provides a noticeable visual glitch but as a whole, its improved graphics pulls this online game up. The game progresses smoothly and although it is not as impressive as the consoles available in the market today, FIFA Soccer 09 remains competitive and at par with other handheld games especially when it comes to DS standards.

Comparably speaking, you will not find that much difference between the 2008 and 2009 edition aside from some minor nips and improvements on the computer AI routines, graphics and ball handling but one of the things that 09 edition showcases is its Be a Pro feature or game option. With FIFA Soccer 09, you can now play the entire season as a particular player in a team. You will play and watch the game from your preferred player's viewpoint and play the game according to his position on the team. You have the choice to be a team player or keep the ball to avoid the hotspots. However, the game is good at reminding you where the player should be in order to keep the game rolling. Furthermore, the Be a Pro feature is good with Nintendo DS due to its dual screen wherein you can see the perspective of the player on the upper screen and at the same time have a vantage point on the lower screen to see the actual progression of the game. You just have to be on guard in order for your player not to get a red card; otherwise, the game is over.

If you enjoyed the 08 edition, you will love 09 more because of its notable enhancements. It still has the multiplayer support and supports Wi-Fi connection so you can play with other gamers across the world. Although nothing beats watching an actual game, having a DS with FIFA Soccer 09 is still a good alternative to exciting soccer games in real arena.

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Posted:
2013-12-25

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

7.00

The game starts with you choosing which side you wish to play for: the Zeon (the bad guys) or the Earth Federation (the good ones). Then you will watch the storyline as developers want to fully orient their players about how the game goes. A succession of still images is seen with a dramatic voiceover mentioning about The One Year War which is the first major battle of the original Gundam story. And then, the camera shifts to the battle-worn mobile suit.

Then you will hunt the Zeon forces (you have chosen the side of the Earth Federation apparently) on the battlefield. Go ahead and test your jetpack. This will make your mobile suit stop momentarily before it works. There are certain situations where your mobile suit makes a short standstill and that are when you change directions, and when you aim and shoot an enemy. Good thing enemy mobile suits act and shoot at the same pacing as you have as well. If you run out of bullets, you can make a very swift risky move by using your melee weapon. One drawback though is the evident long delay of the melee button from the actual performance of your mobile suit. You will really get a load of action as enemies sneak through you to your base and hit you at the back that makes you do a lot of hard work all over again.

As you go along with the mission, there are text navigations that you could use for replenishing your energy and making repairs, call for reinforcements such as more pilots and new mobile suits. One day of the One Year War is equal to one turn. The missions will only be available at a certain date. It is fine of you choose not to play one or more of the missions since there are no consequences for not doing so. Once you enter the fray, you’ll get to select two sidekicks that will help you win the battle. The reward will make you gain more resources for you to acquire more mobile suits and upgrades later.

As the adventure goes on, you will also enjoy yourself smashing, firing, and beating all your enemies with your robotic mobile suit with a goal to defend something very important. You will then find yourself mastering all if not, almost all the tactics, the attacks, and strategies of the game.

Overall, the game is good enough for fanatics and non-fan gamers. It is easy to navigate, the missions are not that complicated. Despite the flaws (which are always present in any game), those who loves robots fighting each other with classic attacks will enjoy.

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Posted:
2013-12-25

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

7.00

With the single-player mode you can play with your team to go through the qualifying campaign or you can opt to challenge the other team at the finals. You can also play on other modes like Be A Pro or Captain Your Country. The latter is pretty much alike with the former mode as introduced in FIFA 08. The games starts by creating a player, and making your way through the whole course of the qualifying rounds, not just one match. The trick is to acquire a large number of good records throughout the game to be promoted as the captain as you go to the finals. The key is that the weaker the team is, the easier you get promoted.You should be able to outplay other players aspiring for the captainship. Whether played in single player, where the other team is AI-controlled; or multi-player, the game is hot.

The football per se is the same with FIFA 08 with the advanced kick system. Additionally, there are a number of scenarios that can be played out aside from the regular matches and competitions. Previous midseason football titles are given in relation to major titles, teams playing on a full qualifying game is pointless if battling against a high-ranking team. But in this release, it is not always the case. Though weak in ranking, the opponent AI makes changes from the get-go of the competition. The more weak teams there are in number, the more difficult your path to the goal is. The crowd is more aggressive making comments that would hurt in real life.

The weather pretty much affects any outdoor game especially football. One of the features that have been enhanced in the game is the climate. The rain has noticeable effects on making the player’s actions slower, and the ball slides easily on the surface. It will also greatly affect the landing of the ball as you hit it in different kinds of surfaces.

The multi-player mode will hasten the competition s you begin to challenge your friends or anyone online. This release presents a metagame that tallies the scores of various European nations on the entire tournament and hands out prices to whoever played best during the day.

Euro 2008 is indeed a breakthrough in football gaming as it perfectly mirrors the drama in a major international league. The game is not that of an improvement of FIFA 08 but the technicalities are smoother. There are many things in the game that will surprise you even if you have repeatedly read it in different reviews.

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Posted:
2013-12-25

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

7.50

First, the good news: Lost Planet: Extreme Condition has all of the features and campaign modes which did great with the first version. But, this Xbox version looks much like the first version. It is still impressive, but for those who have the first one will think this is just a repeat. For those who missed out on the first then this can be a great game to play. This new one has new features and modes so the gamer can actually learn a few things from this one. There is a game for the first person as well, it is all a matter of personal choice.

There are three single player modes and Score Attack, something new for Lost Planet. Score Attack is a mode which can add energy to the game with all the action one can get out of it. Aside from getting the chance to shoot the enemies, there is a chance to blast the environment and create some chaos along the way.

There is a Trail Battle Mode which can pit the player against numerous bosses. Of course, the added boss fights give the game an added edge. Finally there is the Off limit where the need for speed is satisfied. The online game is better as well with a lot of new weapons which gives distinction from the older version.

Now for the bad news: this is a standalone game, totally distinct from the earlier release. This means that whatever you have played in the older version will not be transferred here or even work. No matter your rank on the online game, you have to start from scratch. Making this a totally different game gives it an edge, but for those who love the earlier release will get the disappointment they never expected.

The good news, again, is that all of the achievements are new, because the gamer starts off from scratch. So if you love the earlier version, you will find that you will definitely love this version, but it is different. There are new weapons, new modes, new features and a lot of other new stuff. This is great for those who have never played this game before as they don’t miss out on a lot. But this is not going to play good for the old players.

The important thing to remember is that you can now play with a totally new game for there is nothing of the old version found in the Colonies Edition. There are not that many players online as of yet, because of the crossover problem, but other than that, this is a cool game.

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Posted:
2014-04-11

halfwit

Super Gamer Dude

7.50

The game measures your performance by tracking whether the lyrics that you've sung are correct, but it doesn't stop there. It also allows players to record their performance. There is even a social site dedicated to players who wish to share their recorded session and participate in popularity contests. This in turn adds depth to what could have been just another run of the mill karaoke game. For every aspiring rapper out there, Def Jam Rapstar could be the next best thing to an actual stage performance minus the possible boos from the crowd.

Playing the game is pretty much straightforward. It gets you immediately to the singing part without further annoyances. You are of course presented with game modes to choose from. There's a solo mode, a two player mode where you can perform a duet, or compete with another player and top each other's score. Lastly, there is a party mode. Some players may be a bit disappointed in finding some song selections containing censored lyrics as the game has a T rating for Teens. There's no penalty though, should the player decide to fill them in while singing. If players still find the pre-included song selections inadequate, they could always visit the online store and purchase downloadable tracks to expand their song selections.

In Def Jam Rapstar, there are two scoring mechanics that gauge the player's performance: Melodic section and Rap Section. Melodic sections are shown by bars hinting the pitch of each note and the relative length of the phrase. This is quite common among Karaoke games. The Rap section shows a dot on top each syllable. A ball would then bounce on top of each dot to show the correct timing when singing the phrases. The more synchronized the player is in singing the phrase while it's hit by the bouncing ball, the better the score the player is awarded.

If a player is trying out a not-so-familiar track, it may be best to sing along with the rapper first until you get a hang of the beat. Some song selections may post difficulty for those singing solo as some lyrics during the chorus may be superimposed like the female lyrics of the song quickly following the male lyrics or vice versa. This brings players to choose which parts they sing and which they don't. But all in all, Def Jam Rapstar does a remarkable job in bringing out the fun of this under represented music genre and converting it into an awesome game experience.


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