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Posted:
2013-12-30

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

7.1

Lego Harry Potter 5-7 for the PS3 takes Harry through a series of challenges and missions on a quest to stop the evil Lord Voldemort, the Dark Lord, who is back, and Harry suddenly has the realization that he is actually connected to Voldemort. Later the Ministry of Magic decides to try and take appropriate steps in order to stop the potential threat that this imposes.

As you progress through the game you are presented with Lego style characters which represent numerous personalities which are to be found in the Harry Potter movies and books. Unfortunately, if you have played the previous title which is called Lego Harry Potter 1-4, you may feel like this is a rerun of this first encounter. A lot of the mission styles and gameplay are like the original, although to the maker's credit, the storyline is well presented and this enables users to feel like they are following the books or films closely. When most levels end you are presented with a cut scene, a cinematic storyline which enables users to follow the story with relative ease as the game progresses.

You may decide to roam through Hogwarts you can learn an array of spells, which in turn enable Harry to be able to construct items as well as destroy them, via the use of the wand. These include Curses and Charms. You will also have to undergo training in order to defeat various creatures which you encounter in the game, such as the Death Eaters for example. Within the game there are 24 stories to unlock and also 16 classrooms to attend in order to unlock the full attributes that Harry possesses.

During gameplay you will come into contact with over 200 different characters as you progress, and each one is very finely detailed, and on top of this you also have the option of split screen, enabling players to switch between a jump in and jump out style of gameplay. This is mainly designed to allow more than one player to play the game, multiplayer if you will.

The graphics in Lego Harry Potter 5-7 are very sharp, sparks fly in various colors like a projectile from the wand and the shiny Lego characters really do add to the game's overall experience. I should also add that this game is based on the last 4 books created in the Harry Potter series, and the actual Hogwarts is a representation of the Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows Part 2 the film.

If you are looking to venture into the first 4 books then perhaps you should pickup the previous title Lego Harry Potter 1-4. Overall this is by far one of the best in the series of Lego games which seem to be springing up in leaps and bounds.

Lego Harry Potter 5-7 unfortunately did not differ greatly enough from the first title to be a really impressive game. You will find lots of enjoyment here but the makers should have tried harder to expand the overall style and playability so offering something different to the first. The levels are very similar to the original release, but they do follow on from the original game story with some much improved cinematic cut scenes thrown in which does improve the general appeal of the game.

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Posted:
2013-08-16

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

4.5

The story for this game is a rather difficult one to pick up, especially if you're new to the Gundam universe. There are a number of different characters that can be played through and lots of storyline relevant to each one, but they're not extremely self-explanatory, so players can easily get lost in the complex tales and end up completely unable to figure out what's going on. A strong storyline isn't necessarily a requirement for an action game, however.

What's most important in an action game is the action, and it's not necessarily the case that a hack-and-slash style of game has to be repetitive. This game, however, is pretty similar to other previous versions of Dynasty Warriors titles. The combat is a little different, in that you smash through enemies with the standard attack, just like you always did, but now you can push another button to end a combo, called a charge attack. This performs a special attack that be used on the fly in battle. There is also another special attack, called the SP attack, which is charged up over time by defeating enemies. Once charged, your SP attack can be devastating on the competition. In addition to smashing through enemies your robot can jump, strafe, dash, and some can even morph into another mode.

There are a couple of different game modes that you can play through in single-player mode. Official mode follows the plots of various different anime series, and Mission mode allows you to play through all the available mission types. Either way, you choose a pilot and then select missions that you want to complete in a small campaign. Generally though, these missions, whatever the type, all involve the same skills and goal: tear through enemies by repeatedly mashing the attack button until you've cleared an area of targets, then move on to the next. It's a formula that is a standby in the Dynasty Warriors series, and it functions exactly the same here.

There are some multiplayer options available, such as split-screen and online play across three different game types. Even the multiplayer tag game wasn't much different from the normal game. There are also a bunch of maps, but that won't make the experience any less monotonous.

In the end, that's what Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2 is; monotonous. If you are a fan of hack-and-slash style of games, and can pound your fingers for the hours necessary to advance, there is a lot of content available.

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Posted:
2013-12-29

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

Skylanders Giants is the follow up to the original Spyro's Adventure game for the Nintendo Wii. The Skylanders Giants Booster Pack for the Wii includes the new game disk and a giant character. The new game allows players to explore new areas of Skylands in order to stop the bad guys from taking over the world. While a platform game in one sense, Skylanders Giants also takes a few shots at being a role playing game and a strategy game, but what should really surprise gamers is that title accomplishes this lofty task with relative ease.

The controls scheme stays pretty much the same from the previous title. That is to say that the Wii controller gets paired again with the Nunchuk, and that combination controls movement, attacks, and defenses. The controls are well thought out with each button serving a different purchase, which makes the game easy to learn.

The graphics present in the world of Skylands and the several levels throughout Skylanders Giants are pretty much top notch, at least as far as the Wii is concerned. The characters come to life in vivid colors, and the sounds and soundtrack is just as impressive as the first game. However, where the sequel really excels is the number of available characters.

The Giants are basically larger and stronger than traditional Skylanders, but all those figures purchased for the original game can thankfully still be used in this follow. To further propel the collectible market, additional Series 2 Skylanders are also available for purchase. Since the Skylanders Giants Booster pack only contains one Giant, players will have to scramble to find additional characters in their favorite store.

The role playing aspect of the game is what helps drive the addictive gameplay. The characters start out at level one with a few different skill categories, like attack, speed, and defense. As characters collect treasure and defeat enemies the particular figure on the Portal of Power rises in level and also can redeem the treasure collected to purchase new and better attacks and defenses. One nice aspect of the new title is that Skylanders that were completely powered up from the first game maintain all the abilities acquired, which can be a real time saver. Of course, new characters, including all the Giants, have to start from level one.

Also present in the new game is the battle area with several different arenas, however, this time the characters can acquire experience points and treasure by competing in the arena. This makes for a nice break from the main game and really gives players a chance to truly master their favorite characters.

All things considered, the Skylanders Giants Booster Pack is a must have for anyone who purchased the original game, but the game is also a solid title for anyone looking to break into a new franchise. The ease of the controls and the interesting storyline make it a simple title for beginners, but all the unlockables and new characters that need to be acquired make this a great piece of software for all skill levels.

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Posted:
2013-12-30

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

6.5

The game charts the progress of Harry Potter and friends, and enemies, through Hogwarts, and although not necessarily true to the wonderful books and films, all the essential elements that make Harry Potter stories so great are still present in this LEGO version. The characters and other creations are obviously LEGO creations but are easily recognizable.

Most of the fun revolves magic, the casting of spells and the mixing of potions. the LEGO pieces can be blown apart by the actions of the characters and the many colored studs which come from these broken pieces can be collected and used as a currency to buy new additional powers and to unlock secret chambers amongst other things.

The game has wonderfully unrealistic visuals and a well presented spell casting system. Among the many spells are the well known Wingardium Leviosa, whic as far as the game is concerned is the most useful and basic of them. There are of course strange creations such as the Lumos and Riddikulus, each with their different colors which can be changed by using your controller buttons. Many of the objects lying around can be used in imaginative ways to entertain you and assist you in your progress.

Away from the main thrust of the game there are other incidentals worth noting, Hogwarts is presented as a stunning visual fantasy world and is worth exploring just for the fun of it. There are around 150 characters to unlock ranging from the well known to the those probably never remembered. The humor from the books and films remains with such creations as the almost headless ghost and the dog Fang.

The game is not perfect but there is so much in it and the sheer enjoyment of playing it far outweighs any shortcomings either real or imagined.

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Posted:
2014-01-30

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

8.5

The feeling of Max Payne 3 is all in the name. The game is extremely character centric, continuing Max's story from the previous two games. That said, the game does do a brilliant job of developing and exploring Max's character. Story elements are enhanced with many cut-scenes, both short and long, and these are not just glossy cinematics, in fact they are always meaningful and relevant, and effectively enhance the story and the character of Max.

Max Payne 3 is a violent game, gory right down to its very core. The graphics depict the full horror of the damage done by modern weapons, showing in detail bullet wounds, flying limbs and charred flesh, ensuring that fans of blood and guts action will get all they need. It stands out from other such action shooters by emphasizing the vulnerability and desperation of the character. Yes, Max is certainly a badass who never thinks twice about killing hundreds of enemies or blasting rockets from helicopters, but he is not some invincible superhuman who wades trough hailstorms of bullets or shrugs off grenade explosions.

The game mechanics artfully develop this mood throughout the game. The bullet-time and shot-dodge mechanics present the constant feel of narrowly escaping a lethal attack, but they still give players the tools they need to cause serious mayhem. Unlike many other shooters, which cheat realism by providing players with a constant supply of health packs or health bars, that slowly regenerate overtime, the game has no health regeneration mechanics. It is impossible to duck behind a wall and return to full power while the computer enemies wait around haplessly. The AI in Max Payne 3 will keep the pressure coming, and a highly destructible environment means that walls, doors, crates and pillars may not remain dependable bullet shields for any length of time.

Weapon choice is also a serious deal in Max Payne 3. Max may only carry two side-arm weapons and one two-handed weapon at any one time. Players may find they have to make do with whatever weapon choice they selected throughout a level, facing some challenges that such weapons may be suited to, and others that will punish, their choice. This adds yet another layer of realism and desperation to combat. How many real humans would be packing two pistols, an assault rifle, a shotgun, a sub-machine gun and a rocket launcher all at the same time? Max may not have the perfect weapon for every scenario, but he must adapt and endure anyway.

While the story-telling, realism, graphics and characterization of Max Payne 3 is top notch, level design and pacing may irritate some players. The game is intensely linear, and players will constantly feel themselves nudged toward the next objective or cutscene. While the game provides a variety of weapons to choose from, there is rarely more than one or two ways to approach a combat scenario. The game has a distinct emphasis on direct assaults and mayhem, and it may leave players who enjoy stealthy, tactical approaches wanting.

Taken together, Max Payne 3 is an amazing addition to the action-shooter genre and sets a new precedent for characterization and drama in the video game medium.

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Posted:
2014-02-22

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

8.4

The Gears of War trilogy is perhaps one of the most visually recognizable third person shooters in video games today. From the chainsaw bayonet to the gravel voiced brute squad that makes up the male leads, Gears of War is a dystopian apocalypse at its finest, and despite complaints about the consistent presence of chest high walls, the game has a huge following among players. In Gears of War 3 players step back into the worn combat boots of Marcus Fenix, the gruff, grizzled hero that's out to save the world one barrage of bullets at a time.

What's The Story?

With Gears of War 3, things have spiraled completely out of control. The last human city fell a year and a half ago, and to make matters worse there's something brewing in the depths of the planet; something that can only mean more bad business for what's left of humanity. It's up to Marcus to lead what's left of his Delta Squad to key places to destroy the threats and try to rescue the chances for humanity by putting down whatever threats he and his team come across. By the end of the game though, players will have to put their trigger fingers to work to make sure that the world survives.

Gameplay

The end of the epic trilogy has taken what the previous two games did well and made them that much better. The controls are organic, and allow players to tuck, roll, run, dodge, strafe and reload all at speeds that make everything move at the pace of the player. Previous problems, such as the intelligence of the team's AI, or difficulty in aiming at what players really want to target have been mostly repaired, and overall the game flows better than either of the previous two installments, while keeping the same feeling of pedal to the metal action and teeth rattling violence that's made the series so popular for so long.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Gears of War 3, like the rest of the series, has all the things that can make a really enjoyable action game. However, there are some things that players will need to put on their blinders for in order to keep the suspension of disbelief. Players can't question the plot, or the logic of the world, for instance. While there aren't as many holes in it as there are in the enemy, there are some logic gaps. As many reviewers have said though, the game more than makes up for its shortcomings with great action and lovely scenery, along with enough twists and turns to keep players shooting and snarling as they go through wave after wave of enemies.

Gears of War 3, just as the previous games have done, has set the standard in the genre. With the conclusion of the trilogy though, players need to wring all the enjoyment they can out of the last chapter; there probably isn't going to be another one after it.

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Posted:
2014-02-22

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

Namco brings another edition of Tekken with Tekken Tag Tournament 2 for the Xbox 360, the eighth installment in the Tekken franchise and serves to entice casual and professional gamers alike. This game has a brand new engine but plays very similar to all Tekken games in the franchise. The Xbox 360 utilizes the crisp graphics available and the game will give nostalgia to old time Tekken lovers with the musics vast assortment of playlists.

With the recent surge the fighting game scene has seen since 2009 Namco as well as other fighting game developers have been trying to separate themselves from their competitors. The experienced Namco fighting team developers spearheaded by Yuichi Yonemori has made this game to become one of the most entertaining in the series. Coming out after Tekken 6 this is now the main attraction in the Tekken franchise. With long time Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada leading the way to make this game.

The goal in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is to fight against another player that is either controlling one or two other opponents. You hit them and fight against them with your attacks until their health bar goes down to zero. Once you train in the game you can learn to develop combos and strategies to use in combat against your opponent to better your chances at winning. Remember to never become discouraged with a loss, learn after every match and win next time.

The Tekken universe has an expansive story and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 only adds for fans to indulge into. If you are interested in the story behind the Tekken universe then this is a must pick up game. What gives this game a lot of replay value is the fact that there are so many characters to play as and pass the game with. Each character has their own unique story so it makes playing this game interesting each time because of how much the characters have their paths intersect. The only problem is that playing the game over and over again can feel to get too repetitive. This can be seen as both a good and bad aspect of Tekken Tag Tournament 2. Although players might feel overwhelmed by the amount of characters there are to pass the game, this adds high replay value at some point down the line. You can choose to drop the game for a couple of weeks and pick it back up to pass it with the characters you never got a chance to do so with.

Any fighting game fan can find themselves enjoying quality hours spent playing Tekken Tag Tournament 2. The biggest reason why this game is so fun is because of the endless amount of team combinations that a player can choose when they are playing this game. Having one of the biggest casts in Tekken history and fighting games in general players will always find themselves figuring out new combinations that are fun to play.

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Posted:
2014-03-15

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

What, as a gamer, do you look for when your playing a video game? Most would say a good time. You want to have fun and have a good time while playing a video game. Saying that Saints Row the Third is fun, or a good time, would be a huge, gross understatement. This adult filled theme park of fun definitely delivers on good times. Do not dismiss this game as a Grand Theft Auto clone. It is a great game in itself and definitely deserves a play through.

In Saints Row the Third you are no longer in Stilwater, where the first to games took place, but instead in Steelport, a new huge city. Three locally run gangs currently run and operate the city, But now that Saints Row has moved in, they won't be settling for anything less than the top. And it is your job to take out and crush any competition that comes in your way. As the violent war between the gangs grow, STAG, which is an elite paramilitary police force, Headed by Commander Cyrus Temple, is sent to the city of Steelport to stop the war and put an end to the violence. After an intro mission begins your exit from Stilwater, you get the option to customize your character. Customization is really great, and almost no 2 people will ever look alike.

If you ever get bored of story missions, there are tons of fun things to do in Saints Row the Third. All these optional activities are sure to earn you both cash, and street cred on the streets of Steelport. One of the best things to do are fraud missions, a throwback to Saints 2. Basically, you run out into traffic and try to cause as much bodily harm to yourself as possible.

Actually, pretty much everything you do in Saints Row The Third is incentivized, and will get you either cash or street cred. With money you can purchased new cool clothes, awesome and powerful guns, new territory, and even upgrades. Respect however is kind of like experience points. With respect you get the ability to unlock new skills, such as no falling damage, and infinite sprint. In Saints Row the Third, everything from running through public naked, or nearly colliding with oncoming traffic will earn you respect, which is pretty awesome.

Certain story missions in Saints Row the Third give you access to frankly, bad ass vehicles. You can get an awesome pixilated retro game tank, or even a cool transforming hover jet. Another cool feature, is that you have an infinite supply of these vehicles in your homes. You can take out your game tank, or hover jet, fly it around without a care and crash it, then just go grab another. You can even have it delivered to you.

Saints Row The Third is a really well polished and extremely satisfying game to play. You should definitely give this game a play whenever you get the chance to, because you wont be disappointed.

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Posted:
2014-04-25

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

The game has a hefty amount of direction from Clive Barker, renowned horror writer. The story has to do with another race of creature, known as the first born, created before Man. This creation attempt failed, and God stashed the failure away from humanity in another dimension. That’s not the end of the story, though, as the first borns occasionally break into this dimension. When they do, the Jericho squad is there to send them back to their Hellish universe. As leader of that squad, Ross, you’ll lead your team of five Jericho team mates through time to stop the enemy.

As your team proceeds through the game, you have the ability to switch between playing any of them at will. This leads to the most interesting gameplay dynamic in the game, which is that every character has unique abilities and play style for you to switch between. This gives players the chance to discover which skills they will use the most to fit their style of play, and thereby use that character the most. The method the game uses to teach all the different skills of the six will allow you to pick these talents up naturally as you play, not rushing you to gain talent in six different areas. Once you get them down though, the wide range of options open to you is staggering.

When you’re not playing them, however, your team mates are controlled by the AI, which leads to some of the most troublesome parts of playing this game. Your team mates aren’t exactly horrible at fighting, but the level design and the gameplay style for the game itself don’t allow your team mates to live. What you’ll continually find are levels that have no cover available for characters, and enemies that run up on your team and explode. These enemies can take a lot of fire, too, which usually ends with it getting close enough to blow half of your team apart when you take it down. Without any cover, your entire team is repeatedly left in a group in the open, and becomes cannon fodder when those enemies come charging. It’s an annoying system in a game that has such good potential.

It’s seeing that potential that makes the game so difficult to play through and handle. One the one hand, the idea of your squad is implemented so incredibly well, with each character feeling, and playing, like an individual. On the other hand, so much of the game is spent healing your characters after they have had a run-in with even a few of the enemy demons, that it continually saps the fun out of the gameplay experience. Overall, if you can handle being frustrated, Clive Barker’s Jericho has a lot of fun new elements to be enjoyed, in addition to the horror experience.

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Posted:
2014-04-25

wendyh

Super Gamer Dude

6.9

The game has a hefty amount of direction from Clive Barker, renowned horror writer. The story has to do with another race of creature, known as the first born, created before Man. This creation attempt failed, and God stashed the failure away from humanity in another dimension. That’s not the end of the story, though, as the first borns occasionally break into this dimension. When they do, the Jericho squad is there to send them back to their Hellish universe. As leader of that squad, Ross, you’ll lead your team of five Jericho team mates through time to stop the enemy.

As your team proceeds through the game, you have the ability to switch between playing any of them at will. This leads to the most interesting gameplay dynamic in the game, which is that every character has unique abilities and play style for you to switch between. This gives players the chance to discover which skills they will use the most to fit their style of play, and thereby use that character the most. The method the game uses to teach all the different skills of the six will allow you to pick these talents up naturally as you play, not rushing you to gain talent in six different areas. Once you get them down though, the wide range of options open to you is staggering.

When you’re not playing them, however, your team mates are controlled by the AI, which leads to some of the most troublesome parts of playing this game. Your team mates aren’t exactly horrible at fighting, but the level design and the gameplay style for the game itself don’t allow your team mates to live. What you’ll continually find are levels that have no cover available for characters, and enemies that run up on your team and explode. These enemies can take a lot of fire, too, which usually ends with it getting close enough to blow half of your team apart when you take it down. Without any cover, your entire team is repeatedly left in a group in the open, and becomes cannon fodder when those enemies come charging. It’s an annoying system in a game that has such good potential.

It’s seeing that potential that makes the game so difficult to play through and handle. One the one hand, the idea of your squad is implemented so incredibly well, with each character feeling, and playing, like an individual. On the other hand, so much of the game is spent healing your characters after they have had a run-in with even a few of the enemy demons, that it continually saps the fun out of the gameplay experience. Overall, if you can handle being frustrated, Clive Barker’s Jericho has a lot of fun new elements to be enjoyed, in addition to the horror experience.


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