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Posted:
2010-08-04

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

6.9

This is a sequel that closely resembles its predecessor with about the same open world action formula that comes your way in this game; from the graphics down to the downside of the game. Following up from the Epic’s repeated motto for Gear Wars 2: “Bigger, Better and more Badass”; now comes this game for Ruffian’s “Do not rock the Boat”. Do you feel excited now? You should be, the fun is still on and it’s just about to happen.

The introduction about being the same as its predecessor is little bit of an exaggeration. Not everything is really the same. The presence of a four player co-op, new weapons and items, a few new missions and vehicles, and the 16-player combat mode all spice up the new game and are definitely different from its predecessor.
In Crackdown 1, the Pacific City was destroyed by mutants. The terrorists, who call themselves The Cell, did a good job nearly annihilating the whole city. The city is now in great danger of perishing into a ghost town. This is in fact the storyline you have to endure in the new game. It is up to you as member of the agency, the savior and superhero, to restore what once a great city.

The storyline eventually lets you to be the badass you have to be in the game. You must use your guns and maximize your abilities - especially your athletic ability, as it helps you leap from rooftop to rooftop. The real point of the game is to collect orbs so that you can be the greatest superhero. The orbs have different attributes as well; such as the driving skill orb where you can run over your enemies and unlock new cars. Collect as much as you can to have new weapons as well.

The gameplay of Crackdown 2 is for players who like to collect. The best available orb in the game is the ability orb. There are also hidden orbs that you need to find. Xbox live orbs are also around but can be found only in co-op mode. For those who love this type of platform or gameplay, tt can be very addictive.

Experience with playing Crackdown 1 can help you get through most of the challenges in this new game. Familiarity with the game is crucial; it make it easier to deal with Crackdown 2 even with the changes such as the orbs that upgrade your weapons, or the addition of some side quests and some big monsters with helicopters and tanks.

The maps are a little bit of a mess as you cannot identify yourself from the others. The game does not have waypoints and the directions given are a pain the ass. There’s a shortage of vehicles, although this can be easily remedied by a call to your friends that can give you a ride at once.

For those who have previously played its predecessor, the downside is still the same, despite the new additions. The storyline is still practically non-existent. The guns are not very accurate and quite difficult to use. You still have to contend with other irritants like the presence of useless things, awfully designed buildings that cause you to bump and hit excess parts of the building. But the mother of all annoying things is the missions which are just a copy cats from small designs.

The primary task is performing the same mission a whopping nine times over that can take its toll on you. They’re not even that complex, so you can die of boredom. What’s lacking in Crackdown 1 is still around in Crackdown 2. The graphics are still the same, an old player of Crackdown 1 can easily identify that it is the same place. The few additions to the place which were a sorry excuse for making a little difference is so hard to spot you almost couldn’t tell it’s there. Well, if it’s blatantly obvious, guess you could tell the difference. The worst parts are the textures, effects and details of the game. The frame rate stumbles and you get the feeling that the game was rushed and you have been short-changed.

Fortunately, the 16-player deathmatch game and the modes where everybody kills each other in the co-op game, save the game from total disaster. Rocket tag is also a little diversion that lets you kill a single target with the impression of hit or miss.

In general, the additions to the new installment, particularly the expansion to four-player co-op, are welcome. But that hardly counts when you’ve waited three years and expected so much more. Crackdown 2 really gives you the impression that it was rushed and uninspired; it certainly doesn’t have the feel of being a full sequel.

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Posted:
2010-08-11

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

Alan Wake is brought to us by the same company that created the bullet time Remedy game with Max Payne and Mona Sax. The game has moved from the crime area and nighttime alleys of New York City and is now situated in a small town ironically called Bright Falls (really dark place). The lead role is played by Alan Wake who is not really a gun slinger in the first place.

Rather, he is a fiction writer who wants to get out from the stress that writing and fame brings him. He decided to go to Bright Falls and this is where things get interesting. His wife gets kidnapped and he tries to find her. He is forced to pick up a weapon and use a gun just to survive. The movie-scenes in the game are comparable to the Twilight Zone or X-files in the paranormal sense. The storyline is full of twists and the character-building is rather interesting. The game keeps you on the edge of your seat and thrills you to the end; but some scenes also make you laugh.

The plot has six episodes, much like a TV series. After each episode there is an exposition that ends with a cliffhanger; all the while the soundtrack plays, until it fades to the menu. Then, the recap and the introduction for the next episode begin. The game feels like a novel that is played on television.

The gameplay, oh the other hand, is just like any other first person shooting game. There are straightforward checkpoints, disguised as television sets at different sites in the game. This is where you can appreciate the videos and cinematic. It may be tempting to skip them to finish the game quickly, but I would suggest that you see these through to get a better grasp of the story and the game. Moreover, it shows that the game is rich with detail and sub plots. These X-files-ish presentations show the game’s uniqueness, as well as give more information on the characters.

The game also did a good job on the graphics. The forests and mountains are good, and look realistic enough. The environment and the people really resemble a town. The people know each other and the visitors are often the talk of the town. There are unique characters as well as the stereotyped ones. During the day, everything seems normal, but when the sun sets and the moonlight bathe the townsfolk, they turn into different beasts. Your job is to explore the area and defeat them. The moonlight above, the street lights below and a flashlight on your hands can show you the way.

The combat system is satisfying even if Wake’s weapons are not high tech or huge. The usefulness of these compensate for lack of power and size. Monsters of all kinds come from the dark. The idea is to incapacitate your enemies with light using your flashlight, which can cause great damage to them. Then follow it up with a shot from your handgun, shotgun or rifle. The sound effect that comes with the combat is truly cool!

The longer you progress in the game, the more varieties of combat modes you encounter. There are other sources of light such as a flare that is useful when you are mobbed. Running away may also be often resorted to. But you should use the sprint wisely because Wake has a limit to running.

The only setback of the game is that it is not revolutionary enough. The gameplay is more of a modification of those that previously existed, rather than unique. Some gamers may be bored with this after a few hours of playing.

Overall though, the positive aspects managed to compensate for the monotony.

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Posted:
2010-08-23

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

6.2

Been playing Madden since the beginning of time and can tell you there are some much needed adjustments made to the game which will appeal to the mainstream audience.

Turbo

You don't have to worry about the turbo anymore. It seemed weird to me as I have played the game forever and I am used to hitting turbo to out run the defense once a break a big run and get outside the tackles. Now, they simply automatically do it for you, which leave a lot more emphasis on reading the defense.

AI Teammates

Get this they actually block now for you and if you can can capitalize on a big time block you can take it to the house. I have done this time and time again. Also, had it does against me a lot when playing in the two player mode.

Defensive Controls

There is now something called the Strategy Pad. It is a bit frustrating, as I was playing against faster paced teams such as the Colts. It does give you complete control over your defense, but it is hard to master at times.

Online Play

I can say that Madden really upgraded the multiplayer mode by a marginal difference. It actually allows players to play together, three on each team. So one player would control the quarterback and another would control the running back, while another controls the a wide receiver. Me and my friends have found this to be absolutely a blast, unless you get stuck with the sucky friend :(. To take it one step further the team your playing against could also have more of your friends control different players on the defense.

The graphics are truly amazing though. In fact, the replays are just plain stunning. For instance, just how the characters move and the camera switches very fluid like. Not saying, that there are no bugs or glitches in the graphics, but they are for the most part amazing.

There is a mode in which you can speed up the gameplay and actually cut an entire game in half. I really don't use this feature as I am a football guru. I do supposed that if you are not a die hard football fan that you might like this feature.

There are some of the same glitches such as the sound being really choppy. Anyone who has ever played a Madden game knows what I am talking about. Fragmented speech, but it is Gus Johnson now though. All and all, I would say it is a must have for any NFL fan!

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Posted:
2010-09-01

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

7.6

Mafia II is finally out, get ready to join Vito Scaletta as he returns from World War 2, only to find his mother and sister in some financial trouble. They have gotten involved with a loan shark and in some deep trouble. The setting of story takes place in Empire Bay, in New York. There you will find all kinds of missions you can complete in order to live the life you have always wanted to live.

As the game starts out you will be starting from the bottom. That means you are going to be fighting with your hands. You will be engaging in fist fights. For the most part I found these to be rather easy; you will simply hold a button until you are prompted to either punch with a power shot or a quicker faster shot. Vito must be a good fighter…lol.

The cops are going to be giving you a lot of trouble from the game. It can be anything from having a broken bumper to speeding. Kind of reminds me of Driver, a popular game from my previous gaming past. The cops do seem to bit unpredictable at times, though.

The storyline is pretty damn good and I found that it did hold my attention to the end. I don't know if anyone has played the first Mafia game, but the story was lacking in the first one. This is simply not the case with Mafia 2. The voice work in this game is probably in my opinion its best feature.

There is always something to do in Mafia 2. For instance, the boss scenes are great. You are going to find yourself ducking for cover and firing away at your enemies all the time. In order to recover some of your health you are going to have to take cover and avoid getting shot. I have found this to be pretty challenging at time, but rewarding.

There are some nice missions that pull away from the norm at times, which are really fun. For instance, you will find yourself as an undercover window washer and you will have to whack a number of characters. I would have like to see even more of these kind of missions rather than just killing everyone in view.

All and all, I would have to say that Mafia 2 is a pretty good game. You will enjoy a lot of cut scenes and a decent storyline. There are ton of 30's-40's guns for you to choose from, which are a lot of fun. What Mafia game wouldn't be complete without the Tommygun?

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Posted:
2010-12-17

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

7.5

It has been said that this is the best music game ever made; that may be so. I cannot say, I haven't tried them all. The game is extremely well produced, but lets put the statement in perspective. Remove the word music and the statement becomes untrue. We are talking of a pretty dedicated bunch of consumers consisting mainly of ageing rockers, they age very well and I would not be offended to be put in that category, and young music, rock action lovers. With that caveat it is very probably true, judging from other reviews, that this is, to date, the greatest game of its kind.

Necessary accessory:-- The keyboard, or as some call it, keytar, is a new, at least to the game, hybrid idea; a keyboard worn like a guitar allowing the keyboarder to do his share of leaping around, previously only the guitarist could do this. There is also a new range guitars, one in particular is a new concept, this buttoned version is a strange new piece of machinery.It doesn't look the part but it plays well and there is a button for every note on a standard fretboard. The poor relations, the drums have three cymbals added the previous drumkit. There are tutorials.

Of course all this comes at some considerable price. they can be bought separately or with game packages which include them. Be careful to check with game packages that they contain exactly what you want.

There are various modes, which Rock Band fans will be happy and familiar with. For newcomers, note that not all modes and songs feature all instruments. There are 83 songs on disc and many more available as downloads. The songs speak for themselves, if you've bought this game you are almost guaranteed to like them all.

The career structure has been re-vamped, but in my opinion these aspects of the game are secondary to the music making, so enough said.

Menu navigation is as simple as it gets, with player profiles and instruments able to be switched with a few button presses. You can change songs mid track without restarting, and in multiplayer every player has his own menu window.

Not my speciality, but having seen others play it I was surprisingly very very impressed. As for marks I am not qualified to give them, but the fact that others in the know have rated it the best of the best may well not be an understatement.

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Posted:
2014-04-02

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

PC Games

6.9

The Need for Speed Carbon is a lot different from the other Need for Speed series that only takes on the car racing and nothing else. This game has a story plot, added features and added challenges. You will not be just plain racing against all the cars in the game. Instead, you will be following the plot of the story and achieve the main goal which is to know who is behind the accident that happened during a race.

For its game-play, this game works well in its lengthy single player mode; it has a great line of different supercars which every car lover will appreciate; great shows of car mechanics; good audio; great visuals; and great graphics. For a game that should be able to provide good amounts of excitement, this game has even doubled up on what people would expect from it by giving out a perfect presentation. Everything you see in this game appears great and well thought about.

This game gives you long tracks to race on and enjoy a choice among good looking cars and challenges that will even make you more interested in finishing the game. The ultimate race that you have to go through is to race against the big boss. So that is where your path of racing will lead you. But before going to that race, you will have lots of other races that you should win of course. You will race over different circuits, and experience varying difficulty of races and sprints.

If you are a car or racing enthusiast, you will enjoy playing this game. It is different from other car racing games as it gives more difficulties and challenges to make the game much more exciting than most of its type. As compared to other racing games played on PC or other gadgets, the Need for Speed Carbon is more exciting and entertaining. Its plot is a very challenging one that will make you want to race right up to the finish.

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Posted:
2010-12-20

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

7.8

Remember the old line? the clue is in the title. Well, in this case, for me its not, but I suspect stoked has a meaning not obvious to a non snow-boarding fan. Well, there’s a clue. Stoked is a game about extreme snow boarding. This game features a popular athlete, better known to snow sport freaks, Shaun White.

First of all, there is no storyline in the game, but I am not complaining because I think a storyline in a snowboarding game would be kind of odd. The mechanics of the game work well for Stoked and you really feel rewarded from landing a big trick. There are no coins or anything to collect as you go down the hills, like in most snowboarding games.

You will need to create your character once you are ready to start your snowboarding career. Don't worry you don't have to change your facial features or anything like that, just your clothing and kit. If you like snowboarding games this game is right up your piste. It has exceeded the casual and usual snowboard games and turned it into something more extreme. Actually, the game of snowboarding is very conventional but they have added some twists and frills, the game became extreme and more exciting (like the online mode which is why you will buy this game). If you are a beginner, you can first try the tutorials to get you used to the controls (I would recommend this before getting balls deep into the game). This tutorial will teach you how to snowboard slowly until you can handle faster gameplay. It might start off kind of slow from the first time you are dropped off a cliff, but it gets a lot more fast paced, believe me.

Stoked takes you to different levels, mountain maps, tracks and objectives. There is no clear objective, each mountain has 10 events and you will try to get all 66 fame points (in order to get your professional license). Sponsors will start to sponsor you as you get better and better. They will even videotape you, which is kind of cool to watch the replays. Even get footage of you eating snow…lol. Each level will have its own objective and difficulty level. As you get into a competition, you will also be ranked at how well you have played (it adjusts to your skill level). After you have gone through the tutorials, you will be able to remember the controls used for each move that you must make. You can play as a single player and take on AI. Or if you want real competition, you can go online and compete with other online players. There will be eight boarders for each session. You will also be following a map to complete the race. There will be obstacles and the tracks are somehow difficult to race through.

There are, as usual, lots of mini games which are very creative; for example, you will have to land tricks that your friends have landed, and should you fail then you will get a mark against you. You need to finish the race first to win the first prize, obviously.

The graphics are pretty good and I didn't notice a lot of choppy graphics like I have seen on a lot of other snowboarding games. In fact it runs very smooth with all the great environments you will see throughout the game. I noticed very minimal lag with online play. The audio sounds good also. The soundtrack and music that this game used are very appropriate for the game and can pump up your adrenaline to play more. The production team made a good presentation of the game making it user friendly to all types of gamers whether beginner or experienced.

Stoked is an exciting game of extreme snowboarding. You will get loads of excitement from this game especially in the online mode. Single player mode is just kind of never ending unless you just like mastering a ton of different tricks. This game is recommended to those who are fans of extreme games and love the idea of racing. I would have to rate this game 7.5 out 10.

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Posted:
2010-12-20

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

8.1

Another famous and best selling board game has come to the Xbox. The original game needs no introduction. In this version you, as a single player are pitted against AI making the feel of the game a little different. There are other modes with more than one player to compete against and these have more of the feel of the original.

Possible answers to the questions are given in a multiple choice format, in my opinion a bad move. The level of difficulty is reasonable, but as in any quiz, if you know the answers then it's easy. To assist you there are a few images, maps or photos that can point you in the right direction. You can get three modes of questions such as Classic, Facts and Friends. Questions will be related to the type of mode you have chosen. You can either play in single or multi-player type. Each game is timed and the highest scorer wins the game at time up.

The game has simple rules and anybody can play. The graphics are good but that is really irrelevant to the game. The audio is okay and even adds a little suspense, reminding you that time is ticking away. Overall, Trivial Pursuit is a perfect way to enjoy a game in your Xbox, and is also available in versions for other consoles and PC. I think they could do with a set of questions for kids, or perhaps they already have add on packs. The basic level of question is from about just pre-teen and upwards.

The problem is it’s hard to rave over what is basically a copy of a board game, the same applies to Monopoly. But if you’ve never played the original I don’t suppose it makes any difference, and so, rating it on that basis makes it about an 8 from 10.

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Posted:
2010-12-26

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

9.1

First pick the appearance of your character from a large number of available options, your appearance does have a bearing on the game. The game starts in Saltwater with you getting mixed up as a third party dodging bullets from both sides in a gang war. The leader of a multi-ethnic gang, the 3rd Street Saints, Julius saves you from the situation and invites you to become a member. After a slightly dodgy start to the dialogue the whole thing takes off into a really story and apart from occasional low points the quality of the game storytelling turns out to be spot on. You are pretty much free to drive wher and when you like.

At the core are several main plots to be followed, involving the Saints' warring against its three rival gangs. Each has its own identity, preferred vehicles, and chief characters. These gangs can be fought in any order, but once started on one mission you must stick with it. Respect must be earned before you can take on missions and these are got from tackling sub missions and entertaining minigames, some with chaotic and deadly results.


The game has rock-solid driving and shooting controls which makes even the most over the top activity, and there is plenty of it and also plenty of swearing and adult conversation, but most of the sound effects are very good. There is a variety of music played on many available radio stations. The many realistically modelled cars handle differently as well as having distinctive looks. the scenery and portrayal of the city and the diferent weather conditions is more than excellent. The game seems to have lots of everything including explosions and weapons. You also get some computer-controlled help to fight your battles.

Your character's health automatically recovers if you avoid taking hits for a while, and you can suffer a fair bit of damage before you die anyway. This is not the case in the more difficult missions but you can carry health-restoring food items around with you to aid recovery, and if you do die you can opt for a quick trip back to a hospital, from where you can easily carry on. There are many more facilities that make for easier play; far too many to mention here.

It lacks a litttle in originality as it is a bit along the lines of Grand Theft Autos but if this proves to be its worst point then all well and good. Saints Row is a pleasingly long game, probably 24 hours to finish the main storyline, and the minigames are worth exploring in more depth if you want longer playing times, and don't forget the multiplayer mode for up to 12 players, featuring several modes, playable online or via system link.

A great game that stands on its own two feet despite some welcome borrowings from other sources.

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Posted:
2010-12-26

earthworm

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

9.1

Just Cause is a mixture of pulse racing way over the top action and just pure fun. Everything about Just Cause is either massive, highly unlikely or idiotic to the highest degree. You take the part of CIA agent Rico Rodriguez whose mission is to save the inhabitants of San Esperito, a South American island from its corrupt govenment by any means at your disposal, however far fetched. Most of the always over the top action comes when Rico is using his favorite gadgets, these being parachutes and grappling hooks. These he uses to pull off ridiculously designed but hilarious stunts.

There are 21 missions available which can be carried out in any way you wish as there seems to be no specific way of tackling some of the strange and imaginative situations you may be faced with.

With an attention to detail worthy of an old master painting, the graphics are amazing. The weather, the underwater scenery and clouds etc.are almost beautiful enough to frame. There is a little tearing during the faster action scenes and the architecture is not rendered as well as the natural aspects, but the majestic large scale vistas more than compensate for this.

Just playing around with the selection of planes, helicopters, boats and cars on offer is fun enough by itself, but there is some structure to the game as well. The main story missions are a concentration of hair-raising actions which are unfortunately altogether too short. There are also a large number of secondary missions that come in various guises but they are somewhat disappointing compared to the rest of the game.

Just Cause is an experience that allows the imagination to run riot in an attempt to reach the full potential of the game. An absolute stunner.


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