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    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:20
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    2. PSP News,
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    Fun...fun...erm, yeah.

    I'll just start off out here telling that I'm sadly not the greatest of Yu-Gi-Oh fans when i got this game. So I guess to say I can only speak for the casual card gamer, even though its been about 2 years since I last laid eyes on a Yu-gi-oh card.

    Now I had very very little expectations for this game when I got it. I have been surprised and must say that I initially underestimated this game. To the review, shall we?

    You start out as a newcomer to the dual academy, an isle dedicated to teaching the arts of Dual Monsters (Pft, its Yu-Gi-Oh. Theres no difference, just name.) When you first arrive, its a pretty fun game. Exploring, meeting the characters of the hit show, yadda yadda. Now the highest point of the game (and I'm extremely confident about this) is the actually card battles. This is as close as your gonna get a to a real card battle in a game system. Everything looks as it should, and all the cards are easily read and seen. the AI isn't stupid when it comes to these battles. Which makes it challenging, but not annoyingly hard. Don't forget, this aspect of the game literally governs it, so I think its fair to say this is a fun, fun aspect.

    And who wants to battle if you don't get a little something for your trouble? Depending on how you play, once you win, you'll be rewarded with a good number of DP (dual points, I guess) which you can spend buying booster packs. Yes, booster packs. There is a bit of fun here, but very, very much frustation too. Its about as easy to find super rare cards in the game as it is in real life, if memory serves. But fear not! There are still 3 good aspects to this:
    1) Save whenever you want, so if you don't find the card your looking for, turn off the game, and go back and rebuy that same booster pack.
    2) They cost very little DP. Very, very little. With one dual you can get up to 7 packs!
    3)Its hard to get ultra rare cards, but its not like that till after you buy around 12 of that booster pack. Besides, theres an obscene amount of great cards that aren't even rare, so your cards won't lack any heat needed to take down the other guy.
    Also, after you beat certain people, such as the main characters (I'm 4 hours in, I've beaten all the shows main characters with ease. Real ease.not that the games short [I'll get on that soon], but that you can challenge these guys anytime you want. You got to school with 'em after all.) you will be able to buy new types of booster packs. There 48 unlockable booster packs in all. I'm gonna say there is upwards 3000 different cards in the game, so don't worry about never finding something new.

    Graphics. Which shall I do first, in battle or out? Mind as well out. They SUCK. There are no better words then that. Outside battle, everything is drag, plain, and boring. Some buildings don't even have textures, so they cover that up with a single bland color. Oh look at that purple building! Which purple building? Theres like 7! Oh well. They do what they are supposed to. Now, as for in CARD battles, they can't get better. This is mostly due to most of the pictures being sprites. However, they sometimes look like 3D models. They look exactly as they should, except they aren't jumping off the screen like in the show. They are simply cards, as they were meant to be. All the menus are easy to navigate, and it gives you the ability to use any card at the time it would be necessary. This doesn't sound like much, but given the scenerios, its helpful.

    Im about 5 hours in, and only on the 4 out of 87 "virtual" days in the game till the Tag Force Tournament. I know there is a plot in the game that goes almost hand in hand with the show, but I'm still on the part about the teacher blabbing about dual monsters. Now if I wanted to, I could fly right through those days with a hit of the X button, so if you want to get right into the nitty, gritty, stuff, you can. I've so far fought about 32 duals for the DP and I've pretty much just been updating my deck, turning it into a beats before the game really even starts. Its safe to say that when it comes to replay value, theres little better. However, everything you do outside the duals is usually just flat out boring. If I've heard right, you need to find partners for the Tag Force, and they can be real pains in the a**es. I haven't got there yet, but when I do, I'll be sure to put it in this post.

    Conclusion: Fun game. NOT a fun game if the only game you like is God of War, which is insanely awesome, but practically the opposite of this kinda of strategy tactics game. If you are a fan, this is an absolute must. If your a *meh* fan, still oughta check this out. I'd say...

    3/5

    I took a full point off for what I hear will be a pint, the Tag force dualing. If I were to determine it off what I've seen....

    3/5, for ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:20
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    2. Xbox 360 News,
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    A most anticipated game from the creator of undying, a freak the **** outta-you horror shooter, Clive Barker. People have been really hoping that this title is more then a POS outcast with high production values. What did they get?.....Silver. Half gold, half silver, all fun as the place that the monsters you battle are from. Cookie to the one who gets that joke.

    The story begins as you, Capt. Devin Ross, wakes up to a call, apparently to get together with the rest of the Jericho squad for a mission tougher then any they've ever seen before. You arrive at the ancient city of Al-Khali, which has revealed itself, that being a very ominous sign. Through the game, you, Cpt. Ross, is killed in action by Arnold Lech...leach.... whatever his name is, the evil guy. Dying in the hands of your teammates, you somehow manage to transfer your life force into fellow teammate Frank Delgado. In the game you can transfer your "soul" between your six teamates, utilizing their unique talents and weapons. You soon find yourself trying to find a creation-gone-wrong called the Firstborn. You'll fight Crusaders, demons, cut in half ghosts of children, and pretty much anything else you can think of freaky as he**.

    This game is seriously fun, whether be you an action fan or a horror fan. Although this game can hardly be called horror, it has some things simply freaky. Not horrifying, but freaky. The enemies are the creepiest things in Jericho by far. In fact, I've never seen another game with the creatures as twisted or horrific as this. if you don't think so, just wait till you fight the ghosts of the children crusaders. The horrific creatures also translate into the story, as every detail of it is splashed with horrific ideas of impalings, demonic nazis, floors covered in organs, flesh and blood. Pretty much any hellish texture, creature or idea you can think of, so did they.

    However, don't think for a minute that this means its extremely scary or far too freaky for you action fans, and not so much horror (if your a horror fan, trust me, this game will do it great for you too.) Now the reason this isn't the scariest game on earth is because the atmosphere just isn't scary. Some parts are a little creepy, others disturbing, but just not horrifying. there are a couple reasons for this. When you constantly have 6 teammates with you, and they are always cracking jokes or calling a certain sniper a lesbian, its really hard to get scared. Another scare less aspect is the music. The music is sometimes pretty creepy, but when it comes to the massive battles in Jericho, light rock plays rather then haunting tunes.

    You can switch between 6 different characters at the blink of an eye during the game. Each character has his or her own special weapons and abilities. Before you say anything, no there are no weapons to pick up or swap out. Trust me, there is absolutely no need whatsoever for extra weapons. Each characters has a wide variety of weapons and powers to take out the enemies. From wielding a katana to slowing down time, to throwing out blood circles to trap enemies, this game truly has inspired weaponry from every angle you can look at. The jokes that keep throwing out help to bring up the spirit while getting attacked by hordes and hordes of monsters. The levels are a fairly simple design, but if you didn't know what it was, you probably would see a very diverse environment of levels. Some are slightly more bland, and others are extremely detailed. The levels are fun, nonetheless. A personal favorite aspect is how the screen moves depending on the actions you take. This doesn't sound like much at all, but it really gives you a better feel for the characters, more life-like. Every cut-scene you'll find, you will always be playing it in 1st person, never seeing it from a 3rd person point of view.

    Graphics are fairly splendid. They aren't Gears of War or Bioshock (Nothing really is) but they are very nice, especially on HD. the blood splattered walls, the nailed to walls bodies and the organs on the floor, they all looks great. The character models are really detailed, with blood dripping from they're eyes and even missing teeth, the character models range from fair to amazing.

    Long story short, If you fit the bill of an action fan, horror fan, or FPS fan, missing this game would be a crime. It isn't terrifying, but it is a game that makes the adrenaline rush from time to time, and can even creep you out quite a bit if you've got the right mood set...

    Final score: I can't understand a lower score then this, unless I only have 3 hours left. (Which will greatly lower the replay value, not yet added into the score.) I've played about 6 hours so far, and I'm loving every second of it. For those of you wondering about replay, I don't think it has multiplayer, but I've "unlocked" characters, during the game. ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:20
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    2. PSP News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews

    Loco Roco
    Publisher: Neversoft Entertainment
    Developer: Activision
    Genre: Sports
    Players: 1-4
    Reviewed by gdf

    Loco Roco, released last summer on Sony's portable, is without a shadow of doubt the happiest game ever made. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise and if you happen to disagree then you really have no soul. It is a game made of Happy, the idea being to roll a happy ball creature around the happy levels on their happy little planet. The plot is a stripped down version of the traditional battle of good versus evil; the planet is being attacked by evil alien invaders called Mojas, and it is up to you and the friendly fluorescent testicle things to save the day.

    The control scheme is simple but effective, doing away with the d-pad and nub and using the R and L buttons to allow the player to rotate the world right and left. You press both at the same time to make your Loco hop, and circle to split it into all its little parts, providing you with the means to get through small spaces. As you progress you will come across red fruits, which you eat to add another ball to your main one. This means the next time you split it, there will be more Locos and you get points at the end of the level for collecting them. You can lose the poor things if you fall on a spike or get sucked up by a Moja and you will be terribly distressed by their little screams as they are separated from the others.

    The levels are packed with fun features and secret areas. Some creatures you meet will help you out, for example giving you a boost up to a higher platform. Other objects are to be found throughout the world, with trampolines and air streams particular highlights. These are all useful and will have you smiling with childish glee. Secret areas often house fruit or Mui Muis, the Locos' friends, and can be fiendishly hard to find. This ensures you will keep coming back to the same levels in order to find all 20 Locos and all the Mui Muis. The game itself is quite short however, with 5 worlds of 8 levels each. Considering the longest time it takes to complete a level is ten minutes, it can be over and done with in a few hours. Bonus games and level editors help, but fail to add much longevity to the game. The length poses a real problem, as though the game has buckets of replay value, it is so damned addictive that you can end up running out of stuff to do in a week.

    Fortunately, this is one of the only weak points of the game, and doesn't detract much from the overall experience. An area it really excels in is the sound. The music fits the backgrounds brilliantly and really contributes to the overall feel of the game; you can't help but grin when you see your Loco sing along to the sprightly tunes. Aside from the music, the visuals are impressive, managing to look cute and sharp at the same time. It all looks like some kind of surreal cartoon, but it is very well done and neat. The graphics make it very accessible; gamers and non-gamers alike will lap it up and rightly so, because it works for everyone: Kids will enjoy the cartoony looks, girls will love the cuteness factor and gamers will play it to death trying to find all the Muis and fruit. It really is one of those "Family" games, but not shit like Buzz.

    Sadly, there is no Multiplayer, but level sharing is available. I would love to have bashed around the world with a mate, but the next best thing is the game sharing, which allows your friend to sample the game on his/her PSP. This is great as it allows you to share the joys and spread the love. The game can be pretty psychedelic at times, which can only be a good thing. There are five colours of Loco to unlock and you find them as you progress. Each has a distinctive look and their own little antenna thing (a la Teletubbies), that wags when you are near something important. Occasionally, your Loco will split up and sing a song to help one of the other creatures feel better, and if that doesn't brighten up your day then your heart is actually made of coal from the fiery pits of Hell. That has been shit out by the devil. Into a...you get the picture.

    Loco Roco is a quality example of how things should be done on the PSP. Originality is the keyword here, and although it isn't the first ball rolling game ever (Check Super Monkey Ball and Katamari Damacy for that) it is one of the best games on the system. It is a perfect fit and highly recommended for all ages. Loco is more what would be expected on the DS, but it proves that cute can be done on any hardware. If Sony don't do a version of this with motion sensitive controls on PS3, then they are seriously screwed in the head. A great 2D platformer.

    Replay Value 3/5 Hampered by a short lifespan.
    Sound 5/5 Well judged and in the right tone. Perfect.
    Graphics 4.5/5 So cute it makes you want to cry tears of joy. ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:20
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    2. PSP News,
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    First off, let me tell you that I normally will raise the score because of combos in replay value. I'd normally do this because my personal tastes believe that when you have endless combos, that really enhances replay value. But for those whom combos do not help at all, I will set aside my feelings on this matter for now...

    I'm not gonna lie. When I bought this game, I was desperate. Bored until Mass Effect arrived, and didn't want an overly gorey game (cough manhunt), I got Tales of the World and expected very little. What I got was a game brimming with polish and RPG elements that were enough at to make me instantly love this game (And I'm not that big an RPG fan either, fancy that.) The game begins in the land of Terresia, a land where man is the life force for all things. That mana has attracted a monstrous planet eater, the devourer, to it. You are a Descender, the planets last ditch effort to save itself. Immediately found by the Descender of another unfortunate planet, your quest begins to rid existance of the Devourer.

    The character creator appears very simple at first, offering little in the way of clothing. Don't be fooled. Your clothes look like rags because every of the over 100 armors you can buy latch onto the character model, instead of raise defense without being seem. Helmets, boots, gloves, charms, all things have a model....and often a purpose.

    Gameplay is the best aspect of it all. Fusing startegy from games like Final Fantasy and the physical real time combat of PSO and a small bit of Kingdom Hearts, Tales of the World has a combat system all its own. Quite difficult to explain, but let me put it this way: 360 degree fighting with 3 teamates and endless combos while controlling strategy for each and every character with special attacks and 7+ class groups?

    HE** YEAH!

    With all its great parts comes the bad as well. Your teamates.... well, they are never just smart. Sometimes they are brilliant and do things just like a player would and other times....your glad with they get knocked cold, one less thing to block your view. However, as far as RPGs go, I have yet to find one par with Tales. (Kingdom hearts rivals it, but doesn't have much in the way of strategy...)

    Graphics are great for what they are. Character models show up fine, weapons, armor, all the items are inspired, but there are slowdowns during some of the more crazy battles. Not as bad as Final Fantasy Tactics, but, they get annoying. The levels (and this is where some of PSO's influence comes in) are pretty bear (Yes bear. Grizzly bears. No I just forgot how to spell it right.) But it doesnt matter so much as you never fight on the level itself but an arena when you meet an enemy.

    Sounds is nice, but forgettable.

    Anyyyyywayyy, heres a fine summary:

    Presentation: 4.5/5
    Great story, easy menus, even online trading. Still, the artes can get confusing at times.

    Sound: 3.5/5
    Like I said, its fine for what it is, but you won't be humming it inside your head.

    Graphics: 4/5
    Great character models brought down by moderately bland backgrounds.

    Gameplay: 4.5/5
    Like I said, I'm putting my love of all things combo behind me for this. Yet this game still shines even if they weren't there.

    Replay Value: 4.5/5
    Yeah that right. Its high as the you were last year at the Christmas party. Yeah you remember it. I've logged 25 hours and have only done 27.6% of all quests, meager as they may be. Collecting items, armor, going on training excursions....good fun. Good fun.

    Overall:

    A must have for all RPG lovers out there. A thing you SHOULD have for everyone else.

    THE MINIVIEW HAS SPOKEN! ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:20
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    2. PSP News,
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    Beowulf....just finished reading about it in English class. Turned in a 6 page essay and got an 85. Went and saw the movie, as unfaithfully inaccurate it was. Safe to say I know a good bit about the Geat's history and who he is. But I know one thing, if he was ever an actual character, and if he was alive today, he would have one hell of a time tearing out the insides of whoever made this pathetically awful mockery of his "good" name. This game is a mess. Yet another pathetic attempt at producing a God of War clone, although this one is so bad, Kratos would kill himself for this game even being a CLONE of his. Thats for introduction, you'll see my reason soon...

    The story begins where you are on a flaming(?) island with your apparent friend Barrack (ever heard of him? No? Me neither....) After spending ten or so minutes mercilessly beating up crabs with your fancy , button mashing 4 attack combo, you then arrive on an island to fight some sea monsters ( :rofl: ). After "defeating" them you begin on your way to defeat a monster named Grendal for a King and his people. This soon sets a chain of events leading to Beowulf's kingship...and death.

    Graphics don't look half bad...when you standing still. As soon as Beowulf starts moving, things become messy. To avoid wasting time for wording, I'll just say that the game soon looks like it was shoved up a horses ass then shot out through its mouth. Yes, its that bad. No need harping on what has already been quite nicely stated.

    Sound is so bad, its funny. I can't even remember whether each level had music or not, and Beowulf's single grunt for every attack he does gave me a borderline migraine. It just doesn't work. Voice acting during cut scenes is, at best, only mediocre. Looking through the eyes of someone who would care, the lip sync is practically non-existent. Mass Effect this ain't.

    Gameplay....wow.
    That practically sums it up. But for the reader, I'll explain WHY its so freaking terrible. X button: Roll. Square: Punch. Triangle: Single, unchainable smash attack. Circle: Grab. Now this could even be moderately acceptable. But the makers of this game couldn't LET it be acceptable. The mechanism for attacks is so broken up, when trying to change directions during attack either never works, or when it does, spins you completely the wrong way. Not even a slight auto aim, and when the length of your weapon reaches barely past you face, that quickly becomes a problem.Blocking attacks does nothing. At best it'll make him take a small amount less damage, but still fly 12 meters northeast. Commanding your Thanes is an absolute needless and pointless feature. Your teamates suck, just like you; theres no point in sending a team of idiots to do one idiots job. Carnage mode is a mockery of power-modes such as Rage of the Gods. Yes, your invincible, but with no extra powers and still having the ability to be thrown from here to there with an enemy's pinky, its as worthless as they come.

    Replay value for Beowulf...an oxymoron.

    Overall:

    Graphics: 2.5/5
    These graphics don't even belong on a broken NDS. it is fun watching the background have a seizure every time you move, though.

    Sound: 1.5/5
    Terrible. I even feel bad for the people who had to MAKE the voiceovers.

    Gameplay:1/5
    Punch, punch, punch, get punted like a football. I am Beowulf.

    Replay Value: 0.5/5
    Haha, replay value....haha....

    Overall:

    I guess the basic point I'm trying to say it STAY AWAY. You'll be glad you did. Don't even get this if someone is willing to PAY you for taking it.

    The MINIVIEW hath spoken! ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:20
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    2. Xbox 360 News,
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    Mass Effect is the start of what should be an RPG revolution, if RPG creators know whats good for them anyway. Mass Effect is a game set in the year 2148 after humanity discovers an advance called Mass Effect that successfully advances Earth's tech by 200 years. You are commander Shepard, male or female who had a past as deep as his/her future. It is soon placed upon you to save the earth from the geth civilization and Saren, they're "prophet". You will travers countless worlds, make decisions that will influence the universe. And this isn't a lie. This is the real deal.

    This game is the peak of RPG evolution. Every choice, every action, every thing you do determines whether you, the universe, your friends, civilians, anybody and everybody, whether they live or die. In every conversation every choice you have is said in a full dialog with reactions fitting the choice you have chosen. Through words and a kind will, or threats and an iron will, EVERYTHING you do effects the world around you. You can became any character you can possibly imagine good or evil, or the often forgotten grey area that exists in the middle. You can even become romantically linked with others. This isn't your average romantics in a game. You have evry choice. You can talk to them, interact however you would in reality. However, unlike reality, you can actual get lucky in Mass Effect .

    The visuals are absolutely some of the best out there. I have yet to see a game with such an amazing level of artistic design and execution as mass Effect. Textures and features are as detailed as they get, resulting in unbelievably realistic characters. Even the aliens look real! The problem: Slowdowns. Quite rare, and usually only during fight extremely explosive fight scenes, they are still there.

    Gameplay is stunning. Gears style combat created extremely well, mixed with an RPG element that has no equal. The RPG allows you to became whatever you want, and allows you to effect the universe however you please. Combat is iffy at first, though, but you'll get the hang of it fairly quickly. Slowdowns annoy me constantly though, and glitches happen from time to time. Not enough to actually impact your experience very much.

    Sound is just as spectacular as graphics. the loud booms of the ships, the sound of krogan warlord vying to attack or the haunting sound of undead creepers. Music is very fitting, as suspenseful sci-fi plays at points necessary as the adrenaline rush plays with intense combat scenes, and so on. The real deal is the dialog. The greatest voice acting a game has ever received since Bioshock.

    This
    Game
    Rocks.

    Final score:
    This game is truly outstanding. This is a Pinnacle of the RPG genre, and there is as of yet not a single game with such innovation and choices as this gold in a DVD. ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:19
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    Tekken: Dark Ressurection
    Publisher: Namco Bandai Group
    Developer: Namco
    Genre: Fighting
    Players: 1-4
    Reviewed by gdf

    Tekken, a series seeming to have lost it's way in recent years, has always been a friend of Sony. This hasn't changed for the legendary series' first outing on the Playstation branded handheld. Dark Resurrection was originally a spruced up version of Tekken 5 for the Arcades, but the PSP seemed like a perfect format for the title to be given a commercial release on, and it works a treat. The Namco brawler feels like it has found its true home and somehow, you seem closeer to the action than ever.

    The player feels every kick, punch and special move like they have just been smashed in the face with a rock covered in diamond spikes. The absence of rumble on the portable seemingly makes no difference to the intense fights and you hardly notice its not there. The bouts are fast paced and fun, great for (I hate this phrase) "Gaming on the go" (Eugh), as they come in tiny bitesize chunks and can be done one at a time if you need to keep putting the PSP on sleep. Loading times are very impressive- even for a PS2 game these would be quick- so you can get into action quite quickly. Of course, the Intro movie when you load the game up is great and looks mighty fine on the LCD screen.

    This moves me along to the next point: the visuals. The graphics in Tekken were always fairly impressive, even on PS1, but here the game properly shines. The character models are especially excellent, with curves and smooth lines rather than bumps everywhere. The backgrounds are impressive too, and the small, constrained arenas also look the part, with shattering ground or flying coins (in one level). The PSP has often been susceptible to awful (occasionally game-destroying) ghosting, but that it not in evidence here. Movement is smooth and swift and doesn't seem blurred that strange yellow colour you can get. All in all, I'd go as far as to say this is the best PSP graphics have gotten so far.

    The action itself is instantly gratifying and is finely balanced between button bashing and combo mastery. Combos are usually simple and effective and there is a wide enough variety to satify both extremes. Noobs to the fighting genre will be able to string together a couple of moves and oldies (have their fingers not succumbed to arthritis yet) should go for the ludicrous 10-hit combos and suchlike. There is a training mode for fighters to try out and a combo challenge, where you try to nail each characters' moveset in as quick a time as possible. The action feels right as well, as opponents provide sufficient challenge to those who want it. Bouts can just as easily time out as be over in seconds and there always seems to be a fine-line between victory and loss, though it never looks to be unfair. The PSP's often limited and flawed control layout doesn't seem like a problem either and you always feel in total control of your characters. When you lose it is most definitely your fault.

    Though Arcade provides the main meat of the action, there are a raft of other modes to take into account. Story is fairly self explanatory, and sees you guide a character through their KOIF tournament. Quick Battle is just as simple but very fun, and is great for diving into a fight without fear of losing your ranking, which I'll come back to later. One of the more interesting modes is Dojo, which sees you work through an Island of martial arts training houses to become the champ. Dojo is a lengthy trudge, and can feel a little repetitive at times, but mostly proves quite a fulfilling alternative to arcade. There are also dozens of options to be tampered with, and a rather fun Edit mode, where you spend Gold earned in-game on new costumes for your characters.

    And there are a lot of characters. Two new additions Lili and Dragunov feel useful in a fight, especially the former, whose devastating kicks can whip even the largest opponent. Another commendable part of the game is that the list is well balanced. The big, slow ones aren't always the useless *******s they had been before and the light ones don't feel like a bunch of weak ass pussies. My personal favourites are Jack-5, the superpowered robot, and Lili, the aforementioned newcomer. When you use a character in either Arcade or Dojo they are given a percentage and ranked, so after prolonged play you can see who you are the best with. The system works surprisingly well and makes you really determined to win each round.

    Tekken seems to have found a new lease of life on PSP and proves an excellent companion to the system. Not only are the fights rapid and violent (not MK violent mind), but you feel every blow and look absolutely sumptuous to boot. It is a well balanced game and another good example of "How to port a game to PSP". It seems to ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:19
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    Killzon: Liberation
    Publisher: SCEA
    Developer: Guerilla
    Genre: Action
    Players: 1
    Reviewed on PSP by gdf

    The original Killzone was released a couple of years ago on the PS2 after an enormous amount of hype, mainly orchestrated by magazines. When it came out it proved a very enjoyable, if unoriginal game, and wasn't quite the "Halo-beater" that it was widely tipped to be. After the implausibly beautiful PS3 trailer for Killzone 2 appeared the hype once again stirred. Over a year on and with no more news concerning it, fans felt lost. Not any more.

    Killzone Liberation is a pint sized version of the shooter that continues the story of the first game. You play as Keller from the first game- on a mission to hunt down the evil Helghast officer General Metrac- but from an altogether different perspective (quite literally). Instead of being in first person, the game's developers Guerilla decided to take the player a step (or twenty) back from the action and have a psuedo top down view a la Metal Gear Solid. Amazingly it seems to have worked and the game proves more fun and rewarding in the new view. The controls are very well adapted to the portable's limited button arrangement and the game maintains the feel of the original. Your man can roll, melee, shoot, grenade, reload, order squadmates, perform context actions, crouch, cover and even strafe thanks to good thinking on the developer's part. It almost feels like Gears of War Mini at some rather excellent parts of the game, especially due to the clever cover system...

    You press R to crouch and if you are behind cover when you do so then you attatch to it. To fire over you press square, and thanks to a laser sight and some subtle auto aiming, blasting enemies is easier than ever; of course this is compensated for by the nails-hard Helghast, who can take more lead than a stack of peiodic tables (I know, that was awful). The system works surprisingly well, and this is good, since without it getting past Level 1 would drive most to suicide. Another life-saver is the strafing, which is activated by pressing L. This makes you lock-on to the nearest enemy and lets you circle round like a little crab with guns-for-claws. It is well implemented and becomes second nature after fifteen minutes' play.

    There are only eight guns in the game and they only become available by progressing in the story, but they are a tight, well balanced lot, all of which have spcific strengths and weakness'. My personal favourite has to be the magnum, a great combination of fire rate, accuracy, power and reload speed. Sadly, only one gun can be carried at a time, which doesn't help when you want a sniper or a bazooka and a shorter range weapon, but have to settle for the most boring one purely because you simply wouldn't be able to progress using just the more powerful or longer range weapons. On a happier note, throwing grenades has been well adapted. You simply press circle to enter grenade mode and tap fire when you want to throw. When in this mode, a set trajectory appears and you move around, locking on to specific targets if necessary.

    One area the controls fall down slightly is in the conrol of the Tanks, a bizzare mixture of shoulder button rotation and weird face button driving. Thankfully these are few and far between enough so as not to disrupt the rest of the game. Another potential sticky area is the VIP escorting, though thankfully this is one game where a) they can take care of themselves and b) they do what you tell them to. This is the kind of thing that puts many next gen games to shame and is a reflection on the excellent AI on show. Enemies will crouch behind cover like you and help each other out, trying to flank your position. Of course this can be put to rights with a few blasts of the shotgun or a lobbed pineapple.

    The action in the game is tense and exciting, especially when you have a teammate in tow. A tap of select brings the pace of the game to a crawl, and you select a position, enemy or your character and they will go there/kill them/follow you. Sadly there aren't nearly enough of these sections as it's a great way of ordering the AI; very streamlined and simple, but effective. Another commendable element of the game is the graphical punch it carries, with some excellent effects and enemy death physics. The visuals are well above par for a portable game and it impressively matches up to the first game on the creaky old PS2.

    Multiplayer is great in Liberation and an online download will be out soon- enabling you to take on the world wirelessly- thus extending it's already decent lifespan. Combined with the story and excellent challenge mode, this could keep the UMD in your PSP for months to come. A warning however; this game is HAAAAARD. The levels are long and arduous and you'll be swearing at the screen more than once ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:19
    1. Categories:
    2. PS2 News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews

    Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil
    Publisher: Namco
    Developer: Namco
    Genre: Action
    Players: 1

    Klonoa. Probably the most woefully underrated game series out there. Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil for the Sony PS2 went almost unnoticed on the greater scheme of PS2 gaming. Another reason why it may have not gained recognition is because it came out around the time of Sonic Adventure 2: Battle. Talk about bad timing, huh? In any case, the 3D platformer has gained the respect of most who've played it.



    Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil gameplay revolves mainly on its 3D set up as a platformer, with a few twists. As with all games in this genre, it is a side-scroller adventure with you fighting baddies along the way. Unlike most platformers, though, you don't simply run through each level hitting anything that moves along the way. You also must solve certain puzzles along the way with each level. These puzzles seem complicated when you first run into one. However, by the time you finish, you'll be smacking you head, thinking "Oh! It was so simple! Why didn't I think of that..." The game isn't all about puzzles, not at all. While there are many challenging puzzles there is also the classic smack-around-the-bad-guy feel to it, as you often use enemies to solve puzzles, among other things. The battle system is unusual and rather original. Not the effect of smashing bad guys, but the way you do it, and how they can never really be destroyed.

    Rather the a shooting, jumping, or smashing way of fighting, Klonoa 2 uses an original-classic pulley battle system. Pulley may not be a good word, but the idea remains the same, as you take in enemies into a special weapon, and use them to unlock puzzles, or smash them into other enemies, or use them to propel to new heights.

    The story is a classic "Save the world scenerio" with a couple of new and old ideas. You play as Klonoa, Namco's half-mascot, waking up into a different world, which leaves a lot of the WTF feeling in the air. They still use they're own language, much like in Animal Crossing, so even if you know Japanese you won't be able to understand what they're saying, despite the accent similarities. Woken up by a apprentice priestess and her dog, they instantly dub you the "dream traveller". You are almost tricked into helping the girl earn her priesthood, but all is well, as that was apparently neccesary for the plot. You learn that only the so-called "dream traveller and his sacred weapon" can save the land of Lunatea from a destructiv force. You embark on a journey along with the priestess and her human-like dog to ring the four bells to seal off the evil that will reveal itself in the King of Sorrow.

    Onto graphics. Unlike the first few Klonoa games, this game is rendered in full 3D, no sprites involved. The first Klonoa game rendered 2D objects in a 3D background. Klonoa 2 has what players called "awesome visuals" for its time. The cutscenes were among the best of the graphic moments, when the visuals were nicely mixed 2D-3D. The gameplay graphics weren't too far behind, making this game a for-its-time(not before) in that department. Posted is a screenshot of in-game play during a sentry boss-battle:

    The textures in that screenshot are smooth due to the circumstances, much of all boss battles run graphics in a much smoother fashion then during Vision gameplay(levels). Here are some screenshots of the natural side-scroller level play:




    The music track isn't one you'll be likely to hum to, but its definately one you won't hold your ears hoping for a bomb to come before the end of the track. For the type of game, its considered a nicely, well rounded soundtrack, that (I've never really noticed it during gameplay, but I've never really listened)will keep either a calm or rushed mood, depending on the levels circumstance. The OST was even demanded enough to be created and released a few months after the game being released.

    Well that was a bit to type. Rather enjoyable, I guess. Heres my rating on Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil for PS2 Sony Entertainment System.

    Replay Value 3/5 Not too much to be had in this department, once you beat the game its usually the same thing over unless you do some of the mini-quests. Replaying does give an oddly good feel compared to most games.
    Sound 4/5 They matched the scenario being played upon, thus making them a good style for-the-moment music, as well as sound
    Graphics 4.5/5 Not bad at all, not what I'd call a masterpiece but for its time it was a huge advance form the original 2D rendered on a 3D set.
    Gameplay 5/5 There isn't much more you could ask in a platformer. Klonoa 2 is almost what I'd call the absolute perfect platformer.
    Score:


    If your looking for a platformer, there isn't much better choice then this game. It has everything from long eared cats to air pirates.

    This review is by Shadowblind for and at DCEmu, the Homebrew and Gaming Forum.
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:19
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews

    Tony Hawk's Project 8
    Publisher: Neversoft Entertainment
    Developer: Activision
    Genre: Sports
    Players: 1-4
    Reviewed on Xbox 360 by gdf

    Over time, it is inevitable that a series will get tired and run out of ideas; especially if it happens to be an annually updated sports game. After a while change is demanded and has to be put in place for the survival and continuation of the franchise, but it can be difficult to make massive overhauls without changing the core experience. This is where the last couple of Hawk games have struggled. 2003's THUG was a natural expansion of the gameplay offered in games 1 to 4 and opened up the world to fans of the series. The sequel, THUG 2, ended up recreating the humour of Jackass with its stupid stunts and rocket powered Segway-riding midgets. After that, it was demanded that the series deviate from this before it became overly tired, but the result was a bit uglier than expected. THAW attempted to be a jack of all trades, but ended as a pathetic loser of most. The skating was put on the back foot as you could nip around the supposedly load free world (loading screens were disguised as suspiciously bland alleys and tunnels linking parts of the world) in a car or BMX; a rather bad idea considering the only consistent name in the series' titles is Tony Hawk, y'know, only the most well known skater on the planet. THAW turned out to be a mini disaster area and there were some doubts over the series' future. Happily, all the wrongs have been righted thanks to THP8, the lastest from Activision.


    From the off it appears a much more skateboardy experience. The environments in the free roaming city are choc full of trick oppourtunities, and much of the joy can be found from simply crusing around, grinding and flipping away. At the beginning of career you create your character, and straight after that it's off to skate. The plot goes like this: Tony is building up a team of the best 8 amatuer skaters he can find (see what they've done there) and he has stopped off in your town. It's up to you to climb from number 200 to the team and this can be done in numerous ways.

    The great thing is that you can go at your own pace and pick and choose what you want to do. There are some missions and competitions which will improve your ranking a good few places and there are also the rather excellent spot challenges, addictive little nuggets of rank boosting fun. They can be activated when you are going about and are just graffitied words on the ground like "grind" or "Jump". The further, higher, or whatever, you go, the better grade you get ("Am", "Pro" or "Sick") and the more rank spots you will gain. the beauty is that even if you fail you can just carry on to your destination or restart quickly. Spot challenges can be tough but great fun at the same time and goals like "break 15 bones" are always welcome.


    This brings me on to the next point of the gameplay: New features. Thankfully, THP8 is bursting at the seams with great new introductions to the series. Most noteworty are the bails, focus mode and the awesome "Nail the trick" er...trick. Bails have been overhauled and you are now able to direct the fall of your skater, bounce him (or her) off the ground and get up quickly. There are some moments of absolute joy when your protagonist goes flying and gets totally smashed up (complete with wince-inducing bone crunch sounds). Focus mode is a more serious but nonetheless useful addition. When the bar at the top left of the screen fills up, you click in the left stick to slow time down, very useful for tricky grinds and manuals or sustaining a combo. To stay in slow motion, you have to keep the bar filled by doing more tricks, so the more skilled you are, the easier a long combo gets. Also, it looks very cool grinding round a level 6 times and landing a million point combo at a snail's pace. The final large addition is the much lauded "Nail the Trick". At any time during play, you click in both sticks to slow time down, but this is different. Instead of keeping control of the skater's body, the camera zooms to his feet, and each stick controls its respective foot. Yet again this is very cool, but good timing and skill are required to land anything more than a one or two trick combo. Most of the time this feature produces some decent points, especially when used as part of a larger combo or in conjunction with focus. These features are great to have and make the skating both more enjoyable and realistic.


    The game's soundtrack is also surprisingly good, with great bands such as Wolfmother, Kasabian and Klaxons all featuring. THP8 also has very tidy visuals and, for a cross-platform title, looks fairly next gen on the 360. Overall, THP8 really takes the series ...

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