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  • DCEmu Games Reviews Latest News

    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:51
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    Published by: Twisted Pixel
    Developed by: Twisted Pixel
    Players: 1
    Price: 800


    Overview: A great looking game that came out of nowhere to amaze us all with its dazzling graphics and fluent animations, will this be the game to raise the bar for all XBLA games to come? or is this just a pretty picture, keep reading to find out!

    Gameplay: In The Maw you get to play as an alien who partners up with "The Maw" which would be like Kirby 2.0 since he not only gets the powers of the aliens he eats, but he also gets bigger as he eats more aliens. The goal of the game is to eat a certain amount of aliens so you can proceed to the next level; Sometimes you may have to puzzle solve, jump platforms, or attack both biotic and a biotic objects to get to the aliens that so willingly await their death.
    It is clear that the game was built for kids, aside from its visual style there also seems to be no way to die, in a certain level, your character doesn't even react to bluets at all. Something that doesn't make seance is that in some puzzles, the game literally gives you the answer, but in others it will leave you to think for a good while with no clues on what you are suppose to do next, this could frustrate younger gamers who are not well experienced with puzzle solving and leave them to stop playing. One thing I have to point out is that this game is a glitch waiting to happen, you can't jump as you slide down so i got stuck between a hill and some trees once, the clipping is horrible and there are plenty of invisible walls, objects rarely fall on top of each other but when they do its not a pretty sight. Another issue that should be pointed out is that sometimes the maw will be programed to do something as soon as its close enough to its target, lets say for example that the maw now has the ability to breathe fire and he can burn trees and bushes, trying to get him from one place to another could take more then it should, as your beloved maw stops at every bush to scorch it, this takes away time and replaces it with frustration.
    Overall aside from the second to last level the game keeps you doing different things at good enough paces to where you never really get too bored doing one specific action over and over again.
    Another thing I have to complain about is that towards the last levels, the maw get so big it takes up way too much space on your screen, it seriously gets ridiculous and zooming out only makes things worse.

    The Maw is the best when it comes to trowing food up in the air and catching it in his mouth.

    Graphics: What can I say other then great? there are minor shadowing issues here and there but they can easily be ignored, animations are as fluent and expressive as they come and there is something about the whole look and feel of it that reminds me of the good ole N64 days. This game is defiantly one of those games that people won't mind to watch as much; Environments are often entertaining enough to catch you eyes and every now and then there will be an alien so well built that you might even find yourself starring at it.

    Sound: As friendly and goofy as the game looks, sound effects are easy on the ears and will match up well with any a kid's show, but don't expect nothing too good, background songs are made of constant and repetitive loops that you won't even notice unless you listen for it.

    Replay Value: Its a 2 hour game at its best and with no extra features or bonus content aside from the achievements which you can easily.......achieve if you just take some extra time to burn or break useless things so u can get that extra gamer score boost you are pretty much looking at a one time play through type of game.

    Conclusion: Games this short normally have something great to it that makes it worth your cash like "Portal" but this game is nothing more then average with a price too high in my opinion, if you have money to freely spend then i say this could be a fun 2 hours for you, but if you are looking for a better value, then you might wanna look somewhere else.

    Final Score: ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:51
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    Puzzle Arcade
    Publisher: Eidos Interactive Limited
    Developer: Ctxm/Say Design
    Genre: Puzzle
    System: XBLA
    Price:800 MS Points

    Let's get right into it, this is a jig-saw game. Everything you do in this game is a type of jig-saw, either in the traditional sense, or with constraints placed on you in certain challenges, such as, having a minute to complete a jig-saw, a distorted image which becomes clearer the more pieces you get, and so on.

    There are varying degrees of difficulty, which affect things like, amount of pieces, whether or not the pieces are laid out in a mess, with some bits facing the wrong way, or you can have all the pieces facing the right way and even pre-rotated to the correct orientation.

    You can have the pieces separated into a menu of edges and colour groupings, allowing you to quickly find and select certain pieces.

    To start with, I did a few of the challenges. Picking a few at random, I found different twists on the 'put the pieces in the right place' type fun that this game promises.

    Twists such as bots who make frustrating attemps to complete the puzzle ahead of you. This is the equivalent of having 3 people over your shoulder, grabbing bits of your puzzle and moving them around, shouting - 'that bit goes there!'. Now, if I was actually doing a jig-saw puzzle, first of all, I'd have to be 80 and an old woman, and second; I'd be doing it to relax and have a bit of peace!

    So this being the case, the last thing I'd want when doing a jig-saw is other people annoying me, or even time constraints, or missing pieces, or any thing in fact.

    So after these challenges, I took to the main, 'just do a friggin regular jig-saw puzzle' mode. So here i thought I'd set up a puzzle, with the pieces not sorted - scattered about, upside down and six-ways from-Sunday, with the maximum amount of pieces (somewhere in the region of 1300).

    So I spent about two hours, slowly grabbing pieces, flipping them if needed, sorting the edges and corners to one side, and getting ready to tackle a large puzzle.

    Do you know what? It was actually quite relaxing, theraputic even! But after a couple of hours (at which point I hadn't even put two pieces together - I was still sorting edges!), I decided to take a break, and finish my monster puzzle later. It didn't allow me to save my progress. Gutted.

    After sorting that mess for two hours, I wasn't able to save my progress and resume later. How in the name of shitting-crikey are you supposed to finish a 1300+ piece puzzle in one sitting?

    I've given more than enough words out for this game so I'm going to get to the point - which is this - what's the point?

    Why? Why would you play this game, who would play it? How long would they play it for?

    Why would you play this game? I guess if you really like jig-saws, and think it's be cool taking pictures with the XBox Vision Camera and turning them into said puzzles, then yes, go for it. But who is going to want to do jig-saws on an XBox 360?

    The lack of a save function for some puzzles means that there really is no point starting a huge one, as you'd have to do it in one sitting. Although some do allow saving.

    The multiplayer aspect is a strange addition, and I guess it would work like the mode with the bots who keep grabbing bits of your jigsaw and moving them around (i.e. annoying). But I can't say for sure because I couldn't get an online match, ranked or otherwise, as presumably only someone with a very sad life would play online jigsaw puzzles at half ten on Saturday night. And as sad as my life is, I was reviewing it so I had an excuse and if I had found anyone playing this online I would have been interested to talk to them and possibly find out who they are and alert the authorities about a potential suicide risk.

    So I'd struggle to justify buying or even playing this game. If you really want a taste of last century (or the one before that even) then go for this, if you think jig-saws belong in the past along with ball-in-a-cup, ludo and slap-the-stepchild, then avoid.

    If you're that into jig-saws, then you probably aren't going to appreciate the extra factors and difficulties put into place by this game. You're better off with the real thing.

    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:51
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    Platform: Windows (XP or Vista) PC
    Developer: Haemimont Games (official US game page)
    Publisher: Kalypso Media
    MSRP: £29.99
    PEGI: 7+ (Based on box art, PEGI site has no info)
    ESRB: Rating Pending

    Scheduled for release on 09 March 09

    What they had to say about it:
    GRAND AGES ROME is the long awaited sequel to the best-selling strategy game "Imperium Romanum".

    You are a Governor of a Roman Province in the time-honoured Roman Empire, its fortune very much lies in your hands. Choose one of five Roman noble families such as Caesar's Julii with different abilities to accomplish the comprehensive missions.

    Defend yourself against barbarian tribes, trade with other cultures, build a wealthy economic environment and fullfil the needs of your people in a huge single player campaign or with up to 3 human players in the multiplayer mode!

    And remember - even Rome was not build in a day!

    What I have to say about it: click here ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:51
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    Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
    Developed by: Thatgamecompany (TGC)
    Genre: Miscellaneous
    Players: 1
    Price: $10


    Overview: I can personally say that the first time I saw a picture of this game I was stunned, this game in fact, was one of the reasons I bought my ps3. Even tho I didn't really know how it was played, I just knew I had to play it because it looked amazing and fresh, this "game" is another one of those games that are mostly pure art, you can have just as much fun watching someone play this amazing experience as you would actually playing it, that's right, I am going as far as saying this is an experience more then a game, and a great one at that.

    Gameplay: In fl0wer, you get to play as the wind who carries petals from flower to flower, the more petals you get the longer your stream of petals becomes, in the end it doesn't really matter how long you are but its nice to be able to do a few flips and see yourself moving like a colorful snake in the air. For the most part, all you will be doing here is touching a flower and then moving on to the next, its simple but somehow very entertaining in an odd way. Some flowers such as the blue ones DO trigger special events that will lead you to the end of the level, but you don't need to get all the flowers in order to finish the level, only the ones that trigger events which by the way, will leave your eyes wide open as most of the times it only spreads beauty around the field of grass by seemingly turning the grass greener and making flowers grow out of nowhere. This is something that will not get old quickly and a force that will pull you back to play the same level over and over again.

    Graphics: I don't think i need to explain myself when i say that this is one of the best looking games out there period, pictures can't really show how beautiful this game looks in motion on an HDTV, and even if you have a regular tv, you will still be able to enjoy this game's beauty. The way the grass looks and reacts to you is simply amazing and it is something that should be looked at closely in order to further appreciate it.

    Sound: There really isn't much sound to this game, you have a back ground song and a sound effect for whenever you pick certain flowers, aside from that you also of course, hear the sound of wind. This is not a bad thing at all since it only makes the game sound as pretty as it looks, it pulls you in deeper into the experience.

    Replay Value: Replay value in this game is very high which is a specially essential thing in this game since it only has six levels, that's right, only six levels and they aren't exactly twenty minutes long ether. You can play each level multiple times and not get bored of it due to the freedom you are given from the start, if you don't want to collect flowers then you are free to roam around wherever you please. There ARE invisible walls, but you really would not want to go beyond them most of the times, its just more of the same grass that you have INSIDE the walls but without the flowers.

    Conclusion: I am personally getting tired of developers making such great games so freaking short, "Portal" and "Weapon Of Choice" are two more examples of this. This one takes the stage by being only about an hour long plus the credits level which you could almost consider to be an extra level in itself. For $10 i can't really say i am disappointed, but i would feel more satisfied with my purchase if there was at least bonus levels available for download for a small extra charge. This game DOES have trophies, so those of you out there who enjoy spending your time trying to unlock them will appreciate their existence and will certainly be a little more satisfied with their purchase.

    Final Score:
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:51
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    Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
    Developed by: SCE Studios London
    Genre: Virtual Pet
    MSRP: $1.99

    Overview: When I first got my PLayStation Eye, I was eager to try out some games for it, after looking around I realized that unfortunately there weren't many at all, and even less of them were good if any. Being a fan of nature I decided to try out what many call a "Fish Wallpaper"

    Gameplay: There really is no gameplay here, you see fish and you can wave your arms around to attract or scare away the fish........that is about it, you can't feed them or anything. When you pres the "Start" button, a menu will pop up which will allow you to choose what fish you want to see and what fish you want gone, there are seven types of fish total. Having fish follow you around can be entertaining for a few seconds, in fact, as I am writing this review, I realize that this game CAN be a nice addition to your collection if you are found having to constantly wait for something for just a few minutes, this will keep you occupied for a very small period of time until your eyes start drifting away into more interesting things such as your walls or perhaps the floor beneath you.

    Graphics: Its hard to say whether this game has good or bad graphics, the fish look pretty realistic but honestly, the PS3 can easily do much better, then we hit the fact that this game only costs $1.99 and we start to see that for a $1.99 game, the graphics are pretty good, but for a PS3 game, the graphics could use some extra work, it all comes down to the way you see things. Now ignoring the price and the console this game is on, the graphics could honestly be better, when fish get up close too the camera you can easily see they are fake, not to mention often times they carry blocky animations with them, and they have no self awareness of other fish around them, it seems as if they were given a path to follow and any other fish around them don't matter, so every now and then they will swim towards each other to the point of collision and just keep swimming towards each other until one of them takes another direction.

    Sound: To be honest the only sound I ever hear is the sound of bubbles and the occasional "woosh" coming from the fish when they swim away quickly, a nice relaxing optional background song would have been nice. Even as you are scrolling through the menu you hear a bubble burst whenever you highlight a new option.

    Replay Value: Once you have seen the first few seconds of this game you have pretty much seen it all already, the fish swim around but they never really do anything interesting, like I said before, the most fun you will have with this is having the fish follow your hand around, then again I don't think this game was made to be fun, but relaxing, in which case it fails to be so as well.

    Conclusion: I honestly can not say that I am disappointed with my purchase, but only because I can see myself playing with this as I wait for a download to finish on my computer, or if I am playing "TF2" or "Gary's mod" and the new map download is taking a while, this would be the perfect thing to play. If you are lucky enough to not often have to wait a few minutes, I STRONGLY advice you look the other way because this game will serve no purpose to you. If you often find yourself with spare time and nothing to do, I can easily recommend this game to you.

    Final Score:
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:01
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    Publisher: Microsoft
    Developer: Jonathan Blow
    Genre: Platformer/Puzzler
    Players: 1
    MSRP: 1200 MS point ($14.99, £10.20, Ä13.96)
    Platform: Xbox 360

    Are games art? It's a broad question which has been asked and answered, and re-asked and re-answered many times. Especially in recent years, where technical and graphical limitations have become less prevalent, and programmers and artists alike are free to create new ways of using current generation hardware. Many games are a clear argument against games being art, with their unoriginal concepts and gimmicky game play and art styles. Braid is proof that some games, only some, can be artistic masterpieces.

    I played the XBox Live Arcade version of Braid. Very few games on the Arcade have piqued my interest over the years. Worms, N+ and Castlevania, to name but a few were all, in my opinion, genuinely worth the money spent. I can say that Braid, although hefty in it's pricing, is worth the money.

    The only way to review this game without getting as complicated as some of the levels can be, is to take it's individual elements one at a time. First of all the graphics. I've never been terribly impressed by games using alternative art styles, like cell shaded games, or retro style brightly coloured shooters. Braid's hand painted wonderland feels like somebody spent a hell of a lot of time on it, and that you're playing something that has been lovingly crafted especially for you, and not just put in the graphical style of the month. Not many games ever make you feel like that. The music is also masterfully composed and whilst, you won't be humming any of it in the shower, it is pleasant on the ears all the way through.

    The story is probably something you will make your own mind up on. Initially it seems like a 'save the princess, get to castle, she's in another castle' affair. Which is a deep as you need to get in a platform game. However, dig deeper and look at the intro story for each level, the character's motivation for playing, and even the design of some of the levels, and the pictures made from the collectible jigsaw pieces, and you will wonder, is this a story derived from the classic platform plot, twisted into something plausible? Or is this a very personal tale of lost love and regret? Has the author suffered some deep heartbreak that makes him wish he could rewind time and fix his old mistakes, or it is better to learn to live with them and learn from them, or how about having knowledge of what mistakes you will make, and then making them anyway, knowing it will lead to ultimate success? That entire last sentence is a thinker for sure, but it's also how you need to think to complete some of the game's puzzles, and this fact in itself is simply genius.

    Playing the game is simple, you move around, jump on heads to kill enemies, and flick switches. You also have the x button to rewind time, right back to the start of the level if you need to (you often will). It's the characteristics of each area that make these simple elements go beyond simple and become brain taxingly complex.

    Later on, new levels bring new features, such as your shadow self, levels where moving right moves time forward, moving left moves it back, and standing still, well, you get the idea, at least, you'll think you do until you realise the problems that come with such a situation. When you combine these and more features even further into the game, things get very difficult, and some puzzles will leave you saying only one word; 'impossible', even with your timeless advantage. But when you finally figure out the puzzle, and there are often multiple solutions, you'll feel so damn satisfied and well chuffed with yourself.

    You'll notice that sometimes you have to think not only outside the box, but you'll have to forget there ever was a box in the first place. You'll often be going out of your way to save enemies instead of killing them, to get them to wander into a certain position where jumping on their heads will help you get to something previously unreachable. The game is full of concepts like this, where you go out of your way to do something which seems detrimental to progress, to achieve more.

    So when we combine all these elements into one game, we've got a beautifully painted landscape, with delightfully composed music, a casual or incredibly deep storyline depending on how you look at it, and amazing use of time control for puzzle solving in an environment where the only other controls are move, jump and hit switch.

    We have a winner here, and if you only ever download occasionally from XBox Live Arcade, as I do, this is one of those few games actually worth the money.

    Reading over this review I realize I have my tongue firmly up it's asshole, and although I'm usually quite critical, there's very little to dislike about this game. I don't often play any puzzle or retro or platform games. But the charm of everything about this game has me enthralled from the start, and it's hard to say negative things about something which is exactly where we want games to go.

    Like Portal, it's possible to complete in one sitting of around 5 or 6 hours. This didn't bother me, because, also like Portal, this is a highly original and enjoyable piece of art that is both played and experienced. It's just the right length, has just the right blend of aesthetic and aural beauty, mixed with innovative and enjoyable game play. You probably won't play it twice, but it's such a special feeling to play something which has clearly had so much personal effort put into it.

    From the reviews I've been reading, my rating is comparitively pretty low, but I'm wary of the fact that, this was a hefty price to pay for an arcade game, and although the experience is wonderful, it's also short, and I would have enjoyed hundreds more time travel based puzzles for 1200 MS Points, when you consider how many levels N+ had. Granted, Braid has a graphical style which is very important to the game overall, and perhaps quantity would have affected quality if we had a longer game. But who knows, maybe we'll see some reasonably priced (or free?!) DLC in the future?


    My first Review, thanks for reading,

    The Bratman.
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:01
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    Published by: Namco Bandai
    Developed by: Namco
    Genre: Fast Paced Shooter
    Players: 1
    Price: 800ms points/$10
    Platform: Xbox 360

    OVERVIEW: After 27 years, the arcade title "Galaga" is finally getting a sequel, was it worth the wait? find out in my review.

    Gameplay: if you have played galaga on the arcade, or in any other console that it has also been released on (XBLA, Gamecube, ect) you will come to find your self familiar, yet notice some big upgrades, for starters, you have a 2 new weapons at your disposal, they are two satellites that are controlled with the right joystick, you can aim up, down, left, or right, and they will continuously fire in that direction and stay in that place until you call them back with the"LB" button kind of like mines that you can drop, except they fire.

    Much like Geometry Wars Retro Evolved, enemies will come from all corners of the screen, this is where you pull out your handy dandy satellites and tell them to shoot beside, and behind you since you can only shoot forward, at times, you will find yourself moving in circles dodging big crowds of enemies as you let your satellites do the dirty work.

    If you are expecting a challenge, then look no further, this game is sooooo hard, it (insert comical statement here) you will often be overwhelmed by big crowds of enemies, and your satellites may not be strong enough to handle them, that is when you have to think quick and place them in places where they will be of more use.

    Since there are only five levels, you can take a different approach to the game by memorizing when, and where enemies are coming from, this is not a very hard thing to do, but it bases on the trial and error system, try this out, die, go back, try another thing, and if it works, then stick with it and proceed to the next wave of enemies, and if you do this with great precision, the outcome will be enemies dying before they can even show up on the screen, and an amazing scene of control for the time being.

    The game may at times also ask for a quick and small burst of strategy, showing you the pre-made paths of the enemies so you can place your satellites towards them and get them out of the screen before they can even get close to you.

    They say you see your whole life go by right before you die.

    Graphics: The first thing you will notice is that this game looks alot like geometry wars and pac-man championship edition, which is not a bad thing at all, it constantly adds beautiful explosions and its a great choice for this type of game.

    You will normally find yourself in a dark blue, green, or red background, and every monster that comes at you will complement it with bright flashing lights, you will feel like you are in a rave, the background looks like something taken from a DDR game, and twitched a bit to further fit the game.

    The math is simple,you have four waves, and three directions in which you can shoot at...

    Sound: the game off course features some great and emerging techno beats which greatly fits into the game, it is at perfect volume and does not get repetitive or in the way of the sound effects, and even tho they are not songs you would put in you'r i-pod, it is still nice to stop for a second to appreciate the good quality of it.

    Replay Value This game has a great replay value as expected of any arcade like title, but this is ALSO a game that you can only enjoy in short bursts (about 20 minutes a day)otherwise, it will get very repetitive very soon, specially since this game ONLY has five levels! which is not alot for an 800ms point price tag, tho each level IS about 10 minutes long.

    There is no continue button so you can keep playing, and once you die, you have to start over from the first level which gets annoying, specially since it cuts you off from such great fun, you are going to be sad not because you lost, but because you were taken away from the game.

    Difficulty: This game (like most arcade games) was made to give any veteran gamer a good spank in the butt, so don't expect to jump in and beat the game in your first or second try, many ships come from many places at once, and you WILL be overwhelmed, specially since you pretty much stick with the same weapon the whole time, except for when you deploy a black whole that rarely pops up and get a special upgrade which even tho it is very destructive and helps you out a great deal, only lasts for so long depending on your skill level, or until you die.

    The game only comes with one difficulty mode, and it would have been nice to have had the regular three options (easy, medium, hard) specially with all the new unskilled casual gamers starting to jump in the gaming world, they may be discouraged to play more games after playing this one due to the fact that they will often be destroyed, this may lead to frustration, a broken controller, and an out of breath casual gamer from screaming at the t.v.

    Achievements: Much like the game, these achievements will gladly take your butt, and deep fry it (which is very unhealthy) then they will chew it up, and spit it on your face burning it, they are ridiculously hard and funny at the same time because it is hilarious how they think that those achievements give us a challenge what so ever like they are suppose to, instead of a challenge, they give us an unreachable goal, and they are laughing at us for it, you have a better chance at defeating a Chinese judo master at the Olympics then getting all of the achievements for this game.

    In conclusion, you will be discouraged to try out these achievements due to the lack of forgiveness, now don't give me wrong, achievements are SUPPOSE to be hard, but what this game asks for is something that only few will achieve, so good luck clearing an entire area without loosing a single life.

    Conclusion: This game would have been alot better if it had co-op or multilayer in any form, still, it is a great single player game, and the last game you play is recorded so you can watch yourself play and learn from any noticed mistakes, on the down side, it only records the LAST game you played, so if you did something cool and want to show it to your friends, you won't be able to play until they get there.

    Also, 800ms points for a five level game seems a bit too high, in my opinion, five more levels would have been nice, and would have assured a much higher score.

    Gameplay: 4.5/5
    Graphics: 4/5
    Sound: 4/5
    Replay Value: 4.5/5
    Achievements: 3/5
    Difficulty: 4/5

    Final Score:
    .:Great Game!:.

    Game Review Survey
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:00
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    Unreal Tournament III
    Publisher: Midway
    Developer: EPIC Games
    Players: 1-16
    Genre: FPS
    ESRP: $59.99

    When the original Unreal Tournament debuted back in 1999, it took many multiplayer nuts by surprise. While it wasn't necessarily unforeseen since Quake II made such a bang with its new twitch-action multiplayer, the level of depth to this FPS was almost unmatched. The ideas surrounding it were simple enough; a game made almost solely for multiplayer action. This doesn't mean only against other living players, but also against some of the the best A.I. bots for its time. Well, you can rest assured that the formula for the blockbuster game hasn't changed much, though that may well be the reason for the troubles with this game. Don't jump to any conclusions; I'm not saying its bad or good. Just read on, you'll get it.

    The Unreal tournament series has always been known for its mindless run-and-gun fireattatwitch FPS action. Things haven't changed a whole lot in Unreal Tournament III. The insanely fast paced nature of the game has been left in tact, and as per usual, you don't have to do a lot of thinking to know how to win. The main point of UT3 is still to blast the other guy to kibbles before he blasts you. getting killed thirty times every match is the usual, but what might seem a little unusual, is that its USUAL even during campaign mode. In fact, campaign mode is actually one of the few things that sets UT3 apart from its predecessors. For one, the new campaign features actual cutscenes to tell the story. The bad part is that cut-scenes are the ONLY thing in this game that tell the main story. Levels simply consist of a sequence of bot matches that range anywhere from one to fifteen before going to the next chapter, and the next scene. Before each battle, however, you do get a short briefing on your mission that adds a little to the story, but generally feels like a bunch of audio-fillers, so it doesn't have to explain the story. It doesn't really feel so bad at first, but after ten consecutive bot matches without any new story to back it up, it tends gets on your nerves. its not all bad though, as those bot matches constantly feature changing game types, such as CTF, team deathmatch, and a new game mode where you must destroy your enemies core while protecting your own. Still, after all is said an done, the campaign mode feels as though it was only thrown in there because it had to be. At least its something, which is a lot more then Shadowrun did. (If you didn't know, Shadowrun's best and only selling point was its multiplayer. Not even a tiny bit of story-mode.)

    I am coming for you

    Like I said before, the story was told completely through cut-scenes. Although it wouldn't have hurt to have a little subliminal story telling like most games these days do, if it was gonna be told through anything, it would have best been through these scenes. They look absolutely fantastic. Great camera angles and many high octane adrenaline fueled sections of the rather large scenes gave it almost the same feel as a mix between Halo and Gears of War(Which really shouldn't be much of a surprise, seeing as EPIC made Gears as well). In the end, even though the cutscenes do a great job of conveying what little story in this game there is, it never fills the void completely, and left me feeling like they, too, were thrown in there "just 'cause." Still, even though the cutscenes tell the story well, the best part of these cutscenes is also the best part of the game; that is, the graphics.

    Well, be honest here. Did you expect anything except the very best from EPIC? After Gears of War, I can confidently say that it would have been more a surprise had they not made the best graphics around. Even if your playing on a non-HD set up, you'll notice right away that the graphics for this game are top notch detail. The character models seem to have the most detail in the game, but they end up looking a bit funny despite looking so good. the thing is, unlike in most other games, in UT3 you practically are never standing still long enough to notice the graphics, since you'd be shot to pieces if you tried. Smooth animations, though there really aren't that many in the game anyway except for dying and hover boarding. The vehicles in the game look nice, but they tend to all look (and handle) too similarly to one another. Not really bad, just, not really creative. The backgrounds are great as well. Textures all look highly detailed, and are usually very diverse. As far as the game's graphics are concerned, the Unreal 3 engine is working the best we've seen here. The framerate has never dropped as I played it even in some of the most hair-raising nine-on-seven fights. The backgrounds are fairly large too, though they are more of the typical FPS battlefield style, that is, a semi-large usually circular in ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:00
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    2. Xbox 360 News,
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    Ninja Gaiden II
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Developer: Team Ninja
    Player: 1
    Genre: Action Adventure

    The famed Ninja that makes Kratos look like a teletubbie is back.

    In Ninja Gaiden II, you are once again Ryu Hayabusa, the fastest, most badass Ninja killing machine ever to walk the earth. You are called one last time by CIA agent Sonia to put a stop to the archfiend's plot to rid the world of humans forever. With a host of melee and ranged weapons, as well as magic ninpo attacks, you set out to save the world yet again.

    Story? Are you ****ing joking?
    First things first: I'm not even sure there IS a story here. Actually a better way to describe what I mean is I'm not sure there is a story in this that is better then one in the Ninja Gaiden 2 for the NES. While the story makes sense and is technically a very average story (for an 8-bit game), the story never goes beyond a paper-thin make up of the original Ninja gaiden story. That basically explains it. The story is there, but is fit for, at most, a lame N64 game. Character development exists only in your imagination. The characters don't change at all, either in personality or anything else you can think of. The only possible "change" would be of Muramasa the shopkeeper, when he enters a room and mows down tons of spider ninjas. So beyond the WTF factor of that scene, Muramasa, like all other characters, is the same persona throughout the game. Although, the wacky plot does have some benefits to it. The plot actually successfully justifies the constant travel to cool and unusual places in the game. It takes you anywhere from a futuristic Tokyo to Venice to Hell. Interesting stuff there. Bland, generic, interesting stuff.

    Damn Ninjas can look pretty good
    Starting with characters. Character models are extremely detailed, from the top of their face plate to the bottom of their feet. Ryu Hayabusa is one of the best main character models of any game, anywhere. Sub-characters are spared no detail either. Everything about the characters is fantastic. Art direction looks like it came out of a 1960's comic book, but the game IS based on a rather old game after all. Take Genshin for example. Claws, pointy masks, electric swords--he's straight out of a Marvel comic book. The same goes with most of the enemies (and some allies, i.e. Sonia). Most all the bosses look like enemies that Superman would fight. That said, none of that is bad. They are so well designed and animated, 1960's or not, they look great. Fiends and common enemies aren't overlooked either. I defy you find an enemy that doesn't look great in the game. Onto animations. Each and every character's animations are easily the best graphical part of Ninja Gaiden 2. Extremely fluid animation for Ryu hayabusa, considering he has well over hundreds of different attacks. The care taken with each and ever attack is astounding; and it doesn't end with Ryu. Every enemy, every attack, every fireball they shoot looks extremely natural. if you want comparison, this beats Euphoria by a mile. Shying away from foregrounds now. Backgrounds are skillfully created, with a great deal of futuristic direction to most of the levels. Even the Dragon's castle level looks futuristic, despite being rather old. Now not everything is glorious with the backgrounds. Interaction with the backgrounds is non-existent. No blowing up walls, no breaking in doors, not even denting the walls. The only thing you can do to the background is smear blood all over it. Not noticeable unless your really looking, since Ninja Gaiden isn't about interaction of the backgrounds. Another problem is the framerate. later in the game when you fight possibly 30 ninjas at once, the framerate crawls, rendering the fight almost impossible to finish. However, for the most part the framerat holds up well. All in all it is a very nice looking game.

    Excuse me, I do believe you have a scythe in your stomach.

    Adrenaline pumping Rock-metalcore-japanese-techno stuff
    The muzak in the game is perfectly fitting. Heart pounding rock style music with a hint of Oriental sounds and techno style electric rock are so fitting for a game this over-the-top. However, the music is ALWAYS a mixed bag- its either great, or its terrible. Seems to happen very often with Ninja gaiden, both II and Black. The rock music of Aqua capital is note worthy while the less-then-acceptable style of the music in the Dragon Castle is NOT-worthy(lol.) Beyond music, sound effects and voice acting is all thats left. Neither of them bad, neither really all so good. Sound fx can be argued as being well done, but every ninja dies with a similar grunt, and all the fiends die with the SAME grunt. the slicing and slashing of Ryu's weapons are easy on the ears, but everything else is simply average. not good, not bad. Voice acting is only good if you don't care for terrible lip-sync. Sonia over-acts, and Ryu sometimes has an emo spout about his voice. beyond that, only the wacky dialogue will make you say 'Huh?' as far as the VOs go.

    I'm willing to bet the crappy-a** camera got Ryu killed by that other ninja.

    Fast, furious, and full of glitches
    gameplay. I'll be honest will you: Gameplay is the only really over-the-top part of this game. Without the insanely fast paced gameplay, no one would play this. But thats why its there. Ninja Gaiden II is the fastest, most brutal, action packed game I have ever seen. As far as shear awesomeness goes when it comes to combat, it blows every other button mashing game clear out of the water. God of War II holds no candles to NGII when it comes to combat. And unlike Ninja Gaiden, every single weapon in NG2 is gold; no weapon is sub-par or boring to use. Even the bow is actually--dare I say it--FUN to use. To put it simply, you could get through the game using any 1 of the many weapons available to you in the game. None of them are slow. But thats necessary--anything slow in the game will be dead within seconds. This game is FAST. Faster then any game that has come before it. You need to know your weapon and know your combos to get through each and every insanely fast-paced fight. But lucky for you, Ryu Hayabusa doesn't know the meaning of slow--he moves in flashes of lightning no matter what weapon he uses. he makes the cast from dynasty warriors look like zombies. Even GoW's Kratos looks like an old man compared to this guy. but let me get one thing straight--this game is not for the kiddies. It is the most violent, brutal, bloodiest and goriest game I've ever played. Every battle is a load of flying limbs and decapitated bodies going every which way across the screen. In fact, its almost so bloody that its actually funny. And for more proof thats its not for your little 6 year old, the games difficulty mode is frustratingly difficult. Even Acolyte is tough, but Mentor is absolutely impossible. Trade in your game after Warrior, theres no possible way to beat the two hardest modes. Now for the not so good points. Glitches RULE this game. I've had to restart my game twice because of glitches. I beat the game four times before it finally didn't freeze during the credits. The glitches are easily enough to make you never want to see this game again, and the bugs are horrendous. I don't know what Team Ninja was smoking when they thought this game was market ready. A combat related annoyance is that they beefed up the amount of cheapshots the enemies take. I've had a beserker spider grab me 3 times in a row, literally disallowing me to get a single shot in before he takes 3/4 of my health down with each grab. Another terrible problem is the crappy camera. 3/4ths of the time you will have no idea what your attacking, and if you do know, you can't see it. If I had to describe Ninja Gaiden II in one word, I would have a problem deciding between 'cheap' and 'bugs'. If you can get past these extreme issues with the game and focus on its award-worthy combat, then you've got to get this game. However, thats about it. Combat IS the game, and if your expecting puzzles like in NGB, your gonna be disappointed. Beyond that gameplay is fun. Just don't expect it to be easy.

    Taking names.

    The life of a ninja is long and hard
    There is no online modes in this game. That said there is still a huge amount of things to do in this game. The story mode will take you 15-20 hours to finish, and Tests of Valor will have you back again a few more times. You'll also probably go through it again on Warrior for the achievement, and TRY to to do it on Mentor (only to fail). Leaderboards are there for the 20 of you who have friends who actually have this game. However, beyond achievements theres nothing to keep you coming back for more. Still, thats at least a good 50 hours or so.

    Major Selling Points:

    ◄ Insanely fast paced Action
    ◄ Difficult, but extremely rewarding
    ◄ Tons of weapons and combos
    ◄ Easy achievements and leaderboards
    ◄ Travel to many different greatly designed areas

    Major Breaking Points

    ◄ Too difficult in the later modes
    ◄ Enemies are constantly more powerful then you
    ◄ So many glitches it'll make your head spin
    ◄ Terrible camera system

    Now then:

    Story: 2/5
    While it makes sense, its stupid. And no one likes a stupid story.

    Sound: 4/5
    Music is hit or miss and voice acting is decent. Sound effects are pretty great though.

    Graphics: 4.5/5
    Amazing character models and some of the best animations anywhere. Awesome backgrounds.

    Gameplay: 4/5
    Insanely fast combat makes for the best I've ever seen. Pity that glitches and bugs hurt the whole thing so badly.

    Replayability: 4/5
    2 times through, tests of Valor and a few achievements and your done.


    Graphics, combat, and sound make up for lousy glitches. The gameplay is ultra-fast and amazing, graphics are uber-great, but glitches tear holes in it. Still, a great game and any action fan should already have it.
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:00
    1. Categories:
    2. PSP News,
    3. Xbox News,
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    Game Review: Stepmania (PC, Xbox, PSP)
    Publisher: MIT
    Developer: MIT
    Genre: Rythm video game
    Players: Up to 2

    We've all heard of the Konami Arcade game Dance Dance Revolution, and itís numerous sequels and ports.
    A lot of us have it on our home consoles, breaking it out during parties or even using it for exercising. Iím here to review a homebrew PC clone of DDR. This clone is called Stepmania.

    The Default Stepmania Menu

    Now some of you have probably heard of Stepmania. It isnít at all new, in fact it was first released in November of 2005!
    But itís free and open-source, with I-Pod, PSP, and Xbox ports, and is guaranteed to entertain.
    Now my Stepmania experience is on the Xbox, with StepmaniaX. It was relatively easy to set up too. The downside that I can think of is that you have to go and find songs, announcers, background animations, etc, to get it working properly.

    It immediately worked with the DDR PS2-GC-Xbox Dance Pad and plays/feels exactly like the real thing, with the only problem being that if you are using the Dance Pad, it can be a tad bit annoying setting up the controls at first. However, once youíre finished setting the controls up, it works great!

    Doesnít it look exactly like DDR?

    Stepmania is also very customizable. From background animations to arrows to songs, you can make it what you feel is best, and if you donít like whatís available on the internet, you can learn how to make your own content and custom songs!

    Overall, Stepmania is free, (unless you want the optional but recommended dance pad, which is only $20) and will keep you entertained with the thousands of songs you can add to it, I recommend you check it out. With that said, I definitely recommend the PC and Xbox versions, with the only cons being the way you have to setup the game itself and the controls, making it a lot more difficult to work with at first compared to DDR. The PSP and iPod versions however, I really dont care for myself. Even though these ports are very similar to the original PC version, you must keep in mind that it IS a dancing game, that you should be using a dance pad for. Honestly, whatís the point of playing a dancing game if youíre going using a d-pad or a click wheel?

    So, to wrap this up:
    PC and Xbox -

    PSP and iPod -

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