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  • DCEmu Games Reviews

    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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    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
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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 -
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:00
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    I know its part of the orange box, but I'm just gonna review TF2, mmmkay?

    All online, all shooting and all cartoonish, Valve has a good sequel to the questionably "good" Team Fortress. Because there is no storyline, i guess thats all for that part.

    TF2 is an all multiplayer class based shooter, much like its predecessor. There are nine classes which include Scouts, Pyros, Soldiers, Demoman, Heavies, engineers, medics, snipers,and spies. The presentation when it comes to connection is usually terrible. Joining games take unneccesarily long times and half the time the game displays rooms with open spaces but in turn states that its full or "no longer accepting players" (whatever the hell valve meant by that) when you try and join them. The classes are fairly well-balanced, but when it comes to the grind, the game can be terribly unfair, far worse then Halo or Gears., However, the game is terribly addicting, like Halo or Gears.

    Easily one of the best parts of the game is the character development, despite never having a story mode. You just kinda figure out their individual personalities and traits just by using them. Unfortunately, it doesn't go much further then that. The class based multiplayer sure is a blast, at least, when its fair. When you've got 3 enemy sentries, 2 soldiers, a medic, and 2 demomen placing bombs right outside your spawnpoint, its easy to tell Valve really didn't give a crap about the cheapness factor in the game so much as throwing it on the market.
    In other words, it can be a good game. But to games like R6V, Resistance, and Halo which ARE good games instead of CAN be good games, it falls pretty short.

    The graphics are another great thing about this game. Its endearing cartoon-style graphics perfectly compliment its blow-you-limbs-off with a rocket style of gameplay. All the characters are hilarious at times, the things they say. And the CG makes all of it possible.


    Presentation: 2/5
    Horrible connection issues, boring interfece and lack of gameplay modes kills it. Bad. Glitching is absolutely terrible and causes many games to where the opposite team has a terribly unfair advantage.

    Gameplay: 3.5/5
    While its a blast while the class-based multiplayer is WORKING, many a time the game will make absolutely no sense as to why some things happen.

    Graphics: 4/5
    Best part of the game. The cartoonish CG is perfect and original.

    Sound: 3/5
    While the gunshots and beats of a wrench work, there are no amazing things about the effects. Music is non-existent.

    Replay value
    : 4/5
    With nine classes, 6 maps and 3 gameplay modes it makes for a decent time. With more maps, weapons, and classes on they're way, it makes for a fun time. Granting you can bear the issues.


    I'm sure this will be argued. Alot. but the fact is, while I'm hopelessly addicted to it, I've easily seen all the crap this game has to offer. Still, its a solid experiance. At least, most of the time. ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:00
    1. Categories:
    2. Nintendo Wii News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews

    Wii Sports
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Developer: Nintendo
    Genre: Sports
    Players: 1-4, depending on game
    Get From: Goozex US/CAN / Goozex EU

    Overview : This is what video games should be: fun for everyone. Wii Sports offers five distinct sports experiences, each using the Wii Remote controller to provide a natural, intuitive and realistic feel. To play a Wii Sports game, all you need to do is pick up a controller and get ready for the pitch, serve or that right hook. If you've played any of these sports before, you're ready for fun!

    Features :
    • Play Tennis, Baseball, Golf, Bowling and Boxing in the comfort of one's living room. No ball boys scurrying about, no oil from the alleys to get players dirty and no rain to keep anyone from a day at the court, park or course. Use the Wii Remote controller to mimic the actions of swinging a racket, bat or club, roll a ball down an alley or bring the left jab.
    • Players can use their own Mii caricatures in the game and play them against their friends' Miis for a more personalized experience. As players improve, their Miis' skill levels will increase, so that they can see exactly how much better they've become.
    • People of all skill levels can pick up and play any of the games in the unprecedented Wii Sports package, making this truly a title for everyone!

    Gameplay : Nintendo decided to include a game with every Nintendo Wii console purchased. This is a great way to show off the Wiis new intuitive control scheme. When every swing and motion of the Wii remote, you perform certain motions. With the ease of a swinging a bat or tennis raquet motion will perform a swing. The motion of a golf swing, throwing a bowling ball or punching will perform each respective motion.

    There is pratically no learning curve to Wii Sports. You simply pick up the Wii remote and just start swinging away. A child and elderly can enjoy the game easily.

    • Tennis (1-4 players): Players grab the Wii Remote like a racket and swing Ė the game registers forehands, backhands, volleys, lobs, slices, spin and power depending on how fast the user swings and at what angle. Don't worry about moving around the court to get to the ball Ė the game automatically moves players into position.
    • Baseball (1-2 players): Players grip the Wii Remote like a bat and swat fastballs out of the park, or fire a fastball over the plate with a flick of their wrist. Timing and bat speed will make all the difference between going yard and whiffing, so keep an eye on the ball and swing for the fences. In the two-player game, one player pitches and the other bats Ė all fielding and running is automatic, so that players can focus on the action.
    • Golf (1-4 players): Step up to the tee, hold the Wii Remote like a golf club and swing naturally to smack the ball onto the green. The harder players swing the club, the farther the ball will fly. Be careful, though Ė if players swing too hard, their ball will fly out of control, so they should be sure to take some practice swings before going for the pin. After reaching the green, line up putts carefully, practice the stroke and try to hole out.
    • Bowling (1-4 players): Players raise the Wii Remote in their hand just like a bowling ball, and then swing their arms to roll the ball. The speed of the swing and the angle at which they release the ball affects the ball's spin, so it will take some practice to master control over the ball and knock down the pins.
    • Boxing (1-2 players): Using the Nunchukô controller as one glove and the Wii Remote as the other, players dodge, weave and punch their opponents. Players hold their hands high to guard their faces or low to block their torsos. They punch high to hit their opponents' faces or low to get under their guard for a body blow. Swing both arms left or right to sidestep oncoming blows and move into position for a devastating knockout.

    There is also a Training mode as well as a Fitness mode. In Training mode you complete certain tasks and try to earn medals and move onto the next level. Fitness mode is just that. Getting in shape. Just playing regular boxing can help you get in shape but if you would like to keep track of your fitness, Fitness mode is the way to go.

    Graphics : The graphics are not mind blowing as you would find on the PlayStation3 or Xbox360 but nice, unique and simple. Purpose is to show off how the Wii works. Each characted featured in Wii Sports are known as Mii. With the Nintendo Wii, you can create yourself and play as yourself or make other celebrities and play as them.

    Sound : Nothing fancy. The music is just generic music being played over and over. You'll have the occassional fans in the background cheering. I must say though, the music goes great with the game and does not get annoying where you have to turn down volume.

    Replay Value : Wii Sports is a great game for get-togethers and to show off the potential of the Wii. Some games have great replay value such as Tennis, Bowling, Boxing. Golf and Baseball on the other hand is ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:00
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    2. PS3 News,
    3. Xbox 360 News,
    4. DCEmu Games Reviews

    1942: Joint Strike
    Publisher: Capcom
    Developer: Backbone Entertainment
    Genre: Flight Shooter
    Players: 1-2
    Price: $10
    Platforms: XBLA (Version reviewed), PSN

    Namco's recreation of the classic 1942 is less then perfect.

    No one will argue that top down shooters are one of the greatest classic game types ever made. Still no one will argue that they can be fun to play. Take Ikaruga for example; its a top down shooter and uses a classic formula like all the rest. But tweaks and extra stuff make the game much more enjoyable, though its still tough like many 1942-esqe shooters. Nanostray is another example of how the classic can still be good today. 1942, the cult classic that inspired all of this, had you back in WWII fighting off Japanese bombers, and it was a great arcade game back when it first debuted, and an even better Co-op game. So here we are today with Capcom's remake of the classic dubbed as 1942: Joint Strike. As far as classic remakes go this is pretty well done. But Capcom might well have made it a little too faithful to its roots. Read on...

    When you start up the game you'll see what may be the most annoying part of the game. The menu screen. Don't get me wrong, the menu screen is fantastic; the effects and old style mission cards are great. However, every move you make in the menu is marked by the absolutely annoying roar of airplanes flying in from the side of the menu, which at first is kinda neat, but after the twenty-seventh time, I've more then heard it enough. And here is the next problem; if you don't have anyone to play local co-op with you like I didn't, then you will miss the best part of the game. After uncountable attempts to find someone over XBL to play, I couldn't even finish the game because the connection timed itself out and made both of us log off. Since that one time I've never been able to find another gamer to play the game out co-op with, and even though I got enough in to write the co-op section of the review, no one is gonna buy this for single player. No one with sense, anyway.

    The graphics had a major overhaul, and they are pretty nice.

    Co-op is what this game is made for. Hence the name "JOINT" strike. (Which I never actually could do, btw....) As far as co-op goes this game is fairly impressive. 3 ships and 3 special Joint possible attacks add a bit more game time after you've played through the 20 minute campaign mode with a friend. Taking down bosses together is always fun, and if both you and your friend get the dual lasers power-up then you can basically keep a constant blue streak going across every part of the screen, eradicating most enemies before you even see them. No special modes, but 5 difficulty levels and some "decent" achievements. As for the difficulty levels...without a buddy, you almost can't beat campaign mode, period. No continues whatsoever, and you can't save the game at any point. This game can be even more frustrating then Ikaruga, believe it or not. And when you can't beat the game when you don't have a companion, and trying to find a fellow gamer on Xbox LIVE is like trying to find one on Space Giraffe, the games "game" falls flat. Co-op is the saving grace, but thats only even "good". The gameplay itself isn't broken, but this game has just enough problems to ensure that it breaks most of the fun the gameplay can offer.

    The graphics aren't really too bad for a remake of an old sprite based game. 3D models for most enemies and environments, and they don't look very bad either. A good color pallete of pastels gives the game a lighter feeling, as opposed to a dark and serious feeling. I unfortunately can't rant on and on about the animations and character models as I would like to since there really aren't any. This is planes we're talking about after all. Screen tearing does occur, and it is a bit noticeable since there is usually not too much variety in the things going on on screen at any one time. The one time I was able to play online the framerate was pretty messy at some points, specifically during the 1st and 4th levels. The weapon effects are bright and neat though, but when you drop a bomb the explosion sometimes clips through the level. Overall though, the revamped graphics aren't too shabby. The old style DANGER screen is pretty cool too. Really though, this a top down shooter. How much more is there to say?

    On 2 stars or higher, you will never make it here on singleplayer.

    Wow...this is one of my shortest reviews I think I've made in a long time. But really theres not much to say about this game. Except maybe that for the value this game really isn't worth it. $5 maybe, but $10 is just cruel. If you've got a friend whos willing to purge the money with you, it may be worth it, but otherwise its just another shooter, and one thats almost impossible by yourself.

    Story: N/A
    Its not gonna be added to the score because its not supposed to be about the story.
    Graphics: 3.5/5
    The graphics had a huge overhaul from the arcade days of 1942, and it really does work. Minor issues are still present though.
    Sound: 3/5
    The menu airplanes drove me nuts, and all around the music is bland and the sound effects are decent.
    Gameplay: 3/5
    The game is all about co-op, and quite frankly it does it well. However, single-player is boring and unfair, and there isn't a single soul to play against on XBL.
    Replayability: 2.5/5
    If it wasn't for being able to go through it many times with a friend the score would be much, much lower. Campaign is only about 20-30 minutes long.
    Value: 2.5/5
    $5 and we'll talk, but for $10 this game will rip you off. Ikaruga is a much better choice at the same price.
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:00
    1. Categories:
    2. Nintendo DS News,
    3. DCEmu Games Reviews

    Because my best review yet got deleted before it was even posted.

    Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution
    Publisher: 2K Games
    Developer: Firaxis
    Players: 1-2
    Genre: Turn based Strategy
    ESRP: $29.99

    A revolution for handheld TBS games, in a good way.

    I've been a Civilization series fan since the release of Civilization: Call to Power. Funny that I thought it was so great, since critics didn't. But I wasn't alone as it seemed, since it ended up being one of the best selling Civilizations of all time and...well never mind that. Point is that the turn-based Civilization series has always had a place in my gaming psyche. Civilization Revolution actually seems in a way like a step backward from the Civilization Revolutions out on the PS3 and 360. But that's easily to be expected from a handheld iteration of the game that was always speculated to just be a crappy console port like most DS games that are cross-console seem to be. Well rest assured Civilization fans that they didn't screw the DS version up. However, they did take it down a notch on features, as you could imagine(Did you really think that a handheld version of console game could possibly be as good?). The end result of these changes makes the game feel a whole lot like a mix between Civilization IV and Civilization II. You'll find out why in a minute.

    Like past Civilization games, the point of the game is to build a Civilization from scratch, and win the game through either a Cultural, Military, Scientific, or Wealth Victory. Any one of these will lead you to Victory, though all of them take time to accomplish. About time. Previous Civilization games often took many, many hours, and often, days to win the game through some form of victory. It was practically impossible to beat it in an afternoon, much less a few hours. Civilization DS doesn't follow that same formula. I probably beat the Free mode, which was "The Game" for past Civilizations, in about 2-3 hours. That doesn't mean your through though, it practically means you haven't even begun. Each map in Free mode is randomly generated, so it has an infinite amount of ways your Civilization can go. This, combined with the ability to choose from a host of Civilizations, leads to not only a wasted afternoon, but a possible wasted month, depending on how much you like it. I mentioned how you can choose from many Civilizations to start your game. This isn't just for looks like the Civilizations of old used to have them. Each Civilization has its own skill about them that makes it more or less good or bad at whatever. The thing is, through out my play, the skills I had for my Civilization didn't seem to make much of a difference in the least, it didn't seem to help my opponents in the game very much either. I guess its to keep it as equal as possible, but that's where "honing your strengths" comes in. About knowing your strengths and weaknesses...this game has a pretty iffy learning curve.

    It looks pretty complicated, but you'll get used to it fast.

    Most Civilizations in the past had a fairly steep learning curve to them, and while Civ Rev is no exception, it does seem to be a bit less complicated this time around. Having played Civ Rev on the console and Civilizations in the past, I was able to jump in quickly to the games more sophisticated points,(government, science, city management blahblahblah) but I soon found that most of them feel like they've had a downgrade to them. Not a downgrade in features so much as the game does more of the annoying stuff for you.(This may be why it is so much easier to play through the game so fast) For example, after almost everything that happens, an advisor pops up and gives you a hint as to what to do next. However, you can disable this from the option menu. When that's taken away, you soon figure out that the reason it feels more downgraded is because the menus are so simplified. Each thing tells you exactly what they do and how they do it, whether they be wonders, building, units, etc. Rather then this ending up being annoying, it becomes helpful, and allows the game to progress more smoothly. Now something that hasn't been simplified at all, or maybe its been OVER simplified, is battling.

    Probably the biggest part of any Civilization game are the battles. if your a fan then you know most of the issues already: Weaker enemies constantly beating stronger enemies, defensive terrain sometimes counting for nothing, and the oh-too-often knight destroying the helicopter.(Yes, it does happen. Still.) But Civ Rev gets a little extreme on it. At one point in the game I was attempting to take over an enemy city. They had a single archer defending it and I had about 7 legions, 8 riflemen, 2 knights, and 3 cannons standing at ready to be thrust in fierce battle. As I send each of them, the battle animations take place, and my jaw just drop out of frustration. Each and ever one of my units could not score a SINGLE hit against the archer. Each time I attacked the archer shot one arrow and nailed them before they even got close. Now this doesn't mean the whole battle system is screwed up, though it seemed like that when I tried. It meant more that archers CANNOT BE KILLED. At first i thought it was just because I was using short range attackers, but when my riflemen couldn't score a shot, I got pissed. Good news is, where all 20 of my units failed, I sent a tank and mauled that archer. That really was the main time that something that screwy happened in the games battle system. Granted, the battle system suffers from the same problems of the past Civilization games, but ranged units seem to be good against just about everything in this game. Close combat unit battles seem to be the most fair thing about the combat. Now about the graphical aspects of the combat system...

    As you can probably tell from the screnshots, this game isn't the most beautiful thing you've ever seen. If anything it reminds me of Civilization II for the PSX; it was a great strategy game but its graphics looked like chop suey. But when it comes to battles, this game sports some really great looking sprite-animated battles. Unlike past(way past) Civ games, Civ Rev takes off Civ IV with real time battles when engaged. (And if your losing, you can even retreat before they are all dead) While some of the earlier units sprites look questionably good, later sprites like Bombers and tanks look very nice when blasting off rounds in a certain archer's forehead. While battles look pretty good, the rest of the game has some pretty awful graphics. All sprites, and all without changing animations for directions, they all look bad. Now you can take it from me though-- the more you play the game, the less you'll care. I was less then thrilled to play this game when I first started, but after about 30 minutes the graphical mess didn't even bother me a bit. Its weird; its like the strategic element of the gameplay makes your mind forget all about the other aspects of the game. Still, whether you forget them or not, they are still there, and many of you won't be shutting your mind out to the graphics. Well, it is supposed to be all about thinking right? So images shouldn't matter much, right?.....uh...

    Well for the most part anyway, though this game really could have used some better sprites, since it could have easily handled them. Unlike graphics though, the SFX is something you probably won't block out of your head. Civ Rev has some very clear and nice sound effects. Knights and warriors beating each other up have the distinct sound of steel against metal, and clubs against shields. I guess this falls mostly under the category of "battle sounds" though. As for other sounds, well, there aren't too many. However, for most of your accomplishments, such as building a city, or creating a unit, or finishing a wonder, they all have some charming SFX to each of them. Something that i wouldn't mind muting indefinitely is the terrible, half-muttered, half-gibberish that your opponent Civilization leaders say when you talk to them about war, money, advances ect. But that may well be a good thing, because it gives you a definitive reason to want to destroy they're civilization. As far as music goes, there really isn't whole bunch of it here. The few numbers are during battle sequences and the menu screens. Both of them have some nice sounding tunes to them, but each is too short to really make you care.

    They are no match for us, now, or ever!

    Now Civilization isn't all about battling, as I probably made it sound, though it is a major part. You have to make your own Civilization flourish before you can try to take down other civilizations. The key to this is city improvements, or buildings, that you construct in your cities. As you make more buildings, you cities will begin to produce more gold, more production to build things faster, more science to find new stuff, new food to thrive..a good lot of things. About science. Like past Civilization games, science is quite possibly the single most important thing in the game(Though if you go all toward science, you'll still fail. You need a good balance.) As you learn more things you are able to make more advanced weapons and improvements, and even wonders. Now these things are where Civ Rev really shines. the strategic elements to this game are great, especially considering its a handheld game. Most handheld TBS games are stripped of most of they're best and most in-depth features. Like I said earlier, it is stripped of a good bit of features from the console versions, but it has more then enough to make it an authentic Civilization experience. If you do things right, and keep the right balance at the right times, your Civilization will thrive. If you create a terrible balance, or don't balance enough toward a certain thing at a certain time, you probably won't make it to your next turn.

    Lets finish this up, so my entire review doesn't get lost again...

    Major Selling Points:
    -- Great handheld strategy game
    -- Very deep and intuitive gameplay
    -- A faithful Civilization Recreation
    -- Random maps means infinite gameplay

    Major Breaking Points:
    -- Horrible Overworld graphics
    -- Some unfair battle issues
    -- Feels a little stripped

    Story: N/A
    Since there really isn't a direct story, this can't really be a score
    Graphics: 2.5/5
    Pretty horrific. The sprites even aren't that good, but battling they look fairly slick.
    Sound: 4/5
    The sounds that are here sound great. Music is good too, but short, and doesn't play very often.
    Gameplay: 4/5
    Despite some combat issues and some stupid A.I., Civ Rev is a deep, fulfilling strategy game. The touch screen can or can't be used, your choice.
    Replay Value: 4.5/5
    Random maps means tons of replay value in free mode alone, not even counting the many scenarios and WiFi play.
    Value: 4/5
    A great strategy game that is well worth the price, but only if your into strategy games. otherwise you may get bored, fast.
    A great, if scaled down, Civilization experience to fit in your pocket. It has the makings of a good TBS game, and is a great start for the genre on handhelds.
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 17:00
    1. Categories:
    2. Xbox 360 News,
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    Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
    Publisher: Activision
    Developer: Bizarre Creations
    Genre: Arcade Shooter
    Players: 1-4 (Offline)
    MSRP: 800 MS point ($10, £6.80, Ä9.30)
    Platform: Xbox 360

    Geometry has never been so fun.

    Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved was one of the first XBLA titles on the market. Despite debuting almost three years ago, the five dollar shooter-that-could is still being played like a drug by many to this day. Its still a mystery to some how such a simple game could be so fun and addictive. I've never really been much of a Robotron fan, which has obviously influenced this game a good bit, so I was among the doubters. However, after playing Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 for even just a few hours, I can see how this craze "evolved"(pun intended). Bizarre Creation's sequel to the LIVE hit seems to be just what fans wanted; more modes, more leaderboards, and even more simple and colorful gameplay. Read on, though you probably already know from my opening statements how THIS review is gonna end.

    The best way to describe Geometry Wars graphical style in a word is probably, "Rave". This game absolutely bursts with electronic style and color. The effects of the game are its best graphical feature. Brilliantly colored particle effects and explosions always keep this game visually appealing, and its one of the few Arcade games that can be as fun to watch as it is to play. The warping of the map with bombs and explosions catch the eye especially well. Enemies and the main character are extremely simple. Then again, they are supposed to be simple, and the fact that they are nothing more then geometric shapes gives the game a much better opportunity to make them both appealing to the eye and diverse. Everything in the game glows, literally. Really, I don't have pretty much anything negative to say about the graphics of this game. They are extremely simple, yet the colors and effects make this 2D game stand out greatly in a world where 3D has taken over. The only thing that really is only "average" in the graphical style is probably the menus. They still look like classic arcade menus, which is kind of neat, but it could have used a flashier display then it has.

    "Hypnotic" doesn't begin to describe this.

    The graphics were very electronically styled. That's not the only thing though, as the music follows suit. The original only had one soundtrack, and though it wasn't too shabby, it did get old after a while. This time, however, they added a custom track to each one of the six game modes. To me, most of the music sounded too similar to each other, bar Evolved mode, which had a really catchy tune. All of the music seems to have near the same beat, which really may make it get on the nerves of some people. Personally the music didn't get too annoying, as after a while my ears just tuned it out. While each of the game modes have fairly decent music, the menu music is, for the most part, absolutely unnoticeable. Its not such a big deal, but I really wouldn't have minded some better music to listen to while watching the leaderboards to decide whose score I'm gonna debunk next.

    Sound more or less follows the music in being 'average'. The SFX absolutely works for what its supposed to, don't get me wrong. But the same sound every time you shoot and every time an enemy goes up in a cloud of colorful particles does leave a bit to be desired. Enemies are silent. Some of the modes have some pretty neat effects though; in King once you step outside a ring the music mutes, only to resume upon reaching another ring. In deadline, the music builds to a climax exactly at the end of the game, and so on and so forth. So there are some neat little things in the sounds, but the things that you hear by far the most are a bit too repetitive. Nothing here will make you get very annoyed though, since the music usually blocks the major part of the sounds.

    Making a jump here to the gameplay. The original Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved had only a single game type. Geometry Wars RE2 comes with six different game modes, all fun, though some more then others. The six modes include Deadline, King, Evolved, Pacifism, Waves, and Sequence. In Deadline, you get five minutes to rack up as much points as you can. You have infinite lives though, but each time you die the enemies are reset, which gives you less chance for points. In King, you must shoot from within circles that appear on the ground. Enemies can't enter the circles, though you can't shoot outside the circles. Also, the circles die out in about 2-3 seconds, so you have to keep moving. Evolved is the original Geometry Wars mode, where you have a number of lives and just rack up points as long as you can. In Pacifism you cannot shoot. You rely solely on lines that you can pass through to blow up enemies around you while trying to survive. Waves has you constantly fighting wave after wave of enemies until you finally can't keep up. Last but not least in sequence, where you have 20 levels and try to survive all of them.

    That's not a glitch-- the level warping is a graphical effect.

    None of these game modes are boring. In fact, just about every one of them is fun, though some more then others. Deadline seems to be more inclined toward those learning how to play, since death doesn't really have any lasting toll on you in this mode. Therefore more hardcore players may get bored with this mode after only a few times. King is a mode that will keep you interested for a while. Since circles aren't always very close to each other, you need to always be sure to remember to keep a path open to the next circle. This can get very difficult late in the game, since the snake enemies can almost "wrap" around your circle and deny you access to another. Evolved is this games Classic mode. If you never played the GW:RE 1 then this may be one of the best modes, as it is the most simple but ultimately challenging mode, depending on how long you can survive. Pacifism is probably the most unique mode. Since you cant fire a shot, this mode revolves around how good you are at luring enemies into line traps and them manoeuvring yourself out from between the remaining enemies. The gameplay here may be a little too simple, though it still remains pretty enjoyable. Waves may be the least interesting of the modes; it has many waves of the same enemy coming at you every few seconds. Soon after it has a few renegade enemies to try and distract you from the waves. This game mode usually relays on the many colorful explosions to make you not see the enemies until its too late. Really, its a bit cheap. Sequence will have you trying the longest. Each level that you progress through hundreds of enemies come at you at once, which ends up being extremely hard, but also very fun. The challenge is present to some of the best players by level 5, and it only gets harder. The replay value for this mode is very high.

    Now that I've explained all the modes, I'll move on to what makes the core of each. Every gameplay mode still has you destroying mostly the same enemies in the same way. If you aren't really very fond of the core gameplay, then this game has little else to offer you. However, the core is also very simple which allows newcomers and veterans of Geometry Wars to enjoy its simple but highly addicting gameplay. Another addicting part of this game is the leaderboards. I for one have never cared in practically any game about leaderboards or besting my friends scores. Geometry Wars changed that. Because the boards are always staring at you from the game menu, you feel compelled to try and get the best score you can. it will make you go back many, many times to try and best your buddies, and your own score. This adds a huge amount of longevity to the game.

    Awesome explosions are commonplace.

    Not to mention local multiplayer, which is an awesome inclusion to the game as well. There are two types of modes for each, well, mode in Geometry Wars; there is Co-op and versus. In Versus mode you and a friend try to get scores better then each other. If one person dies, the other one can keep fighting until he's gone too. Co-op mode has you and some friends blasting enemies for a combined high scores. Oh, and you can add up to 4 people in a game. As a party game, this is the one of the best XBLA titles out there. You have never experienced Geometry Wars until you have 4 people playing at once. Also in multiplayer is the addition of powerups, which give you enhanced speed or a bomb or a shield. This takes the place of your bombs in single player. The only real problem with multiplayer is that some parts of it felt like it was an after though, only added in because they had to. I'm mainly talking about how it really just feels like single player with allies in co-op. Versus is made pretty well, but in Co-op, you can't really do any special things like joint attacks or give your pal a life if he dies. Other then that, multiplayer is just what the doctor ordered. Its just too bad that they don't have online multiplayer, that would have added much more replay value. C'mon Activision, make a patch!

    Well that's that.

    Major Selling points:
    -- Highly colorful and appealing graphics
    -- Classic Gameplay feel
    -- Addicting gameplay and leaderboards
    -- 6 gameplay modes
    -- Simple and accessible gameplay

    Major Breaking points:
    -- Simplistic gameplay may bore some
    -- Some gameplay modes may get repetitive
    -- Leaderboards may not appeal to some, reducing a lot of replay value
    -- No Xbox LIVE play

    Story: N/A
    Not added to final score.
    Graphics: 4.5/5
    One of the best looking Arcade titles available, and maybe on of the best 2D games I've ever seen this generation.
    Sound: 4/5
    The electronic soundtrack is alright, but the sound effects leave a bit to be desired.
    Gameplay: 4.5/5
    Absolutely addictive and fun Arcade style gameplay. 6 gameplay modes give a good enough variety for most people to like it.
    Replay Value: 4.5/5
    6 gameplay modes will have you constantly going back to try and better your score, and leaderboards will have you bettering other peoples scores too. The lack of LIVE play really hurts.
    Value: 4/5
    At $10, this game is quite a nice value. It will last you a long time if you like the core gameplay. Multiplayer is pretty fun as well.
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