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  • DCEmu Games Reviews

    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:22
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    I haven't been reviewing lately, but you can thank exams for that. Afterward, look forward to a review for Condemned 2: Bloodshot, Ninja Gaiden II, DBZ: Burst Limit and The Bourne Conspiracy.

    Samurai Warriors 2
    Publisher: KOEI
    Developer: Omega Force
    Players: 1-2
    Genre: Action Adventure

    I really hope feudal Japan wasn't this boring. Onimusha would have a fit.

    I remember the glorious days of Dynasty Warriors 4 and 5, their best years ever. Back then they had new ideas, but old executions, which were fine for that time (they weren't overused....yet.) Even the Original Samurai Warriors was half bad. And then KOEI went and vomited out Dynasty Warriors 5: Extreme Legends. Then they excreted DW5: Empires. But they weren't even close to satisfied with rubbing their game's name in mud. They then threw out SW2:E.

    These Samurai should commit an "honorable" suicide.
    Lets face it: Whenever a game relies on a single gimmick (not console, I said when a GAME does this) it 90% of the time falls straight on its face. Samurai Warriors 2: Empires is no different. However, unlike DW, this SW game doesn't even do that gimmick right; that is, throwing hordes of mindless soldiers that all seem to look like Mexican Matt Damons at you. While its fun for the first 10 minutes, those Mr. Damongonzales's start to get very annoying. Very, Very annoying. Combos hardly even start until late in the "game". And even when they do, all you do is press the X button about 5 times, do it again, do it again...Oh! Musou attack. Ok now then. X5...X5....O....X5... which gets beyond tedious, and extremely unfulfilling. Another part of the game that DW did that SW's crashes (and burns) on is officer fights. While DW manages to make these even slightly challenging (possibly even...fun....) the officers (aka mini bosses) are just as mindless as the pissants you run through the whole game. They simply have more health, and don't look like Senior Damon. Absolutely all parts of the "strategy that the game is thinly based on a complete rubbish. When you issue an order, you comrades follow it, but do about nothing else afterwards. You tell them to guard a base, so they go to the base, but don't defend it. Just kinda stand around looking all Japanese-like. Finally, the idea of governing your territories is boring and unnecessary. And with only 26 characters, all who are absolutely boring to play as (with the exception to Nene and Hanzo), you will most likely lock this game in a crate and throw it to the bottom of a river. To which i say: Please don't. Should in the future some alien race finds this game in that crate and plays it, it will almost surely make them attack and destroy the earth for creating such awful "games".

    Hello Mr. Samurai, nice pop-in we're having today!
    Onto graphics. The only semi-decent graphical thing in this game is the character models (Excluding Mr.Damon-Gonzales.) While they do their thing (with glitchy animations) on screen, it becomes increasingly obvious that the devs for this game just don't want you looking at backgrounds, and for good reason. This game has less stairs and level elevation changes then Wolfenstein 3D (for those of you who don't know, it didn't HAVE level changes.), so you'll be spending some to all of your time on a level surface. Occasionally there will be some pots of boxes which you can break with an attack, usually resulting in nothing whatsoever. Even when you do, the boxes just kinda fade away and don't even break. Almost every type of 3D building or whatever in the game is simply a texture slapped on the side of a box. Really, theres not even that much to even CRITICIZE in this game. Graphics are below poor.

    Japanese style-soundtrack? Honestly, I hope not, for Japan's sake.
    SW2: E sports a self-proclaimed Japanese style soundtrack to pummel countless Mexican warriors to. While its not really so bad, its easily forgettable and doesn't really fit the mood at all. That, combines with the ridiculously incoherent dialogue issuing from the NPC's mouths all game long really makes you want to mute the TV. Terrible sound effects. However, once in a blue moon a character or two will have a good voice over for crappy dialogue. Does that compensate? Heres another one: Does ice cream make aliens come to earth and dance the disco every Thursday night at every burger king across the US? If so, then yes, it does compensate.

    Even samurai won't play this through again.
    If you like this fecies, then you have the ride of your life; tons of story modes that all have the same characters doing the EXACT same thing over and over. If you don't, this game has no replay value.


    Lets get to it then! (Thanks for standing still!)

    Presentation: 1/5
    You wonder why theres no paragraph ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:22
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    Bored. Review.

    Frontlines: Fuel of War
    Publisher: THQ
    Developer: Kaos Studios
    Players: 1-50 (good lord)
    Genre: Tactical FPS

    Frontlines: Fuel of War bases around the idea of a third World War that is caused by a lack of oil and gasoline around the world. (sound familiar?) 2 major factions and four countries are included in this war: U.S. and Britain vs. China and Russia, the Western Coalition and the Red Star Alliance respectively. You are in the shoes of a soldier who, like many others, is caught in this war and speculates on all areas of the war, including the idea that the entire war is based on a conspiracy theory. Who knows...

    Oil the Glorious
    The entire story for this game is base on the idea that soon (in 2008) the world will erupt into a full scale war over the few remaining deposits of oil left on earth. The best part about this story is the possibility that this could happen. The idea of (in todays world) people fighting over oil in a global war isn't totally unforeseeable. Anyway, the story centers on oil, and the two factions (the RSA and WC) are warring over this. Overall, the story is basically another war story, except slightly futuristic and with a small amount of character development. (most of your teamates die fairly quickly) Honestly, there isn't that much to story. Menus work fine, but loading times are sometimes a little long. Multiplayer is glorious. 50 player online matches in massive arena based warfare. The connections for online? So far so good, I haven't ever noticed any connection errors, even in massive battles. A little bit of lag though when the going gets insanely large. Respawning is a pain in the a**.....



    All of them soldiers, all of them lifeless


    War doesn't look all too bad...
    Frontlines certainly does look good sometimes. Explosions are gloriously, well, explosive, and they work nice. The main problem with this game graphically is that in the massive outside arenas seem to actually have no textures on them until you get very close up. In other words, the textures pop up AFTER you get close, which diminishes the spectacular view of massive war greatly. Pop in for buildings and models happen, but the game cleverly disguises this as saying the its due to the fog and the players (apparent) bad eyesight. Character models, while not exactly Call of Duty 4, work fine, but look very bland close up. Rainbow Six vegas this ain't. Bullet effects and fire seem both primitive and well done at the same time. (don't ask how, just watch it.)



    Frontlines does have its moments, but for the most part it falls flat


    Sorry sir, lip sync is not a-go.
    Sound. Dialog among the characters is well done, if a bit choppy in campaign mode. A good bit of the dialog focuses on the characters thoughts about the war and the missions they are doing. but to be honest, none of it is memorable, and lip sync could have been much better. Sound effects are well presented, from bullet firing to explosions. The whir of a sentry coming in for a kill is sometimes a bit annoying, as you hear them as being a good for meters away, then boom. Your suddenly dead. You can't so much trust you ears when it comes to remote controlled vehicles in the game. I don't even remember whether or not there was music in the game (which should tell you something about the soundtrack.)


    50 player online battles? GOOD ****!

    While story mode is rather unimpressive, multiplayer makes up for it rather well. First off the bat you'll notice the MASSIVE battles of 50 players in equally massive battlefields. Theres so much strategy behind team work in this game that people don't even see. For instance, a Special Ops guy could load your vehicle up with C4 to have you bail out of the vehicle right as it collides into another tank and tell the guy to detonate his C4. Or for a less strategic note, get two of your friends into a well-known hiding spot as close combatants, and basically herd your enemies into the area where your friends do the rest. Now speaking of vehicles. The controls for the vehicles are bad, even worse then GTA IV. other then that, vehicles are also insanely overpowered. If your enemy is in a tank, it doesn't matter if you can get a rocket off on his tank. At best it'll only take a third of his health down and by that time you'll be blown to Jupiter. Same goes for all vehicles. The class system works. The only thing is that you'll almost never see ANYONE playing as close combat, i.e. the shotgun class. People who play as the sniper class are doomed too. The Sniper takes at least 2 HEADSHOTS to kill someone, where as the assault rifle (the machine gun class) has the same accuracy as the sniper rifle with the same damage. Still, all these work in the hands of decent players. Multiplayer is the best part of the game, easily.

    1 game mode? Honestly?
    As far as replay value goes, it all depends on you love for the multiplayer. As you won't play through single player twice, will the 6-10 maps hold you with only a single online mode? Well, that all depends on you, and Frontlines mode really isn't to be messed with.

    Lets get to it then! (Watch above your head!)

    Presentation: 3.5/5
    Intelligent story combined with meh execution equals meh-ness. Connection is great and menus are fine.

    Graphics: 4/5
    Texture pop up aside, this game can look pretty stunning at times. Explosive times especially.

    Sound: 3/5
    Sound and gunfires works, voices are alright, but none of it is really spectacular at all.

    Gameplay: 4/5
    While singleplayer is alright, multiplayer takes a crown for the thing in this game most worthy of your time. If you can get into it, it may be hard to get out of.

    Replay Value: 3.5/5
    Do you like the multiplayer? Then you have good replay Value...

    Overall
    : 3.5/5

    Frontlines offers some pretty nice war-based ideas for online multiplayer. pitty the storyline is only so-so, but it reminds me of CoD4 in this way...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:22
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    Bioshock
    Publisher: 2K Games
    Developer: Irrational games (2K Boston)
    genre: First-Person Shooter
    Players: 1

    I've been wanting to do this review for a while, but its a little outdated. Still, I have alot of friends out there who really aren't sure about the title, so here goes to clear some things up.


    The first person shooter genre has just been made.

    Where to begin...wow. Eh-herm, Bioshock is a FPS that takes place in an underwater Utopia named Rapture. Built in the late 1940's to escape the threat of another world war and possibly nuclear war, Rapture was once a thriving utopia of brilliant scientist, athletes, artists, and the best mankind had to offer. However, all good things must come to an end, and Rapture proves that statement to be more then simply a saying. With the invention of Adam and plasmids, the world of Rapture grew greedy and lustful, ultimately bringing itself down to the depths it was created in.

    Welcome to Rapture
    The story behind the game (without revealing spoilers) is that your plane crashes in the mid-atlantic ocean. Upon crashing, you find a building which transports you to the devastated and war-torn land of Rapture. There you embark on a journey of discovery, betrayal, revenge, and get caught in the middle of a feud between two of the most influential powers in Rapture.
    The storyline in Bioshock is simply one of the greatest ever achieved in a video game. This epic tale of a once-utopia underwater city is original in itself. However, the true brilliance of the plot comes into focus by the way its told. Its subtle yet obvious mode of story telling creeps to the player through every subliminal way you can imagine-- posters, audio tapes, statues, even the water on the ground to the psychotic quotes from the splicers. Everything about the atmosphere is perfect. The slow leaking of the ocean water into Rapture makes you almost feel as though the city could be under taken any minute. The blood on the wall and corpses propped in horrid positions show that the inhabitants aren't only vicious, but utterly insane-- a side effect due to the bio-engineering that is plasmids and splicing. The entire world of Rapture springs to life in a way of dead silent corners and gives you the feeling that this must have been a truly great place before its fall. The subtitles, on the other hand, are a total mess. They work fine, but appear either too late or too early. Despite this, the world of Rapture is one, if not the, most stunning world ever created in a video game.

    Bioshock, the Beautiful
    When it comes to visuals, Bioshock is still one of the best out there, bar none. Still lagging behind Gears of War, the visuals for Bioshock are great; everything from the amazing flame effects to the epic water effects. textures are perfectly presented, however, some textures seem to repeat more then others, but only in the most minute of ways. Character models truly show the player just what happened to the citizens of Rapture (heck, if I looked like them I'd be crazy too) It shows the splicing effects it has on regular human beings, and gives you even more clues to Raptures past and present. Character animations are near perfect, no need harping on that. Big Daddies are some of the greatest looking characters in any video game, anywhere. Still, some of the splicers look maybe a bit stranger then they should, and you can find the same splicer on more then one occasion. All gun effects, including plasmids are as best as they could be. The best the FPS genre has ever seen.



    The lighting here is simply amazing


    Symphony in the Water
    The ambiance is Raptures single greatest feature. The drops of water, the psychotic rantings of splicers, or the busted whirring of the sentry bots add perfectly to the tense yet wondrous mood of the game. The sound of pistols firing, tommy guns blazing and rockets exploding into Big Daddie's helmets are spot on. Voice acting for everyone is only second to Mass Effect and GTA IV.(Well, maybe not GTA IV.) The 1940's style music is quite possibly the greatest part of the ambiance of Rapture. While not so subtle, it delivers the message constantly to the gamer that this is based in the early '60s, and that Rapture isn't your space-age utopia, like so many games before it. Even the Little Sisters and Big Daddies talk (and groan) in such ways that you might mistake those jumble of words for an actual conversation between the two. The symphony of Rapture plays without a single instrument (I'm gonna patent that quote)

    Expanding the genre
    The FPS genre has had a lot of AAA titles before it: Halo, Doom 3, System Shock 2 to name a few. But very few of those titles actually both perfected AND expanded on the genre the way Bioshock has. Bioshock fine tunes perfect gunplay ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:22
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    This stuff:
    Publisher: Rockstar
    Developer: Rockstar
    genre: Action Adventure
    Players: 1
    Online: 1-16
    System: Xbox 360, also on PS3

    Who knew crime could pay so well?

    Yes...so it has arrived. GTA, possibly the single most controversial (no way! Really?) game series to ever exist adds its fourth entry to its amazingly long list of GTA titles. 4 years in development, it has suffered delays, bans, controversy, and annoying 40 year old who can't get a girlfriend so they have to bash videogames (Jackie T.) Enjoy.

    Ahem....

    GTA IV has you follow the anti-hero Niko after being called to America by your cousin Roman. Fresh off the boat, Niko soon learns that his cousin's claims to a life of leisure are all but lies. What does the American dream mean to newcomers now days? For this Russian its a life of crime, deception and drugs. Lots of drugs(warehouses full). Niko's dream of getting a fresh turns sour as he learns that you can't escape your past so easily....

    Lets get to it then. The story is absolutely awesome. As you play it, the story gets deeper and deeper and ends up being almost movie quality. the story is rich, and each character has so much life and story to them that its truly some the greatest character development I've seen since TF2(lol.) The realism is astounding, which is actually my biggest problem with the game. Rest assures, I won't lower the score because of this, I just despise the uber-realistic gameplay issues. Driving a car is harder then in real life, so I really wouldn't call that realistic, so much as simply annoying. Other then that, characters almost never say the same line twice, and never look the same. Animations are spot on realistic (Thanks Euphoria) and the atmosphere feels just like a big city world.
    As for online connections and menus, I have had a bit of trouble joining ranked matches(go figure) and our game rooms are constantly united with other rooms at random points while playing. Frustrating, yes, but just wait till I get to multiplayer...ahem. The cell phone is basically the only menu you use. While innovative, its not exactly cool or fascinating.(Its more boring then Wolfenstein 3Ds menus.) but it works perfectly fine. Which is good....ish.

    Now for the graphics portion of the review. Cough....ahem. GTA IV may not sport some of the best graphics around (a la Gears of War) but it certainly sports some of the most spectacular. Explosions from cars and RPGs are simply stunning to watch, as well and the flame effects from the molotovs. The lighting is brilliant; reflections are perfect and the whole engine runs perfectly smooth with practically no framerate issues whatsoever. Well, almost none. Euphoria seems a little less then expected to my end(my friend told me it was so much more realistic then it is), but its still amazing. When you shoot somebody in whatever body part, they react to it perfectly. The problems I found with it are that animations for getting hit by a car are simply terrible. I did a cartwhell through the air and somehow [gracefully] fell with my neck somewhere by my foot with my arm twisted over my back Peter Griffin style. Then my foot was suddenly where it was supposed to be while getting up. beyond Euphoria glitches, animation is spectacular.

    The sound is...I'll spare you small talk. it works, great. 200 songs on the radio(even if they all suck, come on? Its 200 REAL songs!) talk shows, comedy clubs, and the voice acting is the best I've heard since Mass Effect. Lip syncing isn't perfect, but with this much dialogue, it would be close to impossible. The crunches of cars, the booms of RPGs, the police sirens(annoying as hell--realistic, no?) all sound effects are great. The little quotes your person can say in multiplayer may fall flat (haha, didn't know you could do that eh? You can. Left Bumper.) but thats about all that does. Little Jacob is so perfectly undiscernable that even the characters in the game can't understand him.

    Gameplay. Meh.(kidding, kidding,don't stone me...) Gameplay works very close to how other GTA games before it works. They have autoaim that simply locks on to targets, or a new free look aiming system. (Guess which one sucks?) Glitches are obviously present with the Autoaim, such as it targeting dead enemies instead of living or people 50 yards away rather then 5 feet away. Gunplay itself is great. the western style duels between Niko and thugs or what may come are some of the best moments in the game. Melee combat....hah. Kill me for this, but its extremely unresponsive. (Ok, block when he attacks to dodge...block--WTF?) Maybe thats why Rockstar basically threw that out the window when it comes to multiplayer. For good reason. The environment plays a huge part in most combat, greatly too. In car battles, the cars around you and everything else is absolutely ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:22
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    Unless you've been living under a rock for the last few months you've heard off Wii Fit. It was announced at last years E3 convention and has been on everything from the Today Show to the Ellen Degenerous Show. As predicted by many this thing has officially blown up. However we all know that media coverage doesnt make the game good. Thats why I'm here to tell you.

    My first feeling about this "game" was that it would be essentially Brain Age for your body. That seems like a good description now after spending some quality time with the game. It gives you an arbitrary Wii Fit Age as well as reading you BMI (body mass index) and weight. I would recommend following your weight and ignoring the rest.. BMI is notoriously inaccurate as it does not take into account body types. Basically a ripped muscle bound freak would be called fat.. On to the hardware.



    The WiiBo is a solid piece of hardware. Its heavy and feels very solid. You would have to try pretty hard to break it. Then again what would you expect from a first party Nintendo product? It is even more precise then the Wiimote and the first time you use it you'll see that too. Its pretty amazing. The only issue I see is if your hands get sweaty they may begin slipping off the board in push-up drills or things like that. I haven't had that problem but others have. Wear cloves I guess. Wii Fit gloves.. Crap what have I done?! You watch.. Someone will make those.

    The interface on this game is simple and shallow. Just what you would want in a game that is targeting literally everyone. My mother has no issues using it and she has problems emailing people links to web pages. They did a great job keeping everything clean fresh and simple. You can hop on, do your daily optional body test then start doing yoga, aerobics or whatever you want in seconds.



    I almost feel odd calling this a game. Yoga, while far more fun then I thought it would be, is typically not a game component. I would have never seen myself enjoying Yoga on a game and yet here I am. It really feels like a Nintendo has made something great here with the WiiBo. The WiiBo is at the center with different branches like Skate It, Wii Fit, We Skii and others. Well We Skii is crap but you get my point. For those of you wondering how much of a workout it can be dont worry. Its a workout. The first thing I did was hit strength training. After 20 minutes of doing lunges, push-ups, and jack knives I was getting tired. Heres the trick. Push-ups generally arent that difficult. However try doing them slowly while keeping your balance perfect. Not so easy now eh? The longer you go it just keeps getting harder to keep you balance perfect and you will get sore. This is not the Wiitis people complained over in Wii Sports. This is a real workout tool.

    Dont get me wrong though. This should never replace actual workout. Its just a potential part of a real workout routine. Its something to along side an actual hard workout to keep in shape or get there. That being said its one of my favorite games on Wii and I highly recommend it!

    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:22
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    I promised it, so here it is, a 'moderately' in depth review of Condemned 2 (yes, I shelled out the big bucks for you, populace! Be grateful!) I actually haven't played this game on the PS3 as the cover art may imply, but from reliable sources (IGN, Gamespot) they are both supposed to be equal is game. Besides, most reviews I've made have 360 cover art, even though they have PS3 counterparts.

    Saying fps horror has a new face would be inaccurate-- how about no face at all?

    Comdemned 2: Bloodshot
    Publisher: SEGA
    Developer: Monolith Productions
    Players: 1-8
    Genre: Survival horror FPS

    You are Ethan Thomas, once an SCU(special something something forces) investigator. Now, your an alcoholic, and with a real pissy attitude. Your called back to action when your former partner has gone missing. Not only must you find your partner and solve many more murders, but you must battle your own inner demons as well and discover a truth so demented and sick that you will never see it coming...

    The truth is both disturbing and awesome...
    For my part I haven't really seen many a horror game that has an interesting story. Or many a horror game in general to be honest (Jericho and Doom 3 aside). So I was reluctant to try out Condemned 2, but the demo won me over. Aaaaannyway, Bloodshot's storyline is probably the most compelling reason to keep coming back to this game 'til the very end. Without revealing too much, the storyline actually seems less of a horror storyline and more of a mystery movie. Don't worry, its plenty scary for more reasons, but I'll get to that. The story is told in a way that makes the player consciously or unconsciously (thats right, it ****s up your mind, fool!) try and guess what happens next in the story. The best part is that your more then likely gonna be wrong, which serves to make the storyline much more compelling as you try to figure stuff out ahead of time (only to be wrong). The storyline itself is wacky, but takes itself so seriously it becomes like Ninja Gaiden-- crazy, but serious enough that it makes the player serious. For instance, in the first game (which I haven't actually played) you track down a serial killer nicknamed SKX. In Bloodshot, you go from solving a crime and trying to figure out whats happening to you and the city to, well....lets just say it goes from 1980's time periods to that of a sci-fi movie. None of this takes away too badly from the story, but it does make it a bit harder to truly get into. Still, it all is great and leaves a great amount of room for the third game. Oh, and did I mention, your steadily going insane in Bloodshot? Must have missed that... Now the atmosphere of Bloodshot is near flawless. it knows the perfect times throw psycho bandits at you and the perfect time to build crazy levels of suspense. Like when you explore the SCU building, and lights flicker while you simply see inhuman shadows for instance. Even the house levels will make you turn every single corner twice before you enter a room. The atmosphere in Bloodshot is a marvel of the horror genre, and a much needed improvement over those lame horror games where they rely on surprise as the sole factor in making a game scary. As far as menus go, your character sees the menus on his pocket computer, a bit of a nice change from the standard 'press start to see the bland, sideways menu' of most games. They are easy to read and navigate as well. I've had connection issues in multiplayer, but its more because hardly anyone playing it then anything else.


    Ethan Thomas is no longer the shining beacon of joy he was in Condemned 1

    Tar, tar, everywhere...
    Condemned sure looks great sometimes. The splattered walls, the psychotic villains and especially the tar monsters (see? Sega made a tribute to Scooby-Doo-- that means some people DO still like that show!) who tear themselves out of the tar covered walls. The lighting effects are great at most times, and the flashlight is much needed. However, there are a few rooms and hallways, specifically in the beginning and end which are stupidly dark. These rooms are very rare, but getting attacked by 3 creatures in the dark sure can be annoying(very). The bloody and torn textures of flesh and blood in the game is sickeningly spot-on. The weapons and textures are great, and the splatting of enemies heads against your feet (or bludgeon) splat gloriously bloody. The enemies differ from one another, and few enemies look alike. The faceless Oros are great looking enemies, although getting close enough to study one without being beat up may be a challenge. However, a lot of times they just look kind of messy, but for the most part they look just like psychotics would-- scars and blood stains included. Environments are very well done, most noticeably being the run down state of the city. You truly get the feeling that the city is being turned onto an absolute nightmare, a home for the insane and not much else. The houses are ruined and broken, wood is rotting and cracks underfoot, and the amount of junk just makes you think that these guys aren't just psycho, but have a severe case of OCD. Each room is cluttered with trash, TVs, meth (laundry machines) and other things. The lights in these houses either flicker or don't work at all. Some areas where lights don't even exist (thank goodness for the flashlight) look absolutely haunted. The chairs are stacked on the tables, and the dust and fog makes you know they've been that way probably for 100 years. Other rooms just repeat themselves, however. Like in the winter cabin many of the rooms are absolutely symmetrical. The framerate does drop at occasions of intense fighting, often when many people are all trying to beat on you at once. And when it does, its pretty painful. But for the most part, Condemned 2 looks great. It just has a few issues here and there.

    The Sound of fear
    Condemned 2 is a horrific opera. And like all operas, they have the cool parts where the guy is sword fighting the villain, and the bad part where Helga the Viking fatass sings her dues. Condemned 2 is a mixed bag. While it has great effects, its music can sometimes be utterly annoying. Let me explain then...the sound effects are top notch for a horror game. Psychotics scream when you smack them in the face, and gunshots pierce the dead silence of Condemn's freaky atmosphere. Electrical pulses from SKX's torture devices and the lights resonate great, like the, well, resonators in the game. Voice acting is finely done. Ethan specifically-- his new voice serves him sell through the game. Dialogue is hit and miss though, but it all works out well with the story and all its creepiness. Music is a different story. the few times that music is in the background, its more then likely gonna annoy the he** outta you. Especially in the conveyor section of the doll factory. The music is haunting and well placed, but that doesn't stop it from being simply awful. Suggestion: turn music volume to zero when you start. All other sounds are great.

    The perfect hand to hand system in a horror game? Awesome!
    The gameplay in Condemned 2 focuses mainly on hand-to-hand combat like its predecessor. Only this time around, they absolutely nailed the melee system. Monolith took huge care to approach the suggestions of its fans, specifically regarding guarding fist combat. Tons and tons of weapons, including everything from shotguns to foosball sticks, are a major point of enjoyment in the game. Looking at each weapon and uses each one is a fun trait that lesser collectors might not really care for. Each weapon has 4 stats: Power, Reach, condition, and Speed. Power determines the damage a weapon will do, speed is how fast you can swing it, reach is the length at which it reaches, and condition is the, well, condition its in. They do break if you block too often and don't parry enough (which is easy enough to do). As for blocking, they fixed it in Bloodshot perfectly. Rather then simply doing a fast and messy parry like in Condemned 1, you can simply hold LT and RT to continuous block, or tap it to parry. You attack with each side; left being left, right being right.


    Right hook to the face, bi***!

    Also, you get upgrades after each mission depending on how well you did in the mission, which is ranked by bronze, silver, or gold. Upgrades range in anything from new sneakers to a stun gun, so they are very helpful. As for some of the lesser action-y parts of the game, there are CSI-type scenes in the game which actually require you to *gasp* think (If was tough for me, you know? When have I EVER thought prier to this?) the crime scenes are very well done, and careful observation of the scene will indeed reveal the right answer, you just need to look close. After each scene you get a grade on how well you solved the mystery scene. To aid you in these scenes you get some pretty nice equipment as well, such as a UV light and spectrometer. Back to combat. Unlike Condemned 1, guns play a far larger role in Bloodshot, although the game is still dominated by hand-to-hand. most gun battles will take place near the last mission though. Gun play works great when you've got the alchohol to steady your aim (after you get the upgrade, its good then too). In other words, for being a game all about melee combat, guns work great. Ammo is also more abundant then Condemned 1, but it still needs to be rationed. Condemned 2 easily has the best melee combat system in any FPS out there.

    FPS horror multiplayer scores points for originality
    Replay Value. I was a bit reluctant to try out multiplayer, but for RV I needed to for this review. Multiplayer is a mixed feeling--the only really fair mode, team deathmatch, is great fun. 4 on 4, melee combat where you use the shadows to your advantage. In other words, stealth is perfected in this FPS multiplayer mode. Sadly, many of my teamates didn't seem to understand that (which would explain why I was able to best my entire team in my first game...) and so, without strategy its rather boring. I moved onto a mode called crime scene where its SCU vs. Infected. The infected have two boxes, each complete with severed heads inside that they must hide, while the SCU have to search for the boxes. Now heres the downside- SCU gets guns while Infected don't. So to kill an SCU officer, you need to know how to use stealth and be able to dodge bullets, fast. Doesn't always work. More often then not the SCU will win with flying colors (unless they're blind). Then theres bum rush, a great mode to play with friends. There are two SCU with health bars visible to all and 6 Infected. The infected respawn instantly, but die in a single shot from the SCU. So it takes an average of 20 infected to kill SCU officers, rather annoying unless you have friends in the game. other then multiplayer, theres Bloodshot fight club, which is kinda like a series of bloody minigames for the game. I haven't really explored these much. As for the single player story, its fairly short. However, you might want to go back through it another time on hard or FPS mode.

    Lets get to it then! (Right on! Right on!)

    Presentation: 4.5/5
    Brilliant horror atmosphere, and intelligent(mostly) plot tie into one helluva good horror time.

    Graphics: 4/5
    While they are good and effects are well done, they're rather average in general.

    Sound: 4.5/5
    Sound effects are something this game going for it, but music is garbage.

    Gameplay: 5/5
    Great melee combat whose depth is unrivaled by any other FPS out there. Gunplay is great too, but hand-to-hand is exceptional.

    Replay Value: 4/5
    Tons to do if you like it. Multiplayer is good fun on XBL if you can find anyone actually playing. Especially deathmatch (best melee system in multiplayer rocks)

    Overall: 4.5/5

    I've met very little horror games that both thrill and chill. Monolith's new entry into their saga of Ethan Thomas does both. best horror game I've played in a long time.

    PS Screenshots by me.
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:21
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    Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
    Publisher: Activision
    Developer: Infinity Ward
    Genre: First Person
    Players: 1

    Well, unlike the other Call of Duty games this one is not set in a world war its set in the more modern times (note the name). This mean you have a selection or more modern guns while still having the classics.

    The game is split up into 4 modes -
    • Requite - Stupidly Easy. This mode is really just the the first time FPS players.
    • Regular - For the average FPS player
    • Hardened - A level to give good FPS players a good challenge!
    • Veteran - No words describe how damn hard this is. You need to be a FPS god and you will still be throwing your PS3 out the window from frustration.
    Right at the start of the game it goes through the story line that you have to get a man (not saying too much). Then it puts you into a training level. Which shows you pretty much what to do. This is before even choosing a difficulty mode. This is good for the first time FPS players but its a drag for the real FPS players.

    Graphics - What can I say? Call of Duty 4 has state of the art graphics. The character models are beautiful. The guns are perfect. The framerate is stupidly smooth doesn't seem to drop at the most hectic times. Even things like the reloading make you go WOW! Explosions are done perfectly, you can see the bullets soar through the sky. It really is a fantastic experience. I am finding it hard to find something bad to say about the graphics. If i am really picky the dead ragdoll models sometimes gets limbs going through walls etc. but thats all to be expected.

    Sound - It really sounds like you are in the game. I know it sounds stupid but it really does. After playing this for a while you really find yourself getting into it little too much because of the mix of great sound and great graphics. The sound could not be more perfect. You can even hear which way the bullets are coming from, and where the voices are coming from. All the guns have there own unique sound, so if you play this game a little too much (me!) you can tell what gun it is. I really don't see how the sound could be much better than this. Nothing bad to say about the sound.

    Gameplay - The main story line is great, all varying from different types of play, stealth, sniper and running around like a idiot shooting everything that moves. Basically in the game you have to find people. Thats all i am saying. For my liking the Main story is a little too short. A longer story would be great, but when you have completed the game you still have the online play to fall back on (I will talk about this later). The story is good, everything works well, the AI is great. The only problem is the length.

    Online - This game is amazing online. I would even say it is one of the bests games online. Even up against the Online Only Game Warhawk. For a game which was designed not just for online thats very good going.

    The scoring works on XP points which go towards Ranks and Ranks go towards more Weapons and Perks. XP points can be achieved by playing games kills etc. and can also be given from Challenges. Challenges do what they say on the tin, you have challenges that you have to do while playing online (150 kills with AK-47 etc.) and when you do them you will be awarded with XP points, and if it was a gun challenge a Add-on to your gun (Scope etc.).

    The ranking system unlocks new guns and perks. Perks are sort of advantages that you unlock. (Things like bigger bullet damage, or more health, or drop a grenade when you die). The higher your rank, the better perks you get. Guns work in a similar way the higher your level the better guns you get.

    Ranks only go upto level 55, then 'prestige mode' is unlocked. Then you get the option to go back to level 1 loose all your guns and perks but have a different rank logo by your name. This is just for bragging rights really.

    Create a Class is where you can make your own class of weapons to use in a game. So when you unlock a new weapon, you can replace it with the old weapon in your custom class. Here you can choose your perks for the classes too.

    The game joining system is the one thing that lets this down. You hit find game, then hit the game you want to play and it takes ages and eventually puts you in a game. A system similar to Warhawk would of been much more effective.

    Lifespan - This game has the ability to last for ever due to the amazing online play. The main story will last a while, and when you have completed it you will get the urge to complete it again on a harder difficulty. Longer main story is a big thing in my eyes though.

    Replay Value 4.5/5
    Sound 5/5
    Graphics 5/5
    Gameplay 5/5
    Score:


    This is my first ever review, please excuse ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:21
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    I'm a dedicated tales fan. Really, I am. In all fairness, I have put that aside for now for this miniview.

    Ahem...cough.

    Now that thats out of the way, the 2005 addition to the Tales RPG series, Tales of the Abyss, is very much like Tales of Symphonia, from battle system to monsters. Through personal experience, I can safely say that I believe this game to have surpassed Tales of Symphonia, as awesome as it was. Aaaaannnnyway....

    In Tales of the Abyss, you are cast in the role of Luke fon Fabre, an heir to the throne of Kimlasca, one of two peaceful nations that exist in this world. Spoiled and arrogant, Luke is soon sent half across the world when trying to guard his master. The attacker, who happens to be his masters sister too gets sent with him. An adventure begins that will not only shape the futures of the two nations, but change the entire future of history itself.

    Graphics, for its time anyway, are nothing special. Slowdowns do occur at very rare instances, and for detail its about average for a game of its time. The real highlight to these are how believable the characters became, based on the small feature changes in their faces, and the slight movements of their bodies at the needed time. For its day, this was as close to lifelike as you might've gotten. Still, graphics work, but are nothing special.

    Voice acting is great. All the voice actors seem well placed in the game, with the exception of Sync and Ion, all the characters sound fine. Music is as it always has been for a Tales game...good. They even threw in a few hard rocks songs for fight scenes. Who would of though for an RPG, right? No.

    Gameplay mixes the best of the Tales genre has to offer, and some new, often useless ideas. For instance, the idea of combining Artes (special powers) with fonons (elemental forces) really makes some attacks really awesome. Sadly, if it doesn't tell you which element you attack is compatible with, how will you know? However, that is only a detail of the battle system. The FRLMS (Flex Range Linear Motion System, I think I got it right...) is the Tales series signature battle system. And like I've said before, its the best system for an RPG I've seen. I have no complaints. Its difficult to explain, but mix a bit of Kingdom Hearts, Phantasy Star Online, and a fighter game, and you've got it.

    For the presentation, they really help you to get to know the characters. Although there are mandatory cut-scenes (Like every RPG, obviously) with full voice acting, there are many, many, MANY optional cutscenes that you initiate by pressing "Select" when it gives you the options. These range from giving hints and tips as to what you ought to do next, to talking about one girls obsession of "cute" things. The storyline really is epic, and the animated cutscenes often give you a feeling of just how important your actions are in reference to the future of this world.

    And in the immortal words of the Spy...I never really was on your side. You'll know if you play it.

    Graphics: 3.5/5
    Perfectly fine for a Tales game. not so fine if your looking for something to blow you face off.

    Presentation: 4.5/5
    As always, a great tales storyline, except this one dwarfs Tales of the World by 100 fold. Menus are easily navigated, but the constant talk of fonons, and fonstones will more then likely confuse some.

    Gameplay: 4.5/5
    its great to be able to see your enemies on the overworld, hence being able to run from them, but they chase you FAST, Not as fast as Symphonia has them though. And the FRLMS only gets better and better.

    Sound: 4/5
    Voice acting is great. Pity that much of the good Tales music repeats itself for every battle. But then again, which RPG doesn't?

    Replay Value: 4/5
    Its an RPG. Enough said. It does have a few parts where you have to choose to go with one group or another, leading to a different experience. item gathering and the norm, but after you beat it....but don't expect to beat it in the first day. Or week. Or month. Its taken me at least 60 hours, and I haven't even beaten it yet.

    Overall:

    A great addition to the Tales series of RPGs. Improvements on good leads to great. Where Symphonia left off on features TotAbyss picked up. Though if your expecting an RPG where everyone is always nice and happy...heh heh.... ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:21
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    Endless Ocean
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Developer: Arika
    Genre: Simulation
    Players: 1

    Ok after a long wait I have finally found the drive to write up this review. I certainly hope you people like it :P So lets jump right in here. Endless Ocean. This "non-game", while not for everyone, is indeed for me. From day one I found myself interested in this unique scuba diving game. It attempts to give you an open world take on the ocean and does it very well. Heres the thing though. If you dont like exploration dont buy this game. If you do buy 3 or 4 copies so the makers think its a huge hit..

    Graphically this game is nearly on par with the greats of the console like Mario Galaxy or MP3. Notice I said nearly.. Not quite but its good. The graphics do their job of being immersion and thats all you/I want anyways right? Oh and did I mention the graphics are great only when you're in the water? On the boat they arent so hot..

    As far as the controls go you'll soon forget their are any. Its that natural. Simply point at the screen and hold the B trigger or hit - to toggle auto swim. Thats it. Just point and go. Immersive? yes. Simple? yes. Does it work? Again yes.

    The sound work is great. Plenty of breathing noises and all those underwater sounds you'd expect. Granted its nothing breathtaking but it serves to make you feel like you're drowning. One big issue is the absence of literally any voice over work. Often times you speak to other people and its completely silent minus the birds and water splashing. Very underwhelming.

    All in all its a good not great game. It does exactly what you want and little else. It does, however, have online but again NO VOICE CHAT means why bother to me.


    Replay Value 4/5 If you like the game you'll keep coming back for a very long time. The ocean is huge and theres plenty to explore.
    Sound 4/5 Dolphin noises like you've never heard them before. Also breathing and water moving noises. Whoopie.
    Graphics 4/5 Just a notch or so below Mario Galaxy and Metroid. Probably 2 notches though.
    Gameplay 4.5/5
    Score:


    Via: C*M ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:21
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    Article Preview


    Its actually an annoying story how I stumbled onto this one. I went to Blockbuster's to rent a game, and lo and behold they don't have Assassin's Creed, which i wanted. Or DMC4, CoD4, Eternal Sonata, Dynasty Warriors 6, or even Warriors Orochi. So, I chose between Lost Odyssey and Naruto Rise of a Ninja, Guess who won.

    Anyway, N:R of a N is a little hard to classify. Its an RPG, adventure, action, fighting game. So, ahem....

    The presentation is good, and not so good. Half the menus look great and are easily navigated, the other half are kinda glitchy. The symbols attribute to this, as half the time, I can't tell what they even mean. For a long time I thought a bowl of ramen was some kinda of blotch, just artistic license. Despite this, it detracts very little from the games smooth presentation. Story is...well, the show. So really, if you've seen the show, this game is all about gameplay. But if you haven't, this is a very good storyline, if not a little butchered.

    The graphics are easily the best looking Naruto game out there. Cell shaded characters models with very smooth animations. Backgrounds too look quite nice, although the shading is a little...interesting at times. As far as I have seen, little to no slowdown occurs. Ever. Jutsus and effects too are amazingly done. Though when in the overworld, you can usually find as least 4 of the same people within a mile radius (a bit of length) of the villages. Speaking of which, the overworld looks great, if not a little repetitive. But then again, the whole village is supposed to be of one architectural type, and it works pretty well. I could live without the skippy anime cutscenes.

    Sound is hit and miss. The voice overs for most characters are great, while a good many characters have totally new voices that are either weird or creepily done.Grunts, explosions, punches, all the sound effects are well done. Repetitive voices get annoying after a while.

    Gameplay is a wide variety ranging from great to average. The overworld was a very nice addition, as its quite large (this is no San Andreas though.), even if a lot of areas are just the same. Its kind of like a kid GTA. Still, quests are plentiful, and all around theres a lot to do here. The more jutsus you learn, the more places you can reach, too. But jutsus aren't just overworld. These jutsus(like artes in tales, magic in final fantasy, and in just about every other game too.) can all be use in combat too. Speaking of which, each time you encounter an enemy, It turns into a classic fighting. The fighting system works too; its fairly well balanced. the way jutsus work, too, is very well implemented. Not all the action takes place in the combat system, though. There are also small races you have to accomplish, where you have to get to a certain point in a certain amount of time, and tree hopping, and hide and seek....theres alot bit more then just fighting. mini versions of dungeons exist, where you avoid traps while having occasional fights. Plus, you can be more then just Naruto in story mode too, at least, thats what I can tell from achievements.

    Theres plenty to do after you've finished story mode, like playing other peoples story's and doing side quests. If thats not enough for you, you've also got an online mode where you can battle your friends in ninja tournaments. Upgrading your attacks and skills are another way to continue playing.

    Now down to the score.

    Presentation: 3.5/5
    Menus, good, story, good, just about all the presentation is good. Not great, not bad, but good.

    Sound: 3.5/5
    Does get repetitive, but sound effects and "most" voice acting is spot on.

    Graphics: 4/5
    Great cell shaded character models and well-drawn backgrounds. Naruto made a great transition into the next-gen.

    Gameplay: 4/5
    The free roam, the combat system and the leveling system all work nicely. A bit of annoying things and glitches here and there, but not many. Free roam isn't huge like San Andreas, but its fair sized. Unfortunately, you can't throw people out of their cars. Sad.

    Replay Value: 4/5
    If you like this game, theres a ton to do, between online play and other story modes. If you don't, well....your a really tough crowd.

    Overall:

    Deciding between an 8 and 8.5, I reached a climax. Everything works in the game, although nothing is really all too inspired. ...
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