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  • PC News

    by Published on January 1st, 2011 18:17
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    Article Preview

    Platform: Windows (XP or Vista) PC
    Developer: Stardock Entertainment (official game page)
    Publisher: Stardock Entertainment


    The Political Machine is a turn-based strategy game where the goal is to conquer the worl... become President of the United States. You do this by flying your candidate around the country, state to state, building country awareness of you and promoting yourself on various issues, such as Gas prices or the War on Terror, all over the course of 41 turns. At the same time you manage your funds, build Election Headquarters, belittle your opponent, kiss a few hands, shake a few babies and overall make the world a better place.

    The most obvious aspect of this game is the graphics. Bubble-head characters very similar to Nintendo's Mii's. The country is depicted in a 3D cartoon style and each state pops out of the country when highlighted. This adds a flavour of parody to the game and gives the impression that this game isn't going to take itself too seriously. The music of this game isn't noticeable. It's possible to play through the game without noticing music was even playing.

    When you begin the game it becomes apparent that there is no interactive tutorial to guide you on your first couple of weeks. There is a tutorial on the main menu and its purpose is to tell you what everything on the screen is and what buildings do. The opening help screen upon starting the game tells you how to move around and some general details. What neither assistance does is tell you what to do to actually win. Once you click past the opening help screen, you're on your own.

    The main screen gives the player options to display a plethora of information, little of which is defined or explained. You are given no help during the game in the way of strategies or tips and as a result a first time player will lose their first games badly whilst they work out, through trial and error, what it is they're supposed to do to win.

    At the end of the game each of the states lights up in turn in either Blue or Red to represent the candidate they vote for. This will create confusion to some players as many of the states they were most popular in voted for the opponent instead, this is because the popular vote and the electoral vote aren't the same. Americans should know this, non-American's won't.

    One of the most customisable areas of this game is the character creation. This allows you to create custom candidates, you could create yourself or go so far as to make a blue skinned eyeless alien. Choosing your appearance and position on topics is very easy to do. However knowing what these topics are will require reading through them, this will presumably affect an American player less as they will already have an understanding of the meaning of some these issues, such as Federal Government. A Foreign player however will need to read them carefully. Some of the issues are ambiguously named and you're left uncertain as to which side is 'For' and which is 'Against'. One important issue here is selecting your party of either Democrat or Republican, who both favour one side or the other of a topic. The player is left in the dark as to which party favours what viewpoint.

    Overall this game has a learning curve like a mountain, one which could have been avoided with giving the player more assistance. Calculating votes and popularity in states is very math heavy and although calculations are done for you, you still need to understand what the numbers mean and how to improve each in order to gain ground in a state. As the game is very heavily based upon American Politics and terminology, it's likely to alienate foreign players from even picking it up.

    The inclusion of custom characters gives the game a bit more of a foothold outside of the USA, as at the very least, a player can create themselves in the game as opposed to playing as Barack Obama or George Bush. Also the Quick-Play option, despite the very misleading name, allows the player to play a Custom Scenario in a comedy style Europe , Civil War USA or an alien planet whose denizens are hell bent on Galaxy Conquest. The alien planet is particularly amusing with their issues of alien destruction and artificial slaves and terror star building. I'm just disappointed I can't have Darth Vader as my Vice-President.

    The most important question to ask is: Is it fun?

    The answer is not really. It's a frustrating game to get to grips with, working out the maths is tedious and the only reason you'll keep playing is because you're stubborn enough to want to beat your opponent. After you beat him however, you realise you now ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 18:17
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    Platform: Windows (98, ME, 2000, XP or Vista) PC
    Developer: Stardock Entertainment (official game page)
    Publisher: Kalypso Media
    Designer: Brad Wardell
    MSRP: 29.99
    Ratings: PEGI

    ESRB: Not rated (European Release, although all previous Galactic Civilizations II games received an E10)
    Note: This is a standalone version of the Dark Avatar and Twilight of the Arnor expansions to the original Galactic Civilizations 2.

    Short Overview: Planet/starship centered Turn Based Strategy game. Very mature due to it's lineage (second expansion to a second game in a series all made by the same core group). You can spend anywhere from a few hours to a few months on a single game. My favorite thing was most definetly the humor, which drives the gameplay and gives needed respite from the epic nature of the game. Only flaw is the absense of a number of features that make the game difficult to micromanage or macromanage.

    Overall Score:

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

    Scheduled for release on 09 March 09

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

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

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

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

    What I have to say about it: click here ...
    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:57
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    BioShock Review

    Developer: 2k Games
    Publisher: 2k Games



    A new FPS has shown up with promises of great gameplay and great story without needed muitplayer to make it successful (unlike halo :P )

    We will see how true to those claims the game really is...


    Notable Awards:
    • 2007 PC Game of the Year
    • 2007 Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2007 FPS Game of the Year
    • 2007 Overall Game of the Year



    A regular First Person Shooter, nothing out of the ordinary here.



    The game is a 1 player only.



    The game begins with you in an airplane in the late 1950's when it suddenly crashes and our the only survivor or so your lead to believe ...

    You then come across this big tower in the middle of no where in the ocean, you enter and soon take a sub down to the city of Rapture...

    You soon get ambushed and eventually found out it was a bad idea to come down here. The first plasmid is introduced (think of it as magic in a RPG) after your encounter with a Big Daddy, even though you dont actually fight it, its still a pretty sight to take and dont want to mess with.

    And soon your tangled up in this rescue operation for atlas and...

    Well im not gonna spoil the story for you,
    you will just have to play and find out,
    its such a great story



    Game is typical among all FPS except for the plasmid system, which allows you to strike enemies with electricity, fire, and a few other elements.

    The way you combine these powers with your surroundings is up to you.
    For example you could shock an enemy in the water for extra damage, and it will shock all other enemies in the water also.
    You could light a propane tank on fire then use telikenieses to throw it at your enemies for extra damage , ect...
    its all up to you.

    You will also need powers to melt ice, or freeze things to advance in the game.

    The weapons are nice with upgrades and all the works and make you fell invincible at times.

    Another pretty cool thing was the hacking minigame which is a remade version of the PC classic PIPE:

    Multiplayer would have been good in this game, whats better then shotting your friends and complete strangers with plasmids?
    But its still very good without it as you can see from the awards.

    There was no lag or anything in the game that I experience, everything ran smoothly



    The graphics on this game are very well done.
    From the glossy look to the water, everything looks very nice compared to other FPS's.

    Some Pics to show its "awesomenesses"


    Audio / Sfx:

    The game contains a rich classical score and well as may songs popular from that time era that sometime play in the background.

    Such songs as:
    Papa Loves Mambo
    Waltz of the Flower
    How Much is that Doggy in the Window
    Oh Danny Boy

    and a few other as well...

    Also there whole classical score is free to download from their site:

    Over all its very well done and pulls it off with the game well.

    The voice acting it also extremely up to par.
    They have a real emphasis to them from the Irish talking Atlas to the little sisters and as well as the Big Daddy sounds are pretty creepy.


    Replay Value:

    The game doesnt exactly have a replay value to it.
    After you finished, you will want to put it away until you fell like play it again a couple of month later, like me.



    This game is really something to look at on how new games coming out these days instead of the usual rubbish we get today should be. This game is extremely good and is recommended to anybody who has a 360 or even PC (and soon PS3 also )


    • Excellent story
    • Voice Acting
    • Weapons and upgrades
    • Many plasmids to choose from
    • Graphics
    • Musical score

    • No Multiplayer


    Final Score:

    by Published on January 1st, 2011 16:23
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    Publisher: Valve
    Developer: Independent project
    Genre: Music/Puzzle
    Number of Players: 1-2
    Price: $10.00

    Minimum PC Requirements:
    OS: Microsoft Windows XP/Vista
    Processor: 1.6 GHz Intel Pentium 4
    Memory: 512 MB RAM
    Graphics: 32 MB NVIDIA GeForce 2 (support for Pixel Shader 3.0 recommended)
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0 or higher
    Sound: DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card

    I'm in a tunnel! and at the end I see a light! no!!!!!!


    Audiosurf is a Music/Puzzle game in which the player selects a song, and then "surfs" it. While surfing a song of choice (any .mp3 file in you'r pc's hard drive) you are given the option to ether collect, or dodge colorful blocks that come at you.


    Picking up from the overview, if you choose do dodge blocks, then its all good and simple for the most part, but if you choose to collect them, then you are forced to arrange them in order by color, get four or more of the same color of blocks together and they will disappear allowing you to collect more, the more you collect and dissapear, the higher your score.

    You can control your ship with the mouse or keyboard and this is how a single screen multiplayer version of this game has been made possible, though it may not be the greatest multiplayer game ever, it holds up fine.

    Is this ride "groovy" or what?


    This game features a pretty simplistic/shiny art style, the blocks are shiny blocks, your ship is a shiny ship, there are also some shiny waves arround followed by some more shiny stuff that I can't tell what it is in the back ground,e.c.t. and that makes it fine to look at.



    With most music games there will be songs that you like and songs that you won't, but since you choose what song you want to play out of your hard drive, this game's sound is as good as you make it, all other sound effects can be customized and even removed.

    Yellow and grey don't go together!


    This game has over 10 different characters to choose from all offering a slightly different experience, and the amount of levels is as big as there are sounds, this is a game that will only get boring, when the song you are playing becomes boring.



    If you don't like music games, then there is not much for you here, but if you DO, then this is that one game that both you and I were dreaming off; Want new songs to play? download them! get them from a cd! whatever! any .mp3 file works!:thumbup:

    Unfortunately, this game is only for music fans out there, and it would not be fair for me to rate it highly simply because I like music games, a game should aim to appeal to all users, so i can only give this game a:

    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...

    : 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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    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 15:23
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    The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    Game of the Year Edition

    Developer: Bethesda Softworks
    Publisher: Bethesda Softworks/ZeniMax | 2k Games



    Here we have the fourth installment of the Elder Scrolls Saga, and probably one of the most anticipated and biggest one to date.
    The game of the year edition of Oblivion which I purchased for $59 (USD) which was a bargain compared to buying all the expansion that come with it alone.

    Ive got the 360 version but all versions should be the exact same no matter what.


    Notable Awards:
    • 2006 PC Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2006 Xbox 360 Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2006 RPG Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2006 Overall Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2007 PS3 RPG Game of the Year (Oblivion)
    • 2007 RPG Game of the Year (Shivering Isles)
    • 2007 Best DLC Xbox 360 (Shivering Isles)



    It is a First Person Role Playing Game (no thats not a joke , it pulls it off very well )



    The game is 1 player only (no multiplayer doesnt hurt this game)


    This edition comes with:
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (main game)
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Knights of the Nine (exp pak)
    • The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles (exp pak)



    You begin the game in a cell and for some reason there is a secret escape way in your cell in which the emperor of all the land comes to use it to escape assassins (mythic dawn) and for some reason he lets you come along for the ride [I dont know what crimes the original character committed beforehand but you were gonna rot in the cell until you die...]

    Anyway the emperor gets asasignatied along the way and now before his last breath he entrusts you with the Amulet of Kings to give to the next heir, you are omitted of all your crimes and set free.

    Now out of jail and can virtually go anywhere, do anything, explore, hunt, go on a killing spree, join clans, do side missions, help out people, be a thief, ect... (I spent over 110hrs just doing side missions O_O )

    The amount of customization of also very huge.
    You will be able to select your race, birth sign, as well as change how your face looks and how your stats are (each race has its own abilities choose wisely...)



    The Game Play is very smooth, no lag which is surprising for how big the outside world is (like GTA:SA)
    The FP controls also handle very well (you can also switch to third person, but its better with 1st person imo)



    The Graphics are Superb:
    I mean look at these and tell me there not...?

    if you still dont get it
    it looks amazing, especially for an RPG

    More pics can be found here:


    Audio / Sfx:

    The audio is also very good featuring a very rich classical score , that you really dont get bored off.

    Other sfx are also very well done and sound realistic from swords bouncing off a metal shield to animal noises and well as monster sounds, and voice acting, not the rinky dink acting we usually get from games that they just took people off the street walking by and paid them like $50 to do it. You can tell a lot of time and effort was put into the audio and sfx for this game.


    Replay Value:

    I dont think anyone can actually finish the game to replay, though you might be interested if you chose another race and made different choices...



    Overall this game is amazing, its huge, and just plain epic
    From every little detail, including gfx, sounds, missions, items, quests, ect...
    (I have plugged in over 180hrs and still havnt beat the main quest (I did finish one of the expansion packs, Nights of the Nine which was very good)


    • Amazing graphics
    • Excellent Voice Acting
    • Open Ended Story
    • Includes 2 Expansion paks adding 200+ hrs to game play
    • Customization
    • Miles and miles of explorable area
    • Breathtaking landscapes

    • May not be for everybody
    • A couple of the other small expansions could have been included
    • Some weird glitches tend to occur sometimes ruining the whole game (must start a new game)


    Final Score:

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