Sunday, June 10, 2007

Shrek the Third – Completed

This game severed a single purpose. To allow me to finally catch up to Mile T in gamer score (it officially brought me to 10k). This also should my 360 exclusivity kick and allow me to play some of the 30 ps2 games I have yet to touch.

Being as I really enjoy Shrek movies playing the game sounded like it could be enjoyable. It is a basic plat former that you lets you play multiple characters from the story and follow a plot that loosely fits into the movie. It does not follow so closely that you know what will happen on every turn, but it does follow it enough for you not to say everything is completely wrong.

The controls like most 360 games are very well done and easy to learn and use. Graphically it is on par with the movie with some subtle adjustments that should be expected in a video game. I really don’t have much to say about this other then it was fun, I did enjoy replaying some of the levels for achievements and I think anyone who enjoys the movies would like the game. Who wouldn’t want to do flying kicks with sleeping beauty!

Game is 8 out of 10, good graphics, fun game playing, defiantly something the younger crowd would enjoy. My only qualm with the game is not being able to skip all of the cut scenes, when replying levels it got to be annoying.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Prey – Completed

Ever wonder what would happen if Turok and Quake had conceived a child? Well the answer is here and it is called Prey. You’re an American Indian (Cherokee to be exact) trying to pull yourself away from the reservation but the woman you love believes in the tribe and all there followings, so she wont leave. That’s right about where the majority of the unique plot ends (if you call it unique) and the story spirals into aliens have come to harvest us for food (Killer Klowns anyone?). Now that I have spoiled the entire plot for you we can talk about game play.

Once abducted you start to find some miscellaneous alien weapons, but always have your trusty wrench (I wanted my crowbar dammit). The nice thing about these weapons is they never require reloading. If you have ammo you can fire continuously until it runs out. You have your basic machine gun, rocket launcher, alien grenades, and then you find a special gun. Its not all that powerful to change the game balance, yet the concept is really fun. It fires like a shotgun liquid acid, and burns the victim like a DOT. The acid is bright green and leaves a distinct mark on your enemy, this gun is very useful for tagging something in the dark (almost piantballish). All the weapons seem to have there advantages and work really well in the correct conditions. To me the weaponry was well planned and developed.

The game introduces something I have not seen before which they call spirit mode. This allows you to leave your body and move to certain areas of the game which you cannot reach on this plane of existence. While in spirit mode you have your Cherokee bow that can kill living things and is fueled by there souls. If your mortal body dies in the game you are transferred to the spirit world and if you fight off the evil spirits long enough you can be transferred back to the living. Essential I was not able to find a way to die in the game, even jumping off cliff sent you to the spirit world. You can only assume this made the game pretty easy, but when you are resurrected you do not have any extra ammo. It may come to the point if your really bad at the game you will have to fight some fairly large monsters with your wrench.

The environments in the game cannot go unnoticed. The giant doors and monster holes gained most of the attention from the outside world, this was due to the visual aspects. Some of the doors are round and look like a rectum, which I have affectionately named sphincdoors (get it ha-ha) and then some of the monster doors look like the female reproductive organ. At first you giggle and it throw you a little bit, by the end of the game you wonder what kind of perverted developers work there.

The game is 8 out of 10. This is probably the smoothest normally controlled FPS I have played on a console. Though it took around 6 hours to beat, that seems pretty short.

Friday, June 08, 2007

X-men 3 – Completed

I tend to be fairly critical of super hero games when they are plat formers. It seems to take away the true capabilities of the hero. But in this version of X-men I was amazed to see how well it was done.

There are three characters played through the game: wolverine, Iceman, and Night crawler. Unlike sonic you have to play all the characters in order to continue through the game. This kept the game from feeling repetitive while not spreading the story to thin. Also when completing levels you get mutant genes that upgrade your characters powers in five or so categories. These upgrades made the levels easier when playing in the harder modes.

Wolverine’s levels are pretty normal hack and slashing, though I found out quickly that I was putting my upgrades in the wrong areas. This made some of the levels seems fairly impossible and when I start to upgrade the correct areas the game flattened out and became playable. Until that point it did become slightly frustrating.

Iceman’s levels were fun because the game play was almost that of a shooter. Your constantly sliding on a ice wave firing off hail and ice beams. Some levels have you racing through tunnels and brings back fond memories of Luke on a speeder bike racing around trees with lasers flying about. In general Iceman was fun to play the only difficulty was trying to find the side items in each level, since his levels were fairly large or ran through at high speeds it was difficult to spot things.

Night crawler was by far the most enjoyable portion of the game. Teleporting from here to there and when it comes to fighting you got to use a single button to teleport behind your enemy and punch them repeatedly. Imagine the first scene from X-men 2 where he is jumping through the white house, and that is exactly how the game play feels. The control of teleport along with the ease of use was done so well I was quite amazed. My hopes are for a sandbox X-men game with him as a playable character!

The game was 7 out of 10, good graphics and controls. But it was very short taking less then a day for me to beat and get all of the achievements.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Cabela's African Safari - Completed

Few years back when I only played FPS on PC and ignored all other gaming venues, I found a hunting game that sounded like fun. That game was Carnivores. It was a dinosaur hunting game that made me enjoy stalking around and firing a single bullet to eliminate my prey. When Mike T suggested that I check this game out not only for the achievements but because it was genuinely fun, I thought I would give it a go.

Let me tell you this game is enjoyable, stress free, frustration free, and well you get to shoot stuff with large guns that actually exist. The game consists of four basic types of hunts, Bird shooting, Heard hunting, Tracking, and just walk out and shoot the animal. The bird hunting would be what you expect from a 3d version of duck hunt, other then your dog is not laughing when you miss the bird. Heard hunting was shooting fish in a barrel, some forty odd animals run by and you have to pick the biggest ones off while in a moving jeep or just shoot randomly into them until you get your quota. Tracking was the only portion that could be frustrating as you have to look for these certain spots that have tracks on them. My first tracking mission took me three tries to figure out that I had to follow there bread crumb trail before my objective would even appear. Once I understood the process these hunts were not as bad.

The last hunting type where you go out and shoot them was by far the most fun. Stalking your prey avoiding predators and waiting to make that perfect shot, and when you hear the crack of your rifle and see that with a single bullet you bagged a rhino, well it was rewarding. Now I am not a real life hunter nor could I ever be the concept of hunting living things for sport almost sickens me. But when it’s virtual and nothing that breathes is harmed in the process I am all for it. Now while doing these hunts you’re not allowed to shoot anything but your intended target. So when that cheetah comes running after you what can you possibly do? Your adrenalin kicks in and you whip your pistol out and try to take it down. Since this cannot always be avoided the game does not penalize you for it. Plus it gives you a nice little rush when you see an elephant thundering towards you and fall before your feet.

Now the one thing I found that I was surprised to appreciate as much as I did was the sound. The sound was very realistic when walking on the ground and even in the water. The faint rustling when walking through bushes gave the game some realism. When game gives you some idea that your actually there in the area depicted someone somewhere was really doing there job.

The game for me as far as hunting games go was 9 out of 10. The controls work, the graphics are good and the game is over all just fun.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sonic the Hedge Hog - Completed

Again with me and my silly achievements, which by the way this games was no easy to give up. Jenna was kind enough to loan me this game and for warned me that it was hard and frustrating. Armed with this idea I went ahead and loaded the game up and had at it.

First and foremost issue with this game is controlling sonic. The jumping and running is easy enough, but when moving very fast it’s like a drag car on skis and does not appear to have any really stability. This forces you to run into walls and bonk sonic on the head. If this were not bad enough half of the game while playing sonic is jumping puzzles (read my Futurama review to understand how I loathe jumping puzzles) and the other half of the game is homing attacks. This gives the game an extremely repetitive feel.

After pushing myself to beat the game with sonic I moved on to silver and shadow. To be honest both of these characters were quite fun to play, if they had not been I would not have walked away with what little achievements I did. If you are a huge sonic fan then I suggest playing sonic to the second level where you fight and beat silver. Once unlocked start his game and play through and the experience could actually bring you some pleasure. While playing silver you can unlock shadow and play him through also.

To complete the entire game you will need to finish sonic along with the two others. This unlocks the fourth story mode that has you play each of the characters (including side characters tales, knuckles, etc). The levels are frustrating and the final boss is fairly easy, but it has to be done if you want to “Officially” beat the game (plus its some extra achievement points).

The game for me is 4 out of 10. For the most part the story, controls, and graphics are sub par. The game honestly is not worth the achievements I got from it.

brooklyn naval shipyard