Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Guitar Hero: Rock the 80's – Completed

Now I only finished the game on easy, in all honesty I think after playing the first two guitar heroes easy gives you a good idea of the game as a whole. The problem with this version is I lived through the 80’s and my father being a music lover exposed me to a lot of what was popular at the time. After playing the first 20 songs not many stuck out in my head as songs I liked from that time. Nicole who is an avid fan of 80’s music was also disappointed in the selection. This is probably an instance of “what could have been” rather then something I would recommend to my friends. One neat little change is all the characters from GH 1 are in the game but with different clothing, helping them fit the genre.

If you’re a guitar hero fan and have grown leery of the songs in I and II, then pick up this version and jam away. You should easily enjoy yourself. I honestly don’t feel right giving this game a score is it is only held back by music selection. If you were waiting for something to push you over the edge into buying GH go get GH I or II. Only pick this up once you have over played the rest.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Pokemon Pearl – Completed

After beating the three GBA versions of Pokemon the next installment really seemed no different. If you’re a fan of course you’re going to love it and play it. If you’re new the genre well I would say give it a go, the mechanics and play of the game has been going strong for years for a reason.

The new interface using the DS is fairly nice and allowed me to battle just using the touch screen. The buttons are made large enough for my fingers to easily access the option I want. Also included for the DS version is your poke watch thing. I really don’t remember the name and I am kind of proud of that. But this watch rests on your button screen and has multiple applications that you collect while playing the game. Some of these are very used full, while others I never even figured out what they did. The concept is sound and gives the trainers that much more to play with.

After beating the elite four and the champion I was compelled to continue playing the game. In order to get the national pokedex you have to see ever create available in this region. This may seem like a tedious task as it turns out it was pretty easy. The programmed it so if you fight every trainer available you will view all of the pokemon in the game. Myself powering through the game missed many of those trainers and had to retrace my steps in order to finish off my pokedex. I would suggest taking your time and beating what ever trainers you find, in the long run the XP is really good for your primary pokemon.

I give this installment of pokemon 9 out of 10. An easy 30 hours of game play that is enjoyable and rarely frustrates.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Land of the Dead: Road to Fiddlers Green – Completed

There tends to not be many FPS’s for the zombie genre, this could be because most people might find the sluggish nature of zombies mundane. This game however nailed making the zombies a threat. When sitting in a farm house feeling safe and sound, then suddenly the door cracks in half and five zombies are chomping at the bit its compelling. The zombies come at you focused, steady, and in numbers. The threat feels real and the fact that a single .22 to the head barely slows them down make it that much more intense.

Sadly what you have just read is probably the only great part of the game. On occasion I will run across a FPS that makes me sick, as in motion sickness. I have come to the conclusion that the one in fifty games that does this to me is due to poor use of the graphics engine. Nothing in particular stands out about the graphics that made me ill, but the entire six hours it took me to play it I would barely last half an hour. This was after much tweaking of the graphics only to find settings that affected me to a lesser extent. The sound was equally as daunting, the music alone was enough to give you a headache. I don’t think any gamer wants to plan on taking two Motrin just to play a game that really is not that great to begin with. Finally the controls and guns were not too bad, I did think that most of the weapons felt under powered against our rotted enemies. Also the fact that shooting a zombie with a shotgun in the legs did more damage then a direct shot to the face, someone should really explain the mechanics of this to me.

The game for me was 4 out of 10, this includes my love for the zombie genre so you can only assume how bad it was to play. Six hours would be too little for most FPS’s, but for this it was just too much.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Call of Juarez – Completed

I got this game on a whim because I saw it was coming out for the 360 (which sparked my interest), yet I was already released for the PC. There has not been a good western FPS in a very long time, thinking back Lucas Arts outlaw was the last great western I remember (I don’t count gun, not FPS).

The story centers on the events following the death of a teenage boy’s mother and step father. The boys step father has a brother who happens to be the town preacher attempting to atone for his sins. In light of his brothers death he swears vengeance on the boy blaming him for the murders. The story as it unfolds was actually quite entertaining and lead things along to where you wanted to know what would happen next. The key to the game is that both the boy and the preacher are played. Once completing a level with the boy you switch to the preacher and chase the boy through the level. This may seem a little repetitive, however both characters play completely different. While playing the boy its very MGSish, sneaking around and hiding in shadows. But the preacher is balls to the wall action, with his armor plate chest piece and duals revolvers he becomes a force to be reckoned with. He also has the ability to focus when shooting, slowing the fight down as your cross hairs slowly pass across the screen allowing you to tag multiple enemies. The concept is not much different then adrenaline in Cabalas African Safari.

The game did only take me around 8 hours to beat and felt a little short. Yet I hope that anyone who ever decides to make an Indian Jones game plays this and programs the whip and guns in the same fashion, because that would be one hell of a game.

I give them game 8 out of 10, the graphics were good but sluggish if set to high and I think my machine should be adequate. It could have been a touch longer, otherwise the game was on par for story, game play, controls, and keeping me entertained.

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