Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ace Combat 6 – Completed

This is my second take on an ace combat game, the first being the PSP version. Luckily as with most 360 games the controls for this game are great and make it playable. Something I want to get out right now is after finishing this game I was really inclined to keep playing. Now there are some achievements to be had, but honestly the game is fun!

With a great assortment of planes and weapons you can earn it seems like limitless possibilities when going into an encounter. When I finally sat and watched the briefing instead of just trying to destroy everything, well I was much better equipped to handle the battles. The battles have a decent range of air and ground combat. Though at times ground combat can prove to be fairly tedious and the SAM missiles have a tendency to hit you even when you don’t think they are close enough.

Now there is some sort of a story associated with this, I changed a setting and the cut scenes only had subtitles and no voice. Not being able to hear them I would just skip over them. I came to the conclusion they had to do with a girl and some kids. They assist you in the last mission with vital information. Outside of that I can only comment on your wing mans whining through out the game. I really wanted him to STFU, its war deal with it.

Game was a solid 8 out of 10. Fun game play, good graphics, just enough different missions to keep you playing to the end.

Kane & Lynch – Completed

There are two things I took away from this game, cussing is a corner stone and if you fail once try, try, try again. It seems the staple for the entire dialog is based on the F-word along with some other choice phrases. When it comes to the game play you will fail, often. When you fail the only thing you can do is hope for the best and keep tying, bet you can’t guess how annoying that got.

To top it off aim is annoyingly difficult until you get use to how it works and even then there are times you wonder how skilled the mercenary you are controlling is. At one instance you have to shot the window out of a moving vehicle. You have an MP5 and when you fire more then two bullets the gun raises. It occurs to me that any one with training would be able to maintain the level of control over there weapon for more then two shots. When it came to hitting a small moving object you get the pleasure of trying it many times.

Graphically the game to me almost looks like everything has a clear coat on it, gives it a nice shine. It seems to me that games over two years old were more capable of realism then this. I will admit the modeling and environments were well done and the environment reactions were actually pretty cool. Just had to shoot through the clear coat in order to get it!

The AI is pretty much useless, not to mention Lynch curses you any time you give him an order. The soldiers who fight with you will aim in a general direction and fire, but they lack any precision. Despite your teams lack of abilities the enemies have a pretty deadly aim. They included a small system to swap guns with your guys, since they never seem to run out of ammo like you it was great handing them all SAW’s and watching the hale of gun fire. This would not be a bad feature to see in other games.

Finally you are posed with a moral choice at the end of the game. Nothing to the caliber of BioShock where you hold a small child’s life in your hands. But if you so choose you can play and extra level against decent odds, that is if you were not already sick of the game and wanted to end it or move on and let your friends die. Nice thing about this choice is if you drop back to the save and choose the other path you are able to get the achievement.

Game was 5 out of 10. Guess its worth a rental if you don’t have much else to do, a good portion of the achievements are online, graphics kind of suck, and well the game play with hard aiming sucks.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Cabela’s Big Game Hunter – Completed

Oh Alas a hunting game I will honestly recommend to anyone, achievement whores or not. If you like shooting shit this is a quick and fun game for it! Its straight forward, has objectives, wants you to win the game, you can spend 6 hours on it for achievements or bust through the entire thing in an hour and a half (At least if you played through it once and know where everything is). Its not nearly as in depth or dynamic as African Safari. Its fairly simple and required some skill to get through the game. It actually has BOSS battles that are tricky! So if you like hunting games I totally recommend it, African Safari will always be number one, but this is a good second place holder to keep you form playing Trophy Bucks or Alaskan Adventures.

For me game is 6 out of 10, its short but fun and I probably would not be playing it if I had something better to do.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Solider of Fortune: Payback – Completed

The third installment of this FPS, both of its predecessors were very good games. Sad to say the same is not true for this rendition of it. The game graphically is very appealing and it functions fairly well. But sadly it does suffer some issues, first would be the game is short. If you tear through it might be 3 hours long. Secondly the AI is crazy in the game and has a tendency to spawn behind you in sections you have cleared previously. The boss battles seem to be unlike most FPS games. If your fighting a single man he should not be able to take ten 50 cal shots to his body and not perish. The one boss that was functional was in a helicopter that you had to shoot down. When fighting the final level most of the enemies have shot guns and are one shot one kill. If you do not conserve your grenades properly good luck finishing the level. The biggest glitch this game suffers is the check points that are not labeled correctly to tell you how to continue. I spent a good 30 mins online trying to find out how to blow up this concrete barrier because the game didn’t show the explosive position let alone tell me what the objective was. My only suggestion would be to tap B when facing the red check point circles. This was immensely frustrating.

Other then those things the game is fun to play. It was kind of like Conan with tearing of limbs of and the exploding heads. Your mainly fight terrorist organizations in the first few levels and finish off fighting some Germans… I think. The story is pretty thin, yet the commentary can be comical.

Gave is 6 out of 10, want decent graphics and normal shooter then it would be enjoyable. But I would add it to my list of “Play BioShock before this”.

Conan – Completed

Blood, limb chopping, and boobies is this game in a nutshell. Yet we man hunt 2 gets banned for violence. One of the achievements for this game is to dismember 500 people. This includes head and limb chopping, and even cutting someone in half. In man hunt 2 it shows you strangling someone for a brief moment, but in Conan you tear apart 10 people in a row and save a damsel who’s barely wearing underwear and welcomes your rescue with a provocative comment such as “Crush me with your love”.

But all that is besides the point, the game is a linear hack and slash with a decent plot. Through the game you get runes which allow you to upgrade new moves and chop just a little stronger with your cleaver. First thing that came to my mind was a God of War clone and its not half bad. Graphics are a touch lack luster in comparison to some games, but you get distracted by the nudity enough to not notice.

The game does bring back some epic boss battles with a new feature that I absolutely love. If the boss has 7 phases, there is a check point between each one. If you die you drop back right where you started. None of this Zelda crappy of fighting for an hour to die and have to do it all again. It does make it easier, yet honestly if I beat that part give me the credit for it, makes me no less of a gamer.

For me I did enjoy the game, however I still qualify it 6 out of 10. Not really next gen and a little repetitive. Yet I have no regrets for playing it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Clive Barkers Jericho – Completed

I was actually pretty excited to play this game until the poor reviews started coming in. Then I took a step back and decided it might be best to wait and pick it up cheaper later. Ben lent me his extra 360 for the holiday weekend since mine is out for repair. While at his house I got a glimpse of the game along with assassin’s creed. Needless to say Jericho was not even comparable to the beautiful violent game which is assassin’s creed. But since there was nothing else to rent I figured $5 would be worth my time since it is a shooter and well the guy who does “Spikes” voice for cowboy bebop is the main character.

Now the story got me right off the bat, a team built and trained to fight the paranormal (Can you say Hellboy!). Each individual has there unique psychic ability’s much like you find in BioShock or the Darkness. While playing if you find your weapon is under powered or you need a new strategy you just swap to another character and give it another go. Rarely do I feel like I have options while playing through a game and don’t have to use just brute force and hope for the best.

There are a few instances where the UI will just run head first and die in a fight. If you think it through and have a little bit of tact you can utilize them to there full potential. For instance you walk down a long tunnel and at the end these minigun monsters come out of the wood work and destroy your team. But if you tell your team to hold up before the tunnel and run up solo to trigger the event and lead them back the run into a hail of gun fire. By the end of the game I begin to appreciate the squad elements of the game.

One final thing that Ben complained about and I almost have to give praise to, the button mashing sequences. In Jericho when you have to press X is shows on the left side of the screen in the middle and for B it would flash mirrored on the other side of the screen. This made the sequences much easier as you did not need to do as much label or color association as you do in other games. You can easily just judge from the position of the flashing button.

Your welcome to disagree with me, yet I feel this game is an 8 out of 10. Its not BioShock, but I would play it again before halo3 or the darkness.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Cabela’s Trophy Bucks – Completed

After playing African safari I had fairly high hopes for all the other hunting games that would find there way to 360. Then Alaskan adventures doused my hopes and this game helped very little to change my mind. I am not going to go into a lot of detail because hunting games all have the same premise. Just how it is delivered, Alaskan adventures was confusing and got frustrating. Trophy bucks is very straight forward as to what you need to hunt. But lacks completely on letting you know how you should hunt. Case in point, there is a turkey shooting level. I was unable to get better then a bronze medal because the turkeys become like Sherman tanks once you fire a single shot. I literally had to run up and put the gun to the back of there head to kill them. Please anyone show me turkeys that can with stand a 12 gauge from 20 feet let alone 5.

Another issue I found was with the achievements, if you don’t do them right away there is absolutely no way to go back and work on hunts you failed. This is flawed in my opinion, if a person wants to practice or work on particular hunts they do not have the options.

The game is defiantly 4 out of 10. Some decent achievements that are not terribly hard to get. Expect some stress if you want to 1k it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Area 51 – Completed

Time to shoot some aliens and the added bonus, David Duchovny narrates the entire game! The plot is fairly simple, your going to Area 51 to contain an outbreak of some sorts. What ever had been released is turning normal humans into super solider zombies with bad aim and a blood lust.

At first it seems like a squad based shooter and you have little to no interaction with your team mates other then they randomly shoot enemies. Then of course the plot twist kills them all off, luckily its fast enough that you don’t develop an emotional attachment. As the game moves on your character gets infected and has essentially the ability to turn the mutant powers on and off. The mutant powers are fueled by killing, the more you kill the longer the meter stays full. This is a nice feature, yet I found I would barely use it other then to identify invisible enemies or to slow time down if there was an excess of enemies.

The weapons are nothing to get overly excited about. There is one rifle that has regenerating ammo (an energy weapon). When games have this it’s almost a sense of relief because you constantly don’t have to worry about ammo consumption because you always have a backup.

The game for me was 7 out of 10. Some portions felt a little glitchy, but the story was tolerable and the game play was decent.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Starship Troopers – Completed

This is not really a new game, I just finally got around to getting it and playing it. Being a fan of the movie finding out there was a game really sparked my interest. The nature of the gaming being you get to annihilate numerous amounts of bugs. The game does seem to be true to the story of the movie, including propaganda that includes excerpts from the movie.

First thing I noticed was it ran fairly choppy, being as my machine can run HL2 smooth as slick this annoyed me. After setting all the graphics to low and getting through the first level the game leveled out and was much more playable. Strangely enough I found that it even looked better with the graphics turned down. Also the graphical settings did not affect the look and feel of fighting the bugs. That is if you don’t mind graphics slightly superior to Quake 3.

There is a great weapon selection, everything from a rifle that never runs out of ammo to a nuke launcher. Sadly the nuke launcher was not mobile or used more then once, something about carrying around a WMD gets me all giggly. Ammo is fairly abundant and due to the infinite supply to the base rifle I never felt John McLane’s two bullet frustration. On the final boss I was reduced to using the base rifle since all my rounds were expended getting to him. It was probably the one instance in the game where they did not supply you at all.

If you have an older PC and liked the movie, give the game a try. If you’re more cutting edge graphics then you won’t find it that enjoyable.

I give it 6 out of 10.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Half life 2 Episode 2 – Completed

At first I did what I could to boycott this game, yet with my 360 out of commission I found I had little to do. Evidently the mass amounts of games and consoles I own could not feed my lust. I broke down and purchased orange box. The new episode was not mind blowing or revolutionary, it was just 4 hours of game play continuing on what we already know. This took them quite sometime to release. I contribute the expenditure of time to marketing and making money. They could lump in portal and TF2 to try and milk us for out money. Then they completely over price the episode, letting the players know they would just be completely stupid for buying any of the individual pieces to save money. Now with your purchase you get a cope of Half life 2 and Episode 1. You can gift these to people for them to play since you purchased them a long time ago and valve wants you to feel like your getting your moneys worth since your just buying two games you already bought. Mine went to a guy in our QA lab, he had never played Half life or Half life 2. Upon reception of the game I felt good about the excitement he felt. Though while waiting for episode 3 I am sure he will curse my name.

Portal – Completed

A new device that could change the face of gaming, yea right go look up “grappling hook” that piece of equipment worked much better when programmers allowed you to use it. Don’t get me wrong portal was cute and entertaining, I still crave cake after playing it. Yet it just seems like a gimmick, now had they let me play through Half life 2 with the device, I probably would have wet myself. But alas you get to listen to the computer which is really intent on ending your existence. The whole game became worth while as I loaded the portal song to my phone as a ring tone. Took me about two hours to beat the normal levels and an hour for the advanced ones.

I have said this before and I do not really enjoy repeating myself, but don’t buy this go buy BioShock. Seriously not worth the cash unless you have never played or do not own Half life 2. Also TF2 is just TF1 with new graphics, I don’t attract to shiny things like most I guess.

brooklyn naval shipyard