Sunday, December 23, 2007

Call of Duty 4 – Completed

How is it a World War II based FPS can storm the market with something new and unique? There answer is COD4, from what I can tell much of the population agrees. To a few this would be the new substitution for counter-strike. But one can only wait to see if it stands the test of time.

The game has normal terrorist plot with more immersion then you would generally expect. After the first level there is a cut scene that allows you to move your head around and nothing else, ending with your execution. At first this disturbed me a touch, yet when I realized this is how the game was making connect it made much more sense. You understand the capacity of evil the people you are hunting are capable of. After which you really tune into stopping them.

I have one major complaint about the controls and that is the run button. By pressing the left stick forward and down you would run. Sounds simple enough yet any slight deviation and it seemed to click off. In the hours I attempted to get through the training course in 20 seconds I found that not being able to control when and how I ran was my downfall. It was fairly frustrating, luckily it is not required use in the normal single player campaign.

The game is 9 out of 10. Honestly it was not really long, yet pretty enjoyable. Veteran difficulty seems nearly impossible and would definitely kill the majority of the enjoyment you would get from the game.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tony Hawks American Wasteland - Completed

Since THPS3 came out I have had a positive disposition towards skate boarding games. Personally I really do think I suck at the games, but after playing American wasteland I felt the training it gives you a better grasp on how to control your skater. This is in some essence a role playing game. Has a decent story line and even invokes small amounts of emotion. Pretty odd for a skating game don’t you think?

The levels are diverse and put together fairly well. I did find in that in classic mode some of the objectives were explain so vaguely that is seemed impossible to complete them. This was more common in the flip over object objectives. It shows the object and tells you the trick, yet seems that you need to be in the perfect spot in order to correctly execute the move and get credit for it. I was unable to completed classic mode 100% due to this issue. For sometime I did have troubles with the high score and combo portions of the game. I found if you switch to your feet and start flipping it adds to the multiplier and you can jump right back on to a rail and continue gaining points. At this point I was easily able to finish off all the scoring modes with little issue.

For me the game was 8 out of 10. I really did enjoy it, the story mode is not so rigorous to drive you off and the controls were mapped very well. After playing Tenchu it was great to have so many different environments to be involved in.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Rayman Raving Rabbits - Completed

After playing this on the Wii I was pretty reluctant to try on the 360. The Wii control scheme was not very stable and I assumed that it was the programming not the input. But strangely enough on a regular controller the game is made unbelievable easier. No more concern about moving your left hand too late with the Wii mote, since you just use the left and right buttons on the 360 controller. Having the ability to make a steady rotation and throw the cow farther then I was ever able to on the Wii. Now don’t get me wrong this game is still kind of crap. A boat load of mini games and somewhat fun FPS sequences, yet still seems to be lacking content. There does not seem to be and pure party mode to allow you and four friends to wreck havoc when drunk. The single player includes one game that’s the same for all 15 level and you end up repeating the majority of the games with increased difficulty. Which bring me to the point of the door closing game, if I find the man responsible for that game so help me I shall slam a door in his face repeatedly!

For me the game was really 5 out of 10. Nothing new and improved about it, mini games from Mario party were more engaging. The only real fun part was shooting stuff with plungers, everything else seemed like work.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rainbow Six: Vegas – Completed

This was a pretty decent squad based shooter. There were points in which I wanted to throw something at the TV, yet it was much more playable the solider of fortune. The story is solid and the environments are wonderful, add in the balanced well done controls and it’s easy to understand the positive reviews on this game.

To me there is not a whole lot to say about it, if you have played Rainbow Six or Ghost recon in the past you already have a good idea of the game play. The biggest difference would be an update in graphics and AI. Both of those aspects hit home this latest installment. I do recommend giving it a try. Fair warning if you us the Camera to make your own character, mine came out bald! Anyone who knows me is well aware that is not the case!

Easy 8 out of 10, playable, looks good, solid plot. Does leave you hanging in the end and seems nearly impossible to get into a multiplayer game.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tenchu Z - Completed

Ben played this and seemed to enjoy it, when I ran out of other things to rent I thought I would give it a go. The premise is fairly simple, you’re a ninja and need to kill people or steal items. Think of a PSX version of assassin creed, which would be a fairly good interpretation of the game. Graphically the game is nothing stellar, and the environments at first are in-depth and intriguing. Then you realize that they reuse the same ones over and over, making the game extremely repetitive.

Not being much for sneaking games I assumed that I would lose interest quickly. Strangely enough I started to enjoy it more and more, not to the point where Ill go play Splinter cell or Metal gear. But for one of the first times in gaming I felt the basis for sneaking around was done very well. This could also have something to do with the environments allowing you to take many different approaches to each situation. If you die you know there is multitude of other possibilities to successfully navigate the level. The other dynamic of sneaking was how to kill. If someone spotted you the battle would ensue mimicking street fighter. But if you were able to sneak on them it would allow a single button kill.

For me the game was 6 out of 10. Though I did enjoy it, the biggest fault was the scoring system. In my opinion if I can make it in and out of the level with the single kill of my target and not alerting anyone. That should be a high level ninja ranking. But its not, you get so many points for kills and how you kill. Being extremely stealthy does not earn you points, but getting spotted detracts points. Not a balanced system in my eyes.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Blazing Angels – Completed

This game was one of the first few I got for my 360. It suffers pretty seriously from a lack of direction. When on a mission you have only an incline as to what to do and hope the objective is clear. In one mission you need to destroy and airport, meanwhile your bombers are constantly crying for help. So you go and shoot down the planes chasing them only to fail the mission. When all along the only thing you needed to do was destroy the anti-air units on the ground. Also some of the mission require you to fly canyons or low and on a path, then they give you a time limit. This resulted in my plane being pasted many times into walls and the ground, it also almost resulted in a controller going through the TV.

Each mission preselects your plane and payload, this gives you little room to strategize. You do not have the option of missiles vs. bombs (getting the idea you should play ace combat 6 instead?) making some ground attack stages incredibly hard when a simple payload of bombs would allow you to do your job with little difficulty. The missiles are not homing (it is World War II) in essence they are pretty useless.

The game for me is 5 out of 10, graphics are not bad, controls kind of suck, story is World War II so nothing new there, and the achievements are out of this world difficult to get. After a good 5 hours of game play I got a single achievement and was at least two hours away form a second one.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Quake 4 – Completed

Now I have played through this once before on PC. Ben had it and I figured I could get some achievements from it. Low and behold this is probably the second FPS on 360 that I would recommend to anyone who asks. Its about eight to nine hours long, that seems to be double the normal for shooters on the 360, has a great story and helps you connect with the characters. There never seems to be a dull moment and of course the great quake weapon selection (BFG anyone).

Seeing as this game came out near the launch of the 360 you would not expect the graphically comparable to other games (but then you realize there’s crap like Kane and Lynch) but in my opinion it is. The human models in this game are second only to half life 2 in my eyes. The game also sports a simple and effective control system. Did I mention the lovely quake weapons?

The game is 9 out of 10 for me. It wasn’t over in 3 hours, has great controls, good graphics, and even though most of the achievements are multiplayer they few you can get make for some interesting game play.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Time Shift – Completed

Mike T rented this before I got a chance and was generally disappointed. When I went to play it my expectations were not that high. With that mind set I think it allowed me to enjoy the game more. An FPS that gives you the ability to control time in small increments, such as rewinding time, pausing time, and slow motion. The time allotted is based on which one you use, for instance pausing time using more power then putting people into slow motion. Occasionally it will force on type on you for the detected environment. Other times it will allow you to use any at your will. When it does choose it’s usually for a good reason, an example would be getting hit by a sticky grenade. The suit automatically knows to reverse time and let you get out of the way. There are other times when being bombarded by missiles you have to control it manually to effectively dodge attacks. Using the manual control was less then ideal and I think they could have found a better way to do it.

The story is a little thin for my tastes, they give you little to grasp when it comes to the evil power you are fighting. Near the end you actually figure out why you are fighting and in my opinion would have been much more motivating had they told you in the beginning. But then again they may not have cut scenes that way and really a game is only as good as its cut scenes… isn’t it?

Now the absolute best thing about the game is pausing time and walking up to a bad guy. You can then take is weapon and restore time. He is completely dumb founded and starts to cower and of course to can proceed to shoot him or beat him to death. The bewilderment alone made me crack up every time.

Game for me was 6 out of 10. Really only few hours long and most of the achievements are multiplayer. When are developers going to realize that multiplayer achievements only for people to boost stats with there friends, because the majority of the time after a month no one is playing the game. Do they really think they have created the next counter strike?

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