Xbox Live Arcade, one of the cornerstones of Microsoft's power hungry juggernaut that is the X360 has produced some great games. While some games are older games brought back, there are some totally new and fun games. One of those games is Castle Crashers made by those at newgrounds.com and also the makers of Alien Hominid. With side scrollers being something they find fun, can they make a damn good one that also isn't boring or just overall stupid? Let's see...
Enough to get by, the base storyline will interest you but isn't quite... amazing. The story
The graphics are beautiful in this game. Absolutely the most gorgeous graphics I've seen since Crysis. FarCry2's graphics aren't quite to par with Crysis, but they're certainly second best. Even with the gorgeous graphics, those of us who can't quite run it on full will not be disappointed.
As I mentioned above in the Story section, Sickness is ever present in this game. Another constantly present and absolutely original detail of the gameplay is gun degradation. Due to the setting, and the poor conditions you're in, it's very uncommon to find a firearm in good condition. Because of this, the guns that you find will begin to break with use. This causes them to jam, and while you can still use the weapon, it's incredibly irritating and will surely cause you to stop using the weapon. Throughout this game you will come to love the flamethrower.
One of the most noticeable achievements for this game is it's AI. It's absolutely fantastic. Enemies react as they should, and have even been programmed to use the fire-propogation system against you. AI is never without it's quirks though. Many times I killed one enemy, to have one directly beside it not budge. This isn't quite right, but excusable. I've also shot quite a few enemies to have them simply stand still! That, isn't excusable. While the AI is truly a success, despite it's few quirks and issues, the enemies themselves are not. There is a very limited amount of enemy-types. In an open-world game most expect to see many many enemy models and varieties. This is not so here. It's not a major issue, but noticeable.
The sounds are high-quality, and the music is fitting and discrete. I found no problems with the sound, and have nothing but good to say about the excellent sound-design.
While in the late 90s to the mid 2000s Tony Hawk Pro Skater was the number 1 in X games styled sports games. While the THPS franchise has come to a bit of a grinding halt due to lower interest in the games and what they present another game has tried this market. With X game games getting more and more out of the main stream loop it is trying to rally around it’s big bad centerpiece in the flying tomato himself, Shaun White. He is presenting an open world game for you X gamers out there in Shaun White Snowboarding. Can Shaun White pick up on where Tony Hawk and Matt Hoffman left off? Let’s see in the review for Shaun White Snowboarding.
The story here is simple which is nice. You are your created character and Shaun White is here to help you up to the pedestal. You start out in Park City and can travel to Europe, Japan and Alaska. He helps you along the way also giving you help with his chopper pilot to take you to the top of the mountain. The story isn’t what the game is really trying to get you hooked with it is just a simple story that gives you a sense of purpose and sense of necessity. Your story is to medal enough to get into the finals at each of the 4 parks you go to. You also collect Euro’s and money to buy new clothes, boards etc. The story is not bad, but not really what this game was built around.
Here is where SWSB really needs to make the mark and it delivers fairly well. The snowboarding is flowing and realistic. It is helped by being in a snowboarding environment where gravity is an asset not a liability like what THPS had to fight from game to game. The challenges have a degree of difficulty mark so you can get better with easier challenges before you try the more difficult tasks. The tasks themselves are fun and enduring as well. It is a smooth running game with very few problems in gameplay. The only gripe is some of the harder challenges are really really difficult and make you work real hard for them, but that is the point isn’t it?
SWSB is a game that gives just some real fun. You’ll find yourself not even trying challenges and instead just flying down the mountain as fast as you can and doing some psychotic as hell jumps in the process. The gameplay is realistic yet still has a great fun factor. You can do stupid things like hitting people with snowballs on and off your board and you can do this in order to win races too. SWSB is a solid game that gives the player a lot to look forward to and a lot to accomplish and performs well in the wake of a lower interest in X games materials.
The graphics are really solid and realistic. The mountains and areas are breathtakingly real. It is a soothing feeling with just going down the mountain and checking out the scenery. While THPS relied on slap stick humor and a long somewhat awkward storyline and Skate is good looking but lacking in the gameplay department, SWSB really hits a good 50/50 with gameplay and graphics. While the gameplay is solid as stated above the graphics are just as great if not better. Your character is good looking and solid and the environment is wonderful and intriguing. When you jump from a high part of the mountain and over a large gap, you really get a hell of a rush and feel like your there. The races are tough but the graphics engine helps keep races and other tasks realistic but still fun. The graphics are the real bad boy of this game and keep it up there on the scale.
One of the better soundtracks in games, it ranges from Jefferson Airplane to Blue Oyster Cult and it was handpicked by Shaun White himself for the most part. The snowboard makes great sounds weather grinding or riding normally. When your getting air you can hear the air flow and it again keeps some strong realism within the game. SWSB is a game built around strong gameplay and great graphics and the sound is one of those nice little additions for players to keep a fun and enjoyable experience when playing.
The replay is relatively high here especially with the online. The online is a drop in drop out style and can be accessed from in the game on the spot with the diagonal buttons. The game itself is an extensive single player campaign and will keep your interest for a good amount of time and when adding that to your online play it is a sweet combo for those of us craving some X sports games which we haven’t had in a short time. SWSB offers players a worthwhile game with good replay value for friends and for random racing.
Shaun White Snow Boarding gives a lot and isn’t getting some of the accolades it deserves. It is better than Skate and the most recent Tony Hawk Pro Skater and probably better than Skate 2 as well. SWSB gives a fun game with lots to do and without a fake feel to it. Gamers will get into it and enjoy the online playability as well as the challenges you encounter. Customizing your own boarder is a plus and making it into the same RPG like thing of the first THUG it changes and reinvigorates the snowboarding game genre. While I won’t expect there to be many snowboarding games to be made this stands out among the off styled sports games that EA constantly pumps out each year. This game is enjoyable and keeps you into it. From the lengthy solo game to the fun multiplayer there is a lot to get into here. The graphics are wonderful and the gameplay is solid and adequate for the X360 as well as the PS3. This is one of the better X games out there in the last few years and is better than it’s older brother in Tony Hawk. This is something to fill in that gap between games and to get some fun with friend’s out of as well.
Several years ago during the Xbox/PS2 days I walked into a Toys R’ Us and played a demo of Need For Speed Underground. I fell in love with the slick visuals, blinding speed and car customization. This was back before they re-added the cop chases and opted for cheesy over the top stories with equally cheesy FMV sequences. As far as I’m concerned the ultimate culmination of the current franchise is still NFS: Most Wanted. After the dismal NFS: Pro Street EA’s Black Box studio goes back to the ground work that was laid by Most Wanted and finds a way to cock it up with Need For Speed: Undercover.
Normally, I don't exceptionally like Tower Defense games. However, after playing Defense Grid: The Awakening, my entire perspective changed. First of all, it's not a flash game--which is a first for me. In addition, it's 3D. That means that instead of just winding passageways, there can also be vertical advancements, so that enemies can go under platforms to get to the cores, and you have a much longer time to prepare.
All of this added together makes one awesome game. I wouldn't be surprised if they continue making such quality games and become the next big game developers. Though it is rather fun, it's insanely difficult. This obviously deterrs players that simply want a fun game that doesn't require a lot of thinking. Such a game gets an eight out of a possible ten.
With 2008 coming to a close the companies give one final push for games to possibly gain the Game of the Year award. While Ubisoft has had some good releases in 2008, but their big bread winner was released this December in Prince of Persia. The series has had it's ups and downs with the release of Prince of Persia being a hit on the PS2, Xbox as well as the Gamecube, but the next few releases being seen as disasters or not measuring up to the par of the original. With everyone shuffling to put out their end of the year games we can only hope for the best and maybe it is right here in Prince of Persia.
You are the nameless Prince who is cast into this because of a sandstorm and a missing donkey. You fall into a cavern and right after are nearly hit by a young girl jumping in right after you had. You catch her and decide to fallow her even though she tells you otherwise. Her name is Elika and she is the apparent princess of the Ahura who guard the Tree of Life which holds Ahriman, the god of Darkness. The reason for Ahriman being imprisoned is due to the Celestial War in which Ormazd the god of light and Ahriman’s brother, was forced into war with Ahriman and forced to imprison him in the Tree of Light. Before I continue I want to do a quick character rundown:
The Prince: it is only a nickname, he is a drifter in search of fortune and a solitary person. He lost his family at a young age and vowed to not get close to anyone again. He lives with a live this moment vigor and worries not of the past or future only the present.
Elika: A princess of the peoples known as the Ahura who are the guardians of Ahriman’s prison. She is forced into this struggle apparently due to her people losing faith as well as her father’s poor decisions.
The King: He is the leader of the Ahuraand has currently retreated from his duties in order to mourn the loss of his wife. The king neglected his people and allowed the City of Light to slip into decay and the last vestige of his people to wonder off and abandon the Ahura ways.
Ormazd the god of Light: he is not part of the game, but you feel him through Elika is some way. Ormazd fled the world and left for the stars after seeing the consequences of his reluctance to act properly.
Ahriman the god of Darkness: the creator of what darkness is. He was the first to know the feelings of envy and hatred and was not content with only half the universe. Ormazd tricked him into the Tree of Light when Ahriman had the war won thus ending Ahrimans quest for power…for now.
The Hunter: A former Prince who grew up with riches and indulgence. He got everything he wanted and more. Of everything though he loved the sport of hunting. He tracked and found every type of animal he could using the best advisors he was given. He then gave his soul to Ahriman for the ability to hunt the ultimate prize… man.
The Alchemist: A smart and brilliant man who worked and studied within the City of Light. After achieving many successes he sought the secrets of the universe, and as he sought these findings his health began to fail him. He turned and looked for assistance from Ormazd, he feel on deaf ears though. So he turned to someone else…Ahriman.
The Concubine: A beautiful woman who was adept at navigating politics. The Concubine knew the real power rested in men not in intellect. She used her beauty to manipulate powerful men. With this came jealously from other women and when she was involved with a man of great power another woman had her beaten and scarred thus relieving her of her power. Left without a way to gain favor she turned to Ahriman.
The Warrior: A king of a peaceful people his kingdom was besieged by war on all fronts. As his people faced destruction Ahriman called offering salvation for them in return for his soul. He accepted this in order to save his people and was given the strength to destroy all his peoples enemies. After he defeated his enemies he realized he couldn’t return to his people and left to fulfill his purpose for Ahriman.
These are the major characters throughout the game. From here you must free all of the fertile grounds in order to reseal Ahriman into his tomb. Each of the 4 chosen Corrupted (Hunter, Concubine, Alchemist, Warrior) control a part of the fertile grounds and each have a stronghold which you must destroy. Each of the chosen control 6 fertile grounds including their stronghold and you must heal the 5 they control in order to take them on in their sanctuary. Throughout the game you must collect Light Seeds which enable you to gain the 4 powers of Ormazd. You can get The Step of Ormazd (Rebound), The Breath of Ormazd (Dash), The Wings of Ormazd (Fly), and The Hand of Ormazd (Grapple). With these 4 powers you will be able to get to the fertile grounds that are being guarded by the chosen Corrupted.
The gameplay is very solid. It brings back the entire wall climbing acrobatic craziness that Prince of Persia is most renowned for. Everything is quick paced yet basic and simple to master which gives you a better curve of learning and better feel when you get used to it. What I’m saying is that the game flows beautifully and even the most uncoordinated schmuck could learn these controls. The real addition here is Elika. Her powers of light as well as her ability to basically fly (which pissed me off at many a time) she is the cornerstone and savior to The Prince. If your about to be diced she’ll save your ass, if you are overtaken with corruption she’ll save your ass, if you jump and miss that long jump you oh so thought you had guess what? Yeah, she’ll save your ass. See a trend here?
The real great addition here is very simple, yet it is the most helpful tool in the game. The compass. If you get disoriented which you will and you lose your way just press the Y button and a light will guide you the way you must go. Another thing is the teleport ability she has which allows you to move from one healed fertile ground to another which saves some good time considering how large the world is.
The one problem I can really pick out throughout the game is honestly the lack of fighting throughout the game. While your main quest is to rid the world of corruption and the game is truly centered around the agility and speed you possess, it seems like a few more fights would have been fun. Fighting the regular corrupted wasn’t really much of a challenge compared to the boss corrupted, so it could all be a cry of vein conformity from my vocal chords.
Let’s get to the real bread and butter here though, the agility. This game flows like Tim Tebow through the Alabama defense (Zing! That’s one for my Buckeyes!). The game is so flowing and keeps you tight and on your seat with the crazy ass acrobatics your able to perform with and without the help of Elika’s powers. From wall running to vine climbing this game is packed full of unbelievable stunts not even a John Woo film would contain.
This is one of the most majestic and beautiful games of 2008. With vibrant colors and the best looking Prince of any game, along with a very good looking girl in Elika this game has a lot to offer in the graphics department. The Prince has a rugged “Don’t F with me look” that fits his Deadpool like attitude with a load of sarcasm, but the badassness to show he isn’t a joke. The world of the Ahura is stunning. The world with and without corruption is a large and wondrous place that you can tell was once a place of great majesty. The world is in decay and it shows but in a beautiful way. This is truly one of the best graphical games in 2008 and should be accounted for. This is something that will set a new standard for a lot of games graphically.
The sound fits into the game perfectly. It has an Arabic feel with the old mystic times that it takes place in. The voice acting is phenomenal and both characters fit their voices well. The sword and corruption sounds are good and give you a realistic feeling with how they look. The sound does its job here and delivers a fine performance.
The value here you would think is minimal at best, but your wrong. The games many achievements will give you the worth of a second play through at least. The game is a fun one as well and is something that will give you a good amount of play that keeps your interest. All 50 achievements are able to be achieved with 2 plays. It is worth it and is a worthwhile and entertaining play.
The game is a completed work and a great one at that. After the first Prince of Persia with the sands of time deal I thought the others were honestly bad. This renovated Prince is one of the best character remakes in gaming history. He is brash, arrogant and skillful and really gives you that sense of in the worst of times he can still come out on top. The game is an amazing work and will reinvigorate the Prince of Persia series. With flowing gameplay and some of the best graphics in 2008, Ubisoft has presented a hell of a game for the end of 08 and for Game of the Year consideration. With Gears of War 2 and many others out there for these many awards one that will soar under the radar is Prince of Persia. I admit when I originally saw it I thought, “Meh, it looks pretty but I bet it will be over done” and damn was I wrong. Prince of Persia is a top 5 game for any person. It has easy controls for any person to learn and an epic storyline that will keep any person occupied with this game for around 2 play throughs. The game is graphically wonderful and a real joy to play. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it.
Alchemist Special - 20 points.
Assassin View - 10 points.
Be gentle with her - 100 points.
Block Master - 20 points.
City of Light Runner - 40 points.
Climbing to New Heights! - 10 points.
Combo Specialist - 50 points.
Compass - 10 points.
Concubine Special - 20 points.
Death of a Concubine - 20 points.
Death of a Warrior King - 20 points.
Deflect Master - 20 points.
Explorer - 20 points.
From Darkness... Light! - 30 points.
Getting to Know You - 10 points.
Good Company - 10 points.
Heal the Land - 30 points.
Hunter Special - 20 points.
Improviser - 10 points.
In Harmony - 10 points.
Into the Storm... - 10 points.
Light Seeds Accumulator - 10 points.
Light Seeds Collector - 10 points.
Light Seeds Finder - 10 points.
Light Seeds Gatherer - 10 points.
Light Seeds Harvester - 10 points.
Light Seeds Hoarder - 10 points.
Light Seeds Locator - 10 points.
Light Seeds master - 50 points.
Light Seeds Protector - 10 points.
Light Seeds Provider - 10 points.
Now who's the Hunter? - 20 points.
Precious Time - 10 points.
Royal Palace Runner - 30 points.
Ruined Citadel Runner - 10 points.
Saved! - 10 points.
Saviour of the City of Light - 50 points.
Sinking to New Depths! - 10 points.
Speed Demon - 10 points.
Speed Kill - 10 points.
Sword Master - 20 points.
Throw Master - 10 points.
Titanic view - 10 points.
To be continued... - 80 points.
Traitor's End - 20 points.
Up against it - 10 points.
Vale Runner - 20 points.
Wallrunner - 10 points.
Warrior Special - 20 points.
Where's that Temple? - 10 points.
One of the greatest gaming years in history 1998, holds many games near and dear to our hearts and one of those was Banjo-Kazooie. A quaint little game about a honey bear and his breegull partner battling Grunty an old hag of a witch bent on controlling spiral mountain and doing away with our heroes. The game was centered around jiggies which were jigsaw pieces used to create the various paintings Banjo-Kazooie had to use to attempt to get Banjo's sister back and pummel Grunty. It was hailed as a great game that brought sarcasm and off the wall humor as well as great gameplay and a fun storyline. Banjo-Kazooie was then fallowed by its less than admirable sequel Banjo-Tooie which was considered a real let down. Now 10 years from the original Rare has released another installation of the infamous bear, breegull and hag. How will it fair? Here is the review for Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bots.
After Banjo-Tooie Gunty's head was removed and buried under rock in a cave. Now, since Banjo and Kazooie have had nothing to do and no one to fight they have needless to say, put on a few pounds and been just lazy, like Rosanne Barr and John Goodman. One day though, Grunty gets herself free from her rocky grave and decides to go right back to fighting with Banjo and Kazooie. Just before they had one of the probably worst slowest fights in gaming history, they are frozen. The L.O.G. (Lord of Games) has grown bored and decided to make the stakes higher and more interesting. He gives Grunty a robotic suit for her decapitated head to live in, and grants Banjo as well as Kazooie their figure and strength back.
In return for this, they must compete in a win all game he has constructed. Whoever wins this battle controls Spiral Mountain. Banjo and Kazooie must go through the worlds collecting parks and blueprints as well as jinjo (remember these little buggers?) tokens and music notes. The music notes are currency for Showdown Town where your main place of rest, relaxation and building of your vehicles is. Gruntilda's job is to hinder you and force you to fail in every which way possible and if she succeeds then she wins Spiral Mountain. The game brings back such favorite characters as Mumbo Jumbo, Humba Wumba, Captain Blubber, the Jinjo's, King Jinjo, Minjo's, Bottles, Jamjars, Mr. Fit, Jolly Dodger(Rodger) Klungo and Boggy. They introduce new characters as well, Pikelet, Lord of Games, Trophy Thomas, and Grunty's new unfortunate yet psychotic cat Piddles.
The crew is back and for another adventure, it is a long enjoyable story with the same quirks and comical satire as the original games from yesteryear. The story is long fun and gives you a history lesson of the game itself as many of the levels have intergraded certain things from the original two for you to enjoy.
Here is where you will worry. The story is strong, but how is the gameplay? Well, luckily it was done well and actually totally different from the previous games. It is fresh and a new style for the Banjo-Kazooie series. Your egg shooting from Kazooie as well as many other attacks once held by the dynamic duo (as I type this im paying my royalties to DC comics). This makes way for their new vehicle based game they have created which seems sketchy to which I understand, but let you skepticism rest and give it a try. You will find that it is great. You can customize your own vehicles from hundreds of parts and create vehicles that range from regular racing cars to planes and helicopters. I made a plane with two grenade launchers and flew around dropping bombs all over the place, now I know how it feels to be a bombardier for a US plane in 1944. The one catch from the L.O.G. is that you can only use the cart he has provided for you while in Showdown Town.
When you enter the game world you can choose from any vehicle you would like. From your speedboat to your hovercraft you can go all out with it. Think of unlimited Lego designs that fit together at all times. Kazooie is given a wrench that is magical with the lovely Mumbo Jumbo skull on it. You can pick up just about anything with this wrench and carry it or place it in the cart of your vehicle. You get to complete missions of very little significance, but somebody needs them done eh? They range from taking a large bomb to Bottles to be deactivated to racing and sumo wrestling Jinjo's.
The real kick from the game is endless possibilities. With so many things to create it is hard to get bored which really seems to work well for the game. It has minor problems such as some vehicles are very hard to maneuver and some time trials are just astoundingly hard to accomplish. Beyond these small problems the gameplay is fun, solid, and all around enjoyable. The quirky and stupid jokes are back and the gameplay helps move them along wonderfully.
While they will not wow you the cinematics are well defined and produced well. All of the characters have that cartoonie feel that Rare excels in. They took their original N64 game and made a great work out of it. As I said before the graphics are not Gears of War 2 or Fallout 3 esque, but they are not made to be. They are supposed to be slapstick and cartoonie which they do extremely well at. The details to the vehicles are very good though and give you a innovative feel as well. You can make a single wheel motor bike out of 5 pieces or an airship that could rival a US flying fortress. While graphically the game may not be what astounds us it does keep your interest and keep you enjoying every minute.
The sound quality is exceptional. The music is integrated from the original games so you already know and love it. The vehicles motor or hover sounds are great and keep your realism within the cartoonish game world. They brought back the original conversation system of the weird sounds all the characters make when talking. For anyone that dislikes this I ask you, "How would Link sound?"; yeah that's what I thought...
The effects in the game are simple yet work well. The whole point in the game is fun and the sound does its part. While the effects are nothing to gawk at they do their job respectively and should get the credit they deserve.
With an online battle melee kind of thing going I have to say I was impressed with how much online I really did. I love the single player storyline, but the online was something that is a stone unturned by most. As you can create your own vehicles and use them online or trade, it makes matches more fun and different nearly all the time. The campaign is a long one and if you're a fan enough of the series it is worth a second play, but the online is worth the packaging cost in itself. Think Halo, Build a Bear and Lego rolled into one crazy ranked matchup.
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts offers a new twist to the games series. With a reliance less on combat and more on building of vehicles they took a great idea and ran with it. With new looks and moves the game takes it all to a whole new level of fun. They give you the gameplay of Banjo-Kazooie, but add in creating hundreds of different vehicles to use and abuse along with a storyline that is full to the brim with stuff that will keep you going. Between the story mode and online play I gotta say that it will keep me playing for awhile. If your new to this game or think you might want to try it out you can also get Banjo-Kazooie off of XBLA for 1200 Microsoft Points ($15 USD) before you buy this game ($35 USD). I you like building and constructing as well as racing and hitting things this is a game that will keep you interest and give you plunty of gameplay for the cover price. Needless to say, you'll go NUTS and BOLTS for Banjo Kazooie!
Pointless Collector (10 Achievement Points)
With Xbox Live being one of the greatest online components in Microsoft's arsenal against Sony and Nintendo, they have released many a game to a willing audience. With so many games out there like Xbox originals (Indigo Prophecy, Halo, Ninja Gaiden) as well as others from smaller companies. This is one of those many online games from a smaller company. It is called Braid and is the story of young Tim in his quest for the Princess. Braid is done in a side scroller fashion and as you go from one world to another you must piece (literally) together the forgotten past in order to find her and save her. How will Braid fare against a loaded X360 with the many games it has? Let's find out, here is the review for Braid.
This is the story of Tim and his quest to find the Princess, a character that is seemingly and totally unknown to you the player. As you go from each world you are given texts that give a story of love and of tragedy. As you progress you learn more of Tim and more of the Princess and how their lives intertwine with one another. The story itself is one of deep originality in this day and age and gives you, the player a vested interest in seeing this thing through to the end. In the days of kill first ask questions later gaming this is one where you must think and combat only your own knowledge of the situation. Braid is a triumph in the gaming world with an innovative and direct storyline that begs the question "What's going on here?"
The gameplay is one of difference and learning. If you are hard headed and hate to learn a new system then steer away from this scrolling puzzle game. Braid lets you control time and utilize it to your advantage in most of the game. Each world has its own style to the time control system you posses. Your fighting is simple and Mario Bros like. You just jump on their head and kill them, except bosses who you must drop things on their heads in order to do away with them. You collect puzzle pieces which you must piece (get it now from the starting paragraph?) together in order to solve each world. The pieces are no easy task to collect by any means. You must utilize your enemies, time and leverage to get to all the pieces successfully. The gameplay is amazing and what this game lacks in graphics it makes up with creative and innovative gameplay.
While graphically Braid is inferior that is not what the game is made for. Braid is a nice and detailed game in the 2D scroller sense. The details of the background though are just beautiful. Right when you start the game you see an amazing and astounding view with a great fire styled background(second picture posted at the top). The game itself is a wondrous looking engine with the minor details that make up for the games 2D style. The main character Tim, for example, has very detailed clothing and a very defined face. This is where Braid makes its true marks.
The sound effects are calming and really define each world you enter. You will get different music for each world you go through and it helps you along most of the time. The sound gives you a calm for all of the puzzles that Braid contains. The sound effects provide you with something to keep you going and keep you alert when doing all of the puzzle solving. It is enjoyable and fun and is exceptional.
Replay value is of some interest with this game. It will take you a good amount of time to actually beat the games main story to which I have to say will credit you with a long game. While this technically is not replaying it, it is giving you a large amount of playing time which is what you definitely desire. It is a game of monumental interest, intrigue and hardship and while it may not be totally worth a second playthrough, it will be worth the long long playthrough it gives to you.
Braid is a one of a kind XBL gem. While there are hundreds of games to choose from Braid will force you to think and force you to learn. It is a game of deep interest and rough learning that gives you that great feeling of accomplishment once you get it done. If your looking for something to pass your time and something that is worth the price tag of 1200 Microsoft points ($15 USD). What I have to say is if your looking for a game to get into and a game that will honestly catch you off guard, this is it. Braid offers innovation to the slide scrolling games of yesteryear with a ending that will leave you wondering...
Closure (60) - Complete the game.
With such high expectations nowadays for FPS style games it is hard to say that the Call of Duty series hasn’t been a grand one. With Call of Duty 4 they finally left the trenches of World War II and jumped into modern day terrorist infested lands, which is a big leap from the days of Nazi occupation of previous games. With CoD4 they proved they can make more than just WWII games and made definitely the best CoD game to date. With this the decided to create Call of Duty: World at War, which takes us back to WWII, but instead of just Nazi’s you are now fighting the Japanese as well. Will CoD continue to dominate or did they recede from the glory of Call of Duty 4? Let’s find out…
Just like in Call of Duty 4 you assume several different roles throughout the game. You are a Marine Raider Private Miller as well as a Soviet Shock Trooper Dimitri Petrenko and can be an extra character, Petty Officer Locke in only one mission titled“Black Cats.” When in the role of Pvt. Miller, you must fight the Japanese Empire across the island hopping campaign of the Pacific theatre. You fight from Peleliu to Okinawa all while fighting the fierce and resistant Japanese imperial army. As Dimitri Petrenko you are placed at the start of the battle of Stalingrad with your entire unit totally decimated. You then fallow your superior who himself is a sniper, but is badly wounded on his trigger hand so you must be his crosshairs. With Petrenko you will fight from Stalingrad all the way to the battle of Berlin.
The story I believe is the best in the WWII Call of Duty game series. It excels in the sense of it is not just you vs. Nazi’s, it is you vs the entire Axis. The Japanese are unforgiving in every sense of the game just like during WWII and it works both ways for the duel stories as the Soviets are also, just as unforgiving and angry as the Japanese. The story is thick, long and just as interesting as all other Call of Duty games. It is fallowing a dreadful trend though with a campaign that is short enough to beat in just a couple hours (5 or so) and relies seemingly entirely on the multiplayer aspect.
Here is where CoD games really need to make their mark. CoD:World at War is very decent, but not better than CoD4. The gameplay is solid and with new WWII weapons like the M2flamethrower, Thompson MG, Mosin Nagant and Panzershreck you may ask me how it is not as good? Simple actually. The levels do not contain the same emotion and do nothing different from CoD3 in all honesty. CoD4 gave us some of the best FPS fighting I believe we have seen in gaming since the original Halo. World at War just seems like CoD3 with amped graphics, new weapons and Japs instead of Germans.With CoD games you have to compare them and World at War is the best WWII game in the CoD series,but CoD4 in my book still holds that title.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed this game very much and really think it has some value to it especially to those who covet the series. The new weapons are very fun, the enemies are smarter and well trained. The Japanese especially are just the most aggressive sons a bitches’ this game series has ever had. They crawl out of spider holes, trees and tall grass to try to banzai(charge you with their bayonet and try to skewer you) your ass! Fighting them is honestly the best part of the game and brought me the most enjoyment. The big problems with the game lie within repetitive gameplay and your AI allies inability to complete simple as hell tasks. The Japanese AI is smarter and better trained than your allies and to put it simple, it is literally up to you to complete missions. I know this is part of the game, but if you add that with the enemies ability to land a grenade with perfection all the damn time it makes it hard to find cover, kill kill and then go to the next area all while your AI cowers in the dark with Christian Slater yelling, “Game over man! Game over!”…yeah I went there.
The graphics are really strong here just like in CoD4. The one big problem I had was the tall grass in the entire island campaign and the fire from the M2. The grass graphics were ok at best, nothing amazing though. The grass should all catch on fire, but it didn’t. Only pockets of fire appeared and then died out quickly.Beyond that one problem nothing really caused me any pain. The weapons were well designed, the soldiers were great looking and the rain effects were awesome as well. The graphics are real solid with minor problems for me.
The sound is decent with some nice explosions to amp up the destruction. CoD: World at War offers very little new things in the way of the sound system. I was used to the whole yelling of a battlefield screaming of death and constant “Grenade!” calls you get from you teammates as it explodes on your ass. One thing I have to commend them for is something simple and necessary for this game due to the campaign,the Japanese soldiers Banzai charge yells. You know when to check your ass when you hear “Banzai!” being yelled by a squad of suicide soldiers bent on forking you to the ground. Beyond that it was essentially the same.
If your one of those people who played CoD4 online more than Halo this is worth a try. In my personal opinion(your reading this so your gonna get it!)the online for World at War is dry compared to CoD4 online play. The fun cat and mouse gameplay and all out war that you went through in CoD4s online was grand and awesome and unfortunately World at War is just pennies compared to its older brethren. The co-op gameplay is worthwhile and gives the need for a second playthrough. The online is worth at minimum a checkout though so don’t think I hated it, I just believe it is not as amazing as CoD4 was.
CoD: World at War offers a new spin on their WWII games that we have not seen before. The downside is that it is fallowing their best game to date in Call of Duty 4. While it offers new things such as the M2 flamethrower and fighting on the Pacific front, it is just the same as CoD3. The game is interesting and you are fighting a seemingly just as ruthless if not more ruthless enemy in the Japanese compared to the Germans.The gameplay is strong just like every other Call of Duty and it has great weapons and environments to back that up. Compared to the older brother though it is just a more beautified Call of Duty 3 and changes very little in an overall standard. I enjoyed the campaign missions as well as some of the online, but the overall ability it is in comparison is just a shadow.
World at War’s online is doable just not something I can recommend compared to CoD4 online. The weapons are viable and the environments are a thing of beauty, but it just has nothing that really WOWs me over compared to CoD4. With Call of Duty 4 still running an easy $45 or so I would tell people to buy this over World at War or to take that money for World at War and buy the new map packs for CoD4 if you haven’t already. I would say that the best part of this game is through the Pacific theatre against the Empire of Japan due to the psychotic nature of their AI. The game is enjoyable and any diehard CoD fan will clamor to get their blood stained hands on a copy of this to which I say I understand and know how you feel. I went crazy for Halo 3 and many say it was the worst of the series, yet you can catch me online playing the damned thing all the time.This is worth a rental definitely and worth the buy if you are enthralled with the series to that degree. Checking it out is a must though.
With WWII being such a hot market as well as an easy market to sell things off to gamers, it has been done on the ground so often I think we all have flashbacks at this point. In Combat Wings: Battle of Britain(BoB) you are taken from the fields of battle into the skies of WWII. While many games have done this they have left a stone unturned where city interactive has decided to pick up. In this game you protect the Queens lands of Britain against the Nazi’s Luftwaffe of yesteryear. With the RAF at your disposal will this game excel your expectations and give you some wonderful dogfights? Or will it just ruin WWII for you and force you to watch the History channel over and over to increase your knowledge of aerodynamics? Let’s see…
I mean it’s pretty simple here, you’re in the RAF and you must defend your homeland from the Nazi’s.You’re a RAF trainee and your superior doesn’t think your cut-out for the RAF yet, but due to the need of pilots and of protection lets face it, they will take damn near anything. So you gotta do your thing and get out there and push back the 3rd Reich! Sound the same? I know, it has unfortunately been done so many times I believe I know WWII like the back of my hand at this point. Story is basic, but realistic.
This is what makes or breaks this kind of game and dear God does it break it here. Attempting to get used to the controls is worse than rubbing your body in Bengay then taking a hot shower. The sensitivity of the mouse and the throttle is just terrible. Not just that, it does actually get worse. My landing gear didn’t work half the time and it cost my ass several replays. The controls are mapped out fine,which is not the problem; the real problem here is the severe sensitivity that the game itself has. I even reduced my mouse sensitivity to 10% and it still gave me a crap ton of trouble. The weapon systems respond relatively slow and I’m running on an Intel Pentium duel core processor T3200 at 2GHz. That is on top of my 120 HDD and Graphics Media Accelerator 4500M. What I’m saying is I have a kick ass strong great laptop with a great graphics card and everything and this game still gave me slow responses. I can run Hellgate: London with no problems and that game takes WAY more memory and processor time than this game. This game just brought me down man.Your bringing me down man!
The graphics are decent, but nothing that will make you go “Gee golly holy ass crackers that is something there!” The graphics just don’t have that wow factor that nearly all games need. My laptop is HD and the graphics just honestly are unacceptable for today’s standards. With so many other good looking flight based games out there Combat Wings: BoB just cannot stand tall among it’s competitors. Graphically speaking it is average and compared to bigger games like the Ace Combat series it won’t turn any heads. With gameplay being so poor the graphics could make up for it at least one hopes, but alas they did not.
The sound is…well basic. I mean you got the propeller sound of coarse, and the clak clak clak of the machine guns as well as the rocket and bomb sounds. Speaking of which I didn’t know that the RAF had missiles in the early 1940s? Anyway the sound quality is decent, but yet again does nothing new or impressive. I cannot stress how important sound quality and effects are within games! The better games have great sound quality and great effects! Come on people!
Very minimal here. I mean unless you are a diehard WWII fighter lover and can get over the unbearable control system, this will take you to your last nerve and cause you to hulkout. The missions are very basic and have the same irritating style that Lair for the PS3 has. This just doesn’t measure up as a good flight based combat game.
This game is just bugged out and has just too many problems to be called a decent flight game. Combat Wings has just real severe problems and cannot make up for it at all. The actual flying which is about 90%of the game is just way too glitchy for any average gamer. Honestly with Blazing Angels and other games like that out there this game just doesn’t have the raw power that a flight game needs. Combat Wings picks a pretty decent campaign to work with in the Battle of Britain, but beyond the decent graphics this game is flawed to the tip. The biggest problem for the game is simply the inability to fly correctly. Without the ability to fly in a simple form, for anybody it is really a challenge to get into the game itself. Without a decent flight style and with a rough learning curve for the gamer this game is just too buggy to recommend.