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.
Speaking of cores, let's explain what they are. Instead of going by traditional TDS rules--e.g. Having only one "end" and not two--, they decided to do something else. Each mission has an obelisk containing around twenty power cores--your lives. When an enemy reached this obelisk, they take as many power cores as they can carry--which is normally around one. Instead of immediately losing these power cores, players instead have to shoot down the enemies as they run towards the end of the level! A lot of the time, the end of the level is the same as the entrance, but there can be multiple entrances and exits. As long as players shoot down the aliens before they get to the exit, they drop the power cores and the cores slowly float towards the obelisk. There is a rule here though--if flying enemies take a core, there's no getting them back even if you kill them!
In addition, flying enemies have a different path than walking enemies. At the beginning of each round, the flight path is shown in a yellow line. Only guns, cannons, and missiles can take down flying enemies, so be sure to have these. Players can see the flight path by pressing T, in case they forget. Most flying enemies are easily taken down, though they are numerous in number.
Possibly one of the greatest annoyances is the amount of enemies! They just keep coming in through the entrances, and guns have a very hard time taking them down. Speaking of guns, there are a lot of them to be had. Everything from the gun tower to the temporal tower. Gun towers are obviously towers that have guns attached to the top. Temporal Towers slow down enemies, making it a lot easier for players. Laser towers shoot a constant beam at one enemy, hurting him and catching him on fire, so that even when the tower stops shooting, the enemy is damaged constantly. In addition, there's the Tesla Tower. The Tesla Tower fires rather quickly. However, the longer a Tesla Tower goes without shooting, the more powerful its next attack will be. Of course, there are many more towers than that. Towers can be upgraded from green to yellow to red. At level red, towers are insanely powerful, though even with a ton of red towers, I find it extremely difficult to beat the game! There are a few levels that seem impossible, no matter the tower combination.
The graphics in Defense Grid are very stunning. At first, you start the game to be greeted with a simple menu--nothing extraordinary there. Then you launch the game and BAM! Instant gratification. I absolutely loved the graphical style in Defense Grid, and hope that whatever these guys make next has equally stunning graphics. There's nothing more to be said about the graphics except the fact that they're really enjoyable.
The sound effects, however, are few and far between. There are only a few--seperate ones for the towers, various alien sounds, and finally clicking sounds for mouse-overs. That's it! Also, there seems to be only a single song, looping over and over. This goes unnoticed, yet if you really take the time to notice this fact, it gets irritating. The voice actor for the computer was surprisingly good. You can easily tell the emotion in his voice, making the immersion into the game a lot deeper. The voice actor truly is spectacular, to say the least.
Through short dialogues, players learn the gist of the story--long ago, a similar battle took place. The computer had a son, Zeke--he died, unfortunately. For some reason, he calls the player Zeke once--whether this is a mistake on the developer's side, or the computer thinking you're his son is unsure. The story doesn't seem to be very deep--all the player gets is the rough outline, which is not nearly enough. I would have loved to see cutscenes of the past or maybe some pictures.
Defense Grid entices players to come back to it again and again, striving to find better strategies that leave them with a higher score. In addition to the story mode, there's "story challenge" and other such modes. This forces players to come back and try their absolute hardest to create a winning strategy. This is rather difficult, though--it's almost impossible to win with a good strategy, but perfecting it just makes my whole body convulse.
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. Defeat the Alchemist without using the acrobatic button.
Assassin View - 10 points. Find the Assassin's view.
Be gentle with her - 100 points. Elika saves you fewer than 100 times in the whole game.
Block Master - 20 points. Block 50 attacks.
City of Light Runner - 40 points. Run between the Fertile Grounds in the Tower of Ahriman and City of Light in 7 minutes.
Climbing to New Heights! - 10 points. Find the highest point in the world.
Combo Specialist - 50 points. Find every combo in the game.
Compass - 10 points. Use the Compass.
Concubine Special - 20 points. Defeat the Concubine without using grab.
Death of a Concubine - 20 points. Kill the Concubine in her Palace.
Death of a Warrior King - 20 points. Kill the Warrior in his Fortress.
Deflect Master - 20 points. Deflect 20 attacks.
Explorer - 20 points. Explore every part of every region.
From Darkness... Light! - 30 points. Reimprison Ahriman.
Getting to Know You - 10 points. Get to know Elika by talking to her.
Good Company - 10 points. Learn about the world, and Elika's history.
Heal the Land - 30 points. First Healing.
Hunter Special - 20 points. Deflect the Hunter's attacks 5 times in one battle.
Improviser - 10 points. Use the environment against an enemy.
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) Take part in the L.O.G. badge collecting challenge at the start of the game in Spiral Mountain
Open Nuts (10 Achievement Points) Place the Nutty Acres Game Globe on its plinth in Showdown Town
Next-Next-Gen (10 Achievement Points) Place the LOGBOX 720 Game Globe on its plinth in Showdown Town
History Lesson (15 Achievement Points) Place the Banjoland Game Globe on its plinth in Showdown Town
Let the Games Begin (15 Achievement Points) Place the Jiggosseum Game Globe on its plinth in Showdown Town
Super Banjo Universe (20 Achievement Points) Place the Terrarium of Terror Game Globe on its plinth in Showdown Town
My First Bank (10 Achievement Points) Bank your first Jiggy in Showdown Town
Little Banker (20 Achievement Points) Bank 10 Jiggies in Showdown Town
Big Banker (30 Achievement Points) Bank 30 Jiggies in Showdown Town
Shower of Gold (40 Achievement Points) Bank 60 Jiggies in Showdown Town
Jiggillionaire (50 Achievement Points) Bank 131 Jiggies in Showdown Town
Pimped Up (20 Achievement Points) Complete the Showdown Town Trolley with Parts won from Grunty battles
Witch Hunt (50 Achievement Points) Defeat Grunty at the end of the game
My First Trophy (10 Achievement Points) Earn a T.T. Trophy from any challenge
Few Trophy Pts (20 Achievement Points) Earn 10 T.T. Trophies from any challenges
More Trophy Pts (30 Achievement Points) Earn 30 T.T. Trophies from any challenges
A Lot of Trophy Pts (40 Achievement Points) Earn 60 T.T. Trophies from any challenges
Be Crateful (15 Achievement Points) Find and return two crates to Mumbo's Motors
Blueprint Buyout (15 Achievement Points) Buy a blueprint from Humba in Showdown Town
Roid Rage (15 Achievement Points) Train Banjo once in the Showdown Town gym
Start to Free the Showdown Six (15 Achievement Points) Free and re-house a Jinjo in Showdown Town
Vigilante (15 Achievement Points) Lock up a Minjo in Showdown Town
Bingo (20 Achievement Points) Complete a line on the Bingo card at King Jingaling's Palace
Stop 'n' Swop (0 Achievement Points) Return a Stop 'n' Swop crate to Mumbo's Motors
BBQ Beef (20 Achievement Points) In Nutty Acres, they like their steak well done
Massive Damage (20 Achievement Points) Aim at the 10 legs for massive damage
Test Your Strength (20 Achievement Points) Roll up, show the whole of Banjoland how strong you are
Great Balls of Fire (20 Achievement Points) Take a heavy ball around the Jiggosseum and get a burning sensation
Ultimate Combo (20 Achievement Points) More like a three-hit combo in the Terrarium of Terror
Floater in the Pipe (20 Achievement Points) Eeurgh That's not going to help the Test-O-Track plumbing
Burn the Witch (20 Achievement Points) Showdown Town witch hunt
Head for Heights (20 Achievement Points) Find the best view in Showdown Town
Fuzz Off (20 Achievement Points) POP goes the Weasel
Paint Your Wagon (10 Achievement Points) Paint any part of your vehicle in Mumbo's Motors
Speedy of the Colossus (25 Achievement Points) Build a vehicle with 200 blocks or more and go over a set speed
Minimalist (25 Achievement Points) Build a vehicle with five blocks or less and go over a set speed
Whoa Nelly (25 Achievement Points) Travel in a vehicle over a set speed
Loose Change (20 Achievement Points) Collect ALL the Showdown Town Loose Change
Arcade Pwner (20 Achievement Points) Finish all levels of Klungo's Arcade game
Sunday League (20 Achievement Points) Play in and complete a multiplayer game League
Premier League (40 Achievement Points) Play in and complete a marathon multiplayer game League (Every Race, Every Sport or Every Race and Sport)
What's That Smell? (10 Achievement Points) Play an Xbox LIVE multiplayer game against a Banjo team member, or somebody who has already done so
Bit of Blue (10 Achievement Points) Share a blueprint with another player or Friend over Xbox LIVE, or save 20 blueprints
Paparazzi (10 Achievement Points) Take a photo and upload it to Xbox LIVE, or take five photos
Caught on Camera (10 Achievement Points) Send a video replay to a Friend over Xbox LIVE, or save five replays
High Fives All Round (10 Achievement Points) Be on the winning team in a ranked team game
All My Own Work (20 Achievement Points) Win a ranked solo game with a custom vehicle
Too Easy (10 Achievement Points) Win a ranked solo race by reversing over the finish line
Too Easy Too (20 Achievement Points) Win a ranked solo race by running or swimming over the finish line
Are You Trophy Thomas? (40 Achievement Points) Win 20 Xbox LIVE ranked multiplayer games in any mode
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. Solved World 2 (15) - Fit together all the world 2 puzzle pieces and align the puzzle in its frame. Solved World 3 (15) - Fit together all the world 3 puzzle pieces and align the puzzle in its frame. Solved World 4 (15) - Fit together all the world 4 puzzle pieces and align the puzzle in its frame. Solved World 5 (15) - Fit together all the world 5 puzzle pieces and align the puzzle in its frame. Solved World 6 (15) - Fit together all the world 6 puzzle pieces and align the puzzle in its frame. Speed Run (15) - Complete a full speed run of the entire game, beating the challenge time. Traversed World 2 (10) - Travel all the way across World 2. Traversed World 3 (10) - Travel all the way across World 3. Traversed World 4 (10) - Travel all the way across World 4. Traversed World 5 (10) - Travel all the way across World 5. Traversed World 6 (10) - Travel all the way across World 6.
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.
Complete 'Semper Fi' on any difficulty. (Solo only)
Establish a beachhead on the island of Peleliu on any difficulty. (Solo only)
The Last Stand
Survive the land and air conflict surrounding Okinawa on any difficulty. (Solo only)
Stabbed in the Heart
Complete all missions on the Eastern Front on any difficulty setting. (Solo only)
Get Your Hands Dirty
Complete 'Semper Fi' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Saved Private Ryan
Save the soldier before he burns to death. (Solo or co-op)
Complete 'Little Resistance' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Weapon of Mass Destruction
Radio in a naval bombardment that kills at least 4 Japanese soldiers. (Solo or co-op)
The Sword Is Broken
Complete 'Hard Landing' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
No Safe Place
Burn an enemy out of a tree with the flamethrower in 'Hard Landing' (Solo or co-op)
Complete 'Vendetta' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Shoot all of Amsel's henchmen, including their attack dog, without reloading. (Solo only)
Assassinate General Amsel with a pistol shot. (Solo only)
The Hammer Strikes
Complete 'Their Land, Their Blood' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Complete 'Burn`em Out' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Complete a mission using only the flamethrower. Melee, grenades & explosives are OK. (Solo or co-op)
Complete 'Relentless' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Hell on Wheels
Complete 'Blood and Iron' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Destroy all towers and bunkers in 'Blood and Iron'. (Solo or co-op)
Complete 'Ring of Steel' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Kill 15 enemies while mounted on a tank in 'Ring of Steel'. (Solo or co-op)
When It Rains, It Pours
Complete 'Eviction' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Shot in the Dark
Kill 10 enemies while the lights are out in the subway in 'Eviction'. (Solo or co-op)
One Bad Gato
Complete 'Black Cats' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
The Sum of All Zeros
Down 45 Japanese Zeros in 'Black Cats'. (Solo only)
In 'Black Cats', blast out all of the spot lights in the Japanese cargo convoy. (Solo only)
Blowtorch & Corkscrew
Complete 'Blowtorch & Corkscrew' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Setting of the Sun
Complete 'Breaking Point' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Kill 8 Japanese with thrown mortars in 'Breaking Point'. (Solo or co-op)
In the final battle for Okinawa, save Sergeant Roebuck. (Solo or co-op)
For the Motherland
Complete 'Heart of the Reich' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Bearing the Burden
Complete 'Downfall' on Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Kill 3 enemies with a single bullet. (Solo or co-op)
Survive a Banzai attack. (Solo only)
Snake in the Grass
Take out a Japanese soldier while he is lying in wait in the grass. (Solo or co-op)
Collect all Death Cards in the game. (Solo only)
Complete any level on Regular difficulty or higher using only melee and grenades. (Solo only)
Throw a Six and a Half
On Hardened or Veteran difficulty, complete a level without dying. (Solo only)
When staring into the face of adversity, show courage and persevere.
Complete the game on any difficulty. (Solo only)
Hardened War Hero
Complete the game on Hardened or Veteran difficulty. (Solo only)
Get Your Left Foot Wet
Complete a match in Campaign Co-Op mode over Xbox LIVE. (Online co-op only)
Get Your Right Foot Wet
Complete a match in Competitive Co-Op mode over Xbox LIVE. (Online co-op only)
Complete a 4-player Competitive Co-Op match in 1st place over Xbox LIVE. (Online co-op only)
It’s All about Prestige
You achieved the first level of Prestige. Only 9 more to go.
Continue playing to unlock this secret achievement.
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.
Ever since the classic film Dawn of the Dead, zombies and zombie killing has become a staple of horror movies. Along with the zombies in some of these fine craptaculars, have been the kickass heroes and heroines who have been dealt with the nasty chore of killing these “things” anyway they can. In the videogame world this concept has also gotten its fair share of hits and misses (Dead Rising anyone?). Of the more successful franchises in the zombie genre for film and videogames is the Resident Evil series. With a film trilogy, at least double the amount of games and anew multiplatform title on the way, one could easily say Valve’s entry into the genre, Left 4 Dead is like Resident Evil. Well if by “like” you mean there are undead to kill then you’re correct. Now take those undead and add a new innovative way to play, an outstanding multiplayer experience, a game that has those classic zombie movie elements, and some genuine scare-the-piss out of you moments and you have a fresh new take on killing rotting humans.While that sounds entirely gross if you dig this type of gameplay then owning this game will be as easy as lighting a zombie on fire.
4 Guns are Better Than 1
If you’ve ever wondered what you would do if the world became infected by some virus and you and three other unlikely candidates are joined together to fight to stay alive then Left 4 Dead lets you live out this fantasy. Also, if you are having this fantasy it might be best to seek professional help. In any case the four characters in the game, Zoey, Louis, Francis and Bill all band together to fight the zombie apocalypse. How did it start? It doesn’t really matter. All that matters is that you have to live and they (mumbling and screeching undead)have to die. Each of the characters have particular traits and qualities that often get revealed during gameplay from good old fashion movie bravery to genuine fear in their eyes (no really). This translates to characters that become more than just your AI buddies in the single player game. Valve also threw in a player halo that tells you if someone one is hurt healthy or about to die. You can also see this halo through walls. Definitely handy. If you’re playing this game alone, they AI players actually help you through the game. You get jacked by a “smoker” and one of them will save you. Running low on health, one of them will heal you. Need to go see a comedy show – put in GTA IV and call Patrick.
Zombie Killing Ain't So Much Fun Alone
Unfortunately, the single player game is where one of the game’s greatest shortcomings is revealed. This is one of the rare games in recent years that actually plays better in co-op play. The single player in fact ends up being a good way to test out your skills before you jump online. Take those AI characters and get 3 other gamers to join you and what you have is co-op that’s intense, rewarding and hella fun. And this isn’t just co-op where you run around killing together. You actually have to stay together and work together to stay alive. Otherwise your character will be treated to a lot of brain and flesh eating. And if you really suck, the other three players can votes to kick you out. Yeah it’s cold but when you have 100 zombies coming at you and your gang and one dude is off making a sandwich, then they will get killed then booted. Now that’s not to say playing this game alone is not great. Quite the contrary. It’s just not as much fun.
Hasn’t this already been a movie?
If you’ve seen any of the cinematic gems of the last 20years involving infected humans then you will feel right at home in this game.What Valve did here was to tap directly into this genre and give you movie-like experience in a game. Four levels, 5 chapters each that play like individual movies complete with a mock poster at the load screen and credits at the end with even a count of how many zombies were killed. There are even way cool movie moments like when you run out of ammo and are forced to just using your pistol. Or when you do something during a level (like flip a switch) that basically will force a whole mess of zombies trying to bum rush you and your mates. Out of courtesy you do get a prompt on the screen in the form of “Here they come” followed by that look-out-for-all-the-crazy-undead-coming-at-you music. These aren’t your ordinary turtle-paced zombies either. These are those zippy suckers from movies like 28 Days Later and Resident Evil movies.
What is surprising especially since this is a game from the people that made Half-Life, is the campaign mode seems woefully short. These four “movies” only take about 40-50 minutes or so to complete on the normal or easy mode. Sure they change things up so the walking dead don’t always act the same or show up in the same amounts, but it seems like they could have made this thing a little longer or actually have, a story?A similar issue plagues the multiplayer because the versus mode (humans versus zombies) is not available for all four campaigns but only two thus limiting the different places you can kill zombies.Perhaps the next time around we’ll get to find out what actually happened and get more of a deeply layered story.
No We’re Not All Alike – What Are You A Zombieist?
When you’re slaying zombie after zombie you may not pay close attention to what kind of zombie you’re decapitating or bludgeoning but in Left 4 Dead there are some special critters that give this game and extra level of fun and fright. There are five all together, four of which you get to play as in the multiplayer versus mode. Each comes with a requisite, creepy or overly exaggerated gross noise that provides fair warning of their appearance. There’s the boomer, the smoker, the hunter, the tank and the witch. Of these the witch is the worst because just sits and cries loudly. What? Here’s the kicker you can’t use flashlights around her and if you startle her she unleashes a relentless horde of zombies on you as well as gets all crazy on you as well. Online play with the other special infected can be both great fun and entirely frustrating. It takes teamwork and coordination to successfully prey on your human counterparts and since you will get killed a lot more, you have to make your attacks count.
Zombie Killing Greatness? Not Completely
Valve did not spare on production value for this game. They spent a great deal of time making this a very movie-like experience (minus Mila Jovavich). The graphics are also solid but not entirely solid. While the lighting is astounding, especially going into a pitch black room and all you have is a flashlight and a gun, there are some graphic glitches especially when you’re in a mass zombie fight. Big props to the voice acting which doesn’t just offer just much needed assistance but also adds actual emotion at the loss of amate and fear and panic as well.
In Left 4 Dead you have an amazingly immersive, relentless, experience that definitely has some great replay value.Whether intentionally or not the developers made a game that is truly best enjoyed with friends or other gamers willingto join you in the fight to survive the zombie apocalypse. For Valve,going into the potential of making a follow up game, they have a great starting point to build off of and for gamers this game offers a fresh new take on the genre that you should not ignore.
Armored Core stands as one of the few good games where you are a pilot of a large robotic craft that is humanoid, not to mention that this is the 13th installment of the series. We all remember the Gundam Wing game series and how for the most part, it disappointed. Since the early PS1 days Armored Core has prided itself on large fields of gameplay, great weapons and ridiculous customization. With Armored Core 4 under their belts, Ubisoft set its sights on a new AC game by the name of Armored Core: For Answer. Will this mechanized series continue to dominate the genre of robotic warfare? Or will it fall prey to repetitive and boring gameplay? Let’s see with the review of Armored Core: For Answer.
ACFA takes place roughly a decade after AC4. The world has become death and is polluted from not only humanity, but also Kojima particles from the waste. The corporations of the original Pax Economica banned together to create large fortresses called Cradles for mankind to survive on. Now, some half of mankind lives within these Cradles while many others die on the planet's surface. The peoples of the surface create a resistance group called ORCA to fight against the League of Corporations and their motives. You are a survivor of the National Dismantlement War, you are a Lynx, a pilot of the most feared of ACs known, a NEXT. You must battle both ORCA and the Corporations as a merc and fight against their Arms Forrts, which are giant mammoths with enough firepower to wipe out continents. You as a NEXT pilot were cast aside from the Corporations and now area merc for hire.
You start with your basic training to get you used to the controls again or to get you used to them in general if you are new to the game itself. After you accomplish that you then must choose a client. You can choose from 4 different operations with many strengths as well as weaknesses. Here are your options:
GA: Their mechs have great defense as well as heavy weapon,but lack smaller arms as well as giving up speed. If you choose GA your missions may be limited with other clients.
Interior Union: The IU supports TORUS and oppose the GA. Their mechs are very energy efficient as well as utilize laser and energy based weapons, but lack heavy ballistic weapons. If you choose IU your missions may be limited with other clients.
OMER: The OMER stay distant from both GA and the IU. OMER uses highly mobile Rosenthal mechs. If you choose OMER your missions may be limited with other clients.
Independent: If you choose to go independent there are some major positives as well as negatives. The positives are you are unaffiliated and therefore your missions with not be limited by cliental and that your mech(s) will be very good in CQC (close quarter combat) situations. The downside is you use a very old Rayleonard model mech and getting bigger better mechs is kind of rough.
After you choose your client or go indy, you can choose from several missions at a time. Most are on a salary base pay (ex. 500,000) but some are on a commission base where you are paid depending on what you destroy or other objectives that are given. All in all, the story gives you a lot to work through and a lot to work on with your mech. It is enjoyable and a great extension to the Armored Core saga.
Armored Core has always offered pretty solid gameplay and For Answer is no different. This has very solid gameplay. If you have played the series before you know the ungodly amount of customizing that you can do to your AC. From arm and shoulder based weapons to your AC’s core and boosters.Basically it is limitless. One thing that I have to say was done better than Armored Core 4 was the mission settings.You can choose who to work for by taking contracts and fulfilling them. I personally enjoy all the commission contracts which can bring in heaps of credits. While all that is solid I gotta talk controls and battles. The controls are easy to grasp and easy to master which gives you a lot of flex for what your style is. The “boss” battles are generally fun yet challenging especially when fighting against large foes which are as majestic as they are dangerous.
Armored Core: For Answer offers some straight up mech warfare with a taste of gunsmoke. From mini-guns to multi-rocket launchers to AC swords this game is loaded with weaponry choices. You will need new larger weapons to defeat the giant and I mean GIANT mechs that you will eventually face. They best part to me about ACFA is that they finally got non-online co-op play in the game. This is something I have been wanting since Armored Core 2 personally. The co-op offers new tactically strategy to what you choose to do. It is much easier to flank and beat your opponents with a co-op teammate. You can do co-op online as well as offline. ACFA offers twice,that’s right 2 times as much customization as AC4. By far the best part is battling the massive weapons that the different enemies have due to their size, strength and the payout that you get from their destruction. It is fun to fight large amounts of enemies and mechs and just watch the ludicrous weapon fire and destruction! This game lets you put the laughter in slaughter.
The graphics are solid and the large distant enemies are astoundingly wonderful. The graphics are really solid and are satisfactory for the X360 system. The detail on the mechs is well put and the color schemes give your AC some good looks. You can create your own symbol (take that Rock Band!) and place it on several places on your mech in great detail. The graphics are exceptional and give the player some good looks for their ACs.
Armored Core offers great musical symphonies to their gameplay always and ACFA is no different. From the opening cinematic to the actual gameplay you will get some wonderful music that keeps you in sync with the game itself. The weapons are great sounding and the explosions are beautiful and have some good kick to them. I believe music is underrated in games and ACFA really proves that for me with their great musical sounds and the sounds of the battlefield when you’re fighting against several other mechs. The sound in this game is superb and much better than a lot of other games.
Replay value is essential to any game. Armored Core: For Answer honestly has some great replay value. You can play co-op offline and online as I stated before, the big thing here is that depending on your contractor you can have some different missions as well as the large amount of customization that you will do to your AC. With great battles ahead of you, you’re going to want to pimp you AC and load it up with some crazy ass weapons and looks. What i’m trying to say here is that ACFA brings what we all would want from a mech based videogame. They have lots of firepower, great detail, loads of customization, and co-op play. The replay value here is extensive and gives a large amount of satisfaction to players.
Armored Core just straight up delivers in this installment of the series. This is a game that can get people into the AC series, which is usually rare in this late of an installment. ACFA gives the gamer true freedom to decide his fate along with the fate of many others all while getting an array of volatile destruction machines. Being given the reins to pretty much anything you want it to be is fresh and a enjoyable experience for players to have. I have to say that Armored Core: For Answer is one of the better games of the series and shows what the saga can really do. With high–tech weaponry, great customization and a long and enjoyable storyline Armored Core: For Answer really gives it’s punch and a worthwhile one at that. This is one to add to the collection if you’re a fan of the AC series, but if you have never played it, it is worth at minimum a rental. I suggest giving it a test run, you won’t be disappointed.
Mount & Blade is a Real Time Strategy game that offers literally thousands of hours of gameplay. The game puts you in charge of your OWN character. You make the face by adjusting sliders, and make the stats the way you please. Taleworlds was kind enough to give us a copy, and as such, we have reviewed it. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did, provided you can get over some odd gameplay features.
The main feature of Mount & Blade is the fact that it has no story--that is, players make their own stories! I mean that quite literally as well. There is no actual set story. Players go through and decide what choices to make--whether to besiege billions of castles or to make tons of money.
The audio in Mount & Blade is short, simple and to the point. A few moans and screams definitely add to the whole war atmosphere. Arrows that whiz by your face make a short "WHIT" sound that leaves players shocked and relieved that the arrow didn't "WHIT" just a little closer to the player's head. There are no other sounds, really, except for the sounds of horse feet pounding on the ground. Mount & Blade lacks a lot of audio that I think could really add to the game, so it definitely loses points there.
Mount & Blade features a fully functional character editor. Rather than spending points on a few all-important skills like strength and vitality, Taleworlds decided instead that they were going to feature a ton of minimal skills. Skills like "Leadership" and "Quick draw" are all stats that do only one or two things. Every level, the player receives one skill point to use on one of these twenty or so minimal skills, one point to use on the important skills like strength, and about fifty points for use on weapon stats (like one-handed, two-handed, etc). Such a variety of skills can easily intimidate players that are new to RTS games, and as such would discourage any further playing past the demo. This, of course, means less sales for Taleworlds.
Ever play a game and shoot an arrow at somebody, only to have the arrows disappear? I hadn't, but then I played Mount & Blade. It's extremely comical to see ten arrows sticking out of a man's chest--then shooting a few more in, just in case. Arrows also stick into shields--I wonder if it's possible to shoot two arrows at the exact same spot, thus breaking one arrow in half? I'll leave it to Robin Hood. Meanwhile, I'll shoot the horses who have lost their masters. Whether or not the horses have a ragdoll engine remains to be said. A part of me says yes, and another part of me says yes--though I'm not entirely sure.
It disappoints me that Mount & Blade followed other games and used a simple health bar instead of pinpoint...hurting. "Pinpoint hurting", as I like to call it, is basically a health system that impedes a player's ability to function when shot at certain places, until the player finally dies or is knocked out. This would be much more amusing, and it's already being used in a Unity game by Flashbang Studios. The game is called Minotaur China Shop, though it's in closed beta so we won't talk about it here.
Unfortunately, Mount & Blade suffers from extreme repetition. The battles are fun no matter how many times you fight, but gathering soldiers and moving around the map is too boring to be called gameplay. There are also very noticeable pauses between dialogue whilst in towns. Talking to someone opens instantly, yet when you leave the dialogue, it takes around ten seconds to go back! This is something that must be fixed, if possible--it cripples the gameplay experience for those of us who go into town a lot. In addition, most of the gameplay isn't fighting--it's outfitting your character with the necessary skills and equipment needed. After you finally get past that, you also get to hire heroes--who, like you, need to go through the long process of upgrading.
SO while Mount & Blade is incredibly fun in some aspects, it does suffer from some bad choices. Hopefully, Taleworlds will realize their mistakes and fix them--I do look forward to future games from them.
The graphics in Mount & Blade leave something to be desired. Even on max detail, the trees still look very...bad. The dynamic lighting and whatnot looks stunning, I admit. In addition, the shadows do look spectacular--on the highest settings, at least. Though, the trees do look awful. I don't know why, but I have something against developers not paying attention to detail in shrubbery. It makes me mad. I do commend Taleworlds for their excellent work most everywhere else--aside from the facial graphics--but I really do think the trees could be better!
The replayability in Mount & Blade is possibly what the game is about. Players can literally take over the entire land of Calradia--and then do it all over again on a new account. In addition, there is a huge variety of skills available for players to level as they see fit, so no two characters are ever the same. These skills vastly change the outcome of the entire game. I'd like to share my philosophy as to how a small little dust particle can change the outcome of a certain event, but that's for another article.
Taleworlds certainly knew what they were doing with Mount & Blade. The amount of attention to the replayability astounds me. No two games are EVER the same. Some may end up as a rebel, trying to defeat an entire country, while some may end up in possession of an entire country! In addition, players can build mills and whatnot in towns, as an added way to make such a variety in gameplay.
Mount & Blade is an excellent game, well worth a small fee of $29.99--that's not even thirty dollars! Fans of RTS games will not be disappointed, though newcomers will feel slightly overwhelmed. Some annoying aspects are a hindrance, yes, however the game is still incredibly fun nonetheless. I hope everyone has as much fun as I did playing this game.
After reviewing Hinterland, a true diamond in the rough, I was excited to dig in to Mosby's Confederacy.
The latest Tilted Mill title, Mosby's Confederacy is a dynamic small unit RTS. You can shape your units (and Mosby himself) by the way you use them in the battlefield. A cowardly foot soldier could become your greatest asset with a bit of luck and prudence. It's also dynamic in that enemy placements are entirely randomized, much like Hinterland before it. A "panic" system for the AI lends some innovation to battles, and faux open ended gameplay makes each path to victory a bit different.
Sounds fun, I know. Sadly, the greatest strategy you could employ in this game is to bring along a book. Mosby's Confederacy has the slowest pace I've ever seen. Here's a great example: I attacked a single Union soldier with all six of my men in the second mission. My units fired at least fifty shots altogether, from ten feet away, and the enemy soldier was STILL ALIVE. I understand that the rifles were crude, but this is ridiculous. You'll spend twice as much time watching these apparently blind soldiers trying to hit each other as you will actually playing the game.
When your enemies have finally fallen (or surrendered and ran away... kind of anticlimatic after all that shooting), put on a movie, because you'll likely spend an even larger amount of time searching for your randomly placed objective. The map is next to useless, the battlefields have very little in the way of landmarks, and your units are painfully slow, even when mounted on horses. A simple rotating arrow or more accurate map marker could have eliminated enormous amounts of eventless wandering, and made the game a bit less of a drag.
Your reward for eventually slogging through these repetitive missions? Fame points and munitions to better stock your crew and butter up the locals toward your cause, as well as a new skill for Mosby. Depending on how well you do, merit badges and the like may also be doled out. You might even nab yourself an achievement or two, if you're playing it through Steam. Whee.
The graphics are yet another aspect of the game that may induce drowsiness. Units are tiny and heavily pixellated, and the fields are basically comprised of the occasional building, random encampment, dirt road, and a metric ton of trees. All of this can be had in either snowy or grassy varieties. Outside of the missions, you are treated to bland portraits and tactical maps. I'm not a graphics whore, but a tiny touch of detail goes a long way. As it is, a Sega Saturn could run this game without slowdown.
At least, it COULD, if the game was at all optimized. There is no reason at all for the system specs to be anywhere near what they are. My computer should not hiccup while trying to render a tree that would not have been amiss in a game made in 1996. It doesn't get as bad as Hinterland's optimization issues, but it's definitely a bit of an annoyance all the same.
Maybe the sound will make up for the other shortcomings, right? Nay nay. And again, sir, I say nay. "Boom. Boom. Argh. Generic music." That's about it. Over and over again. I'm starting to wonder if Mosby's Confederacy should have been titled "Mosby's NyQuil: The Game Based On The Hit Cough Medicine".
If Tilted Mill has accomplished anything with Mosby, it's that the historical accuracy appears to be very spot-on. I personally know little about the real Mosby, but what I do know is represented faithfully in the game. (Although the real man could probably hit a target at point blank with less than 15-20 shots, unlike his virtual reincarnation.) So, you know, there's that at least.
Thankfully, there's some comic relief, albeit entirely unintended. When you start the game, you'l be informed of the many strategies that can be performed with keyboard combinations. Now here's the punchline: None of them are at all needed. I did just fine by using nothing but my left mouse button. Highlight my units, click on the enemies, another victory for Mosby and his merry band of blind Confederates. To be fair, there are times when you'll need to be stealthy to survive, but 99% of the time you'll be able to scrape by even the toughest battles by simply drawing a few enemies away from the pack and picking them off a few times.
I've tried to be as nice as possible during this review so far, on account of how much I enjoyed Tilted Mill's previous titles. But let me lay it out straight for you.
Mosby's Confederacy is just not fun at all.
It is truly and completely uninteresting in every single aspect. It's not a fun kind of bad, like Postal 2 or even Big Rigs. It is just plain and simply a chore. I received absolutely no entertainment from playing this, outside of learning a bit about the man who inspired the game.
I can't understand how such a talented company could put something like this out. Maybe the Civil War isn't an easy subject to turn into a game. Maybe It's just a failed experiment. I can't honestly say. All I know is, Mosby's Confederacy is exactly the opposite of what I had expected.
I do not recommend this game for anybody but the most dedicated Civil War buffs, and even those folks might be less than satisfied with what is presented here. If you want a game that shows what Tilted Mill can really accomplish, stick with SimCity Societies, Children of The Nile, and Hinterland, and give Mosby a pass.
There is one place where this game would fit well, though. With it's historical accuracy, schools could make much use of Mosby's Confederacy. It may not be a good game from an entertainment point of view, but you can't help learning a few things while playing.