Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath

19 08 2007

GameFlak just got Stranger.

I happened to pick this game up really cheap a few months back, but I’ve finally got around to playing it. This game takes place in the world of Oddworld, like all the previous games in the franchise. The story is very well planned in so many ways that this game’s story, if you ask me, rivals Halo 1 and in some ways Halo 2, and it will drag you in very quickly almost like a good RPG. You take the role of a bounty hunter named Stranger [...], and you start the game off trying to get bounties on some criminals to pay for a mysterious surgery. I’m not going to tell you anything else about the story, because it is great and I don’t want to spoil it for everyone. The next great thing about this game is the gameplay, which is quite unique in a few ways. First of all, instead of using guns that shoot bullets; you have a arm-mounted bow that shoots live ammo [Or in other words, animals, lots and lots of animals.]. Every single beastly projectile has it’s own special attributes, from squealing Chippunks [Yes, Chippunks.] that annoy enemies to Stingbees that make your bow act like a machine gun whilst firing them. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg of how excellent the live ammo concept is [Who doesn't want to fire explosive bats at enemies?]. And then you have the third-person mode, which although you may not be able to fire your bow; you’ll be able to run [Which is VERY nice.], pummel enemies with melee attacks, and also bring a nice Platforming element in. The one down-side of this game is your enemies. Other than the criminals you’re trying to get a bounty on, they’re usually one of five or six enemies over and over again [Good thing there's plenty of ways to take them out.]. But the bounties you do get to go after are nearly all different in ever way [Like Jo' Mama. No seriously that's one of the enemies.].

The graphics in this game are absolutely beautiful. Between the unbelievable cutscenes to the wild, sprawling land you explore, it’s absolutely beautiful in nearly ever way. The graphical downsides are the enemy and NPC designs, because most of them are identical.

Another great thing with a few bad part is the music and sounds. The music is absolutely wonderful throughout the game, so that’s not the bad part. The main bad part is that ALL of the enemies sound almost EXACT and so do all the NPCs. This plays a huge part when four enemies keep saying the same line over and over again AT ONCE.

Overall, this game is a must-have for the XBox; it few downsides here and there are more than made up for by the rest of the game. I give Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath a eight out of ten.





Halo: Combat Evolved

9 08 2007

It’s about time I wrote a review on Halo.

Everyone who knows what a XBox is, knows what Halo is. The two are like a Reesee’s peanut butter cup. XBox is the chocolate and Halo is the umm… peanut butter. Too bad so many people are allergic to peanuts.

The story starts out with you coming out of what looks like a cryogenic freeze while still in your armor [How's that work exactly?]. And then you’re thrown into some Elite on Spartan action [Spartaaa!!!!!!]. The story definitely isn’t the strong point in this game I found it sort of flimsy here and there and lacking of thought in many other places.

The main thing that supposedly makes Halo sooooo good is the gameplay. I found the weapons, although very different from each other, lacking in numbers. To be exact there only seven weapons, which really mad me sad, since I was looking forward to a average size arsenal of at least ten weapons. Yeah, you have grenades, but grenades are grenades.  When it comes to weapons the one thing that really ticked me off was that you couldn’t use the plasma sword [If I want to get killed by something, then I also want to kill something with it.]. There’s several vehicles in there, but as long as you’re alive and inside of them, then they’re absolutely invincible [Wha...?]. You have the warthog [Your basic jeep with a gun.], a ghost [A hovering vehicle which doesn't allow you to boost like your enemies...], a scorpion tank [The mother of all tanks.], and the banshee [A flying vehicle which ALSO doens't allow you to boost like your enemies!]. Now the enemies are as repetitive as counting grains of sand on a beach. You have elites,  grunts, hunters, and jackals for the Covenant forces [Yes, that's all folks!] and several forms of Flood, which mostly act the same. Also, there’s no boss. I haven’t played a FPS yet that didn’t have some semblance of a final boss battle, whether it was a obscene amount of Nazis pouring in from nowhere or a giant laser-beam eyeball. Now the enviroment is absolutely annoying in so many ways. You have to play through nearly every map TWICE; you go to a point then backtrack form there. On top of that, half of the rooms in the world are exactly the same! The same design, the same texture, and almost the same enemies [I thought I was going in circles at first.]. The game also comes with four difficulties ranging from easy to a almost god mode for the AI. But gameplay-wise there’s not much else to talk about.

The music is really awesome at first, but every once in a while you’ll come across a song that will annoy to the point of having to pause the game and listle to Super Mario World. The sound is good and I have no major complaints about it, except sometimes you’ll glitch something and it’ll make the most annoying screeching noise ever.

The graphics are absolutely wonderful for when it came out. The bullet’s look like bullets, the aliens look like aliens, and the flood look like zombies. Too bad you have no feet though…

The multiplayer is also very good, and is the main reason for playing this game. Whether it’s the Co-Op story mode or a free-for-all deathmatch; you’ll have a lot of fun with the multiplayer.

Overall, this game is quite short in single player [I beat it in seven hours.], but the multi-player almost redeems the entire game if you have someone to play it with. I give Halo: Combat Evolved a six out of ten.





Resistance: Fall of Man

28 07 2007

Oh goody. Playstaion 3 reviews. 

Resistance looks like it will be Insomniac games’ next big franchise (Spyro and Ratchet and Clank were previously successful titles). This game’s story line is very dark and yes, there is humor but it’s pretty sick. (What’s funnier than watching zombie-like creatures spend ten minutes just to walk over to you then you just hit them with your gun with no great battle just a lot of moaning? The story is still VERY well written with exception to the normal plot-holes here and there but not nearly as bad as the plot-holes in “Lost”. The story starts you off with the story of the Chimeran (Main enemies) invasion and conquering of Asia, Europe, Australia, and Africa but since there Chimera are blood-thirsty monsters (And bored), they decide to tunnel underneath the English Channel to attack England, which they quickly take control of. Then America decides to send some troops over to push the Chimera out of England, which they fail at like Vietnam but among the troops is one man named Nathan Hale who is whom you play as. But enough of the story; let’s talk about game play now.

The game play is very nice with some aspects similar to Medal of Honor and other aspects that are very Halo-ish. This game is probably one of Playstation’s best chances at competing with Halo or Gears of War. There are a ton of weapons and some of them you can only get on certain difficulties. The weapons range from the standard machine gun to rocket launchers to a gun that shoots gooey blobs of stuff that you can detonate to inflict massive damage on your enemies. And there’s also a TON of enemies to use all those weapons on ranging from the basic Chimera to a HUGE walking tank! And what is so great about all these enemies and weapons is that each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s impossible to go through the game using two or three weapons even on easy mode.

The graphics are sharp and very well designed; there’s nothing repetitive in the landscape except for the occasional buildings which every game has a problem with. The characters are very realistic and the enemies look awesome. The cut-scenes are each very similar but also very different and well designed. The sound is also very realistic and it fits nearly everything in the game. The voices are really well done and no two people have the same voice except for the Chimera (But they are just grumbling strange sounds). The music is very nice throughout the game but the great weapon sounds cover it up but that’s perfectly normal for a FPS game. This game’s difficulty can get really challenging especially in story mode but it’s never impossible to beat.

The multi-player is where this game really shines especially with its nearly lag-free games in forty person rooms. There’s several game modes including the normal death match and team death match games and conversion which you have one life as a human and one life as a Chimera. But there is a problem, not all the weapons are online, but some of those weapons would lag the server so bad that it would crash every hour. There are a lot of game worlds online including ones that aren’t even in the story mode. There’s also a co-op story mode if you want to play with some else but not against each other.

Overall, this is a VERY good game and currently by far the best on the PS3. I give Resistance: Fall of Man a eight out of ten.





Super Smash Brothers: Melee

24 07 2007

I’ve been so lazy lately.

Well, now it’s time for me to review a game I’ve had for years, but finally played enough to know about. SSBM is a side-scrolling fighting game for the GameCube that includes all of your favorite Nintendo characters ranging from favorites like Mario, Link, Pikachu, and Kirby and including some other characters also. There’s a ton of different characters to choose from, and even though a few handle like others [like Mario and Dr. Mario], there’s still tons uniqueness, even if everyone uses Marth and Falco [Those guys annoy me to no end. Jigglypuff rules all!]. The fighting part acts pretty much like every other fighting game out there, but is still different in it’s own way. First, unlike most fighting games, you have quite a bit of items to barrage your opponenets with ranging from Pokeballs and super mushrooms to Mr. Saturn [*cough* Earthbound for the SNES *cough*]. Also, there’s a very large choice of worlds to choose from including stuff like Hyrule temple and the Mushroom Kingdom. Another thing that sets itself apart is that you don’t get all the characters and worlds from the start; you have to unlock them by reaching certain goals. There’s a adventure mose added to [supposedly] lenghten 1-P mode, but the only reason you would do it is to unlock more characters, trophies, and worlds. And speaking of trophies, those are just annoying little things you’ll collect as you progress through the game, but all they show is that you have them [Right...]. The multi-player is the only reason to play this game; the multi-player is some of the best that you can find.

The graphics are kind of okay, but they’re nothing to go Yay! over. The music is almost the same as in most of the games the music originated in with a little remix included on most of them. The sound is great and very helpful and you probably will never get tired of it no matter how long you play the game.

Overall, if you have a GC and you have some friends to play with, then this game is perfect, but if you have absolutely noone to play with, then you mioght find yuorself bored after about 10 hours or so. I give Super Smash Brothers: Melee for the GameCube a NINE out of TEN.





Rise of Nations

8 07 2007

Time for another RTS to educate you about.

Quite a while ago I was online looking for a RTS [since at the time I never had one] and I came across this game BUT at the time my computer was too weak for it so I got Age of Mythology. So when I upgraded my computer this was, by far, one of the first games I wanted to get; so here I am now reviewing it.

Unlike all the previous RTS’s I’ve played or seen, this game has no storyline. Instead you just grab a country and try to wipe out everybody else [Yay!]. So this game is pretty much all gameplay, so let’s get started on that. The gameplay is typical RTS; select units, tell them where to go and what to do, blow up buildings, build buildings, instantly create citizens [Cloning?], and last but not least, march an gigantic army that comprises 75% of you population into a completely innocent village just because you feel like it. There’s not much that sepeartes it from other RTS’s in it’s gameplay since you still research, collect resources, and create units exactly the same, but this game has one thing a lot of the others are missing, simplicity. This game is very simple to pick up and play; no insane amount of units, and no strange research trees and all that kind of stuff. A hardcore RTS player may not stay on this game very long, because of it’s simplicity, but people coming into the genre will love this game compared to other RTS’s. There’s a conquer the world campiagn that combines table-top games such as Axis & Allies and all the RTS battles that this game can fit into 6 continents [Sorry, Antartica, nearly unpopulated continents don't count]. Also, the multiplayer is just like every other RTS.

The graphics are great for the time this game came out, but are mediocre in comparision to newly released beasts like Command & Conquer 4. The music is absolutely great and no matter how much you play it, you probably won’t have the urge to turn on Windows Media Player. The sound is also great and it never becomes tiring, and best of all, there’s no annoying lines everytime you select a unit.

Overall, This game is great for someone coming into this genre and maybe for some casual gamers, but hardcore RTS fans MIGHT become after a while. I give Rise of Nations a 7.5 out of 10.





Pokemon Diamond/Pearl

2 07 2007

Gah… I’ve been so lazy lately [Blames society].

Everybody who has been around video games for a while knows what Pokemon is, so it doesn’t exactly need an introduction.  One of the most common assumptions about Pokemon is stuff like “Oh, Pokemon is for kids” or “Pokemon is n00bish” but most of them are completely wrong since Pokemon has quite an older [16+] following and the second is fairly wrong also; yes there are plenty of n00bish people, but no more than any other game out there. So now that we got that out of the way let’s move onto the review.

This game’s story is no different than pretty much any other mainstream Pokemon game out there. You get Pokemon, you battle gyms, you become champion. And the side story plots are almost identical to R/S/E [Ruby, sapphire, emerald] just with the names changed. But now is where the Pokemon games are best-known for; the game play. The gameplay outside of battle is fairly unchanged except for the added Poketch [Pokemon watch...] that allows you to see some stuff that you wouldn’t normally notice and includes a lot of worthless stuff also [Like a calculator?]. The battling, though, has went through one of the biggest overhauls since Gold and Silver. First of all there’s about 130+ Pokemon added [as if there were already enough] and the normal addition of new moves, but the main part is the way moves use the stats [I.E. attack, special attack] Instead of the attacks depending on type it’s now physical contact orieneted [physical uses attack non-physical uses special attack - at least for most moves], but once you get used to that change you’ll find that it’s relatively unchanged.  Also, for those few people who actually enjoy Pokemon contests, those have been overhauled as well. The contest now instead of choosing a few moves here and there, you now have to dress your Pokemon, dance your Pokemon and still use those moves, but ALL of their effects have changed. Also the Pokeblocks have been thrown out onto the street corners and replaced with Poffins which  do the same thing, except they are much more annoying to produce. But the most anticipated change is the addition of the Nintendo Wi-Fi, which in turn allows for online battling and trading which has been needed since Pokemon games were started. The battling is the same online, except you can choose optional Pokemon Stadium-like rules t battle with and the trading is unchanged, except now there’s a GTS [Grand Trade Station? [I think]] which allows for you to trade indirectly with anyone world-wide.

Another overhaul is the graphics which could’ve easily been predicted to change. Now they have a semi-3D-ish treatment with the same classic pokemon 2D feel. The music has been updated to more songs and remixs of old ones, and still I have not found an annoying song yet. The sound is unchanged; the Pokemon still sound the same and the menus still beep the same way.

These are by far the BEST Pokemon games ever. They are great in comparison to most next-gen hand-held RPGs that are out there [my opinion not yours]. I give Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl a  9 out of 10, just because it’s awesome, but still right on the doorstep of perfection.





Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict

30 04 2007

Sorry for not posting in a while. I kind of ran out of games so yeah… But now I’m giving you my first Xbox review. (Woot!)

Unreal has been around for quite a while and pretty much anyone who has ever looked into FPS has come across Unreal. This game is pretty much the same exact Unreal that has been out for over ten years except for better graphics and expanded gameplay.

The storyisn’t really what you would call deep, instead you would call this more of a story lengthener, since the cut-scenes are completely useless. In other words, the story is pretty much your basic Unreal storyline.

Unreal has never been much on the story, so let’s move on to where it lives, the game play. UC2 has some of the best FPS/3rd person shooter qualities mixed into one. You can play the game in 3rd-person the entire way (Which I prefered, since I like being able to see who’s standing behind me shooting me), but you can also play it in a mixed mode with FPS for the shooting and 3rd-person for the melee attacks which are a new addition to the series. The game itself is fairly simple; kill or be killed, but there’s plenty of ways to do both. One of the main things I noticed this game was missing was the selection of weapons; Unreal has always had a decently large arsenal of weaponry, but in this game you get eight weapons, a melee weapon, and a basic handgun depending on your character, which isn’t very much. Another thing is you can only take in two of the main weapons into battle at once, instead of picking them up all over the map. Your weapons will consist of one that uses explosive ammo and another one that uses energy ammo, so it’s easier to find ammo for your guns. There’s plenty of characters to choose from, but they mainly fall into three main classes depending on their weight. There’s six game modes to play on and a ton of maps to get killed on. The game modes consist of deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag (Those are staples), but it also brings in Nali slaughter (which as the name implies; you slaughter Nali), overdose (Which is kind of like playing with a radioactive soccer ball. Yay!), and survival (Which is sort of like king of the hill deathmatch). The game, aside from the story line of all the characters, includes a challenge mode where you battle nearly impossible battles for the chance of unlocking Malcolm, and TRUST me these are challenges. The multi-player is also VERY smooth offline, but I’m not going to pay 50 dollars a month for Xbox Live. Also as a little side note, There’s a semi-gore-off for people who like to kill, but don’t like the blood (Wha…?).

The graphics are amazing (*cough* Selket *cough*) and everything is fairly original.

The music is non-exsistent unless you turn the battle sounds off, but you wouldn’t want to turn them off, because they are very well done.

Overall, this is a decent FPS, but it still can’t compare in any way to something like Halo. I’m giving Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict a 6 out of ten








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