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GTAF Gaming Reviews Index

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#1

Posted 12 August 2011 - 03:11 AM

user posted image
Brought to you by Butters 2011.


user posted image

A few years back, the staff of the forum decided to get people writing some reviews for new games. It was a success, and plenty of reviews were written by various members of the forum. It slowly dwindled down though, until they were just forgotten about, and no one was writing them anymore. Well, it's time for a revamp and to get these reviews started again.

user posted image

Yes, I have no right in enforcing guidelines/rules upon you lot, but the following guidelines should be followed in ensuring you're review is top notch work:
  • All reviews must be written in full English, with correct punctuation and grammar throughout. It doesn't take much to spell-check your work, so please do this before posting your review.
  • All games must be reviewed from an un-biased point of view. If you enjoyed/hated a game, don't be scared of writing this just because you're worried what other members will say.
  • When reviewing the game, please use as much description as possible. Don't just say "I hated this"...explain how it could have been better or what improvements could have been done.
  • The same game can be reviewed by two different people. This will further ensure that the reviews have different members point of view on the game.
  • If you disagree with someone's review, don't be filling their topic up with junk, write your own review. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
  • When writing your review, please state clearly what platform you own the game for, but also state what other platforms the game is out for.
  • Keep fan-boyism out of all reviews and replies.
  • Games can be from any platform, including arcade & indie games.
  • Spoiler tags must be used regarding any information that may....uhm, spoil something for someone who hasn't played the game.


user posted image

The following template does not have to be used in it's exact form, and you are free to change it to suit your needs. The template below is from the old reviews, so I do not claim to have created it.

CODE
[Game Title]

[img][Boxart Image Here][/img]

[b][u]General Information:[/u][/b]

[b]Platform:[/b]
[What console/platform is the game out for? Also state what platform it is you are reviewing the game for.]

[b]Genre:[/b]
[Genre Here]

[b]Developer:[/b]
[Developer Here]

[b]Publisher:[/b]
[Publisher Here]

[b]Online:[/b]
[State Whether the game has online capabilities, and if so, how many players]

[b]Release Date:[/b]
[State the release date here for each specific platform]

[b]General Price:[/b]
[Please use £ & $]

[b]ESRB Rating:[/b]
[Rating Here]

[b]Learning Curve:[/b]
[Try and view this from everyone's POV. If you find the game easy to pick up, but think someone else might struggle, then try and use an average]

[b]Players:[/b]
[Number of players, both offline and online]

[b][u]Multimedia:[/u][/b]

[Post some THUMBNAILED images here, or a LINk to some Youtube videos.]


[b][u]The Rundown:[/b][/u]

[b]Introduction:[/b]
[Post a quick synopsis of the game here. Explain what the game's about and whether or not it follows on from a previous game.]

[b]Graphics:[/b]
[Tell us what you think of the graphics, from the scenery to the characters and everything between.]
[0/10] [- Quick Rating of the Graphics]

[b]Sound:[/b]
[How does the game sound? If it's a horror game, does the music add to the atmosphere? If it be a driving game, how do the cars sound? What are the character voices like? What's the soundtrack like?]
[0/10] [- Quick rating of the Sound]


[b]Gameplay:[/b]
[How does the game actually play and feel like? Tons of action, or just lots of walking around? Tons of customisation, or just box standard?]
[0/10] [-Quick rating of the Gameplay]

[b]Storyline:[/b]
[What's the story like? Were you fully immersed, or was the storyline pointless?]
[0/10] [- Quick rating of the Storyline]


[b]Conclusion:[/b]
[Give us a quick summary of the game overall. Were you happy with your purchase, or let down? Will everyone enjoy it, or just a select audience?]


[b]Overall Rating:[/b] [State your overall rating of the game, such as 9/10]


user posted image

The whole point to a review is that it's your opinion of the game. You don't have to know every detail of the game to review it. Just follow the easy guidelines and you should be good. smile.gif
If you need a few pointers, then you can check
the old topic out for some help.

user posted image

When you feel fully satisfied with the review that you have written, which means having spell-checked it and proof-read it, PM me (Butters 2011) with the completed review - DO NOT be creating a new topic for the review. I will then give the review a quick-check over, and then forward it onto Seddo or meta187, who have agreed to post them into this topic.

user posted image

Game Title
Platform(s)
Reviewed By
Link
Black Xbox PS2 AceRayLink
Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway Xbox 360 PS3 PC SlingaaLink
Dragon's Dogma Xbox 360 PS3 illegal_luggageLink
Fallout: New Vegas Xbox 360 PS3 PC Mati.Link
From Dust Xbox 360 (Arcade) PS3 (PSN) PC OchyGTALink
God Of War III PS3 (Exclusive Title) Kratos2000Link
Grand Theft Auto: IV Xbox 360 PS3 PC gtamann123Link
Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Xbox 360 PS3 WiiStoneHead37Link
LA Noire Xbox 360 PS3 PC finn4lifeLink
Max Payne 3 Xbox 360 PS3 PC LinkiLink
Need For Speed: Most Wanted Xbox 360 PS3 PC PS2 Gamecube GBASgt. FoleyLink
Portal 2 Xbox 360 PS3 PC/Mac MonstaMashaLink
Saints Row: The Third Xbox 360 PS3 PC ccrogers15Link


All credit goes to Butters 2011 for creating the original topic.
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#2

Posted 26 August 2011 - 07:48 AM

Review by finn4life


L.A Noire

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General Information:

Platforms:
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, this a review on the PlayStation 3.

Genre:
Third Person Action/Adventure

Developer:
Team Bondi

Publisher:
Rockstar Games

Online:
L.A Noire does not have online game play, and it is not multiplayer.

Release Date:
L.A Noire was released on the 17th of May 2011 for both PS3 and Xbox360, in some countries it may have been released a few days later.
It will be released for PC on the 29th of December 2011.

General Price:
Australia - $80 AUD
Gamestop UK - 36.97 Pounds Sterling
Gamestop USA - $49.99 USD

ESRB Rating:
M for Mature

Learning Curve:
Easy - Average, Driving is simple, controls are fairly standard, It does require distinction between Musical cues and reading of facial expressions.

Players:
Single Player only, however it does in no way detract from the game.

Multimedia:

user posted image
user posted image

The Rundown:

Introduction:
L.A Noire is Unique, It is different to anything seen before in the Video Game industry.
Set in 1940's Los Angeles you play as Cole Phelps, an officer of the law, you solve murders by searching for clues, tracking down suspects and making the use of Team Bondi's Motion Scan technology, which captures every facial movement and every twitch of the face, to determine if one is telling the truth during questioning.


Graphics:
L.A Noire has fantastic Graphics, everything in the game has very defined edges and boundaries, there is a very fine attention to detail, every object you expect to find in someones home is there, every crease and wrinkle on every face is visible, and i am yet to see a graphics related glitch.

I give it a 9/10 for graphics.

Sound:
L.A Noire uses musical cues to help you find clues, although you can turn that feature off. It is also used during car chases and other action scenes to build excitement, but the music can get very repetitive when you have heard it many many times before.
The voice acting in the game is very good, every character seems like a real person, but there are times when Cole's voice modulates between loud and soft quite noticeably.
The vehicles in game all sound very similar, there are only a few cars that sound quite noticeably different, which is to be expected when there is 95 odd vehicles, but vehicle collisions sound very real.
The Radio stations are not the greatest, but do feature some 1940's hits, but otherwise they are not my taste.
8/10

Gameplay:
L.A Noires Gameplay mostly consists of:
- Searching for clues at crime scenes or suspects homes, at times this can be quite tedious especially when you have to sort through many irrelevant clues, but is quite satisfying when you find an important clue, this is then automatically saved in your notepad, which can be referred to so you can set locations, find suspects, and see what you have already completed.

- There is a lot of driving to be done in L.A Noire, it is a very large map, and the driving physics are quite simple and will not provide much entertainment, but the developers made a smart choice to be able to let your partner drive, which skips you to the desired location.

-Questioning Suspects is another of the core Gameplay features, it requires you to determine if the suspect is lying or not based on their facial expressions when asked an automated question, if you think they are lying you will often have to justify this by bringing a piece of evidence to light, at first it can be hard to read expressions, but it will not take long for you to get the gist of it, but some suspects or persons of interest are better at lying than others, so beware.

I mentioned the large map earlier , you can FreeRoam wherever you like in the map but despite the size of the map there isn't much to do so you might as well stick to the storyline.
There isn't much customization, throughout the game you do get some new suits, they are not mix and match, but they are all good looking suits, and you will probably be happy with them, that is as far as customization in the game goes.
The game can congratulate itself on the almost total lack of glitches, except for the Auto jump/vault feature, the game does not have a jump button the character automatically does it, but at times this didn't work properly, which was an issue when chasing suspects on foot.
[7/10]


Storyline:
L.A Noire has quite a good storyline, aside from investigation related storyline, Cole has flashbacks to his army days, and this helps establish his morals and beliefs, it really builds him as a character.
Clearly the developers wanted to portray a lot of emotion into the game, but that didn't filter through as well as hoped, you did begin to feel for the characters, but for me i wasn't overly concerned with how the story went and i found myself not paying attention at times due to the length of the story and the plot twists didn't really affect me emotionally too much.
[7/10]

Conclusion:
L.A Noire is not for everyone, it can be tedious at times, and gets very repetitive, mostly due to the long nature of the story, while i put this as an action adventure game, there is not a whole lot of action to be witnessed.
Another issue is the fact that the story is not one you would replay, it is very long and once you know what/who, it takes the whole point out of questioning suspects and solving crimes, and there is very little to do outside of missions, i will be trading in my copy, the game however does have potential to be much better, the sequel will hopefully use this potential.



Overall Rating: I give the 7.5/10 It was satisfying, but i expected it be better.

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#3

Posted 07 March 2012 - 04:01 AM

Review by AceRay



Black

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General Information:

Platform:
Xbox and Playstation 2.

Genre:
First Person Shooter

Developer:
Criterion Games

Publisher:
EA

Online:
None

Release Date:
February 26th

General Price:
£5.80
$9.25

ESRB Rating:
M

Learning Curve:
This has a fairly easy learning curve, with good control layout. There are four difficulties; Easy, Medium, Hard and Black Ops. The first mission eases you into the carnage and destruction with a fairly short but fun mission. Good for new players and veterans alike.

Players:
1 player

Multimedia:

Picture 1
Picture 2
Picture 3
Picture 4
Picture 5


The Rundown:

Introduction:
Black (2006) is an explosive first person shooter from the makers of Burnout, who wanted to ďdo for shooting what Burnout did for racing Ė tear it apartĒ. The game certainly achieves this, with debris flying around left, right and centre and guns having unrealistically high clip sizes. Black follows the story of a black ops soldier called Jack Kellar getting interviewed about the last few days by a mysterious operation. Kellar recalls how he hunted down terrorists in Chechnya (Southern Russia) with a group and somehow gets involved with a Terrorist operation called Seventh Wave.


Graphics:
Criterion are known for their awesome explosions, and Black is no exception, using the same engine from Burnout. Thereís nothing as satisfying as shooting a Lada full of lead, causing it to explode in a fire ball and blast three goons to hell. Other than that, the lighting is fantastic, casting a ray of sunshine on the carnage. Guns are shiny and look equally menacing, and I love how the scenery can actually be blown away realistically. Walls go down, stuff blows up, and windows get broken with a satisfying blow. Its like Red Faction but not a pile of overrated sh*t. Character models are pretty generic and I canít help but feel they could have made some of textures better. Overall, I thought it looked quite good and has a great presentation, although the fact thereís no blood was a disappointment, considering the amount of swearing in the game.
8/10


Sound:
Sound is definitely a big strong point of the game. Music is composed by famed composer Michael Giacchino, who also did work for Medal of Honour and Call of Duty games. The music creates an epic atmosphere, making the game feel like some sort of war movie with its orchestral sounds. Other than the music, the guns sound real and authentic. They sound satisfying and exciting.Interestingly, the guns were based on various sounds from movies, such as Die Hard and True Lies, keeping with its action movie roots. Sadly, the one thing that wasnít so awesome was the voice acting, being lifted from the cheesiest action movie you can imagine, and not in a good way.
9/10


Gameplay:
The focus on the gameplay was on being crazy, seductive carnage featuring sh*t blowing up and thousands of enemies dying on your feet and on that front, Black definitely does its job. One interesting thing the game does is give enemies a ton of health but also give your guns a massive clip size. The average gun has around 80 bullets in a mag, so the best strategy is to just go in guns blazing and hold your hand on the trigger 90% of the time, unless youíre carrying an RPG or Sniper Rifle. Itís an interesting way of tackling a FPS, but itís sure exciting. There are many times I felt like John Matrix (Schwarzenegger) from Commando, gunning down some terrorists before scampering behind a corner to reload and then blast down some more. Itís a thrilling experience, a great FPS with no gimmick except good old fashioned ass kicking. To add to replay-ability, there are some side objectives to complete alongside the main objective. They usually involve destroying something, getting a file or finding a secret weapon. How many you have to do is based on the difficulty. You donít have to do any on easy, a few on Medium and Hard and all of them on Black Ops. Sadly, theyíre usually just off the beaten track, not substantial enough to encourage replay value. The game is too short; you could finish it in around 6-7 hours, although I guess thatís a good thing as the game gets pretty repetitive near the end. I couldnít imagine playing through it again; you pretty much get through everything on the first play through, especially with no online or split screen multiplayer to waste away on. Thankfully, the AI is goodÖ in bizarre world! I couldnít count how many times I could run past a guy and he wouldnít shoot me until I started shooting him. Another time, I shot a guy in the head without a rifle and the guy next to him didnít notice. The AI canít seem to understand how to shoot me, except running around confused. The gameplay is fun and exciting; certainly one of the best EA games on PS2, but a few improvements would have been nice.
7.5/10


Storyline:
Sadly, this is where Black falls apart. The game boasts live action cut scenes but itís really just the same dark shots over and over again with clichťd dialogue from both Kellar and the interviewer. Itís also fairly obvious that the storyline was an afterthought, as what you do in gameplay doesnít have any relevance to whatever Kellar is w*nking on about. Youíre supposed to be hunting after this guy called Lennox, but the only encounter with him happens off screen for two seconds. In the final mission you supposedly kill Lennox, something I wasnít aware of until after the mission was over. I could go on all day about what was wrong about the storyline and I will. The characters are tripe. Kellar is most generic guy you can think of, showing little personality, andÖ well; heís the only character really. The interviewer is the other character but he doesnít do much, just acts real suspicious and being a giant plot exposition tool. Thereís some woman who radios you what to do and thereís another guy who swears at you a lot. Game writers, if youíre going to try and be tough with a character, donít use the same swear word three times in a row, it sounds ridiculous. And finally, the ending was the most unsatisfying ending of all time, just being a giant sequel hook for a sequel that was never made.
4/10


Conclusion:
Overall, I liked Black. Itís a fast paced, exciting game which is fun for hours. I have fond memories of the second to last mission, a fantastic mission with great pacing. Sadly, itís let down by its nothing plot, short length, no multiplayer and idiotic AI. If youíre up for a few shooting sequences, Iíd pick it up.


Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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#4

Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:09 PM

Review by ccrogers15


Saints Row: The Third

user posted image

General Information:

Platforms:
Playstation 3 , Xbox 360 , Windows and Onlive .
Reviewing for Playstation 3.

Genre:
Action-Adventure/Open World Video Game.

Developer:
Volition Inc

Publisher:
THQ

Online:
Offline=1 Player
Online= 2 Players CO-OP
Lan Supported

Release Date:
November 15, 2011 (all versions)

General Price:
£47.4117
$59.99

ESRB Rating:
M17+

Learning Curve:
The game is easy for players use to the franchise and GTA style games. However the controls are tacky.

Players:
Online: 2 co-op
Offline: 1

Multimedia:




The Rundown:

Introduction:
The game takes place 2 years after taking over Stilwater.
The saints in that time started a media group and created an energy drink called Saints Flow. After that they teamed up with Ultor and they was able to become famous. The main character is a model and movie star, Shaundi is a TV host who hosts "i want to sleep with shaundi", Pierce stars in ads for saints flow and johnny is a movie star. They decide as a promotional stunt to rob the bank of stilwater but it fails and they are captured by the morning star and johnny is killed on the plane and they want revenge. They are now stranded in Steelport.

Graphics:
The graphics are a step up from the previous games in the series, and the characters are detailed. The game has a very "neon" like feel that you get in GTA VC at night as well due to all the lights.
[8/10]- Perfect.

Sound:
The sounds are ok, but not very much better then previous SR games. The music tracks are great other then the repetitive song called "power".
[9/10] - If you like rap, you like the music. Most of the musics rap or techno.


Gameplay:
The game is great, the missions are fun, but the story is very short. Theres lots of things to do like activities and you can edit and customize your character at any time. The sidewalks are always filled with people, but roads are not very full, and highways are very ghost like. The control mapping is very bad and the camera angle while shooting is difficult to get the hang of.
[6/10]- Ok.

Storyline:
The story was ok, besides the fact that a great long time character, johnny, was killed, and at the end Shaundi can die if you allow it. other then that, its ok. Im a long time fan of the series, and this ones story is very weak compared to the story of the previous games. Hopefully the DLC will change that.
[5/10] Not bad and not good.


Conclusion:
The game is pretty good, fun as well. Its basically a "you get what you pay for" type of game. They took alot of things out from last SR games, but thats OK. The game suffers though from major glitches on all platforms, the PC being the worst. Hopefully this can be fixed in time.


Overall Rating:
6/10.

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#5

Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:17 PM

Review by Slingaa


Brothers In Arms - Hell's Highway

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General Information:

Platform:
Xbox 360
PS3
PC

Genre:
Action/Tactical Shooter

Developer:
Gearbox

Publisher:
Ubisoft

Online:
Up to 20 Players

Release Date:
Xbox and PS3: 23rd September 2008
PC: 7th October 2008

General Price:
£15
$22

ESRB Rating:
Mature/18

Learning Curve:
Took me a while to get used to commanding my squad, but the controls are good with a bit of tweaking.

Multimedia:

Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
Image 4
Image 5

Trailer
Gameplay

The Rundown:

Introduction:
Brothers in Arms: Road to Hell's Highway is a tactical shooter and is a follow-up to the previous Brothers in Arms games. The storyline follows Matt Baker and his squad as they battle through Operation Market Garden in the later stages of World War II.

Graphics:
The graphics in this game are very average. Textures are pretty good, but poor character graphics and bad lip-syncing can ruin cutscenes. The attention to detail is decent in this game, for example if you destroy a wall with a bazooka, pieces of brick can be found flying off and on the floor afterwards. If you headshot an enemy, blood spurts from his head and sprays onto the wall around him. Overall, the graphics during gameplay are good, but the graphics during cutscenes tend to ruin them.

6/10

Sound:
The first thing I noticed about this game was the excellent sounds. Guns sound very World War 2ish and all of the weapons sound different. Explosives also sound amazing, when a barrage of mortars hails down on you, the sound really makes you feel like you're there.

9/10

Gameplay:
Brothers in Arms - Hell's Highway brags a squad feature, where you can select different squads, move them around and tell them to engage the enemy. Generally, you have to either instruct your squads to suppress the enemy, while you flank them. There are other methods of engaging the enemy, but the flanking method is used most often. Towards the end of the campaign, levels feel very linear and repetitive - go to x location, destroy x, rinse and repeat. However some tank levels vary up the gameplay

7/10

Storyline:
The storyline follows Matt Baker and his squad through Operation Market Garden in the later stages of World War II. The storyline is pretty bogstandard, until about halfway when things start to get more intense. The storyline follows on from the previous Brothers in Arms game; Earned in Blood. The plot is quite easy to pick up, as I haven't played the previous Brothers in Arms games, but I understood it. After completing the game, I didn't feel very immersed in the storyline, but there were a few very good, emotional scenes.

7/10


Conclusion:
I think anyone who enjoys tactical shooters or anyone who has an interest in World War II should buy the game, as it's relatively cheap. I picked this up for a fiver and completed it in a few hours, but nevertheless it was well worth it.


7.5/10

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#6

Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:40 PM

Review by Mati


Fallout New Vegas

user posted image

General Information:

Platform:
Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Genre:
RPG with open world mechanics and FPS elements.

Developer:
Obsidian Entertainment

Publisher:
Bethesda Softworks

Online:
None.

Release Date:
October 19, 2010 (US)
October 21, 2010 (OC)
October 22, 2010 (EU)
November 4, 2010 (Asia)



ESRB Rating:
M

Learning Curve:
Fallout: New Vegas offers a great introduction to the Fallout universe, plus an optional tutorial quest for the new Fallout fans. Players are given the power to design and develop their character from scratch, although there is no option to import your character from previous fallout games. Newcomers may struggle at the start, the VATS and the PipBoy may be a little complicated, but once you understand the menus, the game is pretty enjoyable to play. The game offers the new Hardcore Mode, which is a great challenge for the veteran Fallout players, but it's not recommended for newcomers. The game mechanics are something for everyone's taste. You can play it as a FPS but you can also play it as a third-person shooter. FNV gives players unlimited choices, so there should be something for everyone.

Players:
Offline: 1

Multimedia:

Debut Trailer
E3 2010 Trailer

The Rundown:

Introduction:
Spoiler alert.
The game is set in the retro-futuristic themed New Vegas, taking place in 2281, four years after the events of Fallout 3. As a result of a nuclear war, also called The Great War, the whole globe became influenced by atomic fire which changed life corms, landscapes and the global climate. The survivors were hidden in so-called Vaults, which were underground bunkers. 20 years after the Great War, the first Vault opened up. The survivors have started and joined various factions, and fought for the leadership across the deserted world.
In Fallout New Vegas, we are taking role of The Courier, who was meant to deliver a mysterious package to New Vegas. However, The Courier was shot in the head by some unknown mobsters and left for death. Luckily, The Courier was found by a robot named Victor and brought to a nearby doctor. The Doctor checks the Courier's health and then, the protagonist takes his journey across the post-apocalyptic desert to find answers about the one who wanted him dead.

Graphics:
FNV offers a huge and detailed environment with decent character models. The overall graphics weren't as bad, if there were less bugs. The game is really extremely bugged, even if many bugs have already been fixed. But the overall graphics are very good for a RPG.
6.9/10

Sound:
The radio station music is simply excellent and really gives the retro feeling to the overall playstyle. But you can turn the radio off and listen to the incredible sound effect. The voice actors are good, the main characters have very good voices, although the civilians you can't interact with have repetitive dialog. There are hundreds of guns, each with unique sound effects plus many other little things that make the sound brilliant.
9/10


Gameplay:
The gameplay is something for everyone. Newcomers can turn the difficulty down, while veteran players can turn the new Hardcore Mode on if they're up for a challenge. You can play New Vegas the way you want: FPS or Action Game? Rush trough the story or complete every single side quest? Explore or follow the line? Good or bad karma? Who do you help, who do you hate? These are just a few questions you have to ask yourself when you're playing the game. You can do whatever you want, that's what makes the game simply outstanding and players surely will take more than just one playtrough. The shooting mechanics are very good, the game can play like a classical shooter. The VATS system can save your ass when you're about to die. The fighting mechanics work very well too. The gameplay can be challenging but isn't frustrating.
10/10

Storyline:
Fallout New Vegas gives us the power to make the story our own story. There are multiple story paths and each of them is very interesting. The setting and storytelling is excellent, you want to know every single detail about the villages and locations by talking to the people. There are hundreds of possible endings, depending on the player's choices.
8/10

Conclusion:
Fallout New Vegas is my first Fallout game. And I'm glad I showed attention to the series. With it's repetitiveness, I will play trough the game more than once. The game offers tons of concent and variety, which is really worth the price, even if the game has a few struggles. The atmosphere is simply incredible, a must for post-apocalyptic fans.


Overall Rating:
8.5/10

Seddo
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#7

Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:42 PM

Review by OchyGTA


From Dust

user posted image

Genre: God Game/Sandbox

Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier

Publisher: Ubisoft

Release Date: 27th July 2011 (Xbox 360) / 27th August (PC) / TBA PSN

Price: 1200 MS

Rating: ESRB 10+/PEGI 12

Players: 1

From Dust tech demo

The Rundown

Introduction
The player has to assume control of a god and harness the elements to ensure the survival of his tribe. The game features a story mode in which the player must help the tribe progress to new locations by establishing a certain amount of villages.

Story
I've almost completed the story now and I have to say I've enjoyed it. The objective is to progress your tribe to the next location/island by establishing the set amount amount of villages around the ancient totems. You follow your tribes quest to find out what happened to their ancient ancestors and along the way, you have to ensure their survival against the elements. As you progress through the story, natural disasters become more common and the game starts to have a very surreal tone to it. Whilst there are certain powers to ward off natural disasters, if you fail to utilise them in time you must sit back and watch a Tsunami or Volcano wipe away your village('s) and this can make the game frustratingespecially when you have to restart the level. However, you do have a sense of accomplishment when you progress with minimal casualties and you are rewarded for heading off the beaten track to uncover memories of the tribe. Overall, the story is challenging but very rewarding and you do feel inclined to protect your tribe at all costs. However, most of all, the story reminds us of the power that nature holds and that at times, we are merely at its whim.

8/10

Gameplay
Having only played this game for a short while, I am already engrossed in the gameplay. The game focuses on the player manipulating the enviroment to progress their tribe who do this by building villages around totems. Now, whilst this may sound relativley easy, the player has to create a safe path to the totems by interacting with the enviroment such as, building paths of earth over the sea. I do have to say, that the game flows extremely well and the water physics are probably the best I have ever seen as it is possible for water to engulf the land if placed in a certain spot. The player has the ability to move the enviroment by using the left and right triggers of the controller and this simple mechanic makes the game that more fun as it is not overly complicated to get into.
In the early levels, you are slowly introduced into manipulating land and water to assist your tribe but by the time you have moved to the third location, the player has to deal with an unforseen disaster (a tsunami) and then the game really picks up its pace. You have time limits to get your tribesmen to dertain places to prevent them from dying and it can get quite tense at points. However, you do feel a sense of acomplishment when you save your tribe. The game does increase in difficulty as you progress and the challenges become harder which may deter the more casual gamer as it can also become hectic when trying to beat the timer. The timer is an ingenious inclusion in the game as it means you will always have something to do so the pace rarely drops. The only issue I have found so far is that you sometimes have to dum-down your paths for the AI but it is only a small issue. There is also a challenge mode which I discovered after playing the story and this is very vast. There a around 30 to 40 challenges against the clock where you generally have to save your tribe from a disaster. This is a great addition to the game as it extends playing time and intergrates with the story as you have to progress in the story to unlock further challenges. So far, I have found the challenge mode to be great fun and it has kept me entertained when I wanted to take a break from the story.

9/10

Graphics
For an arcade game, the graphics are very good and the water as well as the lava/magma looks visually stunning. Everything flows together so well and the cut scenes just look incredible. Ubisoft have clearly put a lot of work into the graphics and it has paid off and futhermore, the people and creatures on the landscape have a lot of detail. So far I have not had any issue with the graphics as there honestly is nothing to complain about.

9/10

Sound
Once again, the water and more specifically the sound of it hitting the shore sounds very realistic and the sounds of a volcano errupting are actual recordings so it adds to the overall gameplay. The game's dialogue is in a foreign language (African or French) but the translation is provided in subtitles and there are no long speech's so it does not hinder the play factor in anyway. All speaking is doen during the cut scenes anyway. One tiny issue is that the tribes peoples shouts during a level can become a bit annoying as there isn't much variation and of course no subtitles are provided when they do so as it is just random dialogue.

8.5/10

Conclusion
This is probably the best arcade game I have played and each level is challenging and engrossing in its own way which ensures the game keeps itself fresh all the time. I have really enjoyed what I have played of it and although the story isn't particually long, you can always come back to mess about in a completed level and play it like a sandbox mode. However, the biggest flaw with this game is that there is no sandbox mode which would probably make this game a 10/10 but it is not to be. I have heard rumours that content such as an individual sandbox mode are to be added but there is no confirmation on that as of yet.
The release date on the PSN has not yet been specified which is a shame as Playstation users are really going to miss out on this fantastic game which I would wholeheartedley recomend to everyone. However, if your still not sure, I recomend downloading the trial first to accustome yourself to its gameplay. Thanks for reading and enjoy the game.

Overall Rating
9/10
There is room for a little improvement but for an arcade game this is just fantastic.

Big thanks to Butters2011 who brought the idea of reviews back to GTA Forums

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#8

Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:44 PM

Review by Kratos2000


God of War III
"The measure of a man, is what he does with power"

user posted image

General Information:

Platform:
Playstation 3 Exclusive

Genre:
Action

Developer:
SCE Studios Santa Monica

Publisher:
Sony Computer Entertainment

Online:
None

Release Date:
March 16, 2010

General Price:
$59.99

ESRB Rating:
Mature

Learning Curve:
God of War III gameplay wise, is easy to understand.
There's nothing too complicated, and the hints clear up almost everything.
Unlike the previous installments in the series, God of War III does not concentrate that much on puzzles and most of them are very easy.
However players who are unfamiliar with the first games might have problems with a few puzzles. There are 4 difficulties, 3 are unlocked in the beggining, so players can choose the difficulty which suits them.

Multimedia:



The Rundown:

Introduction:
(Warning - few very minor spoilers of the second game which did not deserve spoiler tags, so read at your own risk)

God of War III, is set immidiatly after it's predecessor.
Kratos, after becoming the God of War, was betrayed by his fellow gods and was murdered by the king, Zeus.
Shortly after the hands of Hades took him to the underworld, Gaia - the titan mother Earth, saved Kratos because they had the same interest - revenge on the king of the gods.
Wanting to start a second Titanomachy, she helps Kratos out and sends him after the Sisters of Fate, to change his destiny and return to the time of the first Titanomachy, and return to his timeline with the Titans.
The game starts off with Gaia, climbing the Mountain Olympus with the rest of the titans, with Kratos on her shoulder.
The Second Titanomachy starts, with Kratos' only goal - get to Zeus.

Graphics:
The Graphics are absoulty amazing, everything looks beautiful even though I can point out a very few undetailed areas, low resolution textures but those are if you want to beat very picky and look for them.
Other than that - the ares are completly beautiful and the characters look astonishing, the developers put so much work in this game, and it absolutly paid off.
The detail on the face of the protagonist is incredible.

[ 9.5 /10]

Sound:
Well, here gentlemen - that's absolutly my favourite thing in this game. The music is epic, I got goosebumps almost throughout the whole game - it left me speechless.
The voice acting is amazing, and with the epic dialogues - I'd like to call it perfection.

[ 10 /10]

Gameplay:
The Gameplay is great, lots of variety, running on moving objects, characters & such made my gameplay experience pure fun.
The boss battles were so good I had to complete the game literaly 20 times, because I felt those battles were just so fun but yet so quick.
But I do not blame the developers for making the players wanting MOAR.

[ 9 /10]

Storyline:
The story is definitely a great aspect of the game, left me completly speechless. Especially the ending.
The story contains so many hidden details, players won't be able to catch everything on the first playthrough.
Story is so intense, can barely find an equal.
However it is not the best.

[ 9 /10]


Conclusion:
As I already mentioned, it left me completly speechless. Infact out of being so speechless, I could not skip the credits.
It was my best purchase so far, I have finished it 20 times (literaly) and do not regret a single moment of it.
People who like shooters very much, are probably not going to enjoy this game as much as I did but they certainly will.
However this game does not have multiplayer, which shortens it.


Overall Rating:
[ 9.2 /10]


It might be my favourite game, but I did write this review with reasoning every opinion I have and that's my rating of it.

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#9

Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:48 PM

Review by gtamann123



Grand Theft Auto IV

user posted image

General Information:

Platform:
Xbox 360, PS3, PC

Genre:
Action adventure, Open world.

Developer:
Rockstar North

Publisher:
Rockstar Games

Online:
Yes, 16 players on consoles and 32 players on PC

Release Date:
360/PS3: April 19th 2008
PC: December 2nd 2008

General Price:
$59.99(Release price)
$19.99(Current "Greatest hits/Platinum hits" price)

ESRB Rating:
M

Learning Curve:
If you are A veteran player of GTA learning how to play GTA 4 shouldn't take too long. Alot of the Gameplay is the same as what has been seen seen in previous titles. And the game does a good job at explaining the new features such as the cell phone and the cover system early on in the game. It took me a little while to learn the new driving physics and controls but once you learn them they become second nature. And for new fans of the series the game should not take too long to learn because overall the premise is simple and the game is good at teaching the features and controls as well as telling you what to do once you get a mission. So this game can appeal to all types of gamers in its playability and doesn't take too long to learn.

Players:
Offline: 1
Online: 16(Consoles) 32(PC)

Multimedia:

Trailer 1
Trailer 2



The Rundown:

Introduction:

Grand Theft Auto 4 is the Eleventh installment in the GTA franchise. It was Released on April 29th 2008 to much hype and broke Halo 3's sales records. The game was also a critical success as well and is currently the highest rated game of all time on Metacritic with a score of 98%. GTA IV has virtually no connection to the other games in in the franchise as it started its own story canon. With the only connection to other games being Easter eggs.

Graphics:

GTA IV's Graphics are great. Some of the best i have seen in a game and still stand up over 3 years since its release. I was most impressed with the level of detail in the Vehicles. Almost all cars have fully modeled interiors that really add to the game. The textures on the vehicles is also good. With some cars having worn paint and other appearing brand new. And the cars are also nice and shiny with good reflection effects on them. Another standout is the city itself. GTA 4's Liberty city is quite possibly the best looking virtual city to date. With every city block receiving close attention in detail and texture modeling. You will see trash lying on the sidewalk. Potholes in the road and well modeled buildings and store fronts. Even the back alleys have a significant amount of plant growth that really make them look realistic. The interiors are also well detailed and modeled and can sometimes be photo realistic at a quick glance. Another graphical point i want to get to is the lighting. The game casts shadows very well and interior lighting is also done well. GTA 4's character models are also well modeled. With good facial and body animation as well as detail on the face and body. One complaint I have with the character models is that occasionally they will look lifeless and their eyes will look dead. But this is only a minor complaint and doesn't detract much from the overall quality. But GTA 4's Graphics are not perfect. Occasionally some textures can look blurry and un detailed upon further inspection. Like if you get close to a brick wall that appears realistic from a distance it will seem more blurry and flat once you get close. I have heard some people say that this was not something they noticed in their game but I noticed it occasionally. But overall GTA 4 looks great and should please most people who are picky about their graphics.

9/10

Sound:

I was satisfied and impressed with GTA 4's sound. I think the cars sounded great and Varied. A sports car will sound different from a Truck and a Crotch rocket will sound different than a Faggio. This was something that added to the realism of the game. The radio is also very good with a wide range of tracks to listen to across all Genres. So a fan of almost any type of music can find something to listen to. I also liked how Rockstar highlighted some Indie bands i have never heard of and it opened my eyes up to some cool artists i now listen to such as The Boggs. The voice acting in the game is also very good. With characters having a distinct voice that you will remember and always tie to their face. I personally believe that the game did a good job at reproducing regional accents from what i have heard before (Russians sound Russian and little Jacob sounds very Jamaican). The pedestrians also have a lot of lines that really add to the ambient sound of the city when you are walking around. The ambient sound is another thing. You will hear cell phones ring, A saxophonist playing a tune on the street corner. People chattering and arguing with each other and you will hear car's stereos as they drive by. The ambient sound really makes Liberty city fell real. The sounds weapons make too are not bad either. Weapons do sound different and as you make your way through the game you will usually be able to determine what you are being shot at with just by the sound alone. And Niko's battle cries throughout the game add some intensity to the battles and make him a deeper character. But his cries do get repetitive eventually. I cant tell you how much i heard the "I'LL RIP YOUR HEART OUT!!!" Battle cry throughout the game and became a little annoying as i neared the end of the game. but this is pretty much my only complaint about the sound. The game has incredible sound quality and voice acting and it really adds to the movie like atmosphere of the game.

9.5/10


Gameplay:

With the sound and graphics as good as they are its the gameplay where GTA 4 stands out. It might take a little while to get used to the new physics engine but when you do it becomes a blast. The unscripted ragdoll physics are a great addition to the game. If you crash your car at high speeds Niko will go flying out of the windshield and scrape across the ground. If an enemy is shooting at you from a high ledge and you kill them they will usually fall off and tumble to the ground. If you are in a vehicle and a cop grabs your door handle you can drag him along until he falls off. The physics engine really is great. The firefights are also intense and fun. The cover system usually works well with an occasional moment where you take cover on the wrong object but This does not detract from the game as much as you would think as it doesn't happen that often. While you are in cover you can lock onto enemies and pop out to shoot them or you can blind fire around corners. Your enemies will also take cover too. This makes the firefights intense and tactical as well. As the enemies do not pop out of cover as often as you would think. Another great addition to this game is the new wanted system. Once you get a wanted level a blue and red zone will appear on the radar. Increasingly larger as you wanted level goes up. The location of police is also marked on the radar as well making the police chases intense and fun. Because you can lose the police by exiting the circle and staying out long enough for them to call off the search or visiting the traditional pay n spray. Another thing of note is the long list of extra features and side missions you can partake in. With your cell phone you can call up your buddies (And occasionally they will call you) and take them out for some food, bowling, darts or some more unique ones like a helicopter tour or boating ride. As you complete these side missions your relationship will improve. And once it reaches a certain level you will receive certain benefits from them that come in handy throughout the game. But these interactions can become repetitive at times and the constant calls can become annoying. But you can turn your phone to sleep mode to stop these calls. One complaint i also want to make is the lack of things to do. In San Andreas you would never get bored with a seemingly never ending list of things to do, places to go and things to hunt and collect. But GTA 4 seems to take a step backwards in this progression. As you have less options. You do have some assassin and drug smuggling side missions as well as your friend activities but these don't last long and after you have completed the main story you have very little to do. But in this game its not hard to invent your own fun. Stunts are very interesting with the new physics engine but all the sandbox gameplay cannot make up completely for the lack of activities and jobs. And that's where online comes in. You can play with your friends online in a variety of game modes that add hours of entertainment to the game. My favorite activities are the ones where you are placed on a team with other players and assault the CPU. My favorite of these was deal breaker. But even online will eventually lose its appeal after a while. And now since GTA 4 is aging and fans are moving on to other game like RDR and now that two top notch FPS games are going to be coming out this fall I expect the GTA 4 lobbies to continue to become more desolate. But if you do have a group of friends who have the game. Playing online with them is sure to add some hours of excitement to your days. I gave GTA 4 a perfect score in gameplay but that doesn't mean its 100% perfect. It does have some slight issues as well as the lack of length after the story is complete but i don't believe these are bad enough to knock the game down.

10/10

Storyline:

The story of GTA 4 pulled me in and kept me playing. The story is about an Eastern European immigrant named Niko Bellic. And his journey to the U.S in search of freedom, Success and to put his troubled past behind him. But when he arrives everything is not as it seems. His cousin Roman has fed him almost nothing but lies and is not living like a king. So when Niko arrives hes in almost a worse situation than where he came from. He has no money. Almost no resources or contacts and no one respects him. The only thing he has is his own body. His past experiences to guide him and a determination to succeed. The story is too good for me to spoil and i think almost anyone who likes a good drama and action movie should like GTA 4's story. I believe it remained engaging throughout. With only a couple of periods where events slowed down but they picked up quickly again and kept me engaged. And when i finally beat it I had to take a moment to just sit and look back at the epic journey I had taken in the past 45 hours. It was a series of ups and downs that kept me wanting to see more. I believe that the story could easily be made into a movie and i think it should. Its that good.

9.8/10


Conclusion:

In conclusion i believe that GTA 4 is something almost all gamers can enjoy. It is nearly perfect across the board and has a great story to go along with it. I believe that Rockstar really out did themselves here and the game was actually better than i was expecting since the story was so great. When i first saw the trailers i immediately thought it was just going to be a pretty game with not much behind it. But i was wrong to question Rockstar. The always seem to find the perfect amount of balance in a game. And GTA 4 has enough in it to keep you playing for hours on end. And will go down as a great achievement in not only GTA's history but video games and entertainment as a whole. If you have even the slightest interest in video games i suggest picking up GTA 4. Its an experience that shouldn't be missed.


Overall Rating:
9.7/10

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#10

Posted 04 May 2012 - 11:49 PM

Review by MonstaMasha


Portal 2

user posted image

General Information:

Genre:
First person action puzzler

Developer:
Valve Corporation

Publisher:
Valve Corporation

Online:
Separate 2 player co-op campaign

Release Date:
Retail
North America: April 19, 2011
Europe: April 21, 2011

Steam (Worldwide)
April 19, 2011

General Price:
Around £29.99/$59.99

Rating:
ESRB: Everyone 10+
PEGI: 12

Learning Curve:
From my point of view, Portal 2 was easy to pick up. The new mechanics were implemented slowly so that you always knew what to do. However, getting to these new game mechanics is essentially impossible if you have no grasp of the main function of the game, the portals. I knew how to use them due to my prior experience of the first game. However, when placed in the hands of my close friend, who had never played any of the Portal games, it took him a long time to even comprehend the idea of portals, let alone be able to use them at high speed in high pressure situations, ever present later in the game. However, with much guidance, he eventually came to understand how to use portals. Therefore I would say that Portal 2 is a game that can be played by all, although it will take some getting used to for those new to the Portal franchise.

Players:
Single player campaign
Two player co-op campaign (online)

Multimedia:
user posted image user posted image user posted image user posted image




The Rundown:

Introduction:
(Warning: Portal 1 Spoilers)
Portal 2 follows on from the story of the original game released in 2007. Having defeated GLaDOS, you saw Chell get carried away by a mysterious robotic voice at the end of the first game.. At the start of Portal 2, you find yourself living in a suspension chamber, used to house the test subjects. The curator of the test subjects, a small robotic sphere named Wheatley (voiced by British comedian Steven Merchant), bursts in and alerts you of a problem in the enrichment centre. The rest of the subjects are dead, and you are the last one alive. You and Wheatley formulate a plan to escape, which forces you both to pass through GLaDOS' dilapidated and worn chamber. GLaDOS was the main antagonist of the first game, who forced you to complete various test chambers using the portal gun. This is a very simple idea that can be put to many complex uses. essentially, the gun can shoot a blue portal and an orange portal. If you go through an orange portal, you come out of the blue portal and vice versa. Any momentum that you gain is conserved through the portals, setting the game up for some brain bending puzzles. Wheatley, while scared of going near GLaDOS, is optimistic, unknowing of your "relationship" with GLaDOS from the previous instalment. Upon entering the chamber, GLaDOS is alerted (well, woken up from her "murdered" state) to your presence and begins testing with you once more. The plan to escape eventually goes horribly awry and off plan, throwing you into a story of adventure, suspense and of course excellent puzzles.

Graphics:
The graphics in Portal 2 are remarkably good. Details such as individual leaves in the dilapidated test chambers have been looked after, and nothing too big or too small have been ignored. You especially notice the splendour of the game when you reach some of the more open areas of the game, as you are able to look over vast expanses of the testing facility, allowing you to appreciate the grandeur. However, upon closer inspection, some textures can be slightly blurry when examined closely. Also, a friend of mine had experienced a problem with the smashing of glass, an essential part of the game from the very beginning, crashing the game. However, I believe this may have been down to his computer and not the game.
8/10

Sound:
The music in the game has been excellently chosen and is really put to its best uses in the game. There is never an out of place sound effect or soundtrack, whether you're in grave danger or just prancing about safely. The sound effects fit the environments well, and voices are excellently chosen. All characters, including minor roles such as the turrets, have voices that dictate individual personalities. Finally of course, I mist mention the legendary credits songs of Portal. Jonathan Coulton's catchy tune "Still Alive" from the first Portal game inspired thousands of gam,era worldwide, and I can confirm that this game does not disappoint.
9/10


Gameplay:
This game is not for those who enjoy simple gameplay. The puzzles gradually increase in difficulty as you become more and more adept with the portal gun. These puzzles can become incredibly complex and will leave you thinking for a long time in some parts. I was at times tempted to use a guide for one or two hard chambers, but I resisted the temptation and it was worth it. The feeling of intelligence you get when you solve a hard puzzle is something that you just don't get from using a guide. Therefore I beg of you not to use a game guide of any kind, as it will impede your enjoyment of the game. If you enjoy a challenge then this game is definitely for you.
9/10

Storyline:
The story of Portal 2 is excellent. With a canon timeline of the Portal universe built around the game to support in-game developments, you find yourself fully immersed. The timeline even incorporates developments from other games developed by Valve, such as the Black Mesa facility from the Half Life series. I would however recommend that you play the original Portal game beforehand. This will enhance your understanding of the plot and you will enjoy the sequel much more.
9/10


Conclusion:
A simply incredible concept has been put to amazing use with this series. With brain bending puzzles that will keep you thinking intertwined with an engaging and surprising storyline, this game keeps you on the edge of your seat while pushing your grey matter to its limits. The only thing I would say is that you should only play this game if you enjoy complex puzzles, as this game is chock full of them


Overall Rating:
9/10

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#11

Posted 28 May 2012 - 10:10 PM

Review by StoneHead37

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock

user posted image
GH: WoR Boxart

General Information:

Platform:
XBOX 360, PS3, Wii
(Reviewed on PS3)

Genre:
Rhythm game

Developer:
Neversoft (XBOX 360, PS3)
Vicarious Visions (Wii)

Publisher:
Activision

Online:
2-8 network players

Release Date:
September 24, 2010 (Europe)
September 28, 2010 (North America)
September 29, 2010 (Australia)

General Price:
$14.99 New (game only)
$69.99 New (game and guitar bundle)

ESRB Rating:
T (Teen)

Learning Curve:
The difficulty of the game varies on each individual player. Generally, newcomers start off playing tracks by simply just strumming. As they come more accustom to the game, the player may increase the difficulty in which new buttons (notes) are added to the gameplay. To work up in experience with the game, key skills such as finger control and speed, button awareness and hand-eye coordination are needed to become a better player. Regardless of skills, players will progress at their own pace as one player may pick the game up easily and another may pick the game up slower.

Players:
1-4 players
2-8 network players

Multimedia:
Aqualung by Jethro Tull (100% Expert - Full Band)
Bat Country by Avenged Sevenfold (100% Expert - Drums)
Bodies by Drowning Pool (100% Expert - Vocals)
Fury of the Storm by DragonForce (100% Expert - Full Band)
Sudden Death by Megadeth (100% Expert - Guitar)

The Rundown:

Introduction:
Besides the regular 'Quickplay' mode, in which unlocked tracks can be played with difficulty settings and instrument settings can be applied, 'Quest Mode' is the game's version of a career mode. In 'Quest Mode', the player will progress through different track lists, varying of different styles of music genres, in order to the recruit different characters to help the player rescue the Demigod of Rock from a mechanized creature called The Beast. Each character has a unique style of play and possess different types of perks and special abilities. After earning enough experience points (stars) with each character, the character will transform into its 'warrior-self' and become an even stronger musician. While the player are recruiting band mates, the player will progress through the map, battling through the game's signature songs in order to reach The Beast in an ultimate rock showdown.

Graphics:
The game's graphics are extremely detailed and colorfully vivid. When characters are viewed from close up, their faces are almost human looking, especially when it comes to facial features. Scenery and venues are also great looking. Whether the venue is set in an underground rock studio or out on a foliage hill, the aspects of detail incorporated into the scenery is outstanding. Instruments and lighting are also very realistic looking.
[9.0/10.0]

Sound:
The game is based on sound and rhythm. The sound in the game is amazing; unlike anything you will ever hear. The crowd's cheering adds an atmospheric effect unlike any other. Heavy and loud songs cripple your ears when played correctly and light and soft songs mellow out the mood of the game.
[10.0/10.0]

Gameplay:
The atmosphere of the game really makes you feel like you're right there with the band or in the front row of the crowd, rocking out. Once you get into the game and find a number of tracks you like, when you're playing them, you'll feel as if you're there on stage, playing the guitar as the crowd cheers you and your band on. Also, the game becomes more in depth with you when you customize your band and instruments.
[8.5/10.0]

Storyline:
The storyline definitely could've been better. The whole fantasy plot kills the idea of being a real rocker. When you're battling The Beast and/or finishing 'Quest Mode', the track lists become ridiculously hard and feel like more of a chore than fun to complete. The battle with The Beast is so tedious, that you have to keep taking breaks to make it through the never-ending track list. Plus, completing 'Quest Mode' doesn't really give you any sense of satisfaction or joy. You'll be basically saying to yourself, "Thank God it's finally over!".
[6.5/10.0]


Conclusion:
I'm quite happy with my purchase of Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. I never really cared for rhythm games such as the Guitar Hero or Rock Band series, but after I played this one game, my whole opinion change. The game has an amazing track list, including great artists such as Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, R.E.M. and The Rolling Stones. All in all, I was very please with Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock.


Overall Rating:
[8.5/10.0]

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#12

Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:10 AM

Review by Linki

Review Guide

Gameplay:
-design = out of 11
-mechanics = out of 11
-replayability = out of 11

Presentation:
-visual design = out of 11
-sound design = out of 11
-performance = out of 11

Story:
-characters = out of 11
-plot = out of 11
-music = out of 11

/11



Max Payne 3 : Review
user posted image
Reviewer Experience :
After completing the game on all difficulties (excluding Easy, of course), obsessing over the details and nuances of the story, finding nearly all the collectables, trying my hand in multiplayer, getting gold/platinum in every level of Score Attack and trying out the New York Minute mode - all with Free Aim - I concluded that I now had a credible understanding of the game. Good enough to post a review, at least. Note this was played on the PS3 version.

Background Info :
The Max Payne games were a Remedy production for the first two entries of the series, accompanied by Rockstar only as a publisher. After finishing the second Max Payne, Remedy moved onto a new project and Rockstar swept in to produce the next chapter of Max's journey into the night themselves. The first screens of Max Payne 3 were published, showing a bald, overweight, damaged, bearded man in a wife-beater shooting up a sunny Brazil. Understandably, fans were surprised. Some where shocked and in disgust at Rockstar's treatment of Max Payne, others were curiously optimistic as to what Rockstar was doing with Remedy's classic IP. After a long wait, trailers and more info was revealed, calming some fears down for some. Now, it's actually been released and all pre-release speculation must make way for actual experiences with the game itself.


Gameplay

Design:
The core of the game revolves around gun-play and the utilization of bullettime/shootdodging and cover. Each level has to do with surviving groups of enemies in different scenarios. It is a very contained and linear experience, yet it still rewards exploration on the side with "collectables" such as golden guns, clues, encountering tourists, watching T.V. and practicing Max's piano ability. The encounters with the enemies are what the game is all about though when it comes down to it. Is that a bad thing? In this case; not. At. All.

Thanks to the brilliant bullettime, shootouts give you the chance to orchestrate ridiculously stylish battles that would make Hollywood sh*t themselves, then order more sensationally spiteful news stories to make videogames look bad on morning television.
In most scenarios Max starts out in cover giving you a chance to decide how to tackle the situation and adds some strategy to the game. Many people fretted that the game would be a cover shooter, but it's obvious once you play it that the enemies are programmed to flush you out, making cover only a place to plan what you're going to do next. Shootouts themselves are decently designed and set up differently every time, which never really makes the game feel repetitive, even if it is in nature.
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It also may come as a surprise (and a shock, especially for players who haven't played older shooters) that the game is unforgiving in it's difficulty. Checkpoints have been purposely spaced out, so if you die in the middle of a skirmish, it won't transport you back in the midst of it, instead you will have to try the whole battle out again. This may grate on some, but it's a fair penalty and one that gives you incentive to really be as stylish as you can when you take the enemies out, which basically means avoid getting shot. Another trait that's been carried on from previous Max Payne's is no regenerative health. Instead the player must take painkillers to be keep the pain at bay, adding more strategy to the mix.
A new component has been added to the pills feature this time around; if you get shot too much and still have a painkiller available, you will get knocked down and will enter an automatic bullettime in order to shoot the guy who knocked you down, giving you another chance to continue. This is called Last Man Standing mode, and it works well without taking away the challenge of fights.

The levels themselves move seamlessly into the next without break, but this can take away too much player control and becomes even detrimental to your chances of survival. Say for instance you just cleared an area of enemies and you're about to pick up some ammo and pills lying around, then the game cuts to the next scene automatically. And sometimes the amount of painkillers you stocked up will go suspiciously missing in the next scene. I know Max loves his pills, but if I didn't see him taking them, then it was in the wrong. Note that I am not referring to crossing from one chapter to the next, rather going from one scenario to the next in a single level.

Report

9 out of 11

The design of the game succeeds in nearly all sectors, making the players feel like they are creating their own action scenes on the fly. Only a few irresponsible design choices (having to with taking away control from the player) knock it down a couple numbers.

Mechanics:
The controls of the game are mostly strong. The shooting is incredibly accurate and in depth for a third person game, with the ability to aim and shoot in all areas in 360 degrees, no matter what state you are in. You can fire from the hip or aim properly, fire from a prone position after shootdodging or after surviving getting knocked down, fire flying backwards, forwards, etc. There is barely any moment where you are unable to shoot, and that's good to know. There is a couple seconds after getting up off the ground from being prone where you cannot, however. And even though it's only a small moment, it can cost you your life.

Cover works better than any other Rockstar game that's included it. It feels less "sticky" and easier to move around in. Blind fire is a bit more risky this time, but feels more realistic and thus, dangerously fun. One thing that was sorely missing was the ability to slide into cover, which was quite surprising in such a stylish game. Another problem is when I would shoot whilst in cover at an enemy behind the cover I was in, so I was vulnerable. This wouldn't be a problem if Max didn't pop his whole upper torso out to shoot, leaving me open to the gunfire I went in cover to hide from in the first place.
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Basic movement is nice, with Max moving with a tangibility that makes each step real and fluid. Unfortunately, precise, slower walking is clunky and makes exploring tight areas an uncoordinated, frustrating hassle. If you hold down the X button Max will "run". It's barely any faster than normal travel, and I don't see why it's even an option. There are opportunities to climb objects at some points, not too many. Sliding over cover is smooth and responsive.
Shootdodging feels exhilarating and looks awesome, which is good news considering you're going to be doing a lot of it (if you plan on playing on the higher difficulties). One of the great things about it is the fact that you can do it in any direction.

Melee is a hit and miss. You could have an enemy on the floor in pain and about to get up, so you go up to him and try to melee him. Max will do a shoddy kicking animation yet the guy will still be alive, so you do it a couple more times and then he stops moving (might as well have shot him instead). Talk about unsatisfying. But then we have the melee attack where you're holding a firearm and run up to a standing enemy and an interactive execution begins with Max brutally beating the sh*t out of him, then shooting him in the face. Talk about satisfying.

Report

9 out of 11

The gameplay mechanics all come together to work exceedingly well, cultivating in the best shooting gameplay available for any third person game (or even FPS, but that's a personal opinion). When it comes to close quarters - whether it be tight movement or melee - it's too unpredictable in it's effectiveness, taking down the numbers a couple notches.


Replayability:
On the cover, it's a linear shooter with a couple modes here and there and some online. That's it. If you look at it that way, you're not going to find much here. But if you are a Max Payne fan or just a fan of using games as your own personal toolbox to create awesomeness in general, then you are going to find a lot to love here with Max Payne.

For single player enthusiasts, there is a good amount of things to do. Obviously, you can complete the story on each difficulty setting. Multiple types of collectables can be found throughout the story. Cheats can be unlocked through various tasks. There is an Arcade section that changes the game into two different styles of play; Arcade Mode and New York Minute.
Another, "unofficial" reason why I'm going to go back to the single player is to pick and choose my favorite chapters and try to complete them in different, stylish ways. Set up your own set pieces with different weapons, smart use of timing and bullettime, and watch the results. I did this with the previous Max Payne's and that's what I'm going to do with this one.
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Then there's the multiplayer. I myself haven't really gotten into it yet, so I can't say all that much. It should be fun playing with friends and crews.

Report

7 out of 11

Great amount of single player content for a linear shooter, especially in these times of 6 hour campaigns and then it's onto the online. In the end, it won't deliver the long lasting fun of an open world game, but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.


Presentation

Visual Design:
The standout visual element of the game is the flashy, multicolored effects that happens in game and in cutscenes. An obvious way of making you see the world through Max's f*cked up state of life, it does a good job at it. If the player doesn't understand this intention, it may just be seen as seizure inducing sh*t. Which is understandable.
Panel transitions and key words that hang in the air also occur to give off that graphic novel nature of Max Payne. It works well, and is some nice graphical effects, but some are sure to miss the original style of cutscenes in the older games. Nevertheless, time has moved on, and you can't expect Rockstar to not include motion capture cutscenes. They love that sh*t.

One thing fans were most worried about is that the constant dark noir look of the older Max Payne's appeared to be lost. Indeed, a good amount of the game is set during daylight. But there is also a lot of rainy/snowy nights, dramatic lighting, imposing shadows, setting suns, gritty environments etc. It's not a sunny paradise, that's for sure. The way shadows and the lighting affects the already gritty looking environments is very atmospheric. In one scene Max walked outside into a strikingly moody sunset (very fitting after what just happened in the previous scene) over the nightmare-ish favelas with strong orange rays that made Max's bald head shine wonderfully.
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I don't even know if I have to point this out, but the detail is astronimical. Seriously. All that detail from Rockstar's open world games has exploded into these smaller locations. It's just incredible.

Report

9 out of 11

The strong vibe of the game walks hand in hand with the outspoken, unique look that will separate it from other games with similar settings in the long run.


Sound Design:
Yelling foreigners, loud shots, breaking glass, a low bass rumble then ensues and the slowed down screams of death ends your screeching, machine-gunned frenzied, slow-mo flight through the air. You'll be hearing that scenario quite a bit, I reckon.
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Not much to be said here though. The sound is high quality. A cool thing to note is that all details in the environment when shot sounds just like it should, which is damn impressive.

Report

10 out of 11

Gets the tough job done of putting you into the deadly world of Max Payne, and an exceedingly eclectic one that is.


Performance:
The RAGE engine's first linear game since... Table Tennis (?) handles itself well. High definition environments with highly awesome animations show us Max Payne in the new generation. Shootouts are beautiful works of art, with bodies being spliced up in a poetic ballet of blood and flailing. The game has detailed city backdrops, which are gargantuan compared to the backdrops of Max Payne 1, really showing us how technology has moved on since 2001.
The Euphoria engine has never been better. You've probably already seen it in action, whether it be via the Tech videos or the game itself. (I can only dream of what GTAV is going hold in store for us)
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There are some mildly serious technical issues I've experienced with the game (remember, I've been playing on the PS3). Sound would drop out and come back in later, making everything out of sync, or not come back at all. Random loading screens would appear then not load at all, forcing me to quit the game and start again. Max's body would sometimes drop into blue hell after initiating a Last Man Standing. Outside the game, a certain cheat hasn't unlocked even after completing what needed to be done to unlock it. That's particularly irritating. Almost as bad as locked DLC content on disc. Almost.

Report

7 out of 11

The graphical bravado on display is bogged down by technical issues that plague many areas of the game, however so rare. If it gets patched, bring the score up by three.


Story

Characters:
Max Payne, the man in the title, returns. The writers got the character down to the last nuance. The words he uses and the kind of sentences he strings together are what I expected to hear from him. But remember, it's been a while. And in those long years he's been absent, he's been popping pills and drinking it down with alcohol. This baggage is clear in his characterisation, which is great to see. Not many action heroes, nay any video game characters, are as deep and human as Max Payne.

The supporting characters all have their parts to play. Passos, Rodrigo, Fabiana, Giovanna, Victor, De Marco, Marcelo etc. Maybe it's because I've played it through many times already, but I found them all to be memorable. There was, however, one guy who came out of the blue and thus didn't really get much notification from me; Neves. And Da Silva also was sort of like "Wait, why are you here with me right now? Who are you?" I must admit he has grown on me, and his cool detective persona fits well against the backdrop of all these shady, noir types.
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The acting on display here is top notch, as to be expected from a Rockstar game. Apparently though, the accents of the foreign speakers aren't correct? I myself didn't notice this and can't say anything as I have no idea how they're supposed to sound anyway.

Report

10 out of 11

Characters that feel like they could exist in the real world. Flawed, shady, memorable individuals with their own persona's. Max Payne himself was already an iconic character, and now he's only become even better, earning his place as one of the most deepest characters ever played out. Only a couple of characters are forgettable, coming in and out of the story too quickly and too late for their own good.


Plot:
Try closing your eyes and imagining Max Payne 3's story as a noir graphic novel. I don't know about you, but it's clear to me the goal of creating such a story was reached.
The basic plot revolves around Max's seemingly never ending plight to save fallen women. Of course, it runs much deeper than that. Conspiracy, double crossings, corruption, vengeance, etc. It's all here.
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The story is complex, not only in the amount of twists and turns, but in the gray area between good and evil. A man you see as your enemy earlier in the game finds himself with Max's mutual respect, allowing the former enemy to live out his own personal vendetta.
Morals and principles are in place with Max, but they story is more about letting go than redemption or revenge.

Max is still an avenging angel though. At least by the second half once he shaves his hair, as a symbolic moment of taking back control and becoming the dark avenger we know and love.
Symbolism is everywhere in this game. Slightly opened doors, blood trails, broken windows - all things the player will see frequently, as Max will notice himself. If you didn't get it by now, these are all images of the night the payne started.

Report

10 out of 11

It may take multiple playthroughs to get it all in, but the story remains engrossing on the first and fifth playthrough. Just like a good book, it's all about 'just one more page...'. Indeed however, some players may find themselves forgetting what's going on in the story. Whether this is a case of player fault or the game itself being too abrasive, well, is too subjective to be seen as a big problem with the story itself.


Music:
Between the gunfire and yelling, the soundscape is perpetuated by a dynamically atmospheric soundtrack. From pumping, percussive action music, to moody nostalgic synth. The soundtrack is the soul of Max Payne 3.
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The classic theme, of course, returns. Max himself even plays the theme on a few pianos in game, which I thought was quite cool.

Report

11 out of 11

The right music at the right time does so much for making the game that much more enthralling, and Max Payne 3 has it's musical timing (and taste) spot on.



Final Report


Max Payne 3 is one of the greatest action games ever created, and is (at the very least) the best shooter conceived this generation. The game creates digital cinema that is of higher quality than most of actual cinema out at this time. And I'm not just talking about the storyline, acting, dialogue, etc. I'm also talking about the gameplay itself. There are a few issues with the game, and some may find the unique nature of the game's visual style a needless distraction. If you are one of those, try to look past it, and if you do, you will find a brilliant shooter that evokes the punishing nature of difficulty from yesteryear.


9/11

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Seddo
  • Seddo

    YNWA

  • Zaibatsu
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2005
  • None
  • Winner of Euro 2008 Prediction League

#13

Posted 05 June 2012 - 09:52 PM

Review by illegal_luggage

Dragon's Dogma

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General Information:

Platform:
Xbox 360 and PS3. Review done on the Xbox 360 version

Genre:
Action RPG
Hack and Slash

Developer:
Capcom

Publisher:
Capcom

Online:
The game features a pawn sharing system where you can hire your friend's or random peoples pawns. Looking through different pawns is like comparing Pokemon cards. You have a limit of four pawns working with you so you may only hire three pawns. The fourth pawn is the one you've created.

Release Date:
JP May 24, 2012
NA May 22, 2012
EU May 25, 2012

General Price:
£36 UK
$60 US

ESRB Rating:
Mature

Learning Curve:
People who have played other RPG's like Skyrim, Dark Souls and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will soon pick this up. There is not a lot to remember but people who rely very much on quest help may have a bit of trouble. It can be hard to know if you're doing a side quest or part of the main quest if you didn't listen properly.

Players:
This is a single player game

Multimedia:

http://dragonsdogma....n_March3_03-jpg
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http://dragonsdogma....D_SS_4-10_7-jpg

The Rundown:

Introduction:
Dragon's Dogma is a whole new franchise which redefines the action genre with its pawn system. The game is set in a huge open world and has a well made fun to use combat system. When it gets dark in Dragon's Dogma, vision is limited and many scary monsters such as zombies will come out so have your lamp ready!

Graphics:
Textures look a bit low res and player models are low poly. However monsters look awesome and the environment begs to be explored. I think these problems are mainly caused by console power limitations especially the low res textures.
[8/10]

Sound:
The sound effects are well suited and don't seem repetitive, character voices and dialogue are old English style and don't sound cheesy. Atmospheric music sounds good and achieves a great effect especially when fighting a boss. The menu music is this J-Rock song but it is very catchy and I like it.

[9/10]


Gameplay:
Fighting enemies is so much fun in this game. The pawns provide good teamwork and point out weak spots in the enemies. Boss fights can last along time and make you really work hard to exploit the weak point but defeating the creature really makes you feel like you've achieved something. There is a grabbing feature in this game meaning you can pickup fallen enemies such as wolfs and bandits and throw them to where you desire. I once picked up a wolf and threw it off a cliff which was quite funny but harsh. The grab feature really steps up the boss fights as in other games you just hack and slash at their knees but in this you can jump up in the air and then press RT to grab onto the enemy. Once on the enemy you can crawl around and attack but keep and eye on your stamina level as once you run out, you will fall off and then be a slow moving target. Out in the wild, ingredients can be picked which are very useful, they can restore heal, stamina and can be combined to make even more effective potions. The bad points I have with this game is that there is no fast travel like in Oblivion. Hardcore players won't mind but going back and forth seeing and fighting the same enemies over and over is more like a chore. Also you can only have one save at a time but ingame it is very easy to change your vocation.
[8/10]

Storyline:
The main story is about fighting this mysterious dragon which took out your heart. Quests are a bit bland but the combat makes up for it. According to the wiki, the story is around 50 hours long and side quests can take around 70 hours but this doesn't necessary mean anything.
[6/10] [- Quick rating of the Storyline]


Conclusion:
Overall I am happy with this game even though it has some problems. The combat and pawn system is very good and is what made me interested in the game. Anyone who likes an RPG should consider Dragon's Dogma. There is demo available to download which features a fight with a griffin so there is no excuse not to try this game.


7.5

Seddo
  • Seddo

    YNWA

  • Zaibatsu
  • Joined: 15 Sep 2005
  • None
  • Winner of Euro 2008 Prediction League

#14

Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:40 AM

Review by Sgt. Foley

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005)

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General Information:

Platform:
The game is available for Xbox 360, Playstation 2, and PC

Genre:
Racing

Developers
EA Redwood Shores, Black Box

Publisher:
Electronic Arts

Online:
The game used to have multiplayer, but the servers have been shut down. No info on multiplayer game types, number of players.

Release Date:
PC, PS2, Gamecube, GBA: November 15th, 2005
Xbox 360, Playstation 3: November 22nd 2005

General Price:
60 USD on release, you can find it for about 10 USD now.

ESRB Rating:
Rated T for Teen

Learning Curve:
Very simple racing game where you can pick a car and customize it.

Players:
Not Sure, multiplayer has been shut down.

Multimedia:
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The Rundown:

Introduction:
Most Wanted, like other Need for Speed games, is essentially a racing video game, where the player selects one car and races against a time limit or other racers to reach a destination. Police chases have once again been integrated into certain racing sessions, in which the police employ vehicles and tactics to stop the player's car and arrest the player.

Graphics:
Great graphics for a game in 2005. Cars look very nice with the sunlight in the background. Perfect setting for a game, nice details on the ground, and on buildings.
When the game lags (which is usually never) the cars and the grounds textures get choppy.
[9/10]

Sound:
[How does the game sound? If it's a horror game, does the music add to the atmosphere? If it be a driving game, how do the cars sound? What are the character voices like? What's the soundtrack like?]

[10/10] From police sirens to burnouts, the sound is amazing!

Gameplay:
The racing is fun, but the game's artificial intelligence sort of gets in the way at times. If you fall behind, they'll usually slow up or make a mistake that lets you regain the lead. However, the game suddenly gets harder when you hit the top five on the Blacklist. The cars still stay on your tail, but they know every shortcut and don't stay too close after they get ahead of you. It's a sudden and dramatic shift, and a more gradual difficulty slope would have probably worked better here.
[9/10] Incredible customization and police pursuits. I wish there were more races and things to do after the game ended though.

Storyline:
The player arrives in Rockport City, driving a racing version of the BMW M3 GTR. Following Mia Townsend (played by Josie Maran), the player proves his driving prowess as he is pursued by a veteran police officer named Sergeant Cross (played by Dean McKenzie), who vows to take down the player and end street racing in Rockport. Races seem to be in the player's favor until a particular group of racers, led by the game's antagonist, Clarence "Razor" Callahan (played by Derek Hamilton), sabotages and win the player's car in a race
[10/10] Fun storyline all up to the end.

Conclusion:
Overall, if you are looking for a great racing game, incredible customization, or a intriguing storyline, get this game.


Overall Rating: Overall rating? 1000 out of 10. Just kidding, 9.6. If only the AI and the cops didn't get in the way when you raced, it would of gotten a full 10. Thanks for reading!




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