Archive for the ‘ Xbox 360 ’ Category

Mass Effect

The Good: Mass Effect has a variable story line full of choices the player can make along the way.  The graphics are very pretty and a character has the potential to become very interesting.  This is a negative for some people, but a positive for me, but a majority of the game will be spent doing random sidequests in order to find new things and get more experience, money and achievements.  I like this because if you get stuck a difficult place you can simply go on to something and come back instead of sitting there and leveling up or just being screwed.  Now, in the very beginning of the game, you choose a class, and this is the same as in lots of other games.  I made the choose to be an engineer so I could be good at all electronic locks and other crap like that, but being a engineer is not all it is cracked up to be and really just overrated, contrary to what someone everyone I know hates, believes. Anyway, I digress, the engineer can only use a pistol with any kind of skill.  I know, if you are a good enough gamer you can still use other guns because your that good, wrong, so wrong.  That is all in the good section becasue I think it gives you a reason to play the game more than once.  If you beat the game with a soldier class, Woohoo, now do it with only a pistol.  Okay, the graphics in this game are very good, htey fit and especially the cutscenes are flat out beautiful.  Characters, the character system in this game is great, and very original to me.  You can make any character (besides the main character of course) as important or insignificant as you want.  Very cool, and yet another reason to play the game more than once.  Other good aspects that you need to check out for yourself is the vastness of the universe and the character design in the very beginning.  Both very very cool.

The Universe in Mass Effect

The Bad:  The bad in this game for me is that first of all it is repetitive.  You can quite literally use the EXACT same stradegy on every enemy throughout the entire game.  This gets a bit old and actually forced me to stop part way through and come back to it later.  Also the leveling system, and the upgrade system can be a bit complicated at times and it can be irritating.  Now, an error in this game that drives me crazy is the fact that the main character feels it is perfectly okay to at any time never run faster than a light saunter.  Huge alien death ship coming? saunter away.  Warships unloading clips of heavy artillery at you? saunter away and get distracted by looking at every thing.  Hitler chasing after you with a chainsaw in one hand and a hand grenade in the other? Saunter away slowly (Disclaimer: Does not happen in real game).  

Couldn't find a picture of the Hitler I was describing, so this is the main charcater preparing to saunter

The Overall:  The game is great, the graphics are great, the sidequests are great, all I can ask is that factors gain a little bit of variablity and there needs to be a “run like you are getting shot at” button.  Oh, an unrelated side note.  I did not actually accomplish this, but apparently there is some love-subplot you can partake in with an alien, which is a just a dolled up way of saying there is a way the main character can have sex with an alien.  I put this in the overall becasue franky I am not sure where it is good or bad but definitely thought it was worth mentioning.

Gameplay: 6.5/10

Controls: 9/10

Graphics: 9/10

Beautiful graphics during a cutscene.

Characters: from 3/10-9/10 depending on you 

Overall: 8.3/10

Hours to complete: 15-25

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Fallout 3

The Good: It’s pretty good.  I mean there is really not much to it, but its pretty goo…..ha, no.  This game is epically huge, amazingly in depth and in the running as my favorite game of all time.  There is a main story that is pretty good and will consume quite a few hours of your life, but the reason to buy this game lies in the sidequests that are aplenty and many are much more challenging and fun than the main quest.  The world this game takes place in IS the best part however.  It is set in post nuclear war Washington D.C. and if you would like you could go and vist the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorial or the Washington Monument.

Only part of the ridiculously huge map this game takes place in.

When you first get into the world itself (I say this because the game starts with you literally being born, and snapshots of you growing up) you will want to just walk around and look at all this amazing scenery.  The detail that was put into the most trivial thing makes simply wandering around and searching for things more fun than it has been in any other game I have played.  The characters are good, some are forgettable and many you will only talk to once or twice, but everyone has a voice and a personality, which is nice, keeps the game interesting.

Possibly your new best friend, Fawkes.

Another positive for this game is the karma system, if you do bad things certain people don’t like you as much and if you do good things certain people are more willing to talk to you.  On the flip side, if you have bad karma you can get mercenaries and such to join you.  Now, on to the battle system, there is a VATS system in place where you can find an enemy and a percentage is given whether you will hit that enemy and then you use your AP to fire as many shots as wished.  This can seem kind of cheap at times, but the main things VATS can be used for is finding enemies, which is hard, because it is dark, but more on that later.  I don’t want to say this game is realistic, but it does have some very realistic qualities.  For example, if you shoot someone and there family or town sees you or finds out they will come after you, and probably kill you because no matter how good you get at this game a horde of people will probably end you.   Also if you try to steal something and someone sees you, they get mad.  An unrealistic factor is the very common if you go through a certain doors the enemy you were just in a huge firefight with will just kind of forget about you.  Or if you holster your weapon they might just forget that you previously tried to ruthlessly murder them.

You, The "Lone Wanderer" shooting a feral ghoul.

There is so much more good about this game, from the variety of enemies, to the variety of weapons, to the fact your guns can break if over used.  Also you can search anywhere and find things, I mean anywhere, boxes, toolboxes, garbage cans, bags, it is so fun to just walk around and search.

A look at your Pipboy, which is your menu, flashlight and VATS system

The Bad:  The bad, okay, there is one looming bad thing about this game that does get irritating and will effect your gameplay experience.  It is too damn dark.  Often you will not be able to see the door that is 3 feet in front of you.  And they give you a light, but it hardly does the job.  Sometimes all it does is make your ammo-less shotgun brighter.  And in some darkness it barely does that, its like it’s Advanced Darkness (name that show?).  The battle system also is a little clunky at time, and I sometimes found that if there was too much going on a one time, the game would be very slow, and unreactive.  This is an issue when you are in the middle of a firefight and need health badly, and you can’t get to the menu so a super mutant hits you in the face with a sledgehammer.

The Overview:  Buy this game.  It is worth the money for simply seeing the world that Bethesda has created for you.  Just explore and kill some creatures look at everything if you don’t like the actual game.  But if you like shooters, scenery, your Xbox, radiation, mutants, guns or well, video games I would highly recommend this game to you.

Gameplay: 8.5/10

Controls: 9/10

Graphics: 9.5/10

A look at typical fallout 3 Graphics

Characters: 9/10

(Special category) Environment: 10/10

Overall 9.6/10

Hours to complete: main story:  15-20

Completely finish: 40-60

Left 4 Dead 2

Left 4 Dead 2 Logo

The Good: Left 4 Dead 2, by Valve is the sequel to, shocker, Left 4 Dead. Like in all of my reviews, I am going to review the single player because that is what is most important to me.  It is very obvious that they made this game because the first game was so popular and people wanted more of the similar.  Now, that said, this is a great shooter, there are tons of weapons to choose from and the levels you go through are intense and fun, oh, and challenging, very challenging.  The best addition to this game is the extended amount of melee weapons, particularly, the chain saw.

The chainsaw that can F@#$ some zombies up

Never has it been so much fun standing at the top of a flight of stares and having zombies run at you then when you are holding a chain saw. Now, this game does add a bit of realism from the physics of the first game.  For example, when a zombie is running full speed at you, and you shoot them in the head, then slide a bit forward when falling instead of stopping dead, pun intended. Something from the first game they kept was before every campaign there is a movie poster for what you are about to do, with a cheesy Tagline.

Good Stuff.

As I said in my first review, the thing about these games that keep them really fun and feeling new are the special zombies.  Valve must have gotten that hint after the first one because there is even more specials in 2 than in 1.  Now there are the charger, jockey and spitter as well as all the ones from the first game.  The charger is crazy and will run at you and literally knock you back 100 feet and then pick you up and bash your already dead body against the pavement a few times.  Bit sadistic, but it is kinda fun to watch it all happen.

The charger that will be the cause of that rumble that means your DOOM

Another really good part to this game, there are four new characters all of which are cool, but definitely Ellis is the coolest.  He will tell stories about things that have happened to him and they are pretty funny.  Just saying, listen when the characters talk, it can be quite funny and actually makes you care, at least a little, about there personality.

The Characters: Nick, Rochelle, Coach, and Ellis

I really do have to say that this game is just as fun if not more fun than the first one to just have a good time running and gunning down the endless undead.

The Bad: The bad about this game is that is that it was made as a sequel.  This is not to say that someone who has never played the first one will not be able to play this one, but for some reason, and maybe it is just because I suck at it, this one seems far more difficult than the first one.  It is as if they needed an even harder difficulty setting than the first one offered so they just upped the difficulty on every level here.  Now, I would like to point out that this does not really take away from the fun of the game, it is just annoying when you can;t seem to get past one point for a few tries.

The Overview:  This game is very similar to the first one in many aspects except greatly improved in the physics and the variety of special infected, oh and the melee weapons, and the characters.  So, it sounds like ti has been improved in every way right? Well, many would say that is true, but I disagree because they made this game assuming you played the first game and you are already at least semi-pro at it.  It is just frustratingly hard at times.  I mean, there will times where it seems like these zombies must have worked for the special forces in the United States Marines during life because they will seem to have an onslaught of regular zombies to where you dow, followed by a charger smacking you back 100 feet than a jockey jumping on your head, and guess what? you killed them all!! Better hurry though, health is low, but your okay. Congratulations, get into the safe room.  WAIT, son of a bitch there is a tank hiding out of sight, inside the safe room ready to give you a swift punch to cranium destroying your dreams and brain matter.

Gameplay: 9/10

Graphics: 9.5/10

Typical gameplay graphics

Characters: 8/10

Controls: 9/10

Story: 7/10

(important special category)

Difficulty: 5/10

Overall: 8.7/10

Video Of the Gmaeplay in L4D2

Assassin’s Creed

Some Screenshots
Achievement Guide

Author: Christopher F. Weaver

Ubisoft stepped into a real gold mine when they came out with this highly anticipated game. Assassins Creed is an action game with some stealth-ish qualities mixed in. It focuses on Altair, an elite member of a league of assassins who, through his pride and disregard for the ways of his brotherhood, has fallen from his place as a leader, to that of an initiate.

The Assassin Altair

This works rather well for guiding the player into the controls as well as giving incentives to carry on in the game, but they did buy into the all too common habit of giving you a taste of what your character can do and then stripping you of your abilities. As aggravating as this is you will quickly be wrapped up in an in depth plot of intrigue and a beautifully immense scenery. The detail of buildings and historical events described and seen in the game really is a testament to the amount of work the people at Ubisoft have put into this game.

The amazing scenery in Assassin's Creed

The ending is kind of ruined. There is a science fiction aspect which the game attempts to intertwine into the plot, but it is left as an undertone; that is until the end. The writers seem to erupt like the Campos Novo damn with the scifi plot which would probably have been confusing had it been present in the plot for the entire game

As far as gameplay is concerned, this game has some definite pro and con factors. The free running aspect and the combat system are outstanding.

Altair Climbing a Building

Between timing attacks with deflections and taking on multiples enemies at once, battles (especially finishing moves) leave you with a sense of satisfaction that don’t normally come from games with only one attack button. Assassinations are really entertaining as well watching Altair slide his iconic hidden blade into an unwitting targets back has a certain level of bloodlust like excitement to it.

An Assassination in Progress!!

Your ability to run and climb through almost every inch of the cities you visit really makes you feel like you’ve got control of the game flow. And it gives variety to the path you take to get to your targets. The fact that there are more than one way to execute an assassination (shameless word play) really makes the game shine.

Sadly the game had more than just one weak point. The incredibly repetitive investigations missions you had to complete before every actual assassination utilized the outstanding landscape well, but became aggravating after you had killed your ninth target on behalf of another assassin in exchange for information. On a side note, these assassins you are helping out have some of the lamest excuses I’ve ever heard (i.e. I sprained my ankle!). The level of complexity on these side missions doesn’t improve at all. By the time you reach the final level the only addition to the challenge is another guard, if you’re lucky. The AI are irritating as well. You aren’t allowed to pass through the streets at more than a casual saunter without the guards charging you like an abusive husband after two beers and a losing lottery ticket. Riding a horse through anywhere but open countryside isn’t worth attempting either because by the time you are moving slow enough to keep the guards from being suspicious you might as well get off and walk.

Over all Assassins Creed is a solid game with an in depth and entertaining story. It has flaws but nothing that would ruin the game.

Gameplay: 7.0/10

Controls: 9.0/10

Story: 7.5/10

Characters: 8.5/10

Graphics: 9.0/10

Assassin;s Creed Gameplay graphics

Overall: 8.0

Hours to Complete: 20-30

Sequel: Assassin’s Creed 2

Left 4 Dead

Some Screenshots
Achievement Guide

The Good: This game is a run and gun shooter with virtually no story, and immense amounts of violence.  The characters are not developed too well, there’s  very little to go off of, but you know what? This game makes it work, and Valve has yet again made an absolutely amazing game.  In the single player campaign (which is the most important thing for me) you become 1 of 4 characters, all of which are effectively the same from a gameplay perspective.

The Characters: Bill, Zoey, Louis, and Francis

You start in a safe room with a plethora of weapons (WOOOO Shotgun!!!!),  some health, and maybe a pipe bomb or something like that.  The best part about the safe rooms are definitely the stuff written all over the walls.  I highly recommend taking the time to read all of the scribbles on the wall, they are interesting story wise, can give hints for what is ahead, and are often quite funny.

Some of the writing on the walls

After you leave the safe room there is an all out utter zombie apocalypse ready to literally eat your face off.  Big fun right? Yes, yes it is.

Face eating Zombies!!!

Once you are out there will be lots of zombies that want to play and are just normal, shoot them and they die, but there are other “special” infected. These consists of hunters, smokers, witches, boomers, and tanks.

A boomer, be careful, they explode when shot and attract the horde.

These special infected make things feel more varied and when one of the specials get a hold on you, your AI partners will be your new best friends.  That brings me onto something else, the AI is great, they don’t get in the way much, and at least a couple of times they will save your ass.  They get mad when you shoot them though, and it is to your disadvantage to shoot them….just saying, I did it, alot, and then I died…   Okay, the difficulty level for any game like this is very important and well, frankly, you set that to whatever you want.  Ease is well, very easy, and Expert…..takes an expert.  The graphics for this game are pretty, they are nothing ground breaking, but they are fun to look at more often than not.

Crazy Zombie Attack cutscene

The Bad:  The bad about this game is that it is really not varied much.  The same strategy will work for pretty much everything.  Not to mention, it is short.  For the single player mode there are only 4 campaigns with 5 levels in each.  many of these can be completed rather quickly and on the first try.  This is a nit-picking problem though because to be honest you will want to play most, if not all, levels more than once.  A bad thing about the AI is that sometimes you have a task you need to get done and it would be better if it was done quickly and they just will not come with you.  You might think it is no big deal, but if a special gets a good hold on you, you NEED a teammate to help you.

Overview:  Okay, overview for this game has pretty much already been stated.  There is very little story, little character development, not much variety, but IT DOES NOT MATTER.  This game is fun, period.  It is a run and gun with the right amount of difficulty and the right selection of weapons.   None of characters are annoying and the zombies are varied and incredibly fun to kill. Bottom line, if you want an in depth gaming experience, pass, if you want an incredibly fun and intense game, Buy it. Trust me, this is one fun End of the World.

Gameplay: 9.8

Controls: 9.0

Story: 6.5

Characters: 7.0

Graphics: 8.8

A look at regular gameplay graphics

Overall: 8.9

Sequel: Left 4 Dead 2

Hλlf life 2

Some Screebshots
Achievement Guide

Front of Half life 2

The good:  Okay, I can say that I started this game not really knowing a thing about it.  This sounds crazy because this is considered to be one of the best games of all time.  Anyway, this game is fantastic.  The great game to end all games everyone said it was?!?!?!? No.  Now, that said, the shooting mechanism in this game is one of the best I have ever played.  Also, the way you toggle between guns is very smooth and solid.  I have to say that the very best thing about this game is the MASSIVE amount of variety throughout the game.  There is a variety of weapons that span all over the board.

Gravity gun from Half Life 2 holding a buzz saw blade

There is the standard pistol and shotgun of course, but there is also the gravity gun, the crossbow that fires what look like lava arrows, the pulse rifle and a ball that calls forth an army of antlions.  Now, I have to take a moment and say having an antlion army is great.  Unfortunately though, you may accidentally shotgun a few in the face, but hey, it happens.

A view of someone you will have a hate/love relationship with throughout the game

Okay, back to the review.  The enemies in this game are not very…varied, I don’t like way that sounded.  Oh well, but there not.  Theres only a few and a couple are irritating.  Like the head humpers, which are terrible, like being punched in the face repeatedly with a boxing glove made of sand paper. Now, the game does do a good job of mixing enemies though.  There was not wave after wave of the same enemy, but instead many different enemies coming at you at once.  Okay, the graphics are good, they are not spectacular, but serve their purpose.  The flashlight is very useful and looks good.  There are some epic fights throughout this game, and I mean you have a huge disadvantage in a few, and by a few, I mean ALL OF THEM.  Now, the characters are nit very in depth, the story and places are more important than the actual characters.  Normally this would be an issue, but this game actually makes it work.

The Bad:  The bad about this game was only in certain parts.  Some parts of this game were truly perfect for me.  Fun, challenging, and very well done.  There are moments when there are truly too many enemies at one time to where challenging jumps over that line to “screw this game if I die because I don’t wan’t to do this again”.  Besides that though, the biggest problem in the game, the only part of the game was truly bad in my opinion was the controls for that god forsaken air boat.  These controls, for me, were truly bad.

EVIL STRIDERS!!!!

The overview:  This game is great.  If you like shooters then this game will be great for you.  It is varied, and extremely fun.  Everything about this game is solid, which is hard for me to say because I hate saying that a game does not have any big problems and so far in my gaming career only 2 ever have.  Both made by Valve…. Anyway, play it, enjoy it.  Check out my lists to see what I think about the smaller aspects involved in this game.

Story: 8/10

Gameplay: 9.8/10

Controls: 8.5/10

Characters: 8/10

Graphics: 9/10

View of graphics during regular gameplay

Overall: 9.6/10

Hours to complete: 12-20 hours

Mirror’s Edge

Some Screenshots
Achievement Guide

The cover of Mirror's Edge

The Good:  The good about this game lies in its’ concept.  It is an open environment with very innovative game mechanics.  This is a first person shooter, adventure game with freerunning  and Parkour aspects.  SHAMELESS PLUG, check this out for more a video of some awesome parkour.  Okay anyway back to the game.  The gameplay for this game is really a first with the parkour aspects and the fact that the camera follows movements far more directly than any other game.  To view this better see this video.

The revolves around a young girl named Faith, who is a “runner” in a dystopian society (that is very clean).

A picture of Faith

A view of the VERY clean city

The runners deliver packages and the police do not like that.   The story within this game is pretty good, the problem lies elsewhere, but I will talk about that later.  The graphics are beautiful in this game, gleaming and frankly it is just fun to watch Faith do some of the moves.  The controls to do these moves are great, very easy and fun.

The Bad: The bad about this game lies in the back story and the fact that this game does not explain anything about the society you are in or why it is the way it is.  The cutscenes are not that great either.  They are animated scenes instead of the way the game looks normally.  It looks artistic and all, but not really my favorite part.  Now the controls are also lacking for me.  They work, but they are not smooth.

A view of Mirror's Edge during a cutscene

Overview: In other words, to summarize this entire review the game concept is amazing and much of it is solid, but I really think Mirror’s Edge 2 or 3 will be freaking amazing, giving the development team some time to work out the kinks and smooth over things such as storyline and character development.

Characters: 7/10

Gameplay: 8.5/10

Storyline: 7/10

Controls: 8/10

Graphics: 9/10

Gameplay Graphics

CONCEPT: 10/10

Overall: 8/10

Hours to complete: 5-7