With the number of Assassin’s Creed games that have been released in the recent past, I am starting to wonder if they are trying to outdo The Sims with that series’s affinity of releasing expansion packs. Thankfully each game is a full adventure on its own, with this 3rd installment of Ezio’s trilogy within a trilogy finally bringing two characters to an end (granted we could still see them in some form in the future based on how the series has treated them so far). [Read more...]
Activision really knows how to drive franchises into the ground. From X-Men, to Tony Hawk, to the genre-defining Guitar Hero, the developers keep pushing sequel after sequel every year, hoping that the fan bases continue to hand them your money. But once fatigue starts to set in, the franchises get old and played, making each other game that comes out becomes rather irrelevant. Once Guitar Hero added other instruments (basically stealing from Rock Band (who stole from Guitar Hero)), it was a downhill slope from there. [Read more...]
I don’t mean to brag, but when I was little I was decent at climbing trees. I mean, I would get at least 10 feet off the ground. Ok, so that’s not that grand, but I had sensitive hands, and bark is all scratchy… The point is that for people with childhoods like mine, living vicariously through characters like Monkey (play Enslaved: Odyssey to the West if you haven’t), Altair, and Nathan Drake in all their platforming glory is the way to go. Goodness knows I don’t actually want to fling myself at a building. [Read more...]
Batman Arkham City is finally here and to say the least, it is a far cry from disappointment. Batman Arkham City is the perfect sequel to Batman Arkham Asylum. Rocksteady studios has done something truly remarkable with this franchise. They went from being a company no one had ever heard of to a huge name in the gaming industry all because of their Batman games. These two games are all Rocksteady has every done with their franchise and so far both of these games have been executed perfectly. While Batman games have been coming out for almost as long as video games have existed, Rocksteady is the first studio that has been able to do what the others have only tried to accomplish. When playing Arkham Asylum or Arkham City you feel like you are Batman. [Read more...]
With all of the big name games stealing the public’s attention last year, from Mass Effect 2 to Red Dead Redemption to Call of Duty: Black Ops, it’s understandable that some pretty amazing games didn’t get the recognition they deserved on the grand scale. For me, the most overlooked would be Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. [Read more...]
The sweltering summer day’s perspiration trailed down the outside pane of glass, clinging to the hope of making it inside. The scene inside was not much better. The shadow of the day cut across the wounded body of the young woman, broken and bruised from the deep cuts in her abdomen as she waits for a savior to come take the pain away.
Confession: that is me just overdramatically recreating my experience in the hospital last week post appendectomy (and much of the reason for which this review is coming late. Well, this late…), but in all honesty it could have been setting the scene for many of the cases that make up L.A. Noire. The game follows WWII vet Cole Phelps as he assimilates back into the real world as a detective for the LAPD. Full of short gunfights and car chases, the main draw to L.A. Noire is the novelty and authenticity it is able to recreate in the investigative and interrogation aspects of being a detective. [Read more...]
When it comes to science fiction, space is always presented as a pretty action oriented place, from space battles to asteroid fields to roaming cannibals (you thought I was going to get through that without a Firefly reference? Silly you, you thought wrong). But from way down here where the majority of us are standing it is nothing but a whole bunch of blackness with a twinkle here and there. Nothing but calm. That same calm usually works its way into these space adventures, but it is in games like Dead Space 2 that this calm is something that should be feared the most, because it is in these moments that something is most likely about to go terribly wrong.
Years following the events of the first game, we find protagonist Isaac Clark wrapped tightly in a straight jacket in a hospital on one of Saturn’s moons. Suffering from the mental degradation of dementia, he is still tormented by the loss of his girlfriend who likes to come to him in rather disturbing hallucinations. But she is not alone as a constant memory of the past because somewhere in this city is another Marker, bringing with it yet another onslaught of the reanimated corpses that have been changed into necromorphs, violent creatures who are out to spread the love. [Read more...]
As far as I am concerned controlling electricity is not a power I would want to possess if I had my pick because I don’t plan on forgoing showers anytime soon. Good thing this isn’t The Sims and hygiene really isn’t a concern to Cole, the protagonist reprising his role in InFamous 2.
At the end of game one I happily went about my business running around the city I had just saved from immediate danger, collecting trophies that did not unlock during the main story, gleefully exercising my leveled up powers. Needless to say I might have created a false sense of calm that did not quite fit with the actual ending of the story. So color me aghast when at the start of InFamous 2 my playground of Empire City is wiped off the face of the Earth by a human-shaped goliath of a volcano. What!? You say I was warned about the coming of “The Beast” in the final moments of the story? My bad. I was probably too busy looking at a pretty pretty blast shard in the corner of the screen… [Read more...]
If you are on my friends list, you probably have heard me talk about Brink; Bethesda and Splash Damage’s new class based, wall-climbing, objective-completing first person shooter. With all of the beautiful videos (look up the E3 trailer), awesome graphics, and gameplay that looked smooth as silk. I was so ready for this multiplayer epic to come out and shake up the genre as we know it.
Now: It’s iffy
Here’s a little thought about console exclusiveness. When a game is released solely onto one console (I’m ignoring PCs cuz I’m a Mac person and PCs scare me) it sucks. Boasting ensues, lines are drawn in the sand and suddenly we’ve got a full on battle over which console is the best among the fans. For those of us claiming to be Switzerland and not donning the uniform of either the XBOX 360 or Playstation 3 more money must be doled out to add whichever console is not already plugged into our home entertainment system. I know personally I wasn’t going to be able to survive without playing the Uncharted series. Besides, the PS3 can be written off as a Blu-ray player, making that purchase a pretty smart investment in my book. Unfortunately, not everyone can do this. [Read more...]
Similar to the promises made by the hero of Fable III on his path to the throne, there have been a lot of promises coming from Lionhead Studios building up the hope of the people for what this game could be upon completion: Morphing hero weapons! The power of touch! An interactive “menu” that will bring those before to shame! Now it might be a little harsh to say that the makers chose to path of evil on this one, but what they have created remains disappointing for what was expected.
The Kingdom of Albion must have quite the history book dedicated to the stories of dangers and heroes rising to protect the people from them. This chapter is one following the rule of Logan, the son of the last great Hero and brother of the player’s character. No matter how thick blood is, it is your task to gain the support of enough followers who will back you in your fight towards throwing Logan from his tyrannical seat on the throne. Cue the Beatles’ “Revolution.” [Read more...]
With the DVD release of Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time this week many may be looking for a way to continue the fun action adventure without having to put the movie on repeat. Luckily enough there is another option, which is to rent Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, the game that was released in conjunction with the film’s theater outing.
Though there are numerous similarities between the film and the game, this is not the typical film based game that often fails to live up to the film. Instead the story of the game actually alludes back to the first game of the series (Forgotten Sands takes place between the first and second game) with yet another plotline involving the mistakes of releasing magical sand from its prison. However, with the ending of the first game only the Prince is aware of this alternate reality, so this time around no one but he can learn from the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately he is unable to convince his brother not to raise Salomon’s army of sand creatures in order to help defend the palace from a losing battle, and before long the sand has overwhelmed the palace. [Read more...]
For years games starring superheroes were kind of a joke, hardly giving the player an adequate experience to live up to the hype of the character. Then Batman: Arkham Asylum came along and showed how it should be done. While Spider-man: Shattered Dimensions might not live up to the Caped Crusader’s game, it is still far above most of what has come before.
When Spider-man runs into Mysterio in a museum they commit a big no-no by knocking over one of the displays, shattering the object. Though everything in the room is priceless, this object happens to have a little more to it. Known as the Tablet of Order and Chaos, this tablet is connected to keeping the order of the universe in concern to time, spaces, dimensions, and all that jazz. Now, in order to restore order Spider-man must search out the different pieces and put them back together again, or else the world’s destruction is far more imminent than expected. [Read more...]
Throughout the Mass Effect series there have been many elusive presences in the galaxy, none more so than the Shadow Broker (the Illusive Man falls short on a spelling technicality). Thankfully with the new DLC for Mass Effect 2, titled Lair of the Shadow Broker, we are finally getting some answers about this mysterious character. [Read more...]