Sunday, November 8, 2009

Selling out

You'll notice ads on the site. This is because I plan to be rich.

Borderlands (360, PS3, PC)

There's guns. And guns. And guns. And more guns. And more guns. I could go on like this for about an hour.

BORDERLANDS is the highly anticipated four player co-op shooter which has been touted as Diablo for a new generation by cliffy B over at Epic Games. That's pretty high praise. He's right, however - Borderlands is a loot-driven experience which relies heavily on co-op and online play.

The premise follows the tale of four fortune hunters arriving on planet Pandora, a wasteland of sorts filled to the brim with scrapyards the size of football fields and angry wildlife. It's your job to take control of one of the four characters and lead them on their way to find the Vault, a massive stash of alien technology. It's been generally dismissed as a myth, but you are contacted by a mysterious woman who tells you the vault is real. It's a decent enough plot but it's not fleshed out terribly well and feels rather forgettable.

The gameplay, however, does not disappoint. The single thing I can state firmly about it is that it's fun. It's fun blasting bandits and raiders to pieces, it's fun dissecting skags with your favorite shotgun, it's fun making heads explode with a sniper rifle that fires explosive bullets. You'll be gleefully entertained as you pick up a revolver and begin showing people what their brains look like. It's a good thing the controls can keep up with the action most of the time, although control defaults are a bit odd. Melee is mapped to V? whaa?

My largest gripe with the game was that I experienced a few bugs. The PC version has terrible connectivity issues and gearbox are jamming their fingers in their ears and shouting. The xbox 360 version's matchmaking function would send you into games with players well below your level. There's a few other ones I don't feel like specifying. The PS3 version suffers from a bug which affects being able to invite people from your friends list, and that hampers the overall experience, as borderlands is a heavily cooperative game.

The world of pandora will seem very lonely without a few other players to help you through it. This is problematic, as stated with the issues above. It's playable in singleplayer, but do you really want to slog through the entire game without anyone to shoot stuff with?

Graphically, the game won't disappoint. It's got a lovely cell-shaded comic-y style that pretty much anyone can enjoy. If you think this'd tone down the violence to the game, you're wrong - Heads roll, skag bits fly, and you'll be electrifying people out of their skin.

You'll occasionally notice a few visual glitches, blurry textures and poor animation (find Scooter in New Haven. You'll know his creepy, inanimate face when you see it.) but it can be looked over to an extent. I've got an odd glitch on my widescreen monitor which seems to stretch past the model for the combat rifles. There's an odd gap between character's arms and the screen. I'll post a screenshot of it later. I'm hoping gearbox will patch it, it's surprisingly distracting.

The sound design, also, does not disappoint. There's the usual variety of boom, rat-a-tat-a-tat, kchunk kchunk kchunk, ka-pow and others which all make a good amount of the weapons sound appropriately beefy. It's all supported by some solid voice work and good music. The voice work is downright hilarious, especially with the psychos and other bandits. One thing I always love is Brick's maniacal giggling. The music is all done very well, and there's not much else to say about it. It'll change into a more actiony track when you're fighting a large group of enemies which is a nice detail.

Borderlands, with all it's 17.5 million different guns, is a very fun game. You'll definitely need some friends in order to have some lasting fun with it, however.

Presentation - 7.0

Gameplay - 8.7

Graphics - 8.5

Sound - 8.5

Overall - 8.7

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A rant.

Remember S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl? I sure do. I'm here to rant about it s'more.

The nail-biting-keyboard-smashing-wall-destroying-controller-breaking difficulty was my biggest gripe with the game. The one thing I have no tolerance for is important quest NPC's being killable. I must have loaded my game about five times trying to save that bastard Seriy before giving up.

Onto the bigger and better subject. Call of Pripyat, the new game in the series. Guess what - The difficulty isn't insane. Yes, you read that right. Although I must admit I've been desensitized to difficulty after Demon's Souls. I share a love/hate relationship with that game. It's a good game, just makes me want to load a puppy onto a catapult and calculate exactly how far the yappy little bugger flies. Go have a look at it if you want, just be ready to make a head-sized hole in your wall.

Anyway, call of pripyat - The game's out in russia right now. And that means it's in russian. And that means we can't buy it anywhere other than russia.

Torrents are fun.

Yes, I will admit to 'pirating' the game. I'd prefer to look at it as gamer's interest. So, anyway - It isn't translated. So you know what some guys did? Ran the entire bloody game through google translate.

Now that's pretty lazy. Thankfully, there is a much, much better translation available. No voice work has been translated but any text is now actually readable without you shouting "what the дерьмо am I reading".

Nevertheless, the game is a large step up from shadow of chernobyl (and even, oh god, clear sky). It is no longer frustratingly hard to find medical supplies and items, and quest npc's no longer walk into bullets.

Oh, and there's hotkeys now. Yay, no more rustling around in my inventory while I'm being shot at.

Sheesh. This has turned from a rant into a bloody overview of the game. I think I'll end it here for the moment but I'll never be done ranting about the stalker series.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Demon's Souls (PS3)






Fine. I'll make an actual review later.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Dead Space Extraction (Wii)

If cloverfield made you sick, this is not the game for you.

Gasp! What is this? Another wii game that doesn't overuse waggle? This must be a gift from the heavens! Altman be praised!

Heh heh. Unitology. But yes. Waggle is not overused. I want to hug the man who designed the controls for the game.

Dead Space Extraction takes place in the media hub that is the Dead Space franchise. The series is a cake made of win and the icing is made of success. All the content of the series (thus far) takes place around a single event: the Aegis 7 mining expedition. They found something. Something dark. Something evil. But enough about my brother's armpits. The colony found a marker. No one knows where it came from, why it's here, etc but digging it up unearthed something that also is not my brother's armpits. Now before I turn this into a rant about how bad he smells I'll just get on with the actual plot.

You play several different characters throughout the game attempting to survive an alien onslaught and escape. You'll fight the horiffic Necromorphs, who are quite different from your average space zombies. For one thing the only way to kill them is to brutally dismember them, limb from bloody limb.

"y halo thaaaaAAAAAAAAGH"

Yes, the series is quite gruesome.

The gameplay is where the game shines. It's another rail shooter (chrissakes we've got enough of those on the wii, why make more?) but at least they've broken the mold to an extent. More on that later. It's all the pretty standard formula - Baddies rush at you, blast their ugly heads in. It's actually surprisingly fun as you tear enemies asunder with an array of commandeered mining tools, such as the Ripper and Plasma Cutter. I mean, this stuff is awesome. The ripper is a remote control circular saw. If that doesn't sound awesome I don't what is. All the weapons are entertaining to use which is a good thing. It's great fun ripping a slasher's legs apart with a blast from the Line Gun.

The quality of the gameplay can only carry a game so far, however. I encountered a few bugs on my trip through the ishimura. The worst of which was a game stopper which had a bossfight stuck like a broken record. No game is free of bugs, but even then - That's pretty bad.

A co-op function is also included with the game. Ammo is not shared. Health is. It can be pretty fun at points, but it's mostly rather strange having two pointers waving about on screen. Things get slightly easier as well as one might expect, with two people gunning through.

The game sounds fantastic. Music is there when it needs to be, appropriately spooky and very well made. There's an excellent voice cast to back that up, as well. Everything from distressed yelling to barking out orders sounds great. The characters are about as fleshed out as they can be considering this a rail shooter but the voice work makes them seem like believable people. The sound design, too, doesn't disappoint. It's very satisfying hearing the disgusting splatch of a necromorph's arm being blown out of it's socket with an equally awesome sounding plasma rifle. The best part of the sound design is when you're in a vacuum. The game, with it's predecessor, was designed with great intelligence. Hull breach shows up? zwoosh, the entire game goes silent. Remember, no sound in space. It builds up a hell of an atmosphere, again, like it's predecessor.

Graphically the game is among the best on the wii. Alot of the animation is fluid with character models looking great. I have a single complaint about the game. Blurry textures. Oh wait, we're on the wii. It'll be difficult to find something that doesn't have blurry textures. Nevertheless - The major disappointments are just a few blurry textures but that comes with the hardware. The design around the environments is amazing. They've looked through the previous game and recreated many key areas such as the medical wing, shuttle bay, tram systems so that they look like they areas that you'll have to run through in the original. There's the off occasion where I forget I'm playing on the wii and have the odd flashback to my first run through the original. Design on the tech also looks great with all the mining tools looking quite space-y.

The entire game takes place from a shaky first person view as your character stumbles about. It gets a bit dizzying at points and tends to obscure ammo on the off occasion. There's a few points when you get to look around the rooms freely but they don't last nearly long enough.

There was alot of hype leading up to extraction with many seeing the transition to the wii as an utter failure. They can go walk off a cliff, as the game didn't actually suck. If you've got a wii and a spare 70 bucks, here's something to buy.

Design - 8.5 An awesome universe and well made content make the whole franchise a blast.

Graphics - 8.0 Looks great. For the Wii.

Sound - 9.0 The game sounds amazing with awesome sounds and music.

Gameplay - 8.5 It's a ton of fun as you fight for survival against hordes of space zombies.

Overall - 8.6

No necromorphs were harmed in the making of this blog post.

Wait ten minutes and I'll write a review for dead space extraction.

Yes, yes. I'm still here. Lord only knows how many of you are still following my blog, but suffice to say I haven't died, gone missing, been sucked into an alternate dimension, eaten by cthulhu, had my mind flayed, or been outwitted by guybrush threepwood.

So, nothing much has happened, really. Just been chugging few a through games. Dead Space Extraction, specifically. I preordered the hell out of that thing and have not regretted it. Any gamers reading this should go and look up the dead space franchise, actually. It's fantastic stuff.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Wii Sports Resort (or, OH GOD WHY AM I REVIEWING THIS)


Wow. I don't even know where to start with this one. It was loaned to me for a week and I played about 20 minutes before heading off to play fallout 3.

So, as you might expect it's a followup to Wii Sports, the game that shipped with the wii to show off the motion tech. This time they've stepped it up a notch by including the Wii Motion Plus, a new addition which fits onto the regular wiimote controller. It basically fancies up the motion control.

And yes, it's a collection of minigames like the previous one. A few of them are fun such as the swordfighting and there's a few that you'll get bored of in ten minutes and never play again, such as the Archery.

Alot of the minigames are multiplayer but the downside is that you'll need extra motion plus addons for each other remote. Kind of sucks.

The visual style is that cheery little mii style as used in wii sports and wii play. There really isn't alot to say.

Audio-wise the game isn't too bad but there's some annoying commentator voice pieces and a few music bits that loop until they rot your brain.

Boredom factor - 5.0

How much I want to play something else - 7.5

How much I wonder what the release date for the next metroid game is - 10

How much fun I could be having playing tiberium wars - 8.0

The game itself - 7.5

This is a joke review because my father insists that I review it. He didn't specify how I did.

I dunno, maybe I'm just not a fan of party games that are nothing but a ton of minigames.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Updates. Soon.

Coming up next, either Fat Princess (PS3) or American Mcgee's Alice (PC/MAC).

Alice. That was a fun one.

Tim Burton would've looked at it and said "woah fuck that".

In the meantime, here's what I've been playing for the last fortnight.

EVE online. Yeah.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Oh look, I still exist

Yes I'm aware of how long it's been. A few weeks back I picked up a nasty stomach bug. I counted how many times I barfed that night. Ten. Ten times.

I hate nature.

And right after that, I picked up a nasty cold. Yeesh. That cold has persisted to this date.

In short, sorry for the lack of updates. I've been very sick and very busy with other games.

To tide you over, here's some TF2 related humor.

That song is all too true.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I'm still here.

Went to see Terminator Salvation last yesterday, picked up killzone 2 today. Fun.

Killzone 2 is fun, spectacular graphics and exciting gameplay. First impressions are good.

Here's another video of that awesome cat. Remember him and his bag?

Funny kitty.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Screw you, gametrailers. The bots are fun to play with.

The latest in the line of the most popular series of competitive games, Unreal Tournament 3 doesn't take a step in the right direction. That's not a bad thing, because it gets comfy where it is and makes what it's got damn good. There just isn't alot new.

UT3 takes us back into the undefined world of destruction, carnage, tournaments, and guns. Lots of guns. Especially explosive ones. Alot of the weapons are quite tricky to handle, as none of them can be used effectively against another. It's all very balanced. You can grab one gun, get good at it and then snag another and be just as proficient. Of course, the guy with the rocket launcher is going to beat the guy with the pistol by a longshot but that's common fact. All of the weapons are designed cleverly, everything feels very weighted and satisfying to shoot, even down to the little old enforcer pistol. A favourite of mine would have to be the Flak Cannon, the game's substitute for a shotgun. This thing is great.

What's not to love about a four-pronged device of death that launches white-hot chunks of metal?

Yes, the multiplayer's there. Yes, it's fast-paced and carnage-heavy. And yes, it's a ton of fun. Considering the game's age (2007) you'd be surprised, but people are still playing it. It seems not everyone has shuffled back over to halo and cod4. With an external map editor, there's some hilarious maps to be played. I recall one time I played team deathmatch in a giant bathroom. No joke. The worst that I got from it was minor connection issues, but that can be fixed by simply finding another server.

The gameplay is what it's all about. Frenzied combat with a whole armory of weapons. Epic games got this part just right. Every kill you make is, simply put, satisfying. Things take a twist for the better when you download the free "Titan" content pack and upgrade to UT3 black.

The map design is flat-out awesome. Sure, it's all pretty standard deathmatch fare but the appearance of them all is just spectacular. One of my favourites would be [name forgotten], in which you're hopping through portals to reach a tropical waterfall, a high-up tower in a tech city, and a frozen wasteland in the middle of nowhere. There's a few low-grav maps to be found, as well - One has you dueling atop a series of asteroids linked together by a series of bridges.

Now the Mutators, a returning function is where things get awesome. You can change all of the gameplay variables such as making only headshots kill or giving everyone big heads. The best of the bunch is the Titan, which allows players to transform into hulking behemoths with even bigger guns. It's hilarious seeing 2-3 titans duke it out across a huge bridge in vehicle CTF.

I haven't commented on the vehicles yet, have I? Well, their design is as spectacular as the levels. A new faction, the Necris, have their own personal assortment of war of the worlds tripods, weird flyer thingies, and a ball. That's right, a ball. It bowls into people at the speed of sound.

Every texture in UT3 is very well drawn, as well as every model being very well rendered. There's an odd touch to the graphics that I can't put my finger on that makes everything seem antiquated. It's weird. Maybe there's too much bloom. Still, though - the graphics are all very good, and there's parts of the game that look simply beautiful. Now with graphics like that, you'd be expecting some high system requirements. Nope. Everything is bizarrely configurable. Of course, this leads to on-the-fly rendering so when starting a game you'll just have to wait a moment. That just comes with the engine though.

The sound design also fits quite well. Every sound effect matches it's place very well, and there's mighty fine selection of frantic combat music that plays when the shooting begins. I don't really have much to comment about on this subject.

Like I mentioned earlier UT3 features a map editor, which has also been used to develop mods and the like. Snowreal is a funny example with players snowboarding down mountains in a race.

UT3 doesn't bring alot new to the FPS world, but that's not a bad thing. It does very well with and improves on what it's got.

Presentation - 7.9 A hashed together campaign and somewhat unexplained world don't detract much.

Graphics - 8.6 Fantastic design and spectacular locales are backed by low system requirements.

Sound - 8.5 Very good! That's it.

Gameplay - 8.8 It's frantic, it's crazy, and it's a lot of fun.

Overall - 8.5


Monday, April 27, 2009

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl



This review was conducted using Oblivion Lost, a huge modification to the game which restored alot of cut and lost content. If I get something wrong from the vanilla version, then don't blame me.

What happened?

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is another one of those games that just sat in development hell for years, with the developers planning to make a quality product upon it's very, very late release.

Oh, they had a late release alright. But "quality" doesn't fit.


The story of stalker focuses around the "Zone of Alienation", located in Chernobyl. The whole premise is that after the accident happened the place turned into a genuine hell filled with bandits, mutants, wild creatures and deadly pockets of radiation. You play as the "Marked One", a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. That stands for "Scavenger, Trespasser, Adventurer, Loner, Killer, Explorer, Robber". You are one of many, as there's lots of other stalkers in the zone. Not everyone is friendly, some won't mind you, and others will gun you down on sight.

Since the whole premise of the game is focused around a giant nuclear accident, there's plenty of angry mutants which are out for blood. Alot of the designs were very clever; alot of them are genuinely pretty creepy. There's the dwarves, these stumpy little bastards who will blast you away with concentrated bursts of air. Watch for the brown coats and glowing eyes. One that I also liked was the, uh... I never actually caught it's name. It's some sort of invisible monster that appears only as a floating ball of electricity. The creature itself appears to be missing legs and just hovers around on it's awesomeness, throwing stuff at you.

Yeah, that's it.

The gameplay was where everything fell flat on it's face purely because of the difficulty. Seriously, someone had real fun messing the difficulty up.

The game could be considered a very primitive version of fallout 3, considering it's setting and ideas as well as it's style of gameplay. There's a section of stealth elements which are a fairly neat idea but they're a little too tricky to pull of successfully, as everyone just spots you and shoots you in the face. The shootouts are where it picks up a little, as the AI is actually really good. They'll take cover, aim carefully, and even try to flank you. This is a bad thing. Don't get me wrong, it's good that they have a competent AI but adding that to all the other difficulty problems is a serious issue. It really doesn't help that about 10 bullets is enough to kill you, and you'll be facing groups of 6-10 enemies at once.

There's a hunger system.


Every single bullet that hits you causes you to start bleeding which results in you constantly losing health. And it's not just bullets, anything with teeth, claws, or a weapon will cause you to start bleeding. And the bleeding doesn't stop. You have to get bandages for that and FOR CHRIST'S SAKE keep these is good supply! They're far too hard to find.

And then there's the radiation. If you don't have armor with a gasmask you're completely screwed. Gasmask armor also helps with the Anomalies, weird visual distortions that turn out to be vicious. When you put everything together you just don't have fun because of the pure difficulty of keeping everything in check.

On a different note, the sound design wasn't too shabby. The game was seriously lacking in music (no, really. I can't remember any music playing.) which is a bit sad as I always like a good tune while I'm blowing things up. As the game is focused around the whole chernobyl accident, as you can expect, it would be pretty scary. As such, you'll hear a good set of clings, clangs, and clongs to go with the spooky atmosphere. I wouldn't be surprised if a bit of foley was used as there's some fairly good sound effects when you're not exploring underground laboratories infested with angry monsters. The sound design works very well with all the other elements in the game. Except for the gameplay.

Stalker was a bit lacking in the visual department, with some blurry textures and outdated effects. Character models were simplistic and blocky. It's all governed by a somewhat dull physics engine that causes ragdolls to twist, turn, and jump about. The game's also a goddamn resource hog, with some quite ridiculous system requirements. It's pulled a bit of an unreal tournament 3 as the graphics are very configurable, though. That's a plus.

A few parts of the game are told through some pre-rendered cinematics. They don't look too bad, but I've seen better.

It's worth noting that stalker is big. Really big. The Zone is actually a really big area and it's filled with more side quests than I can count. It's mostly just tedious stuff like kill stuff over there, run from point A to point B but it's nice to have a big amount of other stuff to do. I'll be damned if I can figure out what the plot is, though. Apparently, you're supposed to kill the Strelok. Who he is, why you want to kill him is far beyond me.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl definitely didn't reach my expectations. They weren't even all that high. The sheer difficulty steers the game off course and into a ditch.

Design - 7.9 Spooky monsters and a good atmosphere make the game fairly exciting.

Graphics - 7 I've seen better, I've seen worse..

Gameplay - 5.0 The difficulty. Seriously.

Sound - 7.8 Good sound effects keep the game in check, but the lack of music is problematic.

Overall - 6.8

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Resistance: Retribution (PSP)

Go go PSP shooter.

Resistance: Retribution is the third game in a series that started on the PS3 with later 2006's Resistance: Fall of Man, one of the first good titles for the console. It was developed by Insomniac, the creators of the Ratchet and Clank series. This installment takes the shooter series into an over-the-shoulder view with a new character and new console.

Let's get one thing straight - The plot of the resistance series is fantastic. The game takes place in an alternate reality 1950's where WW2 never happened. Instead, a mysterious horde of monsters crawled out of russia and began an assault on britain. The first two games followed the story of Nathan Hale, a soldier who had been infected with a virus from the alien monsters known as Chimaera. The virus gave him newfound strength and hardiness, and was a better then average story for the generic super-soldier. Retribution tells the tale of James Grayson, a soldier who just about lost his mind when the chimaera had infected his brother and were in the process of converting him to their ranks. He went on a personal vendetta and destroyed 26 massive conversion facilities, breaking all military laws in the process. He was sentenced to death. A character from the Marquis - the european resistance movement - steps in to bail him out, with the hope of an assault on france and germany, taking out the conversion centers there.

The gameplay is fast and furious, which is good for a shooter. The controls seem a little clunky at first, but once you get the hang of the auto-targeting system it works great. It's another over-the-shoulder cover based game, and I was surprised at how well it worked on the PSP. Think gears of war portable. There's a good selection of weapons, too - Such as the rocket launcher that can pause it's rockets in mid-air to reposition their aim. You've got the Auger, which shoots through walls, your basic assault rifle with grenade launcher, a chimaeran gun that fires a vorpal blade that homes onto enemies and I'm sure there's a few more. The enemies are also quite memorable, with titanous mechs and, uh... Titans. Go figure.

The graphics are a spectacle for the PSP, as everything looks like late PS2 graphics. That's pretty good, for non-techy terms. Character models are fairly well detailed with minimal blurry textures. A few of the other textures are a little blurry, but that's understandable. Alot of the game is told through pre-rendered cutscenes which are quite frankly the best I've seen on the PSP. A few of the brighter colors are a little funky on my old PSP-1000, but I suppose I should upgrade sometime.

The sound design is great, with a fine selection of growls and roars for the chimaera with some pretty good gun sounds, too. The music is also quite good with a few creepy ambient tracks and some others that give you a feeling of the pure scale of it all.

Like I said earlier the controls keep up quite well once you've got the hang of them. The square, triangle, circle and X buttons act like a second stick with them moving your view about, and the control stick moving. There's a secondary configuration which switches them, which is handy. R button shoots, and holding L then pressing R uses secondary fire options. The D-pad controls everything else, from reloading with left to opening a weapon menu with right. Oh, and down is your use button. I can't seem to remember what up does. Huh.

Retribution is a fine installment for the series taking it onto the PSP as well as keeping the frantic action and plot intact. I would comment on the online multiplayer function but I'm having trouble getting my PSP connected to the internet.

Presentation - 8.7 A fantastic plot and some good characters keep it from feeling flat.

Gameplay - 8.5 Frantic action and entertaining weapons make retribution a Blast.

Controls - 8.1 I was quite surprised at how well they worked.

Sound - 8.0 Good sound effects and some great music liven up the game.

Overall - 8.5

brb, star wars galaxies


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Burn Zombie Burn! (PSN)




Hehehe. Burn zombie burn is an arcade top-down shooter, with you dashing around blasting zombies to gain points. The scoring system is very well balanced, actually - You set zombies on fire to increase your score multiplier, but killing burning zombies reduces it. That doesn't mean you don't still get points for killing burning zombies, however. Burning zombies are alot faster, and drop powerups that upgrade your explosives. Normal zombies (You know, not on fire...) drop health and tnt to use. There's an entertaining selection of weapons such as the baseball bat (Oh, and the superior cricket bat), lawnmower, and shotgun. There's also a gun that sucks zombies brains out and shoots them out as bait. Funny stuff. The TNT is the main explosive weapon in the game. It starts with just a simple fuse and timer, but upgrades into landmines which in turn upgrade into remote detonated TNT. The gameplay is fast, entertaining, hectic and funny.

The game is divided into several modes. You've got Timed, in which you'll have to kill burning zombies to get clocks to increase your timer which is constantly ticking down and down. There's also free play, which is just to survive as long as you can with a set number of lives. And, last but not least, protect Daisy. Daisy being your girlfriend, lazing about in a car chewing gum. Kill burning zombies to get her health, but do be careful as they hurt her a bit more. There's also a splitscreen two-player mode which is a bit of fun but certainly could've been executed a little better. No last-man-standing, one player loses his lives - Game over for both. There's also a set of challenges to complete, such as the exploding zombie head which detonates by being shot. The only way to kill zombies is with the head.

The graphics aren't anything special, as they're the usual kind of cartoony style. The zombies are quite hilarious, frankly - They're as funny as they can get, considering they're brain-hungry walking corpses. You've got the tutu wearing ballerina zombies, who skip to and fro across the killing grounds. There's the really big ones who fart fire for an attack. No, I'm not kidding. The fact that they shake their asses while doing it is just all too hilarious. The animation is solid, with everything going very smooth - No frames of movement missing or anything. A few are quite comedic, as well - such as Bruce, player 1 slicking his hair back before pulling out a gun. I was ultimately amazed by the framerate, with literally hundreds of zombies onscreen at once with no FPS drops. It was quite amazing, especially with all that blood flying around. Oh, and yeah. This isn't for the squeamish. There's buckets of blood being tossed about.

The control does it's job quite well, aside from the right stick being completely unused. It's quite strange, actually - You'd think you would aim with it, but no. Well, aside from dropping weapons with R3. The left stick controls everything movement-related, with you clicking it down and having it point out where the other weapons are on the level. You can lock on to the nearest zombie with L1. You'd think that wouldn't work to well, but you'd be surprised. L2 strafes which is a VERY handy feature. R1 and X are both used to fire your weapon. Or swing it, actually - Assuming you've got a bat. Or a lawnmower. R2 brings in the titular burning zombie element with you pulling out a flaming torch to burn zombies with, which can later be replaced with a flamethrower. Triangle is used to drop TNT, of which you can boot at zombies with square. Circle detonates remote-detonated TNT.

Burn Zombie Burn is an entertaining romp through zombie-infested suburbia (and more) with a bruce campbell tribute character which is a good buy, as it's only 15 bucks. Well, all depends on where you are.

Plo- Waaait. What plot?

Graphics - 7.8 They're not bad, they're not anything special - But they're quite funny.

Gameplay - 8.3 Just plain fun.

Control - 8.0 It works very well, but the lack of use on the right stick is a little odd.

Overall - 8.0


Friday, March 27, 2009

Coming up next, and an entertaining video.

I've got a few titles I'm planning on reviewing soon, here's a list...

Unreal Tournament 3 (PS3, 360, PC)
Resistance Retribution (PSP), thanks to Katie Tat for a copy of it
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (PS3)

You read that correctly. Now then, here's a funny cat video to keep you entertained.

That kitty made my day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

FALLOUT 3 (PC, 360, PS3)

Ohh yeah. I just went there.

Fallout 3 is the ten year late sequel to 1998's Fallout 2, an old semi turn-based RPG. It went down as a classic in gaming culture, with it's gameplay, characters, and setting. Onto the setting, infact. The fallout series is set around mid 2200, where the world has been destroyed by nuclear warfare after many wars. Fallout 3 takes place in a destroyed washington D.C. where you'll fight your way through super mutants, deathclaws, and crazed cannibals.

The story is, unfortunately, somewhat bland. You're born in a Vault, where people went before the nukes hit and remained safe. Then, daddy goes missing and vault security stops liking you. You decide it's best to leave, and begin your long trek across the wasteland to find him. You've got an assortment of characters but none seem particularly memorable except for James, the father character. Oh, and liberty prime. That thing is HILARIOUS. Some of the characters are good, however - Such as Fawkes, the super mutant who retained his civility and supressed his bloodthirst. He's even recruitable as a companion, which is even better. There's also the mister handy models which speak in a very stereotypical british accent, but they're very funny characters.

"It's common knowledge that irradiated cats have eighteen half-lives."

The gameplay is solid and entertaining. There's a great set of perks and skills to collect throughout your travels as well as a great set of weaponry. You've got the Fat Man, the mini-nuke launcher, poor man's gravity gun, flaming sword, hand-held chainsaw... The list goes on. The combat, while feeling mildly clunky at times, is good. There's a great function called V.A.T.S. (vault-tec assisted targeting system) which freezes time allowing you to pinpoint which body part you'd like to snipe off, such as an arm, or leg, crippling their aim or movement. You get a small bullet-time sequence of your character shooting at them. These are entertaining for the most part - But they're unskippable, which is irritating. The perk system gives you a special ability every time you level up has a few gems. There's lady killer, which gives a few special dialogue choices with the opposite sex (I assume there's a re-named counterpart for a female player character) and also dealing an extra 10% damage to them in combat. There's also one which allows you to be a cannibal - Going into the sneak mode with CTRL and feasting upon a human corpse. Just be discreet about it. And, my favorite, Bloody Mess. Enemies you fight are more likely to die in gorier ways. Oh, and there's the +5 damage with all weapons.

The graphics are quite solid, aside from the occasional oddity. Character models are detailed, for the most part. Some enemies are a little blurry, but doesn't detract from the game at all. Now, since my computer's a piece of junk I haven't been able to check it out on full settings with all the antialiasing and sampling. I CAN however run it on full enough settings to tell you all that they're good. There's a few ground textures and models that could do with updating, but to be honest it's fair enough. The game runs at a solid framerate which is very contrary to how much it can render at one time. The entire capital wasteland - The main area you'll be exploring - Is all rendered in one loading screen. Sure, it has to load objects as you get nearer to them, but whatever. I was honestly surprised at how many beer bottles could be seen in one shot without any slowdowns.

The sound design is great - There's the usual good selection of sound effects, monsters growling, zombies howling and weapons firing. It's mainly the music which holds up the rest of it. There's some great ambient pieces. The voicework is solid as well, which is a plus. It's a shame the characters and story were somewhat bland.

There's plenty of replay value thanks to the Karma system. You'll lose and gain karma depending on what you do, such as rescuing a captive of some super mutants or blowing up a goddamn city. The town called Megaton is constructed around a live nuke. There's no telling when it'll go off. You may chose to disarm, or detonate it. There's some fantastic designs, actually. There's Rivet City, a beached aircraft carrier now turned into a city. Aside from that, there's some entertaining enemies such as tinny robots, foul-mouthed raiders, and giant, fire-breathing ants. Just be sure to keep an eye on all the radiation you might contract out there.

Everything in fallout 3 has consequences. Just from taking a shot of a drug, to drinking that water - It's surprisingly addictive.

Fallout 3 strapped my expectations to a box of fireworks. I was positively blown away at how vast it is. If you're looking for a great sci-fi.. No, not even sci-fi - Post-Nuclear RPG, this is one to pick up.

Presentation - 7.2 A fairly mediocre story and mildly forgettable cast of characters are the main letdown. It doesn't detract from it all as a whole, however.

Gameplay - 8.7 Fun combat and great shootouts make fallout 3 a fun game to do battle in.

Graphics - 8.5 Quite solid, apart from the occasional anomaly.

Value - 8.9 As I said, there's some good replay value if you'd like to go through it as a good or evil character.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Apologies for the lack of updates.

I've just been somewhat pre-occupied with other things. Don't worry, I'll try and drag myself to write another review soon. I've been busy with fallout 3. Oh, and fallout 2. And savage 2. And UT3. Yeah, I think that's it.

For now, I shall leave you with this.

Best cat bed ever.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

F.E.A.R. (PC, 360, PS3)

Let's get one thing straight: This game is the digital embodiment of the sin of gluttony. The system requirements are through the roof.

F.E.A.R. (It's an acronym, First Encounter Assault Recon) is a spooky shooter from the year 2005. I'm quite surprised anyone was actually able to run it back then. Look, I'm sorry but I just can't get over the system requirements. I can't even run the thing on full settings on my box. Box full of FAIL.


The game is very well presented - You get a nice, small hud and some very cool looking menus. It's too bad noone plays the multiplayer component anymore, I was somewhat looking forward to having a deathmatch or two. On the bright side, you get a nice, solid campaign with a few great scares, plus there's a pair of expansion packs to get ahold of when you're done with it. Unfortunately, the cast of characters is forgettable except for a few. Which are the fat bastard and villain. Yes, that's it. The plot is somewhat one-sided with you taking a trip all through a city to try and find Paxton Fettel a.k.a mister creepy motherfucker of the year. There's also a creepy little girl on your tail called Alma. Apparently, it was experiments abound with her leaving her stripped of the miracle of life. And also giving her the ability to be a bitch.
Seriously, she's pretty creepy.

Graphically, the game doesn't disappoint with some spectacular smoke and lighting effects comparable to today's standards. And this is just 2005. The character models aren't quite as spectacular, but they get the job done. The game gives you a great slow-mo ability which is fantastic. It's great watching bodies tossed about as you juggle them through the air with bullets. Speaking of guns and such, it's a pretty gory game. Not for the squeamish. I mean really, this is GORY. You'll be walking into rooms and saying, "how in the hell did blood get on the CEILING?" like I did. All in all, the spectacular lighting makes it all the spookier, with those flickering lights... flickering... with creepy realism.

The gameplay is great. You get to have some really intense firefights, and they're even better with the slow-mo. There's a good variety of weapons thrown in - You've got a nice, big multi-rocket-launcher (three barrels, damn!), a handy spas12 shotgun, dual-wieldable pistols, a particle accelerator and a pair of machine gun, an SMG and an assault rifle. There's also an assortment of explosives to use - Proximity grenades, proximity mines, and remote bombs. The AI is great. They take cover, they react to your flashlight beams, they'll toss grenades to get you out of cover, they'll shoot explosive barrels to try and kill you. As you may have guessed from the title, fear is a scary game. There's a few creepy moments, plenty of dark corridors and screamers. They're all pretty blunt screamers though, one was so blunt it gave me a headache. It was a corpse bashing through a window. It was just so sudden and loud.

The sound design is also good. There's a good line-up of creepy sounds, music and gunshots which are complimented by some good voicework. There really isn't a whole lot to say in this category.

All in all, fear is a good purchase if you're looking for a good bit of action and some spooks. There's two expansion packs if you can't get enough, plus a sequel - Project Origin.

Presentation - 7.6 The plot is a little forgettable, but the scares and everything else keep it steady.

Graphics - 8.8 Great smoke and fantastic lighting effects leave the fairly solid model design in the dark.

Sound - 8.4 An assortment of spooky sounds and some good voice acting make fear a blast to listen to.

Value - 8.0 A nice, beefy campaign holds the game together, but that's it. Pick up the gold edition, I say. Comes with both expansions.

Overall - 8.5


Monday, February 23, 2009

Halo Wars (360)

Halo wars has been anticipated for a long time as it's promised a streamlined console strategy game tying in with the halo universe.

Unfortunately for all of us, it was immediately eaten by the hype monster.

The plot is relatively unknown to me at this point. I haven't quite finished the campaign, but I hope to soon. In tl;dr fashion - Bad shit happens, and it's set 20 years before the trilogy we all know and love. There's a good assortment of characters which fit into the universe well, we've got an arbiter, a brute chieftain, the prophet of Regret. For the humans, we've got mister battle hardened soldier™ sergeant John Forge. No, he's not spartan 117. Sassy female A.I. Serina, Captain James Cutter of the Spirit of Fire (no star trek here) and Ellen Anders, professor of something. I don't know what. Like I said, they tie in with the universe very well.

The gameplay is where it shines, with some fun battles to be had. There's a great assortment of units and familiar faces. As you begin a skirmish or battle you select which commander you want - each has their own special abilities and units. Captain Cutter can call in the Elephants. Remember those giant, really freakin' slow mobile bases from Halo 3? Yeah, those ones. Guess what? They're giant, freakin' slow mobile bases. He can also upgrade marines into ODST helljumpers who can be launched across the map with a special ability of his. There's some other stuff, too. Anyway - Base management is very simple, with scrolling with the left stick over buildings and just hitting A to open up windows. You then point the left stick in the direction of what you want to train and hit A again. Works the same as the covenant, but they play a little differently. Onto them. Their leaders don't sit around in ships above the planet, they get up close and personal as incredibly powerful combat units with spectacular special attacks.

For those who like to have matches against CPU opponents, there's a skirmish mode included. There's a slight lack of content, however. You'd expect a bit more maps. DLC man to the rescue.

The graphics are good for the most part, as you'll see some nice shine and shadows, along with great detail for units. My only two complaints is that you can't zoom in all that far to see the action. The other being a few awkward framerate drops when things get heated up. You can see the marines holding teeny tiny assault rifles, and the spartans with their teeny tiny spartan lasers. And also the covenant, with their teeny tiny needlers and carbines. I'll tell you what's not teeny tiny, though. The units.
You can see some impressively large units stomping and flying across the battlefield, such as the scarab, the covenant's uber weapon of uberness. And also planes. Lots and lots of planes. With big missiles. biiiiiig missiles.

The controls are good, actually. I was surprised. They take a little getting used to, but once you get a hold of them, they work very well. The left bumper selects all your units, the right selects all on screen, and X moves. Y controls special attacks such as running enemies over with the warthog and tossing grenades with the marines. The right stick can rotate and zoom in the view, with a handy reset as you click down on it. Up on the d-pad selects the covenant's leader or opens the human's power window. Through this, they can fire mac-cannons, repair a group of units, launch helljumpers, that kind of thing. Right goes to anything important that's happening (such as being attacked), down hops to your largest group of units, and left cycles through bases. Like I said above, base management is simple with a few presses of the A button and merely pointing the left stick in a direction.

Halo wars comes with an incredible orchestral soundtrack to keep up with the shooter trilogy. It's filled with a collection of great pieces that play when you're assaulting a base and engaging enemy units. The sound design is good, as well. There's a familiar set of sounds from all the units, such as marines firing their assault rifles and spartans with their lasers. Yes, the banshee's "howl" is included too.

Overall, halo wars is a fun strategy game. You'd best be a fan of the series beforehand, however. It leaves anyone else in the dark.

Not alone in the dark. Oh god no.

Graphics - 8.0 Like I said, an awkward framerate loss keeps it from being better. They're good, though.

Control - 8.0 The control does very well for a console strategy game. It's not terribly good for micromanaging, however.

Sound - 9.0 A brilliant soundtrack and a great assortment of sounds keep the game from being dull.

Value - 7.8 I hear the campaign's a bit short, plus a lack of skirmish maps is a disappointment.

Overall - 8.0

It's fun while it lasts. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go chill with my posse of 19 other players online.

Special Thanks to Angely Grecia of PeadPR for sending down the limited edition!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Deadly Creatures (Wii)

Deadly Creatures, eh? Now this certainly has been an interesting adventure.

Deadly creatures follows a scorpion and a tarantula as they go through the wastes of the sonoran desert. You'll be adventuring through cactus, bramble field, hollow log, and so on and so forth. You'll be battling other arachnids and insects, such as tarantula hawks and gila monsters.

The controls are quite good, for a motion based beat 'em up. Start a combo with A, then swing the wiimote to branch out. Left for a swipe, up for a downwards jab, you get the idea. The nunchuk keeps it simple with the analog stick moving, the C button aiming attacks and Z for jumping. Or, if you're playing the scorpion, blocking. The controls are precise enough to battle any other critters you'll find along the way. There's a few motion-base finishers to be performed. They're a little annoying to actually get them to work, but when they work, they're spectacular.

Now the graphics were a spectacle for the wii. It's quite amazing, showing off some great lighting and shadow effects. You'll see the individual little hairs on the tarantula's leg and also on other bugs. The framerate keeps up very well with the graphics, I've yet to see it actually drop.

Plot-wise, the game is simple. A pair of men are digging for some gold that was left in the area during the american civil war.
Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper do a good job in voicing them. It's nothing too engaging, but it's just enough to keep you going.

The gameplay is where the game shines. It's fun stuff ripping through other nasties and trudging through the bleak desert wastes. You get a variety of attacks, such as a web shot, sting, venom bite, and the game hands them to you at a good pace. Get bored of one move, and you'll have another ready for you.

The length is the only disappointment. The game is 10 chapters long with each being about 20-30 minutes long. There's a few unlockable art galleries to go collect (or, go back for) which are given by collecting grubs scattered throughout the levels, and that's about it.

All in all, deadly creatures is a fun adventure which is a good addition to the actually GOOD third-party wii games. That makes three. Pick it up if you've got a spare bit of cash and looking for a fun time with the desert kingdom.

Graphics - 8.0
They definitely stand out as some of the finest I've seen on the wii.

Gameplay - 8.0
The gameplay is as fun as the graphics are good, with some great battles to be had.

Control - 7.5
When it works, it works. During the finishers, they can be a little tricky.

Value - 7.5
Like I keep saying, deadly creatures is a fun time. It's a tad short, however...

Overall - 7.8


Monday, February 9, 2009

Super Gmod Kart

Har har. fncypntz has claimed mastery over gmod.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Alone in the Dark


Good god what a piece of crap this was.

Alone in the Dark is a remake (I think so...) of an old survival horror classic, which follows a guy going into a haunted mansion. He then has to survive against ghouls and monsters with what he can find. Now, forget all that and get a new plot on the field. Apparently, bad shit happened and some guy is now against the forces of... uhm.. Hell? I, uh, think so. Really, I don't recall it specifying.

The gameplay was somewhat dull. The first level takes you through a burning building which is astoundingly boring, even with you pulling fire extinguishers out of nowhere and putting out the fire. Don't worry, things pick up a little when monsters start showing up. Scratch that. MONSTER. There's just one, and all I remember was smacking it across the face with some blunt object.

Now the graphics weren't too bad. It's a shame they had to be wasted on such a crappy game.
The game showed off some nice lighting and depth of field effects, and, being a main component of the game the fire sprites weren't too bad themselves. Character models, although a little wooden, looked good enough.

Now, this is the section where I should be talking about the control. But then I remembered - What control?

Graphics - 8.0

Gameplay - 4.0

Control - 2.0

Value -   -4,875,234,000


All in all, Alone in the Dark was a disappointing adventure through a burning building and the rubble of the front desk. No, I never got past the second level but that didn't stop the game from being horribly lousy.


Hello and welcome to this little corner of the internet.

It's some sort of corner, could be nook. Possibly a cranny. Anyway, I'll be posting a few video game reviews occasionally. Don't expect them terribly often, but I'll post them when I've got time.