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