Archive for the ‘MDawg’ Category

Game Review: WWE All Stars

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

WWE All Stars rings in with a BusyGamer 3

First Glance:
The next installment of THQ’s WWE wrestling video game series.

Short Story:
Featuring over the top action and ridiculously over exaggerated character models, WWE All Stars features your favorite current and legendary WWE superstars. You can either play as the superstars of today or be nostalgic and play as the superstars you grew up watching.

The Score:
WWE All Stars is a pretty fun game to play. If you’ve played any of the old arcade games (WWF Wrestlemania on the SNES) you’ll really enjoy this game. The game features over the top action that’s similar to the gameplay of the old arcade games that you played as a kid. Unfortunately, the game does lack in terms of features though. If you’re a wrestling fan, both old and new, at least play this game. WWE All Stars gets a Busy Gamer 3.

Body of Review:
I’ve been a big fan of the WWE for many many years (since back in the WWF days). And of course, since I’m an avid gamer, I’ve played pretty much every WWF/E game that’s been released. Some of my favorite wrestling games have been the WWF/E THQ games. Starting with WWF Wrestlemania 2000 all the way to the Smackdown vs. Raw franchise, THQ has been making some pretty solid wrestling games. They gave us a taste of what this game offers us with 2009′s WWE Legends of Wrestlemania, which was decent, though it had a more grounded feel to the game play. WWE All Stars gives us what Legends of Wrestlmania gave us as far as the roster of WWE Legends are concerned, and then combined it with the over the top action and crazy physic of the wrestlers on the roster similar to that of the old arcade and SNES games of our childhood.

The game has a pretty impressive roster. It features current WWE superstars including: Triple H, Kofi Kingston, The Undertaker, John Morrison, and the recently retired Edge. And also your favorite WWE Legends: Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and for the first time in a THQ/WWE video game, The Macho Man Randy Savage.

The game offers two different “story modes.” One is the Fantasy Warfare mode, which pits a current superstar and a legend of similar fighting styles against each other in a match. What makes this mode pretty cool is that they splice together clips from interviews or live in ring rants of each superstar and turns them into an impressive little match set up. To me, I was really impressed by the amount of work that went into putting those vignettes together.

This looks like it might be illegal in most states...

The other mode is Path of Champions. This mode includes three challenges, where you can chose to challenge The Undertaker for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, or Degeneration X for the WWE World Tag Team Championship. Each championship path will start with the respective champion addressing you and then you go on your way through 9 matches and then the championship match. For example: The World Heavyweight Champion is The Undertaker. Now, his path starts out with Paul Bearer, yes, Paul Bearer, The Undertaker’s long time manager back in the old days, welcoming you to the Funeral Parlor.

For those of you who were WWF fans back in the day, The Funeral Parlor was a segment that would usually feature Paul Bearer talking to the superstar that The Undertaker was in a feud with and then The Undertaker would show up, usually out of nowhere either working on a casket or coming out of a casket, and scares you half to death. Randy Orton just talks about how much better he is than everyone else, and DX just makes fun of you and plugs merchandise (they plug the WWE All Stars game, yes they plug the game you are currently playing). It’s pretty fun to do.

Other than those two modes, you have your normal exhibition matches, 1v1, tag team, extreme rules, and cage matches. Unlike the Smackdown vs Raw games, All Stars does not include Ladder Matches, or my favorite Hell in a Cell match, but what can you do?

The best thing about this is probably to ridiculously over the top action in this game. There’s nothing like playing as The Rock against John Cena, and giving Cena The Rock Bottom, and jumping about 20 feet in the air to deliver said Rock Bottom! Everyone’s moves and finishers are as ridiculous as this. Plus, on top of that, the character models are extremely overdone. I’ve always said that the wrestlers physics are over done in the games and this one takes it to a whole new level. The Undertaker, for example towers over his opponents and his hands are about as big as most peoples heads. It’s completely unrealistic and it’s awesome!

There were some problems with this game though. The game play gets pretty repetitive, but that’s pretty standard with a fighting game, the thing is, is that you can barely win a match by anything but a knock out. Even if you take out your opponent’s health after delivering a finisher, they will more than likely kick out of the pin. As much punishment as you dish out on your opponent, you have a really hard time getting a pin on them, which is a little annoying.

Another thing that bothered me would be the super stars entrances. First of all, they don’t have their full entrances, they stop at the top of the ramp. THQ has always done a great job putting together video game versions of the superstars entrances. If you look at them from previous games, their video game entrances and pretty much exact to how the superstars come out to the ring in real life, would it have killed them to give us full entrances?

Cena and The Rock demonstrate their methods of pest control

Probably the worst thing about All Stars was the “Create a Superstar” mode. THQ has always made an incredibly in depth create a superstar mode in their wrestling games. All Stars made it painfully simple. As far as the look of your superstar, your choices of clothing and body features are very, very slim. And it’s no different with selecting your entrance and move set. You don’t get to select individual moves, you only get to choose a superstar’s move set as your own, which sucks. I’ve always enjoyed being able to pick my favorite moves from my favorite superstars and combining them into one to make the ultimate badass, but not in this game. The only individual move you get to pick is your finisher, and it’s the same with picking your entrance, you don’t get to pick your individual music or entrance animation. What was great about previous THQ/WWE titles is how detailed the “Create a Superstar” mode was. Anything was possible with that system. You could have your superstar come out to Triple H’s music with Shawn Michael’s entrance, or have your superstar weigh 300 pounds and see him fly off the top rope with a Swanton Bomb. I was really disappointed with this part of the game.

WWE All Stars is a decent game. It brought back a lot of memories from playing the old WWF arcade games when I was a kid. But at the same time, I left me wanting more as far as some of the game modes and customization is concerned. If you’re a current or old fan of the WWE, play this game, you will enjoy it.

Till next time Busy Gamers, happy gaming!

M-Dawg out!!

Game Review: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions swings in at a Busy Gamer 4

First Glance:
A new standalone Spider-Man video game title from Activision aside from the movie tie-in games.

 

Short Story:
The sinister master of illusion, Mysterio, is in the process of stealing the Tablet of Chaos and Order, a mystical artifact able to give its holder unlimited power. Luckily, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man shows up in the nick of time to thwart Mysterio’s evil plan. Unfortunately, in the process of stopping Mysterio, the Tablet gets shattered into multiple pieces. Madame Webb appears and informs Spider-Man that the pieces have been scattered among four different dimensions, and the Spider-Man from each dimension must work together to reassemble the Tablet before the dimensions are destroyed.

The Score:
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimension was an absolute delight. Featuring a great original story and a wonderful combination of cell shaded comic book style graphics and wonderfully detailed scenery, Spider-Man is a great title to play. At times, the levels can get a bit lengthy, but over all, it’s a pretty quick game and it has a great replay value. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimension gets a Busy Gamer 4.

Body of Review:
First of all, I am a HUGE Spider-Man fan. Spidey is my all-time favorite super hero, so when a movie or game comes out that features the wall crawler, I’m there. And this game, by far, is the best Spider-Man game I’ve played. The story itself is so original and so good, and it’s a way to get fans of Spider-Man who aren’t familiar with any other Spider-Man book besides The Amazing Spider-Man exposed to the other Spidey universes. As I said in my quick synopsis of the story, you play as four different Spider-Men. You have the Spider-Man that everyone knows, The Amazing Spider-Man (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris), the younger Ultimate Spider-Man (who wears the dreaded Black Suit, but Madame Webb has prevented the suit from trying to bond with Peter Parker until the deed is done), Spider-Man Noir(who comes from an alternate dimension set in the 1930′s. This Spider-Man primarily sticks to the shadows and uses stealth to his advantage.) and finally, the Spider-Man of the year 2099 (who is the only one of the four Spider-Men who is NOT Peter Parker). Assuming that the 2099 Spider-Man is the Spider-Man of the potential future, it is impossible for this Spider-Man to be Peter Parker, unless Peter Parker was cryogenically frozen and awaken in the year 2099, but that’s a little farfetched even for a comic book… or is it? The 2099 Spider-Man is a man by the name of Miguel O’Hara, who is an employee for the Alchemex Corporation. Alchemex started dealing in gene splicing and tried to splice human DNA with that of the DNA of a previous Spider-Man in order create an army, but no subject has survived the process. Miguel somehow becomes part of the experiment and manages to survive, and now he possesses the same powers of Peter Parker. He now uses his power to take down his former employers.

Classic web-swingin', butt-kickin' goodness

Each Spider-Man has their own set of strengths and weaknesses. Out of all four Spider-Men, The Amazing Spider-Man is pretty much your all around Spider-Man, he’s got the perfect combination of power, speed and agility then the other three. Ultimate Spider-Man is a little more powerful because of the Black Suit and he has the ability to go into rage mode which deals more damage to enemies, but his health regeneration can be a little slow. Spider-Man Noir is not great with hand to hand combat and taking on enemies with guns, which is why he works best at stealth attacks and sticks to the shadows. To make up with his inability to take gunfire well, Noir has uncanny health regeneration. And the Spider-Man of 2099 is extremely quick and agile and has the ability to slow things down to dodge gunfire and homing missiles, but his attacks can be a little weak.

Each level takes place in a different dimension and features a different Spider-Man. And along with a different Spider-Man, comes each dimension’s take on classic Spider-Man villains. For me, my favorite villains were the ones portrayed in the Noir levels. They really brought a sense of realism to the villains back story, and it really shows how sinister and gruesome, twisted and demented the villains are. The villains in the Noir dimension are all carnival sideshow freaks who start a crime syndicate. In the Noir story line, the Vulture is the man that kills Uncle Ben, and not only does he kill him, he eats Uncle Ben alive, so that’s the idea that of what things are like in the Noir world. You will encounter every classic villain in the Spider-Man universe. Everyone from the master hunter Kraven, to the embodiment of fear and evil Carnage, the clinically insane Deadpool, and, of course, in the end, Mysterio.

Probably the coolest things about the game is that at certain parts during the levels, there are sequences where the camera will go to a third person over the shoulder view while Spidey is walking around and there is walking dialogue being spoken. Not only that, but certain cut scenes will take you into a first person view of Spidey and you’ll see what he sees as his villains attack him head on. What I really enjoyed during some boss fights is that for some bosses, they will go into a first person view as Spider-Man goes hand to hand with his enemy, and during these sequences, you get to dodge attacks and punch out your enemy. I really enjoyed those sequences because you get to see the detail on the bosses’ faces and every time you punch them in the face, they usually have something to say about said punch to the face.

The best thing about the game though… Spidey’s wise cracks. I’ve noticed what was missing in the movies and some of the recent games was the lack of Spider-Man’s classic wise cracks and trash talking while he fights. In Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, the wise cracks are back in full force. My favorite is when Ultimate Spider-Man is facing off against Electro, and the entire time Spidey goes on and on about how Electro is not wearing any pants. It was one thing after another in that fight, and it was great.

A new take on classic baddies

Even though I had some great things to say about this game, there were some problems with it. First of all, when you are wall crawling, the camera is IMPOSSIBLE to work with. This has been a problem with every recent Spider-Man game to my memory. As soon as you start wall crawling, the camera goes haywire and it’s very annoying. Another thing that bothered me was that the levels get very repetitive. They usually consist of two boss fights, and in between the boss fights, you spend the levels pursuing said boss, either saving civilians, or taking down thugs.

All in all, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is a wonderful game. If you are a Spider-Man fan, you will enjoy this game. If you’re not a Spider-Man fan, you will be after playing this game.

Until next time, happy gaming, Busy Gamers!!

M-Dawg out!!!

Game Review: Marvel vs Capcom 3

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 pummels in with a Busy Gamer 4

First Glance:
The next installment of Capcom and Marvel’s crossover fighting franchise.

Short Story:
The biggest names in the Marvel and Capcom universes join forces to stop Victor von Doom and Albert Wesker from destroying Earth with the help of the destructor of planets himself, Galactus.

The Score:
Marvel vs. Capcom 3, for the most part, is a fast game to play through. The arcade mode is only 7-8 stages long, and those stages only consist of winning a fight. Most of your time will be consumed by beating the game with every character to unlock everything and playing online. For the Busy Gamer, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds gets a 4.

Body of Review:
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is your classic 2D fighting game. It features 38 different Marvel and Capcom characters, each with their own set of unique moves and character models. Like the two previous MvC titles, the format is a three on three battle between two teams. First team to have all three members fall loses.

I really enjoyed playing this game. It features many of my favorite Marvel comics characters, as well as characters that I remember playing as a child and also some characters that I don’t know from the Capcom universe. Visually, it’s a stunning game to look at. The graphics are similar to that of Street Fighter 4 but since there are the added comic book characters, there’s a little bit of comic book added to it, which is a nice touch to me. The fighting system is similar to the two previous entries, which is the same fighting system from Street Fighter 4, the same advanced fighting system and gameplay from the Street Fighter Alpha series. Complete with its signature over the top charged and team attacks, which are visually stunning depending on the team of characters that you choose.

Now with more Wesker goodness!

Each character is designed to the T, and each features their own unique fighting stance, moves, special moves, voices, and post battle celebration. My character of choice is Deadpool. I’ve recently grown to love the character of Deadpool and his character in the game is everything that Deadpool fans wanted Ryan Reynolds to be in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (keeping my fingers crossed for the actual Deadpool movie); a wise cracking, sword swinging, gun firing psychopath.
First of all, his “fighting stance” is just Deadpool bouncing up and down swinging his arms back and forth. He approaches his enemy by doing a Travolta style Saturday Night Fever strut, and moves away by simply moonwalking away from his opponent. For those who do not know the character of Deadpool, this is utterly his style. What he says is quite humorous as well. While most other characters will give a grunt while doing an attack, Deadpool (who knows he’s in a comic or video game at all times) prefers to yell out things like “Chimichangas!” or “Hot Dogs!” when he does an attack. My favorite is when he uses a special attack that requires him to just fire his guns at his opponent. Deadpool simply yells, “BANG BANG BANG BANG!!!”

My team of choice: Deadpool, Dante from Devil May Cry (who is Capcom’s answer to Deadpool in my opinion), and Iron Man. I suggest this team because they are a bit of a powerhouse combo. Deadpool’s attacks are fast and painful, Dante is a beast and can hit you a barrage of sword, magic, and firearm attacks, and Iron Man’s crossover attack deals a huge amount of damage. The three make a pretty solid team.

The arcade mode is pretty straight forward, choose your team, fight 7 other teams, then fight Dr. Doom and Albert Wesker, and finally, Galactus in a battle to save Earth. For the most part, the battles leading up to the final stage are pretty easy. It’s fighting Doom and Wesker that sucks because normally, team members will do assisted attacks and the assisting teammate will attack and then run back. In the Wesker/Doom fight, you’re pretty much fighting both characters at the same time. Luckily, they share one health bar.

"Shoryuken this!"

What makes this fight nearly impossible to win on any other difficulty besides Very Easy, is that after you lose one of your three fighters taking care of Doom and Wesker (which you probably will, but I suck at fighting games) you have to take on Galactus, who deals massive damage with every attack and is a colossal enemy to fight. I’ve only been able to beat the arcade mode on the Very Easy difficulty, but like I said, I suck at fighting games big time.

Along with the Arcade mode, you can play online (which I wouldn’t suggest doing unless you play fighting games 24/7 or else you’ll get destroyed). The game also features a Mission section. Basically, this is a tutorial for every character in the game so that you can get used to their moves and combos. It gets pretty ridiculous because it’ll get to the point to where you will have to string together a 5 hit combo and finish it off with a special attack. It can be difficult to say the least.

All in all, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is your classic 2D fighter. The added plus is that you get to play as your favorite Marvel and Capcom characters. For me being a comic nerd, especially Marvel comics, I’ve always enjoyed playing the MvC series.

Until next time Busy Gamers, Happy Gaming!

M-Dawg

Game Review: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Thursday, January 27th, 2011
Castlevania Box Art

Castlevania: Lords of Shadows whips in with a BusyGamer 2

First Glance:
The latest installment of Konami’s most popular game franchise next to the Metal Gear series.

Short Story:
You play as Gabriel Belmont, a knight in the Brotherhood of Light, a society of good assembled to make sure that evil is kept away from the innocent people of Earth.  There is a separation between the Heavens and the Earth, and because of it, evil creatures of every type have begun tormenting innocent villages and killing those who get in their way.  Gabriel’s wife is among those who have been killed by this evil, and because of that, her soul is stuck in limbo.  The higher ups of the Brotherhood believe that an evil society known as the Lords of Shadow is responsible for what has happened.  The higher ups believe that there is an item known as the “God Mask” that can be used to defeat all of the evil in the world and it’s also believed to be able to revive the dead.  Gabriel has been chosen to retrieve the God Mask and bring peace back to the Earth.

The Score:
This game had tons of potential.  Visually, it’s absolutely gorgeous, and the overall plot is quite good as well.  The main thing is that the game is two discs long, so it will take a while to beat.  Not to mention that you can go back to different levels after you have acquired a certain skill and do something you weren’t able to do previously.  I do have a problem with how the game ended, but I will get to that in a little bit.  For the Busy Gamer, Castlevainia: Lords of Shadow gets a 2.

Body of Review:
For the most part, I really enjoyed playing this game.  There were so many good things about this game.  First and foremost, the overall look of the game.  Castlevania is a beautiful game to look at.  There was little to no difference in the graphics between the in game cut scenes and the pre-rendered cinematics of the game.  This. Game. Is. Gorgeous!  The details on the levels are a sight to see as well.  In the third or fourth level of the game you are running around in a forest, and the colors are so vibrant and you can see the detail of almost every leaf on each tree. (more…)

Game Review: Halo Reach

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Halo: Reach grabs a Busy Gamer 4

First Glance:
The prequel to the epic Halo Trilogy and what is said to be Bungie’s “final” Halo game.

Short Story:
You play as Noble 6, the newest member of Noble Team. This team of Spartans, physically and genetically altered super soldiers armed with high tech armor and weapons, is the last defense against the Covenant, a combination of different alien races who believe that it is their divine right to destroy the human race. Noble Team’s mission is to repel an invasion of the planet Reach, the last human compound before Earth. You and your team must prevent Reach from falling to the Covenant in order to keep the location of Earth a secret. If you are a fan of the Halo series, you know how this story ends.

The Score:
*Disclaimer!  The score I give Halo: Reach does not reflect how I really feel about this game.*  This was easily the most anticipated game release of this year. With stunning cinematics, wonderful voice acting, and not to mention the incredible and epic story of the campaign, I would be shocked if this game does not receive game of the year. With that said, the campaign can take a while to complete especially if you are trying to get the Legendary Campaign achievements. Then, once you are done with the campaign, you can spend the rest of your day playing the awesome online multi-player. For the sole reason that you can spend countless hours playing online, for the Busy Gamer, Halo: Reach is going to get the score of a 4.

Body of the Review:
This was easily the best game I’ve played this year. Bungie really went all out with what they call their last Halo installment. As I mentioned before, the story was incredible. As you start off as a full team, and slowly, one by one, the team of six eventually comes down to one, you realize that the mission you started will not be a successful one. For those of you familiar with the Halo universe, you know that Reach falls to the Covenant, but Bungie makes sure that everyone knows that Reach did not fall without a fight.

There were a number of exciting additions made to Reach. Along with new weapons, my personal favorite being the DMR which is a single fire version of the Battle Rifle from Halo 2 and Halo 3, there were also the addition of the armor load outs. The load outs were my favorite addition to this game. There are a variety of armor load outs available in Reach, including: Sprint, Armor Lock, Invisibility, Hologram, a Deployable Bubble Shield, and let us not forget, a Jet Pack. I am a huge fan of Red vs. Blue, an online series made using the Halo game engine. Now, in the Red vs. Blue storyline, there is a special division of soldiers called “Freelancers.”  Each Freelancer’s armor is equipped with a special ability. Sound familiar?  Being a Red vs. Blue fan, I was really excited to see something like this be apart of the game. My favorite load out would have to be the Sprint load out. It’s the simplest one of the bunch, but it works best for me in Matchmaking.

"Get some, little creepy dino looking thing!"

Halo: Combat Evolved was such a breakthrough game because it was the first game to initialize the melee attack in a First Person Shooter. Halo 2 and 3 took it one step further with instant kills when you melee an opponent from behind. Now, when you do this in a multiplayer match, you would get a badge for an assassination. Halo: Reach took the assassination one step further by actually giving you the visual satisfaction of seeing your character brutally assassinate your opponent. This usually involves the breaking of the neck or a brutal stabbing of the head or chest of your opponent. I love those!
Along with the additions of the gameplay, your ability to customize your Spartan are incredible. There are so many different armor types this time around that the possibilities are endless for how your Spartan looks.

The multiplayer has gone through a huge revamp as well. You can now change your settings to where if you like to play with people who like to talk while playing, or players who are there to have fun, you can set it to where those will be the only players you will be matched with. There are also some new multiplayer games with Reach. These include Head Hunters, Elite Slayer, Invasion, and now SWAT and Living Dead have their own multiplayer playlist. Personally, I am not a fan of any of these new games except for SWAT, but that’s been in the mix since Halo 3. Elite Slayer is probably my least favorite of the new multiplayer games. It was not very fun to play.

Right now, Reach doesn’t have too many maps to choose from and the majority of them are all remakes of maps from previous Halo games, my favorite currently being Countdown.

"Your tactics are transparent!"

One of the best changes would be the changes made in the Forge. Not only did Bungie manage to change things by giving the players the ability to make their own movies using Theater mode and giving players the ability to create their own maps as well in Halo 3. Now in Reach, players have endless possibilities in the Forge. You can now mesh objects together and rotate objects to the angle you desire. And to build your creations, Bungie has given us Forge World. Forge World is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s one huge map that holds at least six different maps inside of it. Most notably, this map has brought back possibly Halo’s most famous map: Blood Gulch. Once again, as a Red vs. Blue fan, I was excited to see Blood Gulch again as it was where the first five seasons of the show took place.

Final Thoughts:
Reach is as close to the perfect FPS as you can get. It has the story, the look, and the gameplay that many will love. I only hope that this will not be Bungie’s last hurrah in the Halo Universe.

Until next time Busy Gamers, Happy gaming!

M-Dawg out.

Game Review: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Prince of Persia : The Forgotten Sands - BusyGamer Score 2

First Glance:
The next installment of Ubisoft’s popular action adventure puzzle franchise.

Short Story:
You, playing as the Prince, come to visit your brother, Malik, who is a ruler of a kingdom. But when you arrive, you see that he is in the middle of a war. You now go around the kingdom trying to locate your brother while, on the way, defeating enemies at the same time. You meet up with Malik in King Solomon’s tomb where Malik decides to release Kings Solomon’s Army in order to end this war. Then something goes wrong, the “army” that’s released is an ancient evil that draws its power from the sands lead by an evil demon called Ratash. After the seal that held the army captive is broken, the Prince and Malik each took a half of the seal and were once again separated. The two brothers found that whenever they kill an enemy, they gain power from them. Malik likes this power but Prince can see that one can be overcome by it. Then comes the fight with Ratash. After you wear the demon down, Malik comes out of nowhere and delivers a killing blow, or so you think. As Malik’s half of the seal absorbs the power of Ratash, you notice he is now overcome by the demon’s power and becomes Ratash. You now have to locate your brother and save him from this terrible fate and save the world as you know it.

The Score:
I was absolutely disappointed in this game. I am giving this game a 2.

Body of Review:
Usually, I like to have a good and bad section to my reviews but I’m just gonna go ahead and combine them into one. I had some major problems with this game. In the past, the Prince of Persia series has been known as an action adventure puzzle game but the problem with this installment is that there was no action or adventure. The majority of the gameplay was me running up a wall, swinging from poles, or avoiding traps around the area. And then when I did actually fight some enemies, there were usually about a hundred or so that I had to fight. The waves of enemies were ridiculous. The gameplay itself was not what it used to be in a Prince of Persia game. Remember back in the Sands of Time trilogy, especially in Warrior Within where you could string together combos to really do some damage? Yeah, those days are long gone. Now you can only hit enemies with so called “quick attacks”, which take at least a 2 second wind up on the Prince’s part, and a charge attack. No more combos, no more Mature rating either, which is what I loved about Warrior Within.

Prince of Persia - The Forgotten Sands

The powers you obtain over the course of the game are okay but not great. They include Fire Trail, Ice Blast, Stone Armor and a Wind Gust. I found myself using the Fire Trail more than any other power because it did the most when I was surrounded by enemies.

You also use the power of the sands in this game. With the power of the sands you can control time, which you can use to prevent some deaths and help figure out the puzzles in the game. You can also slow down time which will slow down water falls and water spouts enough to where you can climb, walk, swing, and shimmy on water. This was a pretty cool feature for the first two sections I had to use it in, then it just became annoying by how much I HAD to use it.

The last power you obtain is the power of the wind. You can be in mid jump and then use this power to dart yourself to an enemy at the opposite end of a once unreachable gap.

I would have to say the only decent thing about this game is perhaps the cinematics. They were done quite well but when you have good cinematics with a disappointing game, it doesn’t help any.

Final Thoughts:
After playing this game, it really made me sad that this is where the Prince of Persia franchise has gone. When I saw that they were going back towards the Sands of Time I was excited because I was a big fan of that trilogy but I was severely disappointed. I hope that if there’s a next installment, they will go back to the days of Mature ratings and violent combos and gameplay.

Until next time, happy gaming everyone!

M-Dawg

Game Review: Dante’s Inferno

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Dante's Inferno tells us to "Go to Hell" and we still give it a BG 4.

First Glance:
A game adaptation of Dante Alighieri’s first part of “The Divine Comedy” about a soldier’s quest through the Nine Circles of Hell.

Short Story:
You play as Dante, a soldier of the Crusades who returns home to find both his father and his love, Beatrice, murdered. While he mourns at Beatrice’s body, a dark presence appears and takes her soul down to Hell. Dante, now “hell” bent on revenge, follows her soul down to Hell determined to save her soul and send her to Heaven. Along the way, you learn why she is taken to Hell and more about Dante himself and his family.
The Score:
I’m giving Dante’s Inferno a 4. Not only is this game fun and exciting but it can also be a quick play if you are able to get a good amount of game play in. I also give this game a 4 because it’s an easy achievement game. A plus if you like achievements as much as I do.

Body of Review:
Good:
Dante’s Inferno is a very solid game. One of my favorite things about the game would be the cinematics. The in game cutscenes, the cinematic cutscenes, and the flashback cartoons are amazing and add a lot of depth to the game itself. As you travel deeper into Hell, you will have a flashback cutscene which is started by a close up of the cross that Dante has stitched into his body. In these flashbacks, you find out what kind of person Dante is and how Beatrice’s soul is snatched down to Hell by the Devil himself.

Another good thing about the game is the arsenal of weapons you have. First and foremost, Death’s Scythe. That’s right, Death’s Scythe. You acquire this weapon early in the game. After the games tutorial, you go to a cutscene where Dante is stabbed in the back by an enemy. While Dante tries to recover from the blow, Death rises from the underworld to collect Dante’s soul. Dante refuses and you go into what I consider your first boss fight. This boss fight made me hear something I thought I never would…Death begging for his life while Dante kills him with his own scythe and then takes it for himself. My mind was blown just by this first fight. The scythe is great for the classic hack and slash of demons and damned souls but sometimes there will be enemies that are too far away for the scythe to reach. For these enemies, you have a cross given to you by Beatrice before Dante went off to the Crusades. The cross is used as a ranged weapon.

The big head may be angry that we're wasting his dental floss...

Now along with these two weapons, you also have four different types of magic spells that you acquire through out the game. The gameplay is quite good in this game. It has a combination of hack and slash and also a button command system for certain enemies and boss fights. My favorite aspect of the fighting system is the option to punish or absolve certain enemies. To get this option, you can either grab some of the weaker enemies or wear down some of the stronger enemies. When you wear down an enemy enough, a right trigger icon will appear over their head, when this happens, press right trigger to grab the enemy with the scythe then you will have an option. You can either punish or absolve your enemy. If you choose to absolve them, Dante will use the cross to send the demon’s soul to Heaven. If you choose to punish them, Dante will show no mercy with Death’s Scythe. Choosing to either punish or absolve an enemy will raise either you Holy, or Unholy level, and also collect souls which you can use to buy different moves or upgrade your weapons as your levels go up.

I really enjoyed the button command system that was included with the fighting system. When you take on enemies, you will be given certain button commands to choose to punish, absolve, or even board a creature that you can control.

One of my favorite things would be the boss fights. You will take on a number powerful foes in this game, including Death, King Minos (who judges damned souls and sends them to a certain circle of Hell depending on their sins), Marc Antony and Cleopatra,  Cerberus, Alighieri (Dante’s father), Frencesco (Dante’s friend and Beatrice’s brother) and Lucifer Himself. Favorite boss fight: King Minos. The way you finish the fight is brutal!

All these things about this game are great, but the absolute best thing about this game has to be the overall look of the game. The environments are mind blowing. My favorite stage in the game is Gluttony. Since gluttony is associated with the digestive system, the entire circle of Gluttony looks like you are walking around the inside of a stomach and intestines of a person. As you walk around, the walls move and you hear the sounds of a stomach. It’s absolutely disgusting to look at and hear but it’s done so well you can’t help but appreciate it.

Like I said earlier, this is an achievement game. There is no achievement in the game that require you to play through the game on a certain difficulty, so you can 100% this game on the easiest level of gameplay, which is a big plus for me, because I don’t like games to be too difficult. I got all but 5 achievements just playing through the game once.

"Butt kicking for goodness!"

Bad:
Ok, I know I had a lot of good things to say about Dante’ Inferno. In fact, I think the goods things I wrote about it may actually be longer than my first review. Anyway, there were a couple of things I thought could have been better about the game. First of all, there was the lack of a free roaming camera. I felt a free roaming camera could have been helpful and could have prevented a number of deaths that I suffered while playing the game. I also would have wanted to have a targeting system. There were times that I wanted to focus on one enemy to raise either my Holy or Unholy level and then Dante would start attacking another enemy in mid combo, which got a little annoying. The last thing I didn’t like was how Cerberus was portrayed in the game. Now when you think Cerberus, you think a giant three-headed dog. But, in the game, Cerberus guards the entrance into Gluttony, so to go along with the look of the stage, the people at Visceral Games decided to make Cerberus into a three headed worm monster. I didn’t like it at all.

Final Thoughts:
Dante’s Inferno is an incredible game. The combination of the story, game design, and controls is what makes this such a great game. And the ending left it open for more games. Perhaps it will continue to follow in the stories of “The Divine Comedy.”  It was one of my favorite games I’ve played recently.

Until next time, happy gaming everyone!

M-Dawg

Game Review: Darksiders

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

Darksiders rides in and gets a Busy Gamer 3

First Glance:
It’s a game where the first horseman of the Apocalypse extracts his revenge against those who wronged him.

Short Story:
You are War, the first horseman of the Apocalypse. During a battle between Angels and Demons in the middle of an Earth city, only War himself and not the other three horsemen are summoned to bring in the Apocalypse. While War is doing what he does best, he starts to lose his powers. Not knowing why, he then finds himself powerless battling a giant demon. He is defeated, and finds himself in front of the Charred Council, the ones responsible for creating the seven seals that prevents neither heaven or hell from causing problems for Earth. If all seven seals are broken, then the Four Horsemen will be summoned to destroy everything. Since War was the only horsemen summoned, the Charred Council believe the one known as the Destroyer is the reason for War’s summoning. Now, the Council has given War the opportunity to gain some revenge against the ones who wronged him. You now go on to clear your name and kill countless demons and even some angels on the way.

The Score:
This was a good game. Great graphics and a good story line go along with it. My only problem with this game is the length of it. Because of that, I give this game a solid 3.

Body of the Review:
Good:
I did enjoy playing this game. This game has aspects of at least three different games in it. The game play feels like Devil May Cry, the look is that of God of War, and the items and dungeons remind me of Legend of Zelda. I was really impressed with the music of the game. At a first glance, I half expected to start hearing some death metal, but to my surprise, the game was scored with some very nice orchestral music. Now, the dungeons you go through to take your revenge on a variety of demons remind me of The Legend of Zelda series. There are about 5 or 6 dungeons to go through in this game. One in particular is a water temple which is pretty difficult. Remind you of anything?  Another thing is the variety of weapons you find in the dungeons. One of my favorites is the Abyssal Chain. This weapon is basically the hook shot from the Zelda series, it can be used to reach far off places that you can’t jump to or to defeat certain enemies. Another Zelda aspect is a demon known as The Watcher(voiced by Mark Hamill). He is assigned to you by the Charred Council in order to “keep an eye on you.”  He acts as your “fairy,” and tells you certain things about the area. Probably what I liked the most about this game is the fact that the treasures and weapons you find in these dungeons are necessary to defeating that dungeon’s boss. But that’s just me because I’m a huge Legend of Zelda fan.

We're pretty sure he's not here for a cup of sugar...

Speaking of weapons, your primary weapon is the Chaos Eater, which is basically a pretty big sword. You use this to unleash massive combos and cut in half any demon or angel that stands in your way. The next big weapon you find, the Scythe. You can use this as well, but when an action icon comes up when you wear an enemy down, the death strike will always be given with the Chaos Eater, which is kind of a bummer because I think it would’ve been nice to see some finishing hits with the Scythe, but nobodies perfect. Among those two, you will also obtain a power glove which will allow some ground pounds, a bracelet that you can use to create portals(which is pretty cool), and also, like I said, the hook shot like Abyssal Chain. You also get a horse and a gun in this game. When on your Hell-Steed, your sword strikes give double damage so it has it’s perks. Your gun doesn’t do much damage and when you get it, most of the enemies you shoot at will be able to block the gunfire anyway so I wouldn’t use it much. The more kills you get these weapons, that weapon will level up. You can also buy upgrades, moves and combos for the Chaos Eater and Scythe.

One of the best aspects of this game, is perhaps the voice acting. I felt the voice acting in this game was done well, but when you put someone like Mark Hamill in the mix, you know it’s going to be good.

Who knew War could catch air?

Bad:
My main problem with this game has got to be the length of it. It took about two weeks for me to get this game done. I usually like to complete a game in at least a week, mainly because I rent games when they first come out. Although the story was good, and the end left it open for a possible sequel, I felt it could have been shorter. I felt there was a certain point between the last smaller dungeon, and you going into the final dungeon to take on the Destroyer could have been left out, but that’s just me.

Final Thoughts:
All in all I think it’s a good game. The cut scenes were well done as well as the writing, voice acting and, musical scoring. The game play is great and the story is pretty compelling but long. I would like to play this game again in the future. I think THQ and Vigil Games did a great job putting together a game like this.

Happy gaming everybody!

M-Dawg

Ghostbusters

Thursday, June 25th, 2009
Ghostbusters - Busy Gamer Score 4

Ghostbusters - Busy Gamer Score 4

First Glance:
It’s a video game based on the hilarious movies about finding and capturing ghosts and demons.

Short Story:
What was called the, “unofficial third movie” by some, an original story written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis that takes place in the early ninties, a few years after the events of Ghostbusters 2.

The Score:
This game had a great story to it, and the replay value is pretty high for me. Not to mention the online jobs you can do to earn extra cash and capture even more ghosts that are terrorizing the people of New York. I would give this game a solid 4. The gameplay is great as well as the cinematics. It’s an all around solid game.

Body of Review:
Since I was a little kid, I loved watching the Ghostbusters movies and cartoon T.V. show. The humor and the plot of the movies always kept me entertained. So naturally, when I heard that there was actually going to be a Ghostbusters video game, I was stoked! My only cocerns were that Atari, who published the game, would get some random people to write and voice the game. But I was wrong. The games features an original story written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis, who wrote the first two movies, and that the voices of the Ghostbusters themselves would be none other than the original cast: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson.

GB Screenshot

The opening scene itself sticks true to the Ghostbuster franchise: a security guard walking through a dark museum is startled by a woman running through. As he chases after her, a strange burst of blue energy goes through New York and the guard is over come by something and the Ghostbusters music and logo kick in.

Now, on to the actual game. Unfortuantly, the initial career mode is only meant for one player, so no busting ghosts with your friends while playing through the story. Your character is a new recruit to the Ghostbusters team. To avoid any chances of growing close to you incase you quit from being afraid or you die while trying to catch a ghost, Peter Venckmen(Bill Murray) insists that your name remains unknown. He doesn’t talk much either, which I like because it kinda gives me the feeling that the new kid is sort of like Link from the Legend of Zelda franchise: doesn’t say much, but gets the job done.

(more…)










OFFICE MATE
Categories
Archives