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Showing posts from 2011

Sonic Generations

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My Score:  9.3 out of 10
Sonic Generations features both the 10 and 20 year old Sonic the Hedgehog with a plot that only a mother could love. Without spoiling anything, I will say that the original Sonic canon has been tampered with, and while only die-hard Sonic the Hedgehog fanatics will even be able to tell, this is still a bit of a strange choice for Sonic Team, and I certainly didn't appreciate it.
The gameplay is excellent, and it's just as fast as a Sonic game should be. The young Sonic and Tails are so adorable it should be illegal, and the older versions in this time-traveling tale aren't half-bad either. Not cute, but not as obnoxious as they have been in previous Sonic titles. The controls are tight, and the level designs are wonderful - and you'll want to try to beat your best even after you achieve that marvelous "S" ranking. Everything in Sonic Generations is fast. From the classic 2D stages to the more modern 3D levels - rarely do you slow down…

Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters

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My Rating: 6.8 out of 10
Ratchet and Clank: Size Matters brings the lombax (Ratchet) and robot (Clank) to the PSP for a fairly long journey through the galaxy with plenty of weapons, action and platforming to entertain owners of the PlayStation Portable and fans of the series alike. Crazy new weapons, with plenty of upgrades and lots of new planets to explore come ready to be played. New armor enhancements, along with a steady stream of unlockables will also definitely keep you playing. However, a foul camera and poor control over it can lead to quite a few frustrating deaths during platforming sections, and the control scheme sometimes feels sluggish, making fast-paced combat just a little less possible and enjoyable during some parts of the story.
Size Matters delivers more of what a Ratchet and Clank fan might expect right to your PSP for on the go action on those long car rides, or short elevator trips. Generous checkpoints allow for spontaneous 15 minute play sessions, and every …

PaRappa the Rapper

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My Rating: 7.2 out of 10

A PlayStation wasn't a rare thing to own back in the 90's, and if you owned a PlayStation - it's very likely that you also owned a copy of Parappa the Rapper. Simply put, PaRappa the Rapper is the root of a popular genre in video games known as rhythm/music. A pioneer of it's kind, PTR hit a humble success during it's beginning times, and only much later did it become the occult hit it is today.
PaRappa the Rapper for the PSP is a straight shooting remake and reboot, so from the get-go, there's not a whole lot new to see. But for those who dig just a little deeper, they'll find that nostalgia isn't the only good thing this game has to offer. Anyone who has played PaRappa the Rapper before knows the fun and joy that it can bring, and it's simple enough for pros to conquer, and newcomers to enjoy. The songs are just as catchy now as they were back in the day, and it's still so much fun to watch this little guy try to get t…

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep

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My Rating: 7 out of 10

If you're at all familiar with the Kingdom Hearts series, you likely know what you're getting into when you look at Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep. With this new installment, Square Enix follows the old saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." by sticking to the same great action based RPG formula we've all experience many times before in Kingdom Hearts games prior to Birth By Sleep. 
With that being said, let's quickly nail down some obvious positives for Kingdom Hearts: BBS. Firstly, the graphics are amazing, and I'm normally not one to even mention graphics - but when they're as good as they look in Kingdom Hearts: BBS, I feel like I have to praise them. Also, tight controls and smooth gameplay (along with animations) increase the impact of whats happening on screen. 
Some not so wonderful things about Kingdom Hearts: BBS is the fact that the stories all over-arch, so some of the same names and faces you see during o…

Persona 3 Portable

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My Rating: 10 out of 10
It's never been a secret: Atlus knows how to create a great RPG with a gripping, dark story. Persona 3 Portable is no exception, and I would argue that it's the best RPG they've made. Enhancements from both the original and the remake (both on the PlayStation 2) are easy to see, and it's clear that effort was made to address all of the key complaints that reviewers and fans had for years. Persona 3 is more fun than ever to play through this time around, with gorgeous painted backdrops (rather than the semi-clunky 3D environments) during the day, new missions (including rescue missions) to help shave off some unwanted level grinding, and a whole new character to play through the story as.
The story takes the front stage in Persona 3 Portable. Every night, before midnight, ordinary people transform into coffins for an hour, the moon turns green, water turns into blood, and shadows wander around the city for their next meal. The player-named charac…

Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of The Lions

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My Rating: 8.5 out of 10

If you were a fan of the turn-based strategy "craze" that took hold in the 90's, then you've likely played Final Fantasy Tactics for the PlayStation (a game thought to help define that very genre). Well, Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of The Lions is the same game that we all fell in love with back in 1998, but with new additions such as new classes, levels, weapons, and a multiplayer mode.
In this 2007 remake, new things are present, but not obvious to the untrained eye. If you've had experience with this game back in the day, then you'll be able to tell where exactly the new stuff is. The new inclusions consist of: anime cut-scenes for MOST of the valuable plot-points, which adds a bit to the "style" of the game, a new multiplayer mode (that, admittedly I haven't gotten to try out yet, as nobody has a PSP) with co-op and a vs mode, and lastly - new classes and a few gameplay tweaks. If anybody remembers the story of Fi…

Dante's Inferno

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My Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Those who are fans of Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy are among the many who were initially interested in EA and Visceral Game's title "Dante's Inferno". After it's all said and done, Dante's Inferno bares little resemblance to it's 14th century literature predecessor. Although the characters and general storyline come away clean, a lot of little details just don't add up, and it's very obvious to the educated among us that EA and Visceral Games took quite a few liberties.
With that being said, this review for Dante's Inferno is strictly for the game, and I will leave the fact that there is also an epic poem in regards to this same topic, and which goes by the same name out of the picture as to be fair. Dante's Inferno offers strong, fluid, and intense combat the whole way through the short adventure in hell, and features many things to do afterwards. For instance, plenty of DLC is available at this point in ti…

Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds

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My Rating: 8.8 out of 10
I used to never like fighting games. I didn't understand them, I thought they were too hard and the thought of stringing fancy combos together seemed, to me, better suited to 3D titles such as God of War, and Kingdom Hearts. Well, Marvel vs Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds changed that for me completely. Such rich textures, colors, and animations bring me back to my childhood days of watching Saturday morning cartoons. Not to mention, MvC3 features a Simple mode that, admittedly, got me started, and allowed me personally to hone my skills.
Not a whole lot actually holds Marvel vs. Capcom 3 back from the almost holy 10/10 ratings across the board, except for a few minor "nit-picky" things such as; online capabilities, bland "stories" tied to each of the characters, a lot of lackluster and expensive DLC, along with some very small things that I would have liked to see in the game, such as a "live view" of what costume (palette swap)…

Mortal Kombat

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Rating: 9/10 Ah Mortal Kombat, such fond childhood memories of trying to hide the cartridge from mom.  This game introduced me to the fighting game genre, a genre I admittedly don't play often. Truth be told, if it wasn't for my friend Maja I would not own this game.  This title caught my eye awhile ago when I first heard they were doing a reboot of the series.  This game takes characters from multiple titles of the series and blends them together in a slightly new narrative that is challenging (don't even get me started on Goro) and that draws you in. So first off, this is NOT a game for kids.  It's rated M and it's rated M mostly for violence and bloodshed out the whazoo. Now personally I'm ok with this, but I do know more than one person who told me they can't play it just for that reason.  The fighting itself is surprisingly doable, in fact you actually have time to do combos and things of that nature.  Some of the fights are super super maddening, like…

Portal 2

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Rating: 9.5/10

So I've been gone awhile, this is sad but true.  But now I'm back and reviewing the first game of the "most anticipated of 2011" list I made awhile ago.  With us we have Portal 2, Valve's sequel to the original Portal (found as part of The Orange Box), released in 2007.  With Portal 2 Valve has really upped the bar, managing to turn an add on into a full fledged game.The game itself is superb, a mix of clever game play, humor, and ingenious new ideas.

In an effort to mix things up a little I'm going to review the co-op campaign first.  You and your partner play as P-Body (Orange) and Atlus (Blue).  Together, and with the use of 4 total portals, you and your partner solve a variety of puzzles together while GLaDOS tries to split you up.  The co-op campaign manages something that is just simply astounding in that while challenging and mind bending is doable!  The campaign manages to take the new elements from the single player campaign and uses …

Marvel vs Capcom 3: Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath

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Fans of Marvel vs Capcom 3 got quite the anticipated treat today, with the release of Jill Valentine (from the Resident Evil Series), and Shuma-Gorath (from Dr. Strange, I believe), as extra characters, available via DLC. This treat, however, wasn't without it's costs, and the fact that these characters both cost $5.00 (or 400 Microsoft points) each, brings up the debate of whether or not they're worth it. I, of course, already had my points stored in the system from 2 weeks ago, in excitement for these two characters. Not because I necessarily LIKE them, but because it's 2 new characters to play one of my new, favorite games with.

What comes with each $5.00 purchase? Three things:
1. New character (either Jill, or Shuma-Gorath)
2. 10 new missions each
3. New art, profiles, endings, etc. to unlock

Now we now know everything involved in what you're buying, so, onto the most important thing... How do these characters play?
Jill plays like X-23 in many ways, except wi…

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

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Rating: 8/10
Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions was not at all the game I expected it to be. I am a humongous Spidey fan, as should you all be. For those who have only seen the movies, I'm sorry you had to sit through Spider-Man 3. This game is almost pure fan service, but that's really not a bad thing. It does a great job of capturing the essence of Spider-Man, namely the cheeky humor.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions does an interesting thing by blending together 4 different Spider-Man universes. Amazing (current Spider-Man), Noir (an interesting take on the 1930s, a much darker version), Ultimate (a lot like Amazing, but not quite), and 2099 (the future, non Peter Parker Spider-Man). The plot revolves and the Tablet of Order and Chaos, a mysterious tablet that Mysterio wants. As Mysterio is stealing it our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man stops the party. The tablet breaks and the pieces are scattered throughout the 4 dimensions. Madame Webb brings you all together and you f…

Batman: Arkham Asylum

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Rating: 8.5/10
Alright, so first things first, I will admit, I'm a huge Batman fan. The characters are terribly interesting, the atmosphere varies, and some of my favorite authors have penned the Dark Knight's adventures. When I first heard about this game I will admit I was not that excited. Batman, while great in comics, novels, and films, was lacking in the game world. But low and behold Rocksteady studios shocked the gaming world with this insanely well done and thought out Batman game, showing non-fans what fun it can be to be Bruce Wayne's alter-ego.

The premise is simple enough, The Joker has escaped and taken over Arkham Island. Naturally the Caped Crusader is not ok with this and takes upon himself to save the police, doctors, and even a couple residents of Arkham. For those who aren't aware of the connection to the comics, Arkham Asylum is where most of the "super villains" of the Batman universe are taken. A few of the more famous residents, such a…

Transformers: War for Cybertron

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I need to say this before I get started: I was never interested in Tranformers in the slightest until I played Transformers: War for Cybertron. If you're scared of another shameful movie tie-in from the latest not-so-great Transformers movie, you can play in peace. Transformers: War for Cybertron does something that has never been done before, an origin story of maximum proportions. Everything has a certain "Beginner's Charm" about it, maybe in sight of High Moon's first huge success, or the fact that everybody who's ever been a fan now knows where this whole crazy story took off. I won't spoil anything for you, I will just say - this is a wonderful gaming experience.
In Transformers: WFC, the good is abundant, and rarely stops giving. From the action-packed, story/gameplay driven storyline - to the sometimes hectic online play that includes such modes as a classic team death match, conquest, and capture the flag along with various other game types. In the…