Sunday, January 31, 2010
I should have known better than to play another re-imagined game from my younger days after the terrible Tony Hawk Proving Grounds, but I decided to check this one out anyway.
Grr. This is a TOUGH game.
I remember when I first played the original Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Genesis (with the "Blast processing"and everything). Sometimes, the springs would launch Sonic into a series of loops and you'd be going so fast, you'd be unable to avoid the spikes you didn't know were coming at the end of the loop.
That was the good kind of frustrating.
This Sonic game is just all wrong. First of all, it starts out like Final Fantasy or something, there's a CG cut scene with a really nicely rendered town and a princess who looks like she's from an RPG somewhere. Professor Eggman comes down, only he's not a cartoon character anymore...now he's rendered like an RPG character. He steals the princess and in runs Sonic....who is still the same. It's sort of like Roger Rabbit I suppose....Sonic is a toon in an RPG world. It's strange at first, but you get sort of used to it. It reminds me a lot of the first time I played Paper Mario (a game that everyone seemed to love except for me). I didn't think Mario belonged in that universe and Sonic doesn't belong in this one.
You start out in a town walking around with people you can talk to by pressing X. The conversations are really lame and the developers at Sega Japan didn't bother to hire actors do the voices, instead option to have them say simply "Umm" or "Oooh" when you walk up. I wonder if the original Japanese version has speech or not. Anyway, you finally find your first mission (after getting a few clues from the silent crowd as to where it is) and this is where the frustration (or fun) begins.
The first level is divided into two completely separate parts. If you die on the second part, too bad...you have to do the entire first part over again as well. I hate when games pull this sort of bullshit. Usually, it's Capcom, Team Ninja or even Konami games that do this...and I suspect it's because these veteran game developers have a fundamentally different philosophy on gaming from their counterparts in the United States. I know they are aware that consoles have memory cards and hard drives now, so I don't understand why they won't give us a lousy check point in the middle of a difficult level. It would be nice if I could make some progress instead of replaying the same stupid area over again 15 times just because the final jump is something I have trouble with.
Mastering the first part of level one became very important, because the second half is this super speedy level where you have a split second to dodge all these oncoming obstacles....and until you've played it a few times, you don't know what's coming next. That's clearly what this game is going to be all about: Memorization and repetition.
Well guess what: I've had enough of that.
Unfortunately for me, it looks like the first achievement apparently won't pop until I've gone through over 20 similar missions and beaten 5 bosses. This is the third game in two days that has become more of a chore than something fun, and it's because of my achievement rule I set when I started this challenge.
If I want to stick to my plan, that means I HAVE to come back to this game and get that achievement later, but I don't want to waste anymore time on it right now. It's a decent amount of fun, but the lack of save points and the fact that you have to start over so many times if you die is pissing me off to the point that I don't want to play anymore. You can only do the same level so many damn times in a row.
Overall score so far? 2 out of 10. Save points would have made it fun, but as it stands...it's far too grindy.
Update number one: 8:15pm the same day. I came back, finally made my way through that second level, and then I was able to beat the next boss stage after that. It was no picnic...but at least I made a little more progress. Game is still incredibly hard. Rating has still not changed. :-)
Update number two: February 8th, 2010. I've given this game several more tries...played it on 4 different days, but I'm still not making any progress towards an achievement. I've tried browsing the forums for walkthroughs and tips, but nothing I've found makes this game any more fun to play. At this point, I'm calling it a day. The game is incredibly tough, I'm not having fun replaying levels over and over again in the hopes that I'll get a little closer to an achievement. I played it more than enough to know I hate it....and in order to stay true to this challenge, I'll go ahead and play an extra game, rather than keep playing this one to get an achievement just so it counts.
Rating stays the same. It's a 2/10...I hate it.
I had no trouble beating the entire 50CC cup before I moved on to another game. This might be a good bargain bin game for kids, but only if they don't own a Nintendo console and don't already have every Mario Kart game ever made. It's fun...but it just doesn't compare.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
I played this one from about 11pm on Saturday night until after 2am on Sunday morning, without unlocking one achievement. Gone are the days of Tony Hawk 2X where you can skate around town pulling off amazing combos with a few moves you know and button mashing for the ones you don't. Now it's all about accuracy and being precise with your moves. Grind, Manual, do a flip, land on the rail, all without losing your combo....just to pass the first level or two. I was totally stuck on just about every part of the career, even after reading the instructions and checking out the web for guides.
I found a list of cheat codes that make your skater better at manuals and grinds. I thought entering those might help me with a couple of the challenges I was stuck on, but they did not. Apparently, my problem is landing tricks from jumping. It's nearly impossible for me now, probably because I am used to Tony Hawk 2X, the SSX games, SKATE, Amped and other skate/snowboarding titles that aren't this brutally difficult.When I woke up Sunday morning around 9am, I started playing again...and it took me four more hours before I finally got a sponsor and unlocked an achievement. It was beyond frustrating, and several times I wanted to throw my controller at the television. I actually fantasized about how good it would feel to shatter the mirror in the office with my 60 dollar Todd Macfarlane Halo themed controller, but that would be a waste of a collectible (not to mention 7 years of bad luck).
I can't really say this isn't a good game, because there is a lot to do in it. It has everything the old Hawk games had and then some. Unfortunately it's evolved into something so complex that I never want to play it again. Perhaps folks who have been playing since the old school days and have experienced this evolution gradually are enjoying the step up in difficulty, but it's too much for me. It reminds me of how I felt when I played Street Fighter 3 after all those Street Fighter 2 sequels in the arcade. That game turned into something which had lost all of the things I loved about the original. That's exactly what happened here.
I'll still try Ride, but I'll never play this game again.
Here's the one measely achievement I was able to unlock. The only reason I did it was because of this 365 game project. If it hadn't been for this mission, the difficulty would have forced me to quit long ago. I suppose that's a benefit of this project. If I wasn't trying for an achievement, I would have quit. If you ask me in ten days how I feel about this game, my opinion will probably improve...but right now...I'm still mad at it, and hence, the crappy review score.
This review could end after the following three words: This game blows.
Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
Not if you like this game. :-)
Here's the achievement I got for winning the million dollars. This was my first and last achievement for this game.
It's 2:56pm on Saturday. I'm about to start Fairytale Fights and I have to admit, I have absolutely no idea what to expect from this one. I know two things:
I never thought that Van Halen deserved their own version of Guitar Hero. They were a good band, but they only had a few good albums back in the 1980's before they broke up the first time. After that, they turned into Van Hagar, then went back and forth a few times before realizing they could make a lot of money touring with good old Diamond Dave again. The idea of their own standalone game seems sort of silly and that's probably why they gave it away for free with Guitar Hero 5. That's also probably why I haven't played it until now.
Here are the handful of achievements I unlocked, on purpose. Unlocking more would have required a lot more time, and once you've played one Guitar Hero game, you've pretty much played them all.
With my Saturday "chimp" marathon out of the way, I decided to stick with the kid's games and play something I've secretly wanted to try for a long time. The SpongeBob game.
Here are the first few achievements I unlocked.
The political satire is great. You live in an animal kingdom, where apparently...you're running against other animals to win the presidency. The news station "GRR" runs as you open the game, and in between matches. There are funny little political ads with your "candidate" (the first is a hippo named Ptolemy). I really like the humor here, but unfortunately, the game itself is fairly stupid.
Here are the first and most likely only achievements I will ever earn in this stupid game:
Friday, January 29, 2010
Thrillville Off the Rails is an amusement park simulator. If you've played Roller Coaster Tycoon, you probably understand the basic concept. If you're like me, you probably didn't play Roller Coaster Tycoon, because you're not really into simulators. If you're like me....you might have borrowed this game because you thought it might be fun to try building some crazy roller coasters.
There's one great thing about this game: When you boot it up, you are inspired to talk like one of those Monster Truck announcer guys. I lowered my voice a few octaves and yelled out "MONSTER JAM!" and "GRAVE DIGGER!" until Heather came into the office to ask me what the hell I was doing. I told her I was playing a monster truck game...and that was pretty much all she needed to hear.
I grabbed this game because...well, why not. It was in the software library at work and I was picking out random titles to try. It's a racing game, featuring world famous monster trucks like "Grave Digger" and...well...."Grave Digger". Seriously, that's the only famous truck in this game that I recognize so far. I didn't see "Bigfoot" or "Truckzilla", or any of the other names I might have remembered from those commercials when I was a kid. "Grave Digger" is there though, so I picked that one and started up a race.
The controls feel natural. You start off in an off-road race against five other trucks, and it was just like playing every other racing game I've ever played. Right trigger is gas. Left is brake. The "A" button boosts the car. The "Y" button changes your view. I won my first race, my second...and when I won my third in a row, an achievement popped up. Nice.
It was pretty easy to win the races, smashing my way through obstacles, other cars and terrain. It seems that your truck can take endless damage (on one track, I drove it with only three wheels left). There are tons of things to smash, and you get "combos" for smashing lots of them in a row. There are several different roads you can take in each race, and shortcuts you can find by boosting into a jump. For people who want to get serious about their Monster Truck racing....there's lots of depth here.
There are off-road races, elimination rounds where the last place car is dropped from the race....and then there are these Stadium matches, where you do "real" monster truck things....like crush cars and take your truck off sweet jumps. These are a little more difficult than the races...and I actually had to restart one of them a few times before I won it.
I finished the first championship, popped several achievements...and called it good. This game is fun, but I've literally got a dozen racing games sitting on my game shelf at home that I like better. The Forza games, the Burnout games, the Project Gotham Racing games, the Dirt games, Need for Speed...and even Full Auto are all probably better games than this. It's not a bad game..it's just "average".
Overall rating: 6 out of 10. The extra point taking it above "average" is because it made me yell "GRAVE DIGGER!"
Here are all the achievements I got in an hour or two of playtime:
I decided to bring home a bunch of games to power through this weekend and one of them was Hasbro Family Game Night. This is a compilation disk filled with a bunch of adaptations of board games (all of which were previously released on Xbox Live Arcade). I had never played this before and I thought it might be something worth giving a quick try.
Frustrated, I moved on to Boggle. This is a single player word search game, made famous by Peggy Hill from King of the Hill. "Hooyah!" It's exactly what you'd expect. I finished a game or two and moved on to Yahtzee....which is surprisingly less exciting than playing the actual game (with a cup of dice and a pad of paper).
To wrap this sucker up, I tried a game of Scrabble. It's just like any other online version of the game....except those are all free and this one costs around 6 dollars by itself. I knocked out a few achievements overall, but this game was sort of a disappointment. It's actually more fun to play the board game versions of all of these games. I didn't even try Battleship...as playing against the computer seemed pointless. Mental note: Pick up a copy of the real Sorry Sliders.By the way, if you're an achievement whore, I've read online that you can simply plug in a second controller and get almost all of the gamerscore in this game by playing against nobody. I'm not gunning for maximum gamerscore here, just trying to play as many games as I can.....so I decided not to chase the achievements this time around.
Overall rating: 4 out of 10. It's sad when a video game makes you miss the cardboard version.
Achievement Ease? 10 out of 10...if you want to cheat. I played fair and square, so here's all I unlocked:
I've wanted to play this Xbox Live Arcade game since I first heard about it. I had a feeling it would be similar to Root Beer tapper, which is one of my favorite old-school arcade games. Root Beer tapper is actually the "watered down" version of what was originally a bar game called "Beer tapper". You serve a bunch of cowboys, foot ball players, wenches and other rowdy bar people before they decide to walk up the bar and beat you up. Somewhere in there, there is can-can dancing.
Diner Dash is a similar concept, with a little more difficulty thrown in. First of all, I love the concept of the game. You're working at a white collar job (perhaps a software company), and the work you're being asked to do is making you crazy. Finally, you get frustrated and yell "there's got to be a better way!" as you run from the office. You find the answer to all your prayers is opening your own restaurant.
I'm already intrigued. :-)
Customers line up to eat at your place (presumably because the entire experience takes less than 30 seconds a table). You seat them, take their order, serve them coffee, bring their food, then put away the dishes. This is basically the game....but you have to handle about 4 tables worth of customers. Some of them are impatient. Some are college students who like to sit around and drink their coffee and talk about indie rock. Some are restaurant critics that need constant ass-kissing if you want to get a 5 star review. Basically, it's just like being in a real restaurant, but you won't come home smelling like onions after playing this one.
I have a LOT of games to play this weekend, so I am not going to spend a lot of time on this (you get the basic idea after a few levels anyway) but I see this one as a great time waster. Especially at work. Until I open my own restaurant for real. :-)
Overall Score 7.5 out of 10
Fun factor: Great. Reminds me of Root Beer Tapper and other fun web games I've enjoyed in the past.
Replay: I can see playing the single player whenever I want to play a quick arcade game. When I looked for people to challenge online, there was unfortunately no one playing this.
Achievements? I got a couple...but it sounds like most of them are going to involve getting perfect scores on all 40 levels, which I don't plan on doing.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I always enjoy a little movie trivia. Box Office Smash is a pretty good trivia game, with a variety of different questions. There are scrambled movie titles, movie clips (where you answer questions about the movie you just saw), lists of movies that you have to rank in order of release, etc, etc. This is the sequel to another 360 game I actually own, and I've only played that one a handful of times. If you're not playing with a group of friends, there's something hollow about the experience.
Achievements unlocked? A metric ton, all in a couple of hours. I think this is the highest number of achievements yet for me on this challenge (on a single game in one day):
I need to catch up, it being January 28th and me only having 14 games completed. That's 14 games shy of being on target for the year, which isn't good at all. If I'm going to do this, I have to stop playing games I'm really interested in trying (and playing for hours and hours at a time) and instead start casually trying more games.
I decided to pop in Ikaruga. This is one of those crazy, Japanese space ship shoot-em-up games. It reminded me a lot of playing Silpheed on my Sega back in the day, and after a quick search of Wikipedia, it turns out this was done by the same developers.
I probably plunked a lot of quarters down on games like this in the arcades back in the 80's and 90's, and I never got any better at them. I swear, they're designed to kill you quicker than almost any type of game out there. You pilot a ship, then 10 or 20 enemies shows up on the stage and each of them fires about 100 bullets at you. I'm sure you could get really good at these games if you wanted to play them over and over again until you memorized the fire patterns, but I never did.
This game features something a little unique...you can "reverse the polarity" of your ship. Basically, your ship starts out blue, and fires blue bullets. You can absorb any blue enemy bullets that head your way, which is a neat trick. Of course, there are also red ships, that fire red bullets. In order to absorb their shots, you must quickly press the "B" button to reverse your polarity. At first, the ships come in straight lines of blue, then red....to teach you how to do this. Very quickly, they start ganking you in giant intermixed squadrons.
There's a big boss at the end of each level. The first one took me 3 or 4 tries. On Easy.
That's how hard this fucking game is.
Overall Score: 2 out of 10. For the genre, it's decent...but I've never had much of a stomach for the genre. Give me the good old days of Galaxian and I'll be happy.
Overall Gank factor: 11 out of 10. There are more bullets on the screen than you can count...and they're all coming at you. I prefer my video game odds to be the other way around. :-)
Achievement Unlocked: Just one, for the very first level. I was lucky to get that far.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
I've been looking forward to playing this one for quite awhile. I saw some people playing this quite awhile ago at work and they were all flying around with a jet pack, shooting things. It looked like a lot of fun. Later, when I asked someone how it was...the basic review was that it's great when you're in the jet pack, but the rest of the time it's a crappy shooter. I can't really say he was wrong.
I can't decide whether I like or hate this game. I've enjoyed it enough (or I'm addicted to it enough) to keep playing several chapters in....but I have SO many gripes.
First of all, I hopped from the beautifully rendered, well acted cinematics from Mass Effect 2 immediately over to this. No one should ever do that. This game might have been awesome looking if I'd played it first, but after ME2, It's a big let down. It almost seemed like I was jumping back a console generation, even though I'm sure this wouldn't look nearly as cool on a PS2 or one of the other old systems.
I've heard that the actor who plays Nathan Drake in Uncharted (last year's "Game of the Year" for many outfits) plays the lead character William in this one. I got Uncharted 2 for Christmas, I haven't played it yet (look for it as one of the 365 soon), but so far...I think he's a decent lead character.
The first level of this game starts you out with the Jet Pack. This is the box art experience, flying around like the Rocketeer and getting into dogfights with weird UFO/Robot things. It reminded me of playing Crimson Skies on the PC about a decade ago, except the targeting system is shit by comparison. You find your enemies in the open sky by hitting the left button, but this takes you into a weird camera mode where you're centered on them (and watching yourself with a third person camera as you're flying in some completely opposite direction). It's very difficult to explain, but the closest example I can give is trying to control your car while you drive in cinema mode (by pressing B) in Grand Theft Auto. It really sucks and it makes targeting incredibly difficult.
Despite the fact that I thought finding an enemy to shoot was pretty tough (and dog-fighting was even tougher), I finished the level. Now, you're in the prologue. You have no jet pack, you're just some dude, running around the forest. You don't even have a weapon, so for the first few minutes...all you do is run. Eventually, you encounter a killer robot, and he drops a gun for you. The gun might as well be a Twizzler for the amount of damage it does. You can shoot an entire clip into the enemy robots before they die, or you can walk up and punch them once. Punching kills most of them almost immediately. Either the guns are incredibly lame...or this dude hits harder than anyone 0n earth. Either way, it's stupid.
For the next two or three levels, all you have is the Twizzler guns. You can power them up with the "tech points" you get whenever you kill something, and eventually...it only takes half a clip to kill a robot instead of a full reload. Whatever, I still liked punching them better. I kicked one robot in his mechanical nuts and got a "Rochambeau" achievement I wasn't expecting. That was pretty entertaining.
On chapter 2 or 3, you finally get your jet pack again. Nicolas Tesla gives it to you, which was pretty weird, because this marks the second time in a couple of years that I've been led to believe that the dude created all sorts of magic shit we never knew about. In the movie the Prestige, he creates a magical teleporter (spoiler). In this game, apparently...he lives in the robot infested Mayan ruins building jet packs. The guy really gets around.
The first jet pack he gives you sucks ass. You can jump about 2 feet off the ground with it. Even though you spend the entire level wearing this thing, you end up leaving it turned off most of the time and performing cliff hanging acrobatics instead. If you ever wanted to play a game where you swing from ledges like you were Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2, this is your game. It's entertaining, if not frustrating. You're wearing a jet pack, you should be able to fly up the cliff...but instead, you have to do some form of jet pack assisted parkour to get up there.
This point in the game is also when you're introduced to the "Vertical cover" system. Lots of games have a button you can press to hide behind a rock, but Dark Void is notably the first game ever to let you hang off a cliff and use it for cover, while shooting at enemies hanging out on ledges above you. It's hard to explain, and even harder to control. You have to wait for the game to tell you to hit the "X" button before you can jump from cliff to cliff, and before you jump...you have to aim the camera just-so. It's a huge pain in the ass, and I would have stopped playing the game by now...if I didn't so badly want to get the "real" jet pack.
4 or 5 chapters in (after the most annoying stage I've played in a video game in recent history), you finally get your flying machine. That's where I am right now. I have been dog-fighting with UFOs, flying around and trying to master the controls. I still haven't gotten the hang of it yet...but as much as it pisses me off, I can't stop playing for some reason.
Overall rating: 6 out of 10. I'm having a lot of fun, but the game has a ton of problems that make it really frustrating to get the hang of. It requires a lot of "work" to play this game.
Replay factor: I read a review saying "this is the kind of game you'll beat and never play again". I have a feeling that's going to be true....if I even stick it out to the end.
As you can see...I played quite a bit:
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
This is the biggest game of the week, possibly of the year for some people. The long awaited sequel from Bioware (published this time by EA) is probably the most hyped game of this month. Unfortunately for me, it's a sequel to a game I never gave a fair shot in the first place.
Mass Effect was a very popular shooter/RPG that I never really got into. I played through the first level back in 2008, and I wasn't having fun. I liked the conversation wheel where you could select what your character would say (and it had an effect on the story), but I hated the shooter elements of it. I shelved it, eventually lent it to my friend Jason and never played it again.
I had to give Mass Effect 2 a try, just on principle. It's like when Avatar came out. Even if you didn't like the previews, you probably eventually went and saw it anyway because of everything you heard about it. A game this big is the same concept, and simply shouldn't be skipped. I popped it in and was immediately offered the chance to import my character from Mass Effect 1. This made me wish I had finished that game. I tried to import my save and it turns out I didn't even have one anymore. I suppose I deleted it to clean off my memory card to save space or something. Back in the day, I honestly don't think I ever planned to play that game again. I should have saved it anyway, but hindsight is 20/20. I shrugged off my misfortune, created a new main character (Shepard) and this time I made her a female.
The opening cinematics are great, you can tell that they've spent a ton of money developing this one. You recognize some of the actors right off the bat (Martin Sheen, Seth Green, etc). There is so much story to this one (you can use the text wheel to explore all of the different conversation options). It took me nearly an hour just to get through the first mission, because I wanted to hear everything.
I got a message from Jason in the dashboard when he saw me online playing ME2. It said "LOL, play 1 first!!!". I had to rush off to pub trivia shortly after I started playing this game and I haven't picked it back up yet. I think I may just give Mass Effect another shot sometime before I pick this one again.
Overall rating? I'm barely into it, but so far...I'd give it a 7. It's pretty fun and the shooting system seems to be greatly improved over the last one. The other elements are the same...and that stuff was all enjoyable back then.
The sole achievement I got before deciding to go back to Mass Effect 1 before playing this? Right here:
Look for an updated review on this sometime in the next few weeks, after I beat the first one.
Monday, January 25, 2010
This game has been endlessly hyped by just about everyone I know.
"It's a shooter combined with an RPG!"
"It has awesome multiplayer!"
"Wait until you get to the car!"
I started playing this and have to say, it's not grabbing me. The people who say it's a shooter combined with an RPG are correct. Unfortunately, it's a crappy shooter combined with a shallow RPG. The quests consist of "Go get me the cog for this vending machine and bring it back here" or "Go kill 6 evil puppies and come back when you're done".
There are definitely cool elements of it. You can choose different classes of character and each one has many abilities, attacks and unique weapons that you can level up. I started with the "Beserker" class, and before long...I had an attack where you could run around pounding things with your fists. It was stronger than any gun in my arsenal.
Unfortunately, I think the graphics kind of suck, the animation style is rather crude and the controls leave a lot to be desired. After playing a ton of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2, this game just doesn't compare favorably as a shooter. I'm not really into RPGs in generally, and so that's probably why I'm not a fan of this game. If I had to compare it to something I've played before....I'd have to pick Shadowrun.
I'm going to spend some time diving into the multiplayer at some point, see how that makes it better...but for now, I'll rate it as it currently stands.
Overall rating: 6 out of 10.
Fun shooter? Not really.
Games I like much better: Fable 2, Call of Duty, Halo, etc, etc.
Games it's better than: Shadowrun. :-)
Sunday, January 24, 2010
What do I really need to say about this one? It's another in the Guitar Hero series, and as such...has all the benefits and drawbacks of a Guitar Hero game. What makes this one special is probably a more diverse music selection. Everything from 3 Doors Down to Duran Duran is present here. The focus seems to be more on singers than "rock", so there are songs by Taylor Swift, Joan Jett, No Doubt, Janet Jackson...etc.
I have heard this one called: "Guitar Hero for Girls", but I don't think that's accurate. Most of the tracks in this game appeal to a broad audience (rather than exclusively to an audience of broads.) :-)
There is something for everyone here, and I think it'd make a great party game. Unfortunately, I'm more of a Rock Band fan (as is my circle of friends), so when we get together, we tend to play those games. I think this one may suffer the same fate as Guitar Hero World Tour did for me. A good game that doesn't get a lot of playtime, because all my buddies like the competition better.
I'm sure I'll come back to it from time to time though.
Overall score: 7 out of 10
Upgrades from Guitar Hero? Aside from the music selection, it feels like the same stuff as always.
Multiplayer experience? Couldn't tell you...as no one was online when I looked for a match.
Achievements? Yeah, I got a few:
A foul mouthed Irishman running around Nazi-occupied Paris, racing cars, killing bad guys and visiting burlesque clubs. This game is tailor-made to appeal to most guys. It's an open-world sandbox third person action game, and it's a lot of fun.
First of all, this game deserves the "M" rating for more than just the language. The opening cinema features lots of topless ladies, and it's followed by cursing, shooting and fighting right out of the gate. I actually found this level of maturity interesting, as I haven't seen anything quite like it in a game before. There are games with gratuitous language, or games that threw in some digitized nudity to appeal to horny teenagers....this one seems like a game made for grown-ups with some grown-up themes.
Set in World War 2, you're a race car mechanic/driver who finds himself playing revolutionary, running around killing as many Nazis as possible. As you progress through the game, you find out why your character is where he is, and the back story is actually pretty interesting. The voice acting is OK, but not at the level of Grand Theft Auto. The same can be said for the graphics and the gameplay. This game feels like if it had been just a little better, it would have been amazing.
As it stands...it's a fun adventure, and I played through the first several chapters before trying some more titles. I'll definitely be coming back to this one though, as I want to find out what happens in the story.
Overall rating so far: 7 out of 10
Achievements unlocked so far? Quite a few:
Today, I decided to try yet another twin-stick shooter on Xbox Live Arcade in the hopes that I might catch up a bit (I'm currently over a dozen games behind on my 365 game goal). This one is an underwater adventure game, starring little army men. Basically, it's a twin stick shooter, and not the greatest one I've ever encountered. The game is a 2D side scroller...and you can control one of four different classes of soldier. Your mission is to capture all of the bases in a level, similar to a game of territories in Halo 3.
The controls aren't particularly great. You don't really get the sense that you're underwater...and it's very easy to get killed by the enemy. You can power up your weapons, and try out different classes of soldier...but after trying each one (and unlocking the 100 kills achievement), I wasn't having any more fun than I did after kill number one.
This is one of those games I could see you getting into if it was year one of Xbox Live Arcade and there weren't 50 better games out there, but today? There are so many better ways to spend your gaming dollar. It's a pass.
Overall: 3 out of 10. Ultra-Meh.
Cut Scenes? Poorly acted.
Controls? Pretty loose.
Achievements? Here's the one I got before I quit playing. I assure you, sticking around for 100 kills felt like forever.
Friday, January 22, 2010
Game review number eight in my 365 Games in 365 Days project is "Death By Cube".
I was sitting here realizing how far behind I am in this project and how I really need to get moving. I thought downloading an Xbox Live Arcade game I had little to no interest in playing might be a great way to blaze through a game on the way to the weekend (where I'm hoping to try at least 5 new games). That game: Death by Cube.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I decided today was the day to try out another arcade game...and that game was Osmos. I had never even heard of this game, I just noticed it in the list of Games for Windows downloadable games with achievements and after reading a few good reviews, decided to give it a spin.
Monday, January 18, 2010
If you enjoy action, fighting or adventure games...this game is worth picking up.
Here are the achievements that popped while I was playing through:
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
This game is a strange little collection of quizzes and puzzles set in a game show enviornment. Like Brain Age, they encourage you to play every day and rate your scores on a progressive graph. Unlike Brain Age, the games themselves seem to drag on and they aren't nearly as fun.
Here are the achievements I was able to earn:
I hesitated for only a moment on whether or not to call this "a new game". Although the version I played comes on a standalone disk that I bought at Best Buy and doesn't require your Grand Theft Auto disk or saves to play, it contains two episodes of the game that were originally released as downloadable content over Xbox Live. According to the achievements, that means this game is actually a part of Grand Theft Auto IV, which was released almost two years ago. I'm using the traditional definition of "new game" on this one. I went to the store, I purchased a game disk, it's got two new adventures on it that I've never played before. To me, that counts as a new game.
I haven't made it very far yet, so I'll have to return to this post at a later time to give it a final review after I've beaten both episodes....but so far, it's just as entertaining as Grand Theft Auto IV was, and I'm really enjoying it.
Overall score so far: 9/10. Grand Theft Auto IV is one of my favorite games of all time, and this is just more of the same. Brand new adventures with new characters, it's good stuff so far.
Here is the achievement I've unlocked so far.
With my 365 Days project, I can't see how I'll fail to hit this mark. Perhaps I'll revisit and revise midyear. :-)
As of today, here's how I'm doing:
Wednesday, January 06, 2010
The next game I decided to download and play is the PC arcade game, World of Goo. This is a really enjoyable physics-based puzzle game where you control little "goo-balls", which you must use to build towers, bridges and other random shapes that will help get you from point A to point B in the level. Much like Lemmings, your creatures are small, cute and make funny little noises when they die. You have a set number of goo-balls at the start, and you get graded on how many you are able to save by the end.
I played the Games for Windows version of this game, because of course...it has achievements. They aren't easy achievements by any measure and this game is very stingy with them. The first achievement you get is for beating the entire game, which took me nearly a week of occasional playing. After that, there are achievements for getting perfect scores (or "OCDs") on each individual stage in all of the levels. I'm not going for those, unless I want this to be the only game I'll be coming back to this year.
I thought this game was fantastic overall. It's a lot of fun, you can instantly pick it up and play it...but the strategy takes quite awhile to learn. There is a lot of finesse involved in positioning the little goo-balls. In some of the levels, I found myself leaving with just one or two to spare, in others...I'd need several tries and use all of them in order to exit the level.
Overall rating: 8.5/10
The physics engine in this game is fantastic and because of it, you'll never play a level the same way twice. Wind and weight feel "natural", and it's easy to lose track of time playing this one.
Here are the only two achievements I was able to unlock (the rest surround the "OCDs", which I'm not going to chase.
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
First of all, if one is going to play 365 different games in a year....one is going to have to expand their horizons a bit. One might even need to venture into gaming categories not necessarily familiar to them. That's the whole point here. I decided to try something completely random and downloaded Where's Waldo on the PC. I will admit that I thought this one might be a quick game to try, master and move on from...but it ended up being a little more than that. As far as arcade games go, it's not half bad.