1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Where WE review our games

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by Rub'Rum, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,582
    Location:
    Québec
    I played Half Life 2 the year it was released when I was in College and hated the driving back then too. I like being a gunner in multiplayer games and I'm okay with driving too sometimes. But in singleplayer I find it really annoying. Come to think of it I kind of am annoyed most of the time when a "mini-game" or some sort pops out in any game. Even when it's easy. Be it some defusing bombs, unlocking doors, driving through a tunnel on a speedboat, whatever. Just let me play the game damn it, if I want to drive or play some other game, I'll just go and do that thank you. There are exceptions. Very rare exceptions. I can't even think of one now. But yeah, there are some.

    But yeah, the fact that the game is old didn't really apply when I was playing it in like 2004.
     
  2. Tani Coyote

    Tani Coyote Billions and Billions

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    14,996
    Gender:
    Male
    I haven't given enough praise to my blue and black bishies, so here we go:

    Sonic Unleashed (2008 - 360)

    Sega attempts a recovery from the pit of damnation that was Sonic 06, and to a great degree, they succeed.

    First, el plot:

    Spoiler :
    The game opens up with Eggman's newest space fleet in orbit, before zooming to the maniacally-laughing Eggman himself. Eggman then sees Sonic step out of a pile of flaming rubble near the front of the ship, ordering a full scale assault on the hedgie that he easily defeats. Eggman then confronts Sonic himself in a battle mech, managing to get the upper hand and catch him.

    ..Sonic then reveals he has all seven chaos emeralds, turning into Super Sonic and ripping Eggman's mech to pieces. A chase then ensues across the atmosphere, with Sonic destroying just about every ship in Eggman's fleet as he gives chase. Eggman eventually crash lands in a control room of sorts, getting on his knees and begging Sonic for mercy when said hedgie bursts through the floor.

    In his arrogance, Sonic gloats over the defeated Eggman, giving him just enough time to activate a device that captures Sonic and drains the emerald's power right out of him. The energy charges into a beam as the space station deploys into an orbital gun. As this happens, Sonic begins shifting into a far fluffier, more menacing-looking version of himself, as Eggman launches the beam into the Earth, shattering it into several fragments, releasing the evil being known as Dark Gaia from within its depths.

    With the emeralds drained of their power and taking on a gray hue a la Sonic Adventure, Eggman gloats about how his plan is a "brilliant success", before noticing Sonic's appearance and casting the hedgehog off into space - emeralds included.

    ---

    The actual game then begins as Sonic wakes up in his Werehog form, crashed into the ground. He soon finds an unconscious chihuahua-fairy thing, who suffers from amnesia. After a humorous introduction, the two agree to work together; Sonic wanting to cure his condition and the chihuahua wanting to remember who he is.

    As the game goes on, Sonic renames his new friend Chip because of his obsession with chocolate. Sonic eventually meets up with Tails and rescues a scientist Eggman has captured, Professor Pickle. Prof. Pickle divulges information about Eggman's plot: Dark Gaia is an ancient beast that resides in the center of the Earth, wanting to fill it with darkness and destruction; Eggman released the beast in hopes of using its power for his schemes. Pickle then explains Sonic must travel the world and place each of the drained emeralds into a temple; the temples will restore the Emeralds, who will in turn heal the shattered planet.

    As Sonic and Chip complete their task - meeting up with Amy as time goes on - Eggman rants to his new assistant how irritated he is it is taking so long for his plans to be realised. The assistant states that because Dark Gaia was prematurely awakened by Eggman's hasty release, it could not sustain itself on being born, splitting into countless smaller creatures and scattering around the world. Eggman "doesn't care about its weight issues," and demands things stay on schedule, before plotting a scheme that remains hidden to go about this.

    Before long, Sonic and Chip reach Adabat, the last temple, meanwhile Eggman has constructed a tower that lures in all Dark Gaia beings so that he may capture them and piece Dark Gaia back together. Here, Chip is pulled into another reality briefly, where he remembers who he is: Light Gaia, the polar opposite of Dark Gaia, meant to rebuild the world whenever Dark Gaia destroys it. Chip states that he and Dark Gaia have been battling since the beginning of time, but he has only been able to experience the world he rebuilds thanks to Sonic.

    With that in mind, the two depart for the final stage: Eggmanland.

    Upon reaching the sadistic mixture of a city, base, and amusement park, Eggman gloats about how his brilliance and Dark Gaia's power have finally allowed him to achieve his lifetime goal. Sonic then rushes through Eggmanland - more on this later - as both the Werehog and his normal self, before reaching a final room...

    Eggman appears in his new machine: Egg Dragoon, which he proclaims to be his latest, greatest creation and just a fraction of Dark Gaia's power, which is now whole and complete. Eggman battles the Werehog, losing horribly and being sent flying by Sonic slingshot style.

    Eggman grumbles about his defeat as he hovers through the fiery depths of the planet, before hearing the sounds of Dark Gaia. Upon seeing Sonic and Chip, Eggman orders Dark Gaia to crush them... only to be swatted aside in the usual fashion by his unleashed weapon.

    Dark Gaia then weakens Sonic enormously, draining the dark energies inside him to become fully complete. Now back to normal, Sonic now is too weak to fight Dark Gaia, begging Chip to run. Chip refuses however, in anger calling all the temples of the world to him, unifying them into a single fighting unit(Power Rangers style), and using the powers of the emeralds contained within, restores Sonic's strength by turning him into Super Sonic.

    Dark Gaia spreads sorrow and darkness throughout the world, but Chip and Sonic decide to end his fun, solidly whomping on him despite his resilience to defeat. As Dark Gaia lies defeated, Sonic nearly falls into a pit of lava, to be saved by Chip's hand. Chip says that Sonic must live, sending him back to the surface as the Earth seals Chip and Dark Gaia within its core.

    Sonic ends up falling back into the same place where he started the game, but when he tries to reach for Chip's unconscious body, he vanishes, leaving behind his necklace. Sonic takes the necklace, hearing Chip's voice give a friendly farewell, saying that he will "always be part of the Earth you tread." Before Sonic can lament too much over Chip, however, Tails appears(obviously wanting to whomp Sonic for getting a new gay lover, but Chip's disappearance makes him assume they broke up, thus explaining his cheery mood) in the Tornado as the credits roll.


    8/10 - Not the best plot, but nowhere near as insane as say, 06's. Or as ******** and confusing as Shadow's.

    Gameplay:

    Day Levels: 9/10 - They can get a bit insane at times; Sonic runs so fast he sometimes kills himself. But spamming that X button, you'll assume it's the Genesis Era... on steroids.

    Night Levels: 5/10 - I'm not a hater of the Werehog in concept or application. I do hate, however, that his levels can take like 20 minutes to finish.

    Eggmanland - The Last Stage, combining timing, every move you know, and both the Werehog and Sonic. This is HELL ON EARTH. It took me 70 minutes to complete this. Funilly enough, the opening beat makes a sound akin to "Wellllll-come to Hellllll." I entered with 40 lives and came out with 20; those 20 were then eaten by Dark Gaia. To be fair, there's new lives near almost every checkpoint, but DEAR GOD.

    Dark Gaia - Sonic's been playing Kingdom Hearts, as this battle will tell you. It has many phases, and while there is no Werehog, you must remain constantly alert due to all the reaction commands and shifting goals. Very often, you have a time limit. At least the epic music compensates.

    Overall: 7/10

    Graphics:

    Very, VERY good. Much better than 06's. 9/10

    Price:

    Unless you're an old school fanatic who can't keep up with the times, the price is worth it.

    Soundtrack:

    Very, very good. While not akin to Jun Senoue or Masato Nakamura's, it breathes a new flavor of its own into the series. The Perfect Dark Gaia theme and Egg Dragoon theme are my favorites for their epic feeling.

    In addition, the voice actors are getting much better; I don't hate them as much as I did when say, Shadow 05 came out.

    9/10

    Overall: 33/40 (82.5%) - The Werehog stages, if they weren't so god-danged long, wouldn't have damaged the score so badly. I am a bit saddened Shadow and Knuckles didn't get in like was speculated, but they get their revenge in the next game, so I'm happy.
     
  3. Tani Coyote

    Tani Coyote Billions and Billions

    Joined:
    May 28, 2007
    Messages:
    14,996
    Gender:
    Male
    Furry reviews galore:

    Crash of the Titans (PS2 - 2007)

    Spoiler Plot :


    Crash of the Titans opens up with Crunch, Crash and Coco minding their own business as Coco tries to put together a new machine, only for Dr. Cortex to show up in his blimp in typical d-bag fashion. Cortex freezes Crunch solid(except for his head), and kidnaps Aku Aku and Coco. Crash manages to save Aku Aku by breaking the chains connecting his cage to the blimp, though Cortex makes up with Aku Aku.

    After finding where Aku Aku crash landed(and playing the tutorial along the way), Crash encounters one of Cortex's newest weapons: the Spike, a titan, or a mutant created with Uka Uka's magic and Cortex's science. Crash is able to use Aku Aku's powers to "jack" Titans that have been stunned, and this technique is used throughout the game.

    Departing for the Mojo Temple, a major source of the magical force of Mojo, Crash passes its multiple challenges and reaches the roof, where he overwhelms Cortex's Yuktopus with his jacking abilities. Cortex is humiliated by his failure, but escapes with the Mojo and Coco, despite Uka Uka's anger.

    --

    In the next scene, Uka Uka says that he is fed up with Cortex's failures, replacing him with his niece, Nina. Nina has Coco mind-controlled so that she can complete Cortex's superweapon, the "Doominator."

    Making his way through a mining/construction series of levels, Crash confronts the now-extremely-flamboyant Tiny Tiger, learning more about Nina's whereabouts by being told to go to N. Gin's lair on the beach.

    Going through a series of missile-bombed beaches and Stenches - new Titans that fart concentrated stink - Crash confronts N. Gin while the latter fails to be Ganondorf-esque and plays an organ during the boss battle. N. Gin's insane multiple personalities come out, though he is easily intimidated to give them the info necessary to reach their next step: Uka Uka.

    Aku Aku and Crash make their way through Uka Uka's lair in a tree, confronting the evil mask. Uka Uka then uses the Evolvo-Ray on himself to become a monstrous wooden creature - also one of the most Satanic bosses ever - but is still subdued by Crash thanks to his jacking abilities.

    Finally, Crash finds Nina's lair, before boarding the Doominator after countless trials and encounters with the annoying-as-hell Bratgirls. In the control room, Cortex begs Crash to defeat his "horrible excuse for a niece", and Coco promises Crash pancakes if he wins. Nina says, "Get out of here. This is my body and you have no control over it," before jumping into a giant mixture between a machine and a spider. Using his jacking technique, Crash makes Nina's own Titan destroy the Doominator's interior.

    The Doominator crashes onto Wumpa Island, narrowly missing Crunch, who is finally able to break free of his ice prison after so long. Meanwhile, it cuts to Cortex and Nina escaping. Nina laments why her uncle saved her, considering her betrayal. Cortex says that he's extremely proud that Nina did something so evil and treacherous, and promises to be more evil himself. Just as Nina's ready to celebrate, however, Cortex reminds her, "I'm still going to spank you stupid for this..."

    Crash and Coco embrace Crunch in a familial hug, and as Coco gets ready to cook and keep her promise, Crash enthusiastically shouts "Pancakes!", his first real English word.


    7/10 - Eh, Crash never was very plot-heavy anyway.

    Gameplay:

    7/10 - For those who miss the old Crash style, this isn't for you: there are no crates, there's melee combat such as punches and kicks, and much of the game consists of jacking Titans. He even gets dizzy from spinning despite that being his trademark move. However, if you enjoy platforming, combos and melee combat, you'll get along just fine.

    There is a lack of a free-roaming world, making the game effectively a level-select.

    Graphics:

    8/10 - Good enough. Like many though, I have some objections over the drastic re-design of characters. Tiny Tiger in particular, due to his now flamboyantly gay personality. I like some of the designs, and while Uka Uka's probably would be good for any other villain, I'm used to his traditional look.

    Price:

    Cheap enough now.

    Soundtrack:

    Not really memorable for me, but not too horrible. 7/10

    Overall: 29/40 (72.5%) - The game tries to re-invent Crash, getting rid of much of the nostalgic elements that made the bandicoot loved. However, if one is not too clingy to the past and thinks of it as a game, rather than a Crash game, it can be much more enjoyable. Don't go into this expecting the days of 1, 2, 3, or Wrath of Cortex.
     
  4. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,582
    Location:
    Québec
    I wanted to write about Assassin's Creed II, figured I'd resuscitate this thread. I'll keep using it even if it becomes "Where SimonL reviews his games".

    So Assassin's Creed II? A huge improvement over the first game, and I'm among the people who actually quite liked the first game, although it probably aged pretty fast (i.e. I wouldn't want to play it now). My main criticism of the first game was really just how great the setting was, how detailed the cities were, yet how empty and unused this potential was. This was party fixed in ACII but I can't say it's entirely fixed. There are a LOT more things to do, and a lot more variety too... But there are still really no factions or people to interact with and the citizens are pretty bland. Still, the cities are beautifully designed, especially Venice.

    There is a lot of great fluff, really, the story is awesome, the details in the database and everything you can find (weapons, paintings, codex, glimpses of the a strange movie implanted in the memory by a previous test subject, etc.), a lot of it is pointless but I kept wanting to find everything. I mean, I spent more than 30 hours on it before I finished it and it seems the average person finishes in 20.

    Again, the story to Assassin's Creed is probably its strongest point. It has one of the most fun plot to uncover of any game I've played.

    Towards the end though, it was getting a little long. Especially since the missions were getting increasingly frustrating. Don't get me wrong, the game is easy, but it's based on controls that are quite flawed (holding three buttons to sprint ftw). They become intuitive, but Ezio still decides what he wants to do a lot of the time. Like how you're trying to assassinate this guy running away from you and you do this awesome stunt and... you end up killing an old lady standing next to him. Also, one of my worst enemies in this game is called CONTEXTUAL CAMERA, where the game decides of the camera angle automatically for you and throws you off completely. There are points I literally had to restart something 5 times just because I was thrown off by this supposedly helpful thing.

    Also, missions where you can't be detected or you automatically have to restart (being detected = failed mission)... ugh. Well it's not so hard except that you have to wait... and wait, and just be patient. And when it's the 3rd time you try because last try you accidentally jumped the old lady and the time before Ezio decided to climb on that side wall instead of sitting on the bench to blend... Well you start to be less patient and you fail even more.

    Basically, they still haven't fixed some of the controls, it's better than AC1, but Ezio will spend a rather large amount of time doing things you are quite surprised ("I just wanted you to jump down on the rooftop just below, not all the way down to street level and kill yourself" or the aforementioned "oops sorry old lady" (oh and yeah you're not allowed to kill citizens)).

    My verdict is still pretty high because of one of the top settings and storyline in the industry right now. The concept is so epic, the bleeding DNA effect and everything. Yes, very creative. The gameplay is, despite my complaints, really darn good.

    So Assassin's Creed 2: 87%

    EDIT: note that I didn't consider the DRM which, up until very recently and probably still now even though they apparently said they were going to change it, is the worst insult in the industry. But I figured that's not the game developer's fault (I bet the people who made the game great aren't that happy about the executive decision either). I waited 'til the price was under 25$ to buy the game because there was no way I was going to give them satisfaction of a sale-on-release from me.
     
  5. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Messages:
    18,778
    Location:
    British Columbia, Canada
    (Psst, the developer and publisher are the same company. Though yeah I doubt the devs like it).
     
  6. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,582
    Location:
    Québec
    I know they're the same company, I was referring to the people actually imagining and making the game within the company. I'm convinced they don't like the DRM.
     
  7. croxis

    croxis Chat room op

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2001
    Messages:
    3,277
    Location:
    Portland, OR, US
    Egg, game reviewers need to take a class in educational assessment. All these review score systems suck :p
     
  8. serek000

    serek000 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Has anyone played/heard much of the original Close Combat games? I'm giving some serious thought to picking up a few of them, especially Close Combat II: A Bridge Too Far.

    I'll review LOTR: The Third Age

    I'm very much a fan of Tolkein's work, and found this to be awful in that regard. The pronunciation of words was pretty well botched, which would be excusable were it not for the pronunciation guides Tolkein provided in the various appendixes.

    The story line was unappealing, had no real draw or reason to peak one's interest, and was based off stuff they seemed to either pull out of nowhere or somehow loosely based on events in the movies, not in the books, which I suppose is to be expected given licensing and rights issues.

    The gameplay itself reminded me of the Final Fantasy games - in a not so flattering way. Battle rhythm got choppy at times, and it was too simplistic and reductive to be a challenge or enjoyment to those who like to work their brain while playing games.

    If I had to describe it in one word, I would use "meh"

    Overall rating: 5.5/10.
     
  9. Owen Glyndwr

    Owen Glyndwr La Femme Moderne

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    15,673
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I'd probably agree. All I remember about that game was being really frustrated and giving up when I got stuck at Helm's Deep.

    I also must say, losing/getting your ass kicked is never a good way to start out a game.
     
  10. Sonereal

    Sonereal ♫We got the guillotine♫ Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    14,819
    Spore

    What can I say? This game was hyped for years. It was supposed to be the Sims, Civilization, Space Empires, EVERYTHING wrapped into one! Or something like that. The game was supposed to have blown our minds through the back of the wall out into space where surely the Grex lurk and....

    Anyway, the game has some major problems.


    Cell Stage

    The cell stage, the easiest stage, is actually pretty fun. Sure, not much in the way of parts to put on your cell thingy but its fun for a minigame.


    Creature Stage

    Again, I liked the creature stage. It wasn't perfect though and this probably brings me to my next point. A lot of the stages feel shallow and the game itself feels "short". In the creature stage, your cell has basically evolved to walk (or crawl) on land. The best part of this stage is the creature editor bar none. You can end up spending hours upon hours playing around in it.

    I guess the problem I have is again, how short and unvaried it is. At this point, I kinda wish it was possible to explore the whole globe (if possible). However, this stage is still pretty fun. Getting together a posse and raiding other nests is pretty fun. The lack of avian or sea creatures is noticeable however.

    Tribal Stage

    I like this stage. Just like. The problem with it is the small map, "diplomacy", and the hard limits on your tribe's population. There was so much potential for this stage but in the end, the AI sucked at war. It'd attack in a raid you can see on the minimap and thus prepare for quickly and once you stop that raid, you can send your force and take out the tribe you just tried to raid you. Stealing food is far easier than fishing and the quick paced nature of this stage doesn't make it a builder's paradise.

    As a matter of fact, I think the only resource was food. Given the trees, you would think it would be nice to have a building resource.


    Civilization Stage

    I hate this stage. Seriously. I hate this stage. Building vehicles is FUN don't get me wrong but in the end, its not as "epic" as the early videos lead me to believe it would be. There's no tech tree here and winning is almost as simple as building a butch of fast vehicles early on, claiming spice geysers, and nuking/propaganda/etc your way to victory.

    There's a serious trouble of scale as well that becomes very noticeable in the Civilization stage. There's no "life" on the map at all. No farms. No factories (really). Actually, there might still be the "Epics" and whatnot but what I mean is that the map feels lifeless. This stage could've been seriously expanded on. Like Tribal, this stage just isn't fun on its own. For a game that tries to be open ended, it really isn't.

    You'll eventually become the top of the food chain in the cell stage and creature stage but after a long while. However, the Tribal Stage ends in a brutally short amount of time. The Civilization stage is just boring. There's no interesting diplomatic options.


    Space Stage

    Quite a few things hamper this stage. For one, everyone has a space navy but you only have a space ship. This is incredibly annoying after a while and it makes you wish you could build a space fleet so you don't have to rush to one of your many, many colonies to aid against a pirate attack.

    The random events KILL this stage. Random allies ask you for help over every little thing. Colonies, hell, your home planet can't even defend themselves. Despite being the immortal leader of a spacefaring civilization, YOU'RE forced to do all the spice trading. It makes me wonder why there aren't more ships traveling between solar systems. Why can't there be trader NPCs that automatically trade? Bounty hunters? An actual SPACE fleet?

    But I would be lying if I said there isn't some fun here. Terra forming planets is fun (for me at least). The most fun you can get in this stage comes from mods that give you free tools and weapons however because they're very expensive and the ones that require ammo are annoying.

    Which brings me to the largest problem. You are forced to expand. It really isn't feasible to stay on one planet and just raid neighboring planets because ammunition for certain weapons is WAY TOO HIGH.

    The best game I played was when weapons and such were free and I was simply able to eventually wipe out neighboring space civilizations and turn the planets sterile and then terraform them and put monoliths on the planet. You could set yourself up to be the galactic bigbad simply by turning up every time the species reaches the civilization stage and wiping them out.

    And there is plenty to explore. I'll give the game that. Wiping out all life on a spiral arm of the galaxy is bragging rights but for the most part, Spore didn't live up to the hype but I'm giving it two scores.

    If you heard the hype: 70%

    If you didn't hear the hype, 75%
     
  11. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,582
    Location:
    Québec
    Pretty good rundown Sonereal. I'd say that the game was excessively disappointing, but that some of the criticism it receives is a little over the top. I played it for something like at least 30 hours believe it or not. It was disappointing but kind of fun in the creativity department. I'd probably give it a mark around the one you gave it... I was especially annoyed at Space Age because it was, for me, the most potentially fun part (love the space exploration and terraforming as you said) and it got completely destroyed by the lack of one second to actually enjoy your creations because of all kinds of alerts... Still waiting for a great open-ended Space exploration game.
     
  12. Captain2

    Captain2 ಠ_ృ

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    4,727
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Short Review: Brutal Legend

    I picked this game up for 15 bucks at a blockbuster (yeah those still exist in some places!) and I was a little iffy on it but I decided that I had just spent 10 dollars on crackdown and utterly dislike it so I couldn't do much worse.

    I loved this game, I was suprised, I went into it expecting a RTS system similar to Red Alert or some other ports to the xbox and instead found an awesome mix of dynasty warriors and an army system similar to Freedom fighters, it may not be as great as a mouse but I still loved it.

    Furthermore the story was great, I don't want to spoil anything but a certain scene had the song Mr. Crowley playing in the background as a character was warped into an evil abomination and I had noticed I was sitting forward totally absorbed by the story by this point. The humour that I loved at the begining drops off around the middle but by then its become a bleak story and it would seem out of place.

    Also, the soundtrack is awesome, I don't know if theres a CD of it but I'd get it. If you're a fan of metal and can stand an amusing look at the culture surrounding it then you're looking at a great game.

    That said I'm extremely disappointed that Brutal Legend II was cancelled but the story wraps itself up well and works as a stand alone. Of course I also feel even worse because I only got the game for fifteens buck out of a bargain bin and I can't help but feel as though I contributed to the death of the sequel.

    Awesome game, I'd recomend it to anyone who feels even slightly interested.
     
  13. Chukchi Husky

    Chukchi Husky Lone Wolf

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Messages:
    7,337
    Location:
    Carmarthenshire, Wales
    I got Brutal Legend for Christmas in 2009, along with Batman, Arkham Asylum. I have completed the game once and recently started playing again when I got a HDTV.

    You forgot to mention that some of the characters in the game are voices by actual heavy metal musicians.

    I think the reason why the game begins to turn bleak is because the same thing happened to heavy metal music.
     
  14. Sonereal

    Sonereal ♫We got the guillotine♫ Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    14,819
    My thoughts exactly. It wasn't a bad game, just mediocre (75%=a C more or less) but its the fact its just "average" that really hurts the game after two or three years of hype. Space Age has so much potential once the random alerts are turned off or greatly reduced but there's still that lack of immersion. No space traders, bounty hunters, etc.

    The game is almost too casual it its approach. The Tribal Stage was a simplified RTS and the Civilization stage was a simplified....RTS I guess but actually more simple than the preceding stage. It was a game that treated all the stages as "Just a runup to the Space Stage" instead of "interesting stages/games in their own right". Space Age is very bad because for a game that tried its best to reduce micromanagement, there was a lot of boring micromanagement in the Space Stage because of the lack of "fun" micromanaging. I would rather maintain a budget handling production, military budget, etc. than having to play whack a mole with pirates or random dieoff events.

    There's a rumor that the Grex became the genocidal beats they are because they once had to deal with all the boring micro. :lol:

    If they do ever work on Spore 2, then I really hope they expand on all the stages and even the alerts but as it is now, all pirate raids have to be handle by the player who can't just have a space defensive fleet take care of things. There's also the case of the random extinction level events that can happen but again, I seriously dislike that.

    @Captain

    I haven't played Brutal Legend in a long time but it was pretty fun. Let's not forgot that everytime you bought an upgrade, you had the pleasant opportunity to hear Ozzy's voice compliment your ride or something awesome like that.
     
  15. Sonereal

    Sonereal ♫We got the guillotine♫ Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    14,819
    Mount and Blade: Warband (Blood and Steel mod)

    Mount and Blade: Warband is an Indie game which places heavy emphasis on medieval combat. As such, it has one of the better melee systems in any game and battles feel like they should, meat grinders. And boy are battles brutal.

    Battles

    Battles take place on random maps depending on where you run into a hostile party on the map. You could try going solo but at some point, you'll be outnumbered. Blood and Steel can really increase the gap of power between peasants and looters and fully-armored knights. Depending on your starting choices, you'll start off with a nice suit of armor and nice weapons or....clothes I guess.

    With the Battletuner (an optional mod that increases the number of NPCs on the battle map), you can easily reach 150v150 matches and a lot times, these matches can be very one-sided.

    The weakest, most common enemy, are the bandits and looters. These guys can easily reach party sizes of 70 early on but they're lightly-armored and weak but there's something very sad about these guys.

    At some point, they can't even hurt you anymore. One battle, I had five Swadian regular infantry (or something like that, definitely mid-tier though) and I got ambushed by a party of nearly ninety looters and bandits. Most were armed with clubs but some were on horseback or had bow and arrows.

    It was a slaughter. Even when being attacked by mass, we slaughtered the main body of the enemy shockingly easy by holding ground at a bridge. The only serious threat were the horseback archers and pistol-user. Ranged units can be your weapon of choice against a mass of enemies. Archers can shred lightly-armored troops with mass volleys while musketmen can take down a mid-tier, armored infantry unit in one shot (they can do the same to you though so watch out!). Cannons are slow to reload but can do a lot of damage to a lot of enemies in one, well-laced shot.

    The most dangerous units though, like vanilla Mount and Blade, are cavalry. In Mount and Blade, the power of your attacks is determined by the speed of the blow, the weapon, the armor of the enemy, and how long you hold the attack. Because of this, cavalry units can do far more damage with a weapon than their equivalent ground unit. This doesn't apply to archers, crossbows, and muskets of course.

    Because of this, and it shows in vanilla multiplayer, cavalry units can change the tide of battle altogether. An armored cavalry charge into a mass of light infantry is not only wise, its encouraged. Especially in flanking maneuvers where the enemy is already in combat. Why?

    Because heavy cavalry can charge through a mass of light infantry, knocking down swathes of infantry units.

    Politics and World Stuff

    You can earn plenty of cash in battle. A major source of income is capturing prisoners and selling them into slavery. However, as time goes on, your want for political power will surely increase.

    Because of this, I should stress that, from what I seen, the average party size of a Lord of a faction is 200 with the King's having upward to 500 (and this is early on). I've fought in sieges where thousands died easily.

    And thousands will die on your way to the top.

    There's a lot to say about the political system. It isn't the best but it works and its pretty fun.

    Overall, I'll give this game 93%. It's a lot better than Spore and cost half as much at release. Multiplayer isn't shabby either and the Blood and Steel mod is great for single-player fun.
     
  16. Jos Ballenbak

    Jos Ballenbak Zombiehunter, duh.....

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,279
    Location:
    Utrecht
    I always wished that there were more useful quests in M&B, the world outside of combat seems so hollow...
     
  17. cardgame

    cardgame Obsessively Opposed to the Typical

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2009
    Messages:
    13,475
    Location:
    Misery
    Some mods have pretty decent quests...

    cheese rustlers... ah that was a good one.
     
  18. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Messages:
    55,799
    Location:
    Thessalonike, The Byzantine Empire
    I see no one has reviewed Populous 3.

    I wonder why that is so :mischief: :)
     
  19. SuperJay

    SuperJay Bending Space and Time

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2010
    Messages:
    3,273
    Location:
    Shacklyn
    I'll review a couple of Xbox 360 games I've played lately, starting with...

    Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

    Gameplay
    The general gameplay is great if you like the AC style of action; there’s the expected mix of platforming, combat, stealth kills in various fun and interesting ways, “blending” with crowds, etc. One really cool addition for this game is the new Assassin’s Guild – you are now able to recruit and train assassins, send them on contracts, and call them to aid you in the open world and on most story missions. AC:B includes other factions as well – the courtesans, thieves, and mercenaries – and you can do different side missions and challenges for each guild.

    Unfortunately, later in the game things start to drag, with AC:B drifting into generic action territory. Your missions are rarely actual assassinations; some require actions like “chase your target through the streets of Rome in broad daylight while being pursued by 30+ city guards.” Uhh, who needs stealth anyway right?? I felt more like Renaissance Batman than a master assassin. And being Renaissance Batman is cool and all, but I miss the assassination emphasis; I miss free-form mission structures where you were given an objective to complete and then set lose to complete it however you like. MANY missions are constrained with specific conditions, and the new "100% Syncronization" criteria, while optional, pushes you to adhere to very specific criteria for each mission.

    The story ends on a completely anti-climactic note, and I found several of the last missions to be infuriating – without spoiling too much, I’ll just say that they have absolutely nothing to do with you being a master assassin. By the time I was finishing the story, I just wanted it to be over. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing the culmination of the game, I just wanted to get it out of the way so I could move on. That’s a sad way to end a game that had so much potential in the beginning.

    Multiplayer
    A brilliant addition to the franchise. The online MP modes are really cool, innovative concepts that I’ve never seen before in other games, and IMO this game shows that stealth-action games CAN do multiplayer. Briefly: the Wanted game mode has 8-10 players on a single map; each player chooses a stock appearance at game start (courtesan, soldier, priest, doctor, etc.) and the gameworld is filled with NPCs of every appearance or model. You are then assigned another player as a target and given a mugshot (so you know your target is a doctor, for example) and a compass indicator that shows general direction and proximity to that target. Your objective is to find and kill that player – but the catch is, you are another player’s target at the same time, so you are both hunter and prey. The key is to kill your targets quietly and unobtrusively, so you don't alert your own pursuer to your location by taking actions that are too incongruous with the NPC civilians around you.

    The scoring is very sensible for a stealth game – you are awarded points based on the “quality” of your kills (and escapes), not just the sheer number of them. I’ve come in first in some Wanted games where I only had five kills, and the dude in sixth place had ten – but my kills were silent / anonymous / unseen / aerial / etc, and he was just blatantly sprinting up to his targets and killing them without any attempt at stealth or guile.

    Graphics
    The game looks great. The cityscape is brilliant. Character models look realistic. That said, if you’ve seen AC2, you’re not going to see remarkable improvement here; AC:B is basically an expansion to AC2.

    Sound
    Voice work is pretty good, but sometimes the Italian accents can get pretty bad. There’s a few phrases Ezio repeats throughout the game that would make me cringe. Ambient sounds in the city are decent, realistic if a little repetitive. Music is decent but unremarkable; I don’t remember particuarly noticing it at all, actually.

    Value & Replayability
    It’s $60 now, and it might be worth it for some, but I’d suggest waiting for a sale. I’m a big fan of the franchise and honestly I was a little sick of the game by the time I was done with it, and I didn’t even go for 100% completion. That said, if the multiplayer sounds appealing to you, you’re better off getting it sooner than later - that's where the most replayability is likely to come in.

    Summary & Rating
    I'd give it a 7.5 out of 10. A solid game that delivers the expected style of AC gameplay, but one that has veered too far from its roots as a stealth assassination game (especially in the latter part of the story campaign). The addition of excellent multiplayer modes make an otherwise decent title into a good purchase, especially if you’re a fan of the franchise.
     
  20. Rub'Rum

    Rub'Rum Hates acronyms

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    4,582
    Location:
    Québec
    Nice, does it develop (in a useful way) the storyline with Desmond and all that. Or is it just sidetracking and useless stuff waiting for AC3? In other words, if one were to skip the game and only play AC3 as the next game, would they be like "omg why is this character gone?" or similar questions.
     

Share This Page