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Portal 2

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Hey it’s been a while hasn’t it.  It also hasn’t helped that less-then par games were released this quarter.  But here is the sequel to Portal a fun little game developed as a side project and received almost no advertisement.  Even so it has been praised by both critics and fans.  Now does the sequel live up to the greatness of the original?  In short yes.  For those of you who don’t want any more info then its good and if you liked the 1st one and want to find out what happens next then by all means go and play the 2nd.

For those of you who never played the first one then play it now.  No really stop reading and play it.  All the jokes and references will be about the 1st game.  So if you want to “get” all the plot and humor they spill out then finish the 1st game.

To review a game like this I can’t really give this a standard score or any real way of measuring it be comparing it to other games.  Since all you do in this game is shoot portals and walk through portals.  It is simple but challenging as you progress through it.  This genre can be someone where in the puzzle first person shooter but I believe it surpasses that becomes its unique genre.

I don’t really want to write about the story or even gameplay since it would be a huge spoiler for those who haven’t played it.  So for this review all I am going to say is that you solve puzzles with a portal gun that shoots two different portals: one to go into and the other one to go out of.  Now if you are a fan of puzzle shooters then this game is for you.  If you are looking for some sort of mindless action game then look elsewhere.  The story is deep and rich and the challenges will keep you entertained for a while.  Also no real replay here, once you finish it there is no point doing the puzzles again since you knows all the answers.  There is co-op which is kind of the same as the campaign mode but with a buddy you can yell at.

Verdict: Buy it for those who like story and challenging game play.  For all others don’t.   

 

 

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Written by Theonlypersonhere

July 14, 2011 at 3:10 am

Posted in Game reviews

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Mass Effect

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Mass effect

For comparison sake this game is like fallout in space.  Which in this case a good thing?  A rich but generic story: you a human space solider who after surviving the horrors of war are tasked to save the universe from an impending doom.  You recruit cool and sexy aliens to help you and have to use your wits and your gun to solve various tasks and problems.  Also like a certain show called “firefly” you find out about the Reapers who are a cosmic threat to all life and have to stop them.  In Mass Effect the Reapers are a race of giant ghost ships with cool and scary powers.

Story: like I said a generic you are chosen to save the universe blah, blah.  But you are in total control of your decisions (most of the times)to do whatever you want to save the universe.  Your decisions affect game play and how the story will progress.  While some elements feel drawn out and predictable the player is given a lot of control and power in the narrative.

Game play:  Third person shooter with RPG elements is the basic core of game play.  You fight in a team of three and use your cool futuristic powers to take down the bad guys.  You can use your standard guns or if you picked to be a different class you can use biotic powers.

Driving levels: some levels make you drive a space buggy around the only problem is that the controls make it seem like you are being pulled by a blind horse.  And some of the physics of the land seem to be upside down.  I remember this one time I hit a pillar or something and the buggy flipped over.  It seems that the weight of the buggy could not overcome the small pillar and weight apparently didn’t matter since it looked like the buggy had the same weight as paper.

Explorer: the game does offer a lot of places to check out.  Letting you go out and walk around really makes the universe feel like a huge place.  But then you run into the end of the level and the feeling is gone.

Items: the items get annoying if you don’t keep up with your inventory.  You get too many items in my opinion.  Buying some items is useless since you probably will find it anyway, many copies too.  So money is pretty useless in this sense, but you can buy some upgrades but they just make things much easier then really help.  I played my first run without buying anything and after playing it with some upgrades it feels as though the items could have been taken out, and the items were just there to make people not whine about how hard the game was.

Problems? The game runs pretty good on the PC.  A few graphic problems here or there but nothing that a good restart didn’t fix.

The Verdict: Story and game play was very fun. I really enjoyed the powers and guns.  Minus the driving parts I think this game is pretty good.  –Buy it.

 

Written by Theonlypersonhere

February 26, 2011 at 2:07 pm

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Fallout 3

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Now I know fallout 3 came out a while ago but I only got a chance to play it now because of hardware issues.  The Shank review is coming up short thanks to the fallout games which I finally got running smoothly on my new alienware laptop, also don’t buy from HP.  Great printers but I rather not trust their computers and laptops.

Fallout 3

First person/ third person shooter with RPG elements like levels and items.  There is a cool feature called VATS that allows the computer to shoot/hit things for you based on the percentage of your weapon skill, how far away you are, and any other skill you have.  It is a free roaming environment where your actions and decisions affect the game play.

Beginning story is that you grew up in Vaults; underground bomb shelters are built to preserve mankind of nuclear fallout.   Your dad escapes outside which is unheard of and you decide to follow him.  And then that’s it you can do whatever you want at this point.  You can follow in his footsteps or try to make a life for yourself in the wasteland.

There are also Perks which are extra abilities you get every time you level up.  They range from gaining more strength to being able to pick locks better.  So the cool thing about Fallout is that you can do whatever you want and there will be consequences.  Do good deeds and good stuff happen do bad things and people will hunt you down.  Solve problems by talking or you can use other means.  Follow story lines or not you have total freedom to do whatever you want.

Overall I liked it but a lot of glitches caused me to be less immersing in the game.  The perks and some of the skills didn’t affect anything at all.  You are free to do whatever you want but there are always consequences.  I feel that there needs to be another way to travel.  Sure you can teleport to the location once you find it but you have to find it first by foot.  That can take a while and I would like a vehicle or something to make the trip a little easier.

Game finished on normal played 37 hours without any expansions.  For fans of Fallout or of unique RPGs in general BUY IT.  For those who like a linear story this may not be the game for you because there isn’t a straight path to do anything in this game.

Side note added (2/25/11):

Running it on a multi-core PC I have run into various problems.  The freezing: game runs fine for like an hour and it just locks up.  Ctrl+alt+Del do not work sometimes and I would have to manually shut down.  Certain places in the map have caused the freeze or when entering a building.  Certain missions have crashed the game because I either killed the wrong person or caused too much damage.  This isn’t entirely the game’s fault since sometimes the gun fights get very brutal and I have to pull out a mini nuke.  NPC’s get stuck walking to me or talk endlessly.

The fix: The patches on the support site have worked to lessen the problems, but it’s not perfect.  Trying different settings and turning down the graphics down have seemed to work for people.  There is no panacea potion to fix this.  Many different people have different solutions some work others don’t.   It’s all a matter of trial and error.

I will say that Fallout New Vegas is less prone to theses environment game play issues.  Playing it on the console I have encountered less crashes and weird graphic problems.  Playing it on the PC I found that the game runs very well.  Occasionally crash here or there but it runs.  I know I don’t have a review of New Vegas but I thought I should compare it to fallout 3’s problems here.

 

Written by Theonlypersonhere

January 18, 2011 at 1:13 am

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Shank Demo!!

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Hi I just found a great new indy game for steam, ps3, and xbox360.  Its called SHANK!  An ex-fighter out for revenge using shanks, chainsaws, and pistols.  A bloody and violent game with endless swarm of enemies and boss fights.  A side-scrolling action adventure game of revenge and shanking.    I suggest you check it out but play using a game controller as there are a lot of buttons and quite cumbersome with a keyboard.

Stay tuned as I will have a proper review up on the game for the ps3.  The Demo has the first level and first boss fight and it was pretty epic!

Written by Theonlypersonhere

November 1, 2010 at 8:44 pm

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Trine review

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Trine for the PC and PS3 is an action side-scrolling puzzle game. The game features three characters a thief, a magician, and a knight. The player switches between them and uses their unique abilities to get across a level.

The story is the three characters stumble upon a magic item called the Trine and when they all touched it their souls become bonded and only one of them can physically move while the other two are stuck in the Trine. The main characters thus search for a way to separate their souls.

The gameplay is a basic puzzle side-scroll much like Mario. You get through the level by using the three characters powers. The thief has a grappling hook which she can swing across and arrows that can push/destroy targets. The magician can move objects and create boxes and planks. The knight has a shield and sword. By using these elements the player has to survive the level and discover experience and items that will help you along. You use their abilities to solve puzzles like getting to the top of the level to pull a switch.

This game looks pretty. The level designs are unique and refreshing. The character themselves aren’t as well-crafted as the scenery but you can tell them apart and they standout well. The areas are well detailed and defined. When you are playing a forest level you can see the well-drawn leaves, grass, and trees. There are some platforms and bridges that may look out of place but are well detailed. You can see the joints and metal frames. Torches and candles in the game give you the primary light sources in dark areas.

In the end I liked the game. It was fun and challenging at times. Combat is solid; mouse clicks for shooting arrows and swinging swords. You draw a box with the mouse for the boxes and a line for the planks. But toward the end the magician could create many boxes and planks which made the game a little too easy. I filled up the level with them and made it a whole lot easier. The other character’s upgrades weren’t as significant. The thief could shoot more arrows and then fire arrows. The knight gets a flame sword which isn’t as much stronger than the original.

Written by Theonlypersonhere

February 24, 2010 at 12:10 am

Posted in Game reviews

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