Thursday, 23 December 2010

Alan Wake Review

You're trudging through the woods in the dark with one bullet left and a couple of batteries, this is where Alan Wake is successful, it makes you feel vulnerable and isolated.

I like Alan Wake because there isn't a story like it, you and your wife Alice, go on a holiday to bright falls, a small mountainous village. This is when the bad things start to happen, your wife goes missing in a weird way and you have to find her. The story is told in six episodes that end on cliffhangers and start with a bang which is a very clever way of doing it.

The gameplay is your basic over the shoulder, third person shooter gameplay but it works really well because your enemies are dark spirited and you have to stop them using light via a torch,flash bangs and flares. The guns pack a punch but their isn't a massive variety of guns, you've got the revolver,the shotgun,a hunter rifle and a flare gun (which is awesome). The use of the torch on the left trigger button and shooting on the right trigger button works really well because the torch is almost like an aim.

The movement is a bit clunky at times but most of the time works relatively well but the dodging system doesn't work well at all because nearly every time you try to dodge you end up getting hit anyway unless it's a perfectly timed dodge which then means you move in slow motion to evade the attack. The sprinting and the dodge system should've definitely been put on a different button because sometimes when you try to sprint it dodges and vice versa.

The graphics in Alan Wake are amazing, some of the very best I have seen on the xbox 360. Although sometimes there is a bit of screen tearing but it's barely noticeable. The facial expressions used in Alan Wake are very good too, you can see the true emotion in the characters faces which is always a good thing especially in a emotional thriller such as this.

The main story is about 8-10 hours long but if you want to collect all of the collectables I would add at least another 5 hours onto that. The main things to collect are the coffee Thermoses,the manuscripts,the cardboard cut outs,secret chests,radio's and TV’s to turn on and the pyramid cans to knock down.

The problems I found with Alan Wake was that the settings in each episode were to repetitive and bland, it was mainly always a woods. The game was far to linear, it wouldn't let you explore the village of bright falls which would've been nice. The enemies were all the same it would've been nice if they mixed it up a bit. Also the way the combat is the same in every episode, I do like the way Remedy mixed it up with driving sections thought which was solid.

Alan wake was a very enjoyable experience and the story kept me driving on until the fantastic ending. This should have been so much better for how long it was in development though. Remedy have done a good job at something innovative which I respect, it's good to see something new for a change!


Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Top 5 Favourite Films of 2010

This year has been an awesome year for film's with tron finally out after an 18 year wait, the amazing inception leaving everyone wanting more christopher nolan and the dark knight rises,scott pligrim showing how to make a good comic movie and toy story 3 making everyone cry. These are my top 5 films this year:

5)Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part 1
This one is quite easily the best of the Harry Potter movies. I think they really nailed it with this one. The acting was right at oscar worthy, the cinematography was spellbinding, the music was great, they really got the mood of the book right, that nowhere was safe and they couldn't trust anyone and it was finally a dark harry potter film! Now I am uber excited for Part 2.

4)Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Oh how i love Edgar Wright, after Hot fuzz and Shaun of the dead i couldn't see how Wright would suit this film but he got it perfect! It's the perfect film for geeks basically because you will actually find it funny. Michael Cera was perfect for the role of Scott because he's such a douche (in a good way) and ramona flowers is just hot. The action is done very well in a comic books style, this is how spider-man should've been done!

Despite some negative critic reviews, this film remarkable. To see it in IMAX format was breathtaking. The visuals are amazing. I felt immersed in the Gaming Grid. The musical cues are spot on and Daft Punk creates the atmosphere like no other. Jeff Bridges put in an amazing performance as did Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde. What a great film to end 2010 to!

2)Toy Story 3
Truly a masterpiece of storytelling and animation. Pixar's triumphant closing title to their landmark trilogy is a metaphor on life, telling us all (especially those of us who grew up with it) to treat each other with kindness respect, even when we are not getting it in return. Seeing it in 3D is amazing aswell.

What makes Inception so special is that it's not your typical straight forward summer blockbuster. Nolan gives you bits and pieces of information, and as the movie plays out the viewer begins to put the pieces together and the picture gradually becomes clearer. Chris Nolan doesn't dumb down the movie for the audience like most Hollywood movies do these days, he expects us to keep up with him. And when we do, the reward is extremely gratifying. The visuals were amazing and the acting was phenomenal.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Mafia 2 Review

First of all I would like to say this is not what it seems. This is not a open world game, the world is a backdrop to the deep,authentic and brutal story. You play as a Vito Scaletta a strong,silent, gets the job done type of guy.

The game starts with you at war but then you get injured in action and get sent home. This is when the story really starts, you start of at the bottom and as you progress you get higher and higher in the world.

The best part of Mafia 2 is the story telling, that's what really keeps the game stop notch. Every bit of dialogue is perfect and the facial expressions are some of the best I have seen in a game. You feel Vito emotion with him, 2k really make you connect with the characters. The way the city changes as you go through the story really impressed me, also the whole 50's feel to the game was perfect.

The gameplay though is where Mafia 2 is let down, the cover system is shocking, it simply just doesn't work, you just carry on to get shot at. The driving is too arcadey for my liking but there's nothing flawed about it, the shooting is good with certain weapons, if you stay using the pistol then it is fine (I did this) but when you start using some of the heavier weapons they don't pack enough of a punch and they move around everywhere, I mean I thought this guy was in the army?

Although this is not a open world game as such there is still things to do after you've completed the game like find all the playboy magazines and wanted posters,sell cars if you want more money and pimp your car up (although there is not much to do with it).

I thoroughly enjoyed my play through off Mafia 2, I felt it was a refreshing change to other open world games. The story definitely would keep anyone playing until the shocking ending. This game was a flawed masterpiece. 87%

Batman:Arkham City Worries

2011 is my second main year of dedicated gaming and I’m really excited about it, for one main reason; batman:Arkham city.
I loved Arkham asylum and fully completed the game, I loved everything about it the characters,the atmosphere,the puzzles and the plot. Which is why I’m so excited about the sequel and I fully trust Rocksteady to do a great job.
A couple of things I am worried about though, the amount of villains; I though Arkham asylum had a great amount of villains and I don’t want Arkham city to be to crowded with villains because that would just take away the atmosphere for me.
The other thing I’m worried about as well is the co-op, a lot of games get ruined if the developer is trying to fit too much into the game, I think if Rocksteady only used co-op for the challenge rooms they used in Arkham asylum than that would work. Which brings me onto my next worry, who will be Batman's partner? In the history of DC there are so many sidekicks to choose from; robin(dick Grayson,Jason Todd,Tim drake and Damian Wayne),Nightwing (Dick Grayson), then of course theirs Catwoman who has already been confirmed to be in the game or even superman!
I don't think robin is right for the darkness of the game I think Nightwing may work if Rocksteady do him properly, but for me Catwoman would be perfect for the game, mainly because of there love hate relationship, so if you were playing as batman you would feel vulnerable in case she stabs you in the back (which probably will happen if you play online).
I am really looking forward to Arkham city and I think Rocksteady will get it right.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

my top ten favourite game characters

10.) Solid Snake (Metal Gear Solid Series)
I thought Solid Snake was a great place to start my favourite game characters because let's face it, solid snake is the man, he can kill anything and anyone, has been over 3 consoles and spin off games on the psp (and the upcoming 3ds remake). snake is one of the most important characters in the games industry and ten times better than raiden not that i don't like him either.

9.) Dante (Devil May Cry Series)
What's better than a badass half- demon that has fire and lightning swords which he slays monsters with? Nothing! Dante is one of the coolest characters in gaming and when you feel simply awesome when you play as him. That's why he's at number nine.

8.) Crash Bandicoot
Crash is such a playful guy and even though he was mute and was kinda dumb, he always meant well and could clearly express his emotions. He was awesome at jumping and exploding TnT aswell.I really want a next gen crash!

7.) Lara Croft (Tomb Raider Series)
lara croft is the perfect woman, she is witty, clever, badass, has attitude and knows not only many languages but how to "take out" all the bad guys in every single game. she also has the best glitches in any game ever!

6.) Sonic The Hedgehog (Sonic Series)
The greatest speed, the sense of duty he has, his cool grin and the trademark thumbs up! The definition of cool. The definition of hero. Plus he’s the first character to have a company carrying his name (Sonic Team) and is a legend. Too bad this generation hasn't fared to well for him, let's hope sonic colours and sonic 4 episode 1 changes that (i haven't got around to playing them yet).

5.) Fox Mcloud
(Starfox Series)
Fox McCloud is possibly my favourite nintendo character. Everything about him reeks cool, he flies a plane,his cool boots and his awesome staff (starfox adventures). Oh and he's a fox! (Everyone know's foxes are awesome). I really want nintendo to makes another starfox game on the wii! I guess we'll have to settle for starfox 64 on the 3ds (which i don't mind because i love that game!).

4) Duke Nukem
What do you get when you put every single action hero together? That's right duke nukem, the most awesome action hero ever! He has the best quotes in videogames ever. When you're playing the game you feel awesome blowing aliens heads off and paying girls to dance for you. Yeah duke is awesome!

3) Marshall Law (Tekken series)
Marshall Law is my favourite chracter in any tekken series. He is homage to the martial artist Bruce Lee and shares many characteristics with the famous martial artist, even uttering similar high-pitched shouts and whoops when he performs certain strikes and attacks. he even had his own tv show in australia and is in comics way before the game. and who doesn't love bruce lee?

2) Captain Falcon
The helmet,the suit and the boots! Are you buckled up? Ok then! Captain Falcon is the best character in the F-Zero series and in my opinion is the only reason people actually bought it! He also made great cameo's in the super smash bro's series. FALCON PUNCH!!!!

1) Mario (Mario Series)
I don't think there was a single reader who didn't see this coming! That's right the fat plumber is my favourite game character. I'm not sure whether it's because his games are so good or because he's such a good character, i think it's a mixture between both. You gotta love that he never gives up on princess peach aswell.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

GOTY 2010

i know alot of people have been moaning about red dead redemption getting vga's game of the year, i agree that RDR was a great game but my GOTY is splinter cell conviction without a doubt!

It was a fantastic game from start to finish. A complete overhaul from the originals.The balance between stealth and action is perfect. The single player is amazingly encapsulating, albeit amazingly short.

Graphics look stunning at times and just above average at others. Controls take getting used to, but the gameplay is very intuitive. Gone is the Splinter Cell where you are forced to pay attention to every little detail like hiding bodies, not making too much noise,
and closing doors or turning lights out. This is completely new. Sam no longer needs to worry about those things; instead he focuses on getting from point A to B and strategically killing anyone in his way, although sometimes utter stealth can get you through a level.

The lifespan of the game is great even if the main story is about 7 hours (on realistic) you still have deniable ops which contain three modes, hunter: go through different maps taking out ten people in one place then moving on to a different place but if you alert anyone more people come which brings the stealth back into this game. Last stand:you have to protect a emp in the middle of a map while waves of enemies come to destroy it. Face off: this mode is the worst out of all modes it's simply 1vs1 and who ever get's the most kills wins (call of duty copy).

Then you have the amazing prequel co-op story that grows as the story goes on and you really get attached to the characters (archer and kestrel). This game is fantastic, and even as a hardcore Splinter Cell fan, this game takes the cake in terms of reflecting the spy/movie bad ass heroes like Bond and Bourne. Fisher's story is much more emotional, and by the end of the story you will have felt his anger, mourned with his despair, and exulted in his joy. 94% (i know this started off as my GOTY but i though i might aswell write a review)