Sunday, August 26, 2007

Halo 3 Special Edition Xbox console

If you haven't already seen it, I suggest you go look at this:

Tell me that doesnt' look amazing. I'm not a drooling typical fan of Halo 3, but the 4-play coop and this kinda thing is well-placed marketing by Bungie/Microsoft. The coloring and contrast of the console is just dead-on.

Yet, the negative part about this is that its just not... all that great. I was hoping that it would be an elite console painted this nice color, but its actually a downgrade. I took this list from's page of features:

  • Halo 3 Special Edition Console
  • Halo 3 Special Edition Wireless Controller
  • Halo 3 Special Edition 20GB Hard Drive
  • Halo 3 Special Edition Wired Headset
  • Halo 3 Special Edition Gamer Pics and Theme (Exclusive download via Xbox LIVE)
  • Component HD AV Cable
  • Ethernet Cable
  • HDMI Port
  • Play & Charge Kit
  • Xbox LIVE Silver Membership
  • One-month Xbox LIVE Gold Membership
  • Halo 3 game not included—sold separately
Compared to the Elite, this just doesn't quite cut it for me. Maybe its the missing 120GB hard drive. Put that on one of these, and you have an instant sale to me, your typical customer.

Why not just do this? Make these things customizable? Upgradeable IN STORE. I mean, why should I buy a whole new hard drive just to have my old one sitting around at home. Seems silly. Make it like a sandwich from Subway. I want cucumbers, please, and hold the onions.

World of Warcraft entering a new status:

Its dumb. Seriously, World of Warcraft is really dumb. In fact, its so dumb, I just looked the word dumb up in the thesaurus to better describe it. I can't say its brainless, but I will say it is ill-advised decision to start playing it. Here's a symptom of its now horrid state:

I once went to this "party" (can barely call it a party as all we did was listen to the hostess whine cause she was a dumb bitch, and there was no alcohol around to help me tell her to shut her stupid mouth.). Anyway, about halfway through, I was sitting on the couch, and this new girl comes in, and so now, there are like 6 people at the party, and ya know what they all start talking about?

They start talking about their World of Warcraft characters.

They seriously started talking about their World of Warcraft characters.

Let me say this one more time:

Needless to say, I'm not friends with any of those people of those people at that party anymore. The game isn't even that good. But I'm a dork, and you don't find me going off to parties, even ones withOUT alcohol, and discussing World of fucking Warcraft, or Forza Motorsports 2. Don't fucking DISCUSS THEM. I just don't get it, I hope the MMO genre dies, or gets a makeover.

I kinda sympathize with the Chinese government with their, "Hey, if you play too many hours on MMOs, we'll send you to prison." Honestly, I knew this other guy who'd rather play WoW than attend the anime club meetings. And this was why he was treasurer. Get a fucking life, I mean, shouldn't you wake up some day and say, "holy shit, I didn't do anything yesterday at all, including not going to class and missing a test and its because of WoW! Maybe I should curb my habit a little bit."

Nope, they don't do that. They end up moving back in with their parents and having "no life" like the South Park episode (now available on Xbox Live if you're interested). If you like WoW, move to China and get arrested, please.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007


Fan of the adventure game genre, but never played The Longest Journey? Make a note on May 21st to get Dreamfall: Game of the Year Edition.

With a pricetag of only $30, it is well worth it. Within Dreamfall: GotY Edition are two PC games (the original The Longest Journey and its sequel Dreamfall) and the soundtrack for Dreamfall, which was nominated for an MTV award in 2006. Of course, you could always buy the two games now for $28 at Steam and miss out on the soundtrack (which is pretty much a $20 value by itself including shipping) but considering how most games are costing nowadays, I'd just get the GotY Edition.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Atlus games to obsess over this year

If you've never heard of Atlus, a videogame publisher notorious for their unique and usually hard-to-find games, don't worry. You'll most probably be hearing a lot about them this year, as they will be coming out with 4 RPGs: Etrian Odyssey (DS), Luminous Arc (DS), Odin Sphere (PS2), and Persona 3 (PS2).

Etrian Odyssey seems to be your typical turn-based RPG, but instead of having your map filled in as you explore, you have to draw it yourself. Map icons are available for you to mark off items such as treasure chests, stairs, doors, etc.

In the screenshots you can see how well the handdrawn backgrounds look in the game, and you can also see the 3D-rendered environments looking a bit pixelly but still gorgeously done and interesting.

Then there are the character classes. The characters for this game look so bad ass and yet so cute at the same time. This girl to the left for example. She has a blank look on her face that says, "I can do nothing wrong!" yet you know she wouldn't hesitate to kill you. There are also quite a few male characters in the game who look like psychotic killers (especially the black-haired Alchemist with the twin-blade looking weapon) and those are always fun.

Top reason to get this game: Dominatrixes (known as Female Dark Hunters in the game.) Coming May 15.

Luminous Arc is a strategy RPG, much like Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics. The character art is beautiful, with clothing styles similar to those of Ragnarok Online and the .hack series. The game uses highly detailed sprites and unique animations for each team-up attack, which vary depending on the character.

Top reason to get this game: Didn't get enough of Final Fantasy Tactics and don't own a PSP (yet anyway). Coming out, according to Gamestop, August 14.

Odin Sphere. The graphics, the animation...amazing. Even Tycho of Penny Arcade fame says so. While this game still has that cute factor similar to that of Etrian Odyssey, there is also sexiness.

This witch garbed in red? Hot. Yes, draw them (whoever they are - probably huge robots with tentacles attached) away with your chain and red lights. Do you see those stockings and high heels? Top reason to get this game right there. Coming out May 22.

Persona 3. I've never played the Persona series before, but it's a good time to start. With a description of "an occult-themed RPG set in a Japanese high school" how can any anime fan resist?

And resisting will be hard to do, as this game is filled with anime-style art and animation. Persona 3 uses a turn-based battle system and although you do all of your fighting at night against bloblike ghouls (like No-Face from Spirited Away) and other monsters, the mood doesn't seem to be too horrific. Upbeat music starts playing once you get into battle and nothing is scary when you're dancing! Although you have to shoot yourself in the head during the game, multiple times even, it isn't suicide at all because this releases a "persona" or a summon that will help you in battle.

Top reason to get this game: Looks really fun if you love anime and have a morbid sense of humor. Coming out Q3 2007.

Friday, April 13, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl


S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow Of Chernobyl for the PC was developed by GSC Game World and published by THQ.

After much wait and tons of speculation and hype, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has finally hit the market. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was originally slated to be released a year or two ago, but do to the nature of the game the developers ran into difficulty. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was made with the intent of fusing the FPS and RPG genres into one game. So whats the big deal? Its been done before with Deus Ex and the Morrorwind Series (minus the guns). The difference? A-Life (I'll get into that later). STALKER is a great game that does a terrific job of combining and FPS with and RPG. At times it may have its flaws, but at its heart it is an excellent game that could help change the FPS genre.

  • I don't want to get much into the story in STALKER, but basically you are "The Marked One". A truck that you're riding in wrecks and you wind up in an area called "The Zone". The Zone is around an old nuclear plant that fell out. You suffer from memory loss due to the crash, and the only thing you know is that you were sent to kill someone. In hopes to find out more about yourself you continue this mission, but to do so you have to do things for others to make money and earn their trust/respect. While this sounds simple enough... well its not. The story is a bit hard to follow. When you talk to people, much of the speech has to be read due to a lack of voice acting. This approach, while effective, can be rather dull. Sometimes I just don't feel like reading paragraphs of text, especially not when things are happening around me. This one time i met some guy to find out more about the person I was supposed to kill, but when i started talking to him, a pack of wild dogs attacked, so I didn't get to read the info. When we fended the attack off I went to talk to him again, only to find that was a one time thing... so wtf do i do now?
  • Pros: The story is interesting, though definitely not the game's strong point. The RPG type of story is a welcome change to the normal FPS type (Aliens are attacking... save earth). Its also nice that, even though there was a main mission, the story wasn't really linear. There are many side quests to partake in, and the map is free roaming (if you can survive). The game is also long for a FPS. I'm guessing its well over 10 hours of gameplay. There are also 14 different endings (I believe), which is kinda cool if you think about it.
  • Cons: The lack of voice acting was a bit annoying at times, though definitely forgivable.

User Interface/Environment:
  • First I'm going to start with the user interface, the main menu and load screen to be exact. Now, these two things usually are pretty unimportant, but the ones in STALKER are definitely worth a mention. The main menu is surprisingly impressive. A lot of games are either content with just having a basic menu with no "flair" (if you will) or being overly complicated. STALKER's menu however is just right. It's simple, yet interesting. It's hard to make it sound exciting, but take my word for it. The load screen is also visually pleasing. This is important, because when you're waiting for something to load, you're pretty much wasting time, so the least developers can do is make it somewhat pleasing. The in game user interface (i.e. inventory) is what you would expect from a RPG. You have a slots to put your armor and weapons, and you have a weight limit, which affects your stamina. This system works well. Unlike most FPS's you can't carry every weapon you come across, because if you do, you'll be walking the whole game, which sucks if you have a pack of 10 wild dogs chasing you. You'll need to decide what kind of weapons you want to use and what ammo these weapons take. There are also other pickups that are available in the inventory such as med kits, bandages, food, vodka ^_^. The are you are in is called "The Zone". The zone is one massive world, that is pretty much free to roam if you choose. The zone is separated in sections which when crossed initiate a loading screen. While this isn't ideal, its understandable.

  • Pros: Large free roaming world with a good variety of scenery. Anything from lightly forested to industrial. Changing time of day (It gets dark at night). Weather patterns. Intuitive inventory system. Beautiful menus and a nice load screen.
  • Cons: The only con is sometimes the inventory can be buggy, but only kinda. If you right click on an item it brings up a menu that allows you to do something with an object (i.e. use it or drop it). Sometimes, however you have to do this more than once to get a response.

  • STALKER was slated to come out a few years back, and it shows a bit in the graphics. There is nothing really revolutionary about them. They're probably on par with the graphics in Half-Life 2, maybe slightly less pretty. Don't get me wrong, they're by no means ugly. They just lack that extra polish. Due to the fact that I can't play the game with dynamic lighting (curse my aging rig) I can't accurately comment on how good the graphics can be with lighting effects, but I have everything else maxed, so it can't that big of a difference. The amount of viewable scenery is amazing. Unlike a lot of FPS you can see much more than just down a corridor or across a room. This has to take away from the detail of everything due to a lack of horsepower in many computers (such an mine). Character models and geometry are smooth and their animations are decent. There aren't many decals. When you shoot something you might get some smoke and MAYBE a mark, but rarely. I'm not sure if there is blood splatter, because I haven't done much close quarter fighting yet, but I don't think there is. Body parts don't come off either : ( which isn't present in a lot of games, but would have been a nice addition (I guess this was due to software limitations). Hopefully with the coming of DX10 we'll see this become more common.
  • Pros: Excellent view distance. Decent models and texturing.
  • Cons: Few decals. Graphics overall are a bit dated. No blood or body parts.

Everything Else:
  • The system requirements for this game baffled me at first. When i read them I was like... So can I play this or not. The minimum requirements were like Pentium 4 2 ghz or AMD Equivalent with a Radeon 9600 and 512 Mb of ram. The recommended, however was a Core 2 Duo 6400 with a Radeon x1850 and 1 Gig of ram. This is a pretty big difference. I'm not sure why the recommended requirements are so high, but with my Athlon xp 3200 1.5 gigs of ram and 7600gs I can play with all setting maxed except the lighting (I have to use static lighting or my frame rate drops like whoa) at 1240 x 1080 res. and i get a pretty solid 60 frames/second. So if you have an older system and are wondering whether you can run this game, and if so will it look like ass.. don't worry. Most likely you'll be able to run it nicely with a decent visual experience.
  • The AI in this game is one of the main features. STALKER has what they call A-life. Unlike many RPGs and FPS games where an NPC's actions are scripted, STALKER features NPC's that do their own thing. They have basic routines programmed, but they don't wait for you to act. If you sat still and did nothing, the world around you would change. For example... One mission I received was to help ward off a bandit attack on an outpost. Not a problem. I left to continue with my primary mission, only to come back a little later to find everyone in the camp dead (there were like 4 of them). This can be somewhat frustrating at times, however, because once you clear an area out, it can soon become occupied by enemies again. When you're running low on health after a tough firefight it would be nice to have somewhere to go to re-evaluate your inventory and take a breather and figure out where you have to go next. It would also be nice to have time to loot bodies, but with enemies always on the move, it can be difficult. I guess this is just part of the realism of the game, which definitely isn't a bad thing.
  • The sounds in STALKER are decent. The guns sound good and the environmental effects are nice. The sounds also help let you know where things (be they friend or foe) are. You can hear wild dogs barking in the distance, letting you know to watch out, you can hear footsteps and speech. All of this will help you get a one up on your prey (or assailants). The NPC's however also use sound to find you, so watch the amount of noise you make. Another nice touch is the random speech between other stalkers. A few times when stalkers were sitting around a barrel fire one pulled out a guitar and started playing. This definitely wasn't necessary, but it added a deeper sense of realism and immersion.
  • S.T.A.L.L.E.R. is difficult. The weapon accuracy in this game are fairly realistic. This means if you're shooting at someone a good ways away with an automatic rifle (set to semi auto of course), the chances of you actually hitting them are VERY slim. This combined with the number of enemies the game throws at you makes it hard to get through some areas. I'm at this one part where I have to get into a base with over 12 enemies outside (I don't know how many are inside), and no matter what I do I get raped. This can be both positive and negative. On one hand it forces you to refine your skills and increases your sense of accomplishment, but on the other it makes you want to break things.
  • Pros: Excellent A.I. and A-Life. Good use of sounds, which can be creepy as hell at times (especially underground). Difficulty adds a sense of accomplishment to winning.
  • Cons: Confusing system requirements. Can be a bit hard, which can cause aggression towards keyboards and monitors (its always the monitor's fault).

  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is definitely unlike any FPS I've played before. The RPG elements of the game are an excellent addition, which helps break the common linearity in most FPS games to date. At times S.T.A.L.K.E.R. can be somewhat aggravating, whether it be from too many enemies to take on at once, to sloppy inventory control. These aggravations, however are few and somewhat far between. The games A-Life really shines and increases your immersion into the game. The graphics can be a bit dated, but that was to be expected. Overall S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is worth buying, especially if you like RPGs.
  • And for the rating:
    • Overall (not and average): 8.5
      • Not the best game I've ever played, but definitely up there.
    • Graphics: 7
      • Definitely not the best. Not bad, but it looks like its a couple years old. Pretty cut scenes, however
    • Sound: 9
      • Sounds was decent and useful.
    • Gameplay: 10
      • Awesome concept. Great A-Life and A.I. controls were tight and the environment (with weather effects and night/day cycle) was superb.
    • Replayability: 9
      • 14 different ending based on choices you make in game. Would be a 10, but the game itself is so long it might discourage playing it more than 2 or 3 times.
Buy/Rent/Trash: Buy it. If you can wait, wait for the price to drop a bit, but definitely pick this one up.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Mortal Kombat sucking on the Wii

So you know, Mortal Kombat is going to SUCK on the wii.

In this Documentary by, They explore next generational button-mashing. As Mercy1.0 would attest, just the day before this was released, I was complaining about how inCREDibly terrible this is for gaming. Here's the Link:

Anyway, if you don't want to watch it, I'll summarize. They're trying to kill you. They're trying to rape your skillz. Instead of actually being skillful, you can now make masterful moves just by holding a button and swinging the controller around in a weird way. "Move the controller left and right to shoot a laser while holding B." That.... is bad. This is why I hate the Wii Controller. I enjoyed playing excite truck, but this is bad. bad bad bad. Now, instead of pressing "Down, forward, B", you just move the controller left, and then right.

So, you can envision it from this point on, fighting someone in Mortal Kombat on the wii, it will be something like this. Your friend will just hold b and swing the controller around violently and probably kick the shit out of you.

Guitar Hero 2 and Japanese News by Mercy1.0

Oh wow, Guitar Hero II for the Xbox 360 seems like *such* a ripoff. $90 for the game and the controller, and if you want to buy songs from GH1 it's $6.25 for 3 songs. The price is a bit steep, considering each song would be 2 bucks and some cents for material that's already available, just on another system. Also, if it's to be believed that they're working on a Guitar Hero III (for Xbox360, Wii, and PS3) will they really be working on NEW downloadable content for GH2?

Ouendan 2 is apparently coming out in Japan during the month of May. Some of the music videos linked above are hilarious, especially Hirai Ken's Pop Star. Japanese people are crazy, but their craziness is so tasty. Who else would ever think of putting frosting on a stick and calling it Pocky?

Written by Mercy1.0

Monday, April 9, 2007

Xbox 360 Elite harddrive complaints

I'm not going to tell you what you're going to do. You're going to stop complaining about the Xbox 360's hard drive being so expensive.

You want more space? But they 20 GB one and follow the instructions on my previous post.
Xbox360 Hard drive upgrade.

Yeah, do that. Get a 320GB SATA drive and pop it into the 20GB chassis and you're fine. no bothers, no worries, just fine. I really don't see this as being difficult.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Wii Controller

After much fiddling and thought, I have decided that I don't like the Wiimote. I'm sorry, I just... don't like it.

What it really comes down to for me is that you can't use all the buttons. I mean, how many times have you fiddled around trying to reach down and press one of the buttons at the bottom? How many times have you accidently pressed the home button or the A button? Why do developers only use the triggers? Have you ever thought about it?

Its because really, those triggers are the only useful things on the controller.

Also, the aiming. It irritates me. Its not so much aiming as it is guessing. I can't look down the controller and say "Boom, headshot" (Credit to PurePwnage for the quote), because the controller doesn't aim where you aim it. I feel like the whole infra-red thing is bullcrap and that why do we need some silly bar to be on the top or the bottom? Why can't it be a strap that hangs down over the sides and has one infra-red signal on each side of the screen?

But really, can you imagine playing Spiderman with the Wii? How are you going to handle doing all that? I remember playing Spiderman 2 and wanting to sprint up a wall after webslinging. You'd have to let go of like L1, hold L2, and press Circle to do it, and the thrill of it was AMAZING. It took SKILL to web sling into a sprint up the side of a 30 story building and not die. Well, maybe not die, but fall happily with a heavy thud into the pavement (I can't tell you how many times I jumped from the highest buildings to fall flat on the pavement, just for the pure rush of motion-blur and speed as the ground approached. :) )

Anyway, please leave your comments on the Wii Controller, you're welcome to disagree. Maybe I'm overlooking something...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mexican Police Strikes Back!

Read about this crazy stunt the Mexican Police is pulling.

Someone brought up a good point though. While it does SEEM to be a good idea, its actually a horrible idea because the people that now win these things will just be killed by the people who do own the guns. Or, they'll buy more guns to protect what they have. Either way, it seems silly.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Here comes the Glory of Microsoft. Straight from France, the news is "Xbox 360 loves you". Underneath the link, there is a beautiful video about how while the PS3 was releasing, Microsoft's local marketing director decided that they were going to have some fun. They rented a barge and floated it down the nearby canal and really stole the PS3's show.

If you don't already know, PS3 is now worldwide. Yippee, yeah, whatever.

Friday, March 23, 2007

N00b Pwnage = Pure

This should be a link to PurePwnage. If it doesn't work, just google PurePwnage, and you'll find it. This is a hardcore site about n00bs and pwning their n00by little holes. N00bs are the 3vil.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Forza Two Chair of Destiny

Ummm, please tell me I can have this. I want it. Surround sound speakers, triple screens, foot-pedals, steering wheel, oh man.

also three 360s, not to mention the 3 hi-def flat screens. This is looking like $8000.00 of merchandise. If I'm ever rich, one of these is going into my house.

Friday, March 16, 2007


With what I'd like to call a Pre-Counter-Injunction, Take Two Interactive sued Jack Thompson on March 13th. You may know Take Two better as the people who brought you Rockstar Games' Grand Theft Auto series.

A link to the PDF of the actual suit lies here:

For those of you who don't like to read Legal Jargon, I'll summarize it into simple terms.

Take Two is suing Jack Thompson to prevent him from suing them. I know, it sounds silly, but that is really exactly what it is. Previously, JT (Referred to as "He-who-must-not-be-named" on popular sites like had sued them for being a nuisance to society, and had been rejected time and time again.

Take Two's grounds for preventing JT from filing anything against them in the future is that he is trying to shut down their right of expression (First Amendment). They then proceed to say that if JT ever did win, the gaming industry would enter an irreparable period of self-censorship where ALL the game developers would then try to avoid being sued for their expressions of creativity. Take Two says this is a direct encroachment on their rights.

They then drop a long list of cases that have occurred in the past relative to this case.

Lastly, they say that JT has not pursued any of his previous cases, and seeks only to play around and cause financial harm to a company that is simply pursuing a freedom of expression that many other mediums of communication have obtained. They refer to violent books, movies and even newspapers.

And there you have it. Under the cover of Due Process and Freedom of Speech, Take Two is claiming JT has no right to attempt again to delay the release of the creative and expressive content of their games. They are also claiming that Florida's nuisance laws are silly, but thats kind of a hidden thing.

For more information, visit

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Which company is Game Development's best friend?

The answer may surprise you.

Some of you may know what this is, and if you don't, you're about to find out.

XNA is a Game Development platform designed by Microsoft. It can create games for both the Xbox360 and the PC at the same time. No porting required. When Microsoft originally made promises to fill the Xbox Live Arcade with new original games, they did not lie. Instead, they just announced it a little too early.

While development kits for its rivals, Sony and Nintendo, tend to cost a lot, XNA Game Studio costs almost nothing. I say almost, because compared to the HUUUGE costs of competitors development kits, this IS nothing. You can develop games that will work on the PC for free, but have to join a Creators Club for $100 dollars a year. That's cheap.

Nothing else compares to what Microsoft has done here. This makes available to ANYONE who has motivation, the full tools to create an Xbox360 game (well, maybe only for the arcade, but there's still money).

Want a list of what you need?
To develop for PC:
Have Visual C# Net installed, and you can get an express version for free.
Download and install XNA Game Studio Express - $0
Knowledge of the C language.

To develop for the 360:
Have Visual C# Net installed.
Download and install XNA GSE.
Join Creator's Club -$99
Knowledge of C language.

Yar? Now go make some games for me.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Second Life

I'm going to try out this game that's new to me called Second Life.

Its basically... a world, I dunno, its crazy. And free. :P MMO

Just check it out:
Join Second Life.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Forza Motorsport 2 Preview

Forza Motorsport 2 is being developed and published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360. Planned release date is May 2nd, 2007. I expect this to be pushed back.

My first experience with Forza Motorsports series was with the XBox version of it. Of course, it was the only version to have ever existed, so its pointless to delineate which version it was. Anyway, my friend had come over, and he was addicted to Grand Turismo for the PS2.

We went to Blockbuster to look for Grand Turismo, assuming they would have one of the most popular racing games of all time... No, apparently not. I saw Forza Motorsports there, and was like, "Hmm, I've heard good things about this one, wanna give it a try?"

We took it home, and I loved it immediately. The controls were quick to learn, and hard to master (accelerator and brake on the rear pressure-sensitive triggers). To my friend, this was a complete departure from the accelerator and brake buttons of X and O. To me, it was <3.

On to the Preview!
You may hear me say how much Forza was love for me. I loved the non-linear layout and the way you could accomplish and complete races in the way you chose, with the car you chose, at the time you chose, and no sooner. I loved the pressure-sensitivity of the triggers, and how accurate they were. How does this carry over to Forza Motorsports 2?

This game was designed physics up, creating a more realistic racing game than ever before. They've included damage, layers upon layers of customization, beautiful graphics, and a unique money system.

First off, they took the original layout of non-linear play, and just built on top of the already successful formula, which is gold to me. Looking to race the heavyweights, and don't really care about the lightweights? Well, you don't HAVE to finish the lightweights, you can play heavyweights whenever you want.

Next, they increased the damage modeling of the cars, INCLUDING persistent pieces of your car on the track after they are knocked off. You can see this at minute 1:30.

The layers upon layers of customization (minute 5:35 in the video) include thousands of layers on each side of the car. If I wanted to put a body vinyl, and then a decal, and then a decal on top of that, with a nice blue color highlighting it, you can do that.

Also, the player interaction is phenomenal. Everything from AMAZING force feedback (I suggest Microsoft's wheel, it has received GREAT reviews, and is wireless) to the console's networking ability to output to three monitors a surround view of the game (minute 4:10 in the video). I highly suggest you check it out.

Anyway, as I said before, the game is THE racing game. Grand Turismo comes nowhere close in terms of horsepower, capability, sustainability, and replayability.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Review - Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin (DS)

I've loved the Castlevania series ever since I experienced the pixelated, hanging nuns on the NES. The sad thing is, I haven't played a new Castlevania title since the Castlevania 64. That is until I got my hands on Portrait of Ruin for the Nintendo DS. I needed a good platformer and I had heard good things about PoR, so I picked up a copy. That was the beginning of the end for me, as I've been hopelessly addicted ever since. Allow me to explain.

I'm a sucker for leveling, which has lead to past addictions with
RPGs and the like. Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin combines the classic
whip-weilding, vampire killing action fans have come to love, with RPG
elements that allow your characters to grow stronger as the game
progresses. Anyone who's played last year's DS title, Dawn of Sorrow,
will recognize the system. It's all really basic: you kill enemies,
earn EXP, and your stats increase. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it
adds depth to the game.

The game takes place when Johnathon Morris and Charlotte Aulin, the
story's protagonists go to the newly raised Dracula's Castle to slay
the legendary fiend. Instead they encounter a different vampire named
Brauner, who has taken control of Dracula's castle with the magic
power of several paintings located throughout the building. While
leaping into portraits and exploring the worlds within (a la Mario
64), you'll come across a helpful ghost, named Wind (who played a role
in the Genesis classic, Castlevania Bloodlines); Brauner's two vampire
daughters, Stella and Loretta; Dracula's right-hand man, Death; and an
item-selling priest named Vincent.

As noted above, This time around you control two characters:
Johnathon, your whip/other melee weapon using protagonist, and his
magic-weilding sidekick, Charlotte. You can control either character
individually, switching between the two characters by pressing X, or
control both at once (really basic AI controls whoever you're not).
Both characters share HP and EXP, and the system allows for the
occasional puzzle. The main idea is that some enemies are weak against
certain weapon classes or spells, but if you have a strong enough
melee weapon equipped for Johnathon, it's easy to overwhelm an enemy's
physical defense. I only ever used Charlotte when one of her spells
came in handy to heal or access a secret area. Also, if you have
enough magic points, you can execute a Marvel Vs. Capcom-style combo
attack, in which your two characters will team up to bring the pwnage
to whatever unfortunate ghoul you're fighting.

PoR is addictive, but it's definitely not perfect. After beating
the first four levels, you get the pleasure of playing through them
again with rearranged rooms, tougher enemies, and different bosses.
I've never been a fan of recycling levels or bosses, but it wasn't a
huge problem for me here, because it meant fighting enemies with more
EXP and better item drops. Nonetheless, it felt like a cop-out, and
I'd have liked to have seen some added original levels. Speaking of
originality, the 4 levels that get recycled are a town (that might be
the town surrounding the castle), a pyramid, a carnival/funhouse, and
a wooded area/academy. I thought the pyramid and funhouse were
especially out of place, generic level concepts, but like I said
before, I was too busy hacking away to be too bothered.

There were a couple things that did annoy me, however minor they
might be. The first of which is the fact that item pickups (with the
exception of enemy-dropped items) are unique. Once you pick up an
item, that's it. The problem here, is that some of the optional quests
require finding one or several of these items. I came across a couple
and sold them before the quests opened up, and now there's no way to
complete those quests without knowing someone who has the game,
getting them to link up, and buying the items from them(via the wifi
shop mode), but then they'd be S.O.L. Also, in order to find much of
the game's secrets, you need to destroy breakable walls, floor, and
ceilings to access hidden areas. These breakable walls look no
different from any other surfaces, however, so without a certain rare
item, you literally need to attack every surface in the castle and its
levels if you want to conquer all PoR has to offer.

So, it's got a few little problems, but in terms of sheer fun,
Castlevania Portrait of Ruin has turned out to be the best game I've
played on the DS. The 2D graphics are pretty basic, but the animations
are all top notch, with quality backgrounds and the occasional 3D
enemy or effect. The voice work is also well done, though hearing each
character yell the others' name every time you switch can get old. As
for the music, it's standard Castlevania's all moody and
atmospheric, but isn't as memorable as some of the older titles.
If I were to rate PoR on an out of 10 scale I'd give it an easy 9. If
they had put a little more work into the level designs, thought of the
annoying little quirks, and made the 2-character gameplay a necessity,
this game would be perfect. Also, I should note that the touch screen
capabilities aren't used at all in the main game, with the action
taking place on the bottom screen, and maps and enemy and character
stats on the top screen.
Here's a video of some in-game action that does a pretty good job of showcasing the game.

Verdict - Buy this game 9/10

Sunday, February 18, 2007

XBOX 360 promoting PS3 down under?

Microsoft's Xbox 360 was apparently used to promote the Playstation 3 recently by an Australian electronics store called Harvey Norman. WTF?
As you can see by the photograph, there's a cardboard cutout sitting overtop something in a pretty display case. Because Australia hasn't actually received any PS3s yet, this is the only way to advertise, apparently.

Its unknown as to what exactly the Xbox 360 is doing underneath the display cutout. Is it promoting Xbox360 games as Playstation 3 games? Are they using it to play videos about how wonderful the PlayStation 3 is? They may as well sell the Xbox 360 and give up on the PS3, but that's just my opinion if they are this desperate.

The photo and information was taken from Xbox360Fanboy's blog site at

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Globalization vs War

Until aliens come to conquer us like in the movie Independence Day, or until we conquer the Final Frontier, Globalization is a foolish idea to me.

The key points to it seem to be that if we unify as a globe economically, then we'll be more peaceful and prosperous. Frankly, I think its stupid. So... China is the key to our manufacturing. United States is the source of education and high-priced, high-tech equipment and services. So, what happens then when someone gets destroyed after we concentrate all our supplies in one country? Its like putting all our eggs in one basket.

So... South Africa makes cheap wool. Well, let's move all the jobs over there. That'll lower prices, neh? What happens when the Aliens bomb South Africa? Or, a chemical disaster wipes out their population? What happens then? The wool market jumps.

Also, look at Columbia and what happened when foreigners came in and planted bananas and only bananas everywhere. That country's entire economy was based on the banana market. If it crashed, columbia starves. No security or anything. But that's what globalization does.

My teacher warns about US-centric market theory, and I don't think this is US-centric, I just don't see globalization as an absolute-good idea.

Globalization and the gaming industry? What happens when I want to make games and all the games are being made in India, or Japan? Right now, this isn't an issue, and most likely won't become one as long as the United States continues to excel at the top of the educational ladder. Not everything stays the same. In the future, things may be different. Well, the word may is optimistic. Things will change, and unless we continue to be as creative as we can be, we will lose our place as the head of innovation.

Note: Japan is seen as the head of innovation for the gaming industry right now for good reasons. Many of our arcades are filled with relics, while theirs are filled with replenished gold.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Xbox360 HardDrive upgrade and Streaming DivX from your PC

I found this interesting site yesterday where it shows you how to modify your xbox in various ways.

The ones that interested me were the hard drive upgrade and the streaming DivX. For those of you who don't know, DivX cannot play on your Xbox 360. Microsoft had DRM issues with the format and therefore is only using its own format, WMV or Windows Media Video files. WMV sucks by the way, DivX has like 2/3 better compression.

Anyway, here's a nice site link:
Xbox 360 Tutorial for Streaming DivX

Also, the harddrive one is here:

Hope these work well for you. There is one other one that hints at the fact that you can reformat your drive, which means... if you buy an SATA Hard drive, and stick it in there, why can't you use that? You can... so there. Just format the drive in the System Tab under Memory. :)

Monday, February 12, 2007

God of War 2 Preview

God of War 2 is being developed by David Jaffe and his crew. The same person who made God of War. Its being released onto the Playstation two on March 13th.

For those who haven't played God of War 1, it was amazing. To describe it, I would have to say it is an intuitive, powerful and puzzling game all at once.

God of War 2 doesn't seem to stray far from this and may even improve on the original formula. Using chains and an orb healing system popular in other games, Kratos, the God of War dispatches many different mythological enemies.

There is magic, which uses a large blue bar. The large green bar is your healthy, I'm assuming.

There seems to be a lot of history and almost humor involved. At one point, you're fighting the Colossus of Rhodes, which was a very very large statue on the island of rhodes in the mediterranean. History has it that an earthquake broke the huge statue, but War destroyed it. The earthquake toppled it in 226 BC, leaving it broken on the ground but still intact for the most part. Then, the Arabs conquered Rhodes in 654AD and disassembled it completely, selling it off to a merchant from Syria. Broken by nature, and Obliterated by War. Perhaps it was Kratos leading the way, huh?
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Other battles include a large Rock Golem, the Barbarian King, Medusa and Cerberus as well.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Most of the more creative parts include a button-tapping minigames instead of cutscenes. Just make sure you press the right button or you could lose a good chance to really hurt your enemies.

And now, a video, courtesy of

Hope this gives you an inkling of what the game is about. See you in stores March 13th!

Friday, February 9, 2007

F.E.A.R. (PC)


F.E.A.R. for the PC was developed by Monolith Productions and published by Vivendi Universal Games in 2006.


Yes, F.E.A.R. came out over a year ago so why should I bother telling you about it? Well, there is one simple answer to this: F.E.A.R. is one of (if not) the best First Person Shooters out there. Newer titles such as Quake 4 and Prey, while being fun, fall short of the suspense, the excitement and the pure goriness of F.E.A.R. Everything from the feel of the weapons to the ambiance of the environment is spot on. Anyway, I'm not really going to give you any background story wise because I don't want to spoil this game for you, but i will cover some of the basic requirements of a good FPS.

  • Like i said, I won't tell you anything about the story, except that you are an operative in an organization in charge of dealing with paranormal activity. The story in F.E.A.R. is above average in terms of FPS games. It is still linear, but in this genre its very hard to get away from this. The plot is interesting, though I found myself ignoring the mission briefings in favor of getting right into the action again. Even without knowing what I was supposed to be doing, however, I still found myself completely immersed in the story. The story itself is very well planned (and freaking scary/weird). While it is no Half-Life 2, it beats the hell out of most other games.
  • Pros: SCARY. I think i pissed myself at least 3 times while playing this game. I had trouble turning this game off. It got to the point where i actually had to tell myself that if i didn't stop it would be over too quickly. There is quite a twist that i won't describe.
  • Cons: It is linear. Now while the pros/cons of linear stories can be debated for hours, I'll just say that its linearity does not detract from the experience. There was also one plot hole (kind of). While nothing major, it left me wondering "What happened with that?"
User Interface/Environment:
  • I figured I'd lump these two together. The interface was basic and intuitive. By this i mean there was the standard HUD with health, ammo, slow-mo meter (which I'll talk about later), and the weapon equipped. There aren't any on screen menus to navigate. Everything you need is assigned to keyboard keys (which i feel is much better than on screen menu navigation). The feel of movement and gun fire is what you would expect from a good FPS. If you've ever played one before you'll pick the scheme and feel up in about 2 minutes. The environment was in an industrial setting. There were no forests or towns just industrial buildings and offices. Unlike DOOM 3, however, it did not become monotonous. Never once was I like "Didn't I play this part three hours ago". I'm not really sure how they achieved it, but the scenery was varied enough that I didn't notice it was the same (if that makes sense). The area layout in F.E.A.R. is superb. You can tear the hell out of people in hallways, open outdoor expanses, and large multi-leveled floors. There is also plenty of things to take cover behind if you find yourself out numbered. Every battle in F.E.A.R was unique, and there were many different ways to get through a group of enemies. This also enabled the A.I. to show itself off. Many times I caught the enemy trying to flank me, by having one or two guys draw my attention as a third and fourth got behind me (and they know the maps well). I lost a good number of health kits because of this.

  • Pros: Easy to use non invasive interface. Learning curve of 5 minutes if you've played a FPS before. The feel of movement and the weighting of the guns was done well. Environments, while being similar, never felt overused and there was plenty of cover to hide behind. Multiple routes through areas combined with stunning A.I. made every battle challenging and different.
  • Cons: None really.
  • The graphics in this game are stunning. Its hard to show in pictures and videos, but believe me... damn. Even a year later with all the improvements in graphics cards, this game still looks amazing. The character models are pretty and the movement is natural. The level of detail that this game is capable of is truly amazing. The decals on walls look good and the blood splatter is killer. It is also possible to blow parts off of enemies. I'm not sure why other games don't incorporate this feature, but i wish they would. Soldier Of Fortune 2 was the last game that I've played where this was possible, and I remember having such a good time with that game. Theres nothing comparable to turning a corner only to find and enemy and then unloading on him with your shotgun and blowing his torso from his legs. The lighting in this game is also amazing. Theres not much you can say that would make the game lighting sound exciting, but believe me, if you play this game you will be impressed. The special effects we nice as well. When you threw a grenade, there was an area of distortion around it when it exploded, which looked cool. Fires looked on par and the rag doll type physics of dead enemies was a nice touch. I could actually sum up this game's graphics with one work: gorgeous. You will be impressed.
  • Pros: Stunning visuals. Top notch textures, amazing effects and lighting. Being able to separate limbs off of enemies is a great addition. I could go on forever about how amazing this game looks. You will not be disappointed by this games graphics.
  • Cons: To get this game to play at maximum detail you need a decent computer. This really isn't a con, because unless you're new to PC gaming, you know what to expect in terms of graphical horsepower from your PC.

Everything Else:
  • First of all, the A.I. in this game is smart. Like i mentioned earlier they know the areas and use them well. Its not uncommon for them to show up behind you and just pwn you. They also take cover well and work as a squad.
  • The sounds in F.E.A.R. are also done well. When you're pumping people with bullets from your automatic you can hear the *squishthunk* of them entering wet bloody meat. The sounds are a key element in game play. If you're hiding around the corner from the enemy you can hear them issuing commands and giving other squad members directions. They will call for reinforcements and alert the others if there is a grenade nearby or if they're throwing one. These cues give you an edge on them and make outmaneuvering them very fun.
  • The variety of weapons in this game is satisfying. You have weapons ranging from the pistol (which can be dual wielded with another pistol) a few assault rifles, a sniper rifle (though not in the strict sense), several types of mines/grenades, and many other weapons that you can use to slaughter the hell out of the opposition. While I'm on the subject of weapons, you are limited to carrying three gun type weapons (you can carry all the grenade types at once). This works well and adds some planning to your arsenal.
  • The slow motion in this game is necessary. This game is not a run and gun shooter. you will need to use tact, especially when you're in an open area with a lot of enemies. In these types of scenarios the slow-mo is especially useful. Whether you want to get to cover while unloading on an enemy or you want to thin them out a bit by taking the extra time you now have to line up head shots (which is how i usually use this). The slow-mo meter doesn't last all that long and needs time to refill. This makes the game more challenging/fair.
  • Pros: Great A.I. and useful sounds make getting the drop on enemies possible and fun. The rang of weaponry is nice and the limit on how many you can carry is appropriate. The sow motion also works well, and does not seem ripped off.
  • Cons: None really. The one assault rifle is kinda of useless, but thats just my personal opinion. My friend actually loves it. Sometimes the computer will yell "He's flanking" when in reality I'm hiding behind a crate (If this sounds like nitpicking its because thats what you have to do to find cons about this game).

  • F.E.A.R. is the best FPS I've ever played (Actually its tied with Half-Life 2). I have no complaint about any part of this game. It is wonderfully polished. There was never a time that I (or the A.I.) saw through a wall or got stuck in one. The game was challenging but not overly difficult. All in all this game is FUN. Not only is it fun, but it's pretty. Sometimes a game can be on or the other (take Doom 3. It was pretty, but it got kind of boring). What makes a game truly great is a combination of both. If you haven't played this game yet, please do yourself a favor and buy it. You will not regret it.
  • Now I'm going to score it. Please remember these scores are based on my personal opinion.
    • Overall: 10
      • One of the best games I've ever played
    • Graphics: 10
      • Even for a 1 year old game it looks fantastic.
    • Sound: 9
      • Great use and variety of sound.
    • Gameplay: 10
      • Good story. The controls feel good, as do movement and the weapons.
    • Replayability: 8
      • I've re loaded this game on my computer several times to play through again. The online play is alright, though not as fun as the single player (to me).
Buy/Rent/Trash: Buy this game right away.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

N-Gage 2?

Ha ha, you wanna hear something funny?

Nokia N-Gage 2.

There there, did that make you laugh? :D

I'm looking for more information on it, just gimme a sec.

And by the way, their site sucks. So if they maintain their game console/cellphone like they maintain their site then it is going to suck hard.

Ha ha ha, I just watched their video, and their slogan right now is "When it comes to N-Gage, all roads lead to play." And they have this woman saying it, its so silly because she is definitely NOT excited about it at all.

Anyway, apparently the details from the flash video they have hidden on the site is that its just a cellphone with an achievement-like system set up including gaming profiles with your friends.

Check it out:

That's about it. The system looks to be tastefully done, and are apparently backed by EA's Mobile division and some company GameLoft which seems to be a development company purely devoted to mobile play.

What do I think? This is crap. The system may work well, but this won't compare with the new Apple Iphone, there is just too much hype to compete against. What would make this system great is if your friends would actually buy it, and right now, I don't think that's going to happen. They need a new marketing division. Even Sony's guerilla marketing (Youtube video : "All I want for Christmas is a PSP") is better than this.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Bully (PS2)

Bully for the Playstation 2 was developed by Rockstar Vancouver and published by Rockstar Games October 17th of 2006.
  • User Interface
    • Pros: The User Interface on Bully was fairly easy to use. A lot of the time I did find myself fumbling to find which button was the right one for what I was trying to do. I liked picking the lockers and stuff, and the fact that they usually highlighted where you needed to stand to do certain things was cool. Other very good things they did was to make the world easy to get around in. If you jump high enough to reach the top of the fence, generally you can climb over it. Or, there are other things you can climb too. You can go almost anywhere, but it tends to become useless. The maps were very nicely constructed and polished.
    • Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
    • Cons: The whole thing about sneaking around was cool for a little while, but I got tired of it. Especially when you get caught right when you're about to finish a mission. The skateboarding I found frustrating as well, because I was trying to run away, and then I'd have to like hop off the board to open a door and that's when, of course, the camera angle decides its gonna spin 90 degrees which makes me accidentally go the wrong direction away from the door. Yeah, camera angles definitely got old.
  • Graphic Detail
    • Pros: In most games, you tend to find one or two spots where everything just gets all crazy, rendering-wise. I didn't come across any spots where I was looking through a wall, or through the back of someone's head. But, that's because of what they did with the cameras. Also, since it was a PS2 game, its possible I didn't get the full graphical hit that would come with playing it on a better system, so I'm going to refrain from saying too much about it. It looked just fine for the PS2. The screenshots from GameSpy looked better than the game itself. Lot more anti-aliasing issues than shown.
    • Cons: When you get close to a building, it forces you to spin if you're looking back on yourself so you're not looking through the inside of the building at yourself. Why didn't they just make this transparent or something? I got caught more than once because of the camera issues.
  • Storyline
    • Pros: The storyline was long enough that I doubt many of you would complain about it being too short. Also, it did include seasons as the story progressed, so the graphics changed to snow and such. The storyline wasn't linear either, which was nice. It had a nice thing where if you wanted to do some missions, you could, but you didn't have to. If you want to hate the nerds, go ahead. Don't help them out, instead just beat the crap out of them and take their money. Man, some of them were trying to be hideous.
    • Cons: Maybe some people are into the whole going back and doing things over again, but I really didn't enjoy revisiting my high school years. I thought the other students were all a little too agressive. I became frustrated. I was trying to do a mission for them, and they were all like, "I hate you, Jimmy, F*** you." And it wasn't just one nerd saying it, it was like all of them, saying just one or two lines. You'd think there'd be more than just two lines for them to say about hating you so much.
  • Fun Factor
    • Pros: Not for me.
    • Cons: I guess maybe this game wasn't targeting me, but I really didn't enjoy it. Most of the time, I had to keep telling myself, "It'll get better soon, just play it a litlte more and you'll unlock something really cool, I'm sure." I tried to stick with it, but cherry bombs, sticky things, marbles, and everything else just didn't do it for me. And, as I've reiterated several times, Bad Camera Angles Ruin Games. That's BCARG.
The Wrap-Up! This game, while polished and clean, tends to be frustrating because of camera angles and unsatisfying combat/bullying. It is intense to run away from the good guys/bad guys, right up until you get caught because the camera angle swings around to some awkward angle. That's when you breathe the Last Sigh. The sigh the signifies that this game will not be being played much longer if it keeps up this bad behavior. Severe Intensity must include Perfect Gameplay or it will achieve Complete Disappointment. And that's where I put this game. Intensely Disappointing.

Definitely worth a rent.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

David Jaffe's Blog link

Just found this awesome blog by David Jaffe, developer of God of War and Calling All Cars. Check it out on the links to the right.

He did a focus test recently, and was posting live blogs about it. Its very funny, and should be read. Especially if you want to know part of what really goes on inside developers' heads.

Friday, February 2, 2007

No Next-Gen Contest

It has been said by many that there is a heavy competition between these three consoles and it is going to be a war. I would have to agree that there is a limited money source, and they are definitely all competing for the same money. Yet, I find it difficult to believe they are all competing in the same race.

The three systems; the Sony Playstation 3, the Nintendo Wii, and the Microsoft Xbox 360 are three completely distinct consoles and can be viewed quite simply in this way.

Xbox 360: In 3-4 months, it will be seen how limited this hardware is when compared to the Playstation 3. Yet, developing for the Xbox 360 has been seen as relatively easy with their powerful development tools and large US customer base. As well, for any game that wishes to be online, the XBOX 360 is the only place to be. Ignore the pricing here for a second and think purely of online performance and matchmaking. There shouldn't be any argument. The Simple Truth about Xbox 360 is that it is the Online Now machine.

Nintendo Wii:
This is yesterday's System of Nostalgia. It is easy to build, efficient and intuitive on all fronts. Ignore the corporations trying to shove the Living Room Media Center garbage down your throat and maybe you can see what this is. Its fun. Its a party system. It is not meant to be played online. It is meant for you to invite over all of your friends, grab a bunch of controllers and just go at it. No wires, no strings attached (except the extreme rarity and cost of the controllers). Just be gentle. Laughs are guaranteed.

Playstation 3: Despite all rumors, this is a great device. The only problem is that it is built for the future. And for once, it is not bull coming out of Sony's mouth. This system is a year ahead of its time. It may not be a great system right now, but give it 1-2 years and nothing will come close. The System of Tomorrow.

So who wins? That's like trying to say "He won the olympics because he won the hurdle race!" "No no no, it was the pole-vaulter!" "What are you two talking about, he won because he broke the world record in breast stroke!"

They are three completely different consoles, each with their own qualities. Which do you want, a system you can play tonight online, a system you can play with friends tomorrow, or a system that might work really really nicely in a year or two? Hey, that's your choice, but in the end, everybody wins.

Gears of War Review (Xbox360)

Gears of War is an excellent game on the Xbox 360 developed by Epic Games. Epic Games is the same company that created the Unreal Tournament engine, famous for use throughout most high-end graphical games. It was published by Microsoft and released November 7th, 2006.
  • User Interface:

o Pros: Excellent player interaction. Menus are easy to read on a standard definition TV. Options are robust enough that you can change things to make sure they are the way you like them. Setting up the cooperative play is simple. The cover system on the control scheme is amazingly simple and innovative. How many people with guns run through a field shooting at their enemies while juking/jumping up and down? Usually we sit behind cover and blast them while they're reloading. Reminded me of the arcade game Time Crisis. This is good.

o Cons: None. Some minor bugs with the engine, especially online.

· Graphic Detail:

o Pros: Amazing detail. It looks great on an SDTV using composite cables. I can't imagine what it would look like with components and maybe progressive scan. 720p, 1080p, whatever, it would just look amazing. The texturing is amazing, and the whole color style of the Gears of war world really immerses you.

o Cons: In some places, minor bugs jump out, and sometimes you can't grab this gun because its on top of this shelf. And the environment, while mildly interactive, could use even more work. The whole "shooting the wall makes this circular black texture that disappears" thing was cool back around Duke Nukem 3D. Make some new particle physics so we can really chew away the wall if we so chose. or the chair, or the bleach bottle.

· Storyline:

o Pros: Good storyline. Not completely random, it actually makes some sense if you really felt like diving into it. I'm glad they didn't put more of a focus on it, because we really just came here to kill some bad guys. Replayability is strong with multiple difficulty levels and multiple paths.

o Cons: As you will always hear, it is linear. You can't go the wrong way, you can't do the wrong thing. Only one way forward really. Some would argue that there is more than one way, because of all the paths; but no, its still linear.

· Fun Factor:

o Pros: This game is a lot of fun. There are many ways to kill a bad guy, including shooting them in the knees and then walking up and stomping them to death. My favorite is the Grenade Tag. My friend and I killed General RAAM (final boss) with a grenade tag after a couple of preparation shots. Also, I'm glad for once that the bad guys aren't the only ones who can use the turrets. For once in a game, we get to turn around and shoot right back at them. I have shot some of them so hard with a turret, that my friend was like, "I was just shooting at this guy, and then he evaporated in front of the turret!" Yes, that's what I call fun. Then, you can kick around their bodies for even more enjoyment. Oh, how delicious this is.

o Cons: Cons? I dunno, some of the levels got kind of old. The kryll annoyed me after awhile.

Wrap-Up: Great game, with high replayability. 10 out of 10. Terrifying, cinematic, thrilling, and fun. Definitely better than watching a movie, kinda felt like we were playing one instead. Play with a friend!

Buy/Rental/Never: BUY!