Full Auto Review

Full Auto   Full Auto is an interesting game – it’s basically a Burnout clone with weapons and incredibly gaudy vehicles. It’s certainly not the best looking, sounding or playing Xbox 360 game out there, and it probably needed a bit more spit and polish before being pushed out the door. But you know what? It’s surprisingly fun, and in the end that’s all that matters. Full Auto at first glance appears to be just another racing game with suped up, blinged out cars and huge crashes. But the addition of Spy Hunter-style weapons, and the “unwreck” feature mixes it up enough to make it feel original. The entire game revolves around racing against rival vehicles, all while racking up a huge score by either blowing them up or causing as much damage to the environment as possible. The actual driving involved is basic, arcade level stuff at best, and definitely isn’t deep by any definition. Even with all the crashing, flying cars and explosions, it’s usually not a problem to keep things under control. Each vehicle can be outfitted with a pair of weapons, which can be fired either forward or backwards. Munitions such as mines and smokescreens are used to deter/damage enemies which are trailing you, and guided missiles and machine guns can rip through innocent and enemy vehicles as well as blow apart trackside structures. Naturally, these rivals will be gunning for you as well. Your car has a number of shields to protect the four sides of your car, and when one is compromised, the next hit may mean the end of your vehicle. Although being destroyed just delays you for a few seconds and places you right back in the race, it’s better off to not make a habit of it, especially later on in …

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Darksiders Review

Darksiders Review   The storyline follows the player character of War, one of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse from the traditional Bible. Causing Heaven and Hell to battle it out on Earth, and in the process wipes out all of humanity. War believes that he was summoned, and that the seals were broken, meaning he didn’t screw anything up. However, the powers that be let him know otherwise, and he’s going to be punished unless he can try and set things straight, or at least get some old fashioned vengeance in. The character of War isn’t a particularly likeable guy, you can’t really relate to him, and he doesn’t have much of a character arc. It’s hard to say he’s developed, even less so than other stoic action figures like Dante or Kratos, so it’s kind of hard to really get wrapped up in the storyline. There are certainly segments in the game that elicit the occasional “Hell Yes!”, but outside of those big, banner moments, the story isn’t too hot. In order to figure out what went wrong, War needs to team up with a couple demonic forces, most notably the demon Samael (which looks a lot like the demon in the 80’s film Legend), who sends War off to various locations to collect the hearts of the Chosen. To get to these different locations, you have a small hub world section to explore, and some type of random obstacle, like ice or fire crystals, that block off each path to a new area. To remove these barriers you’re going to need a specific tool or two, and these are always found within the previous area’s dungeon. This is where the Zelda comparison kicks in, as each dungeon plays out in a similar fashion to just about every …

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Call of Duty 3 : Review of the decade

Call of Duty 3 : Review of the decade   Call of Duty 3 is a good game that, it probably would have appealed to a broader audience. And there in lies the problem objectively there isn’t much to passionately dislike about CoD3; subjectively, however, it feels like a slightly watered-down CoD game, missing the spark that made CoD and CoD2 exceptional (I won’t count Big Red One or United Offensive). CoD3 just misses the mark of living up to its namesake, but being labeled a fully fledged sequel (and being priced accordingly), that’s a stigma it will have to live with regardless of its strengths. Ironically one of the new tweaks to CoD3’s single player story, that was supposed to enhance the mode, actually ends up being one of the game’s major banes. Treyarch decided to make the story more cohesive; instead of having the game play out across disconnected missions by various allied forces (which has been the case with the previous CoD titles), CoD3 takes place across completely linked missions in which different objectives are performed by the different allies. So in the game you end up playing as Polish, British, Americans, and Canadians soldiers at different portions of the campaign all in an attempt to complete one main objective Oh right, the campaign. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the main campaign because it was so dull. The gist is that you control various allied soldiers following the Normandy invasion as they try to liberate France; I think. It sounds cool in a Saving-Private-Ryan-type of way, but in actuality it’s more like a bunch of generic, nameless battles for 8 to 10 hours. Vehicular based missions, like tanks and jeeps, do a decent job mixing up gameplay throughout the campaign. Although I’m making it sound …

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Call of Duty 2 Reviewed

Call of Duty 2 Reviewed   An unbelievable example of what the Xbox 360 can do and a great first person shooter.   Looking at the lineup of games for the groundbreaking Xbox 360, you’ll no doubt notice that it is dominated by a majority of EA sports titles and first person shooters. Of the games in the latter genre, only Call of Duty 2 particularly appealed to me. Having played the prequel and its expansion on the PC I am quite familiar with the game’s intensity and dramatic representation of World War II. I imagine it’s one of, if not the, best World War II game around. I figured if any first person shooter had the potential to really exercise the capabilities of this next generation system, this game would be the one. Which is why I’m playing it again on Veteran difficulty (that and a load of gamer points). As a reviewer of games, I consider it rare to actually complete a game. There are just so many out there to review. When I find myself completing a game and then playing it again just to relive the experience I had the first time through, I can tell we have a winner. Let me start the details of by discussing the graphics of this particular game. Call of Duty on the PC achieved game of the year and for obvious reason. It was a beautiful game with realistic explosions and artfully crafted environments. Call of Duty 2 on the Xbox 360 takes everything from the PC versions, increases the number of soldiers onscreen to an alarming degree, adds unbelievably realistic particle effects (explosions, smoke, snow, and fire) and runs the whole thing in high definition with a frame rate that never once slowed down the entire time I …

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Bomberman: Act Zero Review

Bomberman: Act Zero Review   Bomberman has been around for eons, yet no one has improved on the now classic game play. The premise allows you and guests to drop into a block-filled maze, strategizing one way or another to blow the other to smithereens – rinse and repeat. For a party game, Bomberman game was da bomb (pun intended), but as a single player title against bots, the series never found its nitch. Hoping the move to next generation consoles would conjure some sparks to fly in the cerebral cortex, the next Bomberman title has hit the Xbox 360. Alas, the game fails to do anything more than what was expected, and in some circumstances, it does less. Read on if you dare. The first thing you will notice in Bomberman is the face lift of the characters and universe to mimic some kind of uber futuristic, Halo wannabee, domo arigato Mr. Roboto atmosphere. Gone is the cutesy colorful look once loved by fanatics of the series, and without their permission or consent, the developers decided to take matters into their own hands and appeal to the blind masses. What s more, it just looks okay. There is a nice reflection off of metal surfaces, lighting is so-so, but to call this a next gen title is absurd. The additional mode, called first person battle , is really a third person closer view of the action, which kills any strategy and turns more into a game of hide and seek than anything else. Unfortunately, once you’ve seen one level, you have seen them all as only the block placement and colors of your foes will alter throughout the 99 levels of game play. Thankfully, the gameplay is still more or less the same. You wander around each map placing …

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Army of Two The 40th Day Review

Army of Two The 40th Day Review   Salem and Rios are back, this time they take their destructive exploits to Shanghai to help the city survive from total catastrophe, without causing too much chaos themselves. Using a new engine, new A.I. and sporting a ton of new co-op moves that are both humorous and destructive while making their point, the twosome can be oh so gruesome. The first Army of Two game was a very addictive, albeit short adventure that was only short on fun for the single player. The only real feature it lacked was more things that you and a friend could do. This has been all but rectified in Army of Two: The 40th Day, well…all but the single player experience, which still is blah comparatively to grabbing a friend and going to town. This is not to say that the single player’s issues haven’t been fixed by any means. The A.I. is vastly improved on all accounts. No longer does it feel canned, as you’ll notice things like your partner switching weapons to coincide on the choice you are making, playing possum when you do, and really just seeming to read your thoughts and actions more attentively than the first title. The enemy A.I. is also improved as you will no longer just be at target practice as they will take cover, grab wounded enemies and pull them out of danger and even heal them, and set up their attacks more covertly which not only makes things increasingly more difficult, but varying the experience when playing through a second time. The multiplayer is where the game really shines as playing with a partner, using a better aggro system that detects your enemies positions, a GPS system, and morality choices make things much more interesting. It’s …

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Prey Game Review

Prey Game Review   Prey has been in development for 10 or so years and if you’ve been waiting that long (like me) there is a good chance you’ll be disappointed. Had it come out around 2000, when it was supposed to, it might have been considered a great game. However, over the past five years alone we’ve had two Halos, Far Cry, Doom 3, a Half-Life sequel, as well as expansions/additions/mods for all of them. While these FPSs might or might not tickle your fancy, the fact of the matter is that they have all chipped away from what made Prey so unique when it was first announced. As such Prey feels weak in comparison to its former self. I’m not saying the game completely blows ass, just that a lot of its potential for greatness evaporated over that decade (especially the last half). What 3D realms and Human Head tried to do with the game is cool and, in their own right, I can appreciate the new(er) concepts and mechanics they implemented. However, because the new elements have very little purpose other than to make your life in the game more difficult, it’s hard to support them as a viable, gameplay-enriching feature in their current form. Instead the portals, wall walking, and gravity rooms feel very gimmicky. Earlier on in the game they seem neat but once they lose their luster, which happens quickly because of their triteness, they end up being nothing more than hassles. A perfect example are the wall-walkways; rather than being able to progress through levels normally, you have to deal with powering on the wall-walkways whose on switch is in the same room I mean, whats the point in having it powered off in the first place when all you make me do …

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Rabbids Go Home Review

Rabbids Go Home Review   This game is a hell of a lot more fun than it should be. I haven’t been a big fan of the direction the Rayman franchise has headed on the Wii, with the multiple party mini-game collections depicted in Rayman Raving Rabbids, it’s sequel, and the TV Party spin-off. However, you can count me in as someone who liked the idea of the Rabbids as a nonsensical foil to Rayman. So when I heard that they were finally making an adventure platforming style game starring the Rabbids characters, naturally my curiosity was piqued. While Rabbids Go Home isn’t going to keep you entertained for more than 6 hours or so, and the difficulty falls a bit too far on the easy side, it’s still one of the more smile-inducing titles I’ve played this year, offering up plenty of visual and audio gags that’ll have you laughing along with the Rabbids with the same maniacal intensity they seem to possess. The story makes about as much sense as the Rabbids themselves, who have decided that they’ve had enough of Earth and now feel the need to head to the Moon, which they decided the best mode of transportation would be to build a giant tower of trash to get there. Two Rabbids, one that fits inside a shopping cart and the other that pushes it, takes off into the sewers and pop out at various exits, which serve as the stages you’ll come across. There’s a variety of mundane human locations that serve as the stages, like a Office Building with various restricted zones, a large sprawling Grocery / Department Store, and there’s even a City block that serves as a hub world of sorts. The locations themselves are pretty entertaining, using various human characters to …

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Rumble Roses XX Review

Rumble Roses XX Review   Since DOA is a convincing seller amongst the Xbox crowd, it seemed fitting that the sequel to the PlayStation 2 female wrestling game would find its way onto the Xbox 360. Rumble Roses XX delivers in a few areas, fails to impress in others, and overall, the fans of the original will likely get the most out of the game. Sure, the fights take place in a ring or a ring of sorts, and there are quite a few wrestling moves, holds, and finishers, but the actual game play keeps the game from appealing to the wrestling fans. I guess this is good or bad depending on who you are. It’s great if you like just straight up fighting games, bad if you are a hardcore wrestling fan. Visually the game has its impressive moments and can very well be called a launch window/next gen title. The character models are well designed or very well designed if that is your thing. Each female grappler has a unique look, attitude, and animations. The intros are long, pre canned, and sometimes quite humorous. It is obvious that the influence comes more from Japanese wrestling and not from what we know here in the states. The animations are solid, especially in replicating the actual wrestling moves, which all flows together nicely and are sometimes quite impressive. There unfortunately isn’t much interaction with objects outside the ring, so now Devon doesn’t have to get the tables. This ties in with the fact that the rings are too small, which doesn’t give you much room to maneuver. I was also upset to see that there wasn’t any create a wrestler, only customize, which is very limiting and tries to make you believe that with adjustments more wrestlers exists. The game’s …

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Test Drive Unlimited

Test Drive Unlimited   Racing games come and go. Some we play, hate or forget, others we love and remember and anxiously await a follow-up upon completion. In the past, you can pass fair judgment to say that the Test Drive series lies in the doomed hate or forget column due to poor physics, uninteresting game play and visuals, and very little innovation compared to other racing games. Well like it or not, the series is back, but in a surprise move, has reinvented itself as a fantastic racing game that is not only deep and addicting, but actually makes earning achievement points and online racing make sense. Set in Oahu, the heart of the Hawaiian Islands, you will race in the very first M.O.O.R. or Massively Open Online Racing title. What this means that there is not a need for mode changes, loading screens, or main menu kickbacks in order to play online. You may drive freely through the land of Oahu completing single player tasks, then instantly jump in a race against a real life opponent online either in a one on one challenge or by joining them in a numerous amount of multiplayer races. While only eight players seems a bit low for multiplayer excitement, the number of drivers is suitable for this title. The roads in the game are generally very narrow and twisty, and too many cars would prove to be annoying more than anything. Even more impressive is the fact that the game is set in real mileage (or kilometers depending on your region) which means you may be in for a very long ride if your race spans over 100 miles. With over 1000 miles of terrain, you will be driving well over 100 hours if you want to do or see everything …

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