Review: Star Wars Republic Commando

Posted on January 3, 2011 by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

There is one outstanding game mechanic in SWRC, and that is that you can never really die. When you “die” you are really just incapacitated. And when you are incap’d, you have the ability to force the AI to come heal you or to make them follow current orders (btw, the menu looks awesome here).

Republic Commando has another amazing game mechanic, and that is to be an utterly INANE, EXTREMELY GENERIC FIRST PERSON SHOOTER. There is absolutely nothing else in this game that makes RC stand out against other games. It’s like the developers just gave up after making it just like Rainbow Six or any Tom Clancy game.

That’s not to say it’s a terrible game…well..actually, come to think of it, Star Wars Republic Commando is pretty bad. The levels can be rather confusing and full of tedious objectives and enemies (many of which [I’m looking at you Super Battle Droid] have obscene amounts of health and take forever to die).

Hell, the story isn’t all that great. They even pull the same stupid “Your team will be split up for the rest of the mission, and you will have to save at least one of them” crap that literally every squad FPS game does. Either way, this ended up being my favorite level (the death star like one).

The weapons are rather generic and rarely do anything against any enemy. Most of the time you can kill them with one stab of your Assassin’s Creed wrist blade (I’m not joking). This is a necessity as you’ll have no ammo after all the stupid Super Battle Droids you’ve encountered.

But overall, is it a bad sign that I enjoy dying in an FPS? Maybe. Either way, Republic Commando is the very definition of the word bland.

Verdict: PASS

Comments Off on Review: Star Wars Republic Commando

Review: Transformers War for Cybertron

Posted on January 1, 2011 by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

Let’s face it, the majority of games based on existing properties tend to be really really terrible. But the few gems, like Batman Forever 64 and Transformers: WFC really stand out.

I absolutely adore this game. War for Cybertron is an extremely well executed game. The transforming mechanic feels natural and really contributes to gameplay (unlike what other people say, vehicle mode is a great way to get around and beat bosses). The downside is that a lot of the minibosses are rather generic and can get pretty boring.

But the locations, OH the locations. Whoever was the environmental artist is awesome. The levels look amazing and are easily navigable (there’s a few parts where this isn’t the case).

The singleplayer lasts for quite a while and is a lot of fun to play. The multiplayer is also good. There are a few weapons that are overpowered, but overall, it’s okay. Disappointingly, there are very few people online, with the most I’ve seen being about 132.

Verdict: BUY

Additional Notes:
This game is not a part of the movie series. It does not tie into the movies what-so-ever. Nor is it relatable to the previous games (WFC was made by High Moon Studios. The previous games were made by Traveler’s Tales [who make really crappy games]).

Comments Off on Review: Transformers War for Cybertron

Review: Section 8

Posted on by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

Writing a review about Section 8 is rather difficult. I’m so conflicted with this game. I played the beta for it way way back and I told the developers that the game needed a lot of work.

To tell you the truth, I have not played the full version yet, but I can tell you that if you are looking for a good single player experience, you should look somewhere else.

Section 8 is a hard game to review. It has so many interesting and well executed mechanics (and several poorly executed ones), but it’s broken by unbalanced fractions, obstructive objectives (DCMs) and maps that just fail.

That said, the running system is the best implementation of sprinting I’ve ever seen. It feels natural and looks amazing. Plus the ability to spawn anywhere isn’t too bad. Multiplayer was a lot of fun provided your team actually did anything. But the DCMs were too forced to make the game any fun.

All in all, this is a game you should not pay full price for. It is not worth anything over $10 dollars (judging from the beta).

Verdict: PASS

Comments Off on Review: Section 8

Review: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Posted on December 25, 2010 by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

Let me make myself clear: Prince of Persia: Forgotten Sands is an extremely fun game. It follows the classic formula of the other Prince of Persia games: perform high intensity acrobatics with simplistic combat mechanics and death-defying puzzles. But Forgotten Sands executes this formula so well that I want to almost say it is better than Sands of Time. Almost.

It’s a high quality game and you really should play through it if you are remotely interested. The mostly challenging campaign lasts about 6-9 hours packed with AMAZING graphics. The story, while mostly original, is intriguing until you get your first super power (from there on out, it’s pretty bland).

That said, PoP: FS is very repetitive with the combinations of traps (you will see at least ONE saw-blade down every hallway) and it isn’t until the end of the game do you experience the most rage inducing puzzle/trap in the game.

I like to call this trap/puzzle/GRR RAWR moment event the jumping through walls while solidifying and unsolidifying them. This is pretty much the only time you see how stupid the Prince is, and I quote “HURR DURR, LOOK, EMPTY SPACE. I HATE LEDGES”. Prince jumps to death. This happens absolutely no where else in the campaign until the end.

Another thing to note, this game is best played with a controller. If you do play with one, turn off the Steam overlay. There are some really horrible bugs with the overlay.

After you beat the campaign, you are treated to a great narrative at the end that makes it sound like you get to continue playing after you beat the game. Seriously, the Prince sets you up with this whole “but the hardest part of the journey was meeting my father” and then the screen flashes in the way it does when it loads transitions in levels. Suddenly you are back to the main menu. Game over. Trolls win.

Forgotten Sands has three modes you can play after you are done (though I’m not sure why). Most likely you’ll never play them. For maximum enjoyment, log onto UPlay and unlock the Ezio costume, it makes the game so much better.

Verdict: BUY IF ON SALE

Comments Off on Review: Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands

Review: The Wonderful End of the World

Posted on December 24, 2010 by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

The Wonderful End of the World is basically the closest thing we can get to a Katamari clone on the PC. It’s fun, strange and just plain silly. The game controls are much better than Beautiful Katamari, but they still need work.

If you love Katamari and want a time waster, get this game. Do note, the music is nowhere near as good and the physics are not as tight as they are in the Katamari games. There are plenty of levels to keep you going.

Verdict: DEPENDS

Comments Off on Review: The Wonderful End of the World

Review: LEGO Batman

Posted on by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

Yes, it’s LEGO Batman, and you can just shut up.
I’ve always had a rather rocky relationship with the LEGO games. Mainly because the developers fail to see all the horrible horrible problems with their games, but I buy them because my brother likes to play them and it’s LEGO (who doesn’t like LEGO?).

Best thing is, this review can pretty much reflect any of the LEGO games. The following is an instant award winning review.

Verdict: SKIP

Comments Off on Review: LEGO Batman

Review: Mini Ninjas

Posted on by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

While Mini Ninjas looks like a childish game, I will inform you that it really isn’t. Combine Ninjas, the Thief series, a chibi art style, loads of humor, and the Hitman series and you get Mini Ninjas. The story is well executed and the worlds you travel to are amazing. The visuals are superb!

I really really really cannot stress how much you need to play this game. IO Interactive did a fantastic job with Mini Ninjas, and it’s definitely something you should experience.

The downside is that this is probably a 6-8 hour ride (only if you go for all the items. If you don’t the game lasts about 3-5 hours). The game is so short, but it is a lot of fun and you’ll enjoy it. But do try to find it cheaper than $15 dollars.

Verdict: BUY

Comments Off on Review: Mini Ninjas

Review: Left 4 Dead

Posted on by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

Left 4 Dead is a great zombie game. I definitely prefer this one over L4D2. Left 4 Dead has more believable characters, better atmosphere (plus it is easier to navigate), less of the “aw man, I have to be Jockey again”, more balance, and interesting locations. The downside is that the guns are not that great, but it is forgivable because it adds to the “panic” feeling.

Overall great game. I do advise that you wait until it goes on sale, so that you get a better deal.

Verdict: BUY

Comments Off on Review: Left 4 Dead

Review: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction

Posted on by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews, Xbox360.

To start off, I played this on the Xbox 360 before and beat it. The console version was great (looking over the horrible network issues it has), and the PC version is just as good, HOWEVER: the campaign is littered with mouth sync issues, the invasive DRM makes the game take FOREVER to start-up, audio settings are not as good as the consoles (it’s either can hear them kinda or not at all), the visuals are par with the 360.

IF YOU ARE A VETERAN OF SPLINTER CELL GAMES: This game plays quite a bit differently than previous titles. There is more focus on eliminating all the guards rather than a focus on stealth. Stealth elements are there, but it is nowhere near the same degree as the original Splinter Cell game.

That said, this is definitely a game you should play. It is much easier to get into than previous Splinter Cell games. This is also not a game for children. Violence-wise, this is on the level of a Jason Bourne movie. The key turn off is the amount of language, with the majority of it being rather vulgar.

The story is decent, it’s not to the level of BioWare writing, but it keeps the game going. The locations are fairly large and expansive, which is nice. There are plenty of places to hide in the level, which allows for a fair amount of stealth. I’ve read other reviews that nagged on the combat, but I found no problem with it.

However, the prompts for actions are incredibly small and picky. For example, during one part of the game you are underground and have to crawl on a pipe in order to stealthily get over to the next room. Unfortunately, the pipe intersects with other pipes, so pressing A will either get you to jump over the guard rail (where a million guards are standing, talking about some stupid plans and how “IF I SEE FISHER I’MMA GONNA KILL HIM”) or hop onto the exact pipe you don’t want to be on.

These events happen more than once in the game, though it really does add to the suspense when the game makes you do the direct opposite of what you intended to do.

But even so, this game is a lot of fun and I would definitely recommend it.

Verdict: BUY

Comments Off on Review: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction

Review: Beat Hazard

Posted on by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

Beat Hazard is a fun game, I won’t deny that. But do note that the music analysis system isn’t as in-depth (detecting beat or tempo) or accurate as you would expect. Your bullets are completely powered by your music, so if you have a song that isn’t very intense, good luck completing the level.

It is very difficult to keep track of your ship. Asteroids (when they explode), cause a bunch more asteroids, just to make it more difficult to see anything. Firing at them can produce points, but really, it’s not worth it. The bosses have moves that make it hard to see when they are firing (for example, they can fire this one pixel thick laser that kills you instantly if it hits your ship). The backgrounds change color making it hard to figure out who is firing at who.

Basically, the gameplay is challenging, in a bad way. Music only really affects the power of your ship but nothing else. This is a game you do not play for hours with, this is a game you play a small session just to fight off boredom or something.

However, should you get this game, I highly advise you also purchase the iTunes DLC (should you use iTunes).

Verdict: It depends on your love of music games, but all in all, PASS

Comments Off on Review: Beat Hazard

Review: Metro 2033

Posted on by MASA.
Categories: Gaming, PC, Review, Steam Reviews.

Want to play a less buggy version of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.? Well, here you go. Metro 2033 is pretty much S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (post-apoc. FPS simulator) but with no optimization. Good luck running it on an old machine.

Despite how hard it tries to make itself look scary, it really isn’t. This is like playing DOOM 3 with full bloom and the brightness set to max. The enemies just look odd, but they aren’t that frightening.

As for gameplay, you’ll get lost a lot, the compass that comes with your logbook isn’t very accurate. There is practically no HUD whatsoever in order to keep things both realistic and partially frustrating (just a minor detail really). There are quite a few guns but the majority of them just suck, you’ll use your pistol the most.

Storywise, I’m told this is based off of some book. The book is probably meh (or not, some people tell me the book is nothing like the game), just like the stupid story on the loading screen, oh well.

Overall, Metro 2033 is a game with a decent amount of atmosphere but not much else. It’s also not a very long game (about 8 hours at most).

Verdict: PASS

Comments Off on Review: Metro 2033