Posts Tagged "Review"


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Telltale's been trying something new, a pilot program as a means of trying out new ideas and blossoming creativity. Puzzle Agent is the first output from that project.


Not knowing anything about the game at the outset, and somewhat put-off by the screenshots and videos that were showcased on Steam I didn't pick this up when it was first launched at $9.99. I actually waited until this game hit the iPhone/iPad and picked it up on my iPod Huge (iPad) instead of Steam. Given the length of the game, that's wasn't a bad idea, I was able to get through it in a couple of hours.

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Reviewing Operation Arrowhead (OA) is a tricky thing to me for many reasons. For one, I'm a huge huge fan of ARMA 2, with over 150 hours clocked in the game over the past year. Secondly, the ARMA series seem to epitomize PC gaming as a whole for me; offering an experience that just wouldn't be possible on consoles. Certainly there are other games, and genres that are designed for the PC - RTS and MMO games come to mind, but ARMA is wholly unique, it's something you just can't get in any other game.

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Shattered Horizon is unlike any game I've played in 2009, and most likely anything else I'm going to play in the near future. In a genre (multiplayer team-shooter) where each game is trying to distinguish itself in some significant way from Modern Warfare or Team Fortress 2, Shattered Horizon takes a truly novel approach. You get one weapon with three attack modes, there is no gravity, and you're in a true three dimensional environment. At first glance the game seems to have very little to it, but there are many hidden subtleties that make Shattered Horizon a winner.

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DiRT 2 Reviewed

Marc "AlabasterSlim" Sutherland
December 12th 2009 @ 9:35 am EST

DiRT 2 races on to the scene in a flurry of mud, shiny graphics, flashy menus and fun physics.

I don't generally like sims, which is why I probably enjoy DiRT 2 so much. It's distant enough from a sim racer to be enjoyable without being as far out as something like Flatout or Burnout. My first experience with a Codemaster's racing game was with GRID, a fun game that left me frustrated with the multiplayer experience and wanting to take those cars off-road. With DiRT 2 I'm able to finally get dirty (I'm so sorry).

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Guybrush Threepwood returns in Tales of Monkey Island, the fifth Monkey Island game. Those of you who have played previous games may remember subtle references to an unbreakable five game contract many of the characters mentioned. A decade ago I was eager for a fifth game and I never really gave up hope. Tales certainly delivers; it's the strongest Monkey Island game yet.

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Last night I had my first chance to play Left 4 Dead 2. Although the demo was good, it didn't really give a good impression of what the full game is like. Wow.

Just.

Wow.

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This weekend The Orange Box is on sale for $9.99

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This weekend Tomb Raider: Anniversary is on sale for $4.99.

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World of Goo, 2008 IGF Winner for Design Innovation and Technical Excellence, is on sale this weekend for $4.99


Is it worth it?

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How can you avoid a game like BioShock?  It's been hyped for years, and besides that, the reviews it's received upon release almost guarantee a perfect game.  96% as an average score is no small accomplishment, and it was with this information that I bought the game on release day over Steam.

To preface my thoughts further, I'll be comparing this game a lot to Half-Life 2 , a game which has an identical score on Metacritic.   They're both generic FPS games, meaning that neither are trying to be overly tactical or reinforce realism.  

The first thing I took note of with BioShock were the graphics, particularly the water.  It's pretty, but it was a little disappointing at the same time.  Ken Levine (designer of the game) made a point of drawing attention to the water in many of his interviews, saying it would be the most realistic water in any game, ever.  While it does look very good, it never actually behaves like water.  Every tiny river or stream you see was placed there on purpose, and in some cases it shows.  I was under the impression that they had programmed this water so that the developers could designate a source and then let gravity and physics determine the flow.   

Aside from that the graphics are very good.  It's running on Unreal Engine 3, which is certainly shiny.   

 Sometimes a little too shiny, all of the characters look like they were made out of wax.    

The things this game got right were the action, and the fun feel of an FPS game.  For the first few levels I had a real feeling of tension as I never knew what would be waiting for me around the next corner.  After a while however, the levels became pretty repetitive and I always knew when the enemies had respawned (something I hate in games).

The story was pretty standard FPS fare, with a "twist" in the middle.  Naturally, after this twist there was very little in the way of story and you were basically just working your way towards the conclusion.  I'm not upset about the story, what I am upset about is how it was delivered:

You never interact with any characters face to face.  The only interaction you ever have, is listening to people talk to you over a radio.  Beyond that, the history of the city is brought to you courtesy of tape recorders lying around everywhere.  Not tapes, the entire recorders.  How exactly did they get there?  Why were so many people walking around dictating their personal thoughts onto recorders that they'd use once and then leave behind wherever they were?  It's a lazy way to give backstory to your world and I see way too many games using this crutch; Doom 3, FEAR, No One Lives Forever...

Take a look at Half-Life 2; there were actual citizens in the cities.  You'd actually see them being oppressed, or see them struggling against the system trying to eek out a living.  Along the walls there is graffiti, depicting the struggle against the combine, pictures of combine soldier holding a baby - a symbol of the loss since the suppression field stopped everyone's reproductive systems.  It makes you feel like you're a part of the world.

Granted, BioShock has posters around with propaganda, but without those other elements it doesn't have the same "punch."  The world feels like a video game, something reinforced by the loading screens you see whenever you change levels.  

For people who enjoy shooters BioShock is a good experience; on par with games like FEAR.  However, Half-Life 2 this is not, and it certainly doesn't deserve the uninhibited praise it's been getting since launch.

Bottom Line
70%

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Latest Comments


By UK_John
in Now Available - X Superbox on 2010-10-16
This is all well and good, but why has no media asked
the question: "What about the fans that diligently
went out and bought each X-game when they were
released?" I am one of them, as why shouldn't I ...


By RandomEngy
in OnLive - It Actually Works on 2010-10-12
I was in the beta. Everything felt off and
non-responsive. Though I have not checked them out
since they've released, since even if it got rid of
the lag it would still be a lot uglier than a locally
...


By AlabasterSlim
in GOG Closure a Hoax - Chance to Promote Baldur's Gate on 2010-09-22
Updated the original post with that video. I dunno, I
think it was in poor taste personally. But if you
don't have any money for advertise I guess you do what
you need to do.


By Scott
in GOG Closure a Hoax - Chance to Promote Baldur's Gate on 2010-09-22
I actually liked the publicity stunt. I watched the
live video of them this morning in their cult robes.
I think they realized the only way to get the
attention of the entire gaming community was to...


By AlabasterSlim
in GOG.com Shuts Down on 2010-09-21
Guess it's just a publicity stunt after-all. Pretty
lame though.


By Xan
in GOG.com Shuts Down on 2010-09-21
http://www.gog.com/ They posted an update, the movie
in the link shows a game they didn't have before
"Baldurs Gate Complete Edition"


By AlabasterSlim
in GOG.com Shuts Down on 2010-09-21
I'd be surprised to see it get a client, unless that
client is optional. One of the selling points of GOG
that they kept going on about was that you didn't need
a client. I'd be even more surprise...


By Xan
in GOG.com Shuts Down on 2010-09-20
From various sources it seems to be a bad publicity
stunt. http://polygamia.pl/Polygamia/1,107162,8397342
,GOG_sie_zamyka__Raczej_nie.html?bo=1 "Warning, date
of conference it’s most likely Wed...


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By Valve Software
in The Valve Merchandise Store - New Items and Big Savings! on 2010-11-26
Give the gift of Valve Merchandise! Many new items and sales are now available at The Valve Merchandise Store!
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By Valve Software
in The Polynomial Update Released on 2010-11-26
Updates to The Polynomial have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:New features:Massive improvements to the music an...

By Valve Software
in Weekly News: Recommended For You and What We're Playing on 2010-11-26
By now we’re all used to having computers tell us what they think we’ll like. If you’re like us, some internet-retail superbrain has decided that you’re very interested in anything...

By Valve Software
in Now Available: MX vs ATV Reflex on 2010-11-26
MX vs ATV Reflex is now available on Steam.Think fast and hang on to your ride as you take independent control of the rider and take the ultimate test of mettle!
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By Good Old Games
in The Witcher 2 - Editions and Pre-order on GOG announcement video on 2010-11-26
As you all know, last week CD Projekt held a conference where different editions of the upcoming The Witcher 2 game were revealed and The Witcher 2 Digital Premium Edition pre-order on GOG.com was ann...

By Impulse
in Shop From the Comfort of Your PC With Our Impulse Thanksgiving Sale on 2010-11-26
Just a reminder that the big Impulse Thanksgiving Sale is still going on!  Today is Black Friday, a day where people traditionally get up very early and head to the stores to pickup some great ho...

By Good Old Games
in Age of Wonders series 50% off on 2010-11-26
After last week's Ubisoft sale you may have thought we'll give you a break from deals you cannot pass. If so, then you were wrong :) This weekend we're offering you the whole Age of Wonders trilogy wi...

By Good Old Games
in We've got the results for the movie-game poster mashup contest! on 2010-11-25
Wow! We received over 100 entries in our movie poster mashup contest, and they were all great examples of the GOG community's creativity and talent. We've been passing the entries around the office al...