Backlog Barrage! Review Edition: 1

Well, due to a multitude of reasons I have fallen severely behind in both keeping up with all the games I have and my reviews. So in order to remedy this I’ve decided to go ahead and make some quick and dirty versions of reviews I haven’t finished and are now sorely overdue. This way, if you’re interested, you can still see what I thought about the games I’ve been playing.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Publisher: Sony  /  Developer: Naughty Dog
Platform: PS3 /  Genre: TPS, Action Adventure  /  Release Date: October 13, 2009

Ok, I don’t think you really need to a review of this game. By now you should have bought this game, beat it, and come to realize how great it is. Unlike some games, Uncharted 2 lives up to all these accolades and all the praise it got. Once again Naughty Dog has crafted a great character driven story that really pulls you into its world. You will visit some truly stunning environments and engage in incredible action sequences. It is impressive just how good this game looks. I think it is the best looking console game to date. Thankfully it isn’t just good looking, but has the gameplay to back it up. The refinements in shooting, traversal, stealth attacks, and melee add up to what is my favorite controlling TPS.  All of the single-player is enough for this game to be one of the best games on the PS3, but then add a really fun and uniquely vertical competitive multiplayer as well as co-op and it takes it to another level. Go out and get this game now if you haven’t played it yet.

SCORE: 10/10

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Lost Planet 2 Publisher: Capcom  /  Developer: Capcom
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC /  Genre: TPS  /  Release Date: May 11, 2010

Lost Planet 2 (LP2) may have underwhelmed many a reviewer or gamer, but if you knew what to expect from it I think it turned out pretty darn good. After spending a large amount of time with both the campaign and multiplayer I have to admit I really enjoy what LP2 has to offer. If you are looking for a Gears of War style game, or a cover based third-person shooter you will be very disappointed. However, if you come to LP2 expecting an experience similar to the original, just with more of an emphasis on online co-op and competitive multiplayer then you will be rather happy.

The game looks  a lot better than the first game, with nice and varied environments and great creature designs. You will get to play as several different factions that inhabit the once frozen world of E.D.N. III. Eventually these opposing come together to work towards one goal. The story is ok, but the ending is kind of just crazy and to be honest I lost track of what it was trying to tell me. But that doesn’t really detract from the fun I had killing large monsters (even more fun with friends in co-op) and unlocking new gear and weapons. Hopefully there will be a Lost Planet 3, and they will refine the systems present in the sequel as well as add a better single player campaign.

SCORE: 8/10

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Assassin’s Creed 2 Publisher: Ubisoft  /  Developer: Ubisoft
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC /  Genre: Action  /  Release Date: November 17, 2009

Unlike a lot of people, I really enjoyed the first Assassin’s Creed. I understood peoples’ complaints, but I thought it was just such a different type of game that took place in a very interesting setting that I could get over some of its short comings. So when they announced a sequel with a lot of fixes, another great location, and set in an interesting time I was really excited about it. Thankfully Assassin’s Creed 2 (AC2) mostly lived up to my initial excitement.

It plays very similar to the first game, but with several needed changes. There is more variety in this game, especially in the weapons and how they are used in combat. In AC2 you can use your trusty throwing knives, different swords and daggers, a simple gun, and even disarm enemies and then use their weapons against them. The simple timing based combat is still present, and rewards you for being observant of your enemies. BEing able to parry, disarm, and attack when there is an opening will make you feel like a real assassin and get you out of sticky situations much faster.

In AC2 you continue the story of Desmond Miles as you access memories through an animus (!!!!). You will spend most of your timing climbing and killing your way around renaissance italy. It is splendid location that is beautifully realized in the game. You will learn more about the truth about the Templars, Assassins, and more. It sets up for an interesting next installment in the series. I do however, have some small gripes with the AC2. First of all, the graphics. Don’t get me wrong it is a good looking game when you are running around and in combat, but any time you are in cut scenes and close ups you can see some of the blocky geometry and lower res textures. It is disappointing to say the least. For the most part, the controls for climbing feel great. However, sometimes they are too automated or it can’t figure out what you are trying to do. This can lead to accidents of either jumping the wrong direction, jumping off of something you didn’t meant to, or not being able to navigate up something that you should be able to. It would have also been nice if your upgradable vila would have been deeper or had more importance. These small problems aren’t enough to bring the game down and was easily one of my favorite games of 2009.

SCORE: 9/10

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Heavy Rain Publisher: Sony  /  Developer: Quantic Dream
Platform: PS3 /  Genre: Adventure /  Release Date: February 23, 2010

I wasn’t really sure if I was ever going to review this game but I figured with this new format I could at least give it a try. The main reason I wasn’t sure if I was going to review Heavy Rain was pretty simple, I don’t really know how to or what I want to say about it. THis may come down to the simple fact that I can’t find an adequate way to explain how it plays, without it sounding like one large quick-time event or point and click adventure type of game. It isn’t either of these things, but it does have things in common with these types of gameplay. You do directly control the four main characters of the game, as you work your way through a mystery about a serial killer. You will get to play as a distraught father, private detective, FBI agent, and a reporter. The stories of each individual bleed into one main story line, and no matter how you play through the game you will get an ending that should wrap things up. Which is very important, as there are many different endings available for the story of Heavy Rain, and that is because there is a lot of choice, different outcomes of events, and even character death. That’s right, you are able to kill of the main characters and the story will adapt and form an ending around how you experience the game. Speaking of which, I think this game is an interactive drama that is best experienced by playing it and not just watching it. You will connect with the characters and if you are like me, try your hardest to get through the game with all four characters alive. If you are somewhat skeptical of this game, due to the unique gameplay style I would say try to get past that and give it a shot. You will be treated to an  engaging drama, great graphics, and unique gaming experience.

SCORE: 9/10


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