Posts Tagged ‘Assassin’s Creed 2’

Backlog Barrage! Review Edition: 1

November 17, 2010

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


My Top 10 PS3 Games of 2009

January 1, 2010

Ok, so 2009 is almost over and I figured I might as well do a top 10 list. This list will be for games available on the PS3, either disc based games or games available through the PlayStation Store. I’ll be listing them alphabetically, since I don’t really feel like listing them from 1-10 since I know it would be very hard for me to pick between some of these games and it doesn’t matter as I think they are all must own games.

Assassin’s Creed 2
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I was in the minority, as I actually enjoyed the first Assassin’s Creed. Luckily it sold well, so Ubisoft was able to correct the mistakes of the first game. In the sequel you still get to sneak around on roof tops, stealthily take down guards and other targets, and free run across several locations. However the sequel adds more combat moves, weapons, varying side missions, and maybe a better setting and protagonist depending on your opinion. Overall, it takes what was an already really good game and brings it to the next level. Reaching a lot closer to its potential than the original Assassin’s Creed did, this game is a must have for any fan of action games.
Assassin’s Creed 2 review coming soon.

Borderlands
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If you are into loot and long games, then go out and pick up Borderlands. There is a lot to do in this FPS with RPG elements. Along with Demon’s Souls, Borderlands became a huge time sink for me. The smooth shooting controls and constant lust for new weapons makes you want to keep playing the game. This game is what I wanted Fallout3 to be. You know, actually fun. Plus if you are into co-op you really need to get this game, as you can play through the whole thing with up to 3 friends.
Check out my review here.

Critter Crunch
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With a ton of charm, humor, amazing art direction, stunning graphics, and solid puzzle mechanics Critter Crunch was easily one of my favorite games of 2009. The game has character and heart. You can tell the studio, Capybara Games, behind the game poured their love into this game. If you are at all interested in puzzle games you have to pick up this great PSN game. If not, try the demo and you will most likely immediately become enamored by the game and want to pick it up.
Check out my review here.

Demon’s Souls
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Thank you Atlus for bringing this game to the US. I’m one of the people who imported it, but I’m also one of the people that bought it a second time when Atlus announced they were bringing it over since Sony didn’t want to. So yes, Demon’s Souls is so good that I bought it twice. It controls great, has amazing atmosphere, unique and innovative online, and is one of the most addictive games I’ve played in a very long time. This is an instant classic for any hardcore action RPG fan.
Check out my review here.

Fat Princess
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Beneath the cute art direction there is an immensely fun 32-player competitive online game. Personally I loved the art direction. I mean come on, there are a ton of unlock-able beards. How can you go wrong with that? Besides looking really good on your HD TV, Fat Princess will give you hours of enjoyment. I’m not a huge online gamer, but I immediately found this game fun and accessible. The overhead class-based gameplay is simple enough for anyone to grasp, but there is enough depth to it to keep you coming back. The tactical aspects of controlling points, gathering resources, defending your base, feeding the princess cake, upgrading your hat machines (which determine what class you are), along with having to coordinate a siege on your opponents castle to effectively free the princess and bring her back to your castle gives the game enough variety and challenge to make the game appealing to a number of different players. With the promise of more classes and more maps Fat Princess should continue to grow and remain a bloody good time.

flower
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I’m still unsure how to describe this game, but whatever it is I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is simple, and in that simplicity it is beautiful. Featuring gorgeous and simple graphics, flower is immediately recognizable. You control the wind as you fly through fields and other areas. Picking up petals as you open up flowers. There is a story here, which you may like or hate but that doesn’t change the fact that the game is fun, relaxing, stunning, and looks great in HD. Do yourself a favor and pick up another unique gem only found on the PS Store.

infamous
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During the current glut of open-world games infamous stands out from the crowd with its fluid controls and great story. It manages to avoid repeating too many of its missions and side missions. The controls are great, whether you are climbing a building, shooting lightning, or gliding through the sky to drop down on your enemies. As you struggle with your actions and how your choices effect the game, you are driven forward by an epic branching story. It is one of those games you will replay just to see what happens when you make different decisions.

Killzone 2
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Amazingly, Killzone 2 was able to live up to the hype and exceed it in my opinion. Dark, gritty, intense, and action packed. Killzone 2 is one of the most impressive games I have seen. The graphics are perfectly married with an oppressive art direction and some of the best animation you’ll ever see in a game. You are on Helghan, and you know it. Killzone 2 plays differently than other FPS, as it actually has weight and a realism to it that other games lack. The controls aren’t floaty or gamey. If you are looking for something different than other FPS’s, with a deep online multiplayer then you really need to check out Killzone2.

PixelJunk Shooter
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Proving once again that you can’t go wrong with a PixelJunk game, Q-games sneaked PixelJunk Shooter into my top 10 for 2009 with the mid December release. They prove that simple isn’t always a bad thing. You control a space ship and fly around 2D caverns, rescuing colonist while solving puzzles and shooting a lot of things. Featuring great art direction, a sweet soundtrack, and amazing fluid dynamics. Shooter is an easy to pick up and play game with some depth to it.

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
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Uncharted 2 is simply breath taking and jaw dropping. I thought the first game was impressive, but the sequel brings it to a whole new level. The new setting was a great move by Naughty Dog. You will see a bunch of different locations and all of them are amazingly realized. The game still has great controls, platforming, and fun puzzles as well. Uncharted 2 isn’t just a very good game due to its superb technical prowess and smooth gameplay. Much like the first game, the characters and story are done so much better than any other game that you will really be drawn into their world and actually care about them. It does this even better than a lot of movies. Nathan Drake and company are some of the most believable, engaging, and likable characters I’ve ever encountered in any type of media. If you own a PS3 and don’t have this game then I feel bad for you, as you are truly missing out.
Uncharted 2 review coming soon.

Honorable Mentions:

God of War Collection – I must confess that I’ve never finished any of the God of War games before this collection. I’ve played parts of them and watched my brother or friends play parts. At the time these games came out I was pretty much only playing JRPG’s, as that is my favorite genre and there were a ton of them available on the PS2. I’ve always wanted to go back and play the God of War series, and I almost bought the games back in the beginning of the PS3’s life. However I’m so glad I didn’t. These two games are brought back to life with smooth framerates and polished graphics. God of War II in particular looks rather impressive. If you are like me and missed out on really getting into these games when they came out this is a must buy, especially if you are going to get God of War III.

Gravity Crush – Some people may choose this game over PixelJunk Shooter, as they appear to be very similar. They do have similarities, but they play and feel very different. Gravity Crush is gorgeous and has a great retro feel to it. However I found myself drawn to PixelJunk Shooter which which is why Gravity Crush didn’t make the list. Although, I do recommend getting both games.

BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger – I am not a huge fighting game fan, but I actually really enjoyed BlazBlue (even if I’m not too good at it). To sum up how much I like this game, it is the first fighting game I’ve purchased since Street Fighter back on the SNES.