Review This: A game review thread!

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#1 Lizardjam  Icon User is offline

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Review This: A game review thread!

Posted 09 April 2008 - 01:28 PM

This is a thread for the average game to share his/her views on some of the games that they have played. This is a good way to gain analysis skills in the field of video game design. Please enjoy and follow the thread rules. Most of all have fun though!

Rules
1.) Follow all DIC official rules.
2.) No flaming. Please share your views but don't be overly aggresive.
3.) One review one post.
4.) Please do not copy and paste any review that is already out. Keep it original.
5.) Keep it PG-13, please.
6.) Pictures are welcome, but dont overdo it.

With all that said, lets begin!

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#2 Lizardjam  Icon User is offline

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Re: Review This: A game review thread!

Posted 09 April 2008 - 01:47 PM

ROUGE GALAXY for the PS2
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Author: Lizardjam

Level 5 has came through and delivered what may be the last great RPG for the PS2; Rouge Galaxy. This well developed game delivers on many fronts from story, gameplay, and graphics. To me, it has pushed the limits of what a traditional RPG can deliver and has shown how a true classic is made.

Our story begins with the game's hero, Jaster; an orphan on the slave planet Rosa who aspires to one day travel the galaxy. After a fateful encounter with the famed hunter "Deasert Claw", Jaster soon finds himself hired into the service of space pirate Dorgengoa. What follows is a fantastical journey through space with many different, interesting characters.

As good as this sounds, I must say that the story IS standard RPG fare: collect items, power up, save the world. Wash, rinse, repeat. What saves the story though, are the number of diverse and colorful characters that you come across, even those outside of the party. Each one has a unique story behind him/her/it which contribues to the story experience. The above par voice acting also adds flavor to the story that is rarely seen in most games. Although sometimes over the top, the voices are still great.

As for visuals, the characters have some of the best cell shading I have seen to date. Cut scenes are amazing, but still stay on the PS2 level. The only complaints that I have are that some of the larger dungeons reuse room layouts and textures, and some of the battle animations, such as jumping, could have been a little smoother. This said, the framerate is still good.

Gameplay is where this game shines. 100+ hours of play, sidequests, mark hunting, bug raising, and item creation all blend together for a gamer's wet dream. Not only that, but I had the most fun battling random encounters that I have since the Grandia series. Battles play out like an action game with the ability to switch characters and weapons mid-battle. Items are a necessity and the player can also pull off some ranged attacks and impressive special abilities and team attacks. All this is done in real time with pauses only in the item/ability menu. The only bad thing about the battle system that I could find is that the camera control mid-fight can get a little annoying with trying to smite your enemies.

The soundtrack is nothing special with generic, yet fitting, BGM. Some of the ranged attacks have sounds that dont fit but other than that everything in the sound department works well in the game.

Rouge Galaxy is what an action/rpg should be; long, fast, and most of all, fun to play. The moderate difficulty and super large dungeons may turn off the casual gamer, but most will enjoy this well made game.


Overall Score: :^: :^: :^: :^: Four jams out of Five

This post has been edited by Lizardjam: 09 April 2008 - 02:58 PM

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#3 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Review This: A game review thread!

Posted 09 April 2008 - 02:20 PM

FOLKLORE for the PS3

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Author: Martyr2
Game System: PS3

Folklore for the PS3 appeared to have all the elements to make a good game, great visuals, good game play, original idea and none of this senseless hack and slash of classic monsters. While this game did deliver on some of the great visuals that first lured me to the game, it fell short of my expectations on various game elements.

The game starts out as a murder mystery where a young girl, receiving a note from her mother that was lost long ago, sends the girl on an epic quest to find her at the edge of reality and death. At the same time a young occult investigator receives a phone call from a mysterious woman who claims to have the story of a lifetime, luring him to the same dream world in hopes of solving the mystery of who the lady is and the secret she has that will make his career.

The player can choose to follow the girl or the investigators storyline through the various chapters of the game. At the end of each chapter the player is allowed to jump to the other character and play the game from the other view point. Both characters story is intertwined into the same mysterious plot, both finding the missing woman.

The first part where this game falls short is the prologue chapter where the backstory of the characters are introduced and their mission to find the missing woman. While the story line is really lengthy, almost no battle is seen. The first 20 minutes of play was taken up by 15 minutes of storyline. Now I am one for great storyline if done tastefully with some animation or a movie like cinematic spin, but what really disappointed me was that the story was told like a comic book where images would flash up with bubble text one after the other. Almost the entire story is told like this with a fast forward button to help you move faster through the story but not skip it (boy I needed that fast forward button). After the first few minutes it began to bore me to death.

The second place where this game disappoints is the actual game play. As the character you go through the dream world talking to various NPCs and run across an occasional monster which you must defeat. Defeating a monster allows the character to then obtain their power. You gain the power by stealing their souls which was again awesome visually but became redundant after 10 minutes. Meanwhile when you are taking a soul monsters have a perfect opportunity to attack you. Not very fun. I kept waiting for the animation to complete before I could take on the other baddies.

When I came across my first boss of the game, a porcupine type monster, I found him extremely easy to beat and the riddle to his demise was practically given to me just prior to meeting him. No real brains were needed to figure it out.

I rented this game for a week and after the first night I just had to put it down after about 3 hours. I had enough. I returned it after feeling a bit ripped off.

Pros: Great visuals, long in depth storyline
Cons: Storyline presentation style needed work, battle animations a bit redundant at times, lack of real skill needed

Overall score: :^::^: (2 out of 5 only because it had kick ass eye candy)
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#4 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Review This: A game review thread!

Posted 12 April 2008 - 02:51 PM

Assassin's Creed

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Author: Martyr2
Game System: PS3

The year is 1191, the Crusades are in full swing in the holy land. As part of a secret society of assassins, you are contracted by your master to hunt down the most powerful and ruthless leaders behind the war after making a mistake that cost you your name. Now it is time to get it back!

This historic world is created as a result of a futuristic machine in the year 2012 designed to tap the past memories of an average joe named Desmond miles. He is said to be the descendant of Altair himself. The scientists of the future are trying to figure out what happened long ago to solve a modern problem. The game occasional goes between the past in which you assassinate, and play most of the game, and the future where you must piece together what is happening and why these scientists are tapping your memories of a past life.

This game is in one word.... awesome! The people of Ubisoft Montreal have done a great job at meticulously capturing every facet of the period to produce a very realistic game world in which you, Altair, must make your way through the city's streets and rooftops on missions to assassinate target figures. All of them have been accused of benefiting from the Crusades at the cost of people's lives. Ubisoft Montreal also said that the leaders in the game are actually reflective of real people of the period who died in 1191, the same year you kill them in the game (This isn't saying they actually did the evil deeds though).

Your tools to do the dirty deeds include a long sword, short sword, throwing knives and a hidden blade... which is my favorite. You must identify your target, assassinate, and then disappear. Stealth is the name of the game. But when you get caught, expect to fight your way out with stunning combination moves and very realistic fight scenes.

Besides the visual nirvana the game presents, the storyline is pretty good and the missions are rather fun. The fight scenes are incredible and can be pretty graphic. I advise sensitive people dumb down the gore through the games settings or simply avoid this game.

The only problem I had with it was the same that most other people complain about, it gets repetitive. After about 3 or 4 assassinations (there is 9 total) you start to feel the repetitions as you gather info, hunt down, kill, and run over and over again for each target. But with a little creativity of your own, you can even customize some of the missions by attacking each character differently. Go in blade swinging on one, jump across rooftops for another, and chase one down through the streets on yet another. How you hunt them down is up to you.

The game went a bit fast for me, completing the game in about a week of casual game play. You can easily do one assassination every 2 hours or so if you wanted to run through the game really fast.

Besides the killing you can also do side missions such as pickpocketing, eavesdropping, and saving citizens and must do these things in order to collect intel on your next assassination.

I really do like this game for the great realism, game play, and an ok story. I just wish it would have lasted a little longer and had a little more variety in mission style. I recommend renting this game instead of buying since it is that short for a good gamer.

Pros: Awesome graphics, gameplay, freedom to roam
Cons: Bit repetitive at times and a little too short

Overall Score: :^::^::^::^: (4 out of 5)
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#5 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: Review This: A game review thread!

Posted 12 April 2008 - 03:59 PM

View PostMartyr2, on 12 Apr, 2008 - 05:51 PM, said:

Pros: Awesome graphics, gameplay, freedom to roam
Cons: Bit repetitive at times and a little too short

Overall Score: :^::^::^::^: (4 out of 5)



What is the replay value? I was considering this for the Wii.
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#6 jjsaw5  Icon User is offline

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Re: Review This: A game review thread!

Posted 13 April 2008 - 04:43 PM

Im playing Condemned 2 right now so one i beat it i'll be writing something on it
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#7 Martyr2  Icon User is offline

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Re: Review This: A game review thread!

Posted 18 April 2008 - 01:21 PM

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

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Author: Martyr2
Game System: PS3

The game starts out with the arrival of Emperor Uriel Septim VII who is later assassinated by an evil sect known as the Mythic Dawn. A religious group who is hell bent on the destruction of the world of Cyrodill by unleashing daedras (monsters from an alternate realm known as oblivion) to serve a master, the Daedric Prince Mehrunes Dagon. They do this by opening up gates to oblivion within Cyrodill and the more gates that open, the closer the world is to suffer a horrible fate. Your job is to help the next in the emperor's bloodline, Martin, take back a necklace known as the Amulet of Kings and light the dragon fires... a mythical set of flames which protect the world from evil and keep the worlds of Cyrodill and Oblivion separate.

This game is a sandbox style game where you can roam freely around the world of Cyrodill and accomplish tasks related or unrelated directly to the central plot of the game. As you battle monsters, do quests, and discover hidden secrets you gain in experience and obtain points which you can use in various character attributes. These attributes are determined by what you use the most in the game and the type of character you are (if you use a lot of magic and are a wizard of some kind, you tend to get more points towards magical spells like destruction or illusion).

You can fight many monsters and people during your missions including thieves/bandits, minotaurs, knights and magical monsters and even town guards. To aid in your battle you can pick up an assortment of armors, swords, shields, clubs etc and earn various skill levels in fighting tactics or magical abilities. The character customization is endless with an assortment of races and classes. Be a dark elf warrior or a human magician... it is up to you.

I found this game to be one of my favorite to date on the PS3. The world is full of places to go and things to do and I have spent well over 150 hours of gameplay and still have more. The graphics are incredible and the only part where I noticed it was a problem was talking to some of the NPCs who you could tell were really fake looking and they all appear to use the same 5 voice characters despite who they are. So you could be talking to one NPC in one city and hear their voice, go to another city and talk to a completely different NPC of a different race and hear the same voice. A bit lame, but understood since it would take quite a few people doing voice over work to handle hundreds of characters.

The magic spells are pretty awesome and the fight scenes are pretty good for this style of game. Roaming around the mountains or in the city is great either way. I like how the menus are setup and how easy it is to interact with people. Feel free to kill some town person and outrun the guards or be the most holy of people and wear the knight of the nine armor set. Be a thief and steal or pickpocket, pick locks, or be a wizard throwing around all sorts of magical spells. It is up to you.

Besides the voice drawback and a few graphic problems with character's faces, the rest is completely stunning. Nothing like running through the forest on a sunny day being chased by a crazed minotaur or roaming around in a dungeon hoping the vampire doesn't get you. Speaking of vampires, you can actually be bitten and become a vampire yourself with vampire abilities if you so choose. I don't think they stick to the whole cannot be in sunlight rule though.

This game certainly can burn the free time and make you want to keep coming back to play more. Many nights I have lost sleep on this game and enjoyed every minute of it.

Now for the biggest drawback of all, apparently Bestheda (the maker of the game), has a few bugs in it where when you get to higher levels in the game some people have been experiencing freeze ups. I am one of those people and it has really put a damper on me playing it more. The freeze ups are random at random times and hard to avoid. Bestheda has not announced any plans to fix it, and their expansion Shivering Isles has the same problems later too.

Don't let that discourage you however. I didn't run into this problem until I got up way into the 150+ hours of play scenario... so there is plenty of game play and fun to be had. I think I just played it until the system couldn't keep up anymore.

Pros: Great gameplay, graphics, monsters, and abilities/skills.
Cons: Voice redundancy, some NPC graphics, freezing problems at high levels.

Overall Score: :^::^::^::^: (4 out of 5... it would be 5 out of 5 if it wasn't for the freezing)

This post has been edited by Martyr2: 18 April 2008 - 01:30 PM

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#8 Vaune  Icon User is offline

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Re: Review This: A game review thread!

Posted 19 April 2008 - 02:06 AM

Second Life

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Author: Vaune
Game System: PC

The world has seen it's fair share of Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games. World of Warcraft, Ultima Online, Guild Wars, Anarchy Online, the list goes on for miles. Many of these MMORPG's are very experience based, the players share a common base goal. Then there is a game like Second Life. '

Second Life is a (relatively) FREE MMORPG, but presents a new way of interacting with with society. Players are first prompted at the website to create a character. The naming system implemented requires the user to choose a custom first name, and a surname from a list of pre-made names. Once a name is chosen, the player enters the game world.

Once the game is loaded and your character has logged in for the first time; the first place you will be is an in depth tutorial island. This island teaches you how to customize your character, interact with your surroundings, and communicate and create. After a little exploring, you will eventually leave Newbie Island and enter into the true world of Second Life. The game attempts to emulate real life social situations. Meaning, groups are formed, concerts are attended, friends met and enemies created. You are free to wander about the world as you see fit, only being blocked by players that want privacy on their property.

There are so many islands and countless numbers of different places to explore, that one could hardly explore half in 6 months, of countless exploring! The great thing about all this land you see is that it is created and maintained not by GM's, but by players. Players can purchase their own land to develop the way they see fit. Everything from the trees, to the buildings, to the ambient noises you hear, are all added and serviced by the players that own the land. Second Life also offers the ability to stream music and video, which can be used in objects to make interactive media devices, in game.

Every object you see in Second Life, has been created by players or Second Life Staff in one way or another. The game offers a dynamic and in-depth item creator, for people to develop their own custom content. Objects can be resized, positioned, linked, colored, shaped, and scripted (along with tons more options) in real time. Once content has been created, the creator can choose what rights people have with their creation. Content is tagged to the specific address of a player, and thus becomes virtual property of that player. This function provides a way to safely and realistically sell your products to other players. Along with land ownership and content creation, a player can set up shops and start producing an income.

Be warned however, it will cost you a pretty penny to own land in a high traffic location, and a staggering amount of real money to own a whole island. Purchasing an island is no small endevour, and often times produces a much larger presence in the Second Life Community. Real Life corporations are jumping on the Virtual bandwagon, and are setting up virtual representations of their RL counterparts. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the type of place you would like you run. A few examples I personally have seen are: Music Venues (live streaming music often accompanied with the character playing an in game instrument), movie theaters, virtual surfing, snowboarding, skiing, dirt biking, hang gliding, bungee jumping, and any other activity you can think of.

Along with an impressive content creation system, SL offers an equally expansive character creation / appearance editor. You can change any limb's individual size, shape, texture, and when applicable, color. When you first start a character, all the options might seem a bit overwhelming (and your character looks like a monkey), but you will soon pick up tricks to improve you characters appearance. Clothing is HUGE in SL, with thousands of people producing their own clothing lines, and offering free clothing as well. Of course, you could always make your own hair and clothing!

Which brings me to one of the most important aspects of Second Life (in some people's opinion). the ability to translate in game assets into to real life moolah. Thats right, Second Life offers a buy/sell Linden Dollars (in game currency) feature. Most currencies are accepted and offers the ability to make virtual products and make real money cash for your wares. Or if you need some assistance starting your project, you can buy Linden Dollars to use in game. Premium accounts are also available and run for $9.95 a month. This grants you the ability to own land, and delivers a monthly stipend of L 300. A common question is "So I have to spend money to make money?" and in this game, it's all based on how clever you can be.

However, a game that offers so much dynamically changing content is bound to have it's pitfalls. A major one is that SL requires a good computer, with an even better internet connection to be enjoyed at medium. Because every object in the game can be manipulated, they all must be treated as separate instances from the map, making loading times atrocious at peak hours. If you stay away from very high traffic areas, a lower end computer can handle SL's massive upload and download requirements. SL has been known to cause BSODs and other such freezing / crashing errors. I personally had problems with the client freezing when turning too fast.

Overall, if I was to try and explain every aspect of Second Life, this post would be well past it's limits and my fingers would probably bleed. Well maybe not, but it would take quite a while. The only way to really experience the immensity of this game is to experience it first hand. Expect to see oddities, social hierarchies, shrewd business people, and people living out their fantasies, what ever they may be!.

PROS: Massive world, ability to make real money, social emulation, and creating custom content.
CONS: Poor performance on 90% of computers, poor reaction time from Linden Staff, steep learning curve.

Overall Rating :^: :^: :^: :^: (4 out of 5, a lot of refining left to do, stability issues.)
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#9 Lizardjam  Icon User is offline

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Re: Review This: A game review thread!

Posted 23 April 2008 - 11:06 AM

Hey. Sorry for not posting myself, but its hard to when you dont have internet at your own home. :rolleyes:

Back to work Heh
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