Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. Review

Platform: PC
Genre: Arcade

I can't say I have a extended experience with flying games. The only ones I have played were Retaliator (a game the size of a floppy disk), IL-2 Sturmovik and MS Flight Simulator X. The last two weren'
t quite my style. Too hard. But, still I played them for fun, I liked
 crashing planes. Now, I gave HAWX a go. It's not a hard-core simulator like the MS series, but still it can provide a lot of fun.

You start a Story-driven campaign (19 missions) as a pilot for the US Air Force. But they kick you out (damn budget) and you get hired by the Artemis Private Peace-keeping-army-that-

actually-tries-to-get-SPOILER !!!.

The missions vary from escorting, killing everything that moves, flying low-altitude under the radar coverage, opening the way for ground units, defending a city (Rio de Janeiro, I went straight into Jesus's arms). Every killed enemy grants you XP, and when you level up
 you get new planes and arsenal. After completing the game I am at level 20, but some types of arsenal are unlocked at level 40. So happy-happy-joy-joy !!! Single Missions FTW ! Also the more and better you use a weapon, certain achievements are unlocked, granting a big load of XP.

Don't get demoralized by the fact that it's a a flying game, it couldn't get any easier than this. Using the alt key, a corridor will appear to show you the best route to hit the enemy or evade the rockets. But if you like a bit of challenge wait till you get the assist on/off option. This will put the cam
era in a far 3rd person position, and the action gets accelerated, plus you can get your engines 

stalled if you're taking quick turns.

The garage/hangar is impresive. From the blackbird to the eurofighter typhoon (and much more which i didn't unlock yet) from bombers to fighter jets... there are a LOT !!!

The Graphics are ok. Not top-of-the-line, but OK. The sound is great.

So, if you want to have a lot of fun, you should play HAWX.

the bad: Too easy for hard-core gamers
the good: big source of fun.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Grand Theft Auto IV Review

Platform: PC (sadly)
Genre: GTA
Well I waited a long time to play this one (finished all GTA's 100%). One weak before the release I broke the piggy-bank and went smilingly to the store to order a PC-upgrade (I bought a nVidia 9800GT with 1 GB DDR 3 video-memory). And then i waited (both for the game and the video-card).
So, after waiting, I entered the new Liberty City (let me guess, we'll have a Vice City and a San Andreas) and my first shock was that ..... A cow fell on my car. Kidding, actually on medium details I had 12 frames. Like WTF ??? Anyway, the game got a patch and now works ok-(ish) .
You start as Niko Belik, coming to USA to live his cousin's American Dream. But the money, girls and cars that his cousin had were just a illusion. After getting on the mobs black list even that small something goes bye-bye. So Nico has to repair it all.
Gameplay.... well it's GTA, running people over, chasing pedestrians with rocket launchers, or with a helicopter.... being chased by the cops. This part of the game got easier, during a cop-chase on your map is displayed a radius. You just have to get and stay a few seconds out of it and the police will go back to their donuts. If you wanna shoot their brains out, GTA IV gives you a great covering system. So, if you want, you can take cover by almost in the game (maybe not behind a can, that would be useless, wouldn't it ?). There's not much of a armory though (why didn't they leave the dildo ?).
The city of Liberty (a copy of New York, again) looks better, the producer's made it big, and interesting. You have cafe's, stand-up comedy shows (which some are really funny), club's, minigames (pool, darts, bowling), internet cafe's (where you can meet girls on-line, or just surf it.... has a lot of "lore"), hookers. Even the pedestrians look different, unlike the previous titles. Bored of walking, you can take taxi's/cab's to where you wanna go. Unlike the latest GTA's you cannot buy mansions or houses, you get them at certain points in the story (just like your phone). Yes, you get to have a phone, and put custom wallpapers, which you download from the internet, you can take pictures with it, call people out, or just have fun disturbing the cops and then take pictures of them.

Calling people out, can improve your relationship with them. And when you are maxed out, you can get cool bonuses, like free weapons... and so on. Also the 100 hidden packages are not to be found anymore. BUT they have been replaced with 200 pigeons that you can murder. Good Luck !

Although it doesn't have as many activities as GTA San Andreas it has a lot of features. Like the phone, the internet, the TV (with 4-5 channels), checking the cop-car computer to see the most wanted in town and so on. But what makes the game so dull unlike the previous titles. Mainly it's the exagerated realism. They took out the hunger meter, but all cars control realisticly (i know, i liked it also at the beginning) which in high-speed chases can get annoying. GTA was about having mindless fun, now you get to have thoughful-fun. Although it's fun seeing Nico Fly out the windshield of the car, Flatout Style.

The easter eggz (if you find them), are a real ROFLMAO. Try searching for the heart of Liberty-City.

The game looks amazing. I almost drooled all over my keyboard. I don''t know what more to say about it. Now, after the patch, you have more graphics option, and after taking out the shadows, and stuff related to water, I can run the game decently on high details and 1680x1050 rez.

It sounds as always, a lot of humor in the radio-stations. But the rock station sucks (for me).

What more can I say. Enter Liberty City and find out.

the bad: try a computer from NASA
the good: It's still a GTA

Call of Cthulhu: Dark corners of the Earth Review

Platform: PC
Genre: Adventure/FPS/Horror Survival/Cookie Monster

It took me a while to get around to finishing this. This is one of those games you love to hate or hate to love ... I'm not quite quite sure. It's a great(-ish) game for the most part.

For those that have any sort of connection with H.P.Lovecraft's work or with the Cthulhu Mythos this game is a gem..for those who don't it's still a good game and it will make you want to find about Cthulhu. The game starts in one of my favorite places - Arkham Asylum (Batman ripped off Lovecraft in case you were wondering, not the other way round), a mental institution where the main character is just about to hang himself. That means it gets a gold star from me right from the beginning. :)

It takes place in a small New England town called Innsmouth which is ruled by the Order of Dagon and to quote one of the weirdo citizens "they don't take kindly to strangers". For those familiar with ol' H.P.s work you get the idea, for those not so familiar here's the short version: Innsmouth=bad,bad place, Order of Dagon not like you so much, fish people try kill you. Was that clear for everyone? Thought so.

Gameplay-wise it tries to be an adventure game ... mostly ... when it isn't trying to be a FPS ... when it isn't trying to be a stealth game ... ah you get the point. This game is as hybrid as it gets but in a good way. Puzzles are moderate to easy in difficulty, the FPS parts are Ok, stealth can get pretty annoying and the boss fights are interesting and pretty unique. Since I'm on the subject, stealth can drive you insane in this game since you are forced to do these sections and you can only do them in one specific way. Another infuriating part would be the insta-death (just add water) which you get for no apparent or maybe just because the intergalactic counsel of space monkeys deemed it necessary. You just get killed of for trying to get past someone just because you forgot to turn a valve somewhere or something of the sort ... but then again it probably makes sense in fairy land. Also an interesting feature they added was the fact that your character can go insane if he looks at dead bodies or monsters for too long etc but that you'd think he'd get used to it at some point ... oh well, it's pretty entertaining to see him shoot himself while looking at a statue of an octopus-faced thingie.

CoC is by far one of the most atmospheric games I've ever played but the constant backtracking you have to do from the middle of the game up to the end can get tiresome fast. So does the fact that they ran out of character models somewhere along the line and you get to see the same ugly hulk-like dudes spouting the same "friendly" lines all the time ... it gets Frustrating ... believe me on this one. Also it's buggy as hell with a few game-breaking bugs just for the heck of it and NO patches.

I suggest playing this game in short burst, with a few friends around to relieve the stress and a walkthrough ... you'll need it. That being said this is a unique and great game if you manage to stick around 'till the end.

So how does the cookie crumble?
the Bad: Stealth, Insta-die, Bugggggss
the Good: Great atmosphere, Good story, Lovecraft

Gothic 3 Forsaken Gods (pre-patches) Review

Platform: PC
Genre: RPG

Finally I got Forsaken Gods, I was happy, I wanted to see the rest of the story, Gothic rullz... I was installing it (why do you have to wait.. damn it)... I started playing... and I finished .... Mario.

Here comes the new chapter in the Nameless dude's life. Well, this one is full of amnesia. The nameless dude, the items , the story, the world, the people, the menu... the inventory everything is clouded with amnesia.

The story begins in the Unknown Lands where the Nameless dude and Xardas fight each other over the fate of Myrtana. It is said that Gorn attacked Thorus (who is leading the Orcs). After a long battle George Michael (as i call the nameless right now, after loosing his pony-tail in G3, now someone has thrown gel into his hair), is attacked by bandits and ... u guessed it.. he forgot everything... again ... What a whimp.

The items have a will, and amnesia of their own, the crown of adanos (for example), after being destroyed in G3, stubbornly appears in the mines in Geldern, or the great Wrath of Innos which you find on an Orc. You would think people are more careful with ancient weapons coming from gods.

At least they (tried to) improve the combat system, putting a stamina bar on the creatures, so they cannot attack you for ever. This works sort-off well. And that's pretty much all that can be said.

It keeps the Gothic open world free roam, but being the same Myrtana it doesn't really make you want to explore it all over again. Also Varant and Nordmar have been closed, at the entrances you find huge-meteorites have fallen ... or huge invisible walls.

The NPC's also got their part of amnesia, after they tell you "I don't have anything to tell you", trying to talk with them repeatedly will make them remember. On the other hand George Michael has a psycho-power knowing what they're gonna say. It happens that you can choose the dialogue-line the NPC will say. Not to mention those Water Mages (although you killed them all in G3) who will grant you the Dark Mage, Fire Mage and Druid skills.

The scary Orcs have personality issues, besides being named Nicholas/Sylvester/whatever some of them have the wimpy-human voices from G3 (you must play to understand, it's too friggin stupid to explain). Oooooooooo very scary. Also George Michael got a new voice, but when he tries to open chests and realizes that he doesn't have enough lockpicks, his old voice comes into play. Speaking of lockpicks, you can steal anything, anytime, with anyone around you.

The graphics look a little-bit better, but that's it.

Hope Arcania will get Gothic back into it's great-game spot.(Baku:The great game thing is debatable and now we know Arcania really didn't)

the bad: it's existence. It feels like a MOD, a interesting one, but that's it !!
the good: Seems a great Gothic-parody. maybe with patches it will feel better

Necrovision Review (or what i call the 4Ds)

Platform: PC
Genre: FPS

So for my first review I'm going to sink my fangs into Necrovision. Now to clarify this isn't an actual review since i didn't finish the game or even play half of it for that matter but I had my reasons as you'll see.

First off this game is what happens when you let the dark side win (I can assure you they have no cookies and the cake is indeed a lie). The game was created by a mixed team, half were creators of Painkiller and the other half creators of Medal of Honor. What we got was a WWI shooter with zombies and/or evil thingies trying to kill you. Pretty standard stuff if you ask me except for the part where the hero finds it complicated to walk up those damn stairs but we'll get to that. I don't know how they managed to screw it up considering that Painkiller was just plain fun and as Yahtzee pointed out it had a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning so what more could you ask for.

Never Ever and did i mention EVER try to play this on a low res...you'll get to see some very pretty pixels up close and personal. Might be because of the older Painkiller engine that's used or the misalignment of planets but the game looks horrible on lower resolutions so just don't (yes, i have played it on max res and everything at a friends house, this does not affect my review).

The game starts with a nice cutscene that makes no sense whatsoever showing a guy with some type of metalic kill-a-demon(TM) arm that ..well...kills a demon with it. Well it was either a demon or a guy who fell through a lot of barbed wire and still looked cool while doing it. Afterwards you kill some dude, get a gun, and you're off to save the world from demons(TM) yet again. Nothing wrong until you notice that the soldiers shooting at you have a button called "press and instantly hit main hero" since they shoot you every time and from every location as probable or improbable as it may be. Did i mention they wear like 3-4 kevlar vests each? It's easier to teach a baboon poetry than to kill something in Necrovision. I loved both game the devs made but someone should tell these guys never to make a game together. The pacing of this game sucks: you either get one enemy or a swarm, it takes ages to reload and most guns are useless anyway because of the recoil. So what are you left with? Trying to kill zombies with pistols or alternatively a shovel. So let's say you get to level 2 then you get a cinematic than makes no sense since it has nothing to do with what happened just a few seconds before...if you make any sense of that story I will personally make you a nobel prize out of gold and pancakes.

So how does the cookie crumble?
the bad: Story makes no sense, Should be called Die-o-vision, Hates low-res
the good: The shovel, Killing 50 zombies with a shovel, It has the 4Ds(Die! Dead Dudes Die!)

(this will be updated when the planets align and i finish it so..I'm never gonna finish this or play it again...ever)