Friday, April 24, 2009

RACE Driver Grid Review

Platform: PC
Genre: Simulator

Well, here we have it, Codemasters latest masterpiece. I heard a lot of people say that this is the game Dirt should've been, but i don't a
gree cause dirt was fun too. 

Anyway, we were ta
lking about GRID. So the game concentrates on your career as a driver and later on, as a official sponsored team. At first you drive for other teams 
untill you get the money to repair your car and start racing on your own. After that you get a "tree" of races. There are

 European races, American R
aces and Japanese races. Each with their different style and setting, and licenses. In total you get around 51 main events, plus a special event when you win every race in a "license" plus racing the LeMans at the finnish 
of every season. So from the nobody you are at the beginnig, you will get to buy 17.000.000 euro cars. 

The game is also structured in seasons, at the end of a few m
ain events you get to race in the LeMans series, with your team or for other teams. And then you'll be shown on what place your t
eam is, and where are you as a driver, compared to others. From some point on, you can hire a teammate. Each one of them come with their strenghts and weaknesses and are very good at one type of race. So choose someone that can win what you 
can't. Also the opponents Ai is brilliant, they do normal mistakes from time to time, and if you try to take on the leader he will fiercely defent his spot.

When winning a race, you 
different sponsors. Ypu can have a major sponsors (who pays double) and other minor sponsors. They have requirements from being on the podium to not crashing your car. 

Keeping on the line that Codemasters are drawing from TOCA 3 till now, there are all sorts of races, openwheel, drifting, touring cars, prototypes, endurance....etc.

Although is a 2007, i still think the game looks awesome, the cars are briliantly modeled. The sound is top of the line. Your "mentor" is telling you on the track on what spot you are, what you hit, and it has a huuuuge database of names and team names it can pronounce. Also your teammate willsometimes tell you his place in the middle of the race. Remembering my last PC, the game is low-res friendly.

Saving the best for last. Did you ever feel frustrated cause at the end of a races you hit something and lost 6 positions. Well Grid is thinking about you (and your keyboard, or whatever you like to hit in those situations). It has a prince-of-persia-time-rewind-feature called flashback. When you total your car or you feel you didn't do something right you can rewind time for a few seconds and continue from where you want. Also ..while rewinding you change the camera or stop so you can admire the crash. The number of Flashbacks is determined by the difficulty you are playing on.

the bad: sorry, can't find any, maybe BAku has some ideas
the good: the graphics, the sounds, the presentation, brilliant AI

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The Godfather: Mob Wars Review

Platform: PSP
Genre: Action

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." (Peter Clemenza, The Godfather 1972)

This game is game based on a PC-game, based on a movie, based on a book. While the book and Francis Ford Coppola's movie were brilliant, the games aren't. If the PC version was acceptable, the PSP little-brother could be improved... a lot.

The game is divided into two sections, the story-mode and mob wars mode. Let's start with the story mode. You play as the son of one of the Godfathers associates. Your dad is killed and you get Luca Brazi to welcome you to the family. It's the exact same story from the PC version actually, skipping the character customization part. And skipping another non-important part. The free-roam. YES! You are being 'teleported' from one mission to another, you get to do the shoot'em part and then cutscene and then you are in front of another building shooting again. Not to mention that it means no more side-missions (well sort of). What are you shooting at? You are playing the main-missions from it's PC version.

The Mob Wars mode. This is a pretty neat idea. The city is divided between the 5 families (Corleone, Tattaglia, Barzini, Cuneo, Stracci) like the world map in Rise of Nations or the Total War series.... anyway, you got the point.... or like in Civilisation. (Ok, i'll stop). The game is turn-based. At the end of your turn you get to draw a card. These can vary from stealing money to lowering your Vendetta or Heat or to promote your mobsters. When you try to take over a teritory you will get a small action-part (like in story) which usually are the side-missions from the PC-version (I know, I compare them a lot). For those who haven't played the PC version, these consist of going into a shop (owned by another family) killing every mobster inside, put pressure on the owner (by destroying stuff) and he will pay the Corleone's for protection from now on. Also, in the back of some shops there are illegal activities (gambling spots and so on) that you can take over as well. To finish the Mob Wars mode you have to destroy each of the other families compounds (big buildings, lots of mobsters). If your Heat is high, the cops will join the fun and try to shoot your balls off as well. And the higher you Vendetta the more mobsters will wake up and dress up to kill you.

To finish The Godfather: Mob wars, you have to finish both modes. It took me 5 hours. It has no unlockables, no collectibles. Also if you want to finish the Mob Wars mode fast... go for the compounds as fast as you can.

Q: Now what makes the game a bit crappier ?? (saved the best for the end)
A: The bloody camera. IT stays very close behind you, making you think you have to ass-rape your character at some points. You can't rotate it while walking and you can lock-on targets that are in front of your character but you can't see them because the camera is admiring a beautiful light-bulb somewhere and not them. (enough said). Camera-control... BAD !!!

'I want no acts of vengeance.(...) This war stops now.' (Don Corleone, The Godfather 1972)

the bad: The friggin' camera, no free-roam.
the good: The graphics, the characters look just like the actors, marlon Brando's voice, Nino Rota's Godfather theme :D:D