Friday, February 25, 2011

Dead Space Review

Platform: Xbox 360
Genre: horror survival

As mentioned many times by now, I don't like horror games but I try some of them from time to time and many times I was surprised to actually like the game (like Sillent HIll Shattered Memories, Cryostasis or Clive Barker's Undying). Now, that Dead Space 2 is out and the series generated a lot of hype I gave it's predecesor another shot.

So ... Isaac Clarke is on his way to the USG Ishimura to repair ... something. Anyway, once you crash-land on the Ishimura you'll be presented with the actual situation. The ship is just a wreck floating in outer space, all of it's crew is dead and blood is omnipresent on the walls or floors. Of course you are separated by the rest of the crew (4 people .... 2 killed in the first cutscenes) and have to carve your way around the Ishimura doing mostly maintenance stuff.
Although the first 9 chapters are mainly repair-this, repair-that or go get this so we can repair that ... the story gets some interesting twists and it kinda sucks you in.

Basicly you start looking for a way to leave the Ishimura but, usually some non-sense happens and you have to go to a certain area of the ship (via a a tram system) and do the necessary repairs or adjustments. A notable mention would be that the necromorphs, the new inhabitants are gonna try to ... well ... eat you i guess. These are the former crew-members with some extra limbs. Early in the game you are told to shot the limbs for extra-damage ... so happy limb-shooting. This gimmick tends to be really cool if you're using the first weapon in the game a.k.a. the plasma-cutter. It shoots 3 rounds of ... plasma I guess either in a verstical or horizontal line. I cannot tell much of the other weapons because I was going for a achievement that makes you finish the game with the first weapon only but they seemed interesting, there is flamethrower, assault rifle and so on. Also, Mr. Clarke can use stasis to slow down object or enemies and kinesis to take up big objects or get them out of the way.

The atmosphere is pretty creepy and all, but It wasn't quite a jump-of-your-seat-experience (except for the ending but I was kinda expecting that). there were a lot of unused ooportunities. Like ... you're using a lot of small elevators in the game and yet there was not a ambush in any of them or anything. There are times when you have to get out of the Ishimura. Then you are timed by a oxygen-meter and there is no gravity at all. To move in zero gravity, you can walk or you can target a place and jump to it (even if it's on wall or ceiling).

From time to time you get to a store which is used to buy medpacks, ammo or new armour or weapons (if you found the needed schematics) or a workbench where you can upgrade your equipment.

Theese being said ... I enjoyed Dead Space more then I though I will ... and I'm actually doing a New Game + (i don't usually do them).

the bad: repetitive repair-something objectives
the good: setting, atmosphere, cut-off-their-limbs

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Test Drive Unlimited Review

Platform: PC
Genre: racing

There are a few games that stoof the test of time on my HDD like Diablo 2 (because it was addictive), GTA Vice City (I was modding it), TES Morrowind (because it was huge + lots of fans making awesome mods), Gothic 2 Night of the Raven (best game ever) and Test Drive Unlimited. I got the came when it released but I couldn't play it for like 2-3 months because I had to upgrade my PC.

When I started playing it the first time (I made 3-4 playthroughs both online or offline) it was just awesome. You are flown to Oahu, one of Hawaii's islands and after you loan a car you get to buy your first house and car. The game invites youto do races, cruise around the map alone or with other players and to do secondary missions.

After completing races or secondary missions you earn credits wich are used to buy new cars or houses. The cars are separated into groups from G to A depending on how good they are. Also some races are restricted to car groups or car makers. Bored of racing ? The game gives you lots of alternative stuff to do like getting hitchhikers to their destination in time, taking a car from point A to point B without scratching it or delivering a package in time. Some of theese give you coupons which you can use to buy your avatar clothes.

But the awesomes of this game is te feeling it gives you. You can totally imerse yourself in your favorite car on the roads of Oahu. Dashboard-cam, fine radios (plus the possibity to add to up to 4 custom radios), total simulation and two different manual gearboxes is everything you need to fully enjoy cruising. And if you play on-line, you can meet other players on the road and can challenge them to races. Also, in multyplayer mode you can buy clubs or be invited to join a club another player created (somewhat like guilds in MMORPG's). I have to mention the classic music raio-station because there is a interesting feel given to driving like a maniac on a motorcicle (yes, the game has them too) while listening to Mozart.

So, I have to say that this is/was a epic game and I just got Test Drive Unlimited 2 (to be reviewed) which I hope will be even greater. Also there is a great MODing community constantly making new car models for the game.

the bad: I'll have to think about it
the good: Awesome free-roam experience, variety of cars

Friday, February 11, 2011

Project Hysteria Review

Platform: iPhone
Genre: adventure/puzzle

So, after getting the new iPhone 4 I looked into my wallet and it was ... of course ... empty. I started looking for full games. After "finishing" most of them (at least to the point I needed to buy the rest of the game) i started to dig to find something worth it.

At a first glance Project Hysteria seemed like a good one. A simple scary adventure game. Now, after completion I dunno what to review out of it.

The story ? ... it starts with you, the player, tied up in aabandoned shed giving your first twochoices: to start freeing yourself or to wait a bit more. This is the one major gameplay component of the whole game. You see a nice first-person cinematic and then you get to choose your next move. Now, the cinematics are pretty well made (actually all the producers needed were a good camera and a forest).


m time to time you get to a puzzle or to a short minigame of tap-the-branch-to-go-forward, but they get annoying and repetitive very quick. Also a skip cutscene or something like that would've been very useful cause sometimes the autosave point is two cutscenes away ... and you have to see the whole thing again.

All theese been said the game is worth it ... nice video, nice audio and a awesome trailer for Project Hysteria 2 (which is not free of course) with much more puzzles.

I forgot to mention that you can beat the game iin 20 minutes.

the bad: too short
the good: free, a second one is coming