Author Topic: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread  (Read 128943 times)

Offline Starfox

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2009, 12:36:43 PM »
Yeah, there are some games like that... You *lend* them to someone in the hope that the damn things will get lost  :lol:


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline GreyMouser

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #16 on: November 08, 2009, 03:46:03 PM »
Yeah, there are some games like that... You *lend* them to someone in the hope that the damn things will get lost  :lol:

Hmmm...That's one way to look at it...:realconfused:

But, no, my motives are different.... ;)
You see, if I buy a game that makes me regret it...:computermad:...and then if I can pass it on someone who gets more enjoyment out of it than I did, even if it's just a little....That makes me feel better, knowing that my money didn't go completely to waste; and it also helps to ease my pain of "game anticipation letdown".:P


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« Last Edit: November 09, 2009, 04:20:40 PM by GreyMouser »
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Offline Starfox

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2009, 04:03:31 PM »
It was a joke... based on my own experience but well it didn't come out as I wanted.

I guess that NVidia and their piece of  *utterly censored* crap that they name PhysX has been growing a bit too much on my nerves today and eroded my sense of humor. But I'll keep that for another board.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline GreyMouser

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2009, 04:08:27 PM »
It was a joke... based on my own experience but well it didn't come out as I wanted.

Hey,....No problem, Starfox!....:onethumb:
I knew you were joking...:ok:
"It's all good.", as my daughters would say....;D


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Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2009, 05:29:04 PM »
If you guys are FINALLY done hijacking MY thread, I'll get back on topic!!!  :funup:

Call of Duty: World at War was the fifth game in the franchise, and unfortunately, its weakest. The developers took the award-winning Modern Warfare engine and put a World War 2 spin on it, but the result was a stale, unoriginal and very linear affair, especially as compared to COD 2, which to my mind is the best of all the WW2 games out there. And after playing Modern Warfare, WAW is just disappointing. Sure, there are a few levels that get your blood pumping, but at this point, I can't even remember any levels that stood out for me, whereas I strongly remember many of the COD2 levels I played.

As with previous COD games, you alternate playing either an American or Russian soldier. The Americans are trying to take some Pacific islands, while the Russians are pushing into Germany. I really hated the American maps because of the setting, but the Russian ones were more appealing with the European-city fighting and sneaking around.

In all, I'd recommend any other COD game first over this one, and give it 7.9 out of 10.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #20 on: December 10, 2009, 07:22:27 PM »
As much as I loved The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and wanted a sequel, Assault on Dark Athena is not the sequel that I would have chosen. Dark Athena is the follow-up to the award-winning Escape from Butcher Bay released in 2004, which has received a graphical update in this release (yes, you get EFBB along with DA, so that's a great value!).

Now, EFBB, was a GREAT game -- graphically, storyline, action/adventure gameplay, multiple plot twists -- but DA feels like a very poor substitute to the Riddick of the original game. See, in EFBB, you are deposited in the infamous Butcher Bay prison, with no hope of escape. However, you are able to work your way through the ranks to finally penetrate the only possible exit -- down a hole. After your "escape", you must find a way through the bowels of the planet to attempt an escape off-world. One botched attempt later, you're now thrown into the triple-max slam, where the worst scumbags in the universe are found. Again, you must make your way up the ranks to get into the depths of the mines to free a pilot. As you make your way to a liberated ship, ONCE AGAIN you are captured and must find a way to free yourself. Plot twists aplenty, my friend.

The story of Dark Athena is that you've finally escaped Butcher Bay, only to have your ship snagged by the mercenary crew of the Dark Athena. You manage to hide from its captain, someone you know from way back, and to enter the ship. Along the way you'll meet a little girl trapped in the vents (shades of Aliens), who assists you from time to time and directs you to her mother, who is trapped in the brig along with a few other reprobates -- all of whom send you on various tasks to get yourself free from the Dark Athena for good.

Dark Athena unfortunately has too much reliance on shoot-outs, rather than Riddick's patented sneaking in the dark gameplay. That's what makes playing the character of Riddick fun -- to go lights out, sneak up on someone, and then snap their neck. If I want a shooter, I'll play Half-Life 2. Additionally, there's too much linearity on the ship that you've been captured by -- you go to one location, and you come directly back the same way; in EFBB, you traveled a circadian route to finally end up where you started, which always came as a surprise in how you managed to do so.

There were truly only a few highlights to the gameplay. One was an area where you must sneak up a wall while lights circle all around you. The second was when you manage to take an escape pod off the Dark Athena to the nearest planet. This was the only time I really felt some freedom in how I played the game, and it was 3/4ths of the way into the game and too brief by far.

The gameplay that made EFBB appealing was Riddick's vulnerability matched by his bad-ass bravado. Dark Athena unfortunately takes Riddick another direction, choosing to be a mindless shooter rather than an atmospheric sneaker. 7.2 out of 10

Offline Starfox

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2009, 01:59:23 PM »
I agree. Dark Athena puts too much emphasize on brute force and not enough on sneaking. What's worse is some amount of stupid encounters at some point. I remember after the escape pod landed on the planet and I was forced to go my way through the town to the Dark Athena (that alone is mildly funny... you escaped a ship and then must go back to it... again), I hit some kind of big mutant that has the habit to launch grenades at you and that was a pain in the ass to take down (not to mention that the town is in full daylight so shadows are scarce, to say the least; it's really brute force involving tossing back grenades at him). After that fight I assumed that I hit the big boss of the level since it was a real pain in the ass compared to the other enemies. Then I fight another one... and another one... and another one... well, you get the idea. After the second monster it was "You must be kidding me", but after the fifth one I started to turn to yoga and practice my patience skills.

Point is Dark Athena is definitely NOT Escape from Butcher Bay. I had a lot of fun replaying this last one though. Much more fun than playing Dark Athena. Some areas of Dark Athena make sense in a Riddick style gameplay but alas a lot don't fit into this category.


Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world. -- A. Einstein

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2009, 11:48:25 AM »
After Silver Sorrow's vitriolic reviews of open-world sandbox games such as the Grand Theft Auto series (which I can't seem to find on the main site....), I've been put off of playing such games because -- and I can't believe I'm saying this -- I generally respect Silver's opinions on such things.   :P

However, another game reviewer I sometimes listen to is Yahtzee, and when he gave a favorable impression of Saints Row 2, I took notice and decided to give it a shot. Yes, Saints Row 2 gets a mediocre score on GameSpot, but since I've started doing these mini-reviews (mostly due to lack of time to hunt down screens and to all the formatting necessary), SR2 is the only game I've even strongly considered doing a full review.

And here's why: SR2 is both FUN and FUNNY, tempered by mature language and offering a touch of heart and pathos.

It's like the game designers went on an adrenaline binge and lumped all the possible things they could think of into a "gangsta" sandbox game. From the start of the game, where you can design your character's look with a multitude of options (mine was an African-Asian woman, slender but athletic, with green spiky hair and pink tips), you can then live out your fantasy in an open game world where the sky (literally!) is the limit. And every possible activity has some relation to your character's growth by giving you "street cred."

Find extra stunt jumps with your car and gain maximum air time. Find extra CDs to play on your car radio. Find Secret Areas or tag your enemies' territories with your own gang tag. Take on jobs to drive ambulances, fire trucks, taxis or tow trucks. Become a hoe. Drive the wrong way in traffic and rack up experience. Do gang drive-bys, become a flasher, hold-up stores, take hostages, mug people, play poker, race in all kinds of vehicles, use the TV in your "crib" to play the game Zombie Uprising. Do a variety of stunts to learn combat tricks, driving skills, or to base jump off skyscrapers. Take boats and jet-skis out to outlying islands. Pilot helicopters and planes and rain missiles down on the unsuspecting.

As I said, the sky is the limit!!  :o  But these mini-games only give you entre to the main missions, of which the key is regaining control of the city Stillwater (similar in size and scope to New York City) from three rival gangs and ultimately from an overbearing company named Ultor. You'll do this through some 30+ missions that will take you at least 55+ hours to complete.

Graphically, things are not ultra-detailed, but vehicles have great collision damage animations, and everything looks realistic. Driving a vehicle down the highways has never been more fun. Cut-scenes are extremely well done, and feature loads of talent including Jay Mohr as a sleazy exec, Michael Dorn as a rival gang leader and Neil-Patrick Harris as a hippie flunkie.

And ultimately, the game has heart. I dare anyone not to choke up when one of your long-time friends gets taken down by a rival gang, or when you have to confront a kid you sent out on a mission, or the loss experienced by Michael Dorn's character. These rare moments are buttressed by some of the funniest writing I have ever seen/heard in a game. "You know what would really make this crib shine?" A huge-ass flatscreen and a stripper pole!!  ;D

If you play a game to have fun, and not to have the utmost in graphical detail, then I think you'll enjoy SR2. It isn't for everyone, and the language can be off-putting (but after all, this IS a gangsta game!), but the sheer variety of ways to play the game will ensure an unrivaled experience. 9.2 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #23 on: January 04, 2010, 02:59:33 PM »
After spending one month and 60+ hours playing Saints Row 2 and all its chewy goodness (i.e. driving and gang activities), it was hard to get into Wheelman , which is similar in gameplay through its main/side mission context. Set in Madrid, Spain, you play a 3rd-person likeness of Vin Diesel, who is playing a tough, no-nonsense, bad-a CIA operative (who casts this guy??) gone undercover to figure out the gang situation in the city.

There's lots of driving about the city streets, some firefights, and plenty of cutscenes between missions, but it's all stuff you've seen and done before in GTA 4, Saints Row, etc. What Wheelman DOES bring to the table is the idea of "focus" -- hit enough objects, take jumps and speed through traffic to build your focus meter. Once full, you can hit turbo boost, or even cooler, do a bullet time moment to shoot at enemy cars' hotspots. OR, you can spin your car backwards and shoot foes behind you, before spinning back to the front. Realistic? Absolutely not. Fun? You betcha. The other unique element is the use of your mouse to "melee" your car into those beside you or in front of you, simply by sliding the mouse to one side.

Overall, the game is average, and other than the cool elements mentioned above, just didn't add anything to the genre. It is fun in spots, cutscenese are nicely done, and vehicle damage is really good, but only play Wheelman if you've exhausted the other games in the genre. 7.2 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2010, 08:31:12 PM »
You want another game review already?? My, you're a fickle crowd.... But you know what ... I like you, so I'll make an exception this ONE time, okay?! Just don't shoot the messenger!  :computerfix:

I might as well get off my chest that Turning Point: Fall of Liberty is very, very disappointing, and I strongly urge you not to spend more than $5 total on it. This console knock-off is based on an alternate World War 2 timeline where Germans have conquered Europe in toto, and are now moving on the U.S. The concept is sound and I'm a sucker for "what if" scenarios. But the execution is poor.

The opening scene shows a massed fleet of Nazi dirigibles and airplanes descending upon New York City with a vengeance, taking out landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building. You are Schlo Mo (I don't know what my name was, and I don't care -- you won't learn enough about you to make a difference), a skyscraper construction worker who sees the invasion coming and attempts to escape, somehow becoming embroiled in an underground resistance effort whose activities are curtailed by a Nazi-leaning U.S. president. Upon making yourself useful in New York, you hop a train to Washington DC to free a useful general and kill the puppet president. This leads to new information regarding a nuclear facility located in the Tower of London, so you'll have to cross the Atlantic, only to learn the nukes have been loaded aboard an ultra-zeppelin that is NYC bound.

No, none of this makes logical sense, but it IS an alternate timeline, after all. The story is generally okay and the game is short enough to play in an afternoon. Graphics are supposedly on the Unreal 3 engine, but I sure couldn't see that, as graphics are marginal, and the designers only allow a MAXIMUM screen size of 1024x768. I suppose I could generously call the graphics passable, as they get the job done and show a variety of different environments. But imagine what the original Medal of Honor Allied Assault looked like, and you'll be close... and TPFOL came out in 2008!!

AI interaction is pretty spotty, as some enemies take multiple headshots to kill, while some can be shot in the foot and keel over dead. Some areas took multiple play-throughs because of their tough difficulty. Oh yes, because it's a console port, it has no quicksaves -- only save points that are scattered haphazardly.

The alternate timeline is a fresh approach to the stale WW2 genre, and even though the graphics appear last-gen, I'd say TPFOL is still slightly better than some other games I've played. Just pick it up on the cheap, and only with low expectations. 6.3 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #25 on: January 08, 2010, 08:03:55 AM »
How my tastes in RPGs have changed over the years! When Divine Divinity first came out, I logged many hours in it, trying to get every last secret and matching set of armor. Then the sequel/expansion Beyond Divinity arrived, and I just zoomed through the main mission in a bored haste -- I don't actually remember finishing it.

So now comes Divinity 2: Ego Draconis into the 3rd dimension, with a 3rd-person perspective a la Gothic or Two Worlds, and gameplay somewhere between both. The focus of this game dwells on your training as a dragon-slayer, so how ironic is it that you eventually have to mind-merge WITH a dragon?! The first third of the game focuses on developing your human skills, but the next two thirds alternate gameplay between human and dragon. Of both, the human part of the game is somewhat generic but the dragon form is fairly fun to play.

The game is a mix of combat and main and side missions that can be picked up from a variety of NPCs dotting the landscape. The overall story has something to do with raising the soul of a deceased queen to kill her husband, who is currently razing all the lands with his dragon army and sorcerors.

Graphically, the elements are the slightest hint cartoony -- not detailed as you might see in Dragon Age Origins, but also not quite so cartoony as Overlord or Fable. You'll see the same "dungeon" design throughout the game (although I wouldn't truly classify them as dungeons in the proper sense), but the cities and forts are individual. Flying and fighting as a dragon is fun, and you must use your dragon form to get around the later stages of the semi-open gameworld (meaning there is some open room, but your overall path is linear). The hardest part of the game is fighting against the floating fortresses sent by your enemy to wipe out the land. You will die many, many deaths on these levels, so the quicksave comes in especially handy!  ;D

As an RPG, it provides a plethora of skills to choose from, but concentrating on archer, mage and fighter. You also will be able to allocate special skills to your dragon form. One of the somewhat interesting things you can do is to read people's minds, which affects how they feel about you, perhaps allows them to favor you, or gives you insight into solving a quest. You also will be able to create a necromantic monster who will accompany you and fight by your side.

Overall, I "mostly" enjoyed Divinity 2 -- the RPG experience was pretty formulaic, but the option to switch back and forth between dragon/human form livened up the gameplay. The ending is bittersweet, but the path to get there is lengthy and full of swatches of humor. 8.3 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2010, 10:42:26 AM »
Prototype is now my third open-world sandbox game, featuring a rich storyline with a character (Alex Mercer) who sports almost heroic powers. Much of the game is told in flashbacks, starting with Day 12 of a horrible infectious epidemic gone awry in New York City’s Manhattan. The city has been blockaded from the rest of the world and effectively quarantined, all because of the actions of one individual who infected himself with a horrendous viral weapon that was intended to create super-soldiers. You are that individual and you died – what arose from your actions has claimed your body, but it has given you untold powers. And now you must clean up the mess created by your former self.

From this point, we see the effects of the virus as it unfolds over the next 12 days, infecting the public, creating super monsters (and even super-size monsters!), bringing the hammer of martial law down upon the island, and unfolding a conspiracy that reaches back 40 years into the past. In the beginning, you have some minor powers that gradually grow in strength and sophistication until you are literally able to leap long distances and fly across Manhattan, cause earthquake pounds with your massive fists, cut through swathes of enemies with blades or claws in place of your hands, throw objects hundreds of yards – you are a modern-day Hercules, extracting vengeance on those powers who have wronged you. But plenty of civilians also die at your hands, so you are no angel; in all respects, you are an anti-hero – doing the right thing only because it happens to be in line with your own selfish needs for answers and self-preservation.

Your powers also encompass the ability to absorb people into yourself and then take their shapes, skills and memories – much of the storyline is actually told in snippets of memories that you digest, leading gradually into a more comprehensive story of what happened, and why, and perhaps more importantly, who is behind everything. In someone else’s skin, you can falsely accuse others of being you, you can enter restricted areas, and you can gain their skills to call military strikes, to drive tanks, or to pilot helicopters.

Powers are gained by doing anything – causing destruction, fulfilling main missions, and doing side missions that are as diverse as they are fun. Some side missions have you jump-flying to various checkpoints, floating from great heights to land on target, absorbing foes spread out around the city, fighting against infected or military forces, piloting tanks or copters, and infiltrating restricted areas. I was able to get bronze to gold medals on all side missions, although I admit that infiltrating military bases became unattainable to me when they hit Medium difficulty, simply because it was nigh impossible to get past all the base’s 6-7 scanners that could detect my presence.

Graphically, the cityscape is impressive. Having been to NYC a number of times, I found areas such as the Javits Convention Center, the hockey arena, the docks, Empire State Building and Chrysler Building – and you can climb/fly/jump all around them. The camera from the 3rd-person view hardly ever got in the way, and maintained a high FPS throughout the game, even on hectic battles with dozens of foes.

The difficulty ratio is absolutely perfect: you start with minimal powers and face foes and situations that you can just barely master. As you gain new powers and experience, the challenge grows correspondingly, until the finale event on a battlecruiser in the harbor. I was challenged to remember some of the moves for each special fighting skill you might employ, but the game has a guide that lists the buttons if necessary.

You might get bored flying over the city for the umpteenth time, but the game includes 200 “points of interest” and 50 “tips” (both marked by glowing balls), which are scattered haphazardly on the tops and sides of buildings and other areas. Finding these gains you experience that you can apply to your skills. (I was able to find 75% of each). You also want to find the people from the “web of intrigue”, who provide a fuller picture of the story when you absorb their bodies and memories. And finally, when the game is over, you can actually go back and finish up any tasks remaining, so it doesn’t necessarily end after you’ve beaten the final boss.

It’s never been so fun to be an anti-hero, even one who started such a nasty mess as the complete infection of New York City. The storyline is compelling, the powers are awesome, and the destruction is chaotic. Sometimes ... it just feels good to be bad. 8.9 out of 10
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 09:49:54 AM by bobdog »

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2010, 07:56:36 AM »
Prototype is indeed an amazing game, the feeling of infinite power and destruction is something thats been missing from super-hero games. Picking up a bus, whilst running up the side of a building then jumping 100's of feet into the air, then flinging said bus into a crowd of new yorkers on the street far below, is this the first game that seems to reward genocide? its easily the best free running game since crackdown. puts assassins creed to shame.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #28 on: January 18, 2010, 03:23:18 PM »
Quantum of Solace is definitely the best James Bond 007 PC game, and perhaps one of the better movie-to-game adaptations out there, although I admit that I haven’t seen either of the two movies that serve as source material (Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace). Regardless, the storyline as played offers some serious consistency issues, bouncing back and forth haphazardly and leaving out key plot elements and character introductions.

However, as a game, QoS is a pretty satisfying experience. Levels are nicely crafted with some impressive graphics, textures and motion capture efforts. Through the course of approximately 6 hours, you’ll venture through Siena and Venice, a science center, an opera house, a shantytown in Madagascar, a sinkhole in Bolivia, an airport, the famed Casino Royale, a crime boss’s estate, a funky “eco” hotel in the desert, docks and a barge, and an impressive train level.

Played from a 3rd-person over-the-shoulder perspective, Bond can wield a variety of arms, for which his ability to get behind cover comes in especially handy. I did find the cover system kind of sticky and sometimes hard to break out of when under direct frontal attack. Bond also can beat on his opponents by sneaking up on them – a circle appears on the target that you must move and click your circular cursor. This also turns into a mini-game when hand-to-hand fighting against various bosses. You don’t use any gadgets, but you can hack into cameras and open locked doors.

Overall, the game is fairly fun to play through, and engages you with its various setpieces and graphics. The frantic storyline brings the final score down for me to 7.9 out of 10, so it’s not a bad game but lacks a few key elements to put it in the “great” category.

Offline Joshua-kun

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2010, 11:33:40 AM »
Considering that the Quantum of Solace movie was a bit confusing and narratively-idiotic (is that a word? Can it be now?), I'm pretty sure that the game developers were just working with what they had.  ;D
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