Author Topic: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread  (Read 131037 times)

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #90 on: December 24, 2010, 10:01:16 AM »
I’m sure Boiling Point: Road to Hell was much more impressive when it came out 5 years ago, but by today’s standards, it has not aged well. I began the game and was ready to quit within 10 minutes. While Total Overdose reviewed up above at least had some cool character moves, Boiling Point lacks any real definition as a game.

BP is an open-world game where your character serves as a mercenary in a South American country. I *think* you are trying to find your daughter, who has vanished in the area. If you choose to play for longer than 10 minutes, I understand you’ll get to take on a wide diversity of missions, and grow your character in RPG fashion.

But the graphics are really bad. It looks like a first-gen console game, but not even as good as Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in design. Characters in-game look squashed, voice acting is bad, conversations go on interminably long, and it just wasn’t fun.

If you really want an open-world merc game in the jungles, go play Far Cry 2. I didn’t like that one either, but at least it kept me interested for a week or so. 5.4 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #91 on: December 27, 2010, 08:55:38 AM »
Another World (also known as Out of This World in the U.S.) was one of those pivotal games in my life, along with Flashback and other similar side-scrollers. So it was with some fondness that I picked up the enhanced 15th Anniversary edition released in 2007, hoping to relive some of those early gaming memories.

My initial thoughts: Damn this game is hard!! How in the world was I able to get all these moves down and complete the game??

Yes, time has taken its toll on my now less-than-nimble fingers, and without an NES controller in my hand, it just isn’t as responsive as the arrow keys on the keyboard. As a result, I found this game extremely difficult in a lot of areas that required absolute finesse and perfection. Jump here, move there, set up a shield, shoot now, go back, etc. Sheesh.

So, as beloved as it remains in my memory, I’ll have to rely on those same memories to know that at one point in my younger life, I was able to complete this gem of a game.

Oh yeah, the new version looks much cleaner and colors are great. 7.7 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #92 on: December 29, 2010, 10:09:42 AM »
Compared to the other games I’ve reviewed from developer City Interactive, Sniper: Ghost Warrior is a friggin’ Monet masterpiece! Please note that I played the latest patched version, and that the initial release did have some buggy elements reflected in many of the other reviewers’ scores.

Level design is broad and expansive, taking place primarily in a South American destination where you will experience jungle habitat, with occasional excursions into small villages and coastal towns. A couple of missions take you to an oil rig and oil refinery, a strip mine, and some absolutely gorgeous native ruins. The Chrome 4 engine (I assume from the Chrome game from way back??) generally looks really good, although I caught a few graphical anomalies and some invisible walls that penned my actions in. It very much reminded me of how Far Cry was so open to interpretation – you can sneak through brush (able to go prone as well as crouch) and do silent take-downs, or you can attempt to go blazing through, but odds are that you won’t last long.

One of the main complaints I read prior to playing was that the sneaking mechanism was busted. Well, the patch must have fixed it because in a couple of large levels, I spent half an hour sneaking through areas on my belly, circumnavigating enemy fighters to reach my objective. I could kill some lone fighters and not raise an alarm, but generally I had to keep my head down. Some players didn’t realize that the crouch/prone button are the same, just hold it longer to go prone.

Perhaps my major complaint is that the right mouse button is hard-corded to bring up your scope/iron sights, no matter what key you attempt to bind to that action. I normally use RMB for my Forward key, so I had to do some refiguring to get it to work. But once that was done, I was able to proceed fairly smoothly.

Enemy AI is only slightly smarter than comatose and generally stands around when being shot at, but once aroused, they do duck behind cover and have pretty good aim, taking your health down quickly. The only option is to duck down and use one of your health shots that you can pick up as you explore, which brings back 50 health. You also will be able to find laptops along the way with enemy intel, which count as secrets within each level, but doesn’t offer any other advantages.

Throughout the game, you switch playing as different characters: a lone sniper, a sniper with a spotting partner (and sometimes as the spotter), and a marine as part of a group. All play slightly different and have different weapons and tools, but are trained to be deadly silent. Generally, you’ll play as one of the snipers, which is of course the intent of the game. Sometimes, you’ll go through the same level as each of the separate players; for example, my sniper had to get to the top of a tower to take out an enemy commander and cover my marines, and next I played as the marine being pinned down until my sniper could free things up. It was a nice contrast in play styles.

Sound is generally good – both effects and voiceovers – and the game has some strong elements of realism. For example, when you snipe, the game takes into consideration your shaking and breathing, and the wind effects, to determine where your bullet will land. So in-game this is reflected by a red dot that you’ll see in your sniper scope’s crosshairs. Lying prone and holding your breath (Shift key) will significantly slow down the shutter and allow you to better target with the red dot and hit your mark. And when you pull it off successfully, you’ll see a bullet cam follow the bullet to your target, knocking through them like a battering ram – it’s sweet!

But then the game has a few UNrealistic elements, like the white dot on the horizon indicating your next objective. I think if it had been on a wristheld PDA it would have been much more realistic. As would the radar that you see in the upper left of the screen indicating your next objective, but also the surrounding enemies. Again, this would have been more realistic on a separate PDA that you must pull up.

So  overall I liked Ghost Warrior – it was fun to play, it was challenging, it had effective sneaking elements, it was relatively filling at 7 hours playtime, and it provided some good thrills for a FPS. The enemy AI, some invisible walls penning me in, and some of the unrealistic elements pulled down the overall experience, but my recommendation is to get it and patch it, and then let the bullets fly. 8.6 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #93 on: January 03, 2011, 11:38:26 AM »
Aurora Watching / Soldier Elite is a bland, derivative 3rd-person action shooter that feels like a hundred other games. In fact, as I was playing through the first few maps I had the strongest sense of deja vu, and I went back to the box to make sure I hadn’t actually played the game before!

It feels very much like a Metal Gear clone, but not quite so good. I think there’s a story that you’re an alcoholic merc whose boss hates you and sticks you on a mission to a Russian ice-base, where you must find out blah blah blah. Yeah, pretty banal. But your first enemy is a Russian colonel with a cyborg hand who strokes a cat and talks to it... sound familiar?

And your journey doesn’t get any better. Your first few missions through an ice base are decently designed, but inside the underground base, it all looks the same for map upon map upon map. As a super-spy merc type, you do have access to a cracking program for closed doors and computers, but all you do is press a button and wait – there’s no challenge whatsoever. And your nifty spy tools really aren’t so nifty, like the rolling mine that rolls about 2 feet in front of you.... The straw that finally broke my back was when my character was captured by a female character ... and THEN I took over the female character to go free the main character I had just captured!!! WTF??

So, no, I don’t really recommend this game. I kept playing to see if it would get better ... and guess what?! It didn’t. 6.2 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #94 on: January 07, 2011, 08:33:55 AM »
When I first played the horror 3rd-person shooter The Suffering two years ago, I described it as a “creepy fragfest” that I “barely made it through alive.” I can remember the feelings of dread I had playing the game, and that I needed to take a break from it every now and then so that I wouldn’t go postal on my family.

In contrast, the follow-up The Suffering: Ties That Bind is more of a bland expansion or add-on than a full-fledged sequel. At 4-5 hours gameplay, it brings you back into the shoes of main character Torque from the original game, but doesn’t add anything new to the genre. The storyline is rote, although it does have a completely unexpected twist in the final moments that I didn’t expect, but have seen in other games. Design-wise, the game is serviceable. Levels are adequately designed and look believable. You’ll have a few simple environmental puzzles that need to be completed. You’ve got a diversity of weaponry to sporadically draw from.

Unfortunately, the game suffers from the actual atmosphere of downtown Baltimore’s settings, which are uninteresting compared to the first game’s creepy settings on the prison island. This sequel also removes much of the horror element so prevalent in the original, making this simply a 3rd-person shooter. There are really no unique creatures added to the lexicon, and no boss fights to speak of until the finale. Only at a few points did I feel like I was in any harm due to the preponderance of weapons and health packs. Additionally, the over-the-shoulder camera completely got in the way on a number of occasions.

Honestly, I’d only recommend this if you liked the original game – 7.3 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #95 on: January 11, 2011, 06:48:09 AM »
As the unofficial sequel to the movies Ghostbusters and Ghostbusters 2, Ghostbusters the Video Game does an adequate job of tying into the mindset of the original movies while offering some new gameplay possibilities. The game returns the original actors Bill Murray, Dan Akroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson to use their likenesses on-screen, and their voices in-game (although Bill sounds very bored throughout), and you start as a new unnamed recruit to the team.

The game features old favs Slimer, Staypuft Marshmallow Man, the Gray Librarian and Gozer, but also introduces a host of new ghosts and deities that you’ll have to outwit and out-slime. Of course, the car Ecto 1 is on-hand and serves a useful role in a couple of maps to trap ghosts on the streets of New York City. And you’ll visit the hotel and public library that played such pivotal roles in the original movies.

The level designers have done a great job of developing new and interesting destinations that you’ll travel through, including a water-filled hotel hallway, an inter-dimensional library, and a really cool castle. One of the coolest settings has you face off (literally) against Staypuft as he climbs the building that you are hanging from.

My main gripe was in the overall difficulty of the game. I don’t mind dying a few times when I play through a new area on a map; however, I DO mind dying more than 20 times on the same area, especially when I am playing the “normal” difficulty level. It’s too late to go change to the “Easy” setting once you’re a couple hours into the game ... so I found a trainer to give me continual health instead, significantly easing the difficulty factor. Otherwise, I would have simply quit in disgust, missing out on 4-5 hours of the rest of the game.

You’ll also spend a significant amount of time reviving your comrades, instead of wrangling ghosts. The wrangling bit was indeed challenging, forcing you to move your mouse this way and that, but I could deal with that issue in the larger scheme. It was the constant knockdowns you had to face as well as running all over the area getting your mates back up that was a bother.

Your pack (which is exquisitely designed, by the way) offers four main and four alternate firing modes to take down ghosts, depending on their general make-up, which you can determine using your ghost “wand”. Some of the alternate fire modes are helpful in getting you through various environmental puzzles, but two of the firing streams were barely utilized as either weapons or within levels.

If you’re a Ghostbusters fan, you’ll enjoy this, but for all others, the overall difficulty, the sleepy voice-overs from Bill Murray, and the under-utilization of all your pack’s weapons show me a little more tweaking was necessary to make this good game “great”. 7.9 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #96 on: January 17, 2011, 02:11:14 PM »
I used to really like adventure games ... Syberia, Broken Sword, The Longest Journey, all the old Lucas Arts games ... but I think in the past 10 years I’ve gotten bored of the traditional point-and-click adventure because the slow pace is just maddening. I guess I prefer a little more action with my adventure any more.

So it’s probably no surprise that I was very bored with Benoit Sokal’s Sinking Island. I did put in a couple-three hours to try and give it a fair shot, but it just under-exceeds in every way: lame murder mystery storyline, slow boil to get to the point, pathetic graphics (the character voicework is fine, but their mouths don’t move even when they are emoting to your questions), too much walking monotonously with nothing to show for it. It just was not what I wanted to play. This is a shame because Sokal’s Syberia is one of the masterpieces of the adventure game past, and even Syberia 2 was a decent effort.

I understand that if I got deeper into the game, the island starts sinking, and you’re now in a hotel tower with all the suspects. But honestly, I was just too bored to even try to get to that point. Additionally, I couldn’t find the correct clues to take me to the next stage, even though I’d scoured the island and spoken with everyone numerous times.

I assume more patient players might like Sinking Island and delving into all the crime-scene investigations. But my recommendation is replay any of the masterpieces before investing in this game. 6.7 out of 10

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #97 on: January 19, 2011, 08:05:40 PM »
In July 2008, I did a co-review of Assassin’s Creed with Silver Sorrow. In general, we both liked it, and I gave the game a final score of 9.4 out of 10, which in retrospect was much too generous. Although I enjoyed it immensely, all the issues I’ll list below should have lowered it to a more appropriate 8.5 out of 10 – still a great game worth playing, but others exemplify the craft. I can only blame my overeager scoring on my awe at finally working with the great Silver Sorrow!   :hammerhead:

The broad concept is that you play as Desmond, some guy grabbed off the street by an unknown research facility. In the original game, your captors hook you up to a machine called an Animus, which extracts memories of your ancestor Altair, who just happened to be a master assassin in the ancient Middle East. Your captors follow your memories until the end, when you discover a unique weapon of unknown origin and power. Only then is the truth revealed – your captors are the modern-day Templars that your assassin ancestor was fighting those many centuries past. The game ends with one of the researchers letting you know that she too is an assassin.

Assassin’s Creed 2 begins in that same laboratory, and your researcher friend rescues you from the facility and brings you to a new location to work with some new techies. Their goal is to again reach back into your subconscious and determine what happened to the weapon found by Altair, as well as to teach the modern-day you the assassin’s craft. This time, you’ll be playing as assassin Ezio in Renaissance Italy.

The setting is absolutely fabulous. After the drab dirt colors of the first game in the Middle East, Italy is a veritable explosion of color and design. It’s fun to just walk around cities in-game that I’ve been to in real life, noting such landmarks as the Duomo in Florence.

My feeling is that the developers made huge strides in the sequel, fixing nearly all the issues I had with the original, and counting them up, they were many.

- AC1 required too many buttons – I think I recall having to use like 3-4 buttons just to jump up walls, and I don’t recall them being able to remap very easily. The sequel still uses quite a few buttons, but it has been simplified somewhat, and you are able to remap. But you still have to remember what each button means when you get an on-screen prompt; ideally, such prompting would indicate the exact button needed to push, rather than some general symbol.
- AC1 felt like you were involved in more swordplay than assassinating – the finale battle stands out in my mind, since it took an actual hour to play through it. In contrast, the sequel minimizes sword battles necessary to actually complete missions.
- AC1 had WAAAAAYYYYYY too many menus to get to the actual gameplay, taking an actual 5 minutes – an eternity in gameplay to both get into the game, and also to save and get out. Thank goodness the sequel loads quickly and gets right to the game within about 30 seconds.
- AC1 has worthless achievements; i.e. collecting flags in the original nets you nothing other than a badge of honor. In the sequel, your collections net you tangible rewards, such as collecting feathers gets you new equipment.
- AC1’s travel between cities was a chore with lengthy boring horse rides through countryside to get from one town to the next. Other than one section on a mountain road, the sequel has replaced this need with fast-travel options from town-to-town, and to specific locations within each town to minimize the time spent on foot.
- AC1 has no use for all the money you loot, whereas the sequel has you refurbishing your family’s villa and surroundings, as well as using funds to purchase weapons, gear, treasure maps and paintings. The developers possibly could have spaced available weapon and gear offerings further to ensure you continue to use funds through the end of the game, as I ended with 500,000 florins in my purse.
- AC1 had way too many required quests, such as saving maidens, killing Templars, stealing items, pickpocketing, racing, etc. and it just got old after a bit – it was almost like (as Silver Sorrow mentioned) “Grand Theft Auto 3 ... but with horses.” In contrast, the sequel incorporates these types of quests into the mission proper, in a much more natural state of gameplay.

All these improvements aren’t to say AC2 is perfect – it still has some detractions.... [TO BE CONTINUED]

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #98 on: January 25, 2011, 06:44:00 AM »
Assassin’s Creed 2 – CONTINUED

All these improvements aren’t to say AC2 is perfect – it still has some detractions:

- The biggest one is that a permanent Internet connection is required to play the game. Now, it appears that Ubisoft will be offering a patch to remove this permanent connection, so keep an eye out for that.
- Character models, especially faces, are not ultra-detailed, but the world has a diversity of character models, so that it’s not obvious when you’re seeing duplicates in the crowd.
- And most grievously, the camera angle sometimes switches from a over-the-shoulder view to a sidescroller view – midway through platforming sequences (!!) – throwing off your buttons and forcing you to remember what button to press next to gain the required result. It wouldn’t be so bad if these situations weren’t often linked to timers, where every second is critical.

But all these detractions are negligible compared to all the new bonuses present:

- The ability to take out opponents with hidden blades, especially two at once, or leaping down from above, is extremely fulfilling. As is the ability to disarm your opponents. Again, bringing back the idea that Ezio is an agile assassin – not a sword-fighter.

- AC2 downplays the modern-day scenario, only bringing you back a few times rather than after each individual mission. You have more time to play as the assassin, rather than moping around as Desmond, but what that does is focus how valuable this training is to modern-day Desmond. And the final scene as the credits role is one of the biggest payoffs ever experienced in a game, in only about 3 minutes time – not to be missed, if you want to know exactly what’s going on in the storyline!

- The addition of Assassin’s Tombs scattered throughout the land is a refreshing breather from the normal gameplay, and take place in locales reminiscent of Prince of Persia, requiring agility and forward thinking. After completing all six, you’ll net the ultimate gear reward – your ancestor Altair’s armor, which is the best you can get in the game.

- The overall conspiracy is revealed in side quests for “The Truth” about the unknown object, requiring you to scour certain city landmarks for special glyphs. Once uncovered, then you have a variety of puzzles you must unlock to gain the password. Many of these were downright next to impossible, so luckily you get a hint after a certain amount of time spent on each.

- Your character Ezio shows deep growth through the 20+ hours of gameplay, turning from a surly, spoiled curmudgeon into a political force who uses his assassin’s powers with restraint and respect. Rather than being ruthless to his enemies, he acknowledges their human frailty and releases them from their failures.

- And possibly the highlight of the game is your blossoming friendship with Leonardo da Vinci, who advances the plot in many instances, as well as solves codes and creates new weapons for you. Going to meet with Leonardo was always a highlight as he was always friendly and helpful.

In short, I appreciated AC2 much more than the original, and loved the new environs and characters that I could relate to. I’ll admit I made a slight miscalculation with the original’s score, but in this case, AC2 is definitely desirous of this 9.4 out of 10.

Offline bobdog

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #99 on: January 28, 2011, 07:58:24 PM »
With Dead Space 2 on the verge of release, I figured I had better play the highly lauded original and see what all the hullabaloo was about. What I found was that Dead Space plays like an amped-up System Shock 2 – it seems to be nearly a word-for-word interpretation except for the last chapter when you return to the planet. Humans are hideously malformed due to an alien presence that has been brought on-board a dead ship, requiring you to hit up the medical, engineering, life support and tram sections (among others) to bring them all back online before you escape in the remaining shuttle.

What Dead Space does differently is to force you to interact with your environment in a new, awkward way. You play in a third-person, over-the-shoulder perspective that seems really cramped at times, and playing with your character on the left side of the screen is completely opposite the right-sided (or centered) bias we’ve seen in just about every other 3rd-Person Shooter out there. This little change makes gameplay seem much more difficult because it breaks past our norms.

The second major change is your enemy interaction. Whereas most games reward you when you pull off successful headshots, Dead Space flips that convention – the easiest way to take down the Necromorphs before you is to cut off their limbs with a variety of industrial tools that have been modified slightly.

In some ways, the game makes things TOO challenging, at least more so than we are normally accustomed. The prime example is that you must raise your weapon before you can shoot, whereas almost every other game already has your weapon raised automatically as you walk. This may not seem like a big deal, but it means one more key you have to press before you can fire on your enemies. And when they come at you so fast, you might not even get your weapon up in time to fire before they’re upon you, sucking your head and whittling away at your health.

So perhaps what stood out most for me was that the “realism” heightened the suspense. The difficulty was very challenging, with me barely making it to the next level on a number of occasions. The over-the-shoulder perspective, besides being awkward, was also slow and it seemed to take forever to spin your character around to see what was coming behind you.

However, the developers were thoughtful about enemy placement, so it wasn’t always the regular Doom 3 approach: enter room, doors lock and lights go out for several seconds, enemies spring upon you. Many times I would enter a location cautiously, expecting just this, and nothing would happen, causing me to let my guard down – then randomly something would leap out of the vents. And when this scenario did happen, sometimes you couldn’t even fight the Necromorphs and had to flee instead, running madly to the next closed door, hoping it would open before they could catch you.... It was moments like these that made me realize I should play the game in the light, and not in the dark of night.

The Necromorph enemies are definitely creepy, formed from the remains of former shipmates. I thought it was interesting that the developers introduced some church theology into the storyline, something I’ve hardly ever seen in games. Unfortunately, the story really doesn’t say why the Unitology Church is so hot to retrieve the alien artifact. I found out after playing that the Unitologists believe that humanity will join a cosmic single race, and they believe the artifact evolves humans into beings ready for this change. More info is promised through the animated Dead Space: Aftermath to link Dead Space 1 and 2.

Even with all these changes, and the truly creepy atmosphere, the true highlight of the game was the zero-gravity sequences, which really forced you to think in three dimensions as far as incoming enemies and your geo-location. Add to that the additional element of running out of oxygen, and it amped the anxiety significantly. By the end of the game, I was hoping Isaac would just get the heck out of dodge and leave everything behind!!

Along the way, you can open lockers and break open chests and gain new materials, schematics and credits, which you can use to purchase new items in the virtual stores, or to upgrade your equipment. There are (I think) six weapons to choose from, but I kind of just went with the first four I got and started upgrading them. You’ll also want to upgrade your RIG (suit) to carry more supplies and health.

Speaking of your RIG, I liked most everything about it, and how it never pulled you out of the game to do anything. Need to know where to go next? Your RIG will project a map in front of you with instructions. How about supplies? Same thing. Ammo count in your weapon? Raise your weapon and it will show the number. Health or kinetic juice available? On the back of your RIG, a neon strip shows you how much health you have in 50 hp increments, and a small dial shows you your kinetic energy, useful for freezing objects.

Now, Dead Space is truly a great game, but only if you are able to bind the keys to your liking. See, when I first got in-game, I found that it wouldn’t allow me to remap my favorite keys, including the mouse-buttons. I attempted the alternate WASD selection, but found I couldn’t get my mind to work efficiently. I was a hairs-width from just dumping the game entirely, with immense furor that EA wouldn’t allow flexible key-mapping on such a AAA title as this. But I looked online, and lo and behold, others shared my same disgust ... and they had also found this solution!! In short, you need to download a program called GlovePIE, which allows you to substitute keys via the program. So if the regular Dead Space key for forward is “W”, you can substitute that in GlovePIE as “RightMouseButton”. Definitely, this is the only thing that saved the game for me.

So, Dead Space definitely generates a feeling of loneliness and dread via its in-game exposition, so much so that I’ll definitely need a good break before tackling the sequel. Gameplay was very, very challenging – both because of the new mechanics, and because of how the Necromorphs must be taken out. In the end, I could have ranked it higher, but the lack of total key-mapping almost killed the game for me. 8.8 out of 10

Offline Starfox

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #100 on: January 29, 2011, 04:33:41 PM »
Following your review it's interesting to see how things evolved in Dead Space 2. I won't be squatting your thread to do a full review but just stress some points

First the game is even creepier than the first opus... And still the same reminiscent System Shock 2 atmosphere, which is not a bad thing.

What changed:

- Isaac (Asimov Arthur C.) Clark now talks! No kidding.
- Controls are now fully customizable (they learned from their mistake)
- Two possibilities offered for targeting, either the "floating" laser dots like in the first Dead Space or a more standard centered crosshair (form still depends on the weapon used); that should make aiming easier for some. Although for some reason I kept the floating laser. More realism maybe?
- There's no map anymore although you can still use the tracer which indicates the route to your next objective.
- The game fully takes advantage of its very short loading time (hard to make them shorter than the first game though) and I have yet to encounter an obvious transition between areas like there was in the first game. There it's just like one gigantic map (several maps but seamlessly integrated so short the loading times are). That certainly further helps the immersion.
- Now you make actually more use of Isaac all purpose space janitor skills as there are some hacking puzzle available.
- A few new weapons but also the standard culprits
- Monsters do not instantly drop ammos and other resources anymore. After killing them you have to splash them for that (with a satisfying sound).
- Like Dragon Age and Mass Effect 2, an EA account is required in order for the game to work (existing one can be used).

I'm not very far into the game but I'm enthusiastic so far. Dead Space 2 manages to fix some silliness from the first game and to add more tension.

My enthusiasm maybe be partly due to too many months without any new PC game worthy of that title, though.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2011, 04:45:14 PM by Starfox »


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

Offline The Rogue Wolf

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #101 on: January 30, 2011, 04:27:57 PM »
Nice review, Bobdog, and it fairly well agrees with my own review (hey, remember when I wrote reviews? Those were the days).

I almost never buy first-day releases anymore, but seriously... I'm gonna grab this. Even at sixty bucks I've seen enough to make me think it'll be worthwhile.
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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #102 on: February 02, 2011, 04:29:39 AM »
Does that mean we can expect a new Rogue Wolf's review sometime down the line. I would do one myself but if you want to take it, you're welcome. Or a collaborative effort perhaps?

Anyway, I just finish it on Normal difficulty and that was quite the ride. Don't exactly remember how the first one was -- I should replay it -- but I get the impression they cranked up the difficulty a notch. Weapon balance is definitely not the same. The Force gun in particular is now much more useful. There are a couple of things that could have been handled differently near the end of the game (specifically they tended to go a little too "Doom 3" if you take my meaning regarding enemy placement) but nothing major completely ruining the experience. And the Zero-G gravity bits are much more fun now that one can move around freely (Zero G puzzle are generally more complex, sometime with enemies; do not fear though as the air reserve has been augmented -- up to 3 minutes if the Rig is fully upgraded -- to accommodate the new challenges.

Also the way the suits are handled is definitely better. When you find a new suit with better stats in armor and inventory, these ones are stored into your Rig so that you can change back your suit (yes you can -- your old suits are stored in your Store inventory now) if you don't like the style. Each suit has one special property (one of them for example adjust the power of the pulse gun, another one decrease the prices of the items). So basically one can switch armor to get a specific property while still retaining the best armor and inventory slot one has found so far.

Icing on the cake, now you can Replay the game (keeping your inventory like in the first game) at any difficulty level. In Dead Space you were stuck replaying at the same difficulty level you already played at.

About the map, I mentioned above that it was removed and now only the tracer to objective remains. That was before I get all the subtlety of the new tracer because it can not only indicate you the route to your objective but also to the nearest save point, the nearest Bench and the nearest Store. So all in all the map is not missing, it has just been more seamlessly integrated.

All in all a very good sequel despite a few (fortunately rare) gameplay decisions that do not have my agreement but may please others.

OK, now I've done it. I just introduced a mini-review in bobdog thread... Sorry for that... Don't hit me, I bruise easily.


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 #103 on: February 02, 2011, 02:35:36 PM »
Hey!! Grab your own thread!!  ;)

To celebrate 100 posts and more than 5,000 views, as well as 80 games reviewed thus far, I thought I might do a quick recap of the best and the worst I’ve played since I started this thread 15 months ago. Actually, it’s kind of hard to believe I’ve (mostly) played 80 games, especially since several of them took more than a month to finish. I say “mostly” because I admit to not finishing some of the lower-ranked games. But generally I’ve tried to finish every game I’ve started – good or bad – I’m just a giver, I guess.

I've placed a few thoughts next to each game as to what distinguished them in my mind. So, let’s start with the worst and work our way upward to the top, just like Casey Casem! Nearly a quarter of the games that I've played are my “bottom-dwellers” – those that irked me, pissed me off, or just otherwise sucked:

Bottom-dwellers:
- Rogue Warrior – 3.9 – ultra-short (3-4 hour) FPS with a dirty-mouthed scumbag through some unique locations, although the kills were nice!
- Infernal – 4.0 – buggy third-person-shooter crapfest with stupid storyline.
- Gothic 3: Forsaken Gods – 4.6 – buggy RPG crapfest with stupid storyline that put the nail in the Gothic coffin.
- Alone in the Dark (2008) – 4.8 – such promise, such wasted potential, such bugginess and overall difficulty.
- Dead Man’s Hand – 5.1 – a Western-themed FPS that hasn’t aged well with poor graphics and simplistic linear gameplay.
- Boiling Point: Road to Hell – 5.4 – another third-person-shooter that hasn’t aged well.
- Scorpion Disfigured – 5.8 – graphics were decent but everything about this FPS was booooorrrrring.
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Sith Edition) – 5.8 – LucasArts whored out their brand for this crappy console port, proving yet again that Jedi Knight was the best game in this genre.
- The Scourge Project Episodes 1 and 2 – 5.8 – Tough, tough difficulty with NO quicksave options and no way to skip the interminable cutscenes.
- Total Overdose – 5.8 – the open-world gangsta gameplay has been done much better and with more fun, although the gunkata moves were cool.
- Code of Honor  1 – 6.1 – lifeless, dated copy of original Medal of Honor, without the fun.
- Kane & Lynch: Dead Men – 6.1 – grab the soap because these boys are downright nasty with no redeeming features.
- Contract Jack – 6.1 – NOLF this is NOT; overly repetitive arena-type ambushes suck all semblance of humor from this FPS.
- Aurora Watching – 6.2 – another copycat, this time of Metal Gear Solid; clambers on monotonously without any sense of purpose.
- Exodus from the Earth – 6.3 – a potentially cool sci-fi concept mired by overly difficult snipers who have perfect aim, as well as making you backtrack throughout a laboratory/office building before finally getting to space in the third act.
- Turning Point: Fall of Liberty – 6.3 – great concept, poor execution in this WW2 alternate reality that wasn’t ported effectively from consoles.
- Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter – 6.3 – just plain too many buttons and keys to remember!

So those were the suckoids – consider yourself warned and never play them. You will rue your waste of breath when you could so easily be doing something productive with your life. Well, let’s go a little more positive with my “honorable mentions” – those games that aren’t quite the peak of perfection, but which I enjoyed nonetheless and highly recommend.

- Bionic Commando – 8.5 – loved the game mechanics of this fun third-person action shooter, which took advantage of your bionic arm to swing you all over the huge levels.
- FEAR 2: Project Origin – 8.6 – some killer set-pieces distinguish this FPS from its predecessor.
- Cold Fear – 8.6 – stuck on an abandoned ship with malformed creatures on your tail? Sign me up!
- Manhunt – 8.6 – the sneaking part of this game is almost as much fun as the many ways you can kill your enemies.
- Stranglehold – 8.6 – like playing a 6-hour long interactive John Woo movie.
- Turok – 8.6 – killing dinosaurs was never so fun, and the storyline was good too.
- Sniper: Ghost Warrior – 8.6 – the first FPS to really make sniping fun and accessible, with great level design and multiple points of view.
- Nox – 8.6 – old-skool PRG dungeoning that still feels fresh.
- Risen – 8.6 – a deep, immersive RPG from the original designers of the Gothic series – back when it was fun.
- Red Faction: Guerilla – 8.7 – like a monster-truck car-crushing contest in a wide-open game-world where you are the only hope for true rebellion.
- Mirror’s Edge – 8.8 – the first-person free-running opportunities still make me giddy when I think of this title.
- Timeshift – 8.8 – an under-rated FPS with an interesting storyline, cool powers, and fun weapon choices.
- Dead Space – 8.8 – creepy, creepy, creepy – this game will stick with you hours after you finish.
- Velvet Assassin – 8.8 – another under-rated sneaker that forces you to consider all the angles before you get caught.
- Prototype – 8.9 – the first open game-world that truly made me feel like a super-hero, with a diversity of powers to draw from as you remove a contagion from New York City.

And finally we come to those games that really embody excellence for gamers. You can’t go wrong with these, at least in my mind!

- Prince of Persia (2008) – 9.1 – I appreciated the new storyline and cel-based art concept, as well as the free-running skills of the Prince. And it’s the only POP game I’ve ever been able to complete.
- Reservoir Dogs – 9.1 – the shooter portion was okay, but the car chases really stood out and felt like you were in a Starsky and Hutch episode.
- Saints Row 2 – 9.2 – SR2 ups the fun factor a gazillion-fold for an open-world gangsta game that allows you to drive a plethora of vehicles through five distinct city districts.
- Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 – 9.2 – one of the most powerful FPS I’ve played, due to its emotional impact and settings.
- Gothic 2: Night of the Raven – 9.2 – still an amazing RPG experience 10 years later with a rich, huge game world.
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent – 9.4 – the greatest fear is the fear you invent yourself, and Amnesia is one of the few games to really get this right.
- Assassin’s Creed 2 – 9.4 – beautiful Italian Renaissance cities allow you to practice your craft without all the hassles present in the original game.
- Batman: Arkham Asylum – 9.5 – truly an amazing experience to be in Batman’s shoes, taking on the worst of the worst in Arkham’s dingy halls!!
- Dragon Age: Origins – 9.6 – this special game is so rich in back-story, augmented by great quests in memorable locations.

So there you have it – the worst and best I’ve reviewed in the past 80 games. Thanks for reading along, with many more to come.

Offline GreyMouser

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Re: Bobdog's Mini-Reviews Thread
« Reply #104 on: February 03, 2011, 02:20:02 AM »
First the game is even creepier than the first opus... And still the same reminiscent System Shock 2 atmosphere, which is not a bad thing.

I'm not very far into the game but I'm enthusiastic so far. Dead Space 2 manages to fix some silliness from the first game and to add more tension.
My enthusiasm maybe be partly due to too many months without any new PC game worthy of that title, though.
So.... Starfox did  you get the "collectible replica Plasma Cutter" with your copy of Dead Space 2.....:alieninvasion:


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