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Old 07-29-2009, 09:16 AM   #1001
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I actually LIKED Cedric, and didn't find him annoying at all. I thought it was cute how he wouldn't go with Graham to certain places.

The 6th game was okay, but I wouldn't say it's one of the best games ever made. I've seen some screenshots of the 7th game, and I'm not too excited about it. I don't really like the cartoony feel. The earlier ones, like the 5th game I love so much, didn't feel cartoony. And yes, I've played the 2nd one, I just wasn't blown away by it. It was pretty simple and short. I don't dislike it the most, though, that would probably be the 3rd game, although I liked the plot of the 3rd game, the stupid waiting!! lol
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:24 PM   #1002
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OK, I finally finished Darkness Within today. I didn't hate it as much as Fantsie did, though... it's a good thing she didn't pay anything for it!

For some insane reason I played it on Senior Detective level without hints (needed only two to finish the game). The game atmosphere was creepy enough with its gothic, Lovecraftian locations and dramatic music, although it didn't have the jump-out-of-your-seat moments like Scratches did (not necessarily a bad thing). The mystery surrounding the murder started off intriguing at first and got deeper with each new location, but then there were too many references to mysterious, unseen characters just to confuse things.

Also, in Senior Detective level, it got tedious having to underline everything over and over just to pick up a new clue. The "Howard's Mind" interface was an interesting concept; however, it got frustrating when I kept putting certain seemingly relevant clues together but got no results! Howard's nightmare sequences were very surreal, a change of pace from the ongoing investigation. My favourite puzzle in the game was the map puzzle, which required pulling together clues and information from several sources.

By the end of the game, you had to piece together what happened to the other characters, as nothing was explained. Considering the Lovecraftian inspiration from the opening cutscene, I knew it wouldn't end well for Howard... the game showed how he got "that way". Not sure if some of the nagging questions will be answered in the sequel (apparently, it's the first game in a planned trilogy!) Darkness Within: The Dark Lineage is supposed be released early next year.

(Hmm, according to my game results, there were quite a few hidden clues and documents that I missed, and I didn't find any of the easter eggs! )
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:42 PM   #1003
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I agree, Uncle Trunk. We were never introduced to most of the characters mentioned, so we didn't put much emotion into the story. And I always thought that some thoughts went together and opened up new clues in my head, but the game didn't think they went together.

The ending left a lot of questions, but unlike a game like "The Lost Crown", where the player has clues and can have their own opinions on what happened, "Darkness Within" left it so open, it felt raw and incomplete. Well, what happened?! lol And I too missed a lot of the documents and extras apparently.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:35 AM   #1004
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That would be Gabriel Knight 3, a replay (fourth time or so). Trying to get to see some extra scenes I missed before by going through the storyline too fast. Still didn't get them all, and for some reason I actually missed Emilio and "the twins" as I call them switching rooms this time around!
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Old 07-30-2009, 03:00 AM   #1005
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I finally got around to finishing The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. I started around a year ago, and every few months I'd progress a tiny bit before getting bored and stopping. This time I picked it up, I found that I had stopped playing at the game's climax. That should give an indication of how dull this game is.

The story is awful, and it's made worse by the fact that it's a direct sequel to The Wind Waker and I already care about these characters. I wanted to see what happened with Link and Tetra, what sorts of adventures they'd get themselves into, and I get this. Tetra spends the entire game needing to be rescued, and the story is actually about a fairy with no memory and less personality, and a villain so generic that I couldn't tell you anything about him even though I just beat him.

The gameplay has occasional bits of cleverness, but mostly it's just by-the-numbers stuff with no creativity or enthusiasm. The only good thing I can say about this game is that it's got some decently dramatic boss fights.
2/5
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:45 PM   #1006
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Siren: Blood Curse
Let me say this up front; Siren: Blood Curse is very different game, and feel very much like an interactive experiment. It's set up to be like an interactive TV show. There are 12 chapters, each chapter begins with a short recap of previous episodes, followed by two interactive sequences, followed by "scenes from the next episode". Originally they were released as downloadable chapters but I bought the blue-ray.

The story begins simple; an American Television crew investigates a city called Hanuda, where blood sacrifices were made 30 years earlier. From that point on things just get weirder and weirder. Appearently Hanuda is cursed and there's "intelligent" zombies called "chibitos" all over, who seem to be stuck in their daily routine, living out their daily lives, even if they are actually dead.

At first glance the game looks like Silent Hill or Resident Evil, meaning it looks like a survival horror game. Unlike other horror games though, where you are usually meant to kill whatever comes in your path, Siren puts more focus into sneaking. You will often feel you play a regular person who have no combat experience, and sneaking is often the best way to go by. The goal is often about getting through the area, meaning you have to get past the chibitos. This can sometimes be easy if you find a weapon, but they will never stay down forever, they will get up again in a minute or so, so there's no way to "clear the area".

As a help you have something known as "sightjacking". You can enter the eyes of a chibito, making it possible to track their routine, something that will help you sneaking past them, or decide the right moment to whack them over the head with one of the 50 improvised weapons in the game, everything from ashtrays to frying pans to real weapons like guns and blades.

One cool feature was the archive. On each map you can find secrets that unlocks archive items. These archive items can be accessed from the main menu and usually expand the storyline. Most of these are actual photographs or live video with the actors used for the game. There's even a fake website, the main characters blog.

Siren Blood Curse is interesting experiment, but I don't know if it's a good game. The story suffers like most horror plots that simply tries to be scary without telling anything more. The maps can be very frustrating to get through, often since you have to do a great feat to get past every obstacle without failing. Essentially you have to learn how to do each map through trial and error. Once you know how to do it you blaze through the map in notime. But I still have to give them thumbs up for trying to do things different. With a better plot and some less frustration, this could have been awesome. If they make another game like this, count me in.
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Old 07-31-2009, 02:29 AM   #1007
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Ooh, I can finally join in here! I tend to buy games on budget but never actually finish any!

I'm late to the party but finished Sam and Max Season 1 by the ace TellTale Games. Loved it! Well worth bringing back. Also, like the people above who played Darkness Within, I too missed loads of little easter eggs and things so at some point will probably replay!
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Old 08-03-2009, 07:35 AM   #1008
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Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis
Secret Files 1: Tunguska was a mystery adventuregame that tried very hard to be the professionally made 2d adventuregame we all craved for, but in the end couldn't impress me. There was something missing. For one thing the characters never got to me and the humor often failed. When I heard that a sequel was coming I hoped they would make a better job, but now after I finished the game I don't know what to think.

The 2d artwork looks good, except for the miniportrait of Nina who looked weird compared to the large image used in the game menu. The 3d models didn't look that well either. The game is rather silent, I could barely hear any ambient noise and there were no music outside the main menu. Perhaps there was something wrong with my audio. I experienced some bugs, such as a paper cup that couldn't be picked up when the game was played in widescreen mode, which automatically happens if your desktop is set to widescreen mode. After some strolling around forums I temporary changed the desktop to 4:3 and then the paper cup popped up where it should be. I also noted that the return button often ended up outside the monitor, and there were some places where you had to click on stuff in the bottom of the screen, that were often covered with the autoappearing inventory menu.

And the story is rather unconnected as well. I spent a large part of the game solving puzzles that felt outside the story, some felt like extremely long solutions for simple problems. There's this place you need to find several special stones all over Paris to get past a short gap, it seems the stones have to be the right ones and cannot be substituted, but guess what? They are conveniently placed just so you will be able to find them by strolling around...

This is probably not the first game I would mention to introduce someone to the adventure genré. The mechanisms for puzzlesolving is quite well done, there's even a "search for hints" button that points out key items on each screen. It just doesn't feel very interesting to bother.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:31 AM   #1009
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Fatprincess is blast to play, funny,cute, whimsical and hell of bloody mess. Online is crap right now, but i highly recommend it anyway, the patch will come eventually they are fixing it, but even then there is plenty of content there. What is not publicized yet is exctremely fun hacknslash beatemup soccer mode and gladiator mode.
For rest consult IGN review, they gave it 9, others are not so happy gave it below 7 like eurogamer.

My rating
9/10


On other hand i managed to get Crashcommando on summer sale, it was surprise actually(since demo was just ok) , loving it, better than UT or quake anytime, though 2D but fragging feels more fun than any 3D multiplayer. The maps and vehicles put more charm and fun.


9/10
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:32 AM   #1010
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Fallout 3, DLC5: Mothership Zeta
Mothership Zeta for those who didn't knew, is the fifth and final downloadable mini-expansion for Fallout 3, and as far as I concern, the worst, or equal to Operation Anchorage.

The only thing I can say about it is that it looks good. Beyond that, it's a linear shooter. You do very little beyond wasting aliens. Sure, there are some notes to find, but very little in terms of interesting quests and making choices. In fact, unlike Point Lookout and Broken Steel there are no subquests whatsoever in the game. All it adds is 4 hours worth of blasting aliens over and over and over again.

It's easy to tell by the loot that this is meant to be the final addition to the game.
The mothership is filled over the edge with awesome weapons, at least if you are an energy weapons user. You will also find "alien epoxy". This new item can repair items up to 100% without the need for spares, so now you can use those fragile rare items without worrying.

If you intend to try the Fallout 3 DLC's, begin with Broken Steel and Point Lookout, but save this and Anchorage to when you really want some more hours of fallout 3.
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Old 08-05-2009, 12:11 PM   #1011
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Just finished Mothership Zeta as well, and I have to agree with Jemy that it's a linear shooter. In fact, it's a linear and for the most part boring shooter with about 3-4 alien types, two weapons and some loot I didn't need or even know what it's for. Some scenes were nice, but I really expected more exciting stuff.
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Old 08-11-2009, 04:39 AM   #1012
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Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Positives:

+ Very good graphics
+ Voice acting is well done
+ Great and fun stealth gameplay - it's fun playing a secret/double agent who's working undercover to infiltrate a terrorist organization. And since the first Splinter Cell, it never gets tiring to sneak up on unsuspecting enemies and taking them out. I love getting their attention with a whistle and grabbing them from within the shadows. Adding to this...
+ There are a few more gadgets to use to get target's personal information/DNA or to hack into safes/computers etc. Some mini-games have even been added.
+ Very good music - it seems to play subtly in some parts of the game. I like this from the intro and especially this from the credits.
+ The 'Trust Gauge' is a nice feature. Depending on the choices you make, it could affect your employers' trust. Certain situations, later in the game, may change. As well as obtaining...
+ Different endings
+ Accomplishing all your required tasks, especially the ones with stars next to them, unlocks bonus/extra equipment.

Negatives:

- Sluggish frame-rates and screen tearing seem to be quite persistent throughout.
- Unless you have a super High Definition TV, it's quite difficult to make anything out on the mini map that you can enable in the bottom left hand corner.
- The plot is average. Nothing award winning here.
- A number of the mini games don't have any tutorials or explanations. One in particular confused the hell out of me, even with a guide.
- The game feels a bit on the short side
- Multiplayer isn't particularly engaging or interesting imo.
- A few minor bugs which involved enemies getting stuck
- A few times when i've tried to load a saved game, from within the game, it's taken me straight back to the main menu instead.

Overall: 4/5
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:10 AM   #1013
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Gabriel Knight: Blood of the Sacred, Blood of the Damned

Positives:

+ A fantastic and well written script/story where its themes have been thoroughly researched
+ Interesting characters with plenty of background
+ A control scheme - moving the camera around the environment with the keyboard whilst interacting with objects with the mouse - that works quite well
+ A beautiful and atmospherically composed musical score
+ Puzzles are generally logical and well put together. Added to this...
+ Le Serpent Rouge is a brilliant and well put together puzzle
+ SIDNEY is a great tool to use
+ Voice acting is generally good
+ Plenty of locations to visit and explore, which contain a lot of details and events in each time-block
+ Humorous in places
+ Loads of easter eggs and secrets present throughout the game
+ Ending is bittersweet

Negatives:

- 3D graphics/models are blocky and ugly even at the time of release
- A few silly/illogical puzzles
- Tim Curry's voice acting can be a little grating/overdone at times
- Suffers from bad frame rates when moving the camera around. Graphical glitches in places
- Game has an annoying habit of setting my graphics setting to 'Software Renderer' whenever i reload saved data
- Very easy to miss events (and the full score), in each time-block, unless equipped with a walkthrough
- Timed/action sequences at the end are frustrating

Overall: 4/5
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:30 AM   #1014
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Mirror's Edge

Positives:

+ Innovative FPS, which focuses more on (exciting and fast) platforming than combat
+ Nice cel-shaded graphics - quite like Faith's character design
+ Music is very good/pleasant to listen to and subtle throughout the game
+ Voice acting is done well
+ Timed Challenges/Speed Runs at the end give the game some replayability

Negatives:

- Game is too short and easy
- Platforming can be frustrating as there's a lot of trial and error involved. Especially in the Timed Challenges/Speed Runs
- Story is only a tad interesting but nothing special
- Environments - interior and exterior - all seem to look the same

Overall, the game is good but nothing great

3.5/5
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:52 AM   #1015
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How about the system requirements for Mirror's Edge? I can imagine you'd need a pretty heavy machine to run this game smoothly. The main reason why I haven't yet acquired it myself. Is it as ruthless on the graphics card as it appears to be?
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Old 08-11-2009, 03:48 PM   #1016
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I couldn't tell you. I was playing it on the 360.
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Old 08-12-2009, 12:14 AM   #1017
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Lucky you

Hey, who knows, I might get a new console for my birthday, then I'll have some catching up to do!
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Old 08-12-2009, 09:17 AM   #1018
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Finished Assassin's Creed today. Amazing graphics but after a while it got really repetitive. Hopefully they step it up for the sequel.
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:51 AM   #1019
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Starcraft: Brood War
The is the expansion to one of the most familiar of PC RTS games.
First time played. This mini-review is without nostalgia.
10 years old, have it stood the test of time, or is it simply too old to be enjoyed?

Story
Starcraft had a superb story, well acted characters, plenty of twists that you don't see coming, told through FMV cutscenes between maps or in-game through voiced dialogue. In the story department Brood War doesn't dissappoint. This is even a game that can be enjoyed by people not that familiar to RTS games thanks to the story.
This cannot be stressed enough, Starcraft is a really fleshed out world. Each of the three forces, Terran, Protoss and Zerg is unique to their character.
Terran are the militarized humans, that behave a bit like Starship Troopers. The most known human in Starcraft, Jim Raynor, barely appears in Brood War, instead the campaign have more focus on the "Earth Defence Force", who are something like a semi-villian.
Protoss is an advanced alien race that is very religious. They act with honor, but sometimes act like zealots, and their main unit is even called "zealot".
Zerg is an alien lifeform with a collective mind, somewhat inspired by Alien. Theese aliens have the focus in Brood War, and is lead by the primary villain. I won't spoil who the main villain is here, in case you haven't played Starcraft, but this is one villain to remember.

Engine: Graphics & Sound
Brood War looks exactly like Starcraft did.
The game is 10 years old, with obvious impact on graphics, but it actually doesn't look that bad. The 2d art is well done, the forces are superbly designed and characters have animated portraits. The FMV sequences uses very old 3d software and you can see that they aren't as beautiful as modern blizzard games, but they are still nice.
Sound is excellent. Almost every unit type have unique voice to it, and it's funny to click them many times since they often say funny things if you do.

Gameplay
Starcraft is by my opinion unmatched when it comes to RTS gameplay. Brood War expands this with a couple of new and really useful units. Terran gets medics, which means that troops can finally be healed up to full again if they get hurt. Zerg gets "lurkers" who can dig into the ground and act as a defense, shooting up lethal spikes from the ground. Each race gets flying units specifically used to waste other flying units.

This is a very balanced game and especially the later maps can be quite challenging, still it works great. The final map is insane, it took me 8 hours to complete the damn thing. However, my only real nuisance is that when things get crowded, forces tend to get stuck in eachother and behind buildings. This was so annoying that I eventually begun researching transports early on to get stuck forces out from there.

Final Verdict
Starcraft have aged well. Even for a new player, Starcraft is a really great game, in fact, this game is even better than most new titles. Sure, the graphics have aged a bit, but the gameplay and the story is among the best out there.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:24 AM   #1020
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Assassin's Creed
This game promises a free-roaming, stealthbased gameplay as you play an assassin during the crusades. Does it deliver?

Story
Desmond, a bartender in a near future, find himself trapped in a machine that can visually let him relive his ancestors experiences through his DNA code. It turns out that one of his ancestors were Altair, an assassin during the dark ages. Having broken the rules of the assassins once too many, his master have given him the mission to redeem himself by killing targets in three cities; Jerusalem, Acre and Damascus.
The story is superb, it delivers loads of philosophical questions, on morality in particular.

Engine: Graphics & Sound
Assassin's Creed looks amazing. Most of the graphics is inspired by real history, with each of the major religions represented during the crusade. The large cities looks absolutely amazing, and the become even more realistic with people walking everywhere, along with birds on the rooftops. It might not be an exaggeration to claim Assassin's Creed have the best animations in a game ever. You will almost never see a repeated animation. Altair can move in any direction, grabbing onto stuff, dropping down, fighting etc and it's all fluid. The audio is pretty good as well. Almost every presented nation is voiceacted. You will hear french, british, german in the crusader camp, as well as arabic and hebrew. It's not uncommon that some audioclips will play a few times too many though which is annoying.

Gameplay
And this is where Assassin's Creed break down. For a game that look as amazing as it does, and have a really great story, why does the majority of everything you do in-game remind me about MMORPG quests? Let me tell you how the major part (maybe 90%) of Assassin's Creed breaks down. Each time you get a target you have to go to the area where the target resides and search for clues. The best way to do this is to begin by reaching outlook points where you climb up a high point to get a glimpse of the map, once you do, that part of the city and everything important is revealed to you. Well, to do this properly you will climb X (6-12) number of outlook points. Then you can unlock more health by rescuing citizens that is harassed by the cityguard. This is as simple as going there, killing all guards and talk to the citizens. You will do this X times (6-12). Then you gather clues which means you are going to solve 6 quests that always plays out the same. When you found a quest it means you found a NPC who have information. He will give you this info if you do things like "kill targets on time", "kill targets by using stealth", "guard me from A to B", but it can also be extremely silly "collect 10-20 flags I hidden in this area" or "destroy X shops by throwing guards into them". Then there's eavesdropping which means you have to find a bench to sit on, then press a button to listen in on a conversation. Finding the bench is the difficult part here, but often it's just there next to them. And no, you wont be able to listen from your convenient rooftop or hiding place, you have to sit on the bench. Then there's interrogation, which means listen to a guy making a speech, then follow him and fistfight him until he talks. Finally there's pickpocketing, which means sneak up behind someone and press a button.

Now get this; there are 9 such areas in the game, that means you have to repeat this 9 times. 9x6-12 outlookpoints, 9x6-12 civilians harassed by guards, 9x6 miniquests to get clues, and if that's not enough for you you have the option to also find hidden flags throughout the entire area, which on PC will grant you nothing.

The simplicity and repetition of theese quests is what sucks the fun out of Asssassin's Creed like a bat on a bloodbag. If one would release a savegame pack in which they already did all this so you can only play out the assassination itself, then they would boost the fun you can have in this game tremendously.

Final Verdict
Assassin's Creed offers superb visuals, controls, and story, but fails blatantly when it comes to make the quests fun and interesting. It's as if they hired the best talent in the industry, only to give the quest-design to a former MMORPG designer with no clue on how to make anything beyond grinding quests for an MMO. The game is a test of patience, for hours of boring tedious gameplay you are offered perhaps 10-15 minutes coolness in reward, only to get back to the grind, because grind is what Assassin's Creed is mostly about.
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The christian message of tolerance falls already in the first commandment.
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