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Demon Souls Review

In February of 2009, a game called Demon’s Souls was released in Japan. Later that year in October 2009, the game was released in the USA. Now in June 2010, this title has finally hit South African shores. Developed by From Software and published by Namco Bandai, Demon’s Souls is an action role-playing game set in medieval times.

Demon’s Souls takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria. It has been enveloped in something called the “Deep Fog” as a result of the king using a dark ritual to gain power and bring prosperity to the land. The ritual was successful and brought prosperity to the kingdom, but the Deep Fog followed and covered the outskirts of Boletaria. The kingdom was cut off from the outside world causing other kingdoms to send scouts to investigate the lack of communication. However, none of them returned after wandering into the fog. Eventually someone did manage to breach the fog and tell the world about the terrible problem that burdens the kingdom of Boletaria. With the fog came bloodthirsty demons, hungry for the souls of mankind. Warriors tried to break through the fog to save Boletaria and some wanted to harness the power of the fog. Needless to say, they did not return. You play as a warrior who has made it through the fog and actually entered the castle. Thus begins your journey to defeat the evil awoken by the ritual and save mankind from annihilation.

The atmosphere in the game is incredible. It’s very dark in nature considering it’s the medieval period. It can be pretty dark at times and even with the brightness turned all the way up, you might struggle to see. The worlds that you will visit in the game are varied and very well done. They’re just beautiful in style and scale. The creatures that you will be facing really show good design. Props go to the developers for being original. Quite a bit of detail has gone into the animation for the main character. The animations change depending on your weapon setup and also if you’re holding the weapon with one hand or two. It’s a very nice touch. The graphics are really good except for a few hiccups here and there. There isn’t really music during the game until you face a boss and even then, the music could be better. The voice acting of the main cast is done well but the same can’t be said about the side characters as they really seem to lack energy. There were a few frame rate problems in the areas that were full of activity but it’s a very small problem in relation to the rest of the game.

The game starts with creating your own character and choosing the type of class you wish to use.  However, the great thing is that you are never restricted to that class’s skill set. The depth of upgrading is unbelievable. There are 8 different categories that can be increased such as Strength, Endurance and Luck. When you kill enemies, you will receive Demon’s Souls. These souls are what would be used to increase stats but it is also the game’s currency, so they would also be used to upgrade or purchase weapons and armour. However, as you increase your stats, your Soul Level does as well. This means that upgrading will become more and more expensive. You’ll never really have the option of upgrading a few things at once. More often than not, you’ll end up having to choose what to upgrade. There’s no denying it, Demon’s Souls is a very hard game. It’s going to beat you down and rub your nose in the dirt like a bully at school (But enough about my school life…Moving on). It’s not going to hold your hand at all. You are going to die and you are going to die a lot! When you die, you go right back to the beginning of the level. There is no pausing the game. When you hit the Start button, it will bring up a menu but the action will still continue. If you have unused souls when you die, you lose all of them. Yes, that’s right…All of them! When you respawn, you spawn in a phantom form. You can go back to the spot where you died and get all your souls back but all the enemies respawn. So if you’re killed while in phantom form, those souls are gone forever. Another feature to be mentioned is that the game is designed in such a way that if you keep dying, the enemies become tougher. It’s not a cheap way to kill you or to make you frustrated, the game is actually trying to teach you to play better. You’ll develop tactics, discover locations of treasure and notice patterns of enemies. You’ll also learn to take things slow and always defend yourself by blocking. The game is very hard, but it is a good change from all the relatively easy games out there.

The multiplayer in Demon’s Souls is pretty unique in that it has no lobby and there is no chat. No voice chat, no text chat. But if you do decide to go online while playing, you will be able to see ghostly figures of other players that might be exploring the same world that you are. The only difference is that they will be in another dimension. Also, if you find a blood stain, you will be able to see the last 10 seconds of the life of the player that died, which might alert you to hazards in the area. There is also an option to leave preset messages for other players online. You might want to alert them of possible dangers or maybe tell them how to defeat a certain enemy. Another really cool feature is the ability to summon other players to assist you with a tough situation. In which case, the summoned player will be in phantom form. The only real downside is the lack of chat in the multiplayer, which can be frustrating for players needing to communicate in a difficult situation.

Conclusion:
Overall, Demon’s Souls is a really good game. It might be very challenging but it is also very rewarding. If you come out of any battle alive, you’ll feel like a real badass. It’s a nice reminder of all the old school games from the NES that would have us pulling our hair out with frustration. You might want to pull out your hair with this title too, but probably not as much. If you want a real challenge and a really good game, then Demon’s Souls might be the next addition to your collection.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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Blur Review

Shift into gear with a remarkable racing game! If you think your vision is impaired, wait till you play Blur!

Developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision comes a feature packed racing game with a difference.

So what’s the Big Deal?
Blur incorporates real-world cars and locations, with arcade style handling and intense vehicle combat, which is well implemented in this racing title with a difference.

Although the story-line is not so different from the rest of the titles out there, the game-play is well worth experiencing.

Massive attacks and power-ups await the gamer in this fast and exhilarating title, power-ups range from Mines, Shock attacks, Defensive Shields and Nitro speed boosts, which can be collected throughout the race and used all at once, creating some devastating combos to knock the opposition to the curb.

The Racing impact!
While not all the focus should go into the power-ups, Blur does focus on racing which is the most important part of the game. Get ready to face some tough AI in the story-mode which will test your skills on track. Blur is fast and when I say fast, I mean get ready to have an extra set of wet wipes handy to scrape the perspiration off your face as your reflexes will be tested!

Drifting is a nice addition to the game, but will take some getting used to as you sample each unique photo-realistic vehicle that this title has to offer. With some practice you will be flying past the opposition with style, elegance while dropping land mines to further hinder your rivals.

Bizarre Creations’ community-based interface enables gamers to acquire a network of allies, fans and those all important rivals, throwing in a unique personal racing experience that gamers will find truly fresh when it comes to racing games of this genre.

Can I play with my friends?
Blur features a 4 player split screen racing experience, as well as a 20 player online experience which consists of either, competitive or team based racing.

Blur is a game you will want to play online with a host of unlockables which can be acquired while dominating the online community. The online experience is addictive, so don’t think you will be letting go of that control anytime soon, as you will be looking to dominate the opposition over and over again!

Musically in tune?
Blur hosts a selection of artists which set the mood for this fast paced title, these artist include, The Emmy award winning Jacknife Lee, The Crystal method, Coldcut, The Qemists and The Herbalisers.

If these artists are not entirely to your taste, the option to turn off the music is located in the options menu, although they do intensify the racing experience of Blur.

The checkered Flag!
Blur is a great racing game, which is a blast to play.

The intense game-play is complimented by great visuals, especially when blowing away any rivals on course that take you on.

The AI is highly challenging and well worth taking on, although any frustration can be dealt with by dropping the difficulty level.

The online gaming is superb especially in the team-based racing modes, although, going up against 19 other opponents in competitive online racing, can be slightly frustrating at first but once you get the hang of it you will be dominating in no time.

The music has an impact in Blur it brings excitement to the intense racing world around you.

Bizarre Creations’ have definitely hit the sweet spot in this intense title.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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Red Dead Redemption Review

Ever wanted to be a cowboy? Or even play as one in a video game? Maybe an outlaw robbing banks and jumping on moving trains. Possibly being the sharpshooting hero, eliminating all opponents who decide to challenge you. The setting of the Wild West has been a somewhat neglected one, as not many games have been set during this era. Red Dead Redemption is finally here and the West is going to seem wilder than ever.

You play as John Marston, a former outlaw looking to turn over a new leaf, after the gang he rode with left him for dead. John starts a new life but the government then forces him to track down his old gang and either capture or kill all of them. You might be thinking right now, “How do they force him to do this?” Well, the government has some collateral which will not be mentioned as that just spoils it for those who haven’t played the game. The characters you will end up meeting really drive the story along, although John Marston’s character seems somewhat inclined to help anyone and everyone he meets despite the fact that he has his own problems to deal with. Other than that, the story is great. You will also be able to meet strangers across the vast land that might be in need of some assistance.

Rockstar Games have become the kings of the open world genre after creating the Grand Theft Auto Series (commonly known as GTA). Red Dead Redemption is no exception. Anyone who has played a Grand Theft Auto game will notice that the presentation is very similar in this game. Examples of this are the blips on the mini-map and the conversations between characters on route to their destination. But this is more than just GTA of the Wild West. There is so much to do and so much to see. You can hunt animals and sell their fur, meat and skin in the stores located in towns. People will challenge you to quick draw gun duels where you can teach them a lesson for being too cocky. Bounties will be offered for wanted criminals and you can choose whether to kill them or hand them over to the authorities. You will also be able to lasso and break wild horses so that they may become your trusty steed. Different outfits can also be found that have abilities to assist you with certain situations. Those are only a few of the things you can do. One of the greatest features about Red Dead Redemption is the fact that random people that come up to you and ask for assistance with small tasks. Be it retrieving someone’s stolen horse or saving a woman from being kidnapped.

Red-Dead-Redemption-3

The presentation of the game is excellent. Rockstar has really captured the essence of the Wild West. The graphics are some of the best seen and the art style is very nicely done. The characters look great and the horses in motion look very lifelike. However, a few graphical bugs are present but when looking at the entire game, it’s a very small problem.

The audio in the game is just as great as the graphics (Never hurts, right?). The soundtrack has the classic Western music you would expect to hear in a film of the same genre. The voice acting is also top notch and brings the characters to life.

Conclusion:
Overall, Red Dead Redemption really is an excellent game. You have the story but so many other factors to keep you occupied for quite a long time. It offers you so much! A lot of work has gone into the development process. Red Dead Redemption was definitely worth the wait, the story is awesome and so are the characters. Plus it’s just so much fun to play. Red Dead Redemption is a definite must have in any gamer’s collection.

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Demon Souls Review

In February of 2009, a game called Demon’s Souls was released in Japan. Later that year in October 2009, the game was released in the USA. Now in June 2010, this title has finally hit South African shores. Developed by From Software and published by Namco Bandai, Demon’s Souls is an action role-playing game set in medieval times.

Demon’s Souls takes place in the kingdom of Boletaria. It has been enveloped in something called the “Deep Fog” as a result of the king using a dark ritual to gain power and bring prosperity to the land. The ritual was successful and brought prosperity to the kingdom, but the Deep Fog followed and covered the outskirts of Boletaria. The kingdom was cut off from the outside world causing other kingdoms to send scouts to investigate the lack of communication. However, none of them returned after wandering into the fog. Eventually someone did manage to breach the fog and tell the world about the terrible problem that burdens the kingdom of Boletaria. With the fog came bloodthirsty demons, hungry for the souls of mankind. Warriors tried to break through the fog to save Boletaria and some wanted to harness the power of the fog. Needless to say, they did not return. You play as a warrior who has made it through the fog and actually entered the castle. Thus begins your journey to defeat the evil awoken by the ritual and save mankind from annihilation.

The atmosphere in the game is incredible. It’s very dark in nature considering it’s the medieval period. It can be pretty dark at times and even with the brightness turned all the way up, you might struggle to see. The worlds that you will visit in the game are varied and very well done. They’re just beautiful in style and scale. The creatures that you will be facing really show good design. Props go to the developers for being original. Quite a bit of detail has gone into the animation for the main character. The animations change depending on your weapon setup and also if you’re holding the weapon with one hand or two. It’s a very nice touch. The graphics are really good except for a few hiccups here and there. There isn’t really music during the game until you face a boss and even then, the music could be better. The voice acting of the main cast is done well but the same can’t be said about the side characters as they really seem to lack energy. There were a few frame rate problems in the areas that were full of activity but it’s a very small problem in relation to the rest of the game.

The game starts with creating your own character and choosing the type of class you wish to use.  However, the great thing is that you are never restricted to that class’s skill set. The depth of upgrading is unbelievable. There are 8 different categories that can be increased such as Strength, Endurance and Luck. When you kill enemies, you will receive Demon’s Souls. These souls are what would be used to increase stats but it is also the game’s currency, so they would also be used to upgrade or purchase weapons and armour. However, as you increase your stats, your Soul Level does as well. This means that upgrading will become more and more expensive. You’ll never really have the option of upgrading a few things at once. More often than not, you’ll end up having to choose what to upgrade. There’s no denying it, Demon’s Souls is a very hard game. It’s going to beat you down and rub your nose in the dirt like a bully at school (But enough about my school life…Moving on). It’s not going to hold your hand at all. You are going to die and you are going to die a lot! When you die, you go right back to the beginning of the level. There is no pausing the game. When you hit the Start button, it will bring up a menu but the action will still continue. If you have unused souls when you die, you lose all of them. Yes, that’s right…All of them! When you respawn, you spawn in a phantom form. You can go back to the spot where you died and get all your souls back but all the enemies respawn. So if you’re killed while in phantom form, those souls are gone forever. Another feature to be mentioned is that the game is designed in such a way that if you keep dying, the enemies become tougher. It’s not a cheap way to kill you or to make you frustrated, the game is actually trying to teach you to play better. You’ll develop tactics, discover locations of treasure and notice patterns of enemies. You’ll also learn to take things slow and always defend yourself by blocking. The game is very hard, but it is a good change from all the relatively easy games out there.

The multiplayer in Demon’s Souls is pretty unique in that it has no lobby and there is no chat. No voice chat, no text chat. But if you do decide to go online while playing, you will be able to see ghostly figures of other players that might be exploring the same world that you are. The only difference is that they will be in another dimension. Also, if you find a blood stain, you will be able to see the last 10 seconds of the life of the player that died, which might alert you to hazards in the area. There is also an option to leave preset messages for other players online. You might want to alert them of possible dangers or maybe tell them how to defeat a certain enemy. Another really cool feature is the ability to summon other players to assist you with a tough situation. In which case, the summoned player will be in phantom form. The only real downside is the lack of chat in the multiplayer, which can be frustrating for players needing to communicate in a difficult situation.

Conclusion:
Overall, Demon’s Souls is a really good game. It might be very challenging but it is also very rewarding. If you come out of any battle alive, you’ll feel like a real badass. It’s a nice reminder of all the old school games from the NES that would have us pulling our hair out with frustration. You might want to pull out your hair with this title too, but probably not as much. If you want a real challenge and a really good game, then Demon’s Souls might be the next addition to your collection.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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Blur Review

Shift into gear with a remarkable racing game! If you think your vision is impaired, wait till you play Blur!

Developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision comes a feature packed racing game with a difference.

So what’s the Big Deal?
Blur incorporates real-world cars and locations, with arcade style handling and intense vehicle combat, which is well implemented in this racing title with a difference.

Although the story-line is not so different from the rest of the titles out there, the game-play is well worth experiencing.

Massive attacks and power-ups await the gamer in this fast and exhilarating title, power-ups range from Mines, Shock attacks, Defensive Shields and Nitro speed boosts, which can be collected throughout the race and used all at once, creating some devastating combos to knock the opposition to the curb.

The Racing impact!
While not all the focus should go into the power-ups, Blur does focus on racing which is the most important part of the game. Get ready to face some tough AI in the story-mode which will test your skills on track. Blur is fast and when I say fast, I mean get ready to have an extra set of wet wipes handy to scrape the perspiration off your face as your reflexes will be tested!

Drifting is a nice addition to the game, but will take some getting used to as you sample each unique photo-realistic vehicle that this title has to offer. With some practice you will be flying past the opposition with style, elegance while dropping land mines to further hinder your rivals.

Bizarre Creations’ community-based interface enables gamers to acquire a network of allies, fans and those all important rivals, throwing in a unique personal racing experience that gamers will find truly fresh when it comes to racing games of this genre.

Can I play with my friends?
Blur features a 4 player split screen racing experience, as well as a 20 player online experience which consists of either, competitive or team based racing.

Blur is a game you will want to play online with a host of unlockables which can be acquired while dominating the online community. The online experience is addictive, so don’t think you will be letting go of that control anytime soon, as you will be looking to dominate the opposition over and over again!

Musically in tune?
Blur hosts a selection of artists which set the mood for this fast paced title, these artist include, The Emmy award winning Jacknife Lee, The Crystal method, Coldcut, The Qemists and The Herbalisers.

If these artists are not entirely to your taste, the option to turn off the music is located in the options menu, although they do intensify the racing experience of Blur.

The checkered Flag!
Blur is a great racing game, which is a blast to play.

The intense game-play is complimented by great visuals, especially when blowing away any rivals on course that take you on.

The AI is highly challenging and well worth taking on, although any frustration can be dealt with by dropping the difficulty level.

The online gaming is superb especially in the team-based racing modes, although, going up against 19 other opponents in competitive online racing, can be slightly frustrating at first but once you get the hang of it you will be dominating in no time.

The music has an impact in Blur it brings excitement to the intense racing world around you.

Bizarre Creations’ have definitely hit the sweet spot in this intense title.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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WWE: All Stars Review

doned the series and games over time, we still see new games coming out of the woodwork. WWE All Stars is now on the shelves but the question remains, is it worth buying? Time to find out!

Past WWE titles have slowly but surely been morphing into what can only be described as wrestling simulations, it’s all fine and dandy to try and make these games as real as possible, but the problem is that when developers make games realistic most of the fun usually gets kicked out first! This is where WWE All Stars hopes to set things right. No more individual health meters for each limb, just one single old-school arcade style health bar. Characters are also no longer limited to ground based combat only but can also do more exaggerated over-the-top mid-air attacks.

The game offers numerous gameplay modes to treat fans to, such as Path of Champions mode, where you get to pick your favorite wrestler and then battle it out until you are crowned champion. However, there are many unique paths to discover that will make you want to come back for more. If anything, the only real blemish here is the fact that the main menu lags a bit. Veteran players will also probably find fault with the new health bar, since in previous titles it was somewhat possible to make a comeback from even the worst luck at the start of a match and escape defeat repeatedly… presuming you had enough skill though. Players will also be able to once again create their own character; just don’t expect them to look very life-like.

Everything in this game has a cartoon action hero feel to it, this includes the special moves that the characters execute. As mentioned before the special moves are greatly exaggerated, but this just makes it all the more sweeter when you manage to land one on an opponent that is down to his last bit of health. There is after all, nothing quite like rubbing it in and if you’re going to do it then why not over do it?

There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong as far as sound is concerned. By that, I mean that glitches where certain actions on screen are not accompanied by the appropriate sound does not seem apparent. This is a common glitch found in modern games today but it appears to be absent in WWE All Stars, which is a good thing. The bad news is that while the sound is working well the game doesn’t seem to have any wow moments either. Gamers who have a bass speaker attached to their console or a surround sound system may not feel as impressed as they may have hoped to be with the sound. At least it works though… right?

As I mentioned before the graphics are over-the-top and cartoon-like and each wrestler has a chest bigger than their real-life counterpart does. Frankly, this was just borderline freaky.

Some shortcuts have been taken with the character’s hair; you will never see a single hair on their head fall out of place. Honestly, this actually works and looks graphically better in my opinion, or at least as far as this game is concerned. If anything, at least it shows that the developers thought it was a good idea to remove this from the game and build on the strengths of the game engine instead of adding unnecessary elements. Special effects during special moves gives the game a very unique feel to it, but after a while they become slightly stale and offer nothing more than a giant “you are about to get beat up and you can’t do a thing about it” feel to them. Regardless of all this WWE All Stars is the best looking WWE game out there. (For each platform respectively).

Conclusion:
WWE games have always been loved by fans simply because they make great party games. If you and your friends both loved playing the previous titles and/or watching the shows. Then I suggest getting your hands on this title. It’s wacky, crazy and comes with a big fat dose of nostalgia… just be careful that it doesn’t all go straight to your chest. The downside is that all of this tends to get slightly stale after a while.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay – 7/10
Sound – 7/10
Graphics – 8/10

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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Saw II: Flesh & Blood Review

There have been very few horror games that you just simply wouldn’t want to play. On the other side of things. There have been very few games based on movies that you would want to play… unless if you are a hardcore fan. So what would the final result be if a game was made that could be classified as both? Time to find out!

If you enjoyed the previous Saw title then you might as well stop reading now. Saw II merely tweaks what was on display in the first. For fans of the Saw movie franchise the main motive for buying this title will be the story which takes place between the second & third films.

The game helps clarify the movies better but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to share the same kind of horror aspect. Traps can be avoided with quick-time events; although the game fails at helping you feel any form of sympathy for the featured characters. They’re just not that well “fleshed out”. The puzzles in the game are also largely the same as with the previous game. The only noticeable change is that “circuit puzzles” no longer require you to match wires of the same colour. Instead now you have to match wires of the opposite colour.

The game is filled with “quick-time events” all the way through. It helps keep you on your toes but might get a bit stale the more you encounter them. Fortunately if you get sick of the typical combat you can try killing enemies using all kinds of rather gruesome devices placed all through the game at just the right locations. This is the kind of title you may want to play through twice, as the game has multiple endings, although the game will start to judge you from the very first moment you start playing.

Sound is one area of the game where the developers should have probably looked for a second opinion. Some of the atmosphere and effects just don’t seem to pack as much of a punch as they should. You’ll still get a jolt from the first shotgun trap that catches you unaware. The problem comes when you start to anticipate the traps, it’ll just all start to look & sound the same. To expect different reactions from the same traps might be unreasonable, but for the developers to use slightly different sound effects isn’t. At the very least they could have had two different sound recordings for each trap. This will probably only bother you if use something other than your TV’s speakers though.

Most of the gore in the game feels a bit artificial & just doesn’t have quite as much of a horrifying effect as you’d hope for. There are some bits that may leave you feeling like you wish you could look the other way, but this could perhaps rather be because of the way they’re implemented, rather than what you’re seeing on screen.

Locations all have that “horror movie feel” although they may not be the best looking, they’ve managed to stay true to the Saw films.

Bright colours & visual effects are reserved almost exclusively for areas of interest or locations & items the player should investigate. This helps to ensure the game always keeps you on edge & makes you feel like you are in a hostile environment.

Conclusion:
Saw II Flesh and Blood is filled with numerous thrills & puzzles that are sure to make that “lazy Saturday” just blissfully pass by. The game has does need improvement, but since most of it is either quick time or puzzle based you don’t need to be an experienced gamer to enjoy it.  As is the case with most games like this you may need some outside knowledge from the films to fully enjoy this game.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 5/10
Sound: 6/10
Graphics: 6/10

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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Mortal Kombat 2011 Review

Mortal Kombat was one of the only original arcade games that made patrons line up and challenge one another in intense combat. The combat was shocking at first, then addictive to the point where being king of the arcade was the only achievement any arcade patron was interested in becoming.The first four titles were brilliant and captivated gamers across the world. However, the franchise decided to pull away from its original concept of Mortal Kombat and headed in a new direction. This direction turned a much-loved video game into a Fatality itself. Then came the clashing of two worlds in Mortal Kombat VS DC Universe, the blood and gore was dumped in this title, Fatalities were just plain lame and it felt more like Mortal Kombat had turned into Mortal Fairies.

Developed by NetherRealm Studios and published by Warner Bros, the ninth installment of Mortal Kombat has finally received the breath of life it has been craving for over the years. The blood and gore is back, the classic combat style too. Generally, the story mode in fighting games ends up being lame, boring, weak and a sorry excuse to fill up disk space… but the storyline in Mortal Kombat was surprisingly captivating, the voice acting was top notch and the graphics were visually appealing.

The story mode consists of 16 chapters and revolves around the events of the original trilogy. Raiden receives a message from himself about the events that are occurring in the future, Armageddon has just happened and Shao Kahn has become the supreme leader of all the realms. I will admit it does sound somewhat cheesy but to be honest the storyline grabbed me by the skull and pulled me in so deep I could not put the controller down. It also gives the gamer an opportunity to test out various characters and find out which character they are comfortable playing with.

Mortal Kombat brings 3D backgrounds and 2D fighting to a new level, especially with the X-Ray attacks that each character holds within their arsenal of devastating attacks. The X-Ray moves display the force of damage that you or your opponent are inflicting on one another. The visuals of these attacks are done in great detail and is a great addition to the gameplay.

The arcade mode uses the classic tournament ladder (Welcome to nostalgia heaven) that we are all used to from the previous Mortal Kombat titles, this is where a single fighter goes up against various opponents to eventually reach the main boss, after kicking the life out of the final boss each character gets an animated ending. The endings have a very nice feel to them and the art style brings everything to life.
The Fatalities are back and not the kind we experienced in Mortal Fairies, these are bone shattering and graphically violent, yes, Mortal Kombat is back with a vengeance!

Gameplay modes within Mortal Kombat include:
Test Your Might, Test Your Sight, Test Your Strike and Test Your Luck. These are a great addition to this title and offer a slight break from the general combat. The game also includes a 300-mission challenge in a new mode called The Challenge Tower. Another nice addition is the ability to actually practice each individual character’s Fatalities.

Each arena has been designed with great detail, during matches you will witness various things happening around you, like other characters fighting in the background or bodies being dipped into the acid pool, this was great and brings depth into the actual arenas but on occasion it can be distracting.

The visuals in the story mode are superb, although I did notice that on occasion characters seemed either too flat with no depth or too built and bulky. Sonya is a prime example of built and bulky; she seemed extremely out of proportion and just did not look right. The graphically violent blood soaked Fatalities are back and better than ever, even the stage Fatalities made me quiver.The Sound in Mortal Kombat is a key feature that brings this title to life, from hearing the classic “Get over here�? from Scorpion, to hearing the bone crunching moments in the X-Ray attacks and Fatalities. The sound in this title screams MORTAL KOMBAT!!!!!!!Each character has their own set of moves, special attacks, combos, X-Ray Attacks and Fatalities these are performed by pressing a combination of buttons. These moves are easily learnt by looking through each characters moves list in the pause menu. I did not notice any flaws to the control system you just need to know what combination does what… simple as that.

Conclusion:
Mortal Kombat is definitely a title that is worth keeping in my books. This title rights the wrongs that the developers tormented us with in the past; it keeps things simple yet graphically appealing. Let’s just hope they don’t back track once again and create another Mortal Fairies title. The gameplay was fantastic, the story mode was long and entertaining and the sounds will make any one cringe in their seats. Overall, this is one title that could be experienced repeatedly.

Characters that have been included:
Smoke, Cyber Sub-Zero, Sonya Blade, Raiden, Kurtis Stryker, Noob, Saibot, Ermac, Scorpion and plenty of others.

The Break Down:
Gameplay: 8/10
Sound 8.5/10
Graphics: 8/10
Storyline: 8/10
Control Scheme: 10/10

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

Categories
PlayStation Vita Reviews

Army Corps of Hell Review

Developed by Entersphere and published by Square Enix, Army Corps of Hell brings dark humour, vicious combat and a rather interesting storyline to the PlayStation Vita.

Players assume the role of the King of Hell, and additionally control an army of goblins in order to reclaim the title as the King of the underworld. Facing off against demons and massive bosses, you travel through various levels to take back a throne that is rightfully yours.

When it comes to gameplay, Army Corps of Hell reminds of me of Overlord in a sense, which means that your army of goblins are sent out to a targeted enemy in order to rip it to pieces while the King of Hell idles in the background. Goblins come in three different classes ranging from Soldiers, Spearmen and Magi. Soldiers tend to get up close and personal and generate massive amounts of damage to enemies, while Spearmen attack from distance and Magi eliminate magically protected enemies.

Army Corps of Hell has quite a few items and weapons that are scattered throughout each level. Additionally, it also features a really great Alchemy system, which comes in handy when upgrading your goblins weapons and the creation of new items in order to assist you as you take back the throne of Hell.

The graphics featured in Army Corps of Hell are not entirely the best I have experienced on the Vita; however, some of the levels do look rather vibrant and feature some really phenomenal lighting effects.

Army Corps of Hell features a really intense heavy metal soundtrack, which really sets the mood perfectly. This indeed is a major highlight of this title; however, the actual in-game sound effects tend to lack the same enthusiasm as the heavy metal soundtrack.

Conclusion:
While Army Corps of Hell utilises the power of the Playstation Vita quite well, it tends to be slightly repetitive when it comes to gameplay. This can be seen in the repetitive level design and duplicated enemies that you face off against. Army Corps of Hell is truly an interesting concept; however, it is a title that has missed the mark due to average gameplay and its repetitive nature.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 6.5/10
Storyline: 8/10
Graphics: 6.10
Sound: 8/10
Lasting Appeal: 6/10

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation Vita.

Categories
PlayStation Vita Reviews

Uncharted: Golden Abyss Review

Welcome to the world of Uncharted… on the PlayStation Vita! Now for those of you wondering how you go from a rather large television screen to the smaller, more compact screen of the Vita, it’s actually rather easy. However, is Uncharted: Golden Abyss any good? Let’s find out!!!

Uncharted: Golden Abyss is set before the events that occurred in the original uncharted title. This time around Nathan Drake is tasked to try to uncover the mystery behind the 400-year old massacre of a Spanish expedition. During this venture, Nathan is caught in the middle of a rivalry between Jason Dante, an old friend, and Marisa Chase, whose origins I will not disclose as it would be classified as a spoiler.

When it comes to the storyline of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, fans of the series will soon notice that it is an originally designed, classic and in-depth addition to the world of Uncharted. This will truly surprise those who have ventured into the world of the PlayStation Vita, as some may have been expecting a rather dumbed down version of the original titles.

Nathan Drake’s Journal makes a return, which is filled with the collectibles you find throughout the adventure. These collectables come in the form of photos you will need to take, charcoal rubbings you need to rub and other interesting collectibles. The mere fact that you have to use the rear touchpad and the touch screen display in order to clean off items, piece together maps and complete charcoal rubbings is a major incentive to try out this title. While using the mentioned options is a bonus, there is also the simple to use controls that can be used in order to do all this; however, I would recommend using the Vita’s above-mentioned features in order to get the job done.

Mixing up the gameplay a bit is also the addition of onscreen swiping actions, which will involve swiping your finger across the screen in order to counter attacks, cut hedges to reveal secret areas and complete additional actions. This mixes things up quite a bit; however it does take a little time to get used to this feature.

Uncharted Golden Abyss is a visually stunning title when it comes to graphics. This can be seen in the luscious green grass and the truly stunning lighting effects. I wouldn’t say that it looks as good as Uncharted 2: Among Thieves or Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception but it certainly is on par with the first Uncharted title.

When it comes to sound, Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a clear winner, especially if you use a headset or earphones. The voice acting is superb as always, and the music featured throughout the title is nothing less than top notch.

Conclusion:
Uncharted: Golden Abyss is a perfect example of what the PlayStation Vita can do. Players will thoroughly enjoy the captivating storyline, beautiful graphics and amazing sound; however as much as I did enjoy this title, I did come across a few problem areas. On occasions Nathan Drake tends to get stuck in certain areas, which is generally fixed by a quick reboot of the title.

Additionally, there are certain switches that involve Nathan and Marisa to work together in order to open a door… this tends to be phenomenal task as Marisa tends to do her own thing on occasions, which can be rectified once again via rebooting the title. While these glitches are present within Uncharted: Golden Abyss, they are not entirely game breaking; however, it is slightly annoying having to keep restarting from the same checkpoint due to them.

The Breakdown:
Storyline: 9/10
Gameplay: 9/10
Graphics: 8.5/10
Sound: 9/10
Lasting Appeal: 8.5/10

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation Vita.