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Crysis 2 Review

Crysis 2 has been on the lips of most gamers the past few weeks, and it has generated a lot of hype over the internet. However, does it really live up to its predecessor? Well you can carry on reading this review or head down to your local retailer…I suggest reading the review first.

Developed by Crytek and published by Electronic Arts, Crysis 2 is the latest first-person-shooter (FPS) to grace our consoles and PC systems.

Crysis 2 is set in New York City in the year 2023. The city is in turmoil due to an alien infestation (this is portrayed in the opening sequence as a newsreel style broadcast, which added a nice authentic feel to Crysis 2) and a tactical team has been deployed into New York City via submarine to extract Doctor Nathan Gould.

This was where we were introduced to the new protagonist in Crysis 2, “Alcatraz.” All hell breaks loose when the alien race named the “Ceph” attack the city, destroying everything in their wake. Due to the attack, Alcatraz and his squad are forced to abandon ship and swim to the surface. A secondary attack is then directed at the squad, leaving Alcatraz as the only presumed survivor.

Laurence “Prophet” Barnes proceeds to save Alcatraz but seems extremely overwhelmed, as the initial support team sent to assist him had already been wiped out. Left with no other decision, since the Manhattan virus has infected him, Prophet equips Alcatraz with the Nanosuit 2.0., Prophet then kills himself in order for the Nanosuit to break the link with Prophet and correctly assimilate with Alcatraz.

I will not go into too much detail on the initial story, but I will tell you that the team at Crytek has developed a decent plot line, which offers about 10-12 hours of playtime.

Crysis 2 uses the Nanosuit as a window to the world. Everything you see and do is viewed from a suit perspective, which increases the appeal of this title.

Combat can be played out in two ways; stealth and sneak or all-out armoured assault, but be warned as combat is intense. I found myself loading the game very often after being riddled by bullets. Once you fire on an enemy, your position is given away and every bit of firepower is focused in your general direction. This is due to the A.I. in Crysis 2 being extremely intelligent (which we do not tend to see in other FPS titles), you can either stealth yourself and move away from your last known location or knuckle down and consider your options for the battle ahead.

Crysis 2 displays tactical options that can be viewed through the Nanosuit. These options provide gamers with areas where they can flank enemies, snipe enemies, resupply ammunition, and observe enemy movement; these options greatly assist with the planning of all-out assaults or sneaking past unsuspecting enemies.

Another nice touch is the suit upgrade menu being your actual hand; by selecting individual fingers, various different upgrades can be selected during the course of the game. However, only one of each upgrade can be active at once. This adds great replayability to this title, as previously unlocked abilities and upgrades can be used in completed chapters.

The initial campaign mode was a great experience; the only downside was on the rare occasion the A.I. seem to glitch and run into objects like walls and vehicles without correcting their course.

Crysis 2 is probably one of the best-looking FPS titles I have come across; the level design is stunning and the visuals promote sensory overload on occasions. The only downfall with these beautiful environments is that you tend to focus more on the visuals rather than the actual story progression, so don’t be entirely confused when you have absolutely no idea on what’s going on.

Apart from the graphics, the sound also plays a major role in Crysis 2; hearing bullets echo down the street, buildings being destroyed and even the sound of a much heavier Alcatraz when his armor is equipped is also a very well implemented sensory experience.

Online:
So generally most FPS games do come with a multiplayer mode, but is the online play as good as the campaign in Crysis 2, my answer hell yeah!

12 multiplayer maps await those of you brooding to get online, as well as six different modes of play that offer gamers various choices of what map to play and how to strategise individually or team assault. These include Crash Site and Team Instant Action. There are around 20 weapons to destroy opponents with, as well as some great customisation options to use to your advantage. My online experience was pleasurable although, there have been some complaints about servers being down on occasions.

Conclusion:
Overall, Crysis 2 offers a visually satisfying experience with the sound to match. Game-play encourages a think before you shoot approach, instead of the general run and gun approach that other FPS titles tend to offer gamers; this is where Crysis 2 is unique. The storyline is solid and offers a good all around experience.

The downside:
Crysis offers some great A.I. that will challenge you greatly but on the odd occasion, you will witness them either running into cars or walls like mindless zombies. There have also been some complaints about servers being down on occasion when attempting to play online.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay: 9/10
Storyline: 8/10
Graphics: 9.7/10
Sound: 9.5/10

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

Most of us have at some or other point in time played a WWE video game and if you haven’t then you’ve likely grown up a deprived child. While it is easy to understand why some people may have abandoned 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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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.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

Brady Ruiters

Known as Brady Ruiters by day and GuitarDemon by night (Well, on the PSN mostly…) Professional, creative and frank, a self-proclaimed gaming journalist moulded by a passion and fascination for gaming and music, and in turn, taking a crack at shaping the rest of the world with the very same obsession. That, however, remains a trying task

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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.

Brady Ruiters

Known as Brady Ruiters by day and GuitarDemon by night (Well, on the PSN mostly…) Professional, creative and frank, a self-proclaimed gaming journalist moulded by a passion and fascination for gaming and music, and in turn, taking a crack at shaping the rest of the world with the very same obsession. That, however, remains a trying task.

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Heavy Rain Review

A Different approach to the world of gaming! Developed by Quantic Dream and most definitely a PlayStation 3 exclusive, we wonder how this new style of game-play will affect our Sofa, our wrists and our cheese-puff loving Fingers. But before we get into that, let’s get straight to the Voice Talent.

With no voice we have no game, with no game, the only Heavy Rain Gamers will experience is accumulated thunder showers… Gamers need not purchase an umbrella as Heavy Rain will set the mood. The Voices are in my head? No they are on your screen! Quantic Dream used the voice talents of: Sam Douglas as Scott Shelby, who has featured in a variety of films, which include: Alien Autopsy, Agent Cody Banks 2, Snatch, and the upcoming release Tribe.

Leon Ockenden as Norman Jayden, featuring on a variety of television programs which include: Heartbeat, Heroes and Villains, Tripping Over and Hustle.

Judy Beecher as Madison Paige, in the English Version, her stacked up film career includes: Only in Paris, Simone, Perfect Pitch, Bloodline and the upcoming release Cameraman.

Pascal Langdale as Ethan Mars Featuring on a variety of movies and television programs Pascals arsenal of movies and programs include: My Family, Spooks, The Bill and J’auraid Voule etre un danseur.

With a phenomenal voice cast heavy rain delivers. But where are the Cheese-Puffs? Wait you will experience something far more tasty when digging into heavy Rain, now for those of you who want game-play let’s take a gander into the immerse world of Heavy Rain.

Six-Axis, which is what, will completely appeal to any Gamer out there.
With the usual use of the Six-Axis Controller, gamers feel more involved in the game-play; Quantic Dream has taken this to the next Level! With Gamers being prompted to move the Six-Axis controller in various motions and including vast amounts of Quick-time Events, Gamers are thrown into the world of heavy Rain, While throwing their control about like an individual that is allergic to bee’s, which proves quite entertaining, as the interactive level of game-play is something we have never witnessed before. While missing certain Quick time movements is not a train smash, the game does not end, if a certain character is wasted the story progresses to the next available character.

Tori Amos? Will not be making an appearance in Heavy Rain! Although the massive Story line is one that is emotional, riveting, gripping and pulls a few surprises on the Gamer, and no! Not pulling his pants down in front of a room full of people but by twisting and turning.

The Story revolves around the 4 Characters and the Infamous “Origami Killer” The game opens with Ethan Mars, spending his time with his family. He later loses sight of one of his Kids, at a busy shopping Centre. His Son is found lingering on the busy street, Ethan tries to save him from an oncoming car, which is probably driven by a (cheese-puff munching machine) tragically his son is killed, while Ethan is injured, which puts him into a coma for 6 months. Two years after the accident, Ethan has depression, he has blackouts that last for several hours on end, His wife has left him, and his remaining Son is distant and detached from him, Ethan also has a fear of crowds to add to his problems, while at a park Ethan has another blackout, and wakes to find his Son missing. This event is eventually tied to the “Origami Killer”.

Conclusion:
An abrupt Ending? Yes for those gamers interested in finding out what happens next, Grab yourself a Copy of Heavy Rain to experience a truly masterful release and PS3 Exclusive from Quantic Dream.

Slick Stylish Emotional and something you not going to put down! Your wrists, fingers and brain will thank you for purchasing this epic title. Look out For the Latest DLC’s from the PlayStation Network.

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions Review

Developed by Beenox and published by Activision, comes Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions. Initially one would think this is just another tasteless title in the super hero industry, but imagine four different Spider-Man universes blended together in crisp graphics and some really awesome game-play.

The added feature of this title is that each Spider-Man character is voiced individually by Neil Patrick Harris, Christopher Daniel Barnes, Dan Gilvezan and Josh Keaton in each respected alternate universe. Another Feature is the different graphic styles represented in each universe to catch the Gamers attention, Beenox sure made this title a colourful beauty.

Let’s get it on like Spider-Kong: Shattered Dimensions is honestly great, with the typical comic book style-storyline we all enjoy from the Marvel Universe. The story revolves around the “Tablet of Order and Chaos” (try saying that in your best James Earl Jones voice) When the tablet is shattered through a intense battle between Spider-Man and Mysterio, it suddenly starts causing problems with various Marvel Universes. This is where the great (Cue Angelic music) Madame Web steps in to intervene. She summons all four Spider-Men to help bring back order, to each universe; by collecting fragments of the shattered “Tablet of Chaos” (James Earl Jones would be so kick-ass for a audio clip right now).

Agility, Strength, Stealth Game-play: The Gamer gets to have control of each Spider-Man character: Amazing, Noir, 2099, and Ultimate in the beginning of the title, which gives a great feel for each Universe. Each character has a very different fighting technique, which adds a fresh feel to the title; a favourite would be the Noir Spider-Man with the ability of stealth and precision timing to execute some really awesome takedowns.

Stealth is awesome, whilst hiding in the shadows the screen turns black and white, which signals to the gamer that they are well hidden from any enemies, whilst in well lit area the screen turns to full colour which indicates you are now visible to the enemy. The game-play of the other Spider-Men involves full fledge raw combat, which mixes and matches close quarters to distance attacks, which really makes the game feel like a new experience once starting with a new character.

The XP system is a nice feature and Gamers can purchase new moves and devastating attacks throughout the game, which really helps with those sticky situations.

The Bad guys: As much as we all enjoy the hero of the game, we also enjoy the villains just as much. Each universe has different villains, which brings a unique challenge as each villain is defeated differently with style and strategy, some of the villains in this epic title include: Kraven The Hunter, Hobgoblin, Doctor Octopus, Carnage and Deadpool to name a few and trust me, these guys are a challenge to defeat.

The wrap up: Spider-Man Shattered Dimensions is honestly a great game to play; it is fun, addictive and has a light sense of humour to it, which picks the game-play up a notch. Gamers will find themselves cracking up to some of really great humour and writing involved in the storyline. Unfortunately with the good must come the bad, on occasion the camera angles can become tedious especially in combat and web-slinging although this can be a slight hindrance to game-play it does not affect it that much.

Conclusion:
Plain and simple…go buy it, it’s great fun and addictive. The different graphic and art styles keep the game fresh.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

Darryl Linington

The Overlord, the master, the one who tries to get things done… I think they call it the “Editor-in-Chief”… I may even be cooler than Master Chief, but that remains to be questione

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Mafia 2 Review

From 2K games comes a title well worth playing:
Set in the 1940’s and 1950’s the story follows Vito Scaletta.
After a botched robbery attempt with his long time friend Joe, Vito chose to join the army where he found himself in the heat of battle in World War 2. 2 years of service go by and Vito finds himself back in the Empire Bay, which is a living breathing city where crime is the order of the day. Vito has dreams and these dreams are to become a “made-man” no matter what the cost, even if it involves the Mafia.

Game-play 1940’ style:
The major factor that pulled me towards Mafia 2 was the vehicles, classic 1940’s style vehicles which are a absolutely pleasure to drive ranging from the Bolt Ace Coupe, 1953 Pontiac Chieftain ‘Potomac Indian, 1941 Dodge Custom Sedan, Crusader Chromium Fordor and many more vehicles which have been beautifully designed to bring the gamer a nice authentic experience.

The music is something that will bring back very fond memories to the older generation of gamers, and enlighten some of the younger generation at the same time; the music includes licensed tracks from: Bing Crosby, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Little Richard and many more featured artists which really set the mood for Mafia 2.

Weaponry ranges from hand to hand combat, to an arsenal of fire power which includes: M1 Garand, Colt M1911, M3 Grease Gun, Pump Action Shotguns, MG42, Tommy Gun and many more as the list is very large.

The world around you:
Mafia 2 has a large living and breathing environment, which can be classed as beautiful and can be fully explored. The NPC’s add great life to the city and so do the law enforcement which seem to tangle with the main character on a few occasions. The law enforcement is tough so expect a challenge when taking them on.

Each section of the city has a different feel and vibe to it, which makes the game so much more enticing to the visual senses.The presentation of the title is one that is crisp clear and brilliant. The character models are great and the fluent movements of the main character and NPC’s is one that is a highly worthwhile experience to encounter. I especially enjoyed the winter effects in the beginning of Mafia 2 it added a great feel to the title, which is somewhat lacking in games of this genre. The visuals of water are also pretty impressive, as most titles seem to get this wrong on so many levels.

Conclusion:
Although my review is shortened from my usual style, I am going to have to say if you don’t own Mafia 2, I suggest you stop what you’re doing right now!!! Jump into your car and head on over to your nearest store and grab a copy of this title it is sheer brilliance.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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PlayStation 3 Reveiws Xbox 360 Reveiws

Enslaved Review

I will sway away from my normal style of reviewing for this title and head into something more straight forward. Enslaved caught our attention with its very colourful, detailed environment and extremely appealing characters that are voiced pretty much to perfection. The storyline is loosely based on the ancient Chinese novel entitled Journey to the West. Enslaved is pretty much set 150 years in the future where a global war has overcome the Earth, wiping out most of the human race and leaving the world overrun by robots. Although they are from way back when, they are still following their ancient programming to seek out and destroy humanity.

Enslaved starts off on a slave ship, where the main character Monkey awakes in a containment cell. This area gives a nice feel of the control style of the game as well as showcasing some really awesome graphics, when you eventually hit the outer shell of the slave ship. Once that’s done you are pretty much “Enslaved” by your female counter-part named Trip who manages to place a slave headband on Monkey, which forces him to follow her orders. Trip tells Monkey that she wants to return to her village, which is 300 miles away and that she needs his help to get there. Monkey is angry, but in no position to bargain his position (when a girls mind is set, its set!).

Monkey see, Monkey do:
The game-play is very fluent especially in combat, which can be fairly intense, especially when faced with 4-6 enemies. Monkey moves graciously for someone of his size and his attacks are pretty powerful, which impressed us. Enslaved is a really great game with beautiful graphics and probably the best voice acting we have come across. The only downfall is that the game is repetitive, which was slightly disappointing. It would have been great if they added a little more depth into the game-play, although the stunning graphics and voice acting seem to outweigh this fact. It was still a little annoying as I believe a lot more work could have gone into some seriously cool NPC’s and towns.

Back to the Voices:
Andy Serkis brings life into a really great character, which keeps the gamers focused on the storyline instead of skipping through cut-scenes. If you are not too familiar with who exactly Andy Serkis is, pop in a Lord of the Rings DVD and watch his amazing voice acting as Smeagol. Trip’s character is voiced by Lindsey Shaw check this video out, which is really in-depth.

Conclusion:
Overall, Enslaved is great but unfortunately repetitive. Beautiful graphics and great voice acting assist this title to greatness, although it could have been longer with far more interactions. Hopefully if a sequel is made they will include these elements.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.