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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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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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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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Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 Review

Get your force on!
The Force Unleashed 2 starts off in true Star Wars fashion, which as a fan of the movies I found very appealing especially when it comes to any title that even resembles a lightsaber, force powers and Jedi mind tricks.

Although my scepticism was fully intact when loading up this title, I asked myself, “Is this title gonna blow or is it gonna hit that little portion of my heart that held Star Wars on a podium for many years?” Truth is… wait for it, wait for it…I personally found The Force Unleashed to be pretty damn fantastic.

Let’s crack on with the story:
As The Force Unleashed 2 begins, the gamer takes control of Starkiller, the secret apprentice of Darth Vader. Vader arrives and explains to Starkiller that he is just a mere clone, (like that’s the first thing you wanna hear after being isolated for 13 days) the first clone to stave off insanity in fact. As memories of Starkiller’s life flood back, doubt is buried deep within Starkillers mind. Starkiller decides that Vader is lying, and makes a desperate attempt to escape to discover the truth about himself and to reunite with Juno Eclipse, Starkiller’s love interest.

Lightsabers, Force powers, mind tricks… what more can you ask for?
Game-play involves some intense combat, sometimes repetitive but still intense. This aint no walk in the park to play through, especially if you start off with a high difficulty setting.

Did I mention Lightsabers? Yes, the weapon of choice for any Star Wars Fan (I secretly wish I owned one) that has followed the movies. It seems to be apparent that Storm Troopers and lightsabers are like Mosquitoes and photo-catalyst mosquito killers. They are just attracted to each other in a way only the force will know. A nice feature of the Force Unleashed 2 is the fact that when you’re striking old Bob the Storm Trooper you can watch his limbs take a trip to the other side of the room, the side where his body may not be.

The force powers are epic! Let us use Bob as an example once again. While Starkiller approaches Bob, Bob’s first reaction is to shoot… right? Although Starkiller has lifted Bob into the air and now has an insane amount of electricity flowing through him. Once charged, Bob is a floating bomb, which when released explodes and takes out Phil, Frank and Rob Storm Trooper. There are various Force powers to be used but my favourite was the Jedi Mind trick, which forces enemies to either throw themselves off a bridge ( yes you Bob) or generally attack any enemy force that is attacking you.
I will not dive too much into detail as the Force Unleashed 2 is just something you have to experience for yourself.

Conclusion:
Although the Force Unleashed 2 is repetitive and may hold some flaws, it is honestly a game where being dark and brutal is fun, any game that involves Lightsabers deserves at least one play through. Down side was a lack of Co-op. I found running around and destroying things (and Bob) truly satisfying. If you are planning on some serious fun destroying Storm Troopers and Darth Vader, I suggest you put the Force Unleashed 2 on your Christmas list.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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FIFA 12 Review

FIFA 11 was once again the leading football video game across the globe last year. This year, continuing demands for innovation in the series have led to new features including: a trinity of Player Impact Engine, Precision Dribbling and Tactical Defending. While these new features improve the game as a whole, will veterans of the FIFA games enjoy them? FIFA 12 delivers an authentic Match Day experience, faster and easier navigation, and over 500 officially licensed clubs.

In FIFA 11 the best way to obtain the ball was to put pressure on the opposing team. The game took the stance that the best offence is a good defence. By launching an offensive assault of fullbacks en mass, the player was able to almost haphazardly gain possession of the ball. FIFA 12 has revolutionised this system by introducing ‘contain’ and ‘jockey’: that means you must constantly control the opposing players’ movements and force them to make errors. It is a much more strategic way of going about things and better mimic’s real-world football. The new system also means that slide tackling is less effective, unlike FIFA 11 where it was the most dependable option for defence. If you are not extremely cautious with your timing, you will give the opposition a clear path to your goal posts.

Tactical defending also adds realism to FIFA 12. If you actually mark your man, as opposed to running around while you wait for the ball to be kicked or thrown, you are more likely to gain possession and if you keep up your fitness, other players will sometimes fall behind giving you a decisive advantage over the opponent. Veterans of the series may find these new additions challenging, but the pressure system of last year can be toggled on. However, bear in mind that this style of play is a much more primitive mode and restricts both strategy and realism.

Precision dribbling means that you can get those extra few feet, while the Player Impact Engine notes how fast players are travelling, making player clashes relative to their movement. This means it feels like you are looking at a real-world game of football, as opposed to a bunch of polygons with preset animations that occur according to certain actions. Career mode has been tweaked to be closer to the real-world business Sport in today’s Football. You must pay close attention to the statistics in order to make progress. You must even contend with the testy players as they whine about certain things, which I thought added realism to this feature.

FIFA 12 is another extremely polished EA title. The graphics are solid and emphasise the realistic approach that the game’s creators are aiming for. The professional players’ likenesses are almost flawless and the stadiums are accurate in their design. Crowds do sometimes look like clones, but let’s be honest; you’re not really playing the game for the appearance of the audience. Lighting only heightens an already impressive graphic experience.

The cheers of the football fans, commentators and accompanying soundtrack are all done in the usual vain of the EA FIFA series, but the quality is clear and adds nicely to the overall experience.

Online:
You can participate with your friends in online friendlies or take part in the almost intimidating ten leagues of online play that EA offers. Here points must be earned to advance up the ranks. The highest three leagues will then progress to the Continental Cup at the end of each season. You will always faceoff against teams that are a similar rank to you. In friendly matches you can post your best results, share game experiences and challenge other people. Then there’s EA Sports Football Club that is supposed to recreate real-world challenges. Players must complete challenges like keeping the match at a certain score for a certain time to mimic real-world matches. This will have to be monitored over a period, however, as it is a fairly new concept.

Conclusion:
Not only is EA still the king of authenticity in nearly all major sports leagues, but now it is really creating its own leagues through online networks that are accessible in titles like FIFA 12. The game has few flaws like minor graphics defects and only adds realism to the ongoing series of FIFA games. If the new features are too much for someone to handle, the game offers easy-to-learn tutorials, and players can toggle on older game features to adjust gameplay to their desired preferences.

The Breakdown:
Gameplay 9/10
Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 8/10

Predominantly reviewed on PlayStation 3.

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Shrek: Forever After Review

Far Far Away is now closer than you think!
Developed by DreamWorks Animation and published by Activision, comes a great title that is filled with family fun and adventure.

The Fairytale so far:
Shrek is longing for the days where Dragons were on the menu, the kingdom was in jeopardy, and the in-laws needed some classic fairytale rescuing, Shrek style! But what does an Ogre do when he is suddenly a family man, and a well respected good guy? He does what every Fairytale creature would do; sign a contract with the Evil Rumpelstiltskin.

The kingdom is now in shambles, as Shrek is thrown into an alternative version of Far Far Away, where Rumpelstiltskin is King, he and his beloved Fiona have never met, and his companions are no longer in sight.

The adventure begins as Shrek has to undo all the wrongs he has done, to save the world around him and his closest friends and hopefully restore Far Far away back to its original state.

Grab your Torch and Pitch Forks:
There is loads of family fun to be had with Shrek: Forever After, as a team based method of playing has been introduced, for everyone to enjoy, with a drop in and drop out approach, new players can jump straight into the action just by hitting the start button on any available control and play as Shrek, Donkey, Puss in boots or Fiona who each have their own special abilities which help to solve puzzles and take on any of Rumpelstiltskin group of bad guys.

Donkey Sing, Donkey Do:
Shrek: Forever after hosts some very iconic music from the previous films and is sure to grasp any of the younger gamer’s attentions.

The Final Chapter:
Shrek: Forever After is a family game, that will bring delight to any child that enjoys the previous movies or video games, so if you looking for a title for the young ones to play and actually enjoy I do suggest getting your hands on this title.

Verdict time:
I found myself enjoying some quality time with my nephew on this title, which really does bring in the family fun into the picture.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.

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Singularity Review

Stay Frosty Gamers!
From Raven Software and Activision publishing, comes a very fun first-person-shooter.

Welcome to Katorga-12 folks!
Singularity takes place on Katorga-12, an island where the Russians have been experimenting with a substance called E99 now you may think to yourself “Russians” Experimenting? That’s Crazy? Well during the Cold War something went wrong very wrong! A catastrophe called Singularity occurred, which caused the Island to be covered up by the Zee Russian Government.

You get thrown into Katorga-12 when your Chopper has been taken down by what seems to be a massive EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse), Nate Renko has been sent to investigate the highly bizarre radiation, that has been picked up on the island. After regaining consciousness, Nate finds the very cool TMD Device (Time manipulation Device) and realizes the world around him is being fluxed between the past 1955, and the present 2010. While all this craziness is happening around Nate, he still finds time to kick some serious mutant and Russian butt, using some devastatingly cool weapons.

The arsenal in my locker:
Weapons range from the Centurion Pistol, the AR9 Valkyrie machine gun, the Volk S4 Shotgun and the Kasimov SNV-E99 Sniper Rifle which are fully upgradable in the nearest weapons locker. Upgrades include: More ammunition, higher damage and higher capacity for those all important rounds of fire power. While Weaponry combat is fun, the true key to this games success is the Time Manipulation Device, This delivers a huge impact on game-play.

The abilities of the Time Manipulation device include:
Age Revert: This allows Gamers to move objects or humans back and forth through time, its function allows walk ways to be repaired by sending it back to a period where it was all new and shiny.  Age revert also allows gamers to turn blocked paths such as fences into scrap metal, as well as turn human opposition into a grisly pile on bones, which someone may sweep up?

Deadlock: Allows the Gamer to create a sphere, which slows down time or stops anything in its tracks for a momentary period, allowing intense battle to turn into shooting fish in a barrel.

Gravity: Is truly awesome, it allows gamers to grab an object and hold it in time, indefinitely.

Whilst these 3 are the only ones I will cover for now there are some extra awesome abilities that you experience while playing Singularity.

Will it scare the pants off me?
Whilst in the beginning of Singularity you may find yourself wondering around saying to yourself “I knew that would happen” there are many moments where you will possibly run out your room, or switch to some very well deserved cartoons, to block out the images running through your head. But believe it when I say it, you will be back for more! The Russian AI you encounter is vicious and their arsenal of weaponry will have you dodging bullets like wild fire. I won’t forget to mention the hostile mutated residents of Katorga-12 which will keep any gamer on the ready in-case one just bursts through the ceiling above you.

Multiplayer impact:
When I mentioned fun I meant it, Singularity has a great Multiplayer scope, and delivers some intense action in the midst of battle. Although there are only two modes which are available, you will be phoning up your mates, to whack themselves online so you can own everyone one of them, over and over again.

Verdict time!
Singularity is a great title! The ability to control various objects in time is an awesome concept; however, it does feature a few downsides, which include a non-existent mini-map and graphics that could have been polished for the better.

Predominantly reviewed on Xbox 360.