FrameSkip Game Reviews

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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby cmdrajd » Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:44 pm

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Wii Version)

I know that I'm seriously late to the party on this one, but, after over a year of owning it, I was finally able to play through Star Wars: The Force Unleashed last month (Being snowed it does wonders for your free time). Now I will never be mistaken for a diehard gamer. I don't own a PS3 or X-Box 360, I barely play games on my PC, and rarely turn on the Wii. When I do play games, I like ones that are fun, forgiving, and able to be played in short bursts (I have a job, wife, 2 kids, and a house to deal with. Even when I get free moments, they don't last for long, and if at night I have a choice between gaming and sleep, I'm going with sleep). The Force Unleashed was great from that perspective. I found the Wii controls fairly easy to pick up (although, I freely admit that I didn't bother with most of the force abilities the game gives you), and the board length was about perfect for my schedule.

A lot of Wii games have been criticized for being all about waggle (i.e. shaking your wiimote controller almost randomly hoping that what you want to happen will happen). I've certainly played games like this...even Star Wars games like this (I'm looking at you Clone Wars Lightsaber Duels). I have, however, played a few games that really seemed to get how to take advantage of what the Wii can do and really make a great experience. I felt Spider-Man: Friend or Foe was like this. Using Spidey with the wiimote and nunchuck is so smooth and damn fun. The Force Unleashed controls are close to this during normal play, but I found that a few of force powers that relied too much on the movement of the wiimote were too unreliable to use regularly. I ended up sticking mostly to force lightning and a move where I'd levitate a guy up in to the air and throw a lightsaber into his chest. I loved that one, but it also showed an aspect of the game that I found to be somewhat silly. I understand that the enemies are going to get tougher as I progress through a game, but I don't care what kind of stormtrooper it is, if I pick up up and impale him with a lightsaber, he should be dead. Dude, I saw the thing coming out of your back. How the hell are you standing back up and trying to attack me again? Back to the waggle, I did end up in a couple of boss battles where I found myself resorting to swinging wildly and randomly mashing buttons because my usual attack methods weren't doing much. I also found it a bit irritating that my character would do a move and stand there posing like an immobile idiot while the boss raced over and bashed me repeatedly. Interestingly, the game designers built in waggle as a control method. When you have a boss close to death, you will enter a sequence where you are supposed to shake either the wiimote or the nunchuck based on the indicator on screen. Shake the wrong one at the wrong time, and you get thrown out of the sequence and have to fight some more until you are able to re-enter it.

Generally, though, the game play was fun, and you get to visit several different Star Wars universe locations. One thing I was worried about, having read some reviews of the game in advance, was a sequence where you have to use the force to bring down a star destroyer. It is the game's signature battle, but PS3 reviews complained that this was ridiculously difficult and required incredibly precise timing. It turned out that the Wii doesn't have this problem...because your character does it in a cutscene! I know the Wii isn't considered to be a hardcore gaming system, but didn't the designers think that we might want to play that part, too?

Graphics-wise, the game isn't anything special. The cutscenes are fairly blocky, but the game plays smoothly. Also, it's the Wii, which is not exactly known for its pretty pictures. That said, the game for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which was released well before Force Unleashed, it far more visually impressive.

The main thing for me was that I had a good time with it, and now that I've beaten it, I can go back to the earlier levels with all of my force powers unlocked. If I'm feeling destructive at some point and have some time to kill, I may very well pop it back in and have some fun.
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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby Mad Lensman » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:17 pm

Bioshock 2 Revisited

I don't do sequels normally, unless they're kick a$$ decent ones and look like a sure thing.

Bioshock 2 looked this, so it seemed natural to go buy it after having enjoyed the first one so much. As BC says, it is interesting to play as the Big Daddy, and there's enough variety in it to make it different from the initial game in the series, but I found the weapon control system clunky, difficult to get around when you're used to left click for fire and right click for alt fire - (Think machine gun/grenade launcher - Half life) - the right click for special plasmid techno wibbly effects just didn't do it and I found myself expending loads of stuff quickly rather than using it when I needed too..... and the centre click for ammo change... That was just WRONG! Who uses the middle mouse button anyways? I had to go buy another mouse for it!!!

Coupled with the fact I needed to sign up for WindowsLive just to be able to SAVE my game progress or else start all over again and the game just felt like a bowing down to the almight MS (2k Marin in the background shouting 'We're not worthy......') So sorry, it actually only got a 4 out of 10 for me. Even the storyline was just a touch on the weak side and didn't really expand much on the whole Rapture experience. We didn't get to revisit any of the original locations which would have been fun as a Big Daddy, I can imagine the first level being the perfect place to perfect the drill dash, and really the single player game was way too short - finished in under a day - and didn't really leave me hungering to go bakc and play it again. The new in game mini "hacking" games are terrible this time round, not fun like the first ones, and the puzzles are weak, easily solved and basically not really in line with the first game at all which had some truly evil undertones - this time through rapture made me think of the place as some of the cities here in the UK, not a run down about to implode submarine city of the pseudo future.

Sorry BC, it didn't float my boat!!!!

Left4Dead 2

Just one thing to say really sums this baby up.... Cricket Bat!

Hordes of slavering undead baying to get at you at every single turn of the game, Melee weapons abound, crowbars used like they should be, the satisfying thunk of flesh meeting willow wood in an unending and terrible assault on all that is holy.... yep, I like this game a LOT!

Better than the original? HELL YES! - Who wouldn't want to run through an abandoned amusement park decapitating the undead with an electric guitar? Or throwing vials of Boomer Bile over a horde of flesh crazed loonies and watching them tear each other apart from the relative safety of an overpass? Yep, it's a good 'un alright!

Sell that naff Bioshock2 and grab a copy of a real game BC!!!! - :D
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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby borgcrazy » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:04 pm

You played Bioshock 2 on PC? Shame on you! The XBox version is a lot better, the controls are smoother at the very least. And all you need is a memory card or a hard drive to save, not that annoying-ass Windows Live bs...
To be honest, I wasn't impressed enough with the first L4D to even try 2. It was just kinda boring and repetitive for me. By the second area, I was thinking (very sarcastically), "yay, yet ANOTHER wave of zombies. I. Am. So. Excited. Woo..." Maybe I'd have had a better time playing with someone else, but the only other person available was my douchebag friend who would have spent more time making fun of me and his perception that I'm a crappy gamer than actually helping me. I may rent L4D2 or borrow it from a friend, but unless it really wows me, I'm holding onto my copy of Bioshock 2 and muttering "My Precious".
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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby b-guy » Mon Apr 19, 2010 3:07 am

I wasn't going to touch The Force Unleashed. I had no reason to.

Then my roommate had to get it for his PS3. My military college roommate, who lives 4 feet away, in the same room. Despite seeing him play this sweet looking game, I held out.

Then Steam had a little message for me: "This weekend only, The Force Unleashed: Ultimate Sith Edition. 50% off. 15.99"

Aaaand I caved.

I'll second Alan's positive review, but add that on my roomies PS3 or my i7 hyperthreading quad-core, 6GB DDR3-RAM with GeForce 260 graphics card comptuer, it looks sweeeet!

The controls are definately clunky though. Part of it might be because the game is meant for a 360 controller, not keyboard and mouse. But I think most of it is the combo problem Alan mentioned...I'm tapping buttons to do stuff, but the dumb-ass is just standing there!

BTW, did you know that the actor who provided both the voice and physical model for Starkiller played Perry in Season 1 of Dexter and Lt. Crash in a couple episodes of Battlestar Galactica?
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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby borgcrazy » Fri Jan 14, 2011 9:20 am

Oh wow, I can't believe I forgot to share something I found on another forum with you guys...
Super Mario Bros. Crossover.
What happens when you take iconic mascots from other classic NES games and drop them into the world of Super Mario Bros.? Well, this kinda happens.
Link. Samus. Bill. Ryu. Megaman. Simon Belmont. SOFIA III. They're all here to help clean up the Mushroom Kingdom. It's so much fun! Bill and SOFIA definitely own, especially after getting all the upgrades, so yea.
Play, enjoy.
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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby cmdrajd » Fri Jan 14, 2011 12:00 pm

That one is a lot of fun. My son loves it. I haven't checked it out for a couple of months, though, and I think a new character has been added. I need to get back to it.
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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby borgcrazy » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:59 am

Yep, Dec 15th, SOFIA III (the tank from Blaster Master) was added. I just checked in the other night from boredom to see what was new.
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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby Star Traks » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:54 pm

b-guy wrote:...the actor who provided both the voice and physical model for Starkiller played Perry in Season 1 of Dexter and Lt. Crash in a couple episodes of Battlestar Galactica?


The only reference I ran across is an 'Alex Quartararo (callsign "Crashdown") is a fictional character in the reimagined Battlestar Galactica series, portrayed by Samuel Witwer. His real name, while not given in the series, is Alex Quartararo.'

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lt._Crashdown

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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby b-guy » Mon Jan 17, 2011 5:29 pm

Back to the Future: The Game - Part 1 'It's About time'

A BTTF game. 25 years after the first movie? Really? And on top of that, in an episodic format and created by the same publisher that brought us the new Sam & Max games?

Apparently so.

Despite being skeptical, I went ahead and bought this one. It actually turned out to be a lot of fun. It's a new story, which takes place about 6 months after the events in Back to the Future Part 3. Meaning early 1986. You play as Marty and end up having to go back to 1921 to rescue Doc from jail before he's gunned down by the mob.

Some key points to note:

-Graphics aren't that great and are rather cartoonish. But they serve the purpose just fine.
-Only Doc is voiced by the original actor (Christopher Llyod). However, the new voice-actors are very good. You'd almost think it was MJF voicing Marty.
-The dialogue is, for the most part, spot on.
-The puzzles aren't very hard, and are a bit repetitive.
-The story is pretty good. I really enjoyed it, and look forward to seeing what happens next.
- Lots of fan nostalgia. The Tannels, the Stricklands, the McFlys, the Browns...all revisited. Along with some familiar (and unfamiliar) Hill Valley territory.

My main reaction when I finished this episode was 'That was cute'. I'm looking forward to playing the next 4 episodes when they're released. (You get all 5 for one price.) If you enjoyed the BFFT movies, you'll probably like this game. If you didn't, then there's really no reason to buy it. It really isn't strong enough to stand up on its own.
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Re: FrameSkip Game Reviews

Postby b-guy » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:10 pm

Portal 2

Did I actually forget to post about this amazing game, or did I misplace the post?

As you may have guessed from the replies to the Portal review post, Portal was an amazing, addictive game that introduced an innovative new style of puzzle-play along with a first-rate villian, GLaDOS. But for all its achievements, the truth is it really was a prototype. Valve hired some graduating students after seeing their video game project and had them develop a fantasy/magic game into the sci-fi adventure that became Portal. It was short, tacked onto The Orange Box, not given its own launch (or much in the way of funding) and basically piggybacked on the Half-Life franchise. When Portal 2 was announced, there was serious doubt that Valve would be able to maintain the uniqueness of Portal in a full-length game.

Valve proved them wrong.

In every way, Portal 2 completely blows Portal out of the water, turning it into the opening chapter of a much larger (an clearly well-funded) story. The original gameplay remains, but is augmented by new 'testing tools' like redirect-able lasers, surface -altering gels, springboards that send you (or test objects) flying through the air, hard-light bridges and even weird tractor-beam type gadgets. In addition to the love-to-hate GLaDOS, you now have a little AI sphere named 'Wheatley' keeping you company through most of the game, along with old pre-recorded messages from deceased Aperture founder Cave Johnson.

On the subject of Aperture, the design of the Enrichment Center really shows the massive resources Valve brought to bear on this sequel. Visually, most elements of the test chambers are unchanged...except for the fact that if you happen to walk in while they're being setup, repaired, adjusted or so forth, you can see that large sections of them are comprised of panels held in place by robotic arms, making them 'infinitely variable'. Basically, you can see that most of the chambers aren't always solid, static rooms as they appear in the first game, but can be built, rebuilt, repaired or modified almost by whim. And any portions of the game spent outside the chambers show a massive, highly sophisticated and disturbingly automated facility...instead of the closed off hallways and offices of the first game. The whole facility takes on a whole new dimension. My favorite part of the game actually takes place deep below the 'modern' facility, in old abandoned testing spheres constructed decades ago, in Apertures early days. Very cool...and a bit depressing.

I really don't want to give away any other spoilers, but suffice to say that pretty much everything about this game is an order of magnitude more epic than the original.

As a final note, Portal 2 also includes a Co-Op mode. Which, frankly, I thought was stupid at first. I hate Co-Op play and multiplayer. But...well...when you and your buddy are playing as two hilarious robots, each with a portal gun, trying to solve puzzles using four portals instead of two. I'll admit to absolutely LOVING IT!

10/10
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