Call Of Duty: World at War (360) – Review

cover With this iteration of Call of Duty flipping back to Treyarch, Call of Duty: World at War returns to the historical setting of World War II, this time focusing on two theaters of war that haven’t been explored in depth: the Russian invasion of Germany, and the retaliation of America on Japan.  While the game does little to change up the formula of the game (including keeping some of the more disliked elements such as infinite enemy respawns, while using the same experience-based approach to multiplayer as Call of Duty 4), the game is otherwise a decent and solid title

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F.E.A.R. 2 – Project Origin (360) – Review

cover The first F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) game was a decent game for its time, combining elements of a first person shooter with aspects of horror and suspense films to create an dark and scary experience.  While FEAR 2: Project Origin attempts to continue both the gameplay and the story in the same fashion, still having you chase down the nearly omnipotent Alma before she brings destruction to the world, there are several places where it faults mostly for doing more the same and not really attempting to distinguish its gameplay from other first-person shooter games, as well as for having too much broadcasting of soon-to-take-place surprise events, thus diminishing it as a horror title.  There are still faults from the first game’s overall design that also linger.  It’s still does a good job when it gets to the horror-aspect setpieces, but the points in between are mundane.

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Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii) – Initial Impressions

I played through about the first hour of this yesterday (that is, up though the first boss); the trouble with those Wii games that actively engage both hands that if you’re not used to it, it’s hard to jump in and do long doses at the start (had the same problem with Zelda for example).

However, I have to say that the word about the control scheme being near perfect holds true – yes, I’m still at the stages of trying to get used to all the controls, but they feel tons more natural than Red Steel’s version.  The lock-on with side aiming is a very nice feature.  My only nit is that the “pull-twist-push” actions for door seals seem difficult to pull off, the same issue I had with Elebits’ door handles, because of the in/out motion with the remote seeming to not be registering well.  I believe there’s a setting on the Wii main menu that might help that, so I’ll check that again.  The only nit is the scan visor activation process which requires a bit more finger movement to hit the “-” key, then to select the visor, THEN to aim and target the scan area.  Again, haven’t gotten far enough to determine if this could have been mapped any differently.

I’m trying to figure out if the graphics look any better than the GC Prime games — certainly after playing lots of 360 games at 1080i and coming back to 480p, jaggies are very notable, but ignoring that, it doesn’t seem like the engine pushing too much beyond what Prime was doing before on the GC — not that this wasn’t bad or the like.

Rainbow Six: Vegas (360) – Review

Vegas - Cover

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Vegas, developed and published by Ubisoft, is a tactical first person shooter that extends the concept of the previous Rainbow Six games, pitting you as a special operative against terrorist forces. The game provides an well-rounded single player campaign that requires you to use your resources and your team wisely, while the multiplayer definitely has a lot of play styles and maps in addition to a ranking system in order to keep it fresh. Combined with great visuals reflecting Sin City, Rainbow Six: Vegas is definitely a strong game for next-gen systems.

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Black (PS2) – Review

Black - Cover

Black for the PS2 (also for the original Xbox), developed by Criterion Games (the developers of the Burnout series) and published by Electronic Arts, is a first person shooter that really tries to focus in on weapon realism and rather destructive environments. While these parts are captured well by the game, the rest of the game feels lacking in areas such as level design and challenging AI. It’s also got a pretty short run-through that make the game a renter more than anything else. Continue reading

The Darkness (360) – Review

The Darkness - Cover

The Darkness, based off the comic of the same name by Top Cow Productions, developed by Starbreeze Studios, and published by 2K Games, takes a unique approach to first-person shooters that reminds me of elements from Max Payne and Deus Ex. It offers a story that is integrated well with the gameplay, a detailed environment of New York City, and a set of fun powers to use as you gain levels. There are some flaws, such as a rather lackluster online component, but the game still stands out for the solo play.

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The Darkness (360) – Mid-game Thoughts

I was worried before about this game not offering much, but there’s actually a pretty good bit of content here.  The game does a good job of keeping a story telling pace while keeping the action going at the same time.  It’s got a Max Payne head-warping feel to it, particularly with at least two sets of areas that are completely unexpected for the setting that you’re introduced to.  I also like how, while being an FPS, it had small but simple side quests that help give the game more depth.

And yes, the latter powers that you get are pretty damn impressive.  “Black Hole” may be fireflower-cheap, but it’s got its drawbacks, and its quite fun to watch ragdoll physics at work.