Grand Theft Auto 4: The Lost and Damned (360) – Review

gta-iv-the-lost-and-damnedcoverThe Lost and Damned is the first "episodic" content for Grand Theft Auto 4 (with promise of at least one more episode).  As downloadable content, the addon describes simultaneous events in Liberty City with those in the main game, but now from from the perspective of one of the side characters, a leader of a old-fashioned motorcycle club, with his path crossing that of Niko several times.  While the game does little to change the standard mission approach from GTA4, it does toss in a few new gameplay elements, weapons, and other features to make it a worthwhile download for its high cost.

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Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (360) – Review

cover Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard presents an interesting concept to build a game around: create a fictional video game hero of the past, now returned to revitalize his games, but only to attempt to kill him quickly.  It sets up a range of possible industry in-jokes on video games and recent trends, and to this extent, the game does deliver.  However, the gameplay and overall presentation itself is somewhat lackluster, and rather short, leading to a game that really is enjoyed as a rental, but certainly not worth the cost of a full-priced game.

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Flower (PS3) – Review

Flower-cover Flower, a downloadable title for the PS3 from thatgamecompany follows up on their previous flOw game, making it less a game with objectives and more an experience to relax with. It’s a very simple game to learn, and won’t take much time to complete, but it’s a game to take in its beauty, visual and audio experience, and relaxing demeanor.  It is a tad costly for the brief experience, and certainly not going to be a hard core game, but it is still a excellent product.

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Fracture (360) – Review

cover Fracture, created by Day 1 Studios and published by LucasArts, makes its claim to fame by adding in the concept of “terrain deformation” to a third-person shoot to alter the environment for both progressing in the game and defeating foes.  Unfortunately, while the mechanic certainly works, the whole game is mostly a mess with a weak story to try to justify the mechanic and gameplay that really doesn’t make the most of the mechanic, while also being on the shorter side.  I strongly recommend trying the demo even before hitting the rental store on this.

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Dark Sector (360) – Review

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Dark Sector by Digital Extremes and published by D3 Publisher, is a third-person "shooter", in the sense that while there are guns, the primary feature is a "glaive" that your character gains early in the game that can be used both offensively and to solve a handful of puzzles as you work your way through the game.  The game is not bad; it’s a fair challenge and its presentation of new gameplay elements is well paced.  But as a game with any lasting power, its weak story and uninspired gameplay and design make it hard to put this as anything but a rental to try and see.

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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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Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2) – Review

cover Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 from Atlus is a JRPG based on very traditional, turn-based combat combined with dating simulation-like elements that doesn’t, at first, vary much from its predecessor, Persona 3.  However, as you start to get into the game, you’ll notice several improvement on the already successful formula that make the game much more enjoyable and management, with possibly a slight reduction in its difficulty as a result.  Regardless of that, the game is very easy to get into and is definitely one to try if you are on the fence about JRPGs; the characters and story are quite well done, as well as the presentation, and the game promised a hefty dose of playtime but presented in a manner that can make it more distillable to the end user.  It is a definite must-have title for any RPG fan in the first place.

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