Dark Souls – Game Review

Dark Souls for the Xbox 360

Release Date: October 4, 2011
Developed by: From Software
Published by: Namco/Bandai Games
Rating: Mature
Genre: Third Person Hack-and-Slash RPG.
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Score:

As the spiritual sequel to Demon’s Souls, Dark Souls had big shoes to fill. Demon’s Souls was a sleeper hit of 2009, its crippling difficulty and innovative online play quickly creating ripples through the gaming community. From Software, not content with releasing more of the same, set out to create a game that built on the innovations of the original. Not only has Dark Souls filled the shoes of its older brother, it has surpassed its sibling in almost every aspect.

In the world of the game, those marked with the Dark Sign are doomed to be undead. The sign provides immortality, but one day the one marked will become Hollow and lose all humanity. Undead that are not hunted or imprisoned journey to Lordran, a land overseen by ancient lords. Gwyn: God of Sun, The Witch of Izalith, and Nito: the first of the dead worked to destroy the dragons that ruled the world and allow the proliferation of mankind. However, Lordran has fallen into despair. Gwyn himself has died and become Hollow and evil; malice has spread across the land. You play as an Undead, chosen to leave their asylum and restore Lordran.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:35:48+00:00 November 1st, 2011|Reviews|0 Comments

Catherine – Game Review

Catherine for the Xbox 360

Release Date: July 26, 2011
Developed and Published by: Atlus (Persona Team)
Rating: Mature
Genre: Survival horror platform puzzler.
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Score:

Initially, Catherine was a game I didn’t have any interest in. All the marketing did nothing to change this. I would even go so far to say it repulsed me. I filed it away as a “pass,” and moved on. That is…until I saw who made it. The team behind Catherine also made Persona 4, my favorite game of 2008, and one of my most beloved games of all time. So with my low expectations raised slightly, I rented Catherine, and was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

In the game, you play Vincent Brooks, a thirty-two-year-old man who is happy with the status quo. He has a routine and he sticks to it. He wakes up, goes to work, then hangs out with his friends at the bar. All is well, until Vincent’s longtime girlfriend, Katherine (with a K!) starts to pressure him into tying the knot. Overwhelmed by the thought of being “chained down,” Vincent gets drunk at the bar one night, and meets Catherine (with a C.) The next morning, Vincent wakes up with Catherine in his bed and no memory of the night before. On top of his growing relationship troubles, Vincent has nightmares every night where he has to climb a tower of blocks, lest he fall and die. Wackiness ensues from there and Vincent must figure out what he wants in life: the order of Katherine, or the chaos of Catherine.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:37:40+00:00 September 17th, 2011|Reviews|2 Comments

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Game Review

Deus Ex: Human Revolution box art

Release Date: 8/23/11 (US), 8/26/11 (EU)
Developer: Eidos-Montreal
Publisher: Square Enix
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
ESRB Rating: Mature 17+

With the video game industry increasingly turning towards annual-installment franchise Intellectual Properties, the resurrection of three high-profile IPs from the 90s and early 00s comes as either a refreshing change of pace or a sign of impending disaster, depending on your level of cynicism about game series “reboots.” With the lackluster release of the perennially vaporware Duke Nukem Forever, fans of the other two IPs (Deus Ex and XCOM) had plenty of reason to fear what was coming.

The original Deus Ex (known as Deus Ex: The Conspiracy when it hit the PS2 platform), launched in 2000, ranks among my personal “best games of all time” lists, and was both the first PS2 game I purchased and the last PS2 game I reluctantly parted with during the last console generational cycle. Its sequel, the mediocre Invisible War, effectively killed off the franchise by emphasizing all the wrong aspects of the original, while jettisoning the things that made the original great. I’m pleased to report that Deus Ex: Human Revolution is just about everything one could ask for in a new installment.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:38:04+00:00 September 8th, 2011|Reviews|0 Comments

Portal 2 – Game Review

Portal 2

Developed & Published by: Valve
Rating: E10+
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3 and Mac/PC

Portal 2. Wow. Just wow. In a proof of concept, Valve shows that the innovative gameplay and story of the original Portal (originally released as part of a bundle) can carry itself as a standalone release. The sequel is an unblemished masterpiece that lives up to the hype and fully dispels the worries of fans. With a fantastic single player campaign and story, Portal 2 is by far one of my favorite games this year, if not of all time.

The game starts with the main character from the first installment, Chell, waking up in cryo-chamber 0 (disguised as a tacky motel room) deep in the bowels of the Aperture Science Testing Facility. After an extended rest, Chell is woken up by a robot named Wheatley. Chell finds that the facility has fallen apart after her climactic battle when the rogue AI GLaDOS crippled the complex. Chell and Wheatley then attempt to escape the dying Aperture Labs, inadvertently re-activating GLaDOS. From there, shit goes down, and Chell is forced to begin testing again. In the co-op campaign players control Atlas and P-Body: two robots created specifically for testing.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:41:44+00:00 April 23rd, 2011|Game Reviews|1 Comment

Dragon Age 2 – Game Review

Dragon Age 2

Developed by: BioWare
Published by: EA
Rating: M
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3 and PC

Everyone, please give a warm welcome to Isaac, marking his site debut by throwing his sombrero into the ring of game reviewage.

My feelings toward Dragon Age 2 are…difficult to describe. On one hand, the game is a very well crafted RPG experience with satisfying combat, great character interaction and a sweeping rags-to-riches tale filled with betrayal and sociopolitical strife. On the other hand, quite a few supporting characters are bland and the entire game seems like an overzealous attempt at badassery.

The story is told through a series of flashbacks during the interrogation of a dwarf named Varric, a notorious storyteller and one of your earliest companions in the game. He is commanded to tell the story of the Champion, your character. The Champion starts out with no title, known only by his name

[YOUR NAME HERE] Hawke. Predictable phallic opportunity seized, the adventures of Mike Hawke began. Varric’s story begins with Hawke and his family fleeing The Blight, the major conflict in Dragon Age: Origins. The Hawkes arrive in the city of Kirkwall: “The City of Chains.” Events transpire and a year after Hawke and his sister find themselves trying to make money and regain their noble birthright. Over the years, Hawke and his family become interwoven in the political unrest in Kirkwall.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:42:46+00:00 March 23rd, 2011|Reviews|5 Comments

You Don’t Know Jack – Game Review

You Don't Know Jack

Please note: I will not be making the obvious joke about this game not being based on the Al Pacino made-for-HBO biopic mini-series on Jack Kevorkian. That’s an easy joke, and we’re above that (no, really, stop laughing).

Most people who owned a PC in the 90s will recognize the name You Don’t Know Jack, or at least the bald head that graced the cover of every YDKJ released. And there were a lot: twelve iterations released in stores between 1995 and 2000. That’s not counting expansion packs, website games, spin-offs, books, and the TV show either. Yes, for about three hours in 2001, there was even a YDKJ TV game show, hosted by someone who’s enjoyed a comeback of his own lately: Paul Reubens. After 2003, developer Jellyvision took a break from the Jack brand to focus on advertising, web design, tax software, that sort of thing.

Now, Jack has returned with the reintroduction of You Don’t Know Jack. The first Jack game since 2003 is also the first to be released mainly on the major consoles; Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. There is a version for Windows, but it doesn’t have the online capability, and won’t receive any of the downloadable content.

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By | 2017-09-24T22:43:28+00:00 March 5th, 2011|Game Reviews|0 Comments

Win a DJ Hero 2 Turntable Bundle for the Xbox 360!

DJ Hero 2: Turntable Bundle for Xbox 360

It’s DJ Hero 2, which is out October 19th from your friends at Activision. Here’s what they have to say for themselves:

The ultimate mixer of music and friends, DJ Hero 2 will deliver the definitive way for players to come together and party with a host of new multiplayer modes – including DJ Battles that pit DJ against DJ in mixes produced specifically for battle gameplay – and invite vocalists into the spotlight with integrated on-screen singing and rapping of lyrics and rhymes while bringing the party to life with jump-in/jump-out Party Play gameplay. Featuring the biggest dance, pop and hip-hop hits by the hottest artists everyone knows and loves remixed by world-class DJ’s in an all-new way, the game’s soundtrack delivers 83 unique creations only available in DJ Hero 2. Further immersing players into the music, the game offers a heightened level of creative input and allows everyone to add their own touch, directly impacting the beats they’re spinning with freestyle scratching, crossfading and sampling. The game will also feature an all-new career-based Empire Mode where players start out as an up-and-coming DJ on the road to becoming the head of a major entertainment empire, all of which is founded solely on their success as a DJ.

Dropping on October 19, DJ Hero 2 will invite a wave of new digital disc jockeys to the turntables as the game will be available as a Party Bundle which will include a copy of the game, two turntable controllers and a microphone, offering the ultimate “party-in-a-box.” Gamers who experienced DJ Hero®, the #1 new videogame intellectual property of 2009, can pick up DJ Hero 2 as a Turntable Bundle featuring one turntable controller and a copy of the game or as standalone software. The game is in development by FreeStyleGames for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the PLAYSTATION®3 and the Wiiâ„¢ system from Nintendo. The game is rated “T” (Teen – Mild Suggestive Themes, Lyrics) by the ESRB. For more information about DJ Hero 2, please visit www.djhero.com, www.facebook.com/djhero and www.twitter.com/djhero.

What’s that? You’d like a trailer? Sure thing:
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By | 2017-09-24T22:47:24+00:00 October 14th, 2010|Contests|3 Comments

Win Singularity for Xbox 360!

Singularity Xbox 360 Cover Art

Raven Software and Activision have released Singularity, a first-person action game with some crazy sci-fi stuff going on. Here’s what they have to say for themselves:

Strange and alarming activities have recently been detected at a top-secret Russian military research base on a remote island off the coast of Siberia.  Fearing another Chernobyl disaster, your job as a U.S. Special Forces Operative, is to learn the truth behind the island of Katorga-12, the site of Soviet experimentation in the 1950’s that led to a catastrophic SINGULARITY, an event that fractured time itself. You’ll soon discover this island is at the center of a massive Russian cover-up that threatens the world as we know it.  Armed with powerful advanced weapons from the island and the experimental Time Manipulation Device, you’ll fight enemies from the past, the future, and abominations caught somewhere between time and reality.

Want one? Well, you’re in luck, because we have one to give away. Just fill the form out below– you can even do it once a day. If we draw your name when the contest ends, you win. Good luck!

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By | 2017-09-24T22:50:08+00:00 July 9th, 2010|Contests|3 Comments

Win Shrek: Forever After for Xbox 360!

Shrek Forever After Xbox Cover Art

The fourth Shrek movie is out from Dreamworks, and with it have come the companion video games. Activision has released Shrek: Forever After for the Xbox 360, and we have a copy to give away.

Would you like it? You can give it a shot by filling out the form below. If we draw your name when the contest is over, it’s yours. You can even enter once a day to improve your chances. Good luck!

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By | 2017-09-24T22:50:51+00:00 June 23rd, 2010|Contests|0 Comments