Wednesday, February 29, 2012

S&S Review: BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend




Title: BlazBlue Continuum Shift Extend
Format: PS Vita
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer:  ARC System Works
Price: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T

The BlazBlue series has always been a staple in the fighting game genres, even if most people don't like it as much as a Street Fighter or Tekken.  Once I found out that BlazBlue was getting a Vita release , I knew I had to give it a shot.




Presentation/Story:
Visually, the BlazBlue series never ceases to amaze me. With the move to the Vita's OLED screen, the game has never looked better. As always, characters are gorgeously animated, with bright and vibrant backgrounds that make the characters pop even more. The music is just as fast-paced as the action, with drums constantly pounding in the background. With all the cool animations, hardcore fans of the franchise will notice that a lot of the animations are recycled from previous games. Now this isn't a problem for me, but I can see how some people can find fault in this. Each character in the game has there own separate story, with unique cutscenes and voice acting. Don't expect a Shakespearean tale with these characters though, story telling was never a strong point in fighting games. Overall, the presentation is as stupendous as ever.




Core Gameplay/Multiplayer: Continuum Shift Extend is one of the most complex fighting games I've ever played, this isn't a bad thing, its actually a very good thing. The developers apparently heard my groans of discomfort as human and AI opponents destroy me in every match. The team has made the game more user-friendly than ever, but it will take time. You will have to spend time learning which character fits you the best, once you have that down pat, the game is a breeze. The pure action of this 2D fighting game is more fast paced than Street Fighter, but less accurate. With a roster of 19 unique characters, you will mostly likely find your own favorite fighter to use. This comes in handy with online as well, you won't be fighting a Ken every time, for all you Street Fighter guys. There are 11 modes to spend your time in, from your standard training modes to previously mentioned online modes. If you're worried about the value of your money, this will keeo you occupied for quite some time.


Final Thoughts:
Spending $40 on sheer content should not be a hard choice for fans of the 2D fighter.  With a strong cast of characters to choose from, each one will give you an unique fighting style and story arc.  The inclusion of an online multiplayer, also adds extra replayablility.  

Final Score = 8/10
Twitter: @iSamKulii
Apps: S&S Reviews on Apple and Android Stores
PSNID:sameo452008

Monday, February 27, 2012

S&S Review: Uncharted Golden Abyss


Title: Uncharted Golden Abyss
Format: PS Vita
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer:  Sony Bend
Price: $49.99
ESRB Rating: T



Before you guys start wondering, I do not own my very own Vita yet.  I am fortunate to have "rich" friends that don't mind me using it.  I have about 2 weeks of hands on time with it, and I'm going to try and cover as many games as I can.  I can say so far, that my excitement for the Vita was well worth it.  Nathan Drake is back again for yet another installment of the Uncharted Series, and just because its on a portable, doesn't mean it has to play or look  like one.

 
Presentation/Story:
Presentation in Uncharted games have always been a high priority, and Golden Abyss doesn't disappoint.  The team at Sony Bend( Resistance: Retribution) have squeezed every life of power out of the Vita and it shows.  The green leafy environments on the lush screen will make your eyes melt.  Now the game doesn't look as good as Uncharted 3, but it comes extremely close.   Drake is beautifully mo-capped and voiced by none-other than the great Nolan North.  The eyes of the characters look a little weird at times, but the character models are all highly detailed.  Audio is great, with stellar voice acting throughout.  A smooth orchestral score always makes an appearance in an Uncharted game, including this one.   Story-wise, Golden Abyss is set as a prequel to the first game.  New characters like Dante and a new pretty lady for Drake, Chase, adds new personalities to the story.  The game's story is pretty standard, you start off looking for ancient relics, then something goes wrong. I won't spoil it for you though, so you'll just have to play it to find out.  Like previous entries in the franchise, the presentation is stupendous.


Core Gameplay:
Golden Abyss, for the most part, stays with the original formula of previous games.  Although it does take advantage of the new features of the Vita.  This is one of the only gripes I have with the game.  Cleaning off relics with your finger and opening locks with the touchscreen really don't add to the overall immersion like they'd hoped.  These new "innovations" really feel like a chore, but they don't detract from the game at all.  Platforming, on the other hand, feel great using the touch controls.  Swiping along ridges to make Nathan automatically climb along high cliffs,  are a great addition to the formula.  Shooting feels great in the game, the dual analog sticks of the Vita make this happen.  Melee is also controlled with the touchscreen, which is actually pretty cool.  The gameplay of the console versions are translated beautifully, and keeps the famous gameplay smooth and fun.


Final Thoughts:
Uncharted Golden Abyss is a great portable game, and serves as a great handheld version of Uncharted.  With no multiplayer, its still worth the $50 price tag.  I had a few gripes with the gimmicky touchscreen controls, but thats expected with any new console.  Any fans of the series should already have this, and if you don't, you need to pick it up as soon as possible.


Final Score = 8.75/10
Twitter: @iSamKulii
Apps: S&S Reviews on Apple and Android Stores
PSNID:sameo452008



Friday, February 24, 2012

S&S Review: House of the Dead III




Title:  House of the Dead III
Format: PSN Download, PC
Release Date: Feb 7, 2012
Publisher: SEGA
Developer:  WOW Entertainment
Price: $6.99
ESRB Rating: M

Downloadable titles have been receiving a lot of my time lately and I haven't been disappointed yet.  After the playing the great House of the Dead: Overkill, I had high hopes for this iteration.  I've always wanted to try this 2002 arcade classic, and I have gotten the chance too.




Presentation/Story:
The game is still set in the original 4:3 format, and it looks pretty well. Actually, the presentation in the game, is the strongest aspect of it. HOD sports the same sturdy framerate from the original arcade version, with highly detailed enemy models. Massive amounts of blood splatter across the screen as you mow down enemies, which has always been a cool effect in my opinion, adds to the cool atmosphere the HOD series always achieves. Audio in the game is a bit of a hit and miss, with some spotty gun effects and choppy sounds, it doesn't quite do as much. Although, the music is fits in nicely, you won't here it that often. There isn't much of a story here, just know one thing. The House of the Dead III picks up in 2019 with Agent Thomas Rogan and Captain Dan Taylor as the last people alive while on a mission. You will be blasting your way through hundreds of enemies, with that said, there isn't much else to talk story-wise.


Core Gameplay/Multiplayer:
House of the Dead III is centered around shotgun-based gunplay, instead of the traditional pistols and Uzis. House of the Dead is nothing more than a lightgun shooter, plain and simple. Every aspect of this game is built around its gun, blasting some zombie blob never packed this hard a punch. If you've played any lightgun game, you'll feel right at home. Its a standard on-rails shooter, which gets broken up every now and then with short story elements mix'd in. You can use the DualShock 3 or the Move controller, the game also supports the cool Sharpshooter controller. If you've played any HOD games, you know exactly what to expect with this new release.  There isn't any online play in the game, but online leaderboards are included.  


Final Thoughts:
House of the Dead III is a good game, and you know what you're getting yourself into if you decide to take the $6.99 plunge.  The game is beautifully polished with an overall superb presentation.  The shotgun-centered gameplay packs quite a punch, and changes the gameplay up quite a bit for you hardcore HOD fans.

Final Score = 7/10
Twitter: @iSamKulii
Apps: S&S Reviews on Apple and Android Stores
PSNID:sameo452008

Thursday, February 23, 2012

S&S Review: Syndicate


Title: Syndicate
Format: 360, PS3, PC
Release Date: February 21, 2012
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Starbreeze Studios
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: M


Syndicate is unique. Weird, but unique, For someone who is not a fan of first-person shooters, I really liked this game. I do have a few criticisms, but not enough to steer me, or anyone else for that fact, away from this very interesting game.

Presentation/Story
Syndicate is set in 2069. Corporations (called syndicates) have taken over everything. Everything has been revolutionized into a digital medium, with access restricted to those with the adequate chip implantation. Syndicates have banked on the demand of these chips, since they supply everything a person could need; education, entertainment, medical needs, etc. But there is a catch: the syndicates control you, and they have unrestricted access to your mind. Is it worth it?
This game presents this somewhat believable scenario in a very convincing way. The dialogue is realistic and natural-sounding, with familiar voices such as Rosario Dawson (Sin City, Deathproof) Brian Cox (X-Men Wolverine, The Bourne Trilogy) and Michael Wincott (Halo 2, the Crow). Bad voice acting can ruin a game for me, so I was happy to see the realistic dialogue and emotions put into Syndicate. The story is mediocre, but I don't consider it bad. Just overdone a bit.



Gameplay
The controls are basic, similar to any FPS. There are a few unique button actions, such as the Dart Overlay. Pressing R2 (I played on the PS3) turns on a chip function that allows you to see nearby enemies in a heat-sensor sort of way, even through walls and blockades. Movement is a bit clunky, with a slight delay in button actions. The sensitivity also takes getting used to since the movement sticks are sensitive. Upgrading your character is typical, but fair and balanced. Boss battles, however, are frustrating and repetitive. Be prepared for a few controller-throwing moments if you aren't patients. There are also several collectible items that help enhance the gameplay experience with improved story information and expanded character information.


Combat
Combat is good or bad, depending on your style of gaming. Shooting is similar to Borderlands, with a good kickback and a little instability. This can be frustrating at times, but I adjusted quickly. It's realistic, which I also tend to favor, but some like a stable gun. One thing I really, really liked was how the game uses your internal chip to point out nearby things, such as ammo and civilians. In a dark game like this, targets are important for finding ammo that gets flung far away in battle, or distinguishing who is good and bad. The ammo count is also positioned clearly on your gun, which takes away and screen blockage or interference. Your chip also allows you to kill enemies nearby without ever touching them. Basically, you can grief enemies from afar by forcing them to commit suicide or kill others nearby.

Graphics
I'm a big fan of the "teal and orange" trend. While it can be overdone (and it is: See Transformers, G.I. Joe, Bourne movies, anything by Michael Bay basically), Syndicate does it right. The colors are bright, but not too bright that they are distracting. Faces are clear and mouth movements match words for the most part. Enemies and targets are clearly marked. Doors and pathways, however, can be confusing and hard to notice.

Final Thoughts
Syndicate is a really good game. So good, that I want to play through it again. The collection aspect alone makes this detailed game worth playing. Don't be turned off by the clunky controls and boss battles, this game is worth a playthrough or two. While the story may seem generic or overdone, I was impressed enough with the unique gameplay to enjoy Syndicate despite its pitfalls.

Final Score: 8.75/10

E-mail: wbulna@yahoo.com
Twitter:@WhitneyBulna

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

S&S Review: Alan Wake's American Nightmare




Title: Alan Wake's American Nightmare
Format: Xbox 360 DLC
Release Date: February 22, 2012
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00)
ESRB Rating: T

Story
It's been almost 2 years since the psychological thriller Alan Wake was released as an Xbox exclusive. While Alan Wake's American Nightmare isn't quite a sequel (We'll get to that later), it is definitely rooted in all the things I loved about the original and then some. While there have been some major improvements, the story still leaves a dry taste in my mouth. Many questions are still left unanswered, and the story is foggy and muddled. But the narration is still quite good, and the voice acting is believable. American Nightmare feels as real as watching an actual TV show, with it's cheesy story-telling and goofy antics from our favorite returning champion Barry Wheeler.



Graphics
American Nightmare takes place within the world of the in-game television series Night Springs. Alan Wake is back to take on more of the darkness in the dry Arizona desert as opposed to the dreary Bright Falls, Washington. While the atmosphere is a well-needed change, the graphics are still beautiful. The clear, crisp textures and cleanly-colored objects make for a nice change of pace from the typical third-person shooter. 

Controls
The controls are exactly the same from the original Alan Wake, which I surprisingly agree with. Remedy has tweaked a few of the issues from the original, such as your main weapon; the flashlight. Alan must use the flashlight to destroy the darkness by using strong charges of light. Once the darkness is destroyed, Alan must shoot his enemies to take them down for good. The shooting mechanics seem a bit loose and more comfortable, while the flashlight has an improved charged system that doesn't leave you in the dark (see what I did there?) while your enemies pummel you. The combat in general is much better, and I don't feel as useless as I did in the original. Combat is also much more relevant and common, an issue I had with the original. The now experienced Wake has more fight in him, and with good reason: he will be fighting a lot.



Collectibles
The manuscript pages are back in American Nightmare, and I'm happy to report they are just as entertaining and somewhat confusing as the original. I loved the use of manuscript pages to explain the story on top of Alan's narration (which is still present, but in the form of a Night Spring narrator). Now, finding manuscript pages is more meaningful since you can use them to open weapons chests. 



Final Thoughts
American Nightmare is everything you could have asked for in a semi-sequel. With that said, the story is repetitive and the game is too similar to the original. But that doesn't mean it isn't a great game. With the addition of arcade mode and leaderboards, the game may bring in a few new players as well. And for $15, it's well worth the money. Remedy has hinted at an official sequel, and I hope they stray away from the cookie-cutter engine Alan Wake and Alan's Wake's American Nightmare has banked on. 

Final Score: 8.25/10


E-mail: wbulna@yahoo.com
Twitter:@WhitneyBulna

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

S&S Review: Asura's Wrath



Title: Asura's Wrath
Format: PS3, 360,
Release Date: Feb 21, 2012
Publisher: Capcom

Developer: CyberConnect2
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: T



After playing through the demo multiple times, I finally manned up and tried the full game of Asura's Wrath.  There are so many games coming out, but somehow this title strays far from the crowd.  I knew after trying the demo, that this was something I have never played before.  This was a new way to interact with a game, and so far, I'm having a blast...




Presentation/Story:
The game's story spans over 12,000 years, as you follow the intriguing tale of Asura. He is a demi-god that is betrayed by the other deities in the game. He also lost his wife and daughter to the other gods. All you God of War fans know this story plot very well, it is extremely familiar. Only difference is Asura didn't kill his family himself like Kratos did. Asuras awakens many years later to find that the other gods have made things a giant mess. This is the overall gist of the game, and it makes for a great foundation for the game. Graphically, Asura's Wrath is a stunning achievement. The game looks like it was drawn in pen, similar to Street Fighter 4. The comic book style filter brings the game alive, and doesn't disappoint. Each scene just gets more over-the-top as you progress through the 18 episodes. Each stage is also animated beautifully, with great voice overs. Especially Asura himself, the intimidating darkened voice fits him perfectly. I have to mention how over-exaggerated the game looks as well, with swords the size of planets and fingers hovering over Earth.  Overall, the presentation is my favorite aspect of this game.


Core Gameplay:
Each of these episodes features completely different gameplay, this is one of the reasons I love the game so much. From battling giant turtles and squids, to having confrontations with giant morbidly obese deities on-rail-shooter style. Lets get this out now, Asura's Wrath is mostly cutscene. I don't have a problem with this feature, seeing how I like other games like Heavy Rain and Metal Gear Solid, which are similar in that fact. The game is littered with QTEs, even if you don't smash the correct button, the action keeps going. So if you're not the best QTE guy, the action continuously flows. Most of the time, the action scenes require you to attack and dodge to build up enough rage to enter Burst mode. This usually pushes the game forward at a steady pace. The game isn't very long, actually its pretty short. It barely hits six hours, which I can see a few people might have a problem with. Its not a problem for me, with the condensed first quarter of 2012.


Final Thoughts:
This game will cast a spell over you, like it did with me.  The cool heavy Japanese theme fits great with Asura, and it adds to the overall atmosphere.  With a superb presentation and  stellar voice overs, the game stands out as one the most visually impressive games to date.  Capcom has been pushing out great games lately, and I can't wait for more games from this established publisher.

Final Score = 8.5/10

Twitter: @iSamKulii
Apps: S&S Reviews on Apple and Android Stores
PSNID:sameo45200

Sunday, February 19, 2012

S&S Review: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning





Title: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning
Format: PS3, 360, PC
Release Date: Feb 7, 2012
Publisher: Electronic Arts

Developer: Big Huge Games
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: M



After a few gameplay sessions with Kindgoms of Amalur: Reckoning, I'm glad I spent the immense amount of hours I did with the game.  Lets get this out of the way early, the game definitely resembles similar titles like Dragon Age and Skyrim.  But when you spend about 20 hours with the game, the game emerges as its own unique title.  Its up to you to give the game your time and patience though, if you want to get the full experience out of it.


" I love my job"
Presentation/Story:
The story was handcrafted by one of New York Time's bestsellers, R.A. Salvatore, and it shows. The story and plot is as unique as it is complex. This isn't a bad thing, I was definitely enjoying the game, mostly because of the enticing storyline. At the beginning of the game, your character finds himself being revived, by a cool invention known as the Well of Souls.  I cant tell you anymore than that because you will most likely unravel your own adventure.  Visually, Reckoning is all over the place, some character models are highly detailed, while some felt rushed.  Environments on the other hand, are extremely detailed and are diverse.  From wet swamps to dry and desolate deserts.  On the audio side of things, the game shines as bright as the early sun.  The great and eclectic soundtrack brings the game to new heights.  Voice acting is superb and stellar throughout, each main and and non-main character sounds great and fresh.  It might even challenge the likes of Skyrim's voice work, but thats another argument for another day.  Like I previously stated, the presentation in the game is stupendous.


This guy is obviously a DBZ fan
Core Gameplay:
The gameplay in Reckoning is constantly out-shined by its stellar presentation, but it is still quite good. KOA is an action heavy RPG, which is one of my favorites, and you will never get bored while excavating caves. Battles happen in realtime, and with a combination of attacking with primary and secondary weapons, and rolling and dodging blows, is pretty satisfying when you finally kill a guy. There is an abundance of weapons and armor to choose from so you'll never get bored with a particular sword. You're able to fully customize your character's strengths and loadout on the fly, which is also a plus in my book. You're never stuck with a particular path you choose. Might, Finesse, and Sorcery are the three categories you level up, but if you don't like the way your character turns out, you can hire Fateweavers to wipe your slate clean. You can easily mix em up too as well, so your mage can take a liking to wielding a giant hammer.  This is another way that the game's gameplay shines in its own light.


"I can take all of you bastards"
Final Thoughts:
Kingdom of Amalur: Reckoning is a great action RPG, with a few minor complaints with the botched character models sometimes wonky camera.  These little gripes don't bring the game down at all.  Its not the perfect game, but it comes close to the likes of other RPG kings like Skyrim.  If you want the most for your money, this is a definite buy.

Final Score = 9.25/10


Twitter: @iSamKulii
Apps: S&S Reviews on Apple and Android Stores
PSNID:sameo45200

Thursday, February 16, 2012

S&S Review: Twisted Metal





Title: Twisted Metal
Format: PS3
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012
Publisher: sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: Eat, Sleep, Play
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: M



After a troubled development cycle, the brilliantly dark team at Eat Sleep Play has finally released Twisted Metal to the masses.  I didn't want to review the game on the first day of release like others, even though the online wasn't available.  If you've been reading previous reviews, you would know that Twisted Metal 2 is my favorite.  I wonder if the new next generation iteration of the game will trump the PS1 classic?


Presentation/Story:
Twisted Metal looks great, and you'll notice the amount of detail and production that went into developing the game. You'll notice little nuances about how the team made each car, they each look and feel unique in their own way. Massive environments make the game's atmosphere feel more complete, with fully destructible buildings. Rockets and bombs explode in beautifully rendered smoke filled explosions. The developers decided to skip on the more traditional CG cutscenes and decided to use live action sequences. Its a pretty cool idea, and I actually find it further engrossing. Audio is very solid in the game, ranging from the cool soundtrack to the bass pounding weapon effects. Like the previous installments in the series, Twisted Metal revolves around a deadly competition. Sweet Tooth, Mr. Grimm, and Doll Face, are the only competitors of the story. The campaign is broken up into three chapters to match each main character. Presentation is great in the game, and doesn't disappoint.



Core Gameplay/Multiplayer:
When the main battles begin, getting behind the wheel will take some getting use to. The control scheme is very tricky, but you will get used to it with time. Besides the cars themselves, which all have unique abilities and stats, the maps have plenty of extras for you to acquire along the way. The games arcade style gameplay harkens back to the old school style that made the game famous. Cars sport different rankings for speed, armor, and the effectiveness of their special weapons. You will want to spend time with each vehicle to fit your playing style. From standard missiles to remote mines, the pure variety of special weapons keep the action a blast.


Multiplayer is included and it does not disappoint. Split-screen and LAN support adds to the already robust online recipe. The online arena is great, but hasn't reached its fullest potential yet, with sporadic network errors that keep you out of the online match. Earning experience by competing earns you special rewards like new cars, sidearms, and a different assortment of skins.


Final Thoughts:
Twisted Metal makes a triumphant return to the next gen console, and lives up to the immense amount of hype it received. Although the game is hindered by a sporadic amount of bugs, it doesn't detract from the game at all. We can look for future patches to further polish the game. Its a great game, plain and simple, and it shouldn't be overlooked.

Final Score = 9.25/10


Twitter: @iSamKulii
Apps: S&S Reviews on Apple and Android Stores
PSNID:sameo45200

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

S&S Review: Tekken 3D Prime Edition



Title: Tekken 3D Prime Edition
Format: 3DS
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Arika, Namco Bandai Games
Price: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T


The 3DS is not only Nintendo's most online-friendly system. The handheld is virtually BFF's with every fighting game franchise. Tekken makes its second appearance on a Nintendo handheld prior to its premier on N-console, the Wii-U. Tekken 3D is tagged the "Prime Edition," however, the fighter feels more like something aiming to "prime" gamers for what's next in the series.



Presentation:Instantly on loading the game, you are presented with a choice between two "modes." Actually the choice is between the game and the 2011 CG movie, Tekken: Blood Vengeance. The movie was probably better off as an unlockable, or as a possible exclusion. As it is, the 3D movie is presented quite well considering it was included on a cart with the game. There is some digital artifacting due to the compression. Still, it's a 3D movie presented glasses-free.

The visuals of the game were a high priority, and its reflected in the 60 fps framerate with or without the 3D effect. This is a first for the system. The developer Arika, however, should be quite familiar with the system's capabilities as they also developed the 3D Classics offerings on the eShop and the 3DS version of Bubble Bobble. One disappointment is the developer's choice to automatically disable the 3D effect during multiplayer. The character models are downsized and simplified. Without the 3D, this game seems inferior to Tecmo's Dead or Alive Dimensions. The character roster, however, boasts 41 characters as opposed to DOA's 26.



One common gripe is the lack of gameplay modes. This game is held up against the PSP offering of Tekken Dark Resurrection as an example of a game loaded with content. Light in the gameplay mode department, Tekken 3D is definitely not for the unitiated. Apart from "Blood Vengeance," there is nothing in the way of a story. Gameplay-wise this is Tekken 6 with some variation. Some backstory would help to bring context to this clash of mega-conglomerates, furries, and demons. The newcomer, however, is tossed into this game with no such support.



Core Gameplay/Multiplayer:The Tekken series is closer in gameplay to Mortal Kombat than Street Fighter. The per-limb button layout presents an interesting change of pace to quarter-circling-button-mashing gamers. As I said previously, Tekken 3D is not for the uninitiated. There is a training mode, and it does provide gamers with video previews of combos. Still, it's not as effective a teacher as we have had in previous iterations.

In lieu of an Arcade Mode, the developers give us "Quick Battle." This series of 10 fights ends with a credits role and increases your player rank. The ranking system is odd in light of the grading systems in Street Fighter IV 3D or Dead or Alive Dimensions. The quick progression is welcome, however, when the rank of "Mentor" unlocks the color editor. The editor is the only level of character customization available in this game.



The online multiplayer in Tekken 3D was laggy during the matches played for this review. There is no indication of connection quality between players. So, it's possible given an increase in the player base that connections will improve and the fights will be more enjoyable. Streetpass could just as well be deactivated if this game is maxing out your 12 title per system limit. The 700 trading cards could be earned by playing much like the figurines in DOA Dimensions.


Final Thoughts:
As Tekken Hybrid is the $40 ad for Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Tekken 3D Prime Edition is the $40 ad for the WiiU Tekken entry. Newcomers may be put off by the lack of context, learning, and story. Fans of the series may be put off by the lack of content and gameplay modes. Still, there is a point to this game. We now have 3D running at 60 fps. We now have a stereoscopic full length CG movie on the 3DS. Whatever the end, Tekken 3D is certainly priming gamers for something better in the future.


Final Score = 7/10


Email: jeanlucpierite@gmail.com
Twitter: @jeanlucpierite
Apps: S&S Reviews on Apple and Android Stores
PSNID:neshoba78
XBL:neshoba78

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

S&S Review: UFC Undisputed 3





Title: UFC Undisputed 3
Format: PS3,360
Release Date: Feb 14, 2012
Publisher: THQ
Developer:
Yuke's
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: T



UFC has become an overnight sensation in my eyes, and is still picking up steam.  Now that boxing is losing some of its momentum, UFC is filling the void with some great action.  The first two games were worthy adversaries to the Fight Night games, and it looks like the third entry is going for the title.


Presentation:
The overall presentation of the UFC games have always been top notch, and Undisputed doesn't disappoint. UFC features some of the most hyper-realistic 3D character models I've ever seen in a game. When you see Jon "Bones" Jones, you'll think you're seeing the real person. UFC Undisputed 3 feels better and more accurate than any other fighter out their. The damage system ensures accurate cuts and facial damage, as well as smaller details like your fighters sweat glistening from his back. The new animations look great and more life-like, when the game is in full motion, its looks stupendous. The new commentary is great, although it can get a little tedious and repetitive. Fight Professor Stephen Quadros and MMA legend Bas Rutten lend their voices to the Pride side of the game, and in my opinion, are better than the original partners.



Core Gameplay/Multiplayer:
Upon booting up the game for the first time, you're prompted to choose between Amateur and Pro grappling controls, this is one of the big changes in the game. You will want to explore both options to see which one fits your best. The sheer amount of depth and features in this iteration is pretty overwhelming, there is a lot of game here for you to explore. The inclusion of Pride FC is the biggest addition to the game. The game captures the look and feel of Pride FC, and recreates the atmosphere beautifully. Performing submissions in UFC Undisputed 3 has gotten a huge overhaul, an Octagon-shaped gauge appears on the sides of the screen when you or your opponent executes a submission, and you must line up your line with your opponent's in order to successfully submit them. Career mode is pretty much the same, with the new option of choosing an existing fighter and take them up the ranks.

Online, the game handles itself very well, and features a few key additions to the formula. Fight Camps make a return, allowing you to team up with a group of like fighters, joining them under a created banner with unlocked emblems, and earning rankings and victories as a group. With more refined community features like sharing your own custom made highlight reels. Exhibition matches now include a point system, letting you see where you rank against other players in the world based on your specific skill level.



Final Thoughts:
UFC Undisputed 3 is a great fighting game, plain and simple.  It features an immense roster, and great depth gameplay wise.  With a wealth of great modes and the inclusion of Pride, its the ultimate package for hardcore fighting fans.  Online is great and solid, with cool new innovations that will keep you coming back for more.

Final Score = 9.25/10
Twitter: @iSamKulii
Apps: S&S Reviews on Apple and Android Stores
PSNID:sameo452008

Sunday, February 12, 2012

S&S Review: Jak and Daxter HD Collection





Title: Jak and Daxter HD Collection
Format: PS3
Release Date: Feb 7, 2012
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer: 
Naughty Dog Software / Mass Media
Price: $15.00 or $59.99
ESRB Rating: T



One of the only franchises  that I never got to play on the PS2 was the Jak and Daxter series.  I did get too play the first game, but only for a couple of hours.  Now that the HD remake has been released, I have my second chance.  I wonder if the HD makeover will make this game more of a stable and complete platformer.


Presentation:
I have played each of the games for a few hours now and I can see that each game has a different visual level than the chronologically previous game. In the visual department alone it's truly surprising to see how good these games look, compared to the originals. The Precursor Legacy didn't age as well, but the second and especially the third game really shines. I've seen many side-by-side comparisons of them both as well.  Its funny, the environments in the first game are the best.  The 3D option of this collection is a nice touch, so I've heard. Since I'm not as rich as others, I have not purchased a 3D TV. Although if you are a rich man, I have read that the 3D is quite exceptional in all three titles.  Overall the presentation is very impressive and a visual treat.





Core Gameplay:
The first game, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy, eases you into the series, with a good mix of action and platforming.  The games infamous difficulty has returned with a unforgiving vengeance, With some truly unforgiving ledges and edges. I can't tell you how many times I fell down off a ledge, then having to hike the way all the way back up to where you fell.  This does not change when you change to a different sequel either.  Jak 2 ramped up the gameplay quite a bit, with darker and deeper gameplay.  Jak turns into a sometimes-evil badass that can tap into his new darkness to deal more damage and it also heightens Jak's speed.  Jak 2 is generally a sandbox game at heart, the huge city was the general hub.  With the new innovation of gunplay, this added more variety to the gameplay.  Jak 3 felt the most complete, it was the most polished and refined out of the three.  Multiple types of racing, arena shooting, hunting and even arcade gaming were added to the pot this time around.  Naughty Dog really put all of their effort in to producing this last game, and it shows as the best.






Final Thoughts:
With more and more developers giving these PS2 classics the HD makeover, they remakes are only getting better.  Jak and Daxter Collection is a testament to my point, I still think that the God of War Collections are still the best, but if you're a hardcore Jak and Daxter fan, this is a must buy for you.  Also, if you want to buy each game separately on the PSN store for $14.99.


Final Score = 8.5/10
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PSNID:sameo452008