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Red Dead Redemption
9 New from
Don't get the four stars wrong - this game is among the best there have ever been. I'll explain the missing star as we go on.
Single playerThe single player campaign is pretty awesome. I've played for quite a few hours (15-18) and have completed about a third. As with GTA (IV, mainly - and, yes, the comparison is obvious) you can choose to follow the main story or just go about your day any way you feel like. I've been doin' both.
A pretty useful tutorial is included in the first shaky steps of your heroes tale, and make you feel comfortable with the way you move and the things you could do. If you've played 3rd-persons before, you'll get a hang of it right away. It presents a couple of the main NPCs and the cutscenes tells you alot about John; the man of the hour.
As the story unfolds it gets you to move around the impressive-sized map, and presents the many different things you could do (if you don't want to do just mission after mission) like hangin' in a saloon - playin' poker, Black Jack, dices or havin' a drink - or shooting different kinds of animals (collect the skins and sell them) or explore the map and meet all kinds of different people with mini-tasks for you.
As with the Fable-series and Fallout, for instance, the hero's progress and actions can be reviewed by checking the Honor- and Fame-meters. Honor is gained or lost by doing good or bad things (and people react different to you depending on the way you behave). The fame-meter is a result of what you do in a more neutral way - everything you do can make you famous; saving a prostitute from a drunk bad guy will give you fame-raise and honor-raise - gunning down an entire village gives you fame-points but decreases you honor.
There's not loads and loads of different guns to be used, maybe around 30, but it's good enough. When added with the other things you could buy or earn, the inventory is acceptable.
The gameplay is good. It's not perfect. In the beginning it could be a little tricky to control your horse while you try to shoot your rifle - but it actually just make the game more enjoyable. Some people have been complaining about the Dead Eye - and my answer to that is as simple as it is obvious: if you don't like it, or thinks it makes everything to easy, don't use it!
All in all you will enjoy the single player-campaign. For me, I will play it at least twice - one as a good guy, and certainly one as a bad guy. That makes the game last for quite a while...
MultiplayerAs many else have written, the multiplayer starts in the free roam-mode. You can roam the whole map freely, forming a posse and fighting either other players or the NPCs roaming around. Maybe go for a hunt or just some sightseeing?
If you don't get a kick from that, try the different kinds of multiplayer-matches. The classics are here: capture the bag (flag) and deathmath for instance. One funny thing about the mp-matches are that some of them start of with a typical wild west-shootout. Hey, Wyatt and Doc Holiday... feels like you're lined up behind the O.K Corral! Really funny.
ConclusionBut... I feel like a want something more. Yeah, the graphics are really good. Yeah, the single player is really good. Yeah, the multiplayer is really good. But... it could be grand, fantastic, totally awesome - EPIC! But it's not. With just a little more effort the game would be the best one ever created. Example: Why can't Rockstar allow us to create our own heroes? Why can't I decide to shack up with my family and become a farmer - only to sell my crop in the local village? Why can't I become a dreaded outlaw with an army of lowlife-comboys under my command?
It's so close to the ultimate action-strategic rpg... but it's not.
Assassin's Creed II
6 New from
There's no dout about it: Assassin's Creed got an even better sequel. When I first got the first game in the series I was amazed by the flowing gameplay and the great graphics. The story of the first game was a little bit on the short side, and got pretty repetetive after a while.
With this game I was once again amazed; this time because Ubisoft actually managed to evolve both gameplay and graphics. It flows even better - moving quickly on the top of the world, jumping, climbing and running is in itself as good a reason as it takes to buy the game - and the graphics is truely stunning.
The story is way better this time. Set in Italy in the 15th century, you not only stumble upon famous historical persons (you will enjoy mr Da Vinci) an places, but also an era of beautiful architecture. Once again; you could spend hours just climbing around the world enjoying the view. With additional types of missions and money, the game gets a little deeper. Buy new weapons, keep your armor shinin' and get paintings for your crib.
The fighting is well balanced, and with the addition of ways to distract guards and other people, you don't have to look to you sword everywhere, at all times.
These are just some of the reasons to buy this game, really. If you enjoyed the first one - you will love this. If you haven't played the first one - do, and then get ready for one of the greatest games ever made, considering its somewhat limited genre.
I am already longin' for Assasins Creed III. Add full freedom, a few more playable classes (i e knights, traders, thives, priests of whatever, really) and an even broader story - to be told in different ways, thru different eyes and I have only one thing to say: watch out Grand Theft Auto. Comin' is the greatest adventure and game ever made.
PES 2008 (Pro Evolution Soccer 7)
7 New from
this is the best football game there is. sure, it's not perfect. but it still pretty bip good.
as for the PES vs FIFA... FIFA has always had the superior 'around the games'-setting. PES has always had the better on the pitch-playing. and when it comes to the lovely game of football that must be the most important thing.
people say that the ball run loose and the players run after the ball automatically. I say those people haven't figured out how to play this game. the controls for moving your playing buddies are really good. the fact that they can loose the ball, stumble around and miss a theoretically unmissable shot is not bad; it's real. those who want their players to complete every 60 yard crossing and shoot for the top corner every time can play arcade football (FIFA - even though it has improved).
the everlasting struggle with fake names and weird kits is not really that much of a pain. you can edit. edit what you want. and as much as you want. for me being able to choose your own squads for the national teams is a really enjoyable detail.
of course it could be better. more licenses and better looking menus. but this is not the most important thing. I give this gave a strong four thanks to the best gameplay there is. if the PES team can fix the menus and make the career mode a little better, I will rate the next PES a 5-star game with just one word added to the rating: perfect.
Hitman: Blood Money (Classics)
15 New from
this is a good game. it is what it is; it is Agent 47 yet once again. you take it easy and then you pop a guy and throw him in a jar. a little like that. once you figure out the proper tactics for the hit in question it's pretty easy. I like that very much. just walking around trying to figure out the best way to do it. you don't just flash your gun and get at it.
my favourite thing about the Hitman games is just that; the very enjoyable setting for each mission. you can complete it in many different ways and none is really better than the other, if you just want to kill your target. but in this particular game one get rewiewed after each mission. ironicly in the paper. if you just start firing you compromise yourself a lot more than if nobody on the site understands that something has even happened. the rating decreases if bullets are wasted and off targets are killed.
calm and likeable. I really enjoy this game. the graphics and especially the movement could be better, but all in all this is really good. a strong four.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation - Hard Evidence
I am deeply disappointed.
this is way to much a childrens game. from A to B. all the time. just a few involved persons and just a few locations to visit. no searching for clues and evidence. just run the pointer of the screen and it turns green everytime and everywhere something can be done. this is a game for 12-year olds, and if I didn't knew I'd say it was from 1998. except for the graphics. the graphics are okay.
this is not a good game. a crime solving game could be pretty much the most enjoyable I can imagine. but this IS NOT IT.
Viking: Battle For Asgard
3 New from
yes. hack and slash. pretty much nothing more, nothing less.
the graphics is totally okay. but absolutely nothing special. neither is the gameplay or the storyline. you fight, and you fight, and you fight. the huge battles between your own viking army and the Legions of Hel are not as fantastic as some people say. it's funny, yes. but the large battle at Helm's Deep in the Return of the King, for instance, is much funnier. all in all I'd say that I'm a bit disappointed.
the stuff you do beside the fighting is rather poorly done. collecting glowing bags of gold and almost no possibility to interact with the world around you. the climbing and jumping is poor. nah. I'm not happy.
a solid hack'n'slash. maybe. but nothing more. three stars for the deliviery of a game you can play in your sleep. I'm not really sure that is really such a perk, though...
Fight Night Round 3 (Classics)
3 New from
this is a really good boxing game. it's not perfect, but pretty close. the boxing in itself is really superb - graphics, feeling, intensity, movement... the thing that bugs me a little bit is the career mode, for instance. I almost always want more from the things around the sport itself. sure, one can upgrade the equipment and get tattoos, but... it's not quite enough. I'd like more of a adventurous career mode. injuries? suspensions? hiring/firing agents. travelling the world; choosing what galas and tournaments to attend.
this you can't. you do a simple work out before your next fight and then off you go. again. and then again. and again. as noted above: the boxing is really enjoyable and if you play against a friend you can have a whole lot of fun.
you can with the career mode as well. and I have. a solid four. but, EA: hit me again! with just a few adjustments this would be a 5-star game. maybe round 4?
Beijing 2008: The Official Video Game Of The Olympic Games
4 New from
bottom line: this is a really enjoyable game if you sit down together for a couple of hours. competing over all the different sports with three buddies makes this a really funny game.
the singleplayer campaign - a simulated Olympic Game - is not very good. it's way to easy, and way to few participating nations in each sport. also - and this is really bad - if not connected to Xbox Live you can't rewiew your on records and results.
the game is in general a bit easy, and you figure out how to beat all the records in just a few hours. but, again, if you play against your friends (or beating your brother and cousins... hehe) this is a good game.
3 New from
in general this is a really good game. the graphics are truely stunning (perhaps the best I've ever seen) and the gameplay pretty awesome; climbing around in the cities are pretty much a game in itself; even a pretty enjoyable one...
sure, it is quipe repetative, but on the other hand is becomes a little what oneself makes of it. one can just as well go frenzy and kill pretty much everyone or as doing the real assassin way.
I completed the game in two rather intense playing days, and that's a little to short for me (even though it's fun to complete the game at all).
all in all this is a strong four.
+ super graphics, really good gameplay, rather innovative- a little short, a bit repetative