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7 New from
Storyline: 10/10Gameplay: 10/10Graphics: 9/10Replayability: 7/10Learning Curve: Not massive surprisingly, like all fighting games it takes time to master however the basic combos and super moves are simple enough to be performed within half an hour of gameplay, it'd probably take a full hour to blend them into combos.
- The graphics have been overhauled as you'd expect, giving some visually-pleasing cuts, bruises, blood, guts and backgrounds. High definition violence is the best kind, after all.- The storyline in this game is fully explored in the best way possible, in previous Mortal Kombat installments, I for one found it rather difficult to keep up with the directions of the storyline in terms of what is canon and what is not. This game is canon and explains everything neatly.- The fighting system has become more simplified for me at least, and the addition of X-Ray moves in all their bone crunching glory and their easiness to pull off is just so fantastic.- None of the characters are recycled, and their movesets vary wildly so it's not a case of you master one, you master them all, it takes time to figure out your main and play them well.- A wealth of modes that surprisingly do add a fun twist to the fights, and the achievements are few and far between in this game, so expect to spend a pretty solid spell on it.
- I feel as though the fatalities aren't quite as imaginative as they once were, I mean sure: they are somewhat pleasing and are great at making the squeamish sulk, but they don't entirely do it for me.- The roster isn't massive, although they are slowly addressing this with DLCs.- Shao Kahn isn't playable, but you do fight him a lot. And yes, he is rage-inducingly broken.- A one-use code for the online is a sucker punch for second hand outlets.
So yeah, this new High Definition Mortal Kombat is a titan in the fighting game sector of gaming, a visually-pleasing gore fest for all the family to enjoy. Fast paced, crisp backgrounds and simple controls mean that you don't particularly need to be any good to win, just spam a lot. Speaking of which, same with all online fighters, there are spammers, disconnectors and the like, so don't expect too much from the online outside of what you do on other fighters. So to finalize - it's great fun, but there's is room for improvement. And there will be improvements, the ending of the story mode is a cliffhanger.
Pokemon: Black Version
10 New from
Gameplay: 10/10Graphics: 9/10Replayability: 10/10Learning Curve: Now this is a question, if you have previous experience with Pokemon it'll take an hour or so to become reacquainted with the newer battling systems, absolute newcomers will spend days learning the in's and out's.
- The franchise has been polished with a multitude of different features that compliment the somewhat linear storyline, small things like the battle music becoming more intense on low health, Pokemon's abilities displayed on their sprites when activated, full body battle scene, a camera to follow the attacks... the list goes on- Scenery has become an integral part, with the introduction of the seasons system allowing you to access different places at different times of the year and the sheer brilliance of the level designs, such as the bridges and cities in their panning 3D views- TMs have become unlimited in their capacities, when you get it you've got it forever, a very welcome change- There are little mini games to change the pace of the game throughout- Intricate changes for the better, such as noticeable twitches in the terrain meaning a seldom-seen pokemon is in that spot, pokemon that were once up a time ridiculously hard to track down from the previous games (such as Metang, Pupitar, Mamoswine etc) are catchable in the wild, and to my knowledge this is the first pokemon game to have pokemon as good as Metang, Shuckle and Mamoswine kicking around in the same patch of grass; and finally Marts have been scrapped, it's now all in the massive new pokemon centres, which have a sales counter near the entrance- Early on in the game, Professor Juniper gives you a lucky egg, making raising a team of formidable pokemon a cakewalk when you gain a ridiculous amount of experience just fighting pokemon in the wild, nevermind trainers- The ease of trading/battle/connecting with other people surrounding you has been stepped up, now you don't have to go to a pokemon center because you can start a trade/battle using the touch screen whenever you aren't locked in battle- Many of the new pokemon are just fantastic, they seem awful on paper but in game they splice into the formula we know and love perfectly- This appears to be the first pokemon game with a storyline that flows consistently, with cut scenes and the works, and your rivals fight you at the end of each new city (most of them anyway), instead of just popping up once or twice like in previous installments
- Pokemon are slightly pixelated up-close in the battle camera, but that's really not a big deal- The battle music for the legendaries is too casual, it doesn't have the eerie aura you got from the Kyogre or Dialga fights- The encounter rate seems to be almost intolerable at points, so be sure to pack many max repels
So yeah, maybe my last few points in the cons section were a bit pointless and make me sound like a tool - I can deal with that. The truth of the matter is that I could only pick up small things like that because there are no big flaws in this game. Of course it's a matter of personal preference but if you, like I, have played pretty much every other iteration of pokemon under the sun then this is the game for you, I have had it three days and have racked up 40 hours playtime - my girlfriend curses the developers for this. Bottom line is this game is, in my opinion, the best RPG money could get you, and you are guaranteed a good time, provided you know what you are doing.
Dragon Ball: Raging Blast 2
4 New from
Gameplay: 9/10Graphics: 10/10Replayability: 4/10Learning Curve: For previous Raging Blast players, almost straight away, new comers expect to be play for a good couple of hours for basics, but how you master it takes time.
- Visuals are fantastic, there's plenty of smoke, glowing and blurring at the right times, and the new shattering effects on the maps.- The absolute mass of characters to choose from with their differing movesets and customisable abilities make sure there's always choice when fighting online.- The ranking system has improved for the better, disconnectors are penalized and you still get the victory.- Camera angles and certain spammable moves and annoying items from the previous game have been removed.- Easier access to saving and viewing replays of fights.
- The sheer tedious chore of playing through Galaxy mode with every individual character is simply a joke, no game should have an approx 30 hour to complete campaign of simply fighting with different conditions.- Signs of a rushed game: some super attack descriptions, subtitles and speech are incorrectly implemented, some character models remain the same and there is no attempt to add anything since the previous game (ie SS3 Vegeta, it's surely not too much to ask to make him transformable and give him a couple extra super attacks?)
It's a frustrating one, on the one hand it's certainly a blast to play when you're online and with everything polished off, it's damn fun to play. On the other hand, achievement hunters and people who want a set of their characters to be customised will have to wade through hours of annoying, repetitive gameplay, and GT is still not included. It's worth getting if you have spare time, other than that, it's not a quick play title.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 2
4 New from
Gameplay: 9/10Graphics: 10/10Replayability: 7/10Learning Curve: For previous Naruto game players: about 20 minutes (give or take), for new people: 45 mins solid playing, to get a feel for the controls.
- Graphics-wise, the top of it's class - visuals are beautifully rendered, blur is at a realistic and consistent level, the characters and their moves are perfectly rendered.- Legions of characters to choose from, each totally different to last. Mixing and matching to find your ideal stable of 3 characters is both fun and rewarding.- Plenty of fan service to be had here, HD cutscenes of the best fights from the anime/manga intertwine perfectly with the action (seamless transition between the fights and the storyline)- Enough depth and immersion in a battle to really create a fantastic and visually pleasing battle, the elemental effects of fire, water and lightning on the opponent(s) is always a spectacular sight to behold
- Ultimate Jutsu cutscenes are under 6 seconds long, compared with the previous game, this is sort of a setback- The campaign mode can be very laboured and boring- On Xbox Live, you are likely to only encounter a select few characters, hand-picked to spam
A fantastic debut of the Ultimate Ninja series to the Xbox, virtually everything has been covered and no doubt that every single fan of the series would absolutely melt for this game. The online keeps everything fresh and hones your skills, whilst still maintaining a competitive edge. So, ladies and gentleman, boys and girls: a storm is coming, whether you step up to the mark or not, you will not soon forget an experience like this.
Monster Hunter Freedom: Unite
9 New from
Gameplay: 10/10Graphics: 10/10Storyline: 8/10Replayability: 10/10Learning Curve: Inexperienced (probably won't keep the game but usually about 3 hours)
- Plenty of enemies that vary in size and intensity to decimate- Many weapons to choose from and upgrade- Well planned out maps and different environments that will physically test the mettle of your character- Realistic aspects of life: fishing for food and cooking meat, as well as combining ingredients to discover more items that will assist throughout- Amazingly fun multiplayer mode, great to play with others, be it two or four people
*SEQUEL EXTRAS* (Since Freedom 1)
- More weapons that are easier to craft- Data from previous Monster Hunter can be used to help your new game- Lots of little nags have been rectified, items can be sold at the end of a quest, some camera angle fixes, Armor can be improved and a Decoration system (to power up your equipment) are included for the first time- More environments, species and weapon classes to enjoy- Downloadable bonus quests, items and info.
*SEQUEL EXTRAS* (Since Freedom 2)
- Felynes become an assistant in combat for the first time, with many ways of selecting and enhancing your fighter- Even more weapons, items and quests to do- Literally every last detail of your Monster Hunter Freedom 2 gamesave is added to the game, right down to the completed missions, farm upgrades and items- Previously maxed out weapons gain one or two extra upgrades- Some Wyvern are tiny!!!- Missions have become so difficult that if you don't have data from the previous game, you will never succeed- Camera doesn't appear to bug anymore- Minor graphics update
- Some may dislike how you control the camera- Frustration is crippling when you consistently die
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is the most elite game for the console, in terms of minimum time spent completing and difficulty. This game is clearly aimed at people who like a long, rewarding challenge as you can spend upto 50 minutes just killing one monster, but when you do it's always epic. If you have poor reading skills and are not best suited to long/strategic games, then you will have to rely on internet walkthroughs at almost every turn. One last thing: never get it for a younger gamer, they will not understand/be able to complete it, aside from this it is epic in most respects and should definitely be bought.
Shadow Of The Colossus (ICO 2)
1 New from
Games. There are thousands of them. Most are the similar kinds of material processed in different ways, lose their appeal, drop in price, bang- gone.
I speak for gamers everywhere when I say that Shadow Of The Colossus is better than anything you've ever played- Prototype? Resident Evil 5? Assassin's Creed? They all tremble by comparison even today, 4 years since the release of the game.
Graphics- 4/5 *For the PS2 you'd expect nothing too special but these arnt so pixelated that it ruins the experience*
Storyline 5/5 *There is virtually no story!! You literally turn up, a voice tells you to kill Colossi, theres a female body in the centre, absolutely no cutscenes explaining it-- and yet you utterly die for it*
Replayability 5/5 *Time Attack mode to go over the fights again and unlock some weapons along the way. Sounds simple and unsatisifying? Just wait till you play it*
Innovation 5/5 *You have a sword, a bow and you may unlock some varied swords and bows which makes virtually no difference to anything. You have virtually nothing to on accept following beams of light from your sword to the next battle. No other little enemies atall and no one else to interact with in game besides your trust horse. Totally unique, Totally unforgettable, Totally breathtaking--
Ive played virtually everything worth mentioning and this pretty much takes the biscuit in terms of perfection... buy it- dont let go.
Devil May Cry 2
3 New from
I will cover the main areas that people complain about:*Graphics- "Less than DMC 1"*Gameplay- "Repetitive and boring"*Story- "Shallow and unfufilling"Now I own and have completed all the DMC games many times now, and it seems that people are all about graphics and the fun you get whilst playing. If the dark atmosphere created by DMC 1 and 3 got to you, and you can live with this game being a fair amount easier, its actually a work of art, demons are very well crafted and leave that lingering sense of gothique eerieness that this game series earmarks with its incredible look.
-As far as graphics go, DMC 4 goes all out to show you what is capable, but the extra brightness and less awesome demon design leaves this as the clear cut winner for coolness
-Admittedly there is a lack of dialogue and an easy storyline, but this is where the game can be more suited to younger gamers who struggled with the others
-Gameplay is basic, yet somewhat fufilling when you enter Devil Trigger and unleash a whole new world of cool, with the additional desparation devil trigger which actives when the health bar is dangerously low.
Overall this game is too undervalued and is very hard to see in most shops so order it cheaply on play.com and bear what I said in mind, look for the DMC atmosphere, not everything else.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3
2 New from
Over 160 charactersHuge amounts of combos, throws and others to discoverThe well sequenced storylineAddition games modes that kill time wellExtremely good visuals to rival the 360The replayability of a rollercoaster...BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY BUY
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force 3
Aside from an increased roster of cards and a little extra to the storyline, this is nothing more than an expansion pack to Tag Forces 1+2. If you own Tag Forces 1+2, keep the save files to unlock the God cards, but they will no longer be needed as they are exactly the same games as this. Still worth having, dont need the prequels.
Def Jam Fight For NY: The Takeover
There is a great fighting system, finishers are stunning, graphics aint bad and theres a whole multitude of styles you can pick and mix to fight with when you custom make your character and pick his attributes. Environmental attacks, slow-mo power hits and extreme grapple manuevers are some awesome features. The only bad point is that its too easy to finish but you can go through it making numerous new characters and pit them against eachother. 3rd best fighter on PSP, good price too.