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Dynasty Warriors 7
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Dynasty Warriors 6 was a bit of a let down, it looked pretty but I disliked some of the redesigns and the renbu system.
DW7 however is a great return to form for the franchise, the stand out thing for me has to be the story modes, with one each for Shu, Wei, Wu and Jin. Each stage begins with plot and assigning you with an important character for the coming battle. Before battles you explore the camp and talk to generals and can buy new weapons from the dealer. Then immediately upon talking to the marked officer and you are thrown into battle as the gates swing open.
How the action flows from cut scenes into actual game-play is a very nice touch at the start of the stage and at points when scenes are triggered during battle.
The stories follow the kingdoms from the Yellow Turban Rebellion to the end of their story. Jin starts later on in the timeline, forming from the later plot of Wei. They are very well done and offer different approaches to game play compared to previous instalments.
There is a gate blocking you from your goal inside the castle, so what do you do? Man the catapults of course. This one of the interactive objects within DW7 where you bombard the castle gates with rocks in order to break it down. The game also features driveable Flame Tanks (Juggernauts) as well as Ballista emplacments.
The other mode available is Conquest Mode, where you are given a map of Ancient China split into hexes. You chose a Hex and complete the mission/task which then unlocks the hexes adjacent to it. The aim is to uncover all the hexes, whilst collecting rare weapons and forging bonds with the other Dynasty Warriors from all 4 kingdoms. New weapons can be smithed, you can use those with high bonds as allies during battles, answer quiz questions from a scholar in the unlockable cities/towns amongst other things.
The game boasts a great deal of unlockables such as weapons, companion animals, allies as well as extensive library items such as character models, voices and wallpapers.
Another point that has to be made is about the collection of DLC available. Past fans will be happy to know that for a small fee you can unlock the costumes from earlier DW titles as well as stages from DW2. Costumes and Weapons are available online adding more to the game and at very reasonable prices. The mode is also online compatible, meaning you and a friend can co-op the stages on the hexes, including the dlc.
I think that is everything, the game also features it's encyclopedia like past instalments listing historical dates and information on the Three Kingdoms Period. Who ever thought that running around slicing up peons could be such fun and educational XD.
Great game, I highly recommend it for old fans... it's also a great game for people new to the series to come into, it being the best one.
WWE All Stars: Million Dollar Pack
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Okay first things first, it's rather tiring seeing so many people comparing this to SvR, the only comparison is that it involves wrestling and the CAS has a lot of similar items, besides that it's a different game and aimed at a different, wider market.
Places have hailed this game as the most enjoyable game since WWF No Mercy on the N64 and I agree with them. It's a larger than life game with a very good roster. Approach this game as a fighter not as a wrestling game because that is what Allstars is.
The game play is fluid, I don't get how theres a lack of depth to it in other reviews since you can reverse any move and there are multiple reversal animations in different situations. The gameplay is fast and frantic with each "Class" of wrestler bringing something different in terms of strengths and weakenesses.
In game modes, you have your standard exhibition match, Path of Champions which allows you to choose a Legends, Superstars and Tag Team ladder of opponents to face and then at the end fight the champion (Undertaker, Orton and DX).There is also Fantasy Warfare where two superstars from each pool are pitted against each other, these superstars for the most part are from different generations and never fought. There is an intro video for each that sets the match from simply being an exhibition and it's the method used to unlock the superstars unavailable at the start (by using them).
Online mode is rather here nor there, at times it can be great and others it can be a pain. The main issue is matching, as it can be hard to find a match that actually lets you enter the lobby. Besides that its one of the main selling points, it's more fun than SvR online due to the fact there isnt half as many bugs/glitches that people exploit.
Finally Create-a-Superstar which has got a fair bit of stick from the svr fanboys/loyalists. In truth the actual character building is awesome, when it comes to shaping a specific character with the face sliders, exaggerating things to make them fit in with the rest of the roster it is fun and the CAS comes out looking like they belong on the game (unlike svr where all CAWs look pretty alien and stand apart from the main roster). It lacks paint tool and logos but then again remember this is a fighting game first.
THQ San Diego clearly focused on what mattered with this game, the game itself and the gameplay rather than flash additional modes, something which has made the SvR series pretty tame of later since the game itself has suffered.
My only beef with Allstars is the lack of match types, I'm not one of those people who moans that theres no hell in a cell or royal rumble (neither would work very well imo). I would have prefered more matches for Tornado Tag, perhaps letting us have team cage matches or even introduce a ladder match.
I gave this game 4 stars because it's a brilliant game, it's more fun than svr 2011 and I've not picked that up since this games release at all. However it is not perfect, It however means that come the sequel (if there is one) the game looks like it will be even better.
Very enjoyable game, I recommend it to wrestling fans past and present, fighting fans will also get something from it I reckon as well.
WWE: SmackDown Vs. Raw 2011
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On the whole the game is good, it's made a lot of improvements so I shall start with the good and finish with the bad.
Universe Mode is brilliant, seriously, I've been playing this game since release and it's still not boring. A schedule of matches across the WWE calendar based on and generated by what happens within the universe. Diffent scenes play and it actually makes exhibition pointless since the belts, the rumbles, the MitB matches all mean something...for once.
The Road to Wrestlemania's are hit and miss, some are fun whilst others are rather boring. The Undertaker Streak one is probably my favourite along with Christian's, people seem to complain about a lack of realism but older fans will appreciate the things within them.
The creation tools are good, will more aditions and better modeled parts for CAWs. With the addition of a create-a-corner finishing move to both the previous states.
Now for the bad points,
Online is still awful in fairness, it's filled with glitchers and cheats and it's probably the most unreliable online environment I've ever used. If you upload creations to the community you will also find that people will copy and rip them off since for some odd reason they are alloweded to reupload downloaded content.
The chain grapple system is an example of lazy testing, since it's broken and is impossible to use against human/online opponents since they reverse the weaker chain grapple attempts EVERY TIME and you will too if people actually try to use them. This can be helped offline by changing gameplay sliders but in fairness this game should have been pushed back to fix this problem.
DLC cannot be used in any creative mode and then be uploaded...at all. That means the dlc you buy off the store can't be uploaded into created stories and your created wrestlers also cannot have moves that belong to the dlc superstars. If you play offline it's perfectly fine but people who prefer online and sharing their creations should take note.
Moves have been removed from Create-a-Moveset as has the ability to change the transparency on most created parts. There are also buggy things with different hair types on different costumes.
I've given this game 3 stars because I feel the change in controls was a bad move (especially when its not working properly) and I feel that this was almost a hash/experiement and hopefully 2012 will be the best yet. Universe makes this game worth playing in fairness compared to 2009 and 2010 where I got bored after doing everything. Good offline experience but it's rather bad if you buy it for the online.
Jade Empire: Special Edition
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I have recently been adding to my Bioware collection and had heard good things about this title. It has been an enjoyable game to play...
It has a look and feel of the Kotor games however the combat is more real time with blocking and evading. You can switch between different martial arts styles (you start with two) each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
There is the usual good/bad responses to dialogue much like Kotor with different reactions to what you say. The game offers a variety of mini games as well.
When you begin you choose a preset character model, whom you can then tweak the starting stats and their name. That's the length you go to at the start but the models are attractive and varied in their area of strength such as speed, strength, balanced and magic.
I recommend this game if you want an rpg with a bit more action to it. It's fun and the combat is very enjoyable and you'll soon be blocking and flipping over enemies heads in no time.
WARNING: Like some Bioware games I've noticed (Mass Effect for me) the game crashes on the config utillity, it's based off transitions to the more higher graphics cards apparently...this can however be avoided by activating the exe file in the games program file folder. The game runs fine after that for me.
Trust HS-1100P Compact PC Headset with Microphone
I received my headset today and it was what I hoped for, it just plugged straight into the headphone and mic ports and is picking up sound just fine and it's surprisingly of rather good quality too.
The only thing I have to warn people about is the size, the earpiece is rather bulky and the ear clip is very large, meaning that for people with smaller ears it might be a bother. It's not the most comfortable headset either but I found I got used to it. It fits my ear fine, even if compared to my blue tooth ps3 headset the mic is a bit further away from my face. Product could have done with more adjustable parts.
But for this price I find it's definately been worth the money, those of smaller ears be warned though.
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One thing I love about the PS3 is the exclusives and this game is perhaps one game I've enjoyed the most in recent years. It's brilliant and combines elements of different games to create an amazing play experience.
It has the action of a hack and slash game, the growth of an rpg and the atmosphere of a Horror game and since the game is really cruel the Horror becomes very apparent.
The control system is great, it takes some getting used to but it offers structure and skill to combat with details like using long weapons in corridors and the attacks being affected by the walls around you, forcing you to use thrust attacks etc.
The online play feels so fresh with your actions impacting on your own alignment. Choose to help players as a blue phantom to go towards the light or invade and murder another living player for darkness. You also get more loot/rewards for being evil but it also makes the game harder as a penalty. Good guys will progress seemingly slower and have a bit more of an easier ride...though not that much easier XD.
It's not very often these days that you get games that are genuinely hard, this game doesnt let you pause or save mid-way through the HUGE levels. You will die a lot, but doing so brings you back in spirit form where you are weaker and have to do a number of things to regain your body. I noted most of them above as the good and evil, you also can regain your body obtaining a demon soul from one of the nasty bosses who are often huge.
Truly a masterpiece of a game and I'm so glad I have a ps3 to enjoy it, people bleat about how awesome COD is and such is when games like this get pushed to the back, a crime I tell ya,
Way Of The Samurai 3
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I've purchased all of the Way of the Samurai games and do think though this game has its flaws it is still a very solid title.
The main critisism of this game by most is about the graphics, now I do agree this game as a ps3 title does not have the best graphics though they are a step up from the previous titles, My only issue was with some of the non-important character models and environments, besides that the graphics are not as terrible as other will make them seem.
The important thing is the gameplay as it is with any game in my oppinion. The series has given us gamers some of the best sword combat i've ever had the chance to experience and this one delivers on that front again. There are multiple stances/styles with what must be nearly (or even over) 100 swords/weapons from farm hoes to giant hammers. You can mix and match for dual wielding which is a nice touch and a change from the dual sets of swords in 2.
The usual Bottom, Middle and Top stances return with Ninja and Dual Ninja stances making a reappearance too. The game has introduced the spear style with a selection of spears dotted throughout the game.
For the first time in the series you can now make your own swords and spears. Through merchants and looting you can collect sword parts and create your own named sword, using the skills you have already unlocked from that style.
The game boasts 25 different endings each more challenging to find than the other, a huge increase from the previous titles. The story itself is set in Sengoku Period Japan with the legendary Nobunaga Oda on the door step of the area Amana. You must choose which of the three factions to side with and choose how to act and treat others. You can be a ruthless killer samurai or more of a pacifist who would rather fell his opponents with blunt sided sword attacks.
Using the one hit kill system of the previous games this installment has added Kill Chain mode. Once a one hit kill has been performed you are able to combo together your one hit kills for as long as you are able.
The game has it's bugs but I never really noticed them as I was enjoying playing that much. A single playthrough can be short though with all the endings and achievments this is definately a long lasting game.
Though the graphics have been put on the backburner the game itself delivered for me bringing back memories of the original WotS title. I would recommend this game if you want a challenge for combat and like your japanese/samurai inspired games.
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We all cringe when we here that a classic game is going to be remade and I bet a lot were doing just that when it was announced this was coming out.
However I felt this was a very good entry into the PS3 game roster, sure it has its issues and it is NOT a free-roam game, it's rather linear actually. However the vastness of the environments covers that up to an extent if you just venture through the level. The radioactive areas are rather annoying when you don't see them but this game has its merits.
The game looks quite nice, there are definately worse games graphically but a good gamer knows that good graphics don't make a good game a lot of the time anyways.
The great thing about this game is the gameplay, I really enjoyed combining the grapple arm with gunning and using the arm to evade and also attack enemies is cool too. I do wonder what a freeroaming sequel would be like as the gameplay would no doubt make it an experience.
A good solid game that does have flaws, hence the 4 stars. Worth a go.
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I remember back when I first got my PS3, I thought to myself "Why the heck are there no rpgs" and when looking in a shop I came across this title. The box screamed J-RPG and I then remembered seeing a demo in the PSN store. I downloaded the demo and realised it was a realtime tactics game.
I was hooked when I realised how beautifully put together the game was. The gameplay is brilliant, the characters varied and very relatable and the story itself is one that sucks you in.
The game looks magnificent in HD in my oppinion even on my old TV it goes down as one of my favourite games in terms of it's style.
It is so wrong that a ton of games get lots of hype whilst this was just brushed aside, one of the best games you can get for the PS3, no doubt.
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...sadly it just feels totally rushed and rather clunky, the sword play is rather cool and the setting/story is begging for a better game. I bought this hoping it would be like Way of the Samurai but it has more of a "level structure" to it. Was disappointed, this could have been awesome had it been executed right.