‘Beautiful Katamari’ Xbox 360 Review

November 9, 2009 § Leave a comment

Seen Akira? Seen that bit where Tetsuo starts devouring the planet? Okay, well, this is kind of like that, but a lot less terrifying and a lot more humorous.
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'Shadow Complex' XBLA Review

September 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

Score: 4 out of 5

Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. Boy and girl go spelunking together. Girl gets kidnapped by an evil terrorist organisation planning to take over the world. Boy just happens to have secret service training because his father is a spy. Boy is forced to go after girl and stop said evil terrorist organisation.

Personally, I think it could be this year’s Titanic.

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'Alone in the Dark' Xbox 360 Review

August 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

Score: 2 out of 5

You can’t fault Alone in the Dark for its ambition or for its production values, but for everything else it attempts to do, it does it badly; for every unique innovation it presents, it almost always, unfailing, counterbalances it with something to piss you off. Alone in the Dark isn’t a total disaster, but neither is it any good.

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‘Call of Duty: World at War’ PC Review

August 21, 2009 § 7 Comments

Score: 4 out of 5

Poor Treyarch – always in the shadow of its allegedly more talented sibling, Infinity Ward. Treyarch’s name is one that has become synonymous with inferiority or slapdash effort. Along with Climax Group (they of Silent Hill: Origins fame) and Ubisoft Shanghai (they of, well, that train wreck), Treyarch seem to have garnered an unfortunate reputation among gamers.

Now, I’m not here to argue whether that’s a fair reflection of the company or not, but what I will say is that Call of Duty: World at War is a really great game, and Treyarch do have something to be proud of here. Its single player campaign may not have quite the same impact as Call of Duty 4’s, but it’s got its share of spectacular moments. The multiplayer, likewise, is of the same high standard and possesses an almost identical levelling up component, allowing you to gain access to new weapons, perks, and other unlockables. But there’s also a new competitive co-op mode, too – never seen before in the series and which, for the most part, works quite well. Lastly, there’s this thing called Nazi Zombie mode, where you and three other buddies team up and hunker down in a level, defending against incoming waves of Undead – essentially, a smattering of Left 4 Dead with a smidge of Horde mode from Gears of War 2.

Fundamentally, it’s the exact same gameplay in Call of Duty 4 transferred into a World War II setting, with more stuff. And, hell, I don’t think you can really consider that a bad thing. You could say that it’s just a cosmetic overhaul, but Call of Duty 4’s core gameplay and multiplayer were, and still are, sublime. The old adage, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, applies here, so why go and change a winning formula? (Answer: you don’t.)

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’50 Cent: Blood on the Sand’ Xbox 360 Review

August 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

Score: 4 out of 5

Blood on the Sand’s shallow but fast-paced, compelling gameplay, coupled with an excellent all-round presentation, makes it a solid, entertaining third-person shooter. However, what allows Blood on the Sand to most stand out is its insanely over-the-top, ludicrous action set-pieces, its characters, plot and dialogue, and because of all these elements, Blood on the Sand, inadvertently, becomes a tribute to and parody of itself, its genre and violent video games in general.

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‘The Godfather 2’ Xbox 360 Review

August 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

Score: 3 out of 5

As something with the official Don Corleone stamp of approval slapped on top of it, The Godfather 2 is such a horrible bastardisation that fans won’t know whether to laugh or cry at its thinly veiled attempt to keep itself true to the source material.

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‘Streets of Rage 2’ Retro-review

July 26, 2009 § Leave a comment

[Editors note: pictures speak louder than words and video speaks louder than pictures. For that reason, I have compiled a video preview of one of the levels from Streets of Rage 2 which cycles briefly through each character, giving you some idea of their range of moves. I have also included some annotations of things I thought were worth pointing out.]

Score: 5 out of 5

Sometimes you can only really appreciate the good stuff when put against the bad. I have been playing Streets of Rage 2 sporadically throughout the week, and it’s only now, having watched GiantBomb’s Quick Look of Unbound Saga (a newly released download-only title for the PSP platform), that I’ve come to realise exactly why Streets of Rage 2 was, and still is, the king of 2D beat ‘em ups.

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