Posts Tagged ‘survival’

I’m sure this wasn’t the vacation Jason Brody saw on the brochure. After jumping out of a plane, the quasi Jersey Shore opening sequence, and some crazy partying at the nightclub, I found myself tied up and at the mercy of the psychotic Vaas who pretty much told me that we were now his bitches. Well that’s not going to sit well with me. Only one thing left to do…escape. Well I almost got there only to watch my older brother die by the barrel of Vaas’ gun. Then it was “Run Forrest Run” all the way to a new path…The “Path of the Warrior.” After some training it was payback time. Time to rescue my friends, and put a bullet in the head of the man who said I was going to be his bitch. “Eye for an eye mother fucker!” Welcome to Rook Island and the masterpiece that is Far Cry 3.

Now I’ve never played the previous games in this series. For my first dip into this franchise I must say that I’m very impressed. Far Cry 3 is a fans that’s got some depth making it more than just your average first person shooter. Most of all Far Cry 3 is a lot of fun in psychotic paradise.

PROS:

Skyrim With Guns
Well that’s what some people are calling Far Cry 3. At first I thought that was a major exaggeration, but after an few hours of playing I was starting to agree with them. I found quite a few similarities with the Bethesda juggernaut except for the fact that there are no dragons or shouts to learn. Everything else is pretty much intact in terms of earning experience points, looting, learning valuable skills, crafting, raiding camps, and so much more. Far Cry 3 doesn’t have the hundreds of hours of role playing depth that games like Skyrim possesses, but for what the game does offer will still provide plenty of hours of memorable entertainment.

There’s So Much To Do And Explore
Like any open world sandbox game Far Cry 3 offers so much more than just the main storyline. Exploration is key and Rook Island is your playground. There’s so much to see and do which can be a bit overwhelming at first, but most sandbox games are pretty much like this so it wasn’t something that I’m not already used to. My initial thoughts were that when I think of islands I think rather small, but once I started climbing radio towers the island began unveiling itself ala Assassins’s Creed and that was pretty cool. Getting around the island is also quite striking with vehicles, or maybe even taking a hang glider for a more arial tour. I found myself wanting to hunt, craft, and explore even more than completing the main story which is a big plus. Plus there’s also all the side missions, outpost clearing, and so much more.

Hunting Animals
One of the more interesting things to do while on Rook Island is hunting the various wildlife that populate the landscape. Now Far Cry 3 is nothing like the Cabela’s hunting games, but Ubisoft Montreal sure made it fun. Hunting down animals is more than just killing and skinning them. Their hides are also used to craft useful items including ammo pouches, healing items, and so much more making things a bit easier on myself. Now when it comes to hunting animals let me just tell you that nothing felt more satisfying then killing a shark. Oh and there’s the part where I was punching him too which was really awesome.

Survival Instincts
Saving my friends meant doing everything I could just to stay alive. I am a warrior, and death is not an option. Through my adventures on the island I cut various plant life and used it to create healing items beyond just bandaging myself up when I got a little too shot up or mauled by animals. The game does feature regenerating health (bummer), but it has to be activated and if works through segments. Overall, I liked the fact that it made me think twice about running and gunning into an enemy outpost and employ some sort of strategy instead like tagging enemies so that I can utilize a more stealthy offensive. Sometimes being more like Sam Fisher is better than Rambo.

Multiplayer
The developers at Ubisoft Montreal could’ve just mailed in some average multiplayer to tack on to the game, but they didn’t. Instead what they did was put together a multiplayer experience on par with dare I say Call of Duty to appease to the fans. Killstreaks are found here in the competitive gameplay as well as a unique reward for the highest scoring player of the winning team. Not only is there a competitive arena, but a co-op campaign is also available complete with it’s own separate story adding another layer of depth to a pretty solid game. Overall, Far Cry 3 has a strong multiplayer option with a large community of players putting itself with the elite multiplayer of Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Gears of War games.

CONS:

Far Cry 3 is a pretty solid game, and throughout my adventure I can’t really find anything negative to say about it. I’m not calling the game perfect, but it sure is close to being one of the better offerings I’ve played on the Xbox 360 to date.

IN CONCLUSION

Far Cry 3 is an open sandbox game that’s full of action, adventure, and thrills. It’s also an all out attack on my senses especially when I’m dealing with Vaas, or maybe when I was on some serious mind-altering drugs (yes, you can take drugs in the game, and the effects are more than just staggering around and a blurry screen). The game has exploration, hunting, punching sharks, awesome weaponry (check out the bow and the awesome flamethrower), and hours upon hours of entertainment both in single player and multiplayer. Far Cry 3 is of the best games of 2012 and a must buy. I think I might also have to buy the previous games as well.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-14 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

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After the disappointment that I suffered through in Modern Warfare 2, I said to myself that I was officially done with Call of Duty. Javelin glitches, speed skating glitches, negative XP glitches, idiots who rather not complete objectives and just boost for the damn tactical nuke. I think you get the point. At that point I started hating the game and the series as a whole. As a result I eventually caved in and bought the Hardened Edition of Black Ops that next year. I loved the campaign and the awesome zombie mode. The multiplayer was still “meh” to me even though I liked spamming the RC car. The following year Modern Warfare 3 was released. I stuck to my guns and skipped it, because of the disappointment of Modern Warfare 2. So here I am today deciding about Black Ops 2. Sure I’m sick of Call of Duty compared to other shooters on the market, and the E3 demo sucked, but I eventually decided to give it a chance. In the end I’m glad that I did.

PROS:

It’s Like Being In An Action Movie
I don’t know what it is with Infinity Ward and Treyarch, because every year when a Call of Duty game is released I feel like each developer is trying to out Michael Bay one another. Basically, Call of Duty plays out like a huge summer blockbuster with tons of carnage, cussing, guns, destruction, and plenty of explosions to keep me hooked in. No need for an epic story. Just give me “shock and awe” along with plenty of body bags for the virtual dead and everything will be just fine. Well Black Ops 2 provided all of that in it’s unique blend of Cold War and Future War eras and it was pretty cool. I just wish they had a better plot like the first Black Ops game had.

Improvements In Multiplayer?
Did I just say that? Well yes I did. Black Ops 2’s competitive multiplayer is a big step up over over the first Black Ops game. Score streaks now take the place of kill streaks making other players work a little harder to get that special attack they crave. There’s also a heavier emphasis in completing objectives in certain gametypes to help curb away the wannabe snipers who just sit around and camp out waiting for kills to come to them. Seriously guys, let me just rant by saying that being a sniper in a Call of Duty game is just plain stupid. Complete the objectives! We don’t need an eight man team with seven snipers and one person trying to win the game. In other words…Play Smart! Just keep in mind that I’m only here for the fun of the game, or until everyone starts cheating. If that happens I’ll go back on my hating spree.

Endless Customization
Black Ops 2 has tons of customization options that had me busy for hours deciding on what I want to do with each of my custom loadouts for multiplayer. What type of kickass guns do I want? How about perks? Do I want more or less. More perks come at the expense of less weapons, but I can be faster and more like a ninja as I knife randoms with ease. Of course I can go the other way and be more like Rambo. The best part is that using these customizable options allows me to tailor a multiplayer experience to my liking as well as having the tools to conquer each game mode.

Zombies!
The main reason I purchased this game. The zombie mode has been fleshed out a lot more to include some new game types along with the traditional Survival mode. Tranzit allows me to travel to each map via a bus. While traveling I had to beware of hitchhiking zombies coming along for the ride as well as trying to kill me. Grief is also pretty badass as two teams of four take on the zombie horde. Last team standing along with winning the round wins the game. Grief does add a lot of fun and strategy to the game. Sure you can’t hurt the other team, but you can always find ways to screw them over giving me the advantage. Zombies is where I’m spending most of my time playing, because it’s addicting and fun. With that said I once again raise the question to Treyarch. Why not make a stand alone zombie game?

CONS:

Strike Force Is A Bit Of A Letdown
So what is Call of Duty. A First-Person Shooter or a Real Time Strategy Game? The RTS missions called Strike Force sound like a good idea, but they come off as rather retarded. The idea was for me to control the actions of unmanned vehicles to complete various objectives. Sounds great and all In theory, but what it really boiled down to was me taking control and doing everything for myself since my unmanned attack grunts are not very helpful in the long run. Each vehicle and deployment look very kickass, but in reality they kind of suck. Going through these missions is more of a pain in the ass, because all I want to do is go back to the action.

Missing That “Wow” Factor
Black Ops 2 is a pretty good game, but what the series has been missing lately has been that “Holy shit! I can’t believe that happened” type of moment. The main example that I can think of would be the nuke scene in Call of Duty 4. I thought that moment was crazy when the nuke went off and my main character during that mission died. The first words I had after that moment was “What the fuck just happened!” Since then the Call of Duty series hasn’t had anything that would even measure up to that moment. Sure Black Ops 2 has branching paths based in my decisions and tons of action, but I want something that I’ll remember for a long time. Since Call of Duty 4, I feel like the developers just mailed it in and said to Activision “Here’s the new Call of Duty game. Now let’s release it and collect our millions of dollars.”

IN CONCLUSION

So I actually liked Black Ops 2. Does this mean that I’m officially back with the Call of Duty franchise? Well…I would have to say “No.” The game does pack in plenty of fun and tons of replay value in the multiplayer department, but I still believe that the developers need to add that extra punch that made Call of Duty 4 the benchmark of the series to date. The Black Ops games so far have been a positive step in that direction. Maybe what Activision needs to do is stop milking the cash cow and watering down the series with yearly installments. This will make the games more fresh and entertaining as well as generate less hate from some of the internet trolls out there. Just making a suggestion for the better. Overall, Black Ops 2 is a good game making my purchase well worth the money.

Developer: Activision, Treyarch
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-16 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

Seattle. July 4, 1986. 185 days after the infection. The zombie apocalypse is well underway. Every day becomes a battle for survival against insurmountable odds. Do I continue on with my search for hope, or just put a bullet in my head and end the misery? Wait a minute! How many of these apocalyptic nightmare games have I been a part of? Way too many I suppose, but who cares. Bring on the zombies! Now where was I? Oh yeah, I’m struggling to survive to hopefully one day reunite with my family.

With no cure for the infection and no hope in sight, Randall Wayne goes on his endless search for hope. His urge to find his family is his only motivation for survival against the “shadows.” That’s the term used for the dark, red eyed menace that populate the streets of Seattle and are ready to ravage my corpse if I fail. The shadows are everywhere. Just when I think that the rotted mound of flesh on the ground is just another dead body it will end up being the one coming after me. The shadows aren’t the only problem in town. There’s also a faction called “The New Law” that seems to have their own agenda as well.

Deadlight, from Tequila Works, brings me back to a rather familiar territory…zombies. Sure it’s another apocalypse, but this time things feel a little different than what I’ve went through many times before. Most of the time it’s me putting round after round into the heads of the undead leaving them in a bloody mess. Deadlight is a little different as it’s more about surviving. There is the occasional weapon here and there which allow me to dish out some zombie justice, but ammo is limited and stamina becomes an issue. Sometimes it’s better to run from the danger rather than face it head on.

Playing as a 2D/3D side scrolling platformer, Deadlight channels memories of when I played the trial and error nightmare of Limbo especially when I reached the second act featuring a character known as “The Rat.” Running and jumping was more important than shooting and melee attacks as I reached for new heights. Sometimes I failed a jump or twos which led me to my death as I was impaled by spikes, but after a while I got the mechanics down making the game a tad easier while still dying here and there. At least when I died I would revive at the last checkpoint due to my ability of the unlimited continue.

The zombified shadows reminded me of walkers in The Walking Dead which is quite creepy. I never knew if a person was alive or undead as I walked past them. Then the chill set in as they got up and started to chase me down. Good thing these shadows are rather dumb as I would solve a random puzzle here and there to do things like electrify them, cause them to fall to their deaths from a deep hole in the ground, and even drop a heavy object or two on them. Watching the shadows die was pretty satisfying and even drew a chuckle from me. As for The New Law? Well that’s a challenge in itself especially when they have a chopper and they’re shooting at me.

Unique visuals reminiscent of Shadow Complex, graphic novel presentation, tough as hell platforming, plenty of collectibles to find, easy to earn achievements based on popular ’80s songs, and a few plot twists that had me saying “What the fuck!” Deadlight clearly is a game that is far from perfect, but it does have just enough to keep me interested in the 2-3 hours that it takes to beat the game.

Developer: Tequila Works
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00)

GAME STATUS: Ashley has been rescued. Los Illuminados has been eliminated.
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 9 out of 12 (600 Gamerscore)

For my original review on Resident Evil 4 HD click HERE

Who would’ve thought that going on a mission to rescue the President’s daughter could be this involving. Crazed non-zombies, giant powerful beasts, parasites, bioterrorism, a somewhat religious cult, and plenty of shopkeepers who always seem to show up in key moments. Yup, just another day on the job for Leon S. Kennedy.

My mission in Europe was filled with plenty of action and suspense as Resident Evil 4 kept my focus on everything that was going on. Non-zombies and other creatures would appear anywhere where I would least expect them. I sometimes got a chill up my spine when you hear the chanting in the castle and find an enemy right behind me ready to strike. Eventually I did a quick 180 and delivered a hole to the chest with my shotgun knocking him back to his death. Of course I also enjoyed heads explode from non-zombies and even watching bosses think that they’ll get the best of me only to get a warhead from a rocket launcher up their asses. $30,000 well worth it. Thanks shopkeeper!

As for Ashley, well let’s just say that she’s no Sheva from Resident Evil 5. Ashley was more of a babysitting assignment after her rescue. Sheva held her own, and at times had a pretty good shot as well. That’s saying a lot. Although, Ashley did help out on a few puzzles, and opened a door or two in the castle until she almost got carried away by those evil Los Illuminados bastards. I then responded by putting a bullet in their head. Maybe I wouldn’t of had to do all of that if I was being a good babysitter. Then again I love the feeling of a good headshot. It’s so gratifying. Plus it puts a big smile on my face when I see their head’s explode in a bloody mess.

Ok, so Resident Evil 4 was a little bit out of character because it didn’t have any zombies, but that never really bothered me one bit. The creepy atmosphere was well done even if everything was not on HD, and the over the shoulder gameplay was excellent. My only gripe would be all the quick time events. On a personal note, Salazar may have been an annoying little person at times, but he clearly wasn’t as annoying as Alfred Ashford in Resident Evil Code: Veronica.

THE WORLD IS SOMEWHAT SAFE ONCE AGAIN, SO WHAT’S MY NEXT ASSIGNMENT?

Second quest? Hell yeah! Separate ways quests for Leon Kennedy and Ada Wong? Absolutely! The Mercenaries? I can’t turn that down. There’s so much to do now that everything is unlocked. In my opinion Resident Evil 4 is one of the best games in the long running series so it’s safe to assume that this game is a keeper on my Xbox 360 hard drive. Enough chat. Time to go save the President’s daughter once again, but this time with upgraded weapons. Now where’s that shopkeeper?

Developer: Capcom
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1
Price: $19.99

Pros:
The best game mode from Call of Duty: Black Ops is here
Touchscreen controls are well done
Fun multiplayer

Cons:
Needs more levels

Review based on Version 1.1.0

If there is one thing I like to do in video games it would be blasting zombies in the face. The genre that has become so common in mainstream media lately is still kicking, but one must wonder when killing the undead goes out of style just like a World War II game. Well at least that time is not now. Alright soldiers, get your guns and knives because it’s zombie slaying time…Call of Duty style. Just keep in mind that these are not your ordinary Nazi zombies. These are Black Ops zombies.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies, from Treyarch and Ideaworks, is a follow up to World at War Zombies on the iPhone. The new sequel is now made for both the iPhone and iPad (looks and plays better on the iPad by the way) and it kicks ass. More levels, more zombies, and more modern weaponry to blast the heads off those undead bastards and send them straight to hell. However, these zombies are not your run off the mill type we found in the last game. They’re meaner, badder, stronger, faster and in greater numbers, so it’s going to take even more fortitude then the last time to take them down.


For those of you not familiar with the game let me go ahead and explain what your supposed to do. This is a game of survival so there is only one constant. Your going to die. The big question is when. The zombies will arrive in waves breaking down your defenses. You must keep them at bay using your variety of weapons. You’ll start out with your basic handgun, a knife, and a couple of grenades. Good luck! As you kill zombies and repair barriers, you’ll earn points which you can use to purchase new weapons, open doors to explore new locations, and even get to purchase an upgrade or two. Might I suggest a little “Revive?” The more you open up a level the better the weapons are, and there’s some environmental attacks to use as well. Take advantage of this and you’ll survive just a little bit longer.

World at War Zombies’ touchscreen controls were well done so expect the same here with Black Ops Zombies. You have two different control schemes to choose from allowing you full control of your movement and shooting elements. I played each style and found them extremely responsive and easy to use (I prefer the twin stick type for those who prefer console style controls). Finding one that will comfort you will be the only challenge after that. Casual players should have no problem after the first game or two to get accustomed to the controls. However, it will take a lifetime to master, because we all know that zombie slaying is not that easy or else we’d all be doing it.

Multiplayer is also back this time with Wi-Fi for up to four players. Now you can slay zombies on your own, but we all know that having a friend or two watching your back makes things much better. Besides this is what makes Black Ops Zombies fun. Online connections were pretty good, although I did experience a little lag here and there. Don’t worry because this is not a deal breaker in any way. A good suggestion is to find a good hot spot (mine being my own 4G mobile setup. Thanks AT&T) and get ready for some lag free zombie ass kicking action.

For a zombie slaying game you can’t do much better than Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies. The game is great although there is only two maps right now. You have Kino Der Toten and the fun twin stick game Dead Ops Arcade (this map must be unlocked by finding four hidden coins within the game’s menus). Both are awesome, but part of me wants more maps. The good news is that Treyarch is hard at work on the Ascension map which is coming soon. Zombies and space monkeys! What a great combination. Down the road you can expect even more maps including the popular Call of the Dead which is hinted in the game.

Overall, Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies is a game I’d highly recommend for zombie blasting destruction for your iPhone and iPad. It’s great for both on-the-go periodic play as well as long sessions. The game may not be complete with all the DLC yet, but for what it offers right now is still hours and hours of fun and mayhem well worth your time. Buy it right now.

Pros:
Still just as fun as the original game
Survival mode will have you addicted

Cons:
Game can be difficult at times with multiple enemies

Back at PAX 2009, I was amazed by Klei Entertainment’s action game Shank. The game based upon a tale of revenge played out like a Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez Grindhouse style action flick and it was awesome. Nothing said brutality better than sticking a grenade down an enemy’s throat and watching him blow up. Of course there was the chainsaw, but then again almost every game has a character wielding one. With the original game being as good as it is, I wondered if Klei can top it with a sequel. Well they did, and he result is brutally satisfying.

Shank 2 features the badass Shank who once again goes on a pissed off rampage against a variety of enemies big and small, male and female alike. Nobody is safe. Not even the bartender. Not even the…animals? Like the original game, the storyline is displayed in various cutscenes that feels like your watching a cartoon except this is more for us “mature” people. Kids, make sure you get your parents permission before dishing out gory violence.

As for the gameplay, everyone won’t have much of a problem getting right into the action because not much has changed. Shank’s attacks are based off of both melee and guns along with some grenades, chainsaws, and the familiar pouncing maneuver with slow-mo for that extra coolness before the bloodletting. You can also take a weapon from a dead enemy and use it. Sweet! Shank also loves to combo up his attacks so make sure you chain up those combos. Utilizing both gun and melee attacks together lead to some cool animations. Some of them look a little familiar to some guy named Dante in the Devil May Cry series. That is a compliment might I add because i don’t know anyone who doesn’t love stylish grindhouse action. Other than killing, Shank also does some platforming as he climbs and descends walls, swings on skulls, crashes through windows, and even runs sideways over gaps.

Co-op play is also back, but don’t expect much of it in the main campaign like the original game. Ok, so it was only one level at the time Let’s not go off the deep end on that one. Co-op play is mostly reserved for the game’s multiplayer. The mode is Survival and your mission is to stay alive as long as possible. This is pretty self explanatory. Survival mode is pretty cool either alone or with a friend as your doing all the same things as you do in the campaign. The good part is that Survival is quite addictive as you try to stay alive longer and longer. Plan to spend plenty of time here.

If there is anything negative that I need to bring up with Shank 2 it would have to do with he difficulty. I would have to compare Shank 2 to a roller coaster. There are times where the game is quite easy to run through. Then comes the pain in the ass parts where you’ll take on hordes of enemies big and small which can really crowd the screen. Be prepared for moments of absolute frustration screaming out a few four letter words and maybe throw a controller or two around the room. I don’t care how much of an expert you might be. Shank 2 at times will really test your patience so  my advice to you would be to just take the occasional bumps and continue to trudge through the campaign, because the game is fun.

There’s not much I can say about Shank 2 that hasn’t already been displayed from the first game. Klei is going with the approach of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” which is fine with me. With everyone else…well that might be a different story. Either way, Shank 2 is the type of game where there is fun at every corner filled with plenty of grindhouse style gory fun. This is a game that’s worth the download so give it a shot.

Pros:
Game looks great on the iPhoneiPad

Cons:
The price is a little high
Controls are a little tough to master
No Mission Mode
No Multiplayer

Review Based on Version 1.0.0

After more than a decade, SoulCalibur finds itself ported to another platform. Now “The epic tale of souls and swords” goes mobile and it almost looks just as good as it did in the arcade and on consoles. Namco brings SoulCalibur to iOS devices and fans are excited to see it arrive. Some die hard fans of the game have already made the impulse purchase. However I’m here to tell you that not everything is as perfect as you want it to be.

Now I’m not going to lie to to you, but I’m a big fan of the series since the release of Soul Edge in the arcade. SoulCalibur was the first title that I purchased when the Dreamcast launched and I was hooked to this particular game as I would play for hours at a time. This game had it all. Currently I have SoulCaibur on Xbox Live Arcade and it’s great despite the fact that it’s missing the awesome Mission Mode and some form of online multiplayer. Sadly for iOS devices, it’s just like the XBLA version except it’s much tougher to control and it’s a little more pricey.

SoulCalibur on the iPhone and iPad features all the typical game modes including Arcade, Time Attack, Survival, and Extra Survival (same as Survival except with a smaller ring and one hit KOs). There’s also a practice mode for those who might have a bit of trouble pulling off the attacks and combos, or maybe want to learn how to own the game by playing as Kilik like most other spammers in this game do. Let me just state that even though you might consider yourself a pro I would suggest practicing on this version  so that you can get used to the tough control scheme, because they can be quite frustrating at times even though the layout is very familiar to Street Fighter IV: Volt. Let’s just say that there’s a big difference with touchscreen controls compared to control pads and fight sticks.

There are a couple of big differences between the XBLA version and the iOS version of the game. One of those differences has to do with the characters themselves. All 19 characters are represented on both versions, however the iOS versions added to the replay value by making you unlock characters after completing the game just like it was in the arcades and the Dreamcast. The other difference has to do with the price. The XBLA version, released a while back, will only set you back $10 dollars (800 Microsoft points). Sadly the iOS version costs $11.99 which is currently at a 20 percent discount. Are you kidding me! I don’t think I really want to do the math to see what the full price is. That is really expensive for a game in the App Store. Honestly, it’s better to wait for a price drop because there’s always going to be a sale.

SoulCalibur is a great game, but i don’t think it’s a game that’s meant to be played on the iPhone and iPad. At least it’s not completely dumbed down into 2D like Virtua Fighter 2 was for the Sega Genesis. I’m sure that after a few more updates to work on the controls, and maybe find a way to have some sort of multiplayer then just maybe SoulCalibur is worth the download. However for now I would just pass unless you think it’s really worth the high price.