Monday, August 29, 2011

Superdonkey's Game of the Week

     This is a game that has aged almost perfectly throughout the years. Everything from the graphics to the actual gunplay, are still pretty decent even by today's standards. That's saying something for a game made in 04. So with no further adieu, i present my pick for the must play game of this week, Counter-Strike: Source.

    For those of you who have never played CSS, it is a very fast paced FPS shooter. It was made as an updated version of the very popular Half-Life mod Counter Strike. They changed a few aspects of the game and used the all new source engine to run it on, hence the name Counter Strike: Source. The gameplay in this game is that of your typical twitch shooter, very fast paced and headshots galore. What sets it apart from other games in the genre, is that your gun is not always going to shoot at where your crosshairs are pointed. This is where the realism of CS:S takes effect. You actually have to control your gun and learn how it recoils and what to do to control it. This isn't going to be like most modern shooters, where after a few seconds of recoil your gun wont jump up anymore, and then you can aim the gun back down and spray bulletes in a near perfect line. No, you actually have to use controlled burst-fire and aim for the vital points of your opponent such as the chest and head. Headshots in this game are devastating. If your are shot in the head with any kind of armor piercing round, you are immediately dead, regardless if you have a helmet or not. There are a lot of skilled people at this game, and believe me, it takes a while to start getting a good K:D ratio and performing well in games, so if your're a very violent gamer without a lot of patience, you might want to have some stuff ready to break if you decide to play this.

 Once you get good with the Desert Eagle, it's damn near as good as an assault rifle in close range.

     The graphics in this game have aged beautifully. The source engine still looks good to this day, and it can be run on even the most low power machines. My netbook can even run this game, although it looks very shitty, but it plays normal and the framerate stays smooth and stable. If you've ever fired a gun in your life you might find that some of the animations are off. The m4 animation is way off and it sometimes bugs me so much that i can't even stand to reload the gun (I mean c'mon he pulls on the forward assist! Did valve even bother to look at an m4!?)  For the most part though everything looks fine. The physics in this game are another major plus for me. Almost every object can be moved by either grenades or a good old fashioned bullet hosedown. There is also nothing more satisfying than finally getting that kill on someone, and to watch his body ragdoll down a flight of stairs.

Still looks good to me.

     Sound in this game varies from server to server. Some will have the original CS:S sounds still in effect, then others will have changed them to quake sounds. You can turn off the option to download custom sounds, but i sort of like them. It gives each server it's own unique feel. Nothing else really stand out to me sound-wise in this game. There are all the normal sounds you would find in a modern FPS, footsteps, gunfire, shattering glass, explosions. Nothing really sounds out of the ordinary.

     All in all, CS:S is a game that has both been loved, and at times, extremely hated by me throughout my years of playing it. With the new CS:GO coming out soon, and the recent price drop on steam, you would be insane not to pick this up right now if you haven't played it.

Gameplay: 9
Graphics: 7 
Sound: 7
Value: 9.5

Friday, August 26, 2011

Up for Review: Deus Ex Human Revolution

     Well i'm in from work today, and i can think of no better thing to do than to write about my new favorite game, Dues Ex: HR. This has to be by far one of the best games in this generation, and to me, is a game that should be looked upon when other companies decide to make a game. Everything about this game seems very polished and well designed, and the amount of detail put into the world is just phenomenal.

Adam Jensen, the story's protagonist.

     The game starts out in the shoes of Adam Jensen, the head of security for the worlds largest leader in human augmentation. It soon become clear that not everyone is all for changing the way the human body was made naturally. These radical extremists like to call themselves "Purists." It becomes soon becomes very clear that this group will do anything to stop the augmentation company, when a terrorist attack occurs inside the company HQ. You are gravely injured from one of the terrorists in this attack, and after a very long recovery process, you awake to find yourself fully augmented. Almost every piece of your body is now cybernetic, and you decide how you want to react to this. I wont spoil anymore of the story for you, you'll have to get the game for yourself to find out the rest.

Here's a clip of the beginning moments of the game for those of you who are still on the fence about it. 

     Gameplay in this game reminds me of.... well nothing. There really isn't any game that i could compare this too. It's like Fallout 3, Borderlands, Mass Effect, and Metal Gear Solid all rolled into one delicious gameplay burrito. There are multiple ways to complete every single mission, and each has its own rewards and challenges. For example, lets say you need to get into the police station. You can talk to the guy at the door and try to persuade him, you can choose to go into the public bathroom and open up a ventilation duct to navigate through the building, you can climb an adjacent building and jump onto the roof of the station, or you could walk in like a total badass and mow everyone down with your assault rifle. The choice is all yours.

     The graphics in this game are pretty top notch, everything has a crisp, almost cell-shaded look to it, but the true thing that got me hooked on the graphics is the level of detail they put into EVERYTHING. There are barely any very low res textures in the game. Almost every single item in the game you can pick up and look at intently. The art style is also absolutely fantastic, it really make me feel like there is actually culture to the people in this cyberpunk world. The only thing that bothers me are the slight studders in between areas. This may or may not happen on console, but i'm playing it on PC and sometimes it can get pretty annoying. One more things is that sometimes the npc's body movements wont match their actions. This isn't too bad of a problem but when it does happen it just sorta throws you out of the realism.

This game is no call of duty, that run and gun crap wont work here. Better stick to some cover, and pray to the gods that the bullets miss your cybernetic dome.

    Sound is one of the other things that make this game amazing. The music is absolutely superb, and really gets you into the moment. All of the other small sounds are recreated perfectly, such as the actual loudness of a gun. If you pop off a round in an apartment building, it may well scare you in your chair, and it definitely is going to freak the hell out of all the civilian npcs.

     All in all, this has got to be one of the greatest games to come out in a while, and i'm gonna be a little bit dissapointed if it doesn't get game of the year. If you would like to buy it you can do so here: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Gameplay : 10
Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 10
Value: 11 (that's right i cranked it up a notch. It's worth the money, trust me.)

     Well there you have it, tune in in a few days to my review of one of the worlds biggest online FPS's! Will it be Caw a doody? Battlefield? Halo? You'll just have to follow my blog to find out :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Coming Up Soon!

     Anywhere in the next 1-3 days i will be doing a thorough review of, probably my new favorite game; Deus Ex Human Revolution. Silly things such as work have kept me from writing it over the past few days, but it will be here shortly, you best believe it! In the meantime, here's a video to keep you somewhat entertained.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Superdonkey's Game of The Week: Numero Uno

     Starting from this week on out, i will be writing an article weekly about one particular game that is a must-play. Up this week is one of my personal favorites, and as some would say, the best game in the series; Final Fantasy 9.

Just Vivi doing what he does best.

     If you don't know what the Final Fantasy series is you probably shouldn't be on this page, just kidding. This is one of the most successful, and critically acclaimed series in all of the gaming world. Final Fantasy 9 is the ninth installment in this series (you probably figured that out without my help huh?) and is, in my opinion, the best of them all.

     The story begins, as a play is about to start in the grand town of Alexandria. You are put in the shoes of the main character Zidane, as he and his team of thieves put on a mock show for the castle and it's guests. The show is just that, a show. The real reason Zidane and his crew are in Alexandria is to kidnap the beautfiul Princess Garnet. So far this may sound like a cliche' fantasy game to those who haven't played it, but the plot thickens when you are successful in cornering the princess. Just when you are about to capture her, she begs you to kidnap her away from the castle. The story then continues on and leads you across an amazing world filled with amazing characters, outstanding environments, and terrifying creatures. There is a lot to be said about the story of this game, but if i could wrap it up into one word it would be; Outstanding.

She's gonna cause you a lot of trouble.

     The gameplay is that of your usual JRPG, turn based and your battle selections are chosen from a menu. It's certainly not the most innovative idea, but it gets the job done. It varies somewhat from the norm by having an option to play out all the battles in real time. This keeps the action bar from stopping when making your menu selections. It's a small change but it makes the battles noticeably more difficult. I would suggest turning it off, as sometimes it doesn't give you enough time to think about the most logical battle option. The open world, is separated from the battle world, so if your not a fan of random encounters then this game might not be for you. The open world is split up into two different categories; Area, and world map. The world map  allows you to traverse the lands freely by foot, boat, airship, or chocobo (my personal favorite). You enter the different areas of the world, such as towns and caverns through the world map. Final Fantasy 9 is an old game, but to me it still hasn't lost any of its replay value.

A typical battle during the early parts of the game.

     Now onto the segment that turn most new gamers off from these older games, the graphics. The visuals used in Final Fantasy 9 were remarkable for their time. Sadly, this doesn't hold true to this day. Most of the textures will appear grainy and distorted on modern HDTVs so if your tv has a standard option i would suggest turning it on while playing. The battle screens still look somewhat decent but, the world map and area zones look terrible by today's standards. There is still some good looking eye-candy in the summoning animations though, so if graphics are your thing you will want to do a lot of these. If you get get past of the ugliness that is PS1 era graphics then you will find a game that is both rich in story and gameplay.

     The soundtrack in this game is one of the most critically acclaimed video game soundtracks to date. Nobuo Uematsu really did on hell of a job with the music in this game. Almost every one of the over 100 songs in this game are extremely well composed and catchy to listen to. To this day i still find myself humming some of the songs in this game.

     All in all, this is one amazing games and probably my personal favorite. it is definitely worth a play or two, and for only $10 on PSN you cant really go wrong.

Gameplay: 9
Graphics: 6
Sound: 10
Value: 10

Saturday, August 20, 2011

First Up For Review....Shift 2 Unleashed.

     Now normally i'm no huge fan of racing games, but the mass influx of good quality racing sims in recent years made me want to give the Need For Speed Franchises latest entrance into the series a good looking at. First and foremost, the game is truly beautiful. It really captures the visceral and gritty experience of racing pretty well. Races in the game can be summed up into one word; Terrifying. The engines roar, tires squeal, and smoke bellows out across the track as you and the other racers battle it out for the checkered flag. The sense of speed is captured amazingly and it really feels like your racing down the track at 150 mph. But enough about the true to life feel of the game, lets see how all of the other aspects play out.

     This is the one thing that i just couldn't get past through all of my time playing; the handling. To put it into layman's terms it sucks. One minute turn on the steering wheel and it feels like the track suddenly turned into jelly. The controls just have a completely uneasy lightness to them. You don't notice it too much in the early parts of the game, but as soon as you start beefing up your cars muscle, and getting into the later events it starts to become unbearable. This can be fixed somewhat by fine-tuning your car, and the settings in the menu, but even then you still tend to overcorrect often because of the sloppy handling. The AI has been improved drastically over the last game, but they will still tend to forget about you in the corners. There's nothing more frustrating than being in the lead on the last lap of the race, only to have some idiot smash your rear end in and send you flying into the wall. All in all the gameplay is somewhat decent and will provide you a pretty good amount of fun. It doesn't stack up to Forza or the Gran Turismo series as far as a racing sim goes, but it's still a fun play

     I won't go into too much depth on this, but if they got one thing right in this game it is the sound. The cars sound amazing, and true to life. If you put a turbo on your car you can actually hear it whine, and let off boost as gear down. The engines have a nice deafening roar to them, and all of the sounds of a true racing experience is recreated beautifully.

     If you played the first Shift game, you would know that one of the key differences it had from other games in the genre was it's unique cockpit cam. This returns in this game, with the addition of a new helmet cam, that actually puts your view in the helmet of the driver. The feature seems to be a good addition on paper, but when combined with the sloppy handling it falls short. With the new camera you look into corners as you turn into them, and it gives you a sense that your oversteering sometimes. This leads to some pretty bad overcorrections and sometimes some nasty wrecks. This could just be a problem on my part but i just had to witch to the original cockpit cam.

     Overall, the game isn't too bad of a buy. It's definitely something different and worth a play or two. Personally i would recommend waiting until the game goes up on sale for a lower price, as it's not really worth the $60 price tags of games nowadays. Here's how i would break it down as far as ratings go.

Gameplay: 6
Graphics: 9
Sound: 10
Value: 5

Overall : 7

     Shift 2 isn't the greatest racing game on the market, but all in all its not too bad.

Welcome to My Blog!

Welcome Everyone! Thank you for visiting my blog, here's all that i'm going to be blogging about in the very near future;

  • Video Games on PC/360/PS3
  • Reviews on Video Games
  • Indie Games
  • Any other topics of interest that i might happen to find interesting enough to write about.
Once again, thanks for visiting, feel free to leave me your comments about anything that you think i should cover.