Sunday, 28 October 2012

WWE' 13 Review

The main focus this year for WWE'13 has been the Attitude Era, and with that comes a brand new mode called "Attitude Era mode" gone is the lame and boring RTWM mode and in its place is a mode were you can play through historical events during the Attitude Era. A major plus for this mode is that the mode isn't overly scripted like last years were you had to press a button to finish a match. The Attitude Era modes main objective is for you to recreate the moments so with that comes a checklist of objectives that you have to do in the match to recreate the real match by doing this you can earn certain unlockables that range from wrestlers, alt attires, modes, arenas and more. If you want to just play the match then that's fine the mode doesn't force you to complete any of the optional objectives if you don't want to do them.

I thought the Attitude Era mode was a very good addition to WWE'13. The new mode was very well done compared to last years horrible RTWM mode.The Attitude Era mode was very nostalgic to play through, and I thought THQ managed to capture the Attitude Era really well. After finishing the Attitude Era mode you will unlock some very cool things like classic photos from the Attitude Era. If you were also wondering the Attitude Era mode should take you around 10 hours to complete.

The new creation mode from last year Create An Arena is actually Create An Arena this year and not Create A Ring like WWE'12. This year you can actually edit the stage to make a completely new stage, make a historical stage from the past or even edit a historical stage and add your own twist to it. Not only are stages editable the actual arena itself can be edited to be a small arena, normal arena or stadium that a Wrestlemania would take place at. Along with these new features everything from last years Create An Arena has been brought over to make it a true Create An Arena mode.

While on the subject of creation modes there is a new edition to the WWE games creation modes and that is the Championship Editor. Don't get Championship Editor and Create A Belt confused because the two modes are completely different. Championship Editor allows you to edit any of the 30 Championship titles in the game. You can edit certain parts of the tile like the strap color and also the color of the plates.

It's been a while since new match types have been added to WWE games. I think the last WWE game to have a new match type was SVR10 with the addition of the Championship Scramble match so it's great that this year we see the return of the Special Ref match and the I Quit match. The match types haven't come back exactly the same as there are some additions to each match. Special Referee has a "Fairness meter" if you play as the ref. If the fairness meter goes to 0 you will be rewarded with a cutscene with John Laurinaitis telling you that you are out and a new (A.I) ref will be added to the match. I Quit match now has a meter that is similar to the submissions Breaking Point meter, and it works much better than in the past were it was just randomly generated/based on the characters health. I was happy with both game modes, and the new additions to each mode works very well some might not like the fairness meter but I didn't mind it to be honest.

My favorite mode in WWE games since SVR11 has been Universe Mode. Universe Mode is your WWE as you control what you want in and out of your WWE Universe. Last year was a nice improvement from SVR11 but there were some major problems and features missing from WWE' 12's Universe Mode
like Free Agent wrestlers randomly popping up in your shows or your WWE champion ending up being the #1 contender for the U.S title, and finally there were some features needed to really expand the Universe in WWE' 12 like Stat tracking so thankfully this year a lot has been fixed in Universe Mode.Wrestlers can now be deactivated from the Universe so they don't pop up on your shows anymore, rankings can be edited so you can remove people who you don't want in the rankings (Like the WWE champion in the U.S title rankings for example and WWE' 13 has added stat tracking that will track certain things like title histories, Royal Rumble stats like eliminations, times won and time in the ring, Wrestlemania stats and Money In The Bank stats.

Other new features I have come across is the option to edit what storylines you want OFF or ON in Universe mode so if you hate those scenes that break up Tag Teams all the time you can turn Tag Team storyline off and not have to worry about your built up teams randomly breaking up. Another annoying feature we didn't have the option to turn off last year was injures but this year you can. Another nice addition to WWE Universe 3.0 is the ability to actually restart Universe mode from scratch which is really good for me because I have wanted to restart Universe in the past additions of Universe.

Sadly there were some down points to Universe and it's mostly the cutscenes. Universe 3.0 was advertised with branching cutscenes and during my pretty long Universe playthrough I didn't come across many branching cutscene at all which really disappointed me as I was really looking forward to the new branching cutscenes. The non branching cutscenes I did get are still random as hell at times for example there was a match between Cena and Punk which Brock Lesnar interfered to help Punk, and then next week instead of Brock vs Cena it was a Tag Team match with Cena and Lesnar teaming up. Universe 3.0 was fun again this year but there are still some problems with this mode that I hope get fixed.

For years I wanted much more realistic audio in WWE games so I was happy to hear that WWE' 13 will have something called "WWE Live" which means there was going to be a much needed audio overhaul. The crowd in WWE' 13 sounded a hell of a lot better than it did in WWE' 12. This year during entrances the crowd doesn't just boo and cheer there can be some entrances for heels that start with a nice cheer but then it is eventually drowned out in boo's (This happened with Daniel Bryan who also has the "Yes" chants during entrances) there are also some pretty cool new crowd chants in the game.

I remember one good chant during the A.E mode in a No DQ match when you hit someone with weapons the crowd will start shouting "EC DUB EC DUB EC DUB" which was a very nice touch. WWE Live worked well for the crowd but not for the commentary as it was pretty damn bad still. There were some commentary lines in WWE' 13 that were in games as old as SVR07! One I remember from Micheal Cole who says "These superstars are so unpredictable I have a hard time thinking what there going to do next" commentary also still sounds really dull and boring like past games so I hope in WWE' 14 THQ will work on commentary because it really needs a overhaul. I will say though JR does an awesome job with Attitude Era commentary it's just the main games commentary that comes off really bad.

Finally there has been some good additions to the gameplay this year in WWE' 13 with the addition of the OMG moments. The OMG moments range from breaking the barricades (All 4 corners can be broken) to
actually being able to break the ring. The best OMG moment in my opinion easily is the catching finishers. Everything about the catch finishers was great like how well the move connected to make it look really smooth and just the fact how awesome they really look. Look out for the RKO and Superkick catch finisher because visually I think they look the best out of them all. Other new gameplay additions I found in the game is improvements to the limb targeting system in WWE' 12 there were only really one move you could do to each part of the body but this year there are a lot more moves you can do to each body part compared to last year. Gameplay just feels smooth altogether I had hardly any problems connecting with the moves like the clothesline while in WWE' 12 I would have to repeat the clothesline until it actually connected with the character.

There was something I hated in past WWE games that has been partially removed from WWE' 13 and that is when destroyed objects randomly disappear so this year you can expect to see the damaged announcers table parts and the cage wall from the Hell In A Cell still be there after being destroyed. In WWE' 14 it would be awesome if we could finally use the bottom part of steel stairs (They still disappear this year) There are still some down sides to the gameplay like the weapon physics which are actually getting worse as the years go on (SVR11 actually has much better physics than WWE'13) and character models still have the glitch were they sometimes stretch so the arm goes all around the body for example. The last bad thing I found was the game would freeze on me at times when the character models would glitch so this really needs to be patched by THQ in the future.

The Final Verdict 

WWE' 13 is a great wrestling game and big improvement over WWE' 12. The addition of the Attitude Era, OMG moments, KOTR, I Quit Match, Special Ref, Stats in Universe, improved crowd audio, editing belts, Create A Stage all on top of what we got last year in WWE' 12 = Awesome. I like how smooth the gameplay feels and also how you can choose what type of match you want like Quick for squash matches, Normal for matches like last year and epic matches which trust me are epic.

I had a Punk Vs Bryan 30 minute war that ended in Punk tapping out to the "No Lock" with blood dripping down his face trying to reach the rope (Blood looks awesome this year and Breaking Point submissions last much longer) There were some down parts to the game like the gameplay glitches, Universe still being a cutscene mess at times, bad commentary in the normal game and the weapon physics getting worse (Title belt flying across the arena) Overall though WWE' 13 is in my opinion the best wrestling game we have had since SVR06.

+ Attitude Era Mode
+ Improved crowd audio
+ OMG moments
+ Amazing amount of replayability

- Universe still needs some work in places
- Bad weapon physics
- Freezing/character models glitching
- Commentary outside of Attitude Era mode

Final Score


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Forza Horizon Review

Forza Horizon isn't your typical Forza game. In this new spin off title there is lots of new additions to the Forza games like a massive free roaming map, day and night cycle, wristbands, popularity and side races, and I will be going into detail about all these features in the review of Forza Horizon.

The first feature I will be talking about about is the Horizon Wristbands that you earn in the game. There are 7 wristbands that you have to earn in the game. Each time you receive a new wristband you are allowed entry into different and more advanced races. To earn new wristbands you have to earn points from completing races until you reach the next wristbands target score.

Another new feature you will be getting in Forza Horizon is a popularity level. At the start of the game you will be at the lowest popularity and that is 250th but you can increase your popularity at any time unlike getting wristband points. To increase your popularity you have to perform different skills like drifts, burnouts, 180's and near misses to rack up points. You can earn big points by stringing together skills and also earn a score multiplier at the end of each skill run. While on the subject of skills there is "Sponsor Challenges" were you have to complete different skill challenges for different sponsors like Rockstar and Adidas. Once you complete these challenges you are rewarded with a nice lot of cash.

One of the biggest differences from the main Forza series and this new spin off series is the free roaming. You can free roam across a massive map and while roaming you can do all kinds of things like while driving you can challenge someone to a race, you can go through speed cameras and try to beat speed scores, find outposts, discount signs and also take part in side races for big cash rewards the choices are up to you if you don't feel like playing through main races you can do any of these things or just drive around the map and enjoy the ride.

One of the big features of the map is around the Horizon Festival as it acts kind of like an in game menu. While at the Horizon Festival area you can pick up your newly earned wristbands from the drivers central, buy and sell cars at the auto show, go to Dak's Garage and upgrade your car, go to the paint shop and create or buy designs, download new content from the marketplace and finally while at the Horizon Festival you can create or join a car club.

Forza Horizon features an amazing looking day and night cycle. During the day you can see all the scenery very well and graphically it is very well done. During the night you can see fireworks going off at a distance, and that is another really nice site to look at in the game. Along with amazing looking scenery there is also other parts of the game that have really good graphics like the cars. The cars are really well done, and features realistic damage if you smash the car too much.

For the first time in a Forza game there is radio stations with music and also announcements from the radio presenters about the whole Horizon races. It was cool that music was added to make this Forza feel different there is a problem, and that is there is only 3 radio stations and the music seems to quickly repeat itself so it can become annoying for some people. Forza Horizon also adds voice overs for characters which are done
pretty good.

Forza Horizon still keeps a lot of features from the main series like the driving gameplay. There are also many other features that are brought over from the main series like using credits as currency, being able to add auto brake and rewind during races, take photos of your cars and upload them and the same car ranking system (Like S,A,B and C cars for example) Horizon feels like a Forza game but also something different, and this is what I think the whole idea of the game was supposed to be. Overall I think Turn 10 did a very good job combining the best of both worlds to make this spin off title.

The Final Verdict

Forza Horizon is another solid entry to the Forza series as well as the possible new spin off series. I really liked the ability to free roam around the map and just enjoy the ride instead of being forced to do races. I also liked Horizon's levelling up system using wristbands as a way to gain entry to the advanced races. I think Turn 10 did a really good job with the new spin off title, and I think Forza Horizon should become a permanent series of games so I hope a Forza Horizon 2 is in the works.

+ Gameplay
+ Free roam
+ Levelling up system
+ Beautiful scenery

- Only 3 radio stations which can become repetitive after a while

Final Score


Sunday, 14 October 2012

The Walking Dead: The Game - Episode 4: Around Every Corner Review

Episode 4 of Walking Dead starts off from were Episode 3 left off as you and the group have now made it to Savannah. In true Walking Dead fashion there is some problems with the group as Omid's injury from episode 3 is starting to cause him problems, there is more arguing between the group and it looks like they could fall apart in seconds. Lee is also trying to find out where this walkie talkie voice is coming from. Without any major spoilers from other episodes these are the main story points in episode 4 that will be talked about.

In episode 4 of the Walking Dead you will be left with some even harder choices to make than the last 3 games. One of the choices in the game is deciding whether to let this (unnamed for spoiler reasons) drop to his death or risk the group/Lee's life saving the person. When you first think about whether to let the person go or not there is lots of positives and negatives that come from the choice you will make. These positives and negatives are not all known beforehand too it will affect the EP4 ending and the next episode quite a lot.

The story in Episode 4 was in my opinion the weaker one out of the 4 episodes released so far. It isn't that the story is bad at all in this episode it's just that the other ones were at such a great quality and this episode was a little lower in quality. Although I thought the story was a bit weaker in this episode the ending in this episode was easily the best ending in the series, and it gets you really excited for the next episode. Like the other episodes expect some shocks, twists and turns in the story especially the ending.

The Final Verdict

Walking Dead episode 4 was another good entry to the series although not the same quality of EP 1,2 and 3 EP4 was still a welcomed addition to the series and really builds towards the huge finale episode which should be coming out by the end of the year. EP4 to me seemed like a build up episode almost a filler in a way but the filler is needed to really get us ready for how big the next episode will be. I am really looking forward to the next episode of The Walking Dead and I hope it surpasses the quality of the first three. Until then see ya at the EP5 review.

+Tough choices
+Best ending of the series

-Weaker story
-Most of the new characters are not as interesting

Final Score


Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Dishonored Review

In Dishonored you play as Corvo Attano who is the protector of the empress but she ends up being assassinted and Corvo is looking for revenge because of the murder. The game takes place in the city of Dunwall which has been infected with a plague caused by rats. As you play as Corvo it is up to you to decide the route he takes on his way to revenge do you want him to be killer? Or a guy who can take people down without turning
violence into murders.

One of the great features I have to talk about in Dishonored is how you yourself can decide how you want the missions to go. Sure you are an assassin in this game but that doesn't mean you have to kill people to obtain your overall goal. You don't even have to kill a single person in this game if you don't want to. You can be the good guy assassin and it will show in the game as missions will be altered in different ways depending on your actions. Don't like being the good guy? Well that is also fine with this game as you can kill everyone and anyone you want but you should be warned this will alter things in your playthrough and some are not for the best.

Dishonored monitors your actions as well by using a "Chaos meter". The chaos meter will either be low if you decide not to kill people and use alternative ways of completing missions or it will high if you decide screw it! And kill all in your way without a single care. Playing the game with a high chaos meter will make the game overall harder to play as you will encounter more guards and infected people.

Corvo can also be customised with new upgrades/perks to become the perfect assassin. Dishonored features 10 totally different powers that can be unlocked and once unlocked can be upgraded. To purchase upgrades you will need to find runes that are all around the city. There is many different powers and perks you can gain in Dishonored these include being able to slow down time (Can be fully upgraded to actually stop time completely) and Blink can be used to teleport short distances. Dishonored also has limited amounts of runes so you won't be able to unlock every power in one playthrough so my advice would be to purchase 3 powers and work on upgrading them to the max.

Dishonored isn't supposed to one of those games that you play and when you beat it you let it collect dust or sell it. Dishonored encourages the player to play multiple times. First of all there is 2 different endings so a 2nd playthrough is a must but it doesn't just stop at a 2nd ending a 2nd playthrough can be totally different if you want it to be. Remember how I mentioned before you can go a whole playthrough killing whoever you wanted or go on a playthrough finding clever ways to complete missions/defeat enemies. Corvo will also feel different in a 2nd playthrough if you purchase the powers you didn't pick in the 1st playthrough. Let's just say Dishonored is a game that needs to be played multiple times.

The Final Verdict

Dishonored was a solid game. I liked how there are different ways to play the game and that you don't have to follow a certain guide telling you how to play but instead you told the game how you want to play. While on this subject I like how missions play out differently depending on what kind of route you choose to take Corvo on. Dishonored also has some good positives that shouldn't go ignored like how well the city of Dunwall is made or how good the character models look and finally the voice work in the game is very good as well.

+ I like how different each playthrough feels
+ Graphics/design of Dunwall/voice acting are all well done
+ You get to decide how you want to play the game

Final Score


Monday, 1 October 2012

Resident Evil 6 Review

I played Leon's campaign first, and I was very impressed with it. Leon's campaign was a small return to the old survival horror route seen in the original 3 Resident Evil games. The story takes place at the Tall Oaks university that is full of dark corridors, tense moments, build up and real zombies! Along with Leon you can also play as new comer Helena who will be teaming up with Leon to beat up some monsters. This campaign doesn't just take place in Tall Oaks but you will find yourself going through tombs, laboratories and eventually China. 

Leon's campaign is pretty long too it will take around 8-10 hours to complete. Expect lots of twist and turns in the story too. After Leon's campaign I played Chris's campaign. In Chris's campaign you team up with another new comer called Piers. I didn't really like this campaign much because it felt too much like a Gears Of War game. The campaign is non stop shooting and killing monsters, and to be honest after a while it gets really boring. 

After playing Chris's campaign I started Jake's campaign who teams up with Sherry Birkin from Resident Evil 2. Jake's story is that his blood can save many life's but he will only give it for a price (The merchant from Resident Evil 4 would buy it at a HIGH PRICE) along with that Jake and Sherry get chased by a big monster called the Ustanak that is also invincible. The Ustanak is similar to the way Nemesis chases you during Resident Evil 3 (Not even close to being as scary) 

Jake's campaign is like a mix of the other two but leaning more to the Chris/Action side of gameplay. I thought it was an OK campaign but it doesn't come close to Leon's solid campaign. The final campaign is Ada Wong's who we have seen in multiple Resident Evil games throughout the years. This campaign is unlocked after finishing the main 3. This campaign is actually the 2nd best campaign in my opinion as it's a single player only campaign and gives you a sense that you're alone in this and no can save you except yourself. Along with that you get to use the crossbow as a weapon which is exclusive to her. You can also expect some stealth and puzzles in this campaign as well. 

Altogether the story was OK. Leon's was easily the best and Ada's campaign quality shocked me while Chris's bored me and Jake's was just there.Some story element problems I had with the game was the puzzles. The puzzles like the recent Resident Evil games are way too easy to complete, and should be harder in difficulty like the older games. The bosses aren't that great and kind of repetitive at times as well. The enemies are pretty decent it was good to see the traditional zombies return and also in the action campaigns there was some good enemy design. I have to say though I was impressed at the amount of time it takes to complete each campaign it will roughly take around 30 hours to beat all the campaigns in the game. Also it should be noted that all 3 campaigns overlap each other so expect a Chris/Leon confrontation which is something long time fans have been waiting for since 1998. 

This is my major flaw with the story. I hate the CO-OP system in Resident Evil 6 (I hated it with 5 too) I don't agree with it being forced in to single player sure put CO-OP in a Resident Evil game but don't force it on us. When you finally get to play the game and finish Leon's campaign imagine how much more tense it would be if it was just you alone fighting your way through zombies to survive. I just hate how the CO-OP partner is always there to save you I want to feel in danger and also scared to be alone with no help. Another problem with CO-OP is I have to wait for the A.I partner to come to the door (They can be far away at times) so I can progress to the next area. Resident Evil Revelations had a good solution for this and made the whole map without loading so you didn't have to wait for your partner to get to the door so you can progress. I know people will like to play CO-OP with friends and there is some cool aspects in RE6's CO-OP like two stories mixing with each other online to make it 4 player CO-OP but for me Resident Evil CO-OP is bad. 

The gameplay has some new additions in RE6. Gone are the days were you have to stop and shoot now you can move and shoot. Another thing added to the game is the cover system which is pretty bad and moves even further from the old Resident Evil days. Also added to RE6 is being able to attack when in the "dying" state. In Resident Evil 5 you just waited until the A.I or human healed you but now you can actually shoot while in that state and also there is a bar that when at 100% you can get up yourself. Healing has a few minor differences now there is a button to automatically heal instead of going through an inventory to heal. There is also a few things you can customize in the game like the aiming you can choose if you want the cross hairs or not and also choose what color you want the laser to be. The indicator telling you were to go can thankfully be removed as well. 

Finally there is the online modes. Along with playing side by side with a friend going through all the campaigns there is some other online modes that you can expect to play and these are Agent Hunt Mode and the long running Mercenaries mode. In Agent Hunt Mode you can join a random persons online game and be an infected character and try to kill the two players. Mercenaries is the same from the past few years were you (Or an online partner) go and take down as many enemies as you can until the time runs out so you can earn the skill points. Skill points are used to buy skills and perks for the game this can include infinite ammo, firepower and more.

The Final Verdict

Resident Evil 6 was far from the best Resident Evil of all time but wasn't the worst of all time either. The game impressed me with the amount of content that you can play through. Four separate story campaigns combined taking 30 hours to finish is pretty impressive. Leon's campaign is everything right with the game and is sort of the right direction that should have been taken while Chris's campaign is everything wrong with Resident Evil. The next game needs a big overhaul kind of how Resident Evil 3 was to Resident Evil 4. The action needs to be cut down and the CO-OP should be optional these are my two biggest complaints with the game. You're probably wondering should I buy the game or not then? I would say not yet. When the price lowers I would say give it a go because it isn't a bad game it's just a bad Resident Evil game. 

+Story is 30 hours long
+Leon's campaign
+Voice acting

-Cover system
-Way too much action not enough balance 
-forced CO-OP ruins single player and any sense of danger
-Chris's campaign was awful

Final Score