Sunday, 30 November 2014

Review No. 85 The Wonderful 101 - Wii U (12+)

Strong Points:
Innovative gameplay
Good storyline
Great music
Good graphics
The enemies are mini puzzles, themselves
Lots of collectibles
Great for making your own playing style
Lots of varying types of gameplay (platforming, hack and slash, shooter and boxing(?))
Makes great use of the Wii U gamepad
Great voice acting
Bosses are big and brilliant
Colourful cast of characters
Its cheesy and it knows it

Weak Points:
Difficulty spikes
Graphics can be a little too shiny 
Harder difficulties aren't unlocked straight away, forcing multiple playthroughs through the same story for a real challenge
Some of the Wonder Signs are hard to draw/very similar to others
You aren't allowed very many items
Credits are hard to earn
Hard to get a good score (die and its goodbye platinum, gold and silver trophies)
Ultimate form doesn't actually do anything
Two player requires a pro/classic controller

Rating: 90%

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Review No. 84 Half-Life - PC (16+)

Strong Points:
Superb gameplay
A great range of weapons
Music is atmospheric
It's challenging
Puzzles are good
You will have to use all the weapons
Some genuinely surprising answers to puzzles
Storyline is good
You will be on edge for the whole game - no hand holding here
Lots of different types of gameplay - platforming, shooter, stealth, puzzler etc
Being able to save whenever you want to is very helpful

Weak Points:
Graphics haven't aged very well
It can be ridiculously hard (I had 5 HP for the majority of the game)
Some of the mechanics (i.e crouch jumping) can be hard to learn
There are no cutscenes so you can miss information
Some glitches
The enemies AI isn't great/sometimes too good (can see through walls occasionally)
HP restore points aren't very evenly spaced
Difficulty spikes

Rating: 90%

Friday, 28 November 2014

Review No. 83 Halo: Spartan Assault - PC (12+)

Strong Points:
Lots to do
Lots of replay-ability
Lots of varied weapons and abilities
Lots of varied missions
Lots of varied enemies
Vehicle sections!
Nice, quick levels
Scoring system is good
Soundtrack is good
Graphics are good
Feels like a training program for the main games

Weak Points:
Assault ops take a ridiculous amount of time to do
Allies AI is terrible
It's hard to get XP
Takes a while to load the menus once you've completed a mission

Rating: 85%

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Review No. 82 Brink - Xbox 360 (16+)

Strong Points:
Good character customization
Balanced character size (Light/Medium/Heavy)
Cool Abilities
Smoothly integrated parkour

Weak Points:
Needs more difficulty settings (there are three but "easy" is hard)
Samey mission objectives
Identical characters in every mission
Location is implausible in a lot of ways
Uncoordinated AI
When doing a 'capture the flag' style mission, returning the 'flag' is ridiculously easy

Rating: 58%

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Review No. 81 The Legend Of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass - DS (7+)

Strong Points:
Fun story
Nice use of the controls
Epic music
Dungeon gimmicks are cool
Follows up from the Wind Waker well
Multiplayer is very fun

Weak Points:
Some puzzles are too hard
Big difficulty spikes

Rating: 79%

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Review No. 80 Sonic Rush Adventure - DS (12+)

Strong Points:
More platforming, super speed fun
Sea adventure as well as land
Great music (again)
Graphics are good for time is was made
Bosses are quite creative

Weak Points:
Controls are more confusing
Getting the Chaos Emeralds is random compared to the first
Johny races are hard as he just rams you at the end of the race
Doesn't make sense unless you have played the first game

Rating: 76%

Monday, 24 November 2014

Review No. 79 Sonic Rush - DS (7+)

Strong Point:
Great Music
Good Gameplay
Fun Story
Nice use of both screens in the final fight
Gimmicks are actually good
Character backstory
Good adding a new character

Weak Points:
World 2 is water and the hardest world
Big difficulty spikes
Weird Ending
Boss can be uber hard

Rating: 76%

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Review No. 78 Game and Wario - Wii U (7+)

Strong Points:
All the minigames are really fun
Nice use of the Wii U gamepad
12 are single player so you don't need friends to play
Chick-N-Win is very cool as you swap tokens for prizes
Over 200 bonus items
Will keep you entertained with friends for hours

Weak Points:
Only 16 games
Not enough multiplayer minigames
Some bonus items are rubbish
Short finishing time if you play solo

Rating: 78%

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Review No. 77 Animal Crossing: New Leaf - 3DS (7+)

Strong Points:
Ability to change a lot of your town
Can have 4 people on one game card to live in the same town
Lots of bugs, fossils and fish to collect and donate to your museum
Online visiting to other towns is fun
People can't spam your place unless you let them come to your town by opening it
Dream suite allows you to visit other towns even if you don't have any friends
Swimming is a nice addition
You can create your own town tune and flag
Graphics are surprisingly good for a 3DS game
Controls are easy to pick up
Gifts can be nice to receive
Ability to send letters with gifts is cool
Quests can be good as you will gain gifts as rewards
Characters have really different personalities even on different games
Awesome accessories

Weak Points:
Some of the characters that already live in the town are really annoying
Place is really small
You have a choice of 4 places and can't change where anything is
New villagers can be annoying on where they choice their house to be
Quest can be repetitive
Voices can be stupid as they say each letter out loud and character voices are dumb as they make no sense

Rating: 92%

Friday, 21 November 2014

App Review No. 71 break.BEAT

Strong Points:
Great re-imagining of a tried and tested concept
Nice music which changes depending on how well you play
Backround changes depending on how well you play
Game unlocks more rules, tips and power-ups as you progress
Good range of power-ups
Retro style

Weak Points:
Graphics are a bit fuzzy - especially the blocks
Pacing is a bit odd - slow at parts and then really fast
The blocks don't have many visual clues about what power-ups they will give
Can get repetitive
Some bugs - ball gets stuck going horizontal
Closes as soon as you lock your phone, go onto notification centre, multi-tasking or control centre

Review No. 76 The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D - 3DS (12+)

Strong points:
Good graphics
Fun minigames
Good music
Ocarina was good
Storyline was good
Nice travelling in time gimmicks
Cool items
Great bosses
Side quests are good

Weak points:
Very slow to start off
Water temple "too hard" for some
Not very fast at first when moving, best way to move is running backwards
Legendary sword isn't the best in game?!
Side quests are hard to find

Thursday, 20 November 2014

App Review No. 70 Angry Birds Star Wars 2

Strong Points:
Lots of familiar characters reimagined as Angry Birds
Lots of levels
You can play as the Pork Side as well as the Bird Side
Great Angry Birds physics gameplay
Star Wars soundtrack
Medals let you buy characters to get out of a difficult situation
Infinity Use characters allow collectibles to be obtained easier

Weak Points:
Telepods, being able to buy characters and lots of powers makes the game less skill based
Collectibles can be frustratingly difficult to get

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

First Impressions: Half-Life: Opposing Force

This is the first of the two expansion packs for Half-Life and places you in control of a US Marine (Adrian Shephard), which as the first game points out, is actually the enemy, hence 'Opposing Force'. This is interesting as it gives you a second perspective on the story you played previously in Half-Life (and of the soldiers that you previously just brutally murdered).

Monday, 17 November 2014

Review No. 75 Just Cause 2 - PC (18+)

Strong Points:
Massive world to explore
Lots of weapons
Lots of vehicles
Lots of collectibles
Lots of fun
Good humour
A few twists
Good challenge
Nice graphics and scale
Grapple mechanics are excellent and great fun

Weak Points:
Joining one faction doesn't affect the other one's
Not much variety in terms of enemies
Patchy voice acting
Story is a bit generic
Physics engine for vehicles is not very realistic

Friday, 14 November 2014

First Impressions: Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack 1

What makes a one of the best Mario Kart games ever better, you ask? How about more tracks, more karts and one incredibly happy Link. Yes. Link from the Legend Of Zelda is in Mario Kart! (or should that be Nintendo Kart?) Cat Peach and Tanooki Mario also make an appearance. All of them have their own unique animations, sounds and logo's, which shows that Nintendo doesn't believe that DLC just means different skins.

Note: I will be giving awards to the tracks and they are for the DLC tracks only.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

First Impressions: Payday: The Heist

Think of the GTA V heists without the preparation and you get Payday: The Heist. Add in co-op play and hostages as well for good measure. And money. Lots of money. This game is great to play with up to four friends (you can play with the AI as well) and puts a fast-paced spin on the heist genre. You begin with scouting out the area and finding your target, security camera's etc. When you are positioned, press F (or whatever key you have binded) to begin. 

Monday, 10 November 2014

App Review No. 69 Dash Up!

Strong Points:
Clean graphics
Colours change and are not too distracting
World best is shown which gives you something to aim for
Sound effects are good
Strong gameplay
Three modes add variety whilst keeping the core gameplay

Weak Points:
A bit buggy
Can crash
Hitbox is quite big - no room for error

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Walkthrough No. 3 Fire Emblem: Awakening, Train Your Team!

The Walkthrough:
This isn't going to be a complete walkthrough as the game tells you what to do mostly, this will focus on recruitable characters, DLC and the like:

Friday, 7 November 2014

Author Update (Again)

Right, so some good news this time! As some of you may have noticed, Martin has returned to us! Most of his old posts will be reposted systematically over the next few weeks as well as some new posts that he has been writing/has written in the time he has been away. However, the rating's of the old reviews have gone back on the rating page already, with the new ones being added when the post it published. Please give him a warm welcome back!

Also, we have a new writer! Olimg (of Space Engineers review fame) has joined us and is currently writing posts on all manner of sci-fi shooters such as Brink and the Mass Effect series. Please welcome him as well and I'm sure that you'll enjoy reading the posts that he puts up in the future!

Well that's it for this author update so I'll leave you to get back to (hopefully) enjoying reading and commenting on the blog.

More good news! Euan has now returned to us as well and is bringing all of his posts back (as well as some new ones!). As well as this, he may start work on a new section which is arguably (*hint*) going to be very interesting. Please welcome him back!

Also, we have another new writer! Thomas Stacey has joined us and in currently writing many, many Minecraft Mod reviews. Please welcome him as well and I'm sure (yet again) that you will enjoy reading his posts in the future!

Goodbye for now, Harry

Monday, 3 November 2014

First Impressions: The Escapists/Velocity 2X

The Escapists:
In my brief time with The Escapists (it was a timed demo) at EGX, I learnt a few things. Firstly, prison life is a lot more organised than I had previously thought, with allotted times for exercise, food and work all planned out. Secondly, if you don't stick to this schedule, cause a disturbance or steal items for your escape (and get caught) you will get punished. Thirdly, this makes it very hard to escape as you will get so caught up in the mind-numbing activities that they give you that it is very difficult to even think about how to escape. But as this was a demo, I was given some clues, a shovel and a night free from the guards (the disembodied voice which was giving me instructions paid them off). And just as I was about to start the great escape which would rival any escape in the history of escapes, my demo... Stopped. I was out of time. And so with that my chances of escaping. Until next time we meet. I will beat you The Escapists. 

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Video Game Character of the Month - November 2014 - Samus Aran - Metroid

Video Game Character of the Month
November 2014
Samus Aran
I've been meaning to give this character the award for quite a while (as I have with quite a few characters really, not to detract from this character's greatness though) and thanks to the release of Super Smash Bros. I was reminded to do so again. And, anyway, she deserves it really, (and if it helps to prompt Nintendo to carry on the series, all the better!) 
Anyways, a bit of information on Samus Aran: