DMC: Devil May Cry Review

DMC: Devil May Cry Review
PS3, XBOX360
By Janus 32

Introduction
dmc-devil-may-cry-wallpaper1We reach 2013, a new year and a lot of games on the horizon, ironically most of the triple A games are all franchises. Ending in a 2, a 3 or in this case a reboot.

For those that were there in the days of the original Devil May Cry that graced the Playstation 2, Devil May Cry was a mixture of action, puzzle and a beat em’up mix of game. It was strange at first, but the character of Dante is what made the game so much more appealing due to his cockiness, arrogance and stylish moves. To this day that still remains the same. The puzzlers, the action and Dante doesn’t seem to have changed one bit, and that isn’t a bad thing

So one has to question does this reboot have the same premises of the previous games? Why is Dante so different? And is this game really worth your time in demon souls?

Story
The war between the Angels and Demons has been waged for centuries. Unbeknownst to the world, they seem to be closer on earth then a lot can imagine, specifically known as ‘Limbo’.

A group by the name of ‘The Order’ has been busy with terrorist attacks against the capital. But no motive has been accounted for.

A young, rather cocky and arrogant man wastes his time boozing and enjoying life with women is the norm when suddenly his life is shattered when a girl comes to warn him of an imminent attack from the demon world. Seconds after being warned, the young man is dragged into ‘Limbo’ and a demon appears and destroys his campervan of a home.

Upon defeating the demon, he is convinced to join the order to fight for a greater cause, but before that he must know his origins as he does not remember anything from aged 7 onwards due to a life threatening sickness.

The name of this cocky and arrogant young man?

Dante

Gameplay

DMC:Devil May Cry has always been predominantly a beat em’up game and it has a lot of style. Though some may misconstrue the franchise as button mashing, in a sense it is and it isn’t. Just like its predecessors, when you fight you are ranked as you defeat enemies by a ‘style’ meter. Continuing a combination of hits is not enough, but in the way that it is done. Example, slashing three times with the rebellion sword, launch enemy in the air, slash enemy in air 3-4 times as a juggle, slam them down, change to Revenant shotgun and shoot once, change to your new heaven weapon ‘Osiris’ and slash a few times, launch again and switch to Ebony and Ivory then slam down opponent with your Rebellion again. This is just one of many combinations you can do to increase your style ranking. Going from lowest D – SSS, you’ll know when you’re styling it well. Pro:Tip – When you see an enemy about to attack, their weapon will glow at about 2 seconds before strike, tap the dodge button then resume the carnage.

Dante is a man of many talents, as he progresses through the game, new skills and weapons are unlocked and this formula is still evident. The iconic duo of Ebony and Ivory which are your twin pistols and your sword Rebellion make a nostalgic return.

A screenshot of the gameplay. As you see in the top left hand corner is Dante's health bar and the purple bar is the devil trigger. On the right you can see the style meter building, currently judged as a C Grading

A screenshot of the gameplay. As you see in the top left hand corner is Dante’s health bar and the purple bar is the devil trigger. On the right you can see the style meter building, currently judged as a C Grading

What is new to this instalment of the DMC franchise is Dante can switch between two modes, the Heaven Mode and Devil Mode. Heaven mode has a new weapon, a white/bluish coloured Scythe that deals damage to multiple enemies called ‘Osiris’, good for crowd control when Dante is surrounded. It’s also a great weapon to continue combinations, and even increases in power when used for an amount of time that will give strength to your other weapons for a short amount of time by glowing. The Devil mode is when Dante will have a weapon called ‘Arbiter’. It is a heavier weapon that looks like a huge one sided axe. Slower to swing but its damage is tremendously high against enemies. Another new feature is Dante’s heaven and hell weapons act as grappling hooks to traverse levels. Hell mode will pull objects towards you while Heaven mode pulls you towards objects. You can uses these grappling hooks for enemies as well.

Though these are just some of the weapons that you will get early on in the game, there is more to unlock and more to earn as you progress, and you would think by the end of the weapons collecting you wouldn’t have all the buttons for them all, but to switch between your ordinary weapons and the heaven and hell modes, its just by your D-Pad.

Dante's 'Girls'. Ebony and Ivory

Dante’s ‘Girls’. Ebony and Ivory

Another old favourite that comes back for Dante is his Devil Trigger. Though this time it acts very very differently again from its past games as time will slow, but enemies will be thrown in the air. To inflict massive damage and continuing your style gauge, you must juggle your enemies while they are in the air. Let them touch the ground, they will recover and attack you and it is highly likely they will hit you and interrupt your combo. It also replenishes health when executed. Though this is the new Devil Trigger, it feels less…powerful. In the past games, Devil Triggers seemed to last longer and building them up was at a moderate speed, its just this time around, building up the meter is slow and using the Devil Trigger drains very quickly forcing you to make every slash/move count.

When you visit the divine statue during your campaign, which is another name for shop and also can be visited between stages a collection of red soul orbs will be your currency to purchase health items, resurrection orbs, devil trigger items and so much more. Silver orbs are earned per stage depending on your style of fighting which is then used to upgrade your weapons and your skills. Making your weapons have more damage as well as the moves you employ with that weapon are upgradable.

You will also notice that each level will have certain things to collect. Freeing trapped souls and several different keys. The souls provide you more red orbs, but importantly is the keys. The keys unlock secret missions that once completed successfully, you will obtain rare items.

Presentation
The DMC franchise has always been, in a sense about religion. That what exists in this world is two planes of the supernatural. The Angels and warriors of above us in the realm of Heaven and the sinister underlings and horrific monsters that dwell below in the pits of Hell.

DMC:Devil May Cry comes in with the premise of being mixed into those worlds and reality. When Dante has to fight demons and angels, he doesn’t fight them in the real world, but he fights them in ‘Limbo’. Limbo is the blurred plane between reality and the demon/angel world but Dante is not transported to either, he stays in the real world but whatever environmental damage is done in limbo effects the real world.

This kind of presentation is shown during the campaign, and environmentally speaking, it looks good. It’s a different take on the DMC franchise, and as a reboot this was great to see. The colour palettes that mark the real world and Limbo is very different, Limbo is a decayed and destroyed landscape as it meshes with reality, but reality is more just like what we see every day, its normal and sunny and…serene.

Could you imagine being dragged into Limbo at a moment’s notice? That’s Dante’s adventure in this latest reboot and there would be no doubt I would have some serious headaches.

Dante drawn in Anime form

Dante drawn in Anime form

The fighting systems that is presented for this DMC is rather fluid, and again like previous games, it’s very stylish. The change between weapons and either doing an air juggle or taking out multiple enemies with a wide hit range is satisfying to pull off. Ninja Theory and CAPCOM seemed to have gone to great lengths with the fight mechanics and it shows. It’s very very fun to execute.

One thing to note as well is the kind of music that is the soundtrack of the game. The music is quite metal and abit of screaming. Nothing wrong with that, it fits with the games atmosphere as Limbo is not a pretty place, and Dante just looks like the kinda guy that would rock out to some seriously hardcore tunes. Some people may dislike this, but if you do or you don’t, you will soon realize that it does work.

Final Comments

The Devil May Cry franchise seemed to have been hitting the same formula when it had released Devil May Cry 4. With this reboot of seeing how Dante was a young kid and how the events of the previous games came to fruition as Dante and Vergil grew apart, the canon is really great to see for those who are not familiar with the DMC lore.

Though the formula is still the same. The single player aspect, the upgrades of weapons and moves list and the boss battles are still the same. There is no multiplayer, but there is some replay value with over 5 different modes. One such mode that has enemies have standard health but if you are hit just once, its game over. Yes, truly hardcore for the hardcore DMC fans out there.

Get it
Forget it
Rent it

It’s a get it game. Why? It mixes a good story and action as a single player game. With no multiplayer in sight, the formula though been used over and over again in the franchise, it doesn’t fail in the slightest. For the newest Demon Hunter, this would be aspiring for them to start with this reboot before getting the HD remakes of the other DMC games and DMC4, for those who have the collections already, this is a great edition because it begins the story of Dante and Vergil and its a refresher for the series and there’s nothing wrong with this reboot of the franchise.

Dante's Twin Brother, Vergil. He does not sport any projectile weapons, but the only weapon is his Yamato which is a Katana forged with Heavenly powers, unlike Dante who eventually only wields Demon Powers

Dante’s Twin Brother, Vergil. He does not sport any projectile weapons, but the only weapon is his Yamato which is a Katana forged with Heavenly powers, unlike Dante who eventually only wields Demon Powers

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X-COM: Enemy Unknown Review

X-COM: Enemy Unknown
By Janus 32
PS3/XBOX360

Introduction

468px-Xcom_enemy_logoWhen one thinks of the genre strategy games, one would safely assume it’s a game that is on the PC, and theres nothing wrong with that. Strategy games usually don’t work out on console due to movement and screen adjustment as opposed to how fast it is on PC.

But as strategy games go, there have been exceptions to the rule, like Red Alert 3 and Valkyria Chronicles. X-COM comes in as a multiplatform game that is continued from its PC predecessor. With the next gen consoles out, X-COM: Enemy Unknown blasts into the console race with its varied and abundant brand of strategy.

But as strategy games go, should they even be ported to console? Or is X-COM a welcome relief to a generation of games that’s just all fight but no brains?

Story

The world is in peril. Extra-terrestrials have attacked and breached earths atmosphere and have begun their attacks on each major population. Killing, abductions and territory is being seized by this unknown enemy.

X-COM, a secret branch is called upon to lend assistance where it is needed against the aliens. Though not a force that has its own army, it is a relatively small project branch of the armed forces that have the technology and the manpower to infiltrate enemy territory and take out the extra-terrestrial threat.

Backed by 16 nations, the project is purely experimental. They are earths last defence and the group to call if any country is in dire need.

They are X-COM

Gameplay

X-COM is purely a strategic squad based game. You will only be able to control soldiers on the battlefield, there are no large vehicles of any kind to control. With this latest instalment, there are a lot of things to consider in order to combat your alien enemy, and a lot of it has some credibility in regards to modern warfare, if you think deeply as I do.

Starting with the main focus of your gameplay, is soldiers. No branch of any military would be without them, otherwise its Skynet all over again. Your forces are of course split into different categories depending on how they are played when they are rookies. They can either be Assault, Sniper, Heavy and Support. Assault soldiers can handle rifles and shotguns. Snipers can of course snipe but have further skill sets but only handle one weapon. Heavy’s handle heavy machine guns and can be upgraded to carry rocket launchers. Support can handle rifles and shotguns as well but their skillsets branch off differently to assault members as they can be double classed as medics. All classes have sidearm’s to complement their inventory. Each category in the grand scheme have great pros and cons, but a balanced team can be a deadly one. When you get on the field, you will be handling rookies, but of course as they gain experience by killing the enemy, they will be ranked accordingly vie proper military terminology. Squaddie, Corporal, Sergeant, Captain, Lieutenant all the way up to Colonel. And even better is customising each of your soldiers, you can change their names, their looks, their voices and what they will be equpped with per mission.

Not mentioned in the review, you can customize each of your soldiers. Armor, hair colour, race, helmet, colour of armor...the list goes on!

Not mentioned in the review, you can customize each of your soldiers. Armor, hair colour, race, helmet, colour of armor…the list goes on!

But as you gain the ranks of your soldiers, so to will you need to press your attention on how to take out the enemy not just by brute force. You’ll also need to counter their UFO’s with fighter jets called “Interceptors”. Like the name suggests, if a UFO is present, you must take action to take it down, failure to do so can mean that it will attack by other means, such as your satellites that you have hovering in space, but more on that in a few paragraphs.

Fighting the aliens also means you will need to understand them, as cliché as that sounds. You will be charged with recovering the bodies of your enemy for study by your science department. You’ll at one stage need to start capturing them as well to study how they behave, but not only if you get them, dead or alive, the enemy provides the science department ways to create new items and weapons for you and your interceptors. It is invaluable to have the research done if you want to have stronger offensive and defensive items for the later enemies you will face. Remember, not having the right gear means ill preparation, ill preparation means your men dying.

You will also have an Engineering Department that will work in conjunction with the science department in building and improving your hardware. Weapons, items, armour, the works. They can also improve weapons and their efficiency and you can build other very valuable items such as the ‘Satellite’.

The Satellite is an invaluable item that you will need to build, but again to launch the satellite you will need to build a Satellite uplink. Construction of buildings like more workshops and laboratories and power generators keep your project going. Building them adjacent to each other render you with bonuses and each building provide more engineers, more electricity, more scientists to further extend research and hardware building. Of course the more you have, the faster the wait time. Satellites must be launched over the countries that fund the X-Com project. In total there are 16 nations that have provided their support, put a satellite over them to watch for activity and they again provide bonuses and more importantly funding to keep you going. Put satellites over a certain group of nations and another bonus is unlocked from cheaper/faster times of constructing weapons/items to increased percentage in funding.

Screenshot of how you build your labs, power generators and other departmental buildings that will help you in the fight against E.T

Screenshot of how you build your labs, power generators and other departmental buildings that will help you in the fight against E.T

You will need to be wary of the “Doomsday Ticker” meaning that if 8 of the nations that are funding the X-Com project withdraw, then its game over. They will withdraw due to panic in their nations which is measured by a 5 dot bar ranging from blue which is safe to red which is danger zone. X-Com will be answering calls from every nation to help reduce the panic from the alien invasion, success means reduction of panic and other bonuses, failure means loss of soldiers/higher panic/increased pressure for training soldiers and other menial tasks that will set you back. In short? Try not to fail.

Every month you will be rewarded with additional funds from ‘The Council’. A mysterious organization that contacts you not just every month to review your progress, but from time to time to save important figureheads of their community. Which of course they reward handsomely. Remember, pleasing the council leads to greater rewards in X-COM.

Presentation

X:Com: Enemy Unknown isn’t a fabulous looking game. Now don’t get me wrong, when I mean by that is that I say the game doesn’t have lollipops, rainbows, my little ponies and bronies walking about. The game is set in a futuristic world and each battlefield you encounter can be varied as an urban or rural area. The colour palettes are not bright but do feel right for the environments that you will be encountering your enemies in.

One thing about strategy games like the Command and Conquer series is that in X-COM, Non-Playable Characters (NPC’s) interact with you in cutscenes. Briefing you on missions and giving you feedback on your mission success or failures. This element of story telling for some may think is corny and outdated, but I have always felt these scenes gave you sense of power, a sense of responsibility to make sure the job is done right and completed by the numbers so to speak..it felt more personal.

Points for language that is used within X-COM. Primarily it is a mico management of a squad of men and women who you decide fight properly or fight sloppishly and end up dying as a result, but the language is very military. And as it should be, normal speak wouldnt help perpetuate a military unit that is fighting for the safety of humanity, again this touch is great to put some authentic spin on things.

Your first enemy, the Sectoid

Your first enemy, the Sectoid

Though a very minor detail that isn’t great with the presentation is graphics tearing. When players get their soldiers killed, in the action cam, you can see your character go completely bald and lose all sorts of facial features and die. It can be a cause for niggling annoyance because loading screens and details go slow in transition such as moving between your departments in your base. But again, these are very minor.

Final Comments

Though not covering all of the facets of the gameplay, X-COM is a daring instalment in its move to consoles because of sole fact they are better played on PC’s. Developer Firaxis Games and Publisher 2K Games took a huge gamble. Comparing to Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, X-COM has a more slower pace to fighting and strategizing. It really does force you to think.  Every move counts, every inch of ground matters and one wrong decision can have a catastrophic result. Thats the battlefield. Back at the headquarters, your choices determine how you want to tackle the invasion, it can be through science first to learn about the aliens or can be through upgrading your hardware. There is no right or wrong decision, but what is guaranteed is you will be making decisions that will affect how you fight and how you deal with loss or making up for lost ground due to a failure.

This is what strategy is all about.

Get it
Rent it
Forget it

It’s a get it game for sure. Strategy doesn’t come by often and when a game such as X-Com: Enemy Unknown brings in factors that make you actually care about your soldiers, your research, the outcome of each battle, then you know you have an impressive strategic game that will push you to fight tooth and nail for the best result.

(P.N Though we did not initially outline the multiplayer format, players will be pitted against each other, a mano et mano battle, squad against squad. And the best part is it isn’t just limited to humans. Players will be able to engage with a squad filled with extra terrestrials mixed with humans. Or one can have a team full of humans and one with ET’s, its totally up to you. How does multiplayer handle? Exactly like chess and the campaign mode. In a nutshell? It’s devastatingly fun)

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Games of 2013

30 Games to look forward to of 2013
By Janus32

Gamers and Gamettes the end of 2012 is here! But a new year of games and new IP’s will be gracing us as to what seems to be another year of good gaming with very good and high expectation titles.
Here is a list of what we think will be games that will be hard hitters and what to look forward to as, a year that will not have 13/13/13’s, but a year that is sure to be remembered for its caliber of gaming.

Aliens: Colonial Marines

The infamous Colonial Marines motion tracker is what comes to mind ever since viewers saw the movie that was done by James Cameron. Now years later, Gearbox Software and Sega are teaming up to bring the actual adventure alive through the video game format. And this is a game that already looks like it will aim to please. With all the right sounds of the aliens, the pulse rifles and more importantly the game will be canon, whats not to like for a game that will continue the story of when Lt. Ripley, Corporal Hicks and Newt had left and the Sulaco is just floating in space.

The world will be expecting this game February 12th.aliens-colonial-marines


Army of Two: The Devils Cartel

The premise of working together with someone on the battlefield as a pair was first started with Army of Two. Now the third in the franchise, Army of Two is now going to be focusing on two different protagonists named Alpha and Bravo. Simple? But effective. It seems that Salem and Rios will be having a more supportive role in this outing. Visceral Games will be taking over for this instalment and EA comes back to publish the game and music will be done by Brian Tyler who is known for his Fast and Furious soundtracks and recently Far Cry 3. Devils Cartel will also be powered by the Frostbite 2 engine.

Lookout for this game on March 29th. army_of_two_the_devils_cartel_2013-wide


Beyond Two souls

Quantic Dream were the developers for the hit Heavy Rain. A gritty story about 4 people whose lives intersect at some stage or another and are tied by a serial killer that abducts and murders children. Now Quantic Dream have come up with their next game that insures that it will be more grittier than the last. Implementing state of the art facial capture and it sporting the same mechanics like Heavy Rain, Beyond Two Souls has been rumoured around the internet that it could be game of the year 2013 and the game hasn’t even been released yet! The game will have Hollywood starlet Ellen Page as main character. Though there has been controversy she should have been for Naughty Dog’s leading lady as Ellie for the game, that has since changed and the end result is Ellen stays for Beyond Two Souls.

Release Date is To Be Confirmed. beyond-two-souls


Bioshock Infinite

Its unfortunate to say but this highly anticipated title has had one word that comes to mind and its “Delay”. Already delayed more than twice, 2013 is the time that it will be coming out. Another game that is part of a franchise, it has garnered quite a following due to its steampunk theme and people saying the phrase “Would you kindly please…?” This time round, players will be walking around in 1912, playing as Booker Dewitt to find a young girl by the name of Elizabeth. And of course such a simple task, turns completely in on its head. Bioshock Infinite promises to have stunning visuals and a story that will be engaging for the player, though no multiplayer will be present, the game will predominantly be a one player affair. And nothing is wrong with that. If there is multiplayer, that would be interesting as well.

Bioshock Infinite looks to come out March 26th. bioshock_infinite_2013_game-wide


Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Game Developer Mercury Steam teams up with legendary Kojima Productions to bring in the next instalment of a very long franchise which is Castlevania. Lords of Shadow 2 will be a third person adventure game. There isn’t alot of information to by other than the it is a direct sequel to Castlevania: Lords of Shadow and Castlevania: Mirror of Fate. No release date has been specified but it will be released sometime in 2013.
2012 VGA Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 cinematic trailer rise of Dracul Belmont


Crysis 3

Crysis 3, a game for its grounbreaking graphics and a title that has been synonymous to crashing computers due to how hard it can push a graphics card. But with todays techonology, running a Crysis game should be a piece of cake for max settings of graphics. Crysis 3 marks as canon 24 years after the events of Crysis 2 and players once again will take control of “Prophet” who returns to New York on what has been dubbed as a “A revenge mission”. Crysis 3 has been announced to have multiplayer included.

Crysis 3 looks to be released on February 22nd.
cae951cc950203c0e6a2e6d6bf519a68


Dark Souls II

A sequel to the very difficult Dark Souls, the announcement for this game barely 24 days ago on December 7th, 2012. Developed by “From Software” in Japan, players will know and newcomers who have heard, will be served another game with an equally brutal difficulty setting…so to speak. Though there has been word that the game will have tweaked settings for players that do not want to experience the harshness of what was the first instalment.

No exact date has been given for release. dark-souls-ii


Dead Island: Riptide

A direct sequel to the very popular Dead Island, the sequel in canon is set directly after the events of the first game. 2012 was a year that is remembered primarily for zombies and when Dead Island appeared with the very visceral and confronting trailer and its haunting music, people around the world could not help but notice. And for those that couldn’t watch the trailer…well, that happens as well. Riptide will be continuing the melee combat to its fullest and of course newer set pieces that the 4 survivors of the story will have to contend with. This sequel seems to look like it may not disappoint.

Release Date is slated for April 26th. Dead-Island-Riptide

Dead Space 3

Survival Horror seemed to have died when Dead Space entered the world, Resident Evil was going into an action sort of genre, and Silent Hill was just pushing out games for what seemed like the sake of it. Dead Space had brought back survival horror with Isaac Clarke. An engineer answering the distress call of the biggest planet cracking ship called the ‘Ishimura’, in which he discovers an artefact has infected and killed the crew and in which Isaac’s girlfriend is onboard as well. Dead Space 3 will be continuing the story from Dead Space 2, Isaac seems to have crashed on a very cold planet like Hoth but named Tau Volantis, and it seems the nightmare has followed him or he has stumbled upon it again. Developers Visceral Games and EA have showcased the game at E3 and it’s a hot title that people who have stuck with the franchise and newcomers are seeming to wanting to get their hands on. A new setting and even grotesquely imaged monsters will be taking Isaac Clarke into a whole new horror for himself and any players daring to take the adventure with him.

Deadspace 3 will be hitting shelves February 13th.dead_space_3_game_2013-HD

DMC: Devil May Cry

Ninja Theory and Capcom join up to revitalise a franchise that has gone back to the players controlling Dante. Except it isn’t the Dante that everyone knows as the cocky, sword and gun wielder with white hair. Now its Dante at a younger and even MORE cockier age in his rise to his glory as Devil Hunter. With new move sets that has him wielding the powers of Angel and Devil, Dante even controls a Scythe as part of his repertoire. With his old favourites Ebony and Ivory accompanying, the old and the new will clash together in this latest instalment of the franchise.

Expect this gamer sooner than expected on January 17th.dmc-devil-may-cry-wallpaper

Gears of War: Judgement

A fourth instalment of the highly praised Gears of War Franchise, Judgement comes in with a new canon and the absence of Marcus Fenix. Players will be controlling Lt. Damon Baird as he and his squad of merry gears soldiers are still fighting in the Locust War, but they have been accused of treason by Colonel Ezra Loomis. Gears of War: Judgement will be coming in with a new story and multiplayer modes. Two new modes for multiplayer is OverRun and Free-For-All. Continuing as its predecessors have done so, the game will strictly stay on the XBOX system and will not multiplatform.

Release month is March, no day has been announced only for North America which is March 19th.2013_gears_of_war_judgment_game-HD

God of War: Ascension

A long running franchise is of course God of War, which chronicles Krato’s and his desire of revenge against the god Ares for tricking him into murdering his own wife and child. Brought to us the consumers as a first party game, God of War has become a franchise widely known only to the Playstation community. This latest instalment will not go multiplatform and stay on the PS3.

Release Date is March 14th.2013_god_of_war_ascension-wide

Grand Theft Auto V

GTA5 will continue the shenanigans of stealing cars and doing jobs for money and meeting shady characters. That much is known about the franchise. But this latest instalment has been eagerly awaiting fans after GTA4 had graced the world in what was a tour de force in open world gaming with its very large city, its very colourful characters, the radio and even the tv programs that stop you from doing the next mission just to get a laugh at the content. Its wide and various and those at Rockstar are promising a lot of new content and new aspects to playing GTA5 with 3 new protagonists, all varying in race, their character stories and how they actually intersect with one another.

GTAV will be hitting the world sometime in the 2nd Quarter of 2013.actual_1351545051
Injustice: Gods Among Us

Can you imagine the world where the superheroes that you know and love fighting it out vie Mortal Kombat style? Well…yes we can and it has been done though this time with more of a brutal backing. NetherRealm Studios, the ones behind the latest gorefest of Mortal Kombat and its franchise, will be bringing the likes of Superman, Batman, Wonderwoman and Flash just to name a few into a fight that no one will be expecting. There isn’t a certainty on how the violence level will be, but we are sure from the trailers that this iteration of fighting will have a very dark tone to it. Certainly does not look comical or cheerful as opposed to Mortal Kombat Vs DC Universe

No exact day has been announced but this fighter will be here around April, 2013.injustice-gods-among-us-091

Lost Planet 3

You could place this game as a prequel to the first. Apparently set xxxx amount of years before Lost Planet: Extreme Condition, E.D.N.III is still a frozen planet and those that inhabit it are the first colonists. LP3 will follow Jim Peyton who is an engineer mining for precious minerals for the colony. What he discovers will not only threaten the colonists but mankind itself who want to call E.D.N.III a new home will be in jeopardy, and the birth of a new enemy.

There has been no date/month that has been announced, it will be released anytime during 2013.lost_planet_3_wallpaper_hd-HD

Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes

The Metal Gear Solid Franchise seems to power on. With the impending release of Ground Zeroes that was announced at the Penny Arcade Expo of 2012, fans and the world alike have lit up as to see what this new game will entail. Already since its announcement there is information and videos posted up showing gameplay and that this game will be certainly different in the way its played. Though Snake apparently is back, we can only assume that this is Big Boss, not Solid Snake. In a new turn of gameplay, players will be able to build a motherbase for items, weapons and soldiers and Snake can enter a battlefield and leave by helicopter. Players will also notice that in real time depending where they live, the stage/battlefield will be that time of the day/night. And Kojima, known as the godfather of tactical espionage and creator of the MGS series, states that players will be able to access their motherbase in real-time from their smartphones.
No release date has been announced. Metal-Gear-Solid-Ground-Zeroes-Wallpaper1

The Phantom Pain

There is literally not a lot to say about this title, The Phantom Pain had a trailer that aired at 2012’s Video Game Awards and immediate speculation that the game is associated with Metal Gear Solid. The person that was struggling for survival looked like Big Boss from the Metal Gear Franchise, though the game is being developed by a studio called Moby Dick. The trailer leaves some serious speculation, and though it was a teaser trailer it has left people bewildered, its hard not to grasp that it looks like a new Metal Gear instalment.

No release date announced.Phantom-Pain-Ann

Star Wars: 1313

Powered by the Unreal Engine 3, a new game in the universe of the Star Wars will have players controlling a Bounty Hunter trying to uncover a criminal conspiracy. It has no showing of the force or lightsabers, so players should be expecting a lot of gunplay.
Game has no specific release date, but will be released anytime during 2013. star-wars-1313-hd-wallpaper

Remember Me

A new IP and a new step for Capcom it seems with this game that will have players re-arranging memories to get a desired outcome. Protagonist Nilin (voiced by Kezia Burrows who is known for her work on TV Series Crash) is an amnesiac who is a ‘Memory Hunter’. Set in Neo-Paris in the year 2084, players will be walking into a rather dystopian future that is run by technology and a high state of surveillance. Nilin is on a mission to recover her memories due to her employer erasing them.

Remember Me is slated for a release in May, 2013.remember me

SimCity

Micromanaging for SimCity can be rather fun, and the latest instalment should have that in spades. EA and Maxis will join up to bring in the latest SimCity that will powered by a new engine called GlassBox. SimCity had no story, it’s about expanding the mind to create a working and viable city.

Release date March 18th for PC and MACsimcity-2013-5

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

The fourth instalment in a franchise that is about sneaking around and thieving precious items from places that should not have had them in the first place. But continuing from the 3rd game in the series, Sly must go back into time to recover Thievius Racconus which is a book that has somehow been lost in time. If Sly doesn’t retrieve the book in order to protect the Cooper Legacy. The Sly Cooper Franchise has been strictly Sony and will not go multiplatform for this instalment.

Release Date March 27th.sly-cooper-thieves-in-time-wallpaper-1

South Park: The Stick of Truth

South Park the series has always been hilarious, and The Stick of Truth will not just be its first game. Though way back on the PSOne, was there a south park game which was a first person shooter. Though there isn’t much information for the plot, the game is classified as a role playing game.

Release Date: March 5th, 2013Stick-of-Truth

Splinter Cell: Blacklist

6 times the chime as Splinter Cell: Blacklist will be hitting video game shelves in 2013. Following the events of Splinter Cell: Conviction, Sam Fisher looks as if he will be back in action leading a new team dubbed as the “Fourth Echelon” a group that takes orders and does missions to only one commander, the President of the United States. As this instalment comes into play, players will be able to take advantage of a new feature. The feature is voice integration with the Kinect, players say something to distract guards and other characters within the game.

Release date: Spring 2013 (not sure which spring…whether its Australia or America, most likely America)splinter_cell___blacklist

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm is an expansion pack that is part two of a trilogy that will be released for the games franchise. The story has been confirmed as being two years after the previous expansion of Wings of Liberty. There will be around 20 single player missions and of course multiplayer.

Be on the lookout March 12th for this highly anticipated release.starcraft-2-wallpaper-heart-of-the-swarm-1024x663

Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance

Another Metal Gear? Why yes! And we cannot get enough of it. Revengeance will be seeing players controlling the now half machine/half human Raiden. Apparently set 4 years after the events of Metal Gear Solid: Guns of the Patriots, Raiden has his hands full as he is tasked to take down a Private Military Organization called “Desperado Enterprises”. Published by Konami, developed by Platinum Games and produced by Kojima Productions, Revengeance looks to be a significant next canon title for the MGS franchise though it is considered as a spin-off.

Raiden will be slashing his way to stores very soon, February 22nd, 2013.metal_gear_rising_revengeance-wide

The Elder Scrolls Online

Bethesda Softworks and Zenimax Online Studios brings the next game in the Elder Scrolls franchise. This game has been in development for 5 years And this will be Zenimax Online Studios first big gig. So a lot of expectations for a franchise that has garnered a cult following so to speak. But for all you MMO fans that cannot wait, do not fear! The Release date is slated early 2013, only thing is no specific date has been announced.elder-scrolls-online-hd-page-2

The Last of Us

From the successful Uncharted series, Naughty Dog has come into the world with The Last of Us as a big surprise. When the trailer had first been shown, many players and followers did not know Naughty Dog would spearhead such a game, and the trailer was released shortly after Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception which gave it more wonder and awe. And then when the developer was revealed, it seemed that the general consensus in the gaming community knew that the game was going to be a triple A game and it had just begun development. The Last of Us is considered as an action-adventure game, but also survival horror. With the trailers that are out there, it will be a real test to use items to the best of your ability in such a desolate environment, an environment that looks so good, as weird as that sounds.

The Last of Us will be getting its worldwide release May 7th.1680_1050_20120526121200927846

Tomb Raider

Lara Croft has had some games in her time that have been very good, and some not so good. Her depiction was a double gun wielding chick that raided tombs, or and she had a great big set of knockers. But the latest instalment just called ‘Tomb Raider’ seems to show a different kind of Lara Croft. A younger one at best before her infamous adventures, Lara seems more vulnerable, more in pain and more human. She does not wield 2-toned guns but wields survival instincts, a bow and arrow and a gun that she finds. This game has shown the world a re-invention of this character and it certainly has hit the right ways. The franchise possibly needed a change, and Tomb Raider is on our radars.

Lara will be here March 5th.Tomb raider

Watch Dogs

Quite possibly the biggest shocker of the year. Though when the term use for shock, its just as meant that the game looks stunning and has mechanics that seem so authentic that it relates to the real world. The game, unknown was shown at this years E3 Convention. Though at first misunderstood, but later reaching high applauses for its ingenuity and relation to our world. In the gameplay, players saw Aiden Pierce, not a hero by any stretches as Pierce infiltrates a nightclub by simply letting off am EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) that knocks out cell phones and other electronics, which in the confusion, Pierce slips inside. In the club, he hacks into an employees phone and hears that his target is approaching the club in a matter of minutes. He then meets his contact who gives him a gun, and then proceeds to knock out a bouncer with an extendable baton. As he leaves, he simply goes to his phone to knock out traffic lights at an intersection, covers his face and engages in a gun fight that sees him killing several guards, until he then executes his target, the owner of the club he had just infiltrated. Pierce escapes, but doing one last act of defiance, by jumping off a retractable bridge that he manipulates by his phone to stop police as he escapes…then the camera pans out to see another player watching the escape, but has a name above his head. Showcasing that the game could be played multiplayer as events unfold.

This is an exciting new IP that will be hitting sometime this year, if you can, check the video. It’s quite something.Watchdogs

Rayman Legends

A platforming game that is only released for the Wii U, Rayman Legends looks as if it will be a fast paced action game with plenty to do and a lot to see. Graphics wise players can be very familiar with all its colours and new set pieces for this side scroller. Rayman and his friends stumble upon a tent with lavish paintings, but upon closer inspection they see its painting from some sort of strange mythical world. But as they look further, Rayman and his friends get sucked into the painting, and the adventure begins.

Rayman will be coming in February 28th only for Wii URayman Legends

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Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Review
By Janus 32
PS3, XBOX360

Introduction

Tekken-Tag-Tournament-218 years has passed since the word ‘Tekken’ had graced the arcades and is now in history as one of the most recognizable faces in the fighting game genre comparing to its CAPCOM Rival the Street Fighter Franchise.

Tekken Tag Tournament or known as TTT had first arrived in 1999 but ported to Playstation 2 in 2000 which makes the first edition until present day 12 years in-between when both games were developed. Initially Tekken enthusiasts were sceptical of the idea of a single character game going tag team WWE style, but as the time went on before the release of Tekken 4, TTT had gathered a lot of enthusiasts and fans.

Over a decade and we have the latest instalment finally here, but is the traditional notion that sequels that come out (whether in movies or just…in anything) usually punch themselves out?

Or does Namco Bandai‘s latest instalment K.O. the competition?

Gameplay

The original TTT had come in as a different idea of taking a single character fighting game to have the tag team option. When one character is low on health, the player can tag in another character to continue the fight, hallmarks rules of tag team. Same rule had applied that if one characters life bar is depleted, its KO, regardless if your partner character has a full health bar or half. With tagging of the partner characters, players in TTT could ‘juggle’ and string combinations on opponents by rapidly switching between characters.

TTT2 though implements this ‘juggle’, it now further enhances the gameplay. Originally starting in Tekken 5, the terminology “bound” was noted by players. Bounding the opponent is another word for ‘bouncing’ the opponent then able to continue another combo string into the wall for a stage break. Tekken in such a way had followed the Dead or Alive formula adding walls into some of their stages so players could force their opponents into the walls for extra damage.

Flying KIIIIIIIIIICK!

Flying KIIIIIIIIIICK!

In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, the bounding and stage breaks have been improved for greater gameplay and more mindgames. Baiting players by sidestepping, poking  and launching the opponent then to bound the opponent then stage breaking. All have been improved in the tag system. Players can slowdown time to continue a combo to further diminish and humiliate the opponents life bar, but it is not represented by a slow down time meter of sorts but a single white flash that will have players timing their moves to switch out their characters to continue the combo.

Surprisingly on our run through of the game, there was the obvious premise of testing out the multiplayer function. As opposed to Tekken 6, the game handles rather well online in comparison to the standalone T6, though of course this can be altered if one has a non-decent connection. But what is remarkable is the improvement. Namco seemed to have tried very hard for this game to be as smooth as it could be online than offline, and this scores brownie points.

The gameplay that was aforementioned extends to so much more, and the options are almost limitless. Now you may read this and think that’s unthinkable with a fighter, but like any game, there is a lot to learn and explore, and as fighting games go in this day and age with the 3D element (not viewing it in 3D), fighting has never had so much more thrills and spills when it comes down to the winner and loser. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Youtube competition fighting. You’ll see what I mean.

Presentation

A reiteration of a series, a franchise, a sequel must come with better graphics, better voices, better looks, better everything.

And Tekken Tag Tournament 2 does not fail on that.

Visually speaking, the game can be stretched to a 1080P setting for the biggest tv you can think of, or whatever is the maximum range, and still look stunning. Character models have more depth, and detail. The details of the costumes and the backgrounds as well as the arenas are all stunning. The backgrounds for the arenas in TTT were moving and animated, and it has not pulled its punches in this latest edition.

Can you name every fighter in this picture?

Can you name every fighter in this picture?

But its presentation is further augmented with its soundtrack. The characters voices, the stage breaks but the music is especially pleasing. Players who have played the franchise, not just TTT but other Tekken games before this, will recognize some stages have come back as well as familiar themes songs. It’s a homely effect for the players that have stuck with the franchise, but its also great to show newcomers that this edition of Tekken is coming in with the bells and whistles and is not holding its punches in order to delivery the goods in regards to quality.

Final Comments

At around the same time as TTT2 was being released, Dead or Alive 5 had been released as well. Which of course for any fight aficionado this is a dream come true to have more fighting games grace the shelves. But of course, the games may both look the same, but the handling of each game is different. TTT2 handles in such a way that can bring casual players to the fighting genre, and bring them into obsession given the hunger and the drive to be a better fighter. In this case to master 2 characters at the same time, tag team style.

Rent it
Forget it
Get it

Get it. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is a game that must be experienced. This latest instalment has proven to be quite the treat for the eyes as well as those fighters that want to get back into the genre, full stop.

The mix and increase of music tracks, stages, fighter roster (which is 59 characters in total), everything has been revamped and extended further. As any sequel should, there has to be more content and more of everything to entice the consumer and TTT2 has succeeded. There is a ton of Downloadable Content on the way so keep an eye out for those as well.

It is a sequel that lives up the expectations, even if there weren’t any to begin with.

Also, have a lookout for Snoop Dogg’s own stage that made it into the game.

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Dead or Alive 5 Review

Dead or Alive 5
PS3 and XBOX360
By Janus 32

Introduction

Art_cover_of_Dead_or_Alive_5 (1)Fighting games since its inception, has always been 2D fighting. Though when there were the games like Tekken and Virtua Fighter, the fighting game genre had changed, with players able to sidestep from attacks and even push fighters to the end of the fight area and deal more damage.

Dead Or Alive is a 3D fighter that had started via the Sega Saturn then branched out to the main consoles and introduced ‘counter’ moves as well as a whole slew of strategy and elements to the fighting genre in a lot of ways.

Since the previous game of Dead or Alive 4, DOA5 comes in after a 6 year hiatus.

Does this return have some punch to it or is it a kick in the…uh…proverbial groin?

Gameplay

Dead or Alive (DOA) has been a game that is mainly remembered for a few things, jiggling boobies, sexy girls and of course fighting. Though in regards to the 3D games, DOA has been overshadowed with these premises, but underneath the game is, a complexed fighting game that did have its pros and cons. This latest instalment has been tweaked and corrected to be possibly one of the most balanced fighting games in the franchise.

Tournament players as opposed to casual gamers have posted their thoughts and their discomfort with the previous DOA games handling and balance issues. The usual arguments of character balancing, frame rates, stage breakages were some of the other topics. Team Ninja as the developer have seem to have tracked and corrected these issues to have more fluidity in the gameplay. Though if I get all technical, well this would be a long review.

Upon our initial gameplay for about 8 hours total on a Playstation 3 and using a fightstick to get the maximum quality of the game, DOA5 seems to have the goods to be a competitive fighter, whether you button mash and are the casual fighter or the tournament fighter/ serious player that can pull off the strings of combos, the game has a catering for any player it seems.bass_kokoro_A

Fighting games in the day was all about beating the other guy by any means necessary by mindlessly button mashing with no tactics, or so some would seem. But like any competitive game/sport there are always strategies and DOA5 is no exception.

Gameplay is responsive and as opposed to the button layout of the original controller, gamers will feel at ease when they throw their punches and kicks. Though what is new and interesting is the new critical hits and power blows throws the gameplay into wilder branches of combinations that can be executed and heightens the fighting to so many more levels. With counters, cross counters, counter holds and throwing being more tweaked than ever, players will be finding themselves concentrating a lot harder on their opponent to not only wittle down the life bar, but in the midst of fighting, time their reactions to countering their opponents combination strings to break their rhythm.

What is great to experience as multiplayer is gameplay does not change in regards to speed and framerates when playing locally. But like anything that is unpredictable is online. Lobbying up for another player, if having a good connection there is seamless connectivity from what we saw in the beginning, but as the games were being played and more time spent online, comparing with titles like Tekken and Street Fighter 3rd Strike, DOA5 goes into this list of games that do not work well with a good connection.

Presentation

Graphically speaking, DOA5 is quite gorgeous. The rendering of the models of characters are top notch, jiggling boobs and all. More impressive is the background graphics and the ‘stage breaks’. For you newbies that don’t know what I mean by stage breaks in a fighting game, is how DOA5 has made its reputation. When fighting in the arena, if certain conditions were met, players could force their opponent into the wall and further push them to another level causing further damage to the life bar. Though for different stages, this does happen, but on one particular stage, players can use a train several times to hit their opponents. Extreme, and very awesome to watch.

Another great touch to the graphics is the uniqueness of each character, every character is different, and as obvious that sounds. They all handle differently depending on their build, their weight and their power and each hit feels, looks and sounds very brutal providing that sense of ‘weight’ and we of course mean brutal as being entertaining.

Mila. A new character entering DOA5, a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter from Japan

Mila. A new character entering DOA5, a Mixed Martial Arts Fighter from Japan

Going back to each character, the level of moves and martial arts disciplines is abundant. You have your boxer, your brawler, Muay-Thai fighter, Tae-Kwon-Do and even a step further a Mixed Martial Arts practitioner who is a new character. The look and feel of the characters bring a depth of freshness even with the older fan favourite characters make their return with more enhanced looks, different outfits and an ‘ok’’ sound of voice actors backing them.

Final Comments

Dead or Alive 5 had begun as a fighter that was unknown to the world. But as its notoriety grew, it garnered favour and fans. But at about Dead or Alive 3 and 4, it was only specific for XBOX and the XBOX360 which lost some of its fans due to not being multi-platform. Only with this latest installment will it once again go multi-platform and released outside of japan.

Need to Tag? It is available as Tag Team Fighting in DOA5

Need to Tag? It is available as Tag Team Fighting in DOA5

The wait is over, 6 years in the making and this fighter comes in with all the right stuff in comparison to what the DOA franchise used to be was just about pixelated boobs and unnecessary smuttiness. But this fighter is easy to pick up and the sky is the limit in which players can hone and level up their skills, and finally take the game seriously.

Rent it
Forget it
Get it

Get it. DOA5 as aforementioned is a game that players can easily pick up and enjoy its visuals. This fighter can be taken seriously, but at the same time can be enjoyed casually. The plethora of options that players will be able to use during their matches is incredibly large, uses of the stage breaks, the opponent themselves, baiting, mind games, all the hallmarks of a fighting game wrapped up into this neat little package.

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Double Mini Review: The World Ends With You & Elevator Action

Mini Review – The World Ends With You Solo Remix
IPhone/IPad
By Janus 32

Introduction

The World Ends With You is a title that is known to the west, but in Japan its known as “It’s a Wonderful World“. Though titles are different, they both embody the story which has led to the success of the cult hit game that was released in April 2008 in the western countries and about a year earlier in Japan itself. Since its release, it is still a game that many Nintendo DS fans would be able to recognize. It recieved  high scores through all video gaming media considering it was developed by Square Enix and Jupiter which is well known for its handheld games within japan.

Now with a revamped version such as now with “The World End’s With You: Solo Remix” being released through the Apple Store by  h.a.n.d inc which is another japanese developer, there is a sense of nostalgia coming back to this game that originally left yours truly, in tears. Yes, I said it.

But is this replay going to be the same? Or are reboots of movies, TV series or games just another trend for it to fall spectacularly?

Story

Neku Sakuraba is an anti-social kid. Plugged into the world of his headphones and music, he is a loner in all respects of the word and its meaning.

Until he wakes up in Shibuya and though he walks around the busy district, no one sees him, until he meets a girl named Shiki Misaki. She can see Neku but alas the people around her cannot see her either.

Shiki explains that they have both died, and that they have a limited amount of time to participate in a game run by a group called “The Reapers”. Failure to complete the game or lose at any time and they are really dead.

Neku having no idea what is going on, let alone whether he trusts Shiki, reluctantly follows her to start the game…

Gameplay

The World Ends With You (aka as TWEWY) Solo Remix comes back with alot of bells and whistle that further enhance the game in its longevity. Not only does it more colourful and refined in its presentation, but it hasn’t lost any of its appeal. As mentioned earlier this game was released in Japan first, and then a year later released in the west. The game setting is very japanese and for some reason as the game keeps going, its just perfect.

In the strictest sense, the gameplay remains largely the same as players from the Nintendo DS will attest to as they go into this reboot. For new players, we only hope they do not break the screen. Like the Nintendo DS, players will control Neku’s movement and strikes via touching and swiping the screen. They control everything including moving the story along by tapping the screen.

The main difference other than the consoles and platform the games are on, is that on the DS Version, it was split screen. Like the title mentions, this outing is a Solo game, and not split-screen. You are only able to summon your partner to assist in attacks.

How Neku gains his ways of attacking is the collection and purchasing of pins. Pins have their own designs and move sets. Example one with a straight swipe does a normal slash attack and another pin with a circular swipe can open a black hole. The combinations vary and later as you progress, you will notice pins have their own “level”. Like Role Playing Games, this is where you can level up your pins and make them powerful as they rise.

With these as your weapons, as you fight you build up a meter that enables you to have your partner do a double team on every opponent on the screen, this can get really chaotic but boy does it look great. When you go toe-to-toe with a boss, that can be frustrating, but like any japanese game, there is always a way to beat the boss, sometimes it takes some creative thinking and that is appealing.

Presentation

Though this essentially is a port from the Nintendo DS Version, there is nothing lost. No degradation of the graphics, sounds or even music. It has been perfectly passed over onto something smaller and arguably more powerful than the Nintendo DS, and its impressive. The great thing that has always stuck with me from the port to this Iphone/Ipad version is the music. Music plays a key role in this game, and its still tremendously impressive to see that is kept and retained to the original degree if not more.

The game’s actual feel in terms of language and the game setting is typical of Japanese culture that is today. At the time of the release of the game, its how the world in Japan was, the young people that is. There is always a misconception that Japan is about a few years ahead of the western world, what say, here in Australia is behind from what the Japanese are in terms of technology and society. That they have more style, more skill and overall are more crazier in some aspects. Reflected in the storytelling, players will be drawn in, I am not saying this as just saying it for the sake of it. Players will be drawn into it, and if a game can do that as new players come into this game, then the game is truly worth it.

Final Comments

The World Ends With You: Solo Remix isn’t your ordinary Japanese Role Playing Game (aka JRPG). it is a game that is richly in-depth and can be confronting to some that are not used to games that require training, grinding and most of all patience.

Though another factor not mentioned that could push people away is the pricing. Here in Australia, the pricing is $20. Now that may sound steep, but as it is 1/3 of the price of the Nintendo DS game, and the value for money this game is, most gamers such as myself would see this price tag and not give it any hesitation. For others and especially newer players, it will invoke hesitation.

But believe us here at Guerrilla Gamers United, for such an enriching and in-depth game, there isn’t many games that will provide a great balance of story, gaming and everything else you can think of in one package. It’s rare. And like anything rare, you’d want to have it.

Forget it
Buy it

Buy it. You will not regret the purchase. Don’t mind the pricing at all, this is a game that will last for hours, immerse you in its story and challenge you. Isn’t that what we are looking for in a game? Those qualities?

 

Elevator Action Deluxe
PSN

By Janus 32

Find us here on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/GuerrillaGamers

Introduction

You don’t get any games that are simple anymore. Megaman had a simple premise but gosh was it hard to play due to its level of difficulty and non-instructions. Now games today ‘lead you by the nose’ in being linear and very informative to get you to the end by use of markers and waypoints.

Elevator Action has none of these, especially when it first came out. First started in 1983, the game had several simple goals and objectives. It went on to last for many years.

But as a reboot to this once revered game of the 80’s and early 90’s, is this “Deluxe” edition worthy to reprise the name?

Story

Otto is up to his old tricks again, stealing classified documents from various buildings. He works for no police force, no government, he just does what he needs to do. Starting from the top of the building and making his way down searching the rooms for the documents while at the same time avoiding agents hot on his tail trying to stop him.

Otto needs cunning and wit to hide in rooms, use elevators to his advantage to get away from the agents, make it to the getaway car and move onto the next big score.

But Otto isn’t alone, he has some new friends that have joined him in his thieving ways…

Gameplay

As a newcomer to this game and not even being born in 1983, Elevator Action Deluxe is paying homage to an era that was for its simplicity and there’s nothing wrong with that. But in this day and age of modern gaming, it will not be played for long unless there are achievement whores out there that want the trophies. But what it does succeed mainly is its simplicity means it can be revisited time and time again without forgetting how to play the game because of how easy it is to resume.

Some Multiplayer action, and in this case…multiple Otto’s

Otto and his friends (friends who are downloadable content which i will go through in a paragraph or two) have simple controls. Left and right to move as this is a 2D game (pressing down also crouches your character), though kinda looks 3D, X to jump, Square to use weapon, pressing up and down can go in and out of doors as well as controlling elevators. The premise is to start from the top of the building and get to the bottom with all the doors marked with files in them. As mentioned dodging agents is one problem, other problems that players will need to be aware of are alarms, sound alarms (if you use your weapon that makes a noise) and the time. This isn’t a game where you rest on your laurels, as you progress to harder levels, quick decisions must be made and Elevator Action Deluxe actually pushes you to think laterally and on the fly as well.

With all these factors, what comes down to it is that Elevator Action Deluxe is a race against time, and it can be exhilarating, again because of its simplicity. But spicing up the game is more characters, and they are abit more difficulty but at the same time refresh the gameplay.

Otto has a weapon he can use, its a gun. This can disable enemies but it should not be relied upon especially walking in dark areas and trying to hide from agents. Another character is a girl named Saya who is a Shrine Maiden from the game Kiki Kaikai which was a top down, multi directional shooter, a game almost similar to Zelda. Saya is equipped with a bow and arrow.

Weapons for each character do help, but can only be a bandaid as you move down from each level, players will need to rely on their cunning and speed. Its what Elevator Action is all about.

Presentation

Elevator Action isn’t a groundbreaking game and with it there are not that great breaking visuals. Now don’t get me wrong, I do not mean for this to sound harsh but in a sense it’s a good thing. Its paying homage to the original game that was released back in 83’, the sounds and the look of the characters, the enemies and the actual building interior have a look of 8-bit ness.

A 3D View of Otto unloading on an enemy. Ooo thats gotta hurt…

Final Comments

Elevator Action is a game that aforementioned, is one to have if you want a quick game to earn some trophies or kill time. It’s simply controlled and it’s a simple objective, get from point a to b within the time limit and have a maximum score.

The amount of levels in the game is abundant and could last you a long time, depending if you want that max score, but as a breather to challenge friends as well, it’s good for a party game, but one to have in your collection?…Probably.

Rent it
Forget it
Buy it

Rent it. Ok so you probably cannot rent the game, but if you can play the game at a friends house, then go for it. But if you get the game for ones self, then that it’s a game as a way to pass the time.

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Sleeping Dogs Review

Sleeping Dogs
PS3, XBOX360, PC
By Janus 32
Find us here on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/GuerrillaGamers

Introduction

it has certainly been a long while since the open world games of True Crime had come back. To be specific 7 years since True Crime: New York City. Why am I mentioning True Crime when this game is Sleeping Dogs? Well if you have been living under a rock, here is the very very short story.

Sleeping Dogs was going to be the third instalment to the True Crime Franchise, but with numerous delays and failures and developers bailing and whatever excuse, the True Crime 3rd instalment did not come to fruition and whatever was worked on was considered dead.

Until developers United Front Games and Square Enix (crazily enough) jumped in to take what was left and make it their own.

And Sleeping Dogs was created.

But is Sleeping Dogs just another GTA clone? Or should it have rightly been what was True Crime 3?

Story

Detective Wei Shen is a cop from the United States brought into (a fictional town supposed to look like) Hong Kong to go undercover and to take down a powerful Triad group known as the “Sun On Yee”.

The only problem is being undercover, the rules change drastically, especially in Shen’s case as a police officer as he faces professional killers and ruthless Triad members hellbent on their own agendas against other Triad groups and having zero tolerances on police rats.

Loyalty for one side must be chosen.

It cannot done both ways. What will be Shen’s choice?

To fight for justice for the police, or give in to the loyalty of the Triads?

Gameplay

The True Crime games have always been a open world affair. Where players, just like in GTA as the main comparison, can do jobs, free roam, purchase items/weapons and vehicles, the overall premise of Sleeping Dogs follows the same formula. But of course there will be differences.

As players gain the feel of the game and in control of Detective Wei Shen, they will probably have a very warm feeling like revisiting an old friend, but in a more younger body in terms of control and maneuverability. Even the Heads Up Display (HUD) looks and feels the right way. It isn’t too big that overcrowds the screen nor too small to read. Of course included is health, ammunition count when you have a weapon, health meter, mini map and a larger map of the gaming area complete with legends and markings.
It’s perfect.

Flying KICK-uh!

Players can do their free roaming and side missions at their leisure and follow the story mission. Again nothing new in this department. its the basics of the open world environment that is covered and well thought out in terms of story setting and information that is given to the player. Touching on the side missions, varients such as car jacking, illegal racing, cockfighting (yes, rooster against rooster fights), gambling, triad missions/police missions and even dating are available to do and complete. All side missions have their rewards. But the three that are the most standout of the lot is the Triad/Police missions and Dating.

The Triad/Police missions can be done, or not even attempted whether you favor one side or the other. It’s up to you. So why do them in the first place? Well, completing missions for either factions grants you experience points in that field. Examples such as Triad missions can build up experience points for more devastating/offesive techniques to use on opponents when you’re engaged in hand to hand combat, which is 90% of the time in the game but more on that soon. The Police missions unlock moves that are more defensive type that relates to an officer of the law such as better accuracy using a firearm, weapon disarming techniques and jumping between vehicles, again more on that very soon.

The dating aspect is actually pretty neatly done. Though not as part of the storyline as aforementioned, the dating of girls has some great rewards, and we are not talking about the getting laid part. Completion of dates can unlock hidden gems on your mini and larger map. What these gems are? Players can find around the maps alot of…items if you can call it. Most of them do relate in such a way to chinese mythology, which creates a more plausible and tangible effect to the setting. Two of these traditional items are Small Shrines and Jade Statues. The Small Shrines are plentiful, visiting 5 in a row will upgrade Shen’s health meter. Of course the more you find, the more you build up your health meter.
The Jade Statues, which i find impressively interwoven into the story, provide unlocking more martial arts offensive/defensive techniques. Upon collecting all statues, Shen will attain a devastating attack that is quite easy to execute and delivers a horrendous amount of damage to enemies. The non-traditional items that you can find and unlock are lockboxes that hold items such as clothing, guns but mostly money and are usually guarded by punks/thugs.

Shen: “This…could end badly”
Why yes detective, it could. Kid’s, don’t try this…ever

Sleeping Dogs seems to mainly concentrate its gameplay especially on fighting. Like Hong Kong movies of old (i.e Police Story, Armour of God, Dragons Forever) and 90’s Hong Kong police movies, hand to hand combat is mainly featured and favored compared to gunplay. Shen starts off with some easy combos to master, but like any student to the martial arts, his reportoire grows as you progress further ingame through (as aforementioned) statue gathering and unlocking new techniques with experiences points accumulation. The fighting can be compared to the Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City games where the main protagonist will always be facing multiple enemies (this is another great throwback to Hong Kong Cinema). The fighting is focused mainly in counterattacking, players will know when to push the corresponding button to counter when another enemy is about to attack and is flashing red like rudolphs red nose and the fighting goes into slow motion for a second or two, then Shen will deliver the counter. If pressed a second too late or too early, the counter will not work. The same princple applies when you are fighting armed enemies that have knives, night sticks, etc. Except the animation is very very different and brutal. Though if you want to mix things up, you most certainly can use environmental weapons. Where Shen can grab his enemies and (again the environment will flash red) push them to say a telephone booth and beat them to death with the telephone and the door, resulting as an instant kill. Brutal, but so effective.

In relation to fighting, I did mention about unlocking police techniques with experience points by completing police missions. Shen will not always be fighting hand to hand combat, he will of course need to use a firearm and things get very devastating when it comes to shootouts. Firefights can deplete your health quickly, so cover is a must which can be easily done by running up behind a wall or cover by a push of a button. But the handling of weapons like a pistol, shotgun or automatic feels a bit off kilter. Shen can have a primary weapon and then have a secondary on him, so easy switching of weapons is able to be done on the fly. But shooting just feels clunky and hard to initiate. Though animations are pleasing to watch as you can vault over cover with a gun then you go into slow motion and can shoot multiple enemies, its a bit hard to get used to.

Girl in red: “So… you coming?”
Shen: “No, just looking”
Girl in red: “What?”
Shen: “I’m walking right behind you, that’s what I mean”

But there is so much more to explain,but little space for you readers that may make you fall asleep to. If you want to find out more, and there is plenty more to look for with bonuses and etc, you’ll need to buy the game, theres just TOO much to list and not explain but to be experienced!

Sound

Sound wise the game is really pleasing. From the streets of Hong Kong and the atmosphere of spectators swearing in a mix of english and cantonese to the different radio channels that also have the mix of english (literally english/british voicing) and cantonese radio, it is pleasing to hear that it all feels relevant setting and roots back to history.

The sounds of fighting as well are pretty gruesome and crisp. When Shen is dealing or being dealt with an ass whooping, the sound is weighty and devastating, especially if its mixed with a liquidy or splash sound of blood. Its meaty sounds rings very very loudly in headphones and crystal in dolby surround.

Presentation

The overall presenation is impressive. As you sometimes will need to chase thieves for pickpocketing you or racing along the freeway in a high powered sports car, the bustling city that is supposed to be in Hong Kong is alive. Albeit in during the day, or night, in rain or shine, non playable characters (NPC’s) look as good as they can be. Not as detailed with pores or pimples, but character models look shiny and something out of a hollywood action film its aesthetically pleasing and easy on the eyes.

The lovely Emma Stone voicing her character…who you can date

If players want to do their homework as well, Sleeping Dogs gains extra brownie points with its lineup of voice actors. Such actors/actresses like Will Yun Lee, Tom Wilkinson, Byron Mann, Edison Chen, Parry Shen, James Hong, Emma Stone, Robin Shou, Lucy Liu, Tzi Ma, Kelly Hu, Lindsay Price, Chin Han, Steph Song, Yunjin Kim and Terence Yin. All these actors and actresses have reputable resumes under their belts and all deliver great performances in their portrayal of their characters. Another celebrity featured, though not as a voice actor is MMA Welterweight Champion Georges “Rush” St Pierre. In a downloadable content, players can have GSP’s clothes to wear and do his signature “Superman Punch” that he is famously known for. This amount of celebrity pull sometimes doesnt work, but in this case, brownie points are scored well.

George St Pierre’s “Superman Punch” and you can do it in his inspired gym clothes…like this unfortunate chump found out the hard way from Shen…whoa so much blood!

Just like the above picture, enemies will bleed and Shen of course is no exception. One presentation that I thought really impressed me is, when you are badly hurt and bleeding all over, you can go back to your house/apartment and go to the bathroom to clean yourself up. The animation is of Shen washing his face but then the blood and stains just disappear. It’s a nice touch and honestly, when you’ve looked like you have been through 10 rounds of fighting with, whoever, looking all cleaned up looks quite impressive.

Final Comments

Predominantly the game is outstanding in the way its approach to the open world environment and carrying on the spirit of what could’ve been the next instalment of the True Crime franchise. With no multiplayer in sight, the game is single player, story driven and filled with bonus missions/items to be unlocked which extends its longevity. The only few things that stop it from being a very highly rated game is its gun mechanics/gamplay, the car handling (which was not mentioned in the review at all) and some campy writing here and there.

 
Get it
Rent It
Forget it

Get it. Sleeping Dogs may be considered by alot of gamers as a GTA clone, but the game stands alone with its gameplay and the way it has been designed. it has alot of features and its fighting mechanics are smooth and enjoyable experience. Though can be lacking in gameplay hours, estimated about 12 hours or more depending if you go for all extras. Players can play the game, experience it for its greatness (and very minimal shortcomings) until the next open world game and even add to it for future Downloadable content and will know when finishing the game, it was worth the time.

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