Friday, August 24, 2012



XBLA game

Deadlight is a 2.5D side-scrolling platform game. I know, I know, there are a ton of those on XBL... so what's this one got? It's got zombies!

That's right, deadlight is a post apocolyptic take on this great genre. The story in deadlight isn't much to write home about, although the ending had a nice twist I won't ruin for you. What makes deadlight great is it's presentation.

Deadlight has a great art style with detailed backgrounds, and dark shadowy foregrounds. The zombies are usually too dark to see, except their hungry eyes. The sense of death is always close at hand as well, and you will die a-lot, because zombies are undead, hard to kill, and impossible to stop in hordes. Not too mention that guns are treated as rare luxuries instead of the bread and butter of gameplay.

If I have to give Deadlight poor marks, it's only due to it's length. The campaign will probably only take you 3-6 hours to beat. (Depending on how many times you die and if you are looking for all the collectables, such as  ID cards with recognizable names haha) There are leaderboards, but I have never cared much about leader-boards because I don't have people playing everything I play so there is little else to compare myself to other than the 12 year-olds who spend their time playing an online game all year like it's crack.

Anyway, Deadlight was way fun. Well worth the 15 bucks (1200 MS Points).


Game Over
Final Score: 8.0
"It's way fun"

Monday, August 20, 2012


The Amazing Spider-man

Version Reviewed: X360

It's 2012 and we are already so tired of what happened with Sam Raimi's trilogy that we are doing it all over again. The Amazing Spider-Man has been rebooted quite quickly, but the result is amazing. So after you have seen the movie a few times, probably in sweet digital 3d, you still crave some web-slinging action? Well look no further, because the Amazing Spider-man is nothing else if not... well... Amazing.

So instead of being a game based off what happens in the movie, this same name title is actually an epilogue to the film. You may remember that this game released 2 weeks prior to the films debut. A rather interesting decision, but none-the-less I must say that this game seemed to get mixed reactions to the spoilers. I saw the film half-way through the playthrough of this title, and I don't think much of anything is spoiled if you are a spider-man fan in the first place, then you will be familiar with what is happening anyway. 

So you begin your journey in a first-person view as Peter Parker. Your on a tour through Oscorp, now run by Allastaire Smythe. (sp?)  All hell breaks loose and you are greated to a tutorial level. The first thing I noticed about the game is the way they used a combat system almost straight out of the Batman Arkham games.

This is actually what I find to be one of the games greatest strengths. They may not have invented the system, but combine the fluid and powerful combat of Arkham Asylum and the flashy spins, jumps, and flips of Spider-Man, throw in some web-shooting, and you are left with a beautiful and fun-to-play combat system for this game.

Once you are unleashed into the open world of Manhatten, which has finally made a return to spider-man games, you will notice a few things. First you may notice that the web-lines you are swinging on are not constrained to fixed points on buildings (e.g. Spider-man 2 for PS2).

At first I thought this was going to be a big detterent of web-slinging, but the thing is, the web-slinging is so fast, acrobatic, and just plain-ass-fun that you don't even notice. The camera is zoomed in, and alters the FOV when you fall faster giving you a great sense of speed. Things get even better when you are fighting some of the flying spider-slayers around the city.

The bulk of your time outside is spent doing things like collecting the insane amount of comic pages laying around (this unlocks read-able comic books), stopping random crimes, or doing side-missions like using your camera.

The story missions pre-dominantly take place inside, and most locations are just varied enough that you won't feel like you've been there before. This is also where you will be doing the most of your combat, so don't be afraid to go all over the place both inside and out on the island.

So there you have it, a fun spider-man game that extends the story of the great movie that just came out. I enjoyed my time with it, and I think if you like spider-man, the games, and that awesome movie that just came out, then you will too.


Game Over:
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10
"It looks Amazing!"

Friday, August 10, 2012

Blood Stone

007: Blood Stone
Version Reviewed: X360

As you may have surmised by the release date of this title, this was not one I picked up on launch. In fact this was never even a game that crossed my radar (aside from seeing the case once in a blockbuster). In fact, I picked this game up as a bonus free game for a coupon I used.

Little did I know though, that this would be the game from that stack that I would enjoy the most.

To start off, 007: Bloodstone is not a movie tie-in, nor was it a novel. This is an original story made for the gaming industry. Originally this was planned to be a 2-parter (or possibly a trilogy) However the developer Bizarre creations was closed not too long after this game was released and we are left with only the first part of this story.

None-the-less this felt like a full bond movie experience with great stealth-action components, a smart-phone that acts as a multitude of gadgets, solid shooting mechanics, and some amazing driving sequences.

The story in blood-stone is average bond-fare. M greets you with good morning, there is some international bad-guy about to unleash plans, and you are sent out to shoot and beat the crap out of as many enemy soldiers as it takes to get to the truth. Luckily, bond movies plots were never the highlight (just the presentation of it) and the game doesn't take long at all to thrust you into Mr. Bond's shoes.

The shooting system in Blood Stone is reminiscent *cough* Ripped off  *cough* of Ubisoft's Splinter-Cell: Conviction. For some this may not be a good thing, but I personally loved conviction, and found this to be a perfect implementation of those core mechanics.

Shooting is cover based, and bullets are strong enough to make you use cover wisely. With cover comes the ability to hide, and hiding is the best part of the action. If you are able to succesfully sneak attack (or even just melee) any guard you are granted a focus shot. This means that for a moment you can slow down time and James will automatically line up for a head-shot. This can be chained together for up to a total of 3 instant headshots.

To be honest I found myself doing a great many of beat-downs, as the animations are stellar and the thrill of taking out a room of enemies completely undetected is the equivalent of gaming ambrosia for any title.

In-between quick-draw head-shots and stealth take-downs you will be using your smartphone as your swiss army knife of gadgets. Keeping in mind that this is a Daniel Craig era-bond game, the gadgetry isn't at spotlight here and is really more supportive than anything. You can use your smartphone in a number of ways, such as remotely disabling a camera, or hacking a safe (both achieved with a QTE mini-game) but the majority of your phone is used as a radar/scanner. By pushing down on the d-pad the screen is cast with a static-green filter and you can now see where and how many enemies are in a room, what weapons are present, and what environmental objects will explode.

Last, but certainly not least the other portion of your time in Blood Stone will be spent in the few driving levels. Given that this is from bizarre creations it's not surprising that these are some of the most exciting parts of the game, despite the fact the driving is on rails. You are always chasing someone down in your car, and just getting to the end of the route is the goal. This isn't always easy though as you will be dodging traffic, driving on a frozen river, avoiding helicopter fire, and just generally driving like bond.

All in all, it wont take you very long to get to through the story I spent somewhere around 10 hours in the game. As I said it was originally planned to be a series of sorts, and the story ends on a cliffhanger, but I feel it's still bond-worthy and the ending reminded me of some of the old Sean Connery films, where the real bad guys were always still out there.  

The final point I'd like to establish is that I did not get a chance to try out the multi-player for this game. Every time I logged into their servers there was no one to play with... I'm guessing it didn't have lasting appeal?

In conclusion, Blood Stone was a surprising diamond in the rough. I'm sure you passed over it many times, but the next time you see that red 007 sitting on the shelf pick it up. You won't be disappointed.


Game Over:
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10
"Diamond in the Rough"