Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth3: V Generation - PS Vita Review

The latest Hyperdimension game for the Vita makes the most of the handheld and series

Sylvio - PC Review

There is plenty of tension to be had in this title, despite some curious design choices

Audiosurf 2 - PC Review

A bit less polish than the prior version, but more options provide greater variety

Horizon Shift - PC Review

Bright, colorful and full of variety, Horizon shift is simply a lot of fun

BlazBlue: Chrono Phatasma Extend - PS4 Review

This is the latest, and certainly greatest, release in the series to date

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune - Playstation 3 Review

This is the first of my scheduled posts while I'm out camping with the family this week. Hope you like it. :)

I was a *bit* late to the party with Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. This came out for the PS3 a few years ago and did so with a good deal of fanfare. I finally picked this and its sequel up around Christmas time and just had a chance to play Uncharted: Drake's Fortune and came away impressed. It holds up quite well despite being a couple of years old. The game clearly draws inspiration from the Tome Raider games and Indiana Jones movies, with high production values that give it a summer blockbuster feel.

Graphics - 8:

Everything looks good. There is a lot of polish in place on the cinematic scenes, and the various lighting effects and varied locals from deep passages to lush jungle vegetation really help sell the story and overall adventure. There are times where your pre-canned animations look a bit odd, and you see clipping and tearing with some of the set pieces as you interact with them, but even at a few years old this game's visuals please.

Sound & Music - 9:

The voice acting is very good and really immerses you in the storyline. Sound effects are good with a wide range of convincing gunshots, explosions, grunts and more - though sometimes the firefight sound effects and comments can get a bit repetitive. The music fits the action, the scenes and chases perfectly.

Gameplay - 8:

Platforming is fun, and seldom frustrating. Some felt it was a bit too easy, but I enjoyed it. The fight scenes are usually good, though they can get frustrating from time to time due to the huge swarms of enemies that seem to never stop. I can appreciate that the chase/vehicle scenes add a nice bit of variety to things, but they did not always control as well as I would have liked.

Intangibles - 7:

There's some rewards and bonuses, and they've added trophies retroactively to this PS3 exclusive. That said, the game was pretty short and having played through it once, I did not really have an urge to play it again. The lack of online/multiplayer hurts the game's lifespan a bit too, unfortunately.

Overall - 8:

That said, it can be acquired pretty cheaply used, and if you enjoy these hybrid adventure/3rd person shooting games, I think this is among the best I've played to date. I had a lot of fun with it, my kids enjoyed watching me play it. My oldest kid is not much of a gamer, but she watched more than 90% of the game, even choosing to do more of her laundry folding in the living room just so she could watch it. She said it was like watching an interactive movie. When I teased her that it really wasn't interactive for her, she said it was because she could point and laugh at me every time I died. Doh!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Gaming thoughts... 6/12/11

Short but sweet, rediscovering online combat. :)

So, my son and I were both pretty stoked over the footage we saw of Modern Warfare 3 at E3. I really liked Black Ops, but overall I enjoyed the online to Modern Warfare 2 more. My buddy at work who got me started on the Call of Duty games suggested I reacquire Modern Warfare 2 and pick up Modern Warfare 1 (I had not played that more than a handful of times over at his house and I had traded away Modern Warfare 2 quite some time ago).

For people who have been with my blog for awhile, Modern Warfare 2 was actually my 2nd game review on here. I had thoroughly enjoyed it. So, on a whim, my son and I swung over to Gamestop and picked up MW 1 & 2 fairly cheaply and have been playing the crud out of them both this weekend, and it's been a lot of fun. He's been needling me about picking up some of the older Halo games for the 360 and I may just have to break down and do that soon as I thoroughly enjoyed Halo: Reach, but it was admittedly my introduction to the series.

The story modes to Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops were pretty short - but the online really helps these games retain their value. I've read a lot of complaints that the campaign modes end way too quickly to be worth the dollars the game costs to both produce and buy - but after playing MW 1 online and still seeing a pretty robust community of players having at it, I would say there's some definite value in these titles. What do you think? Any heavy CoD or Halo players? What about the Battlefield series - I haven't played them yet, same with Resistance - any favorites out there?

Also, I have a ton of posts - mostly reviews - coming soon from a variety of platforms that will hopefully be of interest. :)