Below are the reviews I made in May, and early June, as well as other, notable publications. After I finish Bioshock, expect a review of it, as well as my long-delayed review of Bioshock Infinite; as well as many other reviews (mostly of Assassin's Creed and Crash Bandicoot) in the coming weeks.
Movie and TV Reviews:
Notable Articles, Opinion Pieces, and Satire:
I hope you guys enjoy 'em, and be sure to leave a comment, either here, or on their respective pages. For now, rigbybot127, signing off.
In the 90s, youd be hardpressed to find a cartoon more successful and groundbreaking than Batman: The Animated Series. It was mature, very well-written animation, won an Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program, and was aired Saturday mornings. The show being the roaring success it was, spun-off a crapton of (mostly) equally praised programs. One of those was the aptly-named Superman: The Animated Series.
A scientist named Jor-El discovers through his studies that Krypton, Supermans home planet, is on the verge of total destruction. He attempts to convince Kryptons rulers that the planets about to hit the fan, and they veto his idea of sending all of the Kryptonians to the Phantom Zone; because a supercomputer by the name of Brainiac, who monitors all of the utmost major operations of the planet, denies the apocalypse. Jor-El goes to try and explain the matter to Brainiac, but notices he is downloading all of the info it has on Krypton, preparing to evacuate the impending Armageddon that it knew was coming all along; stating that warning the rulers would result in a world-wide evacuation, not allowing enough time for the downloads. Jor-El ultimately decided that opening fire on the computer may wipe out all memories of the dying planet. Brainiac wasnt feeling very appreciative, and ordered Krytons finest to arrest Jor-El. Jor-El rushes home to his wife, and child, and in their final seconds of life, send the boy off the planet, hurling into space, while they were engulfed in a fiery explosion; while Brainiac escaped to its satellite.
Their son, Kal-El, crashlands on Earth, in a small town known as Smallville, where he is found by Jonathan and Martha Kent; who take him in as their own, and give him the Earthly name: Clark. Fast-forward to his high school years, where he discovers that he has all sorts of extraordinary powers; which he then uses to save a family from a gas station explosion. Jonathan witnesses Clark melting metal with his newly-discovered heat vision, and decides to reveal his extraterrestrial origins, along with the spaceship, and a recorded message from his birth parents.
Superman loves the zoo.
Fast-forward to post-adolescent years, where Clark is now employed to the Daily Planet, and lives in the sprawling metropolis known as Metropolis. Billionaire entrepreneur, and CEO of LexCorp Lex Luthor is giving a demo of a new experimental mech suit, when it is stolen by terrorists. A man in red and blue spandex bursts in and applies ass-whippings to 2 of the terrorists, while a third one fires a missile at a plane, prompting the underwear-donning Clark Kent, now as Superman, to give up chase and take to the planes rescue. Lois Lane, Superman/Clarks love interest, is ordered to try for an interview with the superhero by the Daily Planets editor-in-chief, and her boss, Perry White. The escaped terrorist, John Corben, applies anarchy to the city, using the mech suit. Superman, in a surprisingly tough battle, manages to firmly hand his metal ass to him, finishing it off with the Bond one-liner: Shall we go a few rounds without the suit? In the deep reaches of space, extraterrestrials discover Brainiacs satellite via its signal. Brainiac murders the aliens, and commandeers their ship, linking himself to the former owners computer. This 3-part beginning sets the premise for many more adventures from the man of steel himself, Superman!
The writers from Batman return, and as such, it contains many dark, maturely written narratives, modernizing Superman, in the same way they did Batman.
The animation is a excellent as Batmans was, though not as dark, with many more primary colors compared to Batmans primarily black and grey color palette, and the audio is naturally good, with good voice-acting and instrumental music.
The original Odd Couple.
Of course, as it came from Batman: TAS, this may very well be the best Superman cartoon ever made; good enough to be judged on its own merits from Batman, and proves itself to be much more than just Batman, but Superman.
(The entire series, all 54 episodes of it, is available on DVD; both in 3 volume discs, and a mammoth 7-disc boxed set, featuring the entire series, and extensive bonus features; it currently airs on The Hub, along with Batman: TAS, providing even more evidence that The Hub is currently the best family channel on TV. There also exists a direct-to-DVD feature called Superman: Brainiac Attacks, which was released in 2006, and is generally not considered a part of the DC Animated Universe, even though it has similar animation to TAS, and Tim Daly and Dana Delany reprise their roles as Superman and Lois Lane, respectively).
After Batman, Superman is the best comic book hero of all-time, and certainly the most heroic. His film series is once again being rebooted this coming Frida with the release of Man of Steel (should be seen in 3D). To celebrate this larger-than-life hero who has entertained us for decades with his wholesome alien, robber, and drug-dealer ass-whipping, tjsmoke63 and I (and maybe david_lck) will be reviewing an assortment of Superman media, ranging from films to cartoons to comic books, every day for the next week; as well the sure-to-be Summer blockbuster, Man of Steel. This event will begin Sunday, June 9th, at Leet Gamers Asia. Stay tuned!
In other news, expect both a Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us review from me in the coming weeks, as well as an opinion piece on filler in video games, and various pieces on assorted video game series. Stay tuned for all this, as well. For now, rigbybot127, signing off.
There have been claims on the internet, from industry professionals, who have stated that the Xbox Ones colorful choice of business decisions in handling were wrong and will damage the company in the long run. As well, gamers are disappointed at the newly found focus at being an all-in-one home entertainment console, as opposed to the PS4s total game focus. Now lets stop and think for a minute; is the PS4s decision to focus on games really such a kosher idea?
No, it's awful; just plain awful. If I went back to my PS2-playing self, and explained to me what would happen, I'd probably lose all respect for Sony, and then my lunch. Are you still not understanding it? Here, let me explain it: the PS4 is focusing on games from dozens of developers; the games are next-gen; next is the person who goes after you in Monopoly, which is also a game; gen is the generation of people who were hurt by the people who played Monopoly the most; those people were: the Nazis! Hitler was a huge fan of Monopoly, and played it while he sicked dogs on escaped Jews; dogs will be in the new Call of Duty game, releasing on PS4. Unfortunate Implications, indeed!
Turns out the Nazis did in fact outlive the French Empire.
But wait! Hitler had a brother named Ricky Martin. Ricky Martin was in a band called Menudo, which is a type of soup. Tomato is a type of soup. Tomato tomato Bob the tomato! A character from the Christian cartoon, Veggietales. Spongebob Squarepants is a cartoon, which has a character named Sandy Cheeks, which is from Texas. Texas, of course! Why didnt I think of it before? Zack Hawthorn lives in Texas. Zack is also the name of a character from Suite Life. In the episode The Ghost and Mr. Martin, he finds a long-lost compass for the ghost of the steam vessel, Jesse Belle's captain, Entineel. Ghost! Ghosts? Call of Duty: Ghosts, a first person shooter which is releasing later this year on, what else? The PS4.
As you can deduct from the evidence I present here today, not only is the Xbox One a more entertaining and viable choice, its also a less deadly one. Do you possibly have a argument to counter my allegations? No? I rest my case.
You may or may not know what Qubo is; so in case you don't, Qubo is a 24-hour digital channel, filled to the brim with nothing but kids' shows. They're all either educational, Canadian, or 3-2-1 Penguins. Some goodies include Babar, 3-2-1 Penguins, Dragon, Zula Patrol, Rescue Heroes, Jacob Two Two, and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? during the normal pre-watershed hours.
After the watershed, is Qubo's Night Owl block, which might as well be called "Filmation's Making a Comeback, B*tches!", since, besides two shows (Being Ian and Class of the Titans), it's entire line-up consists of Filmation; He-Man, She-Ra, Ghostbusters (no, not THOSE Ghostbusters; the real ones), and Bravestarr (sadly, no Star Trek: TAS as of yet). Night Owl used to air two of the best shows to grace Qubo, Spliced (the only TV-PG show ever on the channel; like a spiritual successor to Ren and Stimpy; currently airs on Teletoon, and only has one season) and Sitting Ducks (a great CGI cartoon based on a series of books about a gay couple: an alligator and a duck. Obviously, this element was removed for the adaption). Sadly, they were both removed about a year ago, and that sucks hard.
R.I.P Spliced (April 1, 2010 - October 19, 2010)
Qubo's quality has been deteriorating in recent months. Gone are shows like Rupert, Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse, and VeggieTales (which didn't really have very long of a run), as well as the two I mentioned earlier. It's gonna take a lot to turn Qubo's seasonal rot around, and fortunately, that's exactly what they've got coming.
Beginning January 2014, Qubo will fire their guns atop a snowy mountain, and bring forth an avalanche of quality, most of which have not been seen in decades. January will bring us, among other stuff, Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM), Super Mario World, The Chipmunks, and *takes a deep breath* Animaniacs. June will bring us The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog, and The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. And Finally, for Night Owl, October will bring us *inhales deeply* Sonic Underground, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show (that means 3 shows for both Sonic and Mario), Inspector Gadget, The Woody Woodpecker Show, Care Bares (Yeah, I said it), Tiny Toon Adventures, and, finally, Kirby: Right Back at Ya!
Qubo is a breath of fresh air amidst all the vulgarity everywhere else on broadcast television, and is there for both the kids of the world, as well as the kids at heart; and with all these new, old shows on the horizon, Qubo will become the ultimate place for nostalgia.
(In case you don't know, Qubo is a digital channel, and as such, can be only accessed with either a digital converter box with an antenna, or an HDTV and an antenna. It's channel number is 29.2).
That title is a fabrication; merely there to get you to read this. Now that you're here, you might as well stay so I can offer you an un-biased opinion of the series.
They're not bad. "What?! Are you mad? You bloody, sniveling moron!" I can understand that many of you are offended at the very thought of anything nice to say about the series, but allow me to drop the bomb again, in case you missed it, and don't wanna go back and double check. They're not bad. In fact, I would add that some of them are pretty good, even great.
A normal day in the world of Call of Duty.
In case you have quite literally been under a rock, or in a Turkish prison for the last 6 years (you'd be better off under the rock); allow me to fill you in about the series: Call of Duty was a 2003 first-person computer game created by Infinity Ward, with a narrative set in World War II, which just happened to spawn a couple of sequels. 2 was a launch title for the Xbox 360, and kept the WWII theme of its predecessor. Soon after, 3 was released on many consoles, as well as a launch title on the Playstation 3, and also had the WWII theme. From this point, you may or may not have heard of the series, because it was not very intrusive; they were just a trilogy of FPS, and not exactly pervasively popular. Then, in the Fall of 2007, Infinity Ward released their Magnum Opus, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Now the series was cool! It was set in modern times, opposed to the WWII setting of the originals, with a wholly epic narrative, innovative, massively popular online multiplayer; and it all came in box with a shiny, new M-rating. At this point in time, you couldn't go anywhere on the internet, or hang out with you gamer friends without hearing about this amazing shooter.
After COD4, another studio, Treyarch, released the fifth game, which would serve as a prologue to their Black Ops series: World at War. It returned to the WWII setting of the originals. It introduced an element which would later become the only reason some people bought the Treyarch games: online/local co-op zombie murdering!
In 2009, Infinity Ward released Modern Warfare 2, which, like 4, won numerous GOTY awards. This is the point when people started getting hit with "Call of Duty Fatigue". The mulitplayer had some pretty whack servers, and was somewhat glitchy. The story was also cited as being lame and uninspired. It also generated controversy when it came to a mission that allowed you to murder innocent people inside of an airport; the controversy may have made it seem amazing, but in reality, it wasn't a very fun mission, and was actually brutally, unfairly hard.
Many people who left the COD ship after MW2 would end up missing out on Treyarch's next game in the series: Black Ops. It included much improved multiplayer servers, and an advanced version of zombies; as well as an intricate, epic (mind-screw) of a narrative, set in the Cold War. This is the point where people started to notice the annual releases, as well the alternating between Infinity Ward and Treyarch. Most didn't sit with this too well, claiming that Activision (the publisher of the series) was just milking stupid gamers, and kept releasing the same game every year with a palette swap, with a hefty price tag of $60, along with another $40 for all the DLC level packs.
The most badass zombie killers in history.
At no point did this piss people off more than with the release of Modern Warfare 3. With a subpar campaign, lame multiplayer, and not very many changes, additions, or redeeming values; a lot of people had completely written off the series as garbage (you wouldn't know this due to all the hundreds of millions the series makes each year). Those people would miss out on what is perhaps the the greatest installment of the series since 4.
Black Ops 2. Black Ops 2 was the first time in the series since World at War with significant new additions. The campaign was better than ever, with truly epic moments and quality writing. The zombies had been tweaked, and the multiplayer was very much revamped, with lots of new toys and levels. It now featured the ability to offer color commentary during matches, giving the whole affair an e-sport feel.
Black Ops 2 has the best graphics of the series; being the newest, this is rightfully so.
Now that you're all caught up, let me tell you just what makes the series great: the controls. The controls are fantastic. Even if you hate the games, you have to admit they control very smoothly, and are fun to play, even though they're just "mindless shooters". The campaigns, even if they don't have great stories, or the best writing, are undeniably epic, with some very memorable set-pieces (such as the "All Ghillied Up" mission from 4), among the most epic of this generation.
A new entry, Ghosts, is scheduled for release this year, for next-gen consoles, a year after Black Ops 2; and will include a new engine, dogs, and AI-powered tropical fish. Even though the games are released annually, they are worked on by 2 separate developers, who work on the games for about two years before they are released to the general public. The development may sound troubling, but the games aren't broken, so its not a problem.
Those fish are the most next-gen thing I've ever seen.
Whether or not you enjoy Call of Duty, it is firmly planted in our culture. Small-town video game stores have entire tournaments set around the games, and millions flock to the store each year, with a $60 in their pocket, patiently waiting to dive into some fast-paced, mindless multiplayer fun; and epic, if sometimes dumb, narratives.
While it may not reach the levels of quality associated with the likes of Bioshock and Half-Life, the Call of Duty series contains considerably fun First-Person shooters with smooth, fluent controls. Flame on, internet. Flame on.
If you've been on a gaming website in the last 6 years, and have brought up this game, chances are you were exposed to the totally shattered base that is the general opinion on GTA IV. One half of the zeitgeist loves GTA IV and thinks it is a landmark in video gaming history, while the other side loathes it, citing some sort of phantom bad controls, since I cant find these anywhere, and a more dark and dramatic storyline, making them more likely to jump ship and swim to the nearest one harboring Saints Row, which is itself a great game series. Others have a moral vendetta against it, due to the graphic language and violence, as well as depictions of drugs and alcohol and some sexual themes; of course, there are also the people who complain, whom of which have never played it, citing instances of the player character indulging in drugs (usually citing heroin) and raping women, neither of which ever happens, though this sort of blind feces has been spewing from the media watchdogs' mouths since III.
I, myself, am planted firmly in the former end of the zeitgeist (I keep using this word, not knowing what it means!); with the strong belief that GTA IV is one of the greatest video games of all-time.
Niko (left) and his cousin, Roman (right).
You are Niko Bellic, an ex-soldier who immigrated to America, looking for a new life amidst the bullshit fairy tales his cousin Roman sings to him over the phone. Here, he makes the best of the bad situation he lands in, and must take to an underground of criminals, drug dealers, mafioso, diamonds and trucks full of heroin, as well as friends, all while trying to make his and his cousin's life better, in the search of the elusive American Dream.
That is my spoiler-free summary of the plot. Sounds good, right? Well, it's even better than you can imagine. It's actually really hard to describe the exuberant effect the narrative hits you with, and the surprisingly deep sociopolitical satire hidden within a deep, dark, emotional tale of revenge and your various bonds with people, good or bad; all this from the guys who like to hide dick jokes and 69 in all their games (which is far from absent here).
All of the characters feel much more human than ever in a Rockstar game. They all have some sort of motivation driving them to do what they do, and good reasons for it. And of course, this being a Rockstar game, they are also very-well characterized, and a joy to be around.
Such as Roman, your cousin, who is a very large ham who likes to yuk about his love for "big American t*tties" and how much of a sex machine he is, with all his fortune, even though he has a girlfriend, Mallorie. Once you arrive in America, it turns out that it was a ploy to get you out here, because he wanted to hang out with his cousin. A man he owes money, Vlad, is screwing his girlfriend, and he just stands by allowing it to happen, as to not anger Vlad. Niko doesn't sit too idly to this, and doesn't pretend for a minute to enjoy Vlad's company. Niko gets fed up with Vlad's big loud mouth, and the mockery he's making of Roman's life, so he executes him. Within the first 10 missions of the game. Only once this happens, does Roman grow at least half of a pair, and tell Niko off for putting his whole life in jeopardy with this stunt, even though he was trying to help. This sets the rest of the plot into motion.
Best for me not to talk about any more of the plot, and just let you experience it yourself, as you would not want this wonderfully written narrative spoiled for you. Needless to say, its Rockstar's finest story, and will be very hard to top.
Little Jacob (right) is one of the funnier characters, due to his accent making him completely impossible to understand.
The structure is non-linear, and mission-based, with sometimes up to several story missions available at once for you to accomplish, and can be completed in almost any order. Because of this, a story mission branch that is available at the same time as another story mission branch will never reference each other at the time, until after the necessary branches crossover (if they ever do).
Most people will divide most of their time from doing story missions into exploring the booming dystopia known as Liberty City (an expy of New York City, with an area dedicated to New Jersey), searching for the games numerous side-missions and random character encounters (little hidden mission branches, activated by approaching certain characters, indicated on the map when close to one). Liberty City isn't quite as vast as San Andreas was (though that's not to say that its tiny by any definition), but it is infinitely more detailed, and, as a result, much more enjoyable to play around in. No need to cross huge canvases filled with water, just to get to your mission. Due to honest-to-God atmosphere and level of detail, the city feels very alive, as if all of its residents are people, with friends and family, going places, to do things. Which makes it a tad bit more gut-wrenching and shocking (not to mention with the highly-advanced and realistic physics engine, RAGE) to crash into them with your vehicle, though no less fun. Be sure not to finish the game without first reading all the signs located in Star Junction!
At night, Star Junction is simply gorgeous.
The gameplay is the same, and very different from what we had on the PS2. You can still jack cars and kill people, all the basics. The combat system is when the differences really start to pile up. The PS2 and PSP games had admittedly lousy gunplay. This game vastly improves the gunplay controls, and adds a cover-system ala Gears of War and Uncharted. The new physics engine makes the impact of the bullets "part-sensitive"; for example: if you shoot a cop in the left leg, their response will accommodate that, prompting a fall in the correct canon direction. The PS3 version is enhanced with optional Sixaxis controls, which should be kept off, except for the option to flip upwards on the Sixaxis to reload, which is enormously helpful.
The driving system has also been revamped, bordering on simulation, compared to the past games' arcade-style. This is where the majority of the complaints for this game come from, people disliking the realistic control of the vehicles, saying they shouldn't actually have to try in order to use a vehicle. I, personally, feel that the driving control is perfect, and am actually pretty disappointed when going back to past games. The physics engine allows for more realistic burnouts, meaning when you driving outlandishly fast, and crash into something solid, you better believe you're coming out of that windshield. The cars also don't blow up as much as in past iterations, and when damage is taken, the part that received the damage is the part that is most affected, rightfully so. Your engine is much more likely to give out before the car ever catches on fire, though if it does catch on fire, you have an ample amount of time to escape, compared to San Andreas' "by the skin of your ass escapes". Alternatively, you can just hail a taxi.
The cops have received a much more grimacing revamp. As series tradition, the tiniest little bump of your car to theirs will prompt a city-wide manhunt. There is now a radius of mass search, indicated on your radar, which you must escape and hide out soon afterwards; difficulty either lowering or spiking, depending on your current number of stars (1-6). You can also take an alternative route and just give yourself up the first time they ask (and only the first time, since its impossible if you resist arrest even once), resulting in them arresting you, in case you want to avoid the chase; but doing this will result in the loss of your weapons, and is just not a very fun alternative. Because of the advanced AI, you will actually see cops doing their job, arresting people that have no chronology to you. This can be exploited for fun, such as starting a fight, then luring the opponent to an area with police, letting them jab you, resulting in them being arrested.
You now have access to a cell phone and computer, the former being much more important than the latter. The latter is only useful, story-wise, a couple of times, and can be used to find a bunch of funny in-game websites filled to the brim with satire, while the latter is your gateway to all but the options. You can use it to call up friends and girlfriends, for hang-outs and dates, respectively, as well they can call you; another common complaint, people stating that they are interrupted a lot from friends wanting to hang-out (spawning the infamous meme "Hey cousin, lets go bowling! stated by Roman at least once during a phone call); though you don't have to hang out with them unless you care about your level of friendship with them (which, at a high enough percentage, can result in some pretty sweet bonuses, the best being Roman's; as well as a trophy/achievement for getting all of your friends percentage past 90%), and even then, you can just accept it, and then call back and cancel, without the friendship percentage taking a loss; and you never get hang-out calls during missions save for two (very inconvenient) instances, and you automatically take a rain check.
Burger Shot: your main health regenerator.
When you do go out with friends, will you be able to get to know them, and can take them out anywhere from bowling and pool minigames to stand-up acts including Ricky Gervais and Katt Williams, whom of which can also be seen on....
Your in-game TV! Located at any one of your safehouses is a TV, which you can power on and watch any of the hilarious satirical programs currently on. My favorites are Republican Space Rangers, a jab against hard-blooded ant-communism American extremists; and The Men's Room starring Bas FREAKING Rutten. That's all that needs to be said. While the satire is top-notch, it does not compare to what you will find on....
The radio! Lazlow's very presence makes it explicitly clear that some hardcore satire awaits. Like every other 3D GTA, he has his own radio station; in this game its Integrity 2.0. That station, along with many others, contain some hilarious satire that I'd rather not spoil here. The game also sports a huge library of great tunes for your enjoyment, spanning many tastes. The PC version allows you to listen to your own MP3's on a special customizable radio station.
Back to the phone: it can also be used to access the games multiplayer, which makes GTA IV the first GTA to have (official) multiplayer. Its 16-player (32 on PC), with many game modes for you to romp around LC in. This includes basic free-for-all and team deathmatch, some capture the flag-like modes, small slightly narrative-driven competitive and co-op missions, and a free mode, allowing you to just screw around in LC with your buddies, with no obligations. Its quite cathartic, to say the least.
The platinum for this game, while not exactly very difficult, is quite time-consuming, requiring for you to acquire 100% completion, which is no walk in the park (I still haven't gotten it, as of the time of this writing).
Niko's attire can be fully customized, at various clothing stores, though he cannot receive hair-cuts and tats like CJ could in San Andreas. The RPG aspects of San Andreas are completely absent, for the better.
High anxiety multiplayer.
You will find yourself in a lot of difficult missions/situations, which, unlike the previous games, are actually some of the most fun parts of the game; with my (and many others) personal favorite mission, Three Leaf Clover, being very hard, and very rewarding. These situations will be impossible to complete if not properly prepared, which you should be throughout the entirety of the game. You can stalk up on weapons and armor in illegal back-alley gun vendors (the mayor has a real hard-on for gun control; so Ammunation stores do not exist in LC), with the enormous amounts of money you will acquire throughout the game.
In 2009 came two "DLC" episodes, quotations around DLC because they are basically entire games in their own right. They both come with about 20+ missions each, new protagonists, storylines happening around the same time as IV's, which even crossover with each other a few times; new weapons, radio, stand-up, and TV shows; and many new side-missions. They are absolutely imperative to understanding the entirety of the GTA IV era story, and are two of the best DLC ever released. They are both included in the Complete Edition, along with IV.
This is the last thing Niko's enemies will ever see.
Grand Theft Auto IV is Rockstar's Magnum Opus, and a landmark in video game storytelling and technological prowess. With it's well-written, non-linear, dark, emotional storyline, filled with largely memorable characters; unfolding in a large, beautifully detailed city, powered by a revolutionary physics engine and sophisticated AI; and featuring a polished, advanced rendition of the series renowned style of gameplay; Grand Theft Auto IV is an unforgettable experience, that is incredible in every way. You owe it to yourself to hop on the next flight out to Liberty City.
Since Mario hit our screens in 1985, there have been video games that bleed beauty and technical sophistication. This here is a list of the greatest damn games of all-time, one made up of games that have pushed the threshold of what can be considered art; and entertained us for hours, even years after release.
Now, this isn't a list of your favorite games. Don't get upset, just because your favorite isn't on here. I already know you're going to be upset, and I'm not going to apologize. Also, this is a celebration of games, so expect spoilers.
Alas, behold the greatest video games of all-time!
#10. Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence
Metal Gear Solid 4 may be the most technically proficient of the series, but none have ever reached the emotional heights of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. Naked Snake is tasked with the duty of killing his former master and mother figure, The Boss, all while dealing with love interests, a huge threading tank, 4 (or 5) wacky boss supernatural beings, and a dislike for James Bond and vampires. The gameplay is the fully-realized version of the potential left behind by Metal Gear Solid 2; with the camouflage feature, you won't be able to believe how you got along without it.
The emotional impact Snake is feeling during his journey to assassinate the only mom he's ever known resonates with all of us, and as such, this is one of the only games Ive ever cried during. This game also houses some of the best boss battles ever, such as the sniper battle against The End, in a wide-open forest, with three interconnected areas, having to utilize your microphone, and keen senses to survive; or the explosive battle against The Fury, which quickly turns into survival horror; or the fantastic final battle against The Boss. All that, and the theme song (as well as the ending song, Way To Fall), makes this the greatest of the series, and one of the greatest games of all-time.
Standout moments: The End, The Fury, The Boss.
#9. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
I already spoke of Uncharted 2 in the Leet Gamers Asia Top 10 PS3 Exclusives List, so I might as well just plagarise my paragraph from there:
The full proverb is No Honor Among Thieves, which is certainly the case in Nathan Drakes second outing, and in most minds, his best. His first game showed a lot of potential, which was unfortunately not ceased due to clunky shooting controls and screen-tearing. Uncharted 2 takes its potential, and runs it up a very large hill, and has perfect framerate and zero screen-tearing, making it one of the most technically perfect console games ever made. Uncharted 2 pays homage to a lot of action-packed Hollywood movies (most notably the Indiana Jones series), and plays like a 12-hour movie, with all the action, romance, twists and turns you would expect from such; but the pacing is perfect, never gets stale, making it a joyride to play long after the credits roll.
Standout moments: the train (of course) and the final chapters in Shambhala.
#8. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 and Knuckles
The biggest installment of the series is also the best. Originally, due to time constraints, split up into two games, Sonic The Hedgehog 3, and Sonic and Knuckles; becomes one long, grand game full of platforming goodness. Remember when Knuckles used to be Sonic's enemy? Or when he was naive enough to be tricked by Eggman? Early Installment Weirdness at its finest. I always found it the most fun to play as Knuckles, since he can climb walls, and glide, while with Sonic and Tails, it was easy to die.
Excellent 16-bit graphics, amazing music, and long play-time, with 14 emeralds to collect (the latter 7 are SUPER EMERALDS), made Sonic 3 and Knuckles the best game on the Sega Genesis, and the greatest Sonic game ever.
Your leisurely vacation to the underwater dystopia of Rapture, remains the greatest FPS of the seventh generation of gaming. An FPS where the gameplay takes a backseat to the atmosphere, yet is still sublime. The variety of plasmids and weapons made the combat very strategic, compared to the stick twidling of, say, Call of Duty; and, as well as the hacking, adds to the atmospheric sandbox feel of the game. Big Daddies, protectors of the Little Sisters, have become video game icons, and send shivers down you spines every time you see one. It spawned two great sequels, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite. The PS3 version of Bioshock Infinite comes with this game for free, so if you haven't, there's really no reason not to play this game.
#6. The Orange Box
Valve did gamers a solid when they released this hefty AAA-filled compilation of FPS for us to enjoy on our seventh-gen consoles. This comes with perhaps the greatest FPS of all-time, Half-Life, and its episodes, both of which are great, especially 2; cerebral puzzle game Portal, the greatest freebies ever; and Team Fortress 2, a team-based multiplayer game, in which Valve discontinued support for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions a long time ago, and is free on PC, anyway.
Half-Life 2 utilizes the greatest physics in any video game (the Gravity Gun is a great showcase for that), with some truly epic set-pieces, great characterization (for Alyx, perhaps the greatest female AI-partner until Elizabeth in 2013), and very well-designed levels, makes it into an epic experience that only Valve could deliver; along with its continuation episodes, and Portal, makes this a no-brainer. Who knew the greatest FPS of all-time wouldnt even have iron-sights?!
#5. Grand Theft Auto IV
It may not have the biggest play-space, or the most extravagant, wacky toys; but it certainly is the best open-world sandbox game ever made, let alone best GTA. You are Niko Bellic, ex-soldier who immigrates to America, looking for a new life amidst the bullshit fairy tales his cousin Roman sang to him over the phone. Here, he makes the best of the bad situation he lands in, and must take to underground of criminals, drug dealers, mafioso, diamonds and trucks full of heroin, as well as friends, all while trying to make his and his cousin's life better, in the search of the elusive American Dream.
With damn-near a 100 story missions (not even counting the 40+ missions that come with the 2 episodes, which feature different playable characters and storylines set during IV, which must be played in order to have a complete understanding of the entire story) and innumerable amounts of side-missions (which would mean nothing if the gameplay wasnt as amazingly fun as it is), collectibles, arcade games, and stunt jumps; as well as 16-player multiplayer, with a ton of gameplay modes; needless to say, your playtime will be long. or, you can just screw about, running over civilians, blowing things up, and evading police; which is fun, but you should be sure not to let that impede on your playing through the masterful, mature narrative; with a rather tear-jerking ending (depending on which one you choose).
Standout moment: Three Leaf Clover.
#4. Super Mario 64
Though it was not the first 3D platformer, it was the one that turned the genre on it's head. While many franchises died with their step to 3D (Earthworm Jim), with a mixture of bad graphics. and broken polygon ceiling gameplay; Mario made his leap to 3D with a freaking bang. It looked beautiful, it was huge, with hundreds of stars to collect in the games many levels, all of which are expansive, well-designed and offer a sandbox feel; as in you could collect certain stars in any order, while some could only be collected after certain requirements are met; the game also didn't railroad level to level, and once you unlocked an area of the castle, you could play any level in that area, in any order (not to mention all the hidden levels). Compare that to the more streamlined nature of Galaxy.
Most of all, though, this game was fun. Really fun, with its robust platforming with complex analogue controls unheard of to the platforming genre at the time. It was remade for the DS as Super Mario 64 DS (no, really), and includes Luigi, Wario, and Yoshi as playable, main characters. Super Mario 64 is, if not the best, then, the most important platformer since his first adventure on the NES.
#3. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Okay, I'm gonna level with you. I've had a pretty hard time deciding which Zelda I was gonna use; they're all so great, and a lot of them have revolutionized the action-adventure genre. I ultimately decided to go with Twilight Princess. Why? Because its very-well designed, and quite amazing! Twilight Princess is easily the one of the best games on the Gamecube and Wii. It is such a dark and challenging adventure, a contrast to Wind Wakers colorful, cartoon-ish atmosphere (though that game is still dark, as well).
The gameplay mechanics function much like the other 3D Zelda games that came before it; Link travels through vast landscapes on his horse, Epona; can lock on to and strafe around enemies, slashing and using various items and weapons against your foes, and to solve puzzles. All of this is made more robust with the use of motion controls in the Wii version, which function very-well, and more engaging than pressing buttons, though the game is just as playable with a traditional controller in the Gamecube version, or as a replacement for the Wiimote in the Wii version. A swipe of the Wiimote equates to a swipe of you sword, and so forth. It also has some dark, but very-good graphics, definitely the best on the Gamecube, and even better with widescreen support on the Wii.
There are some other new gameplay features, but I dont want this to turn into a review, so Ill let you experience it for yourself; whether it be on Wii or Gamecube (or Wii U).
#2. Portal 2
After you killed a psychotic AI who has a fetish for scientific testing (GLaDOS; voice by Ellen McLain), you are put into cryogenic sleep. Turns out youve been sleeping for a while, and Aperture Science is in ruins. You are approached by a brilliant moron AI sphere by the name of Wheatley (Stephen Merchant), who needs your help escaping AS. One thing leads to another, and you've awaken GLaDOS, and all hell has broken loose. Through a few twists and turns, turrets, potatoes, Cave Johnson, and lemons; you and your trusty Portal Gun must tackle puzzle after puzzle, to break free of the psychotic AI's grasp.
The gameplay consists of shooting orange (L1, LT) and blue (R1, RT) trans-dimensional portals, using your Portal Gun. You use these portals to move things from one side of the room to the other, be it lasers, cubes, or goo, launching yourself, or just to get from one place to the next; You can only place portals on white walls. The gameplay is pure perfection, and requires an active brain (or a wiki, for all you cheaters); as well as the narrative, with great voice-acting and some truly exceptional quotes that you've most likely heard out of context; make this the most humorous, as well as greatest puzzle game ever made. And this is without touching upon the separate co-op campaign, which is double the length of the original Portal.
Well, here we are, nearing the end of the list. Before I reveal #1, here are some games that got shafted for a spot on the list:
Final Fantasy VII
Shadow of the Colossus
Batman: Arkham City
Red Dead Redemption
and various sequels and prequels from the franchises on this list
Okay, without further ado, here's #1:
#1. Resident Evil 4
The definitive shooter, Resident Evil 4 took third-person shooting gameplay and camp to perfection. Resident Evil 4 is nothing short of perfect. By dropping the series' awful controls, and setting it in a completely different atmosphere, they managed to drop some of the series' more heinous aspects, while perfecting their decent ones. Back in a time when Resident Evil was set apart from other shooters by atmosphere, and not over-the-top action, the atmosphere is no more chilling than in RE4.
The gameplay was turned from top-down to over-the-shoulder, which would become standard in third-person shooters. With it's very fluid, distinctive laser sight, aiming has never been as perfect since; being able to pull off perfect headshots with ease, if you've leveled up your weapons. Not being able to move while shooting may put some off, but for people like me it's no problem, and adds to the games haunting feel. Because of the merchant, the game also has a mild RPG element to it, allowing you to customize your weapons (hint: level up the Red9, as its easily the best gun in the game), for use against the Ganados.
I can go on and on about this game, but unless you've played it, you'll have no idea what makes it so special; hell, half of it is an escort mission, and it's still great, so that you should tell you right there it's quality. The PS2 version onward also comes with Separate Ways, itself a little more than half as long as the main campaign. I recommend either the Wii version, which has the best controls, or the HD version for PS3 and 360.
The gameplay's awe-inspiring perfection, chilling atmosphere, and dialogue and execution that is so horrible its incredible, make Resident Evil 4 the greatest video game ever made.
I hope you enjoyed reading the list, and if you don't agree with it, that's great. The fact that there are so many great games and people's favorites is evidence to just how far gaming has come since we were batting around a block with two rectangles; and I'm sure its only gonna get better. For now, rigbybot127, signing off.
From the now-defunct Team Bondi comes L.A. Noire. Utilizing the very-most advanced facial technology, they were able to bring Cole Phillips rise to glory to life, with very-well done facial acting, as well as phenomenal voice-acting, and an absolutely perfect rendition of Los Angeles, right down to the last spilled can of Cola King (most of the development time went into the amazing detail). Any inconsistency you find here (such as the set of Intolerance being around in 1947, even though the set was destroyed in 1919) was intentional, for rule of cool, so the developers could put you in the coolest historical set-pieces they could imagine.
Strong Arm Phelps
Cole Phillips is a married man, to both his wife and the force. He is an officer of the law, there to protect the inhabitants of L.A. with little compromise; who is given the chance to rise up in the ranks, and takes it. With each successive desk, you will be greeted by a new partner; conversations with them provide some of the best dialogue in the game (including a conversation about events that may or may not have happened, depending on whether or not you played the DLC), and more thrilling cases, with more badass set-pieces and mysteries. These desks are Traffic, Homicide, Vice, and Arson; two were cut from the final version of the game, as they would have had difficulty fitting it on one Blu-Ray disc (the Xbox 360 version already takes 3 discs); these desks were Bunco and Burglary. Littered around the games environment are newspapers which, when picked up, will show a little cinematic, which is absolutely imperative to fully understanding the story. Theyre usually not too far off the beaten path, so you would do good to pick them up.
Creepy Stalker Phelps
Aside from the story cases, you can also participate in Street Crimes, some random crimes which sometimes tie into earlier cases, which give a perfect excuse to explore this perfect rendition of 1947 Los Angeles. Sleepless nights were put into research, so they could bring us as much detail as they could, when most people wont see half of it, anyway.
The cars look nice, too.
Those nights were also put into perfecting the facial technology that the perfectionists at Team Bondi couldnt live without. It is as close to real human flesh as video games have ever come to (no, Sega CD games do not count). The realism of the facial twitches is how you can tell if someone is lying during an interrogation. The realism of the faces does make the body look a bit dead by comparison, however.
Now, thats a guilty-looking face if I ever saw one!
Depending on what clues you have found, you can ask the interviewee different questions, and judging on your evidence, and their facial expression; you can either believe them, doubt them, or call them liars, and shove the evidence in their face (in case you screw up the accusal of lying, you can back out of it with no reprecussions).
Even though its under the Rockstar Games logo, you cant just screw around like in Grand Theft Auto. You can only pull your gun out in the right circumstances, and its really hard (not impossible) to smash into pedestrians with your vehicles. Also, besides the Street Crimes and finding special vehicles and collecting golden reels (both of which are nigh-impossible to do without help from a wiki, and even then), or just looking at scenery, theres really not much to do in this town; compared to GTA or Red Dead Redemption, or the real-life L.A. for that matter. You most likely wont even go into half the town! A little bit more to do, spread over the game-world would have been nice.
Perhaps the best part of this game is its soundtrack. From the old-timey music and radio dramas, to the incredible voice-acting, this games aural mood is great, and will put you in the mood to solve crimes. At a crime scene, a wonderful little score plays to help with clue-finding (finding every clue is a necessity for getting 100% for your case), as in once the score stops, youve found all the clues in that crime scene.
Children: a rare species in Rockstar games. and no, you still cant kill them.
The game plays around with history, such as the identity of The Black Dahlia Killer (AKA The Werewolf), who to this day has never been caught (and youll find out why).
Even though they cut out 2 desks, and 11 cases overall to allow the game to fit on one Blu-Ray (and 3 DVDs for Xbox), a couple of cases were removed from the game and repackaged as DLC, one of which is exclusive to the PS3 version, and only available for Xbox via the Complete Edition, which comes with all the DLC, and is the version you should buy.
L.A. Noire is a thrilling police procedural, with a lot of twists and turns, that concludes in a commendable way (especially if you collected the newspapers). It may bore some of the ADHD gamers of the world, but for those who are patient, they may find it rewarding and interesting to play on the opposite side of the law for once.
L.A. Noire Review Link: http://bit.ly/12TnBU8
Tell me in the comments below your opinion on L.A. Noire, as well as any critique you have about my review. I'm always looking to better myself.
Finally, after 2 or so days of having the game, I finally found a co-op partner... an 8-yr old boy. Unfortunately, this is where the game's main problem lies; It shouldn't be played as a co-op game. What I mean by this is that it gets WAY too hectic, with the split-screen element, as well as just plain disorienting for a number of reasons; trying to locate yourself amidst the shitstorm of studs and enemies, as well as it being very hard to aim your batarang in split-screen, though not always impossible. In the darker areas, it can be hard to keep track of your characters, especially with the spilt-screen problem and if there's a large amount of breakable scenery; making it easy to kill the other player (you have unlimited continues, but studs fly from you after you die, and disppear after a while of not being picked up; though you'll have a fair share of studs by the second level).
Now that I have that out of the way, we can move on to what's nice about this game. This game is notable for being the first LEGO adaptation game to feature voice-acting; the key-word being "adaptation", since many original LEGO games have featured voice-acting before. The voice-acting is good; Troy Baker is great as Batman, Robin's is nice too, and Lex Luthor's is fantastic. The Joker's is okay, certainly no Mark Hamill, but he's does his wacky job right. The rest are great (and mostly Nolan North), with The Riddler standing out, in particular. The presentation is great, as are the graphics.
The gameplay is fun (especially by yourself), with many things to break, to collect, and puzzles to solve; mostly involving character-specific suits, brand-new from the first. In the first two levels, alone, you (spoilers, maybe) get an invisibility x-ray outfit and bomb outfit for Batman; but Robin get's the coolest toys, with an acrobatic outfit, that allows you to get up high, and turn into a ball; and a magnetic suit that lets you walk up blue walls, meaning that many times, Batman will forced to wait patiently on the ground floor.
I'll play past the first two levels tomorrow, and may post another impression blog about this game in the future. Thank you for reading this, I hope I may have influenced you to go out and pick yourself up a copy of this game; especially since it's only $20 ($30 Vita); and for those who do have it, tell me in the comments your opinion on the game (no spoilers, please). rigbybot127, signing off.
A striking revelation hit me a while ago: I'm a drug dealer... and also an ex-con... and apparently, a rapper as well. Why? Because I like Grand Theft Auto, and only those people have any sort of respect for the series. I couldn't possibly be a doctor or an attorney, since GTA IV is my favorite video game, and you can't be a fan of GTA if you want to pursue these careers. How do I know this? It's on page 5 of the doctor's/lawyer's collaborative handbook, duh! But with these revelations comes one problem...
Where the hell is all the drug money?! I mean, why am I living in a 2 bedroom apartment, and can only buy one $60 game a month if I'm a goddamned drug dealer? Apparently, I must not be a very good one. Where are all the drugs at, anyway? I've searched my house, high and low, but they are nowhere in sight. I must keep them at warehouse, or something. But how could I afford a warehouse? All the money I'm making from selling drugs, of course! Or, maybe I'm just using a friend's. But none of my friends seem the type to own a discreet warehouse specifically designed for storing drugs. Maybe it wasn't specifically designed (it wasn't in the leasing agreement, anyway), but we made alterations. How? With all the drug money!
I do believe that I would remember going to prison, being 15 and all. I'm pretty sure you remember going to prison at any age, but I may have been selling drugs during that part of the prison oritentation. What the hell did I do to be sent to prison? Maybe I killed someone, but I probably would have remembered doing something like that, or something similarly fun. But no, I think I know why I went to prison: I sold drugs!
My rapping career must not be going very well, since I'm not shopping at thrift shops very often. I haven't been asked to sing in a song with Justin Bieber yet, or perform on Sesame Street. Goddamn it! Oh wait, wait, wait... I was in Call Me Maybe. Yeah, I was the guy who was watching Hillary Scott's fine cinema on my computer, in the top window of the house across the street when Carly finds out her crush is gay. That part wasn't cropped out, was it? How do I not remember being such a industrious connoisseur of the ghetto arts? Well, drugs, of course!
Well, it may not be a fantastic lifestyle, but if the ultimatum is giving up Grand Theft Auto, then I'll gladly accept the former. Thank you Rockstar, for all the wonderful memories and good times with my brothers, as well as the chance to be a drug-dealing rapping ex-con, who moonlights as an astronaut; you may know me, as I was with Neil Armstrong when he boosted his smug ego to the ultimate extreme. For now, Buzz Aldrin, signing off.
Hey guys, it's been a pretty good week so far. Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One, and I bought LEGO Batman 2.
Concerning the Xbox One, I'm personally looking forward to it. While it may not be the games console that the PS4 will most certainly be, I'm sure it will be a great home entertainment console, that can play solid games well. I'm not sure why people are complaining about the new focus on more media than just gaming, since it will still do that; it's Xbox for Christ's sake! It will be of other uses when not be gamed on.
The used game fee is a failsafe for game devs who wouldn't make a cent off a used copy being sold, which they deserve, but it's not like they aren't making any money; people can't always afford to pay the $60, especially on experimental, risky games that probably wouldn't make much new, since people don't want to gamble their money away on a chance of quality (Men In Black: Alien Crisis, anyone?); allowing used games means more people can try your games, and ultimately become hyped for your next title. It's unfortunate they're going this route, but not totally unjustified. This will also mean that if you go with the One, Gamefly and Gamestop will become completely useless.
The online connection issue, on the other hand, is completely unjustified. Why make us deal with all that social bullshit? Some of us play games to be secluded from people, since, who are we kidding? People suck, and we'd be better off without them. This was a huge step down, and I really hope they come to their senses and omit it for the next redesign.
What else to say? Halo 5 will be great, the controller looks magical, the Illumiroom will be interesting, and Call of Duty: Ghosts is shaping up to be the best COD in a good while.
Besides the MS news, I just bought LEGO Batman 2 today, my first new game since buying and beating the superb Bioshock Infinite. Haven't opened it yet, since I'm bloody tired right now (it's 12:17 May 23rd as I'm writing this), but will tomorrow, and write a blog post about my initial opinions on it.
I'm sure I'll enjoy it, since I absolutely loved LEGO Batman on the DS. Loved it so much that it's one of the few games I've 100%. I'll be writing a review of it soon. I'm ready to get my blocks off!
For now, rigbybot127, signing off.
So, yeah, this is the part where I show you guys my Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas review from Leet Gamers Asia, which I'll get to in a sec. As it turns out, I already have a review of San Andreas on Gamespot, completely different from my LGA review. It is... unprofessional, to say the least, with no line breaks, and is a wall of text, but it was one of my first reviews as a hobbyist reviewer; so it does hold a lot of nostaliga, even with how bad it is. I'm going to present it to you here, beofre we move onto the LGA review; and this will be the final place you will be able to see the GS review, as after today, it will be replaced by my LGA review.
So without further ado, I present to you the final resting place of my O.G. San Andreas review:
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the biggest GTA ever made, and 2nd best (GTA IV is all that needs to be said). The awesome mechanics of previous GTA games have been very refined, to give you what is one of the most fun experiences you can have on your PS2; actually, it is; Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the best PS2 game ever made. Period. It is just so amazing. Never have I had so much doing a Base Jump off a canyon, and getting smashed into by an oncoming plane. The Story: Carl Johnson (CJ) returns to San Andreas, from Liberty City, after his "Moms" was killed in a drive-by retaliation from a rival gang (CJ's a part of the Grove Street Family); while headed back, CJ is framed for killing a police officer, framed by Officer Tenpenny (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson), and is forced to do some dirty work, along with his "homies". You can drive, shoot, and cause mayhem like any other GTA, but it's been refined, to a "T"; you can now aim manually, while moving, which is great; diving is nice and tight, fun "arcade" feel to it; the mayhem is awesome, with awesome new weapons, and the only time in the series you can ever control a plane; this is also the first game where you can swim, and underwater, at that. The music is fantastic, with Ice Cube, Lynard Skynard, Eddie Money, Rod Stewart, Rick James, Billy Idol, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and many more; the Xbox version allows players to import their own music into their own radio station, but with all the great music in this game, who would want to. The size of San Andreas is roughly the size of a small state (maybe?), as it takes Liberty City and Vice City and expands 3 times upon them; 3 cities: Los Santos, the striving ghetto area, beginning city; San Fierro, "San Fransisco" basically, 2nd city; and Las Venturas, the "Sin City" of San Andreas, final city of the game; and lots of country, forest, and desert in between. Sice this is a GTA game, the weapons and vehicles are obviously top-notch; vehicles can go unbelievably fast, and guns go boom, like usual. Since you are in a gang, you can take over other gang's turf; Ballas and Vagos turf can be taken over by killing a bunch of them on their turf, and they can be indicated by purple and yellow clothing, respectively. Speaking of clothes, you can now customize CJ a lot; not just tons of clothing items, but also hair and "tats", which makes the game very dynamic. Collectibles are also very much "there", with oysters, snapshots, horseshoes, numerous Unique Stunt Jumps, and tags you can tag over with spray paint. The game is also the first of the "GTA III Era" to have some sort of two-player; there are little races, 2-player Rampages, and Free-Roam games scattered around San Andreas that, if you find them, you can play with a friend (not through the story, but you can still cause hell, elsewhere). There are also some fantastic cheats for the game, which can make for some fun, just I recommend not using cheats past the 500 mark (you can see how many cheats you've entered in the stats section of the start menu) until you get past a certain "Madd" mission in Las Ventuas, because it could cause the mission to "happen to fast" and will be very hard to accomplish. Respect can also be earned, which will allow you to create little gangs of your homies, to go cause havoc with; you can earn more "slots" as you gain Respect, but make sure you have enough "slots" in your car for 'em. Bottom Line: This game is fantastic. That's it. So, get off (or more like on) your ass and play some SA; it's available on Xbox Live (definitely worth the money), and for PS2, Xbox, Windows, and Mac (might be coming to Playstation Network, GTA III and Vice City are). Oh, and Jetpacks!!!
Well, that was my shitty old review of San Andreas. It may suck, but it did help me as a reviewer. It helped me to realize that I DO NOT want to make a review like THAT ever again.
Now that we have that out of the way, here's my LGA review:
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the most outlandish game Rockstar has ever made. While Rockstar has grown up a bit with more mature, dark storytelling, and realism; many fans will look back on San Andreas as their favorite, and one can understand why. It takes everything that made III and Vice City great, refines it, gives you even more to do, and throws in one of the wildest narratives, one that will take you to every corner of San Andreas, and throw a whole lot of silly your way. Not too much; a reasonable amount. This isnt Saints Row, in that regard; and thats a good thing. It contains the right mix of silly and seriousness, to keep the narrative resembling something coherent.
Carl Johnson (or as youll know him, CJ) is coming home from Liberty City, in the event of his moms death. Just off the plane, he is pulled over by some bent cops; Tenpenny (played by Samuel L. "Motherf*cking" Jackson), and Pulaski; who frame him for the murder of a cop (which will be happening a lot during this game). That makes you their dog.
Bitch, whatd I tell you bout them snakes!
You arrive at your old moms house, where you meet your life-long homies, Sweet (also your brother), Ryder, and Big Smoke; and all members of the Grove Street crime family. It turns out things went to hell while you were gone, and most of the families split from Grove Street. Led by the naive Sweet, you and your homies take to the task of bringing GS back to the top.
(Screenshot courtesy of IGN)
Plans quickly derail, and what results is one of the wildest narratives ever, filled with tons of memorable, lovable characters; most of which are well-voiced by well-known actors/comedians/rappers; and Rockstars most idealistic game ever, as opposed to their usual brass cynicism; though the wonderful taut political commentary is still there. Its also their largest-scale, with a whopping 3 cities to explore, all connected by vast countryside/forest/desert; and a mission count well over 100; this game will take you about 20-30 hours to beat.
You can now parachute off of tall buildings and out of helicopters.
The games map is mostly based on California, with Nevada thrown in for good measure; Los Santos=Los Angeles, San Fierro=San Francisco, and Las Venturas=Las Vegas. All with their own flare, and whatnot. The size of the map is one of the main reasons many people find this installment their favorite; it is really big, and it can be pretty fun to get from place to place (remember kids, we didnt have taxis back then); but it can also sometimes be easy to get lost, and you will be annoyed at least once; such as driving for like 5 minutes in the forest, before coming across a huge divide filled with water, between you and the rest of your path, forcing you to drive along the gap until you find a way to continue, taking up a considerable amount of time. It may sound like Im being nitpicky, but I truly do appreciate the size of the map, and it really immerses you into the world. Just an interesting fact, San Andreas is set in the same universe as III and Vice City (as well as Manhunt), so be on the lookout for cameos of past characters.
Speaking of water, if you happened to fall off of a cliff into it, as frustrating as it would be, for the first time in GTA history, it would not render you dead; as you can now swim! Underwater even (though this is rather useless, except for rare occasions, and drains your lung capacity meter). It is more fun on land, though; as swimming can get kinda boring, and annoying; sometimes spending many minutes trekking around in the water, just waiting to find a dock or something you can grab on to to get the hell out. Its still a heck of a lot better than dying instantly by merely standing in the water. Just try to stay on land, if you can. Water=Life Insurance. You can also use it to bypass the bridges blocking off the rest of the map, early in the game, by simply swimming past them, but I dont recommend this. You will get a lot of cops on you, and you will not get them off with anything less than your imminent death.
That thing floating next to you is an oyster, which is one of the many collectibles in this game.
I mentioned the lung capacity meter earlier, which is one of the many skills you can level up. You can level up your stamina (how long you can sprint, cycle fast, etc.), your skill with every weapon, every kind of vehicle type (by going to specific vehicle schools), and your physique. You can eat out and work out (not at the same place); and depending on how much of either one you do, your body and (in the fat case) voice will change. You eventually have to go to a Burger Shot (or Cluckin Bell, or Pizza Stack) and eat something, otherwise your hunger will go down, and youll start to lose health. Scrappy mechanic? Sure, but it doesnt happen too often. Still, that particular RPG element could have been left out, and no one would miss it. Your lung capacity meter dictates how long you can swim underwater. It can be leveled up with practice; you should start this early, as a mission 3/5 into the game requires you to have good lung capacity.
Home of the Heart Stopper; six pounds of meat and cheese that will someone in five seconds.
Also, depending on your physique, you can (if you know where to look) acquire girlfriends. This mechanic flat-out sucks, and is so time-consuming and boring for what your eventual reward is (one for instance can get you out of jail with all of your weapons). There is only 1 instance where you have to date somebody, but other than that, there are much better things you can be doing with your time.
Youre not worth it.
Yo CJ! Dont be a busta! There are various spots all around Los Santos, which are all controlled by one of the two rival gangs. You can mount an attack on these spots, and claim them for your own. This will earn respect for you (along with any mission you do for your homies). You can use respect to recruit gang members to help you with random things, such as certain missions and taking down rival gang turf. This mechanic disappears 1/5 into the game.
This is the best way to win a turf war.
You can pick and choose what CJ wears, his hair-do, and his tattoos, making him the most customizable protagonist of the entire series. There are different clothes stores, all corresponding to different social classes. Binco is for the poor, bargain shoppers, while Rodeo is for the rich. You can find various barbers and tattoo parlors all around the city.
Another thing that can be leveled up is CJs melee. Once you reach a certain level of buff, you can learn new moves at either the local Los Santos gym or the San Fierro martial arts dojo. It equips the triangle/Y button with sweet, ball-busting moves. This of course is completely optional, as you wont really be doing much melee.
Along with the usual cars, boats and motorcycles; for the first time in the series, you can fully fly airplanes (not just that damn Dodo). One of the best missions in the game is a flight school, which is mandatory. It will piss a lot of people off, though. Also new to the series is the ability to move while free-aiming, though you have to level each gun up to a certain level before you can move while shooting. While its not perfect, its still a lot better than past GTA gunplay, though that really isnt saying much. The series isnt about pin-point accurate shooting mechanics.
Once you reach Las Venturas, you can put your hand and wallet to various gambling, such as video poker, blackjack or the roulette table. Its a pretty sure-fire and fun way to make hefty amounts of cash, which you can then use to play more poker.
The less you play, the luckier you get!
The soundtrack is great (with my personal favorite radio station being K-DST). While there are a lot of misses (mostly on the non-rock and rap stations), there are still a lot of great songs to keep you rocking. The public radio is a favorite, as well; with its hilarious social/political commentary; though its still not quite as good as IIIs Chatterbox. The little adverts in-between songs and the such are as funny as ever.
Word of advice: do not go into this expecting anything resembling easy or fair in terms of difficulty. There are some missions that are almost impossible unless you know what to expect, and what to bring with you in preparation. Couple that with the fact that (like every GTA before) THERE ARE NO CHECKPOINTS. These are some pretty long, sadistic missions we got here, and a very expansive distance between the mission start, and the local hospital. So, unless you save nearby the starting point (which you should always do; and be sure to save regularly, as there is no autosave, and Im sure you dont wanna lose precious hours of progress), youre gonna have to go through a lot just to gt back to the point you died, make it a little further, and then die again. There is also at least one (optional) mission branch that you forces to PAY to start it; and these are some of the best missions of the game. And then there are the races, which. I dont really have the stomach to talk about right now. Lets just say that if you can make it through the two mandatory races, the rest of the game will be a lot of fun, and a hell of a lot easier!
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is a very idealistic game, in terms of tone. While most other Rockstar games wind up depressing, San Andreas teaches you that no matter who you are, or where youre from, you can prevail, and be somebody. San Andreas is a rocking package filled with silly, rocking tunes, idealism and fun; and one of the greatest games on the PS2.
I hope you guys enjoyed my review, and for now, this is rigbybot127, signing off.
(Now available on Playstation Store and Xbox Live Marketplace, for $15 and 1200 Microsoft Points respectively. You can also find it on PS2, Xbox, PC, and Mac.)
Here's a link to the first collaborative article in the history of Leet Gamers Asia, pioneered by tjsmoke63, david_lck, and I; Top 10 PS3 Exclusives (Spoiler-Free): http://leetgamers.asia/lgas-top-ten-ps3-exclusives/
Just a year after the astounding masterpiece,Grand Theft Auto III, came the sequel: Vice City. Vice City, believe it or not, was almost better. It retained the gameplay of the third game, while adding a new city, motorcycles, a perfect soundtrack, and, best of all, had an actual story, with a protagonist that talks frequently.
A new way of travel.
Vice City features the timeless tale of a crook, who rises up from his small-time roots, and becomes a notorious drug lord. That crook is Tommy Vercetti, who with the help of his lawyer, his buddy, Lance, and rival gangs; takes Vice City for his own. He is sent to Vice City to perform a drug deal, when it goes wrong, and him and Kent (his lawyer) have to escape and hide out; he is forced to go after the money. He eventually runs into a colorful cast of characters, not the least of which is Lance, his buddy in crime, his main man.
If you die during a mission, Taxis will be there to bring you back to it.
The gameplay is practically the exact same as III, except with added elements, such as motorcycles and helicopters, and more weapons and cars to choose from. You can steal, beat, kick, shoot, explode, drive, the works. You can now also buy property, which is a big (and mandatory) thing to do in this game (you must buy the Malibu to finish the game). Also back are the side-missions; taxi, cop car, ambulance, paramedic, and the new Bus side-mission. Plus, you can hop out of amoving car, which you couldnt in III.
Stylin and profilin.
.The games all-around sound is even better than IIIs, with phenomenal voice-acting by Ray Liotta, Tom Sizemore, Dennis Hopper, Burt Reynolds, Phillip Michael Thomas, Danny Trejo, Gary Busey, Jenna Jameson, and Lazlow, who cowrote allradio stationsin this game, along with Dan Houser, and is the host of V-Rock. Every song in this game is a hit from the 80s, with more radio stations, and by extension, songs than III; all of them better (in my opinion) than III, with artists such as Megadeth, Electric Light Orchestra, Judas Priest, Quiet Riot, Toto, Blondie, Iron Maiden, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne, David Lee Roth, INXS, Michael Jackson, Teena Marie, Rick James, Kate Bush, Bryan Adams, Go West, Luther Vandross, Kool & the Gang, A Flock of Seagulls, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Spandau Ballet, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Hashim, Corey Hart, Laura Branigan, REO Speedwagon, and Eumir Deodato.
You must own this club to finish the game. (Source: IGN)
The game looks good, but only a little bit better than III; the graphics didnt have the same revolutionary feel as III, since this came out only a short year after III. Vice City looks nice, but isnt quite as great of a city as IIIs Liberty City. It feels smaller, less interesting areas, and had less of a dynamic feel than Liberty City. It features two masive islands (which you cant access both until a certain point in the game), with four bridges (two of which have mini-islands; one with a movie studio), and is very sunny and poppy, in stark contrast to Liberty Citys dark and dreary dystopia (which I prefer). The whole games tone, story-wise and in general, is more upbeat than the dark III, since its the Florida in the 80s, and not New York in 2001 (which was dark, believe me).
Ah, the awesome Vice City.
Vice City is a worthy sequel to the masterful III, and would remain the best selling game on the PS2, until the next edition in the GTA series. If you can, I recommend you buy it. It is now on the Playstation Network.
Back when the PS2 started out, it had a lot of great games, but only one killer app, Metal Gear Solid 2. That game is amazing, and would be the reason that many people bought the system. Then, from little known DMA Design, now Rockstar North, came GTA III, the sequel to the top-down Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2, and turned the system from the competitor of the Xbox and Gamecube, into the unstoppable powerhouse that we all know it is today.
Cops?! We dont need no stinkin cops!
Grand Theft Auto III kept the violence of the originals, while adding a story, and licensed music; but the one thing that makes this uniformly different from its predecessors is the camera, which is now third-person, and in full 3D, rather than the top-down perspective of the others before it. It was a very revolutionary game, gameplay and content-wise. The storytelling was unlike anything before it, as was the violence, which got it a lot of attention from media watchdogs, and with that, a lot of free advertising. It basically had the same gameplay, with added story elements, as the first 2, but with a lot more detail, which made jacking someones car and beating them up both more violent and controversial, and more fun.
The year is 2001 :You play as an unnamed criminal (until San Andreas, when his name is revealed to be Claude), who is betrayed by his girlfriend, Catalina, during a heist gone wrong. He is then arrested, and on his way to prison, when he is inadvertently freed from the prison escort. So he, and the car bomb maker, 8 Ball, head to a safehouse. He later meets Salvatore Leone, and becomes his errand boy. This game basically has no story, but the framing device is revolutionary. Driving from mission to mission, in whatever order you please, while very conventional nowadays, was practically unheard of at that time, outside of RPGs.
The cops dont even dare try and stop him.
You can punch, kick, use weapons, and steal various vehicles. You go from mission to mission, doing different crimes for different criminal/bosses. These usually consist of retrieving someting, killing/assassinating someone, picking someone up, stealing something, or making your way through a sadistic battlefield of enemies, just waiting to unload on you and make you start all the way over. You can also be a paramedic, cop, or a taxi, to make money, to buy weapons, which your gonna need to live.
.And a firetruck!
This game had some good graphics for its time, nice details and textures, and a wonderfully created living, breathing expy of New York . The city of Liberty City (motto: The Worst Place in America) features 3 districts: Portland (Industrial Area), Staunton Island (Commercial Area), and Shoreside Vale (Residential Area; basically a red herring); all different from each other. My favorite is Staunton, with its awesome buildings and construction site. You cant go to each one, right away, since the bridge is destroyed at the beginning of the game, and the ferry workers are on strike. You have to advance through the game, before you can travel.
Ah, Liberty City.
Where the game really nails it is in the sound department. The VA is phenomenal, featuring the likes of Robert Loggia, Michael MacLachlan, Michael Madsen, Joe Pantoliano, Michael Rapaport, Frank Vincent, and the charming radio personality, Lazlow, as himself. The in-game radio features a lot of great licensed music, and multiple radio stations which all play different music, my favorite being the ones that play classical orchestral music, and the that plays the entire soundtrack to one of the best movies ever made: Scarface.
Frank Vincent plays Salvatore Leone.
The only complaint I have for this near-flawless game is that there are no checkpoints; which means that when you just battled your way through a VERY sadistically hard group of enemies, and are popped right at the end, you have to go buy your weapons again, drive to the mission, drive to the killing site, and try again. Youll lose a lot of money trying in this game. One fix for this is to save with your weapons at a safehouse (the only place you can save, as this game does not feature autosave), and then keep reloading, everytime you die. It saves a lot of money. This is a brutally hard game, so checkpoints would have been appreciated; but this wont detract from the final score. If you enjoy a challenge, then this game is for you.
Dead man walking.
Grand Theft Auto III is a revolutionary masterpiece, and even with every sequel being better and better, this remains one of the most important games of all-time, for storytelling, gameplay, and violence, for every medium. I give GTA III my rigbybot127 Seal of Masterful Quality and a perfect score.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III is garbage. Not just garbage, but the worst, smelliest kind of garbage. Like a bag filled with diarrhea and used tampons. That was held outside of a car window, dragging up against the muddy ground. In a sewer. If I could, Id make sure that every goddamned copy of this garbage was thrown into a dung pile, and then peed on by gorillas. Pregnant gorillas. Its not exactly my plan to have them do it, but if they give birth on them, it would be frosting on the cake. I wouldnt give a copy of this movie to the worst murderer/rapist in the world. In fact, Id rather kill every person in my neighborhood. Every last one, than watch another second of this piece of crap. Sonic 06 is a masterpiece compared to this drek. If people broke into my house, and told me I had to watch this movie, or they would kill my family; Bye. Id rather drink RC Cola than watch this movie.. actually, Id rather watch the movie than drink RC Cola, so theres that.
Alright lets do this. April O Neil buys a lamp, or something, that cause the turtles to go back in time, to Feudal Japan, and they run into samurais, and Mikey gets lost, or something, and then they fight bad guys, and make awful references to the Addams Family. Seriously, watch this:
They are turtles, of the Teenage Mutant Ninja variety, Sleezeball!
I frikkin love the Turtles. I would watch the 2003 series every Saturday on what used to be 4Kids TV. This movie, on the otherhand, makes me wish that I had never been born, let alone never found out about the Turtles. Horrendous animatronics, god-awful dialogue, and a dumb premise. Plus, a crappy Splinter, and no Shredder. Shredder should have been in this film, as should Krang. Krang is always being shafted by everybody. Why cant Krang ever be in anything other than the original cartoon?
Thats all there is to say about this garbage. F*ck Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III.
Hey guys. I'm here to tell you that @tjsmoke63 and I are about to begin work on the first collabrative Top 10 list in Fuse history (most likely the first, since I have no evidence that one exists). It will be a list of the best (our favorite) exclusive PS3 games of all-time, in preperation for the one that's destined to take top spot, The Last of Us. It will be debuting on Leet Gamers Asia. That's leetgamers.asia. Stay tuned, buckos!
In what is supposed to be a reboot of the beloved series, Castlevania; Lords of Shadow does just that. Its reboots it in the ass, and changes it into a whole new genre, in vain of God of War and Devil May Cry, although, it far surpasses those in terms of quality.
Bad dog! (Souce: Eurogamer)
LOS tells the tale of Gabriel Belmont, relative of Simon and Trevor, a member of the Brotherhood of Light, who learns of a mask that has the power to bring back the dead, and decides to find it, to use on his murdered wife. He runs into a another member of the Brotherhood, named Zobek (voiced by Jean-Luc Picard), who tells Gabe that he must defeat the lords of shadow, in order to reunite the heavens and the Earth, so that his wife can come back.
A contrast to Captain Picard.
This game is a mixture of classic Castlevania elements, and God of War-style gameplay, with RPG elements thrown in. Gabriel comes, factory installed, with a weapon known as a Combat Cross, that he uses to beat the crap out of enemies, and collect XP that he can use to upgrade the cross, so he can beat up bigger enemies. The cross can be used in conjunction with your light and dark powers, basically a fast and heavy attack, respectively. You can activate these by left and right triggers on the controller. When youre not murdering lycans, trolls, vampires, and the like, you will be platforming; climbing ledges, using your cross to swing across gaps, and general gap jumping.
The game looks absolutely stunning, textures look very realistic; their faces look very alive, and their movements are very organic. This is, without a doubt, one of the best looking games of all-time. It also helps that the game has a rock-solid frame-rate. Here are some screens, so you can bask in the beauty:
Speaking of that last image, throughout the game, you sometimes fight these boss titans, who are eerily similar to the colossi from Shadow of the Colossus, in both looks and the way you fight them. In fact, its EXACTLY THE SAME as Shadow of the Colossus, except a lot harder to fall off. When fighting these titans, you dont have that interactive feeling that you have while fighting SOTC colossi. You dont feel like you could fall off at anytime; you dont have the non-linear ways and means of killing them. Its very linear; you just climb up the titan, hold the button when it tells you to (as not to fall off), and get to its weak point, hit it, done. You cant freely move around the body of the titan; you cant shoot it with arrows; you cant manipulate the environment, and use it against it. If they were gonna rip off a game mechanic, at least they ripped it off a game of this caliber.
4/5 through the game, the pacing starts to lose some steam, with one area in particular, and a boss battle in this area that feels very daft. This is a very long game, so you get your moneys worth (the 360 version comes on two discs), and it really pays off.
It isnt exactly perfect, but it is better than God of War, if that means anything. It is a long, fun, engaging game that definitely deserves checking out. I recommend you buy it, so you can buy all the gorgeous extra artwork.