Monthly Archives: April 2015

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Review – Bayonetta

Developed by:  Platinum Games
Published by:  Sega (Xbox 360, PS3), Nintendo (Wii U)
Released: 2009 (PS3, Xbox 360),  2014 (Wii U)
Platforms:  PS3, Xbox 36, Wii U (Played)

I recall polarizing opinions about Bayonetta when released originally;  mainly on whether or not the portrayal of the titular character was simply male fan service , or a bold display of authentic sexual expression and individuality.  Having never played a game with such as sexualized female protagonist, I was very uncertain as to what to expect.  On completing the game I can say that – though Bayonetta doesn’t fit exactly in either of the aforementioned categories,  she certainly leans towards the latter.

A game is more than its main character however and the colourful visuals, energetic combat, upbeat music and all round silliness provide the game an all round joyful presence.

Continue reading Review – Bayonetta

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Slow Burn – Deathkings, Metal Gear and Difficulty

‘Hexen: Death Kings of the Dark Citadel’ and ‘Metal Gear Rising’ are both highly challenging games.  Each implements difficulty in their own way, but my response to how each game applied their challenge was strongly polarising.  One strengthened my determined to overcome the challenge presented, the other prompted me to uninstall the game in rage.

Continue reading Slow Burn – Deathkings, Metal Gear and Difficulty

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Review – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

Developed by:  Platinum Games
Published by:  Konami
Released: 2013 (2014 on PC and Mac OX)
Platforms:  MacOSX, PC/Steam (Played), Xbox 360, Playstation 3

There were aspects of the late 80’s and early 90’s cartoons that annoyed my juvenile 10 year old self.  Why did Wolverine only hack up robots and not the clearly more important  human/mutant leaders?  Why did Batman deliver the Joker to police instead of just snapping his neck and saving Gotham years of trouble?  Why didn’t the Ninja Turtles hack off Shredder’s head and mount it as a warning for the foot clan?

The watershed obviously; kids programs couldn’t very well be displaying violence, otherwise immoral tyrants and dictators would be threatening, as opposed to bumbling idiots they apparently are in real life.

Those that grew up during this era can re-experience the magic of their Saturday morning adventures, but FAR removed from the parent friendly restrictions of day time television.

Continue reading Review – Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance

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Review – Bulletstorm

Developed by:  Epic Games/People Can Fly
Released: 2011
Platforms:  PC/Steam (Played), Xbox 360, Playstation 3

You might be able to tell if you will enjoy Bulletstorm by your reaction to the following line of in-game dialogue:

‘Take a lick of the salty taint of DOOM, you braindead biker whores!’

I find this sentence representative of the game in general.  Bulletstorm is exceptionally immature and stars a cast of idiots spouting insults and contrived one liners.
However, what makes the humour bearable (and at times, even funny) is that Bulletstorm is also very fun.

Continue reading Review – Bulletstorm

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Review – The Last of Us Remastered

The Last of Us Remastered

Platform:  Playstation 4
Released:  2013

There is a lot to be said for a game that compels you to physically imitate the motions your character.  I instinctively held my breath as I snuck Joel, one of the main characters, mere inches past a clicker,  a blind but incredibly dangerous enemy  that wandered unpredictably.  Any noticeable noise would betray my location causing it to zone in for the kill. I sat on the edge of my seat,  fully focused on the screen, knees bent, head forward in copy cat position of my character on screen.  As I crawled to the exit I had to resist every urge to break out into a run as it would have been almost certain death.

This is the kind of tension and dread that The last of US Remastered very effectively evokes.

Continue reading Review – The Last of Us Remastered

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Review – Assassin’s Creed 2


Assassin’s Creed 2

Since completing Assassin’s Creed II (AC2) I now understand the root of Ubisoft’s recent backlash.    It’s not because Ubisoft games are bad; in fact, their developers create intriguing, beautiful and engaging worlds.  Their publishers just ruin these worlds for everyone, inside and out.

From the outside;  the installation was dragged out by the AC launch requiring two updates.  This was further extended by the requirement to download, patch and log into Uplay, even though I launched the game through Steam.  Uplay continuously crashed until I found a fix on the Steam forums .  40 minutes had passed from the moment I clicked ‘launch’ to when I was able to play – caused by software that in no way improves the game.

Ubisoft continued to intrude within the game.  A section of the world is blocked until it is unlocked via Uplay.   Cartoonish blue and white Uplay achievements popup during play (completely ruining the mood of some of the darker moments) and advertisements for other games appear on the main menu.

Ultimately the game itself isn’t ruined by this interference, but I’ll be damned if Ubisoft didn’t try their best.

Continue reading Review – Assassin’s Creed 2

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Review – Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition

Baldur’s Gate:  Enhanced Edition 

I don’t know if I should be happy or sad with Baldur’s Gate’s lack of setup problems.  I was pleasantly surprised that (unlike every other game I have reviewed) it ran without any complications.  This is a sixteen year old game that installed and launched with no issues.

Continue reading Review – Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition

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Review – Quake 2: The Reckoning / Ground Zero

Quake: 2 The Reckoning   Quake 2:Ground Zero

Now this is obscure!  Most PC Shooter enthusiasts remember Quake 2, but I believe you will be hard pressed to find many that played it’s expansions.  There was oddly little information to be found on these titles when searching in wikis and other reviews. They don’t appear to have a metacritic score either – but that is likely due to their
age (Quake 2 doesn’t have one either).  One might say that these two expansions were forgotten to gaming history.  After playing both I found that there was a very good reason for this, there wasn’t anything of interest to remember.

Continue reading Review – Quake 2: The Reckoning / Ground Zero

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Review – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Grand Theft Auto:  San Andreas

I did not complete San Andreas when it was originally released. I can’t quite remember why, which is strange as I adored the GTA that came before it, Vice city.  I enjoyed it so much that it was one of the rare games with which I wanted 100% completion.  Every car, mission, package, property and other side goal was obtained.

I spotted this game on the recent steam sale an purchased it as part of the GTA complete pack. The game now reacquired, I wondered if San Andreas would endear itself to me as Vice city had all those years ago.  Perhaps if I stuck with it all the way through I would find the enjoyment I apparently missed the first time around.

Continue reading Review – Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

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Hexen: Beyond Heretic

Hexen:  Beyond Heretic

Published originally in 1995 and later released on Steam, Hexen:  Beyond Heretic, its predecessor Heretic and their cousin Doom (which used the same ID Tech 1 engine) are an early example of how realistic graphics can age terribly.  That’s not to say that there is a lot of realism in Hexen, it’s set in a fantasy world, but it suffers the same problem as other aging games in that it’s attempt to have high graphical fidelity (for it’s time) results in it dating very quickly.

Continue reading Hexen: Beyond Heretic