Reviews by Cynaris
Waste of money, honestCynaris | Aug. 17, 2012 | Review of Saints Row The Third Funtime DLC - PC
Don't even bother, unless you are a hardcore fan of a few extras, which gives no substantial content whatsoever. An outfit, a gun, and a vehicle, and this for 2.49? Please... You can buy actual games for that much. Just skip this one.
Decent TPSCynaris | Aug. 17, 2012 | Review of Red Faction Armageddon - PC
Red Faction Armageddon is not a bad game, don't think it is, it's just not the average Red Faction game you'd expect. Of course the destruction remains, and so does the interesting choice of weapons, however the whole package is a lot more linear, the story isn't too great, and overall you don't get the freedom with destruction you did before. Still an enjoyable experience with quite serviceable graphics, sounds and voideovers, but nothing out of the ordinary. Variety comes with some mech sequences, but overall it's a fairly standard third-person shooter.
Entertaining point and click adventureCynaris | Aug. 13, 2012 | Review of The Book of Unwritten Tales Deluxe Edition - PC
The Book of Unwritten Tales is a budget german point and click gem, with such an entertaining story, you could almost feel like it has a soul. The game pokes fun at almost any RPG possible, and their clichéd natura with truly clever writing, great voice acting, especially compared to it's price. The game is gorgeous, pleasant to look at, and serves hours and hours of enjoyment. The downside is that the challenge isn't exactly there, it is a fairly easy game to play, and considering it's somewhat supposed to make you think, it hardly does. With it's puzzles anyway. Regardless, it is a charming and lovely game well worth the pricetag. This edition includes additional content, the standard fare you'd come to expect: Making of, soundtrack, you know, the digital goods.
A wonderful point and click adventureCynaris | Aug. 13, 2012 | Review of The Book of Unwritten Tales Standard Edition - PC
The Book of Unwritten Tales is a budget german point and click gem, with such an entertaining story, you could almost feel like it has a soul. The game pokes fun at almost any RPG possible, and their clichéd natura with truly clever writing, great voice acting, especially compared to it's price. The game is gorgeous, pleasant to look at, and serves hours and hours of enjoyment. The downside is that the challenge isn't exactly there, it is a fairly easy game to play, and considering it's somewhat supposed to make you think, it hardly does. With it's puzzles anyway. Regardless, it is a charming and lovely game well worth the pricetag.
Multiplayer extensionCynaris | Aug. 10, 2012 | Review of Max Payne 3 Local Justice DLC - PC
Expect "Call of Duty style" map pack here, except somewhat cheaper. New maps, customization options, "perks". Sadly no singleplayer content whatsoever. So don't waste money on this, unless you are a multiplayer player. No pun intended. Rockstar Pass owners also got this already, so unless you don't have it, no need for purchase.
Nothing to see hereCynaris | Aug. 8, 2012 | Review of Babel Rising Skys the Limit DLC - PC
Small additions to the same game, new "enemy" units, a few new levels and challenges, and two new towers. Gameplay remains the same, so I see no reason to pick this up. At least it has co-op.
An Iphone/Kinect game brought to PCCynaris | Aug. 8, 2012 | Review of Babel Rising - PC
So expect gameplay according to this, it's nothing special, nothing deep, but your average mobile/motion sensored game, except with PC controls. You are playing God, and must stop the Tower of Babel being build, by wiping out parts of it, or even the people with the powers you have at your disposal. Can be fun in bursts, but not for extensive playsessions. Graphics wise it looks quite nice to me personally, but I wouldn't be surprised with others not liking it. Then again, the game has mobile roots. Still wait with the purchase, as it doesn't worth 10 Euros/$ in my humble optinion.
Another loveable point and click adventure from DaedalicCynaris | Aug. 7, 2012 | Review of Deponia - PC
From the makers of A New Beginning, and The Whispered World, comes another game with a great heart. While the game world is made from literally junk, the game hardly is. It's an interesting and somewhat wierd love story with plenty twists and turns, and ridiculous puzzle solutions as you can expect. You'll rarely find any real logic behind them, and they still feel satisfying when you nail them. The art is gorgeous, hand drawn graphics with tons of detail, and the music builds well on that. You love these sorts of games, it's worth the time.
Wait for a pricedropCynaris | Aug. 6, 2012 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Dawnguard EU - PC
Dawnguard doesn't expand on the otherwise huge Skyrim too much. It offers you the chance to become either a vampire, or fight against then as one of the Vanguards, but this DLC feels rushed, and just as buggy as any other Bethesda game. The price point is just too steep for the amount of content you get, so I'd suggest to only get it if you are a die-hard Skyrim fan. Otherwise wait.
A decent expansion for the priceCynaris | Aug. 6, 2012 | Review of Might and Magic Heroes VI Pirates of the Savage Sea - PC
Expect more of basically the same, but now vastly improved game. A new campaign featuring legacy hero Crag Hack, who is also known from prior Heroes games. The gampaign takes a good 10 hours to complete, probably more if you like to explore, you get access to more dynasty weapons, and for the first time in the franchise: a pet. If you are a fan of the base game, no reason not to grab this one.
Not worth your timeCynaris | Aug. 1, 2012 | Review of Monument Builders Titanic - PC
The game is more or less the same as Eiffel Tower, with reused assets, same gameplay, atrocious graphics, dull music. The whole thing is just boredom. They did try to spice things up with historical facts, but that doesn't change the fact that you can do a lot better with your 15 bucks/Euros. No wonder this thing flew under everyone's radar.
A hungarian answer to the Total War seriesCynaris | Aug. 1, 2012 | Review of King Arthur II - PC
King's Arthur is made by hungarian developer Neocore, they aren't much of a known developer in their current state, but they did make deep strategy games before. King's Arthur shares many similarities with the Total War series, but in a Britannian fantasy setting. It also uses RPG elements as it's title suggests, resulting in a truly deep highly strategic RPG RTS mixture, with large scale battles, huge armies, and magic. The visuals are really good, although very hardware demanding, and it was also quite buggy at launch with crashes and errors. The game is a lot better in it's current state though. The music is also fitting and nice. A great game to rival Total War in my opinion.
Best Heroes of recent timesCynaris | Aug. 1, 2012 | Review of Might and Magic Heroes VI (1) - PC
Turn Based Strategy lovers, attention, Heroes is back. Heroes VI goes back to it's roots with some twists to the core gameplay that makes feels like steps in the right direction. One of the new additions to the game is the Area of Control system, that let's you keep your mines in the area of your towns and forts. Unless your local town/fort is captured, these mines cannot be taken by the enemy, only occupied by a stationing a hero next to it. The way Town Portals work also changed, there are two different TP spells, one that brings you back to the closest town with built in TP, and one that the next day let's you travel between your towns. It makes the game quite strategic, and less frustrating. The game also has RPG elements, and features a persistent online profile called Dynasty, which you level up, purchase heroes, avatars, traits, any many other content for the points you earn through achievements. It is an enjoyable adition to the game. Dynasty weapons are also leveling when used, giving beneficial attributes to your hero. Graphics are impressive and very well done, and so are the animations. Soundtrack goes back to earlier games, reorchestrating tunes from Heroes 2, 3, 5, as well as composing new beautiful music. The feared Ubisoft DRM is still an annoyance though, it needs to be fixed, as it can make the game unplayable. However when it is working, it's an incredible TBS.
Best Heroes of recent timesCynaris | Aug. 1, 2012 | Review of Might and Magic Heroes VI Deluxe Edition (1) - PC
Turn Based Strategy lovers, attention, Heroes is back. Heroes VI goes back to it's roots with some twists to the core gameplay that makes feels like steps in the right direction. One of the new additions to the game is the Area of Control system, that let's you keep your mines in the area of your towns and forts. Unless your local town/fort is captured, these mines cannot be taken by the enemy, only occupied by a stationing a hero next to it. The way Town Portals work also changed, there are two different TP spells, one that brings you back to the closest town with built in TP, and one that the next day let's you travel between your towns. It makes the game quite strategic, and less frustrating. The game also has RPG elements, and features a persistent online profile called Dynasty, which you level up, purchase heroes, avatars, traits, any many other content for the points you earn through achievements. It is an enjoyable adition to the game. Dynasty weapons are also leveling when used, giving beneficial attributes to your hero. Graphics are impressive and very well done, and so are the animations. Soundtrack goes back to earlier games, reorchestrating tunes from Heroes 2, 3, 5, as well as composing new beautiful music. The feared Ubisoft DRM is still an annoyance though, it needs to be fixed, as it can make the game unplayable. However when it is working, it's an incredible TBS. The Deluxe edition has additional and worthwhile content to enjoy, such as the soundtrack, artworks, all in digital format of course.
Budget snipingCynaris | Aug. 1, 2012 | Review of Sniper Ghost Warrior - PC
City Interactive is known for their low-budget games, mostly First Person Shooters, and Sniper Ghost Warrior is one of them. City Interactive however isn't known for making quality budget games, so even though the trailers looked promising, scepticism was well placed in this game. To start off, the game looks actually decent, and quite nice among low budget. It can be also fun, and the ballistic aspect got a lot of attemtion. However the enemy AI is atrocious, making your life painful. Sometimes it's incredibly dumb, sometimes you don't even know what hit you. I'd rather wait for the sequel to see how it turns out.
A pretty straightforward brawlerCynaris | July 31, 2012 | Review of Kung Fu Strike - PC
As the title says, this is a 3D brawler, with an ancient Chinese background. Your goals are simple really, fending off waves of enemies, while you are supposed to chain combos together. It can be fun, but repetitive at times, but from an indie developer, it is a nice attempt. Visually it resembles Street Fighter 4 a lot, of course this still is a brawler, and not a classic 2D fighter. You could do worse with your 7.99 in my opinion.
Great game, albeit a bit too shortCynaris | July 31, 2012 | Review of The Next Big Thing - PC
Pendulo studios is known for their quirky point and click adventures, with there unmistakable art. Their first hit was a Runaway series, and they are going strong ever since. The Next Big Thing is just another great game from them, with clever but sometimes illogical puzzles, a good cast of characters, likeable music, great sense of humor, and a nice ending that makes the adventure worthwhile. The only downside is really the fairly short length, which clocks 5 hours tops.
Simple, yet addictive.Cynaris | July 30, 2012 | Review of Plants vs Zombies Game of the Year Edition - PC
Popcap really nailed this one. I would call this a mix of tower defense and chess. You are in control of the flowers, and must stop the invading zombie waves, with the power of sunshine and sunflowers, and plenty other worthy addition to a garden. You gain this sun energy, and use it to plant more plants, obstacles, to defeat the waves and emerge victorious. The game sounds simple, but can offer a great deal of strategy. Visuals are lovely, and music is catchy.
FPS RPG Hybrid extended.Cynaris | July 30, 2012 | Review of Borderlands Game of the Year Edition - PC
Borderlands is a different take on your average First Person Shooters. You are given a semi-sandbox playgrounds, lots of things to shoot, and here comes the twist: Loot. Your character levels up, has a skill tree, a class specific ability (there are four classes), and you can have a set of four different guns, selected from many types. The game also does randomize these guns for you, so there is a Diabloesque feel to the item hunting, as your weapons can have quite different attributes, such as elemental damage. The game also emphasizes co-op mode, with 3 other players, as you take on stronger foes for possibly better loot. The Game of the Year Edition also includes 3 fairly lengthy additional campaigns, such as ZOMBIEZ, and features a fourth DLC which let's you prove yourself in an arena. Well worth the additional price.
RPG FPS HybridCynaris | July 30, 2012 | Review of Borderlands - PC
Borderlands is a different take on your average First Person Shooters. You are given a semi-sandbox playgrounds, lots of things to shoot, and here comes the twist: Loot. Your character levels up, has a skill tree, a class specific ability (there are four classes), and you can have a set of four different guns, selected from many types. The game also does randomize these guns for you, so there is a Diabloesque feel to the item hunting, as your weapons can have quite different attributes, such as elemental damage. The game also emphasizes co-op mode, with 3 other players, as you take on stronger foes for possibly better loot.
Great racer, but try not to look at it as a Ridge RacerCynaris | July 30, 2012 | Review of Ridge Racer Unbounded EU - PC
It is a really enjoyable game, this must be cleared up, because a lot of criticism hurts the game for being different from your usual RR fare. This game focuses more on destruction, insane speed, and car-on-car combat, so even though the game always was arcadey, it still isn't what you'd expect. Visually it holds up well, car-models are great, it's a decent eye-candy. The soundtrack is built up from previous Ridge Racer music, with some new tracks thrown into the mix.
I'm BatmaaanCynaris | July 22, 2012 | Review of Batman Arkham Asylum - PC
Arkham Asylum is incredible, let's just start with that. It's a fantastic homage to the Batman Comics, done with style and grace. Nothing feels out of place, everything feels authentic. It's a dark game, but with great underlying humour. The story is also good, the comics can rest easy, no disgrace was done to them. The free-flowing combat system is incredibly smooth, chaining combos never felt more satisfying, the fluidity of it is just jawdropping. There are plenty of riddles and collectibles to extend playtime beyond the story, so there is much to do. Visually the game looks great, character models in particular are very well done. The music serves it's purpose as it should. A great buy if you are thinking about it.
An almost appropriate finaleCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Mass Effect 3 - PC
Mass Effect 3 is absolutely amazing. From the beginning to the... End minus 30 minutes. Yes, the ending has no redeeming quality for me, even the extended cut couldn't satisfy, but hopefully I'm the minority. And with that out of the way, I must say, everything else about the game feels fantastic. Even though the ending itself does not necessarily reflect your choices, the whole game itself does. And does so very frequently. It's satisfying to watch how your choices in the prior two games impact the happenings in the third. All of this with satisfying combat, great dialogues, very solid voicework, and (we are talking about Mass Effect here) incredible soundtrack ties together into a journey filled with tears, laughs, ups and downs. It really does get to the audience. Enjoy the game, it does worth your attention, and try to make the best out of the ending.
A different take on Lara CroftCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Lara Croft And The Guardian of Light - PC
The game is great, no doubt about that. But it will immedietaly will be noticeable, that it is something entirely different than what we are used to (hearing the Tomb Raider name). Of course Treasure Hunting is still Treasure hunting, traps are still traps, and many elements are in the game as it is expected, but the focus on co-op, and the whole different perspective makes the game unique. It is challenging, pretty, and very well made, I like it. Great puzzles, decent platforming, it is solid.
Your mission is given, your approach is notCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex Human Revolution (1) - PC
Deus Ex Human Revolution is all about how you decide to handle the situations. It gives you freedom, but not in the sandbox meaning, but rather it gives you tools completely alter how, in what order, when and where you complete your task. It's extremely satisfying. The game is set in a futuristic world, where human augmentations are an everyday thing. You as the protagonist, have to suffer through the aquisition of these augs against your will, as you have no other choice. The story is great, but the ending is a letdown after all the setup unfortunately. Visuals are doing the job well, and the soundtrack accompanying it is truly outstanding and franctic. You could do much worse than picking it up.
Assassin's Creed 2, with small refinementsCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Assassins Creed Brotherhood Deluxe - PC
Brotherhood is a lot like Assassin's Creed 2, the setting remains, the soundtrack is very similar, and the gameplay and variety hasn't changed much. However it does introduce 2 major things. You have your own Brotherhood where you train Assassin's by sending them on missions. They improve, and will help you whenever you call for their aid. It is a fine and well executed addition. The second one is your Villa. You are now taking over a small town, bringing shops back to life, improving your own residence, and increasing your income. It doesn't have much effect in the end, as you'll drown in money, but it is a nice addition nonetheless. The game is still thoroughly enjoyable, and recommended to play. Multiplayer is also an option, with surprisingly unique and well working modes.
Assassin's Creed 2, with small refinementsCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Assassins Creed Brotherhood - PC
Brotherhood is a lot like Assassin's Creed 2, the setting remains, the soundtrack is very similar, and the gameplay and variety hasn't changed much. However it does introduce 2 major things. You have your own Brotherhood where you train Assassin's by sending them on missions. They improve, and will help you whenever you call for their aid. It is a fine and well executed addition. The second one is your Villa. You are now taking over a small town, bringing shops back to life, improving your own residence, and increasing your income. It doesn't have much effect in the end, as you'll drown in money, but it is a nice addition nonetheless. The game is still thoroughly enjoyable, and recommended to play.
A huge leap towardsCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Assassins Creed 2 Deluxe Edition - PC
I really wouldn't get into details about the game, since the the "DNA" is very much the same as the original one. What I do have to tell you, is how many things have improved. Assassin's Creed 2 features revamped combat, more tools at your disposal, a more interesting setting, a hero you will care about, huge diversity in missions, side missions, and many other pastimes to influence the playground you are enjoying. Improved visuals, some of the greatest videogame music, fantastic story. Is that enough? Thought so.
Where one of the most successful franchise beganCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Assassins Creed - PC
Every start is rough. Assassin's Creed was a brave attempt at a videogame, and it didn't turn out perfectly. But it did offer something entirely new, something fresh and breathtaking. It gave the player freedom like no other game did before. You are an Assassin, and you tackle various task, from eavesdropping, to stealing, all the way to assassinations. And the first entry in the series offered only a glimpse from the future iterations. The combat isn't all too complicated, that might be the weakest part of the game. The visuals were simply groundbreaking for the time, and it still does look really great. The sounds are just as good, and Jesper Kyd steals the show with the soundtrack. Genius.
Well worth the priceCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Grand Theft Auto IV The Ballad of Gay Tony - PC
We already have the great base game, right? Of course we do. So what does Gay Tony offer that the story of Nico Bellic doesn't? Yes, that's right, long-time series fans missed the light-hearted aspect of the base game, and Gay Tony is here to fix that for you. Expect a great deal of hilarity in a lengthy content (compared to the base game it can be short) that is worth being called an expansion. You don't hear that word too much these days, do you? Go, and grab it. You can't go wrong with more from something you enjoy.
Great continuation of the GTA SeriesCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Grand Theft Auto IV - PC
Here we are with another superb gaming piece from Rockstar. Everyone knows the formula. Sandbox gameplay, huge playground, missions, and sidemissions, third-person gunplay, driving, chases and escapes, cops, anything you can imagine. And now you have to imagine all that on a golden plate, because GTAIV sure is a looker. Given you have the required hardware to run it of course. The story this time around is a bit more grim, and dark, but no need to dismiss the humour, it can still be found. The game also features official multiplayer for the first time in the series. It's impossible to go wrong with that choice.
Excellent indie gameCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Frozen Synapse - PC
Frozen Synapse delivers on the promise of the old Squad-based Tactical TBS games. It takes patience, careful planning, perception, and understanding of your surroundings. You control multiple armed people, through randomly generated levels, where your objective is to solve the problems thrown at you with the least possible losses/in the shortest amount of turns. Of course variety will not let it become stale, so these aren't the only mission types. The visuals are of course limited, coming from an indie studio, but aproppriate for the cyberpunk setting. The music is exceptionally well done and a joy to listen to. The game also boasts a deep multiplayer with tons of modes and options to choose from. Overall the game is a great value, but requires a specific mindset to play.
Great ExpansionCynaris | July 20, 2012 | Review of Kings Bounty Armored Princess - PC
...to an already beloved revival of the original King's Bounty. Armored Princess is all you would expect from a proper expansion. More of the same type of core gameplay, new spells, abilities, creatures, a new campaign. Also a lengthy one. You gotta love King's Bounty games for their value, it's just great. The game also introduces a new combat element, the Box of Rage is swapped with a Pet Dragon, which you can choose from the many in the beginning of a game. Works similarly as the Box, (using rage) but with different spells, and strategies. A worthy purchase.
Yet another underrated gameCynaris | July 19, 2012 | Review of Blades of Time Limited Edition - PC
I don't even really know where to start, the game is just so nice, and a pretty good value, it's hard to understand why is it so overlooked. The game has solid gameplay, and it is a huge improvement over X-Blades. It is your average simplistic hack and slash combat, with a scantily clad heroine. But even if this sounds generic, the game itself isn't so much. Enemy designs, and story is actually quite good. Not fantastic, not great, but good enough to keep you going. There are surprises as well. The game also boasts a time manipulating mechanic, that allows you to turn back time, and copy yourself meanwhile, even multiple times, to let them do the exact same moves on the exact same enemies, except now with combined power you are able to take them down more easily. It is abusable, but that's part of the fun. It really makes you feel powerful. The game also has a good variety in zones, and sets different challenges up ahead the player, such as avoiding sunlight in a level, as it can melt you in seconds. Overall a nice game, and a decent investment. The bonus DLC is much more straightforward, no powers Ayumi has, but you can play it as Michelle. It's much more action packed with constant fighting.
TERA will rock your socks offCynaris | July 19, 2012 | Review of Tera Collectors Edition EU - PC
Are you bored of conventional tab-targeting MMOs? TERA is here to shake you up. A fantastic looking, lush world, with many races and classes, all of which gives the player absolute control over it's actions. Forget sticky targeting, this game requires you to move, turn, and aim. It doesn't give you stop. If you do, you will die. But that doesn't mean it is unfair. TERA requires skill, but also rewards appropriately. The game has both PvE which is more of the traditional side of MMO's, but with action-combat, and PvP, which is interesting because there are no factions. Once you hit lvl 20, you are able to kill anyone you want, it's tense, and it's fun. The game features a political system that lets players to compete for territories as potential Vanarchs, there are elections as you can expect, promises, and impact on the world such as prices, or the amount of shops. The game has an interesting crafting system similar to Aion, but without the frustrating bits. This game is simply GORGEOUS. One of the best looking games, not only among MMOs. The world is full of colors, incredible details, all while keeping a steady framerate, it's wonderful. The music is also quite nice, the interface is very solid, and I didn't experience lags either, it is very responsive. I recommend this game highly to everyone.
A platformer/adventurerCynaris | July 19, 2012 | Review of Insecticide - PC
Insecticide didn't live up to it's looks. I really liked the artstyle it was going for when I have seen it first, but this is not another Psychonauts. While the story and writing is quite good, the gameplay does not give any challenge, and it's also not really good at what it does. Platforming does not require any precision, and action sequences just serve as a reason to unload your weapons at something, but not much thought has gone into these encounters. Visually the game is still charming though, while not too impressive on a technical level (remember, the game came out in 2008), the style is still nice. Music isn't anything memorable sadly. If you want to experience the game, the only redeeming quality is the story.
A game with much potentialCynaris | July 19, 2012 | Review of A Game of Thrones Genesis - PC
...and not so great execution. Game of Thrones Genesis as you might have already guessed, is connected to the George R.R. Martin's books and serve as a game to give some information not necessarily found in the book. Through an RTS. Not the best choice I have to say, but still the best attempt on a Game of Thrones game so far. Why? Because it does get elements right. Brining, gathering alliances, seduction, subterfuge, all makes a huge impact on gameplay. In this game, achieveing victory doesn't mean necessarily brute force, you have quite a few ways to handle the situations. It's obvious that the developers tried to innovate with the title a bit, and not just cashing in. If only it would have worked out better. Because while the more subtle methods can work quite well, the balance, and combat is underwhelming. Simply put, it can destroy everything you worked for with your crafty actions, and that doesn't quite feel right. The game is somewhat lengthy, but not much happens to hold your interest, which is quite sad. Do not expect much from the graphics department either. Music can be the best part of the game at times. Not recommended, but hardcore GoT fans might want to give it a try. I warned you though.
An improvement on the originalCynaris | July 19, 2012 | Review of Mass Effect 2 - PC
Mass Effect 2 is where it's at. Take everything about Mass Effect 1, eliminate all the combat issues that made the game not so enjoyable. and you have Mass Effect 2. The game did lost some RPG aspects in the meantime though, such as the weapon customisation, the ammo system also changed to a more traditional type, but don't let this turn you off. There is still much to experience. Mass Effect 2 is still a Sci-fi Squad based Third-person Action-RPG, but with a faster paced combat, it is very enjoyable. The story continues to expand, your team will welcome old and new characters alike, but not going to spoil any of this. One important thing though, is that your actions throughout the game can pretty drastically change the outcome of your endgame, there are many variations that are worth experiencing, and while the means to achieve this are not necessarily the most well implemented, it's a great idea. The game improved somewhat from a visual standpoint, but a game has a distinct look, so it's not that easy to notice. It is looking great however. Soundtrack is still a strong aspect of the game, and voice acting is top-notch, as it always has been in Mass Effect games. If you are picking this up, you are about to begin the best entry in the series. Enjoy!
The start of a great Sci-fi RPG franchiseCynaris | July 19, 2012 | Review of Mass Effect - PC
Mass Effect is a good game. I wouldn't say it's truly great. There are things holding it back from being great (some of which are adressed in later installments). You take the role of Commander Shepard, a human soldier who will quickly aspire to higher and higher as you play. You'll soon find out that your role is much greater not only to the Earth, but to the Galaxy, as you would initially think. It is a great premise, I just wish the gameplay would have backed it up perfectly. Not saying the gameplay is bad though. But it definitely could use improvements. Combat is slow, and not responsive enough, teammates aren't exactly smart either, and these things will result in frustration. Searching planets for minerals, and finding sidemissions (which take place in the very sale level layout most of the time) is a chore. That said the main storyline is good, and definitely worth experiencing, the true fun will start with Mass Effect 2, once you imported your save games there. Technically, Mass Effect is not a revolutionary title, but stands strong on it's feet. Utilizing the Unreal 3 Engine, it is a smooth, and great looking title. The sounds are also good, giving you a perfect sci-fi feel, complemented by an outstanding soundtrack. Give it a spin, for the whole trilogys' sake.
Where your choices truly matterCynaris | July 19, 2012 | Review of The Witcher II Assassins of Kings - PC
Witcher 2 is a very layered, complex game. Your character might not be user generated, he might not be tailored for every individual, but in the end, it really pays off. This is the second "adventure" of Geralt of Rivia, a monster slayer, who also serves as a lesser evil. Most people hate him, despise him, but he's the best at what he does, so people still end up turning to him with their problems, because he's not as much a monster as those he needs to kill. The game is a very traditional RPG, with great focus on preparation, precision, timing. Geralt has a wide variation of skills and "magic" at his disposal, as well as traps, potions, and both a silver and steel sword, chosen aproppriately on what he's fighting. The story is simply great, with twists and turns, choices, that truly matter (your ENTIRE Act 2 can be different), guaranteeing you want to play the game through at least 2 times. It involves politics, sexuality, has an overall dark mood (which is expected from a title originating from a dark-fantasy novel), it is made for adults, by adults. You can do your usual sidequests, but you won't find all of them instantly for sure. The landscapes are outstanding, and the game is possibly the best looking one to date, the engine is scalable, but do expect to invest heavily in a strong PC to be able to run the maximum settings. Soundwise the game is also doing great, both in terms of voice-acting, and musical score. Highly recommended title for everyone. No DRM to worry about either.
A rarity among PC gamesCynaris | July 19, 2012 | Review of The Last Remnant - PC
The Last Remnant is an extremely rare gem for PC gamers to have the opportunity to play. Similar to the Final Fantasy series, but taking place in a different universe, with different races, setting, and style. The combat system is also vastly different with a more tactical approach. You have control over entire groups, unions, a team of even 20 soldiers or more. Of course you can issues commands separately for smaller portions of them, setting up formations that work different against various creature types, so overall there is a nice selection of choices that actually affects the outcome of combat. There are tons of things to do in this game, lots of lore to uncover, side quests, challenges, bosses that are not a necessity to the endgame, but can yield worthy loot for your team. Storywise the game is great, about struggle for power, but not entirely in the usual manner. Grind is necessary at points, but with a satisfying system this game has, it should not become a chore. TLR also looks great with a bold artstyle, and has a lot less issues it's console counterpart had, making it a vastly superior version. The game also features fantastic musical score ranging between many styles, but it feels great most of the time. Voice acting is good. Overall a very polished game which should be experienced by as many people as possible. A great buy.
Very atmospheric horrorCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Dead Space - PC
Dead Space is a truly frightening horror game. Is it at least on the first playthrough. Dark, narrow corridors await the player with disturbing creatures waiting for you to cross their way. These are called Necromorphs, and throughout the game you uncover what are they doing on the ship where you are supposed to make some repairs. Of course you aren't going to repair objects in this game, as nothing goes according to plan. Faithfully to the name of the developers, the game features visceral third person combat, dismemberment, and lots of gore to be had. Good visuals, atmospheric music sets up the mood and scares well. Bloodthirsty savages: this is your game.
Yet another underrated gameCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Blades of Time - PC
I don't even really know where to start, the game is just so nice, and a pretty good value, it's hard to understand why is it so overlooked. The game has solid gameplay, and it is a huge improvement over X-Blades. It is your average simplistic hack and slash combat, with a scantily clad heroine. But even if this sounds generic, the game itself isn't so much. Enemy designs, and story is actually quite good. Not fantastic, not great, but good enough to keep you going. There are surprises as well. The game also boasts a time manipulating mechanic, that allows you to turn back time, and copy yourself meanwhile, even multiple times, to let them do the exact same moves on the exact same enemies, except now with combined power you are able to take them down more easily. It is abusable, but that's part of the fun. It really makes you feel powerful. The game also has a good variety in zones, and sets different challenges up ahead the player, such as avoiding sunlight in a level, as it can melt you in seconds. Overall a nice game, and good value.
Very enjoyable horror-ish game.Cynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Dead Space 2 - PC
Dead Space 2 is everything Dead Space was, with improved pacing, combat, and plenty of gross moments. The game is very gory, feels brutal, as you are tear your enemies apart, limb by limb, stomp the life out of them in order to survive. The game isn't as intense in terms of scares as the first one was, however there is still a lot of tension going on, and the storyline is a bit more interesting this time around. The visuals are still nice, and well optimized, so it should not be a trouble to most people to run is with maximized settings. If you enjoy all of the above, I suggest playing this game.
Very underratedCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Duke Nukem Forever - PC
First of all, Duke Nukem Forever is still a fun throwback, even if some changes are going against that. The game starts out somewhat slow, but don't let that stop you from going on, because once the action kicks in, it drastically becomes better. The game breaks the pace with puzzles, some platforming, and driving sections, and most people did not like these sections, but honestly, did anyone complain about them in Half-Life 2? If you want a fun ride, through a decent length campaign to save the hot chicks, - because let's be honest, we are all in for that - then grab the game, and shoot some nasty aliens. Don't expect too much from the graphics department though, the game didn't really age well in that term.
Do you want F.E.A.R.? Then avoid thisCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of FEAR 3 - PC
I might be the most disappointed with this game, so don't take my review for granted. But F.E.A.R. 3 is absolutely nothing like it's predecessors. Regenerating health? Check. Mindless shooting? Check. Co-op to a horror game? Check. Lack of atmosphere? Check. No tension whatsoever? Check. But hey, at least it plays like Call of Duty with a cover system. Except this isn't what we wanted. Go and play again 1 and 2. Or buy them if you haven't already. But avoid this like the plague.
A fantastic experience.Cynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Mirrors Edge - PC
You sure have heard about parkour, haven't you? This game lets you do exactly that. You are playing as Faith, a runner, who is part of this group of information trading experts. They are doing things on their own terms, remaining elusive from the law. The story is not too long, and isn't much complicated, but serves well the gameplay, and really, this game is all about running on top of sky-high buildings, jumping, leaping, managing your way around the obstacles. it is an amazing feeling, complimented by the perfect visuals. Simplistic, but utterly beautiful, unlike anything you've seen before. It's incredible what they managed to do with Unreal Engine 3. The game lets you take on enemies in First person, (in fact the whole running is in first person) but it also encourages you to take non-lethal actions, even if you have access to firearms. The game also includes time trial modes, with many maps to improve your speedrun on. What are you waiting for? We need every support to make Mirror's Edge 2 to happen!
An unexpected hit from an indie developerCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Magicka - PC
Magicka isn't your average game, The gameplay might seem simple, but the execution is where it shows it's real innovations. Not many game allows you to tinker with different elements to conjur up deadly spell variations on the fly. Even less allows you to bring that into co-op, resulting in a chaotic, but extremely fun time. The game had a rough start, but constant patching and community feedbacks have come to fruition, ending up as one of the most clever, innovative, and fun game of past times.
Old School ShootingCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Hard Reset - PC
This game is yet another throwback to older times, where not every shooters were Call Of Duty-like, with almost unlimited ammo, and regenerating health. No, this game throws huge enemies at you, with limited health to work your way around, and it will do everything to stop you from progressing. it isn't necessarily unfair though. The game boasts only two weapons, bot both can be upgraded to have multiple alternate modes, working completely differently as the primary firing mode, so the weapon variety is cleverly thought out. Expect some frustrating deaths though, so if you prefer pushover FPS games, you better skip this. For everyone else, take a shot. It's great looking, and every indie company deserves support for trying to get away from the mainstream, and doing it well.
A good transition from classic 2D Red Alerts to 3DCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Command Conquer Red Alert 3 - PC
Scepticism is always surrounding a game when it is about to be "remade" into modern times. Red Alert is no exception, but from my experience, the game succeeded. This is still classic Red Alert with all the base buildings, Kirov Airships, and Iron Kurtains. So the core gameplay remained intact, it might feel slower due to the 3D transition, but the game will never let you get bored, and will always challenge you. This time around however, the game is build around Co-op. Of course you can play alone, and a computer controlled ally will help you out, but said AI most of the time isn't much help for you, so getting a friend, or a partner is advised. Multiplayed holds up quite well, the servers are still populated even at this day, so no need to worry about that. Classic Real-time Strategy fans: Go for it.
A game made with loveCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Rayman Origins - PC
This game will grow to you in an instant. It's impossible to hate it. Great platformer with pretty aesthetics, fun characters, and the game just screams fun when looking at it. It doesn't tell you jokes, it outright projects them into your minds. It's that cool. The game has co-op mode, so you don't need to have the fun all alone. Hopefully we'll see a lot more of this kind of Rayman soon.
Best Turn Based Strategy since Heroes IIICynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Kings Bounty The Legend - PC
Which might sound surprising, since the original King's Bounty was the predecessor to the Heroes of Might and Magic series. While the fundamentals are very much alike however, King's Bounty has it's twists to the formula. For one, you aren't controlling a town, you aren't building anything, you have friendly little castles, with different type of troops, that provides you with a limited amount of units for your disposal. Managing said units, setting up an efficient army is core to this game, otherwise you'll be beaten over and over. King's Bounty: The Legend is hard, but rewarding. It's story might not be epic, but has it's charm, and the visuals are pretty and easy on the eyes. The game is lots of fun, and lasts a good 60 hours minimum. Only problem with the game? it doesn't support 16:9 aspect ratio.
Worth every single pennyCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of The Darkness II - PC
Darkness II is amazing. It's visceral, it's brutal, it's fun. But if you are looking for more... It does have more. The game looks great. Some people might be put off by the cel-shaded visuals, but let me tell you, it suits the comic feel perfectly. To me, the story felt very moving, which is rare amongst all these FPS games. It always keeps you on your toes, wanting to find out, what the hell is actually happening to you. Character interactions work well, you aren't necessarily just a lonely badass dude who shoots at everything that moves. And while a lot of you out there expects and wants exactly that, I'd suggest everyone to give the story a shot. Especially because you really don't have an option, the story is woven into the gameplay, you can't really skip it. But if you are willing to get past this, you are in to a helluva good time. The game also has a great sense of humor.
In the footsteps of Mirror's EdgeCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of InMomentum - PC
inMomentum might not be the sequel to Mirror's Edge, we all are waiting for, but it still can serve as a way to pass your time. It is a First Person Platformer, where first and foremost you are to run through a course as fast as you can. The game throws in a fair share of mechanics to spice things up, as the levels are more often than not have multiple layers, shortcuts, switches that needs activating while speedrunning if you want to pass, so it's tougher than it might seem at first. The game has a pretty good soundtrack, minimal, but appealing visuals, and a good amount of game modes. Multiplayer however is fairly dead. The wait might be long, but probably we are better off waiting for Mirror's Edge 2. If you really can't wait, grab inMomentum.
Fast. Fluid. Precise. Fun.Cynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Super Meat Boy - PC
These are the traits that everyone really needs to know about this little heavy hitter. Super Meat Boy is a truly meaty game, with countless levels, that is being expanded by the community. Beware though, the game might start out easy, but it gets challenging, and it gets challenging FAST. What is truly great about it though? For all the annoyance it may cause, you never will get angry at the game, because you know, whenever you die it's your own damn fault. Smooth, and precise controls are the heart of a good platformer, and Meat Boy nails it. The game is great in short bursts, but platformer enthusiasts can play it hours long, it's really that good.
A real gemCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Alice Madness Returns - PC
Some might remember the original Alice game, which was well acclaimed critically, and many more were awaiting a sequel, that was in works for quite a while. Some would say the concept didn't age well, and I disagree. You see, this game has it all: Fantastic vision, and art style, visceral combat, an interesting story (and a fairly twisted one at that), and precise platforming. I haven't had that much fun with games in a long time. The game also breaks when it would actually become a bit tedious with clever minigames, all implemented well. One thing in particular deserves to be talked about, and that would be the visuals. The locals in Alice are distinct, there is not two of them that looks a bit alike, and everything is gorgeous. My favourite would be place in the skies, made of cards, it is fantastic. The game is lengthy, so you truly get a bang for your buck, there are many unlockable costumes, so there is no lack of content here.
A perfect blend of genresCynaris | July 13, 2012 | Review of Darksiders (1) - PC
Do you like Legend of Zelda? How about Hack and Slash games? Exploration? This game has it all and more. Darksiders is a very well balanced mix of gameplay elements influenced by many games that come before it. And even if that is the case, it still manages to retain it's identity through a very distinct art style, great characters, and by striking a great balance between combat and exploration. You can expect great bosses, a fair challenge, A fairly simple, but well working combat system, many weapons at your disposal, a flaming horse! (I mean how cool is that.. ) The game always manages to throw something new at you, there are new mechanics to be found, and you can even collect pieces for a really powerful armor, which I gotta say pays off. The story is good, not necessarily the greatest, but a good setup, and remains interesting throughout. It was a sleeping hit, and I advise everyone to get it, if the things mentioned above are your cup of tea.