Reviews by Eiensakura

86

Sleeping Dogs: Not that sleepy after all

Eiensakura | Oct. 26, 2012 | Review of Sleeping Dogs: Limited Edition

Sleeping Dogs revolves around the story of an undercover cop Wei Shen, who infiltrates the Sun On Yee triad to take it down from inside. And then you get the rather atypical triad-undercover police dilemma and the visceral violence that follows.

The game basically takes the best features out of other games, and tries to improves on them. This effort is mainly successful aside from some minor kinks. The unarmed combat, clearly inspired by Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, is superb, and often visceral, but somehow falls short of the total fluidness that's found on AC. The gunplay is rather off-the-mill, but you can trigger slow-mo when jumping out of cover to eliminate your opponents.

The shining point of the game is the voice acting, which is brilliantly done. Getting yelled "Sei pok kai, sek mm sek zha cheh ka?" (You b**, do you even know how to drive?) in full glorious Cantonese whilst driving like a devil is really immersive. The character dialogue and npc banters are rather authentic too.

Graphics wise, the game is pretty well polished. The vibrant Hong Kong skyline and city depiction is very appealing, and the effort made to get all the Chinese characters right is certainly laudable.

All in all, Sleeping Dogs is one of the hidden gems this year. And most certainly a brilliant pick up by Square Enix from Activision, who's most likely kicking themselves in the balls, for dropping such a brilliant IP.

88

A worthy remake of the original

Eiensakura | Oct. 26, 2012 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown dns

Being a fan of the original game, XCOM was one of my deepest gaming insecurities when Firaxis announced that they are doing a make-over of the first.

But, lo and behold, Firaxis certainly managed to up the ante whilst keeping most of the core XCOM atmosphere in tact. The game is unforgiving and brutal at higher levels, which why newbies should start off at normal difficulty.

There are 4 classes of soldiers at your disposal, each of them specialize in their roles. The weapon and armour upgrades are rather linear, going from standard to laser and finally plasma (weapons), and standard to carapace and finally titan/archangel/ghost (armor). Whilst this was pretty much in line with the original, something deep inside me wished for more varieties of weapons and armour to choose from. (Mods, I'm looking at you)

The missions itself are limited to a few set, although the locales does change quite a bit. The typical search and destroy,diffusing a bomb, or VIP escort. Whilst the background objective might be similiar, the difference in terrain alters your strategy and tactical needs when facing ever stronger enemies.

My only grip with the game is the voice-over, which is basically American voice for almost everything, where's the Japanese accented English for my Japanese soldiers? Or the Queen's English for the good old Brits? Whilst not affecting gameplay at the slightest bit, but it does sort of breaks immersion, when you see someone that's clearly not from an English speaking country, spouts out lines in American accent. No offence to the Americans by the way.

All in all, XCOM is a darn good strategy game that calls upon the most of your strategical and tactical capabilities, especially in Classic and higher difficulties.

82

Deus Ex Machina for the ending please!

Eiensakura | July 23, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: HR came out as one of the most hyped successor to the ever popular Deus Ex series, and it certainly did the name justice, with a minor kinks of two.

The game itself is driven by a solid plot, where you, Adam Jensen weaves his way through the webs of conspiracies and intrigue of the cybernatic world. The vast availability of choices of actions gives this game multiple routes to take in order to complete the game. Hate sneaking around like a rat? Go in guns blazing. Dislike going in gungho? Sneak your way around. Computers? Hack them, or simply just plow your way through a wall to make a new route. This allow plenty of tactical moves that keeps the game fresh.

Furthermore, your actions in the game does affect people, and in fact helps you in your quest. This gives a very human touch to the game, with even your dialogue choice plays an important part. The battle wise, it's quite typical of FPS i might say, and the AI is at least competent enough to flank and so on.

The only blot in the end is the ending, after all the trouble and adventure, and it's down to pushing 1 of 3 buttons? That sort of set a precedence to another game which used 3 colours for an ending. Not the best way to end the game I'd say.

While HR does live up to it's ancestor's glory, it's still does not rank as highly as the original Deus Ex.

85

A new breath for the 4X

Eiensakura | July 23, 2012 | Review of Endless Space: Emperor Edition

Endless Space is a breath of fresh air into the 4X category after the disappointing Sword of the Stars II. Endless Space has very distinct races that really varies from one to another, such as the mechanoid Cravers to the ancient Amoebas, each faction having their own unique background and play style.

Graphic and interface wise, Endless Space is rather astounding for an indie developer. The game UI is easy to use and pleasing to the eyes, and even the planets have their distinctive feel as you zoom into your systems. The tech-tree is a wide interconnected web of research and developments which you can either specialize, or be average in everything.

Space fleet wise, the fleet composition is quite limited, with about 6 to 7 choice of classes are available to each faction. With no ability to modify the appearance of the ships, battles with multiple ships of the same class with different weaponries gets rather hard to differentiate. Weapons are the typical rock paper scissors mode, with some other selection of modules to specialize your ship with.

The battles pans out in an automatic manner where by ships trade pot shots through 3 different phases. The inability to control your fleet movement is a personal blot to me, and the card system in place is rather simplistic. However, the battles are beautifully done.

One thing of importance with Endless Space is the Game2gether philosophy used by Amplitude, whereby the community has a say in the development of the game, and this is a right direction to go in terms of dev-player interaction.

Endless Space is surely one of the better 4X to look out for in 2012.

85

Over the top fun

Eiensakura | June 24, 2012 | Review of Saints Row: The Third

Saints Row 3 is just packed with ridiculous, over the top action and adventure. The dialogues can be pretty cheesy at times, but it fits the mood very well, and the voice casting is superbly done too.

The vast ability to customize how your character looks in game is a big plus, with the rest of the crew being quite interesting, and have their own motivations and background that you can explore.

My only gripe is probably the lack of variety of weapons for each weapon class, sure having 8 different weapons is one thing, but only 2 choices for the SMG and Rifles? Surely you could do better than that, Volition!

A good game with loads of laughs and mind-blowing fun.