Reviews by JugglingT
A Great Collection of GamesJugglingT | May 5, 2013 | Review of The Orange Box
Ah, the Orange Box. A great collection of some amazing games. I bought this originally just for Portal, however having now played all games included, I shall give a brief review for each of them.
Portal: This is the real gem here, I'd heard a lot about this game before playing, although had no real concept of the game-mechanics. It's a comedy-puzzle game where the player is able to shoot two interconnected portals and use them to solve various test-chambers as instructed by a mysterious AI. It's a relatively short game, and can probably be beaten in 5 or 6 hours on the first playthrough, but it is fully worth it if you're a fan of puzzle games. I myself am not, although I still enjoyed every bit of this game from beginning to end. I'd give it a 9/10.
Half Life 2 + Both Episodes: This is the main game of the pack. Half Life 2 is pretty famous among PC gamers at this point, although I began playing this having no real knowledge about the game other than how amazing they supposedly were. If it's your first time playing them, I would recommend forgetting about all the endless praise these games receive. While it's true that they are good fun, if you go in expecting a revolutionary experience you will likely be let down. The graphics are still decent to today, and they only improve across the episodes, and the storyline is simple enough that you need not have played the first game.
The gameplay remains relatively the same throughout the game and both episodes, although if asked to pick I would say that Episode 2 was the most entertaining. There are various weapons, various enemies, and enough interesting locations and events to keep the game interesting. The style of the gunplay will not be to everyone's tastes though, as there's no cover and you sprint much faster than in most games, and you are unable to aim down the sights on any guns aside from the crossbow. For me I found this a refreshing change, although I can understand how some people might be put off.
There are a few basic puzzles and driving segments to break up the shooting, and the combat is also switched up for the final stretch of the game. Episode 1 I found to become a bit of a drag bringing nothing especially new to the game, Episode 2 however was much more interesting, taking place largely in a deep cave-system and in wooded-mountains. The caves were fun, although I found this to really take off shortly after obtaining the car. The finale-segment felt intense and there was a good story throughout. If you're not expecting anything mind-blowing, this can be a very fun game. I'd give it an 8/10.
Team Fortress 2: I'm not especially a fan of online shooters, so I only played this briefly, although it seemed a lot more light-hearted and goofy than other shooters. It had fun characters and cartoony graphics, there were numerous classes to choose from, and each felt unique. There's also been an update recently-ish adding a co-op mode where players unite against an army of robots, which can help the game to last longer. However this has now been released on Steam as a free-to-play game, and as such doesn't add to the value of the pack. I'd give it a 7/10.
A Highly Entertaining GameJugglingT | May 5, 2013 | Review of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
A vast landscape including deserts and mountains as well as multiple cities, along with entertaining characters and an evolving story, help make this game what I find to personally be the best of the currently released GTA games. Granted the graphics are somewhat dated by now, but they're easy to forgive due to the amount of fun this game has to offer. The game features various drivable vehicles including cars, motorbikes, tanks, trains, planes, helicopters and more, and the handling is very well done making it a blast just to speed about aimlessly.
The game also features light RPG elements in the use of stats such as hunger, driving skill, and strength. They never require too much attention, and aren't really necessary, but it can be a fun addition all the same. Being on PC there are also a few graphics options you can tweak (although most gaming computer's should be able to run this game without much effort nowadays), plus if desired it's also possible to add your own music to play through the in-game radio. Overall a very fun game, that still holds up even today. Would recommend.