Reviews by Kratzer

90

Well Worth a Play

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition

There are a number of reasons you should play this game and some of them are somewhat unexpected. The face capture system they used to give the characters a real look that is based on some well-known celebrities adds immense quality to this game. If ever you needed to feel that a game were a movie, this is the game for you. You can really identify with Phelps in this game at different moments. As for the game itself, it plays out marvelously. The system for interrogation is awesome, the scene of the crime clue identification is fun and unique, and there are small parts that take you out of the monotony of simple casework. This is a true classic and one of the last games I played that I couldn't put down.

86

An Original Concept

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Alan Wake: Collector's Upgrade

I enjoyed this game if nothing less for its originality. The narration provided by the main character adds some legitimate value to the game, which is not always the case, definitely not for this genre. In addition to that, you are fighting against a force that is loosely defined and which therefore makes it all the more terrifying. When, at any moment, anything around you could take life and try to end you, it adds to the plight of the character dramatically. I give this game very high marks.

78

An overall enjoyable experience...

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (NA)

This is another in the Need for Speed series that is a great arcade racer, but makes me wish they would just go back to their roots a little. There is sort of a career mode where you follow a set course of objectives for either the police side or racer side and try to duke it out against one another. Some of the police challenges just involve driving to a race, which I thought was weird. The story is crap, but you would expect that. They are basically just trying to paint an impossible picture and move on, but it doesn't really affect the game. The thing I miss is saving up money from winning races to buy the one car you were after. This game just throws car unlocks at you like it doesn't care as you "level up." Another gimmick of racing games I don't particularly care for.

73

Nearly Impossible

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of F1 2011

This game is well polished and you can tell that the developers took special care to maintain the accuracy of the Formula One experience. Unfortunately, what that boils down to is this. You are going to lose. On anything but the easiest difficulty, you will lose. If you are exceptional at racing games, you have the chance of possibly placing, but likely over the length of the races, going up against the best drivers on the planet, something will happen and it will keep you from being on the podium. The controls are fine, the graphics are great, the presentation is wonderful, I love everything about this game but one thing; you will lose.

86

It is what it needs to be..

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Mass Effect 2 (NA)

Mass Effect 2 appropriately bridges Mass Effect and Mass Effect 3. That's probably the best way I can sum this game up. There few moments in it for me that are truly memorable. You spend most of the game chasing down the reapers until you meet with the obvious climax of the game. There are plenty of new characters to meet and lots of side stories to complete. For me, it simply isn't memorable. There are parts I remember about the game, but it doesn't grasp my attention like ME1 and ME3 have. All that being said, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with it either.

88

The Black Sheep

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Mass Effect (NA)

This game is easily the black sheep of the family in this three part series. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, it is just wildly different from its successors. The combat systems is barely comparable to ME2 and ME3 which makes it worse, only that it is not nearly as apparent as in the other versions. You will find that you are more suddenly in trouble than in the other games. The combat itself is seemingly looser and less refined. These are the things I dislike about this game, the other aspects are wonderful. There is a wide library of armors and guns to find in this game which is something that ME2 and ME3 are certainly missing. There is plenty to do and several planets to just drive around on in the Mako, something that will never again make an appearance. It's still a great game. It's just not ME2 or ME3. Don't expect it to be.

88

The Black Sheep

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Mass Effect (NA)

This game is easily the black sheep of the family in this three part series. I don't necessarily mean that in a bad way, it is just wildly different from its successors. The combat systems is barely comparable to ME2 and ME3 which makes it worse, only that it is not nearly as apparent as in the other versions. You will find that you are more suddenly in trouble than in the other games. The combat itself is seemingly looser and less refined. These are the things I dislike about this game, the other aspects are wonderful. There is a wide library of armors and guns to find in this game which is something that ME2 and ME3 are certainly missing. There is plenty to do and several planets to just drive around on in the Mako, something that will never again make an appearance. It's still a great game. It's just not ME2 or ME3. Don't expect it to be.

84

Innovative

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Bastion Cap

Something that inevitably strikes a chord with people who play this game is the narration. Its accuracy and the way that it follows you, truly throughout the game. The narrator offers a lot of the enjoyment for me even while the other aspects of the game are highly polished. The story line offers a great catalyst to the game. While the mechanics for the game itself are pretty ordinary, it is one that is difficult to put down.

85

Definitely Fun

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

This is a great game to pick up and play. You won't likely be amazing straight out of the gate, but it is worth getting acquainted with. If you have battle experience with Mount and Blade: Warband, that is a big leg up. The combat system I think is very similar if not directly related and if you're a fan of that type of combat then you will thoroughly enjoy this title. People's greatest gripe will be that the vanguards are seemingly overpowered and the game feels unbalanced. I don't know. I played as a vanguard, so I was the one on the mountain of skulls.

76

A Nice Twist on Traditional RTS

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim

In the game of Majesty 2 you do not directly order your units like you would in Command and Conquer this and that. Instead, there are monsters and horrible monster dens that will inevitably come to ravage your kingdom. To defend yourself (and go on the offensive) you must assign bounties to the monsters and their spawning areas to entice the heroes to destroy enemy encampments. I like this mechanic. It adds some depth to your heroes, too. Some monsters will be strong enough that only very strong heroes would consider toppling them.

89

Fulfilling of Expectations

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Nexway

This is obviously a franchise well established by this point in the gaming community and I feel it gracefully adds fun new features to an already great series of titles while playfully rehashing many of the things you would come to expect. The combat animations are still pretty basic and the magic does what it always has, but the big appeal to this game is its classless system which many people are divided over. Instead of deciding if you are going to be a magic user, a roguish type, or a warrior formally, you will just level up whatever you feel like at whatever point. Over time, your character will start to take shape organically and you won't need the archtype of paladin or thief ( these things are somewhat trifling for a game like this anyway). I think it does this well and it becomes, in my mind, kind of like an adventure version of The Sims. I realize that is an odd comparison. It's addition to the Steam workshop makes it an obvious buy.

74

Semi-original

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Defiance

This game is a great novelty to the gaming community. I can't help but feel really that it draws a lot of parallels from Borderlands and in that way feels a little generic. It does have an obvious MMO feel that Borderlands doesn't have entirely, but the weapons and their rarity system, the sort of power tree and even a lot of the mobs look similar to that which you would expect to see in the Borderlands franchise. While everything in this game to me feels a little borrowed or if nothing less, somewhat generic-y, it's still a pretty good game. I have put at least 8 hours into it which is more than I can say of most games. Meh.

83

This game shouldn't be fun...but...

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Euro Truck Simulator 2

I don't necessarily understand my own draw to this game, but it is definitely a good time. While the premise itself almost seems ridiculous and you might wonder why any non-German would play this game, it actual has a lot to offer. At the early stages of the game, you are a truck driver working for companies running shipments of whatever to wherever (forklifts, regular box truck cargo, giant robot phalluses, etc.) and this part goes on for a bit until you own your own truck where things start to open up a little bit. Eventually, you will buy your own garage and hire other drivers and purchase them their own trucks. At this point, you will realize you have played this game for about eighty hours and you will somehow not have any regrets. What an odd ride...

83

This game shouldn't be fun...but...

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Euro Truck Simulator 2

I don't necessarily understand my own draw to this game, but it is definitely a good time. While the premise itself almost seems ridiculous and you might wonder why any non-German would play this game, it actual has a lot to offer. At the early stages of the game, you are a truck driver working for companies running shipments of whatever to wherever (forklifts, regular box truck cargo, giant robot phalluses, etc.) and this part goes on for a bit until you own your own truck where things start to open up a little bit. Eventually, you will buy your own garage and hire other drivers and purchase them their own trucks. At this point, you will realize you have played this game for about eighty hours and you will somehow not have any regrets. What an odd ride...

92

Best Sports Franchise

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of FIFA 13 (NA)

This game is unbelievable in its ability to capture the sport. From the career mode that makes you feel as though you are a young, unappreciated talent which will be loaned and traded on you way to stardom to the online modes which will make you appropriately frustrated with your "near miss" goal opportunities, this is just a great game. The pageantry and tragedy of real pitch football is captured in every game and meanwhile, you are still having a terrific time throughout. This is what every sports game should strive for. It is, at this point, unmatched.

84

A great game, that comes with some grief...

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Mass Effect 3 (NA)

Obviously, everyone will be bearing you down with facts about the games ending and how it doesn't live up to the franchises expectations. We have all heard it and I will save you the headache of reading it once more. The things that people need to focus on are the steps involved in getting there. This game is still great in the ways that its predecessors were. There is plenty to do outside of the usual story line and several characters from the previous titles will be making a significant return in many aspects of the game. The dialogue system is still one of the best I've seen in games to date and the immersion factor is still something to be considered. You are still Commander Shepard (or Shepard Commander to some).

77

It's What You'd Expect

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Scribblenauts Unlimited (NA)

This is an app development teams attempt at building a feature length and fully loaded game. I would say in that regard it falls short of goal, but it is not an attempt far out of sight. The game is definitely fun for fans of the series and it adds fun new features, like the ability to add items and people that are not already appropriately referenced by the game. This feature legitimately adds some needed depth and further allows for the advancement of ones own imagination with this title. Furthermore, it is now on the Steam workshop which means, if you can't create it, someone else probably has, and you just need to download it.

78

A Refreshing Alternative

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of FIFA Manager 2013 (NA)

The obvious game for the intense simulation fan is Football Manager '13, but if you are tired of dealing with your players being drafted to fight in wars for their countries and other such nonsense that is a bit "over the toppy" than this is a good alternative. Everything about the game is a bit more user friendly, which is really just to say it's more casual. In addition to the game being simpler it adds a personal life section to a simulation game. Here, your efforts can be measured by buying yourself fancy pieces of real estate or even luxury cars. While I will grant it doesn't add much to the game and is perhaps even "not relatable" it is somewhat fun. I like that this game is a bit less intimidating.

92

An Almost Unrivaled Experience

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of BioShock (NA)

The only bad thing I can really find to say about this game is that I am tired of hacking doors and turrets. For some of you, this is probably a seemingly negligible gripe. In the scope of the game, I may even agree with you. This game is the perfect example of how a game can draw emotional appeals from its audience. This is not a game, it's an experience. Never before has a game given a player such a feel of immersion and the only game to possibly capture this feeling again is its successor, Bioshock Infinite. This studio knows how to capture a persons imagination and their storytelling abilities are inspiring.

88

A Very Graceful Sequel

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2 (NA)

This game outshines its predecessor %100. While the original was good, this game adds the much needed depth to characters and provides a story for the amusement of its players this go around. Not a lot was known about the characters of Borderlands other than how they felt about killing bandits and that some of them have an overly affectionate relationship with their birds. This game brings, not only those original characters to life, but also adds four new unique vault hunters into the mix. This is only the first area in which this game is better than the original, but in order to keep this review short, I will just say this. Think of something you like about Borderlands one. It is at least three times better in this game. That should answer all of your questions.

97

Game of the Year Candidate

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of BioShock Infinite (NA)

I know it is still early, but I find this game to be an obvious game of the year candidate. I think a lot of people who have reviewed this game, must not have finished it. If you find your way all the way through to the end, you realize how well this game is made and how truly engrossing it truly is. I am playing though it a second time, simply because of how jaw droppingly amazing I felt the conclusion to be. Don't get me wrong, the game is certainly fun throughout with only a few hangups and some sporadic dull moments. The rest of the game, however, is a perfectly jarring experience that keeps you on your toes and wondering what truly is going on. I think in that way, it is very true to the original. I give this game my unrelenting endorsement.

57

Yeah, I don't see it...

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of NBA 2K13 dns

I've seen nothing but people stroking this series off for a number of years now and the only thing I can tell you is that this is one of my least favorite franchise of games. It's baseball cousin is difficult enough in its career mode, but the career in this game is simply unforgiving. If you are out of position for a moment you are branded a villain, perhaps true of real basketball, but not when your positions are changed on a whim. Your player starts out as nothing short of awful and if you are not a talented player, which you will not be off the bat, then you will find yourself entirely frustrated with this game. I have tried to come back and play this game on multiple occasions and each time I find myself throwing my hands up in frustration. I may even grant that it is something I just don't get, but I am not a dullard, this game has an unreasonably high barrier of entry to non-basketball fans and to novice gamers. Don't believe all of its high praises.

84

Haters gonna hate...

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of SimCity (NA)

I played through this game initially with all of its server issues and EA's half-hearted apologies and despite all of the faults given to the game that were basically no fault of the game itself, I rather enjoyed the experience. A friend of mine tend to LAN about any new game that comes out and this one was of particularly entertaining note. I think that the diminished size of each individual lot and the need to specialize your cities while relying somewhat on your neighbors is not only a welcomed multiplayer mechanic for a game of this genre, but also somewhat true and realistic of modernized cities. You will find your city outsourcing workers and high tech cities with a demand for educated employees. Casinos bring in money, but also crime. Oil and coal bring in money, but makes for a poor place to live. These are not design oversights, they are brilliant additions to the game. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

77

An expected but worthwhile experience..

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army

This game is sort of a reskinned version of its V2 counterpart. The zombies are slow and feel like zombies and there is still a satisfying bullet cam that will show the various ways in which you are destroying the brain-hungry hordes. The overall game doesn't have that different of a feel than its predecessor, but the four player co-op experience brings some new fun to the table. The game parallels the "Left 4 Dead" series in some ways. (Not exclusively in the fact there are zombies.) You will encounter weapon and ammo spawns as well as safe areas. The game seemingly goes from mundane to more than challenging in almost an instant, be prepared for that. Overall, it's a good experience if you have a few buddies to play with.

91

A Truly Top Bracket Game

Kratzer | June 3, 2013 | Review of Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year

This game is astounding from start to finish. If you haven't purchased it yet, I don't understand your hesitation. If ever you've wanted to know what it is like to be Batman, this game brings that feeling to life. The controls are solid and reactive, the gameplay is a perfect hybrid of stealth and action and the game's ability to imitate a Batman film or comic book is unrivaled by any previous attempt. This is the first in a "must own" franchise.