Reviews by Mikester7
Dull and LifelessMikester7 | July 17, 2014 | Review of Total War: Rome II
Aside from faction, unit and map diversity and size, Rome II fails to come close to the previous titles in enjoyment, even after 10 months of updates. The game is quite playable now but is still buggier than Shogun II and most of the features are just dull in comparison. The barbarians seem underrepresented, AI is painfully stupid, especially in the campaign map, unmemorable music (interestingly the first TW title to not have the original composer snore), research is HORRIBLE compared to Shogun II, zero charm, building is quite poor and some of the small meta changes I don't really enjoy.
Not to mention, the amount of DLC in terms of price is already higher than Shogun II, which for a flawed game, is pretty hilarious. I realise that topping the behemoth that is Shogun II is probably impossible, but Rome II isn't even in the same ballpark.
The game is painfully average in enjoyment for a video game and is pretty terrible for a Total war title. I haven't tried mods, but I'll give them a go first before giving up.
Rome II is simply by far the poorest Total War game to date and is simply dull and lifeless.
Has a few meritsMikester7 | Sept. 9, 2013 | Review of Operation Flashpoint Pack
In most cases in the past, the newer Operation Flashpoint games have been far too expensive to recommend for the hours it will give you. However, at a low price I can recommend it, especially Dragon Rising as their campaigns do tend to give quite a bit of enjoyment when played co-op. Dragon Rising certainly has the better campaign and nails the difficulty, but when I played it, it was a little buggy. Red River isn't awful, but seems to have been dumbed down to add a story that in the end was pretty poor.
Neither games have much longevity and are shadows of the original Operation Flashpoint and are miles behind the superior ARMA series.
MasterpieceMikester7 | April 20, 2013 | Review of BioShock Infinite (ANZ)
Irrational Games return once again for this anticipated third instalment of the Bioshock series. We see a similar recurring theme with the original title, though this time you are put into the world as the crisis is happening, rather than at the aftermath of Rapture. While Columbia no longer offers the dark, atmospheric and sometimes scary nature of Rapture, players are delivered a more accessible story. Columbia is filled with powerful imagery and almost flawlessly depicted a heavily religious western society. The original Bioshock did a better job at showing a dystopian society, but many people may find the newer story more involving and obvious. This is not to say that the story was significantly weaker to the past, it more went in a different direction, focusing on the characters and personal issues with the main character, rather than the overall society. Elizabeth, one of the main characters, was depicted incredibly well and is easily the most interesting character of the game.
Across the board there are numerous gameplay improvements over the original game, combat feeling more solid, better weapons and more interesting, useful and fun abilities. The level design was generally less audacious than the original, though it was able to avoid the issues of arguably poor level design that sometimes poked its head through in the first. The ending was well executed and tied off the story much better than the first, though I do miss the sometimes scary nature of the first, though I do not think it would have fit in well with Infinites story. Overall, Bioshock Infinite is a masterpiece of a perfect length that is not too short and does not stay around long enough to get stale. Simply put, other game developers could not even dream of creating a story anywhere near as good as Bioshock Infinite. It is simply a video game made with a massive amount of effort and passion for storytelling and gaming. It is going to be a historic game that every open minded individual should experience.
A pack of gaming historyMikester7 | Jan. 24, 2013 | Review of SEGA Retro Steam Bundle
This whole pack, especially the SEGA mega drive collection is basically my childhood in a nutshell. Old school players may find Jet Set Radio makes this bundle hard to pass up. Sadly for me, most of these games have not stood the test of time and I don't really find myself interested in playing these old games anymore aside from a short lived boredom killer. Historic game enthusiasts or people who really want to relive old memories may definitely want to pick this pack up (you don't need my review to tell how good these games are if you grew up with them). For other people, you may want to avoid it or wait until the pack is on sale, there is a lot of time to waste here and it is worth the money, but for some, getting out what you put in may be very difficult.
Great underrated horror titleMikester7 | Jan. 24, 2013 | Review of Condemned: Criminal Origins
Condemned: Criminal Origins seemed to be a bit of a hidden gem in terms of horror games go, receiving some rather low reviews and attention considering just how good this game actually is. It did combat really well, with mostly solid and twitch melee combat. Solid jumpscares, creepy atmospheres and areas are the highlights of this game. The story is pretty solid and interesting as well. Any person that loves horror games, or people who just like to play them now and then for a scare in a creepy setting will no doubt enjoy this game.
Lacks depth, but does a lot rightMikester7 | Jan. 22, 2013 | Review of Endless Space: Admiral Edition
Played this game a fair bit when it had the free weekend of Steam, but did not end up purchasing it. The game feels like it took many elements from the Total War game Shogun 2, but falls short due to a lack of depth in the skill trees, combat and management sides. Endless space has some charming visual, detailed planets and spectacular ship models, something that I really look out for in space games (I'm a bit of a space junkie). The races were varied and the customization of ships was something I enjoyed. Sadly, battles in Endless Space were lacking and strategy did not come into play when fighting the fleets of your enemies. Instead battles were just predetermined by a computer calculation, though you did get to watch the battle, which is better than nothing. Grand strategy game fans who don't mind a bit of space will probably enjoy Endless Space a lot more than I did, but personally, the new Sins of a Solar Empire feels superior.
Solid arcade flight sim for softcore fans.Mikester7 | Jan. 22, 2013 | Review of Wings of Prey
Wings of Prey adds a modern accessible WW2 combat flight sim for people that do not want hardcore realism. Adjustable realism settings helps the game from becoming too arcadey, but in the grand scheme of things, it still fails to be that much of a true simulator. Seekers of maximum realism may want to steer away and continue playing the original IL2 WW2 Combat flight sim.
Perfect for any hardcore Doom fanMikester7 | Dec. 18, 2012 | Review of Doom 3 BFG Edition Pre
If you're one of those people that grew up with Doom, then you will find this new remastered edition including the originals very tempting indeed. With this pack you not only get access to an important part of gaming history, but also the very good remastered Doom 3. It's debatable if it is worth the price tag for a new chapter and better audio and graphics, it will come down to your opinion. Personally, I would buy it only when it goes on sale before purchasing this game again.
The game features an interesting story, good scares and awesome interfaces while maintaining its roots from the original games.
No excuse for such a bad portMikester7 | Dec. 10, 2012 | Review of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition (NA)
If I was reviewing this game taking into consideration the vanilla port, I wouldn't be rating it very high at all. The port is probably the worst I have ever seen on the PC and I have been playing PC games for a long time. The PC controls (you know, the platform the game was "made" to run on) are absolutely horrible, I used an Xbox controller and you must too, it is unplayable otherwise. On launch, the game ran at an incredibly low resolution and frame rate, which is totally unacceptable, even if it didn't bother some people, many are more sensitive to low frame rates and may find it unplayable due to this. There have been some good community made modifications to fix the frame rate and the resolution, but after those changes, it just feels like a poorly optimized port like GTA 4 was for example.
I'm going to ignore these problems however, as it wouldn't do such a great game justice. The games combat is incredibly fair and great, turning out to be highly rewarding when mastered. Boss fights are varied with many great mechanics which feel like old school RPG fights. The hard difficulty of Dark Souls will also prove a rewarding challenge for anyone. Dark Souls feels like a grand journey filled with dangers, varied monsters and environments, interesting characters and treasure.
Personally I think the Dark Souls multiplayer was a total waste of development time. You cannot play with your friends very easily at all, the whole summoning system is really bad and in many cases you find yourself getting ganked (in a single player RPG?!) by a maxed level, pimped out character with so much lag he teleports behind you and insta-gibs you without having a say about it. This game is hard enough without people barging into your game mid fight and killing you. Thanks to the crappy games for windows live DRM, there is no real way of going offline to play by yourself like a normal single player game. If you don't want to die from a max level player owning you, just Alt F4 the game and restart it (yes the game stops you from closing it when someone enters your game to kill you). It is kind of beyond me why they would think of adding such a terrible multiplayer system, it doesn't do the game any justice and has no reason whatsoever for being there.
Fans of both RPG games, and games that are difficult (you know, the ones who whinge constantly about games being too easy now days) should definitely pick this game up, though try to get it on the Xbox or PS3. If you can't, perhaps wait for a sale, and if you do buy it, research unlocking the frame rate and resolution, especially if you find yourself more sensitive to that kind of stuff.
Good to see this game on GMGMikester7 | Dec. 5, 2012 | Review of Towns
I bought this game early in its development and had a really good time with it. The complexities of Dwarf Fortress was just too much for me, so the simpler and beautiful Towns made me quite impressed.
It is a city building and management game, similar to the economic aspect of games such as stronghold, with added sandbox elements. The game play is slow-paced, but addicting, as sometimes I find myself staring at my workers doing their chores without getting bored.
Towns becoming greenlit on Steam resulted in a quick release, which is a shame to be honest, as the game was, and arguably still is in alpha. The gameplay is still there, but there is plenty of evidence to show that the game isn't finished yet. There is a lack of music tracks and options which is a shame. I think they should have spend quite a few more months developing this game before they released it on Steam.
Either way, for the price tag there is plenty of hours to get out of it and due to this I recommend it for anyone who is a fan of the management genre.
A Spectacular game that everyone should experienceMikester7 | Dec. 3, 2012 | Review of EVE Online - 60 Day Time Card
Due to the way the progression system is set up in EVE Online, new players will literally find it impossible to reach the wealth and power of old veterans. Due to this, the power hungry people will find that EVE Online will not satisfy. However, economists, space junkies, social MMO fans, lone questers and members of the military generally find this game to be incredible (I met many people serving in the navy while playing this game). It is absolutely packed full of content, amazing visuals, spectacular spaceship details, great social aspects and on the edge of your seat combat. EVE offers an experience that no other game in history ever has, which is unexplainable, you simply have to play the game to understand. Try out this game, even if it is just for a month or two just to experience this incredible game.
Overwhelming disappointmentMikester7 | Nov. 21, 2012 | Review of Hitman: Absolution PRE
Not sure what they mean by groundbreaking AI, as it is probably the stupidest AI I have seen in a very long time. Alerting guards into armed combat results in a few taking part in a shootout while the others stand around doing nothing, blissfully unaware of the gunshots ensuing a mere twenty meters away. Reloading your checkpoints results in enemies previously killed prior to the checkpoint respawning, causing your reload to sometimes require a full restart of the level. Terribly unresponsive controls when behind cover cause you to feel stuck to the wall sometimes. The game runs terribly, crashing every 5 minutes on average on my GTX670 as well as the frame rate feeling very rough even though it is running at about 60-80 fps on max. (nvidia driver update improved the crashing to every 10 minutes rolls eyes)
Hitman: Absolution is an avoid until it gets under 10 dollars, anyone a fan of the series shouldn't bother playing, otherwise you will be deeply saddened.
The less innovative but solid sequel to Total AnnihilationMikester7 | Oct. 29, 2012 | Review of Supreme Commander
Supreme Commander, developed by one of my favorite developers, shares a surprisingly large amount of features as the famous Total Annihilation that made the game so popular. While it may not have the sheer scale and innovation that Total Annihilation, fans of the game may find Supreme Commander a surprisingly great experience. It still maintains the focus on huge battles, economic management and massive powerful units that take an eternity to build. It has so much content for the price, consisting of numerous campaigns and great online features so you can play with your friends easily just like you may had done back in the days of Total Annihilation. The other good thing is it fixes the rather poor pathfinding as large amounts of units are introduced to the map, that I found was a game-breaking problem with Total Annihilation.
While I personally find Supreme Commander as a game that gets far too drawn out and slow after a while, don't let that deter you as you may find this solid strategy game a gem.
While it got bashed a lot for vastly changing to series, I find its sequel, Supreme Commander 2 a more enjoyable experience personally.
An overlooked horror gemMikester7 | Sept. 27, 2012 | Review of Condemned: Criminal Origins CAP
With the overwhelming popularity of other horror games, many games such as Condemned Criminal Origins I feel were overlooked. If you are looking for different horror games but have no idea about what other titles to go for aside from the usual Amnesia and whatnot, try this game.
It has great scares, level design, atmosphere, story and a solid, challenging melee combat system. Almost all of the game you will be getting up close and personal with the enemies due to the lack of ranged weapons and ammo.
Overall it is a solid game worth playing for anyone who likes a scare at the offered price. The sequel however probably outdoes Criminal Origins due to its great combat system, so if you have a console, perhaps try that out too (but after finishing this one).
Great PriceMikester7 | Aug. 31, 2012 | Review of The Stronghold Collection [Capsule]
First of all I need to make clear that the Stronghold series is VERY hit and miss. By that I mean Stronghold 1 and Stonghold Crusader are superb games worth the investment, though all of the others are very poor. The amazing castle simulation and sieges are the highlights here. My personal favourite is Stronghold Crusader, I believe it is the best out of all of them, so I will be basing my rating off that. I'm not sure about extreme, I've never played it, though I have heard it is too expensive for what you get, so now is certainly a great time to try it out considering you get them all at such a great price. I believe any strategy fan should be buying this, even Stronghold Crusader alone is worth the price tag.
What is not to like?Mikester7 | Aug. 30, 2012 | Review of Super Meat Boy
While a have to say a requirement of playing this game to full functionality is by playing with a game pad, there is no real reason not to have this game. It is a challenging platform game with responsive controls, a quirky sense of humor, numerous references to other indie characters, challenging and overall a well polished game. If you are good enough to finish this game totally including the timed runs and bandages, go and try out some of the custom maps which can get ridiculously hard. A great modern platforming game overall.
So close to being that perfect TD that fans wantMikester7 | Aug. 20, 2012 | Review of Tower Wars
I am so happy to see a game like Tower Wars, I have always wanted a tower defense game that can stand up to the great tower defense maps from Warcraft 3 and I believe Tower Wars is almost there. The Hexagonal cell placing was a surprisingly unique aspect of the game that worked out very well for the game in my opinion. There is enough towers for launch, but I hope more are added later on in future updates or DLC. Upgrading the towers makes them look quite different, which is very nice to see, though not much happens aside from passive increases which is a shame. The competitive mazing is done so well and it is great to see. Sending waves of soldiers to the other players base in order for you to get money is absolutely awesome to see in a modern tower defense game. It has a great steam punk theme on the menus that are implemented well to allow fast mazing, something that is very important in competitive TD's. The mining for gold aspect is another great feature that forces you to choose what you do with your funds, weather you should maze more, upgrade, build towers, mine gold, send out troops or upgrade your castle.
The downsides are that there is not many maps available (I believe about 3 for competitive games currently) which is a shame, but I can understand budget constraints. Towards the end of the games where there is a lot of towers and enemies, the framerate basically goes incredibly low, which is strange considering I have a good PC (GTX 570 at the time, now 670) and the graphics are not exactly hard for computers to handle (though the art style is great!).
I'd like to see most importantly the performance improvements in the future as well as more content for the game, which I would be happy to pay for in DLC. As it says on the Green Man Gaming website "Get on board! Help us bring you MUCH MORE! The future looks bright for Tower Wars!" and it certainly does indeed.
Some refreshing elements to the Genre, but still lacking.Mikester7 | Aug. 20, 2012 | Review of Sanctum
Sanctum is a single player or co-op FPS/Tower Defense(TD) game that has included some nice TD elements. It is good to see a game that focuses on mazing, by that I mean making a maze of cheap towers so the enemy take longer to get to the end. Having air levels is also another good thing I like to see in tower defense games. I believe that the custom maps in the game Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne were by far the best tower defense games that currently exist, so I like to base other tower defense games on the really good ones from then.
There are a few features that I think make up a great tower defense; Mazing, while not required to be a good tower defense, it certainly is a great element, a large variety of monsters (fast, slow, tanky, big, small, flying, shielded, invisible etc.), tower upgrading that substantially changes the towers visually and/or their combat abilities rather than passive bonuses (an upgrade "tree" is also very nice to see on a single tower), multiple "races" or "factions" to choose, each of which have different towers, possibly different tower combat themes as well, Competitive multiplayer and/or Co-op with more than one game type, multiple maps and freedom to place towers wherever on the map rather than being confined to a certain "cells" where you can place towers.
Sanctum has some of these, it has the Co-op, enemy types, mazing, suitable tower placement freedom and a decent amount of tower types. It falls behind in the FPS side with a lack of weapons, even after DLC additions and shallow tower and weapon upgrading. Overall the game feels lacking polish and variety. Sadly because of this, Sanctum is not the brilliant tower defense game that fans have been craving, but to be fair there are none that have hit the nail on the head. It's worth a shot, but if you are after a better TD game, try Defense Grid or the new (and great) Tower Wars.
Some good ideas for future MMOsMikester7 | Aug. 20, 2012 | Review of Rift
As a bit of a self proclaimed (lol) veteran of MMO's, I had a go and played about two weeks or so of Rift. It seems that Rift aimed to grab players over from the current giant World of Warcraft by using very familiar aspects. Personally I find that kind of lazy and I didn't think it was going to work considering the ridiculous about of content available for WoW players currently (for goodness sake even the text color is the same as WoW). Rift however does have a few unique elements that I found quite nice such as the server wide events, rift portals, awesome talent system and other helpful stuff that you can do while leveling. It has some pretty decent quests and story telling, but nothing to different to WoW. The combat however is indredibly shallow and feels extremely boring compared to some other MMO's (shame they didn't rip the combat feel off WoW to, it would have been a bearable game then).
You have to ask yourself I guess, should I play a game that's a shallow shell of World of Warcraft, or WoW itself. An example of this is when I played the rogue and went a hunter-style class and could not choose my own pet, instead it gave me either a wolf, boar or raptor. At the end of the day they cost about the same anyway. It's kind of an easy choice unless you have some kind of vendetta against WoW because it's popular. I strongly suggest skipping this game entirely and playing WoW instead, or like I said if you have a mental vendetta against it, wait until another decent one is released.
At the end of the day Rift offers absolutely NOTHING to the MMO genre aside from making future companies understand how important it is to not totally rip off other games. Taking chunks from other games is fine and a common occurrence in MMO's, but Rift is just blatantly cloning.. badly. The great talent system alone is not enough to save it from it's awfully dull combat.
In conclusion I would say this game is not an alternative for any game currently on the market and you should avoid at all costs, their is simply not enough good content to be a better game logically than WoW.
Uhhh....?Mikester7 | Aug. 20, 2012 | Review of Bungee Jumping Simulator
I'm not exactly sure why anyone would want to come into this game and play it seriously. Sure I can understand doing it for a joke, but why on earth was this made. Seriously.. BUNGEE JUMPING SIMULATOR!?! Of all the simulators this has to be the silliest BY FAR. I can appreciate that it is incredibly unique and I can almost bet there isn't another game like it but you really have to wonder what they were thinking. There is no real replay-ability and it kind of just feels like a joke to be honest. I guess it is still a realistic depiction of bungee jumping (grin)
Bit odd if you ask me
A great strategy game typical of the seriesMikester7 | Aug. 20, 2012 | Review of Total War: Shogun 2
Shogun 2 is the next installment of the original Shogun Total War game. All of the Creative Assembly Total War games are all very typical of one another allowing fans of any games to easily pick up and play any other game from the series. I find the Total War games a perfect series for players to pick their favorite part of history provided they are interested in that kind of stuff. I thought I would not enjoy Shogun 2 as the others, being focused on Feudal Japan which is personally not one of my favorite periods of history. I was surprised however, primarily due to the overhauled campaign system with a new co-op mode. The campaign still stays true to all of the other campaigns in the series, so old Total War veterans can still jump into Shogun 2 straight away and know what they are doing relatively swiftly. In my opinion the addition of Co-op campaign was the selling point for me as I have another friend who is a big fan of the series as well, so we could finally both play the same campaign. The co-op campaign was implemented almost perfectly, with the other player able to observe or participate in battles with their friend. Aside from that, the combat and strategy on land or sea is still EXACTLY what you have come to expect from the series, awesome obviously... Once again Creative has used historically appropriate music and artistic styles for the menus and interface as well as loading screen quotes and other little things that go a very long way. It is just simply a well executed game and I can't wait for their announced Rome Total War 2.
I'm not sure why these were not reviewed higher by critics..Mikester7 | Aug. 20, 2012 | Review of Penumbra Collection
Frictional Games received a huge amount of attention from their latest release Amnesia: The Dark Decent, with the game going viral over the internet. While Amnesia is arguably the flagship game of Frictional, the Penumbra games should not be overlooked. They are all an extremely immersing experience through the intense atmosphere and story. Penumbra can be classified as an immersible puzzle game, so make sure it is for you. If you more prefer being scared out of your skin with less puzzles, then you are probably more suited to Amnesia than Penumbra. If you have the mindset to allow you to be fully immersed in the story and atmosphere and don't mind some intense puzzles and reading, then Penumbra just may be one of the best games you will ever play.
A great simulator on one of the worst engines ever madeMikester7 | Aug. 13, 2012 | Review of ARMA II Operation Arrowhead
First off, I would recommend getting combined operations for the best experience.
Anyway, I think Arma II is the most realistic military simulation out there offering a vast amount of campaigns and single player content, a huge modding community and many included and community made mods such as Ace Combat Environment, Warfare Benny Edition and DayZ to name a few. I do like DayZ, but I still recommend playing a good Warfare map online with friends such as Warfare Benny Edition alongside ACE for a nice military shooting experience.
Unfortunately though, Arma II is built on the most horrible, buggy and poorly optimized engine I have ever seen. It hardly runs on decent graphics on my 570 GTX (I can get about medium on full res) and the game just feels totally clunky. The multiplayer server browser is an absolute pain and installing mods is basically impossible without Six Updater (recommended).
Underrated by CriticsMikester7 | Aug. 8, 2012 | Review of Killing Floor
To start off, the only thing this game has in common with L4D is the infected "Zombies", other than that it is totally different. Killing Floor on launch had huge potential, but was quite a skeleton of a game, with not much content and a few maps so I can understand the ratings. Tripwire however picked this game up to one of the best games on Steam by adding a huge amount of free content, something that most companies CANNOT boast. Everyone should buy this game just off the fact that they fleshed out the game four-fold FOR FREE. It features a heap of weapons, plenty of perks and a massive range of maps as well as community made map servers. The amount of difficulties in the game allows it to go up to stupidly hard heights for those who like it. There is also a massive amount of Steam achievements too so make sure you pick this game up and have a go. Overall, don't be stupid and compare this game to L4D
Solid CombatMikester7 | Aug. 8, 2012 | Review of Dead Island
First off, Dead Island is certainly solid and worth the money, it features a great melee combat system, nice visuals, solid coop and a decent completion time. The Story is fairly generic and doesn't really go anywhere and none of the characters are too memorable, but it is passable seen in the end you are just here to smash up zombies. It feels like quite a grindy game that didn't seem to do it as well as borderlands even with the great combat. Certainly some memorable moments with friends, so I recommend this as a coop experience only. At least give this one play through, it is certainly solid, though over-hyped.
Surprisingly greatMikester7 | Aug. 8, 2012 | Review of Mount & Blade: Warband DNS
Mount and Blade: Warband is a strange one for me in that I can see its flaws and lack of polish, but I still see it as one of my absolute favorite games. It features unique, rewarding and excellent combat and a massive difficulty scaling to cater to different players. It has an amazing modding community with plenty of overhaul mod packs that I highly recommend, but are certainly not required to enjoy the game. The multiplayer is interesting, I believe it lacks balance in experienced battles, though most games do. It features an unique campaign map that is difficult to explain, but it's a HEAP of fun and incredibly addicting while lasting a practically endless amount of time due to high replayability. I have certainly not spent even a fraction of time in comparison to Warband on any other single player game. GET Warband now, it is incredibly cheap for the amount of time you will get out of it (i'm on 100 hours). Avoid the original, Warband is just an improved version and Fire and Sword, while good, is no where near as great as Warband.
One of the greatest indie gamesMikester7 | Aug. 2, 2012 | Review of Bastion Cap
Bastion is an amazing hack and slashish RPG. Right away you notice the sheer amount of love and work that has gone into it. It features a beautiful art style, solid but simple combat, semi non linear game play, amazing soundtrack and an out of this world story with amazing writing told by one of the best narrators I have ever heard in a game, Logan Cunningham. Who on Earth believes that they don't make good games anymore.
A MasterpieceMikester7 | Aug. 2, 2012 | Review of World of Goo
World of Goo came from a time where there was huge potential for indie games and when I got into the genre. It is a great game that features a nice art style, simple story, an excellent sound track, great puzzles and a great sense of humor. It is a simple and unique experience and a must play for anyone, especially those who have the intellect capacity to appreciate indie games. There is definitely a lack of good physics puzzle games now days sadly.