Reviews by hisnameisrob
One of the Finest Transport Simulatorshisnameisrob | Nov. 14, 2012 | Review of Cities in Motion
Cities in Motion is one of the finest transport simulators available. My favourite game in this genre is Transport Tycoon - and Cities in Motion does not beat it, but aside from that I have little in the way of criticism.
The gameplay is focused on transporting people around cities by bus, tram, metro/subway and boat. You can't construct anything besides transportation infrastructure but you can (subject to high costs) demolish city buildings.
The game is very nice to look at and performs well on recent PCs and still playable on slightly older machines.
An enjoyable though light driving game with missions.hisnameisrob | Aug. 4, 2012 | Review of Crash Time 4: The Syndicate
I enjoyed Crash Time 4 a lot but doubt I will play it again having played about 80% of the missions. The missions are reasonably varied and most are fairly achievable though I found it very irritating on the odd mission that was too hard, giving so little time to achieve the goal that I had to do the same bit of driving over and over again. On the whole the AI cars drive fairly realistically though a bit too well on the racetrack missions. The graphics are pretty good but some of the buildings are a bit samey. I'd recommend you try it but don't expect it to compare well to the best installments of the Need For Speed series and certainly not Burnout Paradise.
I Need Speed but I need more fun too!hisnameisrob | Aug. 4, 2012 | Review of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit
I've been playing Need for Speed since it first came to the PC back in the nineties... and really looked forward to this re-imagining of one of the classic games in the series. I found this game very disappointing in that although the graphics were as beautiful as we've come to expect from the series the gameplay was less fun. After playing for about 5 hours I got bored and moved on to Burnout Paradise which I found more my thing which I must say seems ironic when you consider it was made by Criterion also.
The levels in this game are not as varied as in previous games as they are set within one county.
Excellent physics puzzle game but way too expensivehisnameisrob | Aug. 4, 2012 | Review of Angry Birds
Angry Birds is a very enjoyable and good looking game on phone and tablet but I found it a little less intuitive playing on the PC as the game is very well suited to touch screen input. If you don't already have Angry Birds on another platform then you should try it but I can't say I really think £8.49 is good value for a casual game - especially when you consider it is free or cheap on other platforms and there are a great many free web games (on and off Facebook) which match up to the quality and enjoyment you can find from Angry Birds.
The Best Need for Speed Since NFS Porsche 2000hisnameisrob | June 1, 2012 | Review of Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit (EU)
I enjoyed this game a lot. The driving is fun without seeming too easy and the other cars behave realistically and sensibly which seems to be something still lacking in many racers today. There is a nice variety to the types of race.
The graphics are very high quality and Seacrest County designed with attention to detail.
The only complaint I have about this game is that despite being developed by the same company that brought us the Burnout series this game is not as enjoyable as Burnout Paradise.
Hateful and Dated Racing Gamehisnameisrob | June 1, 2012 | Review of Midnight Club II DNS
I was very surprised by how much I disliked Midnight Club II. I loved the feel of the driving in the original Grand Theft Auto so it seems weird that in a much more recent game this aspect should be significantly worse. While driving at speed you can turn a 90 degree turn in a matter of a few feet - often when you intended a more subtle manoeuvre.
I was very disappointed with the AI cars. I took a wrong turn in a fairly short race and ended up driving around a city block to get back on course. Incredibly I caught up with and overtook the other drivers very easily... only to have one zoom past me right before the finish line when I was at maximum speed.
The game did not offer me the option to use my Gamepad.
The only reason I gave this a rating of 10 is that I was able to change graphical settings without having to quit and restart the game.
Interesting and Deep Strategy Gamehisnameisrob | May 7, 2012 | Review of East India Company Collection DNS
East India Company is a game of trade and battle at sea. I approached the game without taking any of the tutorials and found it fairly easy to get into without them. Gameplay at the beginning involves sailing from one friendly port to the next buying and selling goods. As you can afford to you can add new ships to your fleet making aggressive behaviour towards other ships possible and eventually you can attack enemy ports. I enjoyed all of this but still feel there is a lot more to the game than I have seen so far.
The graphics in the game are not as beautiful to look at as the screen shots but are far more than merely adequate. There are some short videos played when certain events happen in game and I suspect some of the screen shots are taken from these. The game's sound is adequate without really grabbing your attention.
I did suffer one crash while playing so I strongly recommend you save your game more often than I did!
Seemed interesting but the game doesn't live up to it's promisehisnameisrob | April 29, 2012 | Review of InMomentum
InMomentum sounds interesting but I was seriously underwhelmed. I played through the tutorial which reminded me very much of Portal and had me a little excited until it went on... and on... to the point I almost gave up and abandoned the game before I even got to the first level!
The graphics are pleasant but as almost everything I saw was a solid block of colour it would not be true to say they break any new ground. The music and sound are adequate but I found the tempo of the music did seem to add to my frustration as I played and fell into an endless abyss repeatedly!
Having finished the tutorial and played through the first level I doubt I'll play it again.
First a joke then realityhisnameisrob | April 25, 2012 | Review of Cities in Motion: Ulm DLC
The Ulm DLC started as an April Fool joke (perhaps because it is a small and little known city?) on the Cities in Motion forum in 2011 but has now been released for real.
To a degree it is disappointing to get yet another German city for the game but having played it I see it is different.
The map is fairly small and only seems to be about 40% covered with buildings. This leaves plenty of space for experimentation with surface level metro lines which most maps do not have. In addition to this the scenario begins with an unusually large amount of money available for building.
There seems to be only one totally new building but the map has a nice balance of commercial, residential and industrial buildings and there are several that seem unfamiliar to me despite having played all previous cities a lot.
I think this DLC represents good value for money at £1.59 and I recommend getting it if you like Cities in Motion.
Too realistic?hisnameisrob | April 21, 2012 | Review of Wings of Prey 1
Wings of Prey looked more attractive to me from descriptions and screenshots before I bought it. After playing it for a while my impressions were that the graphics are a lot more credible from high altitude. Fly a bit lower and to a great extent the spell is broken. I found the missions reasonably varied but difficult (a few times because what I was supposed to do was not clear enough).
Despite it's short comings I'd have to say that Wings of Prey is the best recent flight sim/game I've bought that didn't come from Microsoft. If you're into combat flight sims you should try this. If you're more keen on the flight than the combat you should probably look elsewhere.
Nice addition to a brilliant simulatorhisnameisrob | April 21, 2012 | Review of Cities in Motion: US Cities DLC
I've loved Cities in Motion from when it came out. Since then I've bought all the DLC (Except Ulm, which I'll buy when it gets to GMG). Some of the DLC has been a little disappointing - especially the vehicles packs. The thing that makes this addon much better than the others is that not only does it give you two new cities (from a new continent) but it gives you five news vehicles as well. This makes it better value for money than the other DLC.
As for the cities themselves? I've been very impressed with them so far. Like with the Tokyo DLC, New York and San Francisco offer some much needed variety to an otherwise Northern Europe focused game.
Poor poor poor performancehisnameisrob | April 21, 2012 | Review of X³: Albion Prelude Gold
This was a game I realy hoped would live up to my fond memories of Frontier: Elite II. Having played it for several hours I would have to say the graphics are fantastic, the sound is great. Combat is very hard and trading is complex enough to keep your interest. Where this game totally fell down for me was the combination of very long loading times and difficult combat. If your ship is destroyed you are punished with a very long wait for the game to reload. This brings back memories of playing Championship Manager 2 on my old 486 25mhx pc in the late 90's and having time to go and make a cup of tea and read some of my book between matches! The PC I have now (with a quad core processor) is good for nearly all games but couldn't reload this game quick enough for me to keep playing after the first few hours.
Boring compared to others in genrehisnameisrob | April 21, 2012 | Review of Freight Tycoon Inc. [Playfire]
I approached this game with some anticipation having played other trucking games (ones where you drive) and having loved many games along the lines of Transport Tycoon and Locomotion. Sadly even after giving this game a good long try it didn't grip me. The graphics, as you can see above, are adequate but not more than that. The sounds were okay but not exciting. The gameplay was a bit frustrating and I did feel like the developer had designed the game expecting the player to do certain things in a certain order so the game did not feel nearly as "open" as other games.
If this were the only game of it's type I would recommend it. As there are much more enjoyable games out there I really can't.
A simple casual game that could hook youhisnameisrob | April 11, 2011 | Review of Build-a-Lot
I've always liked Sim and Tycoon games and looked forward to trying Build-a-lot. Initially I was disappointed by the small map size and the fact you can only build in predefined lots. After playing for a short time, though, I realised this game has been finely tuned to hook you into wanting to complete the next goal. I ended up completing the game fairly quickly.
Graphics, sound and control are all adequate though not outstanding.
Great looking and unusual platform puzzle game.hisnameisrob | April 11, 2011 | Review of Bob Came in Pieces [Playfire]
In this game you control a robot as he flies around the levels. To solve each level you must redesign your robot using a collection of parts in order to make possible the solution to a puzzle. As you progress through the game you gain access to more robot parts.
The graphics are very well done and the control of the robot feels natural.
Enjoyable but not well balancedhisnameisrob | April 11, 2011 | Review of Droplitz
Droplitz is enjoyable until you get to a point in the game where you can't seem to improve your on your high score any further at which point it becomes frustrating. To an extent the game reminds me of the 8bit game PipeMania where the main mechanic of the game involves forming a path for - in this case - balls to pass down a board.
The graphics and sound are more than adequate and I expect I will play this again once I get over the frustration of not improving my skill at this game for several days.
Not a true simulator but not fun eitherhisnameisrob | April 8, 2011 | Review of Airport Simulator
This game disappointed me greatly. There is just no excitement in it and yet it doesn't feel like a true simulator either. The graphics are drab and although you get a wide variety of airport vehicles to drive they tend to handle poorly.
As each plane arrives you must drive the appropriate vehicles to gate where it stops (and connect the bridge from the terminal building to the plane's door - very tricky). As you position each vehicle in next to the plane it then begins a long period where you have nothing to do but wait for the place to be fueled, maintained, loaded, etc. It probably doesn't all happen in real time but it does begin to feel like it!
With so many better titles available I can't recommend this one.
Sonic - but not as I remember ithisnameisrob | April 8, 2011 | Review of Sonic Adventure DX [Playfire]
I loved Sonic 1 and Sonic 2 on my Sega Master System II back in the early nineties. In two dimensions you got to know the levels very well as you played them over and over again.
I won't be playing Sonic Adventure DX over and over again. Sadly, I think it has too many faults for me to want to spend a lot of time with it: - the voice acting is very irritating. - The game insists on loading in a window which fills the entire width of my monitor but only uses two thirds of the height of it. - Despite the very wide window the game has bars on the side like you get when you watch an old 4:3 SD programme on an HDTV. - I can't seem to get the game to go full screen. - The levels seem very short and often I've completed one without really feeling I've done much. Sometimes spinning at the right moment seems to mean you shoot through the level without having to do anything at all.
Despite these flaws I am certain people who knew Sonic in the days of the Dreamcast (I never had one) will love the opportunity to reminisce. Even of you're not one of these people at this price you may still get enjoyment from this game.
Don't Plan it Greenhisnameisrob | April 8, 2011 | Review of Plan it Green
I am a big fan of almost all tycoon and city building games but sadly I just couldn't get into this one. The graphics and sound are acceptable if a little dated. My problem was with the gameplay. I simply didn't find the game compelling enough to keep on playing. The game felt scripted and as if I had little freedom about what to build next, and where to put it.
Railworks 2 - a train simulatorhisnameisrob | April 7, 2011 | Review of RailWorks 2 Train Simulator
Railworks 2 is exactly what you would expect. It simulates a wide variety of trains in several locations. The game plays well with difficulty modes for beginners and for more advanced simulator fans. The graphics are very good but not quite beautiful. The locomotives feel very realistic. The missions are enjoyable and varied but most are longer than I would have liked. The missions can be a bit unforgiving - in particular it is very difficult to keep to a timetable when driving a steam locomotive.
If you like this sort of game you will be delighted to know there is a huge range of additional downloadable content available including new locomotives, rolling stock and routes. You can even create your own routes and missions with the built-in editor.
Cities in Motion - Transport Tycoon for a new generation?hisnameisrob | April 7, 2011 | Review of Cities in Motion dns
I was delighted when I first heard about Cities in Motion. I've been playing Transport Tycoon on and off sine 1994 and it remains one of my favourite games of all time.
As it became clear, Cities in Motion is not identical to Transport Tycoon. In TT the player builds up a transport company focussed mainly on carrying freight between industries and towns with the possibility to carry passengers. In CiM you are focussed only on providing transport for passengers within a city and it's immediate surroundings. It has a lot in common with an old game called Traffic Giant.
The main gameplay in CiM is well designed and implemented but can be frustrating. I would not say this is not entirely a bad thing. An easy tycoon game is a boring tycoon game!
The game looks stunning. Previously I have disliked the use of 3D graphics in strategy/tycoon games but here they are implemented brilliantly. The cities are beautiful to look at and the camera system has been designed to mimic the viewpoint of older isometric games with the left and right cursor keys used to rotate the view 45 degrees and the mouse wheel used to zoom. It would be nice if it was possible to zoom out further than the game allows but this did not spoil the game for me.
The one thing that could spoil Cities in Motion for some players is performance. I have a quad core Intel processor, 4GB memory and an ATI Radeon 5670 and the game is still not completely smooth. If you have anything but a recent PC you would be well advised to try the demo before making your purchase.
Darwinia - a great game from a UK Indiehisnameisrob | April 7, 2011 | Review of Darwinia DNS
Darwinia is an interesting RTS game created by Introversion software. When first released you had to use mouse "gestures" to control your units but the game was later updated to allow an alternative control scheme which is more similar to other games.
Darwinia had an interesting plot and well-designed maps and missions.
The games graphics are very attractive and yet do not put strain on modern PCs. The sound is pleasant and enjoyable.
I highly recommend this game.