Reviews by mgold07

45

Don't Play for the Co-Op

mgold07 | Feb. 11, 2014 | Review of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell Conviction Deluxe Edition

Like many gamers I enjoy spending time playing with friends, and often this includes co-operative play. Like many gamers, I am also a big fan of the Splinter Cell series finding it to be some rather good stealth-action gameplay, however I purchased conviction entirely for the co-op and yet the PC version of this game is so poorly constructed I am left so let down it hurts. Let me tell you first /how/ to play online on this game, is it a simple matchmaking lobby? No. Can I use tunneling software, such as Hamachi? Not as far as I can see. So how do I manage to get online? By opening up about 30 ports. This game was released in 2010 and insists on me having to open up my ports in order to play online? That's something that I don't remember having to do for a very, very long time (outside of dedicated server management and that). That is an absurd proposition to make, even worse is that as far as I can tell the game never explicitly tells you that ports must be opened, instead I had to find out by troubleshooting. Even with your ports opened, 9/10 times the online won't work for most players which begs the question "what was the point?".

Aside from my inability to actually play the co-op the game has shifted itself into a more action focused, shoot first and shoot fast form of gameplay which is really not what I play Splinter Cell for. The elements of stealth are there, and at times this game is quite enjoyable however to me it doesn't feel quite right. If you're seeking something more action oriented however, this is the perfect choice. The game also uses a new "mark and execute" feature. To gain access, you must melee kill an enemy. You are then able to mark targets, and take them down quickly. It's great for escaping tight spots or just proceeding through the game more easily. Shadows are still abundant, and lights can be disabled/shot in order to progress easier through the story. All in all, this game isn't particularly bad, but for me it doesn't hit all the right notes. Had I managed to get co-op to work I'm sure this game would have received a higher score, but shipping with such a poorly implemented feature is plain wrong and thus I have to rate this game lowly.

40

A Major Disappointment

mgold07 | Jan. 30, 2014 | Review of FINAL FANTASY XIV: A Realm Reborn

Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn was Square's attempt to fix the mistakes of Final Fantasy XIV. The story follows a good while after the events that ended Final Fantasy XIV, only now with new heroes to lead this adventure. A fairly well executed revival of a failed game, I have to say. The story isn't anything you're not already familiar with being very much the standard Final Fantasy affair. I would be able to say more, however there is one vital aspect of this game to address first. My play experience was almost completely ruined due to the way in which the game is made. There is a rather major problem in Final Fantasy 14 and that's the skill hit detection. The system used is a fairly simple collision, if X is in area A, X is hit. However, the problems lay in the fact that the game will often not realise that you have left the area, and you are thusly punished by the attack. This is a major problem as a lot of the combat, in particular a mid-level boss fight, involve dodging these AoE attacks. This is the one major flaw of this game which for me makes it unplayable, and if a game truly can't be played then it can't be experienced in full which means that this review lacks substance. The game however has a charming graphical style and the audio was very much enjoyable. I dislike cutscenes in MMOs in general, but they were quite nicely done in this one. However, due to the aforementioned gameplay problems I can't really rate this title too highly, which is a shame as I entered this with high hopes but was quickly shot down and disappointed.

63

Survival Horror? No. Fun? Yes!

mgold07 | Jan. 28, 2014 | Review of Resident Evil 5

Resident Evil 5 follows two agents of an organisation known as the BSAA, whose job is in essence to kill Bio-Organic Weapons (B.O.W.) and generally save the world from impending doom. The 5th numbered title in the series, Resident Evil 5 follows the same mechanics as Resident Evil 4 with the addition of a few features. One of the biggest of these features for me was the co-operative play. Being a big fan of co-operative experiences this was a big plus as there is nothing quite like blasting the living hell out of Majini with a friend. This is certainly where most of my review score can be brought up from, however that's not to say it doesn't have other reasons to be considered for purchase. The storyline, whilst tired and rehashed is still standard Resident Evil. Big evil guy wants to do big evil things, heroes stop him. There's nothing particularly new here, but who really enjoys Resident Evil for the story? STORY: 4/10 In terms of horror, fans looking for a good scare are going to be disappointed. Resident Evil 5 strayed far enough away from its survival horror roots to now be called an action game. Does it suffer for it? I'll have to say no, whilst I do prefer the original games a survival horror featuring Chris now working for the BSAA would feel awkward and detrimental to the game itself. There has been much complaining about the controls found in the game, however I felt that they were fairly good with only minor problems such as reduced turning speed as you move, despite this I had no troubles with the controls, but maybe that's just me. Gameplay is very much similar to RE4 in that it is much more action oriented than previous games in the series. The game offers an over the shoulder, third person experience complete with a repertoire of guns. Replacing the completely unhelpful Ashley from RE4 is Sheva Alomar, complete with the ability to shoot enemies too. Sheva is both a playable character and an AI, though it is preferred to play through the game co-operatively as the AI is fairly poor. The gameplay however is not perfect. The inability to move whilst shooting can feel problematic and the game is littered with QTEs with the PC controls being difficult to adapt to for many. GAMEPLAY: 7/10 Now the question of the hour is, is this game fun? Well, yes it is. I've managed to play over 30 hours on the PC version alone and I'm still looking forward to my next session, both co-op and solo. FUN: 8/10

Final Score: 6.3/10

70

DOOM, a reminder of simpler days

mgold07 | Dec. 1, 2013 | Review of DOOM Classic Complete

When DOOM was originally released the genre of FPS was still just finding its legs. Sure, there had been a number of games before DOOM was released but DOOM truly defined the genre. After DOOM's release the impact of DOOM was so great that most games we know of today would be called "DOOM clones". The gameplay is fast, and action packed; it will be challenging if you're new and cranking up the difficulty really feels rewarding once you beat the game again. DOOM pits you against hordes of demons, and you, being the badass you are must simply cut through them to save the world...of Mars. It's a simple story for a simple game; anybody who's played DOOM knows that the best strategy is "shoot it till it dies". To modern gamers, playing the original DOOM may feel strange. The game wasn't truly 3D and made use of some clever engine cleverness to make it seem 3D. This means that in order to get an optimized playing experience for most 3rd party tools are required, but these are lightweight and truly enhance your experience. In addition to the base DOOM game, DOOM also has a large amount of modded content to choose from giving you plenty bang for your buck.