Reviews by pcgfng
My opinion of XCOM: Enemy Unknownpcgfng | Oct. 18, 2012 | Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown dns
I have never played any of the previous XCOM games before, but XCOM: EU is a great turn based strategy game.
The tutorial & (Steam) 5 page manual is basic & limited & there will be things that you may want to know such as which alien creatures can be stunned for interrogation & can withdrawn countries be drawn returned back to the XCOM project (answer is no, by the way). Therefore I would suggest playing on normal mode or lower as your first play-through if you're new to XCOM.
After deciding where to locate your XCOM headquarters, you make many choices such as what to equip your soldiers with, what to build/research etc each decision with a potential consequence later on, such as buying combat gear for your soldiers instead of buying satellites to monitor UFO activity risking increased panic levels of unprotected countries. The game can make you emotionally attached to your soldiers if they die, especially if they've been on many missions & of high ranking.
The game does have a few minor problems, but one which is fairly significant is the camera when you try to select a specific tile to place your soldier, it can zoom out or above environments where there are vertical levels (ground floor, first floor etc). I found this to be quite annoying, but resolved this by rotating the camera to a particular view so that tile selecting wasn't such a problem.
Overall, great game, don't remain unknown to this game, X(COM) marks the spot!
My opinion of Borderlandspcgfng | Sept. 8, 2012 | Review of Borderlands Game of the Year Edition dns
Borderlands is an FPS with RPG elements with a cell-shaded comic style presentation that still holds up visually on it's own even against today's modern games.
After choosing which class you wish to play as, you start your journey to find the Vault. As you progress through the game you earn xp to unlock abilities from 3 different skill trees, encountering a lot of weapons, cash & items to loot. Borderlands can be very slow to get into at the start, but as you move out from the Arid Badlands & discover new areas, the game will be more enjoyable.
The story/enemy AI are not Borderlands strongest qualities & character customisation is limited to just colour changes to your character's outfit. You can fast travel or drive a land vehicle to an area that you've already discovered though you do get less xp if you kill enemies whilst driving/shooting from the vehicle.
After completing the main campaign of Borderlands, you can continue on your current playthrough or restart the campaign again with your character & enemies at a higher level enabling you to find better/rare items in the game than compared to your first playthrough.
If you like an FPS with a bit of RPG, with lots of looting & have a bit of patience at the start, then Borderlands is a pleasant game to get grinded into.
My opinion of The Witcher 2pcgfng | Sept. 7, 2012 | Review of The Witcher II: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition
The Witcher 2 is visually beautiful from the start to finish, adopting a vibrant palette of colours instead of the typical grim/earthy colours to convey mood. Another aspect that the Witcher 2 has chosen is combat, you cannot make/drink potions during combat therefore requiring you to plan ahead. Combat can be challenging as you will rarely succeed from a straight on attack. You can choose which skill tree to adopt, though you won't have enough points at the end of the game to master all the skill trees so you need to decide whether you wish to be a master of one or two skills or be a balanced out character.
The single player has a rich story which will require you to make difficult choices, one of which will give a significant outcome fairly early in the game. Characters are wonderfully modeled, animated & voice-acted that adds to the beauty of the game.
If you've played the first Witcher game, your choices are carried over in Witcher 2. Witcher 2 is an extremely good game that anybody with a craving for a rich & fulfilling RPG experience should not pass on.
My opinion of Batman Arkham Citypcgfng | Sept. 6, 2012 | Review of Batman: Arkham City
If you're interested in the story, stick to the main missions. It's very easy to get distracted doing the large number of optional side quests, especially if you feel like getting some xp to unlock abilities & gadgets to be better prepared for some of the main events. This may affect the pacing & flow of your game, so take this into consideration.
Batman Arkham City has new game plus mode which is basically replaying the single player campaign with all your unlocked gadgets with harder enemy difficulty. Challenges mode (which includes combat & predator) is also available from the start but with more challenge maps unlocked later as you progress through the single player.
The animation & voice acting of the majority of characters are done so well that they have their own personality & the story is good & engaging. Combat is fast, smooth & challenging especially for those who seek perfection in linking up combos with different attacks & gadgets.
At time of this message, I did experience drop in frame-rate/performance a few times which a fair number of other players have also experienced & have mentioned on various forums, but this personally didn't affect me so much that ruined my experience/enjoyment of the game.
My opinion of Battlefield 3pcgfng | Sept. 5, 2012 | Review of Battlefield 3 (EU)
The story in single player is bland, but there are moments in the game that are great which I won't spoil. Cooperative play is possible in BF3 using Battlelog which is a website to that you use to set up & connect to games instead of it typically done in-game. Battlelog also allows you to monitor your stats/unlocks/achievements as well as other players.
Playing with a friend may be difficult for some people if you've not configured your firewall/ports correctly. If Battlelog is down, you won't be able to play any part of Battlefield 3, single/multiplayer or co-op. This isn't often, but when it does happen due to maintainence/update, it's for a few hours.
Multiplayer is one or possibly the main attraction, big maps, air, land & sea vehicles & infantry fights. Vehicle, weapon & gadget unlocks are achieved by gaining xp points by doing such thing as playing the objective, dropping supplies for your squad/team, spotting enemies, injuring but not kill the enemy & so on.
Battlefield 3 looks great even on low graphical settings, but can be too much eye candy on high or max. You are required to have Origin installed in order to play Battlefield 3. Overall, Battlefield 3 is a great game if you like a first person shooter with vehicles.
My opinion of Saints Row: The Thirdpcgfng | Sept. 4, 2012 | Review of Saints Row: The Third dns
I've never played any of the previous SR games, though there is a very tiny bit of history in SR3. Campaign itself is short only because of the activities that are unnecessarily added that don't really contribute to the story.
Customisation is big, ranging from your character, cars, clothing & tattoos & personal accessories. After completing campaign, you are free to complete activties and jobs in order to gain complete control of an area in return for respect (points for leveling up) & cash. Co-op is single player mode with co-op, nothing special. The game is very fun, over the top and hilarious.
One advice I'd like to give is that if you're planning on buying the season pass/individual dlc from the season pass, do not enable the invincibility perk at all as you won't be able to turn it off (this may be fixed in future patch), but this made my experience of the season pass dlc less enjoyable.
My opinion of Dawnguardpcgfng | Aug. 31, 2012 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard (UK)
The Dawnguard dlc will give you around a dozen hours of gameplay depending on your play style & if you're mainly focusing on the main story, which Skyrim players will already know can be quite tricky when you get distracted with side quests.
I have only played as the vampires in this dlc & don't plan on playing as the Dawnguard yet for various reasons. The story is not original & the dlc doesn't offer anything significant to keep you playing if you've already completed the main story, major side quests & the dlc. However, if you want to get back into Skyrim after taking a break from it then Dawnguard is not a bad choice, though the current price £13.99 I don't agree with (I paid £10.50 I think after using credit & discount codes).
I should also point out that I bought this a few weeks after it's release due to users on Steam forums stating that the dlc is unstable/buggy or has affected the game itself that Skyrim doesn't work, I didn't have any major or noticeable problems, but do back up your saves just in case.
My opinion of Sleeping Dogs...pcgfng | Aug. 22, 2012 | Review of Sleeping Dogs: Limited Edition
Some people say that Sleeping Dogs is like GTA with Batman Arkham Asylum/City, those people are not wrong. Sleeping Dogs doesn't exactly reach the high bar/standard that those top games have set, but Sleeping Dogs is not far from it.
Sleeping Dogs has great characters helped by great animation, voice acting & writing that you will get attached to as you progress through this Hong Kong action film style sort of story, one particular racing quest reminded me of Jackie Chan's 'Thunderbolt' movie, a Jackie Chan classic. The visuals ranging from the excessive neon lights, signs & advertising to the sounds of the traffic lights beeping, shop keepers & clustered environment create a convincing world to explore.
Throughout the game, you will earn points towards police, triad & face skill trees which will unlock various perks ranging from melee, fire arms, combat, passive bonuses (such as longer health regeneration when eating food) etc. Points are obtained naturally by playing the main story quests & by completing certain side quests too. The side quests aren't unique, steal this vehicle & drive to this location, defeat thugs & set up camera in their hideout, but there is a variety of side quests that you can do so you don't get bored easily of doing the same thing.
I do have a few personal & minor nitpicks with this game. The main problem was that the game was very dark even with max brightness, I fixed this by running the game in window mode. Driving when using the keyboard & mouse can be disorientating, my suggestion would be to lower sensitivity when driving and avoid using mouse as it snaps/resets the camera to face forward if you let go of your mouse button when looking/aiming. Entering/exiting cover when in a firefight can be annoying as you have to be close to object to enter cover & you may find yourself vaulting over by accident as you're running towards that object you want to to take cover behind.
Don't let my nitpicks discourage you about Sleeping Dogs, I enjoyed playing this game & recommend it. So, if you're dogging around about getting this game, just sleep on it, then buy it.