Reviews by schroff
Surprisingly relaxing to play around withschroff | March 6, 2013 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Hearthfire Nexway
This DLC is easy to hate if all you do is read the description as most people believe it adds nothing to the main game and houses are already available in the base game. Getting the DLC from Bethesda has its own advantages as you won't have to worry about mundane things like breaking other mods or load order. I found this DLC to be quite relaxing to play around with and a nice diversion from the quests in the game which allows the game to remain fresh and not become tedious. I've almost built up my own manor in Falkreath and it was nice to build - you can even add a carriage to the home which lets you travel to places very quickly (just like fast travel but you can visit places you haven't discovered yet, immensely useful!). Now all I have to do is shift my adopted child here and get a wife for my Dragonborn! :D
Pretty good!schroff | Feb. 4, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2: Captain Scarlett & her Pirate's Booty
This DLC was not received with the enthusiasm of the base game when it was released. Some of the complaints were valid but don't let the negativity get in the way .. it is just as fun as the base game. If you like the base game, chances are you will like this add on as well. I was initially worried that the Oasis theme would be an excuse to create dull sandy environments but that's not the case thankfully. The music is very atmospheric and adds to the experience, I might not have enjoyed playing it without it. The bandits have received a reskin with a pirate theme but a few of them have new tricks, particularly the Goliath (but he doesn't rage if he is headshot). Please do the side quests - the ones given by Censor Bot were a highlight for me in this DLC! I found the animations to be lacking in the new characters .. they're not stiff or sloppy but they simply don't exist. The worst example is Shade. If you're not playing this in true vault hunter mode everyone is capped at level 30/31 which made everyone including the final boss a push over at level 36. Loot drops were unremarkable thanks to the level cap. Over all pretty good but they could've done so much better! Lasts around 6-7 hours if you do everything except the raid bosses in normal mode.
Fun co-op experience.schroff | Feb. 4, 2013 | Review of Borderlands 2 DNS
This game is fun and is definitely and improvement over the first game. It offers the same experience but bigger and more variety which means if you didn't like the first game you might not like this one. Every one has said how awesome this game is but I would like to point out some downsides to it. For starters the enemy variety for the Bandit type sorely needs some fixing. It gets tedious fighting the same bunch of bad guys over and over again, even in new game + (aka. TVHM). The game shunts away the challenge in the game to new game+ unlike the first game which had badass elemental enemies in the first couple of hours while in this one they almost exclusively appear in NG+. The humour is good in the main story but then on it becomes like Family Guy - you have to get the reference. A lot of the humour in fights is reliant on squeaky midgets and Bandits with mentally challenged sounding voices. The loot drops in Normal mode (which you will play on your first playthrough with every character) are very poor even with the vault hunter relic. You will not reach level 50 in your first playthrough and the very last mission after the main game requires you to be lvl 50 ie. you have to start NG+ to reach that level - I played the main story and all side missions and reached level 35. The map also could use some fixing in the next installment, it was easy to get lost in some parts of the game (especially the frozen areas in the early parts of the game.).
I would like to repeat that the game is brilliant with friends, having put in about 60 hours in co-op and another 43 in single player with two separate characters. Definitely a good purchase but just keep the above in mind to not feel underwhelmed in parts.
Another missed opportunityschroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Saints Row: The Third - Funtime Pack DLC
You get a vehicle which can launch people .. which loses its charm after the first couple of uses, dressing up like that Cat dude behind the mascot killing events and even the naughty nurse outfit .. the only thing appealing in this pack. All points are for the nurse out fit. seriously .. skip this one.
Classic fpsschroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Painkiller Black Edition DNS
It's a old fashioned fps without the stuff which makes things easy today like regenerating health or universal ammo. It has immense hoards of enemies and is very fast paced. Don't worry about the story though! The weapons are awesome to use too. Do play this one if you're an old school shooter fan!
Great!schroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Metro 2033
This FPS has some RPG elements like currency, lots of NPCs and exploration. There are multiple types of ammunition and pre-war military ammo is the currency here. Despite the tall promises in the beginning it is a very linear game with two endings with some moral implications. Not bad at all in honestly. The AI can be awfully stupid .. running straight at your weapon or stuck at a wall going no where are common scenarios. Graphics are renowned .. as is its performance with DX 11. Worth your money.
diamond in the roughschroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Saints Row 2
This predecessor of Saints Row the Third was a different animal and had more in common with San Andreas. It has immense customization options - Third doesn't come close. It even has a sensible story .. "The Boss" of Third is a lieutenant in this one and he/she works up the ranks in the usual gangster fashion with humour thrown in but not reliant on high-school kid worthy jokes or dildo bats or fart jars. Pretty good but it has the dubious honour of being an example of how NOT to port to the PC.
Awesome addition to the Shogun 2 experienceschroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Total War: Shogun 2 - Fall of the Samurai
This add on features guns and cannons for the Western powers. You can shape your clan's future by being more friendly with the Westerners and gaining some tech or be a traditional clan with familiar weapons of war. The great thing is that it is all balanced, you can win even with the samurai factions against the gun toting western one. Only negative is the humungous download size at 28gb for the whole thing! whew!
More of the same, who said that's a bad thing?schroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Total War: SHOGUN 2 - Rise of the Samurai Campaign
This is a campaign add on to the awesome Total War : Shogun 2. This add on adds very little on its own other than a new campaign to play with but it does that very well. There are no new game breaking half baked mechanics in here. If you love Shogun 2, you should have this add on as well. Great historical battles are in this one.
Amusing for a whileschroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Total War: Shogun 2 - Blood Pack DLC
A lot of people love this DLC for the effects and yes it can be quite amusing to look at when the camera is zoomed in but in the big picture, it is very distracting to look at and blood on camera is like jam spread all over the lens .. just like in Modern Warfare 3. By no means is this bad, but it doesn't appeal to me.
Vintage funschroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Flatout
This is a simple racer - get to the finish line and make sure the guy near you doesn't. The mechanics of crashing cars and gaining speed boosts (nitro) are simplistic but considering the age of the game .. it's all good. Quite dated but if you're a retro gamer .. a great addition to your collection
Good one but I was underwhelmedschroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of BioShock DNS
I followed the development of this game from a long time because the studio billed this title as the spiritual successor of System Shock 2. With a pedigree like that, my expectations were quite high. It's set in the underwater city of "Rapture" as we all know now. It has great mechanics of powers where you have to harvest something called Adam from dead splicers and little girls (part of the ending!) and find out what are you doing in Rapture in the first place and finally find out your origins. The story is virtually identical with Shock 2 .. let's just say that there's a Polito is SHODAN moment here too. Only this time we have the moral thing about the girls and harvesting them for chemicals. Great game but if you have played System Shock 2, you will be underwhelmed.
Nice top-down shooterschroff | Sept. 15, 2012 | Review of Alien Breed 2: Assault
This is a throwback to the shooters we had on older consoles. I was keen to play it as it follows the classic formula but has graphics rendered using good ol' UE3. It looks gorgeous, sounds right and the enemies are decent but the one critical flaw it has is the controls. They're not natural - they feel very tedious and the player will end up frustrated at what could've been a fun experience. If you can handle the controls then it's a great game .. a diamond in the rough.
As awesome as 2schroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of Assassins Creed Brotherhood
Ubisoft Continues the high of AC2 with this one. It's set in only one city this time - Rome. Ezio is a made a master assassin in this one and has guilds of assassins whom he trains in mini games\side quests and they return the favour by granting the rain of arrows ability which clears out an area of enemies - immensely useful for 100% syncing. Introduces the execution mechanic too. There's little to criticise here ... maybe that the game gets repetitive again but you don't notice it due to the fast pace. Cesare is an awesome bad guy and enjoy the colloseum part of the game, ezios singing is hilarious!
Classic!schroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of Max Payne II: The Fall of Max Payne DNS
It's been a while since I played this but it's one of the best you'll ever play! The graphics are vastly improved over the first and the game is easier to play yet it is not "streamlined" thankfully. Still retains the comic book narrative and the noir atmosphere of the first. What's there to criticise here except yourself if you actually haven't played it yet!!? :P
Not your usual gameschroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of L.A. Noire Capsule
In this title you play an inspector who solves various crimes - that is the core of the story. You are given numerous scenarios and are asked to judge if the other person is lying or telling the truth by judging his facial expressions, which is a ground breaking piece or work. A trade offf is the 30 fps cap bit it's ok. There's a levelling system as well depending on your successes. There's some driving and shooting but they're lacklustre and not the focus of the game. Overall, it drags but there's still a great game underneath!
Become the greatest warlord in Shogunate Japanschroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of Total War: Shogun 2
Just 5 minutes into the game you can tell it is a labour of love by the studio. It wouldve been even better if it had more development time. It's the classic turn based Total War game and does everything by the book. The graphics are gorgeous, the ai challenging and has an engaging multiplayer. There's even an encyclopaedia if you're so inclined! One technical issue, it still uses only two cores of your CPU. Knowing how hard it hits the CPU I don't know why it still hasn't received improvemt in the muktitgreading aspect of its performance. Still, that is only nitpicking as it is a great game!
Could've been awesomeschroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of Saints Row: The Third - Z-Style Pack
This one just allows you to dress in Zimos' pyjamas. The reskinned shotgun isn't worth it. Now if they allowed you to SOUND like the guy .. it would've been worth it! Sadly it is yet another repackaged dlc. Things like this used to be modded in by players! Not worth it and a missed opportunity.
Finally a decent Sonic gameschroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of Sonic Generations
How long has it been since any of us have played a decent Sonic game? I've fond memories of Sonic & Tales and Sonic & Knuckles on the Genesis and boy I enjoyed this one! The environments are gorgeous to look at, gameplay is simple and many classic stages are revisited due to the time travel thing going on here. You can switch between young and classic sonic, both of whom have their own strengths. Minor performance issues in one particular stage in a very particular point, I don't why Sega hasn't fixed that. The 3D parts of the game aren't as good as the classic gameplay versions but they aren't horrible at least but sometimes the camera lets you down ... literally. Sound is classic sonic. There's also a pinball mini game as dlc, if that's your thing. Great purchase.
Best in the series!schroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of Assassin's Creed 2 Deluxe Edition
What just happened here? It's incredible! This is the perfect sequel, it took everything that made the first game great or at least had potential and shined it to perfection. The combat has a glaring flaw that only one opponent will engage you at a time but who cares, it's fun to both play and watch! Music is among the best you'll find in a video game, dialogue is excellent and the recreation of renaissance Florence and Venice is just gorgeous! An added bonus, you'll learn some Italian curses :P A must play title.
Another great release by Square Enixschroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of Deus Ex: Human Revolution
One of the better releases in recent times. It allows you to choose between playing as a trigger happy cyborg or try a batman-like non-lethal approach. Naturally, the latter is actually more fun and the game design feels like that's how the game was meant to be played. However, there are some sections, like the FEMA camp, where it is a frustrating endeavor and you feel tempted to just fire away and be done with it; an achievement isn't worth the frustration. The boss fights are out of place. They don't fit in with the over all game, they were outsourced and it shows. Graphics have this weird yellow tint but you get used to it and the music is awesome. A must play.
Essential part of any Retro gamer's collectionschroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of Streets of Rage™ 2
I've fond memories of this sequel to Streets of Rage on the Sega Genesis. The story is simplistic but hey, the gameplay is fun! Double that when you have a partner with you! The gameplay is refined over the first game and the graphics also had been improved. For sprites, the graphics have aged really well. A few bosses were annoying and I remember the ninjas weren't as irritating as in the first game. The sound fit the game and blended in, it didn't stick with you after playing but it didn't compel you to reduce the volume either. Would be awesome to see this remade in HD, SEGA are you listening? :P
Don't be fooled by the hype surrounding this oneschroff | Sept. 14, 2012 | Review of Dear Esther DNS
This title creates a lot of division among gamers and for good reason. It's not what we define as a game nor is it truly a story. All you have to do is press W or the left stick .. depending on how you like to play. That's it; wait for the narrator to say something at various checkpoints. People have claimed this game to be poetic but I just can't see it as all I see is classical music and strange sentences forced together. It tries hard but I don't feel any emotion, most feel the sadness which this title tries to evoke thanks to the soundtrack. Alan Wake is also about a guy and his missing wife and you collect story segments along the way, now THAT is a game and a story. It belongs as part of a level designer's portfolio than a paid for title, save your money and watch it 1080p on youtube, if you like it then buy and enjoy it on your system. Points for showing off the source engine and rather average OST.
There's a reason why they didn't release it for over a decadeschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Duke Nukem Forever
Gearbox ended the streak of vapourware awards this title received. The game had great marketing - who can forget the "balls of steel edition"? People knocked on it for things like the graphics and out dated cultural references. Leave all that aside, the game itself is terrible. This is Duke and not Halo, which 3D realms wanted to emulate. Just to make it modern they limited his weapons and later increased it in a patch; however it was too little too late. This game wasn't meant to be played that way, maybe Gearbox will make something of it in the future. The firefights are dull not to mention very distant from each other, pig cops take forever to die (see what I did there?) and the awful humour. Nobody was expecting sophistication from the game but tossing turd around in the shower? Over reliance on nymphs for humour? Let's not forget the strange level where the women were held captive and being impregnated .. what an awful level. The only thing good about it was the cameo by Dead Space's Isaac. By this point I felt this wasn't worth my time ... and yours.
Good technical achievement, that's itschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Far Cry 2
The Dunia engine is a great tech achievement by Ubi as it looks and performs great. Sadly the thing that matters - the game - itself is a massive let down. First of all, Africa over here is remarkably dull to play in, everyone you see is hostile and then that weird malaria thing going on in the game. The enemies also keep respawning so it can get annoying after a while. Guns were awful as well. The driving which is forced on this game just sticks in my mind - it's that bad. What was Ubi thinking? The name is more like a pun as it is a Far Cry from the original made by Crytek.
Not the best in the franchiseschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Assassins Creed Revelations
After riding the highs of 2 & brotherhood, came Revelations in less than a year on the PC after Brotherhood. I was pumped up for this game after watching the incredible trailer Ubi put together for that year's E3 but the final product doesn't live up to the standard of the past games. Maybe it's just the character Ezio is already fleshed out and there's only so much they could add in a full game. Constantinople lacks the charm of Acre/Damascus/Jerusalem or Rome/Firenze. The story just gropes around in the darkness creating mystery for the sake of mystery and only leaves the player in confusion and ultimately boredom as Ezio is already at his peak and there's little to upgrade in his arsenal of moves and equipment beyond grenades. This one should've been a minor expansion or DLC for Brotherhood and not the drag it turned out to be. I hope 3 turns out better with its fresh characters and setting.
Awesome adventure!schroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Alan Wake
A common complaint about this game is that it is linear. Alan Wake is story heavy and you ofcourse have to go by the script, it will be bound to be linear. Since when did "linear" become a bad word anyway? The presentation is fantastic - it makes great use of lighting and is most noticeable when maxed out on the PC (just go easy on the SSAO and you can easily max this one out). The sound is alright. Gameplay is unusual, as is the story (read Wiki if you want spoilers :P), you have to use your flashlight to "stun" and remove the shadow "shield" of your enemies and run or shoot at them while collecting story pages along the way. The collecting the pages bit is very important as you learn about what's going on with Alan himself even though he wrote the thing but can't remember it. It can be played on the good ol' keyboard mouse combo but if you don't want to torture your hands, use the 360 controller. Plays for around 10 hours, 16 if you're a completionist.
If you love gory games, you're in for a treatschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of The Darkness II dns
This game has an interesting game play mechanic - the demon snake like things on your character and you have to be in the dark to use them and even heals you as you devour enemies using them. The mechanic is REALLY fun to use and I couldn't help but chuckle when enemies were terrified of the sight of the Demon/Darkness. The visuals are cell shaded thankfully so we don't have to endure more brown, grey and red. The sound was my favourite bit - they have a forceful effect when you use the Demons to attack. Guns were okay, you don't play this game to shoot anyway.
Sadly, the game gets repetitive and I eventually got tired of doing the same thing and grinding for more points to spend on the skill tree. If you've got nothing much to play and can't get enough of gore/brutal executions then get this one asap!
Fantastic Story!schroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Assassin's Creed
This game has very limited gameplay mechanics as has been mentioned many times over (and greatly improved upon in the sequels) but what attracted me to this one back then was the story. It's very unique .. how many games have this genetic memory thing going on and most of the game set in Crusader-era Arabia? Great stuff! Graphics are fine but it's the sound which sticks with you. Jesper Kyd's music deserves special mention .. I really love the work he has done for the Assassin's Creed series .. it just wouldn't be the same without him, very atmospheric. If you can get over the repetitive gameplay it's a very satisfying story and amazing ending!
Great action!schroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Hard Reset
This indy FPS is reminiscent of Blade Runner like so many mention - the graphics and atmosphere are wonderful! The action for some reason reminds me of Quake 2 and it's fun to customize the guns and blast those robots! There are only two physical guns but they can be transformed into other guns by switching the mode which forces us to strategize instead of switching between 6-8 guns. Since it is now an "Extended Edition" the free dlc must be mentioned too .. awesome that flying wild hog has released it for free but the add on is very frustrating to play and artificially increases the play time because of how often you have to reload after dying. While the main game required some thinking, the add on levels just send hoards of giant robots which will kill you eventually unless you luck out. Buy it for the base game, try your luck on the add on levels .. they're a pain.
Mindless Actionschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Just Cause 2
This game is an open world sandbox and all you have to do is cause chaos with really cheesy but funny voice work and animations. It plays out like a direct to dvd action flick and embraces it! It's fun to play, great to look at, the grapple and parachute mechanic never gets old and the guns sound right.
My only complaint is the controls, Square should've taken some pains to do make it right for the PC. The quick time event buttons use the number keys .. really weird. The gun switching also works as if you're on a gamepad. I tried the 360 controller too but it just didn't feel right. Thankfully it's not bad enough to make me not play the game. Worth it!!
An unique experienceschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Borderlands Game of the Year Edition dns
It's essentially diablo in the form of a FPS with cell shaded (read comic book) graphics. Absolutely no complaints .. bring on more already, Gearbox!
The characters are hilarious (claptrap!), the music deserves a special mention as Jesper Kyd did work on it (the guy who did Assassins Creed 1- Brotherhood), graphics are refreshing and the guns are satisfying to fire. Grab a friend and play this one .. 100-200 hours of gameplay guaranteed! Only annoyances are Gamespy for matchmaking and securom for two DLCs but it's not worth missing out on the game for those.
Those graphics!! :Oschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Trine
Phenomenal indy game. Normally indy games are more of a proof of concept kind of game with minimal work done on the presentation. Then come games like Torchlight and Trine! Wow just .. wow! The graphics are beautiful and the sound & voice over pain staking done. An amazing experience .. a platformer worth playing. The sequel has online coop and this one has local coop just keep that in mind. Best played with a friend!
Disappointedschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of RAGE: Special Edition (International)
It's a shooter by iD .. the folks who brought us Quake 2 and the Doom series! Even if the story is not worth talking about the gun play should be great right? It's sadly not the case- the enemies are repeated too often, the movement is "heavy" and the guns are underwhelming. It also happens to have driving .. like in Far Cry 2 and we know how that turned out. The technical issues are infamous so no need to talk about those. There are better titles out there .. skip this one.
Move along if you're expecting too much of a storyschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Darksiders
The protagonist is "War" in this one. With a protagonist like that it's fair to assume that the combat will be impressive and boy it delivers! It's spaced out with the usual puzzles and challenges to avoid monotony. Graphics are serviceable .. in the early part of the game the graphics and enemies look quite ugly but it gets better after an hour or two! Worth it for some hack and slash fun! It's not easy btw, you need to use combos and spells .. button mashing won't get you anywhere except the "You're dead" screen.
Strictly OKschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Warhammer 40000: Space Marine (THQ)
Play this game with low expectations and in short bursts then you probably will enjoy it. The enemies are awfully repetitive and blurt out the same lines which makes it tiresome, the voice acting is cheesy .. expected though, graphics are adequate but the sound is satisfying! Level design left a lot to be desired .. it's brown every where with lots of cover around to shoot at all the hordes that keep coming. I'm sure Warhammer fans will love it but think twice if you only have a passing interest.
The game that broke the jinx of bad superhero games!schroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Batman: Arkham Asylum
Seriously - superhero games before this one were terrible! I had low expectations when it came out and was completely blown away! Kevin Conroy as Batman & Mark Hammil as the Clown Prince of Crime once again, if you watched the Animated you'll know why that's exciting :D Ground breaking combat, movie-worthy story with never a dull moment, great Batman gadgets and the graphics top it off! Buy both this one and City .. you'll be busy for a long while!
Where do I even begin to praise this one!?schroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Batman: Arkham City
I love Batman The Animated Series, bought a lot of Batman merch as a kid, Batman Begins ... yup I love the character and his universe! I can't believe what a great job Rocksteady has done with the Arkham series - Asylum was brilliant but City took it and made it even better! One of the best games of all time and if you're Batman junkie ... it's a no brainer! A lot of the characters from the Rogues Gallery are present, great surprises, amazing graphics on the PC. The combat!! It has to be the gold standard when it comes to melee combat! It never gets old!
The direct x 11 implementation is infamous .. just disable it and leave physx on normal and the game works great!
Thought open world games are a bore 'cause of GTA 4?schroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Saints Row: The Third
I had a strong aversion towards open world games thanks to the GTA series (only like the second game .. yup that old). I couldn't help but get bored of the missions, needlessly serious atmosphere which felt forced on (worst in 4), pointless chaos and terrible performance. Then came SR3. Yes it has pointless chaos but in Stillwater it's the whole point! The way the game plays out .. the voice acting, the char customization and the over the top characters really endear themselves to you and make it a fun ride. The side missions are boring without a coop partner so try to get hold of someone to play with! Oh and this game has some performance issues especially if you're on the AMD bulldozer platform so be careful there. Bought it during the Steam Summer Sale but GMG has an amazing price as of writing, buy it!!
Great if your expectations are not highschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dawnguard (NA)
This DLC, or expansion as Beth likes to refer to it, is primarily about Vampires. Totally awesome if you like to play as one of them but I wanted to be part of the Dawnguard instead ... hunt the critters! :D The add on has its bugs as has been documented but there are community patches on the Workshop (Beth is busy turning the game into the Sims). The price is high, use a coupon or wait for a drop and then you'll get great value for your money .. it will play for around 10-12 hours so if you play both sides of the story and don't go rushing at every thing just to finish stuff then it will last long enough. Worth the purchase for the "complete experience".
Refreshing open world gameschroff | Sept. 13, 2012 | Review of Sleeping Dogs: Limited Edition
I was initially apprehensive about this title because I'm not fond of games which are based on a criminal back story. I took the plunge however because of the atmosphere .. how many games are set in Hong Kong? The melee combat initially felt unresponsive but it turns out that the game doesn't forgive button mashing. One quirk that gets in the way is the animations during combat can lock you into a move and you may end up getting struck by opponents and you lose health even though you press counter. The camera also can be dizzying while driving if you pan it quickly but they're all minor quirks and the overall game is frankly amazing - I'm glad I picked this one up and wholeheartedly recommend you to purchase it.