Reviews by vipc

90

Arcadey Action at its finest

vipc | Jan. 20, 2014 | Review of Call of JuarezĀ®: Gunslinger

What Call of Juarez Gunslinger inspires in me is the competitiveness of the old school arcade shooters. Gunslinger offers three modes; story mode and arcade mode and duel mode. Duel mode is mostly forgettable with a minigame style showdown.

It is the arcade mode and story mode that is the standout of the game. For me, Arcade mode alone makes this game worth it. The game is semi-fast paced point-based first person shooter. In arcade mode, shooting enemies yields points. Shooting enemies in the head, yields more points. Shooting enemies in succession yields multipliers, which yields even more points. Points galore! Yes, the arcade mode is about getting the highest score possible and this really makes the game competitive especially for those perfectionists and competitive gamers.

The story mode is an added benefit. The story itself is surprisingly good, offering a unique storytelling style. Without spoiling it, it will definitely keep you entertained and even a few chuckles along the way.

If I had a minor complaint, it would be that the arcade mode stages are all based on the stages from the Story mode. It would've been nice to have a larger variety of stages not already seen from the story mode. But this is a minor complaint, and doesn't detract from the fact that this game is such a solid shooter.

The game's gimmick is also a bullet time style power that slows everyone down. Nothing innovative in this aspect, but the gunplay makes this game highly satisfying to play. For the low price point, you will certainly get your money's worth for it.

100

Gets better with age?

vipc | Jan. 20, 2014 | Review of BioShock

The Bioshock series has to be one of my favourite series of the generation.

As this game has been out for quite some time now, it is a question of whether or not it still holds up in this market. Well the answer is yes. The gameplay is still as solid as it was when it was released, far more so than Bioshock Infinite, the latest iteration of the franchise.

And although the gameplay is very solid in my opinion, it isn't so much the gameplay that I love Bioshock so much for. Rather it is the storytelling, and the atmosphere that makes the Bioshock series so great. That isn't to say that the gameplay in Bioshock is bad, not by any means. In fact, at the time of release, Bioshock offered innovative gameplay with plasmid combinations and visually and practically unique guns.

With that said, Bioshock is still a great blend of great gameplay and incredible storytelling and atmosphere (including music!). However, for the nitpicky on the graphics, Bioshock may or may not hold up as it did on release. Namely, it is the textures, which is a little low res by comparison to today's standards (AAA standards anyway).

But in my honest opinion, this shouldn't deter you from one of the greatest games of the generation. For the amount of enjoyment, and the low price point, even more so when it is on sale, this is a game you cannot miss. I highly recommended.

50

Sequel Syndrome

vipc | Jan. 20, 2014 | Review of F.E.A.R. 3

The F.E.A.R series, particularly the first one was well known for its horror elements and solid A.I and gameplay. Alas, F.E.A.R also falls victim to the failings of sequels.

F.E.A.R 3 becomes much less about the horror and becomes another generic first person shooter. The gimmick is a bullet time style power which slows down time. The story itself is weak and forgettable, but the graphics are quite nice.

This is a game best played as a co-op experience, and only for the co-op experience. In co-op mode, one of you get to play as the brother which offers a new power, and offers semi-strategic gameplay. All in all though, this still doesn't make it a great game. Unless I have something wrong with my internet connection or of being in the Australian region, the online multiplayer is completely dead.

For $2-3 it might be worth it, especially in co op. Otherwise, if you lack spare time or money, I'd give this a skip.

85

Realism. Good and Bad

vipc | Nov. 11, 2013 | Review of Grand Theft Auto IV

GTA has always been the masters of open world games. Since GTA 3 when the world was first rendered into three dimensional, third person gameplay, GTA fans have been able to wreak absolute havoc into the cities they are rendered in.

GTA 4 does some things right, and others wrong. The story is a fine rise to power-esque story, with an array of unique and intriguing characters. The game plays fine, and exploring the world is as fun as it has always been. There's more to do in the world than ever before, like bowling, drinking, even going to a comedy club and watching Ricky Gervais performing "live".

Unfortunately through all the good it does, It does have it's downsides. The cops for example, are relentless. It's all too easy to get the attention of the cops, and they are really brutal when chasing you down. For some, this may be a positive as it adds to the realism, but for me this is a negative. I enjoy causing a little trouble in the world, but when I do, it seems like I've caught the attention of the whole city's police and military.

And then there's the real problem with GTA 4 on the PC in particular. It is HORRIBLY ported. Even on high end systems this game can run absolutely horrible, and unfortunate to say, this was never fixed. So unless you have a monster of a machine, or you're happy to run at lower settings, then be prepared for some horrible frame rate drops and poor performance.

Nonetheless, this game is fun. I just have to say that it may be better to play this on console if you have access to one.

67

Not bad, but not great.

vipc | Nov. 11, 2013 | Review of The Last Remnant

Last Remnant only holds the namesake of a Square Enix title. I can't say that I really enjoyed it. It falls into the stereotypical JRPG story and characters.

The combat itself is a little different to the typical turn base strategy, but it doesn't do enough to hold my interest. If you're in the mood for a JRPG with a slightly different combat system, then The Last Remnants wouldn't be a horrible choice, particularly if you can grab it on sale. Otherwise, there are better games that are worth your time.

95

Storytelling at its finest

vipc | Nov. 11, 2013 | Review of BioShock Infinite (ANZ)

Bioshock Infinite is the third in the Bioshock series. The Bioshock games have always been very well renowned for its stellar storytelling, and Bioshock Infinite only adds to that legacy.

The story of Bioshock Infinite is one of the best of the generation, and in my opinion, of all time. There is a level of engagement and immersion to the world that no other game can really give you. The dynamics between Booker and Elizabeth, the main characters of the game, make you care for them in a way that you would otherwise brush off in other "escort" style games.

The world is beautifully built, with wonderful set pieces and incredible stylistic direction.

However, the same level of praise cannot be given to the gameplay itself. It is highly dumbed down in comparison to the earlier Bioshock titles. It becomes a stale shooter with little strategy nor does it do anything unique enough to draw you into the combat. Not even the 1999 mode can make the combat interesting.

Do not let this dissuade you though. The storytelling, the characters, the world and the music is more than enough to overwhelm the negatives of the game. Bioshock Infinite is not an experience to miss.

88

Just one more turn

vipc | Oct. 30, 2013 | Review of Sid Meier's Civilization V: Gods & Kings (ANZ)

Gods and Kings is a great addition to the already great Civilization 5. Gods and Kings solve many of the inherent problems that Civ 5 had, such as the combat and AI behaviour including the City States.

Gods and Kings also add the religion system to the game, allowing you to create and adopt your own religions that provide different attributes to your cities. It also adds new factions and leaders to the game, with their own unique attributes and units, and an espionage system that allows you to spy on other factions, and even steal their technology.

This is a great expansion that certainly added another hundred hours of gameplay to the game that I had already spent a hundred hour on. If you loved Civilization V, then Gods and Kings will only make it better. Highly recommended.

90

Flawed by poor decisions, but stellar outcome

vipc | Oct. 30, 2013 | Review of Mass Effect 3 (EU)

The ending of this game had some serious controversy, enough to bring people up in arms with petitions and harassment of the developers. Eventually the developers had to release additions to the ending to appease some of these fans.

However if you treat Mass Effect 3 as the ending to the trilogy, then it certainly provides a great sense of closure. My problem with the game is the false sense the game gives you with decisions. Throughout the game, you are given choices, but the payoff leaves much to be desired. The journey on the other hand certainly makes up for it though. The storytelling is stellar as usual, and the gameplay is as robust as the previous iterations of the game. Ideally, one should play at least Mass Effect 2 first, but even newcomers can get right into this game and enjoy the hell out of it.

Here's the real kicker though. EA is up to it's usual antics with day one DLC, and subsequent DLC that is story critical. That certainly puts a dint in my opinion of the game. The game is iteratively more streamlined, and should be easy for anyone to get into. Even though it is streamlined for the masses, there is still something there for those long time fans from the first or second game.

Overall, the game is great in my opinion. If you are a fan of the previous games, then ME3 is more of the same, but better. The storytelling, the voice acting, the graphics and the gameplay are all stellar and iteratively better than the previous.

85

Zombie Killing Madness

vipc | April 18, 2013 | Review of Dead Rising 2

This is a sequel to the original Dead Rising, featuring a new protagonist: Chuck Greene. This game pits you in a sandbox vegas-esque location that is filled with zombies. Within this sandbox, there many many things you can find and encounter, such as survivors you need to save and crazed survivors who you need to fight.

Of course, one of the more appealing aspects to this game is the item creation. This game uses a mechanic which enables you to combine items you find. Got boxing gloves and knives? Combine them to create wolverine-like gloves. There are many items you can create and use with this creation system. Couple this with the fact that you can play the entire campaign in co-op mode is definitely a plus. This drastically improves the replayability of this game.

The campaign mode/storyline is nothing to write home about, but it does add value to the game, providing a quirky narrative that can be a reprieve if you start feeling the monotony of killing zombies. It truly is a fun game and I highly recommend it, especially at such a low price point.