Reviews by xtrench

70

Slashing fun.

xtrench | April 15, 2011 | Review of Ninja Blade

Not right there with the more popular titles in that genre but still fun to play, only suffering from excessive quick time events that makes you wish you were actually doing those things instead of mashing buttons. With the backdrop of infection spreading throughout Tokyo it's up to you to cure it with your ninja blade and by cure I mean violently eradicate. With three different, two ranged attacks and one ninja vision you're in for some bloody fun.

90

Magicka: Vietnam DLC

xtrench | April 15, 2011 | Review of Magicka: Vietnam DLC

Usually DLC's are made to get another quick buck for the company bringing additional content, but a rather weak content. This is NOT the case with Magicka Vietnam, with the addition of new "spells" and "weapons" present the true addition is the humor, this DLC will have you laughing from the get go even the cover of the game is funny. Should not be missed!

80

Hitman 2

xtrench | April 15, 2011 | Review of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin capsule

No rest for my favorite silent assassin. Spending peaceful time in Italy wasn't an option for 47. This time around you assassinate not for mere money but to save your friend.

While the plot is intriguing, the gameplay is where the magic's at. This second iteration introduces different changes such as ranking the player on how well they executed their assassination, improved control system as well as collecting weapons. Each level has several different solutions which add to the replay value. Worth a play despite the weak A.I

90

Classic Sam.

xtrench | April 15, 2011 | Review of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell

Splinter Cell, a classic among stealth action games brings a lot to the table with a rich, conspiracy filled plot and gameplay so well executed that even today's stealth games have a hard time keeping up (I'm looking at you Velvet Assassin). Your mission is to navigate the level using shadows as cover from enemies, helping you are different gadgets from spy cam to special night vision goggles.

Do yourself a favor and play this game.

75

Deus Ex 2, or is it?

xtrench | April 14, 2011 | Review of Deus Ex: Invisible War Capsule

Deus ex invisible war feels like the younger brother of the original deus ex featuring smaller levels single ammo type and a different HUD. With smaller world comes less choices. With limited slots for bio mods you have to make a choice what kind of player you want to be. This game is driven by it's story and hurdled by the small world but still provides some of the core elements that deus ex fans were waiting for.

85

Finally!

xtrench | April 14, 2011 | Review of Tomb Raider: Legend DNS

After a long hiatus since the previous Tomb Raider game, Lara is back with a new adventure that is connected to an event in her childhood. The game features animation and controls that are more fluid than previous titles, no longer it feels like you're trying to control a statue while navigation. The overall game feels a bit disconnected with Lara going to different places around the world. But the change of venue adds to the diversity of levels. While the climbing and shooting feels solid the driving of the bike in the later stages does not. Playing on the hardest difficulty will make it feel like driving the bike through the level is more luck than skill. Recommended not just to Tomb Raider fans but to anyone who enjoys good platformers.

80

Recommended!

xtrench | April 14, 2011 | Review of Tomb Raider: Underworld DNS

Yet another Tomb Raider game, but it doesn't feel like another cheap grab for money from fans. The game feels more than just a "quick job" of making new levels. With upgraded game engine that allows Lara to get dirty after rolling around in the mud and new animations, as well improved quick time events that no longer require button mashing but instead slows down time while you control Lara as you normally would, to avoid danger.

While the gameplay is pretty much the same as previous titles that consists of climbing, shooting and driving a bike, the lack of boss levels is regrettable and even though the game has a replay value in mind, that mode falls flat merely because it only consists of searching solved levels for missed hidden items.

Lots of epic stuff happens to Lara in this game and the plot provides interesting surprises for old time fans.

90

Epic experiance!

xtrench | April 14, 2011 | Review of Condemned: Criminal Origins CAP

Wow, what a game! Condemned is one of the greatest survival horror first person shooters that's out there. The more realistic approach to combat with weapons breaking and limited ammunition really puts the pressure on the player to be thoughtful when engaging in combat. The game also features a detective mode when you have to search for clues as well as hidden items that reward the player with additional information regarding the plot. The atmosphere in this game is chilling and disturbing and will have you on the edge of your seat. If you're a fan of survival horror games you should definitely check it out!

75

Double agent? Wish not..

xtrench | April 14, 2011 | Review of Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent

Great Splinter Cell game with pretty good missions that bring back the old school splinter cell style of play. Visiting different location in the world, Sam is back to his old sneaking ways of dispatching enemies silently like an urban ninja. That being said, upon completion of the missions Sam is thrown back to a "hub" of sorts, a terrorist cell in which he needs to spy on and yet gain the terrorists trust and at this point that the game grinds to a halt. Going from great Splinter Cell type of missions to a slow and agonizing gameplay of solving puzzles and sneaking around base. If you're a fan of Splinter Cell and believe you could grind your way through the intermissions then you will find enjoyment in this game. But for many this iteration of Splinter Cell will not be on par with previous titles.

80

Defines sandbox.

xtrench | April 14, 2011 | Review of Just Cause 2

Generic character experiencing a generic story line in a wonderful open world. On the surface this game appears to become boring very fast but that's not true. There is a ton of fun to be had in this game. The player is able to perform over the top tricks on cars and planes, but the grappling hook is the main attraction. The grappling hook enables the player to attach a lot of different things to each other sometimes resulting in quite chaotic consequences and chaos is the main goal of this game.

70

Cryostasis

xtrench | April 14, 2011 | Review of Cryostasis

This game is amazing as an adventure game but lacking in the first person shooter mechanics. The atmosphere is very well set with fitting sounds and feel of movement throughout the game. Slowly uncovering what happened to the crew of the North Wind ship. There's an interesting attention to details even in the smallest of things such as trash scattered around the ship, with authentic Russian cigarette packs. While you'll enjoy the adventure of the game the combat in this game will be frustrating especially if you're playing on a low end machine or even medium range machine because this game is riddled with frame drops.

70

Should have been "Marines kicking ass"

xtrench | April 14, 2011 | Review of Aliens vs Predator Pre

Aliens vs. Predators is divided into 3 campaigns, in each campaign you get to play a different species; the alien, the predator and human. The human campaign was my favorite, bringing back such classics as the pulse rifle and the motion tracker as well as the smart gun. But overall the campaigns feels diluted and short. It would have been better if the developers focused on one strong campaign. The alien part of the game is the weakest while the predator provides some stealthy fun and gadgets but still isn’t as fun as the human one.

75

Magicka

xtrench | April 13, 2011 | Review of Magicka

Pretty neat game that lets you experiment with different magic spell combinations without the worrying about cooldowns. Magicka lets you combine different spells into more powerful spells but be careful, within the chaotic environment it's easy to combine the wrong spells which can result in a very negative outcome for you or your buddies that you're playing with. Magicka brings forward a cool humor and a funny made up language. The game only hurdled by the bugs which I hope will be fixed.

60

Ziro

xtrench | April 13, 2011 | Review of Ziro DNS

There's a plot in this game, but with puzzle games, plot is rarely an object of interest, the main attraction is the puzzles themselves. You're supposed to slide dice around a board until they touch each other and then you may choose to combine them after some counting of the dice numbers. If you like puzzles you should try it, with a lot of levels to tackle while listening to weird music that may or may not get stuck in your mind(hopefully not).

90

The best Hitman

xtrench | April 13, 2011 | Review of Hitman: Blood Money Capsule

This is what the hitman fans were waiting for, all previous hitman games were building up to Hitman Blood Money. Each level in this game is a unique experience and venue and each assassination can be accomplished in a plethora of ways ranging from the homicidal way of shooting everything that moves to the most skilled silent assassin. The game ranks the player upon successful completion of the level and failure to be stealthy will raise your notoriety meter which will make it harder on your next assassination, reducing the meter is possible by bribing witnesses. In addition upon completion of your mission you get to read how well you did through a local newspaper. This game is a must play and replay!

75

Another third person shooter? Or is it?

xtrench | April 13, 2011 | Review of Dark Sector

Dark Sector is a third person shooter with the added advantage of introducing a throwable glaive. At first the glaive appears to be a gimmick but after getting used to using it, you'll find yourself relying on it a lot and enjoying the different ways of using it. This game is unremarkable but while playing it, it will provide with a decent entertainment. In the end you won't recall much about it but you will enjoy it while it lasts.

85

Amazing game.

xtrench | April 13, 2011 | Review of Trine

When a thief, a sorcerer and a warrior are cursed to share one body, taking turns in the controlling seat, they must combine their unique abilities to navigate the level and solve different puzzles. The warrior is a strong character that can dispatch enemies easily and use his shield to block enemy attacks.

The sorcerer is able to conjure items that will help solve physics based puzzles and create pathways to progress forward in the level. The thief is agile and has a rope to help her navigate the level and a ranged attack for those pesky, hard to reach enemies.

Trine has a co op mode that unbinds the characters and each person controls his own character. Sadly it is limited to a local co op(no online support). Trine truly shines in its presentation of storytelling and visual effects.

65

Shaken, not stirred.

xtrench | April 13, 2011 | Review of Alpha Protocol

A spy role playing game with a great story. Featuring a great dialog system that influnces the world you're in, sadly for some it will be overshadowed by the outdated graphics and animations. The combat feels slugish and uncomfortable and consists of weapons, martial arts and gadgets. But this game stands out because it's a fresh take on a role playing game away from the fantasy world.

80

Gamer cred, yo

xtrench | April 13, 2011 | Review of Mafia

You play Tommy, a cab driver who gets a fare of his life when two gangsters enter his cab. Tommy finds himself in deep trouble after helping the gangsters with their rivals and finds no alternative to save himself other than to join the Don Salieri family for protection.

Mafia is an open world filled with different missions through which Tommy's story is told.

While the game starts slow it finds its pace quickly but not before you complete outrageously difficult race mission that the developer added a difficulty option to it in a later patch due to gamers grief and it's recommended you complete it on easiest level because after that mission the game really starts to shine with exciting main story missions. While the game has side mission they're rather bland compared to the main missions and reward the players with cars upon completion which you have to retrieve yourself.

The shooting mechanics are a bit clunky and haven’t aged well but they aren’t frustrating and the car handling can be punishing sometimes all in the name of "realism".

Still this game is yet another classic that will be remembered by many for a long time and anyone who considers himself having a "gamer cred" should definitely play this game.

75

Shouldn't be skipped.

xtrench | April 12, 2011 | Review of Assassins Creed

This game is full of amazing but slightly unpolished ideas with stunning animations and living cities that make you feel immersed in the world. The story is intriguing and keeps you interested both in the past and the games present. Even though there are many different side missions for you to fulfill as an assassin they all feel repetitive. Perhaps gamers that lean to the OCD might find it entertaining but for the rest of us they are skippable(luckly you don't have to complete all of them). But the main assassinations are pretty fun to execute so the boring side missions are somewhat negated. Overall the sequels to assassin's creed have improved on all the bad aspects of the game but the first one shouldn't be skipped even if it's just for the story because it is very relevant to the overall universe of assassin's creed. Also the graphics, art and level design is impressive.

90

Must play

xtrench | April 12, 2011 | Review of Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition DNS

Deus Ex. Whenever Deus Ex is mentioned online, someone installs the game on their computer. It's that good! "THE cyberpunk first person shooter role playing game" is the definition of Deus Ex in the dictionary(Well not really, but it should be!).

Even though the graphics are dated this game shouldn't be overlooked by gamers who love in depth role playing games.

With features such as augmenting your body parts with nanotech, resolving conflicts in a number of different ways and multiple endings provide a large replay value.

85

Must play!

xtrench | April 12, 2011 | Review of Mafia II dns

First thing first, Amazing graphics and city design! This game is beautiful to look at and driving through the city while listening to the era's music really makes you feel like you've traveled through time, absolutely amazing.

In some parts Mafia 2 feels incomplete as if parts of it were cut out and that's probably the case since the absolute lack of side quests. There are characters that appear to be designed to give out missions and invite you to visit them to get said missions but when you do visit, they never have anything for you. But the main quests are loads of fun and diversity with cinematic set pieces that side quests, if they were present, would have detracted from unless they were made with the same investment, which judging by the DLCs side missions, they weren't. Mafia 2 features amazing sound track that fits the time frame perfectly, the game spans over a decade and while time progresses so does the music and cars, with the cars in this game being upgradeable and customizable but to a limited degree. With great voice acting and immersive atmosphere this game is a must to any mafia fan or the 50's era fan. People looking for a sandbox type game might be disappointed with the lack of activities outside the mainquest but that can be remedied with the DLC packs but they're not as well made as the main game.

45

Forgettable

xtrench | April 12, 2011 | Review of Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days

If you played the first Kane and Lynch game then this game will feel like you're meeting old friends that you tried hardest to avoid. Firstly the good; the visuals are trying to look "shaky cam" and "cinematic" and for the most part they succeed in what they're trying to be and that's pretty much it everything else is pretty average. The cover system doesn’t bring anything special to the table and even at times can be frustrating. The story line is just as average and fails to deliver a satisfying ending. You play Lynch in this game as opposed to the first game where you played Kane. While playing with Lynch through the so called "stealth" parts, in the event of messing up and getting yelled at by Kane gives a throwback to the first game in which Lynch kept screwing up and getting you as the player in trouble only this time you're the one causing grief.

60

Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Bugs

xtrench | April 12, 2011 | Review of Lara Croft And The Guardian Of Light

This game is a step to the side in terms of gameplay, controls and camera view, but not a bad one. The new direction provides a fresh look at Lara's adventures yet remains true to the spirit of theTomb Raider games. You still shoot monsters and solve puzzles. But in this game the puzzles are how to navigate the level instead of searching for items to unlock obstacles and item searching was replaced by finding artifacts that boost your abilities. The game provides replay value in terms of completing different achievements on any given level ranging from performing acrobatic maneuvering to simply collecting items or completing a level in a certain time. Completing those achievements provide Lara with opportunities to boost her abilities. With the addition of the co op mode the life of the game is extended but this mode is poorly executed. While the levels are slightly modified for two player co op it still feels like the same game and the large amount of bugs present in this mode cannot be ignored. The bugs range from glitches that render your friend invisible or unable to use weapons to just bad level design where the camera view pushes players off cliffs to their doom. Still even the game bugs provide laughs from the ridicules outcomes.

80

The great nostalgia.

xtrench | April 10, 2011 | Review of Tomb Raider: Anniversary DNS

Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a remake of a 1996 classic, which follows the adventures of Lara Croft, a British archaeologist on job to find an ancient artifact. This remake features improved graphics, overhauled controls and animations. The levels are redesigned yet recognizable to old fans of the original. In addition the game features unlockable developers commentary which gives insights into the making of the game.

The game mechanics consist of shooting enemies, platforming and simple puzzles solving using items found scattered around the levels. This game is a must have for a devoted fan of the Tomb Raider series but shouldn't be excluded by gamers who aren't familiar with Lara's mythology because the story doesn't require previous knowledge of the series and the gameplay is satisfying for the fans of jumping, swimming and climbing because they are well executed and animated.