Bargain Bin Review: Stranglehold.

Taking heavy inspiration from the Max Payne franchise, and a sequel to john Woo's "Hardboiled" (not to mention he also collaborated on the game), you'd think you could take one glance at Stranglehold, and know exactly what it's all about... wait you can. Stranglehold knows exactly what it is, and except for a few twists on the gameplay, doesn't bother to try and be different.

    Chow Yun Fat provides both his voice, and likeness to the game in order to reprise his role as inspector Tequila, the tough on criminals, kind of cop.  Rather than shoot first, ask questions later, he doesn't even bother with the questions. A shooter can't be a good shooter unless all the destruction your causing looks pretty, right? There is allot of destructable environments, almost anything you can see, you can blow it to hell. As far the character modeling and the destructable environments go, that's about all that looks nice. You'll shoot the same enemy models over and over again, go through levels that rarely change things up. Even the blood splatters look kinda tacked on, looking more like you shout someone in the face with a paintball gun, instead of a shot-gun.

    Choosing you weapons of mass destruction will be easy, mainly because there aren't that many, and what are there, aren't very special. You'll find your shot-gun, assault riffle, two handed gun, and grenades half-way through the campaign. What Stanglehold does interesting using the environment to your benefit with ease. Hop onto a cart and blast foes, run up a rail and blast foes, hang from a chandelier and blast foes, but like the entire game, it plays out it's welcome half-way through.

    As for the Multi-player and story? Don't bother, the developer's obviously didn'tand finding a match in multi-player is point, no one is ever paying and it's pretty obvious why. There are only bare-bones in it, death match and team deathmatch are the only one I recall because those are the only ones i've played, but I hardly got to play, because when you do find a match, I highly doubt it will play smoothly.

    Stranglehold is able to put a small twist on what could have just been a  tedious game, but it's able to make itself just above mediocre, atleast in the single player department, but it faces that innevitable choke-point where the game stops being fun and starts becoming boring. You'll see everything there is to see within the first hour or so, after that... you get the point.

Deserving of the Bargain Bin statues?: Yes, but even at $20, I wanted my money back.

Who should play this?: People with an itchy trigger finger.

Average Critic score: 7.9
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Fable 2 ending *spoilers*

So I chose the "Sacrifice" ending, kinda annoyed 'bout my family being killed off but not as much as my dog, but I figure i'll just get the DLC and get him back. It bugs me though that I didn't pick the "Love" ending because I hear Rose's letter was really heart wrenching, ( Can anyone post all of what she said?). It does suck that you don't get to see Rose, that would have been totally worth it, but maybe you find out about her in the DLC? They do say you tie up loose ends from the story, after all.

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HAWP Review: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

    After the rocky start of the first episode, HAWP, seems to make a huge turn around with this episode based on The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Partly what made this episode allot better was that Anthony, steps out of the way, and is absent for most of the episode, and just let's Ashly go nuts and acts like her quirky self in front of the camera.

((((Spoilers))))

   After the introduction, we see Ashly playing Epona's song on the Ocarina and the way she sing it and adds her own lyrics to the song is hilarious. Most of the episode is Ashly making weird sounds and a completely random and unnecessary rapping that pops up half way through the episode could have been left out. Another hallmark in the series is a short, couple of second, end of the credits video and this episode has one of the longest. It's Ashly and Anthony re-enacting a scene from Iron Man, that was kind of meh.

    Over all, the episode was a major improvement over the first one, although not the greatest episode either, it still showed that the two were starting to pick up momentum and became allot more inspired in this episode.

Score: 8.4

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HAWP: Episode One Review.

    HAWP (Hey Ashly, what playing?) is a web-series featuring Ashly Burch and her brother Anthony. It has reached a degree of success by being featured on he Gametrailers web-site and the duo produce around two episodes per month. It's been a little over a year since they've gotten started and this is one of many reviews of their show, so I decided to start with their very first HAWP, but judging by their first episode, they didn't exactly hit the ground running.

(((( Spoilers))))

    Each episode consists of the two being inspired to do a episode based on or inspired about a game and their very first one: Ikaruga. In the first episode we are introduced to the intro that will be a staple in their series that they rarely break from. Having Anthony walk up behind Ashly, who's sitting on a chair playing a game, and asking her what she's playing. After asking Ashly, the two talk about the game a bit, until Ashly, randomly squirts Anthony with a squirt gun full of milk. Anthony's reaction is priceless and he plays it off perfectly, but it's not like we haven't seen this kind of thing before. Anthony, goes to change his shirt, only to be greeted by Ashly who squirts him, with yet another squirt gun, and when Anthony asks: "What is that? Choclate milk?" Ashly replies: "Some of it." and the camera shows a quick shot of her in black camo.

    The Episode wasn't particularly great, it just didn't show off enough of what Ashly and Anthony Burch are capable of creatively. So the series may have gotten off to a rocky start, but the duo would go on to create some memorable episodes, this one just won't be one of them.

Score: 5.3
 

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Lionhead's new IP...

    Lionhead is set to unveil a brand new IP that they have been working on, now my first thought races back to 2003/04 when Peter Molyneux was doing an interview for G4TV, promoting Fable: Lost Chapters, and he was asked what his next project was an he said something along the lines of: "A game where you can relieve moments from your past." So, maybe that game is finally showing it's head or it died before it even got a head start? Or I'm just pissing in the wind. lol

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Fallout: Vegas... will there be slots?

Since the Fallout franchise is now heading to Vegas, i've been wondering, where would be the next location Fallout would take place? What other parts of the world survived the nuclear explosion (If that is in fact what caused it all).

But really where would you like to see the next fallout game take place?

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Do "M" games have no place on nintendo platforms?

    GTA: China Town Wars was announced for the Nintendo DS at E3 '08. It looked to be a title that would help Nintendo branch out and grab a hold of the "M for Mature" market that Microsoft and Sony seem to be hogging up, also helping this cause was "Madworld" for the Nintendo Wii.

    March '09 rolls along and GTA: China Town Wars is released to a very warm response from critics. China Town Wars was now getting off to a great start, that was, until the numbers for sales rolled out. The NPD group announced that the game had only sold under 90,000 units, far below many expectations.

    This has me and allot of others wondering if Nintendo can really ne known as more than just a family friendly console and offer games for a more mature audience or if players decide that their just fine with Microsoft and Sony.

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Hey Ash watcha playin?

    I was browsing at GT site a week ago to see what was new, I had visited before and saw advertising for HAWP (Hey Ashly watcha playin?) but I had always skipped it. One day out of boredom I watched one of the episodes and since their roughly only two minutes long, I needed to watch a few others, then I was hooked. I'm such a huge fan of Ashly and Anthony Burch's web-series, I've watched all their episodes atleast twice now, while others I've watched countless times.

    What might seem like a desperate grab for attention to some people, to others the show gives us the two star's (and Father's) creativity, excitement, and love for games, such as the episode where Ashly spoofs a discovery channel commercial. It's Ashly and Anthony Burch who we just love to watch, when Ashly is squirting Anthony with a squirt gun, or going to extreme measure of annoyance and threatening to take a dump in Anthony's bed only to find out it was her own bed.

   Their are lot's of internet webisodes out there, especially ones about games with varying degrees of success and what they have to offer but with HAWP they offer their charm, whit, creativety, and their hilarious look on games. Make sure to check them out, you might be addicted just like i was, and still am. 

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Fallot 3: Broken Steel... what do we really want from it?

    It started with Oblivion for me, countless hours extracted from my life into the it. Hell, you don't even have to say the full name of Oblivion... just Oblivion works! It was this critically acclaimed game that made Bethesda an even bigger name. How did they follow up their success?

    Fallout 3 would be released on October 28, 2008, and was a major department from the Elders scroll series, which they were known for, but was heavily praised and proved that Bethesda knew a thing or two about how to make games. Every game has it's flaws though, and so did Fallout 3, the one that seemed to bug people the most was that unlike Oblivion, this game ended.

    Two DLC's later, were are finally coming up on the big one that every fan of fallout 3 has been waiting for, Broken Steel, Namely because it takes away the big halt at the end of the game and not only expands on it, but will allow you to still play after you've beaten it for a second time. This, for me, is a big reason why i'm waiting for it.

How About you?

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Bioshock 2 Impressions...

    I'm not one to make a big deal out of beginnings, such as starting a blog, so I will not start here. My mind came up blank when the thought of my first blog came up, so I figure I will just write about whats been on my... Bioshock 2. People will have different first thoughts that come to mind when they think about the sequel such as "improvements", but is there really all that much that needed to be improved upon since the first one?

    Shockingly when I first played through Bioshock I wasn't really amazed by it, but the game stuck with me and I appreciated all it had to going for it, so it was the second play through that I became a fan of Bioshock. Fast-forward to Bioshock 2 trailer, and I'm wondering what the sequel will do that  really gives me the same experience the first one did, because like all sequels, it has to contend with being a victim of it's own success.

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