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3.81 stars 3.81/5 Stars Average score of 68 user reviews spread across 0 releases and 0 DLC

Fun while it lasts, but sadly not as special as its predecessor 0

It's tough coming into a game like Mass Effect 3 with a universe you've come to love and characters you can't wait to adventure with again, all the while knowing this is it. It has to end. (… Well, for now, at any rate.)It's also tough going into ME3 knowing that it's very unlikely to be better than its predecessor. That's not really Bioware's fault, but the simple fact that it's the third and final part of a trilogy. The story has to be wound down, conflicts must resolve, characters must reach ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Perfectly competent rendition of shooting aliens in New York. 0

It’s hard to comment on a game like Crysis 2, one which is incredibly well-made and -designed, generally a pleasure to play through, no major problems to quibble about, and something you will probably immediately forget as soon as you finish.There’s just not much to really latch onto with Crysis 2. Is it better than the first Crysis? In many ways, yes. It’s generally an easier, faster-paced game that gives you ample opportunity to plan approaches into bases (the hallmark of Far Cry and Crysis ga...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Fun combat and gorgeous visuals save FF13 from total disaster. 0

I really tried to give Square-Enix the benefit of the doubt with FF13, knowing full well the complaints that have been lobbed its way. It's hard not to respect the talent and resources that go into colossal games like this, but unfortunately I think there's just a fundamental taste level that's hard to bridge between Japanese and Western RPG designers. Most gamers come to RPGs for great storytelling, exploration, leveling and combat mechanics. FF13 delivers on the combat front, with a thoughtful...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Navigation can be a pain, but Burnout is still an addictive rush. 0

Full disclosure -- I wasn’t a fan of Burnout Paradise when it originally was released. I tried to give it my best effort, but the open-city format proved to be too jarring at the time and so it sat on my shelf for three long years. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in this. Criterion’s decision to eliminate discrete racing tracks in favor of a GTA-style “open world” format quickly alienated a lot of racing fans who just couldn’t wrap their heads around the freedom the developers wanted to bring into their...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Charming and challenging ... the first sRPG to win me over. 0

Going into Valkyria Chronicles, I expected this experience to be no different than all the other critically acclaimed sRPGs I've tried to enjoy and just wound up being bored out of my mind. These types of games tend to lay the drama and sentimentality on extra thick, like any proper JRPG, coupled with tedious combat systems and repetitive game mechanics. So it's with great relief I can finally point to a hyped sRPG and say, "YES. This lives up to the billing." The first thing that caught ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Amazing setup that loses steam halfway through. 0

The good news is the first half of Alan Wake is an absolute stunner. In the back of my mind, I was comparing this experience to the very similar-in-concept adventure thriller, Heavy Rain, and I have to tip my cap in Alan Wake's direction for the first few hours. Remedy does an excellent job gently sinking you into an increasingly creepy small wilderness town and gradually unfolding a genuinely intriguing mystery story. If you're at all a fan of "Twin Peaks" or "The Twilight Zone," this game scra...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Somehow manages to be even worse than Fable 1. 0

I wasn't a fan of the original Fable by any measure, but I had heard enough good things about its sequel, that I went into Fable II with only the best of intentions. The game certainly makes a good first impression, just like its predecessor, with polished graphics, a stylish cartoon fantasy game world, and solid voice acting throughout. Everything else about Fable II, unfortunately, just falls off the rails. The overall storyline never gets its hooks into you. It starts flat, it continue...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

How does a game this epic feel so boring? 0

Full disclosure -- I don't play much online multiplayer, and I don't like playing FPS games with a controller, so that basically rules me out of Call of Duty's target audience. That said, I still love playing the single-player campaigns in all major shooters. While Black Ops rings in on the short side (5-6 hours?), this is still an action-packed, creatively told story that gradually unwraps a mystery centered on your main character. The lavish setpieces are always fun to see in Call of Duty gam...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Tremendous value for two PS2 classics. 0

 While playing through the God of War franchise, it's easy to forget these games really aren't that old. The original debuted late in the PS2's lifespan (2005), while God of War II came out as the shift to HD consoles was well under way (2007). So perhaps it shouldn't be so shocking that this HD re-release looks as good as it does ... but still ... it does. These are PS2 games, and seeing them in crisp 1080p, it's amazing they look as good as most current-generation releases. GoW and GoW...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Way more addictive than it has any right to be. 0

 It's a bit unfair reviewing the core Borderlands game by itself these days, considering the well-received DLC and the Game of the Year edition that now exist. Taken as a whole, Borderlands GOTY is a tremendous package, especially if discounted. But if you focus just on the base game itself, Borderlands' appeal doesn't shine quite as bright. This is pretty much the definitive guilty pleasure game, not unlike MMOs. Borderlands' combat is average for the genre and can get repetitive, especially co...

0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Mediocre shooter with the name "Halo" in the title. 0

 A lot of Halo 3: ODST apologists say you can't really criticise this game because it was "never intended to be a full-fledged sequel." Well, if Microsoft released ODST as a $20 downloadable add-on for Halo 3, that statement would certainly ring true. My take on it would be: "ODST is a solid expansion and a serviceable shooter that features Halo's great combat mechanics in a welcome new spin on a well-worn formula." But unfortunately, Microsoft did not release ODST as a DLC add-on. They released...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A flawed gem. 0

 As one of the most hyped and well-received cinematic games of 2010, it's easy to expect nothing short of a Stanley-Kubrick-quality tour de force from Heavy Rain. It's admittedly unfair to expect Quantic Dream to release an Oscar-caliber screenplay in the shell of a choose-your-own-adventure video game. But at the same time, for a game that has been so heavily hyped specifically for its characters and storytelling, the reality of playing Heavy Rain can be a little disappointing for those expecti...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Improves on AC 1, but gameplay still feels a bit underwhelming. 0

 Of all the genres that have benefitted from ever-more powerful hardware, the action-stealth-platformer has reached perhaps the most dizzying new heights this generation. Led by standard-setters like Uncharted 2, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Metal Gear Solid 4, this genre routinely shows off the state-of-the-art in graphics technology, scripting, voice acting, sound design, level design, and on and on. Assassin's Creed II easily joins the top of that list with its immaculate art direction and photo...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

An incredible ride from start to finish. 0

 Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time isn't a game that monopolized message boards or critics year-end awards lists in 2009. It was released amid a bunch of more high-profile action blockbusters so inevitably got a bit lost in the shuffle. It's not niche or artsy enough to make hardcore gaming connisseurs salivate over it, and it's not mainstream enough to sweep sales charts and casual gamers either. A Crack in Time is just a brilliant, unheralded platforming masterpiece ... one of the be...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Worth buying for Ballad of Gay Tony alone. 0

 If you play this double DLC pack in chronological order, that means you'll be taking on The Lost & The Damned first. Which is unfortunate because the first DLC add-on is a bit of a chore to get through. The well-worn GTA gameplay is recycled, for better or worse, in a no-frills crime story of headbanger biker gangs fighting for turf and battling egos. It's a humdrum storyline with generally unlikeable characters and oftentimes tedious gameplay that lasts around eight to nine hours without o...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A stunning Western epic -- Rockstar's best release to date. 0

After all the accolades this year, it's easy to forget that Red Dead Redemption was originally rumored to be in pretty bad shape. Allegedly, Rockstar San Diego had to scrap much of what they had built late in the production cycle and restart under new creative direction from the main Rockstar HQ team. Whatever happened in that internal shakeup is a miracle because Red Dead Redemption is (arguably) Rockstar's most impressive achievement to date.  RDR is the complete package -- an incredibly immer...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The best of the meathead space marine shooters. 0

 In many ways, meathead space marine shooters have come to define video gaming for a large portion of the developed world. I've played through many of the biggies -- the Halos and Gears and Killzones and whatever else -- and I can't help to feel a little worn out by the neverending parade of attention, money and press these games get. Dazzling graphics and relentless adrenalized shooting thrills and multiplayer options so deep, you need never leave your apartment again, and on and on and on and ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Amazing level design and gameplay, despite the bleh fiction. 0

 When the original Halo first debuted on Xbox in 2001, one of the most frequent compliments you heard was, “OMG THESE LEVELS ARE HUGE!” At the time, many shooters were confined to the claustrophobic spaceship corridors seen in the game’s opening level. Once you landed on the surface of Halo, those wide-open fields of battle make a huge impression. Since that time, all games have grown incrementally larger and grander, and it becomes more and more difficult to be impressed by scale (e.g. Resistan...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Abysmal singleplayer. Legendary multiplayer is no longer. 0

 Having finally picked up an Xbox 360 and catching up on the platform’s exclusives, I’m a good six years too late to Halo 2. While the first Halo still stands out as an excellent single-player FPS well-worth playing through, I can’t say the same for Halo 2. The main attraction in this legendary sequel was its platform-defining multiplayer. Now that Microsoft has finally pulled the plug on the first Xbox’s Live network, you’re unable to experience Halo 2’s strong suit. What’s left is a overwritte...

0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Nine years later, still a showstopper. 0

When Halo originally came out in 2001, I had no intention of buying an Xbox, so I only played bits and pieces at friend’s houses. It seemed like a competant shooter but nothing worth going gah-gah over, especially considering most of the shooters I was playing were still on PC. A few years later, I finally got around to playing Halo firsthand with Gearbox’s PC release, but in many ways, the moment of excitement had passed. I was merely playing through it as a formality just to see what I had mis...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A welcome trip back to Rapture. 0

 When I first heard 2K was developing a sequel to Bioshock, it sounded like a sad, unnecessary money grab. Even worse, the original development lead, Ken Levine, wasn’t involved with the project. All signs pointed to a desperate cash-in, so I was pretty baffled by how favorable initial reviews were.  After finally playing through Bioshock 2, I really wish I wasn’t so pessimistic. 2K Marin did a fantastic job building a new adventure in Rapture. While it’s no match for the original, Bioshock 2 is...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A great expansion brings back Morrowind's magic 0

As good as Oblivion was, it really took Shivering Isles for Bethesda to show off how truly great that world could be. As soon as you enter the realm and meet Sheogorath’s right-hand man, Haskill, you know you’re in for something special. While it never changes any core game mechanics, Shivering Isles is a tribute to great quest, character and world design that many detractors (myself included) felt Oblivion lacked. The whacked-out Daedric realm is begging to be explored and rewards wandering pos...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Promising comic brought to life, only dragged by uneven pacing. 0

Creating good pacing is easier said than done. The masters make it look effortless. When you play something like Resident Evil 4 or Metal Gear Solid 3, it's easy to get into and easier to get lost ... the good kind of lost, where one glance at the clock shows hours passing by without fatigue or boredom setting in. Game mechanics vary as you go along, the story and characters sweep you away, and the difficulty ramps up and down to create an ebb and flow as you progress. Some games start out with ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Well-made, but underwhelming for a non-Batman devotee 0

I can usually appreciate great action/adventure games regardless of whether I'm a fan of the source material. With Batman: Arkham Asylum, however, I really think your enjoyment of this game escalates with how much you love the overall Batman franchise. It's an extremely well-made game at its core, with sumptuous visuals and hyper-detailed textures, immersive environments, and reasonably fun stealth game mechanics and hand-to-hand combat.I just don't necessarily feel this lives up to its Game of ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Underrated refinements bring MLB 10 to its highest level yet. 0

I'm mainly a franchise player when it comes to sports games. I do love the excitement and drama of on-field action, but the real addiction to these games, for me, is playing armchair GM and sculpting my favorite teams into better versions than reality would ever allow.For the last few years, the developers behind MLB: The Show have focused on graphics and gameplay. While The Show certainly had a serviceable Franchise mode, obviously the big-ticket items that get people's attention are how the ga...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Provocative story-driven FPS akin to Bioshock or STALKER. 0

As a thirtysomething gamer, it gets tougher and tougher to find story-driven games that actually tell a worthwhile story. Too often standards are lowered for video games, and mediocre plots are praised as "cinema-like" when in reality, they offer nothing more than cheap imitations of cheesy action movies. A few landmark titles broke the mold in recent years, and Bioshock, STALKER and Dead Space showed you can tell innovative, engaging stories right alongside an action slugfest. The lesser-known ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

So good, it feels like the next-next-generation of games 0

The original Uncharted took many gamers by surprise simply because developer Naughty Dog had never done anything close to a sophisticated mature adventure game before. Known primarliy for the kid-friendly Jak and Crash Bandicoot franchises, Naughty Dog came out of nowhere with a game that showcased some of the best graphics, dialogue, voice-acting and storytelling ever put into an adventure game.I knew Uncharted 2 would improve on its predecessor, but it's really hard to fathom how quickly this ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Exhaustive FPS that tests your patience as much as your trigger. 0

Killzone 2 delivers an adrenaline-fueled, photorealistic sci-fi battlefield with a sizeable single-player campaign and deep multiplayer offering. It easily sits atop the PS3 shooter lineup alongside CoD 4 and MW2.   But my word is this game exhausting.   I can appreciate a challenging, balls-to-the-wall FPS slugfest. Killzone 2 certainly doesn't pull any punches. This is a meathead space marine shooter that will punish you if you're not patient and methodical. Your only way to stay alive is b...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Confounding single-player is a huge letdown. 0

Very few major gaming sites called out Resistance 2 (Giant Bomb excepted) on its confusing, disappointing single-player campaign. While the original Resistance offered a rigorous challenge with a reasonably engaging storyline with sparks of unique personality, Resistance 2 sags with unfulfilled potential.  The game is technically sound, with a decent graphics engine, solid gunplay and reasonable enemy AI. But everything else just falls off the rails. The storyline is nearly incomprehensible, as ...

2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Gorgeous tracks and jumps; simplistic racing and no rewards 0

 If you're looking for an adrenaline-filled arcade racer, you certainly won't go wrong with Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. This is pick-up-and-play racing at its finest -- perfect for parties or with friends. The extremely low learning curve and luscious Hawaii-inspired courses make a great first impression.The game offers a simple single-player "career" mode -- in the loosest definition of the word. You can play your way through eight ranks, unlocking new tracks, race modes, vehicles, skins and driv...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Among the best early PS3 exclusives. 0

More than two years old at this point, Tools of Destruction still makes a whallop of a first impression. Luscious environments filled with layers of futuristic awesomeness. Excellent character designs loaded with personality. Addicting gunplay with frequent rewards and upgrades. There’s a whole lot to like in the R&C universe, even if the storyline never reaches higher than a great Saturday morning cartoon.  When ToD originally debuted in fall 2007, it was the first PS3 exclusive that really...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Still one of the most impressive shooters two years after release 0

If Crysis was the thinking-man's shooter and Bioshock was the story-driven shooter of 2007, Call of Duty 4 is the the most pure blow-the-crap-out-of-everything-and-hope-you-survive shooter of the year (and then some). This is a game that moves briskly, will push you and often drag you through incredibly intense combat that you really just need to navigate. It really pushes your reflexes more than any other shooter I've seen in recent memory.It's also a beautiful game, full with rich environments...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

An immaculate PS2 masterpiece. 0

 Arguably one of the best (if not, *the* best) release on PlayStation 2, Shadow of the Colossus is one of those rare accomplishments that can genuinely change the way you look at video games. When you think of basic elements of gaming -- boss battles, combat, world exploration, character and story -- SotC takes each of these and escalates them to a unrivaled level of understated sophistication.  And that’s not to make the game sound snooty or high-brow. SotC is sophisticated but doesn’t talk dow...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Four years on, RE4 is still a tour de force. 0

I'm an extreme latecomer to Resident Evil 4, having never owned a GameCube and never getting around to the PS2 version until recently. All I can say is, I wish I played this game sooner. It's unreal both how good this game is in terms of level design, action sequences and combat, but how heavily mimicked this game is. More recent blockbusters like Dead Space, Gears of War and Metal Gear Solid 4 pick up so much of what was done perfectly here in this game, which is perhaps the highest compliment ...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A big game in a little package. 0

Love it or hate it, much of the PSP catalog consists of portable versions of console games you've already played. Many of these are faithful, spirited copies of their source material, but they are still copies nonetheless with a nagging sense of deja vu. Resistance: Retribution follows this pattern, but it's hard not to be impressed by how well-made this game is and how much the developers have crammed into Resistance's PSP incarnation. A lengthy single-player campaign offers an satisfying paral...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A breath of fresh air for fantasy RPGs, but combat gets dull. 0

There's really two games to discuss in The Witcher.The first is an incredibly fresh take on what a fantasy RPG can be in 2009. A captivating, mature world filled with grey moral choices between numerous political ideas and groups at odds with each other. This is the game that wows you in the first few chapters. This is adult subject matter -- drugs, sex, sin and virtue -- explored through quests that feel more like chapters in a book rather than errands to be done for rewards. The Witcher immers...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Artful, understated brilliance. 0

All games, to some degree, are designed to tease emotions out of you -- excitement, fear, joy, intrigue. What's so incredible about Flower is the emotions it brings out in such a compact, beautiful and simple game design. The pure joy of exploration, the elation of soaring through sky carried by wind -- these are to be expected. It's the final two levels of Flower which I didn't expect. (Even after knowing to expect something different, based on other reviews.) I won't spoil it, but I will say I...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Mediocre story, but solid AI makes a fun challenge throughout. 0

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to the PS3's launch "killer app." At first glance, Resistance looks like a fairly run-of-the-mill space marine shooter with lackluster graphics and a forgettable story. But what emerges (quickly) is an extremely challenging FPS that keeps you engaged not through pretty environments or a riveting plot, but tough fights that often require multiple attempts and different methods of attack to figure out how to survive. The "easy" difficulty is no safe haven -- ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Best baseball game to date, but some weirdness creeps in. 0

Starting with 2006's re-branding (and re-invention) of Sony's baseball series as "The Show", developer San Diego Studios has steadily evolved a rock-solid core gameplay model to the stupidly high level of excellence it's at now. I honestly couldn't imagine how SCEA could elevate the series after playing last year's MLB 08. Sure, some oddities could be fixed, some new details could be added to online or franchise modes, but the game was already at such a high level, I expected the franchise to s...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Flawless game design, despite some obvious plot turns. 0

It says a lot for Dead Space that -- despite the derivative "alien outbreak" sci-fi storyline and cardboard characters -- it's still an incredible achievement. When the game design is this good, and so flawlessly executed, it's easy to forgive Dead Space's less-than-satisfying exposition. The story snob in me wishes the final "twists" weren't telegraphed so obviously (and then over-explained after the fact). The key relationship between you and your wife is also underdeveloped -- if you cared m...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.