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Saturday, 30 July 2011

Half-Life- 13 years old but still hella fun.

     Today I'll be reviewing the legendary FPS Half-Life, made by Valve back in 1998. Before you go "omg 13 yers ago ffs revew new gaems", I've been wanting to do this review for a while, since Half-Life was probably my first shooter and definately one of my favourite games of all time.

"HALF LIFE WAS THE BEST FPS OF ALL TIME! ALL TIME!"

     The game starts off with you playing the role of 27 year old Gordan Freeman, a scientist with a Ph.D in theoretical physics, as he heads toward his workplace: the Black Mesa research facility, stationed inside an abandoned missile lauch base. This makes it sound kinda like a Doctor Doom-esque evil lab and, well, thats because it sort of is. All kinda experiments go on at Black Mesa, but Gordan only has 1 job; to put on a "Hazard Suit" and put a strange crystal inside a big spinny-lightening-flashy thing.

The big spinny-lightening-flashy thing in question.

     Predictably, everything goes tits up and suddenly the whole facility is in a state of disrepair and aliens have appeared everywhere. Gordon wakes up, surprisingly unharmed, and stoically rips every alien in sight a second asshole. As you move closer to the surface in your desperate attempt to escape, however, it becomes clear that the government knows whats going on as soldiers are dropped into the facility. They're not there to help you, as they seem to be on a mission; kill everything. So, fighting aliens and soldiers like a complete badass, and rediscovering a creepy abandoned underground railway on the way, Gordon finally reaches the surface- only to be captured by soldiers. However, rather than "take you topside for questioning" they take all of your weapons and chuck you in a trash compactor as revenge for all the soldiers you killed before. You then have to climb out, find new weapons and escape from Black Mesa's waste treatment plant, and reach the surface again- quickly to discover that it to is also crawling with aliens and grunts. As you fight your way across the desert, you do some pretty epic things that are part of the day-job for Gordon, like take down several army helecopters and launch a satellite into orbit, supposedly stopping the aliens from teleporting in. Finally, you reach the heart of the facility- the Lambda Complex. This is where the teleportation research had taken place, and where you learn that the only way to stop the aliens is to teleport into the alien world, alone, and kill everything, including their giant floating leader.

All in an average days work for Gordon Freeman.

     After obviously succeeding in doing so, Gordon is whisked away by the mysterious "G-Man", a guy in a blue suit who has been watching you kill your way through the facility like a bespectacled Genghis Khan. He sounds kinda odd though, like English isnt his first language, and he gives you a choice; work for him and his superiors, or die. If you choose to work for him, you jump into a portal and the credits roll. However, if you dont, you are teleported back to the alien world, where an army awaits you- whilst you are unarmed. 

The G-Man's kinda creepy.

     The graphics, whilst almost laughable today, were mind blowing at a time when the original DOOM was thought to be "graphically advanced".  A couple of years ago, Valve ported the game to the source (HL2) engine: physics and dynamic shadows and water were included, and many textures spruced up- but the game still looked largely the same. However, a third party project named "Black Mesa Source" has been working on a complete remake of Half-Life with source graphics, and it looks simply stunning. Sadly, the remake has been in progress for nearly 6 years now and it's still far off from being finished- but when it is, I'll definately be one of the first to download it.

NOSTALGIA!

     The game has a wide variety of guns: from the legendary crowbar (Gordan Freeman's trademark weapon) to the radioactive tau cannon, there's a firearm to suit every occasion. The levels in the game are also highly varied, ranging from cramped labs to abandoned missile testing silos and scorching deserts. Being a 90s FPS, there are also a couple of "boss" aliens in the game, such as the Gargantua and the Tentacle.
 
 OH MY GOD WHAT THE F**K IS THAT.
 
     After recently replaying Half-Life for the first time in years, I was reminded why it had over 50 game of the year awards- the engaging combat, challenging gameplay (try completing it on hard, its rage inducing) and classical graphics make it as fun to play today as it was 13 years ago. You can grab it now on steam for only £6 ($10ish) and its totally worth every penny. I hope you enjoyed this review and, as always, if you like these things dont forget to leave a comment and follow me to show your support!

    

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Portal 1 & 2- new ways to see your own ass.

80% of guys would do this instantly.
 
     Today I'll be reviewing Portal and Portal 2, since they're similar in gameplay but different in story. In Portal you use, well, portals (who saw that coming) to navigate your way around puzzles which increase in difficulty as you go on. You can use them to redirect lasers, to gain momentum and even to suck your own dong if you want to (well, not really.)

Gabe uses it to get even closer to food.
 
     The series starts off in Portal 1, where you awake from a deep sleep in a "relaxation chamber" and are forced to complete a whole series of tests. Throughout you are treated like a lab-rat and instructed by a female voice, and watched through a series of cameras and viewing windows. Gameplay in the first game is fairly simple- there are 20 or so test rooms that you move through, making good use of portal physics, which get harder as you go until the last one, which pitches you into a lake of fire for your reward of "cake". Once you escape from that, however, things begin to get interesting. Weirdly, you never see a human scientist at all in the game, and it becomes apparent why at the end when you come face to face with the source of the female voice- a giant, murderous A.I. computer named GLaDoS, who had killed all of the Apeture Science employees, and has been trying to kill you.
 
  Darn it, I wanted that cake.
 
     The second game continues on from the last- after finally escaping the clutches of GLaDoS, you find yourself on the floor in the parking lot of Apeture Science laboratories, only to be dragged away by a robot who believes you to be in "the party submission position". You are put back into deep sleep and suddenly awoken by a strange, british robot named Wheatley, who wants your help to escape (again). It becomes clear quickly that something is wrong- the labs are in a state of disrepair and there are vines and plants everywhere, suggesting that you may have been asleep for a very long time. Once again you find the portal gun and try to get out of there, but not before you accidently awaken GlaDoS. I wont reveal any more after that, for I fear some readers wont have played Portal 2 yet, though I thoroughly advise you to do so- it really is an epic game.
 
No comment.

     Overall, the Portal series revived the puzzle genre of gaming in a big way- millions of people played the first game when it was released with Valve's Orange Box bundle, and it blew most of them away with how different and awesome it was- me included. Consequentially, Portal 2 was extremely hyped up, and for the first time in my experience, it totally lived up to my expectations. Truly, it is a masterpiece of gaming, combining humour, story and gameplay perfectly, and I would strongly advise anyone who hasnt played either of the Portal games to go out and buy them now- they're worth every penny. As always, I hope you found this review helpful, and leave a comment or follow me if you enjoyed reading it!

Just a tip- don't try this. You'd probably rip a hole in reality.
 
 

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Trials HD- where HD stands for HARD and DIFFICULT.

     Today I'll be reviewing the Xbox 360 arcade game called Trials HD. In Trials you pilot a choice of 5 different bikes through many different challenges and courses, which get steadily harder as the game goes on. The first few are kinda hard, but fun nonetheless. The last few are, well, beyond difficult. If you can get through an "ultimate" level on Trials HD without losing it at least once, you'd have to have the patience of a saint.

A bit like this, except with more FUUUUUUUUUUU-

     One set of challenges in Trials is to complete a whole range of courses, going up in diffuculty from "Easy" to "Ultimate". The courses hold many obstacles and make great use of the physics in the game, incorporating balance, speed and quick thinking into every puzzle. Whilst very hard, the game is also very rewarding- when you finally complete a hard course you feel like you've accomplished something, and the fact that your time is placed on a scoreboard to compare with your friends can also make it competitive. But, like I said, the end game courses are extremely difficult to complete, even with the helpful checkpoints littered throughout every level.

  Every ultimate level comes with plenty of this.

     There are also several other challenges to complete, ranging from using your bike to control a cage ball from the inside and on top to lauching your rider as far as possible in a messed up version of the ski jump. Apart from being highly amusing, these are also the most competitive of the challenges in the game- I for one spent a long time trying to beat my friends high scores on them. The only annoying part of these challenges is that they are prone to glitching, so most of the highscores are ridiculous due to game bugs, though the developer is slowly ironing them out.

The guys laughing makes it even better.

     The developers havent just been raking in the cash, however. There are now several DLCs available for the game, with new bikes and challenges to keep the game fun. Overall, Trials really is an awesome game- both entertaining and difficult at the same time; it's totally worth the £8 ($15ish) they are selling it for. I hope you found this review helpful and remember- if you like these things, dont forget to follow me and leave a comment to show your support!
 

Monday, 25 July 2011

Its over 1000!

Surprisingly, its also over 1000 as well as 9000.

     Pageviews reached 1000 today, and I'd just like to thank everyone who helped to get my blog to where it is by actually reading my stuff. To have over 1000 views in less than a month sure is gratifying, and I'll keep reviewing as long as you guys keep coming- keep it up!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Skate 3; Time-killing at it's finest.

     Today I'll be reviewing Skate 3, which unsurprisingly is a skateboarding game for the xbox 360 and PS3. Whilst the first two games were also fun, they both had different aspects to them which were combined in the third, so I will only be reviewing that one. The (loose) story to Skate 3 is that you, the legendary skater who took the scene by storm in the first 2 games, are setting up a skateboard company and so need a team of skateboarders to promote it. This involves the usual challenges, like doing certain lines or tricks for photos and videos to attract team members and get board sales, but also involves a new set of tasks called "Hall of Meat".

Basically alot of this.

     In the "hall of meat" challenges, you have to make your skater bail in the most harmful, creative and frankly hilarious ways in order to earn points, which are awarded for the speed of the crash, the number of bones broken, and a number of other things like amount of degrees spun and height fallen. This leads, as I've said, to some very funny gameplay, as shown in this video:

It gets funnier when you play with friends.

     The controls aren't exactly easy however- this aint no Tony Hawks Pro Skater. To control the board and do all kind of flips and spins, you have to use the analogue sticks- for example, to do a kickflip to have to push the right stick down and then up diagonally very quickly, and to spin your body you use the left stick. Whilst this can take a while to get used to, if you stick at it the controls are easily mastered and quickly make the game a whole new type of fun. You can either be ridiculous and just f**k around in the game, doing insane combos if you have quick thumbs, or you can be hyper realistic and set the game on "real" difficulty to act like a real skater.

Because if you can do this ingame, why would you want to try it in real life?
 
     The online mode is also alot of fun- you can set up freeskate lobbies with your friends and just skate around the vast and fun to ride game world, or create a team with your buddies and make awesome videos. The built in video editor is really cool, as if you just landed an awesome trick or perfected a great line, you can relive the moment by pressing pause and rewatching it- the game records as you play. You can then edit this footage and even upload it to the EA servers, where you can show it off and brag to all your friends. Not that you'll have many if you do it too often, but thats beyond the point.

Hey guys, check out this sweet tric- guys? Where'd you go?

     Overall I'd definately recommend Skate 3 if you want a different, fun game that really eats up the hours, never gets old and becomes even better when you play with friends. You can probably nab it now secondhand for like £10-£15 ($18-$30ish) and its definately worth it. I hope you found this review helpful, or at least enjoyable, and remember to follow me and leave a comment if you liked it!
 

Friday, 22 July 2011

I bet on duke, and I lost.

THIRTEEN YEARS.

     Today I'll be reviewing Duke Nukem Forever, the long awaited sequel of Duke Nukem 3D. In the 13 years of development (elongated by lack of developer and shortage of money, before being picked up by Gearbox software) the game acquired an almost cult following, and so in the months before release was hyped up beyond measure. Predictable, many people were disappointed by the final game and now many people say "omg worst game evar, 13 years and we get this crap omg". This is dumb, so I'll be reviewing it in a less biased way than many other places.

     The game starts off with Duke playing his own game, which includes killing aliens, kicking a field goal with an eye, and even taking a whizz. 

 F**k yeah realism!- wait, what?

      It's then revealed, by two twins who had been giving Duke a BJ (sigh), that Duke is to appear on national TV to give an interview about himself, and how awesome he is. Sadly, before he can give the interview, the earth comes under attack by the same aliens that Duke had bested twice before ('cause they're just that dumb), so he sets out to save the day once again.

They never learn.

     For an FPS, DNF may be a little dated, but it's still quite a lot of fun to play. There are a wide-ish selection of guns that all have their own strengths and weaknesses, as well as being effective against different enemies. Instead of a healthbar, Duke has an "ego" meter which goes down if he gets damaged, but goes back up if he kills aliens. Sadly, running away and hiding also replenishes his ego bar, despite retreat not being a very morale boosting thing. A cool thing about ego, however, is that it can be permanently increased by interacting with the game world- for example, Duke can boost his ego by admiring himself in the mirror, or beating the high score on his pinball game. Whilst not essential to beat the game, this interactivity makes DNF unique in a way.

For example, drawing a penis in this kids autograph book definately boosts Dukes's ego.

     Overall, whilst DNF might be a bit of a disappointment as a game, it's definately alot of fun as an experience. Ofcourse it was never going to be as good as the hype made it out to be, but nevertheless it's still a solid, playable game. If it's not worth a buy, it's at least worth a download. I hope you found this review helpful, if not entertaining, and remember; if you like what you read, follow me and leave a comment!
 

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

No post- but hey, I got 50 followers now!

     Sorry for missing another day guys, had a driving lesson and then went out for the night with friends to see the new Harry Potter movie, which was pretty cool. On a better note, I've reached 50 followers! Thanks for all the support, it really motivates me to keep making these reviews. As is custom, I beg for you forgiveness with this stupidly bad pun (Harry Potter themed, for sh*ts and giggles):

Geddit? 'Cause he's "Sirius Black". No? Goddamnit.


Monday, 18 July 2011

Minecraft; if you hear SsSsSsS, RUN AWAY.

True story.

     Today I'll be reviewing Minecraft, a sandbox type building game where you collect resources during the day and cower in your shelter at night. Minecraft is kinda like marmite- you either love it or hate it. Its simplistic graphics and controls makes it easy for people to build and have fun, but to others this is a big let down. Seeing as the game is entirely wrote in javascript, I don't think the graphics are that bad.

Okay, maybe they are a bit crappy.

     There is no objective or story to Minecraft- you simple have to survive. In the daytime, no monsters spawn and you can do as you please above the ground, with only pigs, ducks, cows and sheep to annoy you with their incessant baying. However, as night falls, things start to get creepy. All kinds of stuff begins to spawn, like wolves, spiders and skeletons which all attack you on sight. Thankfully, when morning comes most of these monsters die as the sun burns them- apart from spiders and creepers. Spiders become docile in the daylight, but creepers are as annoying as ever- they explode if you get too close, which can lead to some sticky situations.

  Wise words.

     Everytime you start a new world in Minecraft a map is randomly generated around your spawnpoint, making mountains, lakes and caves. As you explore this world, more is generated, meaning no two worlds are the same. This leads to some awesome exploration and scenery, with huge cave formations and epic mountain ranges to look at. 

  Check out that pixelated beauty.

     Minecraft also as a multiplayer option, where people band together on servers to explore and build in a new world. Or, as most often happens, to backstab eachother constantly and destroy eachothers buildings in a process known as "griefing". However, when minecrafters work together sucessfully, something beautiful is born.

 IT'S. . . MAGNIFICENT.

     Overall, Minecraft sure is a fun game, though over time it can become a bit boring, and for what it is it aint cheap; it's only in beta and yet it costs £13 ($29ish), with prices only set to rise as it moves toward the finished product. There are many cracked versions floating about the internet, and the creator of minecraft (Notch) promotes pirating of the game, endorsing a "try it before you buy it" approach, so if you're not going to buy it, its definately worth a download.

     I hope you enjoyed this review as well as finding it helpful, and remember: if you like this reviews, leave a comment or follow my blog! 

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Dead Spac- OH MY GOD WHAT THE F**K IS THAT THING?

     Today I'll be reviewing Dead Space, a 3rd person survival shooter horror (try saying that 5 times quickly.) The game is set in the far future, where space ships regularly travel far and wide to find minerals and ores on distant planets. You are Isaac Clarke, an engineer sent to find one of these space ships and find out why it stopped communicating back home. However, as soon as you reach the ship, things go tits up, in a big way.

HOLY SH*T.

     It seems as if the ship has become infested with some kind of alien parasite, infecting all the crew and turning them into monsters. However, this is no problem to nerdy engineer Isaac, as he quickly pulls out a variety of tools and promptly kicks 2 types of sh*t into every alien he meets in the tradition of all nerdy protagonists everywhere (I'm looking at you, Gordon Freeman.)

I don't see any similarities. At all. Nope.

     As the game is third person, you play as if you were looking over Isaac's shoulder, which can lead to some viewing difficulty at times but it's not too bad. The really cool thing about this game, though, is the fact that there is no heads up display (or HUD). Instead, on the back of Isaac's engineering suit there is a chain of lights along his spine, which represents his health, and all guns/tools have an ammo counter on them. Ammo and healthpacks are managed in the inventory screen, which Isaac displays as a hologram in front of him. However, opening the inventory doesn't pause the screen like in other games, so you're still open to attack when you're organising everything like an OCD sufferer. 

Right, so the ammo goes in that corner- OH SH*T MY HEAD JUST GOT RIPPED OFF.

     Another neat thing about this game is the number of ways you can die. No, seriously. EA spent a long time creating hundreds of different death animations, so that each time you die you are treated to a new type of dismemberment. The horror doesn't stop there- EA also created a whole new system which switches up the ambient lighting and noises every time you start a new game. This means that a corridor that was fully lit the first time you played the game could be pitch black the second time round, and new noises could be heard just to sh*t you up.

     Dead Space 2 is much of the same, except there are several new suits to buy along with new guns and even more terrifying monsters. It also got alot more bloody, as these mothers will attest you:

  "It's bloody, it's violent- it's everything you love in a game." EA, u so crazy.
     I hope you enjoyed this review, and hell, maybe it made you wanna go buy it, who knows. If you like what you're reading don't forget to leave a comment and follow me for more. Oh, and I definately gonna be doing reviews every other day now, but I might post something inbetween for fun.
 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Spore- be like a god, or just make huge d**ks.

Okay, seriously guys?
 
     Today I'll be reviewing Spore, a game where you play as "evolution" and work your way from a single cell to a whole species, capable of space exploration. Although this may sound fun, it does get pretty repetitive and boring over time.
 
     The first thing you do when you start up a new game is choose whether your species will be herbivores or carnivores, and this affects what kind of mouth parts your creature will have. As a single cell you must eat other cells or plant cells to survive, and then breed with other cells in your species to get to the next level of evolution, where you can add new body parts. This continues until you reach the multi-cell stage, and you become a kind of fish. Then you repeat the same process- eat, mate, evolve- untill you have enough "evolution" points to add legs to your species. Then you crawl onto land and repeat the same process, and then you learn to stand and move onto a new level of evolution, where you repeat the same proces- and so on.
 
  Kinda like this, except it doesnt get better as it goes on.
 
     Whilst this can get very tedious, the main fun part in the game is the designing of your species. You can make almost any monstrosity you can think of, and watch it walk around as you laugh like Dr. Doom. Here are a few of my favourites:
 
The internet's ability to make a penis out of anything still warms my heart.
 
     To be honest, Spore was a big letdown on all fronts. The creature creator was fun and the first couple of stages were enjoyable but overall the game is just too repetitive to be fun in the long run. As always, I hope you enjoyed this review and comment/follow me if you like reading them!
 
 Its worth a download for sh*ts and giggles.
 

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

New revie- oh wait, there isn't one. AGAIN.

   Sorry guys, no review today, had driving lessons and then gym to attend to. May actually make these reviews once every other day, so there'll definately be one tomorrow. As is tradition (read: I've done it before, may as well do it again) here is a bad pun to make up for my ineptitude:

Hey, I said it would it bad.

 

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Audiosurf- its like acid, without the drugs.

WOAAAH DUDE IM TRIPPIN' OOOUUUUT

     Today I'll be reviewing Audiosurf, an indy game available on steam for around £5-£6. The game visualizes any music you choose from your computer and lets you "ride" it. It has varying difficulty levels, from collecting single colour blocks and dodging gray ones to collecting many different colours whilst using the grays to block other grays with another ship to control as well.

 If it looks complicated, its because it is.

     The graphics in the game are colourful, bright and extremely trippy. In slow songs they relax you, but in fast songs (like drum and bass) your screen turns into a clusterf**k of colour and lights, which is totally awesome for some- but also sucks if you have epilepsy. In fact, this game is so prone to causing fits that it has a disclaimer before you start, warning those who are sensative to flashing lights to stop playing, or they'll probably die.

  Video game, dodging court cases since 1985.

     Whilst this game may seem boring and a waste of money to some, I find it hugely entertaining- I can play it for hours and then just gape at it for longer in its visualizer mode, which is awesome as it is also so cheap! It has has a big cult following, with pages of high scores on the net, and some people are so good at the game that it's almost unreal:

Nope, I dont get whats going on either.

     As always, I hope you found this review helpful, and if you like these reviews, comment and follow me!
 

Monday, 11 July 2011

Counter Strike:Source-The original nerdrage game.

Been there, done that.

     Today I'll be reviewing Counter Strike:Source, a game made by valve. It's based off the original 3rd party mod called Counter Strike, which is exactly the same but with graphics from 1998.  The game is only multiplayer, so there's no story apart of the obvious "KILL EVERYBODY", "PLANT TEH BOMB" or sometimes "KIL- I MEAN SAVE THE HOSTAGES."

 Sack-taps are obviously insta-kill.

     The maps in the game are well thought out and designed to make the game as fun as possible. Which really means they make you as angry as possible, with all the camping spots available and plenty of blind corners so the other team can f**k your sh*t up. At the beginning of each round, every person must purcahse equipment from a buying menu, which includes guns, body armour and ammo. A normal game consists of 3 or 4 rounds of terrorists versus counter-terrorists, and the main objective of each team is to eliminate eachother. However, terrorists can also plant a bomb in some matches to win, and counter terrorists can also save hostages in certain maps to win. 

 These are the hostages. No, seriously.

     As the game as been around so long, and as valve have several self made modding kits, the game is extensivly modified. There are thousands of different skins you can use, from different gloves in FP view to different player models and guns. There are also several different map types, from the usual de_ (bomb maps) and cs_ (hostage maps) to zm_ (zombie survival maps, with a completely different set of objectives and teams). You can also play on a "deathmatch" server, where there are no rounds and you respawn instantly, which can be alot of fun. Sadly, modders fall into the same trap as they do in every game when it comes to skins.

 Is this seriously necessary?

     Thanks for reading this review, and sorry for the lack of any good posts on the weekend- it was a busy one! CS:S is availabe for £10 (or $20ish)  on steam right now, and the original CS is around £5 (or $10ish). Its definately worth buying, though it does have a steep learning curve.
 

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Another day, another revie- wait, what?

    Sorry for the absense of a review today guys, been kinda busy with gym and then a surprise trip to see the new Transformers movie- which is awesome, by the way. I beg for you forgiveness and provide for you this extremely bad pun as a present:

Geddit? "Winter of our discontent"? Hahaha- wait, nobody is laughing.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Nico, it's your cousin Roman! Do you want to play GTA:IV?

F**K OFF ROMAN
 
     Today I'll be reviewing Grand Theft Auto 4, which is an open ended, 3rd person shooter/driving game. The GTA series are more well known for being giant piss around games, where 90% of the time you just drive around killing people, stealing cars and picking up hookers. This makes them extremely fun to play alone and with friends. GTA:IV is no exception, and whilst it may claim to be more realistic and grittier than past GTAs, I find it just as fun.
 
 Because running people over never gets old.
 
     The story revolves around an ex-military, Eastern European man named Niko Bellic. He has travelled to Liberty City to stay with his cousin, Roman, who has tempted him with the "American Dream." However, Niko also had other reasons to leave his home country- he had been set up by a money lender, and was wanted dead. As the game goes on, Niko finds out that American isn't at all what it's cut out to be and he is sucked into the dirty underworld of mobs and mafias, and he becomes a hitman of sorts. In the game you'll end up killing many gangsters, driving many fast cars and overall acting like a massive badass.
 
  He's definately up there with Chuck Norris for the sheer size of his European balls.
 
     Combat in the game uses a cover system similar to the ones used in Gears of War and Rainbow 6 Vegas- you can blindfire as well as lean out and shoot. The game also uses melee weapons like knives and baseball bats, and of course Niko's fists. The real gem of GTA:IV though is the driving. There are many cars, bikes or even vans to drive around, and all of them drive realistically, and have believable physics- for example, if you try and handbrake turn around a corner going 90, you will roll over, and if you crash into a wall at speed Niko explodes out of the windscreen as he is chucked out of his seat. The same applies for any NPC drivers who are just too damn stupid to stop.
 
Apparently cabbies in Liberty city dont believe in seatbelts.
 
     One drawback of the game, however, is the whole new social side. If you want to have trustworthy companions in the game, you have to spend time doing boring sh*t with them like bowling or playing darts. A typical example of annoying companion is Roman, who will call you in the most annoying times and ask you to go bowling. Luckily, not all companions are as annoying as Roman, and many provide you with side missions or jobs which will earn you money and respect from that companion.
 
     Overall, GTA:IV is definately a good game, but also very different to its predecessor, San Andreas. Instead of huge maps and lots of crazy stuff happening, Rockstar have made GTA:IV much more believable and realistic, whilst still keeping the traditional past time known as "F**cking about on GTA" possible with the introduction of physics, which modders love as it lets them do this:
 

    WHAT THE F**K IS GOING ON
 
    Thanks for reading this review, and I hope you enjoyed it. Dont forget to follow me and comment on my stuff if you like these reviews, I would appreciate it!

Thursday, 7 July 2011

*beeboop*New review available: RollerCoaster Tycoon

Dat coaster.

     Here is the long awaited Roller Coaster Tycoon review. RCT is a theme-park simulator, where you are given a plot of land that may or may not already have some rides/scenery on it and told to make it into a proper themepark. Similar to the STALKER review, I'll be covering all 3 RCT games (even though the 3rd one totally sucked, except for making amazing coasters coasters.) These games let you design your own rides, which of course leads onto some of the most epic rollercoaster creations ever seen, and a load of other cool stuff too.

 Holy sh*t.

     RCT1 was the first in the series, and the one I spent most time on as a kid. You had a long list of themepark scenarios to complete, moving up in difficulty as you went on. The objectives were all kinda similar- to have a certain number of people in the park by a certain date, with a park rating (how good the guests thought your park was) above a certain point. It doesn't sound like much fun in writing but jesus, you could play it all day and never get bored. The game let you use your imagination to create crazy new rollercoasters, but you also had to cater for the guests- they need to eat and use the bathroom, so you had to build stalls and toilets around your park. Some guests also didnt like big scary rollercoasters, so you had to build more gentle rides for them- like merry-go-rounds and haunted houses. I always found it fun to create a pretty, orderly park, but you could pretty much build your rides anywhere as long as the guests could find them.

 Now thats a nice park, all tidy-
 MY HEAD HURTS.
     RCT2 was pretty similar to the first game, but it had a few less scenarios. However, their victory conditions were harder- sometimes you had to have a certain amount of money, or park value, by a certain time, as well as the usual conditions from RCT1. What RCT2 included that was really cool was a rollercoaster editor, where you could make and save your own rollercoasters with no money limit. I always had fun with this, but some people on youtube went mega crazy with it:

 "MOMMY I WANNA GO ON THAT ONE!"

    Sadly, RCT3 was a huge disappointment (for me, anyway.) Atari had noticed the success of the first two games, both made by a Scottish guy called Chris Sawyer, and threw money at him until he game them the rights to the game. Rather than using the same graphics as the first two games (which Sawyer made entirely out of assembly language and C code), they chose some happy go lucky colour pallette and made the graphics "ultra realistic".

 Even Morrowind has better graphics than this.

     Being a big fan of the whole isometric 2d graphics of the first two games, I was a bit put off by this. Atari then continued to the butcher the game by completely changing the whole scenario setup and introducing "difficulty level" by basically making the victory requirements higher as you completed more scenarios. I could go on about how much I dislike the game, but I'm not gonna bore you with my opinion, as many people think it's the best of the series. However, I wont dispute the fact that it is the best game in the series for making insane rollercoasters, especially since you can get inside the oasters and ride that sh*t. This first person view was awesome. It added a whole new level of fun to the game, and rollercoaster designers loved it as they could design the whole coaster to look good from the seat view, letting them cut corners on design. The result? Some truly awesome designs:

Again, holy sh*t.

     Sadly, you can only find these games online, as they are all pretty old; RCT1 came out in 1999, which is 12 years ago. The fact that I still play it today speaks volumes about how great these games are. If you can find them on the net, BUY THEM. If you can't. . . 

Piracy is your friend.