Archive for the ‘Video Games’ Category

Mass effect 2 : an unbiased full review

February 11, 2010

When i look for game reviews, i look for a straight forward conclusion first, i go ahead and read details only if i choose to later, most reviewers always keep talking nonsense for the first two pages and go into irrelevant,almost-guide-like details maybe to get more google ads exposure etc…

This review will be straight to the point, and will be from a point of view of a veteran gamer made for veteran gamers, if you are new to video games or play casually, this will probably make no sense to you and you will probably think it is harsh, but you should know later on that this is not. Also in this review, i will try not to repeat what has already been said millions of times on hundreds of reviews…

First of all, lets define things and call them what they are :

1- Cinematic and cut scenes have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with an RPG game, especially with the RP part of it.

2-even if cinematics and cut scenes are greate, they still have ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the value of an RPG.

that being said, Mass effect 2 has indeed outstanding cut scenes, an excellent story but an almost non existent RPG value, why is it still called ab RPG? i have no idea, and i am surprises that most if not all professional reviewers missed such a huge point.

PROS:

+ Excellent production values, outstanding cut scenes, voice acting etc… Hollywood box office worthy.

+ stable, the game have very few to no hick ups at all, impressive for such a large title.

+ superb storyline and unique characters

CONS:

NO, Zero, Nada, Zilch RPG value, characters are non customizable, relevant items can be counted on fingers. Mass effect 2 has almost no customization, both your armor and weapon choices are as limited as in any FPS, actually, many FPS and Action games have a better customization than ME2.

Exploration is pathetic, you have a ship and a crew but cant fight nobody unless there is a story? why not put random mobs on random planets?

Linear closed world, you can only go in one and only direction?! what happened to the open world idea?

no more driving and vehicle combat? is this an upgrade or a nurf?

PC Version Specifics:

Once again, the PC versions gets dumbed down thanks to the console’s hardware limits and Bioware is giving PC owners a strong message of  “we really don’t care much about you guys” in form of a mod-less title with very average textures and with very limited body meshes. The PC version could have easily been a mega hit if it was :

– moddable

-with an open world

-with vehicle combat

-with larger squad

-with better textures / graphics

but unfortunately it is not the case, im wondering why is this a different game? to me it felt like an expansion or a DLC that added some features and subtracted other features like vehicles etc…

the PC version is important because it gives an extra life span to the title, even if you play the console version, it is always a crisp sweet idea that you can revisit your game on the moddable PC version where you can experiment with a lot of new content. an accurate example would be comparing ME1 to Dragon Age Origins, while the first one is long dead and buried, DAO has an alive and growing online community of players, modders and enthusiasts who are still getting creative by adding new stuff day after day.

i see a lot of people screaming “how a great is ME2” and i agree, ME2 is indeed a great action title that shouldn’t be missed, but lets not forget that ME2 could have been 10x better as it is right now if Bioware gave its RPG part what it deserves, they could have just made it as good as any average RPG out there and it could have added a lot to the game, also, they could have given the PC version a little more love and less indifference by making it moddable, open worlded and better looking.

to be continued…

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Dragon Age: Origins – Review

December 23, 2009
Dragon Age: Origins review table

Dragon Age: Origins review table

Briefly, Dragon age is a good game, artistically great looking but not as good as we expected it to be technically.

this is a simple and straight to the point Dragon Age Origins review, nothing fancy but critical nonetheless…

Pros:

+the music is impressive and nicely present.

+the voice cast and cut scenes are very well done.

+the plot (as far as i went) and quests are well designed.

+tactical combat and commanding/ micro managing all team characters is an impressive  and fancy feature.

Cons:

-invisible walls are all over, that kills the immersion (unacceptable for a 2009 RPG)

-graphics are average at best (especially on PCs), although artistically, the game looks great

-the learning curve could be very horizontal – lack of in game tutorials

-characters body’s all look the same / very average character creator

Call of duty: Modern warfare 2 – Review

December 22, 2009

About The PC vs Console dilemma

December 22, 2009

In recent years, the gap and rupture between PC and consoles as gaming platforms have grown even bigger and more complicated than ever.

as i mentioned earlier about modern warfare 2 (MW2), this game is a perfect example in this context, MW2 was (is still) no doubt an outstanding game on consoles (PS3 and XBox360) however, on the PC platform, the game is technically not only outdated but also a rollback for the genre altogether !

more than 3 years ago, PC gamers enjoyed (and still enjoying) Battle Field 2 (as an example) , an online military shooter where players can have their own dedicated servers and where they can compete on teams of 32 vs 32 . yes that was more than 3 years ago.

MW2 does not allow dedicated servers and limits the online experience to only 9 vs 9 – which is, and from a PC player perspective nothing short of pathetic.

yes, the game sold a plethora of copies even on the PC platform and thats of course because besides those technical limitations, the game is a great deal of action coupled with a lot of controversy…  which makes almost everyone wanna try it no matter what and even if he knows that he will only play it for a few days…

video games specialized websites like IGN.com have done a very poor job in this area, they gave MW2 an almost perfect score on consoles (9.5) which is allegedly well deserved, but surprisingly gave it the same score on PC which was a shock to almost all PC players without exceptions.

for consoles, MW2 was a leap forward in every aspect, but for PCs it was as i said before, a leap backward technically and the graphics were very average (many many PC title look much better),  for a PC gamer, the only part worth playing in MW2 was the single player controversial  campaign, the multi player part could impress a young PC gamer, but for veterans who actually played hardcore online shooter like BF2, MW2 was not to consider.

About video games reviews

December 22, 2009

Briefly and without going into useless details, among many others, i feel that video games reviewing sites are getting biased more and more, you can read any major title review on any major website to see that most of the review text is some kind of a set of forced fabricated sentences only worthy to be on a tv add instead of a review, take for example call of duty modern warfare 2, the game is no doubt good, but for PC gamers it was mostly a downgrade from what they had 3 years ago ! yet, it got the same score of 9+ out of ten almost all over the specialized web sites (IGN.com etc…) save a few like gamespot.com who actually gave it a 8.5

In order to not be one of those who just surface to complain before returning to the abyss of silence again, i decided to at least try and make some difference by writing my own reviews, obviously im not gonna be able to write a review for each game out there myself, but i will no doubt write at least one for every major game as i consider myself a very mainstream gamer.