Showing posts with label IGN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IGN. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Game Reviews: IGN's Vampyr Review





Developer Dontnod's tale of a vampire doctor is elevated by a lot of great story, characters, and world-building, but its systems and technical hiccups weigh it down.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Games on the AVE: IGN Reviews NBA 2K13


Available onPS3 & Xbox 360






Competition, according to free market economic principles, makes the dueling products better as each pushes to outdo the other. And thus, we consumers are the ultimate winners. But what if your chief – and really, only – rival kept finding new and astounding ways to spin out, leaving you as the only car on the road? Would you kick back, ease off the gas a bit, and set the cruise control? Would you keep the pedal to the metal anyway? Or would you drop the top, start turning down new streets, and see where the open road takes you?
NBA 2K13 unquestionably takes the latter path, lacing the latest version of its annual basketball simulation with wild features that, rest assured, take nothing away from the already stellar pro-hoops gameplay. Some of the new additions are great, while others you can live without, but, in the end, 2K13 is the pinnacle of basketball gaming on this generation of consoles.
A Court Fit for a King
2K13 has the cajones to mess with its tried-and-true simulation gameplay a bit. The pacing, flow, and feel all remain impeccable. The post-up game is not only playable but enjoyable. The big change is the right thumbstick-based Dribble Stick, which marries the Freestyle controls of last generation’s NBA Live titles with the existing NBA 2K Isomotion control scheme. Shooting is now accomplished by pulling in LT/L2 in combination with a right stick directional press. It certainly takes getting used to given the years of shooting without an additional trigger pull, and odds are you will, like me, occasionally forget and fail to take a wide open shot you meant to attempt. But you’ll eventually get used to it and grow to like the added dribble controls, as they’re not nearly as arcade-y as they were in NBA Live’s heyday, but still add an extra layer of player control to the gameplay.
2K13’s biggest problem – particularly with the Dribble Stick – is that none of its new features are explained well, if they’re explained at all. You’re never given a proper tutorial on the critical new dribble moves. Rather, the first time you start up the game, you’re treated to a screen that essentially says, “You can control your dribble with the right stick now. Wiggle it and see what happens!” So too are Signature Skills practically kept shrouded in secrecy unless you study the list of them in the main menu.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Games on the AVE: IGN Reviews NHL 13








Also available on PS3





NHL 13 might be the only game in town this year for hockey fans. The threat of an imminent lockout leaves the latest addition to the long-lived EA Sports franchise as the lone outlet for puckheads through what could be a long and lonely fall and winter of listening to talk about salary caps and revenue sharing instead of the more agreeable slap of stick against puck. Thankfully, neither Gary Bettman nor Donald Fehr is in the game, despite what EA Sports' famous tagline claims. But things are in a holding pattern here just as in the real NHL's labor negotiations. This is a bit of a stay-the-course release, although there are some impressive additions under the hood, such as a superb new skating physics engine and smarter artificial intelligence. Some issues with the AI and the lack of noteworthy new features are disappointing, however, making this something less than a revolutionary improvement over NHL 12.
With all that said, it can't be denied that NHL 13 is a great hockey game when taken strictly on its own merits. Realism is the cornerstone of just about everything that happens on the ice. Players skate, shoot, slash, and brawl just like they do in the real NHL. Playing positionally sound hockey is a necessity, as is some sort of understanding of the actual game and the ins and outs of the NHL. If you need to Google what a diamond is or have no idea that cycling here does not involve wearing really tight shorts, you might want to do some reading before picking up a gamepad. This looks like an arcade hockey game, but it plays a lot like a simulation when the puck is dropped.
Features and frills are so numerous that you expect the game disc to bulge out of the box. There are modes of play for every taste. You can play single games, tournaments, and full careers, with most options being available online and off. As in NHL 12, you can take over franchises, set yourself up as a GM, create a player to lead from the junior leagues to the big leagues, take over a legend and try to lead him (or her--two female stars have been included this year for the first time alongside male greats like Gretzky and, um, Roenick) to greatness again in today's NHL, and much more.
Hockey Ultimate Team is back for a second season of card-collecting, micropaymenty goodness, and a new GM Connected mode of play supports up to 750 people playing in online leagues in nearly every role imaginable, from front-office boss to first-string goalie. The new NHL Moments Live borrows a trick from Madden and puts you in historic situations. There you have to either live up to what legendary stars like Gretzky and Gilmour accomplished in classic contests or finish off games by mimicking the highlight reels.
Another tweak is with the ratings system, which has been revised to rate players on a universal scale by position. This removes the confusing system from last year, which scored players based on how good they were in their individual roles. This inflated the overall ratings of marginal players who were good performers in their jobs, most notably tough guys. This year, goons have been dialed back to sensible numbers. Still, the ratings are odd in spots and still skew high for the most part. Whoever handled the ratings played some favorites. There is no other way to explain the declining Alex Ovechkin clocking a 93 as the second-best player in the game.
Some players also get dinged unfairly. It's hard to believe that Phil Kessel wound up with a lousy 86 after his 82-point season, especially when the likes of Mike Richards scored 87 with just 44 points in arguably his worst regular season in the NHL (nice ending, though). Stars are a little too dominant in general and have been given ratings more by history or reputation than current performance. Ryan Getzlaf and more than a few others haven't been this good or this motivated in the real NHL in a few years. Still, most players in the game perform in a true-to-life fashion.
Depressingly, none of the new features in NHL 13 amount to much. Changes to the standard modes of play include such dull additions as the ability to demand a trade in Be a Pro and some supposedly revised AI in the trade logic in Be a GM. Those AI revisions were insufficient, though; you can still rook the opposition into absurd trades by loading up on quantity to get quality. Revamped player ratings clear up some confusion but are not stop-the-presses material. The two new female "legends"--Hayley Wickenheiser and Angela Ruggiero--add an interesting twist to Be a Legend, although they add little glitz to the already disappointing lineup of hockey stars.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Gaming News: IGN Reviews Payday: The Heist





This title is also available on PS3


Heists figure into some of the most legendary plots in movie history, and now with Payday: The Heist, this cinematic trope becomes an interesting shooter concept. Overkill Software has done a great job with this innovative idea, which throws up to four players into robberies modeled along the lines of those depicted in flicks like Ocean's Elevenand Heat. The PC/PlayStation 3 game is geared for multiplayer, although the artificial intelligence is good enough that you can play solo without missing out on too much of the crazed intensity offered up by robbing banks and shooting it out with the cops who invariably want to stop you from making off with any ill-gotten gains.



Friday, October 07, 2011

Gaming News: IGN Reviews Spider-Man: Edge of Time



This title is available on Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3

Oh what a tangle web we weave, when first we practice to deceive. That sentiment, sadly, also applies to Edge of Time. It fails rather spectacularly to capitalise upon the potential of last year's Shattered Dimensions. Despite coming from the same developer, Beenox, it unstitches most of the things Shattered Dimensions did so well, creating a game that is in so many respects an unworthy follow-up. 
Whilst not a direct sequel to Shattered Dimensions, Edge of Time follows two of its protagonists – The Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. And the plot is fairly straightforward. In 2099, crazed scientist Walker Sloan, using experimental technology, travels back in time to establish the nefarious Alchemax corporation back in the 1970's.



He succeeds and time splinters, creating an alternate universe. In the process the original Peter Parker dies at the tentacular hands of Anti-Venom. So Spider-Man 2099 dragoons Peter Parker from the new, alternate timeline to help him rectify reality. Got it? Although this may read like an epic backdrop for a game, with the fate of the universe and the life of Spider-Man himself at stake, the way in which it is rendered makes it feel anything but. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Gaming News: IGN Reviews NBA 2K12




This title is also availale on PS3 and PC


NBA 2K12 has three different covers highlighting the athletes that define basketball (though most gamers will see the Michael Jordan cover, marking the second year in a row his Airness takes the spot). But it's about a lot more than MJ this year. Last year's Jordan Challenges were the highlight of the game, but 2K12's NBA's Greatest mode trumps it. Michael Jordan is back, and along with him come Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Hakeem Olajuwon, Scottie Pippen, and 10 other basketball greats. They're matched up in games against other basketball legends such as the '93 Hornets, Dikembe Mutombo and Shaq with the Orlando Magic. Every team you play as and against is unlockable, letting you pit the greatest players of the last 40-plus years against the stars of today. Want to see Dwight Howard go head to head against Shaq in his prime? Of course you do because that's awesome.



Each game gets the full presentational treatment. (You're going to hear a lot about presentation in this review, because NBA 2K12's is astounding.) The games are treated like television broadcasts from the era, so Bill Russel's mid-'60s Celtics game is in black and white. The announcers treat the games like playbacks, talking about your performance as if it already happened and sharing trivia about the players.

Last year, two of the biggest complaints were the cheap defensive AI and the alien looking players. NBA 2K12 improves on both counts, but it's not perfect. The defense never lets up and will take advantage on every play if you let them. They still occasionally become psychic (my favorite was Dallas Mavericks center Brendan Haywood executing a perfect backhanded block without ever turning around to see me coming in for the layup), but it's rarer. The fact is that you're given so much more control of your footwork and shots, that it's up to you to get around the defense, because the game won't do it for you anymore. Choosing which hand to shoot the layup from or which way to fake before a jump shot makes or breaks every point in the game, and NBA 2K12 give you full control. It takes a little while to get fully accustomed to, but the amount of control you have is incredible.



Bonus: Here's 2K12's commercial featuring Michael Jordan and Drake !

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gaming News: IGN Reviews NHL 12







EA Sports' NHL 11 reached the pinnacle of hockey gaming last year by featuring the most enjoyable and most accurate arcade simulation of the sport ever made. So where do you go from there? NHL 12 answers that question with a range of subtle refinements and additions that improve play on the ice in a number of ways, as well as add new features like being able to skate as a number of NHL greats. This game won't be the most necessary sequel that you'll ever buy, but chances are good that you won't regret laying down the cash after spending a few games enjoying the new offensive and defensive player positioning, checking out the new CHL league support, or working a give-and-go with Gordie Howe. 

Normally we bring you guys the video reviews of video games from our current fave video game site, Gamespot. But todays video review is brought to you by IGN



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