Showing posts with label game consoles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label game consoles. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Games on the AVE: Gamespot reviews Grand Theft Auto 5

Also available on Xbox 360 and Windows PC





Where do you begin talking about Grand Theft Auto V? Do you start with the vast, varied, beautiful open world? Do you start with the innovative structure that gives you three independent protagonists you can switch between on the fly? Maybe you talk about the assortment of side activities you can engage in, or the tremendous number of ways in which you can go about making your own fun. Or perhaps you dive right into the game’s story problems, or its serious issues with women. GTA V is a complicated and fascinating game, one that fumbles here and there and has an unnecessary strain of misogynistic nastiness running through it. But it also does amazing things no other open-world game has attempted before, using multiple perspectives to put you in the thick of cinematic heist sequences and other exhilarating, multi-layered missions like no open-world game before. Those perspectives come courtesy of Michael, Franklin, and Trevor. Michael’s a former criminal who’s dissatisfied with his current life of privilege and relaxation. His marriage is on the rocks and he struggles to connect with his shallow daughter Tracey, who dreams of making it big in reality TV, and with his lazy, entitled son Jimmy, who spends most of his time spouting hate-filled trash talk while playing video games online. Franklin’s a talented young driver and repo man who doesn’t seem to have too many opportunities to move up in the world, until he has a chance meeting with Michael. Michael finds Franklin easier to connect with than his own children, and he promptly takes him under his wing and ushers him into a life of big-time crime.
And then there’s Trevor, a former friend and business associate of Michael’s who is now a methamphetamine entrepreneur living in a desert town north of Los Santos. Trevor’s a truly horrible, terrifying, psychotic human being--and a terrific character. He possesses a chilling combination of intelligence and insanity, and he’s so monstrously violent and frightening at times that he almost makes the other two protagonists seem well-adjusted by comparison. Exceptional voice acting and animation help make Trevor a character you will never, ever forget, even though you might want to.
When circumstances reunite the long-estranged Trevor and Michael, the tensions between them complicate the entire group dynamic; Michael, Trevor and Franklin may work together, but they don’t always get along. Their dialogue is sharp and snappy and it’s usually a joy to watch them interacting with each other, but unfortunately, the characters sometimes behave in ways that don’t feel consistent. For instance, Franklin takes the moral high ground in an argument with a paparazzo, then casts his reservations aside to help him take degrading photos of a female celebrity. And when Trevor shows up in Michael’s life after an extended absence, the speed with which the two start working together again is at odds with their deep-seated reservations about each other.
Perhaps most troubling is a mission in which you’re instructed to torture a man. Trevor states that torture doesn’t work, and the person ordering the torture is an arrogant and corrupt government official, suggesting that the scene is meant to be a critical commentary on the United States’ use of waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation” methods. But the fact that Trevor (and you, if you want to progress through the story) tortures the man regardless, and that he does end up spilling more information as a result, sends a very different message. These moments of hypocrisy and inconsistency diminish the otherwise strong characters; it feels like they are leaping into situations not because it's what they would actually want to do, but because the mission design demands that they must.
Thankfully, the missions are frequently incredible, which makes it a bit easier to overlook the occasional contradictions in character behavior, if not the mixed political messages. The high points of the game are the heists, big jobs planned by Michael and the gang. These jobs usually give you a few different options for how you want to approach a situation, and your choice completely changes how the heist plays out. On one job, for instance, one option has you posing as a janitor to infiltrate a building and plant bombs, then triggering the bombs and entering the building with your crew disguised as firefighters. The other, more direct option involves parachuting onto the building and busting in, armed to the teeth.
These are elaborate, multi-stage sequences that involve prep work. You might need to acquire equipment ahead of time, find a good place to hide a getaway car, and make other arrangements before you’re ready to pull off the job. You also need to select supporting members for your crew, as some jobs may require a hacker, an additional getaway driver, or another gunman. More skilled crew members typically take a bigger cut, but if you hire cheap, inexperienced people, they may end up failing at their tasks and compromising the operation. Of course, not every step of this process is thrilling, but these early steps make you feel more invested in the job when it does go down, and they evoke the feeling of films like Heat in which the slow buildup to the crimes makes the payoff in the action-packed scenes more intense.
These missions and many others have you switching between characters. You might rappel down a building as Michael, provide sniper cover for him as Franklin, and fly a getaway helicopter as Trevor, all on one mission. In another exciting mission, you take out a plane’s engines from a great distance as Michael, then pursue the doomed, burning aircraft over land as Trevor. It’s exhilarating, swapping between these roles and these perspectives, and it’s part of what makes GTA V the current pinnacle of open-world mission design. Even putting the three-protagonist structure aside, the mission design is frequently surprising and sometimes stupendous. You don scuba gear to infiltrate a heavily guarded laboratory via the ocean, recklessly fly a small aircraft into the bay of a large cargo plane, and get thrust into all sorts of other memorable situations.

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 !

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Gaming News: Gamespot Reviews FIFA Soccer 12





Distilling the world's most popular sport into a video game isn't an easy task. Aside from capturing the atmosphere of the game--the satisfying thump of boot on football, the on-pitch dramas created between player and referee, and the ferocious roar of the crowd as the ball sails into the back of the net--there are other considerations too. Some players want to manage their teams. Others want to live out their dreams of football stardom. Still others want to put their skills to the test against the best in the world, all the while clamouring for as realistic an experience as possible. FIFA 12 lets you do all of these things and more. A new tactical defending system, player impact engine, and head-to-head seasons are just some of the excellent new features it offers. But it's the new EA Sports Football Club that's the real draw, bringing with it an addictive levelling system that pits you against the world's players, keeping track of your own progress and that of your favourite team too. Not only is FIFA 12 the best game in the series, it's also one of the most exciting, accurate, and complete sports games around


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gaming News: GAmespot reviews F1 2011



F1 2011 is also available on PS3 and PC


F1 2011 builds on the success of Codemasters' first F1 title by developing its most impressive features and fixing many of its flaws. The car handling and visual details are significantly better, and the new Co-op Championship mode presents an exciting new way for friends to experience the intense racing together. The complex driving physics and rules could become frustrating for motor-racing novices, but Formula One fans will enjoy this incredibly faithful depiction of the sport.


Coming Soon : Debut trailer for Max Payne 3 drops in March of 2012 !





No longer a cop, Max is close to washed-up, drunk and addicted to painkillers. Without a job on the force, Max has left the greater New York area, and finds himself in Sao Paulo, Brazil, working as private security. The story of Max's descent from vengeful, leather-jacket wearing detective roaming the alleys of New York to the broken, shaven-headed man out for justice on unfamiliar streets far from home is at the center of Max Payne 3. In addition to Max's classic shoot-dodge moves, there is now a combination of Natural Motion's Euphoria character behavior system and Bullet Time to enhance his moves. Partners and sidekicks will play a large role in this game to help Max in his quest for vengeance.




Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gaming news: Gamespot reviews Rise of Nightmares






Mad scientists often have the dangerous habit of combining things that don't naturally belong together, in an attempt to create new forms of life. So it is with Viktor, the disturbed doctor who fuses corpses and machines to create creatures that cause you no small amount of trouble in Rise of Nightmares. Rise of Nightmares itself is an uneasy combination of elements, awkwardly fusing grisly zombie-slashing gameplay with the Kinect's motion controls. The result is not unlike one of Viktor's shambling creations; it works, more or less, but it feels unnatural. 

Friday, September 09, 2011

Gaming News: Gamespot Reviews Dead Island





From a distance, Banoi looks like a holidaymaker's paradise: a tropical island in a sparkling blue ocean, home to a luxury beach resort. Get closer, though, and you'll spot blood on the sand (and on the walls, and in the swimming pools). Zombies are shambling around by the beach bars. They're munching on corpses by the surf shack. Time to rethink that vacation.
Much like its once-idyllic location, Dead Island isn't as it first appears. It's got zombies in it, but it's not a survival horror game. It's played in a first-person perspective and has shooting, but it's not a first-person shooter. And whatever that slow-motion trailer would have you believe, it's not a stirring emotional experience. Dead Island is a schlocky, open-world action role-playing game that favours grisly melee combat above all things.

Gaming News: Gamespot Reviews Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine





If you're a Warhammer 40K fan, you've dreamed of taking up a chainsword and carving Orks into bloody chunks of flesh and bone. Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine plants you in the heavy boots of an Ultramarine and lets you do just that. The viscera fly in this third-person shooter/melee hybrid. They stain the ground and splash against your screen, yet the brainless hordes continue their assault, crying out their familiar "waaagh!" before presenting themselves for slaughter. Space Marine is simple fun, and a treat for fans of the franchise--and for anyone who delights in the ceaseless bloodletting of bad guys. It is, in fact, a little too simple. As entertaining as it is, the game lacks the variety, the memorable moments, and the sense of scale of the finest shooters. After you annihilate yet another great mess of greenskins, the question arises: Is this all there is to it? With some exceptions, yes, that's all there is to it, and it's hard not to wonder what might have, should have been. But the action is so satisfying, and the atmosphere so grim, that you'll want to see the adventure through.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Nintendo debuts Wii U

props to yahoo news for the info !! 



 

Wii U's main console hardware Nintendo Nintendo, for the majority of this console generation, has been content to play its own game. Now it's ready to take the fight to Microsoft and Sony.
The company on Tuesday unveiled its next generation home video game machine -- dubbed Wii U -- that will be flush with the high-definition graphics gamers have come to expect, as well as a unique, touch-screen controller. It's scheduled to launch in 2012.
Like the Wii, the Wii U (which, despite the name, is not an institute of higher learning) revolves around and innovative controller. Equipped with a 6.2-inch LCD touch-screen, a camera, a microphone and an accelerometer, the controller acts as a sort of fusion of a gamepad, tablet PC and a handheld gaming system.
The system will allow players to transfer games from their TV to the controller seamlessly, something that will be handy for families with a single TV. In other words, Johnny won't need to turn off his Super Mario Bros. outing so that dad can watch the Cowboys game.
Nintendo also ran video demos showing off some of the ways in which the controller will interact with the console. Players will be able to ‘sling' elements from the controller to the TV, such as using the touch screen to throw shurikens at targets on their HD set.
Users will also be able to use it as a digital sketch pad, to have video chats and to surf the web.
Wii U's tablet-esque controller Nintendo Nintendo showed several demos for the system and said it had a version of its hit Super Smash Bros. in the works. The system's high definition capabilities put it on par with both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 -- and that seems to have won over developers, who have been slowly moving away from the Wii as sales of that system have faltered.
Among the publishers who have pledged support are Electronic Arts, THQ and Sega, who plan to bring games like Darksiders 2, Aliens: Colonial Marines and Assassin's Creed to the system.
The Wii was accused to being so focused on attracting a new type of player that the core gamer, who traditionally has made up the bulk of Nintendo's loyalist customer base, was left out. Nintendo made it very clear that it hopes to win that audience back with Wii U, but doesn't plan to abandon the masses who made the Wii so successful.
"Some hardware is seen as only appropriate for the most passionate players," said Satoru Iwara, global president of Nintendo. "Others, like Wii, they say, seem to attract a large number of casual gamers. As an industry, what we haven't achieved yet is a game platform that is equally satisfying for all players. This is exactly what we intend to create with our new platform."


While the Wii U was the company's primary focus at the event, it did announce several titles for the 3DS that should help the handheld system, which has seen sales stumble since its launch, regain ground. Super Mario 3D, Mario Kart 3D, a new Star Fox title and a game starring Nintendo icon Kid Icarus are all scheduled to hit stores this year.
And the 25th anniversary of its indomitable Legend of Zelda franchise hardly went unnoticed. Effective immediately, 3DS owners are able to download The Legend of Zenda: Link's Awakening for free in the newly-launched eShop. Next week, the 3DS exclusive remake of the classic Ocarina of Time hits stores, and by the end of the year, The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword will be out for the Wii.
In September, DSi owners will be able to freely download the four-player co-op game The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures. Before the end of the year, Nintendo plans to host a series of global symphony performances dedicated solely to the music of Zelda.








Featured Post

Podcast on the AVE: BlvdAve Radio Ep. 79 "A Contract with Black America"

The NMG Podcast Network · BlvdAve Radio Ep. 79 "A Contract with Black America"   Peeeps!!! Welcome to episode 79 of B...