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Old 11-11-2010, 06:21 PM   #94
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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – PS3

The best 3D Castlevania game for those used to the typical format of DMC and NG. The worst parts of this game are specific, mainly no secondary weapon outside what you need to make through the game and no real big Castle, which isn’t bad with this type of game.

Story: The game is about Gabriel, a member of the Brotherhood out to stop the colliding threat of evil. The story is set with many unique changes. Basically your wife is dead and you’re up against knowing who the Lord of Shadows really is. You’re given a huge cliffhanger at the end of the game which any fan of Castlevania should see.

Gameplay: You have two basic attacks, one vertical and the other horizontal. Moves are bought while levels can be played in many different ways in order to level up, gather items, or finish meeting certain criteria. The combat is good. Combos and special magic goes great together, plus a few touches on assist in combat works very well. I really enjoyed dodging attacks and lashing back with deadly combos. QTEs for very epic boss battles are great, some speak to me as being a tad like Shadow of the Colossus, which is fantastic. Puzzles are fun with the game offering help if you’re willing to sacrifice the prize.

Graphics: Amazingly good detail on what’s shown. Even though GOW3 had plenty more detail in ways of creatures and combat, LoS stands pretty high with its selection. The dense atmospheric landscapes stand out with a lot of life and fear.

Sound: Great voice acting and the music is good.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Summary: A very good ending with excellent combat but it leaves me wondering if it stays true to the Castlevania timeline. I thought very highly of this game with its presentation and combat. I do feel LoS did the combat and creatures way better then Dante’s Inferno. Which is noted because of the lost of interest in past 3D Castlevania games.

Vanquish – PS3

Story: Sam Gideon is a man with a prototype ASR suit from DARPA. Basically a colony/satellite has been taken over by a Russian terrorist. The terrorist a specific place and leaves Sam and his fellow assigned marines against the man behind this attack and his plans to destroy the US. Very basic but good storyline which tears at you the moment you realize it and literally needs a sequel necessarily to complete the games plot.

Gameplay: The ASR suit can boost at real fast speeds and at many intervals of moves can slow down time and allow Sam the ability to fly through the air sending enemies flying. Weapons are great once you get them upgraded by using them over and over. With fast paced gun battles and the ability to move around the combat zone anyway you like is very rewarding. Boss battles are very fun and while the game starts off a tad repetitive, you’re simply reminded that Sam isn’t holding a sword. Gun combat comes at taking cover and knowing how to move past objects in slow motion or at full throttle. Basically using all that’s given to you is enough to consider buying this game. I guess the reason to pass on this game would have been the lack of enjoyment in what it offers to you from the start. I put it down a few times on the count that the story and combat situations were never matching up. But once I got to that previously mentioned learning curve I began to sink into this game like any other great action game. Another thing to point out is repetitive enemies you encounter. Though there are “Elite” versions, you’re basically fighting the same type of enemies until you reach the epic boss battles.

Graphics: Platinum Studios does it right when it comes to the combat arena. You’re given a beautiful open scenario and it is up to you to enjoy it. Combat grounds get full of gunfight and action.

Sound: Great. Somehow felt the music was being played way too over the dialogue, but the characters felt welcomed most of the time. I felt that some of the dialogue that takes place within the ASR suit felt long and drawn out, like “I want to skip this and find something to fight” sort of problem.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

It is hard to compare how much fun I had once I learned the controls in Vanquish, but the balance of power and overall “boss” potential came just at the right times it should of. Vanquish is a pretty difficult game with lots of fun to be had after the game ends, but if you’re interested and are not sure getting into Vanquish right away then I recommend picking up Bayonetta. I’ve really enjoyed both action games from Platinum Studios.

Halo: Reach – XBOX360

I remember buying Halo Combat Evolved after selling the vast majority of my game collection (which included a week old brand new GC) just to buy an Xbox console and Halo: CE. But after loving and hating the series for years, who knew I’d rekindle my relationship with the XBOX again after watching Reach’s trailer at the VGAs. Halo Reach is a game I enjoyed a lot but like always left me screaming for something new. But the end (who knows, really?) does come at a good price.

Story: Basically what everyone says is true, a prequel with lots of life to it. You play as Noble 6 a Spartan out of many who are on Reach until the original Halo storyline begins. Everything in the story felt perfectly adjusted, no more H2’s endless landscapes or H3’s journey through the woods. The entire time you feel like a Spartan sent to stop whatever is happening on Reach. I guess it was such a large build from Halo 1 to now until the lore just would not stick with me as much its similar concept does in other games. Nonetheless this series has made a name for itself doing whatever with whoever it wishes.
Halo Reach has a story that fits with its premise, you feel the sadness, triumph, and pressure as with previous versions of the game. So don’t feel left out unless you’re looking for a long campaign, which HR does not seem to carry with it.

Gameplay: Same basic style but more polish. The old life system is back from Combat Evolved with a charge meter and numerous upgrades to reuse and have lots of fun with. The set of weapons in Reach impressed me a lot, but not the shotgun (which seems rather useless unlike its predecessors). I don’t do too much multiplayer anymore, but I did get a chance to try it on Live. All the matches felt the same, but polished. If you’re looking for multiplayer news then trust that its fun and Firefight mode is really nice with the medal system attached to it.

Graphics: Awesome environments with just the right amount of Halo lure to them.

Sound: Great, no more repetitive anthems to adjust your TVs volume to. On a pale white horse was great back in the day, this is well more soothing if you ask me.

Score: 10 out of 10, a strong perfect score for one who left the series before becoming an addict. I do want to say thank you to Bungie for making Halo.

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light – NDS

I could not get into this game at all. The story seems okay, but combat and character design leave me either wanting to throw something or get my money back. The game is basically a journey of a boy becoming a man. But the combat feels off balance and does not offer the same experience as with traditional turned based watered down FF RPG, if any truly exist. You’re attacks are very simple and easy to use, but instead of MP there is an Action Point Battle System. Where you are forced to charge up points for various attacks at the same time having your Psyche (same ability from DQ) automatically cast on you. The difficulty is there, but overall appeal and likeness is far from what I enjoy. I do not recommend this game at all.
Score: NA
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