تم إطلاق لعبة “هالو4″ في جميع أنحاء العالم في شهر نوفمبر 2012، حيث حصدت على أسرع وأعلى نسبة مبيعات في تاريخ لعبة هالو التي تصدر على أجهزة Xbox 360، والآن تعود المغامرات في عام 2013 بمحتوى جديد كلياً. وقد أعلنت شركة مايكروسوفت و 343 اندستريز عن عودة “السبارتان أوبس”: في موسمه الأول، الذي يتضمن محتوى جديد مدته خمس أسابيع –إلى 24 فبراير- ليعود جنود الإسبارتان في مغامرة عرضية ومزيج غامر من سرد القصص والأحداث حيث سيقوم جنود الإسبارتان من خلال سلسلة الحلقات الإسبوعية بإكمال قصة UNSC Infinity.
يقوم فريق فايرتيم كرايمسون في البحث عن الاسبارطي ثرون على متن كوكب ريكويم ويواجهون مخاطر تعرضهم لمواجهة جول مداما وطائفته من عهد الإنفصاليين. تشتد حدة الموسم الأول لتمتلئ بالمخاطر مع نهاية الحلقات 6 إلى 10 حيث أن أحداث المعركة تشتد ويتسع نطاقها بعيداً عن كوكب ريكويم لتصل إلى مجموعة واسعة من المناطق المختلفة التي تشهد ملحمة من المعارك بين المركبات الفضائية ومواجهات على الأقدام بين البرومثيانس وقوات الكوفينانت.
ستقدم لعبة “هالو4″ تجربة أسبوعية لباقة من حلقات سينمائية بجودة عالية تسمح للاعبين بدخول المعارك مع الأصدقاء أثناء اللعب حتى تاريخ 24 فبراير. يتم بناء مغامرة هائلة النطاق تتابع أحداث قصة “هالو 4″، والتي تسمح بدخول جنود الإسبارتان ضمن لعبة “هالو 4″ من دون أي رسوم إضافية – لنقدم تجربة حملتان في لعبة واحدة بشكل فعال.
النصف الأول من سبارتان أوبس: الموسم الأول ( الحلقات من 1 إلى 5) متوفرة للعب في أي وقت من خلال لعبة “هالو4″ لجميع الراغبين في دخول مسيرة السبارتان. تعرفوا على كابتن لاسكي والقائد بالمر وفريق فاير تييم العظيم الذين سيواصلون استكشاف كوكب ريكويم الغامض.
بعد طول انتظار، احتفت شركة Sony Computer Entertainment Europe بالعنوان الجديد الذي أطلقه صناع لعبة Uncharted™ 3 من شركة Naughty Dog Inc على إصدار اللعبة الجديد منها بأن أصدرت حزمتين من إصدار اللعبة الأمر الذي يسمح لمحبيها بإمكانية الاختيار وهما حزمة خاصة بشخصية Ellie والأخرى خاصة بشخصية Joel، وقدمت كلٌّ منهما في صورة جميلة وعبوة من قماش القنب مليئة بالمحتويات الحصرية القابلة للتنزيل.
- كتيب فني صغير للعبة The Last of Us: يستكشف المستخدم عالم لعبة The Last of Us عن طريق بعض الأعمال الفنية البارزة التي تُضفي شكلًا مميزًا إلى اللعبة
- The Last of Us: الإصدار الأول من رسوم الأحلام الأمريكية American Dreams: أول سلسلة رسوم هزلية مُبتكرة بالتعاون مع ناشر الأعمال الكوميدية Dark Horse للتعمق في معرفة الخلفية الدرامية لشخصية Ellie. تتضمن النسخة مزايا، حيث تقدم غلافًا متنوعًا لن يجده المستخدم إلا في هذه الإصدارات الخاصة.
- حزمة ألعاب حصرية: تعرض نسخةEdition Ellie شخصية Ellie في الأعمال الفنية المتضمنة في حزمة الألعاب، في حين ستتميز نسخة Edition Joel بعرض وجه شخصية Joel
- مُلصق جداري أثري: مُلصق جداري حصري بتأثيرات طباعة الشاشة الحريرية لكل شخصية من شخصيات الإصدارين على حدة
- DUALSHOCK®3 skin : استمتع بالغوص في عالم من الخدع الرائعة عند استخدام أدوات التحكم PS3™ مع Joel أو Ellie، يتوقف الأمر على الإصدار الذي ستطلبه.
- حزمة المحتويات القابلة للتنزيل التي أُطلق عليها Survival DLC Pack:
- مميزات متعددة للاعبين:
- Bonus XP
- إمكانية تعزيز الأحداث القتالية
- انتشار داخل اللعبة
- إمكانية تعديل مقتنيات الشخصية حسب رغبتك
- يتوفر المزيد من الخدع المشوقة التي تقدمها لك شخصيتا Joel وEllieعند انتهاء اللعبة الفردية
- حزمة من المؤثرات البصرية والسمعية Sights & Sounds DLC:
- تسجيلات صوتية أصلية للألعاب من إبداعات الموسيقي Gustavo Santaolalla الحاصل على جائزة الأوسكار “جائزة أكاديمية فنون وعلوم الصور المتحركة”.
- موضوعات PS3® النابضة بالحياة
- صور PSN Avatars: Winter Joel & Ellie
- المظهر الخارجي لشخصية LittleBigPlanet™ Sackboy: رموز القسيمة الشرائية الخاصة بنسختين قابلتين للتنزيل لتغيير المظهر الخارجي لشخصية Sackboy إما إلى مظهر Joel أو Ellie اعتمادًا على الإصدار الخاص الذي ستختاره.
من المقرر إطلاق لعبة The Last of Us عالميًّا في 7 مايو.
Zone of the Enders 3 has officially been confirmed to be in development, so why not take this opportunity to go back and experience its two prequels in this Zone of the Enders HD Collection? Hideo Kojima has always impressed and missing out on this opportunity would really be a shame.
Hideo Kojima. In the best of worlds, these two words would be more than I need to convince you to play Zone of the Enders. Nonetheless, I will assume you still require convincing and tell you why you should at the very least know about this franchise. Zone of the Enders is a fast paced action robot combat franchise. The disc also comes with a demo of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, but it’s really short and is mostly an incentive to have you buy the collection in case you didn’t want to already.
In both Zone of the Enders and Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, you will control Jehuty, an anthropomorphic combat mech with its built-in A.I., ADA. The first game has you impersonating Leo Stenbuck, a kid who is pretty much afraid of everything and tends to whine a lot, while the second game has you impersonating Dingo Egret, an experienced mech pilot. The games’ plot is what you expect from a Kojima offering, though not on the same level as a Metal Gear story. The story is set far in the future, at a time when mankind colonized Mars, has a colony orbiting Jupiter, and has access to some of the most powerful war machines created by men, the Jehuty and the Anubis, two mechs fated to face each other. Ever watched Evangelion, or Gundam and dreamed you would be able one day to pilot one of those bad boys? Turns out it’s your birthday and you got your own giant robot of death. Now you be careful with it and don’t go around annoying the neighbors, alright?
The first ZOE aged relatively well for such an old school offering, but its flaws do show through the new coat of HD that it has been granted. The gameplay shows its flaws as well, the combat gets repetitive and you will find that the only real challenge comes from the boss fights, which do not disappoint and are as good as you would expect. Most missions will have you land in a zone and systematically eliminate all enemy activity, which gets redundant after a while, but the game does try to spice it up with S.O.S. missions where you must accomplish the same goal but without harming any civilian or destroying any building to achieve the best score. Sadly, the finishing the game will not take you longer than 6 hours and the lack of enemy diversity is disheartening. Don’t be fooled by the prospect of multiple endings, there are 3 but 2 are virtually similar except for the soundtrack while the third is a bad ending in which you must go berserk and destroy absolutely everything.
I am aware that I am painting a rather negative picture of the game, but all those flaws are genuine and you will encounter them, regardless of the dose of nostalgia. Fret not, though: Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner goes the distance in picking up where the first left off. The combat is even more dynamic than before without the repetitiveness, boss fights are still a joy to experience and the story has a much better flow to it and you don’t feel that you are artificially stalled just for the sake of adding more content to make the game longer. The game life of 2nd Runner, unfortunately, is still just as small at the first game and will also take no longer than 6 hours to complete, but you will enjoy every minute of it if you let yourself indulge in its fast paced combat and its beautiful story. The story evolves quickly with most main characters from the previous game making an appearance, the transitions are smooth with a mix of animation sequences, cut-scenes and dialogues, all of which will feel familiar if you have ever touched a game made by Kojima. Controlling Jehuty is still a joy; they got it right in the first game and it’s only improved in the second one. The camera control could have been better, though this does not break the game and is more of a slight annoyance.. The missions are a thrill to play and let you enjoy some glorious moments, I don’t want to spoil much but fighting an invisible enemy, with only ADA to help you by hinting you of its location was one of the shining moments of the game. It makes you wish the game didn’t end so soon and gives me high hopes for the third game of the seriesNonetheless, I still hold that Zone of the Enders is a great game that should not be missed, simply because it offers some of the best mech combat you will find out there and an expertise that is getting rarer these days.
The soundtracks for both games are breathtaking and compromise some of the most beautiful pieces I have heard. They fit the theme appropriately, and I found myself spending time on the menu screen and listening to the theme music, or restarting the game just to watch the 5 minute intro cinematic for the HD collection.
If you had never heard of Zone of the Enders before, now might be a perfect time to fix that. Also, yes the cockpit is where you think it is, and yes it is still called a cockpit, you can stop making jokes about the mech’s design now.
With Assassin’s Creed 3, Ubisoft delivers a third installment of their hit series and honestly, it’s about time they moved on to a new assassin. Don’t get me wrong, Ezio was great and still proves to be a fan favorite, regardless if it was because of all the games he was in or if he earned that fanaticism legitimately, but he was fading out way before the outcome of Revelations.
The new assassin’s name is Ratonhnhaké:ton, or just simply Connor because, well, I don’t believe Ubisoft want people running around referring to their new protagonist as “That new guy” or worse: “Rato whatever”.
Connor’s father is English, his mom is Native American, and he possesses, and ultimately learns, all the skills his famous ancestors had including some added tricks of his own to add to the already diverse repertoire of death. While we’re on the subject of new tricks, evidently, neither Ezio nor Altair knew anything about climbing trees because Connor seems to make a big deal out of it. Maybe it’s because there were no trees in the earlier AC games or maybe the animus pulled off a syntax error every time someone tried to define ‘trees’ to it back then, but regardless, Connor is as limber as a three headed monkey and can scale the highest trees in mere seconds.
The game, of course, doesn’t only change protagonists, but also takes place in a whole new time period and continent. Expect to meet a plethora of famous American characters like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington and be ready to assist in the birth of the US of A with all the war drama that the American Revolution entailed. Additionally Some neo-revolutionaries and political activists will be saddened to know that the game forces you to go through the declaration of independence, so strap yourselves and look away if you must.
Desmond Miles will also make another prominent appearance and will gladly oblige to your commands for him to scale 21st sky scrapers because, you know, that’s what we’ve always wanted to do with him, right? I’m sure he’s as fresh as when we first encountered him more than 6 games and 5 years ago. Quite.
No matter. The real question is: Is the game any good and does it stand tall among its brethren?
Let me answer that right now: Yes it is. But before you close this tab with an unjustified sigh or minimize your browser to get back to your mundane 9 to 5, know that the game may deliver what fans of the series expect, but it does not even try to introduce the series to a new audience, and haters of the series will have more reason to hate on it now. Unconvinced? Read on and find out why.
As with all other AC games, you start off as an inexperienced man for hire with the will to be something more, and armed with the right amounts of passion, destiny and mentors that seem to teach rather than do, you embark on an epic journey that covers your complete timeline from adolescence to your (insert desired adjective) end. There is really no telling how Ubisoft will spin the yarn for future AC games as I believe, with the addition of the childhood, wilderness and naval battle dynamics this time around, everything has been covered. Well, almost everything. They may come back with a potty training mini-game and maybe a Sims/Farmville addition to the mix that mirrors Skyrim’s Hearthfire *shudder* Please, no.
The cities available to you are fun places for you to run around and play catch with yourself in and are infested with hay stacks that still randomly find themselves strewn around distinct locations for you to hide and dive in to. Since we’re on the subject, I believe it’s high time Ubisoft establishes another method for their assassins to quickly get off a tower/high construct/tree they climbed — this whole eagle dive shtick has grown stale and should not find itself in the new game….please?
The addition of the wilderness is definitely a welcome switch and Connor now has an additional playground that his predecessors did not have access to, or comprehended, and being of Native American descent, he is well versed in the ways of Mother Nature. It is a letdown, then, that you don’t get access to this new environment early on and an even bigger let down that you are yanked right back in to an urban environment soon afterwards. You, of course, are allowed access to the wilds at will, but it rarely goes beyond the novelty factor and hunting soon becomes redundant. You see, with the addition of the wilderness comes the ability to hunt and mind you, animals are not hunted the same way humans are and you have a set of tools, besides your weapons, that are specifically designed for hunting animals of all sizes. Every animal you hunt and skin grants you material which you can sell to various shops. This in itself raises issues of its own, but that’s a story for later. Hunting rabbits and deer is fun but what about the bigger game? Well sadly it is not as exciting as it should have been . The bigger the animal, the easier they are to hunt than their smaller counterparts. Where the small game will try to run away from you, forcing you to approach them with a modicum of stealth and tactic, their big brothers will simply charge at you. This could have been grounds for pure terror that Ubisoft absolutely failed in utilizing. Instead of working your way to avoid your predator, or attacking them with skill, you are left with a mediocre QTE that makes killing big game a trifling matter: Press the right buttons and that black bear is as good as dead.
Now on to the problem I have with skinning animals and selling their hides, and it has nothing to do with PETA (if they ask, the furs are synthetic). The issue is more of a general one and deals with the actual economy of it. At the start of the game, getting money is a struggle and you will be poor more often than not, not that it really matters since all you can buy are properties which generate more money for you. So, make money, buy houses, make more money, open casino. That last one was racially insensitive, and I apologize, because you actually can not buy casinos, but can you believe that Connor never says ‘Hao’ during the whole game? I’m sorry, I don’t know what’s gotten in to me. Moving on.
All this property buying is fine and dandy, but after buying every single real estate, which is extremely easy once you get the ball rolling at the start, what do you do with all the money being generated? Well you could spend it on a boat. “I get a boat?!” Why of course you get a boat! “Sweet, what do I do with it?” Well, You open new trade routes…which generate more money. “Oh, I see”. In the end, you will end up with more gold than you’d ever need and it will prove to be virtually useless. All the money you have is used to make more of it, which is used to just make even more. I wish they’d at least let you swim in a vault full of your gold coins…anything to justify all that money coming in!
At any case, you probably won’t be spending your time killing animals or building a commercial empire in the first place, because, well, you are an assassin and your job is to assassinate, and with pointy metal objects if you please. The combat, which is hopefully something you will be doing a lot of throughout the game, is exactly what you remember it to be with a few additional quirks. The game still uses a system of parry and counters which makes the combat dynamic and impressive to look at as you gracefully whirl around, blocking, thrashing, and turning the enemies’ weapons against them. Spicing up the scuffles, some enemies are harder to kill than others, requiring that you break their defense first before you can apply damage to them. That, or you could pull off an Indiana Jones and just shoot them in the face. Incidentally Firearms are overpowered. See that soldier who is an expert at parrying parries and is a blast to spar against? Shoot him in his at face. Problem solved. Thankfully, there are major drawbacks to using firearms. The reload time is abysmally slow and if you are struck while you are reloading, you have to reload from scratch. Also, trying to manually aim is rage inducing. Whatever your choice of combat is, once you master it, you will feel nigh-invincible, until you press a button at the wrong time, since the enemy is stubborn in its belief that forming an organized conga line to attack you is a better idea than just swarming you with raw numbers.
Yes, things indeed haven’t changed, the AI is still completely idiotic. This is really frustrating when you have friendly NPC following you that refuses to act with logic and insists on getting stuck on walls, roofs, or just standing in plain view when you are hiding behind a wall alerting the guards that were looking for you. I would tell them to just sit somewhere safe and move on with the mission without them, but the game will automatically make you fail the mission if you move too far away from them. Rage inducing, really. The ability for NPC’s to get stuck on walls is not proper to only them, you also have this useless super power. I was to kill a patrolling guard, he was however busy being inside a tree. It gets better, I was somehow able to assassinate the target, but doing so had me leap at him, hereby getting me stuck in the tree instead. The game does have a mass of bugs and pathfinding issues, but often than not they won’t break the game, it’s just a bit disheartening to see them in the third opus of such a franchise. These were issues present since the first game and their presence up to this point is a bit frustrating.
Have no fear it is still a good game as I said, you will obviously get your money’s worth. Portraying Connor is a blast and the new maps are a joy to travel. The story has become a complete cluster-fuck at this point but honestly after all this time it is bound to let down some people (I’m looking at you ME3 ending). The story does lack the charisma that it had in the previous games, where Altair and Ezio felt like they were active and were the ones making the decisions, Connor feels more passive, he is someone that is told most often than not what the plan is and here’s what he can do to help. By buying Assassin’s Creed 3 you will enjoy a game that offers an armory of toys to be used in colonial America, it’s a shame you need to play through half the game to get them. As a side note, the game hosts a small encyclopedia that is a blast to go through. I highly advises to access it whenever you unlock new information about a historical figure or location, it is hilarious to read.
This review has been dormant on my PC for quite some time now. In fact, I believe I left it there in the hopes that I shoot a video of it as opposed to writing one. Time does fly and I was only just reminded of it. Regardless, here it is, video-less and in its full gory. That ‘L’ was left out on purpose…not too clear? Alright then, moving on.
ZombiU, at its core, is a very interesting concept in survival horro that is more survival than it is horror. Some hiccups surface specifically in regards to the WiiU gamepad functionality that feels shoe-horned instead of adding an experience, but as a WiiU launch title, I had grand expectations from it, and with it preceding the likes of a new Zelda, Metroid or Pikmin, it had better be an instant classic…or at least a game that will last me until those other Nintendo games come through.
The WiiU gamepad is truly a wonder that may well add a lot of dimension and depth to the games. Advertised as a console packed within a console, it has the power to not only run games interdependent of the TV, but it can also act as a subsidiary to your gaming, making the need for an onscreen inventory, for example, a thing of the past. Ah, if only life were that simple. You see, in ZombiU, the screen of the gamepad displays your map and allows you to access your inventory without having to disrupt your gaming. The problem is that constantly looking at the gamepad became a headache and managing my inventory with my eyes peeled away from the screen opened me for potential attacks, and even if I weren’t attacked, the threat of being attacked was enough for me to have to rush through my inventory as fast as I can. Why the stress, you ask me? Gee, I don’t know. Maybe because the game is a ZOMBIE SURVIVAL HORROR?
Adding an element of sleuth, Ubisoft have also incorporated a scanning mechanism that mirrors that of Hydrophobia where you look through a scanner to….uhh…scan the environment. With the gamepad, you are not bound to the comfort of your analog stick to….scan the environment. You are actually given the freedom to hold the gamepad facing the TV and physically turn around you in an attempt to…scan the environment. Does it work? Yes. Is it cool? You bet. Is it practical? Nope. When Nintendo came up with the Wii all these years ago, adding motion to your gaming was fun because everything was on screen. Now, you are expected to spin in place like a carousel just so you could…scan the environment. Quite frankly, the novelty of doing so faded away for me much sooner than it was expected to and I found myself reverting to the analog system to….scan the environment. Ok, enough with that joke.
Story wise, think Saw in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. A mysterious person constantly blares out directions and orders for you to follow in good faith, warning you that any wrong step you take may lead to your death. He seems to have more experience than you, or so he claims, and has been around for a longer time leading survivor’s to their safety. Can he be trusted? Well, with his presence being the purpose for the story arch to move forward you kind of have to. Personally, I was discomforted and would have preferred another approach to the character, but I digress as he is not the driving force, rather the catalyst for you to explore the world.
The combat, which you will undoubtedly be forced to go through, works fine for what it is but could be lacking for some. Shooting guns is not always accurate and swinging sticks, bats, pipes…etc. is not as intuitive as I would have liked: One shoulder button charges, the other swings. Fair enough; the only problem with this mechanic, I found, was the same one I had with Dead Island: The zombies, bless their hearts, or their lack of, sway more than the average target, which means that your blows may sometimes hit nothing but air, even if you believe that you are in their proximity and close enough for them to lay the smack down on you.
But what makes this game stand out beyond the novelties of the gamepad, which as I have mentioned earlier will eventually fade? I absolutely loved the fact that if you die, there are no continues. You will rise as another survivor and will have retrace your steps to collect your old gear and move on. One moment you could be playing a female pharmacist, the next, if you’re horrible at these games, you could be a male engineer. The vessel you adopt does not matter, per se, and only serves to progress the over all story. Granted, personal attachment is an all-time low, if present at all, but the pretext of worrying about the bigger scope of things is interesting and original, to say the least.
ZombiU is an awesome approach to new-gen video games and a great way to introduce core gamers to the marvels that the WiiU offers, but maybe not the best way to do so.
With a name like Anarchy Reigns, it is highly unlikely that you will pass the time skipping about in a field of dandelions. Add to the mix a developer named PlatinumGames, made famous by a hair-weaving sorceress in Bayonetta and you’ve got yourself a highly probable mix of action planned for the evening.
Let’s get it out of the way: if you are expecting a glorious solo experience, then you should move along. The shining star of Anarchy Reigns is its multiplayer and this is where you will spend most of your time. The solo campaign is disappointing at best, downright frustrating and a chore at worst. The story is not engaging: queue cliché post-apocalyptic world where our heroes grew up in, turning them into mountains of muscles who gargle rocks every morning because regular mouthwash is the stuff they give to their babies. How their organs are not crushed by their own muscle mass, I don’t know. I am baffled by the fact that the male characters know words that are not insults or slurs, but they do constantly remind me that it is in fact a major part of their dictionary. The female characters fare no better, as they are the physical manifestations of the fantasies of a horny 14 year old whose blood stream has more hormones than blood cells. One of them has spikes for nipples for Christ’s sake!
The art style did not impress me, but I admit that my displeasures are not universal. Moving on to the actual content of the game, as previously mentioned, the solo campaign is lacking and boils down to choosing the black side or the white side. Choosing the former has you portray Jack Cayman, returning protagonist of MadWorld on the Wii, and his trusty double chainsaw for a right arm. Choosing the latter has you portray Leo, a member of the Government, and as both of our protagonists are looking for the same man, their paths undoubtedly cross throughout the campaign. I say “campaign” with a grain of salt, actually. make that a cup of salt. The campaign consists of grinding enemies until a new quest unlocks, which most often than not involves grinding more enemies. It wouldn’t be such a hassle if your generic bad guy didn’t have wet toilet paper for a brain. Their strategy involves the direction “in front” and “charging there,” followed by “hit that thing.” If you want to unlock characters faster and some bonus content then you have no choice than go through it, and you probably will never look at it again.
Thankfully, the multiplayer is where it’s at. You get to play 16 different characters (17 if you have the code to unlock Bayonetta), which can be independently customized with one of up to 25 unique abilities. You have access to a plethora of different game modes, including the massive battle royale with 16 players. Granted, those tend to become utter chaos with a massive melee brawl where the weakest are ruthlessly butchered without having any real possibility of defending themselves. The survival mode is sadly a repeat of the campaign, just with friends to keep you company and without quests popping up. Nonetheless, the real content of the game is in the multiplayer and it does provide pure unadulterated chaos.
As for the controls, the core of all fighting/hack and slash games, they have their strengths and weaknesses. They are intuitive to an extent, with the typical basic moves being bound to their own specific keys: light hit, strong hit, jump, grab….you get the drift. Where the game falls short, however, is in its lock-on mechanics and dodge controls. The camera has a hard time focusing on the action so you end up spending your time constantly readjusting it. As for the dodge mechanic, the awkwardness associated with it still boggles me. Most fighting games out there make it easy to use, often binding it to the guard key, which when used in conjunction with the analog makes your character dodge in the chosen direction. That system was intuitive and made sense. Why, then, did Anarchy Reigns decide that a third key was necessary? Beats frikkin me. This makes dodging counter-intuitive and you will often find yourself cursing at the damage you unfairly received because the game didn’t register your dodge command and your character just stayed there until his guard was broken.
On a positive note, and adding a nice touch to the combat, the super weapon specific to each character has a bar that replenishes with each blow delivered or received, making combat a euphoria of super weapons.
Overall, the game is decent, regardless of the solo experience, and the multiplayer is fun and chaotic. Mastering the controls may be a hassle, but if you manage to conquer them, you will undoubtedly enjoy yourself. The multiplayer combat is visceral and fun, it is not as deeply complex as other combat games, but it does retain a charm in its simple, brute force, driven action.
Sonic and his friends are back in an all new racing game. With Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, a Mario Kart inspired game with a few novelties to set itself apart, Sega has all its greatest mascots duke it out to find out who the best and fastest racer among them is. Will the bluest hedgehog have a run for his money?
Racing Transformed follows in the tracks of mascot based kart racing game, Mario Kart. There isn’t much of a difference between both franchises as you play the most popular characters of Sega’s intellectual property racing each other to the finish for your amusement. You will find your typical list of racing tracks inspired by the different games where each character came from, and a number of items to be used during races that allow you to disable the other competitors. Sound a lot like that other Nintendo karting game? It is! At its core, the game doesn’t bring much innovation and if you like playing Kart games you’ll like this game. That doesn’t mean Racing Transformed doesn’t try to set itself apart. it has a few mechanics meant to spark your interest, chief of which is the transforming of the vehicles at certain parts of the race. Just as you’re getting a hand of your vehicle, it transforms in to either a jet or a speedboat, bringing with it a total re-imagining of the track with each lap.
While on the subject of innovation, unlike the Mario Kart games, Racing Transformed doesn’t have a diverse list of items to be used while racing. After only a few races you will have experienced them all and they will prove to be very basic, if not underwhelming. Though influenced by those in Mario Kart, they are not as intuitive to use and will outstay their welcome much sooner than they should have.
As you race through the different stages, your vehicle will automatically adapt to the terrain and change to the appropriate form. Each type of vehicle has its own driving skills, so, and needless to say, conducting the jet the way you do your kart will get you nowhere, fast. Sadly, You do not get to roam freely when you switch to jet-mode and must follow a green line that keeps you on your course instead. This is done to maintain order in the chaos that will certainly be ensued upon your transformation, but it could have benefited from some additional variety.
Racing Transformed, like all karting games, relies heavily on your ability to earn boosts. Each character possess different stats that can alter in accordance with vehicle modes you unlock for them during play, but to win you have to use and abuse your boosts. Earning these boosts can happen in one of two ways: You either drive over boost pads laid throughout the tracks, or you drift, with the longer you drift, the more powerful the boost. Before I move on, it’s important for me to state that the aforementioned vehicle modes are unlocked via a leveling up system that is proportional to the time you invest on each character. This system however feels a bit clunky because leveling is easy and it just feels like an arbitrary and unnecessary stepping stone that should have been just unlocked by default.
The game hosts a roster strong of twenty drivers, each characters from Sega’s most successful franchises, to choose from. At the start of the game you only get access to ten and to unlock the rest you have to go through the career mode which is a succession of races interlacing with a number of timed challenges such as traffic maneuvering or challenges to boost as fast as possible through the tracks. Each event has three difficulties which award up to three stars, required to advance further through the career mode and to unlock new characters in the process.
The game’s main selling point is its multiplayer and you can play split-screen on nearly any mode in the game, which makes Racing Transformed even more centered on multiplayer than other racing games. The A.I. gets boring quickly so we suggest you find friends to play with you offline or online.
Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed is a solid game whose true potential comes from the multiplayer with four player split-screen and more online as well as its many game modes that include capture the flag or battle games. It’s just a shame that there is no mechanic that allows you to transform at will, or no proper vehicle customization feature, otherwise, Racing Transformed is great fun for you and your friends and is an awesome way to keep you entertained.
Reviewed by Raed Khalil.
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed is available on PS3, XBOX 360 & WiiU and was legitimately supplied for review purposes.
Lego games have touched many franchises and this one decided to tackle the rich universe of Tolkien by portraying the Fellowship of the Ring in bodacious Lego format with the timing of its release made all the more judicious by the close release of The Hobbit.
Proper to previous Lego games, you will follow the basic story of the movie-adopted franchise and tracks the events of the script to the smallest detail. This, of course, may frustrate fans of the original books, but let’s be frank here: Peter Jackson has reinvented the universe and you can bet Liz Tyler’s fine ass that this will forever be how the world will see LOTR. Iconic to the Lego games is the charming sense of humor that never seems to fade. Hearing Aragorn’s speech to a dying Boromir, for example, is a bit less tear-jerking when the latter has a banana sticking out of his chest and meeting Galadriel is a bit less awe-inspiring when you find her lazing about, only acting like a refined elf once she notices you. You might feel that the humor crashes with the dramatic scenes of the movies, but they do not fail to bring a chuckle and a smile. My personal favorite is the treatment of Gimli. In the movies, Gimli makes it very clear that he hates being thrown around and makes Legolas promise not to speak of it to anyone. This makes it all the more funny when you find out that you need to throw him all the time to complete most puzzles he is involved with.
Throughout the game, you will find plenty of puzzles which constitute the bread and butter of the game and that will require you to use one of your characters’ special ability. To name a few, Gimli can break rocks with cracks on them, Aragorn can track units, Legolas can jump higher and shoot arrows that he can climb on, Sam creates fires and uses a rope to reach higher places. You will often need a combination of these skills to complete whatever puzzle is thrown your way. Such examples include having Gimli break a wall, allowing Legolas to jump on the debris to grab some wood which is then lit on fire by Sam. You can easily switch from one character to another by holding a button and selecting which character you wish to control via an easy to use wheel.
Completing the main game will take about 10 hours and the longevity of the game lies in revisiting all previous locations with any character, thus allowing you to access areas that were denied to you because you did not have the right tools at the time/skills. You can then also travel anywhere on the world map, revealing even more secrets and puzzles to complete.
The game also showers you with things to gather, including a plethora of Lego coins, gold chests, and Lego Mithril blocks which are used to craft objects just as long as you have the plans for them. You will also find side-quests which will ask you to find an item or craft one at the forge, using the aforementioned Mithril blocks.
The game is a solid adventure that has a decently long life span, specially if you’re a completionist, the controls are pleasant and easy to use and we just love traveling the universe of Tolkien! Though the humor may sometimes clash with the grand dramatic events of the franchise and the combat is still a button-mashing extravaganza, Lego LOTR succeeds in creating a re-imagining of universe and serves up an axcellent appetizer to the upcoming The Hobbit movie.
Reviewed by Raed Khalil