Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Special: The Darkness for the Playstation 3 Review

Good evening everyone and happy Halloween to everyone and welcome to a very dark day on Camseyeview…this time I decided to go off my beaten path of action plat-forming games and pick up a different game to review. Now since this is the Halloween season you would think about games like Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Splatterhouse, and Devil May Cry. I decided to pick a dark gritty game and this game is called The Darkness. So is it as spooky as the Halloween spirit? Or is it full of shiny light? Well lets find out.

The story takes place in dark gritty New York where you take the role of Mafia hitman Jackie Estacado, which on his 21st birthday was targeted by the don of the New York Mafia leader “Uncle” Paulie as while running from the assassins hired by Paulie Jackie finds out that the darkness has taken over his body and Jackie must kill Paulie and find out why the darkness took over his body. It’s a dark and twisted story filled with plot twists and heart turning moments that make this one of the better stories in this kind of game. The Darkness was made by Starbreeze Studios, which is known for another game that fans will recognize, The Chronicles of Riddick and its somewhat remake.

The game play is in the form of a first person shooter with some interesting, but small ideas. The main weapon Jackie has is a small arsenal of guns and of course the Darkness that hides within him. You basically go around shooting hitmen sent by Paulie and other opponents who want you dead like policemen, zombie nazis, and etc. you get only a few powers with the Darkness. The first power is the ability to become a shadow like eel and sneak around small areas and surprise unaware opponents. The second power comes in the form of a tentacle that can take down certain barriers and enemies. The final power comes in the form of a black hole that can basically kill multiple enemies. You can also summon a little minion to help you do certain tasks like stop a train or take down a barrier. I wont say how many kinds you will get, but you will have to find out yourself. You also have a small arsenal of guns. They’re nothing special it’s just the basic double pistol, mini machine gun, and a shotgun like rifle. There is some backtracking involved within the game so you will need to get to know your surroundings.

The graphics are very impressive and are pretty good eye candy. All the characters look gritty and disturbing looking and you get a sense of realism since everyone who voice acts in the game was motioned captured which gives the in game characters more realistic. This game also has a very good voice cast including Kirk Acevedo from OZ voicing Jackie, lead singer of Faith No More and Mike Patton doing the voice of the Darkness itself. The music is also very good to listen to and fits the certain areas that you are in. I think the story is very interesting and is pretty unique. I say if you like Spawn and The Godfather then I say this is the perfect story for you.

However, there is some light in the darkness. First off the game itself doesn’t have much to offer besides a great single player mode since the multiplayer isn’t that great and have been recommended to dodge by multiple reviewers. The weapons are cool, but I think there could have been more of them. Boss fights are scarce to none. It’s boring as heck just fighting the same enemies over and over. I wish they put in a hub map or something since anyone could easily get lost since you have to pay attention to street signs and such.

Over all I think The Darkness is an enjoyable game, but it doesn’t have a lot going for it besides the great single player mode. I would recommend it to people who play shooters, but personally I cant see myself playing this game again. Hopefully if you can find it for a good price then I say buy it and enjoy a dark story of love and betrayal. Just don’t expect to play it twice in a row.

This game gets a solid 8 out of 10.

Monday, October 12, 2009

1 Year Anniverssary Review Special: House of the Dead: Overkill for the Wii

Wow, it’s been one whole year, and over 100 reviews. I am surprised that my blog made it this far. Now, I had a really bad game planned to review, since I started this blog with a really good game. However, due to time constraints, and Gamefly not sending me the game I was going to do, I had to change things around, and I have decided to do a sequel to one of my favorite arcade franchises, House of the Dead. So far, there are only two House of the Dead games for the Wii. I am doing the latest and, in my opinion, one of the best sequels in this game series history, House of the Dead Overkill. Let’s start, shall we?

While Zombies are nothing new since the coming of Ghost and Goblins, Resident Evil, and etc, they seem to become pretty popular in games. There was always one franchise that I liked to play every time I was in an arcade, House of the Dead. It didn’t do anything innovational, but it was just a blast to play. The latest in the franchise is House of the Dead: Overkill, for the Wii. Let’s get into the rotting flesh and review this game!

The whole game is set up kind of like good old-fashioned grindhouse film, like Planet Terror. You’ve got your stereotypical agent named Agent G. He teams up with a black cop who keeps dropping the “F” bomb every 5 minutes as they chase down an evil madman with a bad accent. They later find out that the plot is much bigger then they expect, and I won’t spoil what it is. You also get the hot chick that is a stripper, and is the main girl in the game. The plot is pretty much like Planet Terror, so if you haven’t seen the movie, I would check it out and then play this game. The game was made by Headstrong Games, which is known for games like Battalion Wars, for the Gamecube, and Battalion Wars 2, for the Wii.

The game play is a classic horror survival rail shooter, where you mostly rely on fast reflexes, and know when to pull the trigger with the Wii mote. You basically shoot the zombies, or as Agent G calls them, “Mutants”, since he finds the Z (zombie) word offensive. You go through 7 levels, which are about 20 minutes, or less if you have a second player with you, since it’s more fun to shoot zomb…I mean mutants with a friend. During the level, you can shoot stuff like health packs, grenades, slow-down icons, and golden brains that can multiply your score. You’ve got your basic array of mutants, big and small. But you do get a couple of different ones as the game progresses, which are a little more challenging to kill. You also get to fight Grindhouse-like boss fights, like the girl’s crippled, Steven Hawking-like brother, who gets turned into a psychic mutant, a giant praying mantis, and much much more which I won’t spoil for gamers who haven’t played this game yet.

Graphically it looks great. The added bonus comes from the whole grindhouse look, in which the game has scratched footage, horrible B-movie acting, and the fan favorite, dancing stripper intro. Every character is likable, which is odd, since you don’t care about characters in this kind of game. The music is also fitting, with a late 70’s to 80’s funk. The difficulty is a little easy, but there is an unlockable Director’s Cut mode, which is harder. You can also put more mutants into past levels, which is cool since mutants are fun to blow up with a pistol. You can also choose different guns and upgrade them. I think the ending of the game is also a classic. Sorry, I’m a big fan of Planet Terror and those kinds of movies, so I like all the references this game makes. They definitely made some smart moves at Headstrong Games, making all the Grindhouse film references. It is also funny that this game got into the book of world records because you hear the “F” bomb 189 times in the game.

So, let’s see… awesome game play, funny acting, great references, and just all around fun. So what is the catch, Cam? Well, one of the things I don’t like is that it’s short. I beat the game in about 2 hours and 39 minutes. It would have been less if I had someone playing with me. The enemy variety is also very slim, and I wish there were more mutants. I wish the guns weren’t so expensive, because I usually got through the game with the pistol fully upgraded since I couldn’t afford the other guns. The multiplayer is also slim, since it’s mostly stuff you can do within the game itself. I know it’s silly that the cop drops the “F” bomb a lot, but sometimes it gets annoying. Then again, it’s a grindhouse-like film, umm, I mean game, so basically, these are all just small gripes.

Overall, I personally loved this game. This game won’t be for everyone, but if you like mutants, grindhouse flicks, and just a fun game to play from time to time, then I would recommend picking this up. Though it does nothing to innovate the Wii or the game itself, it does do well with what it has, mindless fun with a lot of charm.

This game gets a solid 8 out of 10.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Superman Shadow of the Apokolips for the Playstation 2 review

Superman is one of the most well known super heroes of all time. Not only is he famous amongst the comic book universe, he is almost as famous for his appearance in video games. I think everyone mostly knows he hasn’t had one good game ever since he has come into the world of games. A good example is Superman 64 for the Nintendo 64. It has been considered to be the worst game of all time. I have to agree he doesn’t have a good game. He has what the community calls, the “Superman Curse”. It means that each game that Superman has been in was bad, though I did see a small glimmer of hope in one of his 3D games, Superman Shadow of Apokolips. However, now that I have played it. I think that small light just died out.

The plot revolves around Darkseid’s plan to take over the earth with the help of Lex Luthor. They make a small side plan to make Superman believe that the Intergang is back, and side track him from their true plan. It is up to Superman to stop what is happening and save the day.

The game play is of a strategy/action/adventure game where you control Superman and go through different areas to stop the Intergang and then later the super villains that escaped from prison. Your basic form of attack is a super punch. You can also pick up objects, and throw them or carry them, depending on what the mission is. Of course, a Superman game wouldn’t be complete without his ability to fly. He can also blow a wind to take out fires and blow enemies back. Superman can also spin around at high speeds, and cause a massive shockwave when he lands. For some reason, super speed is not included, but you can move pretty fast while flying, so I guess they didn’t need it over at Infogamers, the company that made this game.

The graphics are pretty good. They look like they are ripped right out of the cartoon series that was around during the 90’s. They also got most the voice actors from the show to do the voices in the game. I think it was a smart move to get the original voice actors, since the guy behind Superman’s voice, Tim Daly, does such a good job. Lex Luthor’s voice actor, Clancy Brown also does a good job since he is also the voices of Baron Praxis from Jak 2, Captain Black from the Jackie Chan animated series, Gorrath in Megas XLR, and Long Feng in Avatar the Last Airbender.

Let’s bring out the weakness in this Superman game. The levels seem super repetitive. It felt like I was doing the same thing in every level. It just got boring and stupid. They decided to keep all the major villains from the show until later in the game. I don’t like that. When I want to fight a boss in the game, I want to fight one at least every level, but for some reason they don’t pop up until near the end of the game. That’s horrible pacing. The camera also felt a little clunky and hard to control. There were a lot of defects and bugs that I found in this game that wasn’t even funny. I got stuck in a lot of doorways and buildings due to poor collision testing. It also seems like that hit detection is on-and-off, since I am doing damage, but it doesn’t show. Oh, and here is the best part. Superman gets tossed around like a ragdoll! It seems like anything that hits him sends him flying backwards. That includes the first boss fight. I couldn’t get even close to Livewire, because I got sent flying backwards. I mean, I can understand that he does get sent flying back in the cartoon series when he is hit hard, but it seems a little too easy for him to be sent packing. I don’t feel like Superman after that. I felt more like someone’s punching bag. God, the music is awful. It was mostly like stock music throughout the whole game. What about the theme song from John Williams?!

Overall, I was very disappointed with this game. I thought it would be good, but I was wrong, and I feel like an idiot wasting my weekend playing this game. If you don’t get what I’m saying, I am saying, don’t buy this game. It has the Superman Curse reeking all over it. Why can’t he have a good game, for once? Then again, Superman thinks he is the perfect Superhero, and I think he is a little bit full of himself. At least, we have Batman Arkham Asylum and The Darkness.

This game gets a lousy 3 out of 10

X-Men Origins: Wolverine for the Playstation 3 review

Movie-to-game adaptations usually mean it’s a bad idea. Most of the time, they are rushed out and not polished well enough to be playable. It’s sad since some movies, like Transformers or the Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, could be turned into good games. However, these days they seem to be getting better, but not by much, though there are some that are worth playing. Some of the good ones are Goldeneye, Batman (the one directed by Tim Burton), Spiderman 2, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Since I mentioned X-Men Origins, why don’t I review it?

The whole plot of the game follows very little of the movie. Even though I didn’t watch the movie yet, I know the game doesn’t follow it. Basically, it takes you through Wolverine’s past when he was a special soldier, and through other areas. In a way, this is a good thing since what is more boring then playing through the game just like in the movie? I know I wouldn’t.

The game play of the game is a hack-and-slash beat ‘em up with some plat-forming thrown in to give the game some length. This game is similar to other games like Hellboy: Science of Evil or 2007’s Conan. You go through multiple areas like Africa, a science lab, New Orleans, and secret military bases. There is a lot of variety, and you go through flashbacks, going back and forward through the game. Wolverine has multiple moves at his disposal. He can do stuff like slice-and-dice enemies, toss them into hazardous environments, or one of my favorites, lunging at an opponent and bashing their skull in. There are other super moves like a spinning cyclone of claws, a drill move, and a rage mode where your attacks are stronger. There is some minor puzzle solving throughout the levels, like moving teleporters, getting energy cells, and pushing statues. There are some epic enemies and boss fights, like fighting other mutants, and even one boss fight with a sentinal. You can upgrade yourself with the game’s small rpg elements, kind of like the ones found in Ghost Rider or God of War. You also gain experience points by finding dog tags and killing enemies. There are some minor quick-time events, which only take up finishing side bosses and one of the major boss fights in the game.

Graphically, it’s impressive. It uses the Unreal 3 engine, and it makes the graphics look great. The game is nice and bloody, too. When you play a game with Wolverine, you want to beat the ever-loving crap out of the enemy. It is always enjoyable when you lunge perfectly at an air-born enemy, killing them in the air with your claws. The voice work is also passable. One of the best parts of the game has to be fighting the giant robot in the game. It’s super intense and it’s awesome. Some areas in some levels are awesome, like skydiving through the air to destroy the enemy has to be my favorite part in some levels. It happens a couple times through the game.

However, since this is a movie game, it does have a few flaws that hold it back from being a Triple A game. First off, the pacing of the game is kind of awkward going through the flashbacks in sections. It’s like one minute you’re in Africa, and 5 minutes later, you are in one of the military bases. Even though there is a lot of blood, some of the deaths aren’t that violent. For example, in one fight with a behemoth-like enemy, you rip off his head and there is no blood. The game can also get repetitious, since it seems like you do the same thing in EVERY level, and fight the same boss fights in every level, literally. The only time the boss fights get different is when you are fighting Deadpool or Sabertooth or one of the X-Men bosses. This game isn’t that polished either, since I have run into a couple of defects, like flickering graphics and showstopper bugs. However, I only encountered a few of them, which is a good thing.

The game is rough around the edges, and a little unpolished, but it’s a fun game. This is one of those games that you rent or buy to relieve some stress out of a busy day. I would say rent it. It’s the perfect weekend rental. However, if you are a fan of X-Men, you can unlock some secret outfits like the yellow Wolverine outfit form the X-Men cartoon. So, if you are a fan of X-Men, I would say pick this game up.

This game gets a 7.7 out of 10

Jak and Daxter for the Playstation 2 review

When I was starting out as a gamer, I would usually stick with Nintendo franchises, and shun other franchises. I don’t know why, though. I think maybe because I thought they were just copying Nintendo and weren’t being original and such. Don’t ask me why I thought that, I don’t remember. Though there are some franchises that I’m a little iffy on, the most recent one I have been checking out is the Jak and Daxter series. I started with their first game, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy for the Playstation 2. So, how good is this franchise? Is it off on the right foot? Or is it off the wrong foot?

The whole plot revolves around our hero Jak and his furry friend Daxter as they set out around this huge island or set of islands to find the sages of the island. They want to stop an evil force, which is trying to take all the dark eco in the land to use it for their evil deeds. Yeah, it’s nothing that we haven’t heard a million times, but there are some things I left out for the readers or new gamers to find out for themselves.

This game was made by Naughty Dog. If you are a new gamer of today, then you would recognize them for their Uncharted franchise. If you are retro, then you will recognize them for their work in the first 3 Crash Bandicoot games. Since this is the same company that made the 3 best Crash games, the game play is in the form of an action plat-former. The game pretty much centers on plat-forming, since you basically get around by jumping from platform to platform. There are some minor puzzle problems, but there aren’t many of them. There are also enemies to take down, but the fighting system isn’t that advanced since it seems like anyone can master the controls. The enemy variety is pretty large, and it won’t get repetitive and boring, fighting the same enemies. The goal in each of the 4 worlds is to gain power cells and do certain tasks to get them, like offering 90 precursor orbs, or going through dangerous areas of the level. It all depends on where you are. You can also go back to earlier levels to get power cells that you couldn’t get the first time or that you missed. Some of the power cells are out in the blue, but sometimes they are tricky to get.

The graphics are not as impressive by today’s games, but back in 2001, it was pretty impressive. I kind of like how the whole game goes around the plat-former theme, since you mostly jump from one platform to another. When most games put in a plat-former theme, other aspects of the game usually overshadow it. So, as a plat-forming game it’s pretty good. The voice acting is pretty good too. Not the best, but it gets the job done by people like Max Casella, who does the voice for Daxter. The music is okay. They could have done better with it, but I guess they didn’t have a big budget for music.

This game does have a lot of faults in my opinion. You can get hurt and die too easily. To regain health, you need to get 50 green orbs, which is just tedious since each time you get hit, you get a full power cell taken away. Some challenges and some power cells are tedious to get through and find. I can’t see a little kid having enough patience to get through this game. Even though there is a lot of stuff to do to get power cells, they get really repetitive, and it seems like you are doing the same thing in every level. Driving a vehicle is a little awkward, since it seems hard to turn and not to die while on it, or crash into something. A lot of times that I have died is because of one thing, the double jump. It is very ineffective since you can’t jump through a lot of gaps without doing the double jump and the spinning move. It’s annoying as hell, and it’s just stupid.

Overall, as a plat-former alone, it’s good, but it isn’t my favorite. I was kind of disappointed, since I heard this game got a lot of awards and good reviews. Well, personally, I don’t think it’s the best thing ever, though I will recommend renting it. I am kind of disappointed that the first game isn’t as good as I thought. I guess I need to try out the sequels now.

This game gets an 8 out of 10.

Gradius 5 for the Playstation 2 Review

Gradius has been around for 20 years. To be honest, I had never played a single Gradius game. I know it’s sad, but I didn’t know about this series until a few years back. So, I decided to go to and rent the latest in the Gradius series, Gradius 5 for the Playstation 2. After a while of actually getting it onto the top of my list, and finally getting it, I have got a thought about it. Was it worth the wait? Or was it a buzz kill, like Superman 64?

Basically, the game still follows the story of Vic Viper, who is the only hero of the human-inhabited planet, Gradius. Vic Viper must protect the planet from the evil Bacteriuon forces that want to take over the universe and blah blah blah, you get the idea. Yeah, the story isn’t going to blow you away like Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid, but with a game like Gradius, would you really want a story to care about?

The game play is of a classic 2D side-scrolling shooter like R-Type, Raiden, and Axelay. At the beginning of the game, you choose one ship out of four to start the game with. The ships themselves don’t change, but the power-ups are different for each one. One of the weapon in the series is an orange orb that shoots lasers at the same time you shoot them, and can take any position you want it to, depending on which ship you choose. You can also control it with the R1 button to keep it moving all around.

The graphics are pretty impressive. Yeah, it’s not Final Fantasy 12 or Odin Sphere, but that’s what makes Gradius 5’s graphics so cool. We have to remember that graphics are an art style, and all game graphics are going to be different, and that is what Treasure is doing right, making graphics look as good as they want. The music is also very fun to listen to, full of techno beats for all the Daft Punk fans out in the world. I think they would like these beats. It’s no wonder since Hitoshi Sakimoto, the same person who did the soundtrack for Final Fantasy Tactics and Odin Sphere, composed this soundtrack that has some original beats, but some are also remixed from past Gradius games. I also like the look of the boss fights and enemies. The controls are very responsive, and aren’t sluggish or skittish, and with a game like Gradius, you need super good controls.

Now, it is time to shoot down the bad parts. First off, I think the difficulty level is set WAY too high. I mean, I like a good challenge in a game, but the challenge in Gradius 5 is just set way too high. I can’t see a little kid picking up this game and enjoying it because of the difficulty setting. I mean, yeah, with a little practice you can get pretty good at it, but still, I think it turns me off when the difficulty setting is so tedious. I also think it’s disappointing that there are only 4 ships to choose from. It’s been 15 years since the last one, and they can’t give us like 5 more ships or something? Even though this is just a small gripe, I just think it sucks to lose all your power-ups when you get shot. Let’s look at another good shooter like Mars Matrix for the Dreamcast. When you get shot, you keep all your power-ups, which is awesome. I also think there needs to be a small health bar, like in the 1940 shooter series from Capcom.

Overall, this is a good game, but it’s hard to recommend it to everyone. I could only recommend it to retro gamers who like old-fashioned shooters. I would say, rent it to try it out, but I will warn you new gamers that it’s a really hard game, so be prepared to endure its difficulty.

This game gets a 6.9 out of 10