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GBU Game Review for Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox360)

Here’s what’s probably the biggest release of the year. I can’t remember the last time a game sold 5 million copies on it’s 1st day of release….dang. How do those guys sleep at night….probably on mattresses of money 🙂 Anyways, I’ll be reviewing the single player campaign, which gets a 9/10 from me. I played through the 360 version but the game is also available on the PC and PS3 as well.

The Good – Like the last Modern Warfare game, this is top notch first person shooter action. The action here is simply explosive, think of the good summer blockbuster movies out there, take their most exciting parts experienced over the length of a game and that’s what you got here. The story picks up 5 yrs. later, and keeping form you play as a few different characters throughout, all tied to the big picture at hand. Which obviously has to do with war, deception, and sometimes just downright insanity. The feeling from fighting in the streets in a random suburb of America is just crazy. It’s fun, exciting, over the top cinematic style is not something you see performed consistently in alot of games. It’s pulled off here with panache.
The graphics are some of the best this console generation, all moving at a fast, silky smooth framerate. I feel the campaign is a good deal longer than the 1st game, I’d say it’s just right. There’s a ridiculous amount of ‘holy crap’ moments, to the point where I would just need a break cuz my nerves would be rattled. The gameplay feels great, controls are tight and feel just right. There’s a crap-ton of different guns everywhere at any given time. Being taken to all kinds of different locales gives every level a distinct feel. The action changes up sometimes with short vehicle sequences that keep you charged. This game’s a good substitute for Red Bull 🙂 Highly recommended.

The Bad
– There’s a few parts in the game, I can think of maybe 3-4, where things just get ridiculously difficult. I played on regular, which is the game’s normal difficulty, and just couldn’t understand why it was so tough to get through these few parts. Except in the Rio de Janiero level, getting killed by guys standing on the roofs of shacks is just annoying when you don’t notice them at first. I spoke with our friend Jack, the super hardcore mouse/keyboard PC shooter guy, and he had the same issues on the same sections playing on PC. A little more tweaking on those few portions would’ve made the campaign almost perfect. While the story is really good, narrative needs a little work. Sometimes the plot gets a little confusing when the game switches up the characters you’re playing as.

The Ugly – It’s pretty obvious, anybody who knows the game enough knows about the controversy with the “No Russian” level. It’s dark, grim and uncomfortable. You have the option to not play it at all, but it works in the context of the story. It isn’t till near the end where it kinda makes sense for the devs to make you feel this way at this part in the storyline.

November 19, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on GBU Game Review for Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox360)

GBU Game Review for Half-Life 2: Episode Two (Xbox360, PC)

In a bit of bass ackwardsness, here’s my review to the 2nd expansion pack to Half-Life 2. One of my all time favorite first person shooters EVER. Why this one first? I just played through it for a 2nd time last week so it’s fresh in my mind. The first time was when it was released 2yrs. ago on the Xbox360, then last week on my fairly equipped PC. I’m gonna go ahead and give this one a 10, that’s right, I went there 🙂 Somewhere down the line I may review Half-Life 2 and the it’s first expansion Episode One, but this is where the game is tops, until Episode Three drops maybe. But only time will tell, especially since we’ve been waiting for it for 2yrs. now :-/

The Good – Awesome continuation of the Half-Life 2 saga. You, playing as Gordon Freeman, are put to the task of trying to save the world from the Combine. An alien race that terrorizes the human race into a concentration camp like lifestyle. The first person combat continues as you battle Combine soldiers(humans converted to do their bidding), striders, a new combine enemy, the hunter and other nasties as well such as antlions, headcrab zombies and more. Everybody (or creature) has their own tactic to be taken down with, so you’re sure to have a different experience in every section of the game. The action is incredibly thrilling, never boring, sometimes scary, and thankfully never overbearing. Puzzle sections help to break up the action, which usually has you making use of the gravity gun, something that was revolutionary in 2004 when Half-Life 2 dropped. This “weapon” lets you pick up most objects and place them down, or for fun, shoot them anywhere. In some sections you can defeat enemies just with this and whatever is laying around, this makes for some cool creative fights and definitely something new and different in the shooter world, even 5yrs. later. The story, which is strong, is uniquely told entirely through the eyes of the hero, the camera NEVER leaves his perspective, and he NEVER speaks….this is interesting in a strange way, but it 100% works. The characters on your side are likeable, they just make you give a damn, which means the voice acting is there in top form as well. Sometimes you’re paired up with an NPC(usually Alyx), which can spell annoyance in some games, but they never get in your way, always help and are never annoying. One of the last things I love about this game, unlike most shooters today, every gun that you find throughout the game, as long as there’s ammo, is at your disposal. Sure, games like Halo and Call Of Duty started the trend where you can only carry two guns at a time, and while it sets forth an interesting strategy for those types of games, almost every shooter(1st and 3rd), has copied this. Sometimes I just wanna use it all, when I want to. And oh yeah, sorry PC junkies, but the PC version lets me use my 360 controller and the controls are fully configured exactly like the 360. Guess what I used 🙂

The Bad – Pffffft….hardly….but I’ll be a little nit-picky for review’s sake……A first person shooter with no dedicated melee button? Really? I know I can use the crowbar for this function, but I have to switch to it, inconvenient if I ever ‘need’ it. In old shooter fashion, you have to “find” health, yup, nearly every shooter today has regenerating health or shields, here you have to find it when you need it, like the old days. It makes for an interesting strategy for me, but some cats may not like that. The Source Engine graphics, while still great and pleasant to the eye, are starting to show their age….in the age of Gears of Wars, Call of Dutys, and your Uncharteds, it’s true.

The Ugly – The timing of these “Episodes”. Valve was supposed to start a new era by helping to introduce us to episodic gaming. We were promised 3 episodes to continue the Half-Life 2 storyline, it was basically supposed to be Half-Life 3. They were supposed to be 6 months apart. So Episode One drops a little over a year and a half after Half-Life 2, Episode Two drops nearly a year and a half after that…..and here we are almost 2yrs. later waiting for Episode Three with no announcement in sight 😦

October 27, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments