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Sorcery - Playstation 3
Sorcery - Playstation 3
Offered by suredealshop
Price: $8.20
145 used & new from $1.69

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Move Creates Magic with Sorcery, May 23, 2012
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
UPDATE: I'm downgrading this game on the fun factor after playing 95% of the game because there are a *number* of annoying problems with this game. At times, the frustration really makes you want to stop playing.

**Be advised that you cannot play this game without the PlayStation Move, it might not be the clearest in the description, but it's clearly labeled on the box. You can't even start the game without calibrating the Move controller. **

After forcing gamers to wait way too long for a game that was originally a launch title, Sorcery is finally here, and it was worth the wait. The 1:1 tracking of the Move controller showcases the motion controller gaming like it was demoed, and it's quite fun using the controller as your magic wand. There are times it can be oversensitive, and you might miss your targets, but you'll get used to it over time.

Move controls include swiping left and right to move objects, drawing circles to 'mend' broken objects, and flicking your wrist to cast spells accurately based on how high you aim and what direction (and many more). Potions that you can craft are activated by shaking the motion controller, and then tipping it upside down like you are drinking the potion. Twisting your wrist and flicking to the side can also curve your spells which is fun to do and satisfying when you hit enemies behind cover with your spells.

This is definitely not the greatest game ever made. The game world is incredibly linear, annoyingly so. Instead of an adventure game that allows exploration and back-tracking, this game *prevents* backtracking after you move onto the 'next area'. So far, I have not been able to return to areas previously missed, and with trophies for finding all of the treasures, this is screaming the word annoying the entire way home. Some places the game does not tell you which is the "main" path, and some times you will find chests like you hope and other times you will skip them completely because the game only lets you move forward. While there are treasures to be found and sold, you are always restricted to following the path the game wants you to go; invisible walls are EVERYWHERE.

The Move is very accurate at spellcasting. However, since the game has a feature which allows you to curve your spells by 'side-casting', I found myself twisting the Move wand in my hand. If the Move wand isn't held correctly in your hand, I found that Finn will not cast any spells no matter how hard I tried. The movements which are required to 'select' your spells are a bit awkward and hard to do correctly and consistently while being in tight combat situations. When it works it's great, but when it's not, eh, not so much.

Voice acting is pretty good, although you can tell that it is more centered towards younger crowds. You get tired of hearing "Oh, you showed that rock!" pretty quickly. This actually improved as the game went on, no problems with the voice acting in this game.

There are 3 levels of difficulty, Casual, Gamer, and Hardcore. I've heard that there is a 4th difficulty which can be unlocked by beating the game the first time. I'll be able to confirm this in the next few days.

The combat in this game is *surprisingly* unforgiving. There have been a number of times where I have been knocked down or frozen, only to be knocked down and/or frozen as soon as I get back on my feet. I'm playing the game on CASUAL difficulty and I have died a number of times in some pretty ridiculously overwhelming combat scenarios. If you're looking at this game for someone who has never played video games, you may want to warn them that it's not going to be a cakewalk.

One last gripe, the save system. This is just atrocious, and I'm really hoping that it's something they patch on a future date. The game gives you the opportunity to "save the game", but this just saves it at the waypoint you LAST found, and nothing after that. Keep this in mind when you meet the alchemist and mix 4 different potions and then you die in the next encounter. (I just encountered this at a boss fight; made 4 or 5 potions, and was creative about how I chose my potions, etc. Boss killed me, and I started before talking to the alchemist, no potions mixed, and all of my stats were reset. The thought of having to do this 20 times if that's how many tries it takes to kill the boss just is *incredibly* annoying. You've been warned.

I can't say that this game would force me to buy a PlayStation Move if I didn't already own one, but it has definitely solidified my purchase from years ago, and I don't regret owning this thing anymore. This is one game that you'll definitely want to play to show your friends how the Move works. Adding in the spell combinations that can be unlocked later in the game, this game is inventive in ways that most games could only dream of. The spell combinations are surprisingly satisfying, and you'll have fun slinging your Move wand around throwing the various spells at different enemies.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 23, 2012 2:31 PM PDT

CTA Digital PS Vita Screen Protection Kit
CTA Digital PS Vita Screen Protection Kit
Price: $4.99
41 used & new from $1.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Crap, February 29, 2012
= Fun:1.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this from the voucher given to those who ordered the Vita 3G launch bundle, and this is probably one of the worst things I've ever received from No fault to Amazon of course, but this "screen protector" not only was crap quality, but I couldn't even get mine to go on my Vita because there was dust and lint all over the sticky surfaces and it wouldn't go on without leaving at least 20 bubbles on the screen. I promptly removed this and I will not be buying another one. Good thing that I had a voucher for it, or I would be furiously asking for my money back.

Batman: Arkham City Signature Series Guide (Bradygames Signature Guides)
Batman: Arkham City Signature Series Guide (Bradygames Signature Guides)
by Michael Lummis
Edition: Paperback
40 used & new from $7.22

24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Guide for an Absolutely HUGE Game, November 3, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
First thing you should know about this book is that it is NOT 352 pages. In fact, it is only 272 pages, which is quite a big difference from what was advertised. Once you put that disappointment aside, this book is halfway decent. There's a pretty thorough campaign walkthrough, and it tries to minimize the spoilers which is nice. I will not give anything away about the game here, as that would just be cruel to not let you experience it yourself! There is a section on bios which details all of the villains (this does contain some spoilers though, so I suggest you don't read it thoroughly until you complete the main story) and gives you their backstory for Arkham City.

The best part about this book is that it tells you (in more words or less) how to obtain every last Riddler trophy (All 440 of them) in the game. There are parts of this that I wish were a bit more descriptive or had a few more screenshots, but overall this guide is pretty easy to use if you have a goal in mind. That said, it will be very difficult to find some of the trophies if they aren't marked on your map. There are little maps drawn with numbers over the positions of the trophies, but it can be hard to navigate to the exact spot in some areas. It also suffers from "From the platform where you got Trophy #5", assuming that you will not be picking up any Riddler trophies until you have the ability to get them all after the story's conclusion.

There is also a section that is dedicated to the challenge maps (combat/predator) and gives you tips on how to fight each enemy type. There is also a full writeup on strategy for freeflow combat, which can be very helpful for beginners. I don't have the book on hand at the moment, but I'll update this review if I come up with anything else that I can remember about the book.

By the way, if you're thinking about buying this book you may want to get it sooner rather than later. I preordered it 2 months in advance and somehow my preorder got backordered by Amazon and I had to wait an additional week to get my book. Who knows how many of these they actually printed, and when they're gone they're gone.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2014 3:13 PM PST

Portal 2 - Playstation 3
Portal 2 - Playstation 3
Offered by Shark Distributors
Price: $20.99
121 used & new from $11.90

108 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Time to Think With Portals Again!, April 19, 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
(Note: This review contains ZERO spoilers) / Updated April 29, 2011

If you like puzzle games, this is about as good as it gets. There is no other puzzle game like this, and believe me when I say you won't be disappointed. The first Portal game was just an extra; this is a full-length game. The first thing you'll notice is the inclusion of co-op which adds an entirely new layer of fun to the game. Think about what you could do with 2 portals, and imagine how you would complicate the puzzles with 4 portals instead. My friend and I were having an absolute blast trying to figure out just how to position our portals in tandem to set up the solution for these increasingly difficult puzzles. It's challenging and fun at the same time.

There were a few times where we almost gave up, and then the solution suddenly presented itself and we were able to continue. This game is not for anyone who is looking for a relaxing stroll through the Aperture Science Facility. This game WILL test your patience and intellect, and it is significantly more complex than the original game. Don't let that scare you away though, this game is absolutely amazing. New gameplay elements such as funnels, light bridges and gels come alongside the return of the Portal gun and not only do they present some intriguing puzzle designs, but they will test your wit in new ways that surpass even the sharpest minds.

UPDATE: My friend and I have finished the co-op portion of the game and the puzzles spike in difficulty near the end. There are roughly 40 co-op levels in the game, and there are a few trophies to make you come back to a few of the more difficult challenges. The length of the co-op will vary depending on the skill of the player, but my friend and I managed to solve all 40 puzzles in about 11 hours. Some people will say that it takes 5-6, but that's probably on a second or third playthrough. If you've never seen the gameplay elements before, you will have to take some trial and error to figure out how they work before you can think about trying to solve the puzzles.

The single player campaign is excellent, though this also spikes in difficulty pretty significantly about 1/3 of the way through the game, and then again 2/3 of the way through. The game starts off with a quick tutorial, but this game assumes that if you are playing Portal, you already have a pretty good idea of how to think with portals. Some of the puzzles in the middle of the game actually had me turning off my system until the next night, at which point I was able to figure it out in a matter of minutes. One thing that I really love about this game is the fact that it never tells you where you are supposed to go, you have to look around and then figure out how to get there by using everything in your environment. This is ever more evident once you reach a certain point in the game. All of the stops are pulled out and the amount of mind-bending thinking that you have to do borders on insanity. It's never too difficult though, as the solution is always right in front of you. The trick is you have to figure out how to make it happen with varying degrees of complexity. Some puzzles will take you 30 seconds, and others will have you trying things over and over for 30 minutes. All while being incredibly fun the entire time! The single player campaign took me about 15 hours to complete, and I will certainly be playing it again soon.

The voice acting in both single player and co-op is superb, and GLaDOS is even more hilarious than the first time around. It's pretty much a guarantee that you will find the dialog humorous, whether it's listening to GLaDOS telling you that you will fail to solve the next test, or that Wheatley thinks you may have died from a horribly long fall and isn't sure what to do.

The PS3 version of this game also comes with Steam integration and this is a breeze to set up. I managed to log into my Steam account on my PS3 and I was able to see all of my friends and send messages, view achievements, etc. Best part is you can access this all within the game too, and it was very easy to set up. Just type in your name and password, and I was immediately connected. I haven't been able to test out the PC / PS3 playing together yet, but I'll be sure to update my review once I am able to try it out.

UPDATE: Since the PSN has been down since April 20, I have been unable to play online yet. I was quite fortunate to have linked my PSN account to Steam, as players are currently unable to do this right now. When the PSN is restored this game will certainly be received better by the community due to the online portion being completely dead on arrival.

It's been a long time since I've been able to have this much fun with a video game, and one with so much content (apparently Valve is planning on releasing DLC and a map editor for the game to allow creating new levels). The only gripe I have with the game is a lack of challenge maps. One of the best parts of Portal was to see if you could solve the puzzles in the fastest time, fewest steps and fewest number of portals. That is sadly missing from this game, and it would be totally awesome in co-op mode. The story and level design make up for this, but there isn't a whole lot to come back to once you've completed the game. Even still, getting 20-25 hours out of a video game is pretty good for a puzzle game considering the competition these days.

If you're even close to being on the fence about this game, I highly recommend that you give it a shot.
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2011 7:49 PM PST

ModNation Racers Official Strategy Guide (Official Strategy Guides (Bradygames))
ModNation Racers Official Strategy Guide (Official Strategy Guides (Bradygames))
by James Manion
Edition: Paperback
61 used & new from $0.01

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent but Overall Disappointing, May 28, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this guide to go along with ModNation Racers, and when I saw it was only 192 pages I got a little scared. Definitely did not seem like enough was in this guide for a game that is all about CUSTOMIZATION. I received this guide in the mail the other day and was incredibly disappointed.

The only aspect of the guide which details how to use the creators for mods and karts is 1 page telling you how to randomize creations and generally tweak options. It does include a little information about color changes, and toggling edit modes (basic/advanced), but it's just not detailed enough! The instruction manual does a better job at explaining this part of the game, which isn't really saying a lot.

The track studio is the same way; not enough detail. I expected there would be a list of props, and how to use them, tweak them in every-which way, no such luck. The book gives you 2 "guides" on how to create tracks that are spelled out in the book and the rest is left to your imagination. Very disappointing.

One thing that keeps this baby at 3 stars is the coverage of the Career Mode. This is so detailed you almost can't believe it. But the entire guide is pretty much JUST about Career Mode. Pages 32-140 are about the Career Mode (that's over half of the book), and it will show you pictures of tough parts of the courses, where the shortcuts are, and how to get the edge on the toughest opponents in the game. Also included in this is the items that you unlock from the achievements, and the token purchases are a little better explained, but not entirely. It says that everything is random when using tokens, giving the impression you could spend the tokens and possibly waste them for good, without getting a new unlocked item. I hand added them up to find that there are enough tokens in the Career Mode to unlock all the items in the token shop, but it still unnerved me that the book didn't make this too clear.

This guide does do a pretty good job explaining the menu system for the game too which the instruction manual does not do a very good job of in my opinion. This guide also covers the PSP version of courses, creators and changes between the PS3 and PSP versions.

The $13.59 price tag I paid meant it was worth my money, but be warned, this is NOTHING like the Super Book for LittleBigPlanet which had almost 300 pages about just the creator tools.

I hope that Brady Games comes out with a Creator Guide for all of the skins, stickers, unlocks, body kits, parts, etc. It would be so nice to have a hands on guide to use when I'm creating my mods and karts so I didn't have to scroll up and down like an idiot all the time.

I've reviewed the game as well if you don't believe that my complaints are legit. This book just seems like it was only half-finished when it was released.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 11, 2010 12:31 PM PDT

Modnation Racers
Modnation Racers
Offered by NYC Electronics
Price: $18.69
96 used & new from $6.23

56 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, A Kart Formula that Works, May 26, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Modnation Racers (Video Game)
ModNation Racers seeks to do what no other kart racer has done; allow unlimited customization and involve a community to be creative and share their ideas. While it's similar to LittleBigPlanet because of the "Race, Create, Share" tag that Sony and United Front Games have put onto this title, I feel that it expands on this idea even further than Media Molecule's hit. The controls and interface a simple to navigate and the developer went to great lengths to personalize the experience with ModNation Racers.

Everything you do within the game occurs in the ModSpot. A central hub where about 5 other players (when you're online) will congregate and you can see them drive around. There are all kinds of things to do in the ModSpot. Here you have access to the races, including Online, Online Split-Screen (up to 2 players split-screen), Offline Split-Screen (up to 4 players split-screen) and the Career Mode.

The Online racing experience is pretty smooth. Players can join a random match, or they can host matches with their friends, or just for other players to join. You can choose to race with "XP Mode" where your online profile will gain XP to rank up among other players. The competition is pretty intense though, so make sure you're familiar with how to handle the karts before heading to this mode. If you're not in the "XP" mood, you can just race casually for fun. All of your stats from races are tracked to your profile, and you can see the stats for each track that you've raced on as well.

Driving karts is a breeze. I equate this something slightly more complicated than Mario Kart 64. You accelerate and brake, fire weapons after picking up the powerups, and you *absolutely* must learn how to drift. Pressing and holding the 'X' button allows you to perform a drift around corners which fills a boost meter on the side of the screen. The boost meter is used for sideswiping opponents, boosting your speed, or using the shield equipped to your kart. It will take a lot of practice to get the timing down on your shield as it only lasts a few seconds with a full meter of boost, but it can make the difference between placing 1st and getting blown away at the last second of the final lap. Weapons come in 3 different styles: Missiles, Lightning and Sonic attacks. Each powerup can be upgraded up to 3 times. Stage 1 attacks are pretty light and can only hit 1 car (the Sonic level 1 weapon has a pulse discharged from around the car so it could potentially hit multiple enemies), Stage 2 attacks will hit 2 to 3 racers in front of you, and level 3 attacks can knock everyone out (think 'Blue Shell' from Mario Kart) if you manage to fire it from last place. It can be difficult to do this though, as if you are hit with a weapon, you will lose your current weapon and have to pick up a new powerup. Weapons appear to be random too, just like other kart racers.

So far, it sounds like a pretty good game right? Well, it is; the only catch is that with each thing that you do in this game, you might as well take a bathroom break or go fix a sandwich, because you will literally be waiting over a minute for some of the tracks to load. Not that this is a game-breaking deal for me though, the developer has stated that they will be patching the game to reduce load times which will be a well-liked feature when it is finally released.

The Career mode pits you the player against 25 different courses with challenges and shortcuts littered throughout the courses. It will probably take you a few tries to beat each track, especially since there are "achievements" within each track to unlock new items used in the Creation Studios. You will likely want to collect all of these, as the creation tools expand exponentially every time you add a new item to your creative pallet. Some of these challenges are "Grudge Matches", where after defeating an opponent on the track AND finishing 1st place, that opponent will challenge you 1-on-1 for the right to use their mod in the game. These matches are TOUGH, and you will need to be an expert at the course and handling your kart if you even are going to stand a fighting chance at beating these. Also littered on each course are tokens that can be used to purchase new items in the Shop, which is located in the ModSpot and the Creation Studio.

Now for the cream of the crop: the Creation Studio. Everyone has likely been comparing this game to Little Big Planet because of the customization you can do. In my opinion, this allows way more customization of your character than LittleBigPlanet. Through the use of unlocked accessories, hair pieces, clothing, shoes, gloves, hats, eyes, ears, noses, mouths, etc. you have the option to make your character as strange or awesome as you see fit! After putting the body together, you can change the color of anything you place on your mod, including different styles (which can be tweaked with a full color wheel) that can be unlocked. The color system is something that I tremendously applaud for this game. Anytime you place an object on your mod, or use something of a certain color, that color is added to either of the "Mod Colors", or "Kart Colors", so you can easily match colors and set things up just the way you want quickly and easily. It's so easy I was able to create look-alike characters from TV shows and movies within just a few minutes. There also is an aspect of stickers for the creation studios where you can layer and tweak each and every sticker that you want to put on your mod. From shapes, letters, numbers and other decals like flames, etc. you can dream up your imagination and put it on your mod or kart. Then you can resize, rotate, skew, cut, copy, layer and repaste your sticker designs on other parts of your mod or kart and even save them as sticker sets to use again later.

Each portion of the Creation Studio is divided into sub-menus which are not too complicated, but you will need more than just the game's instruction manual to become a master. UFG really did an excellent job with the creators, allowing simple creation, or really advanced creation. Each part you put on your mod or kart can be left as is when it first goes on, or you can dive into the deep customization abilities to create something so genuine that only you could create it. The L2 and R2 buttons are used to move to the next "area" of that specific menu, and the L1 button is usually reserved for advanced / basic edit toggling. The triangle button is typically the color option, whereby a color wheel can be viewed by pressing triangle again. Once you get the system under your belt you'll be amazed at the creations that you can come up with in ModNation Racers.

To top it off, you can then select your mods and karts that you have created, OR downloaded to race with friends and online/offline. That's right. Upload your creations to the PlayStation Network, and let other people download them. You can also allow players to "remix" your creation, where they will edit your creation and then re-upload it to the PSN. You still get the "creator" credit, and they get the remix credit. This system is absolutely solid, and it works extremely well. The Share spot of ModNation Racers is really easy to use and the developers took care to make sure that the karts, mods and tracks people create would be easy to find and download. There's an area for "Most Downloaded", "Most Raced", "Newest", or you can search by keywords which are used to describe your creation when you publish it.

The Track Studio is the only creator I haven't talked about. It's massive, and incredibly deep. Choose from 1 of 4 themes for your track and you drive a steam-roller to pave your track. You can create a simple loop, or you can go back and add monster jumps, bridges, tunnels, bank the road, make it narrow, add road hazards like construction barrels, crates, even rotating platforms. I could literally write a whole review on just this editor. It is that deep. You can change the elements and the direction that the sun shines, level of the water, and the type of road you will drive on. You can also create shortcuts, forks in the road, and add boost pads and weapons. Just like in LittleBigPlanet, all of the tracks in the career mode were made using the Track Studio. It's just incredible.

I played this game for literally 7 hours straight and I could not stop playing. It is FUN to play, and the community's imagination will blow you away. I saw downright amazing mods that looked like Mario, Iron Man, Sonic the Hedgehog, and even the Master Chief from Halo. Over the coming months players will upload unlimited content to choose from, and race from. If you don't like what other players do, create your own! It's that easy. Oh, and if you're worried about creating a super-looking track that people would actually want to play, you can just Auto-Populate your track in the editor which automatically adds scenery and gameplay items to the track so it looks like it took hours to make, when in reality it was only mere minutes.

I've waited a long time for a game like this to surface. Finally we have something on the PS3 which rivals the greatest kart racers of all time. Long load times will be fixed down the road, but the next generation of kart racing is here. If you're skeptical about your purchase, download the demo off the PSN. Trust me though when I say, if you buy this game, you will NOT be disappointed.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 15, 2011 9:00 PM PDT

USA Gear Protective Neoprene Sleeve Case Cover - Will fit the Apple iPad (All Generations) - 16GB , 32GB , 64GB , WiFi + 3G
USA Gear Protective Neoprene Sleeve Case Cover - Will fit the Apple iPad (All Generations) - 16GB , 32GB , 64GB , WiFi + 3G

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Cheap, Temporary Solution for your iPad, April 12, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Chances are that if you're looking at buying an iPad, you are going to invest in a case to protect the screen and the device itself. I was in the same situation about a week ago when I ordered my iPad from Apple, and it arrived last Friday. The case came on Saturday morning (ordered the same day as the iPad) and immediately I attempted to protect the iPad with the case.

At first glance, the neoprene material looks nice enough that I'm okay with carrying my iPad around in it and showing it off to other people. The nylon around the zippers fits snug together and it is comfortable to hold in your hands.

When you open the zipper, the first thing you may notice is that it's just the neoprene material, and that doesn't leave a whole lot of padding. The material is stretchy, but it's almost too stretched to start, as it ends up being about 1/2" too long and 1/4" too wide for the iPad to fit "comfortably".

I do like the accessory pocket on the front for my charger cable, adapter, and cleaning cloth so I can keep my iPad in good condition. It could probably fit a small pair of earbuds if you're so inclined as well.

I bought this hoping that it would fit like the Belkin Kindle 2 Case, and it does not. The sleeve is made of what seems like flimsy material which doesn't bode well to offer much protection if I was to drop it (which I have not done yet). If you only have a few bucks and you don't feel like throwing $40 away on the Apple case, this will work fine for the interim. I will be investing in a more long-term solution shortly though, as I don't really feel secured with my iPad living in this case.

I'm contemplating getting a silicon skin which then would be around the iPad while in this case which might help it fit better, but I'm not 100% sure yet.

Update: Yesterday I purchased the Belkin Grip Swell skin from Best Buy and using the two cases together allows it to fit more securely, and if the case had been smaller it may not have fit 100%. The only downside, is that the Belkin skin cost me $50 at Best Buy, and it doesn't seem worth $50 but comparing reviews on other skins, I wanted one that fit and that protects my iPad from scratches.

inFAMOUS - Playstation 3
inFAMOUS - Playstation 3
Offered by Delaware
Price: $16.69
216 used & new from $2.75

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly amazing, inFAMOUS delivers!, June 1, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
When you hear the phrase "PS3 exclusive" usually one would think that it would be over-hyped and the Xbox junkies jump all over it comparing it to the Halo series and how much the game shouldn't be getting good reviews. While that may be the typical viewpoint, inFAMOUS delivers to knock that view outta the water.

After playing this game for about 10 hours I am fully convinced that this game has it all. Open-world sandbox play, awesome visual effects, a terrific soundtrack, and overall this game is just FUN to play. You play a bike messenger guy who was carrying a package which explodes and leaves the game's setting in ruin. Since you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, everyone sees you as a terrorist and they will treat you as such until you can get the people on your side. This is done much like Fable II's Good vs. Evil system. Choices you make will effect the "Karma" meter, which is a 6-slotted progress meter which shows your alignment to Good or Evil. If you are Good, people will take your picture and ask you to heal civilians. If you are Evil, people will attack you as a mob, throwing rocks at you and defacing pictures of you on walls of buildings. Think of it as though the city is alive...and it's very difficult to describe here, you really have to see it yourself.

When "the blast" happens which destroys Empire City, the island is quarantined off, and you are given electrical powers which you can use for the Good or Evil causes. These range from lightning bolt shocks, to grenades and shockwaves. While there may not be 400 different abilities, the variety is enough to keep things interesting, as the bad guys you face will keep you guessing all the time for how to overcome the odds. Abilities are purchased with the game's XP system, which you gain XP from things like killing badguys to healing civilians. Certain abilities can only be purchased or used if you have a certain Karma alignment. For example, Hero rank (ultimate Good) gives you Overload Burst which is like Force Chain lightning from Star Wars (blue strikes) and Infamous rank (ultimate Evil) gives you Arc Lightning which just causes a massive amount of destruction when you shoot it off. Evil grenades will turn into cluster bombs, while good grenades will electrocute your foes and allow you to subdue them peacefully. When your alignment changes, your powers for Good/Evil will be unlocked/locked out which really adds a whole new level of customization to the game. Feeling like you just want to shoot anything that moves? Frying civilians will adjust your alignment towards evil, and you can blow cars up, fry pedestrians, punch someone in the face, kick a guy off a building rooftop, and launch dumpsters and other objects skyward. There really is no limit to the PS3's potential with showing explosions and such as I have never seen the framerate lag once.

Your powers are fueled by electricity, though you can't actually generate any of it. You'll utilize generators, cars, and street lights to "recharge your batteries" literally, so you can keep blasting things away. And at points, the power to the city will need to be restored, so enemies really give you a run for your money when you can't really recharge your batteries at will. You'll be scaling buildings, leaning around corners, blowing up cars and launching badguys across city rooftops left and right, and this is done through a very well-designed combat system.

inFAMOUS gives players the option to play the game how they want. Ever played Grand Theft Auto IV and wished that you could just climb up onto the street pole, or scaling a building with 100 windows? inFAMOUS allows players to latch onto literally ANYTHING that can be grabbed onto in real life. Climb up a street pole and jump to a window ledge? No problem. Jump off a 20 story building to a moving train? Yep. You can grab almost anything to scale the next building or to get to where you need to go. The super powers you have on top of this tremendous ability to platform provides endless amounts of fun and excitement that inFAMOUS has to deliver.

There are however a few gripes that I have for this amazing game. And they're not so bad that you shouldn't buy it; trust me. First gripe I have is the cutscenes are either in graphic art storyboard style or poorly generated graphic sequences. The people you see in the game sometimes look better than the characters telling you what the problem is. Secondly, this game does such a good job of flawlessly letting you run free and fast jumping here and there and blowing things up til you're blue in the face; with one caveat: The Mission Complete Screen. If only there was no pause between missions telling you how much XP you just earned, and how your alignment is changed and pauses the game for just a few seconds, reminds you that you're only playing a video game, instead of getting completely immersed in this game as you most certainly will.

This game also has a huge replay value not only for the good vs evil differences, but the game also has well over 70 side missions, some for good and some for evil, and a plethora of neutral ones too. With 3 islands comprising Empire City, my 10 hour trek of the game has only given me a 94% completion of the first island, and I still have a ton of new abilities to unlock! The game also has over 300 collectible Blast Shards which will expand the usage of your super powers by adding battery cores to your power gauge. If that weren't enough, the fact you can race along power lines, blow up cars with electricity and fall 50 stories to get up and run to the next street over should fill your gaming needs til the sequel eventually comes out.

If you have a PS3 and don't already own this game, you should most certainly buy it; if you don't have a PS3, this game should be reason enough to buy one!

This game gets an electrifying 5 stars!

Tomb Raider Underworld
Tomb Raider Underworld
Offered by The Game Trader
Price: $9.40
111 used & new from $2.38

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plenty of Treasure in this Find, November 21, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
I've been a fan of Tomb Raider ever since I was young with the classics, and the mechanics of gameplay, puzzle-solving and combat seem to always work pretty damn well for the folks at Eidos. The same is true with the latest installment of the series, Tomb Raider: Underworld.

The game starts out by informing you of a video that ties the story together, which right away gives you the impression that this game is going to actually have a point, instead of just "Let's go to this random place for this artifact that existed thousands of years ago." Lara actually has a plan, and she is attempting to fulfill that plan. While you start off with the basic tutorial inside Lara's mansion, it's surprisingly on fire, and I won't spoil anything here, but there's a plot twist on why.

You dive right into the classic Tomb Raider puzzles almost immediately, but this time there have been a few twists and extras added. As was said in the preview, the environment feels more realistic. The PS3 does a tremendous job of providing seamless gameplay and Lara's movements are just absolutely amazing. Lifelike almost, as not only does her hair flutter across her back when she runs, jumps, flips, etc, but there also is a sense of how she interacts with the environment. She gets dirty from climbing all those walls, and a simple jump into a pool of water, and she's all clean again.

In addition to the tremendous visual effects seen which will really give you a "WOW" factor each time you enter the next big room with architecture and another mind-boggling puzzle to solve, you sometimes can really get lost in the world of Tomb Raider, which is exactly what the developers intended. Underworld also has this sense of freedom to it, as you no longer have to go "ONE WAY" to get to your destination. You'll find multiple paths to get where you need to go, and each one has multiple secrets to find, which some are very cleverly hidden.

Another addition here, is multi-room challenges. You enter a room and hit a switch which opens a gate somewhere else, then you spend 45 minutes working on the next puzzle which ends up eventually sending you back out to solve the first puzzle. Like I said, you can solve them in any order you like, but the game has this sense of doing it yourself instead of "Oh man, not this again."

The combat and movement systems have all been refined too. Lara can now jump off walls and chimney up to the top of platforms, she can hang off a wall and shoot a gun with one hand, holding the ledge with the other. She has all new melee moves and plenty of other tricks that are sure to impress any puzzle junkie like myself. Her motorcycle is also a tool that can be used, and the grappling hook is actually *quite* useful, compared to previous games where it might have been used 5 times the entire game. The only gripe I have with the combat system is a lack of a cover system. You will run guns blaring into a bunch of enemies and just hope they don't shoot and kill you, because your weapons are like always (weak pistols) and you can't dodge bullets really. The adrenaline system to slow time down will surely save you time and time again.

Remember those button-pressing cutscenes from Legend and Anniversary? Those are now gone, and the game expects you to figure out what the logical move is when the camera slows down for some sort of cutscene like that of predecessors. It works very well, and is quite rewarding when you're unsure of what to do exactly and you get saved at the last second from a jump, grapple, etc.

The sound quality is astounding, as you feel submerged in the game and environment. Granted that I was playing it on a 50" plasma 1080p HD TV, but nonetheless, the sound and graphics were more than enough to keep me glued to the game for several hours at a time.

The game also gives you the ability to use Lara's PDA to not only assist you with finding where to go, but you can get hints for what to look for, or if you're really stumped, exactly what to do. I encourage you not to use these hints, as they really spoil the beautiful puzzles that have been so carefully crafted by the developers to create a montage of epic proportions.

I'm not really understanding why the game reviewers have lately been so hard on video games. Is it because 'next-gen' is supposed to mean like controlling everything with so much ease and perfection, that all games are getting 7's and 8's. Well my vote is definitely higher than that, and I think if you shell out the money to add this to your collection, you will definitely agree...Tomb Raider is a great find.

Star Wars the Force Unleashed - Xbox 360
Star Wars the Force Unleashed - Xbox 360
Offered by Shark Distributors
Price: $16.69
172 used & new from $3.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Quite as Unleashed, but pretty close, October 13, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
The long anticipated game from LucasArts has finally arrived, and there is a lot to be said about this game, both good and mediocre.

Let's start with the's very short. I'm a completionist, so I look for all the hidden objects etc in the levels, and it only took me around 15 hours to do EVERYTHING in the game. The story you follow as Darth Vader's secret apprentice is actually pretty cool, but we don't really get to dive into it nearly as much as any real Star Wars fan would hope. I finished the game with a "Oh, ok that makes sense", but I wished there was a lot more depth. If you have played games like KOTOR and KOTOR II, this game doesn't even COMPARE in terms of story.

Gameplay is pretty solid, and keeps you using the force in the way the game intended. From hurling random barrels pulling pieces of metal off the wall, throwing your lightsaber into the chest of a stormtrooper, and all the other plethera of attacks, lightsaber, and force combos alike; Force Unleashed delivers with the combat system. It's smooth, innovative, and players will find that they will need to purchase the more expensive combos to do real damage in the later levels of the game, as the difficulty spikes in significant directions once you reach about the 5th level. The leveling system that the game uses is very nice, although I was a little annoyed with the wait times you have to endure for each and every menu transition (going from force power customization...wait...lightsaber customization...wait...resume game, etc). The other problem I have with this game is that it is VERY repetitive. In order to progress in the game, you usually have to clear all the enemies out of an area to continue, and in some cases, this will mean you have to kill a ton of guys that are immune to 95% of your abilities, meanwhile you're being killed from range, or being stomped on by enemies impurvious to lightning and your push abilities. There were a number of times that I was frustrated having to redo a portion of the game when the last guy of 50 from a save point killed me. LucasArts definitely looks at your Jedi as a true one-man army, capable of withstanding any and all odds, no matter how ridiculous. The game does however let you decide how to play, with the customization of force powers, combos, and talents (such as life, force energy, defense, etc) If you're a completionist like me though, you will probably level up enough times to completely beef up your apprentice before reaching the final level.

One other annoyance I have, is if you decide to replay a level, you must rewatch the cutscenes at the beginning, which are sometimes up to 4-5 mins in length.

Overall though, LucasArts was definitely on the right track with the DMM, Havok and Euphoria technologies for next-gen consoles. Gamers will find this very fun and you will feel more like a Jedi than any other game has allowed, but some of the limitations of the gameplay, and the incomplete story will leave the hardcore gamers and fans thirsty for more. The sound quality is tremendous, and the graphics are just beautiful, especially on an HDTV.

Fun Factor: 5.0
Sound: 5.0
Gameplay: 4.0
Replay Value: 4.0
Story: 3.0

Overall: 4.0

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