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inFAMOUS: Second Son Limited Edition (PlayStation 4)
inFAMOUS: Second Son Limited Edition (PlayStation 4)
Offered by Delaware
Price: $34.99
102 used & new from $19.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The graphics are great, everything else is shallow., August 25, 2014
Although I've always felt that the original Infamous games were overrated, I liked them enough that I wanted to give Second Son a try. Despite getting mostly positive reviews, it seems that the game hasn't made same impact as the original games did. After playing the game, I think I can imagine why.

The game's strong suit is the graphics. The various powers loook incredible, and the new environmental physics are great. What's particularly satisfying is that a lot of stuff that you destroy stays destroyed, which makes fighting the game's enemies more satisfying. Taking the time to destroy their structures really makes it feel like you're freeing the city from the oppressive government forces.

The new protagonist Delsin Rowe is a big improvement over Cole Macgrath. He has a far more vibrant personality with a lot of funny lines, and I personally felt there were a couple of subtle nuances to his character that I thought made him interesting. His relationship with his brother Reggie is the strongest part of the game's writing, helped greatly by some very good performances by Troy Baker and Travis Willingham. Those are my biggest compliments to the game, and unfortunately everything else is weaker.

If you don't count the side missions, the game is very short. I know that calling a game short is a very common complaint, to the point that anything that isn't a 60 hour RPG is considered too short, but I'm serious. The game is REALLY short. I find most of the characters interesting. You gain two sidekicks who you can push to the path of good or evil, but this is limited to one brief quest chain, and neither of them feel as fleshed out as they should. And even though I praise it, I feel like a lot more could have been done with Delsin and Reggie's relationship. Another problem is that the game is almost completely disconnected from the first two games. The canon ending of the second game is largely ignored, and the only explanation for it is found on DLC.

As for gameplay, the powers are fun, but barring a few small differences, they all function largely the same. In may be a partial necessity so that players aren't deprived of certain essential functions, but the different powers often feel more like an excuse to show off the system's graphical power than to make the gameplay varied. In this game, you switch up powers by absorbing different sources of energy. The problem with this is that sometimes there might not be a nearby source of energy for whatever power you're using, so you either have to change it up or drop out of combat to find what you need. And despite the similarity between powers, I feel they aren't always balanced. Your first powerset, Smoke, is completely useless after you've fully upgraded Neon. In the first games, you were developing one type of power, with a single ancillary power in 2. Because the total number of upgrades are divided between different sets of powers, I never felt as powerful as I did with Cole. This combined with the problems previously mentioned means that combat can sometimes be tedious. A minor gripe is that the powers often work the same as Cole's did, but without justification. Cole's electrical powers were by no means realistic, but at least most of them were believeable from a fantasy standpoint. But this game never explains how smoke can heal people, or how concrete allows you to hover through the air. I don't demand realism, but I feel that even superpowers should have some kind of logic behind them.

A problem continuing from the previous games is a repetitive mission structure. You develop each new power in exactly the same way, and each district as the exact same set of side quests, with almost no variation within those quests. Infamous' Karma system has always been widely criticized, and it feels like it's in this game more because people expected it to be, not because the developers actually had any ideas for it. People have reported the the story barely changes depending on what you chose to do, and in the late game one character's dialogue in particular makes absolutely no sense if you haven't been playing as a hero. A problem with the sidequests, and even the main story quests is that not a one involves you interacting with the normal citizens of the city. Although their reactions to you still change depending on how you act, you don't feel the same connection with them that the original games had.

What all this adds up to is a game where it feels like the developers put a lot of effort into the graphics, while everything else was a rushjob. It's a next gen game that does next to nothing to push the envelope, for either the system or for game development in general. As popular as the original game was, Second Son won't be what the PS4 is known for.


Cold Days (Dresden Files)
Cold Days (Dresden Files)
by Jim Butcher
Edition: Paperback
Price: $9.99
89 used & new from $4.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good overall, but I have misgivings., April 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Cold Days still has a lot of the things that make The Dresden Files great. It has awesome action, great quips and touching moments between Harry and his friends.The plot provides several interesting revelations, and gives us a lot of insight into characters who have been around for most of the series. But despite all of the good points, I think about 14 books in cracks are beginning to show, and some of the problems have only continued from previous entries.

I'm worried that the series is becoming too dark. It's true, the series has been putting Harry through the wringer since the start, and it's a major part of the series' identity. But it seems that the bright spots in Harry's life are getting increasingly dimmer. It wasn't until Ghost Story that I started to feel that it was becoming too much, and as the story ends with a note that the real problems are only starting, it doesn't look like it's going to get any better. It seems like a lot of supernatural series just keep piling despair on the protagonists until it becomes ridiculous. Buffy did it, Supernatural did it, and it looks like the Dresden Files is doing it too. I'm all for characters overcoming difficulty, but does the misery have to be so darn relentless?

I'm not fond of the fate of a certain character at the end of the book. Harry has had losses before, but I'm not sure I can weather this one. I'm not angry, I'm not like "How dare the author do that!?", I'm just sad. I've never felt as empty finishing a Dresden File as I did this one. You might ask, "But is it a bad thing for a story to make you sad?" No, but when a series alters or removes the characters you're most invested in, it can suck some of the enjoyability out of the story. "But isn't it better for a series to be unpredictable?" I say no. "Unconventional" isn't automatically the same as "good".

With the Winter Knight being such a big deal, I was frustrated that Harry still gets his butt kicked just as badly as he always had. I want Harry to be challenged, I know the series would be boring otherwise. But despite every book emphasising that Harry has gotten better at magic, and despite getting new powers every few books, battles never get any easier for Harry no matter what opponents he faces. Every victory Harry has, big and small, is always by the skin of his teeth and it's starting to get exhausting.

Murphy's character feels a bit flat in this book. "Stoic" seems to be her only personality trait for most of the book. Perhaps the book was already balancing so many characters and subplots that the deeper parts to Murphy's character ended up being put aside. I have to echo other reviewers in that her and Harry avoiding a relationship is getting tiresome. I think the reasons for why they don't make perfect sense, but this is something that becomes a problem because of the length of the series. Just because it's logical doesn't mean it's not boring. I've heard that Jim Butcher once said that even he isn't sure who Harry's going to end up with, but that feels a little hollow because at this point, Murphy's the only person who can even be considered a candidate.

Like many other series, each successful novel just seems to get longer and longer, and it doesn't always equal a more in depth book. In particular, Harry's feud with the Redcap feels like it could've been cut entirely without affecting anything else. It's disappointing that even with the number of pages, certain characters and plot points still seem like they were glossed over.

I fear that while the series may remain well written, the increasing darkness and somewhat repetitive writing mean that the series won't be as enjoyable as it once was. I hope I'm proven wrong, but the books seem set in their ways by now.


Scarface
Scarface
by Paul Monette
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
68 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic adaptation, February 4, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Scarface (Mass Market Paperback)
Many adaptations have to cut certain things for the sake of space, or to better adapt a story from one form of media to another. Paul Monette's version of Scarface manages to have every single scene from the movie, while greatly expanding on the existing story elements. The novel goes into a lot of detail that the film couldn't, such as backstories for the significant characters and how Tony builds his drug trade business. In particular, Elvira and her relationship with Tony get far more depth than they did in the film. and lets the story in some ways be better than the movie it was adapted from.

My only complaints is that some scenes such as Tony's time in Spain and the circus he puts on for Gina and Elvira drag a bit and feel like they could have been cut or replaced with something more plot relevant. My other main problem is that as good as the book is, I don't feel it does the final shoot out justice. Perhaps the author wanted to do his own take on it, and it does still fit the story, but it does downgrade one of the most memorable parts of the film.

I would strongly recommend that any Scarface fans try to find a copy of the book. It adds so much more detail to the characters and the story that it may end up enhancing your enjoyment of the film.


Max Payne 3 - PC
Max Payne 3 - PC
Offered by KSK VINTAGE
Price: $38.99
24 used & new from $7.90

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pretty good game, but loses some the series' appeal., September 12, 2012
This review is from: Max Payne 3 - PC (Video Game)
I'll be honest. I'm not that great at shooter games, particularly those that require tactics more complex than "shoot them before they shoot you", so I can't really tell you how well each of the new mechanics work, but I'll do my best.

It many ways, Max Payne 3 stands above it's predecessors. The environments are diverse, and downright gorgeous. I was amazed by how many things in the environment individually shatter when hit by bullets. There are also several special situations where you automatically enter bullet time from a unique position and have to try to take as many enemies down as possible before Max lands. He's also much more over the top than he used to be, and some of the stunts he pulls are incredible.

But despite how much more impressive the game is, I can't help but feel it's a bit too different from the preceeding games, and no longer has the same appeal.

I was fine with the addition of cover, but I was hoping that it would supplement the main game play, not replace it. It's true, in the first games you still had to be a darn good shot, and walking into a group of enemies would get you killed, but it was still a run-and-gun style, and I think the focus on cover slows down the gameplay. Speaking of, Max's movements don't feel as fluid as they did in the second game (which in my opinion, controlled like an absolute dream.)

It's common in games nowadays, and it's purly preference, but I didn't like the limited inventory system. I don't think it fits the Max Payne style of play, and it can be frustrating when you feel like you don't have much margin of error when it comes to using your ammo. Sometimes I wonder if there'll ever be a game that gives you the choice to have a limited or unlimited inventory. That way people can play the game the way they'd like, and everyone's happy. As others have pointed out, sometimes the game will arbitraily put a different weapon in your after a cut scene, and other times make you drop your bigger weapons for no good reason. You pick your items from a wheel, but if you stay on a certain option too long, it'll choose automatically, and might make you drop a weapon you were planning on using.

Other miscellanious thoughts. The game can feel a little more tedious than the first two games did, although I'm not sure if that's a problem with the gameplay, or if perhaps there are a tad too many enemies in some sections. Part of my own problem is that I prefer to use the directional keys for movement, but most of the actions are assigned to letters. I switched some things around, but I never quite found a layout that felt natural to me. Not the game's fault, but I think they could've assigned certain actions to the same button to make things feel a little more tidy, like maybe putting the 'examine' command and 'pick up gun' command on the same button. A new feature is that if you shoot enemies in a certain place, they'll drop to the ground, but not necessarily die. Unfortunately, this makes it hard to know when an enemy is truly dead.

They've also taken out the grenades for single player, which seems very unfair for a game with so much emphasis on using cover, especially since the enemies get grenades. One of the most backward changes is taking out quick saves. In a game that requires as much trial-and-error, it's a lot more convenient to be able to save when you want. I know Rockstar doesn't usually allow players to save wherever, but this just seems like one of those decisions that you can only imagine as "This feature works great. Let's take it out!" Finally, I miss having a manual melee button, although that's not so much that it makes the gameplay better, than that it means I can't smash the environment at my leisure. The game has such a gorgeous setting, and I just want to break it! Break it all!

Onto the story. It's not just the story itself I have a few issues with, but the presentation too. The overall story is just fine. I didn't really feel it was exceptional in most ways, and it rarely suprised me, but for the most part there's nothing major I have a problem with. The main exceptions revolve around Max himself.

It's no surprise, but Max is worse than ever. He's more cynical, his addictions have spiraled out of control, and it seems like there's nothing in life that he enjoys. Unfortunately, I think they made Max, and the story, just a bit too gritty. Sometimes it's hard to care about what's going on. Max seems to have completely given up any chance of redemption, or of bettering himself. Max was in bad straits in the first two games, but you still felt like he had a purpose. In this game you just feel like he's waiting for someone to kill him. He seems vaguely happy at the end of the game, but before that he had nothing good to say about himself, so I'm not really sure how Max feels about everything that happened.

SOME SPOILERS. While people who cross Max's path often die, it didn't always happen. Max has become a security guard for a rich family in Brazil, who end up getting involved in some pretty bad stuff. One by one they die. The first part of the game is just failure after failure, and while you don't expect things to go right for Max, I ended up feeling like I was just wasting my time when the level I just spent half an hour playing ends with nothing to show for it. Things turn around a little, but that's coincides with Max making increasingly stupid decisions towards the end. Another problem is that there's less humor in this game then the others, and without moments of levity things feel dark without being fun at the same time.

Presentation. I'm one of those who dislikes how things often blur out and how key words appear on the screen. I'm sure it was supposed to make you feel like a washed-out addict like Max, but I think it was annoying. I got used to their absence, but the comic book cutscenes are completely gone, taking away a significant part of the series' charm. This is made worse by a lot of the cutscenes being overly long. And because they're used to disguise loading times, you can't skip them until they're already almost over. Another minorly annoying addition is the fact that if you tarry too long, Max will chime in with a comment on how he needs to get moving. It's sometimes interesting to hear what Max has to say, but there are several collectables in the game, and so it feels instrusive when you're trying to find things that are supposed to be found. There are also a couple of timed missions where you DO have to hurry, but you won't know which are which until you lose.

I think it was a mistake to have so much of the game's dialogue in Portuguese. I felt disconnected from everything that wasn't Max, and because I can't understand them, the enemies aren't as memorable as they were in the original games. Obviously it makes sense, and it does add to the atmosphere of the game, but that comes at a price.

I apologize for taking so long and rambling so much, but I had a lot of thoughts on the game and wanted to put them down somewhere. You may have noticed that I reviewed this not as a gamer, but as a Max Payne fan. I knew there would be changes. It's been a long time since the second game, and Rockstar has their own way of doing things. I'm not against change itself. I'd recommend trying the game, and despite all the differences it still feels like a Max Payne game. But I still feel like they didn't observe the "If it's not broke, don't fix it" rule.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 19, 2015 10:28 PM PDT


inFAMOUS - Playstation 3
inFAMOUS - Playstation 3
Offered by Galactics
Price: $14.68
234 used & new from $1.95

34 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A prime example of taking the bad with the good., January 7, 2010
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars 
Despite the game's mostly positive reviews, there is a noticeable portion of professional reviewers who found it underwhelming. While the game does have a lot of good points, there are multiple issues that drag the game down.

Gameplay: The game lacks polish in many areas. I've encountered numerous glitchs, such as the camera suddenly going screwy when I go up against a wall, falling through the floor or sinking into buildings. While the glitches haven't been as frequent for me as they are for other reviewers, they are definitely there. The Le Parkour aspect of the game is great, but Cole is too likely to cling to things that I'm not aiming for. The fact that you can't climb chainlink surfaces is asinine. Combat is also often frustrating. The enemies are too accurate, and getting in the wrong position can lead to Cole getting killed before I can move him to a better tactical position. They also have slightly better range than Cole, and only show up on the radar at a certain distance, even if they can attack you and you can attack them.

A common criticism is that Cole's electrical powers are just guns by a different name. This doesn't bother me, but maybe I'm not creative enough to imagine different uses for them. It is very annoying that you can't shock people by shooting metal objects near them, especially given how crowded the battlefield can be. The game's primary attack requires you to go into an aiming mode, which can be problematic. You move slowly when in aiming mode, and you can't see objects next to you, which sometimes blocks me when I'm trying to be a moving target. Another issue I have, even though it is a minor flaw (albiet one that makes battles more troublesome) is that in sniping mode, I don't have fine enough control over the crosshair. It's probably not a problem for most people, but the game has no auto aim, and when the enemies are in motion, and I'm sometimes in motion on a vehicle, I want as much control over the crosshair as possible, to be able to inch it into place instead of having it jump when I tilt the joystick slightly. Other problems are that the shockwave move has a very short range, and the grenade move bounces back easily, and can be difficult to throw behind objects.

Story: The story has some interesting bits, but it's largely too straightforward for it's own good. I had difficulty caring about the characters, and too much is left unresolved even for sequel hooks. I'm in the far minority here, even among negative critics, but I found the comic book cutscenes to be ultimately detrimental to the story. They're an interesting gimmick, but by having the main character describe what happens, instead of showing us and hearing what the characters say, it's harder to grow attached to them and to immerse yourself in the story. As for the supporting characters, they're depressingly typical. Some of them have a little depth and charm, but not enough to overcome their faults. Of particular annoyance is the main character's girlfriend, Trish (A reference to Devil May Cry? Who can say.) She initially blames you for what happens, and while it makes sense that someone who has gone through a tragedy would want someone to focus their grief on, she's too snide about it ("You OWE us for what you did") to remain likeable. Even in evil mode (where she has better reason to criticize you) she instantly blames you for every bad thing that happens, despite the gangs running loose in the city. They made her a nurse to establish that she cares about people, but it ends up feeling shallow and mostly serves to make her seem more self rightous. Finally, the main bad guy's plan doesn't make sense, but I'll explain that in the comments for this review to avoid spoilers.

The Karma System: Many people complain that the moral choices are embarrassingly black and white, and the fact that the game stops to tell you your choices is akward. This is true, but it doesn't bother me personally, since I'm not interested in karma systems beyond replay value. My complaints deal with how it affects the story and the side missions.

The main character, Cole McGrath is presented as a very average guy. He has little ambition, and doesn't expect much from people. I think this is appropriate, even though Cole can sometimes be a little too apathetic to the situation at hand. The problem is that outside of a handful of cutscenes, Cole's personality doesn't change regardless of what you do. Combined with his largely neutral personality, it makes him hard to like, and takes some of the fun out of what morality you choose to be. For example, late in the game Cole has to make a particularly difficult moral choice. But even though I played as Good, I could not see Cole as the type of person who would be able to make the right choice in that situation.

This problem extends to side missions too. There are 2 different types of side missions, ones based on morality and generic ones. While playing as Good, these are no problem. But when playing as bad, they often don't make sense. Why are civilians constantly making requests of Cole, if he's always killing people who get in his way or tick him off? Some people might consider side missions irrelevant besides playing the mission and getting rewarded, but the fact that the gameplay and story separate so obviously show a lack of production values. The most blatant example in the game actually comes during a main mission where you have to team up with the police to guard a prisoner. Even if you've been playing the evil side missions that require you to kill a lot of cops, the game makes no attempt to explain away why they have no objections relying on him.

In my opinion, it's hard to tell if someone will like this game. The problems have a lot to do with perception, and what the player expects from the game. But given how many people like it (and it is fun if you can work past it's flaws) I'd at least recommend that someone try it out. But it's best to go in expecting a good game, not one of the greatest games of the current generation.
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 17, 2011 9:26 PM PDT


Escape from Monkey Island - PC
Escape from Monkey Island - PC
Offered by Bargain Buyers Software
Price: $32.89
9 used & new from $32.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This game gets far too much credit., June 18, 2009
= Fun:2.0 out of 5 stars 
Warning: This review contains spoilers.

Even though this is universally considered the weakest game in the series, it's surprising how many reviewers, professional and otherwise, have given this game high scores. I really want to love this game, but it's a bad game in it's own right, not just compared to the previous entries. I'll go through the problems one by one.

First, the graphics. I'm baffled by how many people praise the graphics, even in reviews that are otherwise negative. The characters look like wooden figures with their features painted on. I'm not exaggerating. Watch the end cutscene of the Lucre Island chapter, and tell me that the closeup of Pegnose Pete looks natural. Was this really the best that video games had to offer back in 2000? I think it looks ugly now, and I thought it looked ugly back then. They would've been better sticking with the cartoon graphics from Curse. They were prettier, more unique, and fit the series better.

One of the my biggest problems with the game is the characterization of Guybrush. While Guybrush has always been a wimp, he's often demonstrated smart*** qualities which were particularly prominent in the third game. He had a wit and a charm that made us root for him. He may have been a wimp, but he was a cool wimp. In Escape, they focused almost entirely on Guybrush's naievity and akwardness, and ignored the aspects of his character that made him so memorable. Likewise, Elaine is poorly written as well. In the previous games, despite the problems their relationship encountered, I felt that Elaine really cared for Guybrush. In this game, she mostly treats Guybrush as someone that she just has to put up with. I think this is partially because of the script, but also due to the change in voice actors. I don't know why they didn't, or couldn't, get Alexandra Boyd, but the new girl is not a good replacement.

The plot and the writing are bad. I think that a land developer using Australian slang to win insult challenges to turn the Carribean into a tourist resort isn't a bad idea in of itself, but it ended up not working for the series. While the games have always had a charming number of anachronisms, Escape takes them too far and drags us out of the setting. The new islands are too civilized, and uninteresting. The jokes often fall flat, and the satire has no subtlety at all. But things really go to crap when we get back to Monkey Island. The continutiy errors involving the revelation of Herman Toothrot as Elaine's long lost grandfather have been noted by fans before, and while I apperciate what they were trying to do, he ultimately works better as a quirky hermit. The giant monkey robot is also pretty bad. The monkey head somehow changing from a gate to hell into a giant robot? That's asking far too much to accept, even for a comedy series.

I'm afraid I can't comment on the puzzles, because I used the little hint booklet that comes with the game (nice of them, I admit) from the start, but some of the puzzles do seem to take too big a leap in logic to figure out, and most of them aren't fun to me either.

Those are the main problems, but there are others. The dreaded Monkey Kombat is one of the them. It's too tedious, it's annoying to write the solutions down, and unlike the insult sword fighting from previous games, you have to find all the combinations to be able to progress. And after all that work, you aren't even allowed to beat the last fight fair and square. I apperciate how they subtly foreshadowed the solution during regular combat, but it's ultimately unsatisfying.

You may be wondering, with all these complaints, why didn't I just give the game one star? Because no matter how bad something is, I can usually find some good things to it. I did like the concept of the Ultimate Insult, as well as Insult Swordfighting being extended to other past times, even if we do only get to see a little of it. And while the script is largely bland, there are funny lines scattered throughout the game, especially on Jambalaya Island. Most of the characters are forgettable, but I did particularly like Guybrush's new navigator, I. Cheese, and it was nice to see Guybrush's original crew, who I thought still mostly seemed like their old selves. Over all though, I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone except fans who just have to have more Monkey Island, and are willing to take the bad with the good.


Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction - Playstation 3
Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction - Playstation 3
Offered by marvelio
Price: $20.94
75 used & new from $5.45

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great game, but..., February 22, 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Ratchet and Clank's first next-gen adventure is a pretty good one. The story is tighter than most of the previous entries in the series, the graphics are beautiful, the levels are varied and the weapons are fun. However, numerous issues prevent this from being the ideal Ratchet & Clank game.

First off, while the story is good, I dislike the continuity errors it presents. Ratchet is said to be the last Lombax in the universe, something that's never been hinted at before. Everyone he comes across knows what he is, so you would have thought someone would have said "A Lombax? I thought they were all gone" by now. It also conflicts with the character of Angela Cross in the second game, who's not said to be a Lombax, but is quite clearly meant to be one. And the last survivor of an advanced race that saved the universe? That's too cliche for my taste, and they don't do anything unique with the concept.

The R&C series has always had a history of weak villains, and ToD continues this with Percival Tachyon, who's a cruel guy, but is unlikely to stick in anyone's mind when it comes to evil characters. Thankfully, the game's secondary antagonist, Captain Slag, picks up the slack as the leader of a group of space pirates, a concept that's hard to screw up.

The graphics are beautiful, as said, but I noticed that many areas of the game are too dark, and makes it hard to see the area clearly. The first level also comes off as a tease. It's very cinematic, with buildings exploding, enemies invading in the background, and Ratchet trying to outrun a collapsing bridge. The rest of the game rarely manages to be this impressive again, and the first level should set the standard for the rest of the game, not be one of it's highlights.

One thing I always liked about the series is it's host of quirky characters. ToD, however, has an extremely limited cast, and it fails to be quality over quanitity. The Smuggler is a great character who I hope will make additional appearances in future games, but he's the only helpful supporting character of note. Cronk and Zephyr might be good for a chuckle or two, but aren't memorable, and Ratchet's new female co-star, Talwyn Apogee is completely devoid of unique traits.

The weapons are fun, even though most are just rehashes of old weapons, and most of the totally new ones aren't that innovative. However, some, like the predator launcher are underpowered, and a few become nearly worthless in Challenge Mode. Of course, the enemies are tougher in challenge mode, but you'd expect the weapons to be effective again after you upgrade them to their max status, which isn't always the case. There is no shield weapon, and, most surprisingly, no sniper rifle. The sniper rifle was always one of my favorite weapons to use, and there are many instances in the game where it would've come in handy. Why they omitted it is beyond me.

The environment isn't near as breakable as it should be. Most levels have a few destructable features, but no where near that of most of the previous games. This baffles me, as Ratchet and Clank has always advertised itself as a series where you get to "blow *&%! up!", and the capabilities of the PS3 would've allowed them to make the environment more interactive than ever. On a similar note, there are various space sequences that are very fun and well-designed, but unlike Up Your Arsenal and Deadlocked, there are no land vehicles based around combat in the game.

I miss the non-linearity of the first couple of games. It wasn't uncommon for you to be able to choose between two different planets to visit, and many levels would have at least two paths, either to get a new gadget or get a new destination. Perhaps it would've been hard to achieve a tighter story and still keep that, but I enjoyed the exploration it offered. At the very least, some more minigames such as races would've been apperciated. The arena returns, but it's far less important and varied than it was in Going Commando and Up Your Arsenal.

There are a few additional minor complaints that others have mentioned, such as the new over-the-shoulder view in place of the first-person view (Which won't allow you to throw your wrench anywhere but straight ahead) and the black and dark green map design was a bad choice.

Despite all my complaints, the game is very fun and I'd recommend it to old fans and new comers alike. But I feel fans should be warned that some of their favorite elements may be missing, and that the series has taken several steps back as well as several steps foward.

Edit: Upon playing more of the game, I may have not been fair in regards to the weapons usefulness in Challenge Mode. Some are still underpowered, but a few are only near useless when used against bosses and mini bosses. But speaking of challenge mode, another problem is that Ratchet is far too weak. Even at max health and with the best armor, it often takes only a few hits before Ratchet is killed.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 22, 2010 9:05 AM PDT


Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost
Scooby-Doo! and the Witch's Ghost
13 used & new from $30.89

11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A warning for those who liked "It's Terror Time Again", June 3, 2006
I don't know why, but for some reason, the two songs from Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island are not sung by the original group (Skycycle) who sang them. And while "The Ghost is Here" sounds fine, TTA was horribly redone. The new singer has a nasally voice and delivers several parts of the song poorly. Unfortunately, the original version of TTA is not on any other Scooby Doo CD, nor is it on any of the 2 albums released by Skycycle. So for those who want to listen to the awesome original version of It's Terror Time Again, you'll ether have to find an MP3, or hold a recorder up the the TV.

This is not meant to give an overview of the CD and it's quality, only to serve as warning for those who are buying this with "It's Terror Time Again" in mind.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 21, 2013 7:09 AM PDT


Aquarium
Aquarium
by Viktor Suvorov
Edition: Hardcover
20 used & new from $43.50

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A warning for all those interested in Soviet Intelligence., October 15, 2004
This review is from: Aquarium (Hardcover)
This is not meant to be a review, but rather a warning for all those interested in Russian intelligence.

This book, and Suvorov's other book "Inside the Aquarium: The making of a Top Soviet Spy" and one in the same. So only purchase one.


Spetsnaz: Story Behind the Soviet S.A.S.
Spetsnaz: Story Behind the Soviet S.A.S.
by Viktor Suvorov
Edition: Hardcover
17 used & new from $2.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book about Spetsnaz., October 15, 2004
Though this book contains no pictures, it is an excellent account of Spetsnaz weapons, training, organization and tactics. It is split up into 15 chapters.

1. Spades and Men.

2. Spetsnaz and the GRU.

3. A history of Spetsnaz.

4. The Fighting Units of Spetsnaz.

5. The "Other People"

6. Athletes.

7. Selection and Training.

8. The Agent Network.

9. Weapons and Equipment.

10. Battle Training.

11. Behind Enemy Lines: Spetsnaz Tactics

12. Control and Combined Operations.

13. Spetsnaz and Deception.

14. Future prospects.

15. Spetsnaz's First World War.

Highly recommended for anyone wanting to learn about Spetsnaz.

NOTE! This book, and Survorov's other book, SPETSNAZ, are one in the same. So only purchase one.


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