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Tearaway
Tearaway
Price: $18.15
113 used & new from $13.50

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soulful, Charming, and Utterly Delightful, November 22, 2013
This review is from: Tearaway (Video Game)
As a Vita owner, it's been sometimes painful to stick up for the system. Honestly, considering how dire the system seems at certain points, there are times where I hardly ever touch my Vita, perhaps even for months at a time. Thankfully, the release of Tearaway is making sure my Vita will be used in the coming weeks. We are miles away from a library of classics for the Vita, but Tearaway is certainly a bright spot in the Vita library so far. Media Molecule once again has struck something special, and this time it's for Vita owners. If you had any passing interest in this game beforehand, Tearaway is absolutely worth playing.

So what is Tearaway? Built from the ground up, Tearaway takes advantage of the Vita's many unique capabilities (Rear Touch Pad, Camera, Touchscreen, Microphone, Gyroscope), warping them seamlessly into a truly unique platformer. Throughout the game's single player mode, you'll use everything at your disposal to navigate through various worlds, alternatively platforming through a brilliantly realized world. You play as one of two playable characters, off to deliver a message to the player outside of the game, YOU. Yes, you are one of the stars of the game. As you (literately) stare down on your messenger, you'll be defeating monsters, helping merge your world with Tearaway's own, creation and your imagination will constantly be on fire. Rest assured, everything about this game makes it easily one of the best games for the Vita yet.

This being a Media Molecule game, I'm pretty sure there is some about how the game succeeds on a visual and audio level, and it's amazingly successful. True to its theme, Tearaway's paper theme comes into full fruition, as the game uses its theme to construct a brilliantly imaginative world that resembles a children's book come to life. From the environments, the to the beings that you come across; it's all heartfelt, and its all Really, you really need to look no further than what has been shown in the media; it's like what happens if the world's most creative elementary school art class was given the tools to create a world that spoke to them. it's a delight to behold, and it would take a hardened soul not to be charmed by it (even my mother loved it, and she hates most video games).

Also being of excellent note is the entire universe Media Molecule has crafted with Tearaway. There isn't much of a story like Littlebigplanet, but much like the aforementioned game there is a certain charm to the characters, locations, and overall mood and aesthetic of Tearaway. With so many games trying to be "gritty", "realistic", "mature", or otherwise "darker and edgy", it's nice to see something as charming as this come along. By the first ten minutes of the game, I was already in love with it. Of course, rounding out the package is the great soundtrack, which helps bring the universe to life. Sound effects follows suit, and the sound design is very effective and fits the game like a glove.

Of course, the gameplay here is as much of a draw to the game as much as the imaginative aspects dreamed up by Media Molecule, and once again it's refreshing, imaginative, and quite ingenious. True to its theme, Tearaway is a platformer that bases its mechanics around Paper itself, with another main gameplay motif being the way your universe is in touch with the universe of Tearaway. With the use of regular controls and a myriad of special Vita features, you'll be guiding your character throughout the world, defeating monsters, helping friendly figures, and much more; all with some interesting and well implemented controls that take advantage of everything the Vita could offer control wise, even spilling over to the creative aspect of the game as well. it doesn't run out of surprises or it never fails to keep you wondering what next will be revealed, and it never feel like a chore because everything around you is extremely engaging.

Truth to be told, the game is pretty easy from start to finish, as it really isn't a game that provides a traditional gaming challenge. Instead, I would say Tearaway's spirit lies in games like Journey, The Unfinished Swan, and others in the same vein; the experience of the game and the player interaction is what truly makes it special. Tearaway's main draw is not much challenge and gameplay depth, but how it uses the Vita to essentially link the two universes together to make the already interesting single player even better. Whenever one is engaging throughout the game with enemies, friends, kings, the environment, and anything else in between, the true appeal comes from extrapolating the experience yourself and essentially making everything feel as real as possible. Few games I think of that have made me feel quite a bond between the game, and Tearaway is one of them.

Tearaway truly does let you express yourself creatively, which alongside the sheer joy of playing the game is its true strength. Depending on how artistic you are, you can collect confetti to unlock millions of unique little accessories, camera filters, and other such things to further provide a creative and unique way of manipulating the world so that you desire. Even better, you can even bring your own works from the game into your own; print out models to construct your own craft-able items. If you're so inclined and creative enough, you can probably even construct your own Tearaway world. Rounding it out, the online component let's you share your own creations, as well as view what the community has chose to share as well.face

All in all though, there is just too many little things that I noticed that made the game for me, not to mention that this is definitely one of those games where you need to I really do think this is one of the most refreshing and joyous games I've played since Journey. Ultimately, I think that this game is so unique that you simply just need to try it yourself. Rest assured, the experience is absolutely worth taking, and its refreshing from beginning to end.

As a Vita owner, I can safely say that this game has made me all the more interested in my Vita. For me personally, Tearaway easily is the best handheld game I've played all this year, and overall a big bolster for the Vita's overall library regardless of personal preference. The Vita still needs a ton of work until it can be called a viable platform (sadly), but Tearaway assuredly is sending the Vita's library in the right direction; more developers need to follow suit and see what a talented developer can do with a system like the Vita. Rest assured, if you were interested in this game and you own a Vita (both of those), pick it up. You won't regret purchasing it.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 24, 2014 9:01 AM PDT


The Last of Us - PlayStation 3
The Last of Us - PlayStation 3
Price: $17.00
381 used & new from $6.17

780 of 861 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Games I've Ever Played. Period., June 15, 2013
I'm not going mince words here. The Last of Us is simply one of the best games I have ever played. It is that simple. The Last of Us is, really, about as good as games get. Don't be scared by the premise; ND has crafted something that reaches far and wide delivering an experience that's akin to a playable drama film. Wash away those horrible memories of The House of the Dead and put your fears away. The Last of Us is simply incredible.

The Last of Us is a tale that takes inspiration from various works in the genre it works with (most notably The Road, No Country For old Men, and The Walking Dead), while forging its own path to create something equally memorable and carving out its own path that sets it apart from all of its inspirations beforehand (certainly feels like it). What may sound like B-movie shlock on paper has been transformed by Naughty Dog into something no short of a masterpiece. While stalwart games like Resident Evil 1 are so horribly done that they make Ed Wood look like George Bernard Shaw, The Last of Us is an instant classic that would rightly belong in the Criterion Collection or right next to an art film. Naughty Dog really outdone themselves, and they have done something entirely else. ND has created something that feel so real and tangible for today's society. Through the epidemic certainly has ravaged the lives of so many people by turning them into horrible creatures, The Last of Us isn't so much a zombie based horror flick as it is a tough, deeply woven drama with the vision that reaches far and wide.

The Last of Us stars Joel and Ellie, two amazing characters who are heart and soul of this journey. What follows these two incredible characters is a journey that will test your limits as it touches upon society as a whole in ways that I myself wasn't even expecting. At it's core, what happens when society collapses? What is the capacity that man would do in order to survive? How far would you go? The Last of Us may seem simple, but it hides under this and explores the implications of society's horrifying ability to crack underneath the pressure. Or on a more simple but wider note: "what it would mean to live in such a world?" What follows is a brutal, but often beautiful, journey that touches upon the lives and delicately explores all the turbulence one would expect when society breaks down from a horrible apocalypse. It's a thematically rich and touching tale, with oceans of subtly and the resulting details that should take far more time to grasp than lightweight fiction would ask of you to do so. Take it all in, appreciate it, read everything that comes to you, and don't be afraid to put all of what you know and would imply during the situations that unfold throughout this extremely long journey. For my money, this is one of the best stories I've ever encountered in the medium.

Visuals and sound are two of the video game medium's greatest strengths, and you can be sure Naughty Dog knows this. Visuals are amazing and absolutely essential to the experience, using the power of the PS3 to make the experience irreversibly absorbing. Sure, the technical aspect of The Last of Us are first rate, but the artistic vision of the game is where it truly shines. The environments are absolutely PACKED with detail, and build a frightfully immerse and believable world. It feels real as you traverse it. Whether it's crawling through a decrepit hotel, a horribly bleak, ruined convenience store, the rancid and dehumanizing quarantine zones, or the serene and calm realm of nature that has overtaken humanity, the world in The Last of Us is telling and a character in itself.Animations, especially facial animations, are also top notch. Facial animation can indeed make or a break a character's emotional resonance (you've might of heard of the uncanny valley), and Naughty Dog makes sure The Last of Us does not break the emotional resonance. Simply put, The Last of Us is a beautiful game, both technically and artistically.

Sound is also amazing as well. The sound track, composed by two time Oscar Winner Gustavo Santaolalla (Babel, Brokeback Mountain), plays a big part in the game's experience. The score is sparse, but is effective in bringing a bleak and beautiful sense of isolation, also not forgetting to puncture the game's most harrowing moments with appropriate menace. At its softer moments, its tinged with a particularly Americana melancholy, which perfectly evokes the kind of western feel one would get reading Blood Meridian's most beautiful moments. Sound Design is also terrific. It makes sure that the entire world comes to life in a dizzying amount of different ways: it makes the violence almost too harrowing, the sound of the zombies horrifying, and makes the space you traverse feel real; an active experience indeed. No matter if you feel sorrow, or dread, happiness or solitude, sound is there to make sure your experience comes to life.

Also, the acting performances are on a whole 'nother level. Troy Baker in particular absolutely needs recognition for his performance, (The intro. My god that intro), but everybody else does a fantastic job. Led by Druckmann's exceptional script, the performances feel so understated, quiet, human. It's often simple and direct delivery unexpectedly leads to depth, getting into the lives of these people and how they relate to the apocalypse, the turbulence of such an event, the fear, the loss, the suffering and brutality of the world around, and beauty and heart in the most unexpected of places. It's pristine delivery, with such delicate crystal clarity and nuance, makes sure every spoken word lingers in the air with such believable weight. No matter how uncomfortable or violently dark, savage, these people get, you still understand them. When these characters speak, you simply feel these human beings within yourself.

As terrific as all of this is, graphics and sound aren't the most important aspect of storytelling. Game play is what completes a video game narrative. Ever since the medium's inception, games have been struggling to properly mesh game play and narrative, especially games with a heavy emphasis on combat. I'm not going to be point fingers at any particular game here(it's really all comes to one's subjective player experience), but there is no doubt games have been hobbled by this design flaw. Luckily, TLOU averts this with absolute skill. The Last of Us made sure that game play didn't become second nature, and as a result it has to be one of the best examples of seamless meld of game play and story in the medium. True to its survival horror roots, The Last of Us has nailed its goal of violence and game play as an art form, and as a result the game is tense, horrifying, brutal, and gritty as a player authored experience.

TLOU is a survival piece. Be of note, this game needs to play on the highest difficulty in order to truly make it a harrowing experience to interact with. Emotionally tax yourself on hard, and once you unlock Survivor mode, bite the bullet and never in turn lax the emotion. With little resources available to you and enemies that can kill you in one or two hits (assuming you're playing on higher difficulties), TLOU is as frightening real as games get. Your best bet, whenever possible, is to avoid combat as much as you can, and cling to your wits in order to make it out alive of any situation. If not, be prepared for some chilling engagement. The Last of Us is horrifically violent, so brutal that the game can really be harrowing in a way that few video games ever hope to achieve. Oh, and you swerve with an almost overwhelming sense of nausea. While some complained about the aiming, I thought it only made the game more nerve racking (it's not impossible to get used to the aiming, either). I think this is a valid complaint for those who aren't willing to deal with it (this aspect, I imagine, will be rather subjective), but it makes sure that the cover based moments still feel dangerous despite being in cover. It's like a playable No Country for Old Men, which is the highest praise I can give this game.

Mechanically, TLOU doesn't feature the complexity of EVE Online, but it opens up well enough as you go through the game. True to its genre, the game rewards exploration and scrounging, and with a variety of supplies, you can craft numerous weapons that help you creatively both offensively and defensively, such as sticky grenades, smoke bombs. Molotov cocktails, shivs, blades on melee weapons, and more. In addition, numerous amounts of upgrades to both your character (through medicine) and your weapons (through upgrades) means that you will adapt and evolve throughout the game. Better health, faster crafting times, less swaying, and many others will enhance the player character; for the weapons, expect better reload times, a few enhancements, the ability hold more ammunition, additional weapon slots (saving your character the agony of having to go through a back pack) and others. Even better, the new game plus mode makes sure that you can play through the game more than once and build upon the arsenal you had in your last game.

While the game's story and presentation, and its merge of game play and narrative, is damn near perfect (or at least close, considering perfection is impossible), I do have to point out some flaws in the game play, mostly due to minor game play lapses (which is typical in most ND games). I found the highest difficulty mode to be challenging without breaking my engagement, but there are some spots in the campaign that felt unbalanced and cheap. Battling against enemies has the weird bullet sponge feel, and it's often annoying when facing soldiers. The annoying fiddliness of the survival horror genre doesn't fully avert The Last of Us (much like System Shock 2), with combat sections that turn the game's balance from "challenging" to "unbalanced". Luckily, this happens very infrequently, and the game is still mechanically satisfying. However, just keep this in mind when you play through The Last of Us, because moments like these will come up.

I'll leave the MP to other people if they want to talk about it. It's great, but you can ignore it altogether like a bonus track because the SP is a masterpiece. All I'm saying is this: believe the hype when it comes to TLOU. The Last of Us is incredible as an experience that Naughty Dog deserves your money for the SP alone. The Last of Us is not only just a superb video game, but it's a brilliant shake up that this industry sorely needs. I remember reading an interview that they wanted to raise the story bar with The Last of Us, and in turn making other developers scramble for cover. This was the end goal Naughty Dog wanted to achieve with this release. Well, I tip my hat to you, Naughty Dog. You've succeeded. The Last of Us is another success for Naughty Dog on a story telling level, and for the medium as a whole. It's a masterpiece, one of the best games of 2013, a game of the generation, and one of the best games I have ever played.
Comment Comments (70) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 8, 2016 3:07 PM PDT


Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon [Download]
Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon [Download]
Price: $14.99

26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As Awesome as Advertised, May 1, 2013
Let's be honest, Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon sounded a bit too good to be true when it was first announced (seems fitting it was announced on April Fool's, right?). Luckily, that isn't the case. Blood Dragon is downright awesome, and it's one of the best stand alone games I've played since Minerva's Den. Why? Well, it's pretty simple. It's basically the dream 80's action film in a video game form. Part Tron, part Terminator, and part Robocop, this balls to wall action game deftly mixes the the best of 80's action films with all out with explosive game play. Let me just say that, if you have any passing interest in 80's action films, you need to play this game.

First off, while Blood Dragon essentially Far Cry 3 regarding game play, everything else is completely different. Honestly, it's the whole 80's inspiration that drove me to purchase this, and they did NOT disappoint. The basic plot revolves around Sergeant Rex "Power" Colt, who's on a mission to destroy a rogue robot army in a futuristic dystopia in 2007. He's aiming to get the chick, cause a lot of deaths and destruction, and of course, save the world from a robot apocalypse. Along the way, there are cyborgs, cheesy 80's one-liners, laser-spewing dragons, and a world that is basically an orgy of neon lights and brilliant, colorful landscapes, brought up to uncomfortable levels of rave. Oh, and they have Michael Biehn (of Aliens/Terminator fame) playing the lead role.

It's the style, and the fact that they hold NOTHING back, is why this tongue in cheek, but still genuine, love for the 80's works. It's a wild game, evoking every awesome 80's action film brought up to the most grandiose levels of sheer awesomeness. It's wild and it doesn't hold anything back. The visuals are stunning, as the game is awash with brilliant neon colors, designed in conjunction with terrific art direction that brings to mind the type of fantastic world I've dreamed about since I was watching the said 80's films. The music itself rounds out the packaging, effortlessly mixing futuristic techno with the of 80's action films such as Terminator and Robocop.

Game play wise, Blood Dragon plays pretty much identical to Far Cry 3. The only really major change is that, instead of skill trees, it's basically just a more predetermined smaller set of skills (weapons are handled differently as well, but it doesn't deviate from the original game all that much). If you played the third game, there is little you need to know about the game play. The mechanics are identical, and in truth, Blood Dragon is pretty much identical to Far Cry 3, only re-skinned to match the all out 80's wackiness. Honestly though, that's not really a pejorative; the game's style is just so wild that it proves aesthetics can provide a totally different experience. Besides, it's DLC, so what do you expect? Bottom line, if you liked Far Cry 3's game play, you will like Blood Dragon as a game without question.

Enough talk. Check out the bloody thing as of right now. Blood Dragon is definitely a surprise this year, but it's a welcome one. Far Cry 3 was definitely one of the best FPS games I've ever played, so a completely wild spin-off was more than welcome. Not too much to say here, but if you like Far Cry 3, or have nostalgia for awesome 80's action flicks, than check out Blood Dragon now. You won't regret it!
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 7, 2013 12:41 AM PDT


Bioshock - Xbox 360
Bioshock - Xbox 360
Offered by Galactics
Price: $12.04
263 used & new from $0.37

5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Game I have Ever Played, April 25, 2013
This review is from: Bioshock - Xbox 360 (Video Game)
This is simply the best game of all time. I have played more games than you can count. In the end, however, none of those games will ever be able to compete with the deep, amazing experience that is BioShock.

It's a transcendent, amazing masterpiece. Even after all these years, I still find myself dreaming of Rapture, its inhabitants, and the vivid, deep experience it provided me. Best game ever.


Shadow of the Colossus - PlayStation 2
Shadow of the Colossus - PlayStation 2
Offered by Branson Emporium
Price: $44.97
123 used & new from $12.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Truly one of the Greatest Games Ever, April 8, 2013
Shadow of the Colossus, what else is there to say? It's an utter masterpiece. A work of art that works on so many levels. It's one of the all time greatest games ever created. Just a masterpiece of gaming.


Deus Ex - PC
Deus Ex - PC
Offered by tornado-c5
Price: $37.95
18 used & new from $2.19

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Work-13 years later!, April 1, 2013
This review is from: Deus Ex - PC (Video Game)
This is simply one of the best game ever. Still.

From its amazing insights on politics and social aspects, to its amazing themes, its plot, and its amazing game play, Deus Ex is simply one of the all time greats. Install it and play it. Even to this day, I reach for the classics. Deus Ex is one of those games. Aside from its voice acting (which I agree is really bad) and boring art direction, this game is still as amazing as it was when first released.


Planescape: Torment - PC
Planescape: Torment - PC
Offered by TnsDeals
Price: $13.99
39 used & new from $4.37

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Games Ever Made!, March 26, 2013
This review is from: Planescape: Torment - PC (DVD-ROM)
Why does this game still end up getting reviews years later? Why is it considered a must play, and retains that status years later? Because this game is an all time classic, an amazing experience that has yet to be matched.

This is an amazing work of art. The fact that it gets the recognition it deserves years later is a testament to it's utter brilliance. It has an amazing storyline, and some of the most beautiful dialogue I've witnessed, amazing characters, and much more. Be careful. It may just change you in various ways. It's a terrific work, and will stay with you forever. Get it now!


PS3 God of War: Ascension
PS3 God of War: Ascension
Offered by J&S GAMES
Price: $11.80
267 used & new from $4.01

56 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Send Up For Kratos on the PS3 (4.5/5), March 13, 2013
God of War has always been one of my all time favorite gaming experiences for two generations, and we have one more huge adventure upon us before the 7th generation closes. God of War 3 was one of the best games on PS3, with a scale unprecedented and a well realized sense of epic (hopefully you know I mean that in the dignified sense) storytelling. Not to mention one of the all time best game play models in the action genre. Ascension follow in the first PS3 entree's footsteps, and it's a fitting coda for Kratos on the PS3. At the end of the day, Ascension is simply another great game that sheds even more light on Kratos and his long journey throughout the series. That's pretty much what I wanted from this release. If you are a God of War fan, you'll want to pick up the next chapter in Krato's saga.

Story wise, Ascension is the first game chronology. What's new this time around is Ascension's attempt to give Kratos a much more human side, instead of the downright off-putting, and downright scary at times, Kratos of the later series that most certainly polarizes people (and one that certainly causes debate amongst gamers, but I'll refrain from ranting regarding that notion. Indeed, Ascension is pretty much marked by Kratos as he was during the early days of service to Ares and the others, and Kratos is certainly more of a mortal than a man; you can just tell he is at this particular state. This time around, The Furies are to blame for his troubles, and, as you might expect, Kratos is on another journey to track them down. I won't spoil the story, but what follows is what you would expect from a God of War game, with a more human Kratos being the point of the story. He suffers, suffers, and suffers some more. It's a really interesting thing to see, and it's easily the most well rounded and sympathetic portrayal of Kratos, one we haven't seen since the first game.

Despite all of this new chance for character development, God of War, for better or for worse, follows the same classic story formula. The ultra-violence, the Mount Everest sense of scale, the overblown, larger than life dramatic tone, the appropriately bombastic score; it's all here. The performances in God of War are A-grade World of Ham, and dialogue is as over the top as usual, but God of War simply wouldn't be God of War without that. It takes a certain sort of taste to enjoy God of War's brand of storytelling, and if you hate the series, Ascension probably won't change your mind. Personally, I've always felt that the series benefits from never holding anything back. It's because of this reason why the God of War series is such an entertaining ride, why the series is arguably, in the end, so memorable. Once again, if you don't like God of War, this probably won't change your mind, but fans of the series will be utterly pleased with the single player this time around.

There have been a few people out there who think Ascension's story doesn't have some of the memorability of the previous main games, and its pacing to be rather spotty. While these people are no doubt entitled to their own personal views, I have to disagree. I found the pacing of the campaign for me to be excellent, and there were plenty of awesome moments from start to finish. Aside from a couple of difficulty spikes, I really didn't find myself pressing myself to go on due to pacing issues. I rather enjoyed the somewhat subdued sections in the beginning, as it definitely had a much more relaxing pace that I rather enjoyed. Besides, I never found myself bored, whether it was traversing an Ice mountain, roaming my way through ancient Greek Cities, and plenty more. So I personally had no problem with the campaign at all.

Game play wise, Ascension keeps the same basic formula that defines the series. As someone who's been playing the series since the beginning, I had absolutely no problem jumping in. Using an arsenal of weapons and powers, Kratos will, as always, battle through hordes of soldiers, the undead, mythical beasts, and just about everything else that happens to get in his way. The same God of War game play interventions remain as well, including puzzles (including some that revolve around time manipulation) and platform sections. As usual, you collect orbs to replenish your character, as well as items that improve your overall character maximums. Combat is fluid as ever, and as rooted in the God of War series as you would expect. If you're into the series and understand the core combat concepts, there is little to nothing else that can be said here. Once you get your hands on the controller and start playing as Kratos, you'll be slinging combos together in no time.

Much like the other games in the series, there are some new things the games do that are different from previous games before it. Tweaked moves such as the new chain tethering move make for some welcome additions to the combat. One thing that particularly stood out was the inclusion of a new game plus, which lets you start the game over with the weapons and magic you unlocked in a previous game. However, the best addition for m was the implementation of new power and weapons. Once again, you get the chance to develop and unlock new moves, but there are also enemy weapons strewn out amongst the adventure. You can pick them up after they are dropped from enemies, and you have the chance to use weapons such as Spears, Javelins, and Swords. It makes combat all the more exciting, knowing that they're might just be another interesting weapon to use right around the corner.

You still have the Blades of Chaos at all times, along with supplementary weapons, dropped from certain characters. I particularly found the Blades of Chaos system to be the best it has ever been in the series. You still certainly will be using them with the same familiarity that you do in every other game, being able to use them to perform devastating . In this game, however, the Blades of Chaos now house elemental magic. The magic at hand can be used in various ways to enhance combat, and they all feel useful; being able to an addition of magic in the heat of battle works wonders for you as a player. Each of the elements contain awesome powers, such as The Fires of Ares (which let's you stun enemies with fire) and The Lighting Of Zeus (which let's you electrify enemies with electricity). Finally, while minor, I found it to be useful to use one of the acquirable items (Oath Stone of Orkos) in battle, although I wouldn't use it all the time.

Despite all of the satisfaction the single player game has given me, there are some slight misgivings with the game. For one, sound occasionally drops out in strange and unusual ways. Apparently I wasn't the only one who ran into this, either. Granted, they don't really detract from the game, but they are still sort of annoying. I also ended up having the camera get in the way, which was strange because the fixed camera angles usually work well for the series. Be aware of how to beat the sometimes awkward camera angles. Also, and while this last one is more subjective, some of the puzzles in the campaign are sort of cheap (remember that conveyor belt block puzzle from the first game? Yeah, there's a couple of equivalents), and there are a few points in the game where they're are some atrocious difficulty spikes. Other than that, I can't really think of any shortcomings that were noticeable.

Now, the newest feature is obviously the MP. I played a lot of Beta, and I've given the final MP mode plenty of time, and I have to say that I found what I played to be quite fun, if a bit decent instead of mind blowing. (in other words, don't expect the MP component to lead to a Tf2 style boom of popularity and staying power), I also can't help but think it's a tad wonky when it comes to longetivity (I'll get to that later). The game certainly follows many MP standards, including experience points, teams, leveling up, and so forth. Much like a standard MP, you will be able to participate in a variety of modes, such as death match and capture the flag. With God of War's stellar combat being the crux of the ways to battle against one another, Ascension's MP ends up being pretty interesting, to say the least.

Basically, all you really need to know is that combat is very fluid, with an excellent mix of the various modes of attack you would expect (light, grappling, heavy, etc.). You'll need to fight with tact though, or else matches probably won't end up being fun for you. You basically select one of four distinct character classes (each with their own unique statistics, strengths, weaknesses, etc), and once you do so, you can start racking up experience points. In addition, be sure to be aware of Labors, which are essentially specific challenges that will give you extra XP upon completion. You can use those experience points in order to level up, as usual, and once you do, you'll end up getting new weapons and perks. The perk system, as you might expect, gives you passive abilities, so use them wisely. The use of weapons, the extremely fast and fluid combat system; it all works. Finally, here is a quick rundown the modes available. Their most basic overall design are familiar, but they suit the game play and lay the ground work for some MP fun.

Favour of the Gods: Basically, a simple free-for all death match. Whoever gets the most kills wins the match.
Team Favour of the Gods: Two teams of four are basically given objectives throughout the mode (I won't spoil them, but they are all challenging and fun to accomplish). The team that hits 8000 points first hits the match.
Team Capture the Flag: Basically, much like you would expect, each time must work with one another to capture a group's flag and bring it to their own empty base. The group that collects the most flags wins the match.
Trial of the Gods: While this can also be played solo, this mode is also a free for all mode. Together with a group of people, everyone must fight against waves and waves of enemies until both cannot go on. This is the only mode where you don't fight against one another.

However, despite all of this, I do want to address my concern on the longetivity of the MP mode. As of writing this review, I really have to wonder: will the MP of this game last? Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it, but given how so many games sadly end up losing much of the MP audience, I have to wonder if this will happen to Ascension as well. I immensely enjoy the MP, personally, but I think the consumer should have ever right to be concerned. I find it a tad hard to predict, given how many MP modes from various games have been shut down because nobody plays them not long after the launch of the MP servers. If you were thinking about buying this game strictly for MP, I'd probably think twice if I were you, due to this.

Regardless, anybody who's a fan of the franchise will want to pick up Ascension. I know that there were sneaks around the gaming community about GoW's supposed series fatigue, and some gamers think Ascension is not worth buying because its the 7th game in the series. I am not one of those people. Yes, Ascension may not appeal to a casual God of War player, but as someone who's played every single game in the franchise and hasn't been let down yet, the streak continues with Ascension for me. It's another exciting adventure into the world of Kratos and Greek Mythology, and an excellent send up for Kratos as the 7th generation comes to an end. Even if the MP may not last (though it is very enjoyable, so I hope it does last for a while), the campaign is long enough to be a single player along the same line as the other games in the series. Regardless, if your a fan of the series, I highly recommend Ascension
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2014 6:35 PM PDT


Crysis 3 - Playstation 3
Crysis 3 - Playstation 3
Offered by 123 Commodities
Price: $19.99
215 used & new from $2.85

38 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crysis fans, Rejoice! (4.5/5), February 20, 2013
First off, I want to issue a bit of a warning come in here for you folks interested in single player. Crysis 3 is short. Much shorter than Crysis 2 and the first game. However, as I write this review, having payed the full amount of cash, I usually don't say this, but here goes: I'm glad I payed the crazy amount of money for Crysis 3. Crysis 3 has made this Crysis fan THIS happy. There is tons of replay value in its excellent, open-ended game play, and the set pieces I found are so outstanding that I can see myself playing through them more than once. I'm more than ready to do so myself. So I'm not at all worried about the short campaign; its sheer re-playable quality over forgettable quantity! Take my word for it, Crysis fans.

In a world where generic, cookie cutter titles clutter the FPS genre, the Crysis series has always been a kick-ass counterpoint to all of the aforementioned clutter. The original Crysis is the second best FPS I've ever played (Half-Life 2 is No. 1), and the series overall is one of the best I've ever played. FPS junkies everywhere rejoice upon playing Crysis, and there's a darn good reason for it. Now, the series is back with Crysis 3, and it's as as predictably awesome as you expect. Amazing visuals, smart gun play, fantastic production values...you know the score. This is an excellent FPS, and its a wonderful continuation of the FPS genre's winning streak with 2012's brilliant Far Cry 3.

We all know the Crysis series is known for its eyeball melting visuals, and Crysis 3 is no different from previous games in the series. Let me just say that Crysis 3 looks absolutely gorgeous, and its a technical marvel to behold. What's even more amazing this time around is the art direction. Everything here just looks so inspired, telling; you feel you are truly in the jungle, and each level has a brilliant aesthetic that with each of the seven natural wonders. Oh, and as usual, sound is absolutely amazing. Explosions are devastating, gunfire sounds absolutely relentless, the Seth sound downright vicious, and the Nano-suit sound effects are empowering. The Crysis series has one of the most visceral use of sound in gaming, and Crysis 3 assaults you like it's no tomorrow. It's oh so worth it. Get your home theater/amazing computer speakers/high quality headphones ready and crank it straight to the top!

Regarding Crysis 3's story, the focused story-telling in the form of scripted sequences doesn't mean much if the content of the story doesn't match up. Fortunately, Crysis 3 has a well told and exciting story that recalls a well done summer blockbuster. This time, Prophet from Crysis returns after a twenty year period to New York City. The city has been taken over by Cell Corporation and converted NYC into a large Eco-dome in order to use the city as a land and technology grab. Through manipulation and whitewashing, Cell Corporation has successfully put into practice their plans of world domination, and hereby looms the end of the world as well. Meanwhile, protagonist must deal with the impending threat and fight his own struggles as a nano-soldier. Fans who followed the tales of their favorite nano-suit soldiers from the beginning will be satisfied by the story. As a fan of the series, I count myself amongst the satisfied. Yeah, Crysis 3 is stellar on the non-game play front in every way.

Now, for game play. Crysis 3 aims to take influences from the best aspects of the two previous titles, while cutting out the worst of each. It merges the focused storytelling of the second game with the emergent sandbox tactics the first game provided. The levels are much more sand boxed based than the second game, which gives the player a greater amount of combat freedom. Second hand, there are many game play choices and tweaks that make the game much more smooth. Finally, Crysis 3 ends up throwing some all new things into the mix the Crysis series hasn't seen before. It's quite an amazing melange of game play mechanics, and in conjunction, Crysis 3 feels incredibly cinematic but never takes away your control during combat. As long as you are playing the game on the highest difficulty (and you should be), there's so much game play meat to Crysis 3. It's an utter joy to play, again and again.

Crysis 3 shares similar controls and mechanics to Crysis 2. although you can now spring without reservations. The new Seph weapons are awesome, and being able to collect upgrades for the nano-suit adds an awesome level of bodily customization (being able to tweak and customize your various abilities). The Bow is probably the most advertised feature of Crysis 3, and its awesome. While definitely a stealth component, using it as an offensive weapon is very possible, due to its multiple ammunition. It doesn't replace all of your other weapons (ammo is much too scarce), but it adds a definite amount of strategy. Being able to shock people, kill enemies in clusters, and snipe without draining your suit offers for some incredibly fun. Finally, I can't forget the fact you can hack turrets in order to take out enemies for you (hint: when hacking, use cloak). There's a ton of new systems at hand, and being able to use all of these within the game adds a ton of tactical options that solidify Crysis as one of the best FPS series around.

Level design in particular is excellent, and a big improvement over the second. This is where Crysis 2 was lacking in my opinion, because as we all know the sandbox style level design was toned down severely in comparison to the first. Here, I feel that they have found that excellent sweet spot that let's you have player agency, but still focuses you down a controlled path. This is easily my favorite I want to let it known though, is that Crysis 3 has numerous level layouts, with both sandbox battlefields and tight corridors; and everything in between. Frankly, I see nothing wrong with variety. I enjoy open space as much as do tight corridors, so the variety is fine for me. It's not the go everywhere shtick of the first Crysis, but since most of Crysis was (let's be honest here) full of nothing to do, it's not a big issue. I'd say the tactical design of Crysis 3 is stellar.

Needless to say, I'm well satisfied with the results. The set pieces are awesome, and the game is best played with the desire to explore game mechanics. Taking it slow, picking off enemies, and using all that I've got (which is alot), is the best way to play this awesome game. I will be playing single player campaign missions for a long time.

MP, of course, is another part of the package. Crysis 3 uses the standard progression based MP that the industry is known for, butw hat Crysis 3 has over other shooters is the nano-suit, as well as other weapons such as the bow. All of the pretty much depends on how skilled you are with the mechanics, and those who use Crysis 3's multiple mechanics in various ways make for some interesting combat. It's a ton of fun, and it adds a ton of replay value to the overall game. I can't wait to see what hardcore Crysis players will end up doing with the Mp mode. It's life-span is hard to predict as of right now, but hopefully a community will form. Granted, I don't know, nor do I care honestly, that Crysis 3 can compete with COD or Halo. All I care about is that it's incredibly fun, so what else do you want to know (after all, popularity does NOT necessarily make something good)?

Alright, that's Crysis 3. As a huge fan of the series, I'm hugely satisfied with this. I will admit that you may want to pass this game if you don't care about Crysis (if you don't, why are you even reading this?), but for Crysis fans, I give this one my absolutely stamp of approval. It's definitely the best of both worlds when it comes to Crysis (though my favorite in the series overall is still the first game), and it's almost sublime to see where this While I do let note that the campaign is shorter than previous games, I also wouldn't lie to you when I think the single player is worth playing over and over again. I mean, one session of Crysis is simply not enough! This is definitely the best FPS released this year (so far), and other games are going to have to offer a lot in order to compete with this one.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 20, 2013 6:06 AM PDT


System Shock 2 - PC
System Shock 2 - PC
8 used & new from $17.20

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Games of All Time!, February 17, 2013
This review is from: System Shock 2 - PC (Video Game)
I'll keep this short.

System Shock 2 is, simply put, one of the best games of all time. No game comes close to being as scary as this one. Very few games feel as real as this one. Very few games can create such psychological fear, few games are able to transport you to an area so scary and real as this one. It's one of the best gaming experiences of all time. Not to mention it's a game that simply has some of the most rewarding game play to ever exist on disc.

From the amazing sound design, to the rich environment around (I still think the space ships in SS2 are still quite amazing to roam around in), the amazing characters and plot line, System Shock 2 simply has it all. It's one of the games I've played that is boasts one of the best fictional experiences around. It's just as amazing as watching the best movies or reading the best books. It's an experience that you'll never forget.

So yeah, get this game now, or else! You insect.

By the way, for those who are interested, System Shock 2 is finally on GOG, and will come to Steam really soon. Yes, you can finally play it cheap, and it will run on modern computers. Rejoice people! This is one of the best games of all time, so play it now, or else!


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