Infamous: Second Son (2014, PS4 exclusive) – 6/10 open-world superhero fantasy action game review

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Cast / crew

Infamous: Second Son (2014)

Seven years after the death of Cole McGrath, the problem of conduits didn’t go away but, thanks to the D.U.P. finding and imprisoning all the new conduits (now labeled bio-terrorists), things seem to be under control. One day during a D.U.P. prisoner transfer, three bio-terrorists escape and one of them comes into touch with Delsin Rowe. Literally. Rowe responds by absorbing some of the conduit’s smoke powers and heroically passing out.

6/10

How important is atmosphere? Ask Infamous: Second Son which, without it, is just a shopping list with game systems that feel well-designed but just aren’t engrossing, a muted echo of a city that doesn’t feel big enough, and a meaningless morality system that is embarrassingly unconvincing. The combat is only moderately engaging. There’s effort to keep you on your toes but it fails to be fun by being more disorienting than anything. Infamous: Second Son never asks the player to do anything; you just follow the markers on your map and your stupid moral choices are stupid and transparently meaningless and change only the game’s coda. So, without best-in-class combat, you have nothing to engage your brain. On the plus side, the Good run-through cut-scenes with your brother are excellent; fun, convincing and snappy with neither party doing anything particularly unbelievable. (On an Evil run-through they’re the same and, so, shockingly unbelievable; don’t play this on Evil.) The Good coda is quite touching. Second Son‘s major calling card is, however, the graphics. They are fantastically crisp and intricate with the effects work on Delsin’s powers routinely wonderful. Pulling the neon out of a sign is gorgeous and you never tire of seeing it.

This game contains strong fantasy violence, unpleasant scenes, adult dialogue, sensuality, bad language

Classified 18+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for adults who have reached the age of 18 or over..

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012, PS3) – 6/10 open-world action racing game review

Cast / crew

Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2012)

6/10

This feels like a game made by talented, but bored, developers though the more I think about it and the more you play it, the worse the game becomes. Police chases are thrilling but awful as they incessantly spawn what feels like hundreds of police cars everywhere you go and they don’t need to be able to see you or have seen you to know where you are. Handling is heart-pumping but lumpen and inaccurate meaning that threading through traffic is consistently far harder than it should be. This is yet another open-world game that expects you to map-read at 150mph (earlier open-world Need for Speed games do not make this irritating choice; it also spoils Midnight Club: Los Angeles). And this is an open-world game where you spend a lot of time waiting for events to load. Isn’t one of the selling features of an open-world supposed to be "no loading times"? I’ve yet to see one; perhaps that will be something that the eighth generation of consoles will finally deliver. But this? This is only Most Wanted until you play it.

This game contains

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Haze (2008) – 6/10 PS3-exclusive science-fiction first-person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Bertie Carvel: Shane
Rupert Evans: Duvall
Carlos Riera: Merino
Chad Ellis: Teare
Mikey O’Conner: Pshy
Martin T. Sherman: Watchstrap
Creative Director: Derek Littlewood
Lead Programmer: Mark Tully

Haze (2008)

Sent in to assassinate a terrorist leader who wears a coat made of human skin, your gung-ho awesomeness simply cannot conceive of defeat thanks to the use of advanced military hardware that can cloak the bodies of the slain and a drug called Nectar that boosts human performance and abilities. But this battle will not turn out the way you expect.

6/10

Commercially and critically this was perceived as something of an unmitigated disaster but it’s not (and sales of about 900,000 isn’t terrible by any means). I found the ugly box art off-putting while the demo’s notably un-HD graphics were received with horror (ironically hazy with a tiny draw distance; even worse than Halo 3). Even so, the game itself plays great, has an interesting story arc and ticks all the feature boxes with full campaign split-screen co-op up to online multiplayer with all the toys, vehicles and weapons you would like. However, Haze is one of those games that will be alternately really awful and really cool. For example, there’s a section where you’re supposed to drive into a large clearing in your car and engage in vehicular combat with the enemy. But the ramp into the area is broken (deliberately; not a bug) and, because I couldn’t see this, my car dribbled over the edge and got stuck when I just drove up the ramp instead of flooring it. So the battle became man versus vehicle. A bit unfair, a bit rubbish. Yet then I managed to cleanly shoot an enemy driver and gunner and commandeer their vehicle and my guy even tipped the dead driver out the door. Then the AI buddy climbed into the back and manhandled the dead gunner out of the way. Brilliant! Then a minute or so later, the game forgot to draw the floor and hard-locked the PS3. Hmm.

This game contains sexual swear words and fictional substance abuse and graphic violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.

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007: Blood Stone (2010) – 6/10 third-person / driving action James Bond game review

Cast / crew
Daniel Craig: James Bond 007
Writer (Characters’ Creator): Ian Fleming
Joss Stone: Nicole Hunter
Judi Dench: M
Stunt Coordinator: Benjamin Cooke
Music: Richard Jacques
Writer: Bruce Feirstein

007: Blood Stone (2010)

Bond is assigned to rescue missing professor Malcolm Tedworth

6/10

This is a good-looking, generally smooth-playing action and driving game but, as with most Bond games (and the Uncharted games, interestingly), there are simply too many goons to take down. Each level goes on for too long because of it and the proliferation of henchmen to de-hench reduces the irresistible forward-momentum a Bond game should have. Nevertheless, Blood Stone does have it’s moments which generally come from getting yourself out of trouble with a melee takedown followed by a quick Focus Aim shot. I think the holders of the Bond license should produce a game with a lot less shooting in it; perhaps structured more like a Bioware-lite action adventure rather than a duck hunt where somebody else eats the succulent bird during a cut scene and tells you how tasty it was.

This game contains strong melee violence, some mild graphic violence, gun violence.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

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R:Racing Evolution (2003, PS2 and Gamecube) – 6/10 racing game review

Cast / crew
Project Director: Hideo Teramoto

R:Racing Evolution (2003)

After rushing an injured racer and his manager to hospital, ambulance driver Rena Hayami finds herself being offered the chance to become a professional racing driver. She accepts but finds that the life of a driver can be more challenging than expected both on and off the track.

6/10

Good and extensive, if generally too easy, racing game with cute cleavage-heavy asian CG babes and reference-quality surround sound implementation. Once the agreeable career mode is complete, however, the game becomes increasingly less desirable to play due to a misjduged lack of challenge (but not to a lack of content, this game would take ages to finish). That said, it’s nice to see a racing game with a decent entry level of difficulty. Too many racing games are too hard for many people even on Easy (if there is an Easy level, a lot of racing games don’t have selectable difficulty).

This game contains mild swear words and excessive cleavage, mild female nudity.

Classified 12+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 12 or over.
Classified Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language.

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James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game (2009, PS3) – 6/10 movie action game review

Cast / crew
Lead Game Designer: Benoit MacOn

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game (2009)

6/10

This is a worthwhile video game prequel tie-in to the movie with a surprising amount to do (action and collection goals) and a combat system that offers a couple of goodies (special powers and a range of weapons all with generous ammo). The first ride on the Banshee is very nice with James Horner’s music and the spectacular scenery combining perfectly. The two runs through the game as a Na’vi and a human are also, surprisingly, not through recycled scenery. They use different environments and require different tactical approaches. As a human, you’re essentially indestructible and unstoppable as long as you don’t get numerically overwhelmed. As a Na’vi, you can be mown down in a matter of seconds at any time. It makes an intriguing difference.

Classified 12+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 12 or over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.
Classified Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language.

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Dragon Age: Origins – Witch Hunt (2010) – fantasy action role-playing game DLC review

Cast / crew
Lead Designer: Ferret Baudoin
Technical Designer: Mark Barazzuol
Technical Designer: Jason Hill
Technical Designer: Kaelin Lavallee
Technical Designer: David Sims
Cinematic Designer: Ryan Ebenger
Cinematic Designer: Michelle Pettit-Mee
Writer: Sheryl Chee
Writer: David Gaider
Writer: Jennifer Brandes Hepler
Lead Producer: Fernando Melo
Producer: Heather Rabatich

Dragon Age: Origins Witch Hunt (2010)

Morrigan left following the Archdemon’s defeat (just like she said she would) but after hearing reports of a witch matching her description leaving her mark on various communities across Ferelden, the Warden seeks to catch up with her and find out if she needs help… or stopping.

6/10

It’s enough; a bite-size DLC with a couple of new characters, a couple of hours of gameplay and a couple of moments with Morrigan. The climax is a bit weak with a big boss battle as a combat high contrasting poorly with the unsatisfying conversation with Morrigan. Perhaps it was in character for her to keep her cards close to her ample chest but it doesn’t make for a great punctuation point for the conclusion of a DLC. Still, glad to be back in Ferelden.

This Dragon Age: Origins game contains mild swear words and strong, gory violence with an hilarious option to leave you peppered with gravity resistant blood splatters that are way too big.

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Overlord (2007) – 6/10 real-time strategy third-person action game review

Cast / crew

Overlord (2007)

After being resurrected, the Overlord, with the help of his minions, has to re-conquer the lands that were once his by defeating the heroes that now rule.

6/10

Overlord is a good game design buried under technical, camera and control deficiencies. Still, there’s always a lot of charm to offset the problems. Set design is rather good with a lovely chunky character to all the buildings. While the human populace are blandly designed and there only appears to be two voice actors (one male, one female), the fantasy populace are much more fun. I always appreciate effort put into facial hair and the dwarves have terrific moustaches. While your Overlord spends his entire time walking around like he’s wet his armour and being told what to do by Gnarl and your mistress (not very Overlord-ish), the minion design is rather better; fun and eager and a clever balance of looking evil and horrible without looking evil and horrible. Their surprising charm (if not artificial intelligence) helps make this ambitious but flawed game well worth playing.

This game contains adult dialogue and fantasy violence, unpleasant scenes.

Astro Boy (2009) – 6/10 computer animated science fiction action movie review

Cast / crew
Freddie Highmore: Astro, Toby
Kristen Bell: Cora
Nathan Lane: Hamegg
Eugene Levy: Orrin
Matt Lucas: Sparx
Bill Nighy: Dr. Elefun
Donald Sutherland: President Stone
Charlize Theron: "Our Friends" Narrator
Nicolas Cage: Dr Tenma
Director: David Bowers
Producer: Maryann Garger
Writer (Original Manga) Astro Boy: Tezuka Osamu
Writer (Story): David Bowers
Writer: Timothy Hyde Harris
Writer: David Bowers
Creative Consultant: MacOto Tezka
Creative Consultant: Yoshihiro Shimizu
David Bowers: Mike the Fridge

Astro Boy (2009)

Metro City’s Head of the Ministry of Science and "Father of Robotics" Dr Tenma builds himself a robot replacement son and fits him with a few unusual extras.

6/10

Astro Boy is a big improvement on writer / director David Bowers previous movie Flushed Away. The first chunk of the movie is rather good because the topics are unexpected and interesting. They involve death and abandonment and shocking rejection. Nicolas Cage gives the animators something to work with and together they produce some affecting scenes. Then the movie shifts from the floating Metro City to Earth, leaving all the interesting stuff in the air and devolves into the kind of movie you thought it was going to be: off-the-shelf dialogue, instantly forgettable characters and the lazy fall-back theme of ‘finding yourself.’ However, it’s always fun, consistently funny when it tries and very crisply directed.

This movie contains extreme robot violence, some potentially upsetting scenes.

Classified PG by BBFC. Parental Guidance.

Superstars® V8 Racing (2009, 360) – 6/10 racing game review

Cast / crew
Senior Producer: Fabio Paglianti
Lead Game Designer: Matteo Pezzotti
Game Designer: Matteo Sciutteri
Game Designer: Luca Simonotti
Physics Designer: Emanuele Mari
Physics Designer: Irvin Zonca

Superstars® V8 Racing (2009)

Race in the official International and Italian Superstars® V8 racing championship.

6/10

Superstars® V8 Racing gives us the chance to race on some uncommon tracks such as Adria, Magione, Varano and Portimao for the first time. Sadly, the handling has a gigantic zone of unresponsiveness in the steering which makes precision feel just out of reach. Once you’ve got used to that, the game controls well with a nice feeling of weight that requires just enough concentration to make perfecting laps highly enjoyable. This is also a lot easier than Milestone’s motorcycle games and I had fun collecting all the achievements and prizes and completing the race scenario challenges and, perhaps rather randomly, the thunder sound effect is surprisingly impressive.

Cars: Mater-National (2007, Open-World Racing, 360) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew
Lead Designer: Mark Buchignani
Lead Programmer: Eric Patrick
Lead Artist: Paul Rheinfelder
Lead Animator: Wil Paras

Cars: Mater-National (2007)

Lightning McQueen is building a racing stadium in Radiator Springs and competitors from all over the world want to prove their worth against him on his home turf.

6/10

It’s just fun when cars go ‘ouch’ when you bang into them or a car trash-talks you while overtaking going backwards. Mini-game Tractor Tipping is an unresponsive nightmare when it should be a neat diversion but most of the other mini-games are fine. The best one is Ghosting Mater where the controls are reversed and Fuel Frenzy where you have to pick up diminishing fuels cans to last a certain number of laps. Both have simple rules but are just a little more interesting than usual. Lightning McQueen proves to be a bland (at best) star but the supporting cast are great and it was a joy to see SPOILER Mike and Sully from Monsters, Inc. Mike’s car is especially brilliant.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

Alpha Protocol (2010, Espionage Action RPG, Windows PC) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew
Project Director: Chris Parker
Senior Producer: Ryan Rucinski
Lead Designer: Chris Avellone
Lead Designer: Raymond Holmes
Writing and Narrative Designer: Chris Avellone
Writing and Narrative Designer: Travis Stout
Writing and Narrative Designer: Matt MacLean
Writing and Narrative Designer: Brian Mitsoda
Josh Gilman: Michael Thorton
Fred Tatasciore: Henry Leland, Shaheed, Terrorists
Adrienne Wilkinson: Mina Tang

Alpha Protocol (2010)

Operative Mike Thornton wakes up groggy, loosely manicled to a bed in a medical lab of some kind. As soon as he starts to get his bearings, someone tells him that his life is in danger and he needs to fight his way out.

6/10

Alpha Protocol is immediately underwhelming with unatmospheric graphics and a depressingly unoriginal opening (you wake up with amnesia and are talked through a training level) devoid of excitement, pacing, intrigue, spectacle or interest. Your dreary avatar humorously crouch-walks around the level giving you time to wonder why game designers have the bizarre belief that we bought a game about secret agents to be treated like an infant. We’re supposed to be amazing; the game and characters should treat us as such in order to instil the relevant atmosphere. The problems with the game are legion; most notably, cover that frequently doesn’t work, every boss fight being an exercise in gut-punching misery (despite one being brilliantly backed by Turn Up the Radio by Autograph) and being generally forced to choose a response before you hear enough of the lead-in. Additionally, the presence of sexual swear words feels wrong given the inspiration is clearly the bad-language-free JB spy gods of James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Bauer. Now while the action never gels, it certainly gets better and the game, as a whole, always feels just a hair away from greatness. Your on-going choices also have a significant effect on most missions (not just the ending) which is highly appreciated. So while Alpha Protocol got deservedly blown away by the superior Mass Effect 2, it’s certainly worth checking out now at it’s budget price.

This game contains sexual swear words, adult dialogue and substance abuse (with unrealistic effects) and extreme gun violence, melee violence, a couple of unexpected and extremely graphic moments of gun violence and sensuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
Classified 18+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for adults who have reached the age of 18 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.
Classified Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language.
Classified Drugs by PEGI. Game refers to or depicts the use of drugs.

Auto Modellista (2002, Cel-Shaded Racer, PS2) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew

Auto Modellista (2002)

6/10

When it’s not being super-easy, this arcade-style racer offers eye-catching graphics, skilful presentation, extensive and gratifying customization. Though the racing is quite thrilling due to the smooth speed of the game, this is also the area it falls down in. The AI is simplistic and the handling characteristics uninvolving. Best thing about the game is being able to put trophies you win exactly where you like in your garage.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

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Halo 3: ODST (2009, Science Fiction Shooter) – 6/10 game review

 

Halo 3 Halo 3: ODST (2009)

6/10

A catalogue of poor design decisions including a baffling colour scheme that makes the night-time levels impossible to play in without the special vision mode and disguises doors as walls and has finicky, or buggy if you’re being less charitable, co-op achievements including one (Audiophile) which you’ll probably have spent an hour or two on before you discover you can’t get it in co-op Replay Mission mode. The graphics are also pretty poor technically with a tiny draw distance that makes the vehicle levels an exercise in frustration (you keep smashing into objects that materialise right in front of you). The shooting action itself is, as before, superb, but the game is continually sucking the joy and fun out of the experience, even, perhaps especially, in co-op. Hugely disappointing.

Links

Galleon (2004, Broken Action Adventure, Xbox) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew
Game Designer: Toby Gard

Galleon (2004)

Awesome, dashing, charming, heroic sea captain Rhama Sabrier is hired to find a mystical ship but, when he does, a traitorous servant usurps and murders his Master and threatens to, um, well his eyes turn red and he gets incredible powers and that can’t be good. And he’s got an evil beard. So Rhama’s gonna stop him. Hurrah!

6/10

This is a review of a game I have not completed but it’s not really my fault, it’s down to a bug. Literally, there’s a fire-bug late on in the game I need to pick up and hero Rhama simply won’t do it. It is the epitome of the problem with the game: the camera and controls designers hated each other and never ever spoke to the level designers. This is a great game broken by controls that are fiddly, confounding (hehe) and disorienting at best and a camera that insists on looking at everywhere except where you want. It’s such a huge shame as everything else is great. The puzzles and characters are fun and satisfying; the game is spectacular and unusual; Rhama’s splendidly cool and can do loads of stuff. There’s nice sense of humour and nonchalant awesomeness. Rerelease it with God of War controls and it would be an easy eight or nine out of ten.

This game contains violence and sensuality.

White Knight Chronicles (2009, Fantasy RPG, PS3-exclusive) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew
Producer: Akihiro Hino
Director: Yoshiaki Kusuda
Event Director: Hirokazu Nagai
Daniel Taylor: Leonard
Kari Wahlgren: Cisna
Dannah Feinglass: Yulie
Charles Shaughnessy: Eldore

White Knight Chronicles (2009)

The Kingdom of Balandor is about to come under attack and one of it’s most secret treasures exposed: an ancient supernatural White Knight armour stored deep below the castle. Strangely, the White Knight armour chooses to bestow it’s power upon Leonard, an ordinary labourer about to become an extraordinary hero.

6/10

White Knight Chronicles falls down on a tactics-free battle experience which you can consistently complete with an occasional finger while doing something else entirely. It’s a shame as the story, setting and characters endear themselves to you and boast some nice moments (such as a son putting more effort into producing a fake ornament for his father than it took our heroes to procure the real ornament – though that makes no sense whatsoever, of course). Oddly, the story really requires you to play as hero Leonard while your custom avatar silently accompanies him. Once the story is dealt with there is a huge free online component to explore with your custom avatar as the principle hero that is comparable in time and grind to paid MMO’s. It’s an easy-to-play game that is refreshingly enjoyable to amble through and is better than it first appears.

This game contains mild swear words and fantasy violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.
Classified Drugs by PEGI. Game refers to or depicts the use of drugs.

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Frontlines: Fuel of War (2008, World War III Shooter) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew
General Manager: Frank Delise
Senior Producer: Joe Halper
Design Director: David Votypka
Software Director: Alex Papasavas
Lead Designer: Frank Delise
Writing / Cinematics: Coray Seifert
Lead Programmer: Alex Papasavas

Frontlines: Fuel of War (2008)

China and Russia team up for the ultimate World War III fighting machine. A coalition is hurriedly lumped together and thrown into battle with small teams like the Stray Dogs expected to hit hard and deep and turn the red tide.

6/10

You get the feeling all the way through that this never quite turned out as originally envisioned. It feels like it should be a more tactical, squad-conscious shooter with a multi-path environment, multiple objectives and an accompanying squad that encourages thought to perfect each assault. Ultimately, the end product is just another run-and-gun shooter, quite a good one, but one which frequently feels less than the sum of its parts. The best thing about Frontlines is probably the variety of weapons which are all interesting and useful (though the tank is, as always, stupidly difficult to control and gets killed easier than you do and the default assault rifle is irritatingly weak). You get some really cool toys such as several different types of mini-drones, a mini-tank assault drone, strike designators, homing rocket launchers and a selection of armored vehicles on top of your usual array of personal weapons. Using all these tactical options certainly makes the game more interesting if you realise they’re there and remember to use them but the remaining elements all feel half-baked.

This game contains war violence.

 

Classified 16+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 16 or over..
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Secret Service (2008, 24-Alike Conspiracy First-Person Shooter) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew
Game Designer: Jozef Hudec
Director: Jozef Hudec
Project Manager: L’uboš Kubiš

Secret Service (2008)

As part of the President’s Secret Service detail, you face the worst situation possible when an all-out attack on his life is made and you become the key player in stopping a military coup.

6/10

Satisfactory shooter which feels like a couple of episodes of 24, good 24, that is. It looks nice, handles okay (though not perfectly) with the Call of Duty control scheme (something a surprising number of shooters stupidly fail to do), and features baddies that sound like they keep saying "Carlos Santana forever" which rules (they’re actually saying Costa Sentava). There’s also some nice touches (grandfather clocks in the White House tick), the script and voice-acting is definitely above-average, and the music is terrific (very Bourne Conspiracy). It’s tightly focused on the story at hand and all the better for it.

This game contains gun violence.

Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights (2007, Street Racing, 360 and Games for Windows) – 6/10 game review

Cast / crew
Project Lead: Richard Badger
Project Lead: Phil Owen
Lead Programmer: Martin Turton
Lead Programmer: Mat Draper
Model: Ursula Mayes

Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights (2007)

Circuit-based street and drift racing with visual customisation and performance car upgrades (but no tuning).

6/10

Though featuring the same slightly odd, somewhat unpredictable handling as the first game and horrific, completely unpredictable barrier impact dynamics, this does deliver thrilling racing and slightly more depth to the basic mechanics of who you race in a race and how you progress throughout the game. There are also some nice variants on the typical racing game staples and there was a nice surprise with a supercar I hadn’t played or heard of before (SPOILERthe Melling Hellcat). Sadly, the game’s graphics become almost completely broken with the faster cars and the rubber-band AI is arguably the worst and most embarrassing in gaming history. The Games for Windows Live version can be unpleasant; broken achievements, confusing and unconvincing widescreen support and seemingly uglier than the generally good-looking 360 version.

This game contains mild swear words.

Classified 12+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 12 or over.
Classified Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language.
Classified Gambling by PEGI. Game encourages or teaches gambling.

Crash Time aka Alarm for Cobra 11 (2007, 360) – 6/10 review

Cast / crew

Crash Time aka Alarm for Cobra 11 (2007)

German detective team Cobra 11 – Chris and Semir – crack cases and race races around two expansive areas utilising any vehicle at their disposal.

6/10

One of the main treats of Synetic games is seeing how magnificently obtuse their user interface is and Crash Time doesn’t disappoint. The menus have active items highlighted in white and inactive items highlighted in – wait for it – white. Brilliant. In-game, some of the missions become unnecessary repeat-a-thons due to the lack of an in-game map though I suppose there is a certain old-school satisfaction to trying something over and over until you get it right. This is a game where one of the in-game tips starts "Yes, that’s not fair" and, on hard, it can be maddening like few other games. However, it runs and plays smoothly and the driving model (despite diminished gravity) is fun and much better than usual for a budget game (specifically, the steering is beautifully weighted). It, unusually, has articulated vehicles and is probably the only game to feature cars towing caravans. That’s a plus point, by the way.

This game contains mild swear words.

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Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb (2003, Third-Person Action, Xbox on 360) – 6/10 game review

Project Director The Collective: VP Production: Douglas Hare
Project Director The Collective: Creative Director, VP: Richard Hare
Project Director The Collective: VP Development: Gary Priest
David Esch: Indiana Jones
Vivian Wu: Mei Ying
Keone Young: Marshall Kai, Ch’in Shi-Huang-Li
Producer LucasArts Entertainment Company: Jim Tso

Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb (2003)

Indiana Jones is hired by the Chinese government to recover the fragments of a mystic mirror.

6/10

Generally speaking, this is a fairly good and, thanks to bite-size gameplay areas, surprisingly addictive game with controls and a camera that keeps sucking the fun out of the experience. Also Indiana Jones, being a man’s man, won’t be told what to do by anyone, least of all a fat, middle-aged games player. Therefore, Indy frequently has to be repeatedly asked to grab ledges, go up ladders, not fall to his doom, catch onto ropes, stop throwing like a girl, climb out of the water and go through doorways. Every time the game starts to gel or you have to go and pick your hat up after a fight (which is brilliant), it instantly starts to deliver reasons to hate it and turn it off. Still, it’s better than Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.

This game contains extreme melee violence, extreme but not graphic gun violence and mild sensuality.