Alan Wake (2006, 360-exclusive) – 9/10 action horror game review

AmazonBuy Alan Wake at Amazon

Cast / crew
Conceptual Designer, Original Concept and Writer: Sam Lake
Conceptual Designer and Lead Game Designer: Mikael Kasurinen
Art Director and Conceptual Designer: Saku Lehtinen
Conceptual Designer and Producer: Jyri “Jay” Ranki
Conceptual Designer and Lead Programmer: Olli Tervo
Conceptual Designer and Lead Technical Artist: Sami Vanhatalo
Conceptual Designer and Lead Level Design and Envrionments: Jarno Wallgren
Additional Game Designer and Original Concept: Petri Jarvilehto
Screenplay Writer: Mikko Rautalahti
Matthew Porretta: The Voice of Alan Wake
Fred Berman: Barry Wheeler

Alan Wake (2006)

Thriller writer Alan Wake and his wife Alice travel to Bright Falls for a vacation but some kind of dark force takes Alice to the bottom of Cauldron Lake. The darkness soon turns its sights on Alan but he has light on his side and it turns out that Bright Falls has a more serious problem than even he can imagine. No, actually, it has a problem exactly as serious as he can imagine.

9/10

While I’m not quite clear on why Wake succeeds at the end and Zane didn’t, the story certainly dares you to make sense of it. There’s a spectacular coming together of gameplay with everything else – lighting, technology, graphics (running at PS Vita resolution, remarkably, but not looking like it at all), sound, story and ambition – to create a unified sense of atmosphere and engrossing fun. The combat is outstanding: interesting, thrilling, challenging and thoroughly satisfying. It requires you to use light to destroy a shield around every Dark One before you can eliminate them permanently with a gun. Brilliantly, combat is not even always necessary as you can try and run away. Especially on higher difficulty levels and with a lack of ammo, this proves to be a wise but challenging tactic. This is a great game and, arguably, Xbox 360′s best exclusive.

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

PC vs PS3 vs PS4 vs Wii U vs Xbox 360 vs Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: Child of Light

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PC DVD ROM logo 75x16PS4 is better than Xbox One  Child of Light

Seventh Generation

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 WiiU PS3 equal  Child of Light

PS3 vs Xbox 360 and PS4 versus Xbox One Head-to-Head Face Off: Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PS4 is better than Xbox One  Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

Seventh Generation

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 better  Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes

PC vs PS3 vs PS4 vs Xbox 360 vs Xbox One: Strider and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PC DVD ROM logo 75x16Xbox One / PS4 equal  Strider

Seventh Generation

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 PS3 equal and better than Wii U  Castlevania: Lords of Shadows 2
  • 360 better  FIFA 14
  • 360 better  Grand Theft Auto V
  • 360 better  Strider

Brave: A Warrior’s Tale (2009, 360) – 5/10 action game review

AmazonBuy Brave: A Warrior’s Tale at Amazon

Cast / crew

Brave: A Warrior’s Tale (2009)

HD remake of Brave: The Search for the Spirit Dancer

5/10

An HD remake of a PS2 game (Brave: The Search for the Spirit Dancer) before people really took care over them, this keeps the graphics and ups the resolution but messes up the frame rate. This technical inadequacy coupled with poor camera programming and a few bugs (one requiring your save to be restarted) can give one a poor impression and certainly contributed to the fairly hateful contemporary review scores. Shame, as the core game design is fine; a Native American God of War without the gore. It’s mostly fun enough, it’s always giving you something to do with a little tweak on what you’ve already learned, the story is good enough, the lead character Brave is enthusiastic, the art direction is good and it remains one of the only games to even attempt to use the striking potential of Native American mythology. It also has the joint most valuable achievement on 360 with 500G for completing the game.

PC vs PS4 vs Xbox One and PC vs PS3 vs Wii U vs 360 Head-to-Head Face Off: Call of Duty: Ghosts

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PS4 logo 75x16  Call of Duty: Ghosts

Seventh Generation

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 better  Call of Duty: Ghosts

PC vs PS4 vs Xbox One (and 360 vs PS3 vs PC) Head-to-Head Face Off: Battlefield 4

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PC DVD ROM logo 75x16PS4 logo 75x16  Battlefield 4

Seventh Generation

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 better  Battlefield 4

360 vs PS3 vs PC Head-to-Head Face Off: Diablo III and Grand Theft Auto V (no PC version)

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 better  Diablo III
  • 360 better  Grant Theft Auto V

PS4 vs Xbox One vs Xbox 360 vs PS3 vs Wii U vs PC Head-to-Head Face Off: Rayman Legends

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the web site icon for a very quick summary.

  • PC DVD ROM logo 75x16PS4 / Xbox One equalXbox One / PS4 equal  Rayman Legends

Seventh Generation

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • Wii U better than 360 or PS3  Rayman Legends

Xbox 360 vs PS3 vs Wii U vs PC Head-to-Head Face Off: Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Every so often, Eurogamer run a series of technical comparison reviews for games released on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

This is the latest update to the full list and you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 PS3 equal  Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist

Captain America: Super Soldier (2011,360) – 7/10 superhero action game review

Cast / crew
Game Director: Brandon Gill
Art Director: Barret Chapman
Audio Director: Alex MacFarlane
Technical Director: Darwin Chau
Lead Cinematic Animator: Rob Willock
Lead Gameplay Animator and Designer: Jeff King

Captain America: Super Soldier (2011)

As Dr. Anim Zola improves his understanding of human mortality through experimenting on prisoners-of-war, Captain America resolves to go in and punch him in the evil until he stops.

7/10

Successfully taking design inspiration from Batman: Arkham Asylum, this is a fun, highly playable and satisfying superhero movie game. Even without your special shield moves (which are too slow to deploy) the combat is rewarding to play throughout. The structure of the game provides an ever-expanding and constantly interesting 1940′s stronghold / science-fiction arena and taking the super-powered Captain through them picking up collectibles and leaving a trail of broken henchmen is a great balance of action and non-action. Technically, the frame rate doesn’t feel smooth but it loads surprisingly quickly, nothing is broken and it doesn’t affect playability. It winds up to a great speech by the Captain before a surprisingly not-irritating triple-boss battle during a boss battle, leaving us with a good memory of a good game.

This game contains strong bloodless violence

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.

Forza Horizon (2012, 360-exclusive) – 8/10 open-world racing game review

Cast / crew

Forza Horizon (2012)

8/10

The handling is exquisite, beyond anything yet experienced in an open-world racer, and the racing is challenging and fun (I love my Koenigsegg) but the environment graphics aren’t quite as good as they appear in screenshots. The colour scheme (all brown, unless it’s night when it’s all black, haven’t game makers heard of high beam), shallow view distance (good luck distinguishing concrete freeway off-ramp walls, junctions or even other cars during daylight) and forgettable scenery and roads even in daylight mean that, in motion, it is very challenging to remember tracks or routes or, on the freeway challenges, see far enough down the road ahead. It also has an excrutiating framework (a festival; think Motorstorm without the bravado but more voice-over), an embarrassingly cheating final race (when you get the car that keeps whupping you, it goes 40mph slower) and, appropriately for a Forza game, absolutely no heart. Also appropriately for a Forza game, the driving saves it.

This game contains sexual swear words in songs.