Remember Me (2013, PS3) – 8/10 third-person science-fiction action game review

AmazonBuy Remember Me at Amazon

Cast / crew
Art Director: Aleksi Briclot
Art Director: Michel Koch
Technical Director: Jérome Banal
Producer: Nicolas Simon
Lead Technical Designer: Gautier de Souza
Lead Technical Designer: Jacques Trombini
Lead Environment Artist: Sophie Van de Velde
Lead Character Artist: Alexis Smadja-Fellous
Lead Visual Effects Artist: Timothée Letourneux
Lead Lighting Artist: Frédéric Cros
Lead Animator: Carole Chaland
Lead Animator: Alexandre Cuing
Cinematic Director: Jean-Luc Cano
Lead Designer: Philippe Moreau
Lead Designer: Marc Pestka
Music Composer, Orchestrator, Producer and Adaptor: Olivier Derivière
Director: Jean-Maxime Moris
Kezia Burrows: Nilin

Remember Me (2013)

Nilin is rescued from a memory-wipe facility by Edge and has little choice but to follow his instructions to stay alive. As she gradually remembers more skills he quickly sets her to work as a revolutionary but Nilin is conflicted about the chaos she is causing.

8/10

Remember Me deserved rather better than to be sniffed at by contemporary critics who moaned about stuff that exists in other more lauded games (such as the very mildly unruly camera and completely normal number of enemy types). The gameplay adds welcome wrinkles to the third-person brawler with its Pressen system. These are actions slotted into custom combos that can deal damage, heal, accelerate super-power cooldown or amplify the preceding Pressen; a combined effect that you design then execute during exciting, absorbing action. The gameplay is mixed up, as is the norm, with traversal and simple puzzles but a couple of riddles crop up and are something of an unexpected highlight. The cut-scenes are smoothly integrated and beautifully directed and edited, the art design is superb while Olivier Derivière’s music is unusual, effective and fitting. Remember Me drew me in and I wanted to see it through to the end. Well worth buying; don’t forget Remember Me.

This game contains sexual swear words, bad language, adult dialogue, 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.

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.

Dark Souls (2011) – 10/10 fantasy RPG game review

Cast / crew
Director / Producer: Hidetaka Miyazaki
Lead Programmer: Jun Ito
Lead Graphic Designer: Makoto Sato

Dark Souls (2011)

Not living, not dead, not capable of dying (just becoming hollowed), you’ve been banished to a remote prison. One day, a knight peers into your cell from the broken ceiling and tosses in a cadaver bearing a key for your door. Who he is? Don’t know. Why he gave you a key? Don’t know. Why it had to be on a cadaver? Absolutely no idea.

10/10

I suspect any discussion between fans of the unendingly, intricately wondrous Dark Souls (no-one does boss entrances or location reveals like the Souls games) quickly turns to the most souls and humanity lost by not successfully returning to the scene of your previous demise (31,000 souls, 2 humanity – about 3 levels-worth at the time – later, 12 humanity thanks to Ceaseless Discharge unexpectedly coming to meet me; nobody does boss names like the Souls games, either). It hurts. Badly. But one of the coolest things about Dark Souls battles is that you always know why you lost and it’s nearly always your own fault (I dodged backward off a ledge; then muttered disconsolately for the next hour). You knew you wanted to be a higher level. You knew the bridge was narrow and the parapet was damaged. You knew you needed to run away and heal. You knew you couldn’t take two on at once. You knew you needed to dodge not strike. You knew your armour was too heavy to run fast. You knew your crossbow takes ages to reload. You knew you were using the wrong shield. You knew you had to be patient. You knew it would be worth it. It’s always worth it.

This game contains bad language and optionally gory 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.

Links

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.

Links

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Call of Duty 3 (2006, 360) – 4/10 World War II first person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Dave Anthony
Senior Producer: Pat Dwyer
Producer: Jason Blundell
Producer Multiplayer: Daniel Bunting
Technical Director Engineering: Mike Anthony
Lead Programmer Engineering: Christian Diefenbach
Technical Director Engineering – Game Content: Matthew Kimberling
Lead Programmer Engineering – Game Content: James Snider
Lead AI Programmer Engineering – Game Content: Peter Livingstone
Creative Director: Richard Farrelly
Lead Game Designer: Jeremy Luyties
Lead Level Builder: Adam Gascoine
Lead Level Scripter: Mike Denny

Call of Duty 3 (2006)

The arrival on Normandy’s beaches was only the start. Call of Duty 3 recreates some of the battles of the Normandy breakout.

4/10

Fortunately, Activision had already committed to a yearly cycle otherwise this dreary, frustrating, unfun shooter could have been the end of the Call of Duty juggernaut before it, er, began. The late Hill 262 mission is a good one (a nightmare on most difficulties though) – urgent and interesting – backed up by the consistently excellent music. There is some impressive technical achievement with great grass, water and some very convincing lighting effects (a strong point in all Call of Duty games) and it’s cool that you can drive around a couple of the levels which mixes things up nicely.

This game contains sexual swear words and 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.

Links

This blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

inFamous 2 (2011) – 9/10 superhero / supervillain open-world action adventure PS3 exclusive game review

Cast / crew

inFamous 2 (2011)

Just as Kessler prophesied, the Beast arrives to decimate the world and Cole is preparing to take him on. As he is about to leave for New Marais to complete preparation, Cole has to engage the Beast in battle but is defeated resulting in the annihilation of Empire City. Escaping to New Marais, the Beast slowly follows overland laying waste to everything in his path but at least it will give Cole time to beef up his powers and make round 2 go his way.

9/10

Improving in every way but not breaking the perfect controls or wonderful playability of inFamous, this incredibly fun and impressive sequel is a joy from start to finish. It also delivers highly satisfying and different conclusions to the story for both good and evil playthroughs. Remarkably, both have genuine emotional impact: the good is touching, the evil is emotionally difficult. But it’s not just the big stuff inFamous 2 gets right. For some peculiar reason I absolutely love the sound of the carrier pigeons falling to the floor. The power-switching control scheme is the best and most flexible I’ve ever used (by miles). There’s no bad language. It’s not horribly violent. Brilliantly, the game automatically resumes when you start the disc, no button presses are required to get in to the game. Why more games don’t do this is beyond me. Sadly, inFamous 2 didn’t sell as well as the first but it is an exemplary, must-buy open-world action game.

This game contains strong melee violence, strong fantasy violence and sensuality.

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.

Links

This blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard (2009, PS3) – 5/10 mildly satirical third-person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Will Arnett: Matt Hazard
Neil Patrick Harris: Wallace "Wally" Wellesley III
Olivia Hack: QA / Evil QA
Lead Producer: Bryan West
Producer: Chris Puente
Lead Game Designer: Dave Ellis
Lead Level Designer: Michael Nelson
Writer: Dave Ellis
Lead Technical Programmer: Doug Cox
Lead Gameplay Programmer: Allan Campbell
Motion Capture Performer Matt Hazard & all various other characters: Richard Dorton
Motion Capture Performer Matt Hazard: John DeMerell

Eat Lead: Return of Matt Hazard, The (2009)

Reprising his role as gaming’s greatest hero once more, Matt Hazard is confused and dismayed to find himself getting killed at the end of the first chapter in a surprise twist. A hacker helps him survive but the game designers keep throwing in enemies from Hazard’s past to get rid of him once and for all.

5/10

This is a fine idea which certainly raises a smile and has potential for some delightful gameplay anachronism but look at the cover. Why would anyone buy a game with such a ugly cover? Look at Hazard’s ill-proportioned head. That’s not the face of a hero, of someone a player wants to inhabit. Look at the guns. The assault rifle has been made as big as the mini-gun which is the reason the picture is subconsciously wrong. Ironically, a photoshop done to balance the picture ends up unbalancing the viewer’s mind and puts off potential buyers without them knowing why. Once in game, there’s good music and voice work but it’s consistently a little clunky control-wise (aim and shoot are on the wrong buttons for PS3) and the level / gameplay designers simply have no idea of how to make battles fun, flowing and exciting. And the potential for delightful gameplay anachronism? Disappointingly, the anachronism isn’t even there, delightful or otherwise.

This game contains 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.

Links

This blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

Limbo (2010) – 9/10 puzzle platform game review

Cast / crew
Creator and Director: Arnt Jensen
Producer: Mads Wibroe
Programmer Boy: Thomas Krog
Animator Boy: Thomas Krog
Lead Game Designer: Jeppe Carlsen
Lead Level Designer: Jeppe Carlsen

Limbo (2010)

A boy must travel from left to right and overcome the ingenious obstacles in his path.

9/10

Brilliantly designed puzzle game which has clearly been play-tested and polished to near-perfection. The only misstep occurred late on (something I thought was a sign, and so just went flying past, was a switch) but that might be just me. Despite almost no instructions, prompts and hand-holding, the mechanics of the game are communicated wonderfully and frustration is avoided because checkpoints are sensible and the tools to make progress are always clear, it’s determining how to use them for each bite-size obstacle that provides the challenge. The satisfaction from completing each ingenious segment is a delight.

This game contains optional extreme and graphic silhouetted violence.

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.

Red Faction: Guerrilla (2009, Games for Windows Live) – 7/10 third-person science fiction demolition shooter game review

Cast / crew
Project Design Director: James Hague
Project Design Architect: Luke Schneider
Writer: Drew Holmes
Producer: Rick White
Project Technical Director: Chris Neihengen
Project Technical Director: Jeff Massung
Project System Architect: Dave Baranec
Troy Baker: Alec Mason
Kari Wahlgren: Samanya

Red Faction: Guerrilla (2009)

After his dog is killed by Mars police, Alec Mason joins revolutionary organisation Red Faction. As he presents his concerns to the authorities using a space sledgehammer, he discovers an alien artefact so powerful, so astonishing, so important that he completely forgets about it for the rest of his life and keeps sledgehammering dudes instead.

7/10

If Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson were to make a third-person action game, this would be it as every problem in the universe, including international diplomacy, extra-terrestrial mining, and freedom fighting is solved using a hammer. Once the even more stupid than usual story quickly goes off and sulks in a corner, the delirious, spectacular action takes centre stage and a daft grin starts to etch itself onto your face. As a generous helping of gravy, you then start getting new weapons and they’re all tremendous fun and / or unexpectedly cool. Which offsets the fact that, thanks to the all-powerful sledgehammer, you don’t need any of them. Perhaps Red Faction: Guerrilla’s most notable achievement is that the destructibility of the world is particularly well designed and communicated: you always know what can be destroyed and what can’t; most unusual.

This game contains sexual swear words and extreme sledgehammer violence, gun and fantasy 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.

Links

Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes (2009, Fantasy Action Platform Adventure, PC Games for Windows Live) – 4/10 game review

Cast / crew
Producer: John Whiston
Lead Designer: Chris Palu
Lead Programmer: James Podesta
Lead Level Designer: Peter Grogan
Lead Engine Programmer: Glenn Watson
Writer (Screenplay): Steven Melching
Writer (Screenplay): Chris Palu
Writer (Screenplay): Matt Emery
Writer (Screenplay): Richard ‘Rik’ Lagarto
Matt Lanter: Anakin Skywalker
Ashley Eckstein: Ahsoka Tano
James Arnold Taylor: Obi-Wan Kenobi / Plo Koon
Dee Bradley Baker: Clone Troopers / Captain Rex / Clone Commanders / Sergeant Kano
Tom Kane: Narrator / C-3PO / Yoda

Star Wars: Clone Wars, The: Republic Heroes (2009)

As the Clone Wars continue, Anakin and his padawan Ahsoka discover a powerful prototype weapon is being hawked to the highest bidder by Kul Teska. As they alert others and make their way to Teska himself, other forces are also making plans to relieve Teska of his prize.

4/10

This is a game which opens with Yoda lying to you by telling you that a Jedi can’t fall accidentally to his death and will always land on platforms he is jumping to. Regrettably, the exact opposite is true. Every time you press the jump button, you have no idea if you are going to land where you should or, far too often, plummet impotently to your doom. As a result, the game has no flow. The same is true of the attack button but at least that doesn’t kill you. You just keep swiping ridiculously at the air around droids as if you’re trying to burst their ear drums or something. If the jump mechanics had been more predictable, this would be a good game. It looks fine, sounds fine, there’s enough to do, Cad Bane looks unexpectedly cool and it even has a sense of humour. But, as it is, it’s far too often irritating to play.

This game contains extended fantasy lightsaber mecha 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.

Halo: Reach (2010, Science Fiction Shooter) – 8/10 game review

Cast / crew
Creative Director: Marcus Lehto

Halo: Reach (2010)

Mankind’s worst enemy, the Covenant, have set their sights on planet Reach. As part of Noble team, you meet them head-on but it quickly becomes clear that this will become a race to a valuable piece of tech that may hold the key to avoiding humanity’s extinction.

8/10

Halo: Reach is unquestionably the best Halo game since the first one, Halo: Combat Evolved. The core shooting experience is very good and there’s an agreeably somber tone (culminating in an unusual final level where you SPOILER play to your unavoidable death as humanity’s final resistance on planet Reach). There’s a big jump in graphical finery this time with no technical shortcomings to point out and a space combat mission proves a nice change of pace. Halo’s most impressive feature remains opponent AI who are quirky, fun and devious with harder difficulty levels utilising clearly more advanced tactics. Though it’s frequently unclear where you supposed to be going and what you’re supposed to be doing, the levels are interesting and fun to play in with all the toys and vehicles and weapons that Bungie give you.

This game contains mild swear words and 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.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (2002, Stealth Espionage Action, Windows) – 9/10 game review

Cast / crew
Senior Producer: Mathieu Ferland
Senior Producer: Reid Schneider
Original Creator: François Coulon
Writer: J.T. Petty
Lead Game Designer: Nathan Wolff
Creative Director: François Coulon
Michael Ironside: Sam Fisher

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (2002)

9/10

Occasionally obscure level design never undermines the total super-awesomeness that is Sam Fisher, the player. Splinter Cell consistently makes you feel like an amazing super-covert super-operative while still allowing you to be very vulnerable to bullets (unlike most games). Bullets hurt. On Normal, getting into a firefight is a to-be-avoided, near-death adrenalin bath. When you survive, it is always genuinely amazing and intoxicating. Usually, the action is far more considered and, remarkably, a similar level of satisfaction is obtained by successfully achieving your objectives without exposing yourself to the frequently game-ending danger of a gunfight. This is a complete classic.

This game contains none in game, sexual swear words in closing song (!) and melee and gun violence.

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 Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

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.

Links

This blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.

Medal of Honor: Airborne (2007, WWII First-Person Shooter, 360) – 8/10 game review

Cast / crew
Creative Director: Jon Paquette
Producer: Christopher A. Busse
Producer: Tom Hess
Producer: Matt Marsala
Producer: Neville Spiteri
Producer: T.J. Stamm
Lead Designer: Rex Dickson

Medal of Honor: Airborne (2007)

World War II: Private Boyd Travers is a member of the US Army’s first airborne division and is about to see his first paratrooper action as part of Operation Husky.

8/10

This is nearly a very great game but the critical suspension of disbelief isn’t sustained thanks to poor enemy design and inadequate ammunition impact. It doesn’t matter how much body armour you’re wearing (in the case of this game, though, it’s none), being shot hurts and affects your ability to perform. Always. Even just being shot at affects your performance. Not if you’re a German soldier wearing black cloth and a gas mask, apparently. However, the levels available here are works of genius. They all look good with the Operation Varsity and Der Flakturm levels being unusual and spectacular. They are constructed in such a way that, generally, the entire level is accessible both as a start point and a waypoint. They feel like the best large multi-path, multi-level, multiplayer maps but work exceptionally well in every way as single-player areas. It makes Airborne unexpectedly unique amongst shooters and should be played by all genre fans.

This game contains war 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.

Links

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.

LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (2009, Platform Puzzle Action Game, PS3) – 5/10 game review

Cast / crew
Director: Jon Burton

LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (2009)

Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls gets the LEGO make-over along with a quick return to the classic trilogy.

5/10

Sadly, this is very much a case of fully diminished returns for this franchise as a number of good-on-paper ideas and clever bite-size puzzling and platforming all turn out to be deathly dull or irritating or both. As with LEGO Batman, the sound designer makes you hate the famous music but the graphics are better than ever, the LEGO character’s animated walk remains charmingly perfect and I love the way the characters leave square footprints in the snow. The new Level Creator is brilliantly done and, one hopes, there will more made of it in later games.

This game contains extreme lego violence, graphic lego dismemberment.

Classified 7+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 7 or over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

Meet the Robinsons (2007, Third-Person Action Platform Puzzle, 360) – 3/10 game review

Cast / crew

Meet the Robinsons (2007)

3/10

If you’re playing for gamerscore, this is a notably joyless experience. If you’re just playing the game, it’s not much better as the makers mess up straight-forward design decisions. The most notable example is that things you need to readily recognise change colour and texture in different areas (the transport tubes, particularly) and items you need to target with your varied selection of, sadly, awkward-to-juggle gadgets can sometimes not be seen. The auto-target system is also nearly completely broken and sometimes the directions on the left stick makes you character or the auto-target move in a different direction to that which you used. It doesn’t even look nice thanks to bland, unappealing CG character design inherited from the movie. Avalanche Software’s next Disney game, Bolt, is much, much better.

This game contains fantasy violence.

Classified 7+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 7 or over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Links

Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (2007, 360) – 5/10 superhero action game review

Cast / crew
Peter Parker / Spider-Man: James Arnold Taylor
Lead Programmer: Steven Brekelmans
Lead Programmer: Dave Forshaw

Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (2007)

Nick Fury calls in Spider-Man to help sort out a load of phantom baddies that have started appearing and super-villains which are under some sort of mind control. Surprisingly, when Spider-Man releases them from their mind-control they want to join forces with the good guys to get payback.

5/10

This is an attractive, straight-forward game with a nice light tone (the female computer is agreeably droll) and good controls. It’s okay fun but something makes the combat slightly more dull than it should be: interminable dust-ups with minions that keep trickling in. Because the game never throws overwhelming numbers of enemies at you or presents interesting environments, there is no drama or tactics to utilising your available techniques. Additionally, there is no strategic reason to ever use most of those techniques and gadgets (or even the ability to walk around) as standing in one place and pressing B then X or B will clear most rooms in short order. Boss battles are rather better with weaknesses and tactics to discern and exploit. For some inexplicable reason, Spider-Man also leaves dirty footprints in lots of places.

This game contains , Extreme violence

Classified 7+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 7 or over.
Classified Violence by PEGI. Game contains depictions of violence.

Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires (2006, Tactical Action, 360) – 7/10 game review

Cast / crew
Director: Yoshihiro Kishimoto
Director: Jun Takato

Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires (2006)

7/10

While featuring simple graphics with a terribly short draw-distance, Dynasty Warriors 5: Empires redeems itself with charm and surprisingly fun gameplay. Playing on Normal or higher requires tactical thought to be combined with the button-mashing combat and makes victories agreeably satisfying. A lack of any in-game instructions hides the mechanisms for equipping weapons, mounts (you can ride a horse or an elephant) and items but once discovered, it supplies a whole new dimension and confidence in the game.

This game contains 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.

TMNT (2007, Third-Person Action Movie Game) – 4/10 review

Producer: Benoit Galarneau
Associate Producer: Dominic Laroche
Lead Programmer: Julien Bouvrais
Lead Artist: Frédéric Ressaire
Level Designer: Yannick Blanchot
Sound: Nicholas Duveau

TMNT TMNT (2007)

The turtles tell Splinter about the time when they had to rediscover how important family and trusting in your brothers really is.

4/10

This isn’t a game that gets tired fast, it gets tired instantly. Each of the levels is needlessly long and drawn out with interminable and interchangeable platforming sections punctuated only by quickly wearisome wise-cracks, the surprisingly bizarre notion of having your progress narrated (each level is you relating a past event to someone else) and a bit of button-mashing baddie-bashing. Technically, it’s rather deficient with a variable frame-rate (despite the simplistic geometry) and a poor battle camera (that usually keeps a pile of enemies off-screen). There are worthwhile lessons (the family that kills together, stays together; er, or something like that) and it’s a good game for quick, big gamerscore but it doesn’t have any of the fun and love that the movie had.

This TMNT game contains 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.

inFamous (2009) – 8/10 Third-Person Open-World Super-Hero / Super-Villain Action PS3 exclusive game review

Cast / crew

inFamous (2009)

Cole is at the epicentre of an enormous explosion when the package he is carrying goes off. Somehow he not just survives but emerges with ability to regenerate his health and fire electricity from his finger-tips. The rest of the now-quarantined Empire City hasn’t been so lucky with the city gangs fighting over territory now that there’s no law.

8/10

inFamous is just so much fun; it wants to be played and enjoyed and it makes it easy for you to do so. This is because game balance is very well done: you are very strong and well-equipped offensively (I didn’t realise I had homing lightning bolts until the third play through!) but very weak defensively meaning that skill and accuracy are rewarded and that battles are never dull or one-sided in your favour. Additionally, there is a very forgiving checkpoint system (there are even checkpoints for the middle of boss battles). Amazingly, even escort missions are fun because the escorted runs and hides at the first sign of trouble, simple! Disappointingly, the good evil choices are a bit too give-away-all-your-money-and-both-kidneys or beat-an-orphan-with-this-kitten-in-front-of-Jesus. The final boss battle is also much harder than anything else in the game and requires some patience and tactics. These are just about the only weaknesses but, back on the positive side, you can accidentally electrocute people by running through puddles. Which is oddly brilliant.

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

Links

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007, Game, 360) – 4/10 review

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)

4/10

This is a real shame. For a good while, this game works well. It’s simple to play (though, typically for movie games, the controls feel more complicated than they are), looks quite nice and progress is tangible and smooth. As we reach the At World’s End portion of the game, though, the developers decide to drag out the game by making the combat sequences and duels go on for far too long. As both elements are extremely simple or uninvolving, the earlier, shorter bursts (defeating half-a-dozen dudes, for example) are okay while later battles drag on wearily. Oh, and, bizarrely, Jack can’t swim. In the end, the game is tiresome but it was nearly a very decent movie tie-in.

This game contains mild abusive language and extended, occasionally strong, sword violence, extended melee 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.

Devil May Cry 4 (2008, PS3) – 9/10 review

Producer: Hiroyuki Kobayashi
Character Design: Tatsuya Yoshikawa
Producer Movie: Shinji Shinohara
Producer Movie: Takuya Shibata
Director Movie: Yuji Shimomura
Director: Hideaki Itsuno

Devil May Cry 4 (2008)

Nero, a young knight in the Order of the Sword – an organisation that protects the world from demons – is as shocked as anyone when the legendary Dante interrupts proceedings and shoots the head of the Order. Nero is dispatched to chase down Dante and bring him to justice but will quickly discover that he is just a pawn in a plot to open the gates of Hell.

9/10

Endlessly cool, fun and interesting action game whose only real apparent disappointment comes from a character switch partway through whereby you resume the role of series’ hero Dante. You really want to continue playing as new boy Nero because of his Devil Arm ability but it is good if a game leaves you wanting more. Amazingly, the same thing happens when the characters switch back again. You want to continue with Nero! There is unnecessary padding at the end with repeated boss battles but it’s a small complaint given the generous wonderfulness of the game as a whole. Capcom have also made the game entirely playable for anyone with the addition of a Human mode and a control mode where you don’t have to learn the combos but they have also left the spanking difficulty of higher modes intact. It’s a perfect balance and the same thing can be said for the entire game. Special mention for an oft-overlooked element of a game: the segue into and the (brilliantly playable) end credits.

This game contains bad language and extended extreme fantasy violence, occasional graphic blade violence, occasional inferred strong 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.

Folklore aka FolksSoul (2007, Game, PS3) – 7/10 review

Executive Director: Yoshiki Okamoto
Director: Takashi Shono
Lisa Hogg: English: Ellen
Richard Coyle: English: Keats

Folklore aka FolksSoul (2007)

Ellen receives a mysterious letter from her deceased mother asking her to come to the Cliff of Sidhe in Doolin. When she arrives, a woman, presumably her mother, hurls herself off the cliff-top leaving an aghast Ellen and reporter on the supernatural Keats, who was also there, to try and discover why she would do such a thing. Together they discover that Doolin is an entrance to the Netherworld and that Ellen’s lost memories are within.

7/10

This is an eye-massagingly gorgeous game that is generous with its delights but which nearly undoes all the wonderfulness with an interminable fun-sapping trudge through the appropriately entitled Endless Corridor as it is possible to go around in circles in there forever. Outside of that misjudgement, Folklore features an abundance of riches with an interesting combat system (you use captured enemies as your own elemental weapons and the boss battles are great), scores of wonderful creatures, stunning environments and, arguably, the only completely successful integration of Sixaxis motion controls in any PS3 game. There is a surprisingly captivating story (what happened to Herve? SPOILER he is terminally ill and gives his blood, and life, to save our heroine but she only remembers that he died and it was her fault and presumes she murdered him) and some intriguing existential musings (death is a motivation for material and spiritual achievement; our concept of the afterworld is created by our own life experiences). Special mention for the steps that giggle with infectious delight at the Faery Lord’s Hall and the musical pavement at the Cloak Hall and it is precisely this kind of joyous, beautiful touch that I will remember Folklore for.

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.

Links

Killzone (2004, Game, PS2 on PS3) – 7/10 review

Managing Director Guerilla Games: Hermen Hulst
Development Director: Arjan Brussee
Production Manager: Alastair Burns
Production Manager: Martin Capel
Production Manager: Hans Tasma
Lead Designer: Martin Capel
Game Designer: Roy Postma
Lead Programmer: Michael van der Leeuw
Kal Webber: Captain Jan Templar
Jennifer Lawrence: Shadow Marshal Luger
Tom Clarke-Hill: Sergeant Rico Valasquez
Sean Pertwee: Colonel Gregor Hakha
Model Captain Jan Templar: Nico van der Helm
Model Shadow Marshal Luger: Micky Hoogen
Model Sergeant Rico Valasquez: Nasler Abdoel
Model Colonel Gregor Hakha: Mitch Jansen

Killzone (2004)

Years after he First Helghan War with Earth, Helghan forces bypass Vekta’s thought-impregnable defence mechanisms and start the Second Helghan War under the charismatic leadership of Scolar Visari. Though, it has to be said, calling a conflict The First Helghan War is probably tempting fate and a return engagement was somewhat predictable.

7/10

Accomplished military first-person shooter which makes good use of the PlayStation 2′s tendency to make graphics look muddy and unimpressive. The level design is consistently good giving the player enough tactical decisions and choices while the enemy and ally AI is generally more than good enough. Mildly inaccurate weapons and bullet-sponge enemies make the combat feel less crisp than other genre entries but whatever shooters need to be fun, playable and engaging, Killzone has it. It’s never more than a good first-person shooter but that is certainly enough. Laying out the manual like a newspaper was also a really nice touch.

This game contains sexual swear words and extended gun violence in gameplay, some graphic and extreme gun violence and strong melee violence in cut scenes.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
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 Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language.

Lost: The Video Game aka Lost: Via Domus (2008, Game, 360) – 7/10 review

Lost Lost: The Video Game aka Lost: Via Domus (2008)

Flight 815 from Australia to Los Angeles: after surviving the catastrophic failure of the aircraft you come to in a jungle with no memory of who you are, no idea where you are and what must be a ghost of a beautiful woman standing in front of you.

7/10

Though you might be a bit miffed at paying full price for it, this is a near-perfect Lost video game. The story is terrific and the whole game has, brilliantly, the same polish and atmosphere of the television show. Though it is short (I finished it inside a day in just a few hours), the length feels just right with no padding or unnecessary backtracking. There are problems. Surprise insta-deaths and restart points that include unskippable videos are the main one but the lack of an illusion of choice is a bit of a surprise for an adventure game. Critically, however, this feels like a good episode of the original show and not many spin-off games achieve that.

This Lost game contains mild bad language and violence, gory and 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.

Medal of Honor: European Assault (2005, WWII First-Person Shooter, Xbox) – 7/10 game review

Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Rick Giolito
Executive Producer: Dan Winters
Lead Designer Single Player: Jon Paquette
Lead Designer Multiplayer: Éric Chartrand
Design Director: Christopher Cross
Writer (Story): John Milius
Writer: John Milius
Writer: Adam Foshko

Medal of Honor: European Assault (2005)

American Lt. William Holt fights the Nazi’s in France, North Africa, Russia and Belgium.

7/10

One thing the Medal of Honor games have never overlooked is reminding us that these games are based on real people in real events in a real war. That is really sobering, as it should be. Generally, this is a very well-designed game so it is a shame to report that the final level is broken (you have to play half-an-hour to get to a point where you die almost instantly over and over and over) and that German soldiers can shoot you regardless of where their gun is pointing. Otherwise, boss Nazi’s, multiple optional secondary objectives, great controls and eye-catching animations are folded, along with an outstanding soundscape, into the superb atmosphere that is the hallmark of the Medal of Honor series. Shame about the broken final level.

This game contains mild swear words and war violence, extended gun violence, melee 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.

Links

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007, PlayStation 3) – 10/10 contemporary military first person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Project Lead: Jason West
Engineering Lead: Richard Baker
Engineering Lead: Robert Field
Engineering Lead: Francesco Gigliotti
Engineering Lead: Earl Hammon, Jr.
Design Lead: Todd Alderman
Design Lead: Steve Fukuda
Design Lead: Mackey McCandlish
Writer: Jesse Stern
Writer (Additional): Steve Fukuda
Writer (Story): Todd Alderman
Writer (Story): Steve Fukuda
Writer (Story): Mackey McCandlish
Writer (Story): Zied Rieke
Writer (Story): Jesse Stern
Writer (Story): Jason West
Producer: Mark Rubin

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

Single player: tackle terrorism in a contemporary battlefield as the world’s armed forces unite to remove a common enemy in a politically unstable country.

Multiplayer: employ all your guile, skill and persistence and work your way up from a lowly private with stock weapons by partaking in various wargames against other people from around the world.

10/10

As good as first person shooters get whose only minor fault is that it sometimes feels like the action happens with or without you. This is utterly spectacular, beautifully paced, gorgeous to look at and listen to and, critically, features pitch-perfect controls and instant all-enveloping atmosphere. And who knew that being able to shoot through certain materials would be so rewarding? Even when the game is over, the goodness doesn’t end with a wry rap stressing the fact that Call of Duty 3 isn’t an Infinity Ward game, a bonus level set on an airplane (“Don’t call me Shirley.”) and a never-ending and worthwhile multiplayer component.

This game contains a single sexual swear word, mild swear words and extended graphic war violence.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.
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 Bad Language by PEGI. Game contains bad language.

Links

This blog is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.