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

AmazonBuy Dark Souls at Amazon

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, 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

Dirt 3 (2011) – 8/10 multi-surface racing game review

Cast / crew
Executive Producer: Clive Moody
Senior Producer: Darren Campion
Art Director: Nathan Fisher
Lead Programmer: Andrew Dennison
Design Manager: Matthew Horsman
Project Planner: Richard Todd
Associate Producer: Toby Evan-Jones

DiRT 3 (2011)

Multi-surface racing against the clock and other drivers.

8/10

With handling even better than Dirt 2 and class-leading graphics, saying this is better than it’s only competitor – Milestone’s WRC‘s 2010 and 2011 – is giving it feint praise. An uninvolving Career mode (the original DiRT used a pyramid progression much more enticingly – the point of a pyramid is to get to the top, literally the point) means that it takes a while for the fun and satisfying driving experience to get it’s pleasure hooks into you. I didn’t like the Gymkhana events at all but the related at-your-leisure Battersea Compound Missions are a nice change-of-pace.

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.

Links

F1 2011 Race Diary: Season 1, HRT, Spa (13th, Q5)

I wonder if Codemasters give the players a helping hand for the second half of the season as I got a far better result than expected last time out at Hungary and nearly repeated that here. However, high-speed Spa should be a circuit where the KERS-less HRT should really, really struggle.

For qualifying I went the Jenson Button 2012 route and eventually opted for a low downforce set-up (with my traditional camber alignment for the fronts set to -3.5). I settled on this after trying a slightly higher downforce setup and the cool thing was that there was a time difference between the two setups in each sector. Sectors 1 and 3 are largely full throttle while sector 2 is largely corners. With the lower downforce, I went faster in sectors 1 and 3 and slower in sector 2 than I did with the higher downforce setting. It is satisfying when something that is reported as happening in real life is repeated in the game but, of course, with you at the wheel.

Qualifying went really well and I ended up a surprise 5th. The qualifying results were a bit strange, though, as Jenson Button was one-and-a-half seconds ahead of everyone else in pole position.

Now here’s something spooky cool. The race start went jolly well and I was in third going down the hill toward Eau Rouge with Webber in close proximity to my left. Whereupon he only did the same maneuveur that he famously pulled on Alonso in 2011 and swept around the outside of me and shot off up the hill. Sweet. I overtook him again at the end of Kemmel Straight into Les Combes and accidentally gave him a little tap that put him into a spin. Well, he must have had his spinach this morning because just a lap later and he’s up the inside of me in Bruxelles after I outbrake myself slightly (I didn’t quite add enough distance to compensate for the full fuel load exacerbated by the downhill braking zone) and I’m in fourth.

If it had remained dry, I would have finished fourth. Sadly, it started raining a lap after my pitstop and rain only seems to really affect human players. This means that the AI drivers seem to have oodles more grip than me and as the weather worsens each lap, my lap time collapses. I would have missed the team objective whatever happened (they expected me to finish in the points) but coming around Blanchimont on the last lap in 11th I had my first unassisted accident for a while (the last must have been in Monaco, it always is) and span into the wall (like Raikkonnen did in 2008, that’s another real-life incident occurring in the race, cool). I crossed the line in 13th which is a good result but if it had been in the dry, it would have been better. Still, the higher placement than expected in the last two races may see me adjust an option or two to put me back where I should be. We’ll see.

F1 Race Diary: Season 1, HRT, Hungary (3rd, Q2)

Hungary tends to give with one hand and take with the other for me. Traditionally, I qualify well then suffer mistakes and all kinds of bad luck during the race. This pattern has persisted from Microprose Grand Prix through to F1 2010.

The Hungaroring is a track I like. It’s often described as Monaco without the walls as if to indicate it’s a really slow track but it’s all relative. The thing I love about the corners at Hungaroring is that most of them require you to stand on the throttle as soon as you’ve completed braking. Turn 4 is clearly a fast kink (exhilarating when executed successfully) but look at turns 1, 2, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11 and 13. Some of them are 180° corners, some of them are over 90°; yet all of them share the technique of braking hard into the apex then immediate full acceleration. This feeling is tremendously satisfying and there isn’t any other track quite like it. Something else that’s unusual about Hungaroring’s layout is the lack of any corners that feel really slow; Turn 6 is the slowest, but doesn’t really feel like it because of the threading-the-needle accuracy required and the rest are all medium-to-high speed.

With a highest-but-one downforce car setup, a quick practice yielded a surprisingly good 11th. With fresh tires and, after a few laps when I remembered, Fuel Mix 3, I was qualifying 5th on a lap with significant mistakes and wheels off the track. A consolidation was required and I was delighted when a clean lap put me 2nd behind only Alonso. I was even more surprised when that was how the session ended. 2nd in an HRT where I’d been qualifying on average in the late teens. Result!

Would the race turn out disastrously for me as it has so often in the past? No. This was a fun race and the result was great. My first laps were spent battling Vettel and Schumacher, my post-pit-stop mid-race fending off Schumacher successfully and only my error at Turn 12 saw Vettel waft by two laps from the end. Even though I lost a place from my start position and had the race’s second fastest lap, third is still a great result for me and an HRT which have only been placing in the teens.

F1 2011 Race Diary: Season 1, HRT, Nurburgring (16th, Q14)

So if my average qualifying performance so far is 18th (as the statistics on the loading screens helpfully assert), why is my team objective to qualify 14th? Well, perhaps they know something I don’t because at the Nurburgring, even though I forgot to set my Fuel Mix to 3, I manage to qualify 14th.

So, how about the race target of 12th? Considering the fuel mix error and my good starts, that seems highly achievable.

Well, this time I got a poor start as my humble HRT just couldn’t compete in the drag to the first corner. I snick a position back around the outside of the Mercedes Arena (turns 2 and 3) and am in wheel-to-wheel combat heading into Dunlop-Kehre. Unfortunately, I forgot that F1 2011 models fuel weight and my normal braking point is not adequate to stop my car from understeering into the kitty litter. 12th? Not now. My aim has to adjust to finish best of the F1 runts: 18th.

It cannot be overstated just how important Codemasters’ opponent indicators are in making this an enjoyable racing experience. A lap or two later, I’m battling hard with Maldonado and Perez, side-by-side, being overtaken and overtaking, all without incident, all tremendous fun and all because Codemasters gives you the information you need and cannot receive any other way. You can’t use your mirrors on the car, you can’t use surround sound cues, you can’t use your innate sixth sense, you can’t just feel where the other car is. So Codemasters, almost uniquely (perhaps it’s copyrighted), give you clear indicators revealing exactly where the other cars are. It works tremendously well.

Something that doesn’t work so well is shown up a few laps later when  I out-brake Alonso into the final chicane (I think it’s currently called the NDK Chicane, it used to be called Veedol Chicane). My move and his defence causes him to jump across the kerb right across my path. I hit him square in the side (if I had reacted quickly enough I could have braked; I got a penalty for his mistake) and our cars bumped into the air a bit but no debris, no damage. The damage in F1 2010 and F1 2011 is awful. F1 accidents cause hundreds of pieces of shattered debris to come flying off the cars. Not in Codemasters’ game. In fact, when a major accident does happen, the result is a bit embarrassing, like first-timer Guybrush Threepwood hocking a loogie. Is it a licensing issue? It shouldn’t be. Accidents and altercations are part of the F1 experience and shouldn’t be terribly muted. This is a game. No-one can get hurt in an accident in a game.

As to the race, the brief early excursion and this penalty mean I finish in 16th, which for me was a bit of a save but for the game, a failure to meet their objective. And to be fair, my fastest lap time did indicate I should have finished just outside the top ten, specifically 12th. Perhaps the team do know something I don’t when setting their objectives.

F1 2011 Race Diary: Season 1, HRT, Britain (16th, Q18)

One of the things that irritates me slightly about Codemasters’ two F1 games is that they alter the qualifying and race objectives too quickly. I’ve set the game difficulty to make it so my HRT and I am about the fastest of the three lowest teams and not cruising around above our station. The objectives initially reflected HRT’s status. However, because I’ve had a couple of points finishes, the objectives have moved to qualify 13th, finish 11th. I think the objectives should only be refreshed at the mid-season break to average out good and bad performances.

I knew going in that I was never going to meet the teams objectives and set my own. Qualify and finish 18th, best of the F1 runts.

Qualifying went okay and the race went rather well initially. Some AI hesitation allowed to cleanly hussle my way up to 11th and, on the soft tyres, it looked like I could just about hold that with some judicious positioning into Stowe and Brooklands. However, on my other tyres, my fastest lap revealed I could only hope for 18th and, sure enough, dudes flashed past me any which way they wanted. The rot stopped a couple of laps from the end when Di Resta passed me and his teammate, Sutil, who was faster than me, was several seconds down the road. I managed to stay ahead of him and with Webber not finishing, I crossed the line 16th and was reasonably satisfied.

The odd thing about Silverstone is that the corners that the drivers like such as Copse and Becketts just don’t work very well in the game. It’s the same with Spa’s Eau Rouge and Laguna Seca’s Corkscrew. I’m not talking about accuracy or fidelity. No-one’s really captured the feel of these classic corners and reproduced that in any game. I do know some of the ingredients that are missing and maybe I’ll discuss those in another post sometime.

F1 2011 Race Diary: Season 1, HRT, Valencia (10th, Q15)

I forgot to highlight in my Monaco post how much I appreciate men with flags in this game. It’s a reminder of the great Geoff Crammond Grand Prix (aka World Circuit) series of games and a reminder of a couple of small touches he included that modern games still don’t assign any importance to. Being humiliatingly wheeled or craned off the track, cool down laps with all the marshalls waving flags and replays cameras in the same place as the FOM broadcasts.

Anyway, on to Valencia and this is a strange track. Until 2012, real races at Valencia had been low on interest and spectacle largely, I think, because the main straights have walls that intrude where an overtaking car needs to go. While watching races here hasn’t been top drawer, driving them in F1 2010 had been very enjoyable and I tended to qualify below par and race above par.

Pleased to say that my success and enjoyment of this track continues in F1 2011. My qualifying went fine (15th) while my race was a bit harder work.

Curiously, considering that starts are arguably the single most critical element of the race day, games have almost completely ignored them, removing skill and interest in getting all of your horses to propel your car in the fastest possible manner off the start line while retaining control. That said, I managed to make a pudding of my start by concentrating a bit too much on upping the fuel mixture and so I lost a couple of places in the initial phase.

However, F1 2011 excels in allowing fair (or tipped in your favour slightly) wheel-to-wheel racing against the AI and a dan-dare move into the first corner sees most of the lazy getaway undone. By turn four I’m into the points. By the end of the lap, I put some pressure on Kobayashi and get into a happy 9th.

Valencia would then turn into a great battle with Petrov with his superior straight-line speed and DRS giving me grief on the straights and my higher downforce and better braking undoing all his hard work. That is, until lap 10 of 11.

I had spent a couple of laps on Fuel Mix 2 and so had turned it back up to 3. This has proved to be enough in the other races so far and I therefore greeted the flashing fuel icon with unconcealed surprise and not a little panic. So much panic that as I reacted to turn the fuel mix down to 1, I made a complete hash of the next corner, bumped into the wall with my front wing, damaging it, and Petrov snuck by into a 9th I couldn’t recover.

However, 10th is still a great result for me in the HRT and I’m in the points for the second time this season. Next up is one of my bogey tracks: Home, Silverstone.

F1 2011 Race Diary: Season 1, HRT, Canada (7th, Q16)

Canada is probably my favourite circuit (along with Istanbul and Spa) and I always seem to go well there. However, the email from my engineer doesn’t have good news: it’s going to be a very wet weekend. High downforce is the name of the game here, not HRT’s strong point (it doesn’t have any), but practice yields a bit of hope that, unlike Australia, I may be in my rightful position and achieve the qualifying objective.

The qualifying session starts amazingly – halfway through I’m still in 3rd – but Codemasters exemplary wet weather features mean that there is a slightly grippier line becoming visible and the computer cars are starting to take advantage of it. I emerge with enough time for three laps but with traffic and an out-braking myself here and there I can’t improve on my earlier time and finish the session in 16th. That’s still good but I could taste the top ten.

The race itself will take place in heavy rain. The lights come on, and stay on for what seems like an eternity before the race explodes into life as the might of 20,000 horses rages into the first corner. Remarkably, I’m keeping it clean and making up places. I’m on the inside for 1 (Virage Senna), the outside for 2, the inside for 3 and a bit of manners for Mark Webber. Spectacular visibility issues cause me to just outbrake Massa into the next corner, Ponte de la Concorde, and myself. Webber nips back through but I know I’m great at the next chicane and a few more manners for Webber sees me back through. As I emerge from Épingle onto the back straight (Droit de Casino), I glance at my position and I’m in 8th behind Kobayashi who is already gapping me. I love Canada!

As I approach Épingle for lap 2, Kobayashi has tried to take 6th and failed putting him off-line and I disbelievingly slide into 7th. Kobayashi and I lock horns for the next 10 laps. With my downforce I’m better on the brakes and through corners; with his superior car he’s got the acceleration. But I’ve got track position and track position is king.

The last four laps really click into place as I put in four consecutive fastest laps of anybody in the race and nearly pinch 6th from an out-of-position Buemi. I cross the line in 7th, it’s my first points in F1 2011, HRT’s first points and I even finished ahead of Lewis Hamilton (11th). Thoroughly satisfying. I love Canada!

Fix: Dark Souls Prepare to Die Games for Windows Live Zero Day Protection not unlocking

Dark Souls
After installing Dark Souls Prepare to Die Edition, I ran into the following error message posted by Games for Windows Live as it attempted to perform its Zero Day Protection (ZDP) unlock:

“Games for Windows – LIVE has encountered a corrupted file. Please reinstall the game and try again.”

So, I reinstalled using the repair option. Same error message.

I uninstalled, rebooted and reinstalled. Same error message.

I uninstalled Microsoft Games for Windows Live Client and Marketplace and reinstalled using the GFWL setup on the Dark Souls disc.

I updated DirectX using the DirectX setup on the Dark Souls disc.

Same error message.

Solution

  • After installing, open the Dark Souls folder in Explorer. On Windows 7 64-bit the default installation folder is “C:\Program Files (x86)\NAMCO BANDAI Games\DarkSouls”
  • Go into the Zdp folder and run Zdp.exe.

For me, this successfully unlocked the files and allowed me to run the game.

I suspect the reason for the failure before is that one of the files that Zdp wants to unlock is DarkSouls.exe but it can’t access it because that file is the one you ran to launch the game.

F1 2011 Race Diary: Season 1, HRT, Monaco (16th, Q20)

Monaco is, of course, the hardest real-life circuit to master in any video-game. I rate it as harder than the Nurburgring Nordschleife. Every mistake, no matter how small, is punished harshly, hopefully, just through a bit of lap time. Not qualifying last (on a well-matched difficulty level) and finishing the race are always my objectives, regardless of what the game wants. So qualifying 20th not 24th was a good result for me and the race. Well, the race usually goes better than qualifying. A muscular start (and my single flashback) saw me capture and solidify a massively satisfying 13th. After emerging from my pit stop, I was just behind my team-mate Liuzzi and the next opportunity was if he left the door open at La Rascasse. He did and I dived up the inside but I hadn’t reckoned on him going a bit slow there because he was going in the pits. Even as my engineer reminded me to be careful overtaking him, my wheel was in his side and a harsh but legitimate drive-through penalty was mine. As I was by the pits, I followed Liuzzi in and hoped that, even though the engineer and on-screen messages hadn’t had time to complete telling me about my penalty, the game would recognise my prescience and not punish me for it. Thankfully, it didn’t and I emerged way down in 20th place having served my penalty, someway behind my official objective of 16th. Still, my real objective is finish Monaco and so I settled in for the remaining 10 laps and was delighted to see people coming back toward me. A couple of typically ugly overtakes later and I’m in 17th with Perez a good way up the road and out of reach. With just a few laps to go, though, Perez pits and I sneak by. By this time, it being Monaco, I’ve dinged my front wing enough times that my engineer has offered me a pit stop if I can’t handle it but track position is king at Monaco. I just hold on, beating Perez by a tiny fraction of a second. So I didn’t qualify last, I finished the race at Monaco and, as a bonus, met the team objective of a 16th place finish. Great race and happy result.

F1 2011 Race Diary: Season 1, HRT, Malaysia (11th, Q19)

The Sepang circuit is another one I don’t really like because I am rubbish at Turns 5 and 6 and, especially, Turns 13 and 14.

Still, a solid qualifying gave me confidence that I should be able to meet my career objective of finishing 18th or higher

A tidy start and a refusal to back off the throttle out of Turn 2 got me all the way up to a very pleasing 7th. That set me up for the race even though I realised that there were a number of faster cars behind me. A surprisingly smooth pitstop saw me out in 12th and, after the Prime boys stopped later, left me in 11th with four cars close behind and four laps to go. I didn’t make any mistakes but the racing was superb. Sometimes they would slip by and I would outbrake them into the next corner. In the end, I held 11th and was delighted.

F1 2011 Race Diary: Season 1, HRT, Australia (19th, Q24)

Melbourne is a circuit I don’t like because races always seem to go badly and it rains just way too much in games. Qualifying therefore took place in torrential rain. AI cars, of course, require no practice to go full speed in the rain and after half-a-dozen laps I’m still several seconds off my team-mate and have earned myself a broken front wing. Repairs cost the entire remaining time so I’m at the back of the grid. The race is in the dry and an excellent start sees me get up to 15th without damage, three places above my objective. An excursion into a sandtrap on the pit-in lap sees four cars go streaming by and from then on it’s an uphill battle to get back to 18th. Though I did make it, unfortunately, the much faster Rubens Barrichello emerged from a pit-stop just behind me and whooshed by without problem. Starting the season with Australia and Malaysia are always an exercise in damage-limitation for me and, to be fair, I’m pleased I’m not last and that I finished.

Bulletstorm (2011, PC, Games for Windows Live) – 9/10 first-person shooter game review

Cast / crew
Creative Director: Adrian Chmielarz
Lead Producer: Tanya Jessen
Lead Gameplay Designer: Edward Kay
Lead Animator: Jakub Kisiel
Principal FX Artist: Michael Kosieradzki
Lead Level Designer: Wojciech Madry
Lead Programmer: Lukasz Migas
Lead Gameplay Programmer: Grzegorz Mocarski
Lead Artist: Andrzej Pozmanski
Audio Director: Adam Skorupa
Lead Environment Artist: Tomasz Strzalkowski
Steven J. Blum: Grayson Hunt
Andrew Kashino: Ishi Sato
Jennifer Hale: Trishka
Chris Cox: Rell
Anthony DeLongis: General Sarrano

Bulletstorm (2011)

Ten years after discovering he and his black ops Dead Echo team were being duped into assassinating civilians by General Sarrano, Grayson Hunt comes across Sarrano’s battlecruiser, the Ulysses, and decides, drunk on alcohol and revenge, to ram him out of the sky. They both crashland on the planet Stygia where Grayson is going to have to sober up, really quickly.

9/10

It’s just fun, especially with the swears switched off. Things simply aren’t as much fun if your game is overbearingly effing and jeffing at you. Major highlight of the campaign is the model city level (Worst family fun vacation ever) and fighting with Waggleton P. Tallylicker. The single-player campaign is as good and longer and better paced than most contemporary games with a simple story (get from A to B) clearly told and the core shooting action is frenetic, accurate, imaginative, varied, awesome and fun, fun, fun.

This game contains optional sexual swear words, frequent bad language and optional gory and graphic violence, strong, highly fantasised violence.

Classified 18 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 18 years and over.

Links

Steam Custom Images: Fahrenheit, Halo 2, Hellgate: London, Lost Planet 2, Resident Evil 5, Tron: Evolution

Steam icon 48x48Steam now allows you to set custom images for all items in your library, including non-Steam games. Here are a few images I have made for myself derived from official artworks and images found on Google Image Search. If you are the copyright holder or original artist and wish me to remove an image, please contact me.

These are the latest updates to the full list of Steam custom images.

Fahrenheit
Halo 2
Hellgate London
Lost Planet 2
Resident Evil 5
Tron Evolution

Batman: Arkham City (2011, PC Games for Windows Live) – 10/10 open-world action adventure game review

Cast / crew
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Batman: Bob Kane
Game Director: Sefton Hill
Studio Director: Jamie Walker
Senior Producer: Daniel Bailie
Senior Producer: Nathan Burlow
Art Director: David Hego
Audio Director: Nick Arundel
Technical Director: Ben Wyatt
Lead Animator: Zafer Coban
Lead Environment Artist: William Smith
Lead Character Artist: Pablo Hoyos Isusquiza
Lead Level Designer: Ian Ball
Lead Narrative Designer: Paul Crocker
Lead AI Programmer: Tim Hanagan
Lead Player Programmer: Adam Doherty
Writer: Paul Dini
Writer: Paul Crocker
Writer: Sefton Hill
Kevin Conroy: Batman / Bruce Wayne, Hush
Grey Delisle: Catwoman, Dr. Stacy Baker, Martha Wayne
Martin Jarvis: Alfred Pennyworth
Kimberly Brooks: Barbara Gordon / Oracle, M.P.T. Officer Anne Bishop
Troy Baker: Robin, Harvey Dent / Two-Face
Corey Burton: Hugo Strange
Mark Hamill: The Joker
Tara Strong: Harley Quinn
Dee Bradley Baker: Ra’s al Ghul, Waylon Jones / Killer Croc, Wonder City Announcer
Stana Katic: Talia al Ghul
Nolan North: The Penguin, Black Mask, Inmate #4
Maurice LaMarche: Mr. Freeze, Calendar Man, Political Prisoner

Batman: Arkham City (2011)

At a rally supporting the closure of Arkham City – a massive secure corner of Gotham City housing all prisoners who are then left to their own devices – Bruce Wayne is kidnapped by the prison’s governor Dr. Hugo Strange. Disturbingly, Strange knows Wayne’s alternative identity – Batman – and dumps a handcuffed Wayne in the general populace straight into the mangled hands of The Penguin before ominously proclaiming that Protocol 10 will be deployed in ten hours.

10/10

Proving Arkham Asylum was no fluke, Rocksteady Studios widen the play area and loosen the story shackles giving us more, more, more of everything. Unfortunately, this leads to a fairly instantaneous lull as the forward momentum of the story can now be scuppered by the player just wandering around being Bat-tastic and constantly distracted on your way to story objectives. Still, when you do finally get there, Mark Hamill’s voice-work as Joker is, once again, exemplary. Kevin Conroy also is Batman; whenever you do something in the game, Batman will do it just a bit cooler than you expected and Conroy will make your heroic gruffness thoroughly awesome (though I’m always oddly disappointed he never says ‘thank you’ to anyone). Arkham City, like Arkham Asylum before it, simply makes you feel like a superhero, like Batman.

This game contains mild swear words, adult dialogue and strong melee violence without realistic sound effects, unpleasant scenes and sensuality.

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

Links

Xbox 360 vs PS3 vs PC Games for Windows Live vs Wii U Head-to-Head Face Off: Batman: Arkham City

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.

Xbox 360 vs PS3 vs PC Head-to-Head Face Off: F1 2011

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.

Starting with 2011 games, you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 better F1 2011

Xbox 360 vs PS3 vs PC Head-to-Head Face Off: Red Faction: Armageddon

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.

Starting with 2011 games, you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 PS3 equal Red Faction: Armageddon

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

F1 2010 (2010, Games for Windows Live) – 8/10 Formula 1 racing game review

Cast / crew
Senior Producer: Ian Flatt
Senior Producer: Paul Jeal
Game Designer: Stephen Hood
Technical Director: David Percival
Lead Programmer: Mike Stimpson
Lead Programmer: Neil Topham
Lead Programmer: Ryan Sammartino

F1 2010 (2010)

Formula 1 racing based on the 2010 season. Work your way up from the bottom over three, five or seven years to achieve the most prestigious prize in motorsport: the title of Formula 1 World Champion.

8/10

Authentically structured Formula 1 game undermined by the staggering choice not to employ any recognisable FOM television graphics and shipping with a few game-spoiling bugs. The excellent career mode sees you striving to work up from trying not to finish last, through sneaking into the points, being a top ten contender, grasping a rare podium, to winning a race on a favoured track and finally putting together a championship campaign with a top team. It brilliantly insists on having you go through practice and qualifying (which can be time-accelerated) and a minimum 20% race distance (all the way up to 100%) making every event feel like an event. The core racing experience is outstanding; they harry and overtake where possible and this may be the first racing game where I’ve never being unfairly taken out by AI. Gran Turismo 5 may be the best driving game on this console generation, but F1 2010 is the best racing game.

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

Links

360 vs PS3 Head-to-Head Face Off: Round 29

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.

Starting with 2011 games, you can hover over the publications icons for a very quick summary.

  • 360 better Bulletstorm
  • PS3 better de Blob 2
  • 360 PS3 equal Fight Night Champion
  • 360 better Marvel vs. Capcom 3
  • 360 PS3 equal Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing
  • PS3 better Stacking
  • 360 better Test Drive Unlimited 2

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.

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009, Classic Superhero Third-Person Action, Games for Windows) – 10/10 game review

Cast / crew
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Batman: Bob Kane
Game Director: Sefton Hill
Writer: Paul Dini
Lead Narrative Designer: Paul Crocker
Lead Level Designer: Ian Ball
Kevin Conroy: Batman
Mark Hamill: Joker

Batman: Arkham Asylum (2009)

You don’t look gift horses in the mouth and, while he considers this time a bit easier than normal, Batman has re-captured Joker and brought him to Arkham Asylum. Once inside, however, Joker escapes and, with the help of a few carefully planted accomplices, takes over Arkham. But why?

10/10

Arkahm Asylum makes you feel like a superhero, like Batman, striding around being awesome (voiced brilliantly by Kevin Conroy opposite Mark Hamill’s even more brilliant Joker). It’s a simple summation but incredibly difficult to achieve and studio Rocksteady’s achievement has been rightfully lauded industry-wide. Successfully clearing a room of gun-toting baddies one at a time makes you feel like Batman, and not like almost all other action games, as does using all the gadgets. As is often the case, making the player extremely powerful or flexible offensively but weak defensively (Batman can’t really take being shot), means that the player feels like he has overcome the odds rather than just button mashed his way through artificially massive hordes of fist-fodder. While the end boss fight feels wrong character-wise it’s the only misstep in the entire game.

This game contains mild adult dialogue and fictional substance abuse and violence, unpleasant scenes.

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

Links

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