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Have you ever wanted to be part of the Godfather's family, well now is your change in the long awaited Godfather game.
I feel that Godfather fans like myself will love this game, on the other hand if you were not a fan of the Godfather movies (how could you not be, they are legendary : ), then you will find this game decent and I guess a worse version of the Grand Theft Auto Series.
The story does follow the movie; however the great thing about this game is that you do not follow the exact script of the movie. Let me explain, basically you play a new character which does all the dirty work that you do not see in the movie. For example you are the guy that plants the horse's head in the bed or the guy that places the gun behind the toilets. Essentially you start out as just an associate, but as you work your way through the missions you gain more and more respect until you become part of the Corleone family.
The game play is decent, although a little jerky at time, however the fighting system is unique and makes for fascinating fun. You have to use the analogue sticks on the playstation controller and swing the sticks around like you would swing real life punches and then your on screen character will do the same. I imagine if Wii were to make a game like this then they would copy the same concept. I found this part of the game much better than other similar games like GTA, although as an all round game GTA does reign supreme.
The hardness really depends on how experienced a gamer you are, personally I have completed hundreds of game, so did not find this too hard, however for beginners I can imagine this game could take well over twenty or even thirty hour which makes it excellent value for money and definitely there is a replayable factor to this game in terms of exploring the city and driving about. Like GTA there are fast cards available, although with it being based many years ago, there are no bikes or super fast cars which may have been a good addition as I am sure bikes existed back then.
This game is definitely a great tribute to the movie, and yes it can not rule over the games industry in the same way that the Godfather movies did in its industry's, but it is a good game nonetheless. This gets you thinking about what it would be like to part of the family and what an awesome life it would be. Ok being a girl, I would probably have been cast aside, but a girl can dream : ).
I will stray away now from my normal Games reviews and write about a particular product that I am very fond of. That is Hubba Bubba chewing gum. I am sure all teenagers and even many others up to the age of forty will have heard of this gum and it is the only proper bubble gum available in pretty much every shop and newsagent.
Hubba Bubba is owned by the world famous Wrigley and Wrigley's seem to have a monopoly in this market now with a wide range of chewing and bubble gums. Other firms compete but do not do a successful job of it. Hubba Bubba was first released in 1979 and has been on sale ever since then.
There are many different flavours available ranging from Apple through to strawberry and even a cola flavour. Apart from the cola flavour the majority of other flavours are all based on fruits and hence they are used in the name of the particular flavour.
The different between Hubba Bubba and other chewing gums by Wrigley's is that half the enjoyment is in the bubbles created. You can create huge bubbles with this gum, which is not possible with chewing gum, so there is not just enjoyment from the flavour but also creating the bubbles.
There are an original Hubba Bubba flavour, however many years ago they stopped creating that so that they could focus on newer tastier flavours. The only problem I find with this gum is that the taste runs out far too quickly and either they haven't found out a way to make the taste last longer or it is just a money ploy to make the consumer keep buying more Hubba Bubba. I fear it is the latter.
Do not fear if you are not from the USA or UK, as Hubba Bubba is now a global brand and available from pretty much any country in the world. Recently they have released a new type of Hubba Bubba called Max. This slightly gets rid of the disadvantage I mentioned above with bigger pieces so that the taste does last long, which is always a good thing. My favourite flavours from this range are the watermelon and strawberry flavours.
Overall one of my favourite types of gums available and I have been a regular consumer of this gum from as far back as I can remember and will be till it becomes illegal to purchase Hubba Bubba or the product is discontinued.
Freedom Fighters was released in 2003 and from the makers of the Hitman franchise, it is one of my favourite games of all time and has deservedly received praise from critics worldwide.
Essentially the plot includes the character you play, Christopher Stone, who is a plumber and turns into a freedom fighter to stop the army that has taken over New York. As the plot goes on you learn more about the current state of affairs through news reports in the form of cut scenes and this is a great touch the game.
What sets this great game apart from others is its outstanding game play. This is essentially the only squad based third person shooter where you can fully control the other members of your team. It is like playing a game where you are good, like the Sims, and also being able to be part of the team. You can control up to twelve other members, although at first you can only recruit two, but the more charisma you earn by completing levels and mission objectives, then the more soldiers you can control. There are three orders you can give them which consist of 'follow', 'attack' and 'defend'. Each command is unique and you can assign each soldier individually an order so as a player you are fully in control of your team.
There are four difficulty levels and intermediate gamers will find even the first level challenging. The hardest level is exactly that and you would have to be an absolutely brilliant gamer to complete this easily and in good time. I suggest starting on the second easiest level, where the enemies are very challenging and this will make the game last a long time to give it extra playability.
Another great aspect is the use of sound with excellent music in the correct scenarios. It was awarded Gamespot's "Best Soundtrack Of The Year", which is no mean feat and it fully deserves this award. In intense action sequences the music becomes a lot more dramatic and suits the game perfectly. It is hard to explain and really needs to be played for you to experience the full effects of the sound and great game play.
A sequel has apparently been in the works for a number of years now, however to this day nothing has been fully confirmed and although the idea of Freedom Fighters 2 is not cancelled, do not expect one anytime soon.
In this day and age of controller based games, we hardly ever see light gun games that are fully focused towards that genre of users. For those of you that do not understand what I mean by light gun, I am talking about the arcade games with the guns that are fast disappearing off the face of the earth .
So it is great to see Namco and Sega team up here to create one of the best ever games in this genre and it is a real treat. The way this games works is that you just have to control the aiming and shooting and nothing else. All the movement by your player is done automatically which means that you just have to focus on the tricky stuff, which is killing the baddies in the form of vampire during the night, hence the name Vampire Night.
The game is split into levels and pretty much anything that comes onto the screen you have to shoot. Towards the end of the level the big boss is revealed and you have to beat the boss twice. First in its human style form and secondly when it is all crazy looking and supernatural. When survivors appear on the screen they have a weird mutant blood sucking creature attached to them which is small and you have to shoot this off them to help the survivor, if not then the creature will overtake the human and you will wish you had shot it off in the first place.
The aspect that makes this game really great is its two player mode, with not many games having a two player mode where both players can play on the same team. I challenge you to think of a normal console game and not a team online game like call of duty. There used to be Streets of Rage which was a classic on the Sega Mega drive and this does come close and produces a more modern fix, although still an old game itself.
There are some useful extras with a great training mode that offers 17 smaller games to help you hone your accuracy as essentially accuracy is all that is needed for this game and the ability to constantly press the reload button.
The style of the game is wonderful and it is a very dark game. Fans of Resident Evil will love the graphics in this game and great playability. Overall this game will not be remembered and has already been forgotten but for fans of the genre this is a welcome addition and one of the last great light gun games available.
Now I first played this game as my boyfriend is a huge fan of the pro evolution franchise and being a huge fan of videogames myself I made it my main priority over the next four weeks to become very good at this game. I know this may sound sad to some of you but hey I love beating my boyfriend in games and to beat him in his own game would be out of this world and give me bragging rights for a long time yet.
I figured this would be a simple task, however once practising against the computer on 2 star which is one of the lowest ratings I soon realised that this was not going to be an easy four weeks. I will give you details about the game now before describing about my four weeks or personal pro evolution enlightenment.
This is the sixth version of the game available on the PS2 hence the name Pro Evo 6 and on top of the fifth version there is a definite improvement in the game play with a faster style and more importantly there is less fouling. I did not find myself being stopped by the referee every two seconds thank good for just simply touching the opponent player. This is a contact sport after all and Pro Evo 6 more clearly reflects that with only dirty fouls being rewarded with cards. Also there is not the stupid handball feature that old Pro Evo games have incorporated in recent years. Let me explain that although this is realistic it is not something the user is in control of. I want to be fully in control of my team and player and sometimes I am through on goal and a handball happens and the opponent is given a free kick. There is nothing I can do to stop this and this was a definite flaw in the game and thankfully Pro Evo 6 is handball free.
Of course there are updates on the teams with all the most recent players up until a few weeks before the game being in their correct teams. Of course if there is the odd mishap by the Konami team then you can always go and manually change the odd player and put them in the correct team. Again the licenses are not available for the majority of teams in this game, however Pro Evo has always been a game play and if you are the fickle to let this affect you then you really do deserve to belong to your beloved Fifa. It does not affect the recognition of the players with their names only slightly miss-spelt and the teams names are different for the clubs, however does this really matter. At least they are recognisable as Merseyside red and Merseyside blue clearly distinguishes between Liverpool and Everton. Even if there are people who really can not live without the real player teams and names there are memory card updates available for a small price that updates all of this and even the kits with the correct sponsors and details added so this really is no excuse not to purchase the game. Now onto my personal experience of playing the game over the four weeks.
As mentioned earlier on I attempted to play the game in two star difficulty and aptly got thrashed four nil in a ten minute game. My defending actually was OK but I could not create a chance on goal for the life of me. So over the rest of the week I participated in the excellent training mode and worked out how to use all the controls properly. Over this week I scored like a thousand goals in training from all over the pitch in many different teams and circumstances and felt ready to take on the computer opponent once again.
So I played the computer again and this time the score was 2-1 to the computer. Ok I got beaten but the game definitely was a lot closer this time and I mustered a few chances on goal. Over the next few days I started to win more and more and moved up to three star difficulty and had about an equal amount of wins and defeats against the computer. I generally played with Chelsea and Barcelona and had been told my friends that these two teams are generally superior to others in the game.
I was now accomplished at three star level and tried playing on four star difficulty. I was generally getting defeats here but was only conceding one or two goals per match maximum and could not really create many chances although against certain teams I was finding weaknesses and attempting to exploit them. I did win the odd game by the end of the week and really felt like I was a decent player at the game now.
Now I tried on five star difficulty and could not win at all. Even sometimes when I was leading and felt I had the upper edge the computer would just find a way to break my team down and make a comeback. Occasionally I took the computer to penalties with a 0-0 score line as my defending was pretty decent and this seemed to be the only way I could win. I then told my boyfriend that I wanted to play him in a match in which he laughed at me when I told him I had been practising.
So I chose to play with Chelsea and he chose to play with Man Utd. To his dismay in the first two minutes I scored. My goal really was a joy to behold and I cut in from the wing with Joe Cole and knocked a simple tap in with Drogba. He was shocked and I was in the ascendancy so it seemed. He mustered up maybe ten chances before half time and hit the bar twice and really was fighting hard to score. In this time I could not do much and unfortunately kept giving the ball away needlessly, but hey I was winning at half time and job done so far  . Straight away in the second half he ran from the half way line with Wayne Rooney and scored a stunning long shot. The strike really downed me but I was still in this and he was now mocking me that he was going to run away with the game. Towards the end he did score another two goals in quick succession with ten minutes of game time remaining now. Somehow I scored after that with my first chance in a long-time and then with seconds remaining I had an open goal and somehow missed. My big chance was missed and I lost the game 3-2, but a message was definitely crossed and he has refused to play me since.
Well from my experience this was definitely a great game and needs a lot of experience to be amazing. It does takes months and years to get this experience but scoring goals in Pro Evo is very satisfying and definitely beats Fifa that I used to play many years ago with my little brother. What I would say though is that Fifa has received critically acclaimed reviews in recent years and seemed to have overtaken the Pro Evo Franchise, however Pro Evo 6 is a quality game and a definite improvement on the previous version with higher quality game play and more fun then ever before.
Before I paste this review below I just want to state that this is my own work and not my boyfriend's, even though personally I do not see the problem in using his work but hey that's an argument for another day.
This is one of my favourite games on the planet and deservedly so. This game was released on the PS2 and said to be the last great game for the PS2 and this is definitely a fair statement. It should not be missed by any God of War or general game fans (like myself). The game is hard to describe in terms of comparison as there are no games like this on the market until the recent release of similar style games in the name of heavenly sword.
The story is based around the antihero Kratos. He is a beast of a man who is a Spartan warrior and is besotted with revenge for his own sins. The game starts with Kratos throwing himself of a cliff and just as he is falling to his certain death the game flashes back to a time long ago. Well three weeks to give you the time length but the game feels epic and therefore seems a lot longer than three weeks. I say antihero above as Kratos is not the likeable type of Clark Kent/Superman figure that we are accustomed to. He is more along the lines of Hellboy, a mean powerful guy who has a one track mind set on helping out in the most destructive of ways. Well Kratos is looking to help, but only himself to get revenge, but for reasons that are unclear during the initial sequences of the game.
The cut scenes are outstanding and along with the Final Fantasy franchise is the only game I have enjoyed the cut scenes this much. They reveal so much about Kratos's character and how he became who he is. I really wish they had released an extra aspect to the game that when it is completed you can view the cut scenes as a long movie as this would also be very enjoyable. As mentioned above, initially I did not like Kratos, but the more I learnt about his character through these amazing cut scenes the more I sympathized with him and in a way tried even harder as I was trying to complete the game for me and Kratos, if that makes any sense. (I know it is a bit sad but hey that's me :) ).
So the plot of the movie is based around the search for Pandora's Box. He is set the mission by one god and has to use it to help destroy another god. What this box will do is to give Kratos the power to defeat even god's themselves which in effect will make him the God Of War. There is a lot more I can mention about the plot, but I feel that everyone should play the game and enjoy the cut scenes themselves instead of me spoiling the whole plot for them. For example you get to learn about Kratos's family and also the chains that he uses to fight and how they became attached to him. It really is fascinating stuff.
Now onto the game play. This aspect of the game is in its own league and makes God of War a game in its own league. He is a complete psychopath, to put it bluntly, and besotted with revenge and this is portrayed in the wage he is allowed to fight by the user. His main weapon is the 'blades of chaos', which gives him optimum reach and he can literally attack his foes from all angles in the most extravagant of ways. The moves capable are very enjoyable and I have spent many a hour learning different combos and different ways to beat the opponents to the ground. You do not have to worry about killing any good guys or anything like that as in this game Kratos wants to kill everyone in his sight. Through the game you will receive more weapons and points that help make the weapons stronger. I have to say the most interesting here is wear you can raise the souls of the dead to help you in your cause for vengeance. There are many distinctive attacks and weapons which makes this a unique masterpiece.
There are lots of challenges in this game and not just in the fighting. With thought provoking puzzles which some people will find straight forward, however I believe that they will be challenging for most others and personally I enjoyed them and it was a different aspect from just the full out fighting. There are other instances where you need a mixture of solving something and fighting which makes it even more challenging. The enemies are thrown at you in quick succession and many enemies at a time so you need to be quick with your fingers and good at manoeuvring around so you do not get caught on the offence of attacking another enemy.
The boss fights are very good and unfortunately not enough. Even one more boss fight would have been enough but this can be forgiven as the rest of the parts of the game are thoroughly enjoyable. Instead of having the standard boss with different abilities at the end of every round, God of War takes this scenario to the next level and makes each boss very different. Let me put it this way, there is not always a human looking boss and there is not always just one of them at a time.
Overall this is a magnificent game and surprisingly for me (the biggest game addict on the planet :) ), I have not had the chance to play God of War 2 due to my modelling commitments and studies, however during this Christmas break I will definitely be purchasing the sequel and understand that it is as good, if not better then this game. Before I forget to mention the audio is another brilliant aspect of this game and adds to the dark atmosphere of the game. It is not overused so that it gets boring and I really hope they keep a similar theme in the sequels as this is a trick that can not be missed. As mentioned above I feel the only thing that can be added is an extra feature which allows the user to view the cut scenes all as a long movie as there must be a good hours length at least of cut scenes during the game. All in all a stunning game. The chaos has just begun.
The Simpsons Game is a rare beast: A franchise game based on a TV show that manages to bring all the flair of the series to the interactive realm. Although marred by a few small issues, and handicapped by the worst demo ever, The Simpsons Game offers a bunch of Simpson-y goodness, from well-written parodies of popular games to spot-on dialogue and ad-libs provided by the show's voice talent. This is, so far, the Simpsons game that feels most like an actual episode of The Simpsons.
Many Simpsons franchise games have taken popular game concepts and just re-skinned them with Simpsons characters. Sometimes this has been a very, very bad move (think Simpsons Wrestling), and other times this has worked out well (think Simpsons Hit & Run or Simpsons Road Rage). The Simpsons Game breaks from the rip-off & re-skin approach; it is a 3D action game with elements borrowed from many genres and titles. It retains the trademark Simpsons sense of parody and satire without becoming a clone of any other game.
The overall plot of the Simpsons is rambling and full of detours. It begins with the Simpsons in Springfield, where an alien invasions has thrown the town into chaos. The Simpsons must help save the town by playing through a series of "episodes" that pair up two-Simpson teams to take on various baddies and situations. Each Simpsons character has special abilities they can use, and each episode requires two of the Simpsons to work together to solve puzzles and defeat baddies.
Throughout the game, the voice acting and writing is absolutely incredible. It is clear that the game developers used every scrap of ad-lib and off-the-cuff commentary provided by the Simpsons cast to fill in the various little comments and quips delivered throughout the gameplay. This is undoubtedly the best writing we've seen so far in a Simpsons game and is reminiscent of the quality of writing from the ill-fated Futurama game from the previous console generation. More franchises (yes I am looking at you, Lost!) should realize that the more authentic the game version can be, the better the game experience will be. That's not to say that we want to re-play TV show or movie plotlines, but the game should hit some of the same notes as the original franchise. In the case of the Simpsons, this means pithy satire and witty dialogue, which EA delivers here in spades.
Another thing The Simpsons Game gets right is the multiplayer. Two player cooperative play is essential in The Simpsons Game. Throughout you can switch between the two characters used in any given level, but this often becomes tedious. And during large battle scenes the only real effective way to clear the room is to have a human being controlling each character.
The only questionable component of the game itself is the spotty levels of production quality. For the most part, controls are relatively solid, but the gameplay is constantly affected by a super cruddy camera. You'll find yourself in situations where there is no victory over the camera, too - you must make difficult platform jumps without being able to clearly see the landing zone or pushing the joystick in an awkward up-and-right direction.
Another aspect of the game that is very spotty are the graphics. The graphics generally look good when the camera is at a distance, but whenever it gets close to the action the characters start to look deformed and the line quality on the cel-shading starts to break down. This is very annoying especially after so many Simpsons games that had quite good graphics. These are not problems so much with rendering speed as they are with rendering quality. It is as if they built the Simpsons game on a half-broken graphics engine.
But probably the thing that the Simpsons game will be remembered for by the gaming community is the absolutely horrible demo that was released on the Xbox 360. This demo single-handedly turned off all of my Simpsons-loving friends. For some reason, EA decided to release the boss battle against Lard Lad (a parody of the Shadow of the Colossus gameplay) as their Xbox Live demo. This was an absolutely foolish decision. The boss battle comes from halfway through the game, and when encountered in the flow of normal gameplay it is not very difficult. However, as an initial introduction to the game, the boss battle is completely inappropriate. While many Xbox Live demos have been known for greatly increasing the public's interest in a game, this demo can be blamed for tanking The Simpsons Game before it even got to store shelves, and that is truly unfortunate. EA should have chosen one of the game-parody mini-levels to debut the gameplay - these would have been more approachable and much more fun for novice players.
So The Simpsons Game leaves plenty of room for the next Simpsons game to improve upon its predecessors, and at the same time it manages to deliver a thoroughly enjoyable experience, especially for fans of the TV show. If you are a longtime Simpsons lover and gamer, then you really shouldn't miss this one. The dialog and game parodies alone are worth the price of admission.
I have a weakness for Lost. I believe this is the only acceptable reason to play Lost: Via Domus. (Unless you also happen to love playing new games, in which case you also have an acceptable reason to play, but just for a short time.) But I can cut this review short for anyone who is not under contractual obligation to play games or a serious Lost fan: Don't bother. However, if you do love Lost and need to kill about eight hours between episodes, Via Domus is probably not the worst way to spend your time.
As television-based games go, Lost: Via Domus stands out in that it is completely playable. It works, the gameplay is mostly solid, and you won't find yourself wandering around for ages. Sometimes you will find yourself wandering around, but there are relatively few options available to you at any point in the game. So figuring out what to do next is not much more difficult than just pursuing the dialog trees and watching for interaction icons.
You play the role of a new Lostie from the front of Oceanic 815 named Eliot Maslow. Eliot is a photojournalist who, like almost everyone else on Lost, has a sordid past. Unfortunately for him, Eliot can't remember anything about that past. Also unfortunate for him is the fact that he is being pursued on the plane by a mysterious man who wants him dead.
The game centers around Eliot's quest to find out about himself. Along the way he encounters many of the well-known Lost characters including Jack, Locke, Hurly, Sawyer, Kate, Ben and Juliet. One of the primary downers in the game is the fact that only a few of the original actors have provided voices (for the characters Ben, Mikhail, Desmond, Claire, Sun and Tom). Locke sounds a lot like Uncle Ben and every time he speaks it makes me cringe. The other characters are similar. Via Domus would have been greatly improved if it had focused on these characters voiced by the actors rather than forcing us to listen to imitation Jack, Locke and Kate all the time.
What actually stands out in the game are the segments focused on Eliot Maslow. His story is told through playable flashbacks, and since there are no pre-conceived notions of how those characters should sound or act, the story elements tend to be much more satisfying. Eliot's story of treachery and murder is compelling, and fits nicely into the feeling of the entire series. Ubisoft Montreal was smart to take this approach to the game, obviously trying to avoid the pitfall of having gamers replay the story of the series.
What doesn't work is pretty much everything else. Eliot traverses beach and jungle, finding the Swan station and encountering the Others, the Black Rock and the mysterious smoke. These sequences play out like slightly altered versions of the story told in the TV series, which makes them feel cheesy in comparison to just about everything else (except the voice acting).
The technical presentation of Via Domus is pretty good. The game uses the YETI engine from Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter, which makes it look good, but not exceptional. The gameplay is pretty solid, although there's nothing here that you'll find yourself telling your friends about. Sometimes Eliot is a little sticky on his environment and the camera get a bit wonky in areas.
Lost: Via Domus is really only an option for the most die hard of Lost fans. If you have seen every episode and want to extend the experience a very small amount, then it's not bad. Or, if you are all about the Gamerpoints, then it's a really easy way to get a quick 1000. But for most folks, this is yet another lackluster entry into the genre of TV-based franchise games.