Category Archives: Reviews

Graphics – Then and Now

Have you ever noticed how the graphics of some games seem to age well in time (Mario Bros. anyone?) and others seem to painfully fossilize? 

What is the key to timeless game content that keeps its player base years after its release?

Probably the best examples of this are online MMORPG’s due to their active community and history online, they compete against other MMORPG’s and will usually update their graphics as time passes by.

A great example of a game that hasn’t needed much graphics update is Nexon’s Free MMO “Maple Story”. 

Maple Story has been able to keep its classic 2D scroller RPG style of play timeless since its release  in May of 2005 and 7 years later its still just as fun to destroy mushroom shaped monsters and enjoy its casual gameplay.

An example of a game that suffered from ageing graphics is one of my favorites, JaGeX’s Free MMO “RuneScape” 

It has since recovered due to its HD graphics and Full Screen option for members, however during its long period of terribly aged graphics (along with the removal of PvP and limited trading options) the game literately lost players buy the millions! 

This brings me to another point, updating a game frequently can be good for all games but if can cause problems when you mess with the delicate balance of innovation and comfort of what players are used to.

As another one of our posters (Rob Carroll) brought to our attention, some game developers *cough* SONY *cough* are trying to eliminate the possibility of  buying used games for a fraction of the price.

I was personally able to buy Modern Warfare 2 for $20 used a while back when it was still selling for $60 new, it worked fine as if it were new but it was about 66% cheaper.

The last thing a needs in order to survive the test of time is a strong community, those who support the game, those who make clans and guilds, those who make YouTube videos, and those who connect with the game developers to bring a stronger alliance of players are essential to keeping them alive and well.

As I end this post I would like to strongly thank Rob Carroll for keeping this gaming blog alive while I have been working on other projects, I am going to return to EnemyHQ but could not have kept it up and running without your support, thank you 🙂

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Kid Icarus: Uprising Review

Kid Icarus: Uprising is Nintendo’s attempt at reviving an old franchise and for the most part it’s a success there are some glaring flaws with the game design which keep it from joining the ranks of Mario, Metroid and Zelda but it is still an enjoyable game and I hope the franchise continues.

The graphics are one of the standout parts of the game. In their own way they match those of Resident Evil: Revelations. The screen is usually ablaze with colour and action and the frame rate is pretty consistent. Although the screen can at times be too busy to clearly see what’s going on it is all in all a pleasing game to look at.

The story is simple but it’s effective enough to keep the game going on and provides a good enough backdrop for the constant action. It’s the action that really makes this game shine. The levels are all split into air sections, ground sections and boss fights and the near limitless supply of weapons, as well the incredibly flexible difficulty level keep the combat fresh and fun.

The multiplayer also seems to be good fun, though I admit I’ve only played a few games. The combat is different to that in the single player but is no less fun. My only real complaints, with the entire game, not just the multiplayer, is the control set up. Using the stylus to aim and the one shoulder button to attack is painful and the stand doesn’t do anything to help, nor does the circle pad pro. It makes long play sessions hard work because the pain builds up and ruins it. This isn’t game breaking but it really is a shame.

Aside from that and the fact that at times the action can be too much the game is great and although it hasn’t lived up to the hype that’s built up around it it is nonetheless a worthy buy and I hope we don’t have to wait another 20 years to see a sequel.

Score: 8/10

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Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D Review

Metal Gear Solid Snake Eater 3D is, for me, the most anticipated 3DS game of the year. The Metal Gear series is my favourite of all time so when I heard about this latest game I was instantly excited. Initially I was worried that the small screen and lack of a second stick would be an issue but, luckily, they aren’t. This game is great and this version, for me, is the definitive one.

The most important part of it is the gameplay. I don’t own a circle pad pro and so didn’t use one throughout the game and I have to say I don’t see why you’d need to. The camera controls are mapped to the face buttons and the camera controls great. The game is a port of the Subsistence version of MGS 3 so you get to control the camera. Aside from the camera the game is of course a great blend of stealth and action. Although it can occasionally be hard to spot a guard due to the size of the screen sneaking is more less as fun as it has always been, the same goes for the combat. The control layout is great and easy to use and the CQC is just as cool as it was when it first came out.

Graphically the game is stunning, whilst it doesn’t reach the same lofty heights of Capcom’s Resident Evil: Revelations it still performs really well and the 3D effect serves to the make the jungle really come alive. Although the screen is small and this does lead to a couple of issues such as spotting guards there aren’t any issues that are game breakers. The HUD has been moved to the bottom screen which really lets the improved graphics shine through by ensuring that the environment isn’t crowded with things like health bars and radars. There are occasional moments when the frame rate drops but, like the occasional screen size issues, these really aren’t game breaking and are to be expected when you put a game like this on such a small screen.

Story wise it’s as great as it was on the PS2, the game doesn’t miss anything out from the original so you get to experience the whole thing. There are some issues with lengthy cutscenes and radio conversations which, when you’re about to get off of a bus, can be frustrating but I’m glad that they kept the cutscenes and conversations because they really add to the game by creating the great story and fleshing out the characters.

There has been a lot of discussion about whether or not you should buy the HD Collection or this handheld game but this seems crazy to me. If you owned a 360 or PS3 and a 3DS then you should buy both. That way you can play the game at home or when you’re out and I have to say its the fact that you can play this game anywhere that makes it worth buying. You never have to be without a Metal Gear game and that is great.

All in all, although it does have a few minor flaws, the game is fantastic and is a must buy. I would recommend avoiding the Circle Pad Pro, it just seems like a waste of money because the game handles really well without it. Essentially you all need to buy this game, and fast. Forget Kid Icarus, forget Resident Evil, forget Heroes of Ruin, this is the best 3DS game to come out during the first quarter of 2012.

Score: 9.5/10

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Alienware – Is it worth it?

Love PC Gaming?

Since I got my Alienware Aurora 5 days ago I thought I would do a post about Alienware computers and talk about some of the pros and cons!

Price

When your talking about Alienwares the price is usually what shys people away from them like they’re an… alien!

Although they are usually very expensive there are cheaper ways of getting them such as looking for discounts and coupons, or using ebay.com and craigslist.org

For example my Aurora averages for a minimum of $2000 on the Alienware website, however by looking on craigslist I was able to get it for less than half the price ($900) and the guy threw in a free HD screen, Logitech G19 Keyboard, and Razor DeathAdder mouse!

Performance

Odds are if your thinking about getting an Alienware your getting it so you can play games on high settings for maximum domination!

Lucky for you Alienware is great with high specs such as RAM, Hard Drive Space, intel processor, Windows 7 (optional), ect.

Design

Except for the new X51 most Alienwares do take up some space as they are a little larger than most PCs (to handle what they can do) but do come with a few bonuses!

They are made to easily modify with better and newer parts as time passes, they do this by easily allowing you to remove the case (usually without screws at all!) and let you access the inside of the computer, also they feature their signature alien head logo and a series of lights around the computer which you can customize as you like from the alienFX app on the computer.

Overall

Although it may be cheaper to build a custom computer with similar specs, it is a wonderful machine that can handle what ever you throw at it!

I recommend getting one as long as you can find one for a great deal such as ebay or craigslist (maybe even amazon)

Happy gaming!

🙂

Resident Evil 6: Do or Die

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If Capcom didn’t invent the Survival Horror genre then they at least made it incredibly popular, realising a trio of great games to cement this. Then, with Resident Evil 4, they changed the genre massively, adding huge amounts of action whilst still maintaining the intense nature of the Survival Horror genre. Since then? Well since then they have released Resident Evil 5, in my opinion the worst of the main canon of the series and a dull experience from start to finish. However, is this the year that everything gets set right?

At the end of January Capcom released Resident Evil: Revelations for the Nintendo 3DS, which if I were to review would score very highly, and in November of this year they are set to release Resident Evil 6. I am incredibly excited for Resident Evil 6 but I am also well aware that it’s sink or swim time for the series, if the game is like the fifth one then, for me, the series is done for, two awful games back to back on the consoles would be a terrible blow for any series. Action is great but in Resident Evil it needs to be cleverly balanced with tense moments where you are all too aware of how little health and ammo you have and that just around corner could be some hideous infected monstrosity waiting to rip your face off.

Moments like those were missing in 5 because you knew you had enough ammo to take it on because the game was overly focused on action and was, as a result, a pale imitation of what Resident Evil is. The trailer for Resident Evil 6 has made me very excited and, though my faith in Capcom’s ability to create a great Resident Evil game has been damaged, it still remains intact.

Ultimately if they can strike the balance between survival and action as they did in the fourth game and as they seem to have done in Revelations then they will likely have a masterpiece on their hands (it’s only ever been the gameplay that was a problem so i’m sure that the other parts of the game will be fine). I look forward to playing Resident Evil 6 but the excitement is held back by the fact that Capcom could very easily ruin the series. I for one, hope that they don’t.

 

Family Guy Online?

Is it going to be “friekin’ sweet” or an epic fail?

This is a very questionable move by fox, is it really such a good idea to take a perfectly good comedy and give it their own online game?

Leave your comments below and tell us what you think!

Bastion Game Review + On Sale!

Today I’d like to bring to your attention a hidden gem if you will, a fun game

that is not that well known… Bastion!

This game is available of different platforms including Xbox Live Market Place (On Sale this week for 600 MS Points) and FREE on Google Chrome Webstore

(Chrome version is not the full version of the game)

Brick-Force

I am happy to announce that the Brick Force closed beta will start Feburary 28th so make sure you hurry up and register for it now!

Register link—–> http://www.brick-force.com/en/registration?fi=ee82c850f4

C9 First Look

There is one day left until the VIP beta test for Continent Of The Ninth Seal begins and i will be ready for it and will give you all my thoughts on this early access. Here is the first look from mmohut.com. Hope this video gives you a preview of what is to come but make sure you remember this is VIP access not even closed beta so any glitches/issues in this game shouldnt be the cause not to play it when it comes out to the public for those issues will more than likely be fixed.

Can You Hear the Music?

What gives gamers the complete experience gamers have come to know and love?

Is it all in a good story? Great graphics? Great gameplay?

All of these are true but what most gamers don’t think about when playing games is how to music usually relates to the scenario of the moment during a game.

This is similar to how a movie will start playing slow, sad music after a character dies, or when fast and exiting music starts playing during a moment of action.

Aside from games like “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” players often don’t think of the music being added to the enjoyment of the game.

Next time you go to play your favorite games (especially games like Halo) be sure to take notice and experience the game by playing to the beat and really get into it!

You may find certain games to be more enjoyable when you play along with the rhythm of the music!

Leave your comments below, what are your favorite songs in gaming?