Thursday, September 23, 2010

Plants Vs Zombies

Plants Vs Zombies was released almost one and a half years ago on the PC and it was recently ported to XBLA on September 8th. Bottom line, buy this game. It is a little pricey on the Xbox Live Arcade at 1200 XBL points, but it is fully worth the price.

Plants Vs Zombies is a tower defense game in which you must plant different types of garden plants in your front and back yards and roof in order to repel the oncoming zombie invasion. Some of these plants include a pea shooter, Venus fly trap, and cactus, all of which are used for defending the house where you reside.  For those of you who have ever played a PopCap game like Peggle, you know of the addictive, psychedelic properties that their games contain. It is hard to describe, but the humor of the game, the controls, and the story (or lack there of), make this game's gameplay incredibly addictive and fun.
In addition to the main campaign, there are also a verses mode, horde mode, and mini game mode that add to the replay value.

So the design of the game can be divided into two different parts: Visuals and sound. The visuals of the game are very bright and vivid, though not HD, but like I've said, the visuals of a game are the first thing that you see but the least important aspect of a game. The sounds of the game are very humorous as sometimes the zombies will say some little catch phrases like "Brains" and "They're Coming!" It really sucks you into the fun that is to be had.

Bottom line:
If you played this game on the PC there is little that has changed. At the price of 15 dollars, this is a really great deal. If you are a fan of strategy or tower defense games you will definitely like this game, and if you're not, play the demo and you'll know whether or not you like the game.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Halo: Reach First Impressions

So, as I write this post it is 4:33 in the morning, and take into consideration that I bought the game at 12:01 am, this very same day. I have spent just over 4 hours playing this game, more specifically Forge, Matchmaking, and Campaign. I'll go over my first impressions with the game in that order.

Forge has been substantially improved. Everything that should have been in Halo 3 has been included in Halo: Reach. Users can phase, snap, and levitate pieces to their hearts content. Although it was a bit overwhelming at first, it became more intuitive as I used it. I only spent about 45 minutes in Forge, but I can tell I will be spending much more time on my map editing in the future.

Second, Matchmaking was where I spent the bulk of my 4 hours. For anyone that played the Beta, you can expect a very similar experience. However, there are several noticeable differences from the beta that should be noted. First, in the Beta there were only 4 main Spartan armor permutations, and now a fifth has been added. This fifth permutation enables the user to project a hologram of them, which could distract a sniper, or draw someone’s fire for those few precious seconds. Second, I think that the experience has been refined. To be more specific, splash damage is reduced and increased when needed, the armor permutation controls feel more tight and more responsive. Lastly and unfortunately, many things have been nerfed. For example, the cloaking permutation has been changed so that it is only active when standing completely still, and when you are moving the invisibility turns into a partial invisibility, but make no mistake, you are very much visible to your enemies.

Lastly, the campaign is where I was placing most of my preverbal eggs. I have always loved the Halo Campaign's made by Bungie. Halo CE, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo ODST all had their flaws in the campaign, but they were all incredibly fun to play and very enthralling. Unfortunately, in the hour and a half or so that I played the campaign I didn't see any deep connections between the characters, plot development, or a deeper and darker underlying plot that would inevitably reveal itself later in the game. Maybe I should replay the first three levels, and maybe I should pay more attention to the acting and animation, but from what I noticed, it really didn't blow me away. However, I do look forward to finishing up the campaign, first on my own on Legendary, and then on CO-OP with four friends.

Look for a more in depth review later in the week when I beat the Campaign and get a chance to try out the Custom Games, Theater Mode, and Fire Fight Modes.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Used Game Review of the Week: Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed Review
When I first saw this game sitting in the used game bin for 17.99, I was a little hesitant, mainly because Dead Space was sitting right next to it. However, since I do have Dead Space on the PC, I decided to try this Star Wars game to see if it would be worth it to pick up the next one in the series, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2. I have to say that I haven't spent much time with the game, probably less than 3 hours, but with what I've played, I think I made the right choice. This game is perhaps the most intuitive Star Wars game ever made! There is no better feeling than wielding a red lightsaber and lifting a storm trooper into the air and force pushing him across the map. The controls are very tight and responsive and so far, I really like the story. The visuals do seem like they are a little dated, but the game did release a while ago. This visual problem is especially evident in the cut scenes. I'm not exactly sure what it is, but the facial animations don't really match the words being spoken. Now, I have to say that I will be picking up The Force Unleashed 2 when it comes out. I cannot wait to finish this game and see where the story takes me.
I give this game a 9/10, but I'm not sure if a non-Star Wars fan would really enjoy the experience.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Last week a Halo: Reach Commercial was released, and here is the full version, compliments of Machinima.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Used game review of the week

I've decided to post one review a week of one of the many used games that I have. These reviews will be based on games that are at least 6 months old.
This week's used game review is on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection.
You can find this game for 1$17.00 at Gamestop, which is a very good price for such a large collection of games. With this game you will receive approximately 40 Sega Genesis games, some of which include: Sonic, Sonic 2, Sonic 3, Sonic and Knuckles, Phantasy Star, Streets of Rage, Kid Chameleon, Fatal Labyrinth, Altered Beast, and Shinobi 3. While this is a very large collection of great old school games, I have to give this game a 6/10. The best games in this pack are easily the sonic games, the Phantasy Star games, and Shinobi. Other than those, the other games are a very random assortment. After playing Sonic, Sonic 2, Altered Beast, and Shinobi 3 I had my fill and I really had no desire to play more. If you are an old school gamer that is looking for some great nostalgic gaming, then this is most definitely the collection for you. For everyone else though, the game really is a very random assortment of games that are fun for a short time, but do quickly lose their luster.
Thanks for reading!