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Skyrim Preview, contains spoilers...

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Skyrim is the newest release from Bethseda's long running R.P.G. series 'The Elder Scrolls' following the smash hits of Morrowind and Oblivion, both previous instalments winning countless Game Of The Year and Best In Show awards.

Skyrim is set two hundred years after the events of Oblivion and is set in Skyrim, home of the Nords and one of the northern provinces of Tamriel. The land is being torn apart by civil war and there is the return of a powerful enemy...


The Map...

Map

The game seems promising right from the world go, it's got the vast sized map that both prequels boasted. Apparently it is around 16 square miles (41 square kilometers) in area. Within Skyrim lie five cities, larger than Cyrodiil's cities, as well as smaller townships and expanses of wilderness. But unlike Oblivion, which got heavily slated for it repetitive terrain and layout, Skyrim is set to feature many different terrain types. There will be forests and mountains and many other beautiful scenes for the eye to see. Skyrim is the most rugged region in the continent; apparently not only containing five of the highest peaks in the Tamriel world, Skyrim also is very snowy, in the western reaches are there some measure of flat land, where most of the population resides. The rest of Skyrim is vertical; mountains, cliffs, and deep valleys.

Dragons are frequently encountered when exploring the wilderness. There are also over 150 dungeons scattered across Skyrim, and when the player enters a dungeon for the first time, the monsters within lock to the player's level permanently, even if visited later at a higher level. Fast-travelling is a returning feature, allowing the player to instantly travel to any marked location that has been previously visited.


The Dragons...

DRAGON!

The legendary dragons have a particular influence on gameplay and story and are a challenging opponent for the player. Dragons are not scripted, as they can show up anytime, anywhere and are capable of attacking anything. Different races of dragons are encountered throughout Skyrim, either alone or in small groups. They can speak directly to the player character in the world's native language of Draconic. Dragons can attack cities and towns at random, merrily ravaging towns without warning; often, dragons nose-dive to the ground, march through city streets and breathe fire, which engulfs and causes significant damage to city structures. Saying that though, not every dragon will be hostile, and some can be communicated with.

Through a course of events, the player character learns that he/she is "Dragonborn." Because of this, the player is granted the ability to use dragon shouts. These are powerful skills gained by slaying dragons, examples of which include teleportation, slowing down time, and summoning a dragon to aid the player. Dragon shouts are described as battle cries spoken in the native language of the dragons. There are over twenty different dragon shouts to be gained throughout the game, and they become more effective as the player absorbs the souls of slain dragons.

There are also creatures such as Giants, mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers and werewolves that are encountered throughout the game and can be slain.


The Gameplay...

Were

Each city or town has its own economy, which the player can either stimulate by completing jobs such as farming and mining, or harm by sabotaging industrial buildings. The player can train in eighteen different skills, and the player character is leveled up by raising skills. The c.l.a.s.s. system traditional in role-playing games, which had been present in Oblivion, is removed to allow the player's to develop naturally. Perks are skill-specific abilities, organized in a system of branching groups called "skill trees." The player can choose from one of 280 perks each time their character is leveled until the player character has leveled fifty times.

The on-screen heads-up display only appears when the player's health, stamina, or magicka are being depleted. Items and equipment layouts can be saved to a quick-access menu, and the pause-screen inventory menu is presented in a compass overlay; while in the inventory, the player can rotate and zoom in on acquired items.

Weapons can be created by the player at a forge, and are assigned to each hand individually, allowing for dual-wielding. At the cost of stamina, the player can sprint and jump. Shields can be used with a bashing attack, and timing is required for blocking with a shield. Blunt, bladed, hacking and stabbing weapons each have specific advantages and roles; as an example, the player is granted the ability to perform finishing moves. There are over eighty-five spell types, which can be used in ranged and close combat forms. Spell types have specific qualities; a frost spell slows and drains stamina, while a fire spell causes prolonged damage through burning, and may also ignite the environment. Players can equip one spell per hand and will be able to charge up spells before casting for greater power. When practicing archery, arrows take longer to draw back than in previous Elder Scrolls games, but do greater damage. Because of this, arrows are expensive and considered rarities.

Skyrim makes use of the Radiant A.I. artifical intelligence system created for Oblivion, which has been updated to allow NPCs to "do what they want under extra parameters". The updated system allows for greater interaction between NPCs and their environments; NPCs can perform tasks such as farming, milling and mining in the game world. NPCs can interact with the player character through conversation, and can request favors and training for the player, or challenge the player character to a duel. Events such as dueling are randomly-generated encounters, taking influence from Bethesda's previous game Fallout 3. Skyrim introduces the Radiant Story system, which governs quests and how they function. Side-quests are dynamically altered based on the player's actions, and are tailored to the player's abilities and progress within the game. As an example, the player might be sent off to a dungeon that has not been previously explored, and face enemies that are defeated most effectively with the player's preferred combat techniques. NPCs move around, peform tasks and make body gestures while conversing with the player. Children are present in the game as well. The NPCs also react to items dropped by the player, if an object is dropped the NPC might return it to you, steal it or fight with another NPC as to whom gets to keep it.


Skyrim is released on 11.11.11.

Borderlands Review

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Game Cover

RATING: 8.5/10

RANK: ROCKS!!!

Hey, Fallout! How does it feel to know that this is how a real post-apocalyptic wasteland RPG should be like?


9 toes

There is a lot of good things that can be said about this game, it's gritty, funny and just a damn cool game. But the primary thing it's got going for it is the fact that this game has a lot of character, and it does not take itself to seriously, thus making it more fun to play than it's main rivals 'Fallout 3' and 'New Vegas'. Whilst Borderlands lack some of the 'Oh my god that was f*cking awesome' moments of blowing an opponent's arm off with V.A.T.s, Borderlands also lacks the 'Oh my god, how many more miles of underground tunnels or deserts do I have to walk?' feeling to that both of the two Fallout R.P.G. heavy weights eventually had.

Bdlnds

BEWARE! Brick doesn't like it when bandits ask him directions to New Vegas...

Borderlands also has a weapon randomiser system that randomly generates every gun found in game (either on lootable dead bodies or in crates.) this makes for as wide of a variety of guns as you'll ever possibly need, with all the bonus damage perks you'll require to go off and pop some bandit heads. Admitedly with the random weapon generation, there isn't as wide of a range found in game as 2K originally announced, bragging:

'There are millions of guns, so you'll never see the same gun twice.'

...Okay so that was a lie, as you will see the same gun more than once, as the guns generated are dependant upon the character you pick at the start, but there is still a wide variety of guns to choose from.

gun

Bandit go bye bye...

There are several c.l.a.s.s.e.s to choose in the game, these are dependant on the character you chose at the start. You have Brick, he's your blow stuff up with a rocket launcher or punch it square in the face type of guy. Lillith, is your turn invisible, stealth yo' ass in to the grave type. Mordecai will hold back and either pop you off with a snipe to the head or get his pet eagle to claw your eyes out. That leaves us with Roland, he's a soldier who likes his guns, he also carriers a turret around in his pocket, as you do.

the gang...

The gang didn't appreciate it when the policeman tried to give them a speeding ticket...

Borderlands also had a great sense of humour, as I mentioned earlier.
This game has such witty lines as:


'The Catch-a-Ride near Fyrestone is more busted than my momma's girl parts. Really appreciate you takin' a poke at that. The uh, system, not my mom.'
(this being a line said by Scooter after you complete a mission for him.)


And:
'You go to Mad Mel and say Hi from Scooter. ... and by that I mean you just go murder the cr*p outta him, ye hear?'
(this also being a line said by Scooter.)


If these jokes don't do anything for you, then you're better off not buying Borderlands as this is the general tone of the game.
The main thing missing from Borderlands is an impressive soundtrack. The music's actually quite sh*t. But if you make a playlist on your Ipod, this can easily be fixed. I recomend listening to a li'' bit of Johnny Cash or the fallout soundtrack to set the best tone for the game.

bang

Welcome to Pandora, the locals are dying to meet you...

Dragon Age: Origins Review

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Game Cover

RATING: 9.0/10

RANK: AMAZING!

Here I am, minding my own business
AND BAM!!
I'm fighting armies of dragons, ogres, demons, zombiesanddarkspawn whilst leading a revolution and stopping an invasion...


Dragon

To answer your question: yes, being kicked by a dragon does hurt!

Dragon Age: Origins is an amazing game. I've not been this completely enthralled with a game since I first played Elder scrolls: Morrowind as a child. Dragon Age: Origins is an instant hit, with a deep and convoluted stroyline, superbly written characters/ companions, challenging battles, great cut scenes, originality. In short, when you play this game there is just this sense that a lot of time and effort went into making this game, there is attention paid to the smallest detail, and an over all sense that the developers loved making this game.

I will say two things though:
Not for children.
OR:
For people who do not like R.P.G.s.

war

Pretending to be a chicken had never lead Alistar astray during a fight...


Dragon Age is a pure, 100% pure cold blooded R.P.G, there are no other elements to this game. Don't play this game expecting anything else. The game is also quite difficult, it's designed to test the hardiest R.P.G buff. You can also chop the heads of enemies that get in your way.So younger audiences may have nightmares, or find the game too hard.

Lady of the forest

The werewolves really liked the Lady of the Forest,I wonder why...?


The developers created the whole DA:O universe from scratch, and they have made a world with a well written history, that is fairly unique. There are also more possible character races and bloody intro's than you can shake a stick at. But there is a slight tempation to call your character Gandalf, because with a few minor name changes this could be a Tolkein , Lord Of The Rings game.

Deep roads

Dwarves were always confused, were they in 'the Deep Roads' or 'Moria'?

Know what I'll sum up Dragon Age: Origins in one sentence. One little sentence will sum up the game's value better than anything else...

It is not 'Two Worlds'...
http://uk.gamespot.com/xbox360/rpg/twoworlds/index.html


Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds Review

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Game Cover

RATING: 8.5/10

RANK: GREAT!

A really good game... but where's the rest of it...?


The A-Team

Mr. T' was said to be shocked by the new A-Team...

Marvel Versus Capcom 3: The Fate Of Two Worlds is a really good game. It's got several characters, loved by millions of different fans across the globe, from both of the companies. It's got amazing, fast, flashy graphics that are likely to cause you to have a fit or a heart attack and it's got the speed of a rocket powered cheetah on crack. But compared to the previous instalments of the franchise, there is a feeling of 'is that it?' and 'where's Gambit?' (or any of the other trillion characters missing from the second game)

MvC3

It was later agreed that Dante had picked the worst time to do his Titanic impersonation...

The main fault I found with this game was the obscure character choices, yes Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and all the other Marvel movie franchised characters had to be there, we also had the Capcom big hitters Ryu, Dante, Akuma and Chris Redfield. But why add She Hulk? Modok? Arthur? When half the X men were missing, there were no Spiderman villains. Also Capcom characters like Vergil, Bison, Mega Man and Strider Hiryu were missing.


Arthur!

Athur versus M.O.D.O.K. in a battle of who looked the weirdest...

Also there was a lacking of anything other than button bashing the cr*p out of your opponents 'x' amount of times, get to Galactus in Arcade Mode, get hit by several over powered unblockable attacks, lose several times to him, down 100 cups of coffee, come back, save the world and watch a weak comic strip video of your characters ending.


OMG!

'Hi, I'm Galactus, you think that's impressive...?'

look at what I can do!

'... then look at what I can do!'


Story Mode and Arcade mode were the same thing. No trial modes, or anything else worth mentioning besides a 'Gallery' of unlocked items and a stats screen.
This is all statements on the core game, DLC has been announced, these are all extra characters so far.

!!BUT STILL THIS IS AN EPIC GAME!!

W.R

It was said Ryu was not happy with Wolverine's way of shaving, and expects a full refund...

The multiplayer in it will last a life time, and pass several drunk (or sober) nights watching Iron Man slide tackling Arthur, throwing him in the air, and shooting him with his kick ass, chest cannon.


Arthur...

I really do not like Arthur...

The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind G.O.T.Y. Review

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Cover

RATING: 9.5/10

RANK: AMAZING!

Elder Scrolls third instalment is an old game now, but when the core game is modded and you have the expansion packs Elder Scrolls Three: Morrowind can be the best RPG ever made.


An Example of Morrowinds graphics when modded!

An Emample of Morrowind, when modded.

To say that the time Spent Playing, to date is 100 or more hours is no lie.
I have played this game so much since its release that it has reached the point of becoming an addiction. The reason for me playing this game for almost a decade (and owning it on several consoles) is simple, this game is an epic masterpiece, with enough variety and depth, simplicity and complexity to never grow old.
This is, without a doubt, my favourite game of all time.

Life was never easy being blue!

Life was never easy being blue...

The problem with Morrowind is the fact that it has not aged well, so an up to date review of the game would be rather harsh, but for it's time Morrowind was the number one R.P.G. and won countless game of the year awards.

This game has a community loyal to it and within this community has sprouted over a million different player made mods that turned the now dated, luggish, square graphic Morrowind into a game that can almost compete with the latest 'next gen' game. These loyal modders have fixed every flaw, bug and glitch in Morrowind's core game, created thousands of new races, cities, dungeons and monsters. The graphics has also had more face lifts than an aging second rated celebrity.

Skamp!

The next instalment of 'Sex & the City' is said to be a real treat!

There is also a mod that extends the game away from the little island that you travel in the core game, and allows you to explore the main land which is said to be at least twice as large as the core game of Morrowind. Bearing in mind the core map had a size of about 25 miles, a map size that games like world Of War Craft is said to only just be comparing in map size now.

map

Morrowind's core game map.

When proppperly modded, with both Tribunal and Bloodmoon expansions, Morrowind is a game that will never die. Except for the fact that Bethseda wrote off Morrowind as being destroyed in a book in the Oblivion game. Besides that, Morrowind will never die, and in fifty years time there will be a bunch of O.A.P.s still playing Morrowind religiously.

The Bitter coast when modded

The Bitter Coast: travellers beware!


Guira Hero anger

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For everyone playing guitar hero games: don't you hate it when you can't do a song!

I am currently 1 song away from completing GH2 & 3 on hard... and just can't do it.

Arrrrrrrrrgh.

A Different Top 20 Fighting Games:

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I decided to make a different list (more up to date.) including some of the more recent games I've played

20. Fable (You could boot chickens.)

19. Virtual Fighter 5 (A reasonable fighting game.)

18. Oblivion & the Shivering Isles expansion pack (Not really a fighting game, but still good.)

17. Constantine (This games magic is cool.)

16. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers& Lord of the Rings: ROTK(Great games based on a great trilogy.)

15 Soul Calibur II (Spawn's axe was huge!)

14. Matrix: Path Of Neo (A good game, but the final boss ruined it.)

13. BloodRayne 2 (I'm evil, I like to stab things.)

12. Marvel: Rise Of The Imperfects (The best Marvel game on the Xbox.)

11. Buffy the Vampire Slayer& Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Chaos Bleeds(The best "Beat em' Up" games on the Xbox.)

10. Ghost Rider (G.R. looks so cool!)

9. Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven(I have to thank a friend for introducing me to tenchu. Thank you!)

8. Mortal Kombat: Armageddon& Mortal Kombat: Deception(It's the only game that you can beat people to a pulp with their own limbs. Although not to pleased with the sound of MK v. DC.)

7. Ninja Gaiden (I LOVE this game.)

6. Lost Odyssey (A good fighting R.P.G at long last!)

5. Dead or Alive Ultimate& Dead or Alive 4(I'd be lying if I said that the D.O.A lady's didn't make me give this game such a high rank) *liar*

4. God Of War and God Of War 2 (All the gore!)

3. Prince of Persia: Warrior Within& Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones(it's Prince Of Persia... of course it was on the list.)

2. Devil May Cry 1, 2, 3 & 4 (It's amazing!)

1. Assassin's Creed(It's just sooo good!)

Ghost Rider Review 8.5/10

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Admittedly not the best game in the world, but Ghost Rider does have some good points.

The main being it's just plain good fun.

It doesn't need you to try to hard to do anything complex, the combo's are straight forward, the baddies are not to hard to kill and the storyline is not so hard to understand that your brain pours out your ear with confusion, all in all as far as movie based games go this is one of the best, definitely for Marvel (Spiderman 3, Fantastic 4 etc. OUCH!)

This game is a game worth getting for anyone who is a fan of the film (it is not based on the film but has its own storyline, that is in fact better than the film itself) or for anyone who likes hacking games, who have nothing else to play (personally I'd get the God Of War's first as it's a similar game, but so much more gory!)

The main flaw with this game is the levels involving the Hell-Cycle they start of fun, but oh my good god they get so dull you could fall asleep.

Also the upgrade system could also use an upgrade itself.

In short it's not the best game in the world but I've seen so much worse

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