The Wii U is getting a new lease on life thanks to the slew of new releases that started off with Pikmin 3. The Wii U releases of the year ended with the biggest of them all; Super Mario 3D World. Mario got his HD feet wet with New Super Mario Bros. U at launch, but it wasn't what people were expecting. Now, with Super Mario 3D World the plumber is back on the Wii U for a second run this time made for Wii U. It's in the same line as 3D Land and shares a lot of things with it. Can Mario move the Land to the World during his 3D domination? Or will he find the world too hard of a thing to handle in 3D?
It's goes without saying when speaking of Mario, but the story here doesn't matter. It's just a shallow reason to get Mario to go through the game and that's all it needs to be. It allows more focus to be put on the gameplay and that's Mario's way. Bowser is at it again and steals the seven fairies that rule the Sprixie Kingdom and it's up to Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad to save them. It's neat that you get to play as multiple characters in a 3D Mario game and it's especially cool that one of them is Peach herself.
As I mentioned, the game has a lot in common with Super Mario 3D Land on 3DS and that includes the gameplay style. It's like a mix between the 2D and 3D Mario games in that you traverse the stage in order to make it to the flagpole at the end, but you do so in a 3D world. The stages are linear like in old games and this allows the level design to shine through. Just like in Super Mario 3D Land, you need to hold a button to run and after running for a tiny stretch, you'll get a boost of speed. You gain power-ups, like any Mario game, and all of the power-ups from 3D Land make a return along with a few new ones.
The most advertised new power-up is the Cat Suit. The Cat Suit lets you climb up walls for a little bit and allows you to attack. If you hold the attack button in the air, you'll do a lunge that allows to travel farther. The other new powers work well and all add to the level design. It's not new anymore, but the level design still shines and the gameplay is still a complete joy to experience. The bosses are cool, though there are only a few special ones, but the game can be far to easy. You get plenty of lives throughout the game and they make up for all your deaths.
There are plenty of secrets and each other characters behaves differently. Mario is your standard and is all around good. Luigi jumps higher than his brother, he has less traction and his float is a little floaty. Peach runs slower than both Mario and Luigi, but she floats after her jump for longer than Luigi does and Toad runs faster than everyone else. The game treats each character fairly and no one character benifits over the others, but it's much easier to reach the top of the flagpole with either Peach or Luigi. Every level is able to be completed by any character and it's fun to switch around when playing by yourself, which is still extremely enjoyable.
You can play the game with up to four people, similar to New Super Mario Bros. Wii and U, and it can get pretty crazy the more people there are. It plays out similarly to the New Mario Bros. series in that each player gets a power-up and your friends become hazards as well. Each level has a Miiverse stamp and three green stars hidden throughout and they can be enjoyable to track down. Some stages might require multiple times through to get everything and it's fun to beat every stage with every character. Overall, it's still the same amazingly fun Mario with a lot of stages and things to do, including racing ghosts thanks to Miiverse. It's still as enjoyable as Mario has ever been and that's all the praise you need to really hear.
The music is the most epic a Mario game's soundtrack has ever been. Mario and friends make sounds like usual and they are all familiar, but it is truly the music that steals the stage here. They are of the highest quality in the Mario franchise and they are beyond fitting. They are catchy and are very well done, it's some awesome stuff.
I think it goes without saying, but Mario looks better than ever here. The environments are amazing to look at and it seems to reuse The Wind Waker HD's lighting engine, making it fantastic. Everything is bright, colorful and well detailed. The trees look fluffy, as does the cat suit. The stages are still designed in that 3D Land, disjointed way and it still looks great. The animations are still great and let me say, the final stage is really cool to witness thanks to the new HD visuals. The game runs at a smooth place, only falling at one instance in the game and it might be intentional. It's one of the Wii U's best looking games and it's only going to get better. Nintendo has a bright future ahead of itself, a bright HD future.
- Fatnastic level design
- Amazing music
- Gameplay is pure joy
- Bosses are fun
- A lot of stages to explore and secrets to find
- Four playable characters all have a different feel to them
- Four player Co-Op is pretty fun, if a little chaotic
- Visuals are charming from start to finish
- Beautiful lighting
- Miiverse integration is enjoyable
- Way to easy
Overall, Super Mario 3D World is the game Wii U owners were waiting for. Not only that, it's one of the most enjoyable games released all year. It's a well crafted, beautiful, fun and pure game and shows that the platformer is far from dead and it's mostly thanks to Nintendo. If you own a Wii U, go buy this game. If you were waiting for a reason to buy a Wii U, go buy this game. If you are even slightly interested in Mario, go buy this game. This just might be the game that'll help the Wii U get back on it's feet. The 3D Land formula translates perfectly to the World.
Manhunt was a messed up, twisted, disgusting, brutal, disturbing and offensive game released by Rockstar for the PS2 and Xbox. It was a stealth, horror-style game that wanted you to kill your enemies in the sickest way possible. Rockstar found it appropriate to bring it back with Manhunt 2, the difference here is that it's on both the PS2 and the Wii. Was it a sane idea to bring this sick franchise to the Wii? Or will it stab them in the back?
The story of the first Manhunt was that you were an unwilling participant in a large snuff film. You were forced to participate due to the villain kidnapping your family. Here, the story is a little more in-depth. You play as Daniel Lamb, a man who broke out of an insane asylum to find out what happened to him and why it happened. He is accompanied by a man named Leo; a man that everyone advised him to avoid. Things aren't how they seem and there is a complicated narrative behind it all. It's confusing, but interesting. It's not very well told, seeing as there are only cutscenes in-between stages, but it gets the job done.
The gameplay is exactly the same as it was in the previous game. You creep around and hide in the shadows in order to sneak up on your enemies to murder them. Every action you perform, other than walk, causes you to make noise and if you enemies hear the noise, they will go and investigate. You can use this to your advantage and lure them away from their group and it's fun to do so. You can fight your enemies one-on-one, but if there are more than one you will get severly overpowered. If you are discovered, you are forced to run away and break the line of sight and hide in the shadows. You collect weapons around the environment to use in your murder and some are more powerful and more useful than others and they are color coded.
The green weapons are one-time use and they are usually things such as plastic bags. The blue weapons are stronger than green and they never break. The red weapons are stronger than blue, but they are slow. The weapons are mostly used to execute your enemies and each one has it's own execution animation. You also get guns and they are used in firefights which through the stealth out the window. You can now stealth execute with guns, but this will alert everyone around you. The gameplay still holds up for the most part and is played mostly for how stupid and gross it can get.
The biggest thing here are the controls. This game is on the Wii so it uses the Wii remote. The remote is used in a variety of ways and most of it works. To fight one-on-one, you waggle the Wii remote to swing your weapon. If you are fighting unarmed, the Wii remote is your right arm and the nunchuk is your left arm. This is interesting but takes some getting used to. When executing, you follow the on-screen prompts to tear your enemy apart. These prompts are the only thing that ever messes up, but it thankfully doesn't mess up often. The gunplay is what you'd expect, but it's really fun and enjoyable.
The game is broken up into stages and some of them can get difficult and to go stealth only can be challenging. Manhunt on the Wii adds some new things to the franchise that work very well, but are extremely messed up when you think about what you are doing. It's some of the best use of motion controls on Wii, but the game isn't amazing.
The game's music is dark and fitting, but it's forgettable. The voice work is good and all the characters sound great aside from the grunts, which are hilarious at times, but the sound effects are the focus here it seems. All of the sounds are more than appropriate and they are all really disgusting and make everything that more brutal. They put the most effort into the right places.
The visuals are the worst part of the game. They are clearly the same as the PS2 version's which are the same as the original game's. They aren't terrible, but they lag behind everything else on the market now. With games like Twilight Princess on the system, at launch no less, games like this are less tolerable. It still looks okay and it runs at a good pace, but the executions ruin everything even more. The executions were the highlight of the original game and they are here as well, but here they are censored. Whenever you perform an execution, the screen tints red and goes distorted and you can't make out what happened very well. With this included with the lower-end PS2 visuals, it's bad.
- Story is messed up and twisted
- Gameplay is still tense and can get challenging
- Controls are actually pretty good
- Best use of motion controls
- Good voice work and sound effects
- Unbelievably brutal
- Low-end PS2 visuals
- Executions are censored
- Music is forgettable
- Story is confusing and muddled
Overall, Manhunt 2 is fun as long as the excessive violence doesn't bother you. It might not look good and it might feel clunky at times, but it's still an enjoyable game. The use of motion controls alone are reason enough to try it out.
Kirby is Nintendo's go-to puffball when they want to innovate. He's been a pinball, he raced on a warp star, he's played golf and he's been in a puzzle game. Now, Nintendo handed the series reigns to GoodFeel, the team behind Wario Land: Shake It! and they decided to experiment as well. The result is Kirby's Epic Yarn, a game with a striking visual style. Does there exist flair behind the visuals? Or is a unique look all the game has?
Kirby's story here is that he gets turned to yarn by an evil Yarn Wizard named Yin Yarn. Yin Yarn then transfers Kirby to Patch Land and decides to then take over Dreamland. Kirby meets Prince Fluff who decides to team up with Kirby to take down Yin Yarn. The story isn't deep at all, but that's to be expected. The cutscenes have a narrator who speaks in voices and sounds like a narrator from a kid's show. It's nice and amusing, but it's not going to be scored.
The game plays a lot like the other Kirby games, you play on a 2D plane and move from side to side and defeat enemies. The difference here is that everything is made of yarn including Kirby and because of that, he can't suck up enemies. Instead, he throws out a loose piece of yarn and pulls the threads of your enemies. It's really simple, but it's still enjoyable. If you hold the attack button, you will hold them above your head and this will allow you to throw them as another attack. This will break blocks and some blocks can only be broke in this way.
As you explore the levels, you will see beads and they act as coins. Collect them and they can be used to buy furniture that is used to decorate the hotel in the plaza. For decorating the rooms in certain ways, you will attract tenants that will allow you to play little mini-games. You can also find treasure chests in the stages and they give furniture and music tracks. There are three chests in each stage and if you get enough beads you get a gold medal. There is no point to all of this, but it's there for those who enjoy getting everything.
The only real bad thing about the gameplay is the difficulty. The game is one of the easiest games ever created due to the fact that you can't die. No matter how much you get hurt, you'll never die. If you get crush, you'll live. If you fall in a pit, you'll get carried back. All you lose are beads. This can be super annoying and sometimes I'd rather die than lose all my beads, but that's all that happens. It's still incredibly fun, but it's super easy and not as fun as previous Kirby games.
The music is pretty catchy and totally Kirby standards. There are some remixed tracks, but most of it is original music and it's up-beat and addicting. Kirby still sounds adorable and the narrator sounds great. Not much to say, other than it's great.
The visuals are the most striking thing in the game. It's completely made of felt and yarn and it looks stunning. The whole world has stitches and seams and every enemy is made of yarn, like Kirby. The animations are fantastic and even the water looks amazing. The looks does wear thin sometimes and looks extremely artificial, like is to be expected, but it's still looks absolutely amazing. There is nothing else like it and it's definitely one of the best looking games ever created, if not the most creative.
- Kirby is adorable
- Visuals are amazing and absolutely stunning
- Gameplay is fun
- Music is catchy and up-beat
- Plenty of stages and side-things to do
- Narrator adds a nice feel
- Game is insanely easy
- Visuals start to look lifeless
Overall, Kirby's Epic Yarn is a fantastically unique game. It's got a stunning visual style, fun gameplay and catchy music. It is very easy, but that doesn't detract from the creativity on display here. Everyone who likes Nintendo should buy this game and Kirby fans should definitely take a look.
DmC: Devil May Cry was an enjoyable action game and it had a great final boss fight. Now, the promised Vergil DLC is here and it picks up from where the game ends. Will you want to keep making the Devil Cry? Or would you rather cry yourself?
The story takes place after Vergil and Dante's fight at the end of the main game. Vergil has retreated to his parent's grave site and pass out dead on their grave. He then gets sent to Hell and an evil side of him is pushing him toward revenge. That's basically all there is to the story and it's clearly a stop-gap for a seemingly planned sequel. The bookended cutscenes for each mission are done in a strange motion comic style and, while it is stylish, it comes off as lazy. It's not a deep story, but it's enough of a reason to want to play as Vergil.
Vergil plays with the same ideas as Dante, juggle enemies around and use as much variety as possible. The difference is in the attacks and combos, as it should be. Vergil is faster than Dante and has more abilities to move around his enemies, but he lacks variety in basic combos and such. His potential is still as crazy as Dante's was, but it's slightly limited. There are only two new enemy types and not all from the main game transfer over making the enemy variety still slightly low. There are only 6 missions here and they focus almost entirely on combat as there are little to no story sequences during the missions. The traversal remains the same, the only difference being how it looks. Never-the-less, it's still fun to play as Vergil, even if he was clearly designed for short-time usage.
The music has a very different feel to it. It has no vocal tracks and it's a darker instrumental soundtrack than the main game and fittingly so. The voice work is still good, even if there is very little outside of the scenes. Overall, it sounds great and it's a breath of fresh air from the main game's music.
The visuals are the same as in the main game, just that you are in a strange Limbo-like void. The new enemy designs are good and Vergil's attacks look great in motion. The new motion comic style looks good, but it feels out of place. Overall, it holds up well enough.
- Great combat, Vergil plays great
- Two new enemy types
- Darker Soundtrack
- Visuals still look great
- Less combo variety
- Short game length
- Confusing story
- Strange Motion Comic cutscenes
Overall, if you want to play more DmC then buy this DLC. Clocking in at close to two hours for a single run, it's just getting you your money's worth.
I've said it once and I'll say it every time I need to review one of his games; Suda51 is nuts. He proved that many times over with Killer7, No More Heroes and Shadows of the Damned but he's back to prove it once more. Like we needed another excuse to call his sanity out, Suda51 and his team at Grasshopper Manufacture bring us Lollipop Chainsaw, a game where you play as an eighteen year old cheerleader battling Zombies with a chainsaw. Is Suda51 and his team worth cheering for? Or should we start booing already?
You play as eighteen year old Juliet Starlet, a cheerleader at Romero High school. Her day is starting out pretty normal until she realizes she's late for a date with her boyfriend Nick. Outside, she notices that zombies are roaming the streets so she starts slaying them with little to no questions asked. She makes it to Nick only to find that he's been bitten by the zombies and, with no other way to save him, Juliet performs a magic ritual on him that keeps his head alive so she can cut it off. Nick doesn't take too kindly to this but what other choice does he have?
Juliet then discovers that their goth classmate, Swan, is the one responsible for the zombie outbreak. He's trying to summon the Zombie Lords in order to make the world a rotten place and Juliet's master, sensei and master sushi maker Morikawa is trying to stop him. Morikawa is killed and it's up to Juliet to save the day. It's not a very thought provoking story and a lot of it is played for laughs, especially the Zombie Lords and Morikawa, but it gets the job done. It caters to a very specific group of people and is even more random than some of Suda's other games which is a shocker.
The gameplay is still pretty simple, which is basically a trademark for Suda games. You have three attack buttons, a sweep, a pom-pom bash and a basic chainsaw attack and you can combine them to make some combos. The amount of combos you can do is very limited, but you can purchase more with Zombie Medals you earn by slaying zombies. Not every attack links to another attack button, but the combos are entertaining to pull off. The zombies don't act like regular zombies, they run at you, can attack with weapons and they are somewhat intelligent as they can talk. Other than fight, you'll be running along linear paths and do the ocassional mini-game. There are some quick-time events thrown in, but they aren't too intrusive and some are used for cutting things in the environment. If you cut 3 or more zombies' heads off with one attack you trigger something called Sparkle Hunting which awards you with bonus Zombie Medals.
You also have a sort of dodge button and this will allow Juliet to leapfrog over enemies and trigger even more ways to attack. The stages are bland and dull, which is similar to No More Heroes, but the fun combat and wacky enemies more than make up for it. You can purchase upgrades, combos, moves and costumes at the shops and the costumes will make you work for them. The game is clearly built with multiple playthroughs in mind, but only a select few will find the game worth more than one playthrough. It's short and repetitive, but it's a fun, wacky and insane ride regardless.
The music is what you'd expect from a game called Lollipop Chainsaw. It's bright, bubbly and pop centered for the most part. It has a few licensed tracks and the boss fights have their own music. Akira Yamaoka did most of the music and he does a good job. The boss fight music focus on what would suit the Zombie Lords the best and they do a good job as well. It's not Akira's best work, that would be a toss-up between Silent Hill 2 and Homecoming personally, but it works. The voice work is also great. Juliet and Nick are voiced perfectly and everyone else fits their role. Characters such as Swan are voiced in a serious manner while others, such as Morikawa and Zed, are voice in an over-the-top goofy manner. It's entertaining, that's for sure.
The visuals aren't the best we've seen, but they are done well. The game runs on the Unreal Engine 3 and it shows it in some areas, of course this has better texture load in than most. The character models look great and the zombies are animated in an amusing way, but the environments are beyond bland. The cinematics are nice to watch and there is plenty of fanservice in the game thanks to Juliet's unnaturally short skirt. The costumes are a nice touch as they change Juliet's appearance during the scenes. It's Suda51's best looking game, but that isn't saying a whole lot unfortunately.
- Wacky, insane story
- Characters are insane and odd
- Combat is entertaining
- Lots of costumes to buy
- Built for multiple playthroughs
- Music is good and voice work is great
- Character models look great
- Juliet is a strangely amusing main character
- Morikawa-sensei is a hero
- Environments are dull and linear
- Combat can get repetitive
- Story can seem too ridiculous at times
- Can be a little creepy at other times
- Incredibly short
Overall, Lollipop Chainsaw is an insane game. So insane that I might just recommend it based on that. Other than it's insanity it has a funny story, funny characters, a decently fun combat system and good visuals. On the flip-side the combat can get boring and the environments are dull and lifeless. Still, Lollipop Chainsaw is a fun ride. It might seem hard to believe that it's actually good, but with something this crazy, it has to be.
American McGee's Alice was a little cult classic published by EA around ten years ago. It was meant to get a PS2 port but it was canceled. Console owners like myself were mostly unaware of this game until EA announced a sequel, Alice: Madness Returns. Once the sequel came out, buyers noticed that the online pass was a free download of the original game ported to whichever console you bought on. This finally gives console owners who were interested in the game a chance to play it. Does it hold up like the book it's inspired by? Or does it fall down the rabbit hole, never to be heard from again?
The story follows little Alice after her family dies in a fire. She's been sent to an insane asylum once she realizes she can't deal with what happened. Of course, as we all know, Alice is an imaginative girl and she travels to her Wonderland where she finds it in ruin thanks to the Red Queen. She meets the Cheshire Cat who urges her to find the White Rabbit and stop the Queen. It's not a very in-depth story, but it focuses on Alice's insanity and how her mind warps because of it. It's dark, violent and twisted and it uses the source material very well. It's an entirely different Wonderland, but it feels familiar all the same. Not to mention, the dialogue is well written and keeps you pushing forward. Safe to say that the narrative holds up.
The gameplay, on the other hand, doesn't hold up well at all. You control Alice like in a Third-Person Shooter, you move with the left stick and aim with the right stick. You encounter enemies and attack them with a variety of weapons, some are projectile and others are melee. The projectile weapons work just fine but the melee weapons don't due to the awkward control style. Using projectile weapons drains your blue bar, magic bar I suppose, and you refill it by collecting red glowing orbs around the environment.
The environments are sectioned off into stages and the goal of each stage is to usually find the entrance to the next one. You explore the stages and jump around on platforms and let me tell you, the jumping is awful in this game. It's an old PC action game and that means that when you jump, you are locked into whatever direction you jumped in. The distance you jump depends on how fast you were going when you pressed the jump button and this makes it harder to make precision jumps. Being locked when jumping while the platform you were jumping to moves means the game will not end well.
The jumping becomes even worse when combined with the very platformy stage design. You will be jumping a bit more than fighting and it makes the game very challenging due bad control. What makes things so difficult is that you die every time you fall in a pit. When you die, you reload from your last save and, since this is an old game, the only auto save is at the beginning of a stage. You can save manually at any time, but sometimes I found myself forgetting only to fall into a pit by accident only to start the level over again. Sometimes the game pushes you into pits just by moving. It's a mess and to think that this was the standard for PC games back in it's day, judging by the fact that this game got good reviews and I never seen many complaints about gameplay, makes me glad I owned an Nintendo 64 at the time.
Still, it's level design is fitting with the plot and the book it's inspired by and the game can be fun. Not to mention that it keeps you playing just to see what location you'll visit next. It's not worth playing for the gameplay that's for damn sure.
The music is composed by Chris Vrenna and he does a fantastic job with it. The music sounds creepy and fits with the childlike idea of Wonderland. Some tracks are recorded using both instruments and toys and it creates something truly unique and perfect for this type of game. This is a soundtrack I found myself listening to multiple times, it's that good. The voice work is also good, nothing really special but the Cheshire Cat and Alice sound great. This part of the game holds up extremely well.
The visuals hold up as well as you'd expect a game from it's era to hold up. The HD lick of paint removes most of the jagged edges and the overall level of detail holds up well. Some character models look better than others, however, but it's the art direction that carries the presentation. Wonderland is a representation of Alice's mindset and it's twisted, dark and scary at times. The stages are random and out of place, such as a school floating in a void surrounded by castle walls, and it fits very well with the plot and, once again, the book. As you get closer to the Red Queen, her influence starts to take over the world, you'll see more red and more tentacles around. Over the years it's lost some of it's disturbing nature, but it remains a dark ride through a classic world.
- Dark story
- Fantastic music and great voice work
- A twisted and violent Wonderland
- Puts the source material to great use
- Level design and visuals hold up
- Well written dialogue
- A very curious game, it makes you want to keep playing
- Jumping makes Mario sad and me even more-so
- Controls don't work with the type of game it was
- Visuals obviously show age
- Loading times are awful and the game reloads every time you die
Overall, American McGee's Alice is still worth playing for the story, music and art style. It's just a shame that the gameplay is the way it is and I can't help but think that the game would have turned out better if it was designed for a console first. With jumping so broken that it makes the game super hard it's almost not worth playing. However, this is a situation where the whole is better than it's pieces apart. You'll want to experience what the game has to offer and with no side activities to get stopped by, it's a straight path to the end of the road.
I love the Alien series and I enjoy the Predator series. I never owned a PC back in the day so I missed to two great Alien vs Predator games. So it seems the 2011 reboot is all I have. It's goal was to bring the franchise back to life for the new Alien Queen, SEGA. Can the team at Rebellion bring us a fight worthy of legends? Or is the franchise all dried up?
The story is relatively simple like usual. The Weyland Yutani group is after a power buried on a random planet and the Marines are called in to protect him. Things go wrong and the ship is shot down by and unknown hostile. They crash land and the team gets separated. The Marines are then set upon by the Xenomorphs and it's clear that something is wrong here. You can play as three different characters; a nameless Rookie Marine, a Predator Elite or a Xenomorph label specimen Number 6. Each offers a different story for the most part, but the Marine's campaign offers the most. It's story is just an excuse to get the three races together and that's fine, I guess, but it would be nice for a more in-depth story, especially since the franchise has it in it.
The gameplay was the focus here and it's pretty fun. You control all three races in first-person and each controls very differently. The Marine controls like your average first-person shooter for the most part, but he feels like he's from the past. This is appropriate for the franchise, but it can be a little weird at first. You can throw a flare down to light up a large area, but you can just use your mounted flashlight if you want. The Marine also has the series famous Motion Tracker, a device that beeps faster the closer you get to a moving hostile. You get only a few weapons in the game but they feel good to shoot and it's satisfying killing a horde of Xenos. The Marine can block and can bash an enemy with the stock of his gun, but it defies belief that the lowly human can block an attack from a Xeno or Predator and counter with a bash and proceed to gun down the stunned alien. Sure it's for balance purposes, but still.
The Predator controls are also weird to get used to, but they soon become easy to use. The Predator's primary weapons are his claws and they can be used to kill up close, but he also has some ranged weapons to use as well, such as the plasma caster. The ranged weapons take energy, however, so you will need to recharge at power sources often. The two biggest weapons in the Predator's arsenal are stealth and his jumping powers. When looking where you want to jump, hold the specific button and press the jump button. This causes you to leap great distances and great heights silently. The stealth is fairly obvious as the Predator's can cloak. Sneak up behind any unsuspecting Marine and perform a gory stealth kill.
The Predator has both a light and heavy attack and they can block attacks as well. Their counter attack also knocks enemies down and this will allow the Predator to perform a violent finisher attack, similar to the stealth kills. They are all excessively violent, but fitting and awesome. The Predator can also change to different visors, one for detecting humans and another for detecting Xenos for example. The Predator is really fun to play and they are so powerful that they are limited in multiplayer.
This brings me to the final and most difficult to use; the Xenomorphs. Xenomorph gameplay is similar to the Predator's as it focused on stealth and violent kills, but they have their own twist and that's that they can climb on walls and go through vents. The vents are mostly for story purposes, but climbing on the walls is the real deal. You hold the transition button and this allows you to mount any flat surface you are near allowing you to go right up the walls. This is extremely confusing at first, especially since the controls are a little awkward, but incredibly enjoyable once you get the hang of things. Their combat is a little more simple than the Predator's seeing as they only have melee and stealth combat, but you need to be a little smarter with the Xeno.
As a Xeno, you are a little weaker than the Predator but you have no health items either. Both the Marine and Predator have healing items that can be popped at anytime, but the Xenos are left to rely on automatically regenerating health. This isn't a huge issue since the Alien is the fastest species, but it can be a bit unfair. Thankfully, a lot of the areas are really dark so you can blend in, not to mention the AI doesn't know how to look up.
The final thing to talk about is the multiplayer. It's just your standard multiplayer with your standard modes, but it's made all the more interesting thanks to the addition of Xenomorphs and Predators. Having these species to play as makes it more fun and owning people as a lowly Marine is also fun. It's a tense multiplayer experience that can be hours of fun, now only if people were playing it. There is also a horde mode where up to four Marines fight off hordes of Xenos. It's nothing special, but it's pretty fun and intense. Overall, the game is pretty clumsy, but lots of fun once you get the hang of things.
The music is dark and tense and fits in with the franchise. The voice work is good and it brings back Bishop and his actor linking the game to the film series. The sound effects are nice and gross and they are all taken straight from the movies adding some authenticity to the whole thing.
The visuals are a little mixed, but mostly good. The textures aren't that great overall, but the lighting and character models are great, especially the Predator and Xenos. The environments are taken straight from Aliens and Predators and that's one thing this game does leagues better than the AvP movies. There are the old 80s Aliens style colony buildings and lush green jungles, perfect for both the Alien and the Predator. The real highlight here is the violence, of course. The stealth kills are painfully brutal; chopping off heads, impaling through the eyes, tearing out the necks and ripping the whole spinal cord out while it's attached to the head. It's disgusting and it's awesome. Another neat little detail is the ability to see your body when you look down. It's awesome when you are the Predator and the Marine, but it's even better when you are the Xeno because when you spin around in place, your tail is in your sight showing that they put enough time into it that your tail has it's own movement. It's full of tiny details like that and, while it isn't technically impressive, it's impressive in it's own right.
- Fun, inventive gameplay
- Uses the source material well
- Fantastic environments feel like they are taken from the movies
- Brutal, disgusting stealth kills
- Playing as a Xeno is the best thing ever
- Three different campaigns
- Lots of collectibles
- Some great little visual details
- Good voice work and fantastic sound effects
- Fun multiplayer
- Nightmare mode is brutally difficult
- Controls are clunky
- Multiplayer is dead
- Game is a little short
- Story is paper-thin
- Visuals are lacking from a technical point of view
Overall, Aliens vs Predator is much better than expected from a licensed material. It's fun, if a little clunky, brutal and dark. It uses the source material well and the work put into the Xenomorph and Predator's character model is great. It's not a mind-blowing game, but it's an enjoyable one.
Call of Duty has got to change. Things were bad with the first Black Ops with how stale the franchise was getting. Sure it was still fun and everything, but it was the same thing every time. At least Black Ops decided to change things about it by making a more in-depth story and then Modern Warfare 3 knocked down all Black Ops tried to do with the series. Now, Treyarch has the reins again and has put out Black Ops II and has attempted to build upon what Modern Warfare 3 destroyed. Is the future truly Black? Or has Treyarch done it again and given us a guiding light?
Black Ops II continues on after the original. Alex Mason has regained himself after all this business with the numbers. He then finds out that his friend Frank Woods has survived the events of the first game but he has been taken captive by Menendez. He and Hudson set out to rescue him. They succeed and things take a sour turn when they meet Menendez. Alex's story here isn't as deep, but it's still enjoyable to see what else he has gotten himself into. No, the most interesting part of this story lies ahead.
You mostly play as Alex Mason's son David, codenamed "Section", in the year 2025. The missions where you play as Alex are story flashback missions told to Mason when he visits and ancient Woods in a place called The Vault. David's story has him fighting against Menendez as he rules over a rather large following. David's story is much more interesting than Alex's this time around as more of the past and more about the villain is revealed. Also, Menendez is a really good villain.
One big thing that's different this time around are the choices in the game. Some are obvious when others aren't but they all affect pieces of the story and it's fantastic to see them in a game such as this. The fact that you have choice in a usually linear game series is great, even if the game is still linear. Strikeforce Missions are part of that choice and they are interesting missions, even if they are a little undercooked. Bottom line, Black Ops II has an interesting story and an interesting villain that you just love to hate.
The gameplay is still pretty much the same. You run through corridors or semi-open areas and shoot everyone in your path. You can carry a lethal grenade and a tactical grenade and two weapons at a time. You can also melee enemies with your knife and this kills in one hit. The shooting still handles great and the game still runs smoothly, but there are still only a few new things in the game. Other than the future stuff, which is mostly visual, the multiplayer's Pick 10 is where the biggest change is. When creating loadouts for multiplayer, you pick ten items to use. This can be any combination of things. Want to go pistol only? You can do that. Want to have two primary weapons? You can do that. Knife only but have multiple perks on you? You can do that. It's a really interesting addition.
Aside from that, the strikeforce missions have you controlling a squad of soldiers or drones and they are enjoyable. You can swap between each unit with the D-Pad or you can press the - button to a overhead map view and select a unit that way. Each mission has a different objective and affect the story in the long run. The choices in the game vary from simple "Press A to do this or press B to do that" but some are vastly different. They do their job well and it's nice to see the campaign shake things up yet again.
The multiplayer is better than ever as it takes all that appeared in Modern Warfare 3, such as gun leveling and the mode Kill Confirmed, and puts it with Treyarch's emblem editor and the Pick 10. It remains as enjoyable as ever and the added freedom of your loadout makes things even better. The frustrations of the series are lessened a little here, but some still remain so there is a little more work to be done. There is a lot more variety here, one mission has you riding a horse on an open battlefield and another has you driving away through destroyed avenues while dodging objects. Both of these events control way better than I hoped and expected and both add some needed variety to the series.
The Zombies mode makes a grand return and it has been expanded on once again. You can now go through a more open world fighting the evil undead. This makes it even more difficult thanks to the ability to get split up and lost, but it makes it more interesting as well. There is also a mode where two teams fight the zombies and the winner is declared by whoever survives. It's nice to see such an extra bloom into something more.
I played and completed this game on Wii U and the gamepad isn't used for much in the game, though they are nice features. You can play the game completely in Off-Screen play and, more importantly, you can play two player Split-Screen with both players having their own screens thanks to off-screen play. Of course, the Wii U Pro Controller is also supported, and it works flawlessly, as are the Wii controllers. Basic movement controls are a little awkward with them since they have no clickable sticks but the Wiimote makes up for it with fantastic pointer controls. These features aren't mind blowing, but they are welcomed.
The music is good, but again it's forgettable, just less so. The voice work continues to be excellent and adds to the great characters, especially Menendez. The song they picked for the little intro movie that sometimes plays when you boot up the game fits the game perfectly and sets the mood for Menendez's character. The rest of the soundtrack is mostly electronic with the usual orchestrated war music and a surprise Avenged Sevenfold song hidden in both the campaign and the Zombies mode. Overall, the voice work carries the audio forward.
The visuals are definitely better than they were in the original game, but they are still showing their age. The character models look better than ever and are more defined. The environments do look good and the added tech of the future looks well thought out, but they still lag behind most AAA games. That's fine because this game has a whole city collapsing around it while still holding the action around 60 frames. I noticed some visual glitches, which is nothing surprising for any game recently, and some framerate drops during some late-game cutscenes. Only once have I had a framerate drop in-game thankfully and it was only for a few short seconds. Overall, it's the best looking Call of Duty game thanks to it's defined characters.
- Even more in-depth story
- Some great characters
- Excellent voice work
- Great opening song
- Gameplay is even more enjoyable
- Well used future setting
- Multiplayer is better than ever
- Some pretty epic moments
- Bucks series tradition with choices and more variety
- Visuals still lag a little
- Some story points can be confusing
- Music is mostly forgettable
- Campaign is still a little short
Overall, Call of Duty: Black Ops II is the best Call of Duty game ever made. It accomplishes that with a fantastic campaign, an engaging villain, a neat setting, great storytelling, player choice and solid gunplay. The next Infinity Ward developed Call of Duty has a lot to live up to and I'm excited to see what the future holds for Treyarch.
Call of Duty needs some new life. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare burst out of the gates firing with it's revolutionary multiplayer and World at War brought us back to World War II and let us put an end to the war in spectacular fashion. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 brought us nothing but a new, full-priced map pack and was unnecessary. Now, Treyarch, the team behind World at War, are back to make Black Ops. Black Ops puts more focus on tweaks, small multiplayer innovations and, most surprisingly, a story. Is this really a step in the right direction? Or should Call of Duty be laid to rest?
You play as Alex Mason during the Veitnam War. He is tasked with assassinating Fidel Castro with his team Frank Woods and Bowman. The mission goes wrong and Alex is left in enemy hands. He winds up in Vorkuta, a large prison in Russia and meets Vicktor Reznov, a character from World at War, and they start an escape plan. They start the escape and only Alex escapes, seemingly leaving Reznov to die. Alex makes his way back to his team and is sent out to fight again. In between missions, Alex is in an interrogation chamber and the interrogator is asking for the numbers. Alex is relaying everything that happened from this room and the events that take place are quite interesting.
The numbers are the key to the story so saying anymore will spoil everything and there are plenty of awesome twists and turns and it's incredibly riviting for a Call of Duty storyline. Treyarch has put some effort into the campaign and it pays off.
The game plays the exact same as in the previous games. You run through the linear stages and shoot everyone in your path. There are a few times where you control a vehicle, but it's either linear or a turret section. The gameplay remains a smooth 60 frames and the multiplayer remains enjoyable, but it's starting to seem the same now. Treyarch has done some improvements to the multiplayer, you can do timed challenges, make and emblem for people to see and you can add multiple attachments to your guns. It's nothing mind-blowing, the clear focus here was the story and the gameplay remains fun enough to carry this game well enough.
The main frustrations haven't been fixed either. There is still no sophisticated way of taking cover, grenades are still a little too common and it's still really easy to die without knowing how you died. Still, the older guns and new feel are enough to keep you happy. If you are into co-op, the small bonus from World at War returns in grand fashion; Zombies. Zombies is a full-blown mode with a small story, multiple maps and humorous characters. The mode can get quite hard and is really entertaining with multiple people.
The music is good but very forgettable. The sound effects are good as well, but the voice work is excellent. Alex and his team sound great and one of them is voiced by Ice Cube. It's nothing special, overall, but the voice work goes a long way.
The visuals are also similar and getting stale. The don't look bad, but they lag behind some of the other AAA games on the market, of course this game is a solid 60 frames a second. The character models look decent, but the environments are just average though this fact is covered up by the bright colors of the jungles. The jungle environments look great and everything else just looks okay. This is the next area to work on Treyarch.
- Interesting story full of twists and turns
- Alex Mason is actually a character
- Gameplay is still solid and enjoyable
- Voice work is good
- Zombies is a fantastic addition
- Character models are distinct and good
- Visuals lag behind every other AAA game
- Gameplay has only been tweaked, not improved
- Old frustrations are back
- Still as linear as a ruler
Overall, Call of Duty: Black Ops is the best Call of Duty game thanks to the slight improvements to the gameplay and multiplayer and the fact that there is a fascinating story. Sure, it's starting to get stale, but Treyarch proved that they know what's up and I'm hopeful for more Call of Duty games from them.
Wario has seen a massive shift in popularity. His Warioware games are doing quite well and his Wario Land series before it were pretty fun. Now, Nintendo decided to give Wario another chance to star in a platformer with Wario Land: Shake It. Can Wario show us a good time? Or is he all shaken up?
The story here is as paper thin as you'd expect from any game with Wario in the name. The Princess of the Shake Dimension has been kidnapped by the Shake King and one of her servants travels through dimensions to ask for Wario's help. Wario is completely uninterested until the servant mentions the royal treasure; a coin sack with no bottom. You can shake the thing for the rest of your life and it'll never run out. Wario is motivated by this item and heads out to save the Princess. Wario Land regular, Captain Syrup, opened a shop to help Wario out for a price and gave him a magic globe that allows Wario to enter the shake dimension. It's not deep, but it's entertaining. It won't be scored, however, due to it's simplicity.
The gameplay is what a Wario game is all about. You wander about the stages in 2D and jump on platforms, jump on enemies, attack enemies and climb things. These actions are very familiar to Wario, but the Shake Dimension brings with it some new actions. You can now pick enemies up and shake them or throw them. This is used to hit switches, destroy blocks or defeat enemies. Each stage has at least 3 missions to complete, such as beating the level without getting hit, and 3 treasures. This gives you a reason to play the levels over again as you probably won't get all 3 missions on one run.
You collect coins in the stages and these are used as your stage score and money to use in Syrup's shop. Syrup sells the maps for each area, extra health points, potions and other bonus features. You need the area maps to progress and, unless you are really good at the game or really thorough, you might need to play through levels again to earn money to buy them which can be annoying. The bosses are pretty entertaining and all have gimmicks that allow you to beat them. The game uses the motion controls quite often, mostly tilt for throwing and moving special vehicles. The motion controls work quite well and very rarely feel out of place.
One issue with the game is the difficulty. The game is far to easy, at least if you are just playing to beat it rather than get everything. Wario can take a lot of punishment and is immune to a lot of things that would kill other platforming heroes instantly, such as a block falling on his head or a passage closing on him. Most things only deal half a heart of damage and most of the bosses keep this low difficulty. There are two bosses that buck this trend and the one that breaks it the most is the final boss. Other than that, the game is enjoyable, though the easy difficulty makes things less fun.
The music is entertaining and well done. It has it's own sound and it's really catchy. There aren't many sound effects, but what was there is decent. Wario's voice clips make things pretty cool. Not much to say, but the music is great and Wario's voice is awesome.
The visuals are the most striking thing about the game since they are so well done. The game is completely animated and hand-drawn. Each frame looks great and Wario is animated amazingly and all of the enemies look great. Wario's personality shines through in every action he performs. This is a game that shows what even HD games are missing this generation, beautiful 2D animation. Bottom-line, this game looks great in every way, aside from the 2 borders on the left and right of the screen.
- Goofy and entertaining premise
- Wario is a great character and fun to control
- Platforming is fun and level exploring is enjoyable
- Music is great and catchy
- Visuals are fantastic and extremely well-done
- Motion controls don't get in the way
- Bosses are enjoyable
- Final boss can be a challenge
- A lot of missions to complete and treasures to collect
- Game is really easy
- Massive difficulty spike when it comes to the final boss
- Need to grind for money is a shame
Overall, Wario Land: Shake It! is a fun game and it plays great, looks fantastic and sound good. It's far to easy and is pretty short, but it ends just as it's about to wear out it's welcome. It shows that Wario has it in him to star in a series of platforming games. The 2D animation also shows that putting time and effort into these things is well worth it and makes your game more enjoyable to play. If you own a Wii console and like Wario or platformers at all, buy Wario Land: Shake It! as it's pretty enjoyable.
Everyone knows that in space, no one can hear you scream, at least according to the Alien franchise. Many game developers like this idea and borrowed a lot of their inspiration from the Alien franchise, such as Metroid and Contra. Now, Dead Space is here to bring this idea to it's peak. Can this horror newbie stay frosty? Or is it Game Over?
You play as Isaac Clarke, an unsuspecting engineer that's tasked with boarding the USG Ishimura, a gigantic planet cracker, and restore the ship to working order. Once aboard, Isaac and his team are attacked by strange monsters and they get separated. Isaac then has to fight his way back to his surviving crew members. The story isn't deep in this regard, but the deep backstory and amount of time put into the Unitology religion and the Necromorphs is astounding and a great start to an interesting universe. The dialogue is well written and there are plenty of audio-files and text logs to provide you with an engaging experience.
The gameplay is the next evolution of Resident Evil 4's gameplay style. You control Isaac in a third-person shooter style and plays a lot like Resident Evil 4, just that you can move and shoot. You can also stomp and punch enemies in a pinch. Shooting feels fantastic and the control scheme is mostly perfect for this genre. The biggest change between this game and most other games is that you need to shoot the enemies in their limbs, dismembering them. This both stops them from attacking you and eventually kills them. You can also slow enemies and objects remotely with stasis and you can pick objects up to use them as make-shift ammo.
Outside of combat, you explore the Ishimura and get engaged in one large fetch quest. This might sound dull and boring, but the enemy encounters keep things tense and the ship's design brings memories of the first Alien movie. There aren't any cutscenes and there are quick time events scattered throughout and they don't get in the way of the fun which is a good thing. There are also Zero-G rooms that let you bound from surface to surface and some enemy encounters are fought in these rooms. They are a great addition and make it fell more like you are in space. Dead Space does a perfect job of keeping you engaged and tense.
As with all horror games, Dead Space would be undone without it's sound design. The music is oppressive and quiet, only flaring up when in desperate moments. The voice work is great and the creature sounds are fantastic. The ambient noises and the creaking of the ship paint a realistic sound of the future.
Another important horror aspect is atmosphere and Dead Space has it in droves as well. The atmosphere is very reminiscent of Alien and that makes it top notch. The dimly lit halls and rooms of the Ishimura make exploring the very large ship a engaging and tense time and that's the best praise that can be given to a horror game. On top of that, the visuals are amazing and it has the best Zero-G blood I have ever seen. The monsters look disgusting and they blow apart real nice and the violence is brutal and disturbing. The corridors of the ship are really detailed and there are tons of little details lying around in other rooms. It's a sight to behold and it should hold up for quite a while.
- Fantastic universe and story
- Well written and deep
- Gameplay is an evolution of Resident Evil 4
- Sound design is top-notch
- Tearing at the limbs makes the game interesting
- Atmosphere is second only to Metroid Prime
- Takes inspiration from Alien
- Zero-G is interesting
- Insanely gruesome and disturbing
- Not long enough
- Not much variety
Overall, Dead Space is all you wanted from a new horror game. It has an interesting and engaging story, fantastic and intense gameplay, top-notch audio design and amazing visuals and atmosphere. If you are interested in horror games at all, buy Dead Space and that's all that needs to be said.
Banjo and Kazooie have been off work for a while now. Microsoft has kept them away from the action for long enough it seems as the duo are in for another adventure. This time, things are being shaken up a bit by placing the two in vehicles for their platforming adventure. Does this shake up equate to another excellent adventure? Or is it too shaken up?
The story this time around is even more self-aware than the previous games. The Lord of Games, known as L.O.G., has brought the duo and their nemesis Grunty back to fighting form, given them vehicles and brought them to the crowded Showdown Town. He then challenges Banjo and Kazooie to defeat Grunty once more. There isn't much more to the plot, but it's wonderfully written and the fact that the game is self aware makes it amusing. Quite a few of the characters from the previous games make an appearance and they all have a role to play in the game's stages. It's entertaining and that's all that matters.
The gameplay is different than the other two Banjo games. Instead of running around open stages collecting jiggies to progress you are driving around in custom vehicles completing challenges to earn jiggies to open more challenges in the open stages. A major portion of the game is roaming around Showdown Town. In Showdown Town you find people to talk to, stage entrances and parts for your vehicles. With those parts you can make new vehicles that you can use to complete the challenges in the stages. This sounds like it'd be great fun, but it's when you begin these challenges you start to see the game's biggest issue.
The big problem is that the game isn't that much fun. The vehicle building is amusing at first, but it grows tired pretty quickly and once you figure out how to make one vehicle do everything you want it to you tend to want to stay out of the builder. The biggest problem is that building a proper vehicle can be annoying and the challenges are all repetitive. Roaming around the town is enjoyable and as you complete the Grunty challenges in the stages you gain new special parts that allow you to explore more of the town. This is really the only part of the game that I never got tired of.
The vehicles control awkwardly and the physics can get all out of whack. Getting how the physics will affect your vehicle and trying to make something that'll work the way you want it is all down to trial and error and that's not very fun. There is a lot to see in the game, but the playing boils down to go here, bring these here and racing which gets old pretty fast. Very rarely are there any truly unique challenges. The loading times can also get ridiculous and they happen quite often. It's extremely disappointing to see a Banjo game that isn't fun to play, but this Banjo game is.
The music is, plain and simple, great. It's just as good as the previous games, but that is where the only audio issue lies. Most of the tracks are just remixes and compilations of tracks from the previous games. While this is kind of disappointing, the music is still great and the sound effects are still good. The characters still talk like they do in the previous games and, while it would be cool to see how it would do with voice work, it's still pretty charming.
The visuals are by-far the best thing about the game. It's bright, colorful and bursting with life and creativity. Showdown Town is packed with detail and bursting with activity. The stages themselves have some personality, one stage takes place inside a game console. The stages are all mechanical and stylish and differently themed. Some of the character models don't look the best, but the game is simply stunning in every other aspect as far as visuals go. I personally found it to be one of the best looking games on the Xbox 360.
- Fantastic visuals
- Amusing, self-aware dialogue
- Creative and vibrant stages
- Great music
- Vehicle creation is amusing at first
- Gameplay is incredibly repetitive
- Music is mostly reused
- Some character models are below the others
- Didn't need to change from previous game's formula
Overall, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts is worth a try, but it wears out it's welcome pretty early. It's visually stunning, it has great music and the dialogue is very entertaining. Rare did a wrong here and it's disappointing, but it's still worth a try. The vehicle creation is pretty creative, but it's pretty annoying to get the physics and weight issues to working. The challenges are very limited and run out of juice after the first few acts. It's still a decent game, but it doesn't play all that well.
Rare isn't looking too good. Ever since Microsoft bought them they have been on a downward slope. Their games aren't up to their old standards and, while they are still well-made games, they lost their old charm. Sure, Conker: Live & Reloaded had their old charm but that's because it was an old game. Now, Rare has decided to put out another game on the Xbox 360 and this time it's a simulation game. Viva Pinata tasks you with running a garden and getting Pinatas to live there. Does this weird concept equal a good game? Or should it have stayed just a concept?
Viva Pinata really doesn't have a story, you play as a faceless gardener who must restore the run-down garden to it's former splendor. There are little tidbits of information that you can earn by playing through the game, but they don't factor into anything simply making them a neat aside, therefore the story won't have a score.
Viva Pinata is all about the gameplay and it shows. You move a cursor around the gardern and interact with your resident pinatas or your other objects. Your goal is to get pinatas to live in your garden and this is done in multiple ways. One way is to get wild pinata to enter your garden and stay which is done by meeting certain requirements. Each pinata wants different things to stay in the garden and balancing them all can be a challenge. Two other ways to get pinatas are the hunter and the pet store. The Pet Store is self-explanatory, allowing you to buy pet pinata that can't be encountered in the wild, and the Hunter is as well. The pinata the hunter can get for you are ones you have had before which is useful for pinata with higher requirements.
The last and most important way to get new pinata is through breeding. Pinata have romance requirements which, once met, will allow them to mate with another of their species to produce an egg. When two pinata romance, they initiate the Romance game which forces you to control the suitor who needs to be guided to their mate. The egg grows rather quickly and soon becomes another full grown pinata allowing you to continue the process all over again. You don't need to worry about getting pinata of a certain gender either as all are gender-less. You can also earn money by selling things or pinata or simply by playing the romance game.
Money is used in the many shops around the garden that are accessed through the menu. These shops sell items for the garden such as decorations or more important items such as seeds to grow some plants. Plants do more than add some life to your garden they can act as food for your pinatas or they can be sold for more money. You can dig holes to plant the seeds as it will make them grow faster and better. You can also flatten the ground in order to plant grass and you can dig ponds. You can do a lot here and it's all very enjoyable, not to mention addicting. It's great fun and it's great to see Rare continuing to make enjoyable games.
The music is very catchy and can be pretty soothing. The sound effects also sound a lot like they're from Banjo-Kazooie which is another great thing. There is some voice work and it's okay, it's nothing fantastic but you get to like the strange shopkeeps and other people wandering around the world. It's Rare quality and that's the best compliment to give any game.
The visuals are some of the best I've seen on the Xbox 360. The colors are bright and vibrant and crisp. The pinata models look awesome and there is definitely some creativity going on here. The animation looks great and there is a nice day-to-night cycle. The lighting and water look great and everything runs smoothly. It's an extremely attractive game and it's definitely uses the most out of the Xbox 360.
- Addicting and with plenty to do
- Fantastic music and great voice work
- Entertaining characters
- Beautiful visuals
- Everything tends to run smoothly
- Rare seal of approval
- None to really speak of
Overall, Viva Pinata is probably the best game exclusive to the Xbox 360 and it shows that Rare still has it in them. It's beyond addicting and it's beautiful to the eyes and ears. If you own a 360 and have any feelings for Rare, do yourself a favor and buy this game. It's nice to see a company continue to do new things and not limit themselves. I stamp it with a Rare seal of approval.