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Dragon Age Review

Hey people! Haven't had much time for games lately, but I finally managed to finish my Dragon Age review. So go HERE to check it out if you're interested.

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Final verdict? It's good. Play it. :)

Also, to mark the occasion, I uploaded two wallpapers (for 1680 x 1050 screen size). Click HERE and HERE to see them. Btw, when you view them full size, make sure to right-click and select View Image. Gamespot's view window stretches pics all weird for some reason.

Well, that it for now. Peace!

Blog Update - June 05, 2010

Hey people! Been a while since I've blogged. But I'm here to bring you two new reviews, and some first impressions. So let's get going:



NEED FOR SPEED UNDERGROUND review:

This is a game I played a long time ago (about when it came out) but recently played again. I had a lot of fun with it, so I decided to write down some thoughts on it. To my surprise, the game held up very well over the years. So go HERE and read all about it.

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RISEN review:

A long time in the making, I know. But I just had to play around some more with the game to see how different character builds play. Overall, Risen is an excellent game which I suggest you try. But not before reading the REVIEW. :P

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ALPHA PROTOCOL impressions:

Been playing this a bit every day, so I'll break it down in bullet point form:

  • The story and characters are very good.
  • The dialogue system exhibits the same vagueness as the Mass Effect dialogue wheel, the time limit is not a problem after you adjust to it.
  • The game has a rigid structure: you're either in your safehouse (answering to e-mails, customizing gear, buying intel), or you're on the mission; there's no walking around cities, talking to quest-givers and so on.
  • The choices and consequences are pretty damn extensive, affecting relations with characters, gear and intel, mission objectives, and sometimes even mission structure.
  • The game indeed accomodates multiple approaches to missions (guns blazing, stealth, tech junkie), but the game cannot be completed without killing anyone because of scripted boss fights.
  • So far, I've been able to go for stealth 90% of the time.
  • Boss fights suck
  • Mechanically, the game is very similar to Deus Ex, specially the gunplay; these two games are very much alike even in terms of A.I. quality.
  • Minigames suck. Ok, maybe they are not that bad, but I hate the concept of minigames, so they suck.
  • Graphics look better than screenshots would lead you to believe, but they're not that top of the line for sure.
  • Sound is good, the voice work is very good, the music is generic spy themed stuff.
  • AP is still rough around the edges, it needs a patch to fix some camera issues (there are workaround for that though, PM me and I'll point you in the right direction), and a few bugs where scrips do not trigger properly after a game reload.
  • No crashes to desktop or gamestopping issues thus far.

To conclude, I'll say that I'm enjoying Alpha Protocol, but objectively speaking, this is about a 7.5 - 8.0 game thus far. It's not a 6.0 game however. Many reviewrs are hypocrites, criticizing the game for issues that games like Mass Effect and Fallout 3 also had. But I guess pro game journalists were too busy gushing out 9s and 10s to notice those issues.



Well, that's about everything for today. Next time it's Dragon Age, and maybe Mass Effect 2. Peace!

Mirror's Edge Review

Yello! This is my first blog of 2010, so here's to a good year! :) Today I give you a review of Mirror's Edge, which you can read over here.

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Overall, it was a nice diversion. Could have been much better, though. I guess EA decided to leave plenty of room for improvements and new features, for the inevitable sequels. God, I hate this trilogy fad going on lately! At least I hope it's a fad... :?

Anyway, I got plenty of games I'd like to review in the following months, which means more blogs. The list goes like this: Risen, Dragon Age, Mass Effect 2, Torchlight, Need for Speed Shift, Thief: The Dark Project, and System Shock 2. Hopefully, I'll get around to all of them. So keep an eye on the horizon.

Peace! :)

Just Dropping By To Say

Happy New Year! Yeah, we're not quite there yet in most parts of the world... eh, details details, right?. So, have a great 2010! Cheers! :)

Blog Update - December 06, 2009

Hi all! Haven't blogged in a long time, so I thought I'd write one this weekend. I'm going to cover a few games today (no reviews though), namely Dragon Age: Origins, Need for Speed: Shift, and a little bit of Risen.



Let's start things off with some Dragon Age: Origins impressions:

There's something terribly wrong with RPGs. Why is it that everything must be solved through violence? And not just any sort of violence, but the 'crawl 3 hours through a frickin dungeon and kill a truckload of generic enemies' type of violence. Well, this is exactly what's wrong with Dragon Age: Origins. Some parts are purely combat-centered and mind-numbingly boring. Mind you, the combat system is quite pleasant, but they went overboard with the encounters on a few occasions (take 10-15 generic packs of darkspawn and place 'em every 50 meters on a generic dungeon map and voila! level is done!).

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And what a shame that is, because the rest of the game is actually impressive. Yes, IMPRESSIVE! You have a nice combat system that actually works well and is well balanced, generally solid writing and characters, mostly interesting gameworld (with some consistency issues), choices and consequences ( !!! ), and a very polished feel overall. So it's puzzling why there's so much combat. It's like cooking a fine dish of spaghetti bolognesi, then p*ssing all over it. Makes me a sad panda just thinking about it. :(



Alright, let's move on to some Need for Speed: Shift impressions:

I bought this game right about when it came out but I wasn't able to play it much because of a crash to desktop. Well, after two patches, the game runs nicely and I am able to enjoy it. Shift builds on NFS ProStreet (check my review of that game) and takes the series further into 'racing sim' territory. It's still not quite there, arcade elements still exist, but Shift mixes them much better with race sim elements than ProStreet ever did. And the addition of the cockpit camera is pure genious. It feels incredible and the sensation of speed is superb from this perspective. Seriously, tell me this isn't cool! The career mode is a bit too generous with cash rewards, which makes it a little easy, but the actual racing is challenging. Basically, I recommend this game to anyone into racing games. ;)

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Finally, a short update on that Risen review: it's in the works. But I want to play through about half of it once more because there's content you miss depending on faction choice. I want to see how the Inquisition side plays. Plus, the game is just plain fun. :)

So yeah, that's about it for today. Cheers!

Mysteries of Westgate Review

Hi all! Short blog today. Just wanted to let you know that my Mysteries of Westgate review is up. Read, comment, or do whatever else you feel like doing.

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The game turned out so much better than I thought it would. In my humble opinion, it ranks as one of the highlights of the RPG genre in recent years. Yeah, I really thought it was that good. It's so well put together and full of great quests, solid writing... ah, just read the review to find out all the details.

Next time I'll hopefully bring you a review of Risen, which is pretty awesome as well. Just my luck, two great RPGs in a row ... this year turned out better than I thought it would. :D Peace!

Blog Update - September 28, 2009

Hey everybody! Finally, here it is, my The Witcher: Enhanced Edition review. Read, comment, ask, say what's on your mind. It took a bit longer to finish this as I wanted to test out the two additional adventures packed with the Enhanced Edition. Both were pleasant, and short. I'd say about an hour each.

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And right now I'm playing through Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness, widely considered the worst of the series. The game's been sitting on a shelf for years, gathering dust. I remember trying it for like 15 minutes back in 2005 or so, I know I ended up uninstalling it because of bad controls. Never touched it again... till yesterday. It's really not a Tomb Raider game, with Lara running around derelict apartment building, Parisian back alleys and sewers, talking to people, following leads and trying to find people; there's really not much tomb raiding going on.

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But I'm really surprised. The game would fit rather well in a point-and-click adventure game format. It has an interesting thriller atmosphere going for it. And, surprise surprise, I've even encountered situations where I'm given multiple paths through a quest. I've even learned to live with the difficult controls, which, it turns out, are sufferable as long as you don't use the mouse. Bottom line, I'm enjoying it. Will review, as this one's an interesting case.

Well, that's it for this blog entry. See you next time. Peace!

Blog Update - September 16, 2009

Hello everyone! And by 'everyone' I mean the two or three people who still read this, admittedly, not very active blog. Today I'll just do some news on some of the games I've tried lately.


Fastpunk Top Tip of the week:

STALKER: Shadows of Chernobyl - this is basically a post-apocalyptic sandbox shooter, set in 2012 Chernobyl. And it manages to do a lot of things right; atmosphere would be first and foremost, an interesting game world with a lot of emergent events that make it feel alive would follow. The game mechanics and NPC A.I. aren't bad either. The problem is it gets old after a while, since the number of side quests is rather limited, and the main quests seem to follow the same pattern (explore underground lab and recover documents/turn off machines). Basically, it could use more work towards making quests and missions more unique. But, overall, it's a solid game that I'd recommend to anyone.

stalker


Also try:

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars - this one's a neat team-based multiplayer shooter which I'm probably going to play every once in a while. Each scenario has a unique set of objectives, and the experience varies quite a bit depending on faction and character type choice. It plays well, it runs well, and it's fun. It's not gonna take home the gold, but it's well worth it.


Now playing:

I'm not sure if I'm ever going to write a review for the two games I mentioned above, we'll see. For now, I really want to finish The Witcher: Enhanced Edition and NWN2: Mysteries of Westgate. I'm in the last chapter of TW and the stuff's getting really interesting. MoW on the other hand, well, I gotta start over. My saved games got corrupted so... yeah. But it's the best RPG I've played this year so I'm gonna pick it up again and finish it this time.

Lastly, I just got The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, which is a remake of the timeless masterpice we've all at least heard of. Gotta say, the hand-drawn 2D graphics are superb, and the voice acting and music are both solid. Can't give you a more in depth opinion yet, since I played it for just a few minutes yesterday. More on that later.

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Reviews on the horizon:

Reviews for Mysteries of Westgate and The Witcher EE are in the works, but I need to finish the games before proceeding. Hopefully, I'll review Monkey Island as well. No promises on that though.



Well, that's pretty much everything. Next time I'll hopefully bring a review or two, and I also want to do a 'games I want to play' type blog next time, since some interesting titles have emerged in the last few months. Peace and see you around! :)

Review For HL2: Episode Two Is Up

Yup, another review is up. Read it over HERE.

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Like I say in the review, this is the best Half-Life 2 game so far. At least that's the vibe I got from it. And now I'm actually looking forward to Episode Three, specially since the present game suggests a rather interesting setting for the next one. It's all up to Valve to execute it right. And they sure are taking their time... again.

Well, that's all for now. Peace!

The NFS ProStreet Blog

Hey people!

Just a quick update today. The review for Need for Speed: ProStreet is up and you can read it HERE. It's a solid game that I recommend to anyone who likes to race around professional tracks and tune their ride to perfection.

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In other news, got tired of Gothic 3 (fedex quests are tiresome) and The Witcher (same) and went back to play Mass Effect once more. Bioware have been hyping that some of the choices you make in ME1 will carry over to ME2, so now I kept my saved profile for when ME2 hits. Also, I finally got around to playing the Bring Down the Sky DLC, which was quite good, and very action oriented.

Now I'm playing through NWN2: Mysteries of Westgate (not done yet, but it's awesome and a review is coming) and Half-Life 2 + Episode 1 and 2. Good fun all around! Btw, what are you playing these days?

I'll be back with more blogs and reviews later. Peace!