Reviews

8.3

gameplay
8
graphics
9
audio
9
value
7
"Rage marries long standing FPS controls with a imperceptible amount of RPG elements, that tangentially rides the line between fun and tedious."
- Ernest Cook

Rage Review

Nothing gets by this guy...

A great deal of time has passed since we witnessed the intellect of John Carmack gracing our computer screens. The innovators behind such classics as Quake and Doom, id Software rise again to bring forth their latest creation since Doom 3. Rage is an apocalyptic tale of humanities struggle to survive an insurmountable force hellbent on reshaping the earth into a “Wasteland” of human refuge. As a planned survivor of the asteroid that wipes out most life on the planet, you begin your journey as the sole progenitor of your Ark, and proceed to free various towns from the reigns of the “Authority.” Throughout this adventure you will take on various tasks that require a point-to-point adventure in your vehicle of choice in order to arrive at and complete your objectives. Sporting brand new technology held inside id Tech 5, we are treated to a pleasant canvas of environments, stock full of items, sounds and people that give the game a unique spin from past id projects.

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9.3

gameplay
9
graphics
9
audio
10
value
10
"Super Meat Boy is a mercilessly difficult platformer, but provides an extremely enjoyable experience to the right audience."
- Sean Bowman

Super Meat Boy Review

Super Meat Boy - Fire

Forged from somewhere in the bowels of hell comes a game that is relentless and unforgiving, testing not only your skill, but your patience. Here there are tons to do and discover, but it comes at a price. If you’re a bad enough dude, maybe you can stand proud and hold your controller high, for there are three hundred levels you’ll need to conquer and an evil fetus to vanquish. By a couple of dudes at Team Meat, welcome to the world of Super Meat Boy. Enjoy your stay, but it may take a few years off your life expectancy.

Meat Boy, the cute squishy little cube you fill the role of, must venture through a number of worlds, suffering through grueling levels chock-full of deadly devices in order to rescue your girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the clutches of the villainous Dr. Fetus. The story’s narrative is thinly veiled and the premise is a simple one because it doesn’t really need anything more to Meat Boy’s frantic adventure. It seems Dr. Fetus’s abandonment issues cause him to be jealous at what you and Bandage Girl have, so he kidnaps her. All of this you learn right in the introduction following booting the game.

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9.3

gameplay
10
graphics
9
audio
8
value
9
"Hot Pursuit pushes Need For Speed to new heights, and boasts a fun, exciting Multiplayer"
- Ernest Cook

Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Review

NFSHP - Your Turn To Roll

To get this out of the way quickly; yes the game has an ad in the beginning that you can not skip, but it only plays once. The game also uses EAs Online Pass system which requires you to enter a code, or buy a new code online if you purchased the game used. Don’t let this take away from the great game that is beyond the walls of these inane concepts.

After so many years of lackluster iterations in the Need For Speed franchise, it’s about damn time we get something that holds up to the old school roots it takes its name from. Still it might be difficult to aggregate any interest in anything related to Need For Speed after many years of obscure attempts to revitalize the series. The guys over at Criterion — makers of the popular Burnout franchise — bring us Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, which does an astounding job of reinvigorating the series, and actually making it fun in the process. The game finally hits a long awaited necessity, going back to high octane exotic racing and cop chases. Gone are the days of tuning your ride with parts and decals. Hot Pursuit brings in some of the mechanics that appeared in more recent Need For Speed titles that were pioneered by Burnout, and combines them with insane action, high speed racing, and a solid online multiplayer experience to create a worthy return to the series.

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8.8

gameplay
9
graphics
9
audio
8
value
9
"Sporting plenty of new modes, improvements, and crazy over-the-top action, Black Ops is Treyarch's best work to date."
- Ernest Cook

Call of Duty: Black Ops Review

Call of Duty: Black Ops - Fire

It’s that time of the year again where we get another infectious wave from Call of Duty. Bleeding countless hours from our fingertips as we grip the sticks to destroy mass amounts of dudes. With the Infinity Ward Activision breakdown, Treyarch has to step up and bring everything they have to make the title stick. Treyarch has had some past troubles with the COD series, following Infinity Wards smash hits. It wasn’t until World at War that they managed to produce a respectable foray into the series with the unexpected fluke in Nazi Zombies. Back in the saddle, they bring us Black Ops, which throws a little bit of everything in the pot. This title embodies the spirit of the Modern Warfare games, and Treyarch’s knack for unique modes. However this title mostly just seems to polish off the rough spots of previous iterations that make an remarkably solid shooter.

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7.1

gameplay
6
graphics
8
audio
9
value
7
"Medal of Honor brings a lot of great things to the table, however they have been done before, and aren't executed as well as the competition."
- Ernest Cook

Medal of Honor Review

Medal of Honor - Gunships

Seeing the titular amount of modern military based shooters rising to huge success in the last few years, it’s no surprise to see EA bringing the once popular and highly influential Medal of Honor series back to the mix. Being that EA has already posted a successful shooter in to the field with Battlefield, it’s clear the intended target of this game is to debunk the ever growing popularity of the Call of Duty franchise. With Activision dominating the scene with recent behemoths of the Modern Warfare series, and soon to be released Black Ops, can Medal of Honor bring enough to the table to compete? Medal of Honor will also have to contend the sticks against the upcoming Battlefield 3 game as well. The game brings all the right pieces to make a successful game, but poor execution plagues this title and diminishes the potential staying power once known to the series.

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7.4

gameplay
7
graphics
8
audio
8
value
7
"A definite improvement over the original H.A.W.X. but shoddy controls, and inane difficulty still run rampant."
- Ernest Cook

Tom Clancy’s H.A.W.X. 2 Review

Tom Clancy's Hawx 2 - Oil Rigs

In the land of aerial combat simulators there lies few specimens to gaze at. Ubisoft brings us such illustration with another high flying action packed dose of Tom Clancy branded video games. H.A.W.X. 2 comes into the picture sporting a new story mode, multiplayer unlocks, gameplay tweaks and a plethora of graphical enhancements. The developers put an serendipitous amount of effort and time into improving the foundation of H.A.W.X. for any plane loving aficionados. Unfortunately, clunky flying mechanics, poor objective instruction and lackluster story deter this sequel from the aerial prowess it needs in such a niche market.

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7.7

gameplay
8
graphics
8
audio
7
value
7
"The creative zombie killing game series that encouraged players to ‘chop until they drop’ is back with a new installment."
- Austin Adamson

Dead Rising 2 Review

DR2_night__01_bmp_jpgcopy

Picking up three years after the DLC prequel Case Zero, helmed by developers Blue Castle Games and Capcom Entertainment, Chuck Greene is back trying his best to ensure the safety of himself and his daughter Katy, who was bitten by the undead and has not been infected thanks to the infection fighting powers of Zombrex. However, the effects of the injections are very temporary and Chuck must inject Katy once every day.

In order to pay for the expensive drugs that are keeping his daughter from craving brains, Chuck uses his motorcycling experience by participating in TIR, This Is Reality. A Zombie killing pay-per-view show where players compete for the most zombie kills and putting on a good show for the audience. The contest takes place in the city that used to be Las Vegas, but after burning down after an outbreak three years prior, called Fortune City. Fortune City was safe from zombies and profiting on their dismemberment, until someone decided to free the zombies used in TIR, causing waves of chaos and destruction to follow. Someone setup Chuck to take the fall for this latest outbreak.

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7.8

gameplay
8
graphics
7
audio
8
value
8
"Not everything is subject to being boosted, but when it comes to boats, Hydro Thunder delivers."
- Ernest Cook

Hydro Thunder Hurricane Review

Cutthroat Lake Powell End

Not everything in the arcade world gets a chance to come back to the limelight in the increasingly fast paced world of modern day games. Fortunately for the Hydro Thunder franchise, we get to see a new iteration to this arcade hit. Hydro Thunder Hurricane is an completely new game in the long running franchise that has seen releases on the Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, Playstation, and even making an appearance on the PC in European regions. Memorable powerboat fun is brought back to us by developer Vector Unit published during the Summer of Arcade as an XBLA exclusive. The developers have given us a faithful adaptation to the series; bringing back the classic nitro fueled boats, all new tracks, game modes, and multiplayer in this fully reworked successor. For 1200 MS points (Or $15 USD), they have reproduced the original Hydro Thunder and introduced more modern conventions you come to expect with a console based game.

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9.8

gameplay
10
graphics
9
audio
10
value
10
"Bungie's final Halo game, for now, in its most refined and polished form. Beautiful visuals, amazing audio, and fun game play comprise what makes this game great."
- Austin Adamson

Halo: Reach Review

Fight for humanitys survival

Every story has a beginning, and this is Halo’s. Taking place right before the start of Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo: Reach has a much darker and serious tone to it. The ultimate outcome of Reach is well known among people who follow the franchise outside of the games and while the battle for Reach is mentioned in some of the previous games. Ink on paper stories is where the outcome is addressed in greater detail, namely Eric Nylund’s The Fall of Reach. Developer Bungie Studios is not trying to hide the inevitable outcome of this planet, and everyone who plays it is given a reminder that Reach does indeed fall to attacks by the Covenant. Bungie delivers this to uncertain or unknowing players with an early dose of foreshadowing in the opening segment, showing the helmet of newest member to Noble Team, known only as Noble Six, laying in the dirt with combat damage on the visor and no sign of the Spartan which it belongs to. The cutscene then fades into a first person view of the protagonist holding the same helmet, pristine in their lap before placing it over their head.

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6.2

gameplay
7
graphics
7
audio
4
value
5
"This installment in the Metroid series takes place directly after Super Metroid, just before Metroid Fusion."
- Austin Adamson

Metroid: Other M Review

One Down...

This installment in the Metroid series takes place directly after Super Metroid, just before Metroid Fusion. The entirety of the story for Other M takes place on an enormous space station called The Bottle Ship. Samus Aran, the well-known bounty hunter, was directed towards this vessel after intercepting a distress call. It is here she encounters infantry from the Galactic Federation, some of which she fought alongside when she was a soldier within the Federation, and one of whom was her commanding officer.  She teams up with the soldiers and follows the orders of her former CO with the primary objective being to find the cause of the distress signal, while saving anyone that might need rescuing. While exploring the derelict craft it becomes obvious that some questionable projects and research took place when the station was fully operational.

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