Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Game Review ( Guitar Hero: World Tour - 360 )

Graphics: 4/5 The venues look stunning - just about all of them really look good. Maybe not graphically, but just the way they're laid out. The audience is probably the most pitiful looking thing. There are duplicated of the same character standing in groups of five. Uhhh... As far as the band members, the drummer doesn't play to the beat of the music/hit every note most of the time as the Rock Band drummer does, and the characters don't feel real at all. They are emotionless on stage. Bummer.

Sound: 3.75/5 Once again, doesn't stack up to Rock Band. The Rock Band 2 set was just better overall. World Tour of course has some great songs, my favorites including the most obvious ones and a few others, but the majority of the songs are weak. And what's with the spanish songs like La Bamba? Really? Does that belong in a Guitar HERO game? Another thing that I wasn't expecting to see but would have liked to have seen ( or heard ) is the crowd singing along.

Control: 4/5 While most of the songs are a lot of fun to play on drums, I can't say the same about the guitar. While I know Neversoft likes to make songs "challenging" they do it in an unnecessary fashion. Neversoft has an eternal hard-on for using three button chords at least 50 times in nearly every song. It's not that it makes the song hard necessarily, but Neversoft thinks so, and it's just annoying and funny at the same time. The one big thing that people will be hating this game for quite a bit if they have Rock Band 2 drums is that they aren't velocity sensative in World Tour, and, more annoyingly, you have to use star power by hitting the yellow and blue pads at the same time. This can take getting used to for some people - it can be hard to do without breaking a combo.

Fun: 4/5 Overall, Guitar Hero: World Tour is not a bad game, but it's not what it was cracked up to be at all. The music maker isn't too fun, and you'll find yourself using it as a freestyle mode more than not, and there are very few interesting and fun songs up on GHTunes. The track list is fairly weak compared to Rock Band 2, the characters aren't realistic ( although there is great customization ) and the game just isn't as fun as Rock Band. While the menus and the like look great, it seems Neversoft may have spent more time with designing them than trying to find a few more fun songs to play in the game.


Game Review ( Far Cry 2 - 360 )

Graphics: 4.5/5 The game looks great. Fantastic really. The single player world is HUGE, and there are very few loading times. The graphics in the game are what really bring this game to life.

Sound: 4.5/5 Some say the sound is the best part of FC2, and I disagree. It is really good, but the graphics and gameplay are much better. It would be better if your own character talked, but since there are a lot to choose from, I can see why it wasn't done.

Control: 4/5 Good, but not great. Actually very similar to Call of Duty 4 - and the controls aren' the only thing similar. Anyway, the layout is about the same except you can't prone, and the sprinting is a little more annoying in this game. It is impossible to make a sharp turn while sprinting, which can be frustrating especially on smaller multiplayer maps with a lot of stuff like Love Shacks.

Fun: 4.5/ Far Cry 2 is very underrated, and it has a strong fanbase for a reason. Far Cry 2 has a map maker in which you can make literally any map to your desire ( Unless you want to construct YOUR OWN buildings, seeing as how it's not possible. There is only a set of pre-made buildings, which is really SICKENING. ) but it takes about an hour or so to get really used to. The multiplayer is also, contrary to what many people say, is fantastic. There is definitely B.S. in there, I'll give them that, but what online shooter doesn't have that? For instance - you can shoot an RPG at a truck, and it won't blow it up in one shot -- nope -- it takes TWO hits, even if you shoot a guy on the turret on the back of the truck, he still won't die, and if he gets out and you then shoot the truck, it will say "so-and-so killed himself." That is certainly aggrivating. Also, the longer you wait to get the game, the more likely you are to get frustrated with it, seeing as you how you get "diamonds" when leveling up which are used to upgrade your primary and secondary weapons. While Far Cry 2 isn't perfect, the online play certainly needs to be experienced. Think of it as Team Fortress 2, but without the cartoony-look.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Game Review ( iCopter - iPhone/iPod App )

iCopter is a "rip-off" of the ever-popular Copter flash game in which you fly a breaking down helicopter through a cave. This app costs 99 cents.

Graphics: 2/5 Super simple. Green ( or red or blue background, depends one if you change the settings ) and a simple helicopter ( that can be changed, although there are only two choices. ) Nothing special here. Annoyingly though, the game will sometimes hiccup, which can cause you to crash. Lame!

Sound: ???/5 For one, I'm not sure the game has sound, and second, I wouldn't really know because I always listen to music when playing this app.

Control: 3.5/5 If you played the computer version, this is much different. The game moves a lot quicker, and the game is overall quite a bit harder.

Fun: 3.75/5 Not a bad app to kill a few minutes. Challenging, but fun. It's just a shame it isn't free and the game occasionally hiccups. Still, if you're a fan of the flash version of this game, this is worth a download. Hey, it's only a dollar.


Game Review ( Flick Bowling - iPod/iPhone App )

Price: $4.99, but on sale for limited time at 99 cents.

Basically, I downloaded this game because it got great reviews at the $5, and it dropped down to only a buck. I can start by saying - those that think this was a bargain at $5 are stupid.

Graphics: 4.5/5 Among the best in the App Store that I can see. Great 3D graphics, good looking characters, and a big selection of bowling balls. The game is just lacking alleys. There is only one default one, but there is (supposedly) going to be a free update later this month adding another one.

Sound: ???/5 Gah, sorry - can't say. I only heard the menu music. From that, I got the impression that this is just another sub-par sounding game. However, the bowling sounds could be great. I don't know, though, because I was listening to music.

Control: 3.75/5 Took me a little while to get used to - it was really quite frustrating. Early on, I was flicking really quickly, so quick that the ball would very slowly roll down the lane. The trick is to do a nice swift, not-too-fast flick to get a super fast roll. Once you get the controls down, the game feels good.

Fun: 4/5 For a dollar, this is definitely worth it. If it was $5, I'd say HELLZ NAW! There are eight characters, high score tracker, and a lot of bowling balls. That's all fine and good, but where is the "Tournament Mode", or stat-tracking, or even character specific stats? I don't understand why a $5 game wouldn't have things like this. Also, the A.I. as pretty bad. Almost always, based on the difficulty setting, the A.I. will get the same amount of pins. For instance, on easy, he almost always gets 7 pins, followed by a spare or near spare. Medium, 8 pins first try and seemingly always a spare. On hard, the guy is a machine, getting a strike nearly every time. Flick Bowling, like I stated already, is worth it for the price it's currently at. The game is just sometimes inconsistent, and it's lacking features that a game of this seemingly-great quality should have.


Game Review ( Asphalt 4: Elite Racing - iPhone/iPod App )

A4:ER is - simply put - the best racing game from the app store. Even though the price is steep at $10, you will find more depth than any other racing game in there. I'll keep the review as short as possible. Basically, I'll tell you there are 9 different tracks, ranging from New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Paris and so on, and 28 unlockable cars.

Graphics: 4.75/5 This is an iPod/iPhone and this thing has graphics better than those of the DS? Get out. The different tracks and cars look fantastic, and the frame rate pretty rarely drops. This game is gorgeous. Easily the best looking App I have, I'll tell you that.

Sound: 1/5 Turn. It. Off. I played less than half a race with the sound on before turning on my music. The drift sound is quite possibly the most annoying sound I've ever heard in my LIFE. The music and the like isn't necessarily bad, but it's just a lot better to be able to listen to your own music rather than a REEEEKWWWWEEEEEEE!!!! every three seconds when turning a corner. Gah! My ears are bleeding thinking about it.

Control: 3.75/5 There are three different ways to control. You can use the accelerometer ( Move iPod/iPhone side-to-side to steer ) tap ( Left side to go left, right side to go right. ) or steer using the on-screen steering wheel, which I only tried to use once but gave up because it just seemed pointless. One thing all three controls have in common are that your car is ALWAYS accelerating. Nothing to press to move, it happens automatically, which is actually pretty cool. My real beef with the controls are that none of the three work spectacularily well. Although the "tap" mode is best, it's still hard to control drifts and the like.

Fun: 3.75/5 When you first play A4:ER, you'll likely love it or hate it instantly. I for one loved it. But after playing all the tracks about four times over each, I realized that the game was $10 for a reason. It does have depth, ( 28 cars to unlock like I said, including some pretty good customizing ) but only about $10 worth. If you do buy this game, I recommend you really pace yourself, otherwise you're going to regret it. You'll fly through the game and realize that it wasn't worth $10. This game is great for Burnout/Need for Speed/Cruis'n U.S.A. fans, since it has features similar to those all in one, but it's just to easy to fly through. Sure, there's multiplayer, but it's seemingly impossible to find anyone that is playing online. I recommend, unless you really can't wait, getting Need for Speed from the App store, which is due out in November. Not to say A4:ER is incomplete, it just seems to be missing a few things, and it's sort of hard to really justify the $10 price tag.


Game Review ( Line Rider iRide - iPod/iPhone App )

What internet-using flash-game junky HASN'T played -- or at least heard of Line Rider? In case you haven't, in Line Rider you draw a track for the sled-dude ( Bosh, I believe is his name. ) and make him to basically whatever you want, including flips and jumps. You can also add scenery to the background, and whatever else you want. This flash game has come to the App Store.

Graphics: 1.5/5 Simple, and still not as good as the on-the-net version. The graphics look grainy, even though they are so simple. Doesn't matter, though, because you wouldn't buy this game based on graphics anyway.

Sound: 1.25/5 Just annoying - the sound should just die. I recommend simply listening to music... I'm not sure why sound was even added to the game.

Control: 1/5 This is where the game took a shit for me. Basically, there are two main drawing tools. One that draws straight lines, and another free-draw line drawer. When I was using the free-draw pen, it kept making straight lines, making it physically impossible to make even a simple loop. Worst controls ever.

Fun: 1.25/5 For me, I had zero fun with this. As a matter of fact, I deleted this app without backing it up, making me completely waste my $3. Line Rider was great on the computer, but I've found Line Rider iRide to be buggy buggy buggy. However, there is a "community" feature that allows you to upload and download other creator's tracks. Great idea, but I have no idea how it turned out, seeing as how I was so frustrated with the game I deleted it. Basically, this game is broken. Possibly just for me, seeing as how other people have it and love it, but I wouldn't recommend it, unless you want to take the risk. Buyer beware.


Hardware Review ( iPod Touch 8GB )

Although I got this awhile ago, I've been playing with it a LOT since. I've finally gotten around to writing a review... anyway, I finally got it. The iPod Touch 8GB, the same day the 2nd gen, 16GB, built-in-speaker-same-exact-price version came out... don't know why I didn't get that one.

Anyway, I'll start out with the look - sexy. Looks just like the first-gen iPhone, but it just doesn't make calls. ( Well, actually, there is a free "App" in the "App Store" that-- well, nevermind. ) The back of it does have the much hated ( at least by me ) chrome that gets scratched super easily. Transversely, however, the front is nearly impossible to scratch. I saw a YouTube video where a guy tried to scratch the screen with a box cutter to no avail. Being in disbelief, I tried something similar with a bottle cap - I'll just say the video is legit. It's hard to believe that this thing is that hard to scratch. It smudges easily, and a lot, but doesn't scratch.

Secondly, the features - several. Unless you have the 2nd-gen iPod Touch, you can download the "App Store" to your iPod Touch for a fee of $9.95. ( Unless you Jailbreak it - good luck though. Nearly bricked my iPod. ) Basically, the "App Store" features a whole lot of "Applications" made by people and companies, and there are literally thousands. Here you can find games, travel, education, entertainment, music, and a whole bunch of other apps. Although most of the good ones you have to pay for, they are generally pretty reasonable, and you get a good idea of how good an app really is just by reading a few reviews or trying the "Lite" version of the app, if there is one available. Once an app is downloaded, it will download to your - what I will call - homepage, where you can have several pages of apps. Also at the homepage is the other stuff. Music, videos, photos, settings, calender, contacts, among other things that come with the iPod upon purchasing. The most notable however, being Safari, which is the internet. And, if you are in a Wi-Fi hotspot with decent/good bandwidth, works very well for the most part. My only real complaint is that sometimes, for no reason, pages will lag, causing you to mess up your typing, and sometimes even throwing you back to the "home page" for no reason at all. That's actually just about my only biff with this iPod - the thing is great.

Basically, if you don't have an iPod or MP3 player by now, you shouldn't get this iPod Touch. Why? Because you should get the NEWER and BETTER iPod Touch that also costs $300 but has 16 GB instead of 8GB. I do however recommend you get a warranty, seeing as how Apple products seem to fail in the long run. ( I know they do for me, anyway. ) If you don't have a cell phone yet for any reason or need a new one, AND have the money to pay $70+ a month for it, get the new iPhone 3G which is essentially this, just with a phone, obviously.