Sunday, October 28, 2007

300th Post! Game Review ( Guitar Hero III - 360 )

Finally! Here at last, is Guitar Hero III. This review might be a little long, but you'll survive. I've yet to play every single song, but I've played the core of the game, and I'll give a "full" review when I get the game in a few days.

Graphics: 4.25/5 They really aren't impressive, I almost think the Guitar Hero II look is better. The character models in Guitar Hero III look pretty awesome, and the venues look pretty decent, but when compared to little things, like the fans, or the set on the venue, it just looks funky. It doesn't even matter though - who cares about graphics in Guitar Hero? Certainly not me.

Sound: 5/5 Has to be a five out of five. 46 songs in the game, mostly of which are master tracks. Even the covers, such as "Paranoid", sound almost exactly like the real thing. The soundtrack isn't the greatest thing in the world. There are a few boring songs in the mix, but for the most part, this is one fantastic soundtrack.

Control: 5/5 Most people will notice the "hit window" for the notes has changed - it's bigger, so it's easier to hit notes. It's not real big, but there's definitey a difference. With the new Les Paul controller, Guitar Hero III feels really good. [See bottom of page for Les Paul review.] Besides the bigger hit window, this game controls almost exactly the same as Guitar Hero II did.

Fun: 5/5 Awesome game. The one thing I don't care about is a small thing, but I don't like the leaderboards. They are more in depth, but there's a reason I don't like them. It shows your wins for certain modes in online play, but not your losses. You could be the worst player in the world and play a million songs a day and be on top of the leaderboard - higher than someone that's amazing at the game but rarely plays. Still, Guitar Hero III is nearly flawless. Sure, there are less songs than Guitar Hero II, but you'll live. The Co-Op career is fun, although there are some bass sections on songs that are quite lame. Some songs are also quite challenging on expert, including the "One" solo, and, as everyone knows by now, "Through the Fire and Flames" - but who doesn't like a challenge? Guitar Hero III is a lot of fun to say the very least, and with online play, and the new Guitar Hero Community at, Guitar Hero III will be played well into '08 and probably even '09 by many, I'm sure.


-Les Paul-

4.75/5 When I saw the pictures on the computer, I was hardly impressed. I thought the controller looked pretty stupid, honestly, but in person, it's great. It has a glossy black covering, and it just looks much better built than the Xplorer that came with Guitar Hero II, in comparison - there is no comparison. The Les Paul looks much better and realistic than the Xplorer. I'm not too crazy about the buttons on the controller, though. The strum bar is wider than the Xplorer, which is definitely a good thing, and it's quite a bit quieter when you strum, which is really good - but the fret buttons almost feel broken. They are a bit harder to push down, and they make less noise. I'm just not liking that feeling. You can also purchase faceplates for your Les Paul at the price of probably $20-$40 - I'm not sure. All-in-all, the Les Paul is almost perfect, although a little expensive. It's also wireless, which may or may not be a good thing. Sure, there is obviously no wire, but if you play for a long time, you will be using a lot of batteries up, so make sure to have rechargable ones - or use the Xplorer if you have that one from Guitar Hero II.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Game Review ( skate. DEMO - 360 )

Graphics: 4.25/5 I'd probably get criticized for rating the graphics so low if someone met me on the street, but they aren't that great - they're deceiving. The character models look quite good, the levels look pretty decent, and the far away environments look pretty bad for the most part. Especially the weird looking trees.

Sound: 4/5 Hard to hear much besides faint music in the background and the skateboard rolling and grinding. Give it a 4 for averageness.

Control: 4.5/5 Of course, this is what makes skate. drastically different than the Tony Hawk games. In skate., virtually everything you do is controlled by the right analog stick. The ollies, the flip tricks, all board movement. The controls definitely take getting used to - I still found myself trying to use A to jump, when that button in skate. simple makes you skate.

Fun: 4.25/5 I couldn't get much out of the demo, it's only a demo - it's only one small level. Still, I see myself playing the full version eventually, just maybe not too soon, with Guitar Hero III, Call of Duty 4, and Rock Band coming out. I'm sure the full version of skate. is a lot of fun. I'll probably review it within the next month or two.


Game Review ( Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic - Xbox )

Graphics: 4.5/5 I don't know exactly what qualified as amazing back in '03 when this game was released, but I do know that for an Xbox game, especially one that came out in '03, this is a pretty good looking game. In old reviews from websites, they stated this was one of the best games ever. Of course now, it's not so. The game lags quite a bit, even when there isn't much going on on screen, which is pretty annoying, but like I said, I don't know what was expected four years ago.

Sound: 5/5 One of the best games with voice overs. This game must have THOUSANDS and THOUSANDS of lines read by actors. There is very little you actually need to read. The sound effects are also top notch, and the music is Star Wars music, of course. The game sounds great.

Control: 4.5/5 Not too difficult. At first, you may have some trouble doing a few things, but after about thirty minutes, you should settle in. It basically controls like most RPG games. Controls quite well.

Fun: 4.75/5 I'm only about an hour into this game - I've done virtually nothing yet. Still, I know what to be expecting. This game is considered by many the best Star Wars game ever - and it's an RPG. Think of it as Star Wars Galaxies for the PC, but on a console and with single player. It'd be great to see in the future another KotOR, but with online play. If you haven't played this game yet, you need to play it now. You'll find it for about $20 new and even cheaper used.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Game Review ( Guitar Hero 3 DEMO - 360 )

The GHIII demo was released today (10-23) on Xbox Live and features five songs: "Lay Down", "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", "Even Flow", "Rock You Like A Hurricane", and "The Metal". I'll just review each song, one-by-one. [Note: I play on Expert, so my review's based on that difficulty.]


"Lay Down"/"Hit Me With Your Best Shot": 3.5/5 I'll just review these two songs together. While they're both somewhat catchy, they aren't too fun to play on Guitar Hero. They're quite repetitive, and very easy.

"Even Flow": 4.5/5 While it has a somewhat repetitive main riff, Pearl Jam is a great band, and this is one of their best songs in my opinion. While not strenuously difficult, in anyway, it's fun to play.

"Rock You Like A Hurricane": 4.75/5 Difficult, and a lot of fun to play. For the most part, the song is very easy, but the whole guitar solo in the song are far from easy. Getting the first star power sequence your first time trying the song won't be likely. One of the best, if not the best, songs in the demo.

"The Metal": 4.75/5 A pretty short and fun song. The main riff is a lot of fun to play, and the song has some hard to get chords, but you'll get it eventually. Not the hardest song ever to be in Guitar Hero, but it's definitely fun.


The Guitar Hero 3 DEMO isn't really fantastic, but isn't bad at all. There are three very fun songs, but two songs that are really boring and easy to play. Hopefully, Neversoft has less of the bad, and more of the good in the final game. We'll just have to see on the 28th.


Sunday, October 21, 2007

Game Review ( KartRider - PC )

KartRider is a game that apparently is extremely popular in South Korea. According to Wikipedia, 15,000,000 South Koreans have played the game, meaning 25% of all South Korean's have played the game at least once. KartRider is essentially Mario Kart, but to me, it feels like it has Diddy Kong Racing in the mix there too. Here is my review on KartRider.

Graphics: 4/5 Not amazing, but still look great. Even on 256MB-512MB of RAM, the game will run perfectly smooth. There is some lag around, but that's expected for a game like this. The maps look good, the characters and karts do as well, very well done.

Sound: 3.75/5 It's kind of lacking. The music in the menu and in-game is pretty catchy, I must say, but the music on the snow levels sounds strikingly similar to the songs in the game Diddy Kong Racing. There are also little things. When in game lobby's, you can do face combinations, such as: >.< , <3 , TT, LOL, and more, and your character will do the action, which is pretty cool.

Control: 4/5 The game controls fine, it's just that the amount of money it costs to buy a go-kart isn't even worth it, as the karts seem to run the same speed, and control the same way. The only difference is the look of them. Very simplistic controls, but the drift is pretty much useless in most situations, and there's no point of it, at least in Item races.

Fun: 4.75/5 KartRider is just SURPRISINGLY deep. There are maybe 12 tracks, ( Not too sure ) but there is great variety. Some of them look similar to those of Mario Kart and Diddy Kong Racing tracks, but that's not at all a bad thing. KartRider is basically a Go-Kart RPG, and it's a lot of fun. It's not perfect, but it's a lot of fun. And the BEST thing about it? It works on some older computers quite easily, AND it's absolutely free.


[Mainly because of the $0 pricetag, and addictiveness.]

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hardware Review ( Skullcandy Earbuds )

Today I had to buy new headphones for my iPod, since the stock ones broke, as well as my old PSP ones. I decided to buy these ones. They were comewhat pricy at $31, but they looked cool, and I heard good things about them.

Appearance: 5/5 From what I saw at Best Buy, they only have black and white headphones. I got the white ones since my iPod is already black. Anyway, they look pretty cool for earbuds. They are shaped nicely, and appear to be well made. The 'phones come with a few extra rubber ear piece things, for people with bigger or smaller ears.

Performance: 5/5 Can't ask for much more. The cord is plenty long enough, actually almost too long at I believe 1.2 meters. These are pretty unique ear buds. Instead of being placed inside the ear and nesting there, these ones have a rubber doo-hicky at the end, and you shove them in your ear so they don't fall out. Your ears may pop, but it's worth it - it basically works like an ear plug, with only the music going into your ear, which is really cool. They are very comfortable as well. Another thing some people may be happy about is that there is a volume slider switch in the middle of the wire, so you can turn up and down your music as you please without having to reach into your pocket and adjust it from there. ( It looks like you're doing something else when you do that, anyway. ;] ) Better yet, your iPod can be on "hold", and you can still adjust the volume with the headphones. You can absolutely blast music LOUD out of these things.

Overall: 5/5 Virtually perfect headphones/earbuds, but it's either a love them or hate them situation. Some people may really hate the fact they go so far into your ear, and others may really like it. I think you know what my opinion is. You'll hear your music better than ever, they look cool, they come with a few extra supplies, including a case to put your headphones/earbuds away at anytime if neccessary as well. I don't think people that don't use Q-Tips would want to use these, as they can pick up some earwax when you take them out, and/or oil. Thankfully, I do use Q-Tips. The 'phones are about $31, so they aren't cheap, but I think they're worth it. If you need new 'phones, try and get these ones.

Highly Recommended.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Game Review ( The Simpsons Road Rage - Xbox )

Graphics: 4/5 For a 2001 Xbox game, it looks very good for the most part. The characters look good, the vehicles you drive in look great, and the environments look okay. It really varies. A bigger problem in this game is the framerate. You can definitely tell when there are a lot of cars on screen. But like I said, for an early Xbox game, this game looks mostly fantastic.

Sound: 4/5 If you play Road Rage a lot, you'll realize that there are a LOT of repeated lines between characters. Still though, it's great to hear new bits of audio from characters from the show, as well as stuff from episodes in the show. Really, there's nothing to hate here. Besides repetitive dialogue here and there, the cars all sound different. Everything is above average.

Control: 3.75/5 Very simple controls with two different schemes. I prefer the RT to drive, LT to brake/reverse. Cool enough, each character's car controls differently, and pretty realistically. Otto's bus has slow acceleration and turns terribly, while a car like Bart's Honor Roller goes really fast and has wicked tight turns. It's just that some cars surpass others and are much better. Basically, the cars are unbalanced. You'll find yourself playing with the same car over and over again after a few plays.

Fun: 4/5 This score may seem high, but since the game has (for quite awhile) fallen to $20, or even less if you find it on sale, and just makes it all the more worth getting. This isn't necessarily a game to play for a long period of time straight, but more for 30-60 minutes of play at a time - it just gets a repetitive. This is just a great game. Better than the game it "ripped-off", Crazy Taxi. That's all it is, just with Simpsons characters, and it's a lot of fun, especially since there are a lot of different locations that you drop and pick characters off at that are in the show. The "Missions" are pure jokes, though. There are only ten of them, and you get nothing for completing them, and they should only take 30 minutes or so to beat them all. When you play the "Road Rage" mode, you get money that you can use to buy cars and starting locations, which adds to the playability. There is also a mode where you can drive around by yourself and explore, which is pretty cool, and you can also play head-to-head with a friend. For $20, and if you're a Simpsons fan, this is just a must buy - moreso because it can be played on the Xbox 360.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

Game Review ( Guitar Hero 2 Indie Label Pack - 360 Arcade )


Indie Label Pack:
"Detonation" - Trivium
"Ex's And Oh's" - Atreyu
"Bury The Hatchet" - Protest The Hero


The newest GH2 pack available for download is a very good one to say the least. This pack was released pretty recently, ( September 28th ) but I just got it. I had only heard of the band Atreyu in this pack, and didn't, and still don't, know who Trivium or Protest The Hero are. These songs are pretty difficult, and at first was disappointed in myself for buying it. After learning how to play the songs, GASP. I liked it more! Hah. Here's le review, as the French would say.


"Detonation": 5/5 Amazingly catchy song, and a very nice challenge. This song has it all. It was very difficult at first, but it's easy to learn if you're a good Guitar Hero player. I can't say much else. I didn't care for this song at all the first time I played it, but the second time, and each time I play it, I liked it more. One of the best songs in the game.

"Ex's And Oh's": 4.75/5 A fairly easy song to play but AWESOME fun to play. There are a lot of chords, which gets repetitive, but the solo is of perfect difficulty. Not too hard to ace, but a lot of fun to play. Atreyu in Guitar Hero. It has finally happened!

"Bury The Hatchet": 5/5 Amazingly catchy song like the other two. Nothing to say about this song. Just one of the best songs to play on Guitar Hero, and the song sounds great to.


Some people may not like this pack because of the genre. It's basically a pack of Metal songs, but it contains three of the best songs in the entire game, if not the best songs. A better pack than the MCR one in every single way. Without hesitating, you should buy this pack. It costs 500 MSP like the other packs, but this pack is worth it more than any of the others.


Game Review ( Guitar Hero 2 My Chemical Romance Pack - 360 Arcade )


My Chemical Romance Pack
"Famous Last Words" - My Chemical Romance
"Teenagers" - My Chemical Romance
"This Is How I Disapeer" - My Chemical Romance


The My Chemical Romance Pack was released August 14th at the familiar price of 500 MSP, and just over a month after the fourth track pack was released for download. This is the first pack released on Xbox Live that doesn't feature Guitar Hero songs. I was pretty stunned to see that they were My Chemical Romance songs. One, because I was, like others, expecting Guitar Hero I songs, and second, I don't particularily care for My Chemical Romance. Here's my review. Sorry if it's hella long.


"Famous Last Words": 4.5/5 I might be rating this a little high, but it's a good song. The song is very catchy, but it's a song that isn't very Guitar Hero-esque. It's mainly constant chords, with a pretty easy guitar solo. It's also pretty long, clocking in at over 5 minutes, and it's repetitive. A lot of surprising fun in this song though.

"Teenagers": 4.25/5 A very easy song. "Teenagers" has a few hoppy chords and what-not, but it's an easy song that a beginner to Guitar Hero's Expert mode could probably beat. It's a good song though with lyrics that will probably be stuck in your head one time or another.

"This Is How I Disappear": 4/5 Good song, but strains the hands of many down strummers, like myself. It's not necessarily difficult, but your strumming hand will likely be sore by the end of the song. It is much like "Famous Last Words", in that it is mostly chords.


So what do I think of this pack? It's worth the 500 points. There could have been better songs available for download besides these, but these songs are different, and they are pretty catchy and fun to play for the most part. Still, if you have a computer, and the Xplorer guitar for the 360, you should download Frets on Fire. It's Guitar Hero for the computer, and you can download these songs and play them for free. Although it's just not as much fun. No leaderboards, and you can't downstrum at all. But like I said, worth the points, definitely should be bought. MCR fan or not, download it if you haven't already.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Game Review ( The Simpsons Game DEMO - 360 )

Graphics: 5/5 Your style or not, these graphics are cel-shaded, and the best The Simpsons can look on the 360. Sure, some edges might be sharpened, but this is the best it gets. The animation and everything is good, too.

Sound: 5/5 In the demo, Harry Shearer, Nancy Cartwright, and Dan Caselenetta, do a great job with the voices. Some lines you can hear are right from the show, and you'll know if you watch it a lot.

Control: 3.5/5 I'm being generous with a 3.5. The controls are actually quite terrible. The camera wobbles sometimes for no reason, running around corners is sometimes a pain, and walking on little ledges is difficult because you can easil fall off. The camera angles aren't the only thing that suck. The auto-aim system does too. If you look at something and try to auto-aim with LT, you won't necessary lock-on to the thing you're aiming at, which is really frustrating.

Fun: 3.5/5 I expect much better come release. The game looks and sounds fantastic, but the controls almost ruin it. Being a huge Simpsons fan, I'd hate to see The Simpsons next-gen first appearence be a far less than impressive one.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

Game Review ( Bomberman LIVE: Bomb-Up Pack #2 - 360 )

The second Bomberman pack was released a few weeks ago now, but I just decided to buy it because... what the hell, it was only 200 MSP. Anyway, this pack is much like the first. It adds some more clothes, two new arenas, and one new mode. I personally think the clothes included in this pack are much better than the first, and you can now make better looking combinations of clothes. For instance, an old man ballerina, or a pimp. The two new arenas aren't what they say in the description. Instead of the maps being Speed Racer and Dreamland, they are Full Tilt and Medieval Times. Both maps are quite interesting. Medieval Times is much like High Stakes from BUP #1 because it can have anything played in it. This pack also includes what are called Bomb Shelters, which sound like they'd be a cool addition, but instead, really aren't. Actually, they're stupid and pointless. Bomb Shelters can be included on any map, (excluding Plundering Isles ) and I don't know what they are used for. They don't protect you from bombs or do anything to save you. The only thing I think they do is make it harder for players to see where you're at, which is completely useless in 1-on-1 games. One final thing I have to point out is that Hudson glitched this pack. In order to use the new costumes in this pack, you have to have downloaded the first one, too, which is a bummer for people that didn't do that. Bomberman LIVE BUP #2 isn't quite as good as the first, but it's cheaper, and has better costumes. It's just quite a shame that very few people even still play Bomberman LIVE, otherwise this pack would be more worth getting. But at 200 MSP, it isn't like you're throwing money away. You're only paying a little over two dollars here. The pack isn't spectacular, as you are only getting two new arenas, useless Bomb Shelters and some new clothes, but It's hard to not recommend, especially for Bomberman fans.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Game Review ( Halo 3 - 360 ) -Review #2-

It's now been a week since I've had Halo 3... it was definitely a quick week. Now that I've beaten campaign and played well over 100 matches on Xbox Live, this is my final opinion on Halo 3 for the 360.

Graphics: 4.5/5 Far from what they could be. Halo 3 shines in some areas, but in others, it just looks like an average 360 title. The character models look very well done, and the lighting is really amazing, but some of the textures are a little off, and just don't look quite as good as other games on the system, such as the nearly year old Gears of War. Still, the game lags very little to none in most matches online, no matter how much chaos is going on. That is definitely a solid plus. Many people complained about the graphics big time saying they looked "too much like Halo 2"... what game are they playing? Halo 3 looks much better and sharper than Halo 2. There is virtually no comparison.

Sound: 5/5 Just as good as Halo 2, actually, maybe a bit better. Some of the guns, such as the SMG, sounded different in Halo 2, but everything sounds super good. The explosions, rest of the guns, the music... everything about it. Simply adds to the experience.

Control: 4.75/5 A little switched up for the 360 to play better on the 360 controller. At first, I kept pressing X to reload, and I drained some health, dropped random bubble shields and whatnot for quite awhile. But after a little while, I got really used to the controls, and they work quite naturally really. I still think I prefer Halo 2's controls, though.

Fun: 5/5 This 5/5 may be awfully generous, for several reasons. First of all, the campaign won't last you long at all. Even on Legendary, it should only take you 7 or so hours on average if you play with a few friends. Also, the matchmaking is severely flawed. You'll be seeing yourself playing a LOT of Shotty/Snipers and the same maps over and over again. It's actually an amazing feeling when you play a map that you don't normally see in matchmaking just because you do usually play the same 4 or 5 maps constantly. Still, this game is Halo. It will keep most players playing for a very long time. Although the maps after awhile do get old (the ones you play a bajillion times a day) you can always play a custom match, or fool around on Forge, in which you can have you and a few friends fiddle with stuff on maps. If you mess around enough, you may find out you can actually play Mario Kart Double Dash Halo 3 style on Mongooses, as well as baseball. Halo 3 is just an epic game that everyone knows about, gamer or not, and even though it might have been overhyped, it was worth the wait. Halo 3 is a very well done game.


Online co-op.
It's Halo 3.

Some may be unimpressed with the graphics.
Relatively short campaign.
Matchmaking needs to get fixed by Bungie.
Only 11 maps, some of which are recycled from Halo 2, just spiffied up to look different.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Ten ways to get good at Halo 3. Now.

There are well over a million people that already have played Halo 3, and there were billions of games logged into Halo 2. But if you didn't play Halo 2 much, or just got Halo 3, I have a few tips that should probably have you being a better player. Some tips may seem obvious, but others may not. Some ideas may be ideas a "pro" would tell you, and some would be what a "n00b" would tell you.

1.) First things first, try beating the campaign on Heroic and/or Legendary. If you can't do it alone, ( Not many can. ) try doing it with only one other person. It will teach you how to learn strategies, and just overall get better at the game.

2.) This is an obvious one, but learn what gun combinations work best, and at what range. It should be pretty easy to figure out, and it shouldn't take you more than a few games.

3.) MELEE! - Meleeing is surprisingly overpowered in Halo and it should be used to your advantage. Learn to use it when you're up close to someone rather than shooting... unless you have a shotgun.

4.) Try to somehow stay in at least groups of two with someone, so in case one of your shields go down, the other one with full health can start firing on the other team while his/your shield replenishes.

5.) Crouch behind corners after running away from someone. You won't be picked up on their radar, and they will almost always run past you, giving you a free kill most of the time.

6.) Play Social matches when you first get online... Ranked matches are just for more experienced players, and it's harder to do well in.

7.) While using a gun other than the sniper, try to aim for the body rather than the head. The head may cause more damage, but it's a much smaller target, and it's just easier to shoot the torso. With the sniper, it definitely is better to go for the head, as it takes one shot to kill someone, rather than two it takes to shoot someone twice anywhere else on their body.

8.) Throw grenades! You might not feel natural doing it or something, but give a good strong throw, even at random times, and you may score yourself a kill. If not, you'll likely deplete an opponents shield, making it super easy for him to die.

9.) Get in a vehicle... this is one noobish tip, but it will score you a lot of kills, most of the time, if you're a good driver. Getting into a Banshee on Valhalla off the start won't do anything for you but kill you if you don't exit the cockpit soon enough, but if you're in a Ghost or on the turret of a Warthog, be ready to be getting quite a few kills... as long as you can avoid grenades and people hijacking you.

10.) The obvious, practice. Practice makes better, and if you practice a lot at the game, you'll naturally learn how to do well... unless you're flat out bad at videogames, then you're hopeless.

I doubt this will help much, but it's something.