July Gaming Reviews

Filed under: Gaming etc etc |

The 10 most popular at the moment according to Gamespot.com

1. The Lord of the Rings: War in the North (PC)
2. Call of Juarez: The Cartel (X360)
3.Gears of War 3 (X360)
4.Star Wars: The Old Republic (PC)
5.Assassin’s Creed: Revelations (X360)
6.Batman: Arkham City (X360)
7.Bastion (X360)
8.Fallout: New Vegas (X360)
9.Saints Row: The Third (X360)


Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon

Taking place in the fictional city of New Detroit, Earth Defense Force: Insect Armageddon is a completely new game developed by Vicious Cycle that takes on the concept of Earth Defense Force 2017 (Japanese Title “Earth Defense Force 3” developed by SANDLOT). Insect Armageddon continues to follow the rich history of casual fun and addictive gameplay that made the franchise a cult classic. Insect Armageddon also adds a new aspect to the Earth Defense Force series that was born in Japan, with additional elements for all EDF soldiers to experience.


The Campaign mode that lets up to three players team up online to battle the insects and aliens across a completely destroyable city. Every EDF soldier is armed with over 150 weapons and four upgradeable armor sets and engages in nonstop arcade action that is the fastest and deadliest in the series. In addition, the game also features a six-player Survival mode that pits a human squad against a nonstop onslaught of the largest enemies the aliens have to offer. New Detroit’s giant bug problem is unavoidable, and mankind’s last hope lies with the Earth Defense Force to defend the world from the insect swarm, even if it means blowing up the entire city as part of the extermination process.

Info from: – http://www.gamerankings.com/


Call of Juarez: The Cartel Review

All the great ideas in the world don’t necessarily make for a great game. Case in point: Call of Juarez: The Cartel. This cooperative-focused first-person shooter has some neat concepts, but makes mistakes so fundamental you might wonder how good this game may have been, given a few more months of development time. Armchair philosophers can debate such hypotheticals. The Cartel is available now, and it doesn’t live up to its promise, though that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. As one of three sleazy government agents, you thieve secret items hidden away in each level’s nooks and crannies–and must do so without being caught by your curious comrades. It’s an inspired notion in keeping with the innate distrust among these three slippery sorts. But what The Cartel needed wasn’t inspiration–it was repair. The game is coarse and buggy, particularly on the PlayStation 3, where pauses and hitches too often interrupt the flow.



A New Beginning

UK REVIEW–As far as video games go, saving the world is a fairly common goal. Perhaps less common, though, is saving the world using algae. A New Beginning’s tale of eco-warriors, retired scientists, and seaweed is somewhat more grounded than the usual fare, despite a bit of time travelling. The story plays on global warming and climate-change fears, giving events an air of believability. And even though there’s a science fiction element to the proceedings, the puzzles and interactions remain within the realm of possibility. This level of care doesn’t extend to every aspect of A New Beginning. The poor translation and shoddy voice acting will put many off, as they negatively impact the storytelling. There’s something to be enjoyed here for fans of traditional adventure games, thanks to some great puzzle design and a fantastic art style.

A New Beginning charts the adventures of time-travelling radio operator Fay, and Bent Svennson, a morose retired algae specialist. In the distant future, the planet has been decimated by climate change. The only way to save the world is for Fay to travel back in time and convince the powers that be to start investing in more eco-friendly energy sources. You can almost picture Al Gore fist bumping the writers as each apocalyptic warning is issued. Naturally, the best way to stop climate change is to convince a clinically depressed former scientist to continue his algae research. Much of the first half of the game is taken up with Fay recounting her story to Bent and explaining just why his work is so important. The narrative is a lot less preachy than it initially seems, and it ends up developing into a rather balanced morality tale with a surprisingly human touch to its characters, all of whom talk about algae far more than is healthy.

At times, though, the dialogue doesn’t do the game’s story justice. It’s painfully clear that something has been lost in translation, with lines seeming unnatural and stunted in both scripting and delivery. On occasion, the poor translation makes way for no translation at all, with the text for a few optional interactions presented in its native German. The voice acting is equally lackluster; vocals drip with boredom or are performed by one of the numerous Seth Green-soundalikes who make up half the cast. It has a distinctly low-budget air to it, which is perhaps understandable, but it’s a shame when put beside the gorgeous background and character art, as well as the swelling, evocative soundtrack. The game suffers most during any scene that is meant to be in any way serious. Toward the beginning, there’s a montage of fairly dramatic reveals, and the line delivery turns them into something of a farce. At other times, there’s some clearly intentional comedy, but often, it’s hard to tell whether you’re laughing with the game or at it.

A New Beginning is really something special to look at, however. The beautiful, hand-drawn style is a refreshing change from the more common 3D models of recent years. Cutscenes take on a comic-book style, but they’re nowhere near as good looking, and it’s the in-game art that really shines. Not only does an immaculate art style offer a visual treat, but it also provides clarity to a genre that all too often suffers from confusing pixel hunting as you try to pick out a tiny item on a background of blur. The clarity is aided by the simple, effective interface. It is standard point-and-click fare, with the right mouse button used for your inventory and the left mouse button used to open a radial menu from which you can select one of up to four interactions. Sometimes these let you play with an object to glean more clues as to its use, and other times, they serve as an excuse to simply expand on the dialogue. More than once, an object possesses a “look at” and an “analyze” option, both of which just lead Fay or Bent to make an observation about the hot spot. Some of the interactions are plain unusual and obviously pointless; the option to drive a vehicle you’ve just wrecked being a low point even if it is quite amusing to see it appear.