A MOVIE A DAY: CARS

Its been ages since I’ve watched a movie with the games and a lot of other things keeping me busy! 😛 Observing this, Miss Sakura here devised a very clever plan which successfully hatched into having me watch at least a single movie every night. And not just that, I’ve also been asked to write about how I felt after watching every movie for you people ^_^. So here goes… 🙂

I spent the first night watching “Cars”, something that I’ve been putting off for…like…4 years now :P. But I must say it totally blew me away! Been a long time since I watched such a heartwarming movie :). Although I gotta admit, I didn’t exactly expect the movie to focus on friends and family, instead I thought it would be about some cartoonic cars trying their best to become the world champions or something O_O, which I’m really happy about :). Almost all the characters were really memorable, my personal favourite being the rusty “Matey” :D. Some of the scenes had me laughing on the floor too, like the one where the tractors flip over at the sound of horns 😀 :D.

All in all, if you’re looking for a heartwarming, memorable and a fun movie and if you don’t mind it being an animated one, you should definitely try out “Cars”! 🙂 And yes,  gear up for CARS 2, releasing this month!!

Advertisements

DARKSIDERS

After nearly two months of patiently playing “Darksiders” while being busy with my final year project, tests, etc, I finally completed it and so here I am today bringing you its review! 😀

Yeah you guessed it right! This huge, deadly looking, cool guy above is who you will be playing as in this refreshing game!! 😀 His name’s WAR and is one of the four horsemen of “Apocalypse”, the others being Death, Conquest and Famine. Although the others never make an appearance in the game, **except as three raging meteors in the end** seems they have already been designed by the crew!

Being an action-adventure game, it reminded me a lot about a lot of other games I’ve played over the years. For instance, there were times when I’ve had to place ticking mini bombs at appropriate places to blast open ways to a lever or something and holding them for too long will make them go KA-BOOM in my hands! This reminded me a lot about the Zelda games I’ve played in my Nintendo.  And there were also times when all the exits were blocked and remained blocked till I defeated all the enemies in the room which reminded me of the Devil May Cry games.

The game has a pretty good storyline **although I couldn’t understand certain points and twists in the plot…then again I guess it’s just me**. The combat system is fluid and easy to pick up! It has a LOT of combos and a number of cool and awesome looking weapons at your disposal. Trust me, cutting and slashing through the enemies with them will never be the same ^_^. The boss fights are really innovative and will require a bit of thinking and paying attention to their movement patterns before figuring out their weak points and finally defeating them. Besides combat, the game will also have a number of challenging and interesting puzzles to solve.

 


The fights get even more dynamic and fantabulous when you take control of your steed, RUIN! Slashing enemies while riding on him will make you feel like a death God driven by vengeance **which is what you should be feeling I guess, given the storyline** and the boss fights involving RUIN truly deserve a special mention because those were some of the FASTEST PACED and the COOLEST looking battles I’ve ever fought!!!

Oh and here’s a picture of the four horsemen of apocalypse

Guess the one on top is “Famine” and we have “WAR” on left which leaves “Conquest” and “Death” to the right and bottom respectively. Also sources reveal that “Famine” has been renamed to “Fury” for some reason.

If you haven’t played this game yet, do yourself a favor and start playing IMMEDIATELY ^_^. It seems Darksiders 2 has been confirmed and we’ll be playing as some other horseman in it **I sincerely hope its “Death”:D**

MASS EFFECT 2

Having finished Mass Effect a few years back followed by Dragon Age-Origins and Mass Effect 2 a few months back, I get the feeling that Bioware’s games just keep getting better and better with time! Most of the RPGs that have been released up until now have the sword and shield style of play with an ancient, magical feel to it, while Bioware, with the release of the “Mass Effect” games, has splendidly proved that even futuristic RPGs that involve guns, spaceships and the like can be successful if done right. Bioware’s latest smash hit, Mass Effect 2 is what I’ll be reviewing today 🙂


Both Mass Effect 1 & 2 are just like any other RPG with choices, consequences and hence high replay values with multifarious endings :). But what separates ME from the other RPGs is the fact that the choices made in ME1, in addition to having consequences in the same, have consequences in ME2 as well provided you choose to import the main character from ME1 to ME2 instead of creating a new character! It was the first game to come up with something as brilliant as this.

There have been a lot of changes in ME2 since ME1. For instance, ME1 never had the ammo system. Instead, it had the heat indication system wherein the rising temperature of the weapon being fired is shown as a filling horizontal bar which when full, forces the player to take cover for a few seconds for the weapon to cool down before he can fire again. This was replaced by the conventional ammo system in ME2. While some fans complained about this switch, I felt the ammo system to be much better than the former for I noticed minor bugs in the former system. At times, the heat indication bar never went down in ME1 when it’s supposed to and as a result, I had to quit and restart the game again for the weapons to work as they should.

Also, ME1 allowed riding your own mini vehicle in selected planets and discovering valuable information and resources. This was stripped off in ME2 which in my opinion was the only flaw they made. The player isn’t even allowed to hover over a planet with his huge ship, ‘The Normandy’. Instead, collecting resources became nothing more than holding the LMB over a planet and moving the mouse inch by inch to discover the portion of the planet that holds the required resource(s)(as shown in the figure below). This particular activity requires TREMENDOUS amount of patience and even if one miraculously possesses the same, it could still getting annoyingly frustrating after a while! -_-


The even more annoying point is, if the player doesn’t spend his time gathering resources and upgrading his ship and other technology with the same, the climax could…well….get disastrous (I don’t want to include spoilers so I’m stopping here).


In ME2, you get to spend a lot of time recruiting crew members from various parts of the galaxy (which again is much larger in size than in ME1) by doing various missions. There are a lot more variety and sense of purpose in the missions in ME2 than in ME1. Your work doesn’t stop with just recruiting your NPC crew members and keeping them idle in your ship. Repeated interactions with the same will result in them revealing to you, their personal problems and hence the necessity to complete additional missions for each crew member in order that they remain loyal to you and not lose focus during the final battle. Such missions have been given the name “loyalty missions” and again ignoring the same could prove disastrous.


NPC interactions have a lot more feel to it in ME2 than in ME1. Repeated interactions, in addition to unlocking loyalty missions, also reveal some of their personal life stories and as a result, the player could feel a kind of bond growing between the NPC crew member and himself the more he chooses to interact and listen to their woes (at least that’s how I felt).


The paragon/renegade types of dialogues that were introduced in ME1 have been carried over to ME2 as well. In addition, the player can also perform paragon/renegade type of actions upon the indication of the appropriate signal provided you have enough paragon/renegade points.


The character development system has been carried over from Mass Effect 1 as well wherein squad points are awarded at each level up which should be distributed according to the player’s requirements.



The variety of races is much greater when compared to ME1. In addition to the squishy looking blue asarians, the quarians with poor immunity, etc new races have also been introduced one of which being the reptile-like humanoids called drells that have the ability to perfectly recollect each and every moment of their lives. Their powers of recollection are so strong that they often feel like they are reliving the very moment during the process of recollection of the same.


Once again, the presentation of the story was just sooooo fantabulous that ME2 had me hooked to it even weeks after finishing the game. It was like watching a one month long movie with you being the hero and controlling the flow of the story. If you haven’t played this game yet, play it NOW and experience a ride like NEVER BEFORE!!! Trust me, you won’t regret choosing to play this one of a kind game :).


I just hope Mass Effect 3 comes out soon…real soon!!! Can’t wait to get my hands on it! 🙂


**spoiler alert**

For those who’ve finished this game with the climax showing the death of commander Shepard, those saves will be useless and cannot be imported to ME3 (as mentioned clearly by bioware). Those people should either replay ME2 all over again, preventing the death of commander Shepard or should create a new character in ME3 with the default choices from ME1 and ME2 integrated into the new character.


As for those whose commander survived, keep your saves safe for they will be of immense use when ME3 comes out  😉 🙂

DRAGON AGE

You might have played a lot of games that keep you glued to your seats merely due to the awesomeness of their game play and their combat systems even if they have not-so-impressive storylines (to be honest that’s how more than 50% of the games get ridiculously famous). But how many of you have actually come across games whose storylines are SO impressive that makes you play them through to the end even if their game play mechanics are not that addictive? Dragon Age: Origins is one such game which I’ll be reviewing today 🙂

Belonging to the RPG genre, one of the best things about the game is that the start of the story depends on the race of the character you create (human, elf, etc) and the attitude of the people you meet throughout the game will also depend on this. For instance, if you choose to be a human, the response of the people in the game to your questions and inquiries will be polite and they treat you with respect and if an elf, they will look down on you and will treat you with bitterness and contempt. As a result, Dragon Age has a VERY high replay value when compared to the other RPGs released in 2009.

The story itself is what makes the game so unique and awesome in its own way. Some may consider it a rip off from Lord of the Rings. Rip off or not, the presentation of the story is just too good and flawless and is simply one of the best I’ve ever seen.

You control a party of four in this game including yourself. The game adopts the pause-and-play tactical combat system wherein you basically pause the game to get an overhead view of the situation like the number of enemies, whether they are mages, or warriors, or rangers, their formations etc, based on which, you formulate your own strategy formation and issue successive commands WHILE having the game paused which get executed when you un-pause the game. You might find yourself outnumbered most of the time, but careful planning will help you win no matter what the odds. But one cannot pause every time a character is in a dire situation like low health, mana, and the like for which the tactic slots were introduced. In simple terms, the tactic slots help you program how each member of your party should react to different situations. For instance, a character can be set to automatically drink a potion without the player’s intervention if his health falls below a certain value. He can also be set to aid a fellow party member automatically if he’s surrounded by two or more opponents. You can set the characters’ behavior(s) to multifarious situations like these (limited only by the number of tactic slots for each character which increases as the character levels up). The picture below might give you an idea of what I’m talking about here 🙂

If these slots are used right, your party will automatically react to even the most surprising of ambushes and even win against the same. Of course this may not work for the boss fights wherein the player is definitely required to micromanage such fights if he’s to progress through the game. Although a brilliant combat system, I’m not a very big fan of this type as I’m a melee addict who loves to control his sword movements right from the beginning of a fight to the point where I finish my opponent(s) and breaking head over formulating a strategy is just not my style. The only reason I played the game through to the end was because of the highly captivating story and nothing else 🙂

Following the combat system, there is also this approval rating system that I want to make a mention of. The decisions you make throughout the game may be liked or disliked by some and whether a party member likes, dislikes or is neutral to you is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. It is vital that these numbers do not go too low for they might abandon you in the middle of a battle if so. So basically a player can’t just go about taking the most evil of decisions and still expect his party to support him. You can also improve their approval ratings by giving them various gifts that can be purchased or found throughout the game. Higher approval ratings also introduce multiple romance options with certain party members.

I started liking and respecting Bioware a lot the moment I got my hands on Mass Effect which was further improved by a HUMONGOUS amount after playing the story-driven Dragon Age.  Hats off to you Bioware, for displaying such tremendous consistency with your story driven RPGs. Here’s hoping to play more of your games in the months to come 🙂

THE WITCHER

Well here goes my very first review of my personal favorite PC game, The Witcher… 🙂


clip_image002

First off, I’d like to mention that I never really had the patience to fully play a role playing game. But The Witcher somehow caught my eye and at first glance, seemed like any other role-playing game in the market. But only when I started playing it did I fully realize what “Don’t judge a book by its cover” really meant! :D.

Witchers are basically monster hunters who receive special training and have their bodies modified at an early age leaving them with inhuman combat abilities and reflexes with which they can battle even the deadliest of monsters and still survive! It is said that very few have been able to survive these drastic changes and the famous ‘Geralt of Rivia’ happens to be one among them around who the story of this one of a kind game revolves.


clip_image002

There are a lot of things about this game that deserve special mentions and they are what make this game a whole lot different and better from the normal RPGs. I’ll start off with the combat system which personally impressed me the most. Geralt’ll be using two swords in the game namely “The Witcher’s Sword” for the monsters and other non-human opponents and the steel sword for the humans which are both upgradable. He can assume one of the three stances depending on the number and the kind of enemies he is facing, the first for bringing down huge (mostly armored) opponents, the second to bring down the swift and cunning ones and the third when he’s surrounded by a mixture of the above mentioned kinds! And cutting the enemy involves timely clicks of the LMB at regular intervals. Although I found the timely clicking part a bit dumb in the beginning, I started to grow fond of it as I played through the game and soon realized it was definitely better than rapidly bashing the poor LMB till it pops out. You gotta play the game to fully understand what I mean here!:)


clip_image002

Following the combat system, the ability of the player to make decisions that LARGELY affect the flow of the story was quite fascinating. I’m not saying the other RPGs don’t have this but I’m only saying that the magnitude by which the flow of the story changes is just greater than anything I’ve ever seen, leaving me with the desire to play the game over and over again!

Also I so totally loved the narrative style because in addition to the careful choice of words with the intention of creating impacts at several crucial points in the game, painted pictures accompanied them instead of the normal cut scenes which I don’t see in many games these days. The graceful day and night cycle is simply fantabulous and incomparable!!! The cycle doesn’t just involve dry mornings, afternoons, evenings and nights but combinations of rainy mornings, damp afternoons, darker and rainier nights, etc, etc!

Last but not the least, the voice acting and the background score truly deserve a special applause. Geralt’s voice was my favorite of all! And the variety of BGMs perfectly suited the multivarious situations ranging from the BGMs for the pleasant and peaceful atmospheres to sudden changes of the same to the more serious situations like the approach of enemies and the like!!

All in all, Witcher is truly a masterpiece and a must play for any hardcore gamer! Can’t wait for “Witcher 2” !:)


clip_image002


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 8 other followers