Review: Red Dead Redemption

Developer – Rockstar North / Rockstar San Diego
Publisher – Rockstar Games
Available On – XBOX 360 / Playstation 3
Reviewed On – XBOX 360

Red Dead Redemption is the latest next-gen blockbuster from world renowned studio Rockstar Games. Set in the Wild West, it tells the tale of a man once an outlaw trying to raise a family and build a life through difficult historic times. Players traverse through the wide open plains of the Wild West all sculpted in Rockstar’s own Euphoria engine previously seen in Grand Theft Auto. Now let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Red Dead Redemption demands a comparison against Grand Theft Auto; they’re both games set in an open world sandbox environment where players travel from mission to mission as they please. They’re both filled with end game content and side missions, robust multiplayer and thick narrative and on the most basic level play similarly.

This is where all comparisons to GTA end. After completing RDR I’ve realized only a fool would compare the two, RDR offers such Continue reading Review: Red Dead Redemption

Jordan’s Top 10 Games of 2009

It’s that time again! Well sure we may already be half way through 2010 but that can’t stop me from listing what I thought were the ten best games of 2009. Hell this could almost be a retro gaming article by now. One advantage of my tardiness is you can now find most of these titles at about half their original price marking some essential well priced gaming.

The main reason I took so long in creating this list is that I wanted to try and play every hot title from 2009. I managed to get through quite a load but since 2010 has already produced enough to rival last year it’s hard keeping up. I’m only one man! But for what it’s worth, here is: –

Jordan’s Top 10 Games of 2009

#10 Shadow Complex

Shadow Complex was a revolution in downloadable gaming providing one of the lengthiest and well produced games to be only available through XBOX Live Arcade. Not only was it a high quality polished affair but it also played damn well, inspired by a ‘Metroidvania’ style of side scrolling shooting. A wide range of guns and collectibles Continue reading Jordan’s Top 10 Games of 2009

Review: Bioshock 2

This review was originally written and published in Animavericks magazine. Check them out for all the latest anime and games content.

Developer – 2K Marin / Digital Extremes / Irrational Games
Publisher – 2K Games
Available On – XBOX 360 / Playstation 3 / PC
Reviewed On – XBOX 360

Bioshock received overwhelming attention when it was released in 2007 claiming the top of many Game Of The Year lists. Rightfully so, it was an immersive adventure that used a compelling story and unique environment to suck players in. So it’s no surprise to see a sequel to such a successful game, but can it possibly live up to the hype of the original?
Set in a fictional 1968, 8 years after the fall of the underwater city Rapture, this time a familiar world is viewed through new eyes as the player assumes the role of an iconic enemy known as the Big Daddy. This opens up a whole new variety of weapons and powers available for fighting through all new areas of Rapture as the player learns more of the characters, history, and future of the captivating Bioshock universe.

Graphics – 9.0

Bioshock 2 has a few technical enhancements that give it a bit more shine over the original but Continue reading Review: Bioshock 2

Review: Heavy Rain

Developer: Quantic Dream
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Available on: Playstation 3

The long awaited and greatly hyped Playstation 3 exclusive Heavy Rain is finally here. Is it as great and game-changing as we’d all been promised? Well, unfortunately no.

It’s just about impossible to talk about the game without spoiling the plot so I’ll try to keep this review as focused as possible on the mechanics and design.

You play as four people, weaving in and out of each others lives, who have all been touched in some way by the Origami Killer. A person who has been gripping the city with fear the past three years and whose modus operandi is to kidnap young boys, drown them in rainwater, then leave the bodies to be found by the railroad tracks with a small origami animal left in one hand and an orchid laying across their chest. Yep, if you hadn’t have guessed it already the world of Heavy Rain is made from pretty grim stuff.

Continue reading Review: Heavy Rain

Review: Dark Void

Developer – Airtight Games
Publisher – CAPCOM
Available on – Xbox 360, PS3,PC
Reviewed on – Xbox 360

Dark Void is a refreshing new IP developed by near unheard of Airtight Games and published by CAPCOM. The game takes place during the dawn of the second world war. It follows the story of a cargo pilot William Augustus Grey, who crashes into the Bermuda triangle and winds up in an inescapeable dementional in-between called ‘the Void’ in which a highly technologically advanced species of other-dimensional aliens called ‘Watchers’ rule. Will joins a resistance of people trapped in the void, including Nikola Tesla (father of commercial electricity), and accompanied by a love interest from his past (Eva), he must fight for his survival and search for a way out of ‘the Void’.

The game introduces a number of interesting game mechanics, including a jet-pack, and a strange verticle fighting mechanic, in which you cover behind ledges as you climb up and down cliffs or buildings. The game begins without a jet-pack on a jungle island where your plane has crashed, for the first forty minutes or so you fight against Watcher guards as you are led to a village of surviving humans. During this part the game plays very much like a poor-man’s Uncharted, this is not hurt by the fact that Will is voiced by Nolan North. Once you reach the village you meet with Nikola Tesla and he asks you to help him collect some parts for an invention of his he is working on, he gives you a proto-type jet-pack he has been working on to help you obtain the parts, this is where the game gets interesting.

Continue reading Review: Dark Void

Review: GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City

Developer – Rockstar Games
Publisher – Take-Two Interactive
Available on – Xbox 360

If you were like me and thought that Grand Theft Auto IV was the biggest disappointment of 2008 (if not your life), then it may be useful that you can obtain both expansion packs on a disk, thus allowing you to play them without the accursed original disk to GTAIV that you traded in at your earliest convenience. The two Xbox 360 (timed) exclusive DLC packs add approximately eight hours each to your game-play and both follow new characters instead of Niko from the original title. The Lost and the Damned (tLatD) follows Johnny Klebitz, a prominent member of one of Liberty Cities Motorcycle gangs, The Lost MC. The Ballad of Gay Tony follows the story of Luis Lopez, right hand man to the owner of both Liberty Cities most popular gay and straight nightclubs. Continue reading Review: GTA IV: Episodes from Liberty City

Review: Darksiders


Developer – Vigil Games
Publisher – THQ
Available on – Xbox 360, PS3
Reviewed on – Xbox 360

Darksiders is the product of every 90s gamers fantasy, being thrown quite literally into the apocalypse. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has been remade for the current generation and overall it’s a good experience. Darksiders follows the story of “War”, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, whose coming signifies the end of days and the breaking of the seven seals, who is called to bring judgment on the three armies of Heaven, Hell and Earth. The game begins with War arriving on earth to discover that the seventh seal has not been broken, but either the armies of Heaven, or the Hordes of Hell have begun the war early. Given that his brethren have not to been called he is defeated by a Demon, “Straga”. The overseers of balance, “The Council”, blame War for leading into the apocalypse early, and he ends up having to find out who are involved and punish them to clear his name, and so begins our journey. Continue reading Review: Darksiders

Review: Borderlands

Developer – Gearbox Software
Publisher – 2K Games
Available On – XBOX 360, Playstation 3, PC
Reviewed On – PC & XBOX 360

First person shooters have been a stagnating genre lately with many developers happy to simply iterate on past successful franchises. Thankfully Gearbox and 2K Games are trying something new with several years of development and a whole graphical redesign bringing us the self-described “Role Playing Shooter” known as Borderlands. Taking cel shading to whole new levels on the Unreal 3 engine, Borderlands is an exciting and entertaining universe that reaches beyond unique presentation and actually tackles a new hybrid of gaming genres.

A mash of role playing game elements within an FPS make the label of “FPSRPG”  quite fitting for Borderlands, but Continue reading Review: Borderlands

Review: Scribblenauts


The Nintendo DS has repetitively become a location for less and less enjoyable gaming experiences since it was launched, so much so that to some it has become an area only inhabited by Pokemon continuations or rehashes (depending on which side of the fence you live on). There have been a few titles over the past few years that have spiked interest in me, only to become a disappointment, like Drawn to Life and FFIII and IV, even my beloved Pokemon finally became a let-down to me. This isn’t to say that the DS hasn’t been able to provide me with some small level of satisfaction, namely in Line Rider Unbound and Professor Layton and the Curious Village, and it was with these in mind that I picked up Scribblenauts, by 5th Cell, ignoring their previous disappointment in another of my blind attempt to justify having a DS at all.

Continue reading Review: Scribblenauts

Review: Street Fighter IV

Developer – CAPCOM
Publisher – CAPCOM
Available On – XBOX 360, Playstation 3, PC
Reviewed On – XBOX 360 & Playstation 3
Official Site – Street Fighter IV

For ten long years fans have been waiting, through countless spin-offs and alterations on past titles to all sorts of ports and remakes, Street Fighter has had a long history in the arcade and on home consoles. Though the series has seen such a legacy there are some underlying foundations that remain right through to this latest installment, with a vibrant art style and wonderful characters, combos and controls all within a solid technical fighting game that can be learned in a day or mastered in a lifetime.

At its core Street Fighter IV is recognisable and instantly playable by anyone who has handled the earlier games. Two fighters duke it out on a 2D plane with a variety of combos and abilities unique to each character, with most abilities performed just the same as before. The combos can range from the simple to the absurd, and as each is custom tailored to a character a steep learning curve exists for anyone wanting to gain the skill to step into the online arena.

Street Fighter IV will feel familiar, for sure, but anyone expecting to simply carry across past skills without respect for new abilities such as the Focus Attack and Revenge Ultra will definitely end up paying the price. Continue reading Review: Street Fighter IV