Rayman Origins PC Review

One word can describe the whole of this game: different. You could
compare it to Mario or Sonic, play it, then take everything back.The
color and art in this game makes Mario look about as colorful as Doom,
and the pacing makes Sonic seem turn-based in comparison.

The
first thing I will talk about is gameplay. The action in this game is
fast and precise, making you stick to the path or die in a spike pit.

But
you also have to be careful not to fall into that spike pit. Here’s a
link to a random flash game to give you a rough idea. […] Also casual
gamers looking for some nice easy fun will be dissapointed. This game is
HARD. I am a fairly competent platformer but was barely able to
complete some of the levels in the first half of the game.

The
most obvious subject, graphics.I am playing this game on a computer that
was top of the line in 2005, and runs this game quite well. My card is
Raedon X850, and at least 3 ghz processor, windows XP. The color in the
game was just overwhelming. Even the menus have little limbs, and
everything is bright and happy.

At full price, casual players or small budgets will find it a bit expensive, but on sale is a great value.

Verdict: 75/100       

Details:
Genre

Action
Style

Side-Scrolling Platform
Release Date

March 29, 2012
Developer

Ubisoft Montpellier
Publisher

Ubisoft Entertainment
Flags

Downloadable Release

Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends Review

I was desperately hoping this game would be one of those under the radar
titles that turns out to be way better than anything might suggest.

Instead
we’re presented with an ambitious idea, that falls way short of what it
could been. It’s a shame because there are plenty of things the game
does right, that are lost in what it does wrong.

Let me start off
by saying that this game is difficult. I
opted to play the game through on hard difficulty. It is challenging to
say the least. The real meat of the game is the campaign mode where the
game is broken down into 3 different segments: Golden Era, Silver Era,
and Modern Era. The Golden and Silver eras have 10 missions in each, and
each mission has a different number of events that one must complete.
The Modern Era has 15 missions instead of 10. It’s a simple idea.
However, where the problem comes in, is that the developers made it so
you cannot skip around to different missions or different events in
missions. You have to go through each one to unlock the next. In the
Golden Era, you have the opening mission, no other mission is unlocked.
You can only access the first event. Upon completing the main objective,
the second event then unlocks. So you must play each event while
successfully completing the main objective in order to unlock the next
mission. It’s tedious and unfortunate they chose to create the game in
such a manner. About the only freedom one has, is that they can go into
any era they would like. You do not have to start out with Golden, and
then beat that in order to progress to Silver. While it might not sound
particularly bad, the bulk of the tracks and cars in time trial mode are
locked, and the only way to unlock them is by beating the Campaign
mode. For anyone hoping to use classic cars such as the 1979 Ferrari F1
car right out of the gate, you will be disappointed. Not until you
complete the mission and all the events in the Silver Era where the car
is, will it be unlocked.

Now, if this game were easier, it’s
possible this could have been overlooked to a degree. The game has
little flow in terms of difficulty. Some events are easy even on hard,
others are brutal and enough to induce rage in the most calm gamers. The
problem with the difficult arises mostly in the time trial events.
After speaking to several others who have this game, we seem to have
reached a general consensus that the time trial events are the absolute
worst thing in this game. On hard difficulty, there were some time
trials I did think were able to even be completed. You have to be
capable of pulling qualifying pole position laps, lap after lap, much in
the way Michael Schumacher did in his prime with the Ferrari F1 team.
You also have to cut corners without having your lap time disallowed, as
I cannot find any conceivable way of beating certain time trial times
on hard without cutting corners. Some times are not too difficult, but
if you are trying to reach the Legend rank, it appears that every main
and bonus objective will need to be beaten. The bonus objectives tend to
be where the more difficult times are. While beating the bonus
objective times may not be of importance to those who do play the game,
for anyone seeking to get the full 1000 gamer score will find it
essential. On the other side of the coin, when events are actual races,
these are incredibly easy for the most part. The only difficult aspect
of races is avoiding the AI cars. Any contact with them whether your
fault, or their fault, results in your car likely spinning off the
track. It’s easy to find yourself constantly restarting races because of
contact early on that throws the pace off. Once you get past the AI
cars, the race turns into a joke. They aren’t capable of keeping up at
all save for a few races where they appear to learn to race just for
that event. That’s not the norm. In one Modern era event on the Imola
1981 circuit, I found myself in a 10 lap race, lapping half the field
before the final lap. The difficulty is probably the biggest drawback
from this game, and is not for those who are just ok at racing games.

The
controls are another issue. The handling can be downright awful.
Certain cars can be incredibly twitchy. Too much back and forth to try
to straighten a car out can cause a loss of grip with the track, and
you’ll find yourself smashing into walls/barriers/other cars. Most of
this has to do with the car physics themselves. Some cars actually do
feel like they have weight when you drive them. Other cars give a sense
of weightlessness when driving them. If you learn to be smooth with
turning the cars, it becomes easier to have better control over the
cars. Do not expect Forza 4, or Gran Turismo 5 handling with a lot of
the cars, more in the case of the older cars. From what I can tell
though, the cars as they get newer do begin to handle much better. If
you stick with the game, you’ll likely develop a great feel for what you
can, and cannot do with the cars. I found one of the tricks with the
earlier cars is to get them to slide through turns as it makes it easier
to handle them. The other trick is to learn to turn in on corners early
because there are a lot of corners that can be taken much faster than
you may think, but it is all dependent on turning in at the right time.
The earlier versions of Monza are a great example. With some of the
Golden era cars, I found if I turned into the Curva Grande at the right
time, I was able to add 20+ KPH to the car speed through the corner.
When you can find 20-30 more KPH on corners, it makes a huge difference
in the time trial times you will set.

The graphics are a bit
disappointing. They would have been acceptable around 2007, maybe 2008
at the latest. I have found pop-up to occur on certain tracks when you
look into the distance. In 2012, there is no reason for pop-up in racing
games. I lived with it in Gran Turismo 2 in 1999 on the PS1 when
console hardware was not capable of what it is now. I expect a bit more
from my games on the graphics front nowadays. The tracks themselves do
not have the “pop” that you get from Forza 4. They are rather sterile in
comparison. But this has more to do with the dated graphics than
anything. The car models themselves are actually nice, still not up to
Forza 4, or even Forza 3 levels, but it seems to be where the bulk of
graphical development focus was spent. All Ferrari cars do have interior
cockpit views, which is actually a nice touch. I enjoyed seeing it more
for the F1 cars than anything.

If you like the sound of Ferrari
engines, you’ll enjoy the sound of the game. If you are expecting
anything beyond engine sounds, such as an actual music soundtrack, you
will be disappointed. There is no soundtrack for this game. The only
“soundtrack” are the sounds of the engines. For me, I have absolutely no
issue with this because Ferrari cars are known for their distinctive
engine sounds. In other racing games that use real world cars, I turn
the music off just to listen to the engine.

One of the things I
do like about this game are the inclusion of certain tracks that to my
knowledge have never been included in a regular console racing game. I
know all of the tracks in the game do appear in the PC racing sim
rFactor. For anyone who has played rFactor, the included tracks won’t
hold much value. For others, they may. The inclusion of the Imola
circuit as it existed from 1981 till the deaths of Ayrton Senna and
Roland Ratzenberger in 1994, is fantastic. I absolutely adored Imola in
those days. I was never a fan of of the redesign that took out the
Tamburello Corner, and reworked both the Variante Bassa and the Acqua
Minerali chicanes. While I would have much more enjoyed the original
14KM Spa Francorchamps circuit, we get the 1980 version, which includes
the Bus Stop chicane, as well as a lot of missing parking lot-sized
runoff areas. Spa is always a fantastic track for everyone. The old
Hockenheimring is here with the long straights through the forests. One
of the more curious additions was of Rouen-Les-Essarts. It was the host
for F1 back in the 1950s and 1960s, and it wasn’t a track I would have
expected to see in a modern racing video game simply because F1 last
raced there in 1968. It’s actually a fun track because of the elevation
changes involved. Overall, while I do like some of the tracks included,
there is not enough variety in this game. During the Campaign, racing
the same few tracks over, and over again, in an Era grows very
repetitive. The developers could, and should have added more tracks to
this game. It’s amazing that so many racing game developers make the
mistake of not adding a lot of tracks to their games. The worst thing
you can do is cause a game to feel repetitive due to a lack of track
selection. There are more than enough cars in the game, but not enough
tracks.

What is my final verdict on this game?

The truth
about this game is it is geared mostly towards the tifosi (diehard
Ferrari fans) who bleed Ferrari. It’s not worth buying for more than
$19.99, and even at that it may not be a good bargain if you are not
able to handle the difficult level of this game. I actually have had
some fun with the game, so that’s why I rated it 2 stars. The other
reason is because as a huge F1 fan, getting to drive the F1 cars such as
the 312 F1-67, 312 T4, F1-87, and the F1-90 were actually a lot of fun.
The F1 cars actually do handle much better than a lot of the cars in
the game, and have a fantastic sense of speed. I was rather disappointed
that for some inexplicable reason, they did not include the Ferrari
F2004 in the game. The F2004 was the fastest F1 car Ferrari ever built,
and absolutely dominated the 2004 season, yet they did not put it in the
game. Beyond that, it’s a niche game for a niche audience. If you
aren’t sure about the game, either rent it if possible, or wait till the
price drops. If you still are not sure, ask yourself how hard you want
to work at a video game. If you want to just put a game in and play it
without too much frustration, avoid this game. If you absolutely need a
challenge, then consider playing this game. As mentioned earlier, it’s a
good concept for a game, that unfortunately has just enough wrong with
it that keeps it from being a good racing title.

Verdict: 20/100

Details:
Genre

Racing
Style

Sports Car Racing
Release Date

July 2012
Developer

Slightly Mad Studios
Publisher

Rombax Games
Flags

Downloadable Release

Vessel PC Review

Vessel is nothing if not another example of indie developer creativity and ingenuity. A puzzle platformer based solely on the combination of 2 elements: it’s efficient, if not one-dimensional, fluid physics; and it’s clunky but usually dependable AI “Fluros”. The puzzles start off unnecessarily simple, but the game makes up for it through clever methods to paint the setting of the game.

As the puzzles get more difficult, with different variations of liquids and Fluros getting thrown into the mix, it becomes more rewarding and more fun to figure them out, however the games physics and AI can be often become frustratingly clunky during later puzzles that involve numerous elements. However, these most difficult puzzles often have a few ways to solve them, taking the edge off of the frustration. The developers do hide secret puzzles that reward you with points to upgrade your gear, but not only are the upgrades totally unnecessary (I often forgot there even upgrades to be had at some points) and the secret puzzles are few and far between. The last puzzle, however, is the worst example of what this game has to offer and only serve to disjoint the flow of the epilogue. After trying to figure it out for literally an hour, I searched a guide to solve it, and it turns out the solution was the one I was trying the whole time, but the physics were simply glitching. It was very frustrating, but thankfully it’s the biggest fault I can find with the game.

Graphics are a wonderful blend of 2D point of view and 3D rendering. I can’t say I encounter any graphical lag either, although some puzzles caused lag due the amount of particles the game was simulating, which isn’t ok when I’m running the game on a quad core system. Graphics are smooth but the game is processor heavy. This game might not be for you if you have a 4GB RAM or lower system. The story is very straight-forward and although it often hints at some plot twists, they never actually happen. Although the story is lacking, the presentation is very good, especially as far as indie games go. Vessel uses as little written language as possible, and when they do, it’s only to offer some much needed context. All of the “ah hah” moments are experienced as they come, not read on the screen, as it should be. This falls apart at the end as well, however. Although the developer used some outstanding artistic devices that most big-shot game companies have never heard of, the deeper meaning was lost in a terrible lack of context. The ending ends up falling short whereas it could have been a masterpiece if they had simply given more context. The music fits the feeling of the game, but there’s only one track that plays throughout the 9-11 hours of the game, so if you play for long sittings, it will get on your nerves. After a while I just muted the music and listened to my own music. Vessel comes with my recommendation as a game that offers 9-11 hours of unique experience, and although the high points are amazing and the low points are terribly frustrating, the high points far outnumber the low ones, and the game is worth twice the price tag it comes with.

Verdict: 80/100 

Details:
Genre

Action
Style

Side-Scrolling Platform
Release Date

March 1, 2012
Developer

Strange Loop Games
Publisher

indiePub
Flags

Downloadable Release

Retro City Rampage PC Review

After booting up the game I was initially very impressed with the NES look of the game. Even more so when I went to the settings and found the many different display options available. You can make the game look like any old console or computer you can think of, from the zx spectrum and Commodore 64, to the Gameboy, or even PC CGA display. Unfortunately my enthusiasm was damped somewhat once the game actually started. After the initial nostalgic joy of seeing a new game that harks back to the 8-bit visual style, you suddenly realise everything is absolutely tiny. The sprites are minuscule, smaller than Lemmings, or the Cannon Fodder soldiers.

This seems a strange choice as the NES, C64, Atari et al all had big chunky graphics. When entering buildings things become worse still, with the game display the size of an actual Gameboy screen it is hard to see what is what. Sometimes I had to focus for a second or two just to find where my character was amongst the tiny box and furniture sprites. The music score is cool though. For the sound track Pavinciano brought in 3 renowned Chiptune composers; Leonard “FreakyDNA” Paul, Jake “Vert” Kaufman and Matt “Norrin Radd” Creamer. They have done a bang up job too, with catchy ditties playing throughout your adventures. The track clearly inspired by the music to Paperboy was an early highlight. Parody Fatigue. Not something you may be familiar with now, but after spending an hour or so rushing around the streets of Theftopolis, you will start to feel the effects. Retro City Rampage simply bombards you with references to other materials, movies, games, people, places, that you feel like you are watching 5 or 6 TV channels at the same time.

I found the constant stop-start gameplay style quite off-putting. Stages seem to be split into small sections, with constant cut scenes and yet more references. The problem is the references aren’t funny. One bad guy clearly copied from Sonic the Hedgehog’s long-standing nemesis is called Doctor Von Buttnik. This is the kind of unfunny humour that prevails throughout the game, and it becomes tiresome fast. In fact almost every single building, object, character or stage has a reference, sometimes more than one, to another game or a movie. It becomes too much after a while. There are no fresh ideas on display here anywhere, and while there are moments of creativity in the way you tackle a level, everything here feels like a poor man’s version of the material that inspired it. The whole game looks, sounds, and plays like a slightly polished free browser game. Like one of those awful Epic / Scary movie parody flicks the whole thing is a collection of skits thrown together to make a whole. Unfortunately it just gets boring quite quickly, and when the gags aren’t even funny, it becomes tiresome to play.

I was really looking forward to Retro City Rampage, it was genuinely one of the top 3 games of 2012 that I was looking forward to. Unfortunately it has been a massive disappointment. I figured I was the target audience for this game, after all I love 8-bit gaming, collect and play NES games, enjoy humour in games, and I get every reference in the game due to being an 80’s kid. Yet the whole package left me deeply unsatisfied. The game tries too hard to cram as many jokes in in a short a time as possible, but it backfires and shows the game up for what it essentially is, a mildly amusing browser game to spend 20 minutes on, then find something deeper, and better to play. You are much better off getting your NES fix from the excellent, and free, PC game Abobo’s Big Adventure, which will give you an hours worth of fun, and is far more humorous, and true to it’s reference material than RCR.

Verdict: 40/100

Details:
Genre Action
Style

Overhead View Action
Release Date

October 9, 2012
Developer

Vblank Entertainment Inc.
Publisher

D3Publisher of America
Flags

Downloadable Release

Forge Review

The Good: The game is very well put together. From what I have seen that the game looks like it’s Taken TF2, WoW BG/RBG/Arena systems (let alone the ability system), Guild Wars 1 & 2 PvP elements, and then had a ingenious child named Forge. Spells are unique from what I’ve seen in many class based shooters such as Vindictus for example. I enjoy the fact that every class has their damaging abilities, as well as their survivability abilities (Movement speed increase, Defense increase, Flying into the air and shooting yourself rather far away from the fray).

And let alone the graphics are just stunning. I was highly impressed when I found out that this game was running the Unreal 3 engine. I’ve only gotten to witness the engine myself and that was on Hawken.

The Bad: From what I’ve seen from forum posts, and videos is that it’s highly team dependent. I understand that this is how the game was created for that general intention is to stay with your team, and conquer the opposing team, but the fact that I can’t stray off from the group and attempt a flank to weaken their defenses as an assassin per say, and I run into a group of 3, pick one off, and do a slight amount of damage to the other too foes, then begin to run away. Yes, I’ve made my escape and I’ve killed one of their enemies but my only way to regenerate my HP by myself is to grab the HP shrines. There’s a total of 3 in each map and I understand one of them will respawn by the you pick up your second shrine, but I personally feel as if that each class should have its own form of health regeneration. I would be completely okay with a 10% health regeneration abilities. I do like the game a lot, and I’m highly impressed. It has its flaws but it’s a recent release and I’ve seen that the game has been booming on the internet. I will buy it, and I will play it regularly. Not that it’s popular, just for the sole fact that it’s what I’ve been waiting for. A SOLID class based shooter that is being ran on a wonderful engine to make the gameplay beautiful, and smooth as butter. I do recommend this game to whomever is interested. I do say it’s worth it, and I’d advise you to prepare for an extreme amount of PvP fun!

Verdict: 70/100

Details:
Genre

Action
Style

Third-Person 3D Action
Release Date

December 4, 2012
Developer

Dark Vale Games, Digital Confectioners, SuperGenius
Publisher

Dark Vale Games
Flags

Online Only, Downloadable Release

The Sims 3: 70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff Pack Review

Like most Sims 3 Stuff Packs, I didn’t expect this one to be phenomenal whatsoever, as generally they aren’t in my opinion. I was, however, expecting a little more than what was given. It appears that EA ignores the male sims in the game most of the time new content is added; maybe it’s not as fun to make content for the men, but should they be excluded? Doubtful. This stuff pack claimed to add content from the 70s, 80s, and 90s, all three with their own distinct style.

Now the women basically received a fair amount of items scattered out over those decades (although very very cliché), however men received next to nothing. Two new tops, two new bottoms, about four or five outfits. Worse yet, unless you plan on having a sim who is also a rising rock star, then it’s highly unlikely you will find any use at all for the content added. As for the couple of new hairs and makeup added, they are very subpar. Again, not much use to the ordinary, everyday sim. Though perhaps that is the point of this stuff pack (to make rock sims instead of everyday sims). But in my opinion, if I can’t use it on my legacy sims, then what use is it at all? Now as for any of the other gimmicks or additions to the game ,I have not yet explored, so I have no opinion over. My main focus with this stuff pack was the clothes, but beings how the clothes fell flat, I can only assume the rest of the additions will follow suit. I give the stuff pack a 30 out of 100, because there are at least two or three pieces of female clothing that was added to the game which I did like. I say get the Stuff Pack if you truly want to create a generic looking rocker from the past; otherwise, pass this Stuff Pack up.

Verdict: 30/100

Details:
Genre

Simulation
Style

Life Development Sim
Release Date

January 22, 2013
Developer

The Sims Studio
Publisher

Electronic Arts
Flags

Expansion Pack

Total War: Shogun 2 – Fall of the Samurai Review

The second downloadable content pack for “Total War: SHOGUN 2”, Fall of
the Samurai deals, naturally, with the end of the samurai era and the
beginnings of modern Japan.

Fall of the Samurai takes place
during the Boshin War of 1868. Unlike the Sengoku period of the default
game, which was about warlords seeking their own power, the Boshin war
is a dedicated “civil war” between those who support the Shogun and
those who support the Emperor.
The Imperial side is traditionalist,
supporting a return to the old ways and the isolation of Japan. The
Shogun’s side is modernist, favoring greater trade with the outside
world. While each side is made up of multiple areas and factions, the
two greater sides are very concrete and meaningful in the game.

Like
the standard game and the Rise of the Samurai DLC, “Fall of the
Samurai” has its own aesthetics and gameplay dynamics that are largely
independent from other versions of the game. One of the most noticeable
struggles in the game’s campaign mode is between modernity and
tradition. Upgrading your technology can give you advantages – guns,
artillery, industry – but doing so undermines Japanese history and
culture. Remaining traditional presents advantages in the form of better
morale and training for “classical” units like armored samurai.
Traditional units are weaker at range, but if they can close into melee
distance they vastly overpower unarmored riflemen. The balance between
“modern” and “traditional” is established pretty well in the game’s
combat system. The broken, hilly terrain of Shogun 2’s battle-maps means
that modern forces won’t automatically have an advantage, but if they
can catch traditional armies in the open their range can make or break
an entire battle.

While many of the campaign’s elements are
similar to Shogun 2’s previous incarnations, there’s enough new twists
and turns to keep things interesting. The “civil war” dynamic is totally
different from the “every warlord for himself” of the Sengoku period or
the “spread your family’s influence” of Rise of the Samurai. The split
between modern and traditional defines most of Fall of the Samurai’s
gameplay, with foreign powers and trading becoming a major issue later
on. Sea battles are more important now, as fleets can provide supporting
fire for land-based battles or bombard cities. In some senses the
classic “build structures in towns, move armies around maps” gameplay
feels kind of dated and “gamey”, but the battles themselves work great.

The
aesthetic for Fall of the Samurai is based around maps of the period,
using a more grey-toned style compared to the highly colorful styles of
Shogun 2 and Rise of the Samurai. I’ve heard mixed opinions about this,
but personally I don’t like it at all. The 3d models still look great,
but the campaign map is just very drab and dull-looking (intentionally
so, but ugly is ugly). Overall, the game is definitely distinct as its
own concept – a concept whose execution could have been done better, but
a distinct and novel concept nonetheless.

Verdict: 75/100

Details:
Genre Strategy
Style

Empire-Building
Themes

Far East
Release Date

March 23, 2012
Developer

The Creative Assembly
Publisher

Sega of America, Inc.

Commander – The Great War Review

I have wanted a Great War wargame for some time now. Those currently on the market just did not appeal to me. I had a feeling this would be the game to fill that void. Man on man was my gut feeling right on the mark. First the graphics are very nice, especially for a wargame. The earlier Commander games are bit rough in the looks department, but not Commander the Great War. Music fits the time period very well. CTGW is very easy to learn, but complex in strategy.

The AI is very good. If you leave an opening the AI will take advantage of it and make you suffer. Trench warfare is modeled perfectly. Trying to break through the front line can be very difficult. The same as it was during the war. Offensive operations take planning. Trying to blast your way thru the enemy without considering artillery support and ammunition will just lead to defeat. In this game as during the war artillery is king. Diplomacy, production and research are simplified, but don’t let that worry you. The focus here is the fighting. The PBEM system is fantastic. This game can be played in higher resolutions, even in window mode. I play at 1920×1080. CTGW is rock stable on my computer.

Verdict: 80/100

Top Gun: Hard Lock Review

I have been a Top Gun fan for longer than I can remember, and have been
a fan of the F-14 plane all my life. This is a fun little title that
blends the action-oriented feel of Afterburner with the free-flight
freedom of Ace Combat. This game is to air combat games, what Burnout
is for racing games.

Gameplay:
The controls for this game are
simple and intuitive; the emphasis of this game is on speed, and it
pulls it off nicely.

In most flight simulators, when you press “right”
on the stick, the plane moves forward, and just turns sideways. In this
game, when you press right, the plane rolls to the right and banks.
Once you release the stick, the plane auto-levels with the horizon.
This can take some getting used to if you play other flight simulators.
If this is your first, it will feel comfortable and fun. The
auto-leveling of the plane keeps you even with the ground, making it
very hard to crash. I flew on full afterburner under a highway and
breezed under it with ease. The afterburner in this game makes it fun
to fly from one objective to the next, and this is where the game’s
sense of speed really shines.

The Hard Lock mode (Two words, not
one as the product description reads) is very similar to the dogfight
mode in Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, where you follow your opponent very
closely and pepper him with bullets until you can get a missile lock. A
missile lock is acquired by keeping the opponent inside of a circle
while the missile locks on. In Hard Lock mode, you must complete
mini-games, moving the analog sticks in a motion indicated on the
screen. During these mini-games, you and your opponent will perform
various maneuvers, such as “Break right” “Loop the Loop” and “Split-S”
among others. They’re generally easy to pass, and the better you do on
them (you are rated a percentage for each maneuver you perform) the
larger your Hard Lock circle becomes, making it easier to acquire a
target lock. Your Hard Lock can be reversed if you fail at one of the
mini-games, at which point you need to frantically stay outside of your
opponent’s circle, and reverse the Hard Lock again.

Graphics:
Everything
in the game looks pretty decent. There is a “film grain” filter on the
graphics, which cannot be removed. I do not know if this was done
deliberately to make the game feel more “80s” or “retro,” or if it was
done to compensate for the lack of graphics this game has. Either way, I
like it, and I normally hate grainy filters on my games. The planes
look like the iconic planes, and the game takes advantage of the “hard
lock” mode to show off the visuals. There are various skins and decal
sets to unlock for each plane. It may be important to note that there
are no human models in this game. Everything is a vehicle or structure.
While I don’t have a problem with this, it is a noticeable absence,
likely done to save time during development.

Sound:
One
complaint from another customer who reviewed this game was the
repetitive music. While I do agree the music can get repetitive, there
are multiple tracks which I don’t mind repeating, and on Xbox360, you
can pump in your own soundtrack. That being said, the game’s title
screen does feature the Top Gun theme. Everything else sounds like
knock-off versions of “Danger Zone.” All-in-all, the sound is adequate,
and does its job. The voice acting is bland and uninspired, but
passable. One cool thing is that when you have your afterburners on
long enough, your plane makes a sonic boom, and that is a nice touch
that I see in few/no other games.

Overall:
Top Gun: Hard Lock
is an overall solid title. It is made with a very arcade feel to it,
rather than the simulation feel of other games. The big problem this game has, is that you have to buy the
multiplayer separately. A budget title that requires you to pay for the
multiplayer absolutely kills the multiplayer community, and it is
extremely unlikely anyone actually paid for it. When the game drops to
an ACTUAL budget price, of $20 or less, then it would definitely be
worth the pickup. As it is right now, you’re better off buying a
different game.

Pros:
+It’s got the Top Gun theme!
+Tight, responsive controls
+Excellent sense of speed
+Arcade feel blends Afterburner and Ace Combat into an exciting, free-roaming game.

Cons:
-Missions can run a little long
-Music can get repetitive
-Have to pay for multiplayer
-Better games are available for cheaper
-Limited selection of planes

Verdict: 75/100

Details:
Genre

Simulation
Style

Flight Combat Sim
Release Date

March 13, 2012
Developer

Headstrong Games Ltd.
Publisher

505 Games U.S., Inc.

Shoot Many Robots PC Review

Indie games can be great and this game is an example. Consider it’s low price-tag this game is amazing. I had more fun with this game then with many of the so called AAA games of late. This game is best when you play it with a friend. It’s basically just a point and shoot game. You walk in a 2D environment with WASD and aim and shoot with the mouse. Your goal is to reach the end of the level while killing as much robots as possible on the way.

The better you do the more stars you get (5 stars are max). Unlocking all the stars can be a nice goal after completing the game. There are 3 different difficulties.

The ‘normal’ difficulty is very easy. Hard mode is only challenging in the begin. Insane difficulty is pretty easy in the begin, but it can get really hard to do every level at 5 stars in the end; there are insanely much robots jumping around and they hit hard. This makes the game easier over time (giving the illusion of getting better). And I don’t think the game needs it. It’s fun by it self and has replayability just for unlocking all the starts on all maps.

Verdict: 85/100 

Details:
Genre

Shooter
Style

Platform Shooter
Themes

Robots
Release Date

April 6, 2012
Developer

Demiurge Studios
Publisher

Ubisoft Entertainment