Prince of Persia

January 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Playstation 3, Reviews

There are some things in life that you miss the way it was made and makes you twitch your face in apathy when someone suggests a change to your beloved original. We harbored the same feelings when Ubisoft announced their newest Prince of Persia title, which was to take place in a universe different from the previous PoP titles. I remember a time when the original Prince of Persia: Sands of Time was the most heralded and celebrated title in our game library. And then came its sequels which again were much anticipated titles. The latest Prince of Persia takes on a totally different story and character. So different that the main character is not even a prince, but a tomb robber and we’re not even sure if the game is set in Persia? I bet Ubisoft would’ve named it “Tomb Raider: Corrupted Deserts” if it wasn’t for that wretched Lara Croft to have tagged in before them.

Prince of Persia starts by introducing you to Elika, your female side-kick who’s little for fun or entertainment. The task she carries is to re-imprison Ahriman, the dark god that has been let loose from the ‘Tree of Life’. She aids you in your quest in fighting the dark lord by randomly healing fertile grounds once you fight the baddie that guard said ground. Once a region is healed, light seeds scatter everywhere requiring you to collect them, so you can unlock further powers for Elika. We’re not new to female side-kicks in a game, but Elika is just so much superior to any others we’ve previously had in our arsenal. She’s beautiful, saves your butt when you’re about to die and has a cool sense of fashion. Taking about life saver, we come to that annoying part of the game where you’re “NOT” allowed to die… Literally! Every time you attempt suicide, Elika will pull you back to safe ground. Though, some might enjoy it, the game becomes less arduous to beat unlike previous Prince of Persia games that had a set amount of screw-ups, so you couldn’t kill yourself to infinity.

The most enjoyable component in this game is the battles, which simply are…epic! Gone are the days where you fought multiple enemies in a button-mashing gala. This latest PoP requires timing and skills rather than patience and sturdy fingers. Some might consider this a blasphemy, but the battles in Prince of Persia were the best ever we have experienced in a video game. Tie that in with a new range of combos and you have yourself a more memorable fight than what Street Fighter or Soul Calibur could offer. Once you beat a corrupter boss (out of the 4), a cut-scene pops in with Elika healing that particular land and the Prince doing his usual smart ass talk. From there on, it’s a hunt for collecting light seeds (1001 in total) for further unlocking other corrupted ground. All throughout the game, the Prince and Elika will make constant talk and you get a clear picture that our sword wielding hero has a massive crush on his accomplice. The story is one other factor we enjoyed in the game… Elika will keep narrating stories about the place and about her life and it comes handy when you’re busy pole vaulting or running across walls.

One other new addition to the Prince of Persia universe is the Claw Gauntlet that allows sliding about walls or for a bad cat fight with a corrupted boss. It complements the cocky nature of the Prince and from our time with the game, there’s no denying that our hero can sometimes be a jerk with a massive ego. Another new addition from the classic PoP titles is the introduction to an open-world approach. Gone are the days when we were filtered in through set corridors and pathways with automatic game sequences. This latest title gives you a “restricted” open world freedom by giving you a choice to fight corruption in any systematic way you choose.

Graphically, the game is very impressive and has by far excelled every other title this year in terms of art direction. It gives you the feel of living a graphics novel rather than playing a game. No doubt the developers at Ubisoft have pulled an incredible feat, technically and artistically. The world is brightly colored and every pixel stands out in vivid contrast. Boss models are rendered beautifully and fight scenes are pure bliss. Environmental elements and character animations are plain exotic. We’ve all heard the game runs on a modified Assassins Creed engine. Just how “modified” is a whole new question begging to be answered.

In-game audio is equally as good as the visuals this game packs. The Prince’s non-stop =squabble will set him as a unique character and Elika’s occasional insight into the story behind the scene is all the more enjoyable. On the other side of the spectrum, the corrupted sport an exception voice-acting that sounds…well, corrupted. You will see them praising their dark lord occasionally and fight with quite a punch. There aren’t many dialogues like some of our top favorites like Bioshock or Mass Effect, but then again this game has always been about casual talk and muscle wrenching acrobatics.  The ending tough is a little disappointing for our tastes. We won’t break it out to you, but it was one of those endings that made us feel like the last part was written by a bunch of monkeys randomly typing away at a keyboard. It was an unsatisfying climax given the drool worthy finale of its predecessors.

In conclusion, you might not feel the same as you felt when you first played Sands of Time, but the latest Prince of Persia hold a place of its own. Aficionados of the past series will not be disappointed to notice the similar acrobatic techniques and maneuvers and some more! If you’re a fan of the series or even a first timer, this title has a HUGE “recommended” badge from us.

Call of Duty: World at War

November 23, 2008 by  
Filed under PC, Reviews

The theater for next gens war is set. While many might feel like taking a step backward by plunging into the WWII chaos, a franchise far beaten and milked than a dead horse, Treyarch still believe there’s some life left in that proverbial carcass. For many (and Infinity Ward themselves), the developers of the latest iteration to the COD family are nothing more than a sack of menacing copy-cats. And it might be true to some extent.

Call of Duty: World at War focuses on the Pacific War that was waged between the US and Japan. While it may accurately portray a WWII gala as you’d have read in your history textbook, it is without denial that its nothing more than COD4 with more brown and gray and some extra perks and flames thrown into the mix. While COD4 started with a bang, World at War merely begins with a yelp. It’s evident that the perk system was the new mantra on the ailing COD franchise. When Infinity Ward first implemented perks, it was the best thing next to baked bread. World at War follows on the same footsteps providing an expanded perk system and to make things better, they have thrown in tanks and extra large maps to give the claustrophobic shooter a better meaning.

Gameplay significantly changes in mutiplayer. Just like COD4, you are awarded with a recon plane for a 3 kill streak and artillery strike for a 5 kill streak, but instead of seeing a pre-historic chopper mow down your enemies post 7 kill streak, World at War makes a subtle change by replacing it with an angry pack of dogs that chase after your enemy. Its often a good idea following these ally dogs as they lead you to your enemies. A new War mode is introduced wich is similar to capturing control points in the Battlefield series. Moreover, World at War follows a persistant ranked system with Level 65 as the final rank, after which you’d be able to unlock the Prestige Mode for further achievements. It all comes down to the fact that we enjoyed playing the multiplayer component of the game much more than its single player campaign.

World at War kicks off with a bloody and brutal cut-scene that puts you in the shoes of a captive having to endure the sight of your comrade being executed with a knife. Sadly though, it fails to impress and unlike the adrenaline rush we felt with the President’s execution by Al-Asaad in COD4, World of War makes a vain attempt at some cheap thrills. On the positive side, it is the goriest ever game in the franchise but, then again, we all know how “Clive Barker: Jericho” turned out to be all gore and nothing more. World at War follows on the same linear gameplay and we earnestly wish Treyarch could’ve spent their potential more on making it “cough” free roam “cough” than throwing in a few more perks. The sceneries though are no doubt gorgeous and only a fool would disagree with its surreal beauty. Ironically, it’s like having an indoor theme park and spending the rest of your life chained to a fence only being able to gaze at the beauty before you. Fact is, you’d be able to see an Eden beyond the canopy and bushes of your tightly scripted pathway, but what’s the use of such scope without the freedom to go there?

Then, there’s the issue with the voice acting, which becomes blatantly clear that one man was hired to do every single voice in the game in a different dialect. The trailers they release with war veterans talking about the brutalities of war in a constipated tone is downright cheesy as sh!t and it’s a far cry from the explosive, dynamic conversations we’re accustomed to in COD4. Character voices are poorly done and while some weapons sound like paintball guns, others sound like ripping Velcro which puts the audio out of proportion. To add insult to injury, you always hear a last minute ‘automated’ battle cry in multiplayer that says, “victory is not out of reach”, even after getting a spanking so hard from the enemy team that’s guaranteed to make you sit and pee for a week. Talk about optimism, eh?

Graphically, the game redeems itself with visuals far superior that COD4 and myriad other post processing effects that adds to the overall immersion. Weapons have a certain polish on them that appears to show signs of use. Battles and levels are recreated accurately, making this the best looking WWII shooter we have played in a long time and hopefully this would be the last of it. Metal and armor have a distinguishable gloss and pattern that’s usually not common among games. The icing on the graphical cake is the ability to create flames thanks to the flamethrower that you can use to torch your enemy to cinders. Explosions and shotguns create a gruesome graffiti of blood and gut never seen before in a Call of Duty game.

It’s tough to argue whether World of War is worth your money or not. Treyarch have loaded the box with a plethora of content sure to make any penny pincher happy. Apart from the single-player campaign, the game offers co-op gameplay and multiplayer to duke it out with online opponents in over a dozen maps. As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll be able to unlock other extras like Nazi Zombie mode by collecting death cards during your campaign. Nazi Zombie is a “la Resident Evil” experience in which you protect yourself from Hitler’s army of undead by continuously barricading and shooting down the incoming horde.

At the end of the day, what Treyarch did is take a perfectly blend recipe, add a little salt and pepper and release it as a full game. Call of Duty: World at War feels like it’s nothing more than a mod to the acclaimed COD4 title. For now, we can’t help but, agree that the flamethrower is the game’s only poster child.

Golden Axe: Beast Rider

November 4, 2008 by  
Filed under Playstation 3, Reviews

Through my many years of gaming, arcade games have always held a soft spot for me. Even today, I can wander into a games arcade and pop in a few coins to play Street Fighter. But one of the classic arcade games that I used to play with my friends was Golden Axe. Nothing beat the thrill of running around on screen hacking away at waves of monsters while summoning precious pillars of fire to obliterate the enemy. When I heard that a Golden Axe title was being made for the Playstation 3, I nearly passed out with excitement – imagine the glory and brutality of Golden Axe in high def! Sadly, Golden Axe: Beast Rider for the PS3 has turned out to be a complete disappointment, and makes the original game look a hundred times better.

Rather than stay true to the two-player side scrolling action of the original, Beast Rider makes two major changes to the Golden Axe formula. First of all, the game now expands to a 3D world rather than a side scrolling one, and secondly it only utilizes one main character from the original Golden Axe Trio, the slender Tyris Flare. Wearing even less clothing in this game than in the original Golden Axe, you lead Tyris on a series of missions through barbarian wastelands, while occasionally hopping on to a mythical beast or two. Sound familiar? Well, it all becomes a bit too familiar after about 20 minutes of playing the game. What could have possibly been a good hack-n-slash turns out to be a half-baked attempt with almost no connection with the original Golden Axe game. It’s almost as if the developers simply slapped on the Golden Axe title just so that they could sell this game, as I truthfully can’t imagine anyone picking this game up. Drawing a lot of gameplay mechanics from games like God of War and Heavenly Sword, Beast Rider comes off as a putrid concoction of the two.

The game is easy to pick up initially, with prompts telling you how to swing your mighty sword and attack enemies. You’ve got a light attack, heavy attack, and distance attack, with the last one putting some space between you and an enemy. But unlike God of War or Heavenly Sword, there are absolutely no attack combos to be found here, so no amount of button sequences or bashing away will help. However the real crippling feature of the game is that you won’t be able to defeat most enemies by simply hacking away at them. The game’s combat system features an obscure evade and parry system, which when successfully executed will allow you to perform a more damaging counter-attack. Again, it’s not as simple as it sounds – you have to carefully peer at the screen and take note of what colour your enemy’s attack is. Blue attacks have to be parried, orange attacks have to be evaded, and green attacks can be jumped away from. Watching your enemies light up almost makes you feel like you’re playing in a slot machine – it’s that ridiculous. And while this counter-attack method of fighting may work well against an enemy or two, it soon becomes impossible to master when you’re fighting groups of enemies. You literally have to run up to an enemy and stand around as they gear up to attack you. And while you’re standing there taking in the lovely beige scenery, some troll will come and sock you in the head from behind. Pretty soon you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of enemies and hazards that are thrown at you, almost to the point where the game leans towards a nightmare difficulty. You do eventually learn to perform magic attacks, but these are so disappointing when you remember that Tyris’ original magic attack was to summon a powerful dragon that wiped out enemies on the screen. In this game however, she’s reduced to performing magic tricks that even a Hogwarts second year student can do.

If you do tire of the nail-biting gameplay, you can jump onto one of the man beasts scattered around the game, each with a special attack. Some of the beasts are quite powerful and are key in defeating the never-ending swarms of caffeine-addicted hordes, but the major flaw is in controlling the beasts. You almost always feel that you’re driving a tank through four feet of quick-drying cement – it’s that bad. The game’s other fatal flaw is in the level design – though the developers thought it would be nice to break out into a 3D world, it would have been even nicer if we could explore it fully. You’ll often be restricted in your exploration attempts and forced to follow a linear path through a level, rather than looking around for health or magic potions etc. The graphics do come off fairly well though, with blood and gore featured in endless amounts as you go around slicing at enemies. The sound effects however, aren’t too impressive, with decapitated limbs only making short clunky noises as they land on the ground.

Golden Axe: Beast Rider is nothing like the original game, and in fact should not be considered as a remake or even a sequel of sorts. With no co-op play available (the biggest draw of the original game) Beast Rider is a feeble hack-n-slash game that fails to impress against other better games in the genre. This is certainly one game you can give a pass on, unless you want to gift it to someone you don’t particularly like this Christmas.

360 price drop is a reality

September 2, 2008 by  
Filed under General, News


Kotaku has pointed out here (among other posts), there has been more and more information leaking about the newest price cuts for the Xbox 360. It seems that as early as this coming weekend, the Arcade version will sell for $199, according to Walmart (as shown in the above scan of the ad starting this Sunday, September 7), and based on the other reports, the 60 GB Pro will retail for $299, with the 120 GB Elite rounding out the group at $399. So yes, Microsoft will in fact be the first to break the $200 price point – if only by pennies and with the crummy Arcade system, but hey, it’s still progress. If anyone bought a 360 recently, I hope you still have your receipts!

Also, no word yet on whether the price drop will affect any remaining 20 gig units, which are currently priced at $299 and would undoubtedly continue to sit there not selling were they to remain the same price as the 60 gig.

Resident Evil: Degeneration Headed to Blu-ray; First Details

September 2, 2008 by  
Filed under General, News

Sony describes what will be the fourth Resident Evil film as follows:

The "Umbrella Incident" that took place in Raccoon City was ended with the eradication of the deadly virus by a missile attack ordered by the government. As its operations were suspended on a global scale, Umbrella Corporation stock plummeted. This serious blow to the business giant resulted in its complete dissolution.

7 years later, at an airport somewhere in the United States. An ordinary autumn afternoon. One zombie is unleashed into this peaceful scene to attack everyone. In the airport starting to fill up with the undead, the horrific disaster is about to be repeat itself…

Thehdroom guys got early Blu-ray specs and extra features to share which include a nod to Resident Evil 5 on Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. In addition to a 1.78:1 1080p video transfer and 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio, expect the following:

  • Interactive Picture-in-Picture (Blu-ray exclusive)
  • Trivia Track
  • The Making of Resident Evil: Degeneration
  • Character Profiles
  • Voice Bloopers
  • Leon Interview
  • Resident Evil: Degeneration Trailer Collection
  • Resident Evil: Degeneration Tokyo Game Show Trailer
  • Resident Evil 5 Video Game Trailer

Mirror\’s Edge Specs

September 2, 2008 by  
Filed under News, PC

Mirror’s Edge, the first-person action adventure developed by DICE, is targeted to ship during winter 2008 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. Today, during NVISION 09, Electronic Arts revealed the game’s preliminary system requirements.

Preliminary System Requirements:

  • OS: Windows XP or Vista
  • CPU: Pentium 4 at 2.4 GHz / Athlon 64 2800+
  • RAM: 1GB
  • Gfx card: GeForce 6 Series with 256MB VRAM or higher, or ATI X1650 (or HD2400)

Microsoft: Exclusives \\\\\\\’a little less important\\\\\\\’

September 2, 2008 by  
Filed under General, News

Boris Schneider-Johne, product manager for Xbox 360 at Microsoft Germany, explained the company’s stance on the importance of exclusive titles.

“That is difficult to assess. In the past, in the eighties and nineties, that was a major issue. I remember the big ‘Mario vs. Sonic’ debates. What we see today is that the influence of exclusive titles on the sales curves becomes ever smaller,” Schneider-Johne told in an interview.

“In addition, we are in a situation that there is a head-to-head race on several consoles and that nobody is super clear in leadership – especially in matters of the PlayStation 3 against Xbox 360.”

“Given the production costs of the games, it is hardly possible for developers to commit itself exclusively to someone. Now Sony makes its own games for the console, we make our own games for the console. The titles are exclusive, as they are also attempts turnout the best of the console, but someone like Electronic Arts or Activision can have a business model of rarely developing for a console exclusively. Therefore, the exclusive title is a little less important.”

NINJA BLADE (X360) announced

September 1, 2008 by  
Filed under General, News…st_release.pdf

Halo Interactive Strategy Game Preview

August 30, 2008 by  
Filed under General, News

Halo is one of the Best Selling Game  and succesful franchise in Gaming History. so all those junkies who want to own Master chief buy all games is not Enough .
IGN Showcased: The newest way to own a piece of Halo, however, comes in the form of an interactive board game.
"The Halo Interactive Strategy Game comes from Genius Products and B1 Games, and combines conventional board game play with audible and visual aids via built-in sound effects and an included DVD. The 3-D modular board can be constructed into several different stages, or users can create their own. Two or more players can form teams with 15 sculpted characters direct from the Halo series including Kusunagi, The Prophet of Candor, and of course, Master Chief."
"Teams move around the board engaging in turn-based combat, which is aided by an included interactive DVD. The DVD features rendered action sequences to add further realism to the game. Additionally, the Halo Interactive Strategy Game can be played in a variety of modes and levels for extended playability. Players can go toe-to-toe in some of their favorite modes from the game series; such as Capture the Flag and Slayer. The play experience will be capable for further expansion with the release of future add-on such as vehicles, characters, and weapons."

" The Halo Interactive Strategy Game will be available this Fall with an MSRP of $49.99."

Naruto Press Release

August 29, 2008 by  
Filed under General, News

According to a press release issued by Namco Bandai Games America, Naruto and friends will be returning to the PS2 with “"Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3". The press release added:

"As the latest and most advanced of the highest rated fighting game series based on the Naruto Universe, Naruto: Ultimate Ninja 3 evolves the best-selling series to the next level with major innovative features. Master more than 40 of the most loved characters from the universe and relive the major battles and events right out of the TV show.

• The largest selection of ninja ever: Master over 40 playable characters from the hit TV series. The game will feature the largest selection of playable ninja ever;
• Unleash powerful Ultimate Jutsu: Customize your favourite characters with Ultimate Jutsu of your choice and devastate your enemies on an unprecedented scale and magnitude;
• Experience the Original Japanese VO: Choose between English and Japanese voice over;
• Engage in brand new Summoning Mode: Turn your characters into giants of unprecedented sizes or summon giant creatures to control in battle;
• Upgrade your character: Enhance your characters’ strength, defence, chakra, agility and even special abilities;
• Live a brand new original Naruto story: Experience an original storyline exclusive to the game. Explore the massive 3D rendered Hidden Leaf Village, engage in all out battle royale matches, interact with residents and accomplish over 55 missions in Ultimate Contest mode;
• Tons of combat variety: Battle in 20 unique stages using either close combat or a variety of ranged weapons. Equip yourself with a choice of ninja techniques before the battle and devise your own combat strategy;
• Relive the major battles and events from the show: Interactively participate in the major events and battles from the show up through the Sasuke Retrieval Arc in Hero’s History mode. Decide the fate of the two greatest ninja as they clash in the battle of destiny."

Next Page »

Tech Events