Archive for June, 2013

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Batman: Arkham City takes place in a massive new super prison called Arkham City, it’s built in the heart of Gotham City, it is created after the failure of Arkham Asylum, and is run by Dr.Strange with the help of Mayor Sharp. Strange plans to launch Protocol Ten, something that nearly everyone seems oblivious about, but like always Batman wants to know and stop whatever he has planned. Strange captures Bruce Wayne however at the beginning, threatening to reveal his secret to the world if Bruce tries to stop Protocol Ten, Bruce’s first task is to escape captivity, beat up a few people while handcuffed, then retrieve his bat suit and bring justice to Arkham City. While all of this is going on, it becomes apparent that the Joker’s health is deteriorating quickly after using the Titan back at Arkham Asylum, and is desperate to find a cure.20130625_142600

The action has been drastically improved, combos are still the same, but there are more combat moves than Arkham Asylum, the ability to do dual takedowns is a great addition, there are more enemies and enemy types, and Batman’s punches and kicks seem to be a lot harder. There are returning moves like the ability to do inverted takedowns and hang the goons from the gargoyle heads on the walls, as well as the regular silent takedowns, but this time around if you get caught, a simple button press will slam the guy on the ground or wall, knocking him out instantly, allowing you to get back to the action quickly. As you’d expect, Batman has his many gadgets, you’ll still collect some of them on the way, mostly by doing side missions, but you’ll have quite a few gadgets to start, especially his trusted grapple hook. You’ll have upgradable gadgets and armor for both Batman and Catwoman, so racking up the points in combat is very useful.

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Moving around Arkham City is generally fun, if you want the stealthy approach you can always stay high, only taking out the gunman on the roof tops, but if you want a challenge you can fight through the groups of enemies down on the street, you’ll encounter various enemy types that will require different strategies. If you do take the streets and are playing on normal or hard, prepare to fight a lot of enemies, some have shields, some have body armor, some have guns or knives, they throw groups of various enemy types together so you’ll be quickly switching around doing the special move required to take the enemy out. All of Arkham City is done very well, the environment adds to the overall feel of the game, you can sense the desperation as guys are thrown out into the cold without jackets and told to stay on guard. You’ll have reason to explore all levels of Arkham City if you plan to collect the various collectibles and riddles, and there are quite a few to find.

The game comes equipped with 400 collectibles and things to break, and just like Arkham Asylum there are Riddler Trophies, and his riddles scattered throughout, they add an Arkham Story, and at times a challenge map, or concept art, but this time around, solving his riddles will reveal the secret to where he has hidden his hostages. Once you find the hostage you’ll have to complete another challenge, it could be either fighting a group of enemies, or having to use gadgets, speed and strategy to get to each point in a room, and you’ll be getting insulted and made fun of the whole way by the Riddler, because that’s the way he is, regardless of how well you’re doing, at the end the hostage will give you a radio frequency number allowing you to track the Riddler. There are not only Riddler Trophies for Batman, Catwoman also has her own set, if Batman tries to grab them he will get electrocuted, her agile nature allows her to get to places Batman may not be able to, but at the same time can not grab his trophies for him.

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The characters in any Batman series have always stood out to me, Joker is easily one of the best villains of all time in my opinion, so it’s a good thing that there is amazing voice acting throughout. You’ll come across nearly all of Super Villains as they have all moved into Arkham City, and basically kick the crap out of all of them as well, there is either a story about them or an encounter with them. The use of Catwoman adds another element to the game, you can change to her at certain locations, she is agile and fast, she is good in combat and can whip or trip the attackers than beat them up, she does not have a grapple hook like Batman, so you’ll have to cling from point to point on a wall, she does jump really high though, Catwoman can also cling to the ceiling and a lot of her Riddler trophies require that ability. Adding so many characters to the game was a great addition, it adds a lot to the game, and returning from the last game you can also unlock a 3D character model as you progress.

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Other characters will give you additional side missions, one character will kill victims, to complete these missions you’ll have to trace the trajectory point of the bullet and follow it back to each of locations to find the clues left by the killer, another character will have you beating goons up, running from payphone to payphone, you’ll track the call each time until you find their location. There are also Augmented Reality Training challenges, you will have to glide through rings that increase in difficulty as you play through each of them, but they add to your gliding ability, so they are worth doing. As you explore the city you’ll encounter assaults on political prisoners, you stop these by beating up the bad guys, you’ll also find Joker’s balloons to pop, Joker’s chattering teeth toys to break, and security cameras to destroy, each add to the Riddler’s challenges, and the cameras belong to Strange’s security group, so breaking them is a good idea.

You don’t just have to play through the story missions, in the main menu there is a Catwoman Missions option, Riddler Challenge missions which require you to either beat up a group of enemies, or take them all out silently and without being seen at any time, these can be played using the downloadable characters, so if you decide to go that route, you’ll have even more content. After you beat the game there is a New Game+ option, this will increase the difficulty, give more enemies gadgets, and is a great option for anyone who wants more of a challenge. There are also additional challenge maps to download, and Harley Quinn’s Revenge download which has Harley Quinn as the last Super Villain left in Arkham City, the downloads are not free, aside from a costume or two. With all of the content in the game there is easily 40+ hours of game play to be had, it’s all entertaining and done very well.

But with all of the content there is bound to be a few glitches, grappling up to a certain point at times will have to going to more than grapple location, so if you are trying to do something quickly from up high, you may miss your opportunity, and for some reason in combat your character will turn in another direction. The controls in combat can also be an issue at times, button prompts don’t always work, counter attack does not always respond, and gadgets don’t always work when you need them. Running can be an issue when turning around corners, the characters seem to get stuck on corners and edging, at times it seems like they are magnetized to that spot, another issue is with the gadget menu, it uses the d-pad which would be fine if last second it didn’t switch the gadget at times, but it’s not always bad, and strangely enough you can’t use the target finder when in detective mode.

All of the issues are minor in the grand scheme of things, this game is put together so well that it can be hard to put down, the characters are very interesting and the voice actors did an amazing job. There is so much content, so many Easter eggs to find, riddles to solve, collectibles to find, there is so much to do and explore. The downloadable extra characters and content add a lot to the game, the characters can be used in the campaign and in the Riddler’s Challenges, so there are many different ways to play through. Batman: Arkham City is an intense and entertaining game that has an amazing story that adds to it all.

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Overall Score: 9.7/10

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Spec Ops The Line is a story based on three military operatives named Martin Walker, John Lugo, and Alphanso Adams, they are sent into Dubai to find survivors after a cataclysmic sandstorm, but their decisions unintentionally add to the problem. The game is based on a series of unfortunate events, very unfortunate, it’s basically a soldiers worst nightmare, nearly all your decisions will look good at first, just to lead to some terrible moments.

There are 15 chapters plus the epilogue and the tenth chapter is split into two parts, in the process of everything happening you’ll still be brought through some amazing, creepy, and colorful environments, the collapsed buildings add to the sense of terror and desperation. Among all of the amazing looking environments there are additional ways to kill the enemy soldiers, trapped sand from the sandstorm can be used to crush the enemy or to give you a way out of a building, and throwing a grenade into sand will create temporary cover. Though it all generally looks good, among the visuals lies death, sadness, destruction, and confusion brought on by the sandstorm, all of it is done well and can give a sense of what has happened. The sandstorms are not done however, during combat they will cover the battlefield, and you’ll have to fight enemies and find cover while running through them.

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The combat feels really good, the guns are decently accurate, they feel as powerful as they should, and headshots feel especially nice as they slow down time for a short while, especially if you chain them together. Most combat will be done behind cover, if you stand in the open you will not last long, the enemies are accurate even when you’re on the move and it does not take many bullets to bring your character down. If either Lugo or Adams get downed you’ll have the chance to either revive them yourself or give orders for the other member to heal them, killing off all the enemies in the section will also revive them both, but your character does not have a last stand option, he will just die. During combat you’ll also be able to give orders to have your teammate shoot a specific enemy or stun them, these orders work good and your teammates for the most part are helpful.

There are only a few weapons you’ll find throughout, a few assault rifles, very few snipers, smgs, pistols and three grenade choices, you’ll find either frag, sticky, and stun grenades, on normal difficulty or higher ammo and grenades can be scarce, but in a way it’s expected considering how basically everything is buried under sand. There are 23 intel collectibles in the fifteen mission levels, they are easy to find for the most part, but they give some reason to explore the environments, additionally they add stories and insight on what happened throughout Dubai.

Spec Ops relies on the cover system and it does a few things well, you won’t have to expose yourself all that much to throw a grenade and not at all to tag enemies, blind fire actually works really well, quite a few times I got headshots using it and it’s very useful in most situations. Another thing you’ll be able to do in cover is use the mounted machine gun turrets, standing straight up will give you better accuracy, but being able to crouch down and shoot is definitely nice when the bullets start flying. Cover is not always permanent, some will wear away as enemies shoot at it, and an RPG blast will make quick work of the make-shift cover, solid cover is non-existent at times and it will keep you moving.

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But the cover system also has quite a few problems, if you get right up against a wall while standing you can’t aim or shoot, even if it’s a waist high wall it’s just not happening, you can lean over railings to look down at the floor below, but you can’t aim straight down, you can only aim half way down. There are noticeable graphical glitches when Walker is in cover, you can see a lot of pixelation and edging problems, as well as textures not popping. At times while in cover, aiming will take you out of cover and leave you standing in the open, there is no way to notice this until you stop aiming which would normally put you back behind cover. Getting into cover can be a pain at times, some places require you to be in a certain spot, slowing down the process massively, it can get frustrating when the enemies at times seem to have 100% accuracy.

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Your other operatives are generally intelligent and useful, but at times they can be really unintelligent, they’ll run out of cover directly in front of you when you’re shooting or about to, they’ll stand in the open and complain that they are getting shot even though cover is just a few feet away. The enemies can be unintelligent too, they’ll stand out in the open and stop shooting and turn their back to the combat, yet even in a sandstorm they seem to have next to perfect accuracy and the sand does not seem to bother them at all. During the game your other operative can sneak up right next to a standing enemy and he does not even notice him, but shooting an enemy silently with more than one bullet can alert the whole floor above or below.

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Though the flaws can be frustrating at times, Spec Ops The Line still is a great game, the music throughout is great, having classic rock blasting in combat is really cool, and the story plus the voice acting are well done. The combat aspect can be fun, there are issues, and the game as expected is linear, but it still remains great. Going through and collecting the intel plus completing the game will take around 8 hours, but there are four difficulties to try. Spec Ops The Line does quite a few things well, and is great for fans of the genre, it’s an entertaining shooter and there are a few decisions that can be made differently, if you’re looking for a great shooter this could be the one for you.

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Overall Score: 8/10

Every so often I will be reviewing handheld games, I know that a lot of people play games on their phones and other handheld devices, so I will be reviewing them for people who don’t want to search through and download a lot of useless games and apps.

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Jetpack Joyride is quite an addicting game which balances skill, luck, and timing into one simple yet effective package, which can be picked up and played by anyone. Jetpack takes skill, but it’s a skill you learn over time just by playing, and playing often is very possible. There are many games out there like Jetpack, games that test reflexes, timing, speed, but it stands out to me because there are absolutely no pressure to use actual money to buy items, you can go into the stash and use real money to buy coins, but there is no reminder and no ads, and yet there are many updates adding content.

With no pressure to use money and no ads, it would be a safe bet that this game comes at a price, but amazingly enough it’s free across iOS, Android, Playstation Network on both the Playstation Vita and Playstation 3 devices. iOS users will have the benefit of extra jetpacks and clothing, but the other platforms have plenty of content. Buying jetpacks and clothing takes coins which are collected as you play, there are also spin tokens you can collect, they are used on the final spin wheel after you crash and can earn you additional coins, make your next run a double coin run, give you a second chance in the current run, to just giving you a 750 meter headstart next round, and there are 10 different prizes to be won.

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But you’re not just stuck buying only jetpacks and clothing, there are also 18 gadgets, you can use two gadgets at a time and they do not have limited use, they can make coins magnetic, guarantee you win on your last spin, turn some coins into gems that are worth two, make you bounce or slide further after you crash, or even give you a free ride. The Free Ride gives you a vehicle, there are 6 vehicles to use, these also have upgrades in which you can purchase, they are found in multicolored boxes at random throughout each run, and these are not your conventional vehicles.

The vehicles consist of a hog motorcycle, a teleporter, a personalized robot, a metal flying bird, the gravity suit from the game Gravity Guy, and a metal flying dragon named Mr.Cuddles, you will be able to use these vehicles until you crash, but they act as a second life so you can keep going after you’ve crashed it. The are separate upgrades that will make these vehicles gold and add coin magnets to them, they collect more coins than your character Barry will with his coin magnet, and vehicle magnets are extra useful on double coin runs.

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There are 3 main obstacles to avoid, Zappers which are essentially Tesla coils, Missiles which fly in from the right side of the screen, they will give warning before they fly in, and Lasers which are avoided with careful flying, they will have a few different patterns but there are no zappers or missiles to avoid when dealing with lasers, so they can act as a small break. With only a few obstacles it may sound easy, for the first 1000 or so meters it will be, but after that the game picks up the pace, the Zappers are strategically placed, there will be more Missiles, and one tiny mistake will make you crash, it gets intense while remaining very entertaining.

You will not be just flying for coins and tokens, there are also missions to complete, these will have you high-fiving the little scientists walking around, or avoiding them all together, there are quite a few missions which get recycled over time, you’ll have three missions at a time which don’t have to be completed until you are ready. Completing missions will earn you stars which will level you up, leveling up will earn extra coins, after you fully complete 15 levels you’ll be given a badge and you’ll continue on to more missions and more leveling up, there are at least 600 character levels, but the coin amount resets after 15 levels and so does the character level title.

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There are quite a few jetpacks to choose from, just like the vehicles most are unconventional, you’ll start off with the typical jetpack but there is an snow machine which uses ice as propulsion, a rainbow jetpack, to the more expensive Piggy Bank which uses money as propulsion, among many others, iOS users will also get a Twister jetpack, and a DIY which is just a balloon with tape on it. On all platforms there are awards, they don’t add anything to the game but can be fun to collect, and there are separate sets of twelve trophies for both the Playstation Vita and Playstation 3. There is also a stats screen with five separate categories, among the stats you’ll be able to keep track of game play time, how well you’re doing with vehicles, how you’ve crashed, the amount of deaths, to the amount of money you’ve collected and spent, it’s a nice addition.

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There are not that many glitches I found throughout, at times the gadgets won’t work, you can get closer to the Zappers in some runs, the backgrounds are always the same at each point and there is no way to change it. You’ll get hit by something that should have missed you, at times he will propel to the top way faster than usual, and from time to time it will lag which can throw off timing, but these problems do not ruin the game, they only happen at random depending on your device and the next run is just one press away. 

Jetpack Joyride is an addicting game and the short rounds make it entertaining and quick, the game has had many updates to add additional content and bug fixes which continue to make the game even better. HalfBrick seems to listen to their fans and through that have made a great, entertaining game, I had to put it down to write this review, but it’s still loaded on my PS Vita. The Vita version has the ability to use either the d-pad, face buttons, or the touch screen, and the colors seem deeper than some of the iOS, Android and Playstation 3 versions. All together there really is not a lot to this game and yet it can be hard to put down, if you are looking for an entertaining, addicting game on your cell phones or other handheld devices, this is a great choice.

Overall Score: 9/10

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Metal Gear Solid HD Collection brings previously released Metal Gear games to the 360, PS3, and Playstation Vita, all remastered in HD. There are five games contained within the collection, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2 which were originally released on the MSX2, Metal Gear Solid 2 and Metal Gear Solid 3 which were originally on the PS2, and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker which originated on the PSP. Each game contains memorable stories and characters, creative game play, replay value and collectibles, Metal Gear Solid 2, 3, and Peace Walker have definite noticeable graphical improvements, and all are done very well.

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Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty was released back in 2002, it takes place from 2007-2009 after the events of Shadow Moses, it garnered a lot of hype due to the success of Metal Gear Solid, unfortunately in many ways it didn’t live up to the hype. The majority of Metal Gear Solid fans loved having the grizzled vet Solid Snake as the main character, myself included, but after the first section you’ll be playing the majority of the game as a newly introduced character named Raiden. Back when it was released on the Playstation 2, the controls were similar to the previous game and gave fans a familiar feel, fast forward to today and the controls feel sloppy, it’s unfortunate that Konami did not improve the controls as first person view, shoot, and aiming are all on one side of the controller, aiming can become a hassle and you could find yourself just relying on the auto-aim, which does not always lock onto an enemy.20130610_022327

Another familiar feature was the camera angle, it is a little bit more of an advanced over-head view than Metal Gear Solid, but still caused a lot of problems, walking down stairs you’ll see either Snake or Raiden going down the stairs, but can’t see what is down there unless you go into first-person view, in which you can not move. Once you get used to the camera view and controls you’ll start making it through the over the top, creative game play and story, various types of bosses which can have you shooting them down, or defusing bombs then killing them, plus a fight with a Harrier Jet and an immortal vampire(not the Twilight kind). The game is still great regardless of the change in character, and brings back a lot of memories to those who have played it before, but will appeal to new fans of the series, there are also Snake Tales which you’ll play through missions with Snake.20130610_015633

Aside from Snake Tales there are also VR Missions or Virtual Reality Missions in which you’ll either have to sneak, shoot enemies, or shoot targets in first person as you make your way to the end. There are also Alternative Missions which will have you defusing bombs, eliminating enemies or holding them up, and both modes have a fourth unlockable section of missions, and can be played with both Snake and Raiden. The collectibles are Dog Tags, you’ll need to hold up the enemies until they wiggle out their dog tag, finding all of the dog tags will unlock stealth camouflage making you invisible, they also unlock colored wigs, and there are also Easter eggs, references, and memories of the original. Codec, rations, guns, and characters from the original will make appearances, the codec was a massive improvement adding depth and an almost 3D look, and the characters look much better. Though Metal Gear Solid 2 was not as good as the first, it’s still a great game, with plenty of replay value and decent game play, though it would have been nice to change the controls and camera.20130610_020329

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Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released in 2004, and is the prequel to the whole series, the main character Naked Snake is Solid Snake’s father, it takes place in 1964 during the Cold War, Snake’s long time mentor The Boss has defected to Russia and Snake’s mission is to find and kill her for betraying her country. The game takes on a whole new style of game play, Naked Snake has his name for a reason, he is in the jungle basically naked aside from a backpack, pants and a shirt, or no shirt depending on your preference, you’ll have to tranquilize or kill animals and eat them to keep up his health and stamina. You’ll also have to fix bone breaks, pull out bullets and arrows, cut or burn leeches, and cure sickness all by going into the menu and using supplies in proper order to increase the health value.

Another feature of the game will have you looking for camouflage and face pain to maximize the camouflage rating, as you sneak around your camouflage rating will be at the top of the screen, so finding and matching Snake’s camouflage colors to the environments is a must. There are ways to achieve a 100% camouflage rating, one way is finding all of the little toy frogs called Kerotan hiding throughout the large environments, shooting all of them will unlock stealth camouflage just like in MGS 2, adding an extra bit of replay value to find them. The controls seem more fluid but still may take a bit of getting used to, and you’ll have the ability to change the camera view which is very nice. The game looked great back when it was released on the Playstation 2, and has transitioned very well in HD, not only does it look great, it runs very smooth across all platforms.20130610_01082120130610_011145

Metal Gear Solid 3 will be great for new players because you do not need to know the rest of the series to follow the story, and yet still shows the the origins for familiar characters. The boss fights are once again over the top, and some take a lot of patience, you’ll be fighting a boss covered in hornets, to an astronaut with a jet pack, and a sniper who blends into the environments and you’ll have to try to find him in multiple decent sized sections. Once again the characters are memorable and the story is amazing, filled with unforgettable, extraordinary moments, and can easily keep you playing through the game multiple times. Metal Gear Solid 3 strayed from the originals game play wise, but did not faultier because of the amazing story and great game play, it would have been nice to crouch around rather than just run, walk, and crawl, but it remains great regardless.

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker takes place ten years after the events of the third, it was released in 2010 on the Playstation Portable. Naked Snake now named Big Boss joins up with Kaz Miller to save Costa Rica from a group of soldiers and their nuclear weapon called “Peace Walker”, and once again changes Metal Gear style of game play. This time around in each mission you’ll have the ability to recruit enemy soldiers by either holding them up or putting them to sleep and using the Fulton Recovery System, it is a parachute in which Kaz in a airplane snags on to and carries them back to base, you’ll have a limit to how many recovery systems you hold, but can use them on enemies at any rate without delay, plus there are hostages that can be recruited as well. After each mission you will also return back to the Mother Base to manage your new recruits and gear, each recruit will have a letter rating in many categories and you’ll just have to find the right fit for them in Research and Development, Food, Intel team, or you can keep them as soldiers and use them in missions as well as the Outer Ops missions which play out as you play through the game.20130610_030943

There are missions in which you have to take out tanks, military helicopters, and even Peace Walker it self a few times, in these missions you can find parts to make your own Metal Gear to combat future Metal Gears, as well as use the vehicles in the Outer Ops missions. For a game originally on the PSP it looks great when brought to a large screen, there are quite a few rough edges, and some texture issues, but it’s expected and can be over looked, the controls are great, it would have been nice if all of the games had similar controls, it would have definitely improved Metal Gear Solid 2 especially. The missions and boss battles can get really hard at times, you’ll need to improve the R&D team to create and improve weapons and gear in order to make it through these missions, and a lot of the boss battles will take quite a bit of strategy.20130610_031418

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker though it can be really challenging, it’s quite entertaining, finding and recruiting better hostiles to work for you is rewarding as they help you upgrade, there are special recruits to find like Hideo Kojima, and there are development specs scattered throughout each mission. The cut-scenes are intractable, you’ll be given button prompts and these prompts will help improve scores. Each mission score will give a letter grade, the scores give reason to retry levels you feel you can do better on, and even though the missions are broken up, the story is great, and like MGS 2 and 3, the characters are memorable. There are many missions throughout which increase game play time exponentially, well if you can make it through the tough missions, you’ll have multiple missions open for a while so if you get stuck you’ll have options, and there are over 200 missions that can be unlocked throughout, so there are no lack of challenges in what is a great game.

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Metal Gear which was originally released on the MSX2 in 1987, makes it’s way to the collection, the game is Solid Snake’s very first missions and will have you finding characters who will make very large appearances in the series. Metal Gear is the original that started the whole series, though it’s not the beginning of the story. The game takes quite a bit of getting used to, the item windows can be finicky, the game is quite challenging, enemies can see you even when they are looking in the opposite direction, and it can be easy to get stuck on the environments and miss shots because of the stiff movements. There are two difficulties to choose from, Original and Easy, enemies do a lot of damage regardless of the difficulty and can pose quite the challenge for anyone who has never played it before.

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Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake is also part of the collection, it was released back in 1990 on the MSX2 as well, it has quite a few improvements like crawling and a bit less stiff movements, but is still really challenging and the enemies are top notch for the most part. It also has characters that will have large parts later in the series, so any huge fans of the Metal Gear series will have extra reason to play through these as well. The difficulties to choose from are Original and Easy once again, but you’ll have a few more hiding places this time around. The game is great and the controls are decent, it brings back memories of an 8-bit era and that in its self is awesome.20130610_025821

All-in-all the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection is a great set of games for both new and experienced fans of the series, as well as people who want to know what the series is all about. Though there is no Metal Gear Solid 1 in the collection, there is still enough content to keep many satisfied, and reasons for experienced fans to keep playing. Additionally for all of the Metal Gear fans who like collecting achievements and trophies, these make their way into the collection, 50+ on the disc containing all the content of Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, and 50+ on the disc containing Peace Walker. The games look great, though there are control issues, it’s not so bad in the grand scheme of things, with tonnes of content and additional content the game remains satisfying and brings a great series to a new and old generation of gamers.

Overall Score 9.2/10

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The members of Unit 13 are said to be elite soldiers, well that is what they say, but often I beg to differ. Unit 13 consists of six members who are trained in different aspects of combat from stealth to heavy gunner, and they will be needed for the four mission types. The missions will have you collecting intel, laptops, killing key targets, defusing bombs, closing steam valves, and a few other small missions, each mission is score based. There is not much of a story, each mission has information about it and about key targets, but that is basically about it besides stopping terrorists.

The six characters consist of an infiltrator, marksman, commando, technician, pointman, and gunner, each can hold one gun, one set of either lethal or tactical grenades, one top and one bottom attachment for the main gun, and a pistol is always the second weapon and it can not be changed. The different character types have their specialties in the four different mission types, Direct Action just requires you to rack up the score by getting kills and completing missions, there is no time limit but after the mission there are bonuses for mission completion time, Covert just requires you to be unseen and complete objectives, if an alarm goes off it’s an automatic fail, Deadline is timed and you’ll get time increases at each checkpoint, and Elite which gives you a health bar instead of regenerating health and no checkpoints, but you’ll receive health where there would normally be a checkpoint.

There are 36 main missions plus six high value targets, mission score is also the amount of character experienced gained, and what the star ratings are based on, you can literally watch your experience go up as you play, so trying to improve scores will benefit that character’s level. Gaining experience requires kills in various ways, completing missions, getting combos, plus the after mission bonuses. The missions have a star rating out of 5, high value target missions unlock after every 20 stars earned, they require you to kill a specific target, but these do not have star rating, just scores and each target killed will earn a trophy. Each of the six characters have their own ten character levels, each level gained unlocks gear, improvements for that characters skills, unlocks guns and gadgets as well, but most of the character levels go pretty quick so it’s a good thing there are six characters to stretch out game play time a bit.

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The enemies are terrorists and they all basically look the same, there are mainly four character models which gets uninteresting pretty quick, and at times it seems like they can see through walls, or spot you while looking the opposite direction. The enemies seem to be more accurate on the move than your soldiers are, at times I was pointing directly at an enemy while moving and my gun managed to miss him the majority of time, and yet the enemy was hitting me the whole time moving at the same speed, which wouldn’t be so bad if the characters didn’t die from two or three shots. The enemies at times are intelligent, but it’s strange that killing an enemy with stealth, regardless of if it was seen or not, can alert the other enemies in the section. Using flashbangs on enemies is helpful, but if you shoot the body instead of the head suddenly they are alright and will start shooting just fine, and even a head-shot is not always an instant kill.

The six members of Unit 13 are said to be highly trained, but as mentioned I often question that statement, movement is sluggish even when changing the two movement options, the enemies seem to be more accurate most of the time, and they seem to withstand far more body shots despite that fact that most of them have no armor compared to the Unit 13 soldiers. Crouching behind cover or up against a wall can be a pain, if you are up against a wall and an enemy runs at you, trying to turn and look at the enemy is very slow and coming off the wall will have you facing it, plus if you are behind cover and try to shoot enemies below, they can run to the left or right and your cover will block them from view. There is no option to cook grenades, the grenades are useful but it would still be a nice option to have, the grenades are pretty good, but throwing them can be problematic at times, there is no way to change throwing power so your character can throw a grenade way too hard regardless of where the cross-hairs are.

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Unit 13’s environments are mostly bland, there are a few that look alright but they are mostly uninteresting and pixelated. The graphics are not very good, texture issues and jagged edges, pixelated buildings, and boring character models, the graphics only really affect seeing enemies in the distance, but it could have added more to what is just an alright game. There are only a few ways to navigate the levels, mainly just using ladders instead of the stairs but it leads to more problems, you can’t slide down ladders and you can’t make your character move faster up the ladder, not to mention you only get a view of his hands and forearms, so if an enemy starts shooting it’s basically hopeless. The environments are decent for stealth, but the stealth aspect is only alright, it can be a break from shooting and it’ll require a bit of patience, but the characters are hunched over and can be seen very easily, plus there is no way to make them crouch further or lay down.

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As I mentioned, there are only 36 missions plus the six high value targets and most do not take that long to complete, if you devote time to the game it won’t take long to achieve 5 stars on all 36, there are a few challenging missions, but regardless of that, completing the game will happen fairly quickly. Not only are there limited missions and limited guns, there is no downloadable content so what comes standard is all you get. There are daily missions in which you can try to get the highest score, it’s a nice break and you can also see what your friends are doing if any of them play Unit 13. There is also an online mode, it is cooperative and can be fun to play some the missions with people online, it lags as expected, and to play online you’ll need the included online pass, or buy one on the Playstation Network.

There are a few good things in Unit 13, some of the missions are entertaining, the radar at the top of the screen works well, the characters reload their guns quickly, most guns are accurate, and mission score is also experience which is nice, but there really is not that much content, and there are quite a few glitches that bring the game down. Character leveling is rewarding, but there are not that many levels for each character so it goes quickly, though the upgrades can make things easier if you are trying to get five stars on every mission. Changing the controls is not an option, the controls are pretty good though, but it would be nice to have a few changes, and aiming can be a pain when the cross-hairs are pointed towards an enemies head, and it snaps to his body. Unit 13’s missions are short so it can be picked up and played on the go, but other than that there really is not much here, the game is alright and it can be entertaining at times, but that’s about it.

Overall Score: 6.5/10