Archive for December, 2014

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Contrast puts you in the role of Dawn, an imaginary friend to a little girl named Didi Malenkaya, as Dawn you’ll have the ability to use the shadows to your advantage. Contrast is a puzzle adventure game that has you going in and out of shadows in order to solve the level. The story begins in Didi’s room, and it’s not long before Dawn and Didi are on the way out through the window into the 1920s Noir world of Contrast. You’ll use the shadows to find your way down off the roof and you’ll help Didi get down as well, this is a sign of things to come as the game does not have much to it.
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The linear gameplay becomes apparent from the very beginning, the game holds your hand and drags you straight to your objective quite often. When the game does open up a bit you’ll only have a small bit of room to explore, but the collectibles are mostly easy to find. The story of Contrast starts off decent, Didi’s mom Kat has child services threatening to take Didi away due to Kat being gone during the night and her father no longer around. Didi acts out by sneaking out and exploring the city with her imaginary friend, she wants to find her father so she can get him and her mom back together. It’s not long before the story and the dialogue becomes repetitive, you’ll hear Didi bring up the same events and you’ll hear a lot of the same dialogue being repeated by Didi’s mother and father.

Aside from the linear environments most of the world of Contrast is well done, the levels look great and the backgrounds look great. You’ll find luminaries that you’ll use to light specific sections, the light created will allow you to use your shadows to solve the level puzzles. Shadows are mostly simple to use, you’ll walk up to the wall, press a button and you’re now a shadow, unfortunately they can be glitchy, at times it’ll take a few tries to get it on the wall or to clear a gap. As you progress you’ll unlock more shadow abilities, you’ll be able to thrust across gaps by going from a 2D shadow to 3D and back again, thrusting forward from shadow to shadow. However, this is the most frustrating feature as it does not always work due to the controls seemingly becoming unresponsive at times, it’s a good thing the game loads quick when Dawn falls into the endless pits.

There are memories that you’ll find as you explore the linear environments, they are not hard to find and walking up to them will unlock a memory shadow. You’ll use the shadows of the memory to collect luminaries and collectibles. As mentioned before the collectibles are not hard to find at all, most take a small bit of exploring to find your way up or down to them, but the collectibles serve as part of the back story. Each collectible is a drawing, picture or an article from a newspaper, to me these were more interesting than the story itself. Because the collectibles are so easy to find it leaves very little replay value, one time through will either collect everything or be very close, you’ll be able to select sections of each chapter to collect any that you miss.
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The ending is very unsatisfactory, it feels rushed and doesn’t leave any excitement to what was already a mostly bland game. Contrast is very short, most likely you’ll be able to complete the game in about 5 hours, without any real reason to go back through. Contrast feels like it could have been so much more, larger environments, a much better story and additional content would have made this a great game, unfortunately it falls short in so many areas. One of the better features of Contrast is the voice acting, though Dawn does not talk, the rest of the characters are voiced well. The story leads on that there could be a possibility of a sequel, however they will need to do a lot to improve upon the game.

Contrast does not have enough content to justify paying full price, the game is far to linear and short, and the story is unsatisfying and ends abruptly. Contrast needs over twice the content to make it great, if you still plan on playing it, wait until it’s on sale, or free. Contrast could have been so much more, the concept of the game is great, but it just feels rushed and unfinished. If you want a puzzle adventure game you won’t be hard pressed finding a better one, Contrast is too flat and bland, in the end it’s just an overpriced arcade game.

6.5/10

Thank you all!

Posted: December 30, 2014 in Thank You
Tags: , , , , , ,

My reviews were viewed in 101 countries!. Thank you everyone, I truly appreciate it!. I am currently working on 3 reviews, Contrast, Far Cry 4, and Little Big Planet 3.
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One of the main complaints about the Call of Duty series is that it has become repetitive, so bring on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, a game that is supposed to buck a bunch of trends that felt dull. But does it succeed?, or is it just another game in the series?.

Advanced Warfare puts you in the role of Marine Corp solider Jack Mitchell, an early tragedy in his tour of duty and a lost appendage later, you’ll be forced out of the Marine Corp and into Atlas. Atlas is a multi-national security company with top technology in the world. With the technology of Atlas they fix Jack up using Exo and turn him into a bad-ass solider. Jack is fitted with Atlas gear and technology which gives the wearer enhanced skills like double jump and extra strength. The story is deeper than it has been in years, it adds emotion with good writing, but the story tends to stretch out at times for the sake of the game. Advanced Warfare’s cutscenes play out like a movie, the game looks amazing on the next-gen consoles, almost every detail was polished, it added to the overall feel while maintaining a sense of realism.
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The new Exo system works great, it makes the movement a lot smoother, instead of just running around, you can use the technology to get to different locations and play the game in different ways for the most part. With all of the new technology, the earlier levels feel really linear, if you try to stray from the path slightly there will be a warning letting you know you are leaving the mission area. Even though this is not much of an issue with later levels, they should have allowed for more exploration. If you like finding collectibles, Advanced Warfare comes with 45 of them in the form of a laptop, some are a bit harder to find but they are easy to find for the most part. The intel laptops unlock bonus material in the Extras Menu, which includes pictures and videos that connect parts of the story.
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Advanced Warfare’s weaponry works really well, especially once you start upgrading your character. You’ll have different skills that can be upgraded by completing Exo Challenges, you’ll earn Skill Points after a certain amount of kills, headshots, grenade kills and by finding the intel. There are a decent amount of skills to upgrade, from increasing sprint time to gun stability, the upgrades make your character feel like a super solider. Earning them can add some replay value, unless you get them all in one play through. Grenades are much improved, instead of only being able to carry one type of lethal and non-lethal grenades, each grenade comes with different functions that can be switched with a press of a button. You can switch your lethal from the useful Smart Grenades to Impact grenades, your non-lethal from a threat detector to EMP, there are multiple choices for each and this allows for creative kills with grenades.

There was not as many new guns as I had hoped in the Single Player Campaign, but in the Online Mode that is not the case. Advanced Warfare has online features you’d expect, lots of weapons, perks and upgrades. This time around they allow you to upgrade your Exo and allow you to change the look of your character, so you’re not stuck to using some generic character. You’ll earn different gear by playing through the campaign on Veteran, by completing the game, as well as completing challenges online. These can make your character look cool, but some of the harder earned ones make you very visible and can make you a target in some cases. There are a bunch of game modes to test your weapons, but if you are like most people you’ll probably just stick to the ones you like. They even brought back the Online Training for those who need it. In addition there is also an Exo Survival Mode, you’ll fight through hordes of aliens with friends or randoms online, it’s a fun mode to play with friends.
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So does Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare improve on previous games?, for the most part yes. It may not bring non-fans to the series, but those who do play it will be treated to a whole host of new features. The story is deeper than in previous games, it has a more realistic feel and look. Each cutscene and level on the next-gen consoles looks incredible, the controls are very smooth as well. Advanced Warfare does many things right, from graphical improvements to abilities, though there are a few minor technical issues and some of the levels feel too linear, plus the campaign is not that long. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will give you a decent amount of gameplay for an FPS. This game should be played by any Call of Duty fan, it’s one of the better games in the series.

8.5/10