Posts Tagged ‘Video Game Reviews’

20150121_172753
As a fan of the Far Cry series I was very excited for the new additions to what has been an already great series, and for the most part I was not disappointed. Far Cry 4 takes place in Kyrat, you’ll assume the role of Ajay Ghale, who has simple plans of scattering his mom’s ashes in deep Kyrat. Little does he know his life is about to change dramatically as he’ll uncover secrets he could have never imagined. The story is done well, it’s filled with colourful and interesting characters. You’ll be forced to choose between ideologies, deal with animals and militia in dangerous locations, and figure out who Ajay really is, all while determining the new path of Kyrat. Causing all the commotion is Kyrat’s King, Pagan Min, who seemingly wants to destroy the country with war and drugs. You’ll be on the side of The Golden Path run by Amita and Sabal, each having their own idea of the perfect Kyrat and their own way of brining down Pagan Min. It’s up to you to choose which path you’d rather see the country go on.

From the very beginning, Far Cry 4 looks great, the characters and environments are very well done. Once you have control you’ll have a chance to look over part of Kyrat, the amount of detail becomes apparent, but it’s just a small sign of things to come. Kyrat is a large place so having a way around is crucial, good thing there are many options from ATV’s to personal helicopters called Buzzers, they make getting around Kyrat a lot of fun. Far Cry 4 has solid gameplay throughout, but at times the controls can be a bit glitchy. Most of the movements and actions are smooth, but unfortunately once the real action starts there seems to be a delay in many of Ajay’s actions. Switching guns and using health syringes can be slow or just not work, causing some frustrating moments. One of the main glitches I found was with the weapon wheel, weapons don’t always change when prompted, sometimes it took multiple efforts to get the weapon of my choice.
20150104_195631

Aside from the main campaign there are plenty of side missions and quest to undertake, from overtaking outposts to clearing out fortresses run by Kyrat’s main players. There are citizens and fellow Golden Path members that will need your help, and, a fashion designer will have you hunt rare and dangerous animals for his clothing line but also for the 39 crafted items that increase gear capacity. You’ll go hunting for supplies or to defend villages from menacing beasts. You’ll have the option to get revenge on corrupt leaders for killing innocents or for causing terror to those around them. Some of the more colourful characters you’ll meet will have side missions ranging from drug trips to races around some of the exciting parts of Kyrat, giving you around 192 quests total. There are 285 collectibles to find, including journals from Ajay’s father, masks of a former murder and plenty more to find. Just like in other Far Cry games, there are also radio towers to overtake, these will unlock parts of the map which will unveil some of the collectibles and missions in the areas surrounding the towers.
20150104_201607

Completing missions and finding collectibles will unlock new weapons, give you Experience bonuses, and on some occasions earn you Karma points. Karma Points are another new addition to the Far Cry series, levelling up your Karma will give you discounts at stores, unlock guns and give you guns for hire tokens. Guns for Hire tokens allow you to call in some help from the Golden Path, they’ll drive to your location and give you cover while you do whatever you need to. In addition to Karma points you’ll have your regular Experience, levelling up will earn you Skill points, those points can be used on one of the two categories, Tiger or Elephant. The Tiger category will give you more fire power, speed, and strength, while the Elephant side increases defence, increases your health bars, but also improves your health and combat syringe times and potency.
Snapchat--1040665836641952070

Similar to previous Far Cry games, enemies won’t be the only opposition you’ll face. There are a plethora of animals who will either fight or flee, from the common Honey Badger to the less common Red Crowned Turtle, the animals seem to be in every location through Kyrat. One of the newest additions to the Far Cry series is the ability to ride elephants. Personally, this is one of my favourite features, not only are they fun to ride, I felt like I could take on any opponent due to the elephant’s power. The animals add a level of depth to the environments, not only will you have to worry about where the enemies are, you’ll have to make sure you don’t have any predators ready to pounce on you. A neat feature is the animal fights that look mostly realistic, and, you’ll come across animals eating their prey. The animals can also lead to many frustrating moments, like getting attacked by an Eagle out of nowhere and not being able to defend yourself slowed the game down. Other issues like getting attacked in the water without being able to use your knife or gun, having random animals blowing your cover and getting killed by animals while trying to defend yourself from enemies, made easier parts a bit more complicated. However, the predators can be used to your advantage, a carefully placed bait can cause mayhem with enemies and in some cases clear out entire outposts and other sections without you even firing a shot.
20150116_130048

Far Cry 4 also comes with decent Online options, you can play through the campaign with friends or people online, and there are three different 5 vs 5 game modes. Outpost has one team defending key locations while the other tries to overtake them, Demon Mask will have you destroying masks or bringing them to safety, and Propaganda will have you destroying parts of Kyrat while the other defends. You’ll earn experience by gaining kills, completing objectives, and collecting herbs, levelling up earns skill points which you use to unlock new weapons and gear for your characters. You’ll have two characters to upgrade, one will be gun heavy and the other is bow based, you’ll use both so you’ll want to upgrade them as much as possible. Each 5V5 set has two rounds, you’ll be attacking and defending, the team with more points combined wins. The Online PVP doesn’t just feel like an afterthought, though it can be glitchy and lag, it is a lot of fun. The option of being able to go through the Campaign Cooperatively is a great addition, it adds a new level of fun that previous games just didn’t have. There is also the Map Browser, this allows you to play through user created maps for Outpost and other game modes, while also being able to create your own maps.
20150120_191831

While Far Cry 4 is great, there are a lot of glitches, most are minor, but some just can’t be overlooked. Many of the main issues are in combat, some of your weapons seem underpowered, and, enemies can be far too accurate, as they can hit you through trees, down hills, and other areas they would not have been able to see you. Enemies and animals do a lot of damage, take a bit of damage and you’ll need to use a health syringe, at times you have to pull branches or other objects out of your arm forcing you to heal twice. Animals as well as humans can knock you down and attack you while you’re down, you can’t shoot from your back so you’ll just have to lay there and take all the damage until Ajay finally gets up. Enemies can also knock you down even if you’re mid-melee, they seem to melee a lot faster so if you get close enough you’ll end up on your back taking damage. If an animal runs at you they can do damage while seemingly getting lost in your feet. Eagle attacks do not allow you to defend yourself once they are a certain distance away, it forces you into a mini cutscene where you watch yourself getting attacked, you can’t shoot the Eagle until after it flies away. Getting attacked in water was a pain as well, you can’t shoot or use your knife while swimming, so you’ll have to get into a boat or on land in order to defend yourself. There are also quite a few technical glitches, on many occasions the audio did not work, textures did not pop and random pauses slightly hindered the experience.
20150116_134315

Even with all of the issues found within Far Cry 4 it is worth picking up. There is a tonne of gameplay from missions to collectibles, exploring the game rather than fast travelling will give you hours of extra gameplay. Far Cry 4 environments are incredible, nearly everything looks amazing, it can draw you in and help you forget about the glitches you’ve experienced. The story is good, and the characters are creative and well done, the voice acting is great as well. If you’re a fan of the Far Cry series this is one you should pick up, if you’re new, this is a great place to start.

8.5/10

Advertisements

20140903_153716
Growing up the Mario Kart series has always kept my friends and I busy for hours, I’ve bought every Mario Kart for that reason alone. Mario Kart 8 promised to add more dimension and features to what was generally a great game, and that got me excited, especially coming off of Mario Kart Wii which felt really empty to me. Loading the game up for the first time everything looked great, there were a few game modes, a decent amount of characters to choose from and a bunch to unlock, using the Wii U gamepad looked and felt great, though the graphics started to look a bit more pixelated as I got to the characters.

There are 4 main game modes to choose from, Single player mode includes Grand Prix which is the basic Cup mode found in all Mario Kart games, you’ll have your choice of three difficulties 50CC, 100CC, and 150CC, you play in a 4-Cup series in which winning will earn you a gold trophy for that difficulty and for that Cup Series. Each Cup Series on each difficulty has it’s own separate trophy, there are 8 Cups to choose from, well unless you pre-order two games, but I’ll get to that later. Single player also includes, Time Trials, Vs Race, and Battle Mode. The three other modes are multiplayer, online- one player, and online two-player, multiplayer allows you to play with and compete with your friends split screen, the online modes are really competitive and not everyone will be able to jump right in without knowing all of the tracks well.
20140903_153806

Once you choose your game mode and set of races, you’ll get to choose your character, they start you with characters you’d expect like Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Wario and so on, and you’ll get to pick your kart, but this has more features than usual. You’ll have the ability to change the body, tires and glider or parachute if you prefer, each part has different features for every character, so you’ll have to mess around with them. To earn parts for your karts you’ll have to win races, cups and race challenges, a lot of features really add to the game. You’ll earn characters the same way, but to me the characters you’ll unlock are really underwhelming, they’re the typical background characters, and very few of the characters I ended up wanting to use, though there are quite a few characters to choose from.
20140903_154252

The racing in this game is done pretty well if you are accustom to the style of racing, as MK8 relies heavily on power sliding boosts, meaning you will need to slide around each corner and snake back and forth for extended boosts, and you’ll need to draft. Drafting requires you to follow directly behind the opposing karts and use the the lack of air resistance to increase your speed, but it felt like the drafting boost lasted way too long at times and made it annoying on the last lap when someone passes you on the last straight away. The tracks are well done, there are 32 tracks to choose from, 16 classics from previous games and 16 new tracks, seeing the old tracks on the Wii U added to the overall feel of the game, they are a lot of fun to race with the new karts of MK8. The anti-gravity sections of the tracks added a bit of intensity and depth, and they looks very good. The problem with the tracks is you’ll need to find all of the short-cuts, because the opponents will know all of them, and at times it seemed like the CPU was driving over grass and deep mud at full speed without boosts.
20140903_15441720140903_154904

Weapons have always been a mainstay in Mario Kart and they added a few more weapons including the Special 8 weapon. This weapon gives you all of the weapons at once, but can be taken away if your opponents use the Shrink Bolt or anything else that normally would make you drop your weapons, so it is best to use them all as fast as possible. Red shells are more deadly than usual as they can follow you over ramps and can hit you in the air, this felt cheap in so many cases, especially when you’re over a gap. One big thing that Mario Kart 8 did fix is the time it takes to get back on the track if you fall off, you’re immediately caught and placed back on the track without almost any delay, making the weapon battles fast paced and intense. Aside from a few weapon glitches they as always add a lot of fun to the game, it’s always nice getting the weapon that will get you into first, or allow you to get revenge on someone who hit you. There are coins on the track, when you have 10 at once it will make your kart faster and your weapons better, which can give you an advantage when the race has a close finish.

MK8 is great in many ways, but there is just so little here to keep me playing. The game feels unfinished and in many ways bland. If you like doing single races it is not so bad, but if you like playing through the Cups there are only 8 Cups with 4 tracks in each. The tracks are not overly long so you can quickly rush through them all, especially once you get used to tracks and know all the short cuts. There is a stats screen but it’s very basic, it’s only one page and has a few racing stats. There are a few game modes but most are short and don’t have much to them, there are 32 tracks but all are short and all can be raced in one sitting. In order to get the last 4 Cups and 6 characters you have to pre-order two specific Wii U games, most of the characters and tracks should have already been added to the main game, it’s a nuisance if you don’t plan on getting those games. The game relies way too heavily on power sliding and drafting, you will need to do it or you won’t get very far outside of 50CC, and even then you’ll have opponents on you at all times. It just ended up being really frustrating when the cpu is passing me after I used multiple speed bursts because they were drafting me the whole time. It seems in multiplayer if one person is doing good the other player is getting hit by everything, it seems to prevent you at times from dominating the race.

MK8 is a great game if you plan on playing it online or with friends, the new tracks are neat and there is a bit of depth to them, but there is not much depth outside of that. If you love the Mario Kart series then chances are you’ll like MK8, but if you are looking for a full depth racer, this probably is not the game for you. The blend of old and new tracks is a nice feature and being able to somewhat customize the karts feels a bit better than previous games, but I could not feel like there really is not much to this game aside from a few gimmicks here and there. MK8 does many things well and is a great game on the Wii U, but unless you’re a huge Mario Kart fan this game is not worth the full price.

Overall Score: 8/10

Image

If you’re a fan of Bejewelled or any other match 3 puzzle game you’ve probably heard of Candy Crush, but even though it’s free, is it really worth the download?. Well, it all depends on how you look at it, on one hand it is a really fun puzzle game that always continues to challenge the player, which in my opinion is a great choice, on another you only get five lives at a time, unless you have Facebook and know people who can send you lives. Facebook also allows you to skip the three Train Missions that show up every 15 or so levels, these will only allow you to play one mission every 24 hours. However, regardless if you have Facebook or not it is still a really fun game, without Facebook you just have to wait 30 minutes to regenerate one of your lives. I am one of those people who doesn’t have Facebook so I know first hand that at times that is okay, and others I’d rather just play and not have to wait, but a small price to pay for a free game, I guess.

The game itself however, is a great puzzle game, it uses candy as its choice of blocks, it’s a mostly typical match three game. Matching four together will get you a Stripped Candy which destroys a line of candy when paired up with two or more of the same colour, five together will earn you a Colour Bomb which will take out all of the same colour that it is matched to, this just needs one of the candies matched to it to set it off. Matching candies in a 90 degree angle or in a T shape will turn them into a Packaged Candy Bomb, pairing one of these up with two of the same colour will destroy¬†8 blocks around it. As you’d expect, mixing these special candies together will unleash cool effects, matching two strips together will take out a horizontal and vertical line, to the more powerful Colour Bomb or “Dotted” combination, matching two Colour Bombs together will clear the entire board, and there are various other effects from different combinations.

Image

Rather than just using a score system like most games in it’s genre, Candy Crush uses a level system which has you progressing on a game board, each level on the board has a possible three star rating which you can achieve. As you progress along the Candy Crush game board you will encounter more challenges like Chocolate Blocks, these will spread once you start making moves unless you destroy at least one Chocolate Block in the process. Some blocks cannot be destroyed however, they will take a permanent spot on the board, which will require each move to be thought through, and some will require you to match them up with the same colour so they don’t explode, ending your game. The special candies play a more important part and are crucial to beating some of the levels later on, some even require you to match a certain amount of specials together to complete them. If you get bored or are stuck on a level, there is an additional game board, here you will have to keep the owl on the side of the screen balanced. He will have two colours on each side of his perch, blowing up too many of one colour will make the owl unbalanced, if he falls it’s game over. It’s a fun addition, but shares the same lives as the other game board, so it can’t be played if you run out of lives.

Image

Additionally, there is a prize wheel which has eight prizes to be won, you’ll get one spin a day to help you along. These can net you the more common Lollipop Sledgehammer, which takes out one block of your choice, there is a Swap Candy power that lets you switch any two candies of your choice, to the less common Jackpot, I have not personally seen this won, but it will net you a tonne of good stuff. There are in-game app purchases, if you don’t have Facebook and don’t feel like waiting, you can pay $1 to refill your lives, but that can get pricy if you really start getting addicted to the game, if you fail a level you can pay $1.99 to play on, it will give you additional moves for that round. But, if you don’t mind waiting two and a half hours for full lives, you won’t have to worry about paying and you’ll have a lot of fun in the process.

Image

So is Candy Crush really worth the space?, I think so, it has challenges for all types of gamers, the game is engaging and if you have lots of Facebook friends who don’t mind sending you lives, you can play on for a long time. Candy Crush has ads and in-game app purchases, but they aren’t pushy about it, and the ads only usually show up once you go back to the game board. There is a lot packed into this simple and easy to pick up game. Candy Crush¬†can be challenging, but it feels like an accomplishment finally beating the level you’ve been stuck on, and knowing you still have lives to play on. If you love puzzle games and still have yet to download Candy Crush, I recommend you at least try it out.

Overall Score:

8/10