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“Devastation” review

by on May.06, 2012, under PC Game Reviews

Game: Devastation
Developer: Digitalo Studios

2.5 llamas  Unremarkable spawn of the Unreal Engine 2

Editor’s Note: I recently found my game play notes on this title when I played it nine years ago. In the interests of maintaining my “timely review” record, I’ve posted my observations and opinions below.
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Planetside – “All Tech” Magrider Event Movie

by on Apr.18, 2011, under PC Gaming Commentary

After some persistent prompting from my Planetside outfit, I’ve finally taken the plunge and video-captured one of our recent outfit operations. This film (duration: 3′ 40″) was taken in March 2011 and shows the Knights of the Republic tooling around in Vanu Sovereignty magriders. Area of operations was primarily the north coast of the planet Ishundar between Irkalla and Kusag bases. From memory, we didn’t capture or lose either base however it was still quite an epic fight.

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“Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy” review

by on Mar.23, 2010, under PC Game Reviews

Game: Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy
Developer: Stickman Studios

If the Caribbean had decent wi-fi coverage, this is the game Blackbeard would have played.

Since the advent of ancient sea-faring nations, pirates have existed as an ever-present threat to maritime trade routes around the world. Although contemporary piracy is almost universally condemned by today’s governments, recent popular culture has managed to give historical piracy a much rosier and more appealing aspect. Games and movies, such as the “Pirates of the Caribbean” saga, have managed to portray pirates from the late 17th – early 18th centuries as swashbuckling romantics rather than the more unflattering imagery that we tend to associate with their contemporary brethren. Over the years we have seen a variety of pirate themed PC games ranging from LucasArt’s humorous Monkey Island adventures to complex strategy games such as Port Royale and Tortuga. Industry luminary Sid Meier even managed to blend strategy, action and adventure into his acclaimed Pirates remake that attempted to blend all the colour of piracy into a highly accessible simulation. The latest contribution to this freebooting genre is Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy, the debut release from independent developer Stickman Studios. Comprising nothing more than a pair of artists with a coffee machine and no coding experience, this creative pair of miscreants has managed to concoct an arcade/action game focusing purely on piratical naval combat.
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“Fallout 3” review

by on Mar.23, 2010, under PC Game Reviews

Game: Fallout 3
Developer: Bethesda Game Studios

The Fallout universe has never looked bleaker … or better!

Bethesda Game Studios has returned to the roots of the original Fallout role-playing game in this latest iteration with the gamer controlling the life of his alter-ego within yet another Vault-Tec Industries fallout shelter. It’s now 2277, two hundred years after the nuclear devastation caused by a thermonuclear war between the United States and China. As one of the fortunate few who dwell in Vault 101, you’ve been sheltered from the harsh existence of life in the irradiated wastelands outside, leading an idyllic (albeit mundane) existence within the cold iron confines of this bunker you call home. For twenty odd years, very little changes; the inhabitants content to be born, live their lives and eventually perish within this isolated antiseptic society. That is until one day, your father disappears mysteriously from the vault, catapulting you unceremoniously into the post-apocalyptic and perilous realm of the Capital Wasteland. It’s across the devastated city of Washington D.C. and its associated environs that you will need to traverse to locate your dad and find out why he left the safety of the vault.
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“Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway” review

by on Mar.23, 2010, under PC Game Reviews

Game: Brother’s in Arms: Hell’s Highway
Developer: Gearbox Software

Goldilocks takes time out from her porridge to give a “thumbs up” to Gearbox Software’s third Brothers in Arms game.

Just when you thought World War 2 themed first person shooters were out of favour, the gaming fraternity has, once again, been subjected to holiday season releases featuring the free world taking on the original “Axis of Evil.” Although Treyarch’s Call of Duty: World at War isn’t due for another few weeks, Gearbox Software has already managed to get their sequel to 2005’s Brothers in Arms: Earned in Blood out the door. As we have already thoroughly assessed the developer’s previous works in this franchise, we decided to subject their latest work, Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway, to a similar treatment.
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“Peggle Deluxe” review

by on Mar.23, 2010, under PC Game Reviews

Game: Peggle Deluxe
Developer: PopCap Games

If Niko Bellic was a drug runner, he’d probably be importing this game by the truckload.

Despite on-going debate regarding the relative merits of casual and hardcore games, it seems obvious to me that there is a place for both in the video gaming world. If I feel particularly inspired to spend a few hours relaxing, chances are I’ll fire up the Xbox 360 and explore the more debauched environs of Liberty City on my motor scooter. If I’m waiting for the pasta to boil at dinner time, my preference will favour an XBLA title or one of PopCap Game’s casual offerings to help pass the 8-10 minutes required in lieu of staring at the proverbial “watched pot.” Although PopCap’s number one seller, Peggle Deluxe, has been around for over a year now, casual games tend to have an extended sales window compared to their hardcore equivalents … which is just my excuse for a belated review as the game completely slipped under my radar a couple of February’s ago. As I was “between games” the other day, I thought I’d take the opportunity to check it out. Note that if you live in Australia, you can save over 50% on the purchase price by buying the game off Steam rather than direct from PopCap Games; the same deal may also apply to other countries.
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“Hellgate: London” review

by on Mar.23, 2010, under PC Game Reviews

Game: Hellgate: London
Developer: Flagship Studios

A first/third person action title that has the potential for greatness but lacks polish.

The developers of Hellgate: London have been in the news lately for a host of unfortunate reasons. Within the last month, Flagship Studios has terminated most of the company staff, and ownership of their intellectual property is being contested by at least one investor. Throw in the copious amounts of criticism being thrown around about how the online portion of the game is still incomplete and buggy after nearly a year in stores. Savour the dubious distinction of having your company name used as a metaphor for “being screwed over in a laughable way.” While the end result of this highly anticipated 2007 release may have been less than favourable, there is still a playable single player experience embedded in the heart of the game. Given that the long term future of the online servers is still in question, I decided to ignore all the online brouhaha associated with the game and embark on a review focusing purely on the offline single player aspects.
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“Clive Barker’s Jericho” review

by on Mar.23, 2010, under PC Game Reviews

Game: Clive Barker’s Jericho
Developer: Mercury Steam

The new definition of horror?

With so many video games being released each year, it’s vitally important to have your product stand out from its competitive brethren. One of the more successful (and perhaps cynical) ploys is to insert a relevant luminary’s name within the title of your beloved creation to generate media attention and increase its profile. Developer Mercury Steam is well aware of this marketing gimmick and has leveraged gaming and writing luminaries in the past to increase their product profile. Their latest endeavour, Clive Barker’s Jericho, is presumably an attempt to both harness the renowned horror author’s credentials (he is credited with writing the back-story) and push yet another FPS into an already crowded marketplace. Unfortunately for all parties concerned, the melding of these creative talents has resulted in a less than stellar gaming experience.
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“Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath” review

by on Mar.23, 2010, under PC Game Reviews

Game: Command & Conquer 3: Kane’s Wrath
Developer: Electronic Arts

9 out of 10 turtles recommend Kane’s Wrath for all your RTS gaming needs …

Cynical gamers would probably agree with the statement that “the primary motivation for creating RTS game expansion packs is to capitalize on the fiscal success of an existing title.” After all, it’s a highly cost-effective method of garnering revenue at the expense of minimal effort. A developer merely whips up a dozen new missions using existing tools (if he’s particularly smart, he re-uses assets and maps from previous games,) hire’s some disinterested actors to feature in some “talk to the camera” cut-scenes and wraps it all up with a plot that makes you wonder if the Hollywood screenwriters are still on strike! The game mechanics remain the same, game-play issues remain unfixed and the publisher sits back with a Cheshire-cat mien and ponders how he can convince gamers to buy last year’s major sports titles with an incremented last digit in their titles.
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“TimeShift” review

by on Mar.23, 2010, under PC Game Reviews

Game: TimeShift
Developer: Saber Interactive

Saber Interactive’s shooter looks suspiciously like Half-Life 2 … but without the good bits.

A glance at Saber Interactive’s contribution to PC games would suggest to the casual observer that they really like time travel. Their first creation, Will Rock, created in 2003, tossed a rather confused archaeologist into the past to battle a horde of malevolent creatures ripped straight out of Greek Mythology. It would also appear that the developers really like ripping off other more successful titles, given that the game was a bare-faced clone of Croteam’s infinitely more successful Serious Sam. Four years later and they’re at it again, this time in the form of TimeShift, their own unique homage to Valve Software’s Half-Life 2. Once again, an exceptional physicist stars as our unlikely hero but this time around he’s not wielding a crowbar!
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