reviewed

Dead Island

Dead IslandDead Island
Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC
Game Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver
Release date: September 6, 2011
Official website: www.deadislandgame.com


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Dead Island review summary:
Dead Island‘s disaster-like tone and daylight setting are unique in the world of zombie video games. The scarcity of firearms and primarily melee based gameplay forces players to get up close and personal with some of the most powerful zombies ever created in a game. A weapon crafting system and RPG leveling system makes players more effective fighters over the course of the 30+ hour campaign, but players never become super powerful. The first-person perspective is limiting in some situations, especially when driving a vehicle, but small details make the overall experience more immersive than other games on the market. A frustrating respawn system does make areas of the game more difficult than they should be but a group of players working together through the main campaign will find one of the most rewarding cooperative experiences available on consoles this year.

Read the full review here.

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Duke Nukem Forever

Duke Nukem ForeverDuke Nukem Forever
Available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC
Game Developer: Gearbox Software, 3D Realms, Triptych Games,
Publisher: 2K Games
Release date: June 14, 2011
Official website: dukenukem.com


Game rating: 3.25 out of 5

Review summary:
The long-awaited return of Duke Nukem is bittersweet. Duke Nukem Forever is filled with crass jokes and some humorous pokes at other games. What holds the Duke back are the lower quality graphic details when compared to current generation Unreal Engine based games and especially long in-between level and game continue loading time. Still, there is only one place you can go to get this level of humor and over-the-top action, and that is from Duke Nukem. A few environmental puzzles and some knuckle-blistering boss battles are among the best offerings. Unlockables provide concept art, clips of an older version of Duke Nukem Forever, and a nice history of the struggles of bringing Duke Nukem Forever to fruition. Multiplayer gameplay also extends the game life with an experience system and a penthouse to decorate with unlockable prizes. Players who won’t get flustered by the juvenile jokes will have fun with an action hero stereotype from the 80′s/90′s and let loose with Duke Nukem Forever.

Read the full review here.

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Rock Band 3 review

by James on October 26, 2010

in Game Review Bits

Rock Band 3 - screen

Rock Band 3 Rock Band 3
Available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, DS
(reviewed on Xbox 360)

Release date: October 26, 2010
Game Developer: Harmonix
Game Publisher: MTV Games
Distributed by Electronic Arts
Learn more about it at: rockband.com


Rating:
4.5 out of 5

Review Summary:
Harmonix once again establishes its dominance of the music game genre with the release of Rock Band 3.  Blurring the line between a music game and music trainer, every player from the most hardcore to the most casual will find plenty to enjoy.  The newly added Pro Mode will be the first opportunity for some players to actually learn an instrument and with the deep training modes, they will be properly and comfortably be brought into the world of music.  Overall, Rock Band 3 is a huge leap forward in the evolution of the music game genre.

Read the full review here for more details, as well as impressions on the Fender Mustang Pro-Guitar!

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Costume Quest review

by Alex Morgen on October 24, 2010

in Game Review Bits

Costume Quest (PS3, Xbox 360) screenCostume Quest

Costume Quest

Available for: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
(reviewed on PS3)
Game Developer: Double Fine Productions
Game Publisher: THQ
Release Date: October 20, 2010
Official Website: costumequestgame.com

Review Summary:
Costume Quest offers a charming Halloween-themed action-RPG,  in which kids and grown-ups can enjoy. The dialogue is light-hearted, the comic graphics and animations are a joy to look at, and the ambient audio sets the Halloween atmosphere. There is a bit of repetition to the flow of the game that players will pick up on, but that helps in making Costume Quest an accessible game for any experience and kids ten and up to enjoy. Costume Quest stirs up memories of the fun days of trick or treating. It’s a satisfying treat to the sweet end.


Rating:
4.25 out of 5

Read the full review here.

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow review

by Alex Morgen on October 22, 2010

in Game Review Bits

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
Available for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 (reviewed on PS3)
Game Developer: MercurySteam Entertainment
Publisher: Konami
Release date: October 5, 2010
Official game website: www.konami.com

4.5 out of 5 stars
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow review summary:

The Castlevania series finally breaks out of its 2D shell in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. MercurySteam Entertainment has taken to the task and delivered a Castlevania game with gorgeous environments, an amazing orchestral soundtrack, a rich Castlevania story, vast gameplay, and the best looking Castlevania game yet. Elements from Castlevania’s 2D days are here in spirit, but delivered up to this generation’s gaming standards and expectations. A few technical issues keep Castlevania: Lords of Shadow from achieving perfection, nonetheless don’t let that keep you from playing it. Whether new to the Castlevania series or not, there’s plenty to take in and enjoy in this memorable and dark action adventure.

Read the full spoiler-free review here for more details and gameplay video clips!

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