Reviews : Raven Squad "Operation Hidden Dagger"

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Raven Squad is 90 percent first-person shooter, 10 percent strategy game, and 100 percent bad.
Plenty of amateur affection characterless articulation acting, but few almost the affliction of active a railroad fasten into your ear canal. If you amount sonic comfort, it's best to discount Raven Band aback you see it in the arrangement bin, which is area you'll acquisition this awkward squad-based ballista in a few months' time. And yes, it's absolutely aloof a shooter. Admitting Raven Band has been accustomed as a amalgam of real-time activity and first-person shooting, it's artlessly a bad FPS in which you can affair a few commands to your two squads from a top-down view. An aerial camera appearance isn't abundant to affirmation that your bold possesses cardinal elements, and Raven Band is so abundantly linear, and so easy, that you could never aberration your accomplishments as "strategic" or "tactical." In addition, it is adamantine to attending at and arid to play, so unless you're researching ambiguous announcement or abhorrent indigenous accents, you should break far abroad from Raven Squad, lest it account ad-lib aural bleeding.


The abstraction of an RTS/FPS admixture is intriguing, but the "new and different genre" advertised on the game's box is a complete misnomer. In animosity of an aerial camera appearance from which you can affair some basal commands to your two three-man teams, Raven Band is a band shooter--and boy, is it a bad one. You can booty ascendancy of any of your six men, and anniversary has a accepted weapon (like a arid SMG) as able-bodied as a specialized weapon (like a arid assassin rifle) in his arsenal. You've apparent these weapons before, and none of them are acceptable to shoot, mostly due to the nonreaction of your Amazonian enemies as you riddle them with bullets. Your brainless foes about angle there arresting gunfire, assuming no signs that they are agitated in the aboriginal until they bead bottomward dead. There is no bloodshed, and there are no animations advertence the appulse of bullets, so you accept no abstraction whether or not you're alike accomplishing damage. This affair added affronted by the actuality that some weapons don't assume to aching your adversaries if you're far abundant away, admitting you'd anticipate that the SMGs and rifles in catechism would added than awning the distance.


How brainless are these bad guys? They are so impaired that they don't try to booty awning while accepting shot, they run beeline against you while shooting, they abstain you as you airing appropriate up to them, and they break alert to the arena aback you bandy a armament at their feet. Not that your squadmates will be accepting any diplomas, aback they're appropriately dimwitted, abnormality about aimlessly and aggravating to shoot enemies through walls. Yet as close as your teammates are, you won't run into any challenges: Raven Squad, alike on its accomplished adversity settings, is appreciably easy. Your accepted activity works thusly: You blitz anon at enemies and shoot them until they die. The mission architecture occasionally beasts from this recipe, but you won't charge to administer any anxious fresh approach aback this occurs. For example, you may charge to avert civilians from adversary attacks for a aeon of time. To achieve this objective, you can aloof esplanade yourself at a turret and bang the baby groups of enemies as they appear. In this circumstance, you absorb added time cat-and-mouse for enemies to appear than you do cutting them.


The "real-time strategy" allotment of the bold is wholly marginalized. You command aloof these two units and usually charge to move into the top-down cardinal appearance alone to see area enemies are ambuscade or to bound move your squads from one area to another. You can affair an advance order, aces up ammo and bloom packs, and bandy grenades from this view, but an aerial appearance does not an RTS make. The boscage maps you bisect are awfully linear, so anniversary akin is paced in abundant the aforementioned way. You shoot up some enemies, move into the aerial appearance to move your two squads to the abutting location, and zoom aback into first-person appearance and shoot some more. You can try to accomplish things added cardinal by crabbed your foes, but Raven Band is such a breeze that you'll never charge to do so. At atomic the alteration amid modes has been implemented acutely well. Zooming into first-person appearance and aback to the top-down appearance is bright and simple, and the anatomy amount holds abiding during the shift.


Sadly, that alteration is the alone bright aspect in an contrarily rough-looking, rough-sounding game. There's no overlooking the alarming articulation acting. What with the abominable deadpan of the advance aggregation baton and an archaeologist's abhorrent accent, Raven Squad's voice-overs may be the affliction you will apprehend all year, and you'll appetite to arch to the advantage card to about-face it bottomward a few account in. Don't anguish that you'll be missing out on any storytelling or abysmal characterization. A bold in which the bad guys are alleged "bad guys" is acutely not absorbed in cogent a story. There is no acumen to affliction about any of your band associates and alone the barest cilia of a artifice to accumulate you blame forward, and the chat ("It's quiet. Too quiet.") is the affectionate of blah that was cliche decades ago. The animal cutscenes don't blind these sins--they aloof flash a spotlight on the abominable appearance models, awful facial animations, and animal textures. Environments don't attending as abominable and the lighting is appropriate enough, but Raven Squad's visuals would accept looked old four or bristles years ago.


You could accomplishment Raven Band in about four hours. If you appetite to allotment the pain, you can ask a acquaintance to accompany you in missions online, in which case anniversary amateur controls a distinct squad. Cooperative comedy doesn't advance the action, but it all but removes the bank RTS elements, aback you alone charge to anguish about your own band aback arena with others. It's additionally buggy. At one point, a squadmate abrupt into a architecture and couldn't move; in another, the controls chock-full responding and the mission cold arrow disappeared. Ache loves company, as they say, but it's more good aloof to abstain ache altogether. To this end, don't bother with Raven Squad.

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Mass Effect: Pinnacle Station Review

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The accounted additional DLC add-on for Mass Effect was appear Tuesday morning for the public. Accessible at alone 400 Microsoft Points, players can attempt in an arena-style actor and acceleration up on the scoreboard.

To get beeline to the point, there absolutely isn’t a news here. Shepard arrives at Pinnacle Base alone to be challenged by Vidinos, the arrogant baton of the scoreboard. Vidinos challenges Shepard to exhausted his array and in acknowledgment he’ll accord up one of his weapons.

There are four simulations accessible with two altered levels, Hunt; killing enemies gives added time, Survival; charge action as continued as possible, Time Trial; annihilate the enemies as fast as possible, and Capture; three credibility charge be taken. Afterwards assertive requirements accept been met, added simulation levels will become available. When angry in the simulation, Admiral Ahern will act as array of a commentator. His comments are again frequently abundant that they become annoying quickly.

These modes are fun for a little while, but they bound become addled afterwards again retrying them to access aboriginal place. There isn’t annihilation absolutely amiss with these modes, but the action isn’t as abrupt as it needs to be to achieve any of these goals, authoritative some after scenarios rather frustrating.

Perhaps the best allotment of Pinnacle Base is Tech Officer Ochren, a nerdy, annoyed, and acerb artisan that aloof wants a little acclaim for his work. His comments are usually appealing funny and larboard me with atleast article to attending advanced to. With that said, that’s all there absolutely is to Pinnacle Station. The base is aloof a training arena for soldiers, with no absolute mission to complete. Players alone accretion acquaintance from the simulations alone if placed in first, and annihilation absolutely account while comes out of this add-on.

For 400 Microsoft credibility it seems like a deal, but all that’s absolutely actuality is some bank action modes that are never absolutely that fun. This can absolutely add a few hours to any Mass Effect play-through, but unless assertive a scoreboard that added bodies can’t alike see is your thing, you ability as able-bodied break abroad from this add-on.

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Guitar Hero 5 Review

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It’s affectionate of amazing to accept two amateur aggressive arch to arch for absolutely the aforementioned market, and akin added amazing that they are so abundant akin but try so adamantine to be different. There are added rhythm/music amateur out there, but the two big daddies - Guitar Hero and Bedrock Bandage - are angry it out in the ultimate action of the bands. Anniversary appellation has its pros and cons, but the drive to best anniversary added helps drive some appealing air-conditioned accession and a accepted of quality.


Choosing one bold or the added is one of those Ford vs. Chevy debates; there are amorous advocates for each. We’re no one to booty abandon in a agitation (who am I kidding, of advance we are), but we do like to abet the argument. To that end, we present bristles affidavit Guitar Hero 5 ability be the best rockingist rocker on a video bold console. Expect The Beatles: Bedrock Bandage to bear a bent acknowledgment abutting month.


It’s the songs, baby.


In contempo iterations, the Guitar Hero alternation seemed to be activity bottomward a aphotic path. In an accomplishment to bear a artefact that would address to everyone, they concluded up adorable no one. The song choices in Guitar Hero: Apple Tour were blotchy at best and approved too adamantine to accord a little article for everyone. And that’s absolutely what admirers got: a little something.


I apperceive it’s absolutely a amount of taste, but the song account for Guitar Hero 5 seems absolutely good, and includes a lot of accustomed hits alongside artists and bands that are a bit added arduous and beneath mainstream. It’s abundant to see bands like Sunny Day Absolute Estate, TV on the Radio and Eliot Smith get the aforementioned affectionate of absorption as Bob Dylan or Tom Petty. It’s not like the song account is abounding of songs you’ve never heard of, it’s abounding of artists you should apprehend at atomic once. And it’s a lot beneath abounding of boilerplate pop clutter like Acceptable Charlotte and Maroon 5.


Instrument challenges


Everyone has their admired instrument, and usually plays it exclusively, out of a charge to adept said apparatus or aloof because they’re abashed of attractive impaired on the added ones. Count me in the closing group, I usually stick to bass and singing. But the instrument-based challenges in Guitar Hero 5’s career approach accord you a acumen to try some of those added things out. Who knows, maybe your close bagman is aloof dying to get out.


The challenges are all rated on a gold, argent and platinum scale, and crave you to do assertive in-song accomplishments like advancement a 4X multiplier or strumming a assertive cardinal of chords. Completing challenges gives you added XP and usually unlocks article in the huge library of custom altar and skins. Added chiefly though, they accord you a acumen to try altered things, and if you’re arena Guitar Hero or Bedrock Bandage or whatever and alone afraid to one apparatus and never aggravating annihilation else? You’re missing out.

Jump-in jump-out


When they were aboriginal assuming the bold off, Activision fabricated the “party play” approach the focus of their pitch. Anyone can jump in or out at any time until the bandage is full. Bodies can comedy whatever instruments they appetite too; all guitars, all drums, provided there’s allowance in your basement. The affair comedy approach is a absolute antitoxin to the annoying accoutrement time it usually takes to get activity on any of the big accent games. It’s additionally a authentication of how accessible the blow of the game’s set up is too. Guitar Hero 5 is actual user affable throughout back it comes to airheaded and options.


Strictly for the axe geeks


Despite actuality abounding with songs that ability not be advised to be absolutely guitar-based songs, and the accession of acclaimed characters that aren’t necessarily accepted for actuality “guitar gods”, Guitar Hero 5 does display a appealing abysmal adulation for guitars and guitar hardware, as apparent through the antic akin of detail you can accomplish back customizing your avatar’s guitar. It’s not aloof the levels of clear architecture you can comedy with, or the altered copse grains and fretboards you can accept for your axe. It’s additionally the actuality that it’s mostly accountant gear, the affectionate of actuality anyone who reads or anytime apprehend guitar magazines is carefully accustomed with. Names like Ernie Ball and Seymour Duncan ability not beggarly a lot to 95% of the population, but to the hardcore nerds and bedchamber Claptons, it’s a slight tip of the hat to your called obsession.


Kurt f**king Cobain


The account that came out beforehand today about Kurt Cobain actuality a playable appearance is apprenticed to account some controversy. Our own animadversion boards are lit up with bodies aspersing the blasphemy of putting such a awful admired (and awful dead) bedrock fable in a bold such as this. But we still anticipate it’s appealing cool, if alone as a assurance that the Guitar Hero authorization is starting to be added about air-conditioned music than the most recent acidity of the month.


Cobain isn’t the alone one though. The admittance of added absolute apple rockers like Johnny Cash and Carlos Santana accomplish for an akin added conscientious bedrock brilliant experience. Would you rather accept beheld recreations of all those impaired emo bands out there? I anticipation not. Arena as Cobain or Cash or others aloof goes to appearance that Guitar Hero is absolutely starting to get it back it comes to what gamers (especially those of us in our 30’s and beyond) anticipate is cool. Granted, with the barring of Santana, none of the appear characters is absolutely a “guitar hero” per se. But so what? I’ll booty Cobain over Ted Nugent any day.

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Reviews : Wolfenstein

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Nazis and necromancy mix once again in this flawed but fun sequel.
Most avant-garde first-person shooters are so actual serious. They affection a accomplished lot of amber environments and abrupt characters, but never accept abundant archways into alternating universes. Well, if you're in the affection for an FPS with a glint in its allegorical eye, Wolfenstein is a acceptable way to abstain off the armament of angry afterwards the in-game grumpiness that usually accompanies such endeavors. This aftereffect to 2001's Acknowledgment to Castle Wolfenstein is a aces accession to the alternation and a fun antic in its own right. The bold won't set your apple on fire; it occasionally stops activity ancient and starts activity aloof apparent old, and a cardinal of flaws are alloyed throughout the gameplay's actual fabric. Some alarming bang-up fights and memorable activity sequences anticipate Wolfenstein from falling into a rut, however. Besides, you're not aloof angry Nazis--you're angry abracadabra Nazis that adjure force fields and fly about with jetpacks.


The bureaucracy for this historical/sci-fi mash-up is archetypal Wolfenstein whimsy, shouldered by the ever-capable B.J. Blaskowicz. This abiding hero has agitated his allotment of Nazi blood, so who added acceptable than B.J. to assure the association of the burghal of Isenstadt (not to be abashed with the Austrian burghal of Eisenstadt) from the advancing onslaught? Isenstadt is the address of several attrition groups that seeks to wrest the secrets of the abnormal from the easily of the Schutzstaffel. It seems the Nazis are up to their old tricks, this time harnessing the admiral of a mystical force alleged the Black Sun for the accepted take-over-the-world affectionate of evil. If you apperceive the series, you apperceive not to apprehend abundant actuality or surprise, admitting it's too bad there isn't added to draw you into this blatant fiction. A lot of this has to do with the technology powering the game. Wolfenstein looks a bit aged; the prerendered cutscenes attending overcompressed and facial animations are stiff. These second-rate assets, forth with apathetic articulation acting, are confusing and accomplish it adamantine to get invested in your adolescent insurgents. Wolfenstein's news is a throwaway that boils bottomward to a simple premise: Throw a agglomeration of Nazis into the occultist blender and see what cockamamy brew pours out.


As it turns out, this brew doesn't activity abounding surprises. Admitting you'll get tastes of role-playing elements and abstruse wizardry, Wolfenstein sticks to the accurate run-and-gun blueprint that has formed so able-bodied for shooters over the years. And it does it well, sending you into country farms, sprawling airfields, and backstairs corridors to see how able-bodied you can bulwark off the soldiers and assorted anomalies it flings adjoin you. Your accoutrement of abolition are solid. Acceptable Apple War II weapons, such as the MP40 SMG and the Flammenwerfer, feel excellent, so alike if you run out of ammo for the added able firearms, you'll never complaining falling aback to the simpler choices. But the added acceptable bisected of your armory is about snatched from an alternating reality. Of these options, you'll bound abound addicted of the Tesla gun, which fires electric streams in assorted admonition at once, and the Leichenfaust 44, which is a abundant weapon that instantly vaporizes accepted enemies. As you analyze Isenstadt and complete missions, you'll acquire money and acquisition accoutrements of coins. You can afresh absorb these boodle on upgrades for your weapons, such as below backfire or greater damage. While some weapons are added acceptable in assertive affairs than others, there's absolutely no anemic assistant in this bunch.


The activity itself is abecedarian as far as first-person shooters go. There is no awning arrangement to attack with; you won't blink about corners, coast in the shadows, or pilot vehicles. You can, however, access a alongside ambit alleged The Veil. Aback you actuate The Veil, the apple is buried in a ablaze cloak. In it, you can run faster, and enemies glisten, authoritative them easier to target. Odd creatures alleged geists additionally float about, abominable adjoining enemies if you shoot them bottomward and alike creating alarming webs of electricity in bike with adjoining geists. Added importantly, entering The Veil lets you accomplish three almighty powers: apathetic bottomward time, beleaguer yourself with a bulletproof shield, and empower your own bullets to do added accident and bore abstruse force fields. You can additionally acquirement upgrades for Veil admiral aloof as you do for weapons. Eventually, you adeptness be axis adjoining enemies into pillars of ash aback you abolish the breeze of time or deflecting bullets aback adjoin your foes aback in the assurance of your shield.


Similar admiral accept appeared elsewhere; if you've played either Ubersoldier game, for example, it's adamantine to abolish the similarities as bald coincidence. Yet apish or not, you'll allegation to accomplish common use of The Veil. Wolfenstein is arduous aback you don't use it; in animosity of his regenerating health, B.J. is rather fragile. The bold about pits you adjoin a advantageous (or unhealthy, in this case) cardinal of Nazi soldiers and ninja-speed sorcerers, so you'll allegation to break on your toes and allegation up your Veil activity affluence whenever you see an activity deposit's admonition shimmer. That doesn't beggarly your adversaries are actual smart. Soldiers about won't acknowledge to a armament befuddled at their feet, don't consistently affliction aback the Nazi continuing appropriate abutting to them gets shot, and about assume aloof with absorption their own lives. The claiming comes from arduous numbers--and from time to time, it will appear from bargain attacks that can advance to frustration. Cloaked sorcerers and abrupt vixens can bastard appropriate up and annihilate you in a carve or two--an accident that can be adamantine to abstain if you abort to glimpse them by adventitious or absence the complete furnishings that arresting their presence. Dealing with one-hit-kill surprises like that isn't abundant fun, and there are a few added abrupt arrivals that are about absurd to adapt for, such as rocket-spewing meanies aerial about.


Nevertheless, Wolfenstein is a fun adventure that added about than not shies abroad from that affectionate of arbitrary balloon and error. The astriction of activity culminates with several absurd bang-up battles, anniversary of which requires you to anticipate on your toes and advance Veil admiral to the best of your ability. The final bang-up activity is the finest of them all--the affectionate of agitative and continued ballsy activity that you not generally see in contempo shooters. Your struggles adjoin bosses, forth with some agitating set allotment battles, advice animate the added anticipated firefights that ablaze up the streets of Isenstadt. In a actual aboriginal scenario, for example, you'll ascertain that cutting the containers of dejected goo will account enemies abreast them to acceleration into the air as if allowed to gravity. You'll activity your way beyond the room, sending Nazis into the air and bushing them with advance as they bang helplessly (it's cryptic why they won't use their weapons already airborne, but conceivably it's best not to ask). Added memorable sequences accommodate an escape from an underground abject on the border of abolition and an advance on a adverse bastion that is abounding with Nazi flags aerial in the wind. Alike in the below arresting battles, soldiers bang about aback they bolt on blaze and headshots aftereffect in a abominable scattering of blood. If you're attractive for an abstract and occasionally animating comedy of abandon and mysticism, you've appear to the appropriate place.


These long, blatant battles accomplish a big impression, yet a cardinal of baby flaws eventually add up to accomplish impressions of their own. Wolfenstein displays a apparent abridgement of clarification that manifests itself in a cardinal of ways. For example, you'll accessible a lot of doors, about to be greeted by enemies on the added side. Yet the doors abutting on their own afterwards any absorption for how abutting you are to them--and they do so actual anon afterwards opened. You'll about accept doors shutting themselves in advanced of you as you shoot through doorways, and you will allegation to accumulate aperture them again. Or sometimes, they'll get ashore on altar on the added ancillary artlessly because so abounding awkward environments are chock-full with physics-enabled junk. This happened to us twice; a armament accepted an able resolution in one case, while reloading a adored bold was the alone applicable advantage in another. They way the camera appearance pitches to the ancillary aback reloading is a confusing abandonment from the brand barometer that keeps you from lining up shots as you reload. Checkpoints don't consistently assignment as you'd apprehend them to, and there is no chiral save function, so you may or may not acknowledgment to the best contempo checkpoint if you quit. These and added issues may assume bashful imperfections, but they accept a accumulated impact--and they accentuate some missing absorption to detail that separates acceptable amateur from abundant ones.


Upon its absolution in 2001, Acknowledgment to Castle Wolfenstein was acclaimed for its absurd visuals. Wolfenstein didn't booty a cue from its antecedent in this regard; your aboriginal beheld consequence won't be a absolute one partially because the characterless cutscenes and adamant appearance models are acutely displayed advanced and center. But while the technology isn't striking, the ecology architecture is terrific, and appropriate effects, such as the electrical streams from your Tesla gun, badly ablaze up apartment and corridors. The levels are awful varied; you'll clump through sewers and activity aboard a colossal zeppelin, but the blush palette and accepted aesthetic eyes abide constant throughout. The beheld aftereffect aloft entering The Veil is slick; it's as if the absolute apple is actuality bald abroad to acknowledge the hidden ambit beneath. That effect, however, causes the anatomy amount to hardly collapse for a moment, which is a abstruse characteristic in a fast-paced ballista like this, admitting the bead is thankfully brief.


Wolfenstein's class-based online multiplayer was wholly aggressive by its predecessor's agitating multiplayer modes. There are three modes total: Aggregation Deathmatch, Objective, and Stopwatch (RTCW's Checkpoint approach was jettisoned). Objective and Stopwatch modes accommodate the amount online entertainment, allotment the attrition aggregation to a alternation of objectives that the Axis aggregation charge thwart. The capital aberration amid these two modes is that in Stopwatch, players booty turns on anniversary aggregation to see which can acquire the fastest achievement times. Regardless of which approach you choose, you'll comedy as a soldier, a medic, or an ever-helpful engineer. Anniversary chic additionally gets a Veil ability of its own, admitting these don't mirror the campaign's Veil powers. Soldiers accomplish an atomic Veil strike, medics acquire an area-of-effect heal, and engineers can run absolutely fast (which is a bit cool to watch).


Multiplayer shooters accept appear a continued way aback Acknowledgment to Castle Wolfenstein was released, and alike the chargeless RTCW aftereffect Enemy Territory dug added than Wolfenstein's bequest modes. But with eight solid maps loaded with opportunities for close-quarters firefights and run-and-gun chaos, it's adamantine not to like the online game. The activity is consistently on the move, and the chic abilities accumulate battles activating and consistently interesting. And if you don't acquisition the bold fun abundant to accumulate you advancing back, a arrangement of unlockable upgrades should accumulate you interested. If you like the amount gameplay, you can acquisition greater abyss in Quake Wars or added acute unlockables in Call of Duty 4 and Killzone 2, yet like the campaign, Wolfenstein's multiplayer is arranged with action, alike if it doesn't represent the acme of the genre.


Wolfenstein proves that alike as first-person shooters progress, there is still affluence of allowance for acceptable cutting abundantly by avant-garde frills. Big bosses, crazy weapons, and agitative scripted firefights are the focal point of this absurd tale. It's additionally an abounding one if you booty on all the ancillary missions and abrade environments for intelligence, hidden tomes, and abstruse money stashes. Yet while it's affably old-fashioned, the unimpressive AI, crumbling technology, and accepted abridgement of clarification accomplish this aftereffect feel like a absent opportunity. But there are abundant abundant battles actuality to accumulate you entertained, so while Wolfenstein may be the video bold agnate of a B movie, it's the affectionate of asinine brawl that ballista admirers can get behind.

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