Warning: This review contains mild spoilers. I've tried to keep it as vague as possible while discussing things in game, but this article may divulge too much information depending on how much you already know. This is your only warning!
The latest release from Electronic Arts and Bioware is finally here...and they probably should have waited a few more months! Mass Effect: Andromeda had a rocky review cycle, but as we know, some reviewers wouldn't know a good game if it bit them on the face and asked them to collect three parts of an encoded message. However, in this case, the reviewers were right.
I have never considered myself to be primarily a PC gamer, but there was a time back in the late '90s and early 2000s when I did a considerable amount of gaming on the PC. During this time, I played such revered classics as Half-Life, Max Payne, and Deus Ex, all of which I would consider to be among my all-time favorites. Many excellent games were being released exclusively on PC, and when these titles were later ported to consoles, the results were often lackluster.
One such game from this era that I have always remembered fondly is Mafia. Releasing less than a year after the immensely popular Grand Theft Auto III, it may be easy to dismiss Mafia as a cheap knockoff. While Mafia may resemble the Grand Theft Auto series at first glance, I have always felt that it was the "anti-GTA" game. Although both games share similarities with their open-world environments, crime-based stories, and emphasis on driving and shooting gameplay mechanics, Mafia's more serious and less satirical tone, focus on realism, and larger emphasis on narrative rather than free roaming sandbox gameplay sets it apart from Rockstar's juggernaut.
Join RF Generation Playcast hosts, Rich (singlebanana), Shawn (GrayGhost81), and Steven (Disposed Hero), as we discuss our May playthrough of Bully, a Rockstar title original released on the PS2. In this episode, we discuss some of our favorite features and mechanics in the game, differences we noted between the PS2 and 360 versions, the story, music, and give our takes on how this title compares to Rockstar's other releases. If you played Bully with us last month, or if you are interested in possibly adding this title to your collection, this podcast is a must listen. And who knows, if you happened to post on our discussion thread last month, it's possible that some of your thoughts on the game were mentioned! As always, we are happy to hear any additional points of emphasis on this game, and any critiques on or accolades for the podcast on our discussion page (linked below). We will respond to your comments and are always happy to discuss the game more.
We hope you enjoy our show. Please be sure to rate and write a review of the show on iTunes to help us increase our listenership. Thanks for the listen!
I am on record as proclaiming that Sin & Punishment: Star Successor on the Nintendo Wii to be an "objectively perfect" video game. The excitement and wonder of that game, as well as the motion and scale of the scenery, left me floored after playing it. I thought it would be a long time, if ever, before I found a game that combined the thrilling gameplay, amazing atmosphere, and grand scale of S&P in the same perfect mixture. I haven't had to search long, as I have just finished my first playthrough of Panzer Dragoon Orta for the original XBox.
So your 2015 New Year's resolution is to join in and play more of the community playthrough titles, eh? Well start off January with a bang and hook up with the RF Generation Playthrough Group as they ring in the New Year with a NES cult classic and a lesser known, but fantastic, shoot 'em up, adventure title.
The MechAssault games released on the original Xbox represent one of the last pushes of the BattleTech franchise towards mainstream popularity. With all past successful games released on PC, it seems obvious that publisher Microsoft and developer Day 1 Studios (with some input by FASA Interactive) wanted a fresh reboot in the form of a new francise, one that would be playable only one Microsoft's new Xbox console system. But would this even be possible in a market that seemingly didn't give a rip about Western-style robot sims?
I recently decided to get GameFly because I found that there were so many new games I wanted to try out, but not necessarily buy them. So far, i've been very impressed by the service. So much so that I thought I'd let you all know about my experiences so far. If you don't know, GameFly is a rental service, much like NetFlix, that allows you to rent games by mail.
First, let's talk about the main part of the service, renting. Their library of games is extensive. They have almost any game you could want for PS3, 360, Wii, PS2, Xbox, GameCube, DS, PSP, and GBA. So far it seems like most of the games I've wanted to rent are readily available, with the exception of brand new games, which tend to have Low to Very Low availability. But usually they'll be more available in a week or two once the initial renters have returned their copies.
The process of selected what games you want is fairly simple. You simply search the site for the game you want to rent and add it to your GameQ. Once you have titles in your GameQ, you can rearrange them to tell GameFly which you would like to have top priority. When you return a game, they will pick the next available game out of your GameQ and send it. Pretty simple.
You receive the game disc/cart only in an envelope that opens up into a pre-paid return envelope. Inside the envelope you'll find a protective cardboard sleeve with a paper sleeve inside that contains your game. You can keep any game as long as you want. Once you are done with a game, just put it back in the envelope, drop it in the mail and they'll take care of the rest. Once they receive your game, they'll ship out the next available game on your GameQ
In addition to offering rental services, GameFly also has an extensive library of used games for you to buy at a discounted price. Often times, their used game prices beat out GameStop. For example, I bought Prince of Persia for PS3 from them for only $22, whereas GameStop was charging $27 at the time I bought it. Another example: GameStop wants $55 for Red Faction: Guerilla whereas GameFly only wants $43 for it. Another nice thing about GameFly is that if you rent a game and you end up enjoying it, you can opt to keep the game without having to send it back. Oh, and all you CIB whores out there, don't worry, if you decide to keep the game, they will mail you the case and instructions for free. Since the case and instructions haven't been touched by anyone, they're in perfect condition. Oh yeah, I should also mention that all 6 games I've rented from GameFly so far have been in mint condition with no scratches or fingerprints of any kind.
Their shipping times are pretty good too. I live in Minnesota, and it usually takes three days for me to get a game from them or for them to receive a game I send back. However, sometimes when sending a game back, they will use something called fast return, where they ship your next game as soon as they get tracking confirmation from the post office that you put the game in the mail. I haven't figured out how that works yet, however.
Their plans are pretty well-priced too. $15.95 per month for one game out at a time, $22.95 for two games, $29.95 for three games, and $36.95 for four games.
GameFly offers a program called GameFly Rewards to all of its members at no charge. Every three months you are a member, you will get $5 GameFly Dollars to used in their used game store. Also, if you're a member for six months, you will get 5% all purchases from them, and if you're a member for a year, you'll get 10% off. So the longer you remain a member, the better of a deal you'll get if you buy games from them. Add that on top of the $5 they give you every three months, and the savings start to stack up pretty well.
Click here to give it a shot! They have a free trial, and your first month is discounted if you decide to keep going with them.
Welcome to Random Lists, this is an articles I'll do on occasion just for fun because I enjoy making lists. Today's list is my Top 9 canceled games, what does it take to get on the list? The title must have been offically announced in some capacity, the title must either have been anticipated, hyped, or just had a cool primise. Without further delay, here is my list of the top 9 canceled games...
Some of you may be die hard haters of other game consoles besides the ones that you own. For others, you might be such a fanboy that you need be reminded of reasons why you should curb your enthusiasm. Fortunately for you, Gamesradar wishes to fan the flames of console bashing during its hate week, where they harp about why you should hate everything. Thank God for that too, because I certainly could not think of my own reasons to be spiteful about the console manufacturers.
Shall we check out these videos? Because I am a nice guy, I'll start out with the company I tend to support heavily (aside from my latest Cynical Gamer piece), Nintendo. You can find Sony and Microsoft after the Jump.
So this week I thought I'd indulge myself and do a feature on one of my all-time favorite games: Splinter Cell Chaos Theory.
Think of this series as Thief in the 21st century. An ex-Navy S.E.A.L. turned spy nearing the age of retirement, gallivanting all over the world stopping threats and assassinating potential ones. Decades of experience matched with sophisticated gadgetry and weapons, combined with sarcastic humor and deadly earnest.
Another comparison often made is to the Metal Gear Solid series. Best way to describe that is if MGS is an arcade stealth game, Splinter Cell is a stealth sim. Burnout versus Forza Motorsports if you would. Achieving perfect scores on level completions is difficult even on normal difficulty, Hard and Elite are almost impossible to anyone but the most patient and skilled players. With the game being so unforgiving and the circumstances ever-changing, you have to rely on your reflexes and abilities as a player, not memory of patterns and timing, to master this game.
The Limited Collector's Edition version of this game was a holy grail of mine to find. Unlike many similar LE's of it's time, this one was actually limited. Meaning there are fewer copies of this than the regular version and no reprinting. Needless to say it's a hard game to find in excellent condition as opposed the the regular version of Chaos Theory which is a dime a dozen in most used stores and can still be bought new.
Be sure to check out my review on the game page here at RF Generation and read the interesting trivia on this title, and discuss this game in our forums in the weekly featured game topic located here.
Moving on, the featured hardware of the week is the Sinclair ZX Spectrum +3. Released in 1982, the ZX Spectrum or "Speccy" as it's affectionately known, was a huge success in Europe and in particular the United Kingdom. Rivaling the mighty Commodore 64, this machine had a huge following, large software library and several magazines dedicated to it. Even to this day there is still a large community based around this system. A shame it never made it overseas, it has an incredible library of games most of us outside of Europe will probably never have the opportunity to enjoy. Although we did get the Timex Sinclair in North America, it was largely incompatible with the ZX and that had a large part to play in it's failure as a platform here.
This particular model featured this week, the +3, differs from the standard model and the +2, by having a built in floppy disk drive instead of the cassette tape drive the previous models had. It is also capable of running the CP/M operating system on it's own.
Such benefits however come with a price. This model has some documented incompatibilities with certain older games and external devices. It's successor the +2A shares these same problems as well. Thanks go out to James for the great pic of the +3.
Our featured collection this week is from RedHerring. A fellow Canadian one province over from me, Red has a great PS2 collection and some really great looking shelving that I'd love to get my hands on. It looks like a game store all organized and there for the picking like that. I wish my shelves looked half as good as those do. Between that and the novelty hamburger you can see by checking out Red's other pics, I'm drooling all over my keyboard here.
So after finishing an early lunch brought on by some spontaneous hankerings born from inspiration, I'm ready to finish the rest of this feature I left half written
Another part of Red's collection that impresses me is his Game Boy Advance collection. It's hard finding those games CIB and even harder keeping them in good condition. All of his GBA titles are top notch hand-picked titles and make an impressive display.
Check out RedHerring's collection listed here and take a gander at his pictures. If you can pry your eyes from that huge novelty hamburger in one of them, take a moment and appreciate his Mega man bobble head set on his entertainment center.
Our featured game image this week is the front scan for the Japanese game Pulstar on the Neo Geo AES system. Pulstar is a shmup released in 1995 that was both innovative and gorgeous at the time of it's release. Gameplay is in the vein of R-Type but with 3D graphics in a 2D game.
This game enjoys a high production value and great esteem from gamers, reviewers and collectors alike. Depending on where you get it, this can be a pricey acquisition but a worthy one that can reach well above $100. But if you own a Neo Geo system then you don't need me to tell you that now do you? I'm sure all the Neo Geo AES collectors out there are well aware of what they've invested in that system. Goes to show just how great a system it is when your willing to spend big bucks to have these awesome games. Thanks go out to Adri Hoogesteger who is a staff member known on the boards as "sharp" for the great scan featured this week.
In the meantime, check out the forums, read the blogs, partake in the weekly chat and use our collection tools to their fullest. And stay tuned to this channel next week for the newest set of features and items for forum discussion.
We've heard Hideo Kojima compare the PS3 to a movie theater while the 360 is like watching a movie on DVD and the Wii is like watching the movie on a TV channel. We've also heard him liken the PS3 to an expensive steak dinner at a formal restaurant, the Xbox 360 to a steak dinner at a casual restaurant, and the Wii to a steak dinner that you cook at home. Now, Jack Tretton has stolen Kojima's analogy bit and tried his hand at making one of his own*.
I think the PS3 is the Surf 'n Turf. You want the lobster and steak and you're going to give yourself the treat of getting the best thing on the menu. The PS2 is your favorite burger restaurant -- you go there for comfort food and it's just always good and is a good value.
[As for the other two consoles], one [Wii] is a lollipop, and I'm too old for lollipops. The other one [Xbox 360] I get sick from once in a while because the cook isn't always reliable.
Wow Jack! You make one Kojima-esque analogy, and you already shoot yourself up to being on his level! I applaud you. I especially love the bit about 360 being an unreliable cook. Not quite up to Kojima's previous analogies, but you're definitely getting there. Keep up the good work.
Man, all this talk of food makes me hungry for some steak smothered in PS3 Steak Sauce.
*WARNING: DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO THE COMMENTS SECTION IN THIS ARTICLE! 360fanboy will give your brain MASSIVE DAMAGE with his constant "gaystation" remarks written in all caps.