GAMES


top_ten_games_2011
his
Uncharted_3_Drakes_Deception
#5 Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception | Third Person, Action,
Adventure | 2011 | Site

What can you say? -It’s Uncharted. The characters and story are beautifully developed. You feel like you are getting to watch some old friends embark on an amazing journey. I loved the back-story which only helped to solidify your empathy for Drake and Sully. The controls are again spot-on. Naughty Dog is able to weave story and gameplay seamlessly together so well every developer should mirror it.


Developer: Naughty Dog | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: Playstation 3la_noire
#4 L.A. Noire | Third Person, Action, Adventure | 2011 | Site
I love Rockstar Games and L.A. Noire is no exception. They did not develop L.A. Noir, that was done by Australia’s Team Bondi but it still has that Rockstar shine. This game is about story. The gameplay is great but takes a backseat to the storyline. It is an open world 1940s L.A. where through detective Cole Phelps you help to bring down a criminal enterprise. I spent hours upon hours getting 100% completion on this game and it was worth it. It is hard to watch dialogue in any other game and not compare it to L.A. Noire. They have raised the bar for character interaction in a video game.


Developer: Team Bondi | Publisher: Rockstar Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PCportal_2
#3 Portal 3 | First Person, Puzzle, Platformer | 2011 | Site
Story and gameplay are in perfect harmony in Portal 2. The voice acting and writing is perfection and hilarious. Not in the way game dialogue can be funny but in the way a great movie or novel can make you laugh. The puzzle solving will bend your mind while carrying you through to the next level feeling like a genius.


Developer: Valve | Publisher: Valve
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC, Mac

batman_arkham_city
#2 Batman: Arkham City | Third Person, Action, Adventure
| 2011 | Site

You WILL feel like Batman. Whether it’s the power, the gadgets, the detective skills or most importantly the flying. It’s an open world game and when that world is Arkham City it is going to be interesting. The story is great for fans of the comics. You will encounter all of the great villains in the Batman cannon. The amount of non-required content in this game is astounding. I can’t count the number of hours I spent collecting Riddler Trophies. However, simply soaring from rooftop to rooftop is what makes this game for me.


Developer: Rocksteady Studios | Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PCskyrim
#1 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim | First Person, RPG, Action
| 2011 | Site

Of course, right? Skyrim is a fantasy, first and third person player open world game that allows you to do pretty much anything. The Dragon and civil war storyline are fantastic but you will be lost in wondering, leveling skills and talking to people. Skyrim is one of the best games in the past ten years and perhaps all time.


Developer: Bethesda Softworks | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC


hers
rage
#5 Rage | First Person, Action, Shooter | 2011 | Site
I only played this with Larry in Coop but it was a ton of fun. Problem solving together is a great way to spend the night together.


Developer: id Software | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC

portal_2_hers
#4 Portal 3 | First Person, Puzzle, Platformer | 2011 | Site
I only played this with Larry in Coop but it was a ton of fun. Problem solving together is a great way to spend the night together.


Developer: Valve | Publisher: Valve
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC, Mac

Alice_Madness_Returns
#3 Alice Madness Returns | Third Person, Adventure | 2011 | Site
Great game!! you can seamlessly move through the city and the fighting is so fun.  I love to play stealth and this game helped me hone my skills.


Developer: Electronic Arts | Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC

batman_arkham_city_hers
#2 Batman: Arkham City | Third Person, Action, Adventure
| 2011 | Site

Great game!! you can seamlessly move through the city and the fighting is so fun.  I love to play stealth and this game helped me hone my skills.


Developer: Rocksteady Studios | Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC

skyrim_2
#1 The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim | First Person, RPG, Action
| 2011 | Site

Amazing!!! I’m a wood elf arch Mage!


Developer: Bethesda Softworks | Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, P

alan_wake
Alan Wake | Third Person, Survival Horror,
Action, Adventure | 2010 | Site

his_five_star_rating
In anticipation of the upcoming Alan Wake: American Nightmare coming to Xbox Live Arcade February 22, I thought we should review one of my all-time favorite games, Alan Wake. This is a survival horror, third person, action game starring writer Alan Wake. There is so much Alan Wake does right for an original i.p. Alan Wake is a writer suffering from writer’s block and to try and break through he goes on a vacation with his wife to the Pacific Northwest. Almost as soon as they arrive his wife disappears and he sets out to find her. At its core Alan Wake is a survival horror game. The atmosphere is gorgeous and terrifying. Every time the wind picks up, the clouds begin to shift and block out the moon your hair will stand on end. Something horrible is coming. The gameplay is also fantastic. Through aiming your flashlight at enemies you weaken them enough to put rounds in them and destroy them. There is a great dodge mechanic that plays into the tension and ambiance. When you time a dodge just right your camera goes into slow motion and you get to watch as you just missed getting killed – it’s a beautiful thing. Unfortunately, Alan Wake was released the same day as Red Dead Redemption and ultimately I think that hurt the game’s sales. Remedy has released several pieces of DLC that where great and helped bring the world of Alan Wake to a harsher darker place. I am so excited for the release of American Nightmare. The original looked great but American Nightmare looks so much better and the new enemies look awesome, especially the splitter. Night Springs forever!

her_4_star_rating
SPOILERS – This game is about an author who tries to get away to a small town and write with his wife. Unfortunately, his writing comes to life and a character in one of his novels takes his wife. Larry and I were very excited for this game when it first came out. When I played Alan Wake it took me a while to get used to the controls and I found it kind of difficult to play. After I got down the controls I was able to enjoy this game and it had me jumping so many times. Essentially you are fighting darkness and you have a flashlight and a few guns spread throughout the game. The darkness possesses people and objects and they try and attack you but when you shine them with your light you are able to kill the darkness. This game is definitely horror survival and at many parts you are on edge wondering if you will be able to make it to the next light. Playing this in the dark definitely helps with the suspense.


Developer: Remedy Entertainment | Publisher: Microsoft
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC


Alan Wake Trailer


Alan Wake: American Nightmare Trailer

Alan_Wakes_American_Nightmare
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare | Third Person, Shooter,
Survival Horror, Action, Adventure | 2012 | Site

his_five_star_rating
I haven’t finished this game yet (only a couple hours in) and I couldn’t wait to talk about it. It is fan-freaking-tastic. The story and gameplay are fluid and dark. My time has been spent as follows: I walk around a bit, explore then just stop and look around. The game is beautiful, and I will never stop enjoying being able to look around with a flashlight. Something about pouring the flashlight from surface to surface in the game is absolutely petrifying. You feel like you are just a turn away from something terrifying. I am only a couple of hours in and I have physically jumped around five or six times. Knowing this is a stand-alone XBLA game and not a true sequel makes me want Alan Wake 2 even more.
* My full review will be up soon *

Developer: Remedy | Publisher: Microsoft
Platforms: XBLA

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare Trailer

Alan_Wakes_American_Nightmare
Alan Wake’s American Nightmare | Third Person,
Shooter, Horror, Action, Adventure | 2012 | Site

his_four_half_star_rating
The story and gameplay are fluid and dark in this follow up to Alan Wake. During the single player campaign my time has been spent as follows: I walk around a bit following the mission directions, explore then just stop and look around. The game is beautiful, and I will never stop enjoying being able to look around with a flashlight. Something about pouring the flashlight from surface to surface in the game is absolutely petrifying. You feel like you are just a turn away from something terrifying. The story is entertaining but not fully flushed out. Again, you are Alan Wake and SPOILER having been trapped under Cauldron Lake at the end of the original Alan Wake you are replaying a series of events in your mind inspired by an episode of Night Springs. (Night Springs is a television show Alan Wake used to write for.) The gameplay is very tight and compliments the environment. Your flashlight is your primary weapon. You use it to burn enemies’ shields a.k.a. “The Darkness” away before you can attack with a traditional weapon like a gun or arrow. I found the run and dodge mechanic to be a lot easier to master and felt a lot more fluid. There are more weapons then in the full game and less alternative light sources, which is a fair trade in my opinion. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare starts extremely strongly but quickly becomes repetitive. There are three main areas to explore and you visit each area about three times. After the second run-through it becomes a bit of a chore. Alan Wake’s American Nightmare has the addition of an arcade “horde-like” mode. This is a welcome addition. It is extremely fun, offers different environments, supplies a good challenge and lengthens the game considerably. The premise is simple. You have limited weapons and have to last waves of enemies until dawn. (Side note: It may be just me but I felt certain areas in the single player and several levels in the arcade mode were very reminiscent of Red Dead Redemption. The original Alan Wake shared the same release date as Red Dead. The levels that really caught my attention were the cemetery – extremely similar to the church cemetery stage in Undead Overrun and the town – which looks like a portion of Armadillo. There is even a small platform in the center for a hanging) The voice acting is adequate and the dialogue is a little disappointing seeing as the main character is a writer. One final complaint, as I was playing I encountered a glitch that basically broke the game. It required restarting an entire level to fix it. Luckily it was near the beginning of that level and didn’t take up much time. The Remedy message board indicates they are looking into the specific glitch many people have encountered and are working on a patch. Over all, I did love Alan Wake’s American Nightmare and knowing this is a stand-alone XBLA game and not a true sequel makes me want Alan Wake 2 even more.


Developer: Remedy | Publisher: Microsoft
Platforms: XBLA


Alan Wake’s American Nightmare Trailer

Batman_Arkham_City
Batman Arkham City | Third Person, Action, Adventure
| 2011 | Site

his_5_star_rating
You WILL feel like Batman when you play Batman Arkham City. Whether it’s the fluid powerful combat, the gadgets, the detective skills or most memorably the flying. Arkham City is an open world game and when that world is Arkham City it is going to be exciting. The storyline is great for fans of the comics and the Batman universe. Basically, you begin as Bruce Wayne and are captured and thrown into Arkham city where once you become Batman you begin to see how certain inmates of Arkham are fighting for power and control of the city. You will encounter nearly all of the great villains in the Batman cannon. Without feeling like they all got thrown into this open area together. Some of the villains you may never encounter if you stick strictly to the main story. The amount of non-required content in this game is astounding. I can’t count the number of hours I spent collecting Riddler Trophies or tracking down corpses with their faces removed. The gameplay and fighting feels so much more fluid and powerful over Batman Arkham Asylum. The incorporation of gadgets into combat is just what the fighting needed to evolve it in the right direction without losing the core feeling from the first game. I loved the story in Arkham city however; simply soaring from rooftop to rooftop is what makes this game for me.

hers_4_5_star_rating
This game begins with you as Bruce Wayne. From there you get thrown into Arkham City where you have to fight all of the great enemies in the Batman world.  Most of my enjoyment from this game simply came from flying through the city as Batman.  Rocksteady made it so smooth to grapple and fly, which makes it so much fun just getting from mission to mission.  Not only are there several main super villains for you to fight, but also you can find so many side missions just flying through the city. You get to choose what gadgets you get and what you want to upgrade as you progress through the game. Thus making it tons of fun fighting the inmates of Arkham City.  I really enjoyed how you are able to use gadgets in your fight combos. I always try to get 20+ combos when fighting larger groups, which can get hard for me since I am horrible at blocking.  You also get to play as Catwoman, which I loved because she is a Badass.  I did find it hilarious how the camera always seemed to focus on Catwoman’s butt. There is so much for you to find just exploring the city. Awesome things like meeting up with Calendarman during actual holidays to hear about different murders. This game is amazing and even if you do not know a ton about the Batman world you can enjoy Batman Arkham City because of how great it is.


Developer: Rocksteady Studios | Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive
Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC


Batman Arkham City Trailer

Battlefield_Three
Battlefield 3 | First Person, Shooter, Action | 2011 | Site
his_four_star_rating
Battlefield 3 is a modern military first person shooter. Unfortunately like most military shooters the story leaves much to be desired. You play as a soldier under interrogation regarding an incident you were recently a part of. Your missions are structured as flash back episodes you replay during your interrogation. The story was very reminiscent of Call of Duty Black Ops, which was structurally laid out the exact same way. Not to spoil the story or ending, but it was laid out in the EXACT same way. Gameplay is where Battlefield 3 shines. Of all the modern military shooters out there the Battlefield franchise stands apart regarding gameplay, realism, sound and destruction. The guns and sights feel like they have weight and the inclusion of bullet drop adds a more realistic element to gunplay. It is not as arcadey as it’s counterparts and the aim lock is a lot less noticeable. Destruction is where Battlefield 3 helps set itself apart. Aside from being extremely fun leveling buildings and blowing holes in walls being able to destroy the landscape adds a layer of strategy to each mission. Each play through has the potential to be radically different from the last. If you need a site-line to the battle- just make a hole in the wall – brilliant. Perhaps my favorite element of Battlefield 3 is the sound design. The gunfire is simply amazing and sounds perfect. It adds weight to the weapons, reflects the environmental conditions and enhances shooting to a level above any other shooter. I also greatly enjoyed the enemy physics in the game. It was hard to really notice, but bullet placement on an enemy really affected the enemy’s death and fall. It didn’t feel like canned animation, like other shooters, and created some interesting deaths in the process. It felt as though each kill had the potential to be drastically different from the last. They didn’t just fall to their knees Platoon style. Aside form single player the multiplayer offers all the same components, along with the addition of more vehicles. The Frostbite 2 engine is amazing. It allows for a beautiful, photo realistic world and the addition of vehicular combat. The vehicles in Battlefield multiplayer create a completely different and much larger atmosphere from other shooters. That combined with destruction and excellent sound design, in my opinion, makes Battlefield 3 the best modern military shooter to date.


Developer: Digital Illusions CE | Publisher: Electronic Arts
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC


Battlefield 3 Trailer

the_darkness_two_demo
The Darkness 2 | First Person, Shooter, Action | 2012 | Site
his_four_half_stars
I loved The Darkness when it was released in 2007. Which was only amplified by my love of Mike Patton. The Darkness 2 picks up years after the first game. Remaining the protagonist from The Darkness you are Jackie Estacado. Jackie has become head of a crime family and is still morning the loss of his girlfriend Jenny. I enjoyed the plot and story in The Darkness 2 a great deal more then the first game. The new art style the game takes on (I will discuss later) helps even more to bring the story and characters to life. Each scene in the game could be a panel in a comic book. Being adapted from Top Cow’s comic book The Darkness, Digital Extremes pays homage to the original material.In a nutshell, there is a group called The Brotherhood that wants the Darkness in Jackie. They go after him anyway they can. On the opposite side Jackie has to deal with the Darkness himself. The Darkness taunts Jackie with the thought his girlfriend is in hell and will remain there unless Jackie appeases the Darkness. Taking plot points from the comic. There is a fantastic twist at the end mentioning the Darkness only true enemy, The Angelus. I won’t say any more but they lead nicely into what could be a great sequel. Along with the story the gameplay is fantastic. Quad wielding is back, both games have hailed as their bread and butter and it feels great. I couldn’t remember exactly how quad wielding worked and I was a little anxious if I could get back into the swing of it quickly. I was surprised how natural and rewarding it felt. There are many updates to the demon arm mechanics. I was able to jump in right away and start ripping people apart and tossing them across rooms. Aside from the arms the gunplay is snappy and very crunchy. I mean crunchy in the best way possible. You’ll have as much fun putting bullets into people as you will into light bulbs. There is a slight aim lock when using weapons. It is definitely warranted and helps when there are multiple enemies and several things happening on screen. The aim lock is not overpowering and becomes very useful and less noticeable later in the game. This game definitely offers a challenge on your first play-through. Like Batman Arkham City, New Game Plus has been implemented to encourage multiple play-throughs. The game lasts about ten to fifteen hours and I will definitely be playing through it again. Mainly to take advantage of the light RPG element of leveling skills, but also because the game is that good. There are also single player / co-op side missions that run along adjacent to the main story line. They offer multiple characters with different weapons and abilities to play as. The side missions are fantastic and bring a multiplayer experience to The Darkness with some additional story. As mentioned previously the art style is something else that has been updated. The Darkness 2 rids itself of the more lifelike realism the first game had and opts for a more stylized, comic book meets better looking Borderlands. It works well. And of course Mike Patton is back as the voice of the darkness. He is the perfect choice, he’s haunting, frightening and eerie. Even after dramatic changes to gameplay and art style the Darkness 2 is one of the best games I have played this year.

Developer: Digital Extremes | Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC

The Darkness 2 Trailer

the_darkness_two_demo
The Darkness 2 Demo | First Person, Shooter, Action | 2012 | Site
his_four_half_stars
I loved The Darkness when it was released in 2007. Which was only amplified by my love of Mike Patton. The Darkness 2 Demo only reveals a tiny bit of the story from what I’ve gathered is as follows. You are still the antagonist gangster from the first Darkness, Jackie Estacado. The demo starts with Jackie captured by a, lets say, evil looking crippled gentleman seeking to take his powers. Ok, enough guessing about the story. Quad wielding, which these games have hailed as their bread and butter, is back and feels great. I couldn’t remember exactly how quad wielding worked and I was a little anxious if I could get back into the swing of it quickly. I was surprised how natural and rewarding it felt. There are many updates to the demon arm mechanics. I was able to jump in right away and start ripping people apart and tossing them across rooms. Aside from the arms the gunplay is snappy and very crunchy. I mean crunchy in the best way possible. You’ll have as much fun putting bullets into people, as you will into light bulbs. There is a slight aim lock when using weapons. It is definitely warranted and helps when there are multiple enemies and several things happening on screen. The aim lock is not overpowering but feels so far like it could be very useful later on in the game. The art style is something else that has been updated. Getting away from the more realistic style the first game had the Darkness 2 opts for a more stylized, comic book meets better looking Borderlands. It works well. And of course Mike Patton is back as the voice of the darkness. He is the perfect choice, he’s haunting, frightening and eerie. I strongly recommend the demo. I planned on picking up The Darkness 2 eventually, but I will definitely be getting this game sooner having played the demo.

hers_four_star_rating
I had not played the original Darkness so I did not know what to expect. I had seen the commercials for Darkness 2 (no game play) but wasn’t really brought in by them. Playing the demo I died right away, but my second time I made it through the entire demo without dying. I found it amazing how you have four limbs and so many ways to kill. I love the demon kills, they are filled with so much gore and the more gore the more essence points you get. I will definitely have to get better at shooting out the lights before entering an area. When you’re in a gunfight it can become very easy to forget. You’re character is a gangster and the fact that Mike Patton is the voice of the Darkness makes this game even more awesome. Also, the RPG side of me really likes how you can control what upgrades you get and where you want to focus them. I am very excited for this game now and cannot wait utill we get this.


Developer: Digital Extremes | Publisher: 2K Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC


The Darkness 2 Trailer

dead_island
Dead Island | First Person, Action, Survival Horror | 2011 | Site
his_four_half_stars
Dead Island takes place on an exotic, tropical island where a zombie outbreak has destroyed the island and infected most of the inhabitants. You take control of one of four characters on a resort for different reasons all with unique skill sets. Dead Island is an excellent blend of first person action and survival horror. There is also a light RPG element that allows each character to level up different skill sets. It also allows you to assemble, upgrade and create weapons. The zombie genre in video games is definitely over saturated but Dead Island adds some twists that help set it apart. For instance you can get tired. What an idea! Just like in the real zombie apocalypse. If you are running away or swinging a baseball bat, eventually you will get fatigued and have to rest. And unlike most first person games almost all your weapons are melee. I enjoyed this facet of the game. It helped to create a certain pace and tension while setting itself aside from games like Left for Dead. Although Dead Island is a great game it did come with flaws. This game is upon release was severely glitched. Most of the glitches have been patched since the game’s release, but having played Dead Island soon after it came it out there were numerous problems. There was one glitch in particular that almost broke the game. It required logging on to co-op mode then backing out to repair the problem. It is understandable that a game this large and having an open world will have some glitches but there is a reasonable assumption the game will not break. Despite the problems it had, in hindsight the glitches will not stop me from replaying in the future, I was left having had a memorable unique experience. One final aspect of the game I really enjoyed was the zombie cannon. It is hard to create something new in the zombie genre but I found what Techland did very clever. I am referring to the combination of fast zombies and lumbering zombies. The fast zombies were people who had just been infected and so they were full of rage, anger and still had full motor function. The disease was killing their body but they weren’t fully dead yet. Then there were the traditional slow lumbering zombies. These people were infected had died and had come back. They were slow, could not run and were really only dangerous in groups, if you got to close or were too tired. It was very clever and combined excellent gameplay challenges while keeping the zombie cannon fresh and without the cost of having zombies with special powers (which I hate for the most part – a zombie should not know how to use a weapon or be superhuman). While not nearly as good as the trailer Dead Island was still entertaining, frightening and challenging.


Developer: Techland | Publisher: Deep Silver
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC


Dead Island Trailer

FEAR_3
F.E.A.R. 3 | First Person, Shooter, Survival Horror | 2011 | Site
his_four_star_rating
Fear 3 begins nine months after the events of the previous two games. You play as Point Man, recently captured and interrogated. You are freed by your brother Paxton Fettel, and set out to prevent the continuation of Alma’s bloodline. It is not so much the story that allows the game to be scary but rather the atmosphere. Throughout the game as you get closer to Alma you can hear shrieks of terror and shifts in the atmosphere. As if her contractions were felt by the world. Not strong on story or diversity but if you enjoy the sound design and atmosphere of Dead Space and the environment and gameplay of Left 4 Dead you will enjoy Fear 3. It takes the stronger elements of both those games and adds a slow motion mechanic, from the original games, to provide a very enjoyable and at times repetitive gameplay experience. Once you master popping in and out of slow-mo nothing can really stand in your way. There were very few enemy types. The only point where the gameplay really changes up is when you get the mech suit. The mech suit is tremendously fun. You feel so overpowered and just lay waste to anything in your way. It is a great change of pace and breaks up the gameplay very nicely. Also, you can play through the entire game in co-op. Your partner takes the role of your dead brother Fettel and has supernatural powers to augment your playing. It is a great addition and completely changes the game to encourage multiple play-throughs. I was surprised with how much fun I had playing Fear 3. Short, sweet and psychotic sums it up.


Developer: Day 1 Studios | Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC


F.E.A.R. 3 Trailer

Journey
Journey | Third Person, Zen, Adventure, Puzzle | 2012 | Site

his_four_half_stars
Journey is beautiful, Zen and reminds you of what it felt like when you were young experiencing the real magic of video games. I have never played another game like Journey. Each minute you are awed by what you see and experience. The game length also plays an important part in this. Journey is only about two hours, normally this would bother me, but it felt just long enough. I played through the entire game in one sitting. I wasn’t ready for it to be over and it felt just long enough. Thatgamecompany, who also developed the indie game Flower, developed Journey. They exemplify what independent downloadable games can be- Great games and works of art. The gameplay is simple. You can walk, jump and float when you are charged. Your only other skill is the ability to send out a beacon which is your name represented as a symbol that can charge certain elements in each level. There is a multiplayer element to Journey but it is completely unique. As you travel you will encounter other players. You cannot talk or write to them. All you are able to do is walk together or go your separate ways. It is really a beautiful thing. Once you have finished the game you see a list of everyone you encountered on your journey. It is a completely new and freeing way to play multiplayer. One final thought: One of my favorite moments in Journey happens while you are traveling through a sandy stage it begins to darken then slowly you realize you are underwater. It is beautiful and fluid and I literally had to stop and make my girlfriend watch how the level transpired. It was like nothing I have ever seen. Please play this game. It is beautiful and like nothing you have ever experienced.


Developer: thatgamecompany | Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
Platforms: Playstation 3


Journey Trailer

Red_Dead_Redemption
Red Dead Redemption | Third Person, Action | 2010 | Site
his_five_star_rating
Honestly I want to give this game 10 stars. (Between my girlfriend and myself, we own four copies of this game – which is crazy) Red Dead Redemption has become the standard for which I judge all other games- from story, gameplay to multiplayer. It is a perfectly imagined open world in the wild west. You feel as powerful as a real gunslinger and are still challenged everywhere you go. The story in Red Dead is pitch perfect. The main character is a man flawed, harsh, rough, full of regret and all you want is his redemption. The story and ending will leave you wanting more and moved. It would be hard not to be changed by the ending of this game. If there was a game yet to make you cry, this is the closest that has come. The multiplayer for Red Dead is on another level than most other games. I believe as gaming moves forward many developers will implement the style Red Dead multiplayer has perfected. We have spent hours upon hours playing multiplayer not event competing or completing missions. I could write pages on how much I love this game but I will not. Hands down my FAVORITE GAME OF ALL TIME.

her_star_rating_4_5_stars
The character of John Marston is probably the best-developed game character I have ever played. I have mainly played the multiplayer on this but watched Larry play the full game through. (before we had two Xbox’s) I highly recommend this game to any player. The shooting system is easy for even beginners. This multiplayer is amazing.


Developer: Rockstar San Diego | Publisher: Rockstar Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3


Red Dead Redemption Trailer


Even our kitty, Yoshimi, loves Red Dead Redemption.

saints_row_the_third
Saints Row the Third | Third Person, Action | 2011 | Site
his_five_star_rating
Lets see how many great things I can say about this game in my review. Obviously, I loved this game. Not for the reasons I usually love a great game but strictly because of the open world gameplay. Story is always number one for me in any game I play. Saints Row the Third does have a story, but it would have been just as fun without it. It was well written, very funny and the character creation is great and deep. Games attempting to be over the top, like Duke Nukem, need to take a page out of Saints Row the Third to learn how it could and should be done. Enough on the story, gameplay and missions are where SRTT shines. You are able to level up your characters abilities, your gangs’ abilities, vehicles, weapons and strongholds (homes). This was one of the most fun and rewarding elements. You begin Saints Row as basically a rockstar gangster, you are famous and everyone knows who you are. From here rival gangs move in and the story unfolds. You start very high-powered and move up quickly from there. The more side missions you take on the faster you acquire skills, vehicles etc. You can start flying around the city almost instantly. I cannot emphasize enough how entertaining flying around the different burrows in a jet is, I’m sure you can imagine. I found myself after each mission heading back to my home to get or calling in a jet just to take me to the next area. Even if I was in the jet for only a minute it was worth getting. The city of Steelport is well built and looks great. At times the city can feel alive. Random characters interacting can be very funny and pulls you in deeper. However, the lack of buildings you can enter while roaming deadens the city slightly. They become just pretty buildings. If you are looking for a great plot and character development, Saints Row is not the game for you. If you are looking for hours upon hours of laughs and unbelievably fun gameplay Saints Row the Third is what you want. Side note: Tank Demolition (sounds like what it is) and Snatch (basically you are timed and have to steal other gangs prostitutes and drop them off at your safe zone) are two of my favorite side missions to take on. If you only play SRTT for a short time try those two first. Oh and did I mention you can play the entire game in co-op?


Developer: Volition | Publisher: THQ
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC


Saints Row the Third Trailer

Skyrim_review
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim | First Person, Adventure, RPG
| 2011 | Site

his_five_star_rating
Skyrim is a fantasy, first and third person open world, RPG that allows and encourages you to do almost anything. The civil war plot and dragon resurrection storyline are very meticulous and fulfilling to complete. The overarching story is great but you will get lost in wondering around, leveling skills, talking to people and taking up side quests. Some of the most fun you can have with Skyrim is talking to someone else that has played it and comparing stories. It is amazing how different your story can be. My girlfriend and I started playing at the exact same minute and once gameplay started it took about 10 minutes before we started encountering different people, places and things to do. I can’t say enough good things about Bethesda; they have created a work of art. Skyrim is one of the best games in the past ten years and, in my opinion of all time. Currently I am a level 48 Dark Elf with a focus on magic, one handed combat, smithing and enchanting. (Side note: Another one of the highlights in Skyrim are the books. If you haven’t started playing yet, you are bound to pick up and read every books you encounter. Capaneus has done everyone a favor and compiled all the books of Skyrim into one digital bound volume located here – capane.us)

hers_5_star_rating
Skyrim is one of my favorite games. It was my #1 pick of 2011 and it is in my top 5 all time favorites. I am a big fan of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, also developed by Bethesda. I never played Oblivion, only having been gaming more intensely since moving to Chicago a couple years ago. I tried Skyrim knowing I would probably like it and ended up loving it. Everything about this game is amazing. It is so huge, over 300 hours of gameplay. You can create your character and level up in the areas you are interested in. At the moment I am a level 38 Wood Elf with a focus on magic and archery.



Developer: Bethesda Softworks | Bethesda Softworks
Platforms: Xbox 360, Playstation 3
, PC


Skyrim Trailer

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