Tag Archives: video game review

Top picks from gaming’s past and present

The gaming season is coming to a lull now, so I decided to change up my game review into a who’s-who list of games. I honestly can’t order the following games by which one is “better” or more “revolutionary,” but I can tell you that they have definitely made an impact on a lot of people’s lives.
We’ll start with one of my personal favorites: the “Final Fantasy” series. Still going strong, the game has evolved and was probably one of the first true RPGs ever born. Of course, certain titles stick out more than others (VI, VII, VIII and X), and almost all of the games are solid and, if given enough time, will draw you in and allow you to play through a story that you won’t forget.
“Final Fantasy VII” has been specifically hailed by most gamers as their all-time favorite game and probably comes from the fact that everything in the game came together in just the right way to make it touching at some points and badass at others.
Moving on, I think it’s safe to say every single Blizzard Entertainment game has pretty much started its own genre. Blizzard’s three main universes (“Diablo,” “Starcraft” and “Warcraft”) have been unique titles that have drawn in millions of gamers for millions of hours and taught them that PC games can really own. “Diablo,” probably the most serious and adult of Blizzard’s titles, follows a lone hero (the player) on his quest to cleanse a cursed cathedral of the demonic presence that has taken it over.
“Starcraft”’s take is humorous, as it gives you an idea of how futuristic, redneck expedition trips would work out for humankind.
Lastly, “Warcraft,” the first title put out by Blizzard, follows the old orc-versus- human lore seen so many times.
The next two games don’t need an entrance because I’m pretty sure every single person knows of each series: Mario and Pokémon. That’s right; you read it. Who could forget taking ’shrooms to grow bigger, eating wild flowers to shoot fireballs and jumping on weird creatures to flatten them and gain coins?
If ’shrooms aren’t your style, you could take your Blastoise and hydro pump your opponent’s Charizard for a one-hit K.O. The countless hours spent beating Bowser or “catching them all” were cherished by those who grew up in the ’90s.
Whatever system it has been on, I think everyone can recognize the plumber in the red suit riding a lizard who sucks things into its mouth with an extendable tongue or the Pokémon trainer trying to be the best.
On to games that require you to shoot people. The first-person shooter genre has seen handfuls of titles people would say are “the best,” but I would say three can be recognized by any gamer as great.
“Doom,” a game by id Software, follows a lone survivor of a demonic invasion on a moon base, as he solves puzzles and shotguns his way through demons to close the portal to hell as the ultimate badass.
“Halo,” following yet another lone badass, Master Chief, is an adventure series that pulled online console gaming into the running with online PC games. I think everyone can agree that the Covenant had some humorous and menacing villains.
Lastly, “Call of Duty” recently has been by far one of the most played online FPS games of all time. Being a super-soldier of sorts and able to do any ridiculous mission is attractive to gamers of all ages.
With new generations just around the corner, and old ones dying out, I thought taking this time to honor new and old games alike is worth it. I know I wouldn’t be the same if I hadn’t picked up a controller and played “Doom” and “Final Fantasy VII” with my dad or “Starcraft,” “Diablo II” and “World of Warcraft” with my cousin.
I hope this review causes you to dust off your favorite game and show it some love with a play through or two, I know I am definitely going to go kill some demons later.

Clayton Martin/Freelancer
Clayton Martin can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

‘Dead Rising 2’ offers a zombie-killing good time

Ever wanted to bash someone’s skull with a nail bat but just found it unreasonable? Chase down a group of old people with a chainsaw but couldn’t find a time or place? Don’t worry. In “Dead Rising 2,” you can do just that and feel great about it because everyone you’re beating down is a zombie.
“Dead Rising 2,” released on Sept. 28, is a Capcom and Blue Castle Games baby. The sequel to the popular title “Dead Rising,” the game follows the protagonist Chuck Greene as he tries to prove his innocence to the people who just had their safe zone (Fortune City, Nev.), overtaken by zombies. Apparently someone let in the zombies, and Chuck shouldered the blame.
The cool part about the game is that depending on how fast you complete all the core missions, the ending changes. For example, let’s say you were too busy punting zombie heads and didn’t make it to the subsequent core mission in enough time. Well, then you definitely didn’t prove your innocence, and you can expect to be left for dead (pun intended) by the military rescue squad. If you actually clear your name, I will go out on a limb and say you get out of that hellhole.
Of course this is only feasible because every time you start over, you get to save your characters level and stats, so the next time through is much faster.
Topping off the awesome story mode is the ability to kill hordes of zombies. When I say hordes I mean H-O-R-D-E-S. There are an infinite amount of zombies to kill, and thousands can be seen onscreen at any given time. You may be saying to yourself, “That sounds like it would get old fast.” Well think again, noobs.
“Dead Rising 2” allows the user to unlock new weapon combos.
Ever wonder what damage you could do with a pitchfork and a power drill? Well, add the drill to one end and you have a spinning pitchfork of doom that you can impale one zombie with and use to bash all other zombies with while he is spinning like a propeller. Have a machete and a broom? Attach the machete blade to the end of the broom, and you’ll have a spear to make zombie shish kabob.
If this game doesn’t get your imagination cooking, I don’t know what will. “Dead Rising 2” is a masterpiece of gore that will feed the nerd-raging side of your soul.
So get out there, all you murderous inventors you, and create new ways to mutilate zombies!

Clayton Martin/Freelancer
Clayton Martin can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.

CoD: ‘Black Ops’ touts updated graphics engine

Get ready all of you Call of Duty fanboys, Activision and Treyarch’s next big title, Call of Duty: Black Ops is just around the corner, and it is going to blow your minds.
For all of you that thought this would be a cheap spin-off of the older installments, think again. Call of Duty: Black Ops has an entirely new system to offer for matchmaking along with brand new features that will probably keep you on your ass for months. You might want to warn your lady-friends you’ll be busy … for a while.

Ever get bored of simply killing people and gaining experience? Of course not! But for those of you that have, Treyarch has added some new features just for you.
On top of all the glorious multiplayer options already present in the Call of Duty series, a new “wager” system has been added. That’s right, time to gamble boys and girls, and it looks awesome.
The question may arise, “Gamble with what, gaming guru?” Well, with the new CoD Points currency system of course. After unlocking something via experience, players now have to purchase it with CoD Points. For Perks and Killstreaks, after a certain level (4 and 10, respectively) all of them become available for purchase.

Going back to why people will love Wager matches; they let you gamble on your skill and CoD Points for a chance at winning more points than you bet. The system then chooses from a handful of different matchmaking types that take on a whole new of gameplay.
In one game type, you start with a pistol and one bullet — have fun. Another starts you off with a pistol and gives you a new and better weapon to use after each kill, but watch out for melee attacks. Those will set you back a level (similar to Gun Game, if you have played Counter Strike Source).
On top of the new currency system and Wager match, you can pick up Contracts (for a small fee), similar to Halo: Reach’s daily challenges that have an in-game time limit to perform some feat of strength. If performed successfully, you will come out with more CoD Points than you put in and some experience to boot. Fail, and you lose the CoD Points you paid to purchase the Contract.

Now if only you could view each match afterward to see how that MLG pro you lost to played. Oh, wait. You can! Another new feature is the ability to watch previous matches in a theater similar to Halo 3 and Halo: Reach.
So all those sneaky hiding places the snipers like to camp in can be analyzed inside and out to find the best place to toss a grenade and do the most damage. You no longer need to laugh at that kid who ate a grenade to the face. You can watch it over and over and show your friends.
Last but not least, and this is a small note, Call of Duty: Black Ops will be offered in stereoscopic 3D. So, if any of you have a 3D TV, be prepared for an entirely new feel to gaming.

All in all, this is going to be one game that no gamer should go without. With a slew of new features and an updated graphics engine, along with being playable in three dimensions, Call of Duty: Black Ops will blow everything you knew about the CoD series out of the water.
Make sure to get it when it drops Nov. 9. (And don’t forget to take those days off via vacation or being “sick.”)

Clayton Martin/Freelancer
Clayton Martin can be reached at linfieldreviewculture@gmail.com.