May 25, 2010

MEGA-MASSIVE REVIEWS: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Star Wars: Force Unleashed, DLCs, and More!

As the title says, this is the massive review I promised, plus a surprise game: Bioshock 2! Actually, Bioshock 2 will get its own post but wanted to let y'all know it was coming up. Now before I begin, since I am reviewing DLCs also, the grading scale is a bit different. It's basically a 5 point scale, where a 3 is a DLC that may be worth it but anything above 3 is definitely worth it. The DLCs will go like the lightning reviews:


Borderlands DLC 1 - Zombie Island:
This was a very fun DLC. You traverse zombies and face an old-school boss encounter. You also see an old blind friend. Pretty good deal for $5-10. Rank: 4

Borderlands DLC2 - Mad Moxxi
Okay this DLC is a nightmare. The arenas would be cool if you could actually keep anything. Instead, you just spend all your ammo to get achievements and die. Only redeeming part is that it includes a bank for your weapons. If you really want a bank, get this DLC. If not, I'd recommend avoiding it or getting it as part of a package with the new Borderlands add-on package. Rank: 2.5

Borderlands DLC3 - General Knoxx
As far as DLCs go, this is king. Greatly expanded content. An armory full of weapons. Epic boss encounters and missions. Oh, and Cramerax the Invincible (the boss I can't even scratch). Without a doubt, this is a Rank 5

Ezio_full_shot_1(1).jpgAssassin's Creed 2, DLC 1 = Battle of Forli
I love Assassin's Creed 2, so I obviously loved this DLC as well. It's not really worth $10 because the quest can be beaten in an hour if you are fooling around (I did it in about 30 minutes). However, for the duration, it's a lot of fun. You basically storm and defend a castle, engage in street civil war, kill two smart-ass brothers, and fill in a missing piece of Ezio's memories. Rank 4

Assassin's Creed 2, DLC 2 = Bonfire of the Vanities
This DLC is incredibly challenging! As a history buff, I loved seeing Savanorola introduced into the game. But, besides the obvious kill this guy, you have to kill his 9 officers in incredibly challenging ways. The hardest one is where you have to infiltrate a small boat that has no windows or doors and kill the official without being seen or noticed. Took me close to an hour, but well worth it. Rank 5

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (Sith Edition) - 360
This game brought me constant smiles and fan-boy giddiness whenever a character from the Star Wars universe came up in the game. In one word, this game is powerful. You play Starkiller, Darth Vader's secret apprentice. The game takes two major plot twists (both of which were expected), but focuses on filling the gaps between episodes III and IV through the adventure that this game provides. This is an upgraded hack 'n slash. Upgraded because you have a lightsaber that is customizable (to a degree) once you find power crystals and lightsaber mods (for example, I rolled with a purple or ebony lightsaber with a +lightning damage mod), and because, as the title suggests, this game stands out when it comes to the force. Using the force is an integral part of the game and what truly makes it stand out. Your favorite powers are there, from force lightning (my all-time favorite) to force push, force shield, etc. The game tests your usage of the force in combat to busting doors and even bringing down a starship from outerspace into a devastating crash with a planet.

The controls are very smooth and combos can be learned and pulled off easily. The graphics are awesome, and the story line is fantastic. The game takes you to diverse locations and even includes battles with Vader, Darth Maul, and [SPOILER ALERT!!! SPOILER ALERT!!!] the Emperor himself (although I won't tell you how to get this battle). The Sith Edition comes with three added encounters: Tatoine (where you raid Jabba's palace, kill the rancor, and fight both Boba Fett and Obi-Won!!!), the Jedi Academy at Coursecent (with a psychedelic encounter in the hall of trials), and my favorite, Hoth (featuring battles against Ice beasts and Luke Skywalker!). Just a word of caution, however, if you don't find the Sith Edition, you will have to buy the three DLCs separately.

Overall, this game reminds me of the evolved form of, and spiritual successor of, the Star Wars Jedi Academy series. This game challenges you with waves of rancors, aliens, Jedis, Siths, and even yourself. This is a true summer game and a must-buy in my opinion.

Final Rank: 9

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Uncaged Edition) - 360
I'll start off by saying I don't know the difference between uncaged and normal other than that the uncaged has more blood and I don't believe the normal is sold anymore. So, let me say one thing: have no fear! Contrary to most movie games, Wolverine Origins (as I call the game) is fantastic! So the game is a hack and slash, and I previously boasted it was the greatest of all time. This is an exaggeration which, sadly, fails to come across in text; however, the game is very fun and does everything it does well. The graphics are very reminiscent of Arkham Asylum (I believe they use the same engine). Players of Arkham Asylum will love the "sub-boss fights" because the bosses are the same models as the Titan-infused Arkham cronies. For those who haven't played Arkham, this means that the sub-bosses in Wolverine are giant creatures (including Lava monsters and giant army mutants) that you have to roll past, jump on their back, and give them hell.

This game shines in being the first game to make you Wolverine. You are Wolverine. You feel like Wolverine as you lunge from enemy to enemy and claw and hack the enemy into limbs and pieces. You see like Wolverine when you use feral senses to find secrets and solutions to puzzles (again, this is the same as Batman's detective mode in Arkham). You become Wolverine in berserk mode, and in basically everything you do. My favorite is Wolverine's health regeneration. You actually witness it occur in real-time. Let's say you get pumped full of bullets and then thrown into a fire. Well, Wolverine becomes a gruesome sight filled with bullet-holes, burning flesh, and an exposed adamantium skeleton. As your regen factor kicks in, you see the skeleton slowly be covered up by new flesh and Wolverine's wounds close. For fighting, the game gives you tons of combos and power-ups featuring on what Wolverine does best: claw people apart.

The game's biggest flaw is also its strength. The game lets you fight hordes of enemies in the jungles of Africa (where the hatch from Lost can be found), The Weapon-X Facility, under a blizzard in Canada (where a WoW Easter Egg can be found: during the snow storm, you enter a cave and find Arthas' blade Frostmourne with a skeleton next to it. The skeleton has an exclamation point over his head reminiscent of WoW quest givers), a Robot-creation factory (where you get to fight a SENTINEL!!!! and find a Portal easter-egg), New Orleans (boring level), a bar (battle against Sabertooth), and Three Mile Island. You can also unlock costumes for Wolverine by finding action figures and then challenging Wolverine in that costume. To get the costume, you must beat the enemy Wolverine. These fights are the most challenging bosses in the game (apart from the Sentinel). These include original, classic (the blue and yellow one), and my favorite, X-Force Wolverine (which looks like Batman; it's black and grey and turns Wolverine's eyes red). WAIT! You're probably thinking: hey, he hasn't said anything negative. Well, the negatives are that the levels are way too long, and this makes the combat a bore as the game progresses. The game really only has 4 levels: Weapon X Facility, Robot Factory, New Orleans, and Three Mile Island. These levels literally go on for hours and you fight the same group of enemies over and over again. The occasional boss makes the game exciting, but you start thinking "Why won't this level end" and "Why are the enemies the same?". As you exhaust every combo, you start to get frustrated with the game. Then comes the New Orleans level which is completely unnecessary because your mission is to fight Gambit, yet the game manages to turn the level into a 3 hour chase after Gambit through what seems like the world's largest hotel. At least destroying Gambit and a helicopter made it cool. It also annoyed me how the Africa level was interspersed through the four main levels. From a narrative stand-point, this move makes sense so I let it slide.

Overall, this game is intensely fun the first day and a very nice surprise. After the outdoors part of Weapon X level (the Canada snow-storm part) you think this game is one of the greatest you've ever played! Then it starts getting stale. The Sentinel battle makes you jizz in your pants, and after that, the game starts losing satisfaction rapidly. Judging it against other video games, this game starts at a 9 and declines to a 7. However, given that this is a game based off of a movie, I will be generous because the fighting, graphics, unlockables, and story are awesome.

Final Score: 8

So I just beat Bioshock 2 and am currently hooked on the multiplayer (which will be discussed in the next review). I also just picked up Darksiders so expect a review on that in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. Man... I'll beat BioShock 2 eventually. Too many games to play. I'm hooked on Mario Galaxy 2 at the moment, though. Going to try and beat all these games over the summer.