Total Reviews: 13
Average Overall Score Given: 8.22308 / 10
Total Forum Posts: 1117

WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010

I?ve been a fan of wrestling for many years and over that time some developers have introduced wrestling games trying to capture the action and intensity that makes it such an entertaining sport, but have always been lacking or just come up short in some way or another. Well grab your trunks and lace up your boots to take wrestling entertainment to the next level with THQ?s WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010.

Loading up Smackdown vs Raw 2010, SvsR, you will notice right from the start that you begin in the training ring. Unlike the previous releases there has always been a learning curve associated with the moves, but SvsR 2010 gives you a tutorial to master them eliminating the guess work. There is a training checklist that is marked off as you perform the 100+ moves, and can be reset at anytime if you might have a friend that wants to learn. As you are learning the AI can be changed to make them a bit tougher presenting you with more of a challenge. I really liked that as you start to beat up on your opponent you notice that giving chops to the chest it starts to become red, showing how it?s wearing on them.

After you have gotten your moves down pat you can choose to start your career and try your luck against one of the 67 Superstars available from Smackdown and Raw including the Divas, but that?s just starting to scratch the surface. All of the match types we have seen previously are packed into SvsR such as TLC, Royal Rumble, Inferno match and Extreme Rules to name a few, but take your gameplay to the next level by going in and messing around with the Create-a-Superstar, CAS, allowing you to make a wrestler that looks just like the Superstars already in the game, not simple looking like their ring attire was just painted on as it has in the past. The costumes and ring attire actually look real adding what it was lacking previously.

In addition to dynamite looking characters you have created you are given the ability to name them so during gameplay action the ring announcers will use your name along with the thousands of attendants in the crowd cheering for you and holding up signs. The number of wrestlers you can create has been increased from mere 30 to 50, giving a total of 110 with the Superstar lineup already in the game. Not only can you change up the screen pose for your wrestler but also give them up to 3 different changes of attire to be worn adding that much more of a personal feel to the customization.

Speaking of customization while in CAS you now have the ability to add your personal touch and flare to your character using the new Paint tool. This lets you get the creative juices flowing to design and put a Logo on your superstar to have them stand out adding that personal touch not just a bunch of preset artwork. Although there is 100+ graphics you could choose from to adjust, size and apply to the CAS.

If creating your character isn?t enough you can now make your own entrance movie to show off your superstar using highlight reels from matches. The Create-a-Finisher is back but now allowing you create a Diving finish from the corner turnbuckle, customizing if you showboat before jumping, the angle that you will jump at, if you do any flips or layouts in mid-air, then ending with how you land on your opponent. Name your finisher and again during a match the commentators will call it out adding that personal touch.

While being able to create a Superstar character and make your entrance movie along with the diving finisher, you now can create your own story in SvsR 2010. The Road to Wrestlemania , that was added last year, features Randy Orton, HBK, Mickie James, Edge, Triple H/John Cena, and your CAS, but now take your experience to the next level allowing the use more than 100+ preset scenes from getting hit by a car in the arena parking garage to smack talking to your opponents. The options are endless on what can be done and once you have finished creating your story on the calendars, up to ten years, you can choose to upload your story to the SvsR servers for other fans to download and play giving you many more hours of gameplay, like ongoing DLC readily available for you.

One of the great features of the Story Designer is when you have setup for something to happen like maybe a superstar being jumped in the locker room or as mentioned hit by a car, you can then go in and injure the character so it then can affect the match. Not only can that be done, but you can set for run-in to disrupt the match, maybe DQ someone or make sure that they get the pinfall the options are never-ending.

I must say that I really like many of the new features that were added, like the Tutorial to learn moves, only having to use one bumper to counter moves, implementing the paint tool to create a custom logo design for your wrestler, and not to mention being able to give Superstars rivals and allies making matches more interesting. Then throw in being able to make 50 CAS and create your own entrance from highlight reels and diving finish moves along with the ability to upload your created stories for others to download and play through give fans what they have wanted to see.

Overall the graphics are steller, and the sounds of the action really draw you into the gameplay sometimes almost feeling like you are part of a Live event. Then expanding on the CAS, Road to Wrestlemania and the Royal Rumble giving a bit more depth then in years past. THQ has really listened to what fans have wanted and made WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2010 the best in the series yet and have really embraced their tag line ? It?s your world now?

Overall Score: 8.7 / 10 Military Madness: Nectaris

There might be a few people that can remember firing up the good old TurboGrafix-16 to play the strategy game of Military Madness back in 1989 battling it out on the Moon. Then again some maybe caught it when revamped in 1998 on the Game Boy and Playstation as Nectaris. Well game developer Hudson Soft is back again, releasing Military Madness: Nectaris on Xbox Live Arcade.

If you haven't played any of the series previously there will be a slight learning curve to figure out, but with a little time you can easily learn everything needed to master moving about the battlefield. The beginning of each rounds starts you with 8 units that are normally broke up between vehicles and troops. Using the R/L Bumpers you can immediately select the available units to be ordered.

Overall Score: 6.4 / 10 Zombie Apocalypse

As the corpse?s start to rise from the soil beneath your feet and from surrounding buildings, sharpen up your chainsaw and grab your assault rifle to prepare yourself for the onslaught of infected that are trying to make your warm body their feast in Konami?s new Xbox Live Arcade title Zombie Apocalypse.

This twin stick, top-down zombie shooter will have you testing your survival skills through 7 Different environments and 55 days of intense action. Also giving you the ability to unlock other game modes, Blackout/Chainsaw only/7 days of hell, along the way to further your desire to wipe out the infected. You are given the option to play alone choosing one of the 4 survivors, Harlan Woods-Natalie Floree-Jimmy86-Ed Fragsen, or team up with a friend for local MP or over XBL.

Getting into the gameplay the Left thumb-stick controls the movement, Right thumb-stick fires and direct the shots from your weapons, starting you with an assault rifle with unlimited ammo, with the right/left triggers operating the chainsaw. The bumpers are used to throw out zombie bait, in the form of a C4 teddy bear, in which the zombies flock to resulting in some mass zombie carnage.

Overall Score: 6.6 / 10 Fuel

Imagine yourself in post apocalyptic environment, as a helicopter with a mad-max style vehicle suspended below is lowered down to grind up the terrain with numerous paths to overtake your opponents while making your way to checkpoints or the finish line. That?s sorta what it is like with Codemasters recent release of FUEL.

FUEL has you participating in career races and challenges through out 19 different Camps that are unlocked as you win. The races themselves give you fuel for winning which has become scarce due to the fact fossil fuels are being shunned for sustainable living, but even with limited supplies it is also used to purchase your vehicles as you progress through the game. In some races it?s not only the fuel that?s won but yet different gear for your driver, Maverick Spottings - good luck with these as you hunt a vehicle down in an attempt to ram it and add it to you collection or receive notification of a Doppler truck to relay map details of a camp to you.

Offering a driver editor, FUEL allows you to customize how your person looks with the gear on. It is not over the top but kept simple and to the point allowing for gear to be put on the riders head, chest and legs if you wish. You could be the adrenaline junkie and just go without and endure the punishment of the elements. Along the lines of customization that is also available for the 70+ vehicles you will gain access to, motorcycles - quad?s - monster trucks/Rigs - and buggies to name a few, allowing for livery to be applied in different colors and body panels sprayed with preset colors. While exploring around each camp you can find 100+ liveries on vehicles that have raced their last races, abandoned to take and show off on yours.

Something else that you will discover when in Free Ride is that there is ramps/jumps that have oil barrels on them. Essentially the barrels are located in certain areas through out the camps giving you additional fuel when found. There is 500 of them in total to run across in your journey so keep an eye out, because depending on the time of day it could be hard to see with a full night and day cycle. This triggers your lights to come on shedding some light onto the scene allowing you to continue through the great beyond.

Once you get into FUEL you will quickly learn that there is no real set direction for the gameplay, which is your career. There is no bio on any of your opponents or hype as to who might be a rival or winning racer for that camp. IT would be nice to really have purpose to what you are doing to add character and depth. Only thing you know is to race hard and fast and come in first place as any other positions gets you nothing but a retry. Controls are straight forward and easy to get used to just like many of your driving games, right trigger gas, left trigger brake-held for reverse, X for handbrake, Y respawn/reset, right analog to look around and left analog to steer. This is also very useful in correcting your vehicle in mid-air for a great landing.

Challenges are another way of earning more go-go juice if you don?t want to run through a career race. The variety ranged from a Knock Out race, Blitz-time attack through checkpoints and beat the clock, Endurance - Race from point A to B and outlast and out perform the opponent or take out your rivals by any means necessary in Seek ?N? Destroy. Speed Runs were cool as you try to get to the Finish marker in a set amount of time, which was similar to the Chopper Chase where you had to find the best line across the map to reach the helipad first.

Bringing up helipads they can be useful in getting around from camp to camp quickly instead of driving the entire way across the map. A Chopper picks you up and drops you off at the desired helipad, unless you just want to Free Roam and pull up the map, back button, and set a destination and you will get the GPS arrows to help lead the way. The GPS arrows will definitely come in handy during the majority of the races/challenges that you encounter, it?s your friend to guide you.

Free Roam not only allows you to take in the wonderful environment of FUEL but does so with Vista points that give breathtaking views of the world. A birds eye view of the havoc on the land and the rolling hills and make-shift paths that cut through them. Much brush have been burnt or still burning, debris scattered about everywhere as obstacles to slow your roll. During some races you may encounter a severe thunderstorm with lightning streaking the skies and thunder crashing as a funnel forms and a tornado touches down thrashing and throwing around objects. The visuals are what you would expect from Codemasters, detailed and crisp but I did encounter some framerate issues at times while in races with a lot going on which was a letdown and during some of the big storm sequences.

Maybe after the Challenges and Career races you want to change it up a bit you can enter into the Race Editor and create a race of your own on whatever camp you might find as your favorite. Once you have gone through and set checkpoints through out your course you can then see how well you stack up to your design. Once saved these races can be accessed and played with your friends online to find out who will come out victorious.

The multi-player portion of the game allows you to join up with other to Free Ride a camp and mess around, exploring the 5,000 miles of North America that has been scaled out, but the ability to race all of the career tracks to test your skills. Choosing between Ranked or Player matches, depending on what sort of challenge you are seeking, then pop into a Quick Race or look for a particular mode. Racing against others over XBL is definitely a bit more challenging then the A.I. offered up in gameplay.

Overall I was hoping for a bit more with this title from Codemasters especially after playing DiRT and seeing how they did the interactive load menus as a great visual during loads which wasn?t present here. The load screens were plain at best and ran some general stats along the bottom but not the cool stuff seen in their other racers. FUEL is a very cool world that?s been designed nicely with some great weather effects although lacks some depth in the gameplay to really draw you in like I really wanted.

Suggestions: The only things that would come to mind would be to have added some background to the racers or stats to compete with and not just coming in first and moving to the next race/challenge. Also for all of the great territory and land covered in a race why not have a replay to watch the action unfold afterwards.

Overall Score: 7.5 / 10 Red Faction Guerilla

Welcome to Red Faction: Guerrilla (RFG) and the red planet of Mars in which your journey will take place to help the mining colonists and avenge your brother. Let me take a flashback though, to when Red Faction began back in 2001 with a follow up of Red Faction 2 in 2002; both stepping outside the box a little from the regular first person shooter with it?s Geo-MOD technology allowing the gamer to destroy the environment and not just have a preset way of going into an area or doing things. Fans of Red Faction will be glad to know that upgraded Geo-MOD 2.0 will be offering destruction on a grand scale.

Getting into the gameplay the first thing that will be noticed is RFG is no longer a first person shooter but now done in third person giving you a real feel and look of the surroundings. You find yourself as Alec Mason a demolitions expert that?s come to start a new life on Mars with his brother. That?s short lived he?s gunned down right in front of you in cold blood by the Earth Defense Force (EDF) which have been trying to take over the colonists and the settlements they have created. The action takes place as you try to liberate the colonist and regain power over the 6 zones under the EDF control.

Starting in Parker sector you will end up working through all 6 ending at the EDF stronghold of Eos. Various missions throughout each sector that are completed help to build up morale amongst the colonist, which in turn will get colonists to join in your fights as well find ammo crates stocked with more supplies. If morale is low then ammo crates don?t have as much to replenish when needed. In some missions you may be rescuing hostages, transporting a vehicles or raiding the EDF. When you start to cause havoc to EDF property you have an indicator on your HUD that let you know the alert level you are at. Beginning with green it goes to yellow then red and if doing enough damage blinking red unleashing the EDF in full force.

Speaking of the HUD everything is layed out nicely and doesn?t obstruct your view of anything during gameplay. The controls are very easy to use and learn and in the heat of battle, the quick weapon?s change, hitting the right bumper makes for quick carnage on your foe. Now if the right bumper was held you could hit the according Y, B, A or X button to go to the weapon of choice. The left shoulder button is used for running or tap to take cover, although sometimes it seems your character wouldn?t take cover when it?s most necessary. That doesn?t hinder you to much considering almost anything you do take cover behind can be destroyed leaving you wide open. Making your way through some of the missions might get repetitious but with the vast array of ways you can approach a mission it never gets boring.

As for what you arm yourself to head into a mission that can really make a difference. RFG offers some regular weapons like a sniper rifle, rocket launcher, modified shotgun, pistol and the sidekick of the miners the Sledgehammer. On the other hand you could opt to use an Arc Welder shooting out burst of electrical current to stun and take out your enemy. The Grinder is different in that it fires razor disks at high velocity cutting anything in its path down to size. A weapon that I enjoyed using the most besides the Arc Welder was the Nano rifle allowing you to completely obliterate the EDF or create an opening through a building wall. It completely disintegrates anything in your path so it?s wise to keep this gem out of the hands of the EDF or enemies.

Besides the main story missions and taking out EDF property of medium and high importance there is Guerrilla Actions, side missions to lend a hand to the colonists. You might help hold off an EDF Assault or Raid a controlled facility, maybe grab a colonist from House Arrest returning them to a safe house or one of my favorites riding along shotgun with Jenkins destroying property in Collateral Damage. Sometimes it?s needed for you to head off a Convoy to keep EDF from their property/capture one of their vehicles or be the Transporter and race an important vehicle to the safe house avoiding being blown up. The main campaign will last you for a good 15hours and upon completion you?ll unlock the Insane difficulty, but if you choose to go back and explore and pick up collectibles that weren?t discovered/finished on the play through that is also an option instead of starting on Insane.

Graphically each sector has it?s own look to it along with different vehicles that will be patrolling around. This makes for a nice change when exploring around the open environment. Throughout the game graphics are stellar along with an exceptional frame-rate that doesn?t seem to falter or slow down no matter how much havoc you are creating on screen. You might even find yourself taking in a structure or smokestack as its falling only to have it topple right down on you. That brings me to the sounds which lets you hear the concrete crumbling, metal creaking and when the explosions go off the sweet rumble of chaos feels like you are in the action.

While the campaign will offer many hours of play RFG also has a multi-player online mode putting up to 16 gamers against one another. Many of the favorite modes such as Free for all, Team death match and Capture the flag but RFG has an additional 3 for some face paced action. Damage control is one allowing two teams to battle out control over three targets, tear down the enemies and rebuild it back to give your team control using the Reconstructor. The Reconstructor will help you score points in this mode but also be a key component in Siege where it?s used to keep your teams target up while defending against the attackers. The attackers will try to throw everything they have at the defenders to cause the most damage to win. Demolition is the last mode where as a team you must protect your destroyer as he wreaks havoc on the opponents scoring points, but if you don?t cover your destroyer and let him keep getting killed you?ll loose as he is the key to victory.

Any of the MP can be customized as to how they are setup and what limitations if any along with what weapons to begin with. This is a great feature as a lot of games don?t offer that much flexibility when it comes to MP setups. A key weapon when setting up the matches are the backpacks, seen later in the SP campaign, can be real momentum swingers in MP. For instance the Tremor pack will allow you to shake and tremor the ground causing a structure to fall with an enemy in it or throw them off balance to finish with the sledgehammer. The Rhino pack gives the person wearing it the ability to run directly through whatever may be in their way, creating a path of destruction along the way. Maybe that?s not your thing so pop on a Jetpack and elevate yourself above the enemy to rain down fire from above or get to that high point to try and snipe.

Other backpacks at your disposal are Concussion, Thrust, Fleet-foot, Stealth or Vision each giving you or the enemy a slight advantage when used properly. During a MP match you?ll find racks located in various spots that will have three Packs on them and they don?t replenish until you die, then the pack is returned to the rack. The right weapon backpack combo can wield a deadly combination and have you and your team prevailing in the end. Now if for some reason you don?t want to get into the MP action but want to at least see what?s going on you can choose to enter Spectator Mode and watch the best of the best action taking place first hand as the matches play out.

For those not online RFG offers a pass the controller game of Wrecking Crew which is a blast for up to 4 players. The modes offered here allow for total carnage and give each player points based on how they bring down the buildings, smokestacks and structures. In three of the modes Total Chaos, Rampage and Escalation is a challenge to do the most damage with your backpack and weapon in 1-3 mins having unlimited or limited ammo. Escalation starts you with limited ammo and the next round gives more time and ammo, unlike Rampage where you have 3mins and each shot taken takes from your time. The forth mode Barrel Dash gives you 60seconds to blow up 5 red barrels and that?s it but along with the red barrels are blue ones spread all over to give you bonus points and assist in taking out the red barrels. Each time a mode it played nothing ever takes place the same way, so don?t expect it.

Over all THQ and Volition have created a game that allows you the gamer numerous ways to enjoy the campaign and extend play time with great customizable online MP. Then throw in some Wrecking Crew and you?ve got a party game to keep you entertained for hours and have lots of fun with friends. So if you are an old Red Faction fan from way back or someone that just happened to pick up RFG from word of mouth you won?t be disappointed in the fun to be had. In the words of Red Faction ?Better Red than Dead?

Suggestions: If their was one thing I'd like to see is some DLC that would make Wrecking Crew online. Giving the ability to compete with your friends online and see where you rank against them on the Leaderboards.

Overall Score: 8.9 / 10 Afro Samurai

For many people the Afro Samurai cartoon has been a series they have gotten into and enjoyed through it?s journey with Afro. Now from Surge in conjunction with Namco Bandai Games America have released the vengeance of Afro Samurai bringing to the 360 in a third person Hack & Slasher. Namco Bandai has brought us such titles as Eternal Sonata, Ace Combat 6 and Soul Calibur IV to name a few, each different in there own right. Afro Samurai has been done upbeat like the cartoon but adds comic styling to the action that?s about to take place around you adding a different feel to the gameplay.

As you start your journey as Afro you meet your alter ego Ninja-Ninja who is your hype man famous for antagonizing and instigating you along the way. He also tends to cuss worse then a sailor just as he does in the series, so prepare yourself for an ear full when Ninja-Ninja speaks up. You learn the basic attacks first with Light hit-X, Heavy hit-Y, kick-B, Block-RT and Jump-A. Control wise it?s very easy to learn and get used to, but then again many button smashing games have an easy learning curve. Moving in to encounter your first fight the music, by The RZA, really sets the tone and does so throughout the game whenever you get into a battle, slicing and dicing the enemy to the beat. The music is the highlight, but some of the repetitive sounds from the enemies can get annoying. I remember during one fight a guy that just kept making sounds like he had serious mental issues.

The first enemies that confront you are Ronin Assassin?s, Ninja?s & Female Ninja?s, Gunners, Android ninja?s and later on Giants with clubs and Large Swordsmen trying to keep you, the No.2 headband wearer, from your path to revenge. Many of the enemies attacks come in groups to get you off guard, hitting you from the front and back, but working your combos will get you out of the trouble and some breathing room. Combos will give you Focus, engaging it slows down time, for more precise destruction and allowing some moves only available in that state. Taking out your foes gives you Focus but Experience allowing Afro to Level Up unlocking new skills, you will know the experience is gained as the Pendant on Afro?s sword glows Red, it also glows white when Focus is gained.

Afro gains a lot more moves as your Experience is obtained giving more tools in your arsenal to inflict damage on the enemies. When in the game you can stop the action and hit the Back button and bring up your list of available moves that you can unleash. This definitely can come in useful not to mention it?s nice to know what button combination's will perform what special attack. Especially since someone is always looking to take you out being the one who possesses the No. 2 Headband.

At certain times when confronted by the enemy Ninja-Ninja will offer for you to play a Body-part Poker challege. Once your engage if you get near Ninja-Ninja he will disappear and 3 cards will show on the bottom left of the screen with a cigarette light representing your time limit, 40-90secend, to create a playable hand. Depending on the opponent and the body part you slice will determine your hand or Lightning pounce and remove their heads. Experience, health and Focus are gained in winning a hand, but don't let time run out or bust!

Unfolding the story you learn that Afro had witnessed the tragic death of his father to Justice, beheading him as he watched wide eyed and in disbelief. ?This moment will always haunt you you?ll be consumed for hatred for me, Challenge me when you are ready to duel a God, hahahahaha? as Justice laughs and walks away after taking the No.1 headband from his father. So as you progress through the story you go back to when Afro fought for the No. 2 Headband and what he encountered along the way. Each level offering more insight into Afro?s past and the demon that haunts him.

Throughout the levels as you fight you?ll find Otsuru Bears that will give you full health and focus, but they are a reminder to Afro of the bloodshed on the way to claim the No. 2 headband, a time that haunts him. When your focus is maxed out your pendant will glow, upon entering Over Focus you will decapitate or dismember any enemies with one slice. Momentos are also located on each level, well 5 exactly, which are a group of crows unlocking memory fragments to new skills. The fifth of each momento found a quick flash of Afro's father's face is noticed, finding all will achieve fathers legacy. Some of each can be easily found in your journey and others not so easy making it a little more of a challenge to look around, but keep in mind if you die before a save point you?ve got to go back and get any bears or momentos that were acquired. I didn?t pick them all up on my first play through so I?ll have to be mindful and explore everything when playing back through on hard.

As I just mentioning the difficulty you start on is Normal but upon completion and returning to the Main Menu you can choose a New Game selecting Hard. When doing so you then get the option to carryover your previous skills, so select ?Yes?. In playing back through on Hard it makes the enemies attack a bit more fierce and the only way to regain health is from the Otsuru Bears, perfect slicing off a head or down between the eyes. Try not to get hit!!

The majority of the Boss battles you can find a rinse and repeat method that can work in taking them out. Some can be a little tricky in finding what it takes in completely eliminating them. One boss in particular will quickly learn your combo attacks so using a perfect slice and Dash attacks will work him over. Another key move, like any other fighting game, is the usage of the Block button to throw off the Boss in many cases leaving them vulnerable for your sword.

Graphically the scenery is very similar to the cartoon, with a great comic style cinematic when an enemy would be jumping in or making their presence into a battle. That added a different element as opposed to stopping the gameplay to see a cinematic of what?s getting ready to happen or go on. Although when the game was loading the next Chapter/Level it would be some of the same scenes and most of the time what?s being said was cut short. Besides that it was cool to looking around at the Dojo?s with there rice paper screens, stone oriental statues and spectacular views from the different areas you fight at.

I really enjoyed playing through the game and Leveling up Afro to learn his new skills and unleash the fury on my enemies, but sometimes found myself getting frustrated with the camera when having to wall run and crisscross jump and occasionally in a fight. The music laid down from The RZA definitely helps to get you psyched up when working your swordsmanship. Overall it was fun to play through and looking forward to facing the more difficult foes on hard adding that much more of a challenge to the second go round. AFRO!!!!!

Suggestions: It would be nice if some of the little camera issues could be worked out in an update and possibly some sort of DLC in the way of an additional mission or some sort of mass enemy, horde type, mode and see how many waves Afro can go through.

Overall Score: 8.5 / 10 Need For Speed Pro Street

Overall: Well EA Sports changed up on this Need for Speed and takes all of the Illegal street racing action we've been used to into the world of Sanctioned Events with ProStreet. Of course you've gotta work your way through the different racing/events styles- Grip, Drift, Drag or Speed to face the Top Dawg Ryobi Watanabe.
NFS:ProStreet changes the normal drag racing of just lining up and going the distance to beat your opponent, but yet like an actual Drag race you must Preheat your tires. This being said it's not just hold the gas and it warms them up, you have actually got to work the gas to achieve MAX Grip. Not only that, but like a regular drag race if you get to high in the RPM's on the line you can pop the front end up and ride a wheelie. That will come into play in the Wheelie Drag event but not when you're trying to get the best time down the 1320.
Working through the Events you'll earn points to Own each event and unlock more cars for you to try and dominate the tracks with. As always you can go in and customize and modify your vehicles to be fast and eye catching.

Gameplay: NFS:ProStreet is pretty easy to get used to, although drifting and the wheelie contests can get to be tricky. Some of the high speed events can put you on the edge of your seat trying to kep the car on the road and avoid being totaled. TOTALED is one of the cool new features that takes your wreck and puts it into slow motion so you see all of the havoc that happened to the vehicle.
ProStreet offers the following driving events:

Grip/Grip Cl@!%#*!- Where you have to beat the other cars in your cl@!%#*! to the finish.
Drift- think you've got style and can slide w/ the best ?
Drag- warm your tires up and launch down 1/4 or 1/2 mile tracks.
-Drag Wheelie- lauch your car and try and keep your front end off the ground the longest distance.
Speed Challenge- getting from the start to the finish the fastest

When driving in ProStreet a new feature offered is a clutch, you have the normal Automatic and Manual but clutch offers the ability to engage and disengage the clutch like you would while driving a real car. this adds to the gameplay and makes it a little more then just a simple trigger pull for gas and a button to shift but yet add the bumper button as the clutch to be able to shift up or down.
As always with the NFS series you can go online and race MP in events like you did during your way through the Career Mode. Also another new feature, you may choose to share a Blueprint you have done for a car with a friends so everyone has the same setup for an event. Racers warm up your tires and grip your steering wheel for a fun ride.

Graphics: From the opening you can see the detail that EA has added to the vehicles and the look of read asphalt as you fly down the road. As you race through tracks you'll have spectators cheering and watching the race and don't get caught up looking at them cause the telephone poles or moutain ridges can result in a TOTALED ride you've gotta watch slowly tumble and roll to a crashing hault.
ProStreet will have you dodging parts as you race around giving yet another obsticle to contend with above and beyond your AI competitors.

Audio: As you compete the announcer is praising how good of a driver you, Ryan Cooper, is as you tear around the tracks. When you sit in teh burnout box and rev up the car and you hear the tires scream, announcer working the crowd you know it's time to show your stuff.
The sounds of the cars, tires screeching and a cool soundtrack to pump out some great tunes as you Dominate your way to Victory in NFS:ProStreet.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Dark Sector

Overall: If you remember the movie from the 80's Krull where a Glaive was weilded and only caught by the thrower. Add to that element w. the ability to use weapons and it makes for a deadly combination. You are Hayden Tenno, a covert operative that's been infected and has slighted mutated him giving special abilities. through the mutation you gain the ability to create a glaive to manipulate w. elements such as water, fire or electricity to take out the opposition.
You find you you can control the glaive and fly it in a certain path or direction whilst in slowmotion. Throwing the glaive to takeout a ememy is great, but once you move in and get close you can perform a Finishing move that goes into a nice slowmotion of the ending action. The bosses aren't to bad, but you need to figure out the trick to take out each one when you are confronted and face them. Dark Sector has fun gameplay for a few hours w. 4 total difficulty settings.

Gameplay: As the gameplay begins in Dark Sector it's black & white and you find yourself as covert operative, Hayden Tenno that in Lasria on a special mission to locate a possible defective agent. Upon locating the agent you find yourself meeting up w. a enemy you can't really explain and it infects you w. this Technocyte virus.
Once infected there starts to be color slowly added into the game ans Hayden soon finds this bio-weapon is to make people into killing macines, but with special powers that you have to learn to use. making your way through the Levels your learn new abilities such as After Touch allowing you to guide the Glaive when you throw it and where it goes. Hayden learns he can use the glaive and manipulate elements such as Electricity-open doors, Fire- Incinerate enemies, Ice- to freeze enemies or water.
Many of the Bosses you will encounter there is a routine and once you learn what that is you just rinse and repeat and it's all over with. There are a couple of them that take you little bit to find out what that pattern is, but if you keep at it you'll figure it out. the game will offer you 3 difficulty settings from the start and upon beating the game on the hardest it Unlocks a Brutal Difficulty.

Graphics: If I was to use another game to really compare this to visually I would have to a say mix between Gears of War and @!%#*!@!%#*!in's Creed. The water and fire effects look great along w. each area that you get into. these alot of nice textures and usage of lighting that's been done to draw you into the gameplay. I really liked the visuals especially if you are using after touch, where you can see the decapitation take place w/ blood flying or arm being cut off.

Overall Score: 9.0 / 10 Lost: Via Domus

Overall: For the many viewers that find themselves Lost on CBS Thursday evenings will enjoy getting a look at things from a different Character and not just a viewer. You will find yourself as a survivor of flight 815 that's lost his memory upon crashing leaving you w. the cast many have come to bond with on Lost. Jack, Jin & Sun, Locke, Kate, Hurley and the one people love to hate Sawyer. I was hoping for a bit more in the game but couldn't really explore as you were very limited by the surrounding / game. the puzzles can present a little challenge and figuring out the right angle to take the photos to recover your memory can take a couple of shots sometimes.
this will be a title for he casual game but hardcore gamers won't find this to be much of a challenge nor something able to keep there interest w.out being able to fully explore the Island for it's myseries and secrets.

Gameplay: In Lost the Gameplay is pretty basic and nothing overboard. Walking and running the beach and Jungle picking up Items to trade w/ the other survivors. Engageing in conversation w/ Everyone to help progress yourself is key in the game and provide the hint/objective that you need to take care of.
There are some semi basic puzzles, circuit boards, that you'll need to complete to get through a couple of areas. also as you slowly start to recover your memory you will have a flashback in which you have to snap a picture in a particular position/way to be able to replay that memory and have it come back. Also as you explore the beach, jungle, hatch etc there will be Items of interest to take Photos of.

There are though a couple of times in the game it kinda leaves you hanging as to what you need to do or what direction to head in but besides that it's good game to enjoy as a Lost Fan. What's the Black smoke..??? Why is there a Hatch in the Jungle..??? is that a monster or what..???

Graphics: I thought the visuals were done pretty good but could've been better. Not to mention the enviroment is real restrictive in where you can go and explore, but is to be expected on any games based off a Series/Movies etc. Making your way through the jungle you'll see a nice variety of tree's and not alot of repetition w. some good gr@!%#*!/folliage. In exploring the Caves and the Hatch they did a decent job on textures ad lighting but was expecting a little more I guess from being a Lost fan.

As you progress in the game you'll notice that each episode/chapter ends and begins very similar to the show and even does a recap of the previous episode. I thought that was one thing that was pretty cool and a little different. when you have the Cinematic parts that come into play i was hoping for some cool footage but nothing of the sort, just the same characters you see onscreen but a little more crisp.

Audio: the Audio didn't draw me into the game like I thought it would. As the engines were roaring from the crash and the ocean crashing in as you hear the devistation. There are a decent amount of effects going on as you find yourself on the beach and in the jungles. Birds chirping, misc bug noises, fire crackling etc but just didn't get "Lost" as I would have liked.

Overall Score: 7.5 / 10 Forza Motorsport 2

Overall: Turn 10 has introduced a visually stimulating Simulation racer in Forza 2 Motorsports. If you like fast and exotic cars that handle and react just like there real counterparts then you've come to the right place. Along with a line up of manufaturers from around the world to cover the gambit on the variety of cars. Take to the tracks like a professional racer w. stability & traction control or try your luck and turn it off to enjoy there full power and abilities, if you can handle them.

You'll find many of the popular racetracks from around the world letting you test your driving abilities against the AI or in online Multi-player. Online offers you Races w. people from all over but can get you into the Forza 2 Aution House to buy a new ride or sell one from your garage. For someone that wants a Simulation Racer and not a "Arcade Racer" then Forza 2 Motorsports will be the answer for you. Drivers Start your engines...

Gameplay: From the first time you sit down to play Forza 2 you'll get the real driving feel along w. being able to damage your ride to the point you can't continue a race or possibly not pit and run out of gas on the last lap of an Endurance Race. you get to start w. easier races w. some basic cars and as you will and earn money and Driver Level points you'll be able to purchase faster better cars and open up more advanced races.

There will be Manufactures Races just using stock cars w/ no modifications, Ford vs, Chevy, Professional Series w. R1/2/3 Race cars or the long Endurance Races. You'll find yourself racing on some of the world most famed raceways and they look just like the real tracks. As you progress through the game you will increase your Driver Level, max 50, unlocking different Events as you move up. this will also help in building relationships w. manufactures and get you discounts on cars and performance parts.

In the Career mode you can pause and take a picture in the middle of a race. On the other hand if you don't want to loose your concentration on the race just save the replay and when watching you could snap your action shot. Then if you choose to upload it to ForzaMotorsports Website to share w/ your friends and others. As I mentioend for any race you run you can also save a replay to share or watch later on.

Besides the Career mode you have your normal Time Trials that you have a car that's given and a set time to beat the track in. If successful in beating the times you'll receive unlock cars that you can use for online racing. Now if TT isn't your thing then hook up to Live and try your luck against racers all over the world. Races can be set up on anytrack from career mode and also what car cl@!%#*!es and any restrictions you may want enforce.

Another feature that can come in handy while on Live is the Forza 2 Auction House. Here you can sell cars you've customized or want to get rid or of maybe browse to find a ride that's got a graphic/theme you've been wanting. You've got to pay to play baby, and some want a pretty penny for there ride.

Graphics: the visuals in Forza 2 are good but there are certain things that could've been done a little better. some of the textures and detain on the gr@!%#*! areas looks a bit flat Not to mention in races where you have to pit your ride you hear machinery etc going on but that's it nothing to visually WOW you like guys at least runnign up to or around the car like they are performing repairs. you can though get some very nice pictures during any single player race and save videos of races to watch later on or share w. friends.

i know one of the major things people were using in the game is the paint/graphics tools as you could go in and with a little bit of time and creativity come up w/ some major works of rolling artwork. It's give you the ability to layer and combine shapes etc to create pretty much anything imaginable.

Audio: turn 10 captured all of the real sounds of the numerous cars in the game but it just seemed to be the only real thing besides tire screechs that stand out as you race your way to victories. The soundtrack that was selected and the various artists used were nice as well quite a few are catchy songs. You'll find on video playback and when you hire a driver to run as you watch the race you can hear things like birds chirping etc, but those are things that are evadent as you race around the track.

Overall Score: 9.8 / 10 Grand Theft Auto IV

Overall: One of the Best Games of 2008 and great addition to the Grand Theft Line up. Especially if you have been a long time GTA Fan this won't let you down. There have been many additions to the game to give many hours of gameplay. Whether it be driving through the streets of Liberty City, taking a Helicopter Tour, maybe relaxing for a comedy show or spend some $$ in a Strip Joint.

There's enough in the Main Story and Side Missions along w. Activities to make sure this is a Title that doesn't leave the disc tray for awhile. Even for someone that's not been a fan of the series can have fun w. the diversity of Gameplay. Take you time on the Main Story or meet up w/ some friends and play one of the many Multi-player Modes on Live.

Gameplay: Well as Niko you will find yourself shacking up w/ your cousin Roman who you thought was making it BIG in Liberty City. Soon enough you learn just how much of a Hot Shot he's not. Alot of the gameplay is what you've become used to with GTA IV but with additions like the auto-aim system being able to Zero in on your enemy and know how much health they have at the same time is nice.
Getting into missions you'll find yourself being able to take cover behind things and use blindfire on your enemies. Now Driving in GTA IV is another story in itself as they've made driving a little more realistic. You can't hang a corner in a SUV as you would a sports car, but don't take my word for it give it a go. Also you'll have respect Levels for people you meet that you'll want to keep up as they will unlock specials that your friends can @!%#*!ist with in your terror of Liberty City, Weapons,Backup or maybe give you a lift in a Helicopter.
There's places located all over Liberty City to have fun and enjoy yourself of maybe splurge on some new threads. Take a date out for some Dinner or maybe shooting a game of pool or possibly bowling may be up yoru alley. Sit back and enjoy a nice comedy act or a drink at one of the local bars. The choice and option is up to you

Graphics: The graphics are great and what's to be expected in the GTA Series. There are some things that stand out like if you shoot out a tire you ride on the rim and sparks fly like a real vehicle. Looking around the city at the Buildings and Waterways w/ boats and barges floating w. a haze off in the distance.

I enjoyed stealing a car and actually watching Niko hotwire the ride and not just jump in and go. Like you would have to do in real life...and we won't go there in relation to drinking. Give it a try for a real treat.

Audio: the fade of a radio as you exit a car, the shattering of gl@!%#*! if you hit the backend of a vehicle are just an example of things you'll hear. Above and beyond conversations between people on the street you p@!%#*!, the vendor on the street advertising his specials it all just draws you into GTA IV and Liberty city making you feel like you are right there as Niko.

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 BioShock

Overall: Would you kindly enter BioShock and the underwater world of Rapture. Come loose yourself in an adventure that has you wondering what lurks beyond each corner. BioShock is a FPS that has a slight twist to it. No only do you have multiple weapons at your disposal but the ability to mutate yourself w. Plasmids that give you extra firepower against your foes.

Plasmid will allow you to light someone on fire, freeze them, make a Halogram decoy or maybe infest them w. a swarm of bees. Use any of these in conjunction w; your weapon and it's a nice 1,2 punch to easily dispose of them. Along the way you'll discover Weapon Upgrade machines to tweak and improve upon what you have.

You have choices to make as you make your way through Rapture and also face a Nightmare of a BodyGuard called Big Daddys which are the protectors of the little girls of Rapture. The little girls, have sadly, been genetically mutated and find yourself w/ an option to "Harvest or Save" them along your journey.

As you dive and make your way through Rapture, it'll become evident this was a great choice for a Game purchase and BioShock will leave you shocked when it's all said and done with...

Gameplay: You find yourself aboard a plane, relaxing, talking to yourself when tragedy starts to happen and your headed down into the Ocean. You swim up and gasp for air in the middle of flames and a bubbling wreckage sinking down below nearby. As you swim you see what looks to be a little island of sorts you make you way to.

Make your way in the doors to darkness onl to have them shut behind you and lights trigger on. As you follow the steps down and more light come on guiding you until you reach an old sub. The door shuts and you decend down as a Movie start to play giving you a little insight as to where you are and heading to.

Welcome to Rapture and a underwater city that awaits w/ mutated and genetic enemies along w/ the protectors, Big Daddys, which move slow but once attacked it's like a locomotive coming at you full steam. You find yourself immediately submerged in Rapture and trying to make light of Where. How and What's going on.

You will quickly learn what plasmids are and how they will effect your body, but the advantages of being able to Ignite, Freeze, Swarm w. Bees or maybe throw up a decoy. This along w. shotgun, pistol, or crossbow can make for a deadly combination. You have many decisions as you make your way around along w/ some help from Atlas, a voice of a survivor of Rapture that's trying to get home to his wife.

You'll have a certain # of Little Sisters to find on each level and they'll give you an option to Harvest them or Save them, but that's only after you've taken out there Bodyguard the BigDaddy. He'll take you by surprise the first time as he's fast but after taking down a few you'll be taking them out w.out a problem.

Throughout your quest you'll come across and find recorders w/ information about Rapture and help you out. Also you'll receive a Camera to take pictures and research your enemies. In doing so you'll learn ways to easily defeat them and take less damage from them. They've also thrown in a Puzzle Element in that you can hack Turrets and Camera's and once doing so they'll shoot enemies and work for you. In the puzzles you have to link tubes to run a liquid from one point to another and some tubes slow the flow or make it faster, but watch out for the alarms.

So as you make your way through Rapture there will be twists and turns so be careful and a phrase you'll memorize in playing is " Would you kindly"...?????

Graphics: Well a few words come to mind when getting lost in Rapture, Stunning, WOW and Amazing are on the top of my mind. the time it must have took to go into the detail that was done is just overwhelming. If you just look around and take it all in as you fall further and further into the rabbit hole it can suck you right in. The way Water looks & drips or how the Fires roar, crackle & pop almost as if you could feel the heat coming from the TV.

You won't be disappointed in the world BioShock as it unfolds for you yet find hours lost in an underwater Madman's City...

Audio: The use of background music, enelies talking to each other or taunting you as you run away. The sounds of Rapture draw you in to feel like you truely are apart of this underwater world. nothing can wake you up more then to encounter a BigDaddy raging at you, hearing his boots stomp the floor. Water dripping or splashing as you walk about or fire cracking & popping as it burns.

Truely great game to turn off all the lights and turn up the surround sound and just submerge yourself.

Suggestions: Spot on, thanks for making a steller title. Hoping there may be a BioShock 2

Overall Score: 10.0 / 10 Avatar: The Burning Earth

Overall: Avatar: The Burning Earth is definitely a title geared for the younger generation or as many have used it as a Quick way to Achieve 1000/1000GS. The game starts off as though there might be something promising, but if you simply play as Aang and do what's asked in the training and repeatedly hit the X button you'll find ALL of the Achievements unlocked before you get into the story. Some of the cutscenes can get a little bothersome but luckily you can skip through them and move on w/ the adventure.
The majority of the gameplay is repetitious as well as switching back and forth between characters to get through/around certain areas. Unless you have someone to sit down w/ you and play co-op, inturn no need to have to swap back and forth and makes things progress a little better.
From being a great Cartoon being made into a game they just fell short where there could've been so much potential and not been a game geared only to the younger generation.

Gameplay: Play through the game as Aang and his friends learning there skills/abilities to defend the earth against the Fire nations Invasion. you play through levels as Aang or have to switch to one of his friends and make your way around. There is alot of button mashing in fight sequences and you've got to watch as you'll have special moves that'll show on screen X,Y.A etc to perfrom so you can take out the Boss's.

There's a co-op aspect where you can have someone play along w/ you as Aang's friends to be a bit more help when battling the Fire nation. if you can master the controls of each character then the majority of the Boss's are easy to take out. Some may take you a minute to realize what the pattern is but once learned rinse and repeat, done.

Graphics: As you take a look at the scenery infront of you as you play for the most part it's basic. No real indepth graphics to wow or stun you as you play through. I guess I was expecting something a little more visual pleasing and not so bland. There were alot of bright colors but not normal lighting and textures etc as you find in alot of games nowadays.

Audio: There's nothng better then hearing the grunt of groan of a punch or attack but other then that's there's not much for sound and effects to bring you into the world of Avatar. Everything is focused on the fighting at hand and not the enviroment which leaves you hanging.

Suggestions: the main thing that is the BIG Talk on this game is how quick and easy the Achievements are earned. Even for a kid to play this game leaves them nothing to look forward to as they play through when everything can or has been earned in the first 5mins of the game. Having those achievements given as levels are completed or performing certain moves or maybe for taking out a certain number of enemies. these would be great ways to break up the achievements so it's not just brief play and have everything 1000/1000.

Overall Score: 5.0 / 10

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