Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition Review

Game: Resident Evil 5 Gold Edition
Genre: Survival Horror, 3rd Person Action
Release Date: March 9, 2010
Rating: M
System: XBOX 360, Playstation 3, PC

For Capcom's first year anniversary with their blockbuster hit Resident Evil 5 they decided to release the "Gold Edition" Resident Evil 5 with added scenarios, mercenary mode, and versus mode. All of these modes will be made available as a download before the Gold Edition comes out, so this is where I come in. I'm gonna let you know if these added features will actually be worth the fifty dollar price tag that's on the gold edition. So far three out of four of these downloadable content has been released and I have some mixed feelings about everyone of them.
Versus mode was released shortly after the release of Resident Evil 5 and delivers with simple gameplay with Survivors (Who can kill the most Majini), Team Survivors (Team up with a partner to see which team can kill the most Majini), Slayers (Who can rack up the most points by killing each other and the Majini),and of course Team Slayers (Which team of two can rack up the most points killing the opposing team and once again the Majini). A simple formula that keeps you returning the RE5 with this competitive mode. To unlock more characters you must keep playing either the story, mercenaries, or versus to build up your points to ingame purchase them.
The Mercenaries Reunion comes with the DLC "Lost in Nightmares" or by purchasing the Costume Pack 1 for two dollars. For those who don't know Mercenaries Mode is a timed survival match against a nonstop horde of enemies. What differs in Reunion is just a few added characters/costumes. The characters you unlock will be Warrior Chris, Metal Chris, Fairy Tale Sheva, Business Sheva, Excella (Tricells President), and Josh Stone. But the highly most anticipated characters are the original Resident Evil's Rebbecca Chambers and Barry Burton. So the thing is if you like the original mercenary mode then you'll just love the reunion. Even though you can't use the older characters from the regular reunion which does make sense for the fact that the regular one comes on the disc and reunion is strictly DLC (for the 360 only, PS3 owners get the satisfaction of having all content on their BluRay disc and being able to play with the new Gem controller). But the one thing that bugs me is how come Capcom didn't take the time to let your new characters and costumes in Versus mode. You are paying for them and versus needs new content added to it anyway since its been out for the past 10 months.
Now for the better DLC we will look at the added scenario "Lost in Nightmares" which players who already beat RE5 would know that this scenario is the flashback Chris has when he explains to Sheva how he and Jill Valentine broke in to the mansion of Oswald Spencer (Head of Umbrella). To not give any spoilers away I wont go into full storyline details for those who haven't played RE5 yet and is looking forward to the Gold Edition. The Lost in Nightmare scenario take around 45 minutes to beat in on your first try. So the question is "Is Lost in Nightmare worth the five dollar price?". The answer is a definite yes. The first twenty minutes playing this chapter will be nothing but puzzles and ammo hoarding. The puzzles are very simple and the last one will have you scrambling around panicking trying to figure out what to do before time runs out which does get your blood pumping and starting to get you excited. Then when you thought you were safe you run into the one of the two enemies known as the guardians (Who eat up most of your bullets and have you running around trying not to get caught in their grasp since if you get caught by one its instant death unless your team comes to your rescue before the deed is done. Then before you know it you lose all your weapons and your completing one more puzzle before you reach your final encounter. So the thrill that capcom has given you with this franchise is still there and since this is a flashback your weapons and infinite ammo do not carry over, which gives RE5 that survival horror feeling that it lacks in this game but surely has in its older games.
And last but not least the final hidden chapter in Resident Evil 5 is the chapter "Desperate Escape" where you play as Jill Valentine and Josh Stone off to picked up by a helicopter to retrieve Chris and Sheva. When way better than Lost in Nightmares,Desperate Escape sticks with the classic RE5 gameplay with taking on the Majini.Since your no longer Chris and Sheva once again infinite ammo does not carry over giving you that classic horror feeling once again taking on endless hordes whole trying to conserve ammo. There's not much to talk about this chapter since it offers any new challenges but gives it more of the mercenaries mode gameplay.
So now the big question is "Is the gold edition worth purchasing?" and the answer is yes and no. If your a playstation 3 owner then purchasing the gold edition will be the best choice for you considering all the added features come built into the disc saving some memory. But for the Xbox 360 all these added features come as a downloadable token, so your better off buying a preowned copy of Resident Evil 5 and downloading all the extra content separately saving you around eight bucks in your pocket.
Resident Evil 5 itself gets a 4/5 since its one of the best co-op games out there, but with the added content giving you around two more hours of storyline the score stays the same with a 4/5 since the content wasn't anything short of spectacular.

Video courtesy of VisoGames

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bioshock 2 Review

Game: Bioshock 2
Genre: First-person Shooter
Developer(s): 2K Marin, 2K Australia
Publisher(s): 2K Games
Release Date: 2/9/2010
Rating: M
System: XBOX 360, Play station 3, PC

I hope you brought you swim suit because we’re going back for another dip in the pool with Bioshock 2. This is the sequel to 2007's Game of the Year Bioshock. It is a first-person shooter. You play as Subject Delta, a Big Daddy, the first one to be exact. You had your own little sister and life was good. She would gather ADAM and you would kill anyone who would try to hurt her. Then they took her from you and killed you. The game takes place 10 years after the events of Bioshock 1. When you awake the city's founder, Andrew Ryan, is dead and now it is run by Sofia Lamb and her Splicers. But where is your little sister? Is she ok? What have they done to her? You must find out.

This game plays like the first one. In this case, it's not a bad thing if you never played the prequel. If you played Bioshock, however, you will notice some small changes. You still get guns and Plasmids but now you can wield both of them at the same time. Finally. It made for some intense situations but it was more frustrating at times. There is a melee button instead of a melee weapon. This comes in handy during heated battles or ambushes. Also if you run out of ammo, you can just hit them with you weapon. Speaking of weapons, all of them can be upgraded. There are only 5 weapons in this game, compared to the 7 you got in the prequel. To compensate for the lack of weapons, you get 2 gadgets: a research camera and a hacking tool. The research camera is similar to the one on the first game, but instead of taking pictures it records the subject. While the camera is recording you can still attack. The data recorded is graded, so the more you mix up you attacks the better you grade. The hacking tool is like a dart gun for hacking. Gun turrets, vending machines, health stations, security bots and cameras can be hacked. You shoot the dart at whatever you want to hack, and then a meter comes up. The meter has a sliding arrow and 4 zones, green, red, white and blue. You have to hit the green zones to hack correctly. If you hit the red zones you set off the alarm, the white shocks you. The blue ones give you bonuses like a free item or extra damage. This is better than the tube system in the first game where you had to connect the tubes so the circuit flow could connect.

Plasmids are the games version of super powers. You can shoot fire, electricity, or freeze you foes. Those who played the first one will be happy to know that most of the originals have returned but are "New and Improved". For example, you can now charge them for more damage or for longer lasting effects. The Gene Tonics has also returned. These are passive skills that act automatically. Some make you stronger against attacks others may help you hack better. You can change your Plasmids and Gene Tonics freely at Gene Banks.

The AI is the same from the first game. The Splices have the same “fight or flight” personality. The Big Daddies act the same too. The game does "explain" why they are like this. After the abuse of ADAM Splices become like addicts searching for their next fix. Hmm…sounds familiar. The Big Daddies were subjected to various plasmids experiments and test, making them mindless protectors of their bonded Little Sisters. The developers did try to mix things up with 3 new enemies, Brute Splicers, The Rumbler Big Daddy and Big Sisters. Brute Splicers are like the Bouncer Big Daddy but can throw things and doesn't have a little sister. The Rumbler Big Daddy is just a Big Daddy that shoots grenades and turrets at you. The Big Sisters are only real new enemy. They are tough. They can flip around, charge and tackle you and even shoot fire.

Bioshock 2 now has multiplayer. This is a first for the franchise. Surprisingly it is good. Some games have multiplayer as an afterthought but it’s actually a part of the story here. The multiplayer takes place before Bioshock 1, so you get to play what happened to Rapture. You are part of the "Sinclair Solutions Program" (guinea pig) were you test out the Plasmids in combat situations. You are given an apartment where you can change you appearance, weapons, or view you stats. It has a Modern Warfare style of leveling up. Instead of points it uses ADAM. There 7 play modes: Survival of the Fittest, Civil War, Capture the Sister, Turf War, ADAM Grab, Team ADAM Grab and Last Splicer Standing. Survival of the Fittest is free-for-all with 6-10 people. Civil War is a team vs. (Atlas vs. Ryan). Capture the Sister is like capture the flag but it’s a Little Sister. Turf War is like king of the hill. ADAM Grab is where you hold the Little Sister for as long as possible. Team ADAM Grab same as ADAM Grab but with a team. Last Splicer Standing similar to Civil War but its four rounds with no respawns. The team with the most surviving members wins a round. Win the most rounds you win the game.

There aren’t that many bad things with the game that stand out. Besides the AI, the game is short. It's about 20 hours. If you know what you are doing, you could beat it in about 10. If you played the first one, some of the task will seem familiar. Some of the places feel like add-on to other areas in the first game. I'm not saying they look the same but some place could pass for smaller levels of the first game.

In a nutshell, Bioshock 2 is good game. Good story, improved controls, fun multiplayer. The AI is passable, short game play, and the feeling that it could have been a downloadable game are what hurt it.

Final Rating: 3/5