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News Archive for September 2009

September 24, 2009
 DoubleVisions: Need For Speed: Shift Vs. DiRT 2
17:13:52 EDT - Staff 
Introducing DoubleVisions, a whole new way to read reviews! DoubleVisions are double-header reviews which take two directly competing games and review them head-to-head to help you take the guesswork out of which title deserves your hard earned cash!

In this, our first DoubleVisions feature we compare EA's Need For Speed: Shift against Codemasters' DiRT 2.

From the Review:
One place that both games exceed above all others is the cockpit view. DiRT 2 provides a very realistic racing cockpit where the driver is very recessed and can't see as much of the track at once as evidence by the screens here. Shift places you more at the front, but the view is still immersive and is light years ahead of the sad, sad little view provided by Forza 2. With either one, those looking for a proper first person view of the track won't be disappointed. In the graphics department, however, DiRT 2 is the winner without question. It's hard to see from the motion-blurred screens here, but if we were to compare the overall graphics to cars, Need For Speed: Shift would be a 4-year-old Mercedes S3 to DiRT 2's Ferrari F1. Shift isn't bad, and many (Forza) would give their right tires for it, but DiRT 2's is simply unbelievable.

To read the full review, click "Review" below, or simply click either the Need For Speed: Shift or DiRT 2 image in the "featured" bar!

September 17, 2009
 Visions of Reviews -- Darkest of Days
12:08:54 EDT - Staff 
Darkest of Days sets out to carry gamers through the time stream to multiple historic battles ranging from the American Civil War through World War II in epic scale. Does it shine above the crowd, or just get lost in the dark?

From the Review:
Where most game studios tend to put their best foot forward in the opening of the game to reel players in early and, perhaps more importantly, project a good image in previews and trailers, but slack off toward the end of the game becoming almost routine, 8Monkey did almost the exact opposite here. The beginning of the game feels bland and generic, but improves markedly as you go on. After finishing the first two segments with period weapons in the Civil War and World War I eras, some surprises begin to occur. There's no truly developed story to speak of, no character depth, or strongly detailed events, but what happens still adds to wow factor a bit. Events start to appear in the wrong place, and don't match up with the proper timeline. Green time portals open up and power armored agents pop out and begin interfering. The historical detail and mood is extremely well done throughout the game, so time bubbles and Storm Troopers provide the intended shock to the senses, as do events that don't match up. Later in the game you begin intersecting your own time intervention, working for the other side and experiencing your own actions from earlier in third person. Additionally, missions stop being a linear rail shooter and start focusing on objective based missions...

To read the full review, click "Review" below, or simply click the Darkest of Days image in the "featured" bar!

September 4, 2009
 Visions of Reviews -- Raven Squad
2:00:00 EDT - Staff 
Raven Squad promises campy 80's action movie themed gameplay from a little known import studio. Does it rock and roll, or should you just blow this pop stand?

From the Review:
One of the promo points on the game's website (which is mysteriously missing from the box) is its 80's action movie inspiration, complete with "campy" dialogue. Touting "Now with more campy dialogue" is akin to selling soft drinks with a promo saying: "Now with more garlic flavor!" Mirriam-Webster defines "camp" as: "a) Something so outrageously artificial, affected, inappropriate, or out-of-date as to be considered amusing. b) A style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture." That classic 80's "camp" was a mix of overacting and pop culture cliches. Given the roles being so dramatically underacted, it's hard to create a campy feel. Nor is there anything truly out-dated, exaggerated, or remotely amusing. A few awkward cliches makes not for humor. "Blow this pop stand" is a phrase that should be lost to time, "bad guys" from the OC controller is lame, "middle-school dropouts with guns" is simply odd, if "Vegas" had been mentioned one more time I was going to throw something, and for all that is right in the world, the word "boomstick" appearing in any new game without the words "Serious Sam" in the title should result in swift death. In a bit of future prediction, if a game comes out fifteen years from now with the words "I can haz" in there, that should also result in a swift death for the game.

To read the full review, click "Review" below, or simply click the Raven Squad image in the "featured" bar!

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