Average User Score: 8.3Oct 30, 2012XCOM: Enemy Unknown is a challenging sci-fi, turn-based, tactical game that assigns you as the commander of a military operation, and theXCOM: Enemy Unknown is a challenging sci-fi, turn-based, tactical game that assigns you as the commander of a military operation, and the first line of defense against an invading alien menace. With most 'Tactics' style games that release these days being typically medieval, XCOM is a breath of fresh air in the genre. Fans of the original XCOM games released back in the 90's may find this new addition to the franchise a little dumbed down, but that doesn't stop it from being an excellent, solid strategy to challenge all who will bravely defend our wonderful planet.
Even on the lowest difficulty, XCOM can certainly provide some challenge to those who may be newer to this type of video game. You start off in command of four soldiers, who each have two moves they can make per turn. Each move can be used for either moving a certain amount of tiles, firing one of two equipped weapons, using one of the soldiers abilities, or simply ducking for cover. The greatest foe in the game is the luck of the roll, as the farther your unit is from an enemy, the lower the chance to hit, but moving in closer will put the soldier at greater risk, and may alert more hidden aliens. Taking cover behind objects on the map can provide you either half cover or full cover, and being smart about when and where you position your troops is necessary, as the game is very unforgiving to your mistakes. The combat can get tense when you fire a shot with an 85% hit chance and it still misses, but with each enemy kill comes a sigh of relief, and with each mission victory, the joy of accomplishment. The easier difficulty settings can help, but later on the difficulty may turn of some strategy noobs. Nonetheless, it's a great system, if a bit more simplified from the original XCOM.
Troops that survive more missions and get more kills will level up, allowing you to give them addition perks and abilities. In addition to leveling up, researching and buying new armors, weapons, and other various tools in your base gives the game much customization. You can also build more labs and workshops in your base to decrease research and build times, as well as other faculties for more researching more advanced upgrades.
Every in-game month a council with review everything you have done in that time, and provide you with further credits. You can earn more credits by sending up satellites to monitor specific parts of the world. When one of these satellites picks up an alien UFO, a short mini-game will begin, where you send out a Reaver jet to attack and, hopefully, destroy it. Once destroyed, you can explore the crash site, kill any remaining alien survivors, and reclaim further resources for studying back at HQ.
In previous XCOM games, the story was deep, long, and memorable. Sadly however, Enemy Unknown's story is very short and simple. The dialog throughout the game is generic and uninteresting, and completing it ends the game, making you either reload an old save or start a new game. The story missions and objectives can be fun, but thankfully you can just keep playing the random missions and shooting down UFOs, extending the game to whatever length fits your fancy.
The graphics aren't totally phenomenal, but many of the animations and designs look excellent. Each of your soldiers are fully customizable in appearance, but designing and coloring your units armor requires you to spend extra cash on dlc. Each alien is memorable in both their looks, and the tactics required to take down each one, and each time a new alien is introduced, comes an interesting mix of fear and curiosity. XCOM isn't without it's bugs however, and seeing people shooting through walls, or textures disappear when they're not supposed to can be sadly frequent.
For those of you who can appreciate a challenge, XCOM is a decent purchase. It may be simplified in some ways compared to the originals, and the odd graphics hiccup will occur, but it remains a very solid and tense strategy game.
Average User Score: 8.2Sep 25, 2012Quite possibly one of the funnest games of the years.
There's a lot from borderlands that has been mostly unaltered in the sequel.Quite possibly one of the funnest games of the years.
There's a lot from borderlands that has been mostly unaltered in the sequel. Thankfully though, they've improved on enough, and added just enough to make this a worthy purchase.
The gameplay itself is mostly unchanged, save for a few additions. The shooting is frantic and fast passed alone, but throw 3 other players into the fold, and enjoy as pure chaos ensues. The 4, soon to be 5, different character classes all play well with each other strengths, and the skill trees have been reworked to give much greater customization. Borderland's 'Bazillion' of guns are even 'Bazillionder', as the box says, with the inclusion of a new element 'slag'. The variety of grenades, shields, class mods, ect. have all been greatly improved on as well.
The story in the first Borderlands was almost completely forgettable, but it has received a lot more work this time around. Well written and humorous, the cast of bizarre characters and settings offers a quirky, interesting story throughout. The side quests may get dry from time to time, but the excellent voice work and unique characters will keep you listening to every line of dialog regardless.
In terms of pure quality, the graphics are fairly lacking. However, the insane, cell shaded style keep it a pleasure to look at, and the chaos during battles offer plenty of eye candy. Get enough chaos going at one time however, and there will be some drop in the frame rate. This doesn't happen too often though, and isn't always too consequential.
Borderlands 2 is definitely an worthy purchase, and with at least 4 more dlc packs on the way, I look forward to playing this game for a good long while. If you haven't yet gotten your hands on this game yet, I would strongly recommend it.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Aug 6, 2012Kingdom Hearts 3d: Dream Drop Distance is one of the most beautiful games I've seen on a handheld, but is by no means perfect. Though IKingdom Hearts 3d: Dream Drop Distance is one of the most beautiful games I've seen on a handheld, but is by no means perfect. Though I enjoyed this game, there are some flaws that hinder the enjoyment.
Firstly, as a kingdom hearts fan, I wish they would stop making these games handheld, as they are not games to play for 5-15 minuets, thanks to save points sometimes being some distance apart, and frequent, sometimes lengthy cinamatics. A game like this would be more comfortable played on the tv over in your hand.
Flow motion, this games biggest change to gameplay, can be a fun, if a bit overpowered addition to gameplay, that makes the normal kingdom hearts fighting nearly irrelevant. why bother with normal attacks and magic combos, when you can just run over to a wall and spam flomotion attacks until everyone's dead.
Thirdly, the game is set between two alternate worlds, one where you play as Sora, and the other as Riku. This would be a cool idea, were it not for the drop in/drop out mechanic, where after 20 minuets or so it forces you to play in the other character's world. This will happen regardless of your situation, whether you are fighting monsters, managing inventory, fighting a boss, etc.
Finally, as interesting as the story will be to kingdom hearts fans who have managed to follow along through the past six games, to anyone new to the Kingdom Hearts series, it may come off as a convoluted mess.
Despite these complaints however, this is in no way a completely terrible game. The art style is unique and strange, the combat is fast-pased and enjoyable, and the voice acting is superb, and this is easily the best looking handheld game I've seen so far.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.0Jun 21, 2012For anyone who has played the magic 2012 Xbox arcade game already, 2013 is going to be nothing more the more of the same. That said, MtG isFor anyone who has played the magic 2012 Xbox arcade game already, 2013 is going to be nothing more the more of the same. That said, MtG is still a really good game that combines both luck and strategy in a fun way.
About half of the 10 decks you can unlock are about the same as from 2012, but with some much appreciated changes, while the new decks are very fun to play as well. As there are 30 other cards that can be unlocked for each deck, Even two players playing the same deck can turn out with an almost completely different board.
The games modes are all the same as 2012, except they replaced the Archenemy game mode with Planechase. Multiplayer and deck constructions are all also the same. The lack of much new in the game modes is a little disappointing, as there are many other ways to play the original card game then is being offered here.
Overall, MtG 2013 does just as good of a job at importing the old trading card game for the digital market, but with little else new from 2012, there is little reason to get this if you already have either of the last two games.… Expand