As a games reviewer you have to take the rough with the smooth. For every Call of Duty, there’s a Barbie game that wants reviewing. Sometimes reviewing a game that’s off the radar yields a surprisingly good gaming experience that may otherwise have been overlooked (I thought, to my shame, that Batman: Arkham Asylum was going to be a bit poo).
When I was asked to review Lips: Number One Hits, an eyebrow or two was raised. A karaoke game isn’t the usual fayre of a male gamer in his late thirties (as I was back then).
I wasn’t asked to review Just Cause 2, I volunteered. It was one of those games that fired me up with so much excitement that I really needed to write about it.
I’d really enjoyed the first Just Cause, even though it was a bit lacking. The demo for the sequel looked great on the Xbox 360 and it looked awesome on the PC. I picked it up on Steam before it was available in NZ at retail, enabling me to write a review whilst the game was still fresh.
Just Cause 2, for me, is a game that still keeps on giving. Not the most powerful in-game narrative, but it is massive and there is alway something to do (i.e. blow-up). I think the game provides a level of entertainment value-for-money far in excess for a lot of today’s games. I recommend that you give it a go if you haven’t already. It’s still available on PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.
I still return to it on a regular basis. In fact, I’m going to have a go now. Here’s my review as originally published on the Game Console website in April 2010.
A bit late, but I’ve just had a copy of the Batman: Arkham Asylum Collector’s Edition turn up.
I’ve also just dropped down a deposit for the Xbox 360 version of the Batman: Arkham City Collector’s Edition. I’m pretty fired up about using the flabby and tired-looking Dark Knight Returns Batman skin. Awesome. The Batman figurine will also look cool next to all my other gaming tat.
Guitar Hero: Metallica was one of the first “hands-on” that I did for NetGuide Magazine. The truth be told, I’d never even touched a Guitar Hero game when I turned up at Activision New Zealand. I had no idea what on earth I was supposed to be doing with that silly plastic guitar, and why would I? For I was a seasoned gamer, not a child that may enjoy twatting around with a little plastic instrument.
As I foolishly pressed those coloured buttons in time to the music, nothing happened. The Activision rep advised me that I needed to do more than just press the buttons, I needed to strum as well. Oh. It wasn’t long before I got the hang of it, my sneering elitism melting into adoration for this new gaming genre that had suddenly been revealed to me. I was hooked. The first thing I did on leaving the hands-on was to go get myself a copy of Guitar Hero: World Tour.
Here is a summary of my daily gaming news items as published last week on Techday.com, the online home of New Zealand’s Netguide magazine and Game Console.
Last week I looked into Kiwi Star Was fans being left out, Australia’s adult rating plans for video games, check out Sony’s new 3D technolgy, got all excited by Ezio’s final story in the Assassin’s Creed Ember animated movie and went all old-school god-sim with Ubisoft’s From Dust.
Ninja Theory’s Enslaved: Journey to the West was an ambitious undertaking. A Sci-fi retelling of an old Chinese myth. Even the mouthful of a title alluded to the game’s questionable marketability.
The game review below was written for the Game Console print magazine. Due to space constraints it was never published. Which was a shame, as it was a devil of a review to write.It’s not problem to write a “I hate this turd of a game” or an “I adore this game” review, but it’s another matter entirely when you are battling with your conscience over a game so close to being fantastic.