Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Half Life 2: The Orange Box - Reader Review

The Orange Box was released on October 10, and is the greatest video game deal to date. the Orange Box includes, Half-Life 2, HL: episodes 1 and 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2.

The Main Part of this game is Half-Life 2. Half-Life 2 is a 3 year old game from valve in which the player controls Gordan Freeman, the scientist that unleashed an alien world on the Earth in Half-Life. The game picks up a few years after the events in Half-Life 1, and has you in a desperate race to reach the citadel, when the main bad guy is controlling and negotiating with the enemy. You will receive multiple weapons through the course of the game including a shotgun, SMG, a Gravity gun, and a crowbar. The enemies you encounter range from simple pawns, to epic fights for survival. This portion the game will take you anywhere from 8 to 10 hours to complete, and can be revisited to unlock hidden and well placed achievements.

In Half-Life episodes 1 and 2, you continue off of the ending of Half-Life, desperately trying to end the alien menace, from destroying the rest of humans population. These episodes are more 'vehicle' based, but are a joy to play through. In Half-Life 2: Episode 2, a sense of humor is unreleased, and takes away the stress of some of your objectives. The 2 episodes will add another 8-10 hours to the already lengthy FPS.

Portal, is an interesting game, included exclusively in the Orange Box. In it you control a test subject, trying to experiment with seemingly inescapable situations. The game play is very smooth, and the voice acting is spot-on. It is a fantastic comical adventure, as well as a well creed First-person puzzler. the game take you through 11 chapters, consisting of 1 or 2 puzzles each. The ending is a surprise, and comes a little too quickly. The game can be finished in only about 3-4 hours time. However, you will have a blast every moment that it has.

finally, Team Fortress 2, the sequel to the grand-daddy of Class-based online FPS(es), is here. The game has taken on a very cartoony art direction, but does not take away from the pure enjoyment of the experience. There are many classes to choose from, including a scout, an engineer, a spy, and a heavy assault. The game only has 6 maps, and you will see everything, in a matter of 2 hours. But the pure addictive nature of the game, and the clever jokes put into the core game play are fun to see and experience.

Overall, the Orange Box, is the greatest deal you will find this year, and as something for everyone. If you are into puzzlers, first-person shooters, or online mayhem, this is defiantly worth a buy.

- Review by PawnagE

Saturday, October 13, 2007

EA Fifa Soccer 08 Review

Its been a few days since Fifa 08 has been on store shelves, well at least in the States, and I am happy to report I have obtained a copy and have been playing non stop since. But I decided to drop the controller for a little bit to give our favorite readers a little review.

First off you will notice the same 'Arena Mode' from the previous installment, which is really fun I must admit. The same menu interface as the last series which was pretty sleek is still present. You will quickly notice though, that there have been many new game modes added such as Create a Tournament, 'Be a Pro Mode', and the Interactive Online Leagues. Speaking of leagues, EA has finally added a respectable amount of over 30 teams and a whole haystack of teams. The team squads are updated pretty accurately, and you can automatically update them with a download from the main menu through XBL if you somehow fall behind in the Transfer market. Although I admit I was disappointed with the absence of Denilson from FC Dallas' roster.

The game play has been completely revamped, and made much more realistic. Your shots become less accurate if you are sprinting, passes are tougher to complete if you are facing away from your target, player and ball physics have been fixed for the better. In addition to this, you can now pull off a plethora of 'freestyle' tricks by holding down the 'L Trigger' and moving the right analogue stick. This allows for some crazy combinations while dribbling in game.

Most of the things present in '07 are back this year, including Challenge Mode, Fifa Lounge, Online Play, Manager Mode, and the Fifa Shop. This years installment finally allows Fifa 08 to be the first true 'Next Gen' soccer game. Despite PES' efforts, I honestly Fifa has gotten the better of the franchise this year. I highly recommended game to all soccer fans, if you are still skeptical, you can try a rent first, you will definitely wont regret it.