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Torchlight (Windows)

Fun hack and slash experience, but nothing more.

The Good
I liked a lot of things, really. The pet was awesomely implemented. Feeding it fish to transform it into some other creature, sending it to town in order to sell the random items that you previously found, enabling it to cast spells (mine became a summoner basically), everything works fine and is great fun. I think the pet system was the best thing in the game.

I also enjoyed the game as a whole. It was definitely fun. Maybe not as fun as Diablo (hell, Darkstone, another Diablo "clone" was a bit more fun as well), but great fun nonetheless. I'd always find myself going back to hack and slash some more monsters.

The combat felt really good when using the right weapons and skills. I personally enjoyed the Vanquisher; cannons were a blast, and the Vanquisher's offensive skills felt really nice. Especially when you'd throw a fire arrow/ball at a large group of enemies.

Items were varied enough. Out of curiosity, I always tried to get better items. Armors looked really great on the character, which was a plus: thus, I always wanted to get a more awesome armor to put on my vanquisher. Which resulted in me playing more and more, in order to get better drops.

The graphics were great. Amazing, really. I have nothing to complain about here.

The music was nice too, though a bit unnoticeable.

The story was never a strong point for hack and slash games, and Torchlight's story makes no exception. I liked it, but that's because I expected less. It's still just an average storyline though. After all, you're here to kill monsters, right?

The Bad
The targeting system was a bit... no, it was horrible. I made a lot of mistakes because targeting was just too inaccurate. E.g. I had to try very hard to keep on targeting a fast moving enemy. That's just not right in this kind of games.

The game was surprisingly easy on the hardest difficulty setting up until the last 3 or 4 levels. Then it became hard like hell. Thus, the difficulty is quite unbalanced, and hardcore characters will most likely have serious trouble near the end. Mainly because the players might feel like rushing head on thinking the game is still as easy as it was one level before.

Fishing takes a lot of time in this game, and in the end you're left wondering if it's really worth it. At a certain point I continued to fish just to get the achievements done. Fishing takes just too much time, while the pet in its normal form is sufficiently strong to just not feed it any fish at all.

The lack of co-op mode is a real bummer. I would've enjoyed some hacking and slashing with my friends.

The game feels just like a generic hack and slash. It has a story, it has characters, it has its own world, but it has no depth. Whenever I try to remember about Torchlight, the pet comes to mind. Then the items, then the combat, then the graphics. Never a certain quest, nor the characters. A pity, really. I still remember killing the butcher in Diablo 1, and the awesomeness of Harrogath in Diablo 2.

The Bottom Line
A great title to spend your time with if you like hack and slash games. It's definitely not a Diablo killer, it's definitely not an excellent game, but it's worth your time and money if you ask me. If however you're not looking for a recent and good looking game, you might want to try Darkstone. It's a lot more fun, with a slightly better average kind of story, and with more memorable quests. It's also cheaper.

By Hypercake on May 27th, 2012

Doom³ (Xbox)

A great first person shooter!

The Good
The atmosphere, graphics, enemies, almost everything!

The Bad
It's way too short.

The Bottom Line
DOOM 3 is the first FPS that I played using a gamepad. And one of the first games that I played using a gamepad, be it a Xbox one or another. In the end, I managed to handle it quite well if bragging is allowed. :)

Before playing on Xbox I've already tried the game on the PC but after 15 minutes of gameplay everything seemed so boring. Switching from a 17" LCD monitor to a TV with a 94 cm plasma display had a great impact on the overall game feeling for me. Even though PC graphics are way better, the game was still looking damn awesome. I immediately liked just about everything regarding graphics and the atmosphere induced by visual themes and effects.

The game is dark and the sound effects keep you under pressure, especially Betruger's continuous taunting. Enemies look and sound horrifying enough, especially if you're taken by surprise and some are really hard to kill while others seem to be too easy. Anyway, they usually show up in multiple waves or just one with a large amount of targets for you to shoot so you shouldn't think lightly about any of the demons around the UAC buildings.

I have played the game on medium difficulty (the first sentence in this review states as to why I did this) and it was fun enough. Not too easy and not too frustrating, just right. Being a DooM game, its action is pretty straightforward. Go there, kill that, open that door, kill some more enemies etc. The game also features some puzzles, none too difficult. I found one a bit frustrating, it involved a lift and some jumping over a fence of some sort. The puzzles seemed enjoyable to me in the end, a nice pause from the killing.

The main title (also, credits) theme is really great. I'm still listening to it and will surely listen to it occasionally from now on. Unfortunately, there's no other notable music in the game. That's a big minus for it. I'm pretty much a soundtrack maniac and a bit disappointed because of the lack of music in DooM 3.

The weapons available are really interesting and vary from the classic pistol to the DooM Exclusive BFG. The BFG is really easy to find towards the end of the game. More exactly, you pick it up from a dead boos. My favorite weapons are the Shotgun and Plasma Rifle. The shotgun is great for close quarter combat (you get those like, a lot) and the plasma rifle can explode enemy launched projectiles in mid-air while causing serious damage to most enemies making it my favorite long-range weapon.

I've complained a bit earlier about the game being too short. I spent around 8 hours before hitting the end. I really liked the game. I wish there were another 8 hours to play after the final boss (a Cyberdemon, which was really nicely modelled/drawn; something like a space Balrog (Tolkien)). I guess getting the expansion pack won't hurt at all. Maybe it will be just as fun. :)

By Hypercake on June 6th, 2010

Juiced (Windows)

A great racing experience!

The Good
The graphics are really nice and the game has a large collection of cars for the player to choose from. The soundtrack is also great and the overall experience makes the game really awesome.

The Bad
Controlling class 7 and lower cars gets really, really difficult. I have played the game on the XBOX as well. Of course, the steering sensitivity difference between class-different cars is still present but with the analog stick it's easy to get used in a matter of minutes to each type of car. I recommend using a console-like controller on the PC (the analog stick is a must). It really makes things easier! I haven't tried a steering wheel, I don't know if the game supports any but I guess it would be even better than using an analog stick. Over time you get bored of the same opponents and tracks. However, after some time you always feel like going back to racing on them.

The Bottom Line
Juiced is a great racing experience. Not as good as the Underground games from the Need for Speed series but still, a great game. Juiced is a bit different from NFSU. Although all the racing takes place on city streets, it's not illegal. There are spectators on the side of the road, which is marked appropriately. The lack of traffic also suggests legal racing. Pink slip races, when you're being challenged by someone, are known to be "unofficial" and for the final proof, there are sponsored events, in which you may win prototype parts for your ride. There are lots of cars to be bought. Cars get unlocked after some time in the dealer's shop. If you can't afford a new car, you may choose to buy a used one (if available). It's cheaper but has some flaws. The cars are split into 8 classes by their base horsepower. You start with a class 8 car (1-199 bhp) which of course, can be customized to your liking. You may add spoilers, vinyls and neons to your car, change the window tint, tune the performance by installing new parts and much more! The vinyl customization is a bit poor in my opinion... You may only choose one vinyl per car and all of them seem too small to me. There are different race types. There's the classic circuit racing, point-to-point racing ("sprint" from NFSU), sprint racing ("drag" from NFSU), show off ("drift" from NFSU) and team racing. Team racing requires at least one other crew member to join in. Drivers join your crew after some time, although nothing much is told about them. You just know their name, their driving skills, and the fact that they want to join your team. After each race, their driving skill improves. You may also control their driving style in-race, which may vary from "low" (laidback) to "high" (violent). You need money to buy cars and upgrade them. You also need money to join certain racing events which are grouped on a calendar. You get money by winning events and betting with opponents. You may place a bet when events start and if you get to the finish line ahead of your betting partner, you win the bet. If you can't join any event on the calendar, you can start your own! Opponents will join automatically. Interacting with your opponents influences the respect each one has for you in different ways. Damaging their cars will decrease their respect, winning races will increase it. Different opponents raise their respect towards you for different reasons, some for winning races and others for having the best car on the track. As I said before, the game is great. It's fun and it feels unique in some way. It's definitely worth a try! With a gamepad.

By Hypercake on May 15th, 2010

Today I Die (Browser)

By Hypercake on June 9th, 2009

FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage (Windows)

By Hypercake on September 12th, 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV (PlayStation 3)

By Hypercake on August 31st, 2008

Space Siege (Windows)

By Hypercake on August 29th, 2008

The World Ends with You (Nintendo DS)

By Hypercake on August 8th, 2008

FlatOut 2 (Windows)

Symphony of Destruction

The Good
The idea behind the whole game. Nowadays almost every developer creates an action game, or a FPS. And since all the Burnout games are console-only, and since I liked FlatOut 1 a lot, I was really interested in the sequel to the original game. After all, you don't get to play a Destruction Derby-like game everyday :)

The game features LOTS of improvements. Not only that a more accessible and good looking interface is now present, but several cars, tracks, modes and characters were added. And FlatOut 2 can be considered a worthy sequel to the original game since it takes everything that made FlatOut 1 a good game and improves each of those elements. Long story short: FlatOut2 = Improved FlatOut1.

But don't think of the game as a new FlatOut1 clone. Even if every element from FO1 (I'll use this abbreviation from now on) is present in FO2, each one is changed in a manner that makes the game look like a completely new one, and not just another clone (points at FlatOut Ultimate Carnage).

First of all the graphics are stunning. Perfect. Impressive. Immaculate. Whatever term you want to use. I simply love the landscapes (especially the sunset scenery) and the cars are insanely well modeled. The physics of the game are OK, though there are a few minor bugs... The car damage is impressive for the eye but, alas, it has a really LOW impact on the car's performance. But what the hell? Who cares? This isn't a simulator or anything like that! This is an insanely fun game that features massive...

... WRECKAGE! If you hear the name FlatOut, you immediately think of massive car destruction, impressive and dangerous stunts, landed planes and flying cars! Every single scratch is visible on your car and every contact with the solid objects in the landscapes will leave serious "scars" on the car's body. You can't call a crash a failure since you get nitro points for every impressive crash so... aside from winning the race, your main aim in this game is to wreck everything you can see. Reminded me of Carmageddon somehow... and that's not a bad thing!

There are lots of cars to choose from. Split into 3 different categories, varying from Derby Cars to Street Racing cars. While the derby cars look more... destroyed, the street cars are the perfect picture of luxury. So, all you have to do, is earn enough money, buy an expensive and good looking car that would make any Maybach go pale, then take it out on the streets... to wreck it! Don't worry, the car will be automatically repaired after the race :P As I said, the scenery is perfect, thus making the driver look away from the road to admire the view. That isn't a good thing at all. Really. The tracks are great but it is difficult to master them. At every turn you can crash into something and get slowed down. Or you could go through a fence and end up with nothing more to do other than clicking on the Reset button. This is a bad and a good thing at the same time.

The music is simply great. I love most of the tracks and those that I don't love I don't get annoyed with. They're all ok. Even if I don't fancy metal or alternative music, the soundtrack goes well with the game atmosphere so I don't mind it at all.

The game controls are great, the car is rather easy to handle, and if you have a gamepad, then you're in luck. I played the game using a gamepad and believe me, you control the car much better than with the keyboard.

The Bad
The game is insanely difficult. You need to crash some opponents in order to get pass them without using nitro, because they are just TOO fast. Or should I say faster than you? Maybe It's just me but...

And most of the tracks repeat. You race on the same track in different events 3 or 4 times.

Also it's really frustrating to crash while racing the last lap and lose everything you gained before crashing... That happens quite often in this game.

The Bottom Line
Even if the game was quite difficult and frustrating, it always made me go back to play!

By Hypercake on August 3rd, 2008

The Devil Inside (Windows)

Seriously, one hell of an underrated game!

The Good
The good parts?! Well, where to begin... First of all this game has something really special about it... It is very original. The idea behind the whole action is a ... crazy to say the least, reality show, that takes place in a haunted mansion, and lets you, the protagonist of the show (Dave/Deva more exactly... we'll talk about them a little bit later) have "fun" inside the mansion, by killing zombies and other hellish creatures.

Oh don't think that this game offers a straight-forward zombie killing action like... Painkiller for example. Yes, there are lots of zombies in the mansion (some of them even respawn, but that can be fixed nevertheless) but the game makes zombie butchering really fun and addictive. You will always think that there are too few zombies around and you will feel the urge to kill more.

But of course, we're talking about a Cryo Game here, so obviously this game isn't all about action and mindless killing. The Devil Inside offers an addictive and incredibly fun adventure-type-of-gameplay. To advance through the haunted manor you will also need to solve some puzzles, some of them being quite difficult. However, most of them are the same, just go there activate this, use this on that etc.

Your main aim in the game, aside from survival, is to attract audience. You attract audience by simply doing something incredible. A headshot will always attract audience. Leaving a zombie without arms and/or legs will, as well, attract audience. I personally really liked the idea of audience gathering as an objective, it seemed really original.

I said a little earlier something about the main characters being Dave and Deva. Let's talk about this a little bit more, since it was my favorite part of the game. You start the game as Dave, an ex-cop, used now as a protagonist in "The Devil Inside" TV Show, with Jack T. Ripper (yes, it is cool and funny as the same time) as host. Well, if Dave is the protagonist, then what the hell does Deva do there? you may say... well, once you get in the haunted mansion, you can use a shrine dedicated to Satan, in order to transform yourself (Dave) into your alter-ego, the "death angel" (Deva). Each character has it's own gameplay style. While Dave uses pistols, shotguns, flamers and such, Deva uses magic spells to destroy her enemies. Also, she can capture zombie souls and send them back to Satan via other shrines. As a reward, she will gain some spells. Dave is more efficient in combat, but more exposed to enemy attacks. Deva inflicts lesser damage with her spells, but has increased hitpoints and she is immune to fire. It is recommended to play with each of the characters at some points in the game. This boy/girl, human/devil transition seemed again, really original and interesting.

Another strong point of this game? Well... that would be the soundtrack. Even if the sound effects are not that good, the music of the game is creepy to say the least. But interesting and really melodic. Right now I am listening to one of the game's tracks. The soundtrack helps the...

... atmosphere to become one of the greatest I've ever experienced. Period. While not having perfect graphics, not even nice graphics, the game offers the player an unique experience, based on the overall atmosphere. The graphics are dark, the mansion is partially ruined, the music is creepy, monsters are everywhere, Satan is watching. Not impressed? No wonder! Play the game, for it's atmosphere cannot be described in words. At some points in the game, it really gave me the creeps...

The level design is awesome. Even if the textures are not that good looking, the objects inside the mansion are incredibly well modeled. In every room inside the mansion you will find broken armchairs for example, destroyed pillars, or old fountains. While playing, I always had the "need" to discover some other rooms, just to see how they look, and what other interesting objects I might find inside of them.

Since the game has an adventure part of gameplay, there are lots of books, letters, notes in the game, that, aside from their interesting contents, may offer some hints! There are lots of books that get completed while searching for pages, most of them explaining the history of the mansion, zombie races, etc. The history of the mansion is quite grim, so I recommend you to read the books you find.

The Bad
Well... what can I say... the game is a little bit too short. And the graphics are not so good.

The Bottom Line
I am disappointed to see how many people give this game such low ranks. But this is my own opinion... so I'll make it clear. I personally love this game. It has it's bad parts, but it glows before my eyes with perfection. It does not have good graphics, but it is the perfect picture of beautifulness. It does not have great sound effects, but I always look behind me, in real life, when I open a door in-game. It may not be THAT scary, but it made me think twice before entering a dark room. I don't like reading... but the game made me read all the written items I managed to find with pleasure. It does not overtake any of other great games, but it manages to be one of the best games I ever played. I don't write reviews very often but for The Devil Inside I'd write 10 more! I hope you get my point...

<hr />

The game was also cheap at the release date, and it is cheap right now. This thing makes me think that the developer made this game, not for profit as other developers do nowadays, but for the pleasure of playing a great game. It is hard to find such a good, interesting and well-made game these days. It is clear that the development team made an effort to create this game, not for money, but for the players! Their efforts have not been in vain, so I'll end my review with the following statements, which, unfortunately, cannot express my real impression of The Devil Inside. I'm not sure words can express it. It is like... a bond between the player and the game. Something you get to feel a little bit rare while playing the games of today... You should really try this game. You may even like it. It managed to become one of my favorite games, but of course, as I said before, this is just my personal opinion.

By Hypercake on July 8th, 2008

Unreal Tournament (Windows)

By Hypercake on July 3rd, 2008

Legend of the North: Konung (Windows)

A great hero becomes a greater hero!

The Good
Yes, that's right. No matter what character you choose you are a hero! And a well-known one as well. I liked that... I was kinda bored by all those "farmer becomes hero and gets all the girls" plots so I embraced whole-heartedly this game. As it was supposed to be, the story is great, worth following while playing. Your main aim is to create a magical amulet split into 3 pieces (yes, you must gather these pieces). The game has 3 different available PCs (Player Characters) and yes, each one of them has a piece of amulet, and yes, they will meet at a point in the adventure.

The game graphics are really nice. I enjoyed most of the scenery and the humans are nicely drawn. Maybe the water did not look so good, but since it was called "A deadly sea" by the locals, maybe that's why it was so dark... Maybe.

Besides the nice story, the game features some really interesting characters, most of them taking part in the main quest. Oh, and let's not forget about the secondary quests that offer your character experience and valuable items and/or information.

The items are quite numerous variating from weapons to artifacts... Not much to say about the items because, despite their variety they aren't interesting at all... And most of them aren't useful at all.

The Bad
That should do about the good parts... Let's talk about the bad parts of the game.

First of all, I didn't enjoy the dialogue system. And the voices. The selected NPC only says "Hello" or something, and after that you'll have to read tons of dialogue placed on a separate screen...

The speed of the characters is... Oh my god! They're like snails. And that's terribly wrong... especially when you have to travel a great distance... And believe me if you choose to try out this game you will travel great distances! GREAT distances!

And if you won't get bored after travelling for like... one and a half hours just to get an item you may find out about:

-The weak enemies you will encounter by the end of the game.

-The voice of the local blacksmith... or witchdoctor... which was the same voice of the previous blacksmith... or witchdoctor.

-The impossibility to recruit enough characters to fill the party slots.

-and more... which I forgot about.

The Bottom Line
A nice game, for an RPG fan... addict... But if you ain't no RPG fan, nor addict, stay away from this game.

By Hypercake on May 2nd, 2008

Turok (Windows)

By Hypercake on April 29th, 2008

Sacrifice (Windows)

Great game with sentimental value

The Good
The title of this review may be confusing at first... Let me explain. Sacrifice was the first game that "came" along with my new PC (it was bought not offered with the PC) so no matter what, I cannot forget this game. I still play it even if the first day in which the game got into my PC was 13th of January 2001 (yes, I remember the exact date). A quarter past 8 A.M. more exactly.

But of course those mentioned earlier by me are not the only reasons for me to love this game. At first I didn't think that this game will stay installed on my PC for more than 5 years. This game has anything a hardcore action player would wish for. Same for RTS players... Hell! Even for RPG players...

As you may have guessed by now, this game is a combination of RTS/Action/RPG. I liked the gameplay... Especially the gameplay. The action camera perspective is perfect for scouting the area, and the easy control over your creatures makes the game really fun. Also, with each level up you get new spells and possibilities, and of course, I was really curious to find out what I'd be able to unlock next.

The story is great. I finished the game with all 5 available gods each time the game got more and more interesting. However the ending is the same... Only the spells/creatures differ.

But the game is not only great in single player. It is great in multiplayer also, which offers quite a lot of possible game modes. In the multiplayer match, your strategist soul will be awakened ;)

I also fell in love with the music of the game... It is simply perfect and atmospheric.

The game graphics are really good. I can't believe now that game had such good graphics back in 2000. It amazed me when I bought it, and it still amazes me.

Perhaps the strongest point of the game is it's originality. Simply put, I've never seen any game like this one before...

The Bad
None I may say... Maybe the short campaigns... but that's not really such a great flaw...

The Bottom Line
The most original game ever, my favorite game and one of the best games ever. If you haven't tried it by now, you shouldn't call yourself a gamer. The game features all good and specific things found in Shiny's games... It also reminded me of MDK somehow :D Great game. If I had a hat, I'd take it off.

By Hypercake on April 16th, 2008

Arx Fatalis (Windows)

Arx Fatalis - Deadly City?

The Good
First of all, let's make things straight. Deadly City is the English translation for Arx Fatalis (latin). I don't really know why the game is called like that, Arx isn't that deadly, but I guess its all about the history of Arx.

Most people hate this game because of it's small world and few characters. I personally love this feature, the game is easy to explore and you will never get lost in the world. Also, you will always know what you have to do. You won't need to travel 998383838 regions to get to an NPC in order to get... one Magical Feather of the Phoenix (random name) or another...

The combat in Arx Fatalis is easy to learn since it uses the classic "recipe". You hold the mouse button to "deliver" a stronger hit. You can use bows, swords, axes, daggers or any other weapon you can get.

I liked the spellcasting system. Each spell can be casted only if you cast specific runes (each spell requires specific types of runes.) in a specific order. To cast the runes you must "draw" with the mouse cursor the symbol which represents each rune. Switching between melee/ranged combat mode to spellcasting mode is easy thus making combat even more intense and at the same time interesting.

The character's interaction level with the surrounding objects is simply "heroic"! You can cook, go fishing, read books, steal and more!

The story in the game is interesting overall, but the ending seemed a little "abrupt" to me...

The game graphics are absolutely great and the atmosphere offered by the graphics is unequaled. Maybe some buildings look a little bit weird... but I won't consider that a flaw.

Each character has it's own voice and the actors did a great job. I watched all the characters in the game, and believe me they seem to be real! Also each character has it's own "daily routine", which makes things even better. However, you can't tell if there's a day-night cycle since the action takes place in the underground so I've never seen any character sleeping. Too bad...

The quests you recieve are always different, I've never seen any "cloned quest". Each quest, even if it may seem to be secondary, affects quite greatly the main storyline.

The game also features some puzzles, which aren't entirely difficult, but you never get bored by solving them since they are interesting and if you ever get stuck on one puzzle you'll be very satisfied if you solve it after.... don't know why but you will be :)

The opponent's AI is well scripted and each enemy seems intelligent... some may even cause you trouble.

The environment sounds and sound effects are helping the overall atmosphere of the game to get even higher! I liked the music played by the local musicians and the atmospheric sound from Arx...

The Bad
Well first of all the loading times are... deadly... The world is made of many "regions" that you can access one at a time, and everytime the loading is really deadly. Maybe that's why the game is called Arx Fatalis...

The spellcasting system requires the caster (player) to go somewhere for training before casting spells in a fulltime combat... Sometimes it's really difficult to cast some runes just because you "missed" a "shape" with the mouse.

The Bottom Line
That would be all bad things... the game is great, a classic even. Maybe it does not surpass other "great" RPG's, but Arx Fatalis is special in a special way and maybe if you play it you'll put the CD in a special place, to be seen by everyone. The game deserves such a "sacrifice"...

By Hypercake on April 5th, 2008

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Windows)

By Hypercake on March 29th, 2008

Hellfire (Windows)

I don't think that's a corn stalk...

The Good
Finally! I always wanted a Diablo Addon... Even if Hellfire isn't really a marvel in game development it does it's job quite well.

First of all I liked the new ideas. The poor town of Tristram is now threatened by two "dark" forces. First, we've got Diablo and his cronies down into the Labyrinth. Second, we've got Na'Krul and his mutated cronies down into the Hive and Crypt.

Another thing that I liked would be the way you get to the Hive (the first new "place" brought by the addon). You help a poor farmer to get rid of a giant ... plant of some sort that "possessed" his fields. You get rid of the plant just to find out that a "doorway" to the hive is now opened. Happy hunting!

The addon also brings up a new character, the Monk. The monk is the perfect picture of balance between the original three characters. Even though his "search" skill isn't THAT useful.

The new quests are interesting and the classic H&S atmosphere was kept.

I also liked the new spells and items. I loved the runes (they act like traps... bombs... dynamites... or anything that blows when it's triggered.) and the Staff of the Jester (which casts random spells... it's extremely fun indeed.)

The Bad
The sound of the Hive creatures. Excuse me, but a bunch of mutated creatures shouldn't sound like robots! Some creatures are okay... but most of the other creatures sound like R2-D2.

And the Hive defiler looks a little bit too much like the Starcraft Defiler.

Oh, and the greatest flaw of this game would be the complete absence of the multiplayer mode. I wish I was able to clean up the crypt with a few friends...

The Bottom Line
A great game. Even if you don't overlook it's flaws the game is still great! Worth playing indeed.

By Hypercake on March 23rd, 2008

Sins of a Solar Empire (Windows)

By Hypercake on February 20th, 2008

Gothic 3 (Windows)

I am a little bird flying high, but taking a hard fall.

The Good
First of all, I must mention that the graphics of this game are great! Everything looks natural and... well beautiful. Maybe some characters have dumb faces, but that's okay... you can overlook that.

Maybe the best thing in this game is the soundtrack. I never thought I would ever hear such a good soundtrack. I mean... every song this game has to offer is on my winamp playlist, and that says a lot. Most of them have the "repeat" option enabled :D.

The story of the game is okay, nothing new though. You simply go to Myrtana, and as usual, you clean the place of orcs. Wait! There is something. Now, you can join the orcs too. I liked that, even if I never joined the orcs. Maybe someone else did, having enough of the classic "orc hater" hero.

The game also features tons of secondary quests, which will keep you busy until the end of the adventure.

The Bad
That would be all the good things. First of all, Gothic 3 tries to overtake any "enemy" it finds. But unfortunately, Gothic 3's "warfare" requires lots of "ammunition" and it seems Piranha Bytes had no more. Creating something without having the required elements from the "recipe" will ultimately result in a big "crash!". Gothic 3 was made like that. A huge game, that ultimately falls under its own weight.

First of all, I must tell the reader about the new actors, PB used for the voice recording. Maybe that wouldn't have been such a bad thing after all, if the voices didn't sound stupid. Wait... sorry about that. The voices sound REALLY stupid. The nameless hero, once had one of the best voices I've ever listened to in a game. A voice full of sarcasm and stuff, and any dialogue with the hero was a delight. Some of them were really funny, because the hero used to say lots of jokes. Now, our nameless hero has the voice of a brainless brute. No more jokes, only taunts. Yay! (may some say. I didn't)

The game will drain all your PC's strength. The Graphical engine is badly done and the game will lag a lot even on high-end PC's, but of course if played on maximum details.

There are a lot of bugs and glitches in the game. Oh yeah... I almost forgot. There are bugs that cause crashes. Even with the latest patches, most of them were not fixed.

Usually, while roaming some woods, you get attacked by some beasts. Cool. Crash them all! Yeah, you crash them, but after that you find out that you finished a quest you haven't even started. What the...??!

The game takes a lot of time for loading/saving/ quitting. That is annoying. Really. Even if you can roam trough all Myrtana/Varant/Nordmar without a single loading screen, waiting 5 minutes for first loading is REALLY annoying.

The Bottom Line
First of all, the game is okay, and it's worth to play it. It offers more than 20 hours of gameplay and fun. Even if most of the secondary quests are all the same. But, after some time, you get annoyed of anything you liked in the game... and you begin to feel sorry for playing it.

By Hypercake on February 7th, 2008

Fallout (Windows)

Orcs are now mutants? What the...

The Good
Yes, that's right. Orcs are now ultra-technological mutants. It seems that Interplay got bored of the classic recipe for RPG's, the fantasy world, filled with all kinds of elves, orcs, ogres, goblins, giant snakes etc... Interplay created a SF world, similar to the one in Mad Max. I usually hate SF/Mecha stuff, but Fallout was the only SF game I liked. Why? I will tell you here: First: This is the most interesting world I've ever seen in any game. The first reason would be that the planet on which the action takes place is Earth. Yes, our beloved planet. But it's something wrong with it. WE have destroyed part of it's surface during the 3'rd World War with nuclear weapons. Sounds kinda weird, but believe me the atmosphere present in this game is simply AWESOME.

The graphics and sound/music makes you believe that you are really alive in that world and you're not a simple player.

During the game, you can interact with most of the objects on the map, most of them being used for one of the available quests.

Also, each NPC in the game has something to tell you, and that makes the game even more realistic. You won't run near an NPC without seeing a message on top of his head.

The game uses for the intro sequence a classic song "The Ink Spots-Maybe", which, in my opinion, makes the FO1 intro one of the best i've ever seen. The intro itself is divided into 2 parts. One presents the world, and the other one presents the reason for the destruction of the world.

In order to start the game you must first create your character. You can use one of the 3 pre-defined characters, or you can create your own, choosing the name, perks, skills etc.

The available skills for you are more than enough, and that applies to perks too. You will never get bored while level upping your character, and you can finish the game using other skills everytime. That way, you will never get bored. The character's attributes are the classical Strenght, Dexterity, Perception etc...

The world you play in is quite big, and for travelling you will use system similar to the one present in Baldur's Gate.

Each town in the game is different from all others, and in a town you can recieve missions/buy stuff/sleep etc... The missions available for you are quite numerous so fun is guaranteed.

I also liked the weapons, variating from pistols, to rocket launchers.

One of the good things in this game would be the "healing system". Apart from all other RPG's now, you have some more ways to die. If your health falls below 0, you die. If you get radiated more than normal, you die. If you get sick because of chem. using, you die. And more.

The game is divided in 2 parts. What I liked about this aspect was that in the first part, when you are "under time pressure" you quickly explore the world, and after you finish the first part, you are under no pressure, so you can complete the quests you found during P1.

I liked the idea of saving your people from damnation but it's kinda used too much and ... well... it offers you a deja-vu sensation :)

There are some characters in the game that use voice, borrowed from famous actors. The voices sound perfectly! Simply put, the characters even seem to be real!

The Bad
It's hard to find something bad in this game. Maybe the tons of bugs... but most of them are now fixed with the new patches.

The Bottom Line
Humans destroyed the world and now mutants think they can make the new world a better place by transforming humans into other stinky mutants?! What the hell! Take 'em out now!

By Hypercake on February 6th, 2008

Heroes of Might and Magic V (Windows)

Fantasy TBS has never been so addictive.

The Good
As you may already know, after 3DO "failed" in their quest to continue the HOM&M Franchise, Nival decided to take care of the HOM&M future, and so, they created HOM&M 5. Nival made Heroes 5 look like Heroes, play like Heroes, sound like Heroes. In short, a great game that keeps the feeling of the famous series. That is one of the things I liked in the game. The graphics are now much more improved, and H5 now has a 3D engine, a camera position, and a zoom options. The environment looks quite good, and the design of the characters and buildings in the game is again, good. The AI is okay, it does act according to the Difficulty level you selected. The Voice acting through the cutscenes is okay too. Not the best, but okay. The in-game sound is absolutely PERFECT. The music is nice too, and combined with the sound effects it offers a unique atmosphere, that only a HOM&M game can offer. I also liked that Nival kept most of the gameplay aspects intact. So, as usual, we have a hero, an army commanded by the hero, tons of artifacts, resources, mines etc... The most important thing in this game is the FUN. The game is so damn fun and addictive, that I play it every day. I've been playing it since I got it off the shelves and I don't think I will stop soon :D

The Bad
I didn't like the new combat system. Even if it is quite the same as the old combat system that we found in Heroes 3, it suffered some modifications. The hero cannot move on the battlefield, but can attack or cast spells. Also, while moving the "attack cursor" over an enemy you will see the estimated number of enemies your creature can take down with that attack. So no more damage counting, no more calculations... it's over. You will know from the very beginning what will happen next. There are some minor bugs present in the game, and some artifacts have no description. So you cannot know how they affect your army, only if you look at every change on your creature/hero stats. That's annoying. Also, the game has no map editor. That's quite bad, since one of the franchise's strong points was the possibility to add custom made content to the original campaigns and single-player scenarios. Also the UbiSoft multiplayer servers are laggy and it isn't worth a multiplayer match on internet. Nothing can compare with a good LAN game with your friends.

The Bottom Line
Even if it has it's bad stuff, the game is fun and addictive. And that makes it better than any other game in the world.

By Hypercake on February 5th, 2008

Need for Speed: ProStreet (Windows)

Not much to say about this game...

The Good
The game's graphics are very realistic, and when played on maximum detail, they are stunning. Simply put, ProStreet is one of the most beautiful games i've ever seen.

The game physics engine is also as good as the game's graphics, and collisions with walls or other cars really have a "special feeling."

Also, the game features an extremely realistic damage system,so, it's no good to crash your car just for fun. It will really decimate your chances to win.

The in-game sound is okay, but the singles from the game's SoundTrack are of mediocre quality.

The online racing is cute though. It's really nice to race against your friends over the Internet.

The Bad
What I didn't like about this game? Most of the other parts.

The car design isn't very nice, and some tuned cars look very bad. Visual tuning in the rest of the NFS games was more interesting and even more fun.

There is no free-roam mode, so you have only a Career Map. You can select to go to events or to your garage from there.

There is no police, and no illegal street racing. Only sponsored events and stuff.

The voice acting in prostreet is also of a mediocre quality. The actors always seem to be bored "when reading the script".

The racing modes are fewer now. Such modes as "circuit" or "drag" are still available, but those as "drift mode" are dropped, apparently for no reason.

The car's control is very difficult, and for some difficult turns, it's really impossible to "survive" without having to slow down to 10-20 km/h.

Also, there are tons of adverts in ProStreet. And that is no good thing. It really makes the game to look as an advertising postboard.

The online ingame mode for sharing files is buggy, and the in-game messenger isn't quite useful... .

The Nitro Option is as usual, present, but depending to your car it can be used once or twice times per race. And there are no graphical effects when using it.

The Bottom Line
Not really that bad, but it should have been better. And it could have been a lot better.

By Hypercake on December 9th, 2007

Need for Speed: Underground (Windows)

One of the best NFS games so far

The Good
Almost everything.

The game's graphics are very nice, and the cars look "hot". A tuned up car looks absolutely impressive. The environment (the city) looks okay, and I liked the idea of night driving.

The user interface is simple, and easy to use. I liked the event selection, and career advancement system, which is simple, and "user-friendly". To advance in your career you must win some races. After you win those races, you will be "transported" to a new tier. Where, again you must win other races. This may sound boring at first, but it is one of the most fun career advancement ways i've ever seen.

The game's soundtrack is, as usual, PERFECT. Most of the ST's singles are to my liking.

The actor's voice-acting is OK. Maybe a little bit too much ghetto talk... but still OK.

The Nitrous Oxide car addon helps alot, but there are no graphical effects for it... .

The Bad
The storyline is kind of boring... nothing special about it.

The Motion Blur display option isn't that cool. If you like driving while drunk, then you should use this :)

The car control is a little to simple, but I suppose it's ok that way. Underground was never supposed to be a perfect sim.

The opponent's AI is mediocre. They usually crash near most difficult turns, and they can be easily taken out from the road.

The Bottom Line
Almost a masterpiece.

By Hypercake on December 8th, 2007

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (Windows)

By Hypercake on November 17th, 2007

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (Windows)

By Hypercake on November 17th, 2007

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