Monday, 28 February 2011

Final Fantasy XIII


Final Fantasy XIII is the first Final Fantasy game of the current generation consoles. The story follows Lightning the games main character fighting to rescue her sister. Other characters are Snow a tough guy who wants to be a hero, hope a young teenager, Vanille a young woman, Fang a young woman, and Sazh who is trying to rescue his child. The game is set in a futuristic world called cocoon which is floating above the much bigger natural world called pulse.
battling a pantheron

The game begins quite linear and even restricts the characters you can play as. Once you get further through the game it open up more. There is lots of imagination in all the different environments and worlds.

You learn about all the different characters through a series of flashbacks and this lets you know more about all the different characters.

The soundtrack is really good and so are the graphics. The battle system only lets you control one main character although you can set the strategy of other characters whether they are a medic or an attacker for example.

There are no random battles and battles start by colliding with the enemy. You can choose to run past enemies and not fight them.

My criticism of the game would be that it takes too many hours of gameplay before the story becomes good. The game also starts of being very linear which is not always a bad thing but I did find it frustrating.
battling a Gorgonopsid

Overall its a good game, but it took too long to become good. The story is really good and there are lots of side missions to kill specific monsters. I would have liked to see more story related side missions. The sequel Final Fantasy XIII-2 has already been announced so hopefully it will build upon the first game.

Score 7/10

Monday, 21 February 2011

Back to the future - It's about time


Back To the Future – It’s about time is a Point and click adventure game by the developer Telltale games based on the movie Back to the Future. It is the first of five episodes.

The game has some scenes from the movie only they are different. The story take place for the first test of the time machine done in a car park at night, only things happen differently than in the movie.
Marty at Edna Strickland's house

There are lots of movie references and scenes from the movie like Doc's laboratory, and the clock tower. There are scenes in the game that did not happen in the movie like Doc's parents house when he was a teenager.

Voice acting is done by the original actor Christopher LLoyd for Doc. The main character Marty McFly is not voiced by Michael J Fox, but by a substitute voice actor that does a really good job.

The puzzles are logical and fun to do, and there is a hint system if you need extra help. The graphics in the game are cartoon like, but look very good. I noticed one soundtrack other man the title track in this episode.

The game is about 2-3 hours long, so the game with all episodes would be 10-15 hours which is ok.

My criticism of the game would be the inventory system takes a long time to bring up and scroll through items.
attempt to rescue Doc from prison (Doc Left, Marty Right)


Overall this is a fun adventure game. The game will be better if you watched the movie, but I don’t think it is required. I look forward to playing future episodes.

Score 7/10

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Beneath a Steel Sky Review


Beneath a Steel Sky is a point and click adventure game released in 1994 and currently available as freeware. Robert Foster the main character grows up on the outskirts of civilization in an area known as the gap, when one day a Helicopter from the city comes to take him back to the city. When approaching the city the helicopter crashes and this is where the game starts.
fire exit to nothing


Beneath a steel sky play like a classic point and click adventure game with nice sprite graphics and high quality backgrounds drawn by the same artist as the Watchmen comic. Voice acting is good. The dialogue is funny and worth a listen.

Robert Foster has a robot companion called Joey who takes different forms as Joeys circuit board can be transplanted into different robots. Joey helps solve lots of the puzzles and has lots of nice dialogue.

Lots of the puzzles in the game are really good and logical. The music sets the mood well enough, although does not standout.

My criticism of the game is that it’s too short, and the user interface for saving and loading games is poorly implemented relying on tooltips to know what buttons do.
helicopter crash site

Beneath a steel sky is an excellent adventure game and definitely worth playing, considering it is free. The world is unique, puzzles logical and the story is great science fiction.

Score 9/10

Monday, 7 February 2011

Machinarium Review


Machinarium is an indie adventure game with high level of difficulty. You play as a robot in a world full of robots like robot dogs, and robot criminals.
pushing a block


The game starts of with you being dumped in a landfill site. You have to escape the land fill. Lots of the puzzles have clever solutions which are are rewarding once you workout the answer.

The game has no text, and everything is communicated through comic sketches.  The world in Machinarium has a high level of detail and the city and other environments you explore are interesting and fun to explore.

The game has an very nice ambient soundtrack, The graphics are very nice, with good animations and hand drawn backgrounds that look great.

There is a hint system and also a walkthrough integrated into the game.

My criticism of Machinarium is it has no replay, other than looking at the artwork, or listening to the ambient soundtrack. I also found the game a little too difficult and sometimes needed to look at the walkthrough.

Machinarium has mini-games and these are a large part of the game.

The game is very difficult, and many of the puzzles took me a long time to think about before I could work them out.

in a sewer

Overall I highly recommend playing this game because of high quality art work, soundtrack, puzzles, and mini-games.

Score 8/10