Saturday, December 6, 2008

Little Update for You...

Hey all,

Just wanted to let you all know that I haven't given up on the review site. I currently have three reviews waiting in the wings. However, between rolling out a new product at work, and biding my time for all relatives and turkey related things to go their separate ways, I haven't had any time to get cracking on the new Reviews. So I know is late, but here is whats coming:

1: Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway
2: Fallout 3
3: Call of Duty: World at War

So there you have it, those are going to be the three new ones, that is, as soon as I get time to do them.

Also, due to budget shortfalls, and the fact that there is only one SoldierofEmpire, I simply do not have enough time to review all of the good games out there. So should anyone be interested in Contributing to the Review Blog in order to get it going faster, please feel free to comment and I will take it into consideration. There will be no compensation for any time put into reviewing, its strictly volunteer work.

"Gaming so you don't have to."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Starwars: The Force Unleashed

First of all, allow me to throw up a little bit of a disclaimer, I am by no means a Starwars geek, the only bounty hunter that I can name is Boba Fett. No, I didn't dress up for any of the premieres, and frankly, only went to "Phantom Menace" and "Attack of the Clones" because someone else payed for them.

So, with that being is my official review.

1. Graphics: This game is BEAUTIFUL. But what I noticed more than anything else was the backdrops on the levels. In most games there is what is known as "fog of war" or "level walls" (unfortunately some have both) that never really let you forget that you are playing a fixed story that will take you to a fixed point, even some of the greatest "free roam" games like "Fable" and "Oblivion" have these traits. There is no "fog" and very few "walls" the way its blended with the graphics in the background is seamless in "TFU". There was nothing as far as graphics that I didn't like.

Graphics: 10/10

2. Physics: I Mixed emotions here. The rag-doll physics in this game are awesome. Between using your "Lightsaber" as a projectile and the force as a crane, there are endless ways to slice, bash, push, and throw your enemies to their ruin. However, there are HUGE inconsistencies as far as "the Force" is concerned pertaining to physics. For instance: you can snag a Ti Fighter out of the air that is flying quite fast, but you can't pick up a certain kind of stormtrooper, this is ridiculous.

Physics: 4/10

Game play: This section is going to rate a little better than the last. Game play in this game is actually pretty nice. If in the middle of the game you find something too hard to do, you can just dumb down the difficulty settings. The same thing applies the other way as well, if at any point in the game you find it a tad bit too can crank it up to "Sith Master" and nearly instantly gain humility. Unfortunately, like "Mercenaries 2" there appears to be no way to die...only get stuck. So with out the threat of loosing the game and having to start back at the looses points.

Game Play: 8/10

Single Player: This is also a bit of a mixed bag. The story line is great, but the length is pathetic. I am of the opinion that if I am going to shell out 60 bucks for a better have a pretty good single player or really good multi-player to make up for it...unfortunately this one has neither. Not to mention a specific glitch in the games programing that can randomly affect your game making it impossible to complete bonus objectives, and once you got it, it only goes away after you start a new game, or complete your current one.

Single Player: 3/10

Multi Player: NONE! i know...i know...its super lame.

so there you have it, the complete review for "Starwars: The Force Unleashed" over all rating 25/50. That my friends is a flat out F. This game is not worth buying, it is fun and amusing for a time, but you will have wasted 60 dollars. Trust me you will wind up shelving it after a few days.

"Gaming so you don't have to"

Monday, October 20, 2008

Excited for sequals...

So here is the deal, recently while browsing X-box Live I realized that nearly every game that I plan to review is the second or third in its individual series. It is nice to be past the days of a new "genre defining story for the ages" and to see that stories are actually being finished. I suppose that we all have the "Halo" franchise brought to us by the boys from Bungie to thank for that. Needless to say I am totally stoked to be playing many of these big titles coming up such as:

Fable II, Via "Lionhead Studios" (unfortunately only famous for the prequel)
Release date: tomorrow! (10-21-08)

Far Cry 2, Via "Ubisoft" (famous for anything Tom Clancy)
Release date: tomorrow! (10-21-08)

Fallout 3, Via "Bethesda Studios" (famous for "the Elder Scrolls" series and ground breaking graphics and physics engines)
Release date: 10-23-08

Destroy all Humans: The path of Furon, Via "Sandblast Games" (a subsidiary of THQ, famous for Saints Row, and the first Destroy all Humans)
Release date: 11-3-08

Gears of War 2, Via "Microsoft Studios" (famous for Publishing the Halo series, and for the Project Gotham Racing series)
Release date: 11-7-08

and last but not least,

Call of Duty: World at War, Via Treyarch (famous for the WWII genre definers Call of duty one through three)

So there you have it, its a schedule that should prove to keep me busy till Christmas.

"Gaming so you don't have to..."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

Oh where oh where to begin, there is so much to talk about in this game, so much to do, so much to break and destroy. I had never before played any game in this franchise but as of now I am hooked, should they ever consider making a third I will be first in line to buy it…this game offers all kinds of killer perks. But to make it slightly more scientific, I will be using (of course) my guide to game reviewing. These are at least five things that I personally look for in a game to make sure its quality is high enough for me to recommend to a friend; after all…these do cost sixty bucks brand new.

1. The Graphics: This game is very interesting graphically speaking; there is an abundance of eye catching features that permeate throughout. Everything from sandy beaches, to dense jungles, to high mountains, to cityscapes. This game has it all in great detail, very few things look the same, and almost everything blows up. Which brings me to my next thing that I love as far as graphics go, if I can burn down, it probably will, for instance: if you should so choose to fly a helicopter with rocket pods, there is a good chance that whatever you blow up will catch the surrounding area on fire. The only thing that I didn’t like so much was the way the water looked, it was far too easy to see how large, and where the graphic replicated, especially when flying a helicopter.

Graphics 8 of 10

2. Physics: The physics in this game are fantastic, and at times rather amusing. On the fantastic side, as I previously mentioned, almost everything blows up, come to think of it, the only things that don’t are the rocks, and the basic landscape. If you can see it, you can destroy it, everything from shanty towns to skyscrapers and motorcycles to tanks. Another absolutely awesome feature is one that is mostly unnoticeable…in several games that have a destructible environment, you can use almost anything to do it, a machine gun is all you needed…fortunately for this game, that’s not the case, most things aren’t even hurt by small calibers as a matter of fact…so the need for air strikes, C4, and RPG’s comes into play. And let me tell you, I have seen now in this game, the extreme destructive qualities of a MOAB. For the amusing side, the rag-doll physics are very fun, considering that you yourself often become a projectile. (mostly due to poor driving)

Physics 10 of 10

3. Game Play: The story line in this game is very fun, without giving too much away, it’s a revenge plot with a lot of interesting little side notes. The game play is pretty good also, at first it’s fairly easy to get a job done, but as different factions become aware of you and what you are doing they begin to ramp up security and fortifications. This makes for a very interesting play, you can’t do the same thing every time to accomplish your goals, and as a matter of fact, there are some places that you flat out have to have a play in order to not die. However, as far as I know, there is no way to actually lose this game. So unfortunately due to that fact, it loses a few points as far as game play is concerned.

Game play 8 of 10

4. Single player: there are hours and hours of fun to be had. This game is packed full of things to do, and contracts to fill. Not to mention the things that you can find just wondering around…I could tell you…but I think you should find them yourself.

Single player 10 of 10

5. Multiplayer: this game carries a revolutionary multiplayer aspect. Instead of starting a multiplayer game and having to wait in a lobby for a friend to join, you start a single player, and a friend just shows up. This is thanks to EA’s join in play technology. It’s fantastic, your friends can come and go as they please and your game is not interrupted in the slightest, that is unless your friend or whomever has the idea to wreck it for you, so long as you are together, whatever they do will directly affect how factions feel about you. So that can obviously be a negative. However to counter act this you can set your game to only allow people that you invite to join your game. Problem solved. Unfortunately there is one negative thing that no matter how you cut it just plain sucks as far as this game is concerned. Its only two players. In this world of epic game play a two player multiplayer is pretty weak, but if you consider that each session of gaming is hosted by EA, and that there is a lot of processing that you Xbox has to do as it is, improving this feature with currently technology is not possible without losing either your graphics quality or your physics. So yea it sucks, but unfortunately there is little that can be done with today’s gear to fix it.

Multiplayer 9 of 10

So there you have it the complete review for Mercenaries 2: World in Flames, this game gets a solid 45/50 points. Which is an “A” as far as my review goes. I recommend this to anyone despite the multiplayer short comings. It’s a fun game full of fun features that you and a buddy can play together for hours and hours and still not see or do everything. And if you are an achievement whore, there are some pretty challenging achievements to try to get so that should keep you busy for a while in and of itself.

Gaming so you don’t have to…

P.S. American Idol game? two words: -HELL NO-

Monday, September 15, 2008


So here is the deal, for those of you who know me, I am a pretty hardcore gamer, there are few who are more so. I prefer the lighter site of the Industry, but am known to throw in a little GEARS or Bioshock every now and then, with several of my friends asking me at various intervals which game they should buy and why...I decided to go ahead and post the good ones (in my opinion) here first so they can get a good idea what to go out and drop 60 bones on. If you didn't catch it there, I will only be reviewing Xbox 360 games on this blog, there will occasionally be non review oriented posts made here, but nothing PlayStation, seeings how that system is an over priced DVD player. So if you are looking for the digs on God of War, go somewhere else. So that's enough of the ultra basic over simplified me, now to a bit of the review system that i use, there are a few key parts that directly influence my reviews:

1: Graphics: The game can play as smoothly as greased wheel rolls, but if its ugly, invisible walls, man traps, glitches and poor rendering, then it is going to suck.

2: Physics: its not how you kill a guy, its how he falls when you do. with all of the innovative engines out there these days, its pretty sad when they are too lazy to render in more than one way for a corpse to decompose.

3: Game play: If its the greatest looking game ever made, with the most realistic graphics and physics, and the story line blows, whats the point? I submit that there is no point in a game as Gorgeous as Oblivion, with the Plot line of Frogger. Or if it is too easy or too difficult there is not a lot of love. no one but the most hardcore of the hardcore masochists enjoy having to attempt the same quest over and over again on the easiest of difficulties, and on the same point but opposite end of the spectrum, no one likes to be board while doing something that is supposed to be entertaining.

4: Length/presence of the single player game: If the game is the most insane fun that you and your friends have had in the last five years of console bonding, and it only lasts for an

5: Multi-player: Is there a co-op? Is there a vs. mode? if so how well does it work? Does the match making function flow effortlessly or is it like full of holes and glitches?

These five parts of the process will be added up to make a total of 50 points, then given a letter grade to correspond to the number. Do try to keep in mind this is only the opinion of one person, there is no one else to regulate my process, so if you don't agree, please do so politely, don't get rude, just don't read it if you that inclination, save your time for something more important like brushing your teeth.

Policy: Yes i have given out my gamer tag, will i add you? Not unless i know you, and even then...probably not.
If you have a game to suggest to me, comment here, my Xbox profile is set to private, so I can't here all of you fourteen year old boys singing, cussing, and telling 80's "your mom" jokes, and so that you can't fill my Inbox with spam...unless you are already on my friends list...then spam away.
If you have a question feel free to ask, I may choose to answer...
I also reserve the right to refuse to play any game for any reason, and make fun of you for suggesting a game that is super lame...(anything with a pinata in it)