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Nov 17, 2008

Review Wrap Up: Summer's Best Gaming Titles

Gamers rejoice as the holiday gaming season is now upon us and plenty of the year’s best game titles are at our fingers tips after the long drag of the summer gaming season. But was it really such a drag for great game titles this season?

As gamers we have come to expect the summer months to yield crappy game titles, but have game developers come around and started launching stellar titles while the world is green and happy? I can with great certainty say “yes”, they have and allow me to give you just a taste of some of the great titles I played this summer, but didn’t get a chance to review in full force for your reading consumption.

Overlord: Raising Hell
CodeMasters, Triumph Studios
Available for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC

This expanded re-release title for the PS3 took the original Overlord game and added on the Xbox marketplace extended storyline which included new levels, enemies and weapons. The PS3 version also had exclusive weapons that you could forge inside the tower.

With so many games having you play the hero in some form trying to save the day, Overlord: Raising Hell puts you into the shoes of a dark overlord trying to rebuild an evil empire after the last dark lord was killed by a bunch of heroes. Using your minions much like evil little Pikmin, you must complete missions that help you gain power and take over the land.

While the graphics were exactly updated to meet the next generation capabilities of the PS3, the storyline and humour of this game is really enough to keep you killing Halflings and burning villages, all in the name of evil. Finding missions did become a bit difficult at times as the story didn’t seem to direct you very well to your next action point. The controls were easy to use and the puzzles in the game are clever and very Pikmin-ish. Any one looking for a break from the everyday hero game will love this evil adventure game.

Rating 8 out of 10
Buy it

Enemy Territory: Quake War
Activison, Nerve Software
Available for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC

Created as a prequel to Quake II, Enemy Territory: Quake War will have you jumping into the battlefield action before you can even ask, “So, Who are we killing today?” The quick pace and easy to pick up controls makes it a great match for FPS newbs. Basically the game has you choosing a character class and drops you and your team mates into a full on slaughter fest with an objective and only your gun to protect your butt in a mass multiplayer battle. The game has 12 different maps to choose from and a sweet garage full of vehicles to hit the battlefields in.

While this game does have a campaign mode where you take on the Strogg, it’s really all about the online play and ET: QW throws you into the action quickly and with ease. Any one who’s played a FPS in their life will be dominating the field in Quakes Wars. The vehicles were really the only disappointment in the game as they controlled horribly and made you want to walk more than run over people in a tank. That is not a good sign.

Rating 7 out of 10
Buy it!

Battlefield: Bad Company
Available for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3

Playing as new recruit Preston Marlowe, Battlefield: Bad Company has you following a group of outcast army soldiers during a war as they fight against everyone in order to escape with a whole lot of mercenary gold. While this first person shooter’s humour may have you groaning at some points, the real draw of the game is the destructible environments which allow you to take out deadly snipers by just blowing up the building their camping in.

The multitude of weapons and vehicles at your disposal in this game really provides multiple ways you can finish a mission. You can take out enemies one by one in a building or just jump in a tank and mow the whole building down instead. Whatever floats your boat? The game has a sweet single player campaign but the multiple players allows you to jump into these amazing environments with up to 24 other players online. Taking out your sniper loving friends just got a whole lot more interesting.

Rating 8 out of 10
Buy it!

Final Fantasy IV
Square Enix, Matrix Software
Available on Nintendo DS

This classic title has already been ported to the Gameboy Advance for us to play all over again, but it sure didn’t look as pretty then as it does on new Nintendo DS version and that‘s enough for me to buy it all over again.

Totally recreated for the NDS release, Final Fantasy IV or II for those North America retro gamers out there, Square Enix has brought this classic RPG into the 3D realm with brand new graphics and beautiful new cut scenes. From the over world to the dungeons, this game retells Cecil’s struggle against the kingdom he once served and the friend he once trusted as he attempts to save the world.

Thankfully the developers left any attempt to stuff pointless stylus controls into the game alone and left it with its original D pad controls in tact. While I wasn’t too happy with the new and cutesy 3D in game models, I did love the new cut scenes created for the game. The remixed original score really added to the newer feel of the game without destroying the retro mood of the game. Fans will even love the fact that Square Enix added some voice acting into the game’s cut scenes. Very cool.

With so many remakes coming out of the Square Enix vault right now, I was happy to see this game come off just as fun as the first time I played it back on my Super Nintendo, though those the boss are still friggn’ hard as ever to defeat.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Buy it!

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