Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gaggle o' Reviews: 'GT5,' 'Power Gig'

Power Gig: Rise of the SixString

Developed by: Seven45 Studios
Published by: Seven45 Studios
Available: NOW
Available on: Xbox 360, PS3
Price: $59.99 (game only), $179.99 for guitar controller and the game

There are a few things to like about Power Gig. First, it's the first game I've played that uses a real guitar to play a video game. Next, I can use the Power Gig controller in Rock Band 3. Lastly, it gives gamers the option of adding AirStrike drums and a mic to rock Eric Clapton. Bet.

The career path and training modes are a mixed bag. The training mode helps gamers who aren't familiar with guitars pick one up and start learning. Never before have I had a video game give me this kind of offline enjoyment. The guitar controller is solid, but works great. I have never played a guitar in real life and would love to hear from real guitar players who've played this to see if it's the real deal or not.

There are a few gems in the song list for Power Gig. Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Kid Rock and Ozzy are some of the bigger names in the game. Seven45 also said there would be more tracks available soon.

However, the game goes off-key with the story and basic gameplay. While I did enjoy rocking cuts like 'Cult of Personality' by Living Colour, the story behind the game - rocking is outlawed and you have to use your skillz to fight the powers that be? LOL.

A game with so much potential falls flat.

But at least the guitar rocks.

The verdict? 1.5 (out of 4 stars). The guitar rocks. It would totally rock if you could play it in the Pro Mode of Rock Band 3. But that's about it. Even with Mojo and other guitar game knock-offs, the coolest feature in the game, sadly, is the training mode.


Developed by: Ninja Theory
Published by: Namco Bandai
Available: NOW
Available on: Xbox 360, PS3
Rating: T for Teen
Price: $59.99

When Namco Bandai sent me an Enslaved diary - blank - and an Enslaved tee, I didn't give the game a passing thought. When I got the game before release, I was thrilled but still didn't know a lot about the game. After playing it for hours and watching the antihero Monkey scale walls like Nathan Drake, I want to read the book it's based on.

The game is based on this 400-year-old novel called Journey to the West. This version, starts off with Monkey on a slave spaceship that is crashing. The first 10 minutes are essentially a training level, which teaches you how to jump, fight and survive. Initially, you aren't given a lot to work with, storywise. You know you have mad skillz as leaping and fighting, but it's not until you are about to crash that you realize what's going on. You land smack dab in the middle of New York City. The city, however, is in ruins. You have to lead your companion, Trip, through the deserted Big Apple, and face all sorts of robotic enemies. Your ultimate goal? To take Trip home.

Arguably, the first thing you'll notice about this game are the graphics. On an HDTV, your mouth will literally drop with the breath-taking, lush scenery. Hours after I had finished playing Enslaved, I was still thinking about how engaging and beautiful the environments were.

The gameplay is memorable as well. If you are a fan of the Uncharted series, and even Lara Croft Tomb Raider games, you'll love watching Monkey climb, jump and leap.

Enslaved will also test your ability to think fast on the fly. You face tons of robots, big and small, and will call on Trip to shoot a hologram decoy to distract the robots. You and Trip are connected via this mind link. If she dies, it's game over. Literally.

The controls are excellent. Monkey's agility is the stuff of legends.

Best way to describe this game to nongamers and casuals? Donkey Kong and Uncharted meet I am Legend.

This game was NOT on my radar and not sure why. After spending several hours battling robots in a futuristic wasteland, I can't wait to find time to go back.

The verdict? 3.25 (out of 4 stars). Though the game is single player, it's one of the most unique - and prettiest - games this generation. If you love you some Uncharted, Enslaved won't disappoint.

Fallout: New Vegas

Developed by: Obsidian Entertainment
Published by: Bethesda Softworks
Available: NOW
Available on: Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Rating: M for Mature
Price: $59.99

First things first. You already know if you buy a Bethesda game, you're getting your money's worth. Their games are so huge, you'll be hard pressed to finish it in this century.

Second, if it's Fallout, you are going to enjoy dining on some food with a heaping of radiation.

Fallout: New Vegas had some pretty big boots to fill, following the likes of Fallout 3. However, Fallout: New Vegas isn't an expansion - it's a deep game with the usual enemies who are hell-bent on killing you, even if you are minding your own business through the wasteland.

You are caught in the middle of a futuristic turf war between the NCR - the New California Republic, a group of survivors who are holding the valuable Hoover Dam - and the old-school Roman soldier wanna-bes, Caesar's Legion.

You will end up in New Vegas, though the path there won't be fast or shallow. It's an engaging game. You will be on point, get attacked by pirates, a gecko on steroids and get distracted. Before you know it, hours have passed.

I said this in my preview and I will say it again - New Vegas needs a clear path/indicator to the next objective. You can easily get distracted with an ambush, searching for items to mod weapons and get off-mission in no time flat. It's really a glorified time suck.

The graphics are good. They aren't impressive, with an occasional stutter - dead enemies still firing weapons at you - or enemies that get trapped in the ground and you can't kill them, but it's laughable instead of frustrating.

The sound is great. The dialogue is moving and really some of the best any game offers.

This game is one of my top picks for game of the year. Yes, it's just that good.

The verdict? 3.5 (out of 4 stars). The game is huge, will take precious hours of your life away and deserves all the sales (and awards) coming its way.

Gran Turismo 5

Developed by: Polyphony Digital
Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment
Available: November 24
Available on: PS3
Price: $59.99

Ok, ok, so I DON'T have Gran Turismo 5 and this is a link to the first review out there. I have played GT4 into a coma and loved the Nike racer in the game.

I hope the Sony Gods (insert angelic music here, please!) will show favor and hook a brother up with Gran Turismo 5 before release. ;)

Here's the link:

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