Playing and Reviewing Video Games for the Benefits of Others with IcedAssassin23

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Welcome to the World of Video Game Reviews

Many people out there enjoy playing video games. Whether it be NHL, Call of Duty, Assassins Creed, Skyrim or Grand Theft Auto V. We all enjoy being able to sit down on that couch or chair, pick up our controller and get immersed in a world that is completely different then the one we actually live in. As for me personally? I’m a gamer just like the millions of others out there. But besides playing the video games themselves I enjoy actually writing reviews. I enjoy writing period to be completely honest. But, that’s a story for another day or to view in my personal blog. Click HERE

But to dive right in. As many of us out there know now the so called ‘next generation’ consoles came out last year. Having had an Xbox 360 since they first came out with it back in December of 2005. Over that period of time I accumulated many games. Hundreds probably. I played all of them but there were some I came back to time and time again. For example, the NHL, FIFA and NBA2K series are all some of my favourites. If we were to say non-sporting games that I kept coming back to I’d have to say that Call of Duty and Assassins Creed would be the ‘story based’ ones that I have enjoyed over the years.

Video games in general have been around for years. If you look back in history the first video games were the old arcade games that came out in the early 1970’s. I’ll insert the link to more on history of video games. Click HERE to view the video game history via Wikipedia

Now personally I have had a gaming console since I was about 8 years old when I entered a contest and won a PS2. Then in 2005 my younger brother and I decided that we wanted to upgrade to a newer console so we bought an Xbox 360. And since then both my brother and I have been loyal to Xbox and Microsoft. As time wore on however I started to notice a pattern. (Each person will have their own opinion of this.) The Xbox exclusive games were not nearly as good as PS3 exclusive games. The best example would be The Last of Us. Games developed for both consoles I found seemed to be quite similar. Graphics I found would alternate between the consoles depending on the game.

As I only ever had an Xbox for the longest time I can only give you an account of Xbox games. I’m sorry to Playstation fans. I can’t really tell you alot about the consoles or user profiles and everything. But I do know that they are similar. You create a profile with achievements and rewards that you can collect. It’s generally the same principal.

In keeping this post short I want to leave this post  with a Top 10 list of my favourite Xbox 360 games of all time;

10. L.A. Noire

9. NBA2K14

8. UFC 3

7. Assassins Creed Revelation

6.FIFA Franchise

5. Skyrim

4. Grand Theft Auto 5

3. NHL Franchise

2. Call of Duty Black Ops 2

1. Call of Duty Black Ops 1

Next Review: L.A Noire

1. Call of Duty: Black OPS I

Now for my all time favourite game for Xbox 360. Call of Duty: Black OPS I. This one beats out Modern Warfare 2 by a hair because the story is just a touch better. Up until the release of Black OPS I (BOI) the franchise had become slightly stale with reused story lines just altered slightly. BOI breathed a breath of fresh air into the games with a totally new direction This one focuses on the Cold Wars in Vietnam. Something different then WWII or the future.

I loved this game because of its originality. This is the first time this franchise steps up and delivers. Which is why it was one of the most anticipated game releases of 2010. I have very few bad things to say about this game because of how many times I personally went through the game to beat every aspect of it.

Black OPS I begins with Alex Mason being interrogated by a mysterious voice. The voice is trying to remind Mason where the number station is. Mason not sure keeps telling them he doesn’t know where it is. Then they flash back to the year 1961 where Mason, Frank Woods and Joseph Bowman are carrying out Operation 40, a plan to assassinate Castro. When this backfires Mason risks his life to save the other. This results in him being taken as a POW and having something done to him which makes him think that he needs to assassinate the president. Once he escapes Vorkuta where he meets Viktor Reznov, he returns to action with a different mission to Assassinate the people who programmed him to assassinate Kennedy.

As the story progresses Mason manages to assassinate two of the three main antagonists but misses one which appears in BOII. Even though Mason has been reprogrammed he believes that he is talking to Viktor Reznov where in reality it is actually him himself.

Without giving any more away, the story of this game is amazing. Very well crafted and executed. It was truly a breath of fresh air after the Modern Warfare series. The Franchise had started to feel a little dull and repetitive. So when they introduced this it was much appreciated by fans.

Considering this game was released in 2010 the graphics back then would have been top notch. I know even now, five years later, they are still really good. However, compared to the newer games and even BOII they aren’t the best. But considering this game was one of the most anticipated games of 2010 they did very well developing and creating the world. They made everything seem realistic. And the world interaction was even improved. When explosions happened you could really see the detail in them now as apposed to before when it seemed kind of static. There are still things that could be improved but they are minor considering this game was released 5 years ago now.

The game play has improved greatly, controls are smoother and you can now adjust the sensitivity. Everything blends nicer together and there aren’t nearly as many glitches or little bugs in the graphics.

The thing that I like best about this Franchise in general is that the controls have stayed the same from start to finish. This makes everyone able to just start playing because we don’t have to worry about learning a whole new set of controls.

The game itself has so much in it that t makes for a very interesting story that I have always enjoyed playing and beating in every way possible. Eventually I got so good at the game that I could beat the game on Veteran. What’s also fun about the game is trying to find all the Intel for the game. Which I also did. The Intel in the games adds a lot of information that many people don’t think is crucial but in reality fills in a ton of lost knowledge.

Overall Review for the game:

Story: 10/10

Graphics: 9/10

Game play: 9/10

Controls: 10/10

Content: 9/10

Overall Rating: 47/50

Thanks for reading everyone! More posts to come soon. I promise.

2. Call of Duty: Black Ops II

Like the NHL and FIFA Franchises the Call of Duty Franchise has been around for some time now. Since October of 2003 to be exact. Over that time Infinity Ward (The original publisher) has come out with some pretty good games. They have branched out into different eras as well as going into the past and WWII and into the future. The original series up until Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare had focused mostly on WWII. When Modern Warfare was released it was the first game set in the future. The games themselves even though they have different story lines tend to all lead towards the same thing usually. The Future. Some of my favourites are Modern Warfare 2 and both Black OPS I and Black OPS II. (Henceforth known, as BOI and BOII respectively.)

The franchise is one of the first to start making the characters look like the voice actors. They have had some great ones over the years by the way. People like Gary Oldman (Viktor Reznov, World at War and BOI), Kevin McKidd (“Soap” MacTavish, Modern Warfare 2 and 3), Sam Worthington (Alex Mason, BOI and BOII), Troy Baker (Jack Mitchell, Advanced Warfare) and Kevin Spacey (Jonathan Irons, Advanced Warfare).

Although Modern Warfare was an awesome game and always great to play BOI and BOII were just slightly better than it. Here is the reason why.

Black OPS II is an interesting story because it focuses on two eras. One would be Alex Mason, the main protagonist from BOI, and the other would be David ‘Section’ Mason. Alex’s son. Alex’s story line focuses on the original fight against the antagonist Raul Menendez. Section’s time line focuses on the reemergence of Menendez who is now leader of Cordis Die.

The game begins with Alex and David in Alaska where they live. An old friend and CIA operative, Jason Hudson comes and visits them. Hudson comes to tell them that another friend, Frank Woods has gone Missing in Action (MIA). Even though Alex promised David that he wouldn’t go back to the army the fact that it was David’s “Uncle” Woods was too much for them to not do something about it. After rescuing Woods, Mason and Hudson drag Woods to a radio tower where they run into Menendez for the first time. Mason shoots Menendez in the eye and escapes before the building blows up.

The game then fast forwards 40 years into the future. Section and his Partner Mike Harper and some others are trying to infiltrate a high secret base where they are to acquire a secret high tech weapon known as celerium.

Rewind again to the mid 1980s. Mason, Woods, and Hudson go on a mission to try and capture Menendez. Woods wants this mission for imprisoning him. When they find him Woods accidentally releases a grenade which goes off in the adjoining room killing Menendez’s sister Josefina. This is what drives Menendez to wanting revenge and thus creating Cordis Die.

Back to the future, where Section and Harper are on a mission to gather intel into Menendez’s plans. In the next mission an undercover CIA agent named Farid sends them intel on something called Karma which can be used to hack Menendez’s Celerium worm. Karma turns out to be a person. This mission is the first time that decisions will impact the game. If you save Karma (Chloe) from Defalco (who’s Menendez’s number two) she is safe for the rest of the game unless certain actions happen. If not Defalco captures her and you must complete a special mission to save her.

After this mission ends you switch back to Mason and Woods. They are sent to capture the Nexus target. When they find him it turns out to be a trap. Woods and Mason are sent to get Manuel Noriega when he is captured and taken to a place of refuge for a prisoner exchange. Noriega takes advantage of this using his own military to trick Woods into shooting Mason mistaking him for Menendez. This is the second time you have a choice. After you take the shot Woods and Noriega go over to the body. Woods discovers it’s Mason and attempts to kill him but is shot in the knees by Menendez crippling him. Noriega isn’t seen again but Woods wakes up to find David, Mason and Hudson all in a room. Hudson had been captured and giving them false orders in order to stay alive. Menendez tells them that one other person has to die. Hudson says he has a family then sacrifices himself.

In the following Mission you play as the CIA mole Farid. This is where we see what Menedez has been planning all along. You play as Farid fighting your way through the streets of Yemen. You are guided there by Harper who has split up from Section. Once you reach the edge of the city you meet Menendez again. He shoots a rocket at the hovercraft Harper is flying. Once Harper is dragged out of his downed craft Menendez hands Farid his gun. Farid now has the choice of shooting Harper or shooting Menendez. If you shoot Harper you kill him and remain alive for further missions. If you attempt to shoot Menendez he blocks it and shoots you. Harper survives and is in other levels of the game. Once this happens you play the remainder of the mission as Section. You eventually catch up to Menendez and capture him leading to the next mission.

The next mission starts with you talking to Menendez. He escapes and gets to the control room while you fight your way through the USS Obama to get to it as well. Just as you’re arriving you see a bunch of action. You briefly play as Menendez and take admiral Briggs hostage. One of Sections crew named Salazar, from an earlier mission betrays them. If you rescued Chloe and Farid shot Harper he will sacrifice himself when Salazar attempts to shoot her. If Farid is dead Salazar will shoot her in the head. If Defalco is alive he will slit her throat instead. After this you as Menendez are given the choice to either shoot Briggs in the head or leg. Either way Menendez will unleash the celerium worm. The level ends with you chasing Menendez to the deck of the Obama and missing him as he takes off in a fighter.

In the second last mission Mason and his team are tasked with saving the president along with the other G20 leaders safe from Cordis Die riots. As Mason moves through the downtown streets of LA they hit a point where you can actually save the G20 leaders if you make it to the truck in time. If you don’t then they will die. After this Mason flies a fighter jet to try and take down some of the drones that Cordis Die have released. The Level ends with the president being saved.

The final mission “Judgement Day” begins with Section and his team skydiving to the Cordis Die Headquarters in order to shut down the transmission and stop the drone fleet from destroying major cities in the United States. When Section reach the control room they are too late and the transmission starts. Once it’s over they go to capture Menendez. Eventually Section does. Now the choices you have made previously will determine the ending. Whatever happens you will have the option to either capture or kill Menendez. If Harper is alive he will make a comment depending if you shoot or capture Menendez. If you kill Menendez and Harper is alive Section will go over and help him.

This ultimately determines the ending cut scenes. If you shot Mason anywhere but the head he will appear and meet up with Woods and Section. If you shot him in the head Section and Woods visit his grave and you Section says he is going to retire in which Woods agrees along with his dad. If Menendez is alive and Chloe is dead he will escape jail and come and kill Woods. If Menendez is dead it triggers riots by his Cordis Die followers. If Both Chloe and Menendez are alive then Chloe will stop the celerium worm untimately leaving Menendez in jail.

The story overall is one of the best I have ever seen. It was different because it was the first time I have been introduced to the different choices option. The story is genuine and makes you really care about the characters even though they are fake and just in a video game.

The Graphics in this game really stand out beyond what many games go to. The people look more and more realistic each game that comes out. BOII really follows this trend by allowing us to see just how far the games have gone to make things realistic for people. The gun fire, surroundings, and explosions have all increased incredibly.

The game play in this game is quite interesting actually. Everything is more realistic, meaning that aiming down your gun is much harder to do than it was before. The recoil on each gun mimics that of their real life counterparts incredibly accurately. This makes the game even harder on easier levels making it for a better game overall.

Like all Call of Duty Games the controls haven’t changed since the previous installments so players and fans can immediately start playing and know all the controls. I do like at the beginning of each game they have a brief tutorial for the new players but the controls are pretty simple to use.

The content of the game is great This game is filled to capacity with small things. Even though you can’t interact with everything you definitely see that the producers of the game really cared and put a lot of effort to making this the best game possible. Overall it’s got so much stuff in it that I haven’t found everything yet. I’ve been playing it for almost 3 years now and I still haven’t found all the little goose eggs or Intel.

Overall Review for the game:

Story: 10/10

Graphics: 9/10

Game play: 9/10

Controls: 10/10

Content: 9/10

Overall Rating: 47/50

Next Review: Call of Duty: Black OPS I

3. NHL Franchise (Xbox 360) Review

The NHL Video Game Franchise has been around since 1991. Over that time the game has gone under many revisions and updates. Each version drastically improves and bodes its own unique improvements. In the latest version the major improvement would be to the audience which has been massively to feel more realistic. As for the game modes themselves. As it’s progressed there have been more and more advances to them. My personal favourite mode though is Be a GM mode.

Be a GM mode is where you play the role of General Manager. You have full control over what you want your team to look like. Personally I am actually amazing at this mode because I tend to have the most amazing teams that completely dominate regardless if I am playing the games or if I’m simming them.

Mostly during this though I like to focus my attention on two-three players and make them my all star players that never leave my team. Currently in the version I have that consists of Johnny Gaudreau, Connor McDavid, Jonathan Drouin, Oliver Kylington and Dylan Strome. Yes somehow I manage to keep all of these players and then some under the cap. It’s hard but I do manage it. Especially when you throw in a solid Number 1 Goalie.

The other really popular game mode is My Player mode. Which is essentially where you start as a rookie and work your way up to being a legend. I never really enjoyed this mode and prefer to make the big decisions and that really helps and makes life more fun.

The graphics have greatly improved. The skating and movements have become more and more realistic. For example; now you can’t just swoop in and pick up the puck and keep going. Now there is a speed mechanism which really messes you up unless you are really good at playing.

Overall it’s a great game that improves year after year. Eventually I won’t know how they can improve it anymore. The best is yet to come now that the release of NHL16 has been announced. So it’s going to be interesting seeing what direction that game takes us.

Final game reviews (This is overall throughout the franchise based on each years upgrades):

Be a Pro/GM mode (Story): 7/10

Graphics: 8/10

Gameplay: 9/10

Controls: 9/10

Content: 9/10

Overall rating 42/50

Next review: Call of Duty: Black Ops II

4. Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox 360) Review

For as long as I can remember Grand Theft Auto or GTA for short has widely been regarded as one of the best video game franchises in history. I mean, how many other games do you know allow you as the main character or characters run around and cause havoc like the GTA franchise does? I honestly can’t think of any. If anyone does think of any please leave a comment below.

GTA V however, took everything to a brand new level. The combined everything you want in a game like this the graphics were stunning the story was fantastic and the amount of stuff there is to do is beyond comprehension. And that’s speaking only from the campaign mode. I’m not talking about online in which there is so much to discuss I will probably write an entire review on GTA V online at another time.

The Story of GTA V is one that I enjoyed immensely because there were different scenarios where you could choose different routes as too which way you think is the best. This only happens occasionally but eventually that does add up and you can make a ton more money that way. I figured that since I’ve beaten the campaign twice and I’ve done the missions where you can pick two different routes you can actually make over 4 million extra dollars by doing the combination correctly. I only figured this out on a fluke. However, to make it a challenge I am not going to tell you which way to do the mission. Otherwise that would be just boring.

The thing I found the most interesting though was the ending. The ending is where you can choose to kill Trevor, Michael or let both live. I will tell you the advantages to why each should happen.

Killing Trevor; if you kill Trevor, Michael and Franklin split Trevor’s share of the money from the last heist.

Killing Michael; If you decide to kill Michael, Franklin and Trevor don’t get Michael’s cut as Lester gives it to Michael’s family.

The other reason that it is hard when you kill off either Trevor or Michael is that Franklin can’t hang out with whichever one doesn’t die afterwards. Which can be a little bit of a bind as sometimes they are handy to have when you are trying to escape from cops. So having Trevor or Michael in the car can come in real handy. Especially as they cannot die when you are on the run.

So I choose to let all three live, it’s the nicest ending and you can allow the three friends to hang out together or just as a couple. If I had to choose as to which one I’d kill though it would be Trevor as Michael has a family and I couldn’t bare to deal with killing him.

Graphics in GTA V go up and beyond the normal call of duty. Everything you see and do is amazing. Almost everything in the world is interactive in someway and if it isn’t it still is pretty detailed. With the weapons you acquire you can pretty much blow up anything except for trains, and buildings. Even some buildings you can damage to some point. Things like sky scrapers and stuff are the only things that can’t seriously be affected.

Everything else though, people cars planes, can be interacted with in some form or other. Hell you can even go to the carnival. Now that’s pretty sweet. It makes me think that I want to live in the world. Not to the extent Michael, Franklin and Trevor do but still it would be nice.

The controls are pretty nice as well. Easy to use and almost impossible to mess up. I really love the weapon changing system where time slows down to let you change weapons quickly without having to deal with being attacked by cops. It makes it nicer when you want to go on rampages with Trevor.

In the end GTA V is by far one of my favourite games of all time for Xbox 360.

Overall Game Score:

Story: 10/10

Graphics: 10/10

Game Play: 9/10

Controls: 10/10

Content: 8/10

Overall Rating: 47/50

Next Review: NHL Franchise

5. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Review

When it comes to open world games, there are very few that can match the vastness of  Skyrim. If you do the actual conversion ratio to what the actual size of the map is, it works out roughly to 14 square miles. In reality that may not be very big when we think about it but in terms of walking speed and distance that’s a big distance. However that’s what makes Skyrim so great is that it is such a big map that players have so many options on where to go.

When you first start out in Skyrim you are a prisoner being transported for execution. Just as you are about to be executed a dragon comes and attacks. This dragon’s name is Alduin. Alduin serves as the main antagonist for the main story quest. After you escape your bonds you get led to a village and there you learn more about what has happened. After this meeting with this one final family you kind of get to go where ever you want. From here it becomes an open world to you. That said, in order for you to get certain things then you must complete the actual story line.

Skyrim hosts the main quest which is the one where you defeat Alduin. But there are also about 200 side missions that you can complete. And each side mission can sometimes have a different outcome depending on who it pertains to and what kind of relationship you have with that person. Also beside the main quest there are four smaller quests that you can complete. These are four smaller stories that you will and can only be completed in certain orders after certain missions are done. Now you don’t actually have to beat these as these are optional and will just give you something to fill in your vast amount of playing time with.

These four quests can seriously determine what happens within Skyrim. For example. the Companions and Rebellion quest line ends in the defeat of the Queen of Skyrim or the defeat of the Rebellion leader. This is only one example of how quests can alter how Skyrim is affected.

Game play is very interesting in this game. As this is the first game that I know of that actually bodes the ability to switch back and forth between 1st and 3rd person. The 1st person is awesome for when you are locked in that close combat. You only see the hands of your character. Whether that be with them wielding a sword and shield or using magic. You could see your characters hand/arm movements which to me made it feel more like I was actually doing it. The 3rd person view was better for when you were trying to run away or see wider spaces more easily. I also found that fighting larger creatures was easier when you were in 3rd person. Especially dragons. You could move around more and dragons had a harder time sneaking up on you because of it. I found Game play easy and handy to use as you could easily equip your favourite weapons into the quick menu to activate quickly.

A small hint for all you players out there. I found that a sword and healing spell make for an excellent combination. **This is really for those who have high levels.** Don’t attempt this if your character is below at least a level 35.

The graphics were incredible. Everything was pretty accurate and the night skies were magnificent. Sometimes when I was out late at night I really wished I was there in the game so I could lay down on the ground and watch. What also impressed me about the graphics is that each city had such a different climate. Some were really dry and bright others were dark and wet. And every season that I can think of was incorporated into the game. Sun, rain, snow, etc down the line it was really incredible. That is what made the game so real for me.

Overall a great game. It was one of my favourites for a long time. With countless hours of missions that you could do along with other things. I never got tired of it. I think the producers said there was something like 200+ missions. I personally only got to about 140 so I wouldn’t know.  But that’s why it makes the 5th spot on my all time list.

Final Game Ratings:

Story: 9/10

Graphics: 10/10

Game play: 9/10

Controls: 9/10

Content: 9/10

Overall Rating: 46/50

Next Review : Grand Theft Auto

6. FIFA Franchise Review

The FIFA Franchise has been around the video game world for a long time now. As of the release of FIFA15 in September 2014, the FIFA franchise has been released every year since 1993. So that’s going on 22 years as of July of 2015. This also makes it the 3rd longest sports franchise behind the Madden (1988) and NHL (1991) series.

Now FIFA is a little different as it’s a sports game and there is no real story to it. The story I guess would be….the career mode which is usually a big hit with any sports franchise. I think I reference this in my NBA2K14 review. ( HERE) Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed the franchise because the games each year have gotten so much more realistic. I’ve sporadically bought the occasional game and I’ve enjoyed it every time.

The manager Career Mode could be slightly altered in my opinion. They could make the transfer windows slightly easier so you can acquire your favourite players easier. For example in FIFA14 it took me forever to get Messi from Barcelona. I eventually did pry him away at a cost of $80,000,000, and Falcao ($59,000,000) whom I acquired from Manchester United in the previous season. Messi originally didn’t want to sign but eventually did when I offered him 1.5 mil a season. A hefty price for the best player in the world but one that was worth it to team him up with Christiano Ronoldo.  Make the transfer window easier and it would be better.

As for the other Career Mode. I’ve never been a fan of the player career mode as it’s super hard and I want to play with the club I want to be on not the ones that they decide to put me on. So I can’t really say much more than that currently.

The Graphics in the game have improved every year. Now we are into FIFA 15 where you can see every thing in the game. Players shadows, the individual audience, there facial expressions when they score and cut scenes.  It has really improved and I am impressed. The one thing I have noticed however, is that there tends to be small glitches when attempting a throw in. This was more common in earlier versions and especially noticeable in FIFA 12. FIFA 13, 14 and 15 I haven’t encountered any major glitches.

The control scheme for the FIFA Franchise has for the large part remained the same. Which is nice for us frequent players who get use to one style. We don’t want to mess it up by having to learn a whole new set of controls. So no complaints here.

Overall, a great game that has brought me countless hours of fun. Great for playing against the computer or against your friends. I have very few complaints about it.

Story: N/A

Graphics: 9/10

Game play: 9/10

Controls: 10/10

Content: 8/10

Overall Rating: 36/40

Next Review: Skyrim

7. Assassins Creed Revelation Review

The Assassins Creed Franchise is one of the best ones I have played in a long time. It’s one of those game series that carries over from one game to the next. Now I find that the series had a better mini-series focusing on one character. That character Ezio Auditore was the focus of three games Assassins Creed II, Brotherhood, and Revelations. Revelations is my favourite of the three. One because it wraps up his story nicely and you also find out what happens to his ancestor Altair.

The story starts with Desmond Miles (who is also a direct descendant of Ezio and Altair) haven fallen into a coma from the stress of killing Lucy, at the end of Brotherhood. In an attempt to preserve his mind they place him in the Animus. The Animus lets you go back in time to visit events. You control Ezio’s movements but you have one overall story line which ends up with Desmond dying. (This isn’t optional.) Anyway, Ezio’s story consists of him trying to restore order to what today would be considered Turkey and Constantinople. The other thing Ezio is trying to do is collect keys. These keys allow Ezio to view Altair’s memories and past experiences. Once Ezio has all of these he views Altair’s experiences which include him being overthrown as leader of the Assassin Order by Abbas. When Altair returned to confront him, he killed Abbas and much later encoded his memories on the five keys that Ezio has been searching for for the entire game. The game ends with Ezio finding Altair’s tomb and Desmond waking up telling his father William, Shaun and Rebecca what they need to do.

This game really steps up the story aspect of this game franchise. It throws a different twist at you, one that we haven’t really seen before because of the story line. Yes, the story is still very linear but it is also diverse because it shows a more ‘human’ side to Ezio. One that we haven’t seen before. This story actually sets up a small sequel game that was released for DS I believe but not for any other game platforms. Weird I know but you can’t really expect anything else from a franchise that in my opinion needed a change. It’s nice in the next game Assassins Creed III the story focuses on a totally new angle.

The graphics in this version were vastly improved over previous versions. Everything was more realistic and I felt that I could blend into the game more. They ran more smooth and I felt more attached to the world and wanted to explore it more than I had in previous versions…

The controls in this game remained the same as the previous versions which is nice so nothing really bad to criticize in this category. I felt that the counter system could have been a little bit better.

Overall this game is a really good game and wraps the Ezio story up well with revealing everything that needed to be said and told. They hit the ending right on.

Final Rankings.

Story: 9/10

Graphics: 9/10

Game play: 8/10

Controls: 8/10

Content: 8/10

Overall Rating: 42/50

Next Review: FIFA Franchise

8. UFC 3 Review

For me, sports were a big part of my life when I was growing up. Now that consisted mostly of Soccer and Hockey, but I’ll get into those games later on as they are on the list. But that’s not to say that UFC 3 isn’t a great game. It has many great game modes and the one that is most popular is definitely the Career mode. Like many games these days it shows a progression in the actually characters and ability to improve your fighter through a combination of learning new moves and signature moves.

When you start out you are given just a basic character that has a base rating of 70 I believe. over your career you must work your way up the ladder. If you focus on one area of fighting say standing strikes (which is the area I focus on) you can become champion within 6-8 fights depending if you win or lose or who you are fighting as well.

What I found has always worked well was to balance out your attacks so that they are all somewhat effective then once you are a regular in the UFC then focus more on the aspect of upgrading say your boxing or wrestling skills. A tip for defeating your opponents. Yes, targeting one area will eventually weaken them enough that you should overpower them but if you develop one secondary move to max potential it will greatly increase your chances of survival because your opponent won’t expect it.

What UFC has done is the AI wrestlers become adapted to your style of fighting. If you like ground and pound they will try and keep the fight standing so that they can potentially get an advantage. This is where that secondary move comes in. Have your opponent weakened enough by punches will do enough that you can knock him out with a solid kick to the head will guarantee you a win.

I do find the game generic in some ways however. After you’ve maxed out your punching skill on a certain move then you have such a powerful move that you want to defeat the character in a different way. That’s why when I played I tried to develop well rounded fighters that had a combination of different styles so that I could hit my opponents with a variety of moves and they essentially couldn’t defend themselves because they couldn’t adapt to my style.

The way they set up the training system as well was also very good. In order to improve your skills you have to complete drills in that area and once you do you gain that skill and it becomes more powerful over time. Each type of skill is also mimicked in the practice sessions so that you actually try them out instead of getting owned in a fight and because you went in cold without having tried the move completely. Its a very clever thing that the game developers added in order to make the game more realistic.

What really sucks about this game is that it’s set so that you have to retire after 48 fights regardless of your record. You can go a perfect 48-0 and still retire before the time you are 30 if you fight enough. In a way I can see the logic behind it but if I was to improve one thing it would be that you should determine how many fights you want and how long you want to fight for. It’s a small thing but it would have made it better for me personally.

As for in the actual ring and the fighting. The game graphics are great. the only area were they are really lacking is the reactions after the fighters have been hit. In some instances you can see the impact that a fight has had on a fighter. Your fighter could sustain a very nasty cut and you can see blood on yourself and your opponent. You can see the sweat on the fighters as well. So when you see the red spots and bruises on a fighter it really makes it personal especially if that wrestler doesn’t give up.

In essence it’s a great game that is really fun because who doesn’t enjoy fighting someone knowing that there aren’t any real repercussions afterwards?

Final Game Ratings:

Story: N/A

Graphics: 9/10

Game play: 9/10

Controls: 10/10

Content: 8/10

Overall Rating: 36/40

Next Review: Assassins Creed Revelations

9. NBA 2K14 Review

NBA 2K14 game out on four different consoles. The XBOX360, XBOX One, Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. The XBOX360 and PS3 versions are drastically different than the XBOX One and PS4 version. The developers of the game put a lot of time and care into upgrading the system. The version for 360 and PS3 felt so generic and uninspiring. The biggest difference that I noticed about the game was that the simplified some of the controls for some of the more common moves.

The 360 and PS3 versions haven’t changed much over the past couple of years. Pretty much the only thing that has changed is the players have been updated with new stats. You have better control over which character attributes you want to upgrade to make your My Career player the most dominant player in the NBA.

I found and this was nice that once you upgraded your character enough you started to get more play time. But what also happens which does suck is that you do become good enough that the game becomes easier and easier. Even on Hall of Fame (which is the level I play on) I still am averaging 34 points 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Throw in 3 steals and 2 blocks and thats pretty decent averages. Even when I skipped games my averages were still pretty decent.

What I didn’t like about this was it was so linear. I found that I was becoming so good that the games were becoming less fun. I would play the key games and forget about the rest because I knew that my team was going to make the playoffs because I was so good. The lack of actual cut scenes was also a little boring because when playing I felt that I was only playing to win trophies and championships. I wanted something else some sort of challenge or story that gave me something to enjoy coming to. So when I saw that the PS4 and XBOX One versions were so much different I decided to turn in my XBOX360 and bought a PS4.

For XBOX One and PS4 they totally revamped the game by adding that new dimension that you never saw in the older generation consoles. The My Career mode for the new Generation is very different. It pretty much walks you through your actual career with different cut scenes and stories that can develop. When you’re a rookie and trying to make a name for yourself with you having to deal with hazing veterans to building your relationship with your coaches. It’s not just your reactions on the court that matter in the PS4 XBOX One version. It’s the choices that you make that define your career.

I found that now I play a game and I look forward to each game because I don’t know what could happen. Yes most of the ‘actual’ gameplay is the same but it’s the small things like having your coach actually trust you or want you to take over the game that makes it more fun to play. Because I want to try harder to accomplish each goal even more than in the previous games.

Switching modes, and turning to the Be a GM Mode also possesses major changes.  Like previous versions it’s so generic. Eventually I was so bored of the GM Mode that I would just sim games. It was so boring because I knew that I could manipulate everything. I could force GMs to trade players they didn’t want to. I could change the stats of each character so that your team had this dynamite team that will always win. It just became so boring to me.

Like the My Career Mode. The next  generation version has been revamped to a whole new level. Now you control even more than you did before. You can allocate the money and where you spend it. Like in My Career you are given objectives that you must complete. If you fail at these then your job can be in jeopardy. You must create and build relationships with your players, the media, the coaching staff, upper management and even the owner. What is really cool is that you can build your reputation enough and after you have upgraded your GM to max you can even purchase the team yourself.

The next generation consoles really go above and beyond in this game. They stay with the same concept but build around it by expanding how you build relationships. You must make choices that will either progress or regress your career in both the GM position or even in a Career Mode. Ultimately, the choices you make are the choices that you will regret or take pride in.

As for controls, they are pretty standard. Nothing really surprising besides changing a couple so letting people do flashier dunks and more Ally-oops for a better highlight package at the end of the scene. Besides this they really don’t have much significance on the game.

Graphics have improved with the games progression. I like the in arena crowd now as you can see the fans cheering or booing their team. If you watch from the sidelines and the home team is actually losing bad enough you will start to see empty seats as the game winds down into the late 3rd and 4th quarters.

Overall I think it’s a great game. The new generation version of the game is much better and allows for much more diversity. Below are my final ratings for the game itself.

Story (Cutscene progressions): 8/10

Graphics: 9/10

Game play: 8/10

Controls: 10/10

Content: 10/10

Overall Rating: 44/50

Next Review: UFC 3

10. L.A. Noire Review

NO 10.  L.A. Noire.

LA Noire is a mystery game based in Los Angeles, California. It is set back in 1947. It follows the story of a detective named Cole Phelps who had been returned to the USA after a war injury, and a marine from his army unit named Jack Kelso. The player throughout the game controls both Phelps and Kelso. Phelps over the course of the game solves a number of murders and mysteries. As the game progresses the mysteries become harder and harder to solve. The player controls either Phelps or Kelso depending on the mission. It is up to the player to find out the easiest way to solve each mystery.

What makes this game so great is it isn’t just one dimensional. As the player you must use a variety of clues and interrogations to correctly charge the right suspect. Each crime follows a logical path with there being only one definitive culprit in each one. (If you are a first time player you might not pick up on this.) By finding all the clues and questioning witnesses correctly you eventually as a whole get better at sleuthing out each answer.

What I didn’t like about this game however was how it followed such a strict story line. After one case is solved another one is directly started. You go from each mission to mission without ever really having a chance to explore LA. If the user was allowed more time to explore the city I think that the game would have been much more interesting. Especially if you had the opportunity to do little side mission where the objective was to find out history on Los Angeles  which I have actually looked up and to be honest L.A. has some pretty interesting history in it.

Overall however this game is a very intriguing saga of one man trying to bring an end to the corruption of L.A. The end result however is the ultimate sacrifice as Phelps ultimately dies after uncovering the truth about the corruption in L.A.

My final ratings for this game are as follows.

Story: 9/10

Graphics: 9/10

Game play: 8/10

Controls: 10/10

Content: 8/10

Overall Rating: 44/50

Next Review: NBA 2K14