Metro 2033

Basic Information

System: Xbox 360, Windows
Developer: 4A Games
Publisher: THQ
Genre: first-person shooter, role-playing game, survival horror
Release Date: March 16, 2010
ESRB: Mature (17+)

Metro 2033 is a first-person action RPG by and the debut title of 4A Games. If you’re a fan of replayable first-person action RPGs, then be sure not to miss out on this gem.

The game is based on a Russian novel with the same name. The game takes place in, or rather under, post-apocalyptic Moscow, where a minority of the population has taken shelter in subway tunnels, and survived a nuclear holocaust. You assume the role of a man named Artyom, who must find a way to save what is left of humanity from a supposedly “evil” group of sentient beings known as the Dark Ones.

The gameplay of Metro 2033 is pretty straight forward, as in that it doesn’t deviate much from your average first-person shooter. In Metro 2033 there are almost always two ways to do things, the run-and-gun way, where you try to reach the end of the level as fast as you can, and the slow-and-steady way, where you kill just about all the enemies that get in your way, and pick-up all the equipment and ammunition you find along the way.

Where the gameplay differentiates itself from other first-person shooter games is it’s toxic environment. Once you leave the subways, and sometimes in them, you’ll have to put on a gas-mask. While this may not seem like much of a hassle, it is, for enemies can break a hole in your gas-mask, rendering it virtually useless.

Not only can enemies break your gas-mask, but if you run out of air-filters, you’ll be forced to take your gas mask off. You can only survive for about 10 seconds without your gas mask. Now if that wasn’t annoying enough, the game doesn’t tell you what you should do when such a thing occurs, nor does it tell you that picking up a new gas mask will not help you in such cases.

The graphics are superb, and the atmosphere is well done. When you’re in the metro, you really get a sense of the environment, and it seems pretty realistic. Once you go above ground though, the environment is kind of empty and dull.

The game’s soundtrack really fits the game. The sounds are pretty well done and sound realistic. The voice acting is good, and you can really tell that the characters speak in a Russian accent.

Despite the game being marketed as a survival horror game, it isn’t really that scary. Only one part of the game is actually scary, and that is when you face the Librarians in the Library.

The game has a variety of weapons to use, but they are almost all pretty much the same. The game’s money that you use to buy weapons with is a certain kind of bullets, but the game doesn’t tell you that, so you’ll end up killing monsters using money, and wondering why you don’t ever have any money to buy new weapons.

Once you get out of the metro, and even in it, the environment is not very open. You are given one path, and that is the only path you can take to get to your destination. You cannot roam whatsoever when outside, or inside for that matter.

The game is very easy, in-fact, too much so. The toughest thing in the game is not fighting demons, it’s the damned gas masks and traps. There are many puzzles to solve in the game, some of which are pretty hard, but nothing memorable. Metro 2033 has an alternate ending, giving it some replay value, but in the end.

Don’t get me started on the game’s glitches. Metro 2033 has more bugs than, dare I say, Hellgate: London. Glitches range from dead bodies showing up as alive, to monsters jumping at you and no-clipping through walls, only to no-clip back into the game at a later time, to your gun flying out of your hands mysteriously.

Overall, Metro 2033 is a fun game with a lot of potential, but has a poor delivery. The lack of multiplayer, loads of glitches, easy gameplay, non-scary atmosphere, non-stop motifs, and poor gameplay prevent this game from being all it could be. So the question remains, are these tunnels worth traversing, or should you leave Metro 2033 in the dark? I suggest renting Metro 2033, an avid gamer should be able to complete the game in about 7-12 hours.

Story: 8/10
Fun: 8/10
Gameplay: 5/10
Multiplayer: N/A
Graphics: 9/10
Music: 7/10
Replay Value: 8/10
Difficulty: 2/10
Overall: 8/10

This review is based on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

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Halo: Reach beta

Basic Information
System: Xbox 360
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Genre: first-person shooter
Release Date: May 3, 2010
ESRB: Mature (17+)

Please note that this is a review of the Halo: Reach beta, and not the full version of the game. Please also note that this is not a typical full length review I’m writing, since this is just a beta version of the game. This is more of a first look at the beta. I’ll write a real, full review for game, when it actually comes out.

The game uses classes, similar to Team Fortress, Battlefield, and Call of Duty. However, at this time, all of the classes use the same weapons: assault rifle, Halo 1 pistol, and two grenades. I’m sure Bungie will fix this in the real game though. Each class has it’s own special ability though. One class runs really fast, one lets you turn invisible and silences your weapons. And another makes you harder to kill.

When the beta first launched, the servers crashed at Bungie and people weren’t able to play. The beta download is also really slow. Luckily, the servers are back up now and you can matchmake.

The graphics are superb, and the game adds several new weapons, as well as brings back the pistol from Halo: Combat Evolved. Some of the new weapons I’ve seen are the needler sniper rifle, which fires long range, extremely deadly, exploding needles into someone, and can zoom in. Another weapon is the “beam of light gun” which is like a sentinel laser, but far more deadly and far bigger. Another is the super shotgun, which is like the normal shotgun, but even better. Another is the “sonic boom blob gun” which shoots blue blobs that stick to people and things, they then blow up, they also make it so the enemy can’t hear anything but the sound of a sonic boom when you shoot it.

It still takes an entire clip, or more to kill someone, regardless of what weapon you are using. The game also features assassination kills. Assassination kills are where you sneak up behind someone and one hit kill them, using a special melee attack.

Well, that’s the beta in a nutshell, I hope you enjoyed this review and found it helpful.

Story: N/A
Fun: 6/10
Gameplay: 6/10
Multiplayer: 6/10
Graphics: 10/10
Music: N/A
Replay Value: N/A
Difficulty: N/A
Overall: 7/10

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OneChanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad

Basic Information

System: Xbox 360
Developer: Tamsoft
Publisher: D3Publisher
Genre: hack and slash, survival horror, girls
Release Date: February 10, 2009
ESRB: Mature (17+)

OneChanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad is a difficult game to review. If the game wasn’t about beautiful half-naked women killing zombies, it would probably suck.  Now, you’re probably wondering why this game has such a high rating, if it’s gameplay sucks, well, I’ll get into that later.

First I’ll comment on the storyline, which is practically non-existent and jumps right into stuff that are never even covered in the game, leaving you wondering what the heck the characters are talking about.  Though, this could be because I never played any of the previous games in the series.  All of the characters speak in Japanese, with English sub-titles, so unless you speak Japanese, you have to read everything they say.

The game takes place in Japan, where a zombie outbreak occurs. Two high school sisters, who apparently have experience in fighting zombies, rush to save the city. They prove yet again, that apparently bra and panties are all the armor one needs when it comes to taking down hordes of, well, just about anything.

The game’s graphics are really good, which is something I imagine the developers were going for, to make the characters look even better. The music is also good, or atleast it would be, if they had more than one song that played over-and-over-and-over again, non-stop.

The gameplay is fun at first, but gets repetitive after a while.  You can dual wield both swords and guns alike.  The fighting primarily revolves around just button mashing. The developers over at Tamsoft seem to be rather keen on groin strikes, for over half of your attacks go for a zombie’s nuts. In the end though, the gameplay is mediocre at best, but gets tiring and repetitive later on.

For some reason, your character will die if you sword fight too much, even if you don’t get it. So you have to find statues of the Virgin Mary, which will replenish your “vitality”.  Guns on the other hand have unlimited ammo, and don’t require any “vitality”. Some zombies are, or rather were, police officers, and they have guns. Other zombies have chainsaws, throwing knives/axes, and melee weapons, while others are unarmed.

The game is very bloody and gory. And you can swing the blood off of your sword if you want to, thus slinging blood all over the ground.  Though, I see no game-play reason for doing this, or just about anything else in the game, which I’ll divulge into later.

The special moves are pretty cool, and range from temporarily stopping time and slashing inanimate zombies, to grabbing and squeezing a zombie’s testicles and ripping them off, to diving to your knees and unloading a plethora of bullets into zombies, to jumping then grabbing a zombies head and slamming him in the ground, to letting a zombie crawl on you then kick him in the nuts, to running into and climbing on a zombie.

The character designer(s) at Tamsoft deserve an e-cookie for an excellent job on designing the game’s characters. They are, for video game characters, quite stunning. You can also dress the characters up in different attire, and play as them using custom uniforms in the game.

The game is very easy, and not really scary at all, despite having zombies in it.  The hardest thing in the game isn’t fighting monsters, it’s finding out where to go and how to get there.  Luckily there is a map, however, it doesn’t tell you how to get to the are you need to go. The game also doesn’t tell you how to do anything, or what to do whatsoever, and there is no tutorial. It’s like the developers just expect you to know what to do automatically.

The AI isn’t too bright either, not even the AI for the bosses. Zombie dogs are especially bad when it comes to AI. 75% of the time you can walk past a pack of zombie dogs and they won’t even try to attack you. In the game, you basically just go to the same places over and over again, back and forth. The game is also glitchy quite a bit. The game also seems to lack any way of healing your characters.

All in all, I’d say that OneChanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad is worth playing, just for the girls and due to the “urban legend” status that has been placed on the game in the Western world. The game should take up quite a few hours of your time. Plus, it makes for a good conversation piece too, not to mention the game isn’t that bad. So all-in-all, if you like games with hot chicks and/or zombies in them, you may want to check this out. Please keep in mind that this is my first review, and so I’m not a professional video game reviewer, but I hope you still found this interesting and informative. Until next time, happy gaming!

Story: 1/10
Fun: 3/10
Gameplay: 2/10
Multiplayer: didn’t try
Graphics: 5/10
Music: 1/10
Replay Value: 1/10
Difficulty: 1/10
Overall: 3/10

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