Myst: Welcome to Myst

Welcome to Myst. You have opened a book into a surreal world then fallen into it and left to fend for yourself. This is without a doubt, the most revolutionary game of all time. It is the standard for puzzle games everywhere. Myst was without a doubt, lightyears ahead of it time. When the game starts you are on this island and basically told to go explore and have fun. Oh, and you aren’t told what to do. That is the fun part. You must figure out what happened on the island. And any gaps in the story you fill in for yourself. Myst was a world that invites you to get lost in it. It was a wonderful gaming experience that I will never forget.

So, overall, I think that for its genre, this is the greatest game ever made.

Gameplay: The gameplay was incredibly simple. You just point and click and you are moved there. It fits very well with the style of game because it gives you the chance to fully appreciate the surroundings. And you really want to look around. The vistas are stunning in some places. It is amazing to think that two guys did this on an Apple 11 years ago. Anyway, the gameplay fits very well with this game. It lets you concentrate on the puzzles and the atmosphere.

Graphics: The graphics were incredible by 1991 standards and are still pretty impressive today. And that is assuming you don’t’ go out and buy one of the new remastered versions. I thought the attention to detail was astounding. In one age when you are in the treetops looking over the swamp. That was just cool. And when you are in the library, the books and the ceiling were both incredible. I loved the library. Overall the graphics were killer. Some shots you just had to spend a few min. just staring at because there was so much to see.

Sound:  You may ask me about the sound. The sound really is what gives you that feeling of being in the game. Once again the attention to detail is superb. But it is the little noises in addition to the sound that really draws you in and makes you think that you are really on this magical island far away from reality, stranded and desperately seeking the truth.


Motocross Madness 2

Since I am a huge fan of all off road bike sports just like the ones featured in the game and I ride enduros myself, I must say I haven’t got bored of Motocross Madness 2 yet and I still love it just as much as when I first got it. Yes the game maybe a challenge at first and seem frustrating since the computer is so good, but once you get a hang of the handling and gameplay subtleties, you can really push the bike performance a lot to the point where you’re lapping your opponents. Hence this I believe the gameplay is very flexible not without its limits of course, and once mastered, the many challenging tracks are a blast to play. One other thing is the amount of tracks there is in different modes which are all different except the enduro where there are different courses laid out on same maps, though this is a realistic feature like it or not.

Gameplay: When I first started to play Motocross Madness 2 i was much frustrated by the subtleties which make you eat the dirt upon small mistakes like landing with the wrong wheel first and body position, but it is due to this that the game shines because there is a right way to do most things and once you learn how to max the angle of your bike while jumping into a corner, you’ll see the flexibility and variety of moves there are available are somewhat realistic. You can actually apply some real life techniques in Motocross Madness 2, and just like in real life you really have to push your bike to kick ass, for example I never let the rider stand in the neutral position, as I always lean back or forward. The game is also rewarding in that you receive a couple of treats upon finishing your career mode.

Graphics: The graphics are still excellent. Lots of movable objects like cars, trucks and trains. The environments are well constructed and believable, like in supercross you can see the tracks are built on football stadiums. The modelling of bikes and rider is great and together with real life manufacturers it really is a great experience to ride your favourite bike in your favourite gear.

Sound: Sound is very good with real and ambient sounds constantly elevating the experience. The 4-strokes sound great and so do the 2-strokes. I heard elsewhere the 125’s are too high pitched but that is forgivable and doesn’t really take anything from the overall experience.

Max Payne Game Review

This is a high quality game, many online games attempt to achieve the level of perfection Max Payne gets, but fall short. Max Payne is an innovative third person shooter. It is based in New York, you are a “fugitive cop” who was framed for the murder of your friend, Alex Balder DEA special agent.

Gameplay: Gameplay is the best aspect of Max Payne. They have a feature in Max Payne called bullet time. It is a limited resource that replenishes itself for every kill you get. When you activate bullet time you slow down time, everything moves slow except for your aiming reticule. The game has good fluid controls, and has fun fighting scenes. In the game your health is just above realistic so you can have more fun.

Graphics: The graphics of Max Payne are very advanced and allow you to really understand and get to know the gritty and noir situation our hero Max has been forced into. The game has a “graphic novel” that replaces the cutscenes with comic book style graphics this is a great feature i think.

Sound: Sound is amazing the voice acting is the best i have heard in a game it is top – notch. Hollywood movie quality. The rest of the sounds are good and some pretty decent techno music comes on during some action scenes which make Max Payne play out like a jon woo action flick with more depth and story to it.

Escape From Monkey Island Review

This was an excellent game. It had a logical and complexed plotline, excellent graphics, amazing sound and was extremely funny. It also fit well in with the story lines from the other Monkey Island games and seemed to connect all the loose ends those games left. The entire game had priate yet still very comical, felling. If there was one thing wrong, it was Monkey Combat. That’s because I don’t like writing things down for computer games and you had to do that a lot for in in that part of the game.

Gameplay: It took me a few minutes to master the gameplay of Escape From Monkey Island, but after that it’s easy and there are different settings of controls for those who would prefer a different style.

Graphics: The graphics of Escape From Monkey Island were amazing. It keeps the same character design as the other games but in 3-D. All the backgrounds looked really lucius and colourful and again had the same style as previous games.

Sound: Sound had to be the best feature of Escape From Monkey Island. The music was very catchy, and you never got tired of it. I even found myself staying in certains scenes longer because I liked the music.

Return to Castle Wolfenstein

My general summary of Return to Castle Wolfenstein is GREAT! The missions are mixed, you can be doing a normal mission (say destroying a Nazi project or finding Nazi research), but then you find yourself blasting zombies left, right or centre! All that you want in a game! Killing zombies and Nazi’s at the same time… perfect!

Gameplay: The AI is brilliant. Trying to hit a Nazi whilst he is rolling and jumping for the alarm button is difficult. When you get him though you think to yourself ‘Come On!’. When you are blasting your ammo into a zombie with a huge axe and after about 20 rounds in his face he goes down, overwhelming satisfaction takes over, until you get clobbered round the head by one coming from behind! The best things about the game is that you can find yourself shooting zombies and Nazi’s at the same time, whilst the Nazi’s are shooting you and zombies and then the zombies are beating you and the Nazi’s up. Pure Mayhem! The only thing that is annoying is the last two weapons are slightly too futuristic for the game, but still fun!

Graphics: If you’ve got a decent graphics card the scenery is amazing! The detail taken on the people, guns and landscapes is amazing in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Explosions look perfect. Facial detail is outstanding. You can see the scars on the faces of the Nazi’s who have been fighting zombies!The shredded bodies left behind by the zombies are SICK!

Sound: If you have Surround Sound it makes it all the better!You can listen in on the Nazi’s talking about what’s been happening from behind a wall in Return to Castle Wolfenstein. You can hear the screams of soldiers being ripped to shreds in the dungeons!The sound of stalking zombies from all over is wicked as well. Turn all your lights off and put the bass up on your subwoofer and you can feel them breathing down your neck. AWESOME!

Red Alert 2 Game Review

Red Alert 2: I was a fan of the original Command & Conquer and Red Alert. I loved those games. But what I dislike about their sequels is their lack of consistency with their predecessors. Those sequels being Tiberian Sun and this, Red Alert 2.

I don’t think the developers of the first Red Alert had the idea of a sequel because all the Soviet leaders in the original bonked each other off with only Kane surviving. So, I reckon Red Alert 2 was a bit of a shock and it does not really coincide with the original very well.

Having said that, Red Alert 2 does have some reasonable gameplay though and I suppose is a good game by itself. It is a disappointment though that the developers chose to neglect the original classics, they have even decided not to sell the originals any more which seems a bit strange. Come on, even Wolfenstein 3D is still being sold in some stores!

Gameplay: The gameplay is quite good but there is nothing revolutionary. This time, you can order troops to enter and hold some structures, I think its called garrisoning them. There are also some super weapons like the Allied Weather Machine. There is some consistency with the original because the Iron Curtain and the Chronosphere make a return, but if it’s a welcome return I don’t know.

Graphics: The graphics are passable but they are not dare-I-say-again…revolutionary. Most real-time-strategy made these days enable you to fight on a three dimensional battleground, where you can rotate and zoom the view. Red Alert 2 is just your flat 2D battlefield though. I think the developers were saying that this would be there last 2D RTS. Well, they weren’t very experimental were they? Ever heard the the phrase ‘to go where no man has been before’? I reckon the developers should have thought more along those lines.

Sound: The sound is fine as usual. For those of you who liked the music of the original though, Red Alert 2’s music is a bit different. It’s hard to express, so I’ll just say that I didn’t like Red Alert 2’s music as much as I did the original’s.

No One Lives Forever

No One Lives Forever follows the current “Max-Payne” trend of making short, but sweet PC games. Unfortunately the days of NOLF 1, Half-Life, Thief and Deus-Ex length/quality games are over it seems. If you can wait for the bargain bin, you might get your money’s worth because it’s just too short to justify a new-release price.

Gameplay: The best way to describe No One Lives Forever gameplay is by stating what is missing from NOLF 1… which is a shame, because there’s a lot. Most notably: no plentiful and varied environments, no unique environments (like underwater, outer-space etc), no unique boss encounters (they all go down via gunfire), and no more than a handful of interesting missions (no jumping out of planes here).

The worst part is that they took a chapter out of Halo’s book of level re-use — which is bad enough considering the game is short already. All in all the game just feels too compressed without any of the rollercoaster rides you got in NOLF 1.

The most laudable comment I can make is that the arch-villain is very inspired; as are the rest of the new characters. But considering there’s not many new characters (and re-use of the characters from NOLF 1), it’s not really a glowing comment. I also liked the ending.

Graphics: I had the graphics cranked to max with quincunx AA and they looked nothing short of phenomenal. The shader lighting is superb. Although there’s obviously still some light-mapping going on it’s very smoothly done compared to older engines like Q3 and the original Lithtech engine. The textures and models remain top-notch just like they were in NOLF 1.

Sound: Positional sound problems. I also had to fidget with my nforce2 Soundstorm system to get it to work well with No One Lives Forever. Obviously there are some sound issues because there is a FAQ at the No One Lives Forever official site. The music was pretty darn good, but I like that 60s retro rock/jazz fusion. Sound effects were ok.

The conversations are still a big part of the game’s entertainment.