Category Archives: Game Reviews

Game Review – Batman: Arkham Asylum & Batman: Arkham City

In celebration of the release of Batman: Arkham Origins, the new Batman: Arkham game, I decided to review the previous two Arkham games. Enjoy.

OFFICIAL SILVER SCREENER REVIEW

– BATMAN: ARKHAM ASYLUM –

IGN Rating: 8.7 out of 10

Developed by: Rocksteady Studios

Published by: Eidos Interactive & Warner Bros. Entertainment

Totally not insane.

Totally not insane.

When Batman: Arkham Asylum first came out, it quickly became one of the most critically acclaimed video games in the last few years.

I only got around to playing it earlier this year, and I must say, it lives up to the hype. First impressions count, especially in a Batman game which means so much to fanatics like me, and my first impression of Arkham Asylum was one of pure wonder and respect as to how much detail, how much effort must have gone into making this game which has single handedly given Batman games one of the highest standards of any game series out there.

Man, that was a long sentence.

Arkham Asylum features some of the greatest detail I’ve seen in a game. It rivals the Grand Theft Auto series in terms of attention to the little things. Maps on the ground, texture of surfaces, building design. Only a few of the many things that Arkham Asylum boasts as truly first-class.

The gameplay gets a little repetitive, though. It seems like the whole ‘detective mode on the gargoyles’ thing got a little tiresome, towards the end of the game, at least. There’s only so many times you can hang an Arkham inmate from a gargoyle before you begin to want something different. And many of the Challenges have the same premace as this, too; purely gargoyle combat. The hand-to-hand combat is impeccably staged, though, and even on easier difficulties, it’s not exactly a walk in the park. Maybe that’s what I liked so much about the game: it really was a challenge.

Arkham Asylum boasts a killer script and plot. The Joker’s dialogue is impeccable; it stays so true to the character and some of the lines are the work of a mastermind in Paul Dini. The plot is one of the most intriguing Batman plots on any form of entertainment I’ve had the pleasure of indulging myself in.

But easily the best thing about Arkham Asylum is the unlockables, the riddles, and the teeth.

There are so many riddles to solve, so many teeth to destroy, and so many gadgets to upgrade. And you will undoubtedly spend hours trying to finish these off, even after you’ve finished Story Mode. I don’t know how they do it, but you feel totally obliged to finish it off. Not for you, but for Batman. After all, in a Batman suit, you can do anything. You’re the world’s greatest detective.

Arkham Asylum is an unforgettable gaming experience. It may just change how you feel about comics, about Batman, about gaming, because it’s so damn good. It may not be entirely replayable once you’ve unlocked all you can, finished all your Challenges, and solved all the riddles, but by god are you having a good time while it lasts.

MY RATING: 9 out of 10.

OFFICIAL SILVER SCREENER REVIEW

– BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY –

IGN Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Developed by: Rocksteady Studios

Published by: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

In the words of Jesse Pinkman: "Woah, yo."

In the words of Jesse Pinkman: “Woah, yo.”

And I thought the first one was good.

I’ll try to make this short and sweet, but there’s so much to like about Arkham City, I’m not sure how well I’ll fare.

Let’s start with the critiques:

Maybe it doesn’t have the level of replayability which some of the other great games do. Maybe.

Okay. Critiques over. Let’s get to the good stuff.

The script is just as good as Arkham Asylum’s. Maybe it’s better. Of course, it’s written by the same guy, Paul Dini, with help from Paul Crocker and Sefton Hill. Again, the plot is highly intriguing. It features the whole spectrum of Batman characters, more so than Arkham Asylum. I wish it had more to do with Scarecrow, though (he’s my favourite villain besides Joker). But I guess they were reaching for something different than what they did with the first game.

I love how the game makers incorporate The Riddler into this story. In Arkham Asylum, Edward Nigma is just as enigmatic as his name suggests, and we do not see him – only hear him. This time around, Nigma plays a huge role. It takes a little too long to go from one ‘hostage’ scene to another (when you get up to it, you’ll know what I’m on about), but his riddles are delightful, and that mystery is a never-ending worry.

The combat is really similar to Arkham Asylum (gargoyles, detective mode, etc.), but all the gadgets featured are upgraded versions of their originals, so that brings a level of freshness to the game, which is good. Going back to Arkham Asylum after you finish Arkham City, you’ll realise just how different the two games are. You may even appreciate one more than the other.

But Arkham City’s best feature is the world-building.

The Arkham City complex is so incredibly detailed. There are so many little gaps here and there, so many meticulous little spots to hide Riddler Trophies, so many places to go. The world of Arkham City is maybe the best piece of world building I’ve played in a game.

I don’t need to spell much more out for you; Arkham City is closer to perfection than any game I’ve played in a long time, perhaps even since 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved. I don’t get to play a whole heap of games, which makes the experience – and trust me, it really is an experience – of Arkham City so much sweeter.

MY RATING: 9.5 out of 10.

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1 year later…

1 post.

0 likes.

No traffic.

That was 1 year ago TODAY.

Since then, this page has exploded; over 3000 views, 37 subscribers, 41 posts and a hell of a good time has come of it.

I just wanna thank you all, my loving readers, for bothering to flick through the page and take a peek at my opinions. Isn’t that one of the great things about film – it can be interpreted in so many different ways, and it’s open to opinions from all sides of the scope.

Thanks for reading, my friendly friends. I’ll have some more stuff up soon.

All the best,

Elroy Rosenberg.

Follow me on Twitter (@ElroyRosenberg), on Instagram (gooserosenberg), and on Facebook (/TheSilverScreener)

Game Review – Halo 4

OFFICIAL SILVER SCREENER REVIEW

– HALO 4 –

IGN RATING: 9.8 out of 10

Developed by: 343 Industries

Published by: Microsoft Studios

The Master Chief is back, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

I’ve been playing Halo games for a long time. Ever since Halo: Combat Evolved, I’ve been in a trance. The setting, the storyline, the characters and the high-tech alien weapons. What’s not to love?

My expectations for this game were subdued. I was expecting a different kind of game; not one that I’m used to seeing in this series. With 343 Industries being the sole developer, I thought this game would be taken in a whole new direction. Bungie made superb games, and it would be hard to top their efforts.

Actually, it was a matter of how much of a change would take place in this game. New developer, new race of antagonists, new planet, and some new guns. But really, 343 stayed true to the series; Same Master Chief, same Cortana, and you still felt that emotion, that want and desire for the UNSC to win the battle, because you knew if they didn’t, there would be some serious consequences.

So overall, my expectations were high. And this game did not disappoint.

THE CAMPAIGN has subtle differences, which were always going to happen when you introduce a new species of enemy. The Prometheans are really interesting characters to behold. Basically, they’re savage aliens who can disappear, run like a dog, jump really high, fly around, reproduce from their back, and turn into sand. Pretty lethal, right?

There are 3 main types of Promethean. Knights, Crawlers, and Watchers. The Knights are the tall ones, who wield crazy-cool weapons and can kill you without second thought. Approach these ones carefully, because they can be tricky to maneuver against. The Crawlers are like dogs, who run really fast, jump on you, and can somehow shoot guns. That would be hard to do with those skeletal paws, one might think, but apparently not. Doesn’t make a whole heap of sense, either. The most annoying things, though, are the Watchers. These things take a s***load of time to get rid of, and really hurt you when you don’t, because they reproduce like bacteria. They shoot at you, then fly away, making it impossible to maintain aim, reproduce, then comeback and shoot you again. A nightmare.

The campaign is fun and exciting as always. Requiem looks amazing, as do all the weapons and the game play itself is smooth and balanced. When you play campaign, however, don’t focus all your attention on the Master Chief. Because as much as he is the main character, this campaign is about Cortana.

SPARTAN OPS is a great inclusion into the game. It’s lots of fun, and its a great way to earn XP for your Spartan rank. It’s like a more settled and organised version of Firefight, or for you CoD players out there, it’s Zombies meets Special Ops. A heap of fun. Do still wish, however, that Firefight was in this game.

MULTIPLAYER. Here we go. The most important bit.

Nailed it. Congratulations 343, you absolutely nailed it. Fun, fast-paced action. Great game modes. Balanced weapons. Ordnance strikes. Good maps. I could go on and on and on, but I shouldn’t. My personal favourite weapon is the Battle Rifle. I didn’t enjoy it in Halo 3, which was weird, because everyone used it. But I’ve found a subtle change in the power of the gun and the maneuverability of the gun, which has made it easier to use and more lethal. Also, the AR has been vastly improved, and the DMR is a popular choice, understandably, for it’s range and power.

I love the customization of this game. Choosing your classes has been something I’ve been hoping this series introduced, and now that it has, I’m left thinking what a great job they did. It may be a first effort, but I already like it more than CoD’s custom class system. Everything is balanced and most combos are just as lethal as any other one; it comes down to player skill, which is how it should be.

The new customization, some may say, caters for new players. But I disagree. A lot of loadouts can be seen as very evenly matched, so it comes down to player skill. The best player will usually win the gun fight. Either that, or the one with the upper hand will win (more health, more ammo). This makes sense, unlike CoD’s system that hasn’t been changed in 3 years, and can be manipulated so that a beginner can dominate a much more experienced opponent. CoD is on the way down, it seems, but I might get into that another time.

The maps are awesome. The spawns are even and fair. The gameplay is exciting and fast-paced. And the game modes are enthralling. Personally, I can’t get enough of Regicide and Flood. Regicide, a more exciting version of CoD’s Free For All, involves players trying to kill the “king” (the person with the highest score). You get extra points for killing the king, and when you do kill him, that awesome voice-over guy says “REGICIDE!” in that sexy voice of his. God I love that guy. And Flood is so much fun, it’s crazy. It’s a great game mode to play with friends. In Flood, you try frantically to kill alien flood mutants trying to polax you, with nothing more than a shotgun and a pistol. Makes for a helluva lot of fun.

The one mistake 343 made is the map “Rangarok“. Worst. Map. Ever. The spawns are annoying, because you have to waste time running to the middle of the map, only for you to get hunted down either by 4 people holding down the center hill, or a sniper camping at the back of the map. There are too many vehicles, as well, to ever sustain any grasp over your enemy. Once someone hops in the mantis, their opposition is done for.

Big Team Infinity Slayer is fun, at times, but doesn’t work a whole lot of the time. It’s not a case of too many people on a map, it’s more of a “being stuck in a room, by yourself, against 4 enemies” kind of thing going on. It can get a bit frustrating. Dominion, Halo’s take on Domination, is pure anarchy. Way too much going on.

This game has it all: Interesting Campaign that stays true to its origins, an exciting new addition in Spartan Ops, and awesome Multiplayer. I can’t get enough of this game.

Top job 343, you’ve done the Master Chief proud.

MY RATING: 8.5 out of 10.

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If you have any suggestions, follow me up on Twitter and give me a tweet www.twitter.com/#!/ElroyRosenberg, would be glad to talk.
Thanks fantastic reader friends,

Elroy.

Game Review – FIFA 13

OFFICIAL SILVER SCREENER REVIEW

– FIFA (SOCCER) 13 –

IGN RATING: 9 out of 10

Developed by: EA Canada

Published by: Electronic Arts

Background: So, I’m a huge fan of FIFA. Have been since FIFA 08. I bought FIFA 04 for my original XBOX, but I didn’t get into it that much. So, when I was given a PSP, I bought the FIFA game from that year (FIFA 08) and couldn’t put it down. I got 14 seasons into my “Manager Mode” campaign with Manchester United (even though I hate them in real life, they make a bloody good FIFA 08 team), but unfortunately my PSP broke recently before I could finish my 15th and final season.

My titles include: FIFA 04 (XBOX), 08 (PSP), 09 (PSP & Wii), 10 (XBOX 360 & Wii), 11 (Wii) and 12 (XBOX 360). Now FIFA 13 (XBOX 360) sits among the collection.

Expectations: Gee, my expectations for this game were high. I have loved this franchise and I was so pumped for this game. Nonetheless, I bought it at the first opportunity I had available. Hot tip: Look around at prices. I was nearly suckered in to buying it for $90 at JB-Hifi, but later purchased it for $70 at Dick Smith.

First thoughts: I hadn’t played the demo much, so I was really excited to play the inaugural game against my brother. While FIFA 12 was the latest FIFA, we played a ridiculous amount of games against each other, with our trademark teams. He played as Porto CF, and I was Arsenal. (Don’t read too much into it, I’m a Liverpool fan but they sucked in that game.)

My first thoughts were “This game is good. It was faster, and more hurried than FIFA 12,” which is exactly what that game missed. Pace. But I soon found the first-touch confusing and frustrating. I was shouting at the TV, for crying out loud. Look at me, I’m a game-playing psychopath with nothing better to do than complain at something that I can’t control.

After further inspection: Uhh…I want to like this game, I do, so bad. But something about it is so…un-FIFA-ish. I mean, it’s not an awful game. But there are little niggles that keep coming back to taint the experience.

Problems:

FIRST TOUCH CONTROL. Silly little EA *shakes his head and tuts*. Tried to over-complicate things and now I want to punch my groin 76 times every time I hold RT while taking my first touch and the ball going 30 feet in front of me. I mean, WHERE’S THE NEED FOR THIS?! Why did you put this extra little nuisance in? Does anyone gain from this?

GOOD TEAM ADJUSTMENTS. Well-rated teams, like Manchester United and Arsenal, will not beat you because their better. They beat you because EA is out to screw you. They will gain extra possession by you tackling their players who have the ball, and the ball ricocheting straight back to enemy feet. It’s annoying. Very annoying. This just plain makes no sense. IF A TEAM HAS A GOOD RATING, MAKE THEM PLAY FLUENTLY. Don’t make them better because of dumb luck programmed by EA staff. Give them good passing skills, good movement and nice-looking structures.

BAD TEAMS CAN WIN OUT OF NOWHERE. Okay, this is a joke. Sure, I’m not for a momentum meter, like in FIFA 08 on the PSP, but maybe the EA staff should implement something like that. No joke. Because seems even if you DOMINATE the game, and your opposition has no shots the entire time, they create ONE meaningful chance with good dribbling and good movement, then BAM they score. EA staff is royally screwing me this time. How is that even possible?! 20 shots to 0, the opposition hardly ever get the ball, and then they SCORE? Yuk, FIFA, yuk.

Oh, and fast attackers getting outrun by slow centre-backs. EA pls.

Good stuff:

On a more positive note, I love what they’ve done with the commentary. I know it’s small, but the in-game updates, the fixture previews, the special comments of certain players/news events…it’s all really well done. Plus, Martin Tyler is the English Morgan Freeman.

General gameplay has improved because of the pace being increased. FIFA 12 was unbearably slow, and the speed has made this game more enjoyable for me. Fast people are actually fast, slow people are actually slow. That makes sense, right?

Lastly, the shots are more realistic and feel nice and fluent. It’s good that they got it right, because in FIFA 12, my brother and I were scoring goals from 40 yards left, right & center.

Career Mode: Yes, yes, yes, I like what I see. Well planned out, well structured…this mode has it all. Even transfers are getting better, which is cool, because that’s all I play Career Mode for. Transfers. It’s like a more in-depth version of FIFA 12 Career Mode, plus it’s a little more neat and tidy.

Ultimate Team: Why would you bother with this crap? Waste your money on meaningless “gold packs”, then spend even more on the next game? Good way to make money, it’s a good marketing scheme from EA. Shame for all the suckers who fell into the trap. Plus, it’s not fun. At all.

Recommendation: Buy this game. Just do it. There may be a few problems here and there, but EA make great games and this won’t prove any different. Sure, I have my problems with it, but there’s no reason why any normal person would. I’m just some kid who looks to much into things.

Final Thoughts: This game wasn’t what I hoped it was. Didn’t suck, either. But there is a recurring feeling of frustration vented when I play this game. Something doesn’t add up. Did EA overdo it this time? Try too much? In a sense, if the game were a little simpler, it would have been just right. No need for this “first touch” nonsense that has me hitting myself in the pelvis.

MY FIST IS GETTING SORE, EA. MY FIST IS GETTING SORE.

Bring on Madden 13. Sorry to say it, but 1 and a half months of this game will be enough.

MY RATING: 5.5 OUT OF 10.

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If you have any suggestions, follow me up on Twitter and give me a tweet www.twitter.com/#!/ElroyRosenberg, would be glad to talk.

First Game Review – Spec Ops: The Line

My first game review. Next up will be a TV review. Only reviewing single player.

OFFICIAL SILVER SCREENER REVIEW

– SPEC OPS: THE LINE (MA15+) –

IGN RATING = 8 out of 10

DEVELOPED BY:

Yager Development (Single Player)

Darkside Game Studios (Multiplayer)

PUBLISHED BY:

2K Games

PLATFORMS:

XBOX 360, PlayStation 3, Windows.

PLOT OUTLINE: A group of soldiers, who were presumed dead, battle through a deserted Dubai to rescue a lost colonel who stayed behind when everyone else left the city.

CHARACTERS: The gamer portrays Captain Martin Walker, leader of his Delta Force squad, Lieutenant Adams and Sergeant Lugo. They battle through thick and thin to save the unfortunate Colonel John Konrad.

SETTING: A deserted Dubai. A sandstorm has destroyed the city and doesn’t plan on settling any time soon. This is one of the main elements of the story.

VISUAL EFFECTS: Wowee, this game looks absolutely stunning. So real and so smooth, it’s a beautiful looking game with a delicate touch and clean feel when walking through the deserted yet somehow energetic streets. Just check this out if you don’t believe me. http://au.ign.com/images/games/spec-ops-the-line-xbox-360-53075

COMPARISON TO OTHER 3RD PERSON SHOOTERS: This is far and away the smoothest 3rd person shooter I’ve played. It’s hard to beat Gears of War but I’d say this game comes very close. Lots of action, lots of detail and lots of love were put into this game.

THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY? The good would have to be the storyline. I’m getting used to awesome visuals now so no point gasping for air about that. Story seems like it would be bland and short, but it’s anything but. Love it. The bad? Probably the fact that this game wasn’t rated higher and wasn’t talked about very much. And the ugly? Really can’t imagine anything that could be considered awful.

RECOMMENDATION: For shooter lovers like myself, this game is ideal. A great way to make up for the frustration that could be vented from games such as MW3 and Battlefield 3. Gives you something to chill out on.

If you have any suggestions, follow me up on Twitter and give me a tweet, would be glad to talk.
www.twitter.com/#!/ElroyRosenberg

Thanks,

Elroy.