Tom's Game Reviews

Ok. I play a lot of videogames. I also own a lot. I guess you could say I consider collecting videogames a hobby. As such, I tend to encounter the popular, the unpopular, and diamonds that were swept under the rug. I'd like to share a few of my experiences and opinions of some games, especially the next gen console games. I'll also be including some of the older ones, PS2 and Xbox mostly. I might do a PSP now and then as well.

The reviews are pretty big, so to find what you're looking for you might have to use the edit/find command. Just type in the code and hit search, you'll jump right to the beggining of the article.

Table of Contents

Dead Rising (DR1)
Halo 3 (H32)
Indigo Prophecy (IP3)
Saints Row (SR4)

Dead Rising - Xbox 360, Rated M (Code DR1)

Okay, I'm gonna start right now by saying that my judgement towards this might be a little biased... then again, games should automatically get cool points for zombies, so whatever! Dead Rising rocks!

You play as Frank, a journalist who isn't afraid to get his hand into the really messy stuff. He's hardly squeemish either, as in the opening sequence alone he witnesses several deaths with hardly a change of facial features. You're taken into a city that's been locked down by the US military via helicopter, then get off at the mall, saying that you'll investigate the matter. The plan is to be picked up 3 days later and then get out, scoop of the century secured.

You go in. You see people panicking. The barricades break. And the zombies swarm in. Welcome to Dead Rising! There's a pretty decent storyline in the game, but let's face it, the main glory of the game is being a lone man fighting an endless swarm of zombies, and with what? Why, with whatever you can get your hands on! Baseball Bats, Shotguns, Trash Cans, Chainsaws, Hunting Knives, Hockey Sticks, Gumball Machines, Swords, Benches, T.V.s, Sledgehammers, the list is HUGE! It just goes on and on!

And eventually our buddy Frank gets used to killing zombies, so used to it that he gets better at doing it! Y'see, Dead Rising has a level up system much like an RPG with points given out for killing zombies or accomplishing certain things, like saving a survivor or running a treadmill. Leveling up lets Frank carry more items, hit harder, throw farther, be healthier, or learn cool anti-zombie kung fu moves. By the end of your zombie killing campaign, you'll be able to reach inside a zombie and tear his guts out. Now tell me that isn't cool.

But while zombies are a major part of the game, they aren't all there is to it. I guess you can divide the majority of the game into 5 parts.

1. The Main Plot. The 72 hour time limit really pushes you here as you rush to complete certain goals and find out just what caused the zombie outbreak and why.

2. Rescuing Survivors. You'll continuously find survivors of the massacre and be charged with escorting them to safety. After that, you'll occasionally get an item reward or be asked to complete some further request.

3. Killing Psycopaths. It's funny what the dead returning to life does to some people's heads. You'll run into more than one dangerous nut case in your campaign. You can chose not to fight them, but this will usually result in the death of survivors. What's more, killing psycopaths usually opens something up to you, such as the psycopaths weapon!

4. Item Gathering. While there's a lot of items to chose from in the mall, there are certain things that are prime pickings. You'll occaisionally want to make runs for the good melee items, to the gun shop, and to the food court for some recovery items.

5. Zombie Killing. What you do between and during ALL of the above options.

Besides the awesome concept, what really makes the game stand out is it's cast of highly unusual characters, in particular the psycopaths. Not only are these guys extremely weird and interesting, but the majority of them have some gruesome death scene that makes you cringe and say, "No way..." Trust me, it's cool.

But enough of the specifics, don't want to kill things too much for ya. Let's get on to the conclusion!

Fun? Massively. As if running around killing zombies with a katana wasn't cool enough, you get to fight a chainsaw juggling clown and a berserk grocery store clerk. Fantastic. And not only are there cool weapons, there are goofy ones too. You can jam a hanger in a zombie's mouth to make them harmless staggering goofs and then take a picture to laugh at later. While there's not a lot to do in the case of minigames and the like, killing zombies and taking pictures is really all this game needs to be SWEET. Unfortunately, the game loses a lot of it's fun at a certain point in the game. I'll try not to ruin too much of it, but at one point there's a distinct lack of zombie awesomeness.

Graphics? Not top of the line, but it's certainly more than enough to convey the awesome of Dead Rising. Besides, if it got much better, I doubt any of the new systems could support it. Seriously, 1000 highly rendered zombies on screen? That lag would be downright painful. No, the graphics were definitely the perfect level for this.

Controls? Simple, although nothing in game really explains that holding the attack button sometimes reveals a secondary attack on weapon. The booklet might tell ya, but I never look at those damn things. Simple controls, easy camera maneuvering, a solid win here too.

Sound? I kind of hate myself for saying this, but yes, awesome. All of it. The cheery mall music in the background while you're decapitating zombies creates a very unusual situation that's almost comical, truly revealing the games humorous side. Then there's the boss music. Most of the boss fights, and even a miniboss fight, have their own theme song, each one dark and moody while simultaneously being loud. Rawk. The reason I said I hated saying the music was awesome was that a good deal of the boss music is rap, or very close to rap, and yet I didn't find it all that bad. And I dispise rap. Still, when it came to the music of the escaped prisoners in the jeep, I still noticed my head banging along to the killer tune. "Hey, now, that's a master plan!"

Plot? The main characters are pretty well defined but the majority of the survivors are very flat. A few manage to have interesting personalities, but that's it. If you see a character in a movie sequence though, chances are they'll have an interesting personality. The main plot itself isn't that bad and the ending is pretty spectacular. By the way, the game's got multiple endings and a kind of secret after that. Yeah. Anyway, the true ending is really cool. Unfortunately, Dead Rising is one of those games that didn't know when to stop. Remember that earlier mentioned un-coolness? Yeah. Anyway, very cool until the unmentionable point, after that it all went downhill.

Replay? Oh yeah. There's no way you can get everything done on your first play through. Not to mention that the game has quite a few endings. Then there's all the achievements to unlock, hitting level 50, rescuing all the survivors, killing all the psycos, lots of fun stuff! After all that, you might want to play and show your buddies how you can kill a zombie by ripping it's head off, but that's it. Nonetheless, pretty high replay value in here.

Conclusion. Fantastic. This is a fantastic game. If it weren't for the terrible taint at the end, I'd say this game was damn near perfect. Unfortunately, at some point they decided to keep trudging forward and the story, and fun, went down in quality. If you're a hardcore zombie or Capcom fan, pick this sucker up right now. Otherwise, I'd wait for the price to come down a bit. Then again, I'm a bit of a cheapo, heh.

Results -

Fun - 4.5
Graphics - 4.5
Controls - 5.0
Sound - 5.0
Plot - 4.5
Replay - Medium/High

End Grade - 4.5 of 5, Great Game! Definitely something that should be added to your library of videogames. Good as a sleek play through or just to mess around and show to a few friends. Give them a shot too, after all, who doesn't love zombies?

Halo 3 - Xbox 360, Rated M (Code H32)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is it. The big one. After the ridiculously bad cliff hanger ending to the incredible Halo 2 campaign, we've waited some time for the dramatic conclusion. Dramatic doesn't even begin to cover it.

Let me begin by saying that before you play Halo 3, you absolutely should read the first of the books for the Halo series, The Fall of Reach by Eric Nylund. Some parts of the game directly relate to the book and the game is less of an experience if you don't know. Besides that, The Fall of Reach is a fantastic book in it's own right, as are the other Halo books written by Eric Nylund, First Strike and Ghosts of Onyx. (Ignore 'The Flood' though, the book that actually covers the first game, as it's pretty bad.) You should still be able to enjoy the game without the knowledge of what Cortana is babbling about in the middle of High Charity, but knowing what's going on really helps you develop a personal interest in the characters. (Got me right pissed off, heh.)

In any case, the final installment in the Halo Trilogy starts much like the second, with Master Chief getting thrown into action with zero explanation of what's happened between the end of the previous game and now. He wakes to find himself in good company, Sergeant Johnson is back and he seems to have gotten a hold of some Spartan MJOLNIR Armor. Good for him. The Arbiter is hanging around as well, and the Chief takes the expected first response, attempting to blow the alien's brains out. A rough start, to be sure, but the two are forced to work together in the coming battles and Master Chief makes like a good soldier and plays along. And thus the campaign starts anew, to find Truth and stop whatever insidious scheme he has planned.

If a character has appeared in the Halo series and they're not dead, they're in Halo 3. The Prophet of Truth is back, of course, as the main bad guy. That weird Flood thing is back too, now called the Gravemind. This might be surprising, Guilty Spark, the odd little machine first seen on the original Halo, known as the Oracle to the Covenant, is back and has decided that, lacking the primary objective of defending Halo, he'd revert to his secondary objective of aiding the Reclaimer. That'd be you. Oh, and the leaders of the good guys are back too. Vadumee the elite, Terrence Hood, the old naval officer, and Miranda Keyes are all back as well and play small, rather unimportant parts in the storyline. In all actuality, Miranda is an important character, but I never really did connect. (She also says the stupidest thing in the game, but I blame that on bad script writing rather than anything else.)

Ah, and here we get to the ugly. I want to say that Halo 3 was a perfect game, the ultimate conclusion to the fantastic series. And make no mistake, it was a great game. But there were issues. The dialogue was clichéd at some points, completely ridiculous at others, and downright stupid at one point. "The squad leaders need to know where to rally! Where should they go?" At which point Miranda Keyes turns away, cocks back her pistol and says, "To war." Well yes, that's very nice and dramatic, but it's terribly... well... Jesus Christ, the man is asking a legitimate question!

There's also a terrible lack of coordination, or at least it doesn't feel like your cooperating for the majority of the game. Basic troops amount to little more than cannon fodder in most cases (Give them some good weapons and they'll double or triple their survivability though. One of my favorite moments was creating a 4-man death squad on a brute transport. They kicked more ass than I did!) More importantly though the main assist, The Arbiter, seems to have his own agenda throughout most of the game. While this is realistic, it's incredibly uncool. These two super hero killing machines working together was much of the draw of Halo 3 to begin with. Still, once the Flood start to appear and The Arbiter starts making regular appearances, you definitely start to feel like a functioning killing team. In fact, overall, once the Flood appear, the game just gets cooler. Teamwork becomes a bigger part of the game and you'll frequently see Marines, Sergeant Johnson, The Arbiter, or other allies at your side as you blaze through Brutes and Combat Forms.

The game fails to take in one of the cooler parts of Halo 2, that being the 3-sided fights. You will only see The Flood and The Covenant fighting against each other in two scenes, and in both of them you'll be allied with one of the sides. Halo 2 also had a stronger plot, so I can't help but feel that in those aspects, Halo 2 was the superior title.

But now let's get to what makes Halo 3 awesome. Every weapon that's ever appeared in a Halo game is in Halo 3, with the exception of the scoped pistol and the brute plasma rifle. The assault rifle from the original Halo and the flamethrower from the computer version of Halo are both back and welcome additions. Old weapons have been revamped as well, the needler now counts as a two-handed weapon but has faster firing rates, better tracking, and is the fastest reloading weapon in the game at about .5 seconds. Brute shots are back and better than ever, with new impact shots that really have a kick to 'em. So while you can't bounce shots around corners anymore, you can wipe out an enemy in a ridiculously short amount of time. Almost every weapon in the game has also gotten a visual makeover, usually for the better, although I can't help but feel that the SMG's look ridiculously clunky. As to be expected, there's a plethora of new weapons to help you become a killing machine. There's the two new standard brute weapons, the Spiker, a one handed rapid fire weapon, and the Mauler, a one handed shotgun, as well as a brand new melee weapon called the Gravity Hammer, one hit kill and shockwaves on impact. Humans get a new weapon as well, the big and nasty Spartan Laser. In normal combat, it's all but useless, as it takes about 5 seconds to charge the weapon before it fires, but against slow moving or immobile targets it's a godsend. Oh, and now seems as good a time as any, bad news Rocket Launcher fans. No more lock on. You also now carry a measly two grenades of each type, but there is some good news there as well. There are now four kinds of grenades, good 'ol frag and plasma grenades as well as the new spike and firebomb grenades. Spikes work mostly like plasma, they stick on objects and if put on a unit it'll instantly kill, but instead of exploding they fire a hail of nasty little spikes that ricochet, great for small enclosed areas. Firebombs are mean too, basically a flamethrower in a nice little grenade package.

Then there are the new heavy weapon/turret mechanics. You can now rip a turret off its mountings and take it with you, and while this will shift you to a third person view and slow your movement, the added firepower is usually well worth it. Turrets come in four forms, the standard rapid fire machine gun turret, plasma turret, the instant killing flame spouting flamethrower and the heavy hitting missile pod, which auto locks on to vehicles. Something had to replace the rocket launcher...

Err, looks like I've gotten a little too in-depth for a little review, heh. I hope the readers can tell by that just how exciting the combat is though. I can't stress this enough, whatever storyline the game lacks it makes up in it's combat. New vehicles are awesome, new defensive grenades completely rework the way the game is played, the combat is fast and intense, hands down some of the best shooting mechanics I've ever played, perhaps ever seen.

The campaign plays well at least and has some very powerful moments, the multiplayer is incredible as always and the two new implements, forge and theater, are icing on the cake. Theater lets you watch recent battles from start to finish and let's you cut out pieces, shift cameras, go to a free camera mode, stop and rewind, basically make your own Halo movies. Forge allows you to change currently existing maps and introduce new elements and change old ones. Cool stuff. Oh, and let's not forget, the game's campaign mode has some impressive co-op abilities. 2 people can play co-op on a single 360, but if you have a friend with another 360 and a copy of Halo 3 you can connect and play a 4 player cooperative campaign. Freakin' sweet.

So, final review.

Fun — You bet. Outsmarting your enemies, finding that hidden position to fire from, taking every advantage for the win, finding new weapons, blowing up stuff in bigger and better ways than ever before on Halo... What's not to like?

Graphics — Awesome, although the character models could use some work. The environments look great and while the game could use some work on its shadows, the affects of differences in light is pronounced and interesting.

Controls — Starting off, strange. If you've been playing the Halo series up to this point, you're used to reloading with the X button. Not so in Halo 3. This change takes a little getting used to, but once it's down pat the controls are comfortable and fun.

Sound — Full orchestra. Fantastic voice work. Big explosions. Music to my ears.

Plot — Disappointing. I'm including dialogue in here and I have to say, I'm fairly certain I could have written better dialogue. The plot's also kind of holey. Like it's not all together. And the game's final stage character twist was pretty sad. It was unnecessary save for the fact that Bungie wanted a 'Boss of the Game'. And in that, the character failed terribly as well. The ending was good though; it tied up most of the loose ends, those that were left after the dust settled in any case. There's a remote chance for a Halo 4, but I'd say this series is done. And if anything, it did go out with one hell of a bang.

Replay — Multiplayer is endless fun and Campaign is good for quite a few runs. With four levels of difficulty and four friends, the game's good for at least a few plays. And again, multiplayer is awesome. Xbox live ensures that you're never short of a challenge.

Conclusion — It's more of the Halo you love. Disappointing for a story buff like myself, but the game's combat is incredible. Again, the big end to the big series, Halo 3 was a great play and one I'm sure to go through again and again.

Results —

Fun — 5.0
Graphics — 4.5
Controls - 5.0
Sound - 5.0
Plot — 2.5
Replay — Very High

End Results — 4.5. Rent it. Buy it. But at the least try it. The game is amazing, and while the plot may have been less than stellar, with the proper background (Eric Nylund's 'Fall of Reach') the game still has some incredibly memorable and dramatic experiences. It was an honor fighting alongside you John.

Indigo Prophecy - Xbox, Rated M (Code IP3)

I'd heard a little bit about this game, but at the price of $15 at Wal-Mart, I was a little sceptic. Nonetheless, I picked it up prepared to be dissapointed. I'd heard that the game plays kind of like a movie and that's no joke. Sometimes the action gets pretty bogged down. But let's start at the beggining.

You take control of Lucas about 10 seconds after he brutally murders someone. The thing is, he doesn't know why he did it. He never would have done it himself, or so he believes. He fimly believes that he did not kill the man lying in front of him. But he doesn't have the time to question that then and there. There's a police officer in the restaurant he's in and you just know that guy's gonna come in there sooner or later.

Your goal is to get Lucas out of there safely and to cover up what he's done, all the while trying to find out why he killed that man. The thing is, Lucas isn't the only person you control. You also manage to get a hold of Carla and Tyler, the two police investigating the murder! So while you're trying to prevent Lucas from being caught, you're also creating a path that'll lead right to him!

But there's so much more. Lucas quickly displays a psychic ability to see in the future. A very cool tool that works very well here. The game takes a quick dive into paranormal stuff. But I'll save that for those interested in the game. Don't want to give any of the plot away. And oh what a plot it's been! Twists and turns all over the place, about 20 characters, I'm having a little trouble keeping up but I'm almost 100% sure of what's going on. Almost.

Then there's the action. The game's kind of like an action movie with a mystery twist. In the beggining, they take a few brakes from the action, let you get to know the characters, have a few laughs, and then it dives into awesome. By day 2 in Lucas' office, you'll see what I'm talking about. The action sequences are like a more complicated version of RE4's button pressing sequences. Anyone here see the Krauser/Leon fight sequence in that and remember how awesome that was? Almost each and every action sequence surpasses it. The first action sequence itself lasts for a good 5 minutes, all the while you're slamming the joysticks all over the place trying not to let Lucas bite the dust.

And it's not just simple action either. The best way I can describe the fight sequences where I'm at now is a cross between the Matrix and Dragon Ball Z. The one I just finished was nothing short of incredible and what led me to make this. I have no idea why Indigo Prophecy was swept under the rug or why it's so cheap, I have no idea why I've heard almost next to nothing about it, but I'll say this. Save for a few slow moments in the game, it's been fantastic. Definitely a recommended buy for it's price. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna try and finish it so I can give a proper and complete review, heh.

EDIT: Ahem, that was fast. Umm, wow. In closing, some pretty cool action sequences, although the final battle was anticlactic. That and the character might as well have been saying "Kamehameha!", heh. Let's see, once the story got away from the mystery and more towards paranormal, the story went kind of downhill. The fate of the world? Super powers? Hm... It was cool at least, cool looking.

The romance, the stories got three, was ok. I liked Tyler's story, but anything involving Lucas was either weak or complete trash. The final romance was kind of funny. "I've known you for a day and we've spoken for 3 minutes! I love you! Necrophelia time!" ...It'll make sense if you play it, heh. I don't know, this past 30 minutes or so has kind of screwed with my opinion of the game.

Okay, let's go from the start.

Fun? Most of the time, yes. The game's action sequences are mostly top notch and the dialogue is interesting. There's some tiny stuff to mess around with as well and you really feel like you're shaping the storyline at some points. Then again, at others you kind of feel like you're being railroaded. I actually have no idea what one of my actions did in the game. There were also some points in the game that were tedious or just flat out boring. Searching for books? Are you kidding? Then there was stuff like the boxing minigame (awesome) or the other insane action sequences. There was also something incredibly fun about knowing you were getting closer to the answer.

Graphics? It's not exactly a 360 or PS3, but they're not too horrible. I feel that it could have looked a little nicer, but it's really not that bad. Nothing that made me cringe at anyrate. Decent, but nothing fantastic by today's standards.

Controls? Pretty good with decent camera control, although things did get a little wonky sometimes. The camera would sometimes jump around and make controlling things a little difficult. Still, the fight controls were pretty managable and intense. It's not too hard to pick up either with fairly easy to understand mechanics, but the camera controls get a little funky sometimes.

Sound? The character voices are all decent and some of them are just fantastic. The Oracle has a sweet voiceover. Lucas has a pretty decent voice actor but he fouls it up every now and then. Still, it's not too bad. Also, the games got some pretty killer soundtracks to it. One of the things that really made me connect with Lucas was his awesome taste in music, heh. No dissapointment in the music.

Plot? Iffy. The mystery part of the game is simply fantastic. It's interesting and you feel like you're a part of it. But when it got to the paranormal ending, with rituals, gods and A.I.s, things got a little iffy. The ending was pretty decent, although a few things go untold. (The Orange Clan? The Puple Clan? Jade? Tyler?!) But otherwise, very enjoyable. Let's not forget characters and character interaction. The main three, Carla, Lucus and Tyler, were all very well defined and you quickly grew to like all of them. The supporting actors were all pretty good too. I'd say it might be good to stop playing after the fight with The Oracle, but then you'd never see the end and feel like you're missing out. Nonetheless, there wasn't much to miss. A little iffy here, but mostly good.

Replay? Ehh... I have to say no here, or at least no to replaying the entire game. However, after beating the game, you can go back and replay the coolest action sequences! That's definitely worth a go, if just to remember all the awesome that happened... and maybe to show your friends. But despite there being multiple endings, I gotta say that it's probably not worth going through it all again. You have stuff to buy, bonus stuff, at the end of the game as well, but I got enough bonus points on my first run to buy it all.

Conclusion. Good, but not great. The action is where the game shines and the mystery plot is cool as well. It's a shame it wasn't all perfect, but it's certainly worth a rent or even a purchase at it's low price.

Results -

Fun - 4
Graphics - 4
Controls - 3.5
Sound - 4.5
Plot - 3.5
Replay - Low

End Grade - 3.5 or 4 of 5, Above Average. It's hard to give this thing a great grade with the flaws it's got, but I'd hate to underrate it. The action sequences were nothing short of fantastic and were truly enjoyable. I absolutely suggest playing this game, if not outright buying it.

Saint's Row Xbox 360, Rated M (Code SR4)

Saint's Row, the story of an average Joe suddenly joining with a gang and his rise to riches and glory, was a pretty decent play for me. You start the game with a character creation screen that'll allow you to make your character, well, whatever you want him to be. It looked like a pretty impressive creation system, but I was eager to get into the game and mostly passed over it.

The first minute of the game gives you a view of the situation the cities in, although not quite a true representation of the game. Three gangs, three different colors, proceed to beat and shoot the crap out of each other, with the main character almost getting pulled in. A man in purple helps you and that's how you begin your introduction to the Third Street Saints.

The first few missions consist of recapturing territory for the Saints and learning about the Reputation system, that second part you actually learn by stealing hookers from pimps and taking to a Saints pimp. Oh, if you're offended now, don't play the game. There's stuff much, much worse.

But as I was saying, the game features a Reputation system; something that says you can't do a mission until you have a Reputation point to spend. You earn reputation points by completing mini-games and killing rival gang members, although the points you get from killing are so small it's hardly noticeable. Based off of the clothes you're wearing, you can get bonus points for completing a mini-game. The bonus is based off of how expensive your clothes were and if they're purple, the whole showing your colors thing. Doing a story-related mission costs one reputation point, as does attacking an enemy gang's stronghold.

Basically, what all this does is force you to do the mini-games. Luckily, the mini-games aren't that bad and are usually pretty fun. There are a lot of types to choose from too, so if you don't like Drug Running you can always go to Insurance Fraud. The problem with this system is that you're probably not doing the mini-games because you want to, like I did with plays through the GTA 3 trilogy, you're doing them because you HAVE to. And when you really just want to find out what happens to Lin in the next fight against the Westside Rollers, it can get pretty annoying having to protect a housewife as she deals cocaine.

The story mode is divided into three parts once you get back the territory that the Saints originally held. You can choose to attack one of the three rival gangs, the Westside Rollers, the Vice Kings, and 'the' Los Carnales. In that way, the game might not be considered linear in it's play, but the fact is that you have to do them all eventually and there's no impact on the story if you choose to take one gang on before another. And remember my earlier remark about the opening sequence not really capturing the essence of the game? Well, that's because the game only focuses on your gang vs. other gang at any point in time. There will never be three or four gangs present in a single territory, something I kind of wish they might have, just for the chaos factor. Still, things do get a little interesting when an enemy gang tries to take back a territory you just stole from them. After you finish up one gang's story mode, you move to the next, or you can bounce from gang to gang and work on them all at the same time. It really is up to you.

The storyline itself tends to stay fairly interesting and usually with more than a little touch of humor. The characters are really what bring it together in both areas. When the first scene with Los Carnales came up and you saw them all working together, I said to myself, wow, now this is how bad guys should be portrayed in this kind of game. It was never like you were just fighting some kind of faceless enemy. Granted, GTA San Andreas did pretty well in that aspect later on, but in the beginning you really just felt like you were wading through goon after goon, cop after cop. With Saints Row, the characters were much, much more interesting. The attack on your neighborhood by Los Carnales lead by the big hulking freak was very cool, although the end of it and the big hulking dude were both fairly anticlimactic.

But back to the humor part. You've got a good cast of interesting characters, from Johnny the always cocky shoot-em-up guy, to Chicken Ned, to the ever silent main character himself, there were plenty of scenarios that kept the game amusing. This kind of tied in with the cell phone, another pretty cool part of the game. Your character constantly carries a cell phone with him at all times, through which other characters call him through. But it's not just one way, you can call up individuals whose numbers you know or call random numbers you find! There's something really cool about finding a number, calling it, and then having a guy in a chicken suit drive up next to you. Say hello to Chicken Ned. The biggest problem with the cell phone deal was finding numbers to call, that and that most of the calls didn't do much except maybe give you a laugh. In my entire playthrough, I found 2 phone numbers. It's only by going on the internet and finding them there that I was able to find the other 20 or so. Keep a sharp eye out though and you might have better luck than me. PS, look at the bumpers of Taxis. And call 911!

But that's enough specifics, let's get down to the breakdown.

Fun? Sure. There's always something pretty fun about living out the criminal lifestyle, even if it might be over-glorified and unrealistic. Still, if it comes to realism, I think this game might be the closest gangster game to real out there. Where else are you going to be able to rob a liquor store? The mini-games were pretty decent too, and something about the Insurance Fraud game really gets me.

Graphics? Strange. I say strange because at times, the graphics seemed unimpressive, but at others the attention to detail was insane. By the way, if you run into a car at full speed, you might eject the passenger of that car by the impact! The game incorporated the idea that many people don't wear their seatbelts! And the cars have turning signals, something that really gave me a laugh. The fact that everyone uses theirs might be a little unrealistic though, heh. Then there's car damage. I checked this out once when I noticed something odd. You can have your car drift over into another lane and just barely touch another car. If you do it right, you can knock off your side-view mirror. I love it. At any rate, the graphics were decent to good to excellent. I'd say it's a step-up from GTA San Andreas, but what else would you expect on the 360?

Controls? Eh, what do you expect. Simple, simple, simple. Nothing too much to talk about here. Lock on and shoot, drive, hit the breaks, blah, blah, blah. The game gets it right.

Sound? Good, darn good. The voice actors do a fine job of portraying your characters. The snooty uncle guy in the Westside Rollers sounds perfect, as does his bulky nephew. The Vice King himself has this deep, intimidating voice that's absolutely perfect, and even the leader of the Saints is voiced so well it's hard to not have some respect for the guy. Guns sound like guns, explosions sound like explosions, nothing new there. Music is limited to whatever's on your radio, much like the GTA series. The songs and bands on there, I'd never heard of a single one of them, but I'm not really much on the music scene so I can't say much. The rock stations, there's 3 or 4 of them, tended to put out some pretty cool music, although some of it I might have rather passed on. And if you don't like waiting for the radio to get to a song you like, your character happens to carry around an MP3 player. Just buy the songs at the local CD store and get what you want, listen all day, in or out of the car.

Plot? It's actually got a little bit of intrigue in it, but just the slightest amount. The majority of the game, you'll be told what to expect, what to do, what's going to happen, or you'll have enough instinct and common sense to know what'll happen. Oh, look, an ambush. How surprising. Yawn. Still, the humor is good and the plot does keep itself from getting too dull. The ending is downright blasphemous though. I haven't seen an ending that bad since Halo 2. What the hell? Seriously. You'd think I'd be used to it by now, all three of the games I've review so far had crapass endings...

Replay? Eh, probably unnecessary. The game doesn't split depending on which gang you choose, so there's no reason there. You can go to a theater and relive every single cut-scene in the game, which is awesome, but another reason not to play through the game again. Really, the game's just got a high play value, or rather a high completion value. I still kind of want to finish the mini-games up after beating the game, even though the rewards would be largely useless, but that might just be my drive to complete things. Continuing on though, even if you hate the character you made at the start, you can very easily go to a local plastic surgeon and fix your earlier mistakes. There's, as far as I can see, absolutely no reason to play the game a second time. None.

Results —

Fun — 4.5
Graphics — 4.5
Controls — 5.0
Sound — 4.5
Plot — 4.0
Replay Value — Nonexistant

Overall Grade — 4 of 5, a damn good game. It's sold enough to go to platinum hits, if I remember correctly, and to be honest it's quite a lot of fun. If you're not into the whole gangster thing, you might want to shy away, although a quick rental might be enough to change your opinion of things. Anyway, for 30 bucks, this game's easy to get and easy to enjoy. But that damn ending... Grumble...
Hope you don't mind if I butt in^^

I have not played the game yet, but read some pretty good reviews about it.

Anyway, I first heard about the game years ago (I think it was around the launch of the PS2), although it was running under a different name. Indigo Prophecy started out as an "episode" project, same as .Hack, but the developers later decided to cut it short and put everything into one game; thats probably why the paranormal stuff came in too fast, and the story seemed slightly confusing. The original concept was that the episodes cycle; one with Tyler, then the next with Lucas etc...

Cool review BTW.

EDIT: Didn't want to make a new post for this, the old name of the game was Fahrenheit. Why they changed it? No one knows.
Thanks. And hey, feel free. Yeah, looking at the gallery, apparently the game's second part was called Fahrenheit, or the original game was called that, I dunno. An appropriate name considering where the game goes towards the end, but whatever.

I'm planning on adding more game reviews later, probably Dead Rising first since I've beaten it and gotten a few of the hidden stuff done. I'll edit it into the original post and make a post saying I've got something new up.

Just glad to see someone enjoyed my little article, heh. Moving on, onward and upward!
I've got Fahrenheit, and it's just as you describe it. So I guess it's just different country names. Also, it has multiple storylines, so it's a good idea to try it again.

Review: 8/10

You took time and effort to write this. Bravo!
Really? Multiple storylines, not just multiple endings? Hmm... That might be worth a shot. I was just kind of frustrated because it seemed like I got the best ending on the first playthrough, and even then I was dissapointed. I might have to check out how to access those extra paths on GameFAQS and see what I'm missing.

Glad to see my work is appreciated though! Also, noticed I got an upgrade from the spam can to the general chat! My my, it truly is nice knowing I'm taken seriously, heh. Thanks guys!

Oh, also, new review as my way of thanks. Dead Rising.
Yeah, there's like a... cyber ninja? Yoda lookalike? And another council member.

There's a few golden gems in gaming that deserve a sequel.

Metal Arms, Beyond Good and Evil, Okami... things like that.
Moved, for this topic is far too cool to rest on the Spam Can.
Do you review Japanese games? If so, I've got a few fun ones for ya. 8D

Shuryyyyyy.... Don't do that! Last time it killed several kittens!
Hmm, nope. Unfortunately, I phail in my ability to read or speak Japanese. Unless the game has an English setting, it's not gonna be getting a review from me anytime soon.

Currently debating whether to write something of a game I'm fairly familiar with or trying out one of my new games I've got here. Ah, sure, why not. Expect a review of the 360 game 'Saints Row' in a couple of days.

And thanks Kazu! I'll try my best not to fall behind expectations!
So yeah, few days later, like I said. Heh. At any rate, here's Saint's Row, as promised.
Do you review old games?

IF so, I have plenty of good ones for you to review >_>.......

DOnt worry, I can set u up with any software you need
Indeed, you really should play Terranigma for the SNES. I highly recommend it.
don't forget earth bound........EARRRRRTTTTHHHHHH BOOOUUUUUNNNNNDDDDDD!!!!!
Meh....Saga Frontier, Super Mario RPG, Secret of Mana and Secret of Evermore.

I never liked Earthbound. I find the characters to be foolish.
In my intro, I put that I'd mostly be reviewing new games. I mean, what's the point in reviewing old games, they've already been played to death, y'know? Don't get me wrong, but I'd rather cover the newer stuff.

If you guys are just suggesting games for me to play for fun, well, that's cool I guess. As a kid, the games I really played and enjoyed were Secret of Mana, Secret of Evermore (which I still own), Final Fantasy 2 (Or 4, also still own), Final Fantasy 3 (Or six, again, still own), Earthbound (Own again), Donkey Kong and it's sucessors Donkey Kong 2 and 3, Super Mario RPG (Still Own) and... uhh... Super Mario World 1 & 2. That's about all I ever played as a kid, heh. I rented a lot and played a lot more, but those wer ethe ones that really got me. Oh shi-, almost forgot! Lufia! LUFIA! Ahem, also cool, Lufia 1 and 2. And Breath of Fire 1 and 2. Shit, forgot those... Own the original BoF, but BoF 2 remains my favorite in the series.

As for Common's invitation, no thanks man. I did emulators back in the day, but eventually my concience got to me. I know, it's not really stealing since you really can't actually buy most of these anymore, unless it's a revamped version, but something about the whole process still bugs me. I deleted my ROM library about a year ago.

As long as we're talking about the good ol' days, I was a big RPG freak until recently where I've branched out into just about every genre there is. Up until nowish, I almost played exclusively RPGs, if you can't tell from the above list. In the PS age, I played Star Ocean 2, Thousand Arms, Wild Arms, Wild Arms 2 (one of the few PS games I still own), Final Fantasy 7, 8, and 9, Beyond the Beyond... C'mon, I know there's more... Saga Frontier 1 & 2, although I don't think I ever got too into the original. Ah! Suikoden, 1 & 2, Breath of Fire 3 and 4... And that's all I can remember off of the top of my head. Wait, hold on... Lunar 2. Yeah. Lunar 2, heh, good times. I only actually beat about half of those games though. The majority of them were dropped early on or near the end. I was actually on the second to the last stage of BoF3 when I stopped playing it. Ah, but I wish I could play those. My current wish lists include... shit, Final Fantasy Tactics! There's another one! And Vandal Hearts! ...Ok, I think I'm done now. So yeah, my current goal is to buy most of the games I've just mentioned. But it won't be cheap. Buying these oldies is gonna cost me more than a little bit of money... Sigh. But it'll be worth it! It's my duty as a game collector!

Ahem, but I seem to have gone off track. I'll be reviewing mostly current games. Currently on my list are three games that I've beaten in a recent time period: Prey (in progress), Wild Arms 2 and Condemned: Killer Origins.

Thanks for reading guys!

EDIT: XENOGEARS! Almost forgot!
I have played every single one of those RPGs, plus FFT and Vandel Hearts. Good times. If you get the chance, review Odin's Sphere for me. I am contemplating buying it.
I'm kind of shocked to not see Chrono Trigger in your list. XD
I'm kind of shocked that I'm retarded. Zomg. CT man. One of the greatest RPGs of all time. I can't believe I forgot it... And Chrono Cross for that matter, but I was fairly unimpressed by it.

No shit, in the past year alone I've beaten Chrono Trigger from start to finish twice, no new game+ required... Love that game.

...Forgot it... stupid, stupid, stupid... (Last game on my own list for SNES. There she be's)
*remembers random images*
Wasn't there an image 'Chrono Nigger'?
Didn't Shur post it?
DISCLAIMER: I do not support above usage of racial slurs. Someone else made/posted that image. I just laughed at it.