Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag review

Yo Ho a pirates life for me

Assassins Creed 4 left a lot to be expected after playing through Assassins Creed 3. The previous game really was the black sheep of the entire franchise, suffering from so many issues and just overall not being much fun. It is not just me that thinks that, many a fan of the Assassins Creed franchise agree that 3 was not as good as it could have been, and that Black Flag had to be the game that redeems the franchise. While I will say that Black Flag has many issues of its own it does redeem the franchise and turns out to be a good new entry.

The first matter of business in this respect, was ensuring the main character wasn’t as boring as Haytham or Conner. The person you play as, is often very important in whether you will enjoy a game or not, that was half of Assassins Creed 3’s problem, it had pretty boring characters, for Assassins Creed 4 we see an entirely different character to what we have seen before. Edward Kenway is not out to do things for honour or even revenge, all Edward wants is money, and throughout the entire length of the story he often goes on about money and the right price, but still this doesn’t make him a bad character his dedication to the pirates and his ambitions are what help to drive the game.

For the full review of Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag click here.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Trials Fusion Review

Platform: Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Developer: Redlynx Studios

Publisher: Ubisoft

Score: 8

There is a certain level of skill and frustration that is created as a result of the  Trials games, and its easy enough to say that it is probably what brings people to purchase them time and time again. We can be happy in knowing that the latest game in the franchise is just like those of the past and remains just as enjoyable. The latest game in the franchise, Trials Fusion, is the first of its kind to get a proper release on blu-ray and it offers plenty to new and old alike.

The game takes place in the future. A time where apparently motorcycle stunt courses exist in public places and in high traffic areas. Trials Fusion is just like all past Trails games as the goal is to achieve gold medals in every course given. The world of Trials is filled with varying locations and a variety of skill based challenges to complete and a game so packed full of content that it can keep you busy for a number of hours.

trials-fusion2

The main mode of the game is the career mode, which is all about achieving the goal presented to you. The main part of career mode is about going through puzzling courses and trying to get the best possible time without crashing. Each course you are challenged with has a series of obstacles that become increasingly more challenging as the course continues. Ensuring the correct landings are made and proper speed is used up hills becomes a major challenge, but in the long run it is what makes the game enjoyable. Figuring out the best course of action and the fastest way to get over obstacles is a key challenge in the game and it becomes more enjoyable as the game progresses.

The difficulty of all these courses have increased from the previous games. Initial courses are simple to beat, but remain hard to master. Likewise the further you progress, the more the challenge of each course becomes. Some of the harder tracks are simple enough in concept, but the game does get deceptively challenging the further along in the game you go. At points however, I do feel that the difficulty of level did ramp up a bit to much and some courses felt unbalanced from the others in terms of difficulty. For example, I completed a good selection of the medium difficulty courses achieving gold in almost all of them, however at times I did encounter one or two that were almost impossible to complete without trouble. The hard courses I also found the same problem with, some were easy enough to get through even if achieving gold is a challenge, some other courses seem almost impossible to beat.

Trials-Fusion

As well as offering speed and skill based courses the career mode also offers a series of stunt challenges. These require you to perform flips and a series of other motorbike stunt challenges in order to strive for good scores. Mastering these tricks is not easy and requires being able to acknowledge correct landings, bike positionings and knowing how to perform all the different stunts possible. To learn these you are initially given a basic tutorial which tasks you with performing specific tricks in order to learn how to do them, then performing them across the course. Of course mastering how to perform the tricks and moving the joystick in that particular way is simple but it really get’s challenging in trying to make good landings and achieve the best score. When doing this I did come across an issue even when I had my joystick, bike and person in the right stunt position the game would only respond to the stunt and provide a score every so often which did get really frustrating and did break a good run and mess with my final score.

Trails Fusion1

Expanding on the game is the excellent create mode which is where a lot of Trails Fusion fun is to be had. The community behind the game is full of creative minds who sit there and build excellent courses to be played and enjoyed by other players. Likewise the developers RedLynx have created a good selection of tools for building great courses. A selection of ramps, hazards and environmental features are all available to be used, but notably there is quite a challenge possessed in building individual courses. While in theory it sounds easy enough and there is definitely many hours of playability possessed by the game. At times some of what is offered with the creation may be a bit to challenging for some to complete. The creation mode is set on a 3D plain so ensuring you line up all your ramps and everything correctly is part of the challenge. Since stages only exist on a 2D plain confusion can arise if they are not lined up and you end up riding on nothing. For the creative minded this is still perfect, all the tools given and the freedom you get when creating your courses mean you can easily enjoy the mode and I suppose part of the fun is learning how to create courses. Trying your best and creating a really challenging course of your own design and performing at the course is quite the accomplishment, and the game rewards you for that. I will still say I am pretty bad at making courses but I have enjoyed trying to accomplish something good.

trialsfusion03

Trials Fusion is just like it’s predecessors, it is stressful, it’s challenging, but it is enjoyable none the less. The amount of hours the game offers are essentially endless and the game continues to be vastly enjoyable even late into the game. The little issues do break some of the value and bring unnecessary frustration to the game but it can be forgiven as most of the time things do work out. I don’t ordinarily play these type of games but I will say what the game offers will definitely offer people a good amount of fun regardless of whether or not they enjoy this particular type of game.

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 Review

Platform: Wii U, Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC

Developer: Treyarch/ Infinity Ward

Publisher: Activision

Year: 2012

Score: 7.5

This review is based on the Wii U version of the game. Any information presented all relates to this version of the game however most of the points mentioned do relate to other versions of the game. If you are not interested in the Wii U version this game is also available for the PS3, PC and Xbox 360, also online will most likely have more players as there is a bigger install base on the other platforms.

For a yearly franchise, Call of Duty games have never been big on Nintendo’s consoles and as such the Wii never received anything more than an underrated port of what the other consoles got. However with this latest instalment it is nice to see that Nintendo fans finally get a proper Call of Duty game with the Wii U’s experience.

920x515_turbine-bridge-closed

There is a problem that has plagued Call of Duty games for quite some time, namely the single player campaign. The campaigns have often been unappealing to play through but it seems Treyarch has put forward an attempt to make them more interesting.

The campaign remains with a simple premise: it is the year 2025 and a big terrorist leader is planning world domination. Seeing this issue, Navy seals agent David Mason and his team set out to take him out before he can claim total domination. On the other side of the scale Alex Mason and his team set out to do the same years before.

call-of-duty-black-ops-2-free-635301-1-s-307x512

The campaign is a jumble of story events set between two different time periods. Often these stories are confusing and lead the player on a journey that will leave them wondering what is going on due to the constant insistence on time jumping. This campaign remains as unappealing as before but this is where the developers have done something right. It is a small thing but it makes thing more interesting.

The campaign often relies on the merits of personal choice and preference. Often choices end up determining whether you are a cold blooded killer or an agent of peace but that is a nice way to say it. The idea of choices is not seen very often during the campaign but the little decisions made at times do help to make the campaign somewhat interesting. Choices even come down to whether the villain Menendez gets to kill or fatally wound a certain character.

 

large

 

This has added a new layer of replayability that hasn’t been seen before in other entries in the series. Because of this choice it became interesting to go through again and see how a different line of decisions impacted the story. There aren’t many choices but it does mean you can vary the experience by play and have a different experience to your friends.

The only problems that exist with this idea is to see a different ending you must replay the entire campaign in order to make changes effective. Also the story in the campaign is not that exciting, so playing through the campaign again fully does not always remain enjoyable in parts but to play through again for different endings is somewhat worth it.

During the campaign the developers have also added the new strikeforce missions. These missions are strategy based and require completing a specific objective by strategically managing units in order to defeat incoming enemies on the multiplayer maps. These missions never really added anything to the campaign and while there were very few of these missions they never were interesting to play. However you can avoid all but one of these as they are not mandatory missions.

The campaign has never fully delivered on a great experience and does leave much to be desired for the single player gamer. If these people need something to play then the multiplayer section of the game still remains the most fun piece of recent Call of Duty games. Whether a fan of local play or even online the offerings are quite good. For these people without online access, local play is quite a fun thing to play particularly if you can gather a couple of friends around. On the other side of the scale playing local play alone is still somewhat satisfying with the ability to change the difficulty of enemy AI to provide a challenge.

call-of-duty-black-ops-2-wii-u-gamepad-screenshots-2

 

If you can gather a few friends around there are several great modes to play in local mode. Several fun party games such as one in the chamber and gun game add a further layer of strategy to how you can play and can throw players off balance and out of their element which keeps things interesting. Standard modes such as Team Deathmatch and Free for All still continue to be completely satisfying. A new mode has also been added known as Hardpoint which sees players race to a specific location and attempt to hold it down as long as possible until it moves elsewhere. The local play is fun but is always better if you can get some friends around as there is the possibility of making up your own fun matches with activities such as hide and seek (This mode doesn’t exist in the game, it is one I made up for the Team Deathmatch mode when you have friends).

If you can’t gather friends but you want to face real people and you have a stable internet connection, Online play is certainly a great place to go. There is a problem with this as I review this game on the Wii U the online play is mostly barren and devoid of players. If you don’t want to play team deathmatch there is not much on offer otherwise and depending on the time of day you may not even be able to get a match. When you can, though, the online play is certainly fun and offers a rewarding experience and plenty of variety in players from the new and less skilled to the great players who add a fun challenge.

 

call-of-duty-black-ops-2-wii-u-gamepad-screenshots-3

 

If you don’t want to play Zombi U then Call of Duty Zombies returns for you to play. The mode is basically see how long you can survive but instead of being a strictly single player experience Treyarch have opted to make this an online two player experience and one that is great in small bursts. Personally though I will stick with Zombi U.

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 is still the same basic game we have seen countless times before. The changes made does at least make things more interesting but the real question of this game is does it deliver a quality Call of Duty game on Nintendo’s platforms and the answer is yes, it does. Treyarch may not have made much use of the gamepad but the map, ability to play on the gamepad while another player uses the TV in Multiplayer matches and Off TV play features do at least give us a little something. Black Ops 2 is a fun game, it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but it is still a great game for people to play. Plus it was great that I could sensor all of the bad language in the game, it’s a small thing but it’s better then constantly hearing all the language.

Author’s note: I have played both the Wii U and the 360 versions of the game and I personally find the Wii U version to be the better version thanks to Off TV play which is a very nice feature and means I don’t have to use the TV or can just listen to something while I am playing.