Star Wars the Old Republic Review

SWOTR Review

It’s been a month now since the release of the long anticipated Star Wars the old republic (SWTOR) and I am happy to announce that this game met and exceeded all of my expectations. I had been waiting for this game back in 2009 ever since the epic release of this trailer (link video). The Jedi/Sith action and the epic storyline of star wars make this mmo possibly, maybe, perhaps finally the true WoW killer.

Star Wars the old republic the wait is over

I don’t even know where to begin to start talking about the pros of this mmorpg as compared to all the others. For starters the most noticeable change is in the conversations with great voice acting for every quest you receive. There is literally a cut scene for every quest that you encounter in this game which makes you feel like you’re the star of your own star wars series. Not only do the encounters with the NPC’s have voice acting but so does your character, and every response has a reaction. For instance, if you are a sith and someone goes and tells you to interrogate a republic officer you have the option to ask nicely or just plain “shock” them until they spill out the answers. Based on the amount of responses you do whether it be good or evil increases your alignment with the dark or light side of the force. The more evil you become the more veins and darker colored eyes your character gets.

SWTOR Companions

This topic brings me to another great feature of SWTOR which is the companions. Your companions each have their own personality will either grow to love or hate you depending on how you respond during your quests. Some companions like the Dashade enjoy hurting jedi’s and making fools out of weaklings so the more evil your responses are the more affection you gain with him.

Sith companion dashade




Affection is needed to increase the efficiency of your companions crew skills and don’t quote me on this but I heard battle skills as well. Crew skills (and thank god Bioware came up with a new way to do this) are your professions. All you do is pick 3 crew skills 1 crafting 2 mission skills and send your companions to go out and complete the missions or crafting themselves. The higher the level the longer it takes and more credits it costs to compelete a mission. I for one, love this new way to level up professions because it eliminates the painful grinding experience you get in other mmo’s that just make you feel like you’re wasting your life away.


SWTOR Combat

The SWTOR combat is just as good as any quality mmorpg except for one thing, you get a lightsaber! (that is if you’re a jedi/sith class). The combat in SWTOR is fluid and works well with the action bar and abilities Bioware gives you. For melee classes you have a bar of force power that depletes everytime you use an ability that isn’t your normal attack, similar to a rogue in WoW. For the ranged classes such as Bounty Hunters and Commando’s you shoot until your gun overheats, similar to a plasma pistol in Halo. If your computer can handle the engine Bioware used to run Star Wars the old Republic then the combat will be smooth and detailed close to that of Star Wars the force Unleashed for Xbox. I enjoy the SWTOR combat sequences especially when you are questing with a couple of friends or in a raid party. It reminds me of the battle on Geonosis with all the Jedi’s, clone troopers, and Droids battling except throw in Sith, Bounty Hunters, and Smugglers into the mix. The SWTOR combat will definitely keep you satisfied for a long time while playing this game.

SWTOR combat

SWTOR combat


SWTOR Graphics

The graphics in SWTOR are quality for an mmo and even some parts of planets are visually stunning. For an mmo Bioware did a great job of recreating the look and feel of the Star Wars universe while making it playable on most computers. The SWTOR graphics resemble a cel-shaded type feel and is similar to WoW which allow for the game to run smoothly and look aesthitically pleasing. The graphics are very similar to DC Universe and World of Warcraft which are my personal favorite ways to stare at an mmo for hours straight. The cartoonish looking style seems to be pyschologically less straining on the eyes when you play other more visually stunning games like Aion or Crysis. The level of details in the evironment will defintely give you the feeling that you’re immersed in the different worlds.

SWTOR Graphics

SWTOR Planets

The planets in Star Wars the Old Republic are quite diverse from the famous desert planet of Tatooine to the Imperial city of Dromund Kaas each planet brings something new to the table. One of my favorite parts of an mmo are exploring and viewing the graphics of each various environment. Bioware did another fantastic job of developing the planets and making you feel like each planet has its’ own story to be told. Another great feature of Star Wars the Old Republic is that fact that you receive your own spaceship to travel across the galaxy! Forget your speeder mount or the ability to fly, you might as well just thrown in a Starship and yes you can fly out in open space and have space battles as well. The freedom that you have when you are able to fly in your own ship adds a lot to this game and lets you choose what to explore next and how quickly. Some planets I really enjoyed like Tatooine and Nar Shadda so I completed every quest I could find on those planets but other planets like Bal’Morra weren’t for me and I peaced out of there very quickly. Needless to say SWTOR doesn’t dissappoint on the planatery experience.

SWTOR Planets Nar shaddaa

SWTOR Planets Nar shaddaa

Star Wars the Old Republic Rates:

Graphics 8/10 The graphics for an MMORPG never quite cut the top of the line but the SWTOR graphics are amazing for its genre. Just look at the photo above of the planet Nar Shaddaa.

Gameplay 9/10 Jedi’s, Sith lords, Bounty Hunters, need I say more? The SWTOR combat is smooth and works well with the mechanics of an mmo, I am very impressed how well Bioware lived up to my expectations on this game.

Audio 9/10 The audio and background music is what you would expect from a Star Wars game but what propels it to the next level is the voice acting.

Replay Value 10/10 If this game and other MMO’s realize that charging $15 a month to play a game that you already paid for is a horrible idea then I believe that this game will be played religiously throughout the decade.


Warhammer 40k Space Marine Review

Warhammer 40K Space Marine Review

Warhammer 40K Space Marine is one of those games that when you’re playing you wish that the developers had a bigger budget or spent just a little bit more time on this game to make it a classic. Warhammer 40K for the Xbox 360 and PS3 is a third-person action shooter that resembles the Gears of War game play with heavy gun power, chainsaw blades, and duck and cover shooting. Warhammer also adds to the mix shields and melee weapons such as a Power Axe, Chain blade, and perhaps my favorite weapon in the game the Power Hammer.

The Campaign quickly starts you off with little background information about the Warhammer world except for the fact that the only solution to an Ork invaded planet is sending in a squad of Ultra Marines. You play as captain Titus who is the typical badass hero that knows how to survive the worst situations, his right hand man Sidonus who is old and probably reaching retirement but very experienced in combat, and the Rookie straight from boot camp Leandros whose loyalty lies elsewhere.

Warhammer 40K gameplay

Throughout the campaign there are a lot of dull moments and somewhat lifeless emotions that each character displays which gives you a disconnect from the storyline. The one thing this game had going for it was the amount of fun it was to blast through waves of Orks with your choice of 4 different guns carried at one time and your choice of a melee weapon. Another fun feature of Warhammer 40K is there are no health packs in the game, how do you get health you ask? Simple, rip through an unconscious Ork with your melee weapon and absorb their health! This feature was perhaps the best part of the game and will keep you entertained for hours.

There is a multi-player mode as well that is just downright boring. I’d rather be playing Halo 1 from over a decade ago then this mult-player. There is just to much of an unbalance and zero fun factor when playing the multi-player mode. The leveling system is average and grindy and I didn’t really stick around to get to high of a level to give you a full description. The mechanics in the campaign are slightly different then the way the mult-player mode plays, if the developers had more of an interest in the online multi-player mode Warhammer 40K could have been an amazing game.

Warhammer 40k Space Marine multiplayer xbox 360Warhammer 40k Space Marine Rates:

Gameplay 7/10 The campaign is a lot of fun through the first play through but once that is over this game really has nothing left to do.

Graphics 7/10 The graphics are similar to Gears of War and Unreal Championship video games which is decent for a Xbox 360 shooter. There is nothing that you can awe at though.

Audio 6/10 Nothing really special here, just normal music/background effects for a shooter game.

Replay Value 5/10 Once the campaign is finished, you may want to check out the multi-player mode but I think you will quickly realize that there are other games that are more worth your time.

Batman Arkham City Review

Arkham City view

Arkham City

Batman Arkham City is perhaps the best action adventure fighting game to date. The only issue I had with the game was that it was too short!

The addictive fighting style introduce in Batman Arkham Asylum is even better in this game because of more combo’s and extra ways to kick the crap out of thugs as the Dark Knight and Catwoman. The storyline itself picks up where Arkham Asylum left off with the Joker being contaminated with the Titan virus and all the criminals being shipped from the Asylum to the open streets of Arkham City. You will see old villains from Arkham Asylum and a host of new villains from the Penguin all the way to Ras ah Ghul. The voice acting is impressive and the exciting storyline will literally keep you playing for hours. There are also hundreds of Riddler Trophies to solve and collect throughout the city while on your campaign which can take weeks to get every single one.

In Batman Arkham City you can also play as Catwoman in 4 different parts throughout the storyline which intertwines with Batman’s main story as well. Catwoman has her own unique set of upgrades, gadgets, and fighting moves which refreshes the gameplay of Arkham City. One thing that the developers could have thrown in to make this game outstanding is having Robin and Nightwing as playable characters in the main storyline as well. Instead they are only available as DLC and can only be played on challenge maps, which was disappointing for me.


The graphics of Arkham City are quite amazing and sometimes made me stop and look around for a bit to enjoy the view. Not only is Arkham City fun to look at but it’s fun to glide and grapple around which was a big improvement from the contained Asylum in the first game.

Batman-Arkham-City-GlidingBatman Arkham City Rates:

Gameplay 9/10 The storyline is very intriguing and almost makes you feel like you’re watching a movie. The amount of characters introduced from the Batman comics is quite good. There is also a good mix of fighting then playing detective throughout the game which kept me entertained.

Graphics 9/10 The graphics in this game are very detailed and makes you wonder how good the graphics will be on video games in the future.

Audio 8/10 The sound effects were pretty much the same as Arkham Asylum but they worked nonetheless. The voice acting was done very well though.

Replay Value 9/10 The fact that you can unlock over 400 Riddler trophies, new costumes, and play as downloadable characters make this game interesting to play through multiple times.

Overall this game would have been a perfect 10 if the storyline was a big longer and if Nightwing and Robin were playable characters during the main storyline. If you are a fan of Batman this game is a collectors item so you must buy it!!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Review


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 the newest installment of the Call of Duty series is a decent sequel to its predecessors but doesn’t quite live up to all the hype.

Now, that doesn’t mean I think Modern Warfare 3 is a horrible game because it isn’t by any means. There are major improvements in the graphics, and the campaign will literally blow you away but the suspense and hype of the game didn’t live up to expectations for most. For one example, the multi-player doesn’t work on internet service providers that have a strict NAT which is frustrating but if you avoid that situation, the multi-player maps released right now are compact and hard to deal with. I personally played multi-player for a couple rounds and had to stop playing because of how shitty the current maps are.


Modern warfare 3 multiplayer

MW3 Multi-Player

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer

MW3’s multiplayer engine has been upgraded and downgraded in several different ways. The graphics are outstanding and probably has the best first-person shooter graphics besides Crysis 2 in my opinion. The Killstreak rewards system has been revamped and changed to a Pointstreak rewards system. There are multiple ways to accumulate points instead of just getting kills such as: capturing a flag, planting a bomb, or various game mode objectives.

The ranking system has also been changed in Modern Warfare 3’s multi-player system by no longer using currency to unlock weapons and attachments but rather unlocking weapons depending on your own rank. You can still prestige at a certain rank and the first time you choose to prestige you will unlock a new “prestige shop” that can be used to purchase exlcusive features such as double experience and extra custom classes.

The disadvantages of Modern Warfare 3 Multi-player is the small map sizes, and strict NAT internet issues that won’t allow default internet settings to play. The current maps on the multi-player mode are not as fun as Modern Warfare 2’s or Black Ops. I am assuming they are using that to leverage the downloadable maps and make players more interested in purchasing additional content. For me and my friends it was a huge disappointment and left a bad taste for this game.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 Campaign

The Modern Warfare 3 campaign was simply beautiful. The detailed graphics, engaging storyline, and voice acting all make you feel like you’re in the starting role of an action movie. The storyline picks up right where Modern Warfare 2 left off as Nikolai and Price escape with the injured Soap in their care. You play as various characters all with important roles in the war and intertwining stories. I won’t reveal anymore details about the storyline so there won’t be any spoilers in this review.

I was surprised how far Infinity Ward was able to push the graphics with this game on an Xbox 360 because it really looks like a blu-ray quality game. Just look at this picture of in game graphics of New York city, Wall Street.


The campaign does a great job taking you to a detailed environment in high profile geographic locations such as: New York City, Berlin, London, and Paris. The campaign also does a great job of utilizing vehicles during game play such as helicopters, submarines, remote control mini-guns, and escape boats.


The only thing that bothered me about he Modern Warfare 3 campaign is its length of about 5-7 hours. You can spend an evening going through the campaign and all of the sudden it’s over. Maybe they are saving the rest of the storyline for Modern Warfare 4-6. Even though the campaign is very short it is definitely worth a run through.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Rates:

Gameplay 8/10 The campaign is spectacular and brings a lot to the table but the multi-player needs a lot of updates to make it worth while. If the campaign had sucked I’m sure Modern Warfare 3 would have been a complete flop.

Graphics 9/10 The graphics are simply amazing. If you are an Xbox owner and want to compare games to PS3 graphics this would be the game to boast about.

Audio 7/10 Nothing to special here, normal Call of Duty sound effects and background music.

Replay Value 7/10 If the multi-player releases new maps that are actually fun to play then the replay value would be much higher. As of right now there is no incentive to be playing this game over Modern Warfare 2 or Black Ops.

Super Mario 3D Land

3DS_SuperMario land
Super Mario 3D Land was a very nice addition to the library of Nintendo 3DS games. I found that it very similar to the original Mario games which were primarily in 2D, except it is all in 3D and has many features in which you could run forward in certain areas and collect items off the pathway and also run behind walls and it would show only your shadow.
Obviously I enjoyed the original, but this one was MUCH better due to the 3D integration into the game. I really liked how they brought in power ups from different Mario games, such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and the Super Leaf. There are also a few others that were quite fun such as the Boomerang Flower, which allows him to throw boomerangs, and the Propeller Box, which allows him to reach high places. Throughout the game as you go through all of the levels, you can gather Star Medals (new version of Star Coins) and use them to unlock areas further in. I found that some of these are very difficult to find or to obtain for that matter, but it made it just as interesting to go back and find them all once I beat the game.
Another thing that I really enjoyed on this remake was the levels. There are 8 worlds with maybe 5-7 levels each, ranging from regular grass levels with different towers to go up and underwater levels. There is also a few haunted house levels that proved to be extremely entertaining. All in all, this game was definitely worth waiting for, and I can’t wait for them to make more Mario games for the 3DS. This is definitely a very good reason, if not the best, to have the console.

Super Mario 3D Land Rates:
Gameplay 9/10 : I literally could not put this game down. The way they made the different lands and the way they integrated the 3D aspect of it made it one of my favorite games that I currently own. I’m really excited to see what they do with the upcoming Mario games, such as Mario Kart 7 and Paper Mario – 3DS.
Graphics 10/10 : I have never been able to give a game 10/10 rating, but this game takes the cake. I usually like to speed through my games so that I can either sell them or replay them to see if I can beat my previous scores, but with this I spent a lot of time just looking around the levels and checking things out. They really did a great job.
Audio 8/10 : This has a lot of the old Mario songs in it but I kind of wish they would make some changes to the songs to kind of perk it up a bit.
Replay Value 9/10 : Not only is there a lot of different things you can go back and do throughout the levels but it is really fun to see how much faster you can go throughout the levels to see if you can beat your previous times.
Overall, this game was a great buy and I can’t wait for the other Mario games to come out.


Halo Anniversary Collection

halo combat evolved anniversary multiplayer

It has been 10 years since the first Halo game of the franchise was introduced on the original Xbox and paved the way for first person shooters on the newest generations of consoles.

Fortunately, the developers over at 343 Industries celebrated the 10th anniversary of Halo with a remastered version of the original Halo. Halo Anniversary Collection was built using the same software engine that was used for the original Halo so the look and feel of the original game are completely there. The graphics however have received a few steroid injections and look more up to date. One of my favorite features of Halo Anniversary Collection is that you can press the back button at any time during the campaign and revert back to the original graphics.

Halo Anniversary new graphics

At any moment of the game you can notice a difference between the orignal Halo details and the details of Halo Anniversary Collection. 343 Industries did a really good job on staying true to the feel of the original Halo which not only brings a faint nostalgia but some moments make you feel like Deja Vu. If you played the original Halo 10 years ago and haven’t touched it for almost a decade then you will know what I’m talking about when picking this game up again.

Halo Anniversary Collection Multiplayer oddly enough uses Halo Reach’s multiplayer engine so your gear and rank from Halo Reach is carried over into this game as well. The multiplayer seems very balanced like how Halo 2 used to be, where it actually requires skill to go on killing sprees rather than just finding a hammer or rockets (newbs). The avaiable playlists right now are somewhat short but I assume more will be added on later. You can select from 4×4 team battle/objectives, Big team battles, FFA, and classic 4×4 team battle/objectives.

Halo Anniversary Collection MultiplayerThe current maps that are available are: Beaver Creek / Battle Canyon / Battle Creek, Damnation / Penance, Timberland / Ridgeline, Prisoner / Solitary, Hang ‘Em High / High Noon and Headlong / Breakneck. I’m assuming more classic maps such as Blood Gultch and Waterworks will be leveraged for DLC map packs in the future.

Halo Anniversary Collection Rates:

Gameplay 9/10 Haven’t had this much fun playing Halo multiplayer since Halo 2 which came out in 2004. The campaign is pretty decent as well, I’m just happy that I can play the Maw on legendary over Xbox Live now.

Graphics 8/10 343 Industries did a great job on keeping the original feel and experience of Halo while remastering the graphics and details of the game. Hopefully more classic games will follow suit (Original Smash, Star Wars battlefront) .

Audio 8/10 The classic Halo theme song is implemented throughout the game with the usual combat sound effects so I’m happy.

Replay Value 9/10 The original campaign on Co-op plus the multiplayer is going to take many hours of Americans free time.

Halo Anniversary Collection is not only reasonably priced at $40, it also comes with redeemable codes for a Halo Reach map pack, and a Spartan suite for your avatar. This game is a must buy for any Halo fans especially if you have been waiting for 4×4 Capture the Flag on Blood Gultch as long as I have.

Sonic Generations Review

Sonic Generations game play

Just in time to satisfy my cravings for some lightning fast action comes Sonic Generations, which celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the legendary hedgehog. To my surprise this game incorporated the classic Sega genesis games with the look and feel of the new Sonic games very well. Not only does it bring back nostalgia to all of those who played Sonic back in the 90’s but it starts you out at the revamped Green Hill Zone with the classic music and everything! I love how the developers kept the feel of the old Sonic games for the Sega Genesis, but added more detail and brought it up to speed. The game also incorporates the new versions of Sonic games which is the 3D platform style instead of the 2D side scrolling classics. Both are a fun way to play and keep you interested with the game because you are able to switch back and forth between each generation of Sonic at anytime.

sonic generations greenhill zonesonic generations bossThe storyline (in-case you haven’t figured it out already) starts off with Sonic celebrating his 20th Birthday with his friends when suddenly a ghostly looking takes everyone besides sonic and warps the past and present dimensions together in some kind of limbo world where only Sonic’s super speed can save the land and his friends. Sonic eventually realizes that he has been to these places such as Green Hill Zone before and meets up with his former self (which for some reason can’t talk). Together both Sonic’s team up and play through the stages in both the past and present times. Along the way you free each of your friends in their current limbo state and they “help” you along the way to defeating each of the bosses.

The Game play is very fun for several reasons, First if you’re a fan of classic Sonic you will love this game because it brings to life the old stages and zones. Secondly, the game keeps you entertained longer because you can switch back and forth between the classic 2D side scrolling feel of Sonic as well as the 3D platform version. The third and most important thing is that there is FINALLY a new Sonic game that is worth buying.

Sonic-Generations-Seaside-Hill-kart Sonic Generations also makes you play mini challenges throughout the story mode to unlock the boss battles and points for more power up features. For instance as the picture on the left shows, you can control a go-kart and drive around at sonic speeds for the Seaside Hill zone challenge.

The stages you can play in Sonic Generations:

Green Hill Zone, Chemical Plant, Sky Sanctuary (slow down on this one!), Speed Highway, City Escape, Seaside Hill, Crisis City, Rooftop Run, and Planet Wisp.

Sonic Generations Rates:

Gameplay 9/10 This game is fun for everyone especially if you played sonic back in the day. Sonic Generations does a good job integrating the classic games with the new style and graphics of current Sonic games. This game will definitely give you your dose of just holding down the X button to speed up and blast away through ramps and rails.

Graphics 8/10 The graphics in this game a somewhat look like the Mario kart for the Wii graphics which fit the game. Although I do like the environments and the amount of detail that you see while you are speeding through the levels,  even in the classic 2D side scrolling stages you can notice a big upgrade with the details for each zone.

Audio 9/10 The audio brings back nostalgia and memories of countless hours learning how to use a controller back when I was in diapers. The music in this game is for the fans of the classic genesis 8 bit audio feel. Although some of the newer songs are on the game I tend to not pay attention.

Replay Value 8/10 The replay value is quite good for this game because the detailed environments and amount of fun most people have speeding through the levels. I currently am renting this game from GameFly but I will probably buy it.

Sega finally put out a Sonic game that will be a hit for a long time, I suggest buying Sonic Generations if you’re a fan or at least renting if you are curious.


World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria


World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria

Blizzards trump card to get their millions of lost subscribers back to paying $15 a month is here. The fourth expansion to the famous World of Warcraft is here and yes there will be pandemonium. No release dates have been set but there are multiple preview videos that explain what changes will occur in the new expansion to the World of Warcraft.

Mists of Pandaria World of Warcraft Some of the new features for Mists of Pandaria include; New Pandaren race, New character class Monk, New quests on the continent of Pandaria, level cap raised to 90 mists of pandaria new pandaren race(seriously should be 100 by now), Dungeon Challenge mode, Pet battle system (PokeMon!), and new PvE Scenarios.

The new World of Warcraft Expansion has implemented a Dungeon Challenge mode that allows seasoned dungeon crawlers to choose an extra objective when clearing out an instance. It seems as of right now the Dungeon Challenges will all be time based and the faster your group clears the dungeon and all the bosses the more rewards your group will receive. I would personally like to see more customization to the Dungeon Challenge like 0 deaths throughout the instance, or perhaps pulling a Leroy Jenkins and aggroing an entire dungeon and surviving. There will also be a point system that shows how many medals you have obtained on Dungeon Challenges for bragging rights ;)

New Pandaren Monk class is basically Po from Kung Fu Panda that utilizes ancient Chinese weapons such as Fist Weapons, one-handed axes, staves, one-handed polearms, and one-handed swords. Some of the featured Pandaren Monk abilities are Roll (roll a short distance), Spinning Crane Kick (deals physical damage to all nearby enemies), and Statue of the Jade Serpent (Summons a statue that heals a friendly target every time you deal damage).

Here is a look at the Pet Battle System, Mists of Pandaria Pet Battle System

The new pet-battle system looks and feels like PokeMon but with a World of Warcraft style. You can duel your friends, level up your pet and its abilities, and choose an entire roster!

World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria Trailer