Archive for category Game Impressions

[E3 2011] Hands On – Starhawk

The line for Starhawk was never very long at E3 for some odd reason. I usually just had to wait for the current game to finish for my turn at the game. When you spawn, you get a top down view of the battlefield and you get to choose where to drop your pod in your home base. You can steer it slightly when it’s falling in mid-air. What’s cool is you can actually kill others when you land! I never got to see this in person, though. After you land, you press square to burst out of your pod.

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[E3 2011] Hands On – Ace Combat: Assault Horizon

I couldn’t pass up a chance to try this out. In the demo you can control a helicopter or a fighter jet. First I tried out the helicopter, the battle takes place in a city. You assist other troops on the ground. Targets include regular guys with rocket launchers, anti-aircraft guns, trucks & tanks. When you are close enough you can lock onto a target and use your mounted machine guns or 2 different types of missiles in this demo. Sometimes when you take out a target you get a nice quick cut scene of the destruction then right back into action. Near the end of the demo you get to take on a few enemy helicopters. Then you finish the demo off with taking out a bridge with supply trucks on it.

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Marston or Phelps? A Comparison of L.A. Noire and Red Dead Redemption

Rockstar Games is hitting its stride now. Two straight games that are genre defining, and potentially revolutionary, they’ve released now, both of which to fan and critical acclaim. But which one is better? Team Bondi’s homage to film noire or Rockstar San Diego’s western classic?

I’ve already stated on this blog that Red Dead Redemption is among my favorite games of all time, and L.A. Noire was my most anticipated game of 2011. But, which game will I say is better?

I have to warn you, this post contains spoilers for both games. If you haven’t finished it, I suggest you wouldn’t read the “plot” section of this post.

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Motorstorm Apocalypse Impressions

(All screenshots were taken by me using the in-game screenshot feature. Full gallery here)

In one sentence: The best arcade racing game. 🙂

Compared with Split/Second: Split/Second was a recent arcade racer with the same exploding city theme. That was a great game, but MotorStorm Apocalypse is better; it simply has more creative tracks and racing.

What makes the MotorStorm series great: Intensely creative tracks are the cornerstone of the series. Diverse racing surfaces (rock, sand, dirt, grass, asphalt, water) that feel and behave like you’d expect. The vehicle classes (motorcycles, ATVs, buggies, big rigs, etc) each give the player a distinctly different race experience and aren’t just stat tweaks. This game keeps all of that and adds more…

What does Apocalypse Change?

  • Tracks: When Apocalypse announced urban racing, I was worried that it was going to be all bland asphalt road racing and lose the charm of the diverse racing surfaces, jumps, branching paths, and creative geometries. Not even close. The tracks are as wildly creative as ever, if not more so. One good example is the track that takes place almost entirely on the damaged roof tops of buildings.
  • Expanded single-player campaign: The races are more like fully designed missions rather than combinations of track/objective/vehicle class. The story is much more fleshed out, but it’s largely just entertaining window dressing.
  • Multiplayer: Perks, leveling, way more unlockables and achievables; betting system. It’s the same competitive racing at its heart, but there is way more polish.
  • Stereoscopic 3D: Stereoscopic 3D was made for this game. The effect is amazing and is a perfect fit for a game that is mechanically about maneuvering the environment.
  • Music: The series is known for exceptionally good licensed music picks (maybe that’s just because I grew up in a similar time frame as the devs?). This game uses original music, including movie soundtrack style music and some techno.


In my opinion, nothing has topped the MotorStorm series in providing amazing, creative racing fun. This improves the formula and pushes the racing genre farther than it’s been taken before.


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