My Trophy Card

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Bulletstorm Review

From developers Epic Games and People Can Fly comes a game of pure fun and guilty pleasure that leaves you wondering why more FPS games don’t take this direction more often. Bulletstorm brings back the fun to FPS that has been missing for a long time, the game is focused on you being creative not static at all unlike most FPS games out on the market today. Bulletstorm is a breath of fresh air in what has become a very static genre for the FPS, with great graphics and amazingly solid gameplay Bulletstorm does so well that even the little nitpicky stuff is over looked because your having so much fun that you forget about and go right back to killing with skill.

From the moment you start up the game and get into the action you get a feel of freshness to a genre that has been dominated by duck and cover tactics, instead Bulletstorm rewards you for rushing the enemies and going wild with your shots and kicks. The story is pretty basic you’re a space pirate that use to work for a general that had you believe you were doing good means and then find out you were killing all the wrong people for the wrong reasons, so boring stuff out of the way now you try to get revenge on him but end up crashing down on a planet with dangers on all sides and all you have is your friend that is now part cyborg. From that start you get the visuals of a great and amazing planet teaming with beautiful landscapes and some detailed enemies that won’t go down without a fight. Don’t go looking for too much depth in the characters they are one sided but don’t make the story or game, what does is its’ golden key and that is the killing with skill. 

Oh Yeah Skills to Pay the Bills

Skill shots are what is essential to survive on the planet, the better you play around with killing your enemies the most points you get to use on re-filling your ammo and buying upgrades, if you take the duck and cover approach to the game you will spend a lot of time cursing because you won’t be able to upgrade nothing or it will take you a long time to do so. Skill shots are rewards for mixing up your kills and using your kicks and environment at your disposal to make the more out of your kills and get the most skill points for those kills.

Once you get the leash you learn about how the confederation was rewarding there elite soldiers for skill kills and that is where you get into the whole skill kill marathon of the game, the skills are not just locked to your weapons but the environment and the creative nature you take to get your kills. Be creative and don’t have any fear and you will score tons of skill points and be rewarded for your efforts big time. Sometimes you have to really mix it up to get the most out of every kill, so again this part of Bulletstorm just makes you feel like you are playing something new and really you are. By taking the FPS out of the static kills that come in so many of the now acclaimed games of our time, Bulletstorm separates itself by allowing the player a wide variety of choices to kill your enemies and make it so you’re not doing the same thing over and over again which happens in a lot games now of days. By allowing the player to experiment and try new things allow you to both enjoy the fun out your kills and get to enjoy the amazing graphics at the same time.  The fast paced action that comes into the game and at times surrounds you with enemies on all sides and leaves you to make up new ways to get the most out of your kills because using the same tactics don’t work on all enemies.

Not so Fast

Visually the game is a masterpiece of art and detail, you get a sense of wonder at times as your gunning down enemies and you see this amazingly colorful background with lush layers of colors and details. From the guns to the landscapes you get a sense of awe and see how they all work together and are blended so well that nothing is out of place and that the graphics make the game, it is like icing to the cake and really makes you enjoy all of the wonders this amazing game has to offer. But the artwork isn’t just sold on the landscapes and guns, from your main character to the enemies the details have not been overlooked or tuned down you get a sense of detail of layers to the characters but even knowing there isn’t a really large variety of enemies the details on them and graphically speaking it is great. The artwork on this game is from the same developers that make Gears of War and clearly they have not toned down anything at all, you get a feeling that this is a Gears of War game at times because of the graphics but the gameplay definitely says different.  This is one game that for the first time in a long time you don’t see any flickers or distortions in the graphics at all, unlike some games if you turn a corner fast you see though a wall or can see though the landscape but in Bulletstorm the graphics are spot on and rock solid. 

In addition to the single player campaign there is a multiplayer and Echoes mode to the game. The multiplayer is co-op based and is called Anarchy, played with up to four of your friends while in Echoes mode you’re replaying a certain part of the game for the highest score you can get. Now some would say this is lacking but again giving the nature of this game and the graphics of it, these two additional modes actually open up more and more of the game. Basically if you love competition you will love Echoes mode as you battle for the number one spot and in Anarchy you rack up XP and skill shots with friends to unlock new armor, weapons, and more options for customization. 

From all the great angles of this game does come a few drawbacks that become noticeable after you start playing, one is the lack of AI for your teammates to successfully kill anything it seems. They will shot and even knock down the enemy but have a problem following thought with the kill, this seems like it was a move by the developers for you the player to do more and have more to do in the game, but at times you wish they would at least get a few kills at times. Another annoying factor is you can’t seem to jump at all, so when you come up to a ledge or downed tree you have to walk up to it and wait to press the action button to climb over it. This action leaves you at times going from fact paced action to being slowed downed to the point it takes a little away but not much at all and after a while you get over it but still annoying. The online only has Anarchy mode which is co-op and at times can be a pain to find a game if your friends haven’t yet picked up Bulletstorm. 

In short this game does what so many seem to miss and that is having fun with the FPS genre and not takes itself so seriously. In a genre ruled by wars and battles of the past or near future it is a breath of air to have an FPS game that is just fun to play and enjoy and not feel so static like your saving a world from a thermonuclear bomb attack or sleeper agents being triggered to go off, it is just a joy to sit back and run down enemies with some skills and have a ton of fun enjoying the guilty pleasure that is Bulletstorm. With DLC already being confirmed for this game in Spring of 2011 it is safe to say Bulletstorm is a must have for all true FPS fans out there.

9 out of 10 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Planet Minigolf Review

ZEN studios welcome us in to a great new game with the release of Planet Minigolf on the Playstation Network. ZEN studios noted for their fun loving ZEN pinball game, has introduce us in to a great new world of minigolf that allows you to have fun, listen to your music, and even create your own levels to share. Planet minigolf takes you to some wonderful worlds with some of the most wicked courses and holes you may ever see.

Single Player

Single player take you though a few courses from around the world, the courses are based off the location. For example Buccaneer’s hideout is based on an island and is surrounded by pirate boats and other things based on the location and name of the course. When you first start the game you get to pick your character and do very light customization to him or her as you need to unlock more clothes, and accessories though playing the game and earning badges. Badges are awarded to the player for doing certain activities like getting a hole in one or using a trick putt to sink a ball in the hole. The game does allow you to customize the way you play for instance the way you putt you have three options from Direct where you pull back on the left analog stick until you feel you have the perfect power and then let it follow though, Easy for easy you press and hold the X button until you reach the perfect power you want then let go, and three click in this one you use the X button three times here one is for the shot setup then the power level you want and then finally at the right time to release it for a perfect putt. The style you wish to putt at is in the options menu and is accessed by pressing START on your controller note you can’t change your putt style while in mid-game you have to do it before you start a game up. Well the courses are broken down into five ranges Warm-up, Pro, Extreme, Wacky and Custom. Warm-up is the first one in the line and has to be completed before moving on to the next one and so on, custom is holes and courses the community has made and published for all to play. Along with all that is option to YouTube upload your footage of your game, you had a great run on a hole and want to show others well now you can with the inclusion of the YouTube upload feature in Planet Minigolf. The game is quite rewarding to most and does have a difficultly level that most will find both easy and at times beyond hard to throwing the control in a fit of rage. As it takes a while just like with most ZEN games to get use to and feel out the controls and difficultness of the game, some of your putts you will power whack the ball and it feels like you barely tapped it at all and other times you light putt and it feels like your character just smashed it with a baseball bat. Well what is a good game without power ups, in Planet Minigolf you have a wide range of power ups that you can use to help you sink that putt or add more style to your stroke. The power ups for example the Guided controller one allows the player to use there sixaxis controller to control the ball’s direction and help you make that birdie. In addition to just the single player you can if you’re tired of playing the holes and courses in the game make your own as the game allows you to access all the options and choices that are in the game to make the sickest, coolest, badest hole or course you want. The options for making your own creation are limitless and are only limited by your creative juices.


Well from a great single player game it has an amazing multiplayer mode for users to either go online or local with others in your room. In Local you can play with up to six players in certain game modes, allowing you to team up or just see who the best in your group is. Game modes for local are one on one, singles, doubles, and teams. All of these modes offer you the ability to adjust the level as you want and set up your own rules for the game. Allowing you to make the most fun for all involved and have a truly unique time with the game. If you don’t have anyone around then take it online, you have two choices online from ranked games and casual games, the difference being that in ranked you can’t change or mod the rules of the course as it are set to make things fair for all. After you choose which one you want you again have the same four options for match types as in local multiplayer.

Visual and Audio

The visuals in the game are very well done and make each location have its own feel and texture to it. Like when you play buccaneer’s hideout the graphics are really nice and rich and make you feel like this is so great of an idea for a course. The game does suffer from some glitch graphics at times pending on where your ball is and your putting other than a few times does it happen and other times your camera will somewhat lose focus but beyond that the graphics are dead on for this game. The character customization is simple but does the job for your character as you progress you can unlock new items for them that can show off some wild ranges and deck them out with custom putter and balls. Soundtrack in the game is not the best in the world and at times gets on your nerves a lot, but never fear as you can use your own music. Yes customizable soundtracks this game has, I would suggest make yourself a nice playlist and then load up the game and let your music take over. Another kind of annoying aspect is the announcer’s commentary at times is just either annoying or not even needed, no fear you again can turn off the commentary though the options menu at anytime.

Final Decision and Score

Score is 7 out of 10

My final thoughts on this game is that it is a great game to play and have others play with you, in fact more and more you will have more fun playing the custom levels others create then the ones in single player aspect of the game. The difficulty is on par for a ZEN game but at times will make so people just so angry that your character can’t put it right that you will throw the controller or just quit the game midway through a hole or course. The ability to make and publish custom levels and have your own soundtrack is right on awesome for this game, but the difficulty and at times glitching graphics do mark the game down a bit. The price is not bad at ten dollars but I fear some players that are not use to ZEN studios games will have buyer’s remorse. It is a great game for those seeking a difficult and fun loving game and are tired of the easy ones.

*BTW: I created a hole entitled F1rst Course, please take a look at it and have some fun with it and let me know what you think of the hole. If you can’t find it under that name just search my PSN ID in the search area for hole and you should find it then.