installed and played on X360

plot and story - 3/5

Ever filled with plot turns and cliffhangers, Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Revelations finished the story of Altair Ibn La Ahad and foreshadows the winding years of Ezio Auditore. The main plot line for ACR is that Ezio is relinquishing the Templar hold on Constantinople, repairing the Assassin Order, and finding what secrets Altair's library has hidden away from the world. Desmond's tale is progressed just slightly but he's in a coma caused by the animus for the *entire* game! Don's get your hopes up for using Desmond's new skills and talents he's learned from Ezio and Altair. The Apple of Eden shows up yet again but only to kill Templars at the hand of Altair and the tease the player of it's power in the next game. More questions are placed in your minds and fewer answers are given to you. I'm taking away points in this category because after three games, players are becoming a bit impatient. It's neat to see Altair regain his honor and still kill at age 92 and watch Ezio rebuild the order, but we need more satisfaction Ubisoft.

setting and level design 4/5

Constantinople is a fantastic environment for the time frame of the game and the overall history of the city. Constantinople is massive; many shops, small buildings, tall towers, and all the usual parkour-style atmosphere you need in an Assassin's Creed game. The addition of the hook-blade allows for convenient use zip-lines placed in strategic spots in the city. Zip-lines are a nice way to clear a lot of space in a short time and air assassinations from the line are very entertaining. My only quarrel with ACR's level design is that it's too cluttered. Many of the avenues and paths to take are littered with obstacles, some you cant jump over or on, and most of the traveling becomes annoying and redundant. The game can be a joy, but add in some hard terrain to traverse and your enjoyment can turn to disdain in a heart-beat.

graphics and visuals- 4/5

ACR has boosted their graphics to show off better facial expressions and more dynamic environments. However, many building and walkways have surely been recycled from previous games, as well as bystanders, textures, and flora. There's not much new to look at other than the improved lighting and colour palette used by the designers, and the different animations the developers have included with conversations and combat.

sound music and dialogue- 3/5

There's not much to say in this category for a game like ACR. Orchestral music whispers in the background as you sneak around coves, awnings, and roofs before the kill. Turkish instruments are audible as you run around the city and give a good sense of immersion. ACR is filled with all the same sound effects found in previous games such as: opening chests, finishing a mission, lowered health bar, running out of time, etc. I cannot give ACR a full 5 out of 5 on this category because nothing spectacular is heard from this game that is memorable, meaningful, or ignites a response by the listener.

gameplay and controls- 3/5

The Assassin's Creed series is full of detailed button combinations, swift controller operations, and the ability to make your trigger finger numb from constant holding. ACR is the most detailed in the series in terms of button controls, so when AC1 had problems with controls you should know that ACR does as well. Haphazard reaction times from controller to Ezio can be a headache, mistakes are frequent because controller lag or character animation fumbles, and game glitches are always present. Sprinting and jumping can be a breeze but the camera doesn't always follow so traveling with speed can be a hassle.

New Features:
Crafting Bombs has been added and creates a whole new way to set up the assassinations. I opted to ignore the bombs because of slow time to target and most decoys or smoke bombs didn't work in my favor. Ingredients to craft bombs are hidden in chests everywhere in the city, on soldiers and militia, and given as rewards to missions and received when your underlings complete their missions. As i chose not to create and use bombs the ingredients I collected sold for a very pretty penny and increased my wallet weight quickly. There are three different types of bombs; Explosions, Decoys, Tactical: but each can be built with different effects.

The Hook-Blade is given to you by a fellow assassin and is used to increase your range when scaling cliffs, ladders, walls, buildings, and anything else in the world. Tapping of holding the "jump" button allows Ezio to leap upward and catch an otherwise out of reach ledge or hand-hold. When jumping from building to building or ledge to ledge and you know you're not going to make it you can hold out your Hook-Blade to catch a nearby coping or edge to prevent falling.

Eagle Sense is an improved version of Eagle Vision from previous games. In ACR Ezio has aged and with his years he's crafted the art of reading people and intuition. With Eagle Sense you can see guard patrol patterns, places of interest like hiding spots, discover hidden doors and rooms, decipher people's real motives, and track certain characters.

Templar Dens are Assassin headquarters taken over and re purposed for their deeds. Templar Dens are my least favorite part about ACR; in fact, it's so annoying and hair-pulling that I quit the game on a number of occasions because of these buildings and the migraines they cause. When you discover a Den you need to use your Eagle Sense to track the Den Captain. The Templar Captain is a "COWARD," as the game quotes and warns you that if the Captain learns of your attack on the Den he'll flee and hide, leaving you to fend off the guards and wait a full day to try and kill him again. After you dispatch the cowardly Captain you ignite a signal fire and you get cozy in your newly acquired base for your activities. 

My hatred for Templar Dens is that after you capture one it immediately goes on the radar of other Templars and they threated to retake it for their control. When you accept to fight them off you are prompted with a strategic game resembling Tower Defense or a less hardcore version of Horde Mode from Gears of War. Different Dens have different battle zones and you are gifted a certain amount of morale points. With morale points you can place assassins, gunners, barricades, and cannons to hold their ground and battle wave after wave of Templar as they try and make their way to your Den to burn it down; if they succeed you lose your den and restart the area with a newly appointed Den Captain. The problem with this mini game is that the Templars will win fifty percent of the time. After they overtake you rage can fill your thoughts quickly but don't throw your controller; restrain yourself.

After many rage-quits and screaming at my tv the way I combated the incessant task of the Dens is that after i retook all of them and once I controlled the city I never protected my assassin HQ again. This sounds like I'm betraying my virtual brethren but the Templars never overtook my HQ once I killed their Captain and made my home there. The icon on the mini-map will blink for ages and the prompt script will tell you to help but you will remain in control of the city. There is a chance they will take back the Den, but I never had this happen. The strategic mini-game of Assassin Tower Defense should be fun for some, but it's not enjoyable for me.

difficuly replayability and entertainment- 3/5

Difficulty here can be enormous or minuscule depending on your clocked hours in the Animus and how you can adapt to the city and the controls. Gameplay functions can be a pain at times and the specific timing and button controls take precision and attention to perform; not to mention persistence if you get it wrong. Add strategic planning, patience, and determination to the mix and Assassin's Creed can be a very entertaining thrill ride or a poster-child for throwing your system out a window.

Replayability is moderate. You can continue to play your campaign after you complete the game and increase your income and assassin guild but after the main missions there isn't much to do except search for collectibles. If you're a perfectionist you can go back in time and replay the missions you didn't get 100% sync on.

ACR's entertainment value is moderate as well. There's quite a bit here to keep you away from boredom but the cityscape becomes boring, the plot starts to wane, and gameplay quirks can make you quit for a day or two. The "thrill of the kill" moments are always there so don't get worries that Assassin's Creed is losing it's muster, but it does have parts that are lack-luster.

Assassin's Creed: Revelations gets a score of 20/30
 
 
Picture

                                                 Played and reviewed by Will

My family and I are currently on a trip to Virginia for Thanksgiving, meaning an eight hour car ride to and from. The day before we embarked on our journey, I realized that I haven’t even turned on my 3DS for quite some time. So, in the first step to fixing this problem, I went to Best Buy to buy a new game. I didn’t have a specific title picked out in my mind, but I did have a few options cycling through. I arrived at Best Buy, darted straight for the games section, and bought Rayman 3D.

Now let me explain this new “First Impressions” segment I’m going to begin. After buying a new game and whilst still playing it, I’ll type up a blog about how the game is going after I’m 20% complete. The final score will be out 10, because I won’t be going in depth as the full reviews that are written for this website. Ideally, these will be relatively short summaries of why I like, dislike, or I’m mixed on a game.


                                                Click "READ MORE" to see why I gave this game a 6/10!

 
 
Picture
                                          Reviewed by Will. Played and installed on PS3.


The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the first legit RPG I’ve ever played, aside from Pokemon Pearl and two hours of Fallout 3. And boy, what a great one to start with! From the seemingly never ending world that expands for an area of 24.5 square miles (41 sqaure kilometers), to the groups of mammoths grazing on the fields being herded by giants, to the Bandit infested mines filled with raw materials that will make your mouth water, to the potion making and the weapon enchanting, this game is unbelievable. You have to literally try to be bored while playing this game.

                                                         Click "READ MORE" to see why I gave Skyrim a 27/30!


 
 
Picture
Skyrim Collectors Edition
Installed and Played on Xbox360. Played and Reviewed by Daniel

Starting out this review…I am nervous. Never have I been so afraid of writing a review then right now for Bethesda’s massive RPG “Skyrim.” The Elder Scrolls series has a monumental fan following, incredibly extensive lore and history, millions of stories and people to tell them, creatures of all shape and size, many forms of magic and spells, weapons and armor, and a freedom unlike any other. Skyrim is evolving how games should be played and what it means to step into a virtual world.

ThePauseMenu’s new rating system is HERE, read it before you continue to understand it.

Skyrim boasts over 400 hours of gameplay but in fact the game never truly ends. You can continue to explore, guilds will continue giving you missions and assignments, caves and ruins will have newer enemies and denizens within them, and dragons are never-ending. The scope of Skyrim is awe-inspiring. The amount of work put into this game is astonishing. Bethesda has created a living, breathing, and functioning world. Escapism is what Skyrim prides itself on and it truly is a game of freedom.

CLICK "READ MORE" for the FULL REVIEW. See Why Skyrim Got 29 out of 30 points.

 
 
Picture
An Id Software Employee holds the newly printed copies of RAGE before release.
Installed and Played on Xbox360
SCORE: 4/5

RAGE is a FPS from the creators of DOOM and Quake; Id Software. RAGE consists of fast-paced and explosive combat, intelligent AI, and free-roam driving and races.
Engine- Id Tech 5

Story:
You are an ARK Soldier. A member of an elite force that used to protect Earth. After an opening cinematic you realize that Earth was hit with a massive asteroid and the world as we know it is no more. All that is left is desolate wastelands that resemble Tuskan Raider territory, bandits wielding melee weapons, and the Authority; the evil force in RAGE that is trying to erase the memory of the ARK soliders; namely you, one of the last of your kind.

CLICK "READ MORE" OVER THERE FOR THE FULL REVIEW >>>>>
 
 
Picture
[Reviewed by Constance]
5/5
Its been very trying for me to write this review only because the game was so emotional for me. Ive followed this series since its start and have become, in my mind, a member of the Coalation of Ordered Governments.But since there no place to start but the beginning..lets start there

You wake up to Anya's voice. She tells you that your father needs you, but how? Adam Fenix is dead...

CLICK "READ MORE" Over There for the Full Review >>>>

 
 
Picture
Dead Island: Score 3/5.
played on 360

Dead Island throws you into a story filled with many questions and even more zombies. But the number one thing I got from Dead Island is a reminder to never let the hype over-weigh the reality.

Dead Island seemed to be one of the most anticipated RPG/ Survival games releasing in the zombie genre and I was caught up in the excitement. To my chagrin however the game is flat-linning. 

FOR THE FULL REVIEW CLICK "READ MORE" OVER THERE >>>

 
 
Picture
Played by Both Constance (Beat the game) & Danny (Didn’t beat the game) on the X360.

Alice’s tales of Wonderland are full of whimsical magic, madness, and is a stark opposite of reality. Lewis Carrol’s stories of Wonderland shed light on imagination and the ability to believe in the unbelievable. American McGee took Alice away from the “normal” abnormal Wonderland and threw her into a nightmare of a dream. American McGee’s Alice took us on a journey of morbid fantasy and created a new way we see Wonderland. Madness Returns is the sequel.

Madness Returns is full of hyperbolic narratives, disgusting lore, creepy & annoying enemies, devilish plotlines, and a grim/disturbing look into what Wonderland has become. Alice: Madness returns is NOT a children’s game. This is an adult game that revolves around gore, sin, and horrific depictions of madness. But enough with the disclaimers and introduction, lets get onto the review.


FOR THE FULL REVIEW CLICK "READ MORE" Over There >>>>>

 
 
Picture
Played on 360

F.E.A.R. 3 continues the creepy and depressing story of Alma via her two psychic psychotic homicidal estranged brothers Fettel and Pointman. This FPS is full of guns, blood, scares, and is a great addition to the F.E.A.R. series.

Story:
Interestingly enough the overly gored plot has the basis of love. Alma who we all know has some inner demons really cares for her maniacal offspring. And she is more pissed than ever. Turns out she raped a man in order to give birth to a new evil and your objective is to find Alma and stop the birth. Your brother Fettel, however wants the birth to occur and to usher in a new member to the family. Alma’s contractions rock the world around you and unleash Hell on Earth.

CLICK READ MORE FOR THE FULL REVIEW
 
 
Picture
L.A. Noire is a Grade A Game
I’ll change up my scheme for reviews for L.A. Noire and tell you to play this game. L.A. Noire is decisively and thoroughly one of the best games I have ever played. This game gets 5 out of 5 and I’ll tell you why. This crime drama of a masterpiece molds gritty violent crimes of passion and mischief with the satisfaction of solving a complex puzzle that is a detective’s career. Rockstar Games remains one of the most diverse companies as far as franchises go and L.A. Noire stands out from the crowd with ease.


Click "READ MORE" for the Full Review. You'll want to read this.