Replacing Older and Newer Posts by Actual Names

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Review Mashups and more

Some of the reviews I would be posting today are almost a decade too late. Two of these games are in their third iteration, the other too have already received millions of updates. But for the benefit of a poor soul, who doesn't own a cutting edge PC and a billionaire's bank balance (like me), these games are either free to play or would be available for dirt cheap prices, not to mention they won't shred your PC and console when they run.

Lately however, its been all physical sport for me. Was involved in a intro-corporate cricket tournament spread over 2 weeks. This meant that when I was not on the field, I was either at my desk or in my bed. All that sport, left no room for my X-Box though, as I was too tired to guide Commander Shepard after I was run ragged on the field daily. Anyways, all my labor bore fruit and we ended up as the eventual champions of the tournament; Check out the tournament and the celebrations in photos by clicking on the image below.
The Trophy that we won
When I did return to Mass-Effect, it was after 20 days (the longest gap I have ever had ever since I had bought the console). I didn't suffer from any gaming rust however, as I finished off the first play-through of the game, notching up 6 achievements along the way. I started my second play-through on Hardcore and have already notched up 2 more. The game achievement list is such that you have to play the game multiple times to get that elusive 1000. I am probably the most lazy gamer that you would see in this regard, I absolutely hate multiple play-throughs(with some notable exceptions; more on that below), Dead Space, Arkham City and Borderland never pinged the 1000 because of my taste (this btw extends to movies too, never seen a movie worth a second watch). Mercifully, Mas-Effect main story is quite short and quite frankly quite intriguing; the game-play is tight (shooting can be a pain sometimes, but expected from an old game), the graphics are neat and tight too, however the game does go through the motions when rendering textures. Then there is this small matter of 50-60 side quests that should be concluded with various team members for different achievements. I don't know if I have the patience for all that, especially since my laptop has been wooing me with MMOG recently. But I will say this, Mass-Effect's real punch is in its story, and if you are not a cheevo hunter like me, I would suggest you skip as many side quests as possible and jump into the story as soon and as deep as possible.

Kabelled Score- 7/10

Moving on, remember the MMOGs I mentioned above. I recently installed an unlimited Broadband connection into my house, and decided it was about time I gave my laptop a run for his money. Installed League Of Legends and played it like for 6-7 hours straight. I sucked at it, but at least I didn't suck at it longer than 45 minutes at a stretch. The game looks and feels like Warcraft, but is actually a hyper fast R.P.G. if you ask me. You and 3 others like you are asked to choose a character and are then pitted against either bots or more human players. Each team has castles, which you need to bring down, once that is done, you win. Simple and addictive with loads of layers. I would have played more, if I hadn't sucked less, or if my room-mate would not have left my X-Box alone. The games is simple in its pick and play appeal and amazingly addictive.

Kabelled Score- 8/10

Another MMOG that I recently picked up was D.C. Universe Online. The prospect of playing a super-hero in the DC universe is too much for a comic book buff like me, and as soon as I came to know that the game was now free to play on PC (yup I am a cheap Indian), I signed up for an account and got busy. Its too bad the game would probably never make it on a X-Box (its developed by Sony Entertainment), because my laptop is not really cutting edge. The game hung up a few times, and played with an absurd amount of lag sometimes. Visually, again limited by my computer's prowess, it didn't break any new ground. I only just played the opening tutorial mission to comment too much on the story, but whatever I have gathered from the opening sequence, and the trailers and videos on You-Tube, it looks nice and as convulsed as a DC story arc . The game also provides various option to customize your character and you can create your very own superhero or super-villain, with a wide range of powers. The inventory and your equipment is probably the most varied I have seen  in a while, though it kinds of contradicts the fact that you design your hero to look a certain way, and then it is over-ridden with what you equip yourself with in the actual game. Other multi-player options such as PvP are also available, but the game's biggest asset is the nostalgia of playing in the DC universe.

Kabelled Score- 7/10

Now to Diablo-2. Yup you heard me right, not 3 but 2. Just a few days ago, my brother (who is on a ship somewhere off the coast of middle East) called me up and asked me how to install Diablo-2 on to his laptop (he was bored and found the setup file lying around). Not completely sure, I did a dry run on my system and then helped him go through the motion on his machine. Once installed, I wanted to test if it was running fine, and so I fired it up. What was supposed to be a test run, ended up in a 4 hour run with me finishing up the first chapter. That's how addictive the game is. Its been almost 12 years since the game released, and I keep coming back to it after a gap of 3 years of so every time. This ancient dungeon crawler by Blizzard, kept me more involved than Shepard, LOL and DCNU could only hope for. If you haven't played it, do give this game a chance. Graphics wise, its 12 years behind the curve, but the beauty of the game is that its not driven by visuals but by the point and click game mechanics, which are a treat to play with. A varied character selection and millions of combinations available for everything from weapons to boots, Diablo-2 never becomes too hard or to easy to play. In a world where games are reviewed and dissected under a microscope, I am sure Diablo-2 would have made a perfect 10 everywhere it went. I am telling you if you haven't played it, find it and do.

Kabelled Score- 10/10

So that wraps up the most of last month. 4 games and a lot of cricket, is what it was all about. I am still trying to juggle between Diablo, Mass-Effect, LOL and DCNU and work and life, but as of now I am losing. That's why I tend to stick to one game at one time, not a multitasker I am. Each one of these games, have a cult following; and I would hate for you to miss out on any one of them. All of them are RPGs, but each one is inherently different from the other. I am gonna try buying Halo-4, or WWE-13 next, and try posting a proper relevant review next time. I am also planning to brush up on my Gears Of War, before judgement comes out next year, also I have this little itch to play Fable-3. May yours and my gaming wishes all come true this year or the next.
Signing Off,
Ayush 'Kabel' Chauhan

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