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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Games of 2007: #1 - #5

Good ‘ol 2007 is coming to an end real soon and this is the time of the year to reflect on what has happened these past months. Indubitably, 2007 is one hell of a great year in gaming. Now, let me recall all the games (starting from #1 to #5) that I have played this year. I shall let the memories flow.

#1. DEAD OR ALIVE 4 (XBOX 360)

They never stop fighting, do they?

2007 went off to a sluggish start with no big games in sight. Now, that would be a great opportunity to flip through the back catalog and that I did – so here’s what I found for a time filler! The game in question is Dead or Alive 4 and having played its predecessor, Dead or Alive 3, before, I more or less knew what to expect from the 4th game. Basically, Dead or Alive 4 features the entire cast of fighters available in Dead or Alive 3 and puts in a few more. The most surprise inclusion in the game is unlockable character Master Chief (or as some people put it: his look-alike) from the Halo series. The many modes are still there, namely vs. mode, story mode, survival mode and time attack mode. Pardon me if I have misnamed some of the modes or if some weren’t included in the list – well, it can be hard to remember things from more than 6 months back and I hardly play Dead or Alive 4 nowadays. The story mode is still as rewarding, but just don’t expect elaborate storylines for most individual characters. All in all, Dead or Alive 4 is a great game and it retains the feel of the previous entrants in the franchise, so if you have never liked any of the Dead or Alive games, you are wont to ignore Dead or Alive 4 too.

THE SCORE: 8.7/10


Everyone loves a MechDonald's.

Lost Planet was already in my to-get list even before its release and being the first noteworthy game arriving in 2007, it did not disappoint me. Combining on-foot action and mech combat in one game isn’t easy, but Lost Planet did it excellently. Having said that, fans of Microsoft’s MechWarrior franchise would like this game. There is also something unique about Lost Planet in that if forces you to stay on the move throughout the game in order to survive. You see, in the game, the world is so cold that warmth is required at all times so that your health bar won’t deplete. Warmth, or T-ENG, as it is known in the game, can be gathered in a variety of ways, be it destroying fuel tanks or killing enemies. The warmth will continue to disperse every second in the game, so of course, you would need to replenish it constantly. Given this, the pace at which the action is proceeding in the game will be considerably quicker than in other games, so be on your toes! The uniquity doesn’t end with the warmth gathering component, though, as you will also have a grappling hook at your disposal in the game – a great tool of getting to hard-to-reach places. The variety of weapons in the game is also rather impressive. Overall, Lost Planet is an entertaining game. Multiplayer provides more mayhem.

THE SCORE: 9.3/10


A mystery here somewhere.

There was a palpable glee in my eyes as I inserted my first DS game card of the year into my DS. As a teenager who was weaned on R.L. Stine’s books (I love his books!) in the halcyon days of my childhood, I feel that story development is a very integral part of a game, where applicable, and fortunately, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 managed to nail that down. Never mind the fact that this is a point-and-click adventure game, a genre which my already-played games library would normally be destitute of, because the story’s so solid, so intriguing and so engrossing. And what’s a good story without a few twists and turns in it? It is amazing how Hotel Dusk manages to just grip you from the first few chapters onwards and never let go. The appropriate music complements your stay in Hotel Dusk. Jump right into this interactive mystery novel now and experience it for yourself.
THE SCORE: 9.7/10

Bumper karts.

This game can be easily mistaken for the BEST DS game of all time, Mario Kart DS, if you don’t take a proper look – what with the cutesy characters on the game box. But a Mario Kart DS imitator this isn’t as you will be able to race not only in karts, but also hovercrafts and airplanes in the game. And if you are too used to playing Mario Kart DS, be glad that there are power-ups in this game as well. Overall, the mini-games in the game are relatively fun, though the touch-based controls may misinterpret your actions at times. Vehicle customization options are a nice touch, but they don’t go too deep. The visuals could use some improvement.

THE SCORE: 8.5/10


A car's as light as a feather.

Free roaming environments - those 3 words. For someone who had never played sandbox-styled games like Saints Row and Grand Theft Auto before, Crackdown was a fresh experience for me. Crackdown takes place in a fictitious city called Pacific City, which is controlled by 3 major gangs. Your job is simple – take down the gang leaders of each gang and bring peace to the city. Being a cop with superhuman powers, this task isn’t really exacting. You have the ability to jump high and far and that you must do throughout the game. Collecting orbs that can be found scattered around the city gives your character more strength and skills, which makes the game more satisfying. Killing your enemy with one kick? Oh, great. Side missions litter the city, offering you a breather from the main game and well, they are enjoyable. Explosions effects are a treat to the eyes, but when it comes to the music, Crackdown has nothing to speak of.

THE SCORE: 8.2/10

Look out for games #6 to #10 soon.


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