MMORPG Info Logo Alpha Protocol, Metroid: Other M, Halo: Reach, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Dead Rising 2, Case 0

Have you started your Christmas shopping? October is drawing to a close and hopefully everyone is thinking about what to get their favorite gamer for a present. Luckily, Wukung is here to help with his short reviews of new games to help you to find the best match.

Wukung has already rated a number of games this year, including Darksiders, Bayonetta, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, Mass Effect 2, Dante’s Inferno, BioShock 2, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth, Heavy Rain, Yakuza 3, Bad Company 2, Half Minute Hero, BlazBlue, Red Steel 2, Disgaea 2, FFXIII, Just Cause 2, Splinter Cell Conviction, Nier, Super Street Fighter IV and Iron Man 2, Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption, No More Heroes 2, God of War 3 and Transformers, Demon’s Souls, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Crackdown 2, Monkey Island 2, Limbo, Castlevania!

Here is his latest set of reviews, exclusively available on MMORPG-Info.

With the end of year rush of games in full swing, the release schedule is starting to look very full. Here is the first of hopefully several batches of reviews leading into Christmas.

Alpha Protocol (Xbox 360 played, PS3, PC)

Shooter/stealth action RPG. Some neat ideas are buried under often frustrating gameplay and character models that haven’t quite climbed the uncanny valley. The stealth is poorly implemented. The combat is unengaging compared to the current wave of pure shooters. Alpha Protocol’s strongest aspect is its interactive story telling. There is some fun to be had out of Alpha Protocol but patchy gameplay gets in the way.

Metroid: Other M (Wii)

Shockingly for one of Nintendo’s major franchises, Other M is a game with a strong focus on story telling. Farmed out to Team Ninja, Other M feels as much like Ninja Gaiden Lite as Metroid with fast-paced third person action. It is also light on challenge. Anyone hoping the return to third person would mean a game in a similar vein to Super Metroid will be disappointed. Other M is a fun game in its own right but doesn’t live up to the heights of the series.

Halo: Reach (Xbox 360)

Bungie’s final Halo game is their best yet. The campaign’s story avoids much of the excess of the numbered trilogy. It’s mostly well paced but all too often spikes from legitimately challenging to just frustrating, usually caused by ridiculous durability of some enemies. The multiplayer matchmaking sets a new benchmark for other games to aim for. Without DLC, multiplayer suffers from a dearth of maps. Lack of playlists for more specialist gametypes leave you often unable to play a desired game type.

All of these gripes don’t add up to much in the face of everything Reach gets right. Well balanced weapons, improved multiplayer, and great campaign make Reach a stand out game. While Halo’s straight up shooter format doesn’t get everyone excited, Halo: Reach really is a great game.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep (PSP)

This is the prequel to the Square/Disney collaboration. Yet again, Square show their mastery of the PSP hardware with a game that looks great and has solid performance. The slick action RPG format feels even more refined this time around. New players won’t have a problem following much of the story (a problem with previous games in the series) although players who have followed the series will get the most out of it. The main campaign is broken into three parts which can be completed in any order each focusing on one of the games three main characters.

While the higher levels of difficulty are better balanced compared to some previous games in the series, they still suffer some what from excessive difficulty early but little challenge if the player can advance ahead of the curve. There are some unintuitive aspects, which feel slightly out of place in a game with such a wide ranging target audience. But overall Birth By Sleep is a well executed extension of the series.

Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360 played, PS3, PC)

Dead Rising 2 carries on with its predecessor’s format of zombie playground gameplay and b-movie story. New this time around are combo weapons, which are a fun addition. The schedule of main missions and side tasks is very tight leaving little free time to just play. Some of the boss fights are very frustrating. While both these issues carry over from the first game, the majority of frustrations have been fixed. Co-op and competitive multiplayer is new this time around. The competitive side is underwhelming but the co-op can be a lot of fun. Matchmaking is very poor, undermining the multiplayer and I’ve had problems with players being disconnected. Dead Rising 2 is a solid follow up and yet again shows us how much fun a zombie apocalypse can be.

Dead Rising 2: Case 0 (Xbox 360)

Part demo, part DLC, Case 0 serves as brief prologue to Dead Rising 2 and allows you to import your progress to the main game. Featuring gameplay lifted straight from the full game, though lacking multiplayer, Case 0 shares Dead Rising 2’s strengths and flaws and has a frustrating vague main task. If you are considering Dead Rising 2, then as both an taster and introduction Case 0 is a must and great value.

I’ve currently got a hefty “in pile”. I’m going to try and get another couple of batchs of reviews out before Christmas. Expect some of the following in the next batch, Spider-Man: Shattered Dimension, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Enslaved, Vanquish, Fallout: New Vegas, Fable 3 and Last Window.


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