MMORPG Info Logo Vanquish, Fallout: New Vegas, Fable 3, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 and Last Window

December has arrived in a rush and I can count the shopping days to Christmas using hands and feet alone. These game reviews by Wukung can help you to ensure that you aren’t taken in by the hype: use his points system and brief description to choose the best games you’ll enjoy most for gifts. Last year, Wukung’s recommendations made my Christmas shopping a breeze and I asked him if he’d be willing to share them with MMORPG-Info. Since then he’s rated a crazy number of new games for us, 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, Transformers, Demon’s Souls, Super Mario Galaxy 2, Crackdown 2, Monkey Island 2, Limbo, Castlevania and Alpha Protocol, Metroid: Other M, Halo: Reach, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Dead Rising 2, Case 0!

But he’s not done yet: here’s another set of reviews, hot off the keyboard!

Vanquish (Xbox 360 (tested), PS3)

I would describe it as a fast paced third person shooter but Vanquish redefines fast paced. While it has solid cover and shooting mechanics Vanquish’s‘s gameplay focuses on its more novel elements, jet sliding and bullet time. Vanquish is visually stunning. Unfortunately, a few frustrating boss battles grind the game to a halt; while not game breaking, it is annoying. If you are after a pure shooter experience, this might not be the game for you. As its own unique game, however, Vanquish is excellent.

Fallout: New Vegas (Xbox 360 (tested), PS3, PC)

New Vegas feels and plays very much like Fallout 3. The sprawling post-apocalyptic RPG action returns with a mind boggling wealth of content. New Vegas makes various tweaks to the gameplay but none that feel really significant, with many of Fallout 3’s serious gameplay flaws returning. For those who haven’t played Fallout 3, it’s hard to see any reason to choose New Vegas over it, especially with the “Game of the Year” edition being such great value. If, however, you are after some more Fallout 3 then New Vegas is for you.

Fable 3 (Xbox 360)

True to series form, Fable 3 is in many ways a step backward from Fable 2. Fable 3’s simplification to interactions, the inventory and combat are too often limiting rather liberating. The main quest is short and advances abruptly in places and funnels the player through the last half rather than encouraging exploring. Despite these issues the main quest is excellent: at its best it clearly outshines its predecessors. While there is a decent amount of side content Fable 3 is a smaller game and often doesn’t feel like a full blown sequel. It even recycles some assets from Fable 2. Fable 3 does however make a lot of improvements, both minor and major. Fable’s formula of epic adventure, side quests and humour continues to be entertaining. It is just a pity that there is not a more consistent improvement between games.

There are some fairly serious technical issues with the game. The frame-rate frequently drops for extended periods. The controls can be unresponsive. Some players are reporting serious bugs which prevent them from advancing and since you have only one save slot per game that means the only option is to abandon that character. Joining a multiplayer game on Xbox live is very likely to cause a serious and permanent glitch on the game used to join (though not entirely game ending). I eventually ran into a bug that made my current game unplayable. A patch has apparently been in the works for some time.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 (Xbox 360(tested) , PS3, PC)

This is a seriously short game with a play time of about five to six hours. A short play time can be a good thing if it means a polished experience but TFU2 comes in light in terms of story and variety too. The same few enemies are recycled throughout the game. A challenge mode and extra level of difficulty adds some replay value on top of the initial campaign but not much. In these regards TFU2 compares very unfavourably with its predecessor. TFU2 does however make some significant improvements, the controls are nice and responsive and the auto targeting is remarkably reliable. TFU2 carries over its predecessor’s strongest asspect: awesome force powers. Hurling storm troopers around is still fun. While short, the pacing is fairly good and it has some great set pieces. Even with its length, it manages to drag a little in places, has a few frustrating sections and the few boss battles there are are all fairly poor. There are some neat graphical techniques at work which give a great final image quality with solid performance. On both a technical level and core gameplay TFU2 is an impressive achievement but there is too little actual game built on top of those strengths.

Last Window: Secret of Cape West (DS)

This is a Mystery/Crime adventure game and possibly the last game from the beleaguered Cing studio. Last Window is a sequel to Hotel Dusk, though having played the previous game is not necessary to enjoy Last Window. As much soap opera as thriller, Last Window has a lengthy and enjoyable plot. Some of the puzzles are unintuitive and if you forget what you were doing between play sessions, there is little to help you get back on track. However, it is easy to forgive Last Window’s flaws thanks to its sheer charm.

A third lot of reviews is in the works with Black Ops, Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Gran Turismo 5, Epic Mickey and Ghost of Sparta still to come.


1 comment

  • think wrote:

    The PS3 vs Xbox 360 sales to date figures show that the Xbox 360 is performing far better, but this is only since it was released a year earlier. You will find a lot of bugs with the Xbox 360 that are still not fixed, as well as the PS3 also acts as Blu-Ray player.

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