Game-A-Week: Duke Nukem – Manhattan Project

Title: Duke Nukem – Manhattan Project

The Gist: It’s Duke Nukem, old school game character who kicks ass and chews bubblegum, nuff said. This game is a homage to the original Duke Nukem games prior to the famous Duke Nukem 3D but utilises a modern graphics engine that lets you play in a 3D environment but restricts you to playing in 2D side-scroller fashion, this just means that you’ll get better closeups at times and you’re able to turn corners somewhat. You’ll find yourself searching for key cards in order to finish levels, kill various enemies and as always rescue big-boobed women from capture. Continue reading

Game-A-Week: Homefront

Title: Homefront

The Gist: The year is 2027 and a chain of events has led to Korea’s two halves reuniting as the Greater Korean Republic that goes on to invade America. You take on the role of a resistance fighter and use guerrilla warfare in order to take back your homeland.

Pros: The story for this game goes a step beyond the typical baddies invade/protect home scenario. Penned by the author of Red Dawn and Apocalypse Now the story unfolds as you deal with escalating combat situations and really makes you feel like you’re a part of that story. There’s a large range of weaponry to pick from, occasionally you’ll get the option to pick between sniper rifles/rifles and light machine guns but you’ll often be dependant on picking up enemy weapons and munitions in order to survive which gives the game a strong sense of realism. Continue reading

Game-A-Week: Steel Storm: Burning Retribution

Title: Steel Storm: Burning Retribution

The Gist: Steel Storm: Burning Retribution is a modern imitation of classic top down shooters which has you fight against constant hordes of enemies using a variety of weaponry you pick up as you play through the game. I’m playing the game via LAN Co-op and hope to double the carnage! Continue reading

Game-A-Week: The Ball

Title: The Ball

The Gist: You play an archeologist who’s digging around a dormant volcano in Mexico who suddenly falls into a cavern and discovers an ancient artifact known as (read this in a deep booming voice) ‘The Ball’ (see the voice made it sound cool didn’t it ^.^). You control (deep voice if you wish, but the effect’s probably worn off now) The Ball with a device that you pick up along the way, it lets you pull the ball towards you or fling it away like a copy of Star Wars The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes. Continue reading

Game-A-Week: Watchmen: The End is Nigh

Title: Watchmen: The End is Nigh

The Gist: The game is a beat-em-up style game involving two characters (Nightowl 2 and Rorschach) from the film Watchmen and basically has them in their own little adventure. The game is set prior to the film and starts off with Nightowl and Rorschach getting word of a prison riot at Sing Sing prison; they head there hoping to ‘calm’ the prisoners with a few kicks and punches. Turns out one of the more dangerous criminals has escaped and you’ll have to track him down through the game. This is the first of two games that were released as a tie-in for the Watchmen film. Continue reading

Game-A-Week: Mini Ninjas

Title: Mini Ninjas (PC)

The Gist: Mini Ninjas tells the story of a group of ninjas who find that an evil power is tainting the world, capturing innocent animals and turning them into evil-ninjas to do its bidding. It’s your job to find the source of this taint, determine what’s happened and put a stop to it. You start off as a sole ninja armed with a sword and some kick-ass moves…come to think of it this ninja looks a little like Kick-Ass…erm back to the story…so you set off on an adventure to save the land from this evil, pick up a few moves and weapons as well as some additional ninjas whom you can take control of one at a time. Each ninja has its own personality and weapon which will be effective against a certain type of enemy this also gives the game variety of play style, slow and heavy or small and agile.

Pros: This game was cute; all along the way you can’t help but adore the countless little animals roaming the land as they bob along. The game features a cell shaded aspect to it that adds to the comical aspect of the game but features a high level of backgrounds and character animations too. The game play itself takes place on a series of levels which are sort of open plan, but really just feature a few paths you can walk along, veering off from the path does allow you to find certain items such as herbs or flowers which can later on be turned into potions to heal or resist damage etc. If you do find yourself a little lost the game features a sat-nav looking arrow which will appear on screen for a few seconds giving you enough time to find your way but not intrude on the screen too much either. The paths in the game are home to save points in the form of little flower boxes that look like mailboxes, again quite cute!

The combat itself starts off quite simple and lets you hack and slash most of your enemies. Over time these enemies will grow in number and strength and require a few tactics such as stunning or using your special abilities such as putting a group of enemies to sleep or going all Zen and jumping into the air which freezes time and allows you to target a set number of enemies which when you’re ready feel your matrix style wrath! The enemies themselves are quite amusing, usually muttering something along the lines of ninja perhaps but come off more like the Jawa’s from Star Wars. Additional weapons such as throwing stars or pepper bombs can stun the enemy or make them sneeze…always fun because you can jump in during their sneezing fit and bitch-slap the lot before they can reach a tissue.

Cons: The only con I found during my hour was that initially my game bugged and forced me to play in some sort of sepia tone graphic which I figured was going to be used for the starting area…a quick Google revealed that it might not like current graphics cards or perhaps windows 7 64-bit but simply running the game in XP SP3 mode had me jumping about like a mini ninja in no time. The difficulty setting didn’t seem to change much, hard mode doesn’t feel very challenging just yet and I’d have preferred the enemies to either hit harder or make me work harder to kill them.

Musical Note: I didn’t really notice too much music other than the occasional Japanese style theme which was quite generic and merely blended with the game. Whilst I can appreciate that the intention of this is to give the game its Japanese theme I’d have liked to have heard something a little more unique that would let me know I’m playing this game and not any game featuring a Samurai.

Hunger Level: Really want to keep playing this, when done with my current game obsessions such as Duke Nukem…and soon Zelda: Ocarina of Time I’ll no doubt load it up as I get the feeling the game won’t last too long. Will fit in nicely after playing Zelda as its quite adventure based and even features similar combat.

Conclusion: The initial prices have dropped now on digital platforms such as Steam so there isn’t much reason to hold off getting it, no doubt on offer at Christmas or another sale so pick it up and give it a try, something fun and energetic to take you away from your usual gaming experiences. Enjoy!

“One Hour, One Review, One ‘Game-A-Week’ @ Black Vinculum”

Game-A-Week: Call of Juarez – Bound in Blood

Title: Call of Juarez – Bound in Blood (PC)

The Gist: The game tells the Story of two brothers (The McCalls), and their actions during the American civil war. You perform a number of tasks in the opening chapter that include eliminating snipers in a wooded area, retaking trenches, preventing enemy reinforcements from landing on the shore and eventually blowing up a bridge. Eventually the brothers are ordered to retreat but refuse as the area they’re protecting is their homeland. Instead the brothers defend their land and then seek hidden treasure of Juarez in order to rebuild what has been lost during the conflict. You get to play as either brother when the mission allows it, which essentially gives you access to different abilities including using a lasso or dual weapons.

Pros: The graphics for the game are quite realistic on the most part allowing you to just sit back and take part in a spaghetti western style FPS. The game has a duck and cover system that protects you from multiple attackers and pick off your enemies one by one. The game allows you to utilise a bullet time system which you gain by hitting enemies with your weapons, this stored time can them be unleashed and literally tear enemy groups apart, life saving tactic and quite satisfying. You don’t see too many western games these days so it was nice to leave behind the spaceships and modern weaponry I’m accustomed to.

Cons: The health system for the game is a little annoying, rather than have a percentage getting shot merely taints your screen in a little blood. Too much blood and your dead but you can simply avoid fire for a few seconds and heal up pretty fast. The lip sync for the game is appalling for a modern game and really drew attention to itself. No matter how enhanced the surroundings and characters of a game are the little details such as mouths and lip sync stand out if they’re low quality, which in turn pulls the player away from the overall graphics of the game.

Musical Note: The music I heard in the first chapter was so generic it faded into the background for me, however checking out the intro music and YouTube videos seems to suggest the game has a soundtrack that would do a spaghetti western justice.

Hunger Level: The game was alright but it’s not something I’ll be loading up for a little while. My western game appetite is certainly not satisfied and makes me long for Red Dead Redemption to emerge on the PC.

Conclusion: My overall experience of the game is quite disappointing but information about the game seems to suggest I’d enjoy it after the initial missions. Later on you can look forward to heists, western towns and essentially a whole bunch of spaghetti westerns mixed up into some sort of spaghetti feast. There’s also a multiplayer component which might be kinda fun although I’m already wondering if the multiplayer western Lead and Gold: Gangs of the Wild West might offer a better western multiplayer experience even though it would be third person instead of first. If you’re a lover of westerns or bored with modern first person shooters then this is probably your game, however if you’re just looking for an FPS you might be better off finding another game.

One Hour, One Review, One ‘Game-a-Week’ @ Black Vinculum