Reviews by janglehorse

Dragon Age 2 Icon
A pacifier until Witcher 3 Arrives.
by janglehorse, USA - Jun 23rd 2014

We've got story, character deign that's poor but not distractingly so, and elements of RTS, hack 'n slash, and turn based combat. A solid way to winnow away the days after the top shelf games have been exhausted.

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Diablo III Icon
Alot of Fun… not my thing, but still, fun!
by janglehorse, USA - Jun 23rd 2014

Ok, TEDIOUS travel and environment interaction is the worst of it, from there it only goes up. The hack 'n slash combat is a BLAST, and the looting is very satisfying. Here's where I get confused: inventory and items. It seems like a really cool system, capable of great complexity, however, the games looting generosity continuously adds to the choices one must make regarding their inventory. In short, for this player, it just taking some getting used to. In all, a very playable game. I can see why the franchise has such high critical and popular acclaim.

Game on!

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Two Worlds II Icon
Dissapointmment! (Spoiled on Witcher 2—sorry!)
by janglehorse, USA - Mar 18th 2014

I know there have been several endorsements for Two Worlds 2 within the gaming community. From the copious amounts of research I did on this game from many reputable gaming reviewers, it looked like the game averaged a solid 7/10 rating and was frequently referred to as a "hardcore open RPG"— which is exactly the sort of gaming experirence I prefer.

I don't think I'll ever experience the "open RPG" experience that Two Worlds 2 purportedly offers as the character modeling, overal visual experience, and lifeless charicatures of fantasy archetypes completely frustrated me so much that I was embarrased to have played through the game's prologue.

Upon Two Worlds 2 opening cinematic sequence, the gamer is subjected to a shameless Lord of the Rings rip-off, from ork to Sauron and his mini-me. Granted, the giants of the Fantasy genre will always be apparent in any fantasy this side of the 22nd century, but Two Worlds 2 goes beyond appropriation or adaptation and in my option, lazily and uncreatively steals the work of the LOTR movie trilogy.

From this trite introduction, we are introducted to an "evil because he's evil" captor to a pair of royal siblings, whose "emininent" executions would have been a credit to the story, ridding the game's world of the most blank, paper-thin "protagonist," the brother of the captive princess. He speaks with the detached "I have no idea what's going on" delivery reminiscent of Keanu Reeves' Neo, or worse, his ungodly role as Don Jon in Much Ado About Nothing. I'm serious, this guy has all the depth of a clueless, macho stoner lacking any charisma whatsoever, any emotional urgency in the quest to save his sister, and incidentally, is initially found wearing the digs of a buyer-king employee mopping up after closing time. Possibly the most uninteresting character and story of any RPG I've encountered.

"Enough with the story and characters, you snob," you say? Alright, I will do what I can to address the much praised innovations of the majic and crafting system. Here goes: Um, I frankly couldn't care less and refursed to invest any more time in the prepubescant art-design and unresponsive gameplay. Oh, and the UI? I think the font was taken straight from the microsoft type-face library, adding to a gaming experienced surpased by the comic books drawn by my fellow fantasy nersds in middle school.

Apparently, this game offers endless possibilities in its weapons, magic, and enemies, but for this gamer, in the absence of a protagonist with any gravitos and motivation, who could care? If you can forgoe the aforementioned absurdities, then Two Worlds 2 may be an entertaining and rewarding RPG experience. However, if you're looking for solid character and story development that will draw you into a believable world, skip it.

Two Worlds? The game is devoid of even one.

I'd love to be proven wrong, and now that I own the game, (with no chance of a return, understandably so) perhaps after my 3rd playthrough of Witcher 2, which continues to deliever immersive story and combat, I'll force myself to adapt to this sub-par game. They say the original was bad. If this is improvement, then maybe Two World 16 will deliver. I'd gladly welcome the chance to play an improved version, but am afraid my fingers will be arthritic and unable to grasp a mouse due to old age if the franchise continues at this pace.

Dissapointmment!

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Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers Icon
A Cerebral Game of Chess
by janglehorse, USA - Mar 13th 2014

In-depth, highly strategic, and possessing a seemingly endless dossier of statistical data, Air Conflicts offeres hours of immersive gameplay. .Air Conflicts: Pacific Carriers is for those who want to a more serious-minded and complex combat experience and will entice the cerebral gamer.

The dynamic vistas from which the gamer/commander can mobilize his or her forces are a strong suit. The range follows that of R.U.S.E., in which the gamer can view the feild of battle as the squirmish unfolds, or from a bird's eye view, much like playing Risk. The broad, simultainious real-time conflicts require a great deal of concentration and forethought, which is not necessarily a bad thing, depending on what sort of gaming experience you're looking for.

If this is the direction in which Real Time Strategy games are headed, I'm afrad they will become dusty, boring tomes to be ignored for the next 5 or so years. I'm sorry, but I don't think I'll ever get over Command and Conquer: Generals. For me, its the ultimate RTS. For those who of of a similar mind, the desire for fast-paced "in the action" explosive warfare will be sorely dissapointed.

This is an excellent game, but be prepared to take your time, and out wit your enemy, rather than bludgeon them.

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Spec Ops: The Line Icon
A Literary and Flimic Adaptation, Huge Step Forward for Gaming
by janglehorse, USA - Mar 13th 2014

In my book, (no pun intended) when Conrad Aiken and Francis Ford Coppola are become sources of inspiration for a game, it can only be a good thing. Spec Ops: The Line provides competent FPS gameplay, but its emphasis on story is its true innovation and in my opinion, a huge step forward.

Intended to confront the gamer with more than just bad guys with guns, Spec Ops succeeds in breathing new life into the tired "save the world from [insert nukes, terrorists, or kidnapper(s) here]" FPS plotline. Spec Ops is a long overdue attempt to reach outside of the closed world of "shoot the bad guys" and place humanity, moral ambiguity, and the nature of good and evil alongside heart-pounding adrenal combat situations.

Here's hoping for a succesful sequel to this unique FPS that continues to push "The Line."

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The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition Icon
An Innovation… still!
by janglehorse, USA - Mar 6th 2014

There are a precious few franchises that make the search for the latest titles on Mac irrelevant. The Witcher ranks among one of the strongest titles in the Mac catalogue and arguably within the entire genre. Built on the rich stories and novels of Andrej Spkowski, The Witcher 2 faulters little in its story and characters, and the gameplay casts a far reaching vision of what an RPG will look like in the next decade.

However, the 2 year gap in Apple's lackadaisical gaming market continues to frustrate and bewilder this gamer. Its hard to understand why Mac would introduce its customers to ongoing franchises, and then force them to take their money and loyalty to other platforms. Witcher 3 is waiting in the wings for release this year, and like many other Mac users, opening my wallet for a Playstation, X-Box, or even a mid-range gaming PC is becoming more than a distant possibility.

RPG lovers will be sure to follow The Witcher's path, no matter the platform— its a beast. For now, just play this intallment for a taste of the future!

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Borderlands 2 Icon
A Total Blast
by janglehorse, USA - Dec 19th 2013

I'm an FPS and RTS strategy enthusiast but was hoping to find something… less structured, shall we say? I just wanted to find some play where I could just sit down and blast away and Borderlands 2 more than fulfills this over-loaded literature student. There's nothing like gruesomely stylized comic violence after hours with W.B. Yeats.

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Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Icon
The Standard of FPS
by janglehorse, USA - Dec 17th 2013

All around good fun. With a good aim and instincts to "duck and cover," you and your fellow operatives can push your way through war-torn desert city streets riddled with snipers and hostiles flooding out of every abandoned building, find yourself behind a high-powered sniper rifle to take out powerful terrorists, and even command an AC30 Gunship.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare offers memorable characters, unobrusive, fast-paced story-lines and awesome loads of action. You'll be embeded in enemy territory performing surgical maneuvers in British SAS, equipped with the most modern and powerful weapons available. And while the Special Services do their work, you will also fight as American Marine Paul Jackson, in the heart of a Middle-Eastern hot-zone pumping rounds into the onslaught of enemy hostiles.

A climactic ending, meaningful character interaction, and awesome weaponry and warfare, this is not just a classic, its hands down the standard in FPS's and will be for some time.

Stay frosty, Marines! oorha!

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R.U.S.E. Icon
Love it, but...
by janglehorse, USA - Dec 17th 2013

So, here's the cool thing: tons of highly specialized and maneuverable weapons of war at your command. The bad part? Building and paying for them. The former involves too many expensive and tedious "upgrades" to vital units like heavy tanks, long-range artillery, and aircraft. Resources are extremely sparse, slow to reach HQ, and difficult to defend. You ay have to be less of a defensive sort of strategist like me to win more battles in R.U.S.E., but its difficult to imagine what units could be produced quickly at the beginning of the game to knock out the enemies supplies and buildings!

Here's the bottom line for me: R.U.S.E. is awesome. Super cool controls, deception tactics, powerful units and all of that jazz. Its just to slow in producing what makes for an exciting game of wit and will.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Icon
A Stripped Down, Grittier Psychological Meat-Grinder
by janglehorse, USA - Dec 17th 2013

From covert operations in the Bay of Pigs to slick, double-pistol weilding Jon Wu chases through city streets, the hellish jungles of Veitnam, and even flashbacks to the frozen killing feilds of WWII Russia, this innovative reinvention of the C.O.D franchise is a game of guts, will, and near super-human psychological endurance set against historically-based operations of the early Cold War.

In Black Ops, you'll have an array of weapons— the finest and most advanced weapons the 1960s have to offer, that is. Suffice it to say that your tactical maneuvering, quick wits, and ability to follow orders and complete objectives quickly will be your most valuable asset for survival. There are only a precious few moments in Black Ops in which your character will enjoy the advantage of a sophisticated weapons and the highground, element of surprise and an adequate group of fellow elite soldiers at the ready. Most of the time its, Mason, the main character, and about 3 of his equally deadly SOG brothers in arms push their way through ambush-laden, fortified target zones.

To survive as America's first covert ops agents in Call of Duty: Black Ops, you're going to need a quick trigger finger, steady aim, and every ounce of wits you can pull together. Black Ops just might make you think twice about the glory of war and its terrible machines, and appreciate the heart, bravery, and brains of the men who were willing to fight it.

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