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Dead Space: The Final Review

Sunday, February 8th, 2009


Dead Space is Event Horizon crossed with Aliens, crossed with Solaris, and then add a little This Old House, and you got yourself a pretty fun 15 hours worth of game. I’m sure others will play this game faster than me, but I tend to let Isaac stand around while I take little snack breaks.

So, you are an engineer that is sent on a repair job, as the USG Ishimura has lost all communications. Why would anyone ever think that something as heinous as what has happened aboard the Ishimura would ever happen, right? So sure, send the engineers rather than the marines. And that is just the first disadvantage that you face as your ship crashes into the Ishimura, stranding you and two others (your captain and the science officer or whatever she is) aboard a ship full of corpses…some of which aren’t truly dead.

dead-space-dismemberPersonally, I adore games in which I get to kill copious amounts of zombies. I mean, if I didn’t kill them, they’d kill me and everyone I care about, and they are dead already, so no harm in finding a little joy in their dismemberment. And that is the key to Dead Space. You find out pretty quickly that these “necromorphs” that constantly pop out at you will only go down once you have hacked off enough limbs — or the one magic limb that will do the trick, but as there are usually three or more limbs, good luck figuring out what the magic limb is before the damn thing kills you.

I am not going to give away too much in this review, as I would hate to be the one who spoils a good, though somewhat predictable, storyline. It is a linear time-line, with a ticking clock aspect that adds some excitement. I can tell you that as Isaac, you are mostly wandering around the ship trying to fix certain systems that at first let you know how badly off you are on board the Ishimura, and then offer you the possibility of escape.

Dead Space makes it easy for you to navigate the ship and your objectives. You have a suit, called a rig, that allows you to check out maps of the ship, in addition to a right stick click option that points you in the right direction following a blue line that lights up rather like a GPS unit. It helps to pay attention to the other characters that guide you along the way, as they often give you advice on how to solve certain puzzles by way of repairwork. If you don’t pay attention, like me, you can bring up you rig’s handy view screen to read Isaac’s take on his objectives.

dead-space-necroI will admit that I used the cheat codes to recharge my oxygen when outside the ship, scurrying around the broken hull (while paused X,X,Y,Y,Y). I also used the cheat for recharging my stasis (used to freeze things enough to make them move in super slo-mo in order to kill them more easily) and kinesis (which helps move large objects around, as well as pick up useful items to hurl at necromorphs) units (while paused X,Y,Y,X,Y). The use of these cheats is not necessary, as you can purchase or find packs around the ship that will recharge the aforementioned tank and units for you. But you can only carry so many items with you and “stores” where you can either buy or sell items are few and far between, so if I can lighten my load so as to be able to carry more health packs or lucrative items, then yes, I am a cheater.

deadspace-planet-shotAnd that is another thing that I liked about Dead Space. Some games reward you (?) with higher scores if you run around, knocking on every door in order to find stuff. In Dead Space, the more stuff you find, the more stuff you can sell to the store in order to buy “power nodes”, which in turn allow Isaac to upgrade his rig and his weapons. There is a true purpose to enter rooms that have no real bearing on the game — to find booty.

Dead Space ends in a way that is conducive to a sequel, which I will totally be down for, as I really like the sci fi survival horror genre. Also, I like the rather practical way the game plays out. Something is broken, you must fix it, and oh, yeah, there are lots of things that want to rip your head off.

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Friendly Reminder: WE WANT TO LEAVE, ALREADY!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007


Hi, boys and girls. It’s just me, your friendly neighborhood JW, here to remind you all that we’re currently looking for people to replace us here at Xbox 360 Rally. All you have to do is go HERE, fill out the form, and wait to hear back. It’s really not that hard.

So, get to it already — so Paco and I can get to the NEW site!

We want YOU! …to replace us!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007


Ok, people, here’s the deal — Paco and I are on our way out. We’re taking over at 1PStart.com in an effort to restore it to it’s former glory. …that, and I just plain want to write about another game every once in a while, is that so wrong?!

Anyways, here is what we’re looking for: A competent, capable writer with a love for all things Xbox. Now, by competent writer, we mean someone who spells “you” correctly, and knows when to capitalize. If you can do that, you’re a shoe-in. So, CLICK THIS DAMN LINK, do the required stuff, then get paid to play video games and write about stuff.

…hell, Mike and I did the hard stuff already, and YES, the GTA4 Banner contest will continue, and I will still give you a copy of GTA IV… or something. So, hop to it.

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“The Escapist” reviews BioShock

Friday, September 7th, 2007

You know, this “Yahtzee” fellow is quickly rising up my list of the funniest men alive. His latest review, for my GotY BioShock, is simply brilliant.


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GameTrailers Review: Blue Dragon

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

Now, I don’t know too much about Blue Dragon. I was lucky enough, many moons ago, to get my hands on an import copy of the game, but because it was all in Japanese, I didn’t know what the hell was going on. So, when I started seeing Blue Dragon getting mixed reviews from several websites stateside (Game Informer: 9/10, GameSpot: 6/10), I was put off a bit.

After watching this GameTrailers review, however, I think I’m sold. I’ll probably pick this one up for at least a rental.

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Sony fanboy reviews Bioshock; hilarity ensues

Monday, August 20th, 2007

NOTE: Notice the PS3 text? Yeah, it’ll make sense. Just read on.


There is no denying it: BioShock owns your entire face. Every video game review for what will surely be the game of the year has awarded it scores averaging out to, according to GameRankings, 98%. To put that in perspective, the (almost) unanimous choice for “Greatest Game of All Time”, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, averages out at a 97.6, rounding up to 98%.

However, you’re always going to have your critics, and BioShock is no different. What makes this so special is that the only person who is complaining about BioShock is, as you probably would’ve guessed, a PS3 fanboy.


Space Giraffe gets Shorted in Review

Monday, August 20th, 2007

i have no clue what is going on in this picture
A quick background on Space Giraffe, this is an Xbox Live Arcade game that is only going to run you 400 points ($5) and from the information I had of it, it seemed good. The game runs on an engine that will remind you of the old Atari game Tempest, shooting down enemies, however having that Geometry Wars type crazy colorful graphics flare. A basic game, but at the right cost, it is coming out Wednesday (22nd) and so we all can just try it for ourselves.

Now that you know what it is, here is the amusing news coming from a review of the game put out by the Official Xbox Magazine (#75). Senior Editor Dan Amrich can be quoted from the review as saying something as bad as “Actually made us angry when we played it.” He sites problems of the visibility of enemies vs the backgrounds and ends the review with “Just really bad. Lacks a single redeeming quality, and or it’s busted to varying degrees in its own design, quality or basic functionality. No gamer of any stripe should bother.” Ouch, what a negative nancy. I know that OXM doesn’t have to post only high scores for games just because of the name of the magazine, but man, I don’t recall ever seeing a score that low.


Fable (Original Xbox title) - Reviewed by “Xbox 360 Truth”

Friday, August 17th, 2007

Its the truth

Just wanted to make you readers aware of a new site to keep an eye on in the future, called “Xbox 360 Truth,” as they have started up a new feature called “BCGOTW” .. catchy, isn’t it? This stands for “Backwards-Compatible Game of the Week.” A basic, yet very good idea for an 360 site that I have yet to see done elsewhere. To start up this new feature, “Fable” has been chosen, a great title to begin with. On the site you can find current prices, a few thoughts from writer William Ward, and a link to some reviews. Maybe in the future William will add a little more of his view on the titles listed, so keep checking back to find out, like I said, this is a new site, so it is still working out its kinks.

Also, I hope everyone has kept up to date with GamesForLunch as Kyle Orland has given reviews for both the Bioshock demo and Overlord. Feel free to write him on how wrong he is for not reviewing Overlord higher (it was the PC version, this is a title that really needs a controller imo).

First Madden Review is in… and it ROCKS

Thursday, August 9th, 2007


Ever since it’s debut back in 1989 (Apple II FTW!), a year hasn’t gone by where we haven’t had a football game with legendary NFL coach John Madden’s name slapped on. This will be year 18 for the franchise, which has cemented itself in gaming history as one of the premeire franchises, Sport or otherwise. However, that doesn’t take away the fact that for the past several years (some argue as far back as 2001) the Madden franchise has sort of stagnated, falling from a once untouchable status to that is a merely average football title. With 2K Sports’ All-Pro Football 2K8 challenging Madden for the crown, you would expect the team at EA Sports Tiburon to pull out all the stops, right?

Well, according to the GameDaily review, they did.

Madden NFL 08 redeems the franchise as one of the best-playing football games in recent memory.

GameDaily went on to praise it’s many game modes, and awarded Madden an impressive 9/10. Personally, I can’t wait to take Madden NFL 08 online — I want to see just how good half of y’all are, now that you don’t have Michael Vick to rely on!


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Technical Difficulties

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

The servers are melting. Paco spilled his cola on the keyboard. JW’s out back trying to wrangle the horses. In short, we’re all kinds of FUBAR, so we may not be able to update as much as we’d like today.

Sorry, peeps. We’ll be back soon.

Official Retraction of SEGA TGS Rumor

Sunday, August 5th, 2007


There has been a lot of controversy regarding a recently posted rumor regarding SEGA’s possible Tokyo Game Show line-up. Now, I was originally very defensive of this piece because of who sent it in. He, a long-time go-to guy named Rob, has sent me exclusive tips for four years, and until this most recent one, they were ALL accurate.

Regardless, after the link had been posted by reader “Cedge”, I immediately contacted Rob via GoogleIM.


Video Games Live: A Recap and Review of a Memorable Night

Sunday, July 15th, 2007


I have been playing Video Games since the ripe old age of three. The first video game I ever played was the immortal Bad Dudes on the NES. At the time I didn’t appreciate the simple concept of rescuing the President from Ninjas, but now I do. The game that made me a gamer, however, was a little known title called ‘Dinosaurs for Hire’. If not for that 2D Side-Scrolling Shooter for the Sega Genesis, I would not be the nerd I am today.

One of the major factors in what makes a video game memorable is the music. Look at all the video games that are etched into our memories: Mario, Zelda, Sonic, Halo, Warcraft, Metal Gear Solid, Mega Man, Castlevania, Contra, and Final Fantasy are just a few of the games that are memorable in the eyes of the gaming public, and each and every one of those games has some memorable music. Growing up, I would pop Mega Man II into the NES, and leave it at the start screen just so I could listen to that killer opening theme. But of course, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone who DIDN’T rock out to the Mega Man theme at some point in their lives. Regardless of what your favorite video game is, I promise you that you remember a song or two from it.


GameTrailers Review: DiRT

Friday, June 22nd, 2007

Yeah, it’s one of those days, people. Nearly NO Xbox news, so… to pass the time and fill the void… here’s a review for the kick-ass racer “Colin McRae’s DiRT”. Is it awesome? You betcha, but the online leaves much to be desired.

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Bye bye Halo 3….Hello Overlord, Shadowrun, and Tenchu Z

Sunday, June 10th, 2007

Tenchu Z Smell O Meter in Full Effect Yo

Today brings to a close one of the greatest cock tease demo of them all, the Halo 3 Beta. Now with my cousin out of town, I was able to nab his 360 and hook up my hard drive to get some more game time in (see: Red Ring of Death). Though I didn’t get to play the full time the beta was available, I actually feel I got to play enough of it, didn’t touch custom games, but I was already getting sick of playing the same levels over and over, good levels mind you, just annoying after a while.

Well, since I still had this working 360 over this weekend, I did manage to nab the new demo’s available. I can’t lie, I am very impressed so far. Check the rest of this entry for my thoughts on the new stuff.

Halo 3 Beta - Reviewed by “Games for Lunch”

Saturday, June 9th, 2007


I know I know, one review of Halo 3 Beta is enough, especially when it is from such a top notch writer such as myself on top of the sad fact that the Beta will be coming to a close very soon. Still, I did find this fairly new site, Games for Lunch, that will be review games based on the criteria of, ‘Would I play this game for more than an hour?’ A pretty basic, yet very good concept. The equivalent to other sites reviews “Lasting Appeal” portion of points, makes that the focus of his reviews. Also keep in mind the guy only plays the games for one hour before giving a review. Which, even for an RPG game, should give you the answer to the question of do you want to keep playing.

For the Halo 3 Beta review, you can see at the start he notices the little things, such as, “looking at your own shadow is freaking awesome!” A little over the half hour mark, you can tell that he is improving and exploring the weapons, “The feeling of zooming in on a guys face and putting a sniper bullet between his eyes as he charges blindly towards you is not to be undersold.” Keep an eye out on this site, gamesforlunch.blogspot.com as it is claiming it will have a review each day, right now, catch up on reviews for games such Crackdown and Pac-Man Championship Edition.

[Found via GameSetWatch]

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