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Posts Tagged ‘Xbox 360’

Vanquish Review

March 4, 2011 Leave a comment

Sam Gideon in VanquishBy Kob Monney

Why run and gun when you can slide on your knees and shoot a robot in the head? If there has been something lacking about the third-person genre it is movement. The rigidity of staying in one place (usually in cover) and waiting for the enemy’s head has been a popular staple (at least in most of the third person shooters I’ve played). Splinter Cell: Conviction rectified this in some way with its last known location mechanic. Vanquish? Well, it has you sliding on your knees. Read more…

Categories: Reviews

Alan Wake: The Signal and The Writer Review

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

By Tom Dann

[Warning: contains spoilers for the end of Alan Wake]

The Signal begins exactly where Alan Wake left off, with Alan trapped in “The Dark Place.” (a name bringing to mind Channel 4’s exquisite “Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace,” a hospital-based horror series lampooning the kinds of shows Alan Wake homages. A neat reference? Or a lame title proving that Marenghi was, in fact, spot on?) Alan has saved Alice and Bright Falls, but is trapped having sacrificed himself to do so. As with the main game, there’s more to the story than the madness that’s on the surface. While the game, superficially, has Alan trying to escape from his imagination, symbolically the story can be seen to represent the problem artists have letting go after large projects. When something has dominated your life for a period of time, especially writing, readjusting to the real world can be tricky. The Signal and The Writer represent this by trapping Alan in his own imagination, struggling to escape after his magnum opus, Departure. Read more…

Categories: Reviews

Splinter Cell: Conviction and the Modern Spy

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

By Tom Dann

Splinter Cell: Conviction is the most accessible of the Splinter Cell games. The series, traditionally mired in stealth, and making a more action-oriented approach difficult, has now brought Sam Fisher more in line with prototypical Hollywood superspies such as Bond, Bourne, Bauer and Bristow. This evolution isn’t just apparent in the gameplay, but in the story and visuals as well. Read more…

Categories: Essays

War on a Different Scale in Halo 3: ODST

October 8, 2010 Leave a comment

By Tom Dann

ODST was a major departure for the Halo franchise, being the first Halo shooter not to feature Master Chief as the main character. The Chief has, from the beginning, been synonymous with Halo. Along with this character change comes a considerable overhaul of the campaign style for the expansion; structurally, atmospherically, and thematically. Read more…

Categories: Essays

Alan Wake Review

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment

By Tom Dann

“Nightmares exist outside of logic, and there’s little fun to be had in explanations; they’re antithetical to the poetry of fear.” – Stephen King

Alan Wake is Remedy’s ode to Stephen King, and just about every twisty-turny pulp horror novel ever written. There are references to other literary giants, such as Lovecraft, as well as mystery TV shows such as Lost and The Twilight Zone. Alan Wake is a love letter to each and every writer who has produced a scary, supernatural horror story. It homages and utilises the cliches and genre conventions we expect. By creating something so rooted in supernatural-mystery literature and television, Remedy have created something new and unique, a flawed masterpiece. Read more…

Categories: Reviews

Welcome to the Madhouse – Batman: Arkham Asylum

September 10, 2010 Leave a comment

By Tom Dann

The mind is an interesting thing. There are seven billion people in the world, and everyone’s mind is unique. The mind is capable of beauty or ugliness, simplicity or complexity. Most importantly to Arkham Asylum, the mind can also be damaged. Whether by a significant event in the persons life, or by anger from a perceived injustice, whether the mind was fragile in the first place or whether the person was literally born broken, Arkham Asylum probes these possibilities with fascination. Read more…

Categories: Essays