Showing posts from 2013

A Second Look @ Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict

I'm admittedly cheating a bit by reviewing UC2, since it features a third-person camera, but since it is part of the Unreal franchise and its billed as an FPS, it counts. Deal with it.

Arriving a mere months before the release of the Xbox 360 and launching exclusively for the original Xbox, Unreal Championship 2 was once cited by one of the creators as "pushing polygons like crazy." That statement is held true as UC2 is probably one of the best-looking original Xbox games you could ever find. Epic Games made the most of it and created one of the franchise' best by taking things in a different direction with the addition of a third-person camera and melee weapons. If it doesn't sound like an Unreal Tournament game that's because its not; this offering is more balanced between the single player story and the multiplayer action by using all the content within for both sides. So much has been put into Unreal Championship 2 that its a wonder why Epic Games did…

A Second Look @ TimeShift

(Images taken from Gamespot)

TimeShift started life on the original Xbox and PC featuring the rugged, average, white male hero Michael Swift. After Sierra Interactive got the rights from Atari they gave the game a complete overhaul and created the Time Suit, making the player character anonymous in the process. Its a better a idea mostly because it feels like you are in control. You hold time in the palms of your... well, in your suit. From the sound of things, you almost expect the story to go from one time period to another, chasing down people or one man or even anomalies, setting things right in the past to make a better future, but unfortunately it never gets that imaginative. The story puts you in the place of a highly respected scientist with a “mysterious past” who has been employed to work on a new ground-breaking technology. I'm sure we've heard the story before but I digress. It starts with the aptly named Dr. Krone (I can't think of that name without rolling my…

A Second Look @ Star Wars: Republic Commando

Made and published entirely by LucasArts, Republic Commando was launched just before the release of the Xbox 360 and received mainly 8/10 ratings. To be one of the better-praised FPS games of the time, it wasn't very widely spoken of among the people I knew. Republic Commando puts you in the role of  Delta RC-1138, call sign Boss, as he leads an elite group of Clone Troopers, each with their own personalities and specializations, through missions on Geonosis, a destroyed spacecraft, and the wookie homeworld of Kashyyyk. You play through the tutorial in the first level and its incredibly simple, showing you all you need to know to use your armor's capabilities and to use your squad effectively. The rest is shown as you travel through the game and its very easy to pick up and play. One major drawback is the length: there are only three levels, each with several chapters, and once they're done, there's the multiplayer that feels like just an add on. Republic Commando feels…

A Second Look @ Homefront

(NOTE: Unfortunately, I can't comment on the multiplayer aspect of Homefront. With THQ's closure came the shutting down of the servers for all three available platforms. I can't even glance over how it was because I never had the opportunity to play it. In that regard the multiplayer aspect has been omitted and it does no good to read up on how it was.)
(ALSO: I'm sorry if you've read this review after the original post date of December 8. While trying to edit a few misspellings using the Blogger phone app, it instead reverted the review back to the draft and I unknowingly posted that in its place. So here's the real review...)

 (Images taken from multiple sources)

Why Homefront was ignored is beyond me. It came out at a time where everyone was looking for the Call of Duty killer (which will eventually kill itself) and people only wanted big multiplayer action. Homefront definitely had that with large-number MP battles and an engaging single player story. Kaos St…

A Second Look @ Black

(Images taken from

Upon its release, Black was labeled as "gun porn," a kind of game with so many guns that it should have been classified as such. It was touted as having cinematic quality gameplay, destructible environments, an award-winning soundtrack, and an engaging story. The world was your playground to blow up as you saw fit. And for the first half of the game, it does this well.
Black puts you in the shoes of Sergeant First Class Jack Keller, who in the opening live-action and proceeding (unskippable) cutscenes is being interrogated while in chains. What unfolds is a story of betrayal, disobeyed orders, and uncovering international terrorist plots. Or something. It is really hard to follow because the story does little to draw the player in. Let's face it: all you really care about is shooting stuff. As Keller, you and your team are running through a war-torn city in Russia attempting to hunt down the leader of a high-tech and highly-trained terrorist organ…

Review: The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures

AVGN Adventures wants to punish you for your hubris. All those years of playing your modern games and thinking "I'm invincible! Nothing can touch me! Bosses tremble at my might!" will be reduced down to you yelling obscenities at your screen like a twelve-year-old on Call of Duty.
A badly timed jump will end with you missing a health point (in this game's case, beer) or an instant death. It has no remorse for making you angry and for making you curse at it. Focusing your attention on avoiding a fireball might make you forget about the deathbeam or deathblock that's just after it. The game is full of the latter and makes you share in the Nerd's pain as you progress through a twisted and sinister game that's all about old-school platforming and shooting action. Its littered with curse words and references to the Nerd's videos and surroundings and fits perfectly among his mythos. Its best played with an Xbox 360 controller attached to your P…

Control Freak: A Bone To Pick

Looking through my traffic sources on Blogger I've come across a few interesting findings; It seems that the majority of my page views have come from outside of the US. Not that I'm complaining about the total count but I'm a US-based blogger for games released mainly in the US. I don't have a PAL converter and I don't import any games; so I find it rather odd that in the last DAY alone, as of writing this, I received 50 page views from Indonesia. 
What do I have to do with that country??
This is just a gaming blog and if there are gamers in Indonesia who like to read my reviews then by all means that's awesome. Leave a comment (in English) and let me know what the gaming scene is like there. But if a website is redirecting people here for some unknown reason then I apologize.  I am not affiliated with any website, professional or amateur, corporate or independent, in any way, shape, or form. Its just me at home pounding out my thoughts about games on my laptop. I…

Control Freak: About Communities

When it came down to the review of GTA V, the Gamespot community was outraged because their beloved game didn't get a perfect 10/10. The immaturity and trolling has shone bright in the comments section and, quite honestly, makes me feel ashamed to be a gamer.
If people, mostly men, but I can safely assume that there are a lot of teenagers too, are too immature to grow up and accept a VIDEO GAME'S RATING, then the future is doomed. If they care more about the number score for a VIDEO GAME than they do for a person's life (if you didn't watch the video, some users actually threatened the reviewer), then I can most certainly say that I don't want anything to do with this game.
Its a small section of the internet, but regardless its one that's supposed to be a community. When that community disrespects not only the other users, but the employees of that site, I wonder how they act in real life.

Control Freak: Is There Any Hope For the Future of

2003 - 2013
I suspect by now that most of the editors have cleared out their desks and may occasionally check the site at home from time to time. I imagine the server(s) that hold 1up in the digital spaces of the internet are ticking away the miliseconds to their inevitable unplugging but are still slowly working to post what few blogs come through via the users that still come here. I can only guess that the big business of Ziff-Davis has no intention of selling the site or name because they don't want to lose the ad revenue. And, I like to think that the users still care.

I have been a member of dozens of gaming community sites over the years. Some of them have been good to me, others I'd like to see burn to the ground with the creators trapped in the building.
I first heard of 1up through a magazine advert, the one with the kid holding the Dreamcast, I believe that was back in 2003 at the site's launch. I wasn't on the internet til 2001 and didn't re…