Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mortal Kombat Review

Gory goodness. That's all I have to say about this game.

But if you want a more in-depth review, do read on. Mortal Kombat (also known as Mortal Kombat 9) offers hours of pure entertainment. You may be thinking; it's just another installment in a dragged out series, and it'll just end up collecting dust on the shelf until the next one comes out, right? Wrong.

A renewed control system makes it easy to pick up and play, while still keeping combos the same for klassic MK fans. The challenge tower offers a seemingly endless variety of mini games that are loads of fun. And the story mode is very extensive and enjoyable (if you can stomach the corny dialogue at times). Plus, the fatalities are very gory. You'll be pleasantly surprised which ones they brought back too.

Also, the krypt is back, offering you tons of items to unlock. I'm happy to have also seen kodes that can be inputted on the vs loading screen. Something that hasn't been implemented since Mortal Kombat Gold. And the level design is phenomenal. There's so much depth in each stage, and activity going on around you.

MK 9 isn't perfect. You can only play online if you have the online pass, which comes with your first purchase of the game. If you bought a used copy, you'd have to purchase the pass for $9.99. And online play is laggy at times, making some fights very unfair. Also, Shao Kahn is incredibly cheap. Blocking doesn't help much, and his hits take away a lot of health. I had a very difficult time beating him on medium. There is no exclusive Xbox 360 character like there is with the PS3, being Kratos.

Definitely a game to check out. I'd wait for a price drop, it's on the more expensive end of newer games, $69.99.

What were some of your favorite MK games?

Cooking with Scorpion video from Deadly Alliance

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Crysis 2 Review

I'm about a few hours into the game, but I figured it's enough to give a moderately accurate review. Some of you weren't too happy with my Portal 2 review, so I'll keep this one spoiler-free.

The strongest feature of the game has to be the stunning visuals. Probably some of the best graphics I've seen to date. Gorgeous environments, lush scenery, and magnificent backdrops all make you stop and "smell the roses" when you're playing. There is much to look at. And what was really cool was how much you can explore the levels. After you killed every bad guy in an area, it's hard not to go around and see what you may have missed. You'll truly appreciate all the hard work and care that went to into level design.

There were some annoying bugs, and poor AI made it quite annoying at times. The enemies either spotted you from miles away, which then voided your stealth approach, or they stare right at you and don't do anything. You also have the ability to pick up any item and toss it. It can serve as a distraction to enemies, but I wish your throw would be...ahem...manlier. I tried my best to calculate an accurate trajectory, but the throw never goes far enough. And there's a noticeable lag between the button press and the throw. The game also takes a couple hours to get going, but it's worth sticking around for.

Crysis 2 also has a strong competitive multilayer. I haven't played much of it, but it's really fun. The maps are incredible, and leveling up is rewarding. I definitely recommend Crysis 2 for its lasting appeal and quality gameplay.

This is a video of me turning on a TV, then shooting it and watching it dance as sparks fly.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Let bygones be bygones...

So in an effort to forgive PS3 owners of the month of downtime, Sony is releasing a "Welcome Back Package" to those who still kept their PS3 systems. It will available to download as soon as PS Store is back online on May 24th. The North American package includes your choice of two of the five full games:
  • Dead Nation
  • inFAMOUS
  • LittleBigPlanet
  • Super Stardust HD
  • Wipeout HD + Fury

And for PSP owners, they'll have the choice of the following two of five full games:
  • LittleBigPlanet (PSP)
  • ModNation Racers
  • Pursuit Force
  • Killzone Liberation

After 30 days of PS store being back online, gamers will not be able to download these titles anymore. So act quickly! In addition to the full downloads, you'll also get:
  • A free selection of "On Us" rental movie titles over one weekend.
  • 30 days free PlayStation Plus membership for non-PSN Plus members
  • Existing PSN Plus subscribers will receive 60 days of subscription
  • Existing Music Unlimited Premium Trial subscription members will receive an extra 30 days of premium subscription
  • Additional 30 days plus time lost for existing members of Music Unlimited Premium/Basic
  • Users of Home will receive 100 free virtual items.

The European version of the Welcome Back Package has Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty instead of Super Stardust HD. The German market has Hustle Kings instead of Dead Nation, and Everybody's Golf 2 and Buzz Junior Jungle Party instead of Pursuit Force and Killzone Liberation for the PSP games. Killzone Liberation will not have online play.

What do you think? Is this a fair compensation? Perhaps not for the most loyal PS3 owners, but I haven't played any the games they're offering, so I'm happy with it.

Image Source:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rusty Pidgeon

I should probably start up a new blog for this kind of posting, but this is my first comic done for web posting so I'll start here, and see how many I do. I don't like the colour scheme I used, but it looked better than nothing. Let me know what you think!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Hidden Youtube Game

Awhile ago I discovered an easter egg on YouTube that allows you to play the game "Snake". For those of you who don't know how to access it, you have to press one of the directional arrow keys WHILE the video is loading (so when you see the spinning loading icon) to start playing. Good time waster!
Bottom right corner of the video player is my game of snake :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A Couple Classics...

It'll be a little while before I give a review on Crysis 2, so I'd thought I'd share with you a couple of my favorite games from the previous generation consoles.

First one is Time Splitters 2. An absolute favorite. It's not so much a story-driven game, as it is a collections of mini-games, challenges and multiplayer modes. But that's what makes the game a huge success.

Single player campaign was fun. Each level was set in a different time era with its own set of weapons and characters unique to that time era. And the fact that your progress would be graded on a bronze, silver, gold scale, made you replay each level.

Multiplayer mode was the best part. The sheer craziness of seeing monkeys, zombies, cowboys and tons of other misfits gun it out on a variety of maps kept me playing for hours on end. It's similar to any other deathmatch style gameplay, with a bunch of variants.

Challenge mode was a lot of fun too. It had an extensive collection of mini games, like surviving hordes of zombies, and smashing glass windows with grenade launchers. By completing these challenges, you'll unlock more playable characters and levels.

If you haven't played this game, I strongly suggest you find a copy and play it. If it had online play, it may just be the best multiplayer game ever.

My second favorite game on the PS2 was the very first Red Faction. It didn't have a very strong multiplayer in comparison to Time Splitters, but it was still pretty fun. The story mode is what really pulled me in.

Earth's minerals are almost depleted, so the Ultor Corporation are recruiting miners to collect the resources on Mars. You start off in your regular work spot, mining, when you witness a Security Guard mistreating a fellow miner, and then killing him. Finally fed up with the horrible conditions, you take up arms and lead a rebellion against the Ultor Corporation. A security technician gone rogue helps you out through the complex as you fight your way to the end.

You'll encounter security guards, tanks, robots and mutants as enemies. The mutants are a result of the experimenting of nano-technology the Ultor Corporation has been doing on the miners.

One of the games distinct and very cool features, is geo-mod technology. You're able to destroy parts of the environment around you to help you through the game. If a door is locked, just blast around it and continue forward. Although you can't destroy everything, it's still fun to waste time (and ammo) creating your own pathways.

I also recommend you play through the first Red Faction if you've never played it. It's about 15-20 hours long, but worth every minute.

And those are my two favorite games from the PS2. James Bond: Nightfire came very close, but didn't have the lasting appeal as Time Splitters 2 and Red Faction did. What do you guy think? What were your favorite games from the previous generation?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Portal 2 Review (Spoiler Alert)

After playing much Portal 2, I start thinking where portals would really help me out in everyday situations. Maybe I'd shoot one underneath my car, and the other across town, so I wouldn't get stuck in traffic and be late for classes. Or maybe I'd shoot one on the ground, and the other next to the statue of liberty so I could jump off a building and high five the statue of liberty. And the pranks I could play...are endless.

Portal 2 is an amazing game. It's predecessor was great, but Portal 2 takes things to the next level. There's an extensive back-story that really gives the game depth. The characters have much more personality. Wheatley, voiced by Stephen Merchant, plays your sidekick and you instantly fall in love with his robotic quirkiness. That's why you feel betrayed when he becomes the antagonist, and you're ferociously playing the game to seek your revenge. Even GLaDOS, the malicious, ill-talking computer system becomes somewhat of a likable character.

The single player mode is roughly 10-12 hours long, about 4 times as long as the first Portal. The first 20 minutes of the game feel like you're playing the first one again, with a slightly different level design. After that, the puzzles and challenges are completely new, while sticking to the successful Portal formula. I really liked the 3 sections of the game: GLaDOS' levels, Old Aperature Science levels, and Wheatley's levels. That's another thing. Once you get about 2/5ths of the way, you'll play through Old Aperture Science, with Cave Johnson, voiced by J.K. Simmons, guiding you though. I found this part of the game really gave it the back-story and depth.

Co-op mode was just as fun. Although only about half as long, it's still something not to be missed. You and you're gaming partner, play as two whacky robots, P-Body and Atlas. You help each other navigate each set of levels. Teamwork is a must, as you'll discover the levels become more and more challenging. I wasn't able to play online, so sadly I had to play co-op mode by myself. Yes I took turns controlling both characters, and yes it is next to impossible at some parts, but I did it. For you.

The only complaint against Portal 2 was it's made using Source's outdated engine. The graphics look 1st generation and can't compare to anything released now. I don't mind that it's a short game, I think the fact that each level has multiple combinations of being solved makes you wanna go back for additional runs at the game. If you're still unsure, wait until it's dropped in price.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Upcoming Game: From Dust

"From Dust" is an upcoming title from Ubisoft. They've released best-sellers like the Tom Clancy and Assassin's Creed series. Originally called, "Project Dust", From Dust makes promises that really pique my interest.

You're essentially playing God in this sandbox game. You take control of nature and it's properties, and model a world that evolves quickly. A tribe of humans wearing masks the entire game, inhabit your world, and must adapt to any environmental change, such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

The art direction in the game is beautiful. The tribes were culturally influenced mostly by African tribes. Game artists took visual inspiration from our own world's natural wonders for the game. The bright color scheme looks nice too.

It'd be interesting to know more about the gameplay. I'd like to see the human population evolve over time, kind of like Age of Empires, except you aren't spending so much time hunting, gathering and foraging.

Something I haven't seen in a God game yet is a place where you, playing "God", get to hang out, when you're not messing with your world. Previous God games limit you to a bird's eye view of your world, whereas I think you should be able to have a "Heaven" where you can save, load, delete games. I guess it wouldn't be a gameplay element, more of an elaborate menu. Unless they made it like Fable 3's start menu.

Check it out below, let me know what you think!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Single Player Campaigns

So, with PSN down, I've decided to become familiar with single player campaigns again. I've traded in some of my once loved games for Crysis 2 and Portal 2. I've heard that both have fantastic story-telling, something that's been overlooked in games lately.

Since the rise of the current generation consoles, online play has been the primary mode of gameplay, with single player campaigns as an accessory to the game. It's play is thrilling. You're connected to a global network, and could be playing with anyone across the world (soon universe). But have you noticed now that, single player campaigns are on average, about 10-12 hours long?

I remember spending at least a couple months playing Super Mario 64, and Zelda: Ocarina of time? I never traded that. I must've played through it at least 5 times when I owned it. Donkey Kong 64 was so big, it came with an expansion pak (spelling is correct, look it up). It harnessed a good 65 hours of gameplay.

Okay, so maybe Banjo Kazooie didn't have the greatest story, but it was definitely worth the 70 bucks when it came out. At least I think so. Games hardly ever got traded. They had a lasting appeal and were made to play the crap out of.

That being said, I've just started up Portal 2. I'll let you know how it goes. Should take me, oh I dunno, a few days...

Image source:

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Greetings gaming geeks and gals! Welcome to Hammock of Games! I'll be posting reviews on some of the latest games I've been playing, some expectations for upcoming games, and I'll even delve into the gaming vault and review some classics. The good, the bad, the terrible, it's all here. I'll even discuss some ideas I have of what could make a great game. I'll include a spoiler alert in the title of a post if necessary. I appreciate any feedback and comments!