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GameStop Expo 2013 – Greetings from Las Vegas

August 29, 2013 Leave a comment

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August 28, 2013 – Over the years, GameStop has managed to survive in a difficult economy that saw the end of other stores and why not since GameStop has always made it a policy to give “power to the players.” So it’s no surprise that the retail chain holds an expo for store managers as well as the general public that has made GameStop their destination for buying, selling and pre-ordering games.

Held at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas, the expo opened its doors to exhibitors such as Capcom, Ubisoft, SquareEnix, Konami, NamcoBandai and well as Warner Bros. Games just to name a few game developers at hand to showcase current generation titles as well as next-gen games like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Call of Duty: Ghosts.

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While our band of reviewers had the honor of trying out PlayStation 4 and Xbox One games at this year’s E3, this was a wonderful opportunity for the general public to not only see both consoles up close but also get their hands on a PS4 of Xbox One controller to try their hand at Batman Arkham Origins and Wolfenstein: The New Order just to name a few titles displayed.

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With both Sony and Microsoft making their presence known, both booths provided opportunities to see both consoles in action. This event was actually the perfect opportunity for consumers to see the difference between the two very different consoles for themselves.

While we here at Game Revolver do not pick sides because, hey, we’re gamers who love games regardless of the platform, it was hard to ignore the tremendous support for Sony’s next-generation console.

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“Everything from the amazing graphics to the fact that the load times appear to be seamless just makes me very satisfied that I pre-ordered the PlayStation 4 over the Xbox One.” Said Andrew Fischer, 24, who was at the Sony booth.

Another gamer, Gregory Jeffries, 29, thought that the Xbox One looked good enough to give Sony a run for their money.

“I love how crisp the graphics look and the controller feels better than the 360’s controllers and that’s saying a lot right there.”

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Like E3, attendees were treated to plenty of giveaways and swag to take home but also small theaters to see demonstrations of games like Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, with the latter being a demo of an assassination mission that shows off how massive the playing map is and how seamless it is to go from land to sea and explore massive islands.

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GameStop has given their customers and gamers a chance to see new games and try them out as well in an event that managed to be informative as well as fun. Here’s to next year where we hope to see what surprises 2014 will bring.

– Clarke Kent

Categories: Monthly Editorial

Saints Row IV – PlayStation 3 Review

August 25, 2013 Leave a comment

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Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Volition
Platform: PlayStation 3 (also available on Xbox360)
Genre: Action
MSRP: $59.99
ESRB: M (Mature
Release Date: August 20, 2013

Review By: Jerry Zacarias

The Saints Row series has always marched to the beat of its own over-the-top crazy drumbeat to the point that it managed to crave out its own niche among the mass of Grand Theft Auto-inspired sandbox games. With Saints Row: The Third, the series took a turn to an even more zanier territory that continued to provide plenty of laughs but just didn’t quite hit the spot the way the Saint’s second outing did. Now, with Saints Row IV, the franchise ditches crime sprees for world-saving superhero antics.

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Ok, that last sentence isn’t entirely true since your created character is still the leader of a notorious and beloved-by-all gang that had – in the last game – became so popular that you and your crew were the stars of a sci-fi blockbuster movie. You still participate in hilariously illegal shenanigans that have become familiar to the franchise and, yes, your homies are still a menace to law enforcement.

However, because of the fame generated by you and key members of the Saints such as Shaundi and Kinzie, the gang has become heroes. Think of it as a statement about society’s insistence on celebrating debauchery and thug culture. Saints Row IV opens with your character being America’s last hope in stopping a nuclear missile in a first mission that eventually ends with you becoming an actual hero. It is this feat that leads you to the White House itself as President of the United States.

Hilariously, your Presidency consists of a number of changes to the White Crib that includes a staff made up of members of the Saints as well as a Vice President that just so happens to be actor Keith David (who, interestingly enough, voiced a key character in the first two Saints Row games). All seems to be going well despite the fact that you’re still the leader of a gang until an alien invasion changes everything. We meet Zinyak, an alien warlord that is determined to take the planet by force and enslave the human race and Zinyak actually succeeds.

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It doesn’t take you long to discover that you are living a lie in a Matrix-like version of Steelport as a glitch in the system wakes you up to this reality. As a result, you manage to take control of yourself and exploit this recreated world by becoming something of a superhero complete with super powers. You don’t just move around the open-world … you can leap up buildings, zip through the backstreets of Steelport like The Flash and even glide from rooftop to rooftop. You’re practically Superman in this world.

Consequently because of these powers, Saints Row IV feels less and less like the first two games and more like the bastard love child between Crackdown and Prototype. As you complete missions, you will find yourself developing new abilities that will make you even more powerful to the point that upgrading weapons such as sub-machine guns and pistols will seem pointless. I mean, who needs an AK-47 when you can pick up a car over your head and slam it into an alien enemy?

Still, despite the powers, those who do prefer to run-and-gun there are a number of interesting alien weaponry to complete your arsenal collection. Aside from the decent alien pistols, there’s a cool energy sword for those real close encounters as well as even more interesting weapons that cause interesting damage. For example, there’s the Abductor, which creates a vortex that sucks targets into it. Then there’s the Dubstep guns that really aren’t as impressive as they should have been.

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As I said earlier, you’ll find it a lot more effective using your powers rather than using your guns to take down enemies. Why blast alien forces when you can toss them around with your telekinetic powers or freeze an opponent then bash them to pieces with your first, right? On top of that, you can upgrade said powers as well as your health to the point of being nearly invincible.

Sadly, it’s this near invincibility and super powers that the action tends to get monotonous. Really, the only real challenge comes from the mini bosses that show up throughout the game. Really, what’s the point in calling homies when you are just as powerful as the Man of Steel?

However, despite all of this, Saints Row IV does not stray too far from it zany antics that makes this series such a delight to play. It’s sense of humor is still one of the series’ highlights and there are plenty of laughs that not only the game’s script throws at you but also funny moments you yourself create be it how you created your character (don’t mess with my fat Chuck Norris creation) or gliding across Steelport stark naked.

The game also takes comical stabs at other games whether it’s a romance option that will bring the Mass Effect games to mind (only with hilarious results) as well as Splinter Cell and/or Metal Gear with a stealth segment. There are also plenty of collectibles scattered throughout the game that will have you exploring a Steelport that is basically pretty much the same as it was in the third outing. You’ll find returning favorites in the game as well, such as the Insurance Fraud, street races and the destructive demolition missions.

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Thankfully, the main campaign missions are fun and many of them are just hilariously insane such as the mission where you are transported to the 1950s to destroy trucks spreading propaganda after realizing that you are living out some ‘50 sitcom role. On top of the story missions there are plenty of side missions, including a few Loyalty Missions as well.

Once again, two-player co-op makes its return and it allows you to tackle the map with a friend and it works well without too much lag. The fun comes in both characters being able to unleash their superpowers against the alien horde as well as on each another in fun deathmatch skirmishes.

As far as the character creation tool is concerned, it is still just as deep and addictively entertaining as it was in the third game. You’ll even find an even bigger selection of clothing options with numerous accessories to make your character as close to you as possible … or create a total freak show.

Then there’s the game’s soundtrack that is an eclectic mix of various musical genres whether they come from the various radio stations or the tunes that play during key moments in the game. The music definitely adds to the hilarity on the screen just as it did in the first three games. On top of that, of course, there’s the voice acting that continues to be top-notch whether its most of the returning cast or the inclusion of the always awesome Nolan North (who voices Nathan Drake in the Uncharted games) as one of three male voices for your created character.

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The game’s visuals still feels like it has been ripped straight out of Saints Row The Third and – as I mentioned – so it the map of Steelport. While I did like the character design and the visual gags of the third game, I just wish there were more interesting places to see in the city. Still, the alien simulation adds some interesting twists at some point in the game that brings players back to familiar stomping grounds from the first game and there are funny animations aplenty. Unfortunately, there are also a number of graphical glitches in this game that has characters speaking without flapping their lips.

With all its destructive fun, over-the-top comedic moments and amazing super abilities, Saints Row IV loses a little of what made the franchise that worthwhile alterative to the GTA series. Still, that’s not to say that you won’t have fun playing this game because its nearly 20-hour campaign is loaded with enough crazy fun to keep you occupied. It’s just too bad that the super hero antic gets old fast and Steelport is still the same city you played through in the first game. Other than that, Saints Row IV is a game fans should definitely check out either way.

GAME FRONTLINE RATING

Gameplay: 7.5
Graphics: 8.0
Sound: 8.5
Appeal: 7.0
Overall: 7.5

Categories: PS3 Review

PlayStation 4 Gets Official Release Date … Finally!

August 20, 2013 Leave a comment

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It was revealed today during Sony’s Gamescon 2013 press conference that the PlayStation 4 will be available on store shelves on November 15 of this year in North America and on November 29 in Europe. The console will be sold at the $400 price tag that was initially reported for us North American gamers.

This is big news and, frankly, not surprising since early reports seemed to point to a November release date to coincide with a few much-anticipated titles such as Watchdogs, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag just to name a few titles that will be available this upcoming holiday season.

There’s still no word on the official release date of the Xbox One but we are predicting a late November release date giving Sony’s next-generation console at least a two week lead.

This is it, fellow gamers, the next-generation of PlayStation gaming now has an official date and we are just as excited as you are to the point that we are already salivating at the thought of all the next-gen games we will be playing and reviewing on this site.

Categories: PS4 News