Archive for the ‘Xbox 360 Review’ Category

While We Were Away – Fist Full Of Micro Reviews

March 27, 2013 Leave a comment

While we were still waiting for news that we would finally be owners of this site, the staff of Game Revolver didn’t just spend the free time watching YouTube videos of skateboarders cracking bones and praying nightly that the “Harlem Shuffle” fad will die that horrible death that it deserves very soon, we have been playing games.

So here’s a collection of micro reviews of games that we should meant to review but couldn’t.


AliensCM Xbox
As fans of the James Cameron film featuring our favorite acid-blooded aliens, we foolishly had high hopes that Sega would do justice to a game set after the events of the movie. Hell yeah we would love to tear the aliens apart as a colonial marine in the exact same place where Ripley, Hicks, Bishop and Newt managed to escape so of course we were on board. However, nothing hurts more when your hopes are smashed to pieces when you’re presented with a game that is this lackluster, repetitive and without any redeemable value. Also, the multiplayer is poorly executed.

Be prepared to see this game in Angelina’s column very soon. Yeah, it’s just that bad.



DeadSpace3 Box
While this third chapter in the Dead Space saga might not be as great as the first game or the second, there’s much to like about this one thanks to the great balance between good storytelling and action that still works well. My heart still belongs to the first game but if you’ve played both you definitely need to play this third game.



SlyCoop4 TT Box
Sly fans have been looking forward to this PS3 offering and, for the most part, it does not disappoint although the things that made Sly Cooper games of old so charming and enjoyable have been toned down some in this game. Still, that’s not to say that you won’t have fun with Thieves of Time. In fact, we still recommend this one very enthusiastically either way.



Hitman HD Coll Box
With the arrival of Hitman: Absolution, it just makes sense to remind gamers why Agent 47 is such a bad ass anti-hero we cannot help but love by releasing an HD Collection of the early games like Silent Assassin, Contracts and our personal favorite, Blood Money. While the visuals are not as gorgeous as Blood Money, both Silent Assassin and Contracts more than makes up for it with the addictive mission contracts 47 must complete anyway you – the gamer – see fit.

If you never played the earlier games in the series, you are seriously missing out on some truly enjoyable games that should not be missed if you like an inventive action series with the best feature a game could have … total freedom. This collection is a Must Have for sure.


DmC: Devil May Cry

DMC_PS3 box
Much has been said about Dante’s younger look and lack of style that made him so darn likeable in that Japanese pop star sort of way but looks aside it’s the gameplay and action that should have been on everyone’s mind and DmC: Devil May Cry does not disappoint whatsoever. Don’t call this a reboot or a comeback, this is an origin story and it works well.

If you liked the original Devil May Cry games, this one hits all the right notes and makes for a solid action-packed title that will make you a fan all over again.



FarCry3 Box
The Far Cry series has never let us down when it comes to providing an exotic setting that becomes like a second character in this first-person shooter series that keeps you on your toes as you explore your surroundings. This third outing finds a new characters stuck on an island with even more dangers to face as we witness a young man go from helpless victim to stone-cold killer.

Add an equally awesome multiplayer game with enough bells and whistles that Far Cry fans are already accustomed to and you have a game with a lot to offer first-person shooter fans or action junkies in general.



Tomb Raider – Xbox 360 Review

TombRaider Box

Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Crystal Dynamics
Platform: Xbox 360 (also available for PlayStation 3 and PC)
Genre: Action
MSRP: $59.99
ESRB: M (Mature)
Release Date: March 5, 2013

GR Choice Award

Review By: Natalie Romano

As it is for any iconic figure, sometimes it’s hard to live up to the legend that is born from the beginnings that transformed them into what they are now. For tomb raider Lara Croft, her legend began with her early adventures as the confident, fearless, pistol-packing busty aristocrat who eagerly entered ancient tombs complete with dangerous threats of the animal variety as well as the human kind whether it be deadly henchmen or man-made traps.

Yes, Lara Croft has had her share of mediocre and even a really forgettable games but Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics has decided to reboot the series to finally do justice to the icon that is Lara Croft. The result is Tomb Raider, an origin story that introduces us to a much younger Lara and the events that leads to the birth of a legend. Call it a return to the Lara Croft we have come to love along with gameplay elements that take its nod from the Uncharted games that were inspired by Lara’s early adventures.

TombRaider Screen1

Tomb Raider introduces us to a young woman whose fascination with archeology and mythology drives her to put together an expedition to a place that holds many secrets. Unfortunately, the voyage was not a smooth one and she – along with those she brought along for this expedition – are shipwrecked. If being stranded on a mysterious island wasn’t enough, the local inhabitants are not friendly village folks but rather violent guerillas. Suddenly, Lara and her friends find themselves in a fierce fight for survival.

Survival is the theme of this Tomb Raider as we witness a young and inexperienced Lara Croft gradually becomes the strong figure we all know. Sometimes it takes a harsh environment and extreme conditions that force you to realize that it’s either you or them that a person discovers what they are capable of pulling off. Suddenly, Lara sees no other choice but to take a life and then several more throughout the course of the game. It’s a jarring experience watching Lara kill a man for the first time and then witness her doing it again without the nervous retching.

TombRaider Screen2

The game begins with a number of QTE (Quick Time Events) moments that require pressing a button when it flashes on the screen and at the right moment much like the ones in games like the Uncharted series. Several minutes later, the island becomes a dangerous playground that is open to you. As I mentioned above, Lara’s story takes her on a quest to survive the island and the dangerous men who push a young woman to take up arms and make use of her skills to strike back.

Those skills come in the form of Lara’s ability to take in her surrounding and find an advantage that she can use such as finding that extra foothold or spot that will allow you to climb higher and all of this is done through Lara’s Survival Instinct Vision that highlights these things with the touch of a button. Then there are the weapons that Lara uses to take down the army of vicious thugs whether it’s with a shotgun, grenade launcher or a hunting bow (yes, Lara’s situation calls for her to hunt animals).

It’s quite a reversal to see Lara go from a frightening moment where a guerilla grunt attempts to force himself on her to a hunter who could spring out from behind cover to shoot a flaming arrow straight into the head of an armed thug. Combat in the game is a vast improvement over the last Lara Croft adventures, making each combat encounter feel intense and action-packed. There are also stealth moments that add stealth kills to Lara’s defensive skill set. Everything from aiming to making use of cover and dodge moves makes combat a gratifying experience.

TombRaider Screen3

Despite the new QTE moments and immersive combat that is mixed in with action-packed moments that drive the intensity of Lara Croft’s situation, Square Enix made sure the game did not lose sight of what made this series so beloved and that is the actual tomb raiding. The island itself once hid the ancient Yamatai civilization as we can see from the many ruins scattered throughout. By way of caverns, Lara finds herself unlocking this civilization’s secrets as well as discovering the treasures it contains.

The game truly highlights the classic tomb exploration later in the game and, strangely enough, at its end when you are given complete freedom to fully explore Yamatai without the restrictions that come with the story. Like they were in the early classic Tomb Raider games, each chamber is something of a puzzle as you try to figure out how to get from Point A to Point B or how to reach that relic piece that’s doesn’t seem to have an easy way to reach it. The game offers plenty of collectibles such as rare totems, caches and maps among some other items worth looking for during the course of the game.

TombRaider Screen5

Luckily, the game offers a number of upgrades you can add to weapons and equipment among Lara’s arsenal. Aside from the helpful flame arrows you can shoot with your trusty compound bow, there are rope arrows that can create bridges and other means to get from one place to another as well as napalm arrows that can really clear a space of multiple bad guys. On top of that, Lara’s skills can also be upgrades to make you a better brawler, hunter or survivalist.

There’s no escaping the scripted moments throughout the game that very rarely will get on your nerves considering the fact that they look spectacular in motion. However, you get enough freedom in the game to explore your terrain to encounter camps, bases, villages and temples. Lara’s adventures find herself slipping into a shanty town one moment then exploring a shipwrecked PT boat in another.

The island is a visually impressive spectacle that, when open to the player, is immersive enough that you won’t help be caught up in its beauty. The setting is filled with mystery whether it’s due to the crashed WWII planes or the creepy atmosphere of the many ruins. Cinematic camera angles add to the dramatic action-packed sequences that pop up throughout the campaign. Lara herself looks more natural and her expressions of fear early in the game and the look of rage when she becomes comfortable taking lives feel genuine.

TombRaider Screen4

Then there’s the score that punctuates each scenario and cut scene perfectly. It fits the game like a glove and helps drive home the intensity of each combative encounter with the guerillas or Lara’s exploration of an old civilization’s wonders. The voice acting is handled well enough when it comes to the bit players in this story but it is obvious that the star of this show is Lara Croft and the voice actor who takes up the role does so with enough emotion to make Lara even more convincing.

New to the Tomb Raider franchise is a multiplayer mode that, when it was first announced, didn’t sound like a very good idea. At times, it feels like it was ripped straight out of Uncharted 2 and 3 and that’s what it feels like and that isn’t such a bad thing seeing as Uncharted’s multiplayer was fun in short bursts. The same can be said about Tomb Raider’s multiplayer portion – fun in short burst yet still an underwhelming experience with little to offer. Sure, you can upgrade weapons and unlock skills that will make you even better at setting traps or executing sweet headshots more accurately. It’s just too bad that the four multiplayer modes don’t offer anything remotely unique to add variety to the deathmatch, team deathmatch and free-for-all modes.

Tomb Raider is more than just a reboot but an extraordinary prologue to the legend that began back in 1996 as we play through an adventure that is both convincingly thrilling and delightfully challenging. Yamatai has a lot to offer and Square Enix and Crystal Dynamics even pushes the traditional exploration and treasure-hunting elements of the classic games that gives this game reason to keep playing. Tomb Raider fans, you will not be disappointed by this game.


Gameplay: 9.0
Graphics: 9.0
Sound: 9.0
Appeal: 8.5
Overall: 9.0

Review copy provided by Square Enix

Categories: Xbox 360 Review

Max Payne 3 – Xbox 360 Review

Publisher: Rockstar Games
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Platform: Xbox 360 (also available for PlayStation 3 and PC)
Genre: Shooter
MSRP: $59.99
ESRB: MA (Mature)
Release Date: May 15, 2012

Review By: Eduardo Zacarias

It has been a long while since we last seen Max Payne, a man that has lost everything he loved and has spent his days punishing himself by taking on the criminal underworld with nothing more than a few guns and some pills. He has been through a lot and it shows as we catch up to Max once again in Rockstar Games’ Max Payne 3 – a booze-soaked, bullet-slinging shooter with more than enough action to keep Max Payne fans more than satisfied.

Nine years has passed since the events of Max Payne 2 and Max has decided to trade the streets of New York City for the more colorful, sun-soaked streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil working private security for an affluent businessman named Rodrigo Branco. Despite his new life and a different setting, Max still finds himself haunted by the ghost of his past and drowns his pain with hard liquor and pills. Working for the Branco clan, Max is forced to see the world as seen through the eyes of Brazil’s elite as well as the poor. Then, Rodrigo’s sexy wife, Fabiana, is kidnapped and Max is determined to get her back as he dives back into the world of bloody violence, corruption and something even darker.

Like the first and second game in the series, Max Payne narrates his descent into a bullet-fueled quest for redemption, revenge and – in his mind – save a man’s wife and thus keeping somebody from experiencing the hell he went through and still goes through every day. Back are the graphic novel-like sequences but these are just to reminders of the series’ hardboiled film-noir flavor that saturates the narrative. This is a story that is well-written, which doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with this publisher, and believe me when I say that the story will make you want to see it through to the very end of its 12 hours or so single-player mode.

Also like the first two games, Max Payne 3 doesn’t offer much freedom to explore your surroundings and there are several moments throughout the game that you will want to do just that and that is mainly due to the exotic locale. Sure, there’s a sequence that will take you back to New York City but it is sun-baked Sao Paulo that is so inviting that you will want to run through its favelas or explore the hot nightclub scene.

It’s the shootouts that make this game so thrilling as Max displays his brand of gunplay and, this time around, it has been tweaked enough that you now have three different aiming options to cater to your own individual preference. You can have Max lock on to the nearest enemy if you like or have him keep track of an enemy he locked into or you can choose to freely aim and shoot at the enemy yourself. Either way, the gunfights continue to have that spectacular John Woo-esque action style with the exception that now you can literally sling hot lead at multiple enemies.

The game is also ultra violent as bullets tear into flesh and shots to the head are deliciously gruesome to the point that you will find yourself savoring each kill. Add destructible environments and you find yourself taking advantage of weak cover the same way the enemy does as well. It’s the return of Bullet Time that will have you pulling off stylish moves and the fact that the Bullet Time meter is easy to fill up you will get a view of the bullet as it leaves the gun and hits its target. Then there’s the return of the Shoot Dodge move that has Max diving and shooting at the same time in slo-mo. This isn’t just a visual feature but rather a tactical one that can give you an advantage in a particularly difficult situation.

There are a number of situations where you will not only feel overwhelmed by the enemy but come to realize that you can’t charge into the fray with guns blazing expecting to shake off the damage you sustain by waiting Halo-style in hopes that your health with return to normal. Sure, you can pop some pills but the supply isn’t unlimited. This forces you to approach a fight with cover and your Shoot Dodge move in mind. The fact that the environment is destructible means that pillar you’re hiding behind could crumble away or that table you just ducked behind could be turned into Swiss cheese until it breaks away.

Sadly, as I mentioned, you will feel like the game is leading you by the hand from one action-packed scenario to the next and if they weren’t so damn fun I’d be really complaining. The truth is that the fights will keep your adrenalin pumping in the best possible way as each scenario adds something unique whether its sliding off the titled rooftops of a favela or grabbing on to a helicopter in flight. It’s fun stuff, indeed, and – as I mentioned – the story is a good one with more than enough colorful characters. My only real complaint besides the lack of freedom is that the game didn’t add any other new features to the gameplay.

What is new, however, is a multiplayer component that is just as much fun as the single-player campaign. It is here that you can on other players in game modes such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Gang Wars and Payne Killer. Gang Wars offers a five-round team match that has you completing fun objectives that have you either protect/kill a VIP or one where one team plants a bomb and the other team tries to defuse it. Payne Killer, those who become Max Payne or his friend, Passos, is hunted down by the other players.

The multiplayer portion adds the Shoot Dodge move that makes the entire experience rather lively and challenging at the same time. It’s chaotic fun and the reason you will still be playing this game after finishing the single-player mode. Add some great maps and more than enough crazy shootouts and you will definitely not be disappointed by it.

Visually, the game looks great on the Xbox 360 with some gorgeous backgrounds and the visceral eye candy being the bloody kills and destruction. Some effects range from awesome (I love how things shatter) to occasionally annoying (the blurred effects of popping pills and chugging booze) but, overall, the visuals are good but not as amazing as it could have been a lot better. Then there’s the sound that is excellent as it plays up the amazing score and the brilliant voice-acting make this a truly cinematic experience.

Max Payne 3 is an exciting and action-packed shooter that is a fitting sequel worthy of the Max Payne franchise. Sure, the game’s single-player mode leaves no room to explore Max’s new setting or offers anything new to the gameplay but it does the action sequences right and tells a great story to boot. Add a delightfully wild multiplayer mode with enough to do and we have a game that is certainly worth playing even if you’re new to the series.


Gameplay: 8.5
Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 9.0
Appeal: 9.0
Overall: 9.0

Review copy provided by Rockstar Games

Categories: Xbox 360 Review

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game – Xbox 360 Review

Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Developer: TT Games
Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PSP, PC, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Adventure
MSRP: $49.99
ESRB: E10+
Release Date: May 10, 2011

Review By: Eduardo Zacarias

It was hard not to see this one coming but after having given LEGO versions of everything from the Star Wars universe to the magical world of Harry Potter; it was definitely about time the LEGO gaming franchise finally embraced the Pirates of the Caribbean series. As it turns out, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game for the Xbox 306 is a perfect fit for the series and makes for one fun game set in the high seas.

Much like past LEGO games, especially those with violent yet memorable scenes such as the ones you’d expect in the Indiana Jones movies, the violence takes a backseat to a more amiable adventure with more than enough action to make each level exciting. On top of that, the charming comedic – albeit still voiceless – interactions of the characters make for a good time whether you fit the game’s intended target audience age or not. LEGO Pirates manages to capture the feel, look and settings of all three films plus the upcoming On Stranger Tides movie.

The game starts from the very beginning as we are introduced, via a funny cut scene, to Captain Jack Sparrow who happens to be a pirate. It is on land that he meets the dashing (even for a LEGO character) Will Turner who always had eyes for the fair Elizabeth Swann. In an instant, these characters become a part of a grand adventure that spans the course of each film’s main events. You’ll find yourself joined by the familiar cast as well from Captain Barbossa to – personal favorite in the game – Davy Jones.

Traveller’s Tales does a great job making many memorable sequences from the films loads of fun to play such as when Jack Sparrow’s sword fight on a moving wheel or taking on Davy Jones’ assortment of cursed pirates. Like every LEGO game, you’ll have the ability to switch between characters with the push of a button or you can have a friend assume the role of the secondary character. You’ll need certain characters to carry out certain tasks. Elizabeth, for instance, has the ability to jump really high so you’ll need her to climb up to areas that Jack or Will can’t reach on their own.

Of course, all the other usual elements are back including collecting LEGO studs, unlocking new characters to use and the platforming bits that are a big part of every LEGO game. Of course, some of the best (and funny) stuff don’t come from the movie whether they involve monkeys, goats or pigs. Speaking of goats, Jack gets to ride one and it’s downright hilarious. There are even some great moments in the On Stranger Tides chapter of the game. I won’t spoil the plot but there are some interesting characters and situations that make this a really good part of the game.

Unfortunately, there are a few weak spots in the game and most of them will be familiar to anyone who picked up a LEGO title. You’ll often find yourself getting killed thanks to the other characters and oftentimes they will get themselves killed by falling off a ledge or crowding you so you’re the one who falls off the ledge. Enemies tend to respawn at the most inconvenient time when you’re concentrating on solving many of the game’s simple puzzles.

My biggest gripe is one of the more obvious, though, and that is the lack of online gameplay. How fun would it be to play with a friend online without split-screen? This game was definitely meant to be played with a buddy and the lack of online gameplay just feels like a missed opportunity.

Gameplay-wise, the game adds more than enough things to do and reasons to play again. The hub that allows you to enter different chapters in the game offers a peek at all the interesting characters you can use to replay a favorite sequence and possibly even discover things you missed the first time around or couldn’t access without a rare character.

As far as the graphics are concerned, though, the game could have looked a lot more spectacular and that’s even considering the fact that the characters are LEGO. The environments are meant to be exotic and they’re actually easy on the eyes but then again things such as waterfalls or water in general could have been better on the Xbox 360 or even on the PS3. Still, you’ll find the characters’ gestures and movements do a great job of conveying emotion. Then there’s the sound, which is simply composed of sound effects as well as that amazing Hans Zimmer score from the films.

Despite a few annoyances, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean manages to be addictively fun enough to keep you playing for a very long time. With more than enough collectables and reasons to replay the game again with all the things you unlocked the first time around, fans of the LEGO series or anyone who really enjoys Captain Jack Sparrows adventures (including parts from the new film) will find a lot to like about this adventure game.


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

Review copy provided by Disney Interactive Studios

Categories: Xbox 360 Review

Crysis 2 – Xbox 360 Review

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Crytek Studios
Platform: Xbox 360 (also PC and PlayStation 3)
Genre: First-Person Shooter
MSRP: $59.95 US
ESRB: Rated M
Release Date: March 22, 2011

Review By: Angelina Sandoval

If anything, the first Crysis will best be remembered around the office as a game that needed a nuclear-powered PC to play this first-person shooter to achieve the full effect of everything it had to offer shooter fans. Thankfully, EA and Crytek Studios decided to go cross-platform with the sequel and the result is Crysis 2 … a game that aims for something epic and hits its mark in the best way possible.


Set in the year 2024, Crysis 2 takes us away from the tropical paradise of the first game and opts for a New York City under siege by alien invaders that turn the already troubled city into a battleground as humans battle the Ceph hordes. You play Alcatraz, a tough marine who happens to be wearing the familiar Nanosuit of the first game the comes with advanced technological perks such as giving you a speed burst, the ability to jump really high, invisibility by way of cloaking and other customizable modules I’ll get into a bit later.

You’ll find that the Big Apple is a large environment with more than enough room to move around without feeling like you’re forced to stick to one small piece of an area before moving on to the next area within the campaign mode’s chapters. This is a good thing, really, since there are a number of environmental objects to play off and use to your advantage as well as hidden extras such as the speed cameras scattered throughout the city. Of course, there are buildings to navigate through, badly damaged bridges and familiar New York City landmarks.


While the game doesn’t give you any real background on Alcatraz, it is clear that he is the kind of Marine who deserves the right to wear the Nanosuit, which he earns quickly in the beginning of the story. On top of the options you get to unlock for the Nanosuit, there is the number of weapons you’ll have at your disposal that will give you an edge against the Ceph but also the human forces of CELL are trying to take you and the Marines down as well for reasons that make the story quite interesting.

Having human opponents as well as the alien ones add more variety to the shooting action since both opposing forces react differently during combat. In fact, the CELL forces aren’t very sharp compared to the Celph so you’ll have moments where the CELL forces won’t use cover or will sometimes run past you in search for a good spot to start attacking you. The Celph, on the other hand, makes for more formidable opponents with their exoskeleton suits and other impressive alien tech they bring to the battlefield.

There are scripted moments in the game that does drag the first part of the game down a little but once you get past that you will find yourself drawn into the convincing scenario as well as the heat of battle. Even the mini boss fights are intense and thrilling affairs that will keep you on your toes. Thankfully, the Nanosuit comes in handy as you can implement stealth in moments that require it, speed and even push your suit to the limits to withstand heavy damage or add more power to your melee attacks that you’re able to send enemies flying. Half the fun is finding ways to combine different attributes to the Nanosuit to fit your fighting style.


The campaign mode clocks somewhere around 10 hours with more than enough variety to keep you glued to your seat to the very end as it adds moments where you’ll be manning a vehicle or taking pleasure in making great use to a good grenade or a rocket launcher. The story could have been better but it’s hard to complain when the action is this hot, thrilling and visually impressive.

As far as the controls are concerned, the game plays flawlessly on consoles whether you pick up the Xbox 360 version or the PlayStation 3 version. An update fixes some of the stutter the game experiences when it was released but there are still some slight hiccups and glitches that pop up but I’ve experiences nothing that will take you out of the game.

When you want to give the main story mode a break there’s always the multiplayer mode that – naturally – fixes some of the AI problems and thanks to a healthy number of players out there you will have a blast taking on and teaming up with other players. On top of the deathmatch modes and the awesome Crash Site game mode as well as Assault and Extraction. There are enhancements and extras you unlock the more you play, which gives you more of an incentive to keep playing the multiplayer mode. At the time of this writing, the multiplayer mode has been patched to run smoothly enough without much framerate stutter.


Visually speaking, Crysis 2 looks straight up gorgeous on the Xbox 360 and having seen the PlayStation 3 version as well as the PC version I have to say that the Xbox 360 comes close to being as good as the PC version of the game. There are moments that will blow you away in terms of the visual presentation that makes the alien invasion look frightening as drop ships move into view and crazy alien tech is implemented on the battlefield. The effects are also amazing so not only do explosions look great but the damage you do to the enemy also looks spectacular.

While it won’t revolutionize the first-person shooter game, Crysis 2 stands as a title that attempts to bring gamers an outstanding shooter that doesn’t follow the same FPS formula and actually succeeds in the process. Sure, there are a few problems but they hardly distract from all the qualities that make this a riveting and spectacular game that won’t fail to keep you hooked for a long time to come. If you’ve been looking a game to give Call of Duty: Black Ops a much needed break then look no further.


Gameplay: A-
Graphics: A+
Sound: A+
Appeal: A
Multiplayer: A
Overall: A-

Review copy provided by Electronic Arts

Categories: Xbox 360 Review