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Don't be shy. Play Borderlands with others

8.5

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Worth playing"

Summary

Borderlands is the solid evidence that a game with a boring story and repetitive objectives could still be a good game. . As long as the game-play is satisfying and the rewards motivate you to keep going, you should give Borderlands a try.

Gameplay/combat: Perhaps the main reason (and for some people the only one) to play Borderlands is the combat. The controls are sharp and don't interfere with your gaming experience. The AI is well programmed and a good challenge sometimes. The menus accomplish their objective and the missions are not impossible. And your enemies have funny ways to die that you will always enjoy!!

Weapons/rewards/achievements: The weapons' use and some items are restricted by your level. As you level up you will have access to better weaponry without having a unique, all-powered weapon that kills every opponent. In addition, not every weapon and item is useful or good in all aspects, so your weapon of choice is determined by your game-play style and the options available. The same case happens with the special items you will encounter along the way.

Story: The weakness of Borderlands. You should not expect a deep, engrossing story Fallout-style that will charm you. In fact, the story is so unimportant that you will not pay any interest to it.

Graphics/Audio: The graphics are very good, especially if you play in HD. The image looks a little bit like a cartoon. The audio won't make your head explode with excitement, but it is good enough. The occasional comments add variety as well.

Multiplayer: Even if you can still have a good experience playing alone, Borderlands is way better when you are joined by two or three friends. Also the rewards are better than if you play on your own. And the individual abilities of a player could affect the other members of the team as well.

Other comments: The character balance is very good so you won't do a bad choice with whoever you pick up at first. I would like to mention that, depending of your choices when you level up, your character could be a stand-alone combatant or a supporter to the team, or a mix of both. If you are going to play Borderlands with others from the beginning, perhaps you should make agreements about a couple things like the weapons and loot you recollect.

In conclusion, Borderlands is a great game that won't bore you even if the story and the missions are boring. Like I said before: Don't be shy, play Borderlands with others






An ambitious game that makes up what it lacks in story and level design with innovation

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
20 to 40 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Ambitious"

Summary

The reason why I enjoyed Borderlands is the same reason this game has been praised as industry changer by many, the combination of RPG and FSP. Of course, Borderlands is only a light RPG and more like Diablo with guns than Baldur's gate with guns, the story is almost non-existent and the game lives off his quirky humour and setting more than immersion by means of a storyline.

But the fact that the game shares all the mechanics of a good shooter, fast-paced combat, many guns, different enemies but tops it off with a random weapon generation system (plus shields, grenades) is brilliant. The game also features character progression, levels and skills and now that I have played a shooter that lets me do that, I wonder how can I ever go back to a shooter with no levels, no random loot, no skills etc. ? It remains to be seen, but Borderlands sets the bar very high. And the weapons you get are so outrageous and insane that it makes all the more fun, a rocket-launcher shotgun that electrocutes enemies ? You name it, it's in there somewhere.

However, like I said, level design and story are not Borderlands strongest points and as much as I like having a mission system in an FPS game, 7 out of 10 missions (most of which are sidemissions) are tedious and dull, bordering on frustrating, especially when all you have to do is scavenge for parts and that involves endless searching on maps and googling for answers, feels more like work. But all the main missions are challenging and rewarding, alternating between steep and narrow episodes and large areas. The enemies vary from all sorts of mutants and critters. What I like about this game is that the different weapons also mean that you must formulate a strategy depending on which enemy you are facing, do you go for accuracy and less damage ? Or maybe the combat rifle after all ?

The game has an interesting art-style, a last minute change by the developer and although the areas are far from gorgeous and I had enough desert action for a lifetime now, the comic/art style makes up for it. There are a handful of tile sets in the game, not enough to keep you on your toes but there is some variety in there.

The difficulty curve is odd, the game becomes easier as you go along, because if you do all the side missions (which makes the game way too long and boring), your character will end up way too powerful for all the enemies, including the bosses. The last two bosses (who look amazing by the way and are huge) were a piece of cake while my first two boss fights had me struggling. I guess this kind of balancing issue is what you get in a FPS shooter with levels, if you happen to be too powerful, the game becomes less challenging, I did not even care to take cover towards the end of the game because I could just take out all the enemies with the blink of an eye.

Again, the story is a bit dull and the game hints that there had been some sort of alien invasion thing or so going on and I hoped this would become relevant at some point but it does not, what a shame.

Like I said before, I like getting my moneys' worth but this game just took too long in the end and I started skipping the side missions eventually and I reckon I am not the only one. Next time, make it 10 hours shorter but more challenging and more varied.

All in all, an ambitious game that makes up what it lacks in story and level design with innovation (RPG/Random loot) and the art style. I can recommend this to all fans of FPS who are looking for something that gives them a different experience from the run-of-the-mill fare that is out there.




INIFINITY BLADE 2 - It's gorgeous...and a HUGE GRIND to play with crazy spikes in difficulty.

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Almost, but not quite"

Summary

Infinity Blade 2 leaves the first Infinity Blade game in the dust and it serves little purpose to compare the two. I'd rather give you my overall summary of gameplay pro's and con's.

In terms of graphics, there is no equal on any mobile device. IB2 is as crisp and clear as any National Geographic photo. Design and presentation are the equal to any game on any gaming device, be it mobile or console.

HOWEVER...many things are left unexplained in terms of game play; such as the meanings of multiple icons, the reasons for the instances of depleting health, the total use of the inventory system, a guide or map to make game play strategies, unforeseen dead ends and consequential deaths....heck, how about the object of the game? All of these problems can be figured out but only through guesswork, presumptions and trial and error. And the game maker has definitely assumed that you played...and fell in love with....the first Infinity Blade game.

Where the heck is the difficulty progression going with this game? I'm on my second play through after a "crash" during the first. I'm a level 20 knight and am on rebirth 8. I've used no outside money, just what my scavenging has given me. Is this game supposed to have progressive difficulty? I just fought a scary-looking 10 foot-tall warrior and he was a push-over. This guy was the guardian to the level Boss. But during a previous grind through the castle, I came across a foe that was ridiculously difficult. I'm no slouch, I have good reflexes and I am a gamer to the core...so when I find a gameplay glitch a little out-of-whack, it's legit. The uneven game play paths are what bring this title down to earth. The Boss's usually do not play by the same rules that you have been playing by during the previous several hours.

I utilize mobile gaming because of the amount of time I'm traveling. I use my iPod Touch. Infinity Blade 2 is the best game I've seen on mobile devices. But it just is not the masterpiece that the people at Chair Studios believe it to be. I'd rather sacrifice a little presentation and graphical genius and replace it with game play that is still "fun" after a few hours, rather than a tedious, repetitious grind.




WTF was that?!

2.0

Terrible
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Disastrous"

Summary

Infinity Blade 2 would be an awesome game. The graphics are great and the gameplay is nicely done. But, I beat this game in 20 minutes!! That's even shorter the House of The Dead! The game offers almost no challenge, the bosses are too damn easy, you cant sell old items for more money, the voice acting is always muffled, the story doesn't make sense and is hard to follow etc. etc. etc.... etc........ etc.

This game probably took the month it was announced to make. The only pros I have for this game is the gameplay and graphics. But this doesn't matter, because they're pretty much sh-tted on with no replay value. Epic could have made this a good, lengthy game but didn't. I have to see what future expansions are and how they fare. Hopefully they don't only evolve new weapons and other equipment like the predecessor game.

2/10




Infinity Blade 2? All the way. With 2 new combat styles to explore, it gave more depth to the combat.

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Worth playing"

Summary

Infinity Blade 2? All the way. With 2 new combat styles to explore, it gave more depth to the combat. And I could only find one word to describe Infinity Blade 2. Perfect. The better visuals were unthinkable. It almost looked like an Xbox 360 game to me. The story was kinda confusing, but I understood it. What really grabbed me was the combat. I mean, in Infinity Blade, it was kinda boring with the same style over and over again. I was yawning after playing for 5 hours. But with these 2 new combat styles, it was just masterful. Heavy and Dual weapons? I loved them. So I'm going to describe each.

1. Sword and Shield: Your traditional Infinity Blade style. The one that everyone knows how to play. It's also the most versatile. The power is very decent, I wouldn't say amazing unless you actually bought the Infinity Blade. With dodge buttons and a shield, it's probably the best one to use for defense. The shield is helpful for blocking most moves except for shield bashes and the titans jumping on you. With the dodge buttons included, you can dodge those shield bashes and titans jumping on you. Parrying is an additional option. Works like the same as Dual Weapons. Rating: 9.5 out of 10. People who should use this? One's who want balance between attacking and defense. Class: Defensive

2. Dual Weapons: Like to Dodge and Parry? This is your style. Parrying is one of those things that you feel good performing. I mastered Parrying in like 20 minutes. Shouldn't be that hard. And it allows you to slash at the enemy more compared to dodge breaks and block breaks. The block button however, is replaced with an additional dodge button. It allows you to duck underneath horizontal attacks. Attacking was just the best thing ever. After a combo, you get to do a combo chain which is like multiple combos in a row. It did massive damage and I loved the finish which is both swords executing opposite strikes at the same time. That finisher did even more damage then an average combo hit. Not really my style but I can do it quite good. Rating: 9.5 out of 10. People who should use this? One's that are good at parrying and dodging. It should also be used for the power. Class: Speed

3. Heavy Weapons: It's all about blocking and parrying. Except the blocking is more complicated. Way more complicated. There's no more dodging to help you. It's just blocking and parrying. And it's directional blocking. You press the left dodge button to block to the left and vice versa. The middle block button blocks vertical attacks. Both up and down. It's hard to learn and hard to master. But if you get it down, prepare to be rewarded. With all those block breaks, your ax does massive damage. The most of all the 3 classes. The speed is slow but all the massive hits makes up for it. Parrying is kinda harder to do in this style. Since Heavy Weapons go slower then Dual and Sword and shield, you might have to adjust your timing. Rating: 9.5 out of 10. People who should use this? People who love seeing enemies die in seconds. Yeah, it's that powerful. Class: Attack.

Overall the combat styles have flaws. Sword and shield has decent power. Dual Weapons gives up defense except for parrying and dodge. And Heavy Weapons are slow and there's no dodging. But they all are worth to explore. If you master one, you virtually become invincible. Infinity Blade 2 really added on to Infinity Blade. People might think of it as a sequel. But I think of it as a whole entire new game.
9.0

Editors' Choice
8.9