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With all those game reviewing sites out there (IGN, Game Spot, GameTrailers, etc) I thought it would be cool if us OBers could have our own growing collection of reviews. There are [B]a lot[/B] of members here who know a lot about games and are perfectly qualified to Rate and Review one. So why not, right?

Basically anyone can post a review for any game (new, old, foreign, whatever) as long as the game isn't in production. On either a weekly or bi-weekly basis, I'll take those reviews and add them to [url=http://www.theotaku.com/worlds/arcadereviews][COLOR="Blue"]this world[/COLOR][/url], called "Arcade Reviews."

This can be more then just a compilation of reviews, though. We can do game awards if we want (maybe halfway through the year?) and have
"Members Choice" games (where multiple people rate a game over a certain score).

The way the actual review is written is entirely up to you. I'll provide an example template but you [b]do not[/b] have to use the same one. As long as you have at least 3 paragraphs and a final score, that's good enough. Oh and, obviously, you have to have played through most of the game. Unless it sucks.

To start off, here's my review of [B]Ratchet and Clank Future: Tools of Destruction[/B].

[FONT="Tahoma"][COLOR="DimGray"][INDENT]As my very first Ratchet and Clank game, and my very first Insomniac game in a long time, I have to say this game took me by surprise. I expected a fun yet repetitive child-like adventure and what I got was a unique and thrilling experience with child-like humor.

[b]Graphics:[/b] The graphics are phenomenal. I wouldn't say the cinematics are on par with the likes of Pixar, but it's damn close. The environment, no matter where you are, is just breath-taking. The art style is very large and dramatic, but still matches the cartoon characters and enemies well.

[b]Story:[/b] While at first I thought I'd just be getting fart jokes throughout the entire game, Ratchet and Clank goes way beyond that. Some of the funniest lines are reminiscent of Glados from the Orange Box. Very similar humor, and it works too (of course there is other humor in the game, reminiscent of [i]Looney Tunes[/i], but that's not necessarily a bad thing).

The actual story is pretty shallow. While it never gets predictable, it doesn't exactly keep you on the edge of your seat either. Still, it's good enough to encourage you to play through the game and go to all the different worlds.

[b]Game Play:[/b] This is where the game shines. A little over an hour into the game and you'll have a good 8 weapons to switch between during battles. Plus your basic swing attack.

There are so many weapons, devices, add-ons, upgrades, and armor that once you start unlocking more and more of them, I guarantee you'll find it hard to stop. I hit that point when I bought myself the [i]Tornado Launcher[/i].

As you use weapons more, they eventually upgrade and get even better effects. You can also upgrade them by using Raritanium (which you find on enemies and hidden in crates/chests) to make them even [i]better[/i].

Simply put, this is an excellent game for [I]any[/I] fan of platform/adventure games. And as a PS3 exclusive, it's definitely the best game of its genre on the system.
[b]Graphics:[/b] 8/10
[b]Story:[/b] 7/10
[b]Gameplay:[/b] 9.5/10

[SIZE="3"][b]FINAL SCORE:[/b] 9/10[/right][/SIZE][/INDENT][/COLOR][/FONT]

Feel free to take other factors into account with your score. Replay value? Music? Online? Anything works because it's [i]your[/i] review. So please, don't be shy and write a review!
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While I really want to contribute to this thread, I really can't be on the cutting edge of games due to me not having the money to buy every new game. But I can provide a "greatest hits" section for the PS2 and Xboc 360. I probably won't rate many games under a 9 or 10, otherwise I just won't take the time. So here goes my first, one of my favorite games of all time:

[b][u]Resident Evil 4[/b][/u][/size]

[b]Producer:[/b] Capcom
[b]Released:[/b] 2006
[b]Systems:[/b] Playstation 2, Gamecube, Wii.
[b]Rated:[/b] Mature

[b]Graphics:[/b] For any system you get it for, RE4's graphics are top notch, particularly for the Gamecube and PS2. The attention to detail, gory blood shed, and head-popping action are all amazingly presented. The enviroments all provide an eerie, dark, and often disgusting back drop for this haunting game. The animations are all smooth, the bit-rate never misses a beat, and the enemy designs are all terrifying (particularly a little guy you will come to know as "that crazy blind thing").

[b]Story:[/b] Great, all in all. There are some weird parts, particularly a creepy little man child you will come to meet, but all in all the story adds depth to the Resident Evil saga. Leon S. Kennedy, last seen in Racoon City, starting his first day on the police force the same day that the "incident" occured. The scrappy little blonde has since grown up and raised the ranks of the government, becoming the personal bodyguard of the President's daughter. But bad news, she has been kidnapped by a group of crazy spanish cult members. So its Leon's job to go rescue her. Little does he know that his enemies are playing around with a dangerous parasitic organism that turns its host into ruthless zombies... hilarity thus ensues.

[b]Gameplay:[/b] The best the Resident Evil series has ever offered. The combat system has had a total facelift, and allowed for a combination of the classic item management, along with a swift over the shoulder aiming system which allows Leon to effeciently dispatch his foes. The only draw back is that you cannot run or strafe while aiming or firing. However, most players should not find this difficult to deal with. Our hero is also equipped with a handy combat knife which comes to use very, very often if you are a resourceful player, and an array of awesome martial arts moves. My favorite is the suplex, where Leon makes the WWE look like The View (i.e., he makes freakin' heads explode).

Another nifty thing is that the puzzle system, while still in tact, is not so darned annoying. Plus, the addition of the boobie trap system is really fun. It basically turns Leon into a modern-day Indiana Jones (you will literally be running from a boulder and leaping out the way). The system works like this... you are walking, minding your own business, and then suddenly some bad guys start throwing giant rocks at you. A flashing button will appear on the screen indicating which to press on the controller. If you manage it in time, you survive. If not, you can either be harmed, or be gruesomely dismembered depending on the trap. This system is also worked into another amazing part of the game...

The Boss battles... Easily some of the best in gaming. They are very fun, numerous, creative, and challenging. Each one provides its own unique challenge, and you will always be left with a sense of "Wow, I can't believe I actually survived that". And heck, even if you don't survive it, usually you'll die in a manner that will leave you saying "HOLY ****!". Yeah, it gets gruesome. Did I mention this game had an M rating? I actually played through the game a whole nother time just to see how many different ways the bad guys could kill Leon. There's alot, and most of them look really, really cool.

Couple all this with a really cool weapons system, loads of unlockable content (depending on the system, you will be treated with different things. I suggest the PS2 and Wii version to get the most bang out of your buck. You get more weapons, more costumes, and even an entire side-game featuring a play through with Ada Wong), and entirely seperate, and highly addicting side game called "Mercenaries" where you own as many zombies as you can, and you got yourself what we call in the business "a classic".

Resident Evil 4 is, and always will be, one of my favorite games of all time. It has provided me with countless memories of awesome zombie disposal, and getting owned myself. If you haven't played it, you are simply missing one of the greatest gaming experiences of the past decade, and I dare say, of all time. Buy it. You can probably find a few used copies for under twenty bucks these days.

If you don't, then hate yourself. Forever.

I give Resident Evil 4 a [b]10/10[/b]. It's just that good.[/color][/size]
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[COLOR="Navy"][FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"]I'd very much like to see your vision become a reality, 8bit. Here's one for you. If this keeps going I'll have more later.

[U][B]Army of Two:[/B][/U]

[B]Overview[/B]: Army of Two is a classic example of a game that did [i]not[/i] deliver on the promises its developers made. The concept seemed simple enough: make a game that focuses entirely on cooperative play and offers a visceral experience for two players working together. Unfortunately, the execution of said concepts was not a good one. The gameplay is average at best, and uninspired and clunky at worst. The story is unengaging and often very cliche. While it does tend to inspire teamwork between players, it doesn't offer anything that a game like Halo (or any other shooter with co-op) does much more effectively.

[B]Gameplay[/B]: Army of Two's core gameplay is dull and repetitive, offering just enough entertainment to be a passable shooter, but not near enough to be the blockbuster game it had aspired to be. The aiming is stiff, and it's almost impossible to hit someone at close range. The makeshift cover system feels awkward, especially when trying to peek around a corner. The game doesn't give you any indication that you're using cover accept that your camera shifts slightly, while your character remains in the exact same position. Most of the weapons feel the same as you fire them, and for that matter sound the same. The only difference between them seems to be how much damage they do. Enemies are not intelligent at all, doing little more than standing there and firing continuously at you and occasionally taking cover. The game apparently tries to make up for all this by forcing you to perform a slue of meaningless, mini-game style actions such as the 'back-to-back' shooting moments which essentially makes both characters immobile and practically immortal while enemies come running at you in slow motion. Or 'co-op sniping' which makes both players attempt to use their sniper rifles at the same time on the same or adjacent targets, tasks that would be just as easily done by a single sniper, leaving the other player free to use their primary weapon. The few situations that would actually require two people to complete are pretty lame, and seem like they were added into the level just to give the players an excuse to do something together.

[B]Story[/B]: The plot of Army of Two is essentially pointless, and while their are some pretty bad-*** cut-scenes, the story itself has no bearing on the gameplay (besides determining what color uniforms your enemies will be wearing) and is often annoyingly cliched. The characters are all worn-out archetypes (i.e., the hard-nose commander, the sneaky, unlikable traitor, etc.) and the playable characters are determined to make stupid, predictable comments throughout the game. The humor thrown in for our (supposed) amusement is childish and flat. You're best off ignoring the story altogether, and trying your hardest to drown out the voices of the main characters.

[B]Graphics[/B]: Here, at least, is one thing Army of Two got right. It is pretty game. However, it's not pretty enough to excuse it's inherent gameplay flaws. Levels, even though they are boring to walk through, usually look good.

[RIGHT][B][U]Judgement[/U][/B]: [B]Overall - 5/10[/B]
[I]Gameplay[/I] - 4/10
[I]Story[/I] - 5/10
[I]Graphics[/I] - 8/10
[I]Replay Value[/I] - Moderate[/RIGHT][/FONT][/COLOR]
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[FONT="Tahoma"][COLOR="DimGray"]Awesome guys, thanks so much for your reviews! I'm updating the World ([url=http://www.theotaku.com/worlds/arcadereviews][color=blue]here[/color][/url]) now.

Keep 'em coming![/COLOR][/FONT]
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[COLOR="Navy"][FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"]W00t. I feel like a regular game reviewer already. Just a heads up 8bit, the code on the world page is faulty. Things like [*indent] are showing in the text.


[B]Overview[/B]: Fable was a highly anticipated game long before it came out, as the developers claimed it would be a revolution in non-linear gameplay, and the player would have an unprecedented amount of control over the events in the game based on their own actions. While this turned out to be a gross exageration, Fable itself was not a bad game at all. Despite the fact that the gameplay was only slightly less linear than your average Final Fantasy game, and the only real bearing your in-game personality seemed to have was which people liked you and which people would run away screaming, it is one of the most popular games for the original Xbox console. It had a comfortable amount of character customization and a story that, despite its cheesyness, tended to draw the player in. And of course, you could give people the finger. That alone should make it a legend.

[B]Gameplay[/B]: Fable starts you off as a small child, running around doing errands for town people (or punching them in the knees if you prefered) and earning points with your good old dad. From there it moves on to your life in the hub of the world's action, the Guild of Heroes. You'll start off with menial tasks, such as clearing the forest of beetles and practicing with your sword, which all builds up to your first real mission as the Guild shoves you out into the wide world of Albion. This first mission is one of only a few points in the entire game when you have a choice of what to do. You can take the good side of the mission and earn points with the locals, or be evil and assist the bandits for extra cash. Either way, it doesn't particularly matter in the long run. Any good/evil points you earn here can eaily be reversed once you have free reign over your actions. This is somewhat disappointing, as it would be nice to see some obvious manifestation of your choice to take the moral high ground. But alas, no one seems to really care.

The actual combat is very simple, but still entertaining. You have three types of attack (melee, ranged, and magic) and a block button. Each method of attack is done with only a single button, (though magical powers can be mapped to three seperate buttons) and there's really only one set of melee combos. However, the experience still manages to be fun. You have a good deal of movement and can quickly switch between different forms of attack, allowing you to catch the enemy off guard.

You gain strength through an experience system that builds up points during combat, and then lets you trade in those points for increased ability. Theres plenty of upgrades to choose from, ranging from an assortment of spells to increased strength or attack speed. It gives you a real sense of progression, especially since you get to choose what areas to improve in.

Another interesting addition to the gameplay is the moral system which, as previously mentioned, assigns you good or evil points based on actions you take in the game. While this doesn't have any real impact on the path you'll be taking or your combat style, the reactions of your fellow townspeople can be pretty entertaining, and when you go far enough in either direction of the spectrum, your character's appearence will start to reflect their personality. For instance, if you become evil, you'll start to grow horns. Or if you choose to be a good guy, you'll glow with angelic light.

[B]Story[/B]: As I've already said, Fable's story is a bit cheesy. It's a pretty standard tragic fantasy tale of a boy losing his family and seeking vengeance years later. Nevertheless, it's told through a series of tapestry-style cutscenes that emerse you in the game's mythos. You can't help but start to feel sympathetic for the main character and end up truly wanting to get your sweet revenge.

The world itself is what you'd expect of a cartoonish fantasy game, very stylized and not a ton of depth. But it does provide a decent backdrop for the events of the game. In short, it gets the job done.

[B]Graphics[/B]: When Fable first came out, it was pretty good looking. It's graphics weren't anything to get excited about, but they were fun to look at. It has plenty of colorful little effects and the engine offers just enough character detail to give a clear distinction between NPCs and make your own character look d*** good.

[RIGHT][B][U]Judgement[/U]: Overall - 7.5/10[/B]
[I]Gameplay[/I] - 7/10
[I]Story[/I] - 8/10
[I]Graphics[/I] - 6.5/10
[I]Replay Value[/I] - Moderately High[/RIGHT][/FONT][/COLOR]
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[FONT="Tahoma"][COLOR="DimGray"][quote name='Muad'Dib'][COLOR="Navy"][FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"]W00t. I feel like a regular game reviewer already. Just a heads up 8bit, the code on the world page is faulty.[/FONT][/COLOR][/QUOTE]
That's the idea! :D As for the code I didn't realize the Worlds didn't support VB so I'll just have to take them out. Oh well.

[INDENT][b]Retro Review![/b]
[B][SIZE="3"]Super Mario Bros.[/SIZE][/B]
Developer: Nintendo
Released: 1985
System: NES
Rated: E

The game that started it all. It thrilled kids and family members alike everywhere, moved mountains of consoles, single-handedly ended the Video Game Crash of 1983, is still to this very day the best selling video game of all time (over 40 million copies sold) and changed the way video games were made forever. This is Super Mario Bros.

[b]Gameplay:[/b] Back when graphics were a non-issue, game play was the most important thing gamers looked for. And SMB was chalk full of unique game play. The completely diverse levels, characters and power-ups were so mind blowingly awesome compared to certain drab and boring atari games that it raised the bar for not just future video games, but future game consoles.

Precision controls. If you play SMB enough (which isn't hard, the game has incredible replay value) you'll find yourself landing and jumping exactly where you want. If you ever died by an enemy or fell down a hole in SMB, it was your own fault. Not the game.

On top of all this the happy faces in the background and the easy to learn controls make for a very enjoyable experience wether you plan on playing for 5 minutes or 5 hours.

[b]Music:[/b] There are four musical scores in the game, all written by Koji Kondo. Overworld, Underworld, Underwater and Fortress. I'm sure you can guess when each song plays during the game.

The music on its own has become a legend in itself. Every person in their right mind knows the melody to Super Mario Bros.

[b]Replay Value:[/b] This game can be played for days... no, [I]weeks[/I] without boring you. That's how I felt anyway, when I downloaded it from the Virtual Console a couple of months ago and played it for the very first time since I was like 5.

I've never had so much fun doing trial and error in a video game in my life. Usually in games where you're constantly dying you tend to give up but there is a certain "You can do it!" atmosphere in SMB that makes it seem a bit more like a marathon which encourages you to keep going.

When (if) you finally get to the very end of the game and manage to sneak past Bowser, sending his reptilian butt into the lava, the game then offers you a Hard Mode. Goombas are replaced by Fire-impervious shelled enemies, enemies walk fast, and the game is just a lot more difficult.

In the end this is one of the best games I have ever played. If you've never played it... shame on you.

Gameplay:[/B] 10/10
[B]Music:[/B] 9.5/10
[B]Replay Value:[/B] Unlimited/10

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  • 3 weeks later...
[COLOR="Navy"][FONT="Franklin Gothic Medium"]I'm gonna go ahead and post another... maybe it'll get things going again.

[U][B]Battlefield: Bad Company[/B][/U]
[I]as played on a 360[/I]

[B]Overview[/B]: The latest installment of EA's Battlefield franchise, which began way back in '02 with Battlefield 1942, Bad Company promised a lot of new and interesting features. Thankfully, it has delivered. Bad Company is the first Battlefield game to have a strong focus on the single-player campaign. While previous titles (Battlefield 2: Modern Combat, for example) had sort of a plotline, BC actually creates memorable characters and gives you a specific motivation for completing the game. But, as always, the real draw of the game is the online multiplayer, which has also had a huge makeover. But don't worry, the gameplay elements you've always loved are still there, and better than ever.

[B]Gameplay[/B]: Bad Company plays very similarly to previous Battlefield titles, which is good, since most of them were very fun. One of the first big differences you'll notice is the fact that the single player campaign has become a very open-ended experience. While it doesn't achieve real non-linear gameplay, like that achieved in games like Oblivion, you can now take any of several paths (or cut through all of them) to your next objective. The maps or enormous, allowing you to spend plenty of time exploring the terrain for enemy outposts, which is often rewarded with collectable weapons and gold (yes, gold; see the story segment).

One of the big differences in the way you actually control you soldier is the new weapon/gadget system. You now have a fixed number of weapon and gadget slots, two each. Your weapon slots will almost always be taken up by a primary weapon and grenades, while gadgets range from vehicle-repair tools to laser guided bombs. However, one of you gadgets slots (in the campaign) is always taken up by the auto-injector, a device which instantaneously heals you. It makes the game a bit easier than it should be, but I admit it may well be impossible without it. Another change is in the way you aim your weapon. Previously, you could be just as accurate firing 'from the hip' as while aiming through the scope or down the sights. Bad Company has adopted something akin to Call of Duty, which means your gun will be much less accurate if you're not using the sights. This is actually somewhat irritating, especially in close-quarters situations where using the sights makes you lose sight of much of the room around you. But on the whole, you can still tell you're playing Battlefield.

Also unlike older titles, you now have a small squad of three other individual soldiers (each with their own personality) which will stick with you through the entire game. They're generally pretty handy, but seem to have trouble actually hitting their targets, which might explain why your enemies will [i]always[/i] choose you over them when deciding who to shoot at. As irritating as that is, I must (again) admit that the game would probably be far too easy otherwise. Whenever you die, the game throws you right back in with whatever weapons you already had and all the enemies you just killed still dead. Why does it insist on babying you?

But I still haven’t touched on the (arguably) greatest improvement Bad Company introduces: destruction. Every building in the game, with just a few exceptions, can be blown to pieces. While a few walls will always remain standing, houses can be reduced to bare-bones shells of their original construction, drastically changing their strategic value. And despite what some people say, blowing walls open and bringing down bridges never gets old.

[I][B]Multiplayer[/B][/I]: Despite a revamped campaign mode, most of the game’s draw still lies in its multiplayer. The traditional class system has returned, making you select a kit before you enter battle. However, you now have the option to select which particular firearm you bring to the fight. Unfortunately, they all have to be unlocked by ranking up and using credits to pick the weapons you like the most. The same applies to particular pieces of equipment for each kit, which leaves you feeling somewhat inadequate until you’ve gotten enough credit to unlock them all. Fortunately, ranking up goes quickly, and your starting guns aren’t bad at all.

Incredibly, the old Conquest game mode has been dropped in favor of a new one called Gold Rush, which divides the teams into attackers and defenders. Attackers try to destroy a series of gold crates while the defenders fend them off. It’s pretty fun, and still feels similar enough to conquest to keep hardcore Battlefield fans from complaining. Best of all, EA is releasing the traditional conquest game mode in a free update sometime in the future.

The only complaint I can reasonably make is the fact that friends and enemies are difficult to tell apart. The games shows a blue dot over friendly heads, and an orange over enemy, but in desperate situations (particularly those involving mixed groups of enemy and friendly units) it’s a bit hard to tell who’s who. This leads to lots of accidental team kills or even simply team damage, which still detracts points from your score if you do too much.

[b]Story[/b]: As previously mentioned, Bad Company has a stronger story than any of the old Battlefield titles. You’ll follow the exploits of a four man squad from B-Company, the army’s reject bin, as the ‘new guy’. Early in the game, you and your misfit buddies discover gold bars that the enemy mercenary big boss guy uses to pay his troops. You motivation becomes finding more gold as your squad goes AWAL. It’s not the most believable scenario, but really, who cares? The comical antics of your squad mates is overshadowed by the fun of blowing the **** out of everything in your path. As stories go, it’s not the most interesting. But it gets points for trying and keeping the game going without the same old Battlefield formula of an impersonal military campaign. And the fact that your squad is taking orders from itself for much of the game allows for new situations that the Battlefield franchise hasn’t really seen before.

[b]Graphics[/b]: Bad Company is definitely the best looking game in the franchise so far. Landscapes look realistic and often let you see for miles around. Weapons and character models are wonderfully detailed, right down to the iron sights. To date I have not seen any environment seams or awkward clipping moments. Explosions are simply beautiful, and you’ll be seeing lots of them. If you like pretty games, you can’t miss this one.

[RIGHT][B][U]Judgment[/U]: Overall - 9/10[/B]
[I]Gameplay[/I] - 9/10
[I]Story[/I] – 6.5/10
[I]Graphics[/I] – 9.5/10
[I]Replay Value[/I] - Moderate[/RIGHT][/FONT][/COLOR]
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