All About Bamul
[MY TOP 30 GAMES]
Here is a list of my top 30 favourite games of all time - with the names of the gaming platforms I played them on and the scores I gave them, on a scale of 1 to 10. This list has been edited, games have been added on and knocked off (not to mention that this started out as a top 10 games list) and it is obvious that, given time, it will keep changing as it always has.
30) BioShock 2 (PS3) – 8.5
29) Heavy Rain: Move Edition (PS3) – 8.5
28) Star Wars: Republic Commando (PC) – 8.5
27) Dragon Age: Origins (PC) – 8.5
26) Killzone 3 (PS3) – 8.5
25) Resistance 3 (PS3) – 8.5
24) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC) – 8.5
23) Mass Effect (PC) – 8.5
22) Fallout: New Vegas (PC) – 8.5
21) Gothic 3 (PC) – 8.5
20) Call of Duty [Deluxe Edition] (PC) – 9.0
19) Crysis (PC) – 9.0
18) Far Cry (PC) – 9.0
17) Halo: Combat Evolved (PC) – 9.0
16) Civilization [Whole Series] (PC) – 9.0
15) The Witcher [Enhanced Edition] (PC) – 9.0
14) Batman: Arkham Asylum (PS3) – 9.0
13) The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion [GOTY Edition] (PC) – 9.0
12) The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC) – 9.0
11) S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl (PC) – 9.0
10) BioShock (PS3) – 9.0
9) Mass Effect 3 (PC) – 9.0
8) Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad (PC) – 9.0
7) Metro 2033 (PC) – 9.0
6) Batman: Arkham City (PS3) – 9.5
5) Red Dead Redemption (PS3) – 9.5
4) Mass Effect 2 (PC) – 9.5
3) Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven (PC) – 9.5
2) Aliens Versus Predator 2 (PC) – 10
1) The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings [Enhanced Edition] (PC) – 10
Had this one ready for a while now, I just didn't get around to posting it. Sorry for the lack of apostrophes in this review - GS ate them again. The version at the review page is fine as always though.
ZENO CLASH - For PC - Review by Bamul
The human minds creative imagination and the work of a talented team of developers can create something truly special.
Difficulty: Just Right
Time Spent: 10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line: "Surprisingly good"
How many first-person fighting games have you played? No, Im not talking about the Elder Scrolls series or Mirrors Edge. Sure, those games allow you to punch and kick from a first-person camera perspective, but that isnt their main point. Personally I dont think Ive ever played a first-person fighting game before, so you can imagine how intrigued I was when I saw Zeno Clash for the first time. What is this? A first-person fighting game? Well, thats unusual. I had never gotten around to buying it until the Steam Christmas Sale of 2012. After finishing it, I decided that I should share my opinion of the game with you.
The first thing that makes Zeno Clash stand out is the unique artistic style of its visuals. I dont know what ACE Team (the developers of the game) were smoking when they made this, but the game sure does look really trippy. Remember the Shivering Isles expansion for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion? Giant yellow mushrooms, rooms turning into butterflies - that sort of stuff. Well, if you took that and multiplied it by crazy times five then youd get Zeno Clash, and this is one of its strongest points.
Everything from the creature design to NPCs, weapons and environments looks fantastical. Most of the enemies you will fight are hybrids of different animals, like chickens, pigs, fish, elephants and so on, but with human features applied to their appearance. Its a really interesting world that they made for this game, full of vibrant colours, funky shapes and imaginative designs. These great visuals are used to create moments of baffling folly or enchanting beauty, and neither of these ever disappoints.
Zeno Clashs plot is just as strange as its graphics. The story is set in a fantasy realm called Zenozoik. As the player, you take on the role of Ghat - a man who wakes up after triggering an explosion that kills Father-Mother, a seemingly hermaphroditic being and Ghats supposed parent. Ghat belonged to Father-Mothers large and powerful family of offspring until discovering a dark secret and attacking his parent in result. Consequently, Ghat is banished from the family and forced to flee from his numerous revengeful siblings. On this journey he is accompanied by Deadra, a female companion who attempts to save him from apathetic madness and I wont spoil any more than that.
This story, as well as the world that it takes place in, might not and most probably will not make any sense to you when you start playing the game. The basics of the plot are simple enough, but all the little details beyond the outline seem nonsensical. However, this is all part of the games abstract themes, and the best forms of abstract art dont explain everything, thus leaving much to be explained by the viewers imagination and their own interpretation of whats what. If you look deeper into some of this narratives aspects - such as: the names of various characters, their appearance, the dialogue between them, the atmosphere of each environment and so on - then you might find some profound meanings and messages behind it all. If not, then at least the characters are likeable and fascinating.
As I mentioned earlier, Zeno Clash is one of the very few games out there that are considered first-person fighting games. Its been tried before, but it rarely worked because melee combat usually looks and feels very clumsy from this perspective. Zeno Clash actually manages to create something fairly original, innovative and most importantly it works! It does get a bit clunky at times, as the camera occasionally turns in an uncomfortable direction when punching a targeted enemy.
At first, the gameplay itself consists of mostly hand-to-hand combat. A diverse array of punch, kick, elbow and knee attacks (with various levels of speed and power) can be used to knock out hostiles. The lock-on option can be used to ensure that all of your strikes land on the chosen opponent. Later on in the game, a selection of weapons appears - some very creative designs of ranged armaments and a few simpler, bludgeoning tools can be used to defeat heavier foes. Its not perfect, but still highly entertaining with engaging action, challenging enemies and brutally satisfying combat. The level progression is linear, with some cutscenes in between segments of gameplay - which is a shame since it would have been a blast to explore Zenozoik in an open world environment.
The satisfaction in combat is achieved through not only well-animated characters, but also outstanding sound effects that make each punch feel impactful. The quality of the audio is equally awesome in the music, with strange tunes of many different types to match Zenozoiks oddness. The voice acting of each character is good, but nothing exceptional and there are no standout performances. The lines could have been spoken with more emotion, but instead many of the actors sound a bit confused. This is unexpected and unusual, which suits the rest of the games tone. Other less-humanoid creatures make bizarrely beastly sounds.
Now lets summarize what Zeno Clash is like:
GAMEPLAY - 8.5/10 (Great)
Its an interesting mix of melee and ranged combat, as well as being one of the very few first-person fighting games to work so well.
STABILITY - 8/10 (Impressive)
Apart from occasional freezes in menus with music glitches and other bugs present in most Source engine games, Zeno Clash is very playable.
STORY - 7.5/10 (Good)
Its well-written and makes enough sense to be understandable, but a lot has to be interpreted and sometimes perhaps its a bit too much.
GRAPHICS - 10/10 (Marvellous)
Technologically decent graphics, the human minds creative imagination and the work of a talented team of developers form something truly extraordinary.
SOUND - 8.5/10 (Great)
Sound effects add satisfying impact to combat, voice acting suits the narrative and the soundtrack is packed full of fittingly strange music.
LONGEVITY - 4/10 (Unsatisfactory)
Consider the facts: this game normally costs £6.99, but the singleplayer is under 4 hours long and there is no multiplayer some games are meant to be short, but considering the price, this is unfair. You could wait until another sale and buy it for £0.69 like I did (then its more than worth it), but that doesnt change the fact that the original price is off-putting.
When small and new developers from different places around the world come up with fresh, new and ingenious ideas like Zeno Clash, I grow more & more interested in the indie scene. Not bound by an oppressive publisher, ACE Team has managed to create something great. Not everyone may like this game, but its certainly something different and, for me, Zeno Clash is something special now if only it cost a bit less or was a bit longer. With news of a sequel coming sometime in 2013, lets hope this promising series gets the bigger budget that it deserves and reaches an even higher standard of quality.
OVERALL RATING 7.5/10 (Good)
If you liked this review, please give it a thumbs-up at: http://uk.gamespot.com/zeno-clash/user-reviews/811635/
On March 6th, 2013, I missed my fifth anniversary of being a member on this once glorious gaming site. It's been a few months since I logged on here to write a blog post and I see nothing has changed. I see the content from the UK branch and Kevin VanOrd's reviews are still stellar, but the website doesn't seem to be under any of the promised overhauls. The communities I used to be a part of are still dead. It's a shame.
What's up with me? Not much. I'll be leaving school in about two months - off to college and then university. Can't be bothered to talk here about non-gaming related stuff, so I'll say I finally got a proper gaming PC and leave it at that. What's everyone else been up to?
MASS EFFECT 3: LEVIATHAN - (DLC) For PC - Review by Bamul
Once again, we are presented with some stellar downloadable content but not enough of it.
Time Spent: 10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line: "Too short"
Ever since Electronic Arts acquired the Canadian RPG developer, BioWare has become known for supporting its games post-release with DLC of mixed quality. They tested the grounds with Mass Effect first by providing players with two uninteresting downloadable content packs, each of lackluster quality - especially so when compared to the capacity of the original game. Then came Dragon Age: Origins and BioWare flooded it with optional DLC packs, most of which were equally dull. Mass Effect 2 stepped up the game by offering more free downloadable content and additional paid options. However, even that wasnt perfect, as the free things werent of the best calibre and even though Lair of the Shadow Broker was stellar stuff - It was too short for its price. Mass Effect 3 had a very poor start with the shocking on-disc DLC From Ashes, but BioWare has otherwise been keeping the game updated with a lot of decent and good quality content for free ever since. Leviathan is the first of the promised storyline DLC packs delivered by the company, so lets see how it fares.
After the ending of Mass Effect 3, many players were left underwhelmed and unable to make sense of what happened. Everyone wanted to know more about the Reapers, their origins and what came before them - if not just to understand what the last 5 or 10 minutes of the game were all about, then simply out of a fans curiosity to learn more about the fascinating lore of the series. What Leviathan does marvellously is give players more insight on these issues, without spoiling too much and still managing to keep much of the mystery, and doing so through a superbly written and well-designed story. Leviathans plot starts with a message from Admiral Hackett, who has been running black ops on the pursuit of an evasive creature, known only as the Leviathan, recognized for killing Reapers.
Everyone in the Systems Alliance command who has been informed of the subject is well aware of its potential strategic value in the war against the Reapers, but no one has been able to track down the Leviathan. A human scientist, called Dr Bryson, has been investigating the matter for years and has recently come across something that could lead him right to the Leviathan. Hackett requests that Commander Shepard meet with Bryson and assist him in any way possible. Upon your arrival at the scientists lab on the Citadel, the situation takes an unexpected turn of events and leads Shepard on an exciting journey across a new part of the galaxy in search of the elusive Leviathan.
As we have come to expect from BioWare and the Mass Effect franchise, the writing here is stellar. Any fans of the series will likely find themselves hooked into this DLCs plot from the beginning, and it only gets more interesting after that. In traditional RPG fashion, the player is given plenty of choice during dialogue throughout the entirety of the adventure. Unfortunately, this choice does not affect the outcome or direction of the plot - which is understandable due to the importance of Shepards objective (though still a bit disappointing) - but it does affect the characters around Shepard and their fates. Speaking of which, all of the characters are well-voiced and an exceptional performance is given by Anthony Skordi. Even though the story content of Leviathan is brilliant, it is quite surprising that so much important game lore has once again been kept secret in order to later become available as paid DLC. Leviathans story really is great, but this should have been in Mass Effect 3 from the get-go and available to all for on additional cost.
From a gameplay perspective, Leviathan doesnt wander too far into the uncertain territory of novelty. The combat missions are fairly standard fare and match what youd normally expect from battles with Reaper forces after playing Mass Effect 3. There are some interesting detective like sections of gameplay where Shepard (with a bit of help from EDI) has to examine a safe area for clues and leads as to where she or he needs to head next in the search for Leviathan. These unusual gameplay segments are interesting, but it does seem like BioWare should have explored them further and in greater detail, so they end up being slightly disappointing in the long run. A very brief fragment of gameplay takes place underwater. Its a joy to play through and should have been longer, but excess length would have likely diminished its effect.
Even if Leviathan doesnt add that many new features to the already exciting gameplay of Mass Effect 3, it does create atmosphere exceptionally well. During the three main missions included in Leviathan, we get a chance to see some really spectacular environments. A mining colony on an asteroid protected by immense force fields, a desert wasteland with skies dominated by Harvesters or a planet covered entirely by oceans - all of these environments are created with fantastic attention to detail and highly impressive visuals, as well as a lot of jaw dropping dynamics. Each is also backed up by a stunning soundtrack and characters with convincing voice acting to create an amazing atmosphere for all of the locations in this DLC pack.
Lets summarize everything Leviathan has to offer:
GAMEPLAY - 8.5/10 (Great)
Leviathan doesnt add a lot to the gameplay formula, but it tries enough new approaches to keep things fresh and interesting.
STABILITY - 8/10 (Impressive)
My computer crashed once whilst playing this DLC, but this could have been just a random error with my hardware instead of the game. Other than that, there are no bugs beyond the usual, occasional glitches of Mass Effect 3.
STORY - 10/10 (Marvellous)
The plot answers many questions and creates a dozen new ones; it is well-written, well-presented, important to the series lore and backed by good characters.
GRAPHICS - 9/10 (Outstanding)
Each environment seen in this DLC looks spectacular, the visual style of Mas Effect 3 is further refined with new atmospheres and many new creative ideas.
SOUND - 9/10 (Outstanding)
The soundtrack consists of thrilling and diverse music that fits the action, the characters are all well-voiced and the audio effects are of a great standard.
LONGEVITY - 4/10 (Unsatisfactory)
This short DLC can be completed in a substandard time of 2 to 3.5 hours of gameplay and dialogue, depending on just how much you do in each area. Technically, this does double or triple if you plan to play through it with more than one character, but not everyone will.
BioWare has repeated the same mistakes that they have previously made with Lair of the Shadow Broker. Once again, we are presented with some stellar downloadable content but not enough of it. Leviathan can only last for a maximum of around 4 hours on the medium or higher difficulty settings from a completionists point of view, and that really isnt enough for the price of 800 BioWare points (around 6 UK pounds or 9.50 US dollars). If you are a big fan of the series, if youre dying to know more about the Reapers and their predecessors, then Id say go ahead and buy it when you have some spare money. Leviathan is a very well-made DLC and its worth it for a hardcore fan. However, there is very little content in it for such a high price, so if you think you can resist - then perhaps its best to avoid BioWares DLC altogether.
OVERALL RATING - 8/10 (Impressive)
I'm really finding it hard to sit down and write these reviews lately. Once I'm into it and writing, it's a piece of cake and I enjoy it but it just takes a bit of time. And finding the time, then the will, to sit down and write a review is becoming increasingly difficult for me. It's pretty much become almost like a chore, which is a shame - but I'll keep writing them, because I'm usually happy with the result and it helps to develop my reviewing and writing skills. I might need those in the near future, especially since this is my last year at secondary school.
Anyway, if you liked this review, please give me a thumbs up at:http://uk.gamespot.com/mass-effect-3-leviathan/user-reviews/806762/. As always: thanks very much for reading and have a nice day!
My Recent Reviews
May 23, 2013 5:53 pm GMTBamul posted a new blog entry entitled Zeno Clash Review
May 23, 2013 5:52 pm GMTBamul reviewed Zeno Clash and gave it a score of 7.5
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Apr 3, 2013 3:26 pm GMTBamul added Tomb Raider to their now playing list
Apr 3, 2013 3:26 pm GMTBamul added Tomb Raider to their owned game list