Wooden Desk
File size 2145 Kb
Date added: 11 Dec 2008
Price: Free
Operating system: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
Total downloads: 1234
Downloads last week: 503
Product ranking: 98/100

The action is wilder in multiplayer than in the campaign, as players scramble to kill each other, using their various bursts to aid their team or to wreak havoc on their opponents. It's all chaotic fun, and the option to start vendettas against players who have killed you twice in a row, which earns you more experience points for the next kill if you get them before they get you, brings a dynamic and personal aspect to the competition as you're often trying to seek out and kill one player in particular. When you're a spellcaster in training, every monster in the realm wants a chance to knock you down a peg. But as you learn in Sorcery, a lone goblin is no match for a mighty sorcerer, even one who's still a boy. So hundreds of ill-tempered meanies flood the screen as they attempt to overwhelm you with sheer numbers. And this is where Sorcery stumbles. Tactics have little place in these frustrating encounters because you're too busy frantically flinging spells in order to simply survive. Delightful visual design and in-depth alchemy can't overcome the tedium of sinking hours into waggling at an army of evil beings. Poorly balanced fighting scenarios transform Sorcery from an enchanting adventure into a grueling ordeal. All of these problems come to a head in tedious boss encounters. These ordeals stretch on for dozens of minutes, and it takes all of your concentration to come out on top. Despite the peaceful aesthetics, this is a difficult, punishing game that doesn't give you an inch. When a troll tosses a boulder, you'd think that diving out of the way would keep you safe. But that happens only a fraction of the time. Poor collision detection ensures you take damage even when you jumped clear well before contact, and it's incredibly easy to be caught on the environment as you run backward to avoid taking further hits. And if you should die during one of these boss battles, you have to start over at the very beginning of the fight. Medal of Honor: Warfighter doesn't craft such an arc, and thus feels more like a pastiche of shooter tropes than a self-contained experience with its own identity. Yet there's something worthy here--the glimmer of a Medal of Honor that might yet hew its own path if the right elements are cultivated. The basic shooting and movement models are a good start, not because the guns are that remarkable, but because there's a sense of weight to your sprints and your leaps. You're given the ability to take cover and lean or peek before taking aim, lest you get pelted with lead; at times, this encourages you to consider your surroundings and preserve your own well-being rather than rush forward, spraying the room with bullets. There's a moment near the end of the campaign, however, that has you confronting the consequences of war, allowing you to witness terrible deaths in ways you never can while shooting down combatants. And it's here that Warfighter almost achieves something special. You witness more vulnerability here, and can appreciate the operatives' sacrifices in these final throes. The military fantasy becomes dark reality for a brief moment, and there's no joy in your final shots. Here, you see one more way in which Medal of Honor may yet make its mark, if only this conclusion weren't so removed from the remainder of the game, which otherwise treats levels as interchangeable building blocks that needn't fit into a larger picture. Derrick is a shark. And like many sharks, he has an appetite that's never satisfied. But while the sharks of the real world won't flop over and die if they miss a meal, Derrick's life hangs by a thread with each missed mouthful. That's not an easy life for a fish--despite being at the top of the food chain--particularly when, as you discover, his parents are turned into seafood by an evil organisation intent on polluting the world's oceans. And what beautiful oceans they are: intricate, handmade papercraft oceans that are as bright and colourful as the likes of SpongeBob's Bikini Bottom, but with a playful imagination and design all their own. Derrick certainly doesn't want them turned into sludgy, rotten wastelands. The inadequate camera does nothing to alleviate such control issues, either. Many of the environments are practically barren until enemies begin appearing in response to your vandalism, but you still stumble across a few unwelcome piles of debris in the most inconvenient of places, or perhaps a series of vehicles parked along a street between you and a wall that you need to tag. The camera gets stuck on objects in confined spaces, jerks crazily if you're following a path through a winding corridor, or spins in such a way that you can't see environmental obstacles that in any other game would be easily spotted. The only way to make crucial runs in some stages is to first memorize their layouts through trial and error. There's not a great deal of complexity to the earliest puzzles in which you can only enter and exit this one alternate dimension, but additional dimensions are progressively worked into the mix. The second dimension is referred to as heavy, and here, even the lightest of objects becomes impossible to lift, and even normally flimsy cardboard boxes are invulnerable to the destructive power of the lasers that make many of the manor's chambers so hazardous to your health. You need to make clever use of these dimensions to navigate some dangerous areas, and the first few times you lift a fluffy safe onto a springboard, stand on it, make it heavy, and then make it fluffy again to launch yourself through the air are joyous. Gravity Rush doesn't always bog you down in combat. Early on in the game, you spend more time exploring and discovering than fighting. Hekseville is unlike anywhere else, and the sensation of taking a running leap off the edge of it and then controlling gravity to weave your way into its subterranean depths is gleefully empowering. The strange, dreamlike realms you visit sometimes work enjoyable wrinkles into Kat's abilities. You may be able to manipulate gravity for only a short time, and need to make efficient use of your powers to travel from platform to platform. Or you may find that your power is gone entirely, and you have to navigate a puzzling assortment of gravity-shifting portals to get to your destination. Once upon a time, the Diablo series defined the hack-and-slash action role-playing game, setting the standard by which all games in the genre were measured. Now, Diablo III feels more familiar than genre-defining, relying on refining the same hooks that have always made this series so compelling. But what a refinement it is. The controls are responsive and pleasurable; the diversity of character classes and skill customization options is impressive; and the constant stream of gold and treasure you earn is irresistible. Blizzard has the recipe for crafting a habit-forming loot-driven action RPG down to a science, and in Diablo III, the results of that recipe are more exciting and more addictive than they've ever been. The lack of interesting rewards is compounded by rambling level design. A Valley Without Wind is procedurally generated, so the world is different whenever you start a new adventure. In theory, this adds limitless replay value because no two journeys are alike. In reality, the sprawling levels lack the diversity and intricacies that could have made them fun to explore. Places look so similar that it's easy to get lost, and the poorly designed map adds to this burden. Finding your way out of a cave is no easy task, even using the warp points, so you wander from one similar-looking environment to the next, until you contemplate sacrificing your character's life just so you can leave this stage before your sanity flees. Less elegant are Warfighter's nods to the effects war can have not just on its participants, but on their loved ones. Your role alternates between different operatives, with Preacher (returning from 2010's Medal of Honor) fulfilling the role of main protagonist. The central story comes by way of the jargon-filled military chatter you're used to in such games, in which you know who the bad guy is, not because wrongdoing is demonstrated, but because the characters say he's the bad guy. The globe-hopping narrative, like the gameplay, is chopped into cutscenes and key events without regard for exposition or transition. There's plenty of plot, but little storytelling--and there are important distinctions between the two. It's not all black paint and feeling your way through the maps, however. As you get further in, The Unfinished Swan expands into a more traditional first-person puzzle game. On one level, you use aqua paint blotches to "water" a never-ending vine plant to make it grow over walls so you can climb them, for example. On another, the dark-on-light motif is reversed as you try to feel your way through a nighttime forest. While these changes are great atmospherically, they also emphasize the extreme simplicity of The Unfinished Swan's gameplay. You just walk around, point, and shoot. That's it. Sometimes the paint does more than reveal the level's structure, but it never does more than one thing (such as make vines grow). The reckless killings you partake in during these exploratory moments are not without value. Dust earns experience points for every monster he slays, and once you earn a new level, you can power up one of your four attributes. Defense and health aren't terribly interesting considering the wealth of healing items available and the ease with which most enemies die, but strength is always handy, and making Fidget more powerful makes your life easier. There are also items to craft for those who like to tinker. Monsters drop pieces that can be forged into handy tools using blueprints, and though the items aren't usually as good as what you're equipped with, it's fun to see the different strengths and weaknesses on offer. The Move controls, featured only in minigames that are separate from Olympic mode, are a lot easier to pick up and play than the regular controls, and in many cases are a vast improvement. Take for example, skeet and 25m rapid-fire pistol shooting. The Move is a natural fit for these shooting events, being easier and faster to aim by pointing, rather than than by nudging a reticule with the analogue stick. Kayaking also benefits from the Move controls, with the paddling action much easier to mimic with motion. Throwing events are fun to play for a while, and mimicking throwing the javelin feels more realistic than pressing buttons, even if it lacks the precision timing you can obtain when using a regular controller. It's best to stick to the classic Monkey Ball mode. There, you must guide the cute monkey ball of your choice by tilting platforms with the analogue stick and rolling the ball around a devilishly challenging selection of courses, which are spread across beginner, normal, and advanced difficulty levels. Each course sports a different and wildly colourful theme that sets the tone for the challenges ahead. The beginner levels are bright, palm-tree-infused affairs with wide platforms, simple curves, and easy-to-reach bananas. Normal ushers in dinosaurs and prehistoric objects that try to smash your ball out of the way, while advanced brings the pain with heaps of jumps, holes, and impossibly thin platforms to navigate. One-off duels in Hero Academy have opposing teams taking turns plunking down troops, making strategic movements around the battlefield grid, and delivering some serious