Posts Tagged ‘Review’

The Last of Us Reviews Round-up, Naughty Dog’s Masterpiece

Written by Gradly on . Posted in blog, Games, PS3, Reviews, Sony

The Last of Us Reviews Perfect Scores

The Last of Us Reviews Perfect Scores

The Last of Us reviews have begun, and we’re compiling all the scores here for your reading pleasure. You can check out scores aggregaters  gamerankings and metacritic.

Eurogamer 10/10

At a time when blockbuster action games are sinking into a mire of desperate overproduction, shallow gameplay and broken narrative logic, The Last of Us is a deeply impressive demonstration of how it can and should be done. It starts out safe but ends brave; it has heart and grit, and it hangs together beautifully. And it’s a real video game, too. An elegy for a dying world, The Last of Us is also a beacon of hope for its genre.

IGN 10/10

PlayStation 3 isn’t only well-known for its number of exclusive games, but for the sheer number of quality exclusives. That’s what makes The Last of Us even more impressive, because not only does it join the ranks of Uncharted, Killzone, God of War, Infamous and more, but it bests them all. In short, Naughty Dog has crafted a game that impresses in virtually every way. The Last of Us is a true feat.

Its unrivaled presentation in particular sets the bar even higher than the Uncharted trilogy already did, and its writing, voice acting and layered gameplay combine to create what is very easily the game to beat for Game of the Year 2013.

Edge 10/10

The Last Of Us strips away the geek-centric fan service so commonplace in contemporary games. For every highbrow idea explored, developers seem compelled to throw in a lowbrow one to counterbalance it. The Last Of Us resists such compromises, and does so without disappearing up its own backside. Naughty Dog has delivered the most riveting, emotionally resonant story-driven epic of this console generation. At times it’s easy to feel like big-budget development has too much on the line to allow stubbornly artful ideas to flourish, but then a game like The Last Of Us emerges through the crumbled blacktop like a climbing vine, green as a burnished emerald.

Destructoid 10/10

There is more to The Last of Us than just combat and “emotional” story tropes. To touch on its setpiece moments, to detail its beautiful changes in pace, would be to spoil too much. It cannot be said enough, however, that Naughty Dog’s new best creation is complete, and when I say complete, I mean it to pay the highest of compliments. I do not want more from The Last of Us: I do not need more. As the last line was uttered and the credits ushered in the close, I was done. The Last of Us had achieved everything it needed to achieve in order to provide me with everything I wanted.

And it ended perfectly.

CVG 10/10

The Last of Us is a remarkable achievement, and one of those rare games that you never want to end as you approach the finale. It tells a moving story that will linger in your mind long after the credits have rolled, but never loses sight of the fact that it’s a video game, not a film. It’s a masterful marriage of storytelling and game design, and easily Naughty Dog’s finest moment.

Videogamer 10/10

The Last of Us isn’t just the PlayStation 3’s swan song; it’s the best exclusive on the console full stop.

Campaign finished in 15 hours.

GamesRadar 5/5

The Last of Us is the definitive statement on what the genre has achieved thus far. Made of wildly eclectic gameplay mechanics polished to a sheen, bound intelligently and movingly to one of the most affecting narratives in games, The Last of Us succeeds where so many pretenders have failed.

It combines DNA strands from across the genre, yet reworks and recontextualises them to become far more than the sum of its parts. Its storytelling is peerless, as affecting and multi-layered as it is grounded, underplayed and real. In terms of everything the modern action game has strived to be, The Last of Us is the full-stop at the end of the sentence, leaving no more to be said. Until next-gen. If this is our starting point for that, then the next five to ten years could be truly amazing.

OPM UK 10/10

“A work of art in which amazing sights and sounds fuel an emotionally draining, constantly compelling end of days adventure. This is Naughty Dog pushing the PS3 to its limit. Over to you PS4”

SFX 5/5

“Sometimes, you just have to cut to the chase: The Last Of Us is the pinnacle of traditional narrative storytelling in any interactive medium, and one of the finest games ever made.”

Next Gen Gaming Blog 10/10

Very few games have the power to engage you on both a gameplay and narrative level, yet The Last of Us does both with ease. There are several moments that will stay with you long after the credits roll. It’s that damn powerful. Not only does it breath new life into a genre, it redefines it and sets the benchmark. Put the fact that it’s a game to one side, The Last of Us is just an incredible piece of entertainment and another masterpiece from Naughty Dog.

God is a Geek 10/10

The Last of Us is astonishingly beautiful and utterly compelling in every way. Ellie and Joel are fantastic characters, and few other games can produce such edge of the seat moments whilst maintaining the level of near silence that this does.

TheSixthAxis 10/10

The Last Of Us offers an engrossing, impressively robust storyline and a set of characters that’ll remain with the player long after the credits flash by.

GamingBolt 10/10

Naughty Dog’s last PlayStation 3 game is discernibly the greatest offering of the current generation. The story touches the player’s heart and most importantly makes you feel wanted. You will grow to care about the characters and bind in with their emotions. The Last of Us is a sign of the video games industry coming to age.

Kotaku Yes

Art isn’t so much about the what as it is about the how. And The Last of Us, from its overfamiliar beginning to its shocking ending, reflects the courage of its makers’ convictions. It is a terrific feat of storytelling, design, art direction and performance. As it turns out, good things still reside within the house of cliché.

Digital Spy 5/5

With a hauntingly beautiful game world, stunning visuals, and a wide variety of ways in which players can approach combat, The Last of Us is another exceptional game from the team at Naughty Dog.

PushSquare 10/10

An assured, touching, and engrossing adventure, The Last of Us represents a watershed moment for the medium. The unlikely bond that blossoms between the title’s two lead characters is both heartrending and poignantly paced – but the release delivers much more than captivating cinematics. This is a meaty slice of survival action that masterfully depicts the horrors of life in a post-pandemic setting. The conclusion may feel a little hurried, and the multiplayer somewhat surplus to requirements, but this is still an essential tale of survival that will consume you quicker than a cloud of contaminated spores.

Giant Bomb 5/5

The Last of Us is not simply Uncharted with zombies, but it couldn’t exist without Naughty Dog having made Uncharted first, either. It’s a dark adventure, one rarely filled with laughs or joy. There are bitter pills to swallow along the way, and nothing is taken for granted, not even characters. People live, people die. Sometimes it’s fair, sometimes it’s not. It’s still a zombie game, but a sobering one. Take a deep breath.

Empire online 5/5

“The Last of Us is not just the finest game that Naughty Dog has yet crafted and an easy contender for the best game of this console generation, it may also prove to be gaming’s Citizen Kane moment,” “a masterpiece that will be looked back upon favourably for decades.”

Gamereactor 10/10

This is a masterpiece: play it as soon as possible.

Machinima 10/10

Overall, multiplayer is light on modes and it may not expand on the core story-driven experience, but it’s still a thoughtful addition to a superbly executed package.

Cheat Code Central 5/5

The Last of Us is one of the best games I have had the pleasure to play in my life. The graphics are gorgeous and believable; the soundtrack is pure audible gold for the ears; the story and actors deliver in a way that it should become industry standard. However, there is one thing The Last of Us does better than many games out there–it treats you like an adult. It doesn’t hold punches; it doesn’t try to hide away from hard issues; it is just what it is. You are not a stupid gamer, and Naughty Dog realizes this and therefore doesn’t treat you like one.

Adam Sessler(Rev3) 5/5
One of the finest games I have ever played.
The Guardian 5/5

The Last of Us is visually arresting, mechanically solid, maturely written and by turns heart-rending, tense, unnerving and brutal. Check your ammo. Grab your shiv. Just try your best to stay alive.

Examiner 5/5

The Last of Us delivers a lasting experience that will be spoken of for years to come. It shows people why there is still plenty of life left in this current-generation console and why PlayStation still has some of the best properties in the industry today.

Digital spy 5/5

With a hauntingly beautiful game world, stunning visuals, and a wide variety of ways in which players can approach combat, The Last of Us is another exceptional game from the team at Naughty Dog.

However, it’s the studio’s ability to make this past-pandemic world and its contrasting cast of characters feel so believable and credible that really makes The Last of Us stand out from its peers.

Digital fix 10/10
The Last of Us is the last outing for Naughty Dog on the PlayStation 3 and there is no finer way to exit the stage of this current generation than with the performance of your career. Bravo and encore.
GameInformer 9.5/10
The Last of Us is a deeply felt, shockingly violent game that questions what we’re willing to sacrifice and, more disturbingly, what we’re willing to do so save the ones we love. The conclusion offers no easy answers. You won’t forget it.
EGM 9.5/10
Naughty Dog has crafted what’s probably their best game yet—a game that serves as a fitting end to the generation that’s made projects such as The Last of Us realistically possible.
GameSpot 8/10

Thrust in a lawless world, you feel the ache of a society gone to seed. The Last of Us stretches on for hours, forcing you to endure the suffocating atmosphere and unrelenting despair that citizens of this world have become accustomed to. And that time spent navigating the desolate wasteland draws you deeper inside. You read letters from people who have long since disappeared, meet groups who have created a rickety social structure to help them survive life’s many threats. Most important of all, you watch Ellie grow. From feisty warmth to beleaguered exhaustion, her many moods are always twinged with a grounded levity. Her uplifting nature stands in sharp contrast to the people and events surrounding her, compelling you to protect her, shepherd her, and cherish her. The Last of Us is a singular adventure that looks the downfall of humanity in the eyes and doesn’t blink.

Polygon 7.5/10

There are hints of a nuanced message in The Last of Us, but convention wins out too often to easily find them. Naughty Dog commits to a somber tone that affects every piece of the game for better and worse. It achieves incredible emotional high points about as often as it bumps up against tired scenario design that doesn’t fit its world. Survival in the post-apocalypse requires compromise, but The Last of Us has given up something vital.

Other perfect scores:
  • ibtimes 10/10
  • PS-Lifestyle 10/10
  • Digital Spy 10/10
  • Digital Fix 10/10
  • Post Arcade 10/10
  • speciogames 10/10
  • PS-Nation 10/10
  • Giantbomb 5/5
  • Techdigest 5/5
  • TheMirror 5/5
  • Telegraph 5/5
  • Gameblog 5/5
Thanks NeoGAF

Dan Brown’s Inferno Review: Promised So Much, But Failed To Deliver

Written by Gradly on . Posted in blog, Books, Dan Brown, Reviews

Dan Brown's Inferno Review

Dan Brown’s Inferno Review

Don’t get me wrong, I think most readers will actually enjoy the book. It’s very much Dan Brown’s standard thriller that conforms to his secret recipe or, shall I say, his successful formula that worked greatly in his previous books; Robert langdon awakes in a strange city, accompanying by a pretty and intelligent woman, roaming around the city, solving puzzles, chased by some sort of assassins, a catastrophe that threatens humanity. These all are standard Dan Brown but despite all the expectations and promises the book potentially hold, it fails to deliver.

Unlike the previous books, Inferno lacks the amount of puzzles and riddles that I, the readers, come to expect, this is where the chilling factor, that I was waiting for, failed to exist. In his previous work, Brown amazes us with things like Cryptix, 666, Pyramids, Obelisks, Ambigrams, Antimatter, etc, while Inferno has its share of cool things but in my humble opinion this didn’t come on par with his previous offerings.

Albeit the secret group referred to as, The Consortium, it doesn’t hold the same wow factor for things like, The Priory of Sion, The Freemasons, Illuminate, Knight Templars, Holy Grail, Opus Dei, CERN. These were sexy topics in which Dan Brown managed to stand out mixing reality and fiction altogether. The absence of conspiracies, secret societies or covert esoteric groups is obvious in this book, unfortunately this was a theme that worked perfectly in the previous books.

There are a lot of fascinating Renaissance ideas and philosophies that were available at Brown’s disposal were only addressed lightly or never mentioned at all such as Galileo, Alberti, and others. It seems like Dan Brown wouldn’t like to address the subjects he discussed in his previous work. I also felt some subjects were entirely forced; things like the use of Transhumanism move as scary topic feels completely unnecessary, the general theme of putting Overpopulation and Dante’s Inferno (recreating hell on earth) seems forced as well. However, I was expecting a thrilling journey that truly takes advantage of the seven sins and the nine circles of hell.

But, this is still entertaining, with Brown’s own style of putting plot twists and turns getting readers hooked with every page turn to expect the unexpected. As always, readers will be overwhelmed by the amount of details, locations and the fascinating history behind them.

Against all odds, Dan Brown still has the ability to keep readers up late at night reading ‘just one more chapter’, this is why the guy is so talented and where he really excels.

God of War: Ascension Reviews Round-up

Written by Gradly on . Posted in blog, Games, PS3, Reviews

God of War: Ascension

God of War: Ascension

With few days lift for the God of War: Ascension to hit store shelves, reviews are up now all over the Internet. The game has received mostly positive reviews. A round-up of prominent reviews are right below:

Polygon: 7/10

“God of War: Ascension is a pair of halves that don’t add up to a cohesive whole. The multiplayer succeeds at making God of War work as a cooperative and competitive experience, but doesn’t have the depth to exist on its own. The campaign feels derivative and lacking the forceful confidence that made the series a showpiece for cinematic character-driven action games. When Ascension works, it still does what no other game save God of War manages to achieve. But it lacks the vision and force to stand up to the rest of the series.”

Official PlayStation Magazine UK: 8/10

“God Of War: Ascension is a fantastic game, just one that quite can’t compete with the true greats of the genre, like Castlevania: Lords Of Shadow. Whether multiplayer was a distraction that led to standards ever so slightly slipping in single-player is debatable. With such a strong combat system and beautiful looks, Kratos’ prequel could have eclipsed them all with a handful of key tweaks. Not quite the murdery meteoric rise we were hoping for then, but certainly not a fall from grace either.”

Edge: 7/10

“While this series’ singleplayer template is showing its age, there’s plenty in Ascension’s multiplayer that deserves to survive the transition to PS4.”

GamesRadar: 3.5/5

“God of War: Ascension is confident, executing the franchise tropes flawlessly with an amount of self-awareness not often seen in gaming. It knows it’s good–it knows it doesn’t have to try hard to be good–but it struggles to be anything more than that. While it’s worth experiencing for the massive battles, remarkable cinematic moments, and strong combat, it doesn’t feel like a necessary chapter in the God of War franchise.”

Destructoid: 9/10

“God of War has never looked or played better than this. Kratos has never been as deep or interesting as this. They’ve set the bar so high that I have no idea how they’ll be able to follow this one up. Sony Santa Monica should be proud. Series fans should be proud.”

Gamespot: 8/10

“The single-player is where you should spend your time. No, it doesn’t quite reach the audacious and rage-filled moments of God of War: Ascension’s predecessors, nor does it move the series forward in any way, but it’s skilfully put together, and wonderfully satisfying to play.”

Videogamer: 7/10

“The campaign is simultaneously more of the same and less of the same, being marginally shorter than God of War III’s story, yet lacking that game’s ferocity and pacing. It arguably has the lowest ‘wow’ factor of the four mainline games to date, and in a series that trades on spectacle, that’s not the best sign. Yet the multiplayer component is as fresh as the single-player is familiar.”

PlayStation LifeStyle: 8.5/10

In the end, single-player is still very much worth the price of admission even without multiplayer, if only for the combat and puzzles.”

TheSixAxis: 8/10

“It’s a fun ride – there are some lovely set pieces – but it’s largely a ride to a conclusion we already know and without enough focus to make it an unforgettable experience. Kratos’ backstory is fleshed out, his motivations explained and the rest of the series built on solid foundations, but is this really an essential slice of the story?”

The Telegraph: 4/5

“Ascension is a highly-accomplished if not completely fulfilling rampage. There’s a base level of quality that hasn’t slipped from the excellent God Of War III – this looks even better, puts things onscreen that are, somehow, even bigger. But this technical muscle isn’t given the best stage on which to oil and flex, thanks to a story that simply idles the roaring engine of death that is Kratos, and keeps the series ticking over until the next, more substantial step forward.”

Machinima: 8.5/10

iPad mini and iPad 4th-gen Early Reviews Round-up

Written by Gradly on . Posted in Apple, blog, Gadgets, iPad, Reviews

iPad mini and iPad 4th-gen Early Reviews Round-up

iPad mini and iPad 4th-gen Early Reviews Round-up

iPad Mini and fourth-generation iPad reviews start hitting the web. The reviews are generally positive, check some of them right below:

TIME:

Even though this screen isn’t state of the art, it’s O.K. If you’ve ever laid your eyeballs on the ultra-smooth text rendered by the Retina iPad, its text will look fuzzy by comparison, especially at teensier type sizes. But the tradeoff it presents compared to the 7-inchers — fewer pixels, but more space — is reasonable enough.

AllThingsD:

In shrinking the iconic iPad, Apple has pulled off an impressive feat. It has managed to create a tablet that’s notably thinner and lighter than the leading small competitors with 7-inch screens, while squeezing in a significantly roomier 7.9-inch display. And it has shunned the plastic construction used in its smaller rivals to retain the iPad’s sturdier aluminum and glass body.

Guardian:

What will surprise you is the weight. The specs already show that the iPad mini is lighter than the Kindle Fire, 308g v 395g (and 340g for the Nexus 7); even if you add on a Smart Cover, it’s still lighter than the uncovered Kindle Fire. It’s thinner too. This is a device that will be ideal for holding in one hand for reading on train rides or other commuting; or you might even forget it’s in that coat pocket.

Engadget:

In fact we found the brightness and color reproduction to be improved over the iPad 2, comparable to the latest Retina displays. Colors are very pleasing to the eye and viewing angles, as ever with an Apple display, do not disappoint. You can line up as many friends as you like and sit them shoulder-to-shoulder, they’ll all have a bright, clear picture. Yes, mini owners may have to make do with some resolution envy, but they at least won’t be lacking in any other regard.

The Verge:

And it does raise the floor here. There’s no tablet in this size range that’s as beautifully constructed, works as flawlessly, or has such an incredible software selection. Would I prefer a higher-res display? Certainly. Would I trade it for the app selection or hardware design? For the consistency and smoothness of its software, or reliability of its battery? Absolutely not. And as someone who’s been living with (and loving) Google’s Nexus 7 tablet for a few months, I don’t say that lightly.

TechCrunch:

While we’re on the subject of the screen, let’s not beat around the bush — if there is a weakness of this device, it’s the screen. But that statement comes with a very big asterisk. As someone who is used to a “retina” display on my phone, tablet, and even now computer, the downgrade to a non-retina display is quite noticeable. This goes away over time as you use the iPad mini non-stop, but if you switch back a retina screen, it’s jarring.

Telegraph:

On the other hand, what will make some think twice about buying an iPad mini is the price. Starting at £269 for a WiFi only model, this is £100 dearer than the Kindle Fire HD or the Nexus 7, which is now available in a 16GB version for £159.

Whether it’s worth it depends on how much of a premium you put on great design and a vast ecosystem of apps. Apple will sell a lot of these little beauties, that’s for sure.

CNET:

The iPad Mini is a design shift from the iPad, and perhaps the biggest one in the iPad’s entire history. Despite how popular the iPad’s been, it’s not really a device that’s very comfortable to use when not sitting down or at a desk. It’s a use-when-you-get-there device, or use-when-comfortably-seated. An iPhone or iPod Touch is truly mobile, and the iPad is only halfway there.

SlashGear:

Apple quotes up to 10hrs of wireless browsing over Wi-Fi for the iPad mini, or up to 9hrs if you’re using the tablet’s cellular connection. In practice, with a mixture of browsing, some video playback, games, music – both locally-stored and streaming – and messaging, we comfortably exceeded Apple’s estimate. In fact, we exceeded 11hrs of use before encountering a battery warning.

Fox News:

Those tablets don’t have the complete experience that the iPad does. Come on: The iPad is still the gold standard for tablet computing after all. With stellar hardware and hundreds of thousands of apps, the iPad is the Kleenex of facial tissue. The Tivo of DVRs. It has all the perks of using an iOS device: AppStore, iMessages, FaceTime, etc.

And the iPad 4th-generation:
Telegraph:

In my testing, battery life seems to have remained the same despite the processor, and so have the cameras. In fact, the camera is one of the places where the impact of the A6X processor can be seen: taking pictures is an astonishingly fast and picture quality is improved thanks to the A6X’s image signal processor.

The Verge:

The fourth-generation iPad is the very definition of an iterative change: Apple made important things better, but neither overhauled nor revolutionized anything. If the iPad’s history is any indication, the fourth-generation iPad’s advantages over the third-gen model will be most apparent two years from now, when apps are designed for the better processor and the Lightning connector has spawned a much larger universe of accessories. Then you’ll want the extra power and the adapter-free lifestyle.

For now, if you’re within your return window you should probably swap for the newest iPad, but if not? Rest assured you’re not really missing that much. Not yet, at least.

TechCrunch:

If you were going to get an iPad before, obviously, you’ll want to get this one now. In fact, you don’t even have a choice — Apple has discontinued the third-generation model. The prices remain the same across the board as do all of the other features (WiFi/LTE, Retina display, etc).

Yes, it is kind of lame for those of us who bought third-generation models that Apple updated the line so quickly, but well, that’s Apple. To me, the fourth-generation leap doesn’t seem to be nearly as big as the leap from the first to second generation or from the second to third generation, so perhaps take some solace in that.

SlashGear:

The third-generation iPad arguably didn’t need refreshing; in fact, if Apple hadn’t opted to change to Lightning, it could realistically have held off changing its largest tablet until early 2013, as per its typical yearly refresh cycle. That makes for a reasonably straightforward upgrade decision if you’re a 3rd-gen iPad owner. Unless you’re desperate for Lightning – perhaps you’ve also got an iPhone 5, and want to use all the same accessories rather than buy the adapter dongle – then we’re yet to see apps that really demand the potent A6X chipset.

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