Review – NCAA Football 11



NCAA Football 2011

I love NCAA football – Way more than NFL because these guys are playing their asses off for their pride, the school and the chance at getting rich and playing like the rest of the lazy thugs in the NFL. Every year I look forward to the updated release of this title. Being the little brother to Madden, it’s no surprise that the game feels like it’s been neglected some in the last couple years.

The incredibly fun “Road to Glory” mode that, has you controlling a high school superstar to college star status, received no new features or attention. This is sad because this mode is incredibly satisfying and a lot of fun but it’s a little less so this time around because it’s got the “Been there done that” feel to it. Even the incredibly hot Erin Andrews videos are the same and she’s even wearing the same outfit – Come on EA, quit effin with us. That’s rather insulting.

The dynasty mode is still fun and even slightly more engaging to a small degree with the recruiting allowing you to woo your prospective players away from your competition by making phone calls and planning visits. Only problem seems to me after playing 3 championship seasons, I still don’t have a higher level of prestige as a coach nor am I able to access some of the other points to discuss with players. Not sure what a guy needs to do to make this work better but it’s starting to get a little irritating. What else does a guy need to do to get more 5 star players to come play for his school?

The gameplay itself is by and large untouched which isn’t a bad thing. There have been some minor adjustments to the running game but I didn’t find it to be that bad anyway.

All in all I enjoyed this year’s title but still feel a little cheated by EA. All they did was add a few lines of code to the game and tweak the run game slightly and add the phone calls option to recruiting, slap a new cover athlete on the front and call it NCAA Football 11. As my football coach used to say; “Put your full effort into it or don’t bother trying. You’re just making yourself look bad”

Feed Your Console gives NCAA Football 11 a 7 out of 10

Review – Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty

After 12yrs, countless release pushes, a few botched Beta trials and a wildly successful Beta phase, Starcraft 2 has finally come home. Expect no spoilers in the following review because that just wouldn’t be very nice.

I was one of the many people worldwide who wandered to their nearest electronics store to pick up the sequel a few weeks back at the stroke of midnight. I’ve had many many hours logged playing the campaign and online that it’s now time to talk about the game. Wings of Liberty takes place just 4 short years after the events of the original with the primarily focus on the Terran campaign(which is different from the original which had all 3 campaigns included.) with the player controlling Jim Raynor.

The game progresses at a slightly different pace too – No longer does the story progress with the use of small cut scenes between battles, now the player interacts with key NPCs on the Hyperion Battle Cruiser and can decide what battles they want to do and in what order. Raynor and his merry band of “Raynors Raiders” as they complete tasks in the pursuit of cash.

I have to admit that the single player campaign is the real draw for me to this game. I love the story and really enjoy playing through it no matter how freaking bad I am at this game – Yes I admit that I suck moose nuts at RTS games. But that’s not to say that I didn;t get any online play done. I did and I’ll say this ” I came, I saw…I got my ass kicked – BAD!” but somehow it’s still rather enjoyable if you manage to make it through a game for more than 20 minutes. Starcraft really focuses on the multiplayer aspect. Coupled with a new Ladder ranking system for matchmaking, most users will find it highly accessible and it works well for them – I, on the otherhand, am awful so no matter what I lose.

The graphics are pretty sweet but sadly for me i have to play everything on the lowest settings because my system aint quite up to snuff for anything better. I did get to see it run on a huge game and goddamn it was nice.

This game is awesome – my only gripe is that we only get to play through the Terran campaign in this and will be charged full pop for the remaining 2 campaigns set to come out in the future for the Zerg (Heart of the Swarm) and Protos (Legacy of the Void) Campaign – Afteral, we waited for 12 years why do we need to wait longer?

Feed Your Console gives StarCraft 2: Wings of Liberty a 9 out of 10

XBLA Quick Reviews

Limbo – A side scrolling puzzle game that puts you in the role of a small boy who wakes up in a dark forest who has to find his way out. Along the way are a variety of push, pull, timing events and some careful thought to reach the end. I love the presentation – So dark and creep yet charming at the same time. The controls are simple – Move side to side, jump, push and pull your way to victory. While I admit that I enjoyed the game for the most part, I’m just not feeling the puzzles that require you to get from point a to b in a short period of time. I’ve never liked them. The puzzles are pretty clever and sometimes the simplest of solutions will work for you but it’s not always clear. Cool game, great graphics and an awesome presentation make this a worthy title.

Hydro Thunder : Hurricane – What can I say…I don’t get XBL Arcade games because I find that most of them aren’t worth the high price (that’s a topic for another day though) and I’m not into racing games but damn is this game ever fun. Fast and furious races keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to beat the competition with the hammer pinned to the ground and nitro switched on. Progression is done when you earn enough points to progress to the best boats and craziest tracks. Simple controls, online multiplayer and speed make this a title for anyone who just wants an all-around fun game.

GamesCom Roundup

GamesCom in Cologne Germany is fast becoming a premiere event for the gaming industry and this week was truely a testament to that statement as there was some pretty big news – in particular out of the Sony Camp. Here’s a quick rundown of some things that went down.

Microsoft:

Showed off Kinect and announced that it was releasing across Europe on November 10th, Halo Reach was obviously on display and more details were released as they showed off a new video conveying more background about Nobel Teams story, Lionshead talked about Fable 3 blurring the lines of morality and some details about Age of Empires Online. Overall a rather drab and ho-hum showing from Microsoft.

EA

Came out hard and fast wasting no time showing off the new Harry Potter game with the help of the Weasley twins using Kinect and coop play

  • FIFA 11 is shown off to be the bigest and best version yet (boooooring)
  • Mass Effect 2 coming to PS3 (many fanboys crap themselves with excitement),
  • Dragon Age 2 was displayed with an AWESOME video and release date of March 8th in USA – March 11 in the UK(man have they ever upped the ante in the graphics department
  • EA Sports Active 2 is official across all platforms with David Beckham revealed to be face of the title
  • The newest Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit gets a limited edition with exclusive vehicles se of which are only exclusive to the collectors edition
  • Crysis 2 gets 2 new versions (very limited and only available for pre-order); The Limited (includes 4 in game multiplayer unlocks)and Nano editions (includes a steel case and a statue of the games hero standing on a cab, art book and all packaged in a recreation of the backback the hero sports) and the multiplayer Beta is exclusive to the Xbox 360 this year
  • They also showed off more Dead Space 2; The game is shaping up really nicely but I just couldn’t get into the original
  • Also, The Sims will be released on consoles this fall and a new standalone game is coming next year called The Sime Medieval

Sony

  • The announcement of a new 320GB Move bundle and 160GB model to replace the current 120 system
  • Virtua Tennis 4 announced with ful Move support
  • Insomniac announced Ratchet and Clank; All 4 One (booooring)
  • New trailer for Infamous 2
  • LittleBigPlanet 2 video shows off the new tools
  • and finally, Resistance 3 is revealed though not much else is talked about for this title so one can only assume it’s still quite early in development.

New Left 4 Dead DLC Announced

Valve officially unveiled som details about the the new upcoming DLC for the popular zombie killing franchise. The Sacrifice tels the story of how the original survivors end up in New Orleans and meet with the survivors of the sequel. As we all know, Bill ultimately dies according to “The Passing” but in the end, the player decide who dies when playing it. The DLC will be compatible with both L4D and L4D2 – as an added bonus, L4D2 players will get the No Mercy campaign to play through.

The DLC is due out sometime in October for free for PC and Mac users as always whle us Xbox users get pumped for $$$ – Also there’s a 120pg comic due out to tell the story about how Bill dies.

Honestly, I still play Left 4 Dead a fair amount but I’ve scaled it back dramatically because I’m sick of the same old shit. I’m really happy for the new levels but suspect it may be too little too late for some people to care about. Time to take the wraps off L4D3 valve or perhaps a proper DLC campaign that spans across more than 3 levels.

X10 Wrap up


Today Microsoft Canada hosted their annual Gaming extravaganza known as X10. This is the third trip to the XEvents I’ve attended and the games are always top notch.

Games List and impressions:

  • Fable III – The graphics look like they have been improved over Fable 2, and the character movements seem to have improved. I may have to give this series another go, consider how much I disliked F2.
  • NHL 11 – Graphics look tight and the player movements look sharp, but is there enough of a difference to make this a worthwhile purchase, or is it simply a new number on last years title. Only time will tell.
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit – As far as racing games go this sure looked sexy, good crash mechanics and damage engine on the cars while racing.
  • Dead Space 2 – This will be a big seller for Sequels this season, with improved resolution, new story and puzzles – Issac is in for some real trouble this Fall.
  • Rock Band 3 – The keyboard looks great, new tune list, but I don’t really need more plastic instruments – Hopefully their well be a keyboard and game only bundle.
  • Mortal Combat – Fatalities and graphic upgrades are going to drive fighting fans crazy with this one. Looked great and the system was busy the entire time I was there – definitely a crowd favourite.
  • Assassins Creed: Brotherhood – What can I say… This looks simply amazing and the new game play made my inner fanboy squeal with joy. Possibly the must have game of the event.
  • Halo: Reach – New Spartans, New world, new Halo… Didn’t get time to really sit down with this one, but if your up to date with the Halo series you can pretty much expect the same level of excellence. Firefight is back and dare I say improved.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops – Walk through showed a part of a jungle level taking place in the 1960’s where you are sneaking through tunnels in search of your targets. No news on other locations/characters or Multiplayer – you’ll have to wait a bit longer for that.
  • Kinect Adventures – Balls, Trains and giant rafts… all good party games but I don’t think it’s something you’ll spend hours on – unless your looking for a good (non-invasive) workout.
  • Kinect: Sonic Free Riders – jump on a futuristic rocket sled and skate your way to victory. Mixing a little hover board (think Back to the Future 2) with Mario Cart and a video camera – this is what you’d get.
  • Kinect: Just dance 2 – Ubisoft is taking dancing to a whole new level in a simulation like game that uses video and might just teach those of us with two left feet a thing or two about dancing.
  • Kinectanimcals: Ummmm…. cute fuzzy things you can’t physically touch that respond to simulated scratching… that is all.

Oi! What a night – I’m sure I missed a couple titles from the event, but this is all I could pack in today… the holiday line up is shaping up to be costly (start saving now).

* Thanks to Xbox Canada for inviting Feed Your Console to this event

Review: Crackdown 2

Listen up agent your about to hit the streets and take on hordes of Freaks and Cell gang members, it is your duty to protect the citizens and property of this city… You must not fail.

Ruffian games may have taken the easy way out on this one, by giving gamer more of what worked in the first Crackdown, while fixing a few things along the way. Your super agent is still working with the “Agency” and working to build a new world order and enforce peace on the citizens of Pacific City, by assisting the local Peacekeepers. Orbs, Climb, jumps from rooftop to rooftop, and bigger weapons.

Multiplayer has had an upgrade, binging in new game types like Rocket tag and team Deathmatch. As well as Online only co-op orbs to be collected, requiring 2 or more players to stand near them in order to collect the juicy orb rewards.

While Crackdown 2 was fun to play, and there were some improvements, it felt too much like the first. For more info on Crackdown 2 catch our interview with James Cope of Ruffian Games.

Feed Your Console Gives Crackdown 2: 7 out of 10.

* Thanks to Microsoft Canada for Supplying Feed Your Console with a review copy of Crackdown 2

It’s Finally Coming…

… to PS3 – EA and Bioware have announced that Mass Effect 2 will be available for PlayStation users in January 2011. Catch the announcement trailer here.