Game Description: Blue Dragon is an epic role-playing game that centers on a young boy named Shu and several of his friends. These unlikely heroes possess the power to control phantom shadows that mirror the actions of their masters, giving Shu and his comrades miraculous strength and magical powers. The warriors can create and develop their combat styles by utilizing different types of Shadow Change, including Sword, Assassin, and Power Magic. Shu and his friends must use the shadows as weapons and wield their skills to save their world from impending doom. Encountering various people on a planet where numerous ancient ruins remain, the characters and their shadows travel through a world full of mysteries and illusions, where the slightest touch can cause reactions of unparalleled magnitude.
If Gears of War is anything at all, it is compelling evidence that videogames can be enjoyed purely as a visual and aural experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s also a fun, frenzied shooter. But the one thing that sticks out in most people’s minds about this game is the presentation, and that’s precisely where its triumphs lie.
Dan says that Crackdown isn't an unmitigated disaster—I disagree. For a game that received crazy amounts of hype prior to release and was even granted the coveted honor of being host to the Halo 3 beta, it's an embarrassing, incomplete, and hopelessly botched attempt by a developer that either has no idea what they're doing, or lacked the time, talent, and/or resources to bring their concept to fruition.
In my review of Mercenaries, I wondered if it wasn't time to drop the plots entirely from open-concept action games. Let the player run around with a gun, going nuts. I'll be the first to admit that it was a terrible idea. In my defense, though, it was meant as an ironic comment about the poor quality of videogame stories, not an honest call for their removal. Realtime Worlds seems to have run with the concept, though, and the result, while entertaining for a little while, is for the most part an awkward, incomplete mess.
Game Description:Crackdown pushes the action-driving hybrid genre into the next generation with the first ever truly 3D playground. Gamers will enforce justice by any means necessary in Pacific City, a crime-ridden urban center built to encourage the exploration of the full width, depth and height of the city. Coupled with highly innovative co-op gameplay—a genre first—and an interactive world where nearly anything can be used as a weapon, gamers will be able to create a volatile cocktail of judicial oppression as they clean up the streets.
Receiving huge hype and easily ranked as one of the highest-profile titles of 2006, the Gears of War assault machine was successful in generating buzz, selling millions of copies and taking the lead in Microsoft's holiday charge. It certainly became the new reason to own a 360 according to most sources, but was it all that it could have been? I think it depends on perspective.
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