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Tony Hawk's Proving Ground Review

50°
371w ago - Though past Hawk games have tried to bring all of its skating together using a story, Proving Ground compartmentalizes its story by breaking it up into three distinct "lifestyles." You've got the career path, where pro skaters like Arto Saari take you around and shoot skate videos with you. Then there's the hardcore path, where guys like Mike Vallely and Dustin Dollin teach you the fine arts of wearing jean jackets and how to properly knock over pedestrians.

Lastly there's the "rigger" path, where guys like Jeff King and Daewon Song turn Proving Ground into a puzzle game and have you place or modify pieces around the environment and rig up some new trick lines. On top of all that, there are plenty of other nondenominational chalk challenge goals, where you'll see marks around the world that ask you to grind, manual, wallride, or leap from one mark to the next. Most of the goals can be completed in three ways for three different difficulties, ranging once again from amateur to sick.

From the three lifestyles, things are even further broken down into episodes, which usually focus on one specific skater giving you a handful of different goals. Bob Burnquist's set of goals has you learning some new tricks, then taking on competition skating. Bam Margera's goals focus more on climbing than on actual skating,...
 

Review: Everyday Shooter for PS3

50°
372w ago - ES is an exquisite gaming experiment that injects endless creativity into a beautifully polished two-stick shoot-em-up. It seems it took Mak a fair bit of personal reflection to end up working from his heart instead of purely from his brain, and we're lucky enough to have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of both.

The comparisons to much-beloved psychedelic shooter Rez and its puzzle-happy cousin Lumines are easy, but it's more important to understand why that's the case -- after all, this is an entirely different genre. Simply, ES takes equal advantage of videogames as both a visually and emotionally expressive medium, inextricably fusing its aesthetic and its game mechanics. The rules couldn't be simpler -- shoot everything, collect the resulting dots for points, avoid everything else -- but the details are finessed to perfection; it's as much about when not to shoot as when to go for it.

The reason is twofold: Your tiny "ship" travels much more quickly when you're not firing, and each one of the eight stages has its own combos to find and patterns to exploit. If the screen is filled with 40 enemies, shooting the only flashing one may take care of them all. It's not always so straightforward, though, and takes a keen eye and ear to discover all of the tricks. There are certainly ways to maximize the...
 

Go! Sports Ski Review for PS3

50°
372w ago - Created by Yuke's Media Creations, the development house behind the wildly popular and successful SmackDown vs. RAW franchise, Go! Sports Ski is an abomination of a game. Its controls are terrible, the feature set is extremely bare-bones (even for a downloadable title) and some of the options and perks are head-scratchingly stupid.

Let's begin with the control issues. Aside from menu navigation, the game uses the Sixaxis motion controls exclusively. Movement, jumping, tricks and everything else are performed by tilting the controller, and there's no way to change this. While turning works decently, to an extent at least (it can be hard to make extreme cuts in the snow), things like tricks and even just using your poles to push yourself can be frustrating, unresponsive and aggravating.

To push with your poles, you need to twist the controller left and right. This sounds simple enough, but the game will oftentimes think that you're trying to jump. And even when it does work, your dude will usually continue to push after you wish to stop, and you can't turn while pushing, so you're left out of control.

Speaking of control, there are issues with the gear that you're allowed to pick. You have three options for skis - one that turns well but is slow, one that's fast but turns like a boat, and one...
 

Folklore Review for PS3!

50°
372w ago - If you had proof that there was life after death, would you live differently than you do now? Would the world change--and not just for the better? These are questions the characters in Folklore wrestle with. It sounds like the setup for a deep role-playing game, but in actuality, this is an action/adventure game with rather few RPG elements that tells an intriguing, convoluted story set in two distinct worlds: modern-day Ireland and an afterlife based on Celtic traditions.

Folklore is an inconsistent game with some minor gameplay and storytelling issues that keep it from reaching its full potential. Nevertheless, even with these flaws, it manages to be an enjoyable journey into the lands of the dead, where our memories take many different forms.

The game is separated into two different regions. First, there is the Irish village of Doolin, where two characters are trying to solve a series of murders. One of them is Ellen, a young woman who's received a mysterious letter from someone claiming to be her long-lost mother, and encourages Ellen to come to the village to find her.

The other is Keats, a reporter for an occult magazine who received a message of his own, one that points to strange goings-on in the same village. The second region is the netherworld, a series of afterlives that are home...
 

Skate Review for PS3

50°
373w ago - Plenty of skateboarding games have come and gone in the years since the long-running Tony Hawk franchise reinvented the genre. Most failed because they simply attempted to duplicate the arcadelike, fast-moving gameplay of Activision's series. After running unopposed for years, Activision's got some new competition in the form of Skate from Electronic Arts.

At times, this simulation-style skating game feels as though it was built from the ground up to be the anti-Tony Hawk, and aside from both games taking place on skateboards, the two don't have a whole lot in common. This is largely thanks to Skate's very cool control system, which puts all of the meaningful controls on the controller's two analog sticks and triggers. It's an awesome system that makes tricks feel more involved and entertaining. Unfortunately, you'll be applying this control scheme to a series of challenges and goals that aren't quite as good, and an extremely unstable frame rate certainly doesn't help, either.

Skate puts your skater movement onto the left analog stick. The right analog stick controls how you move and flip your skateboard to do tricks. For a simple ollie, you hold down on the stick to crouch then snap it up to jump into the air. Kickflips and heelflips are accomplished if you come up slightly left or right of center. Shuvits...
 
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