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Should You Buy An Xbox360 Or A PS3?

July 1, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

We are in the age of the following generation of consoles, and it's quite a battle between Microsoft's highly strong Xbox 360 and Sony's equally impressive PlayStation 3. Which console has a cleared path to victory? Which is a better investment for consumers? Which can provide the best gaming experience possible?

Let's face it, these gaming consoles don't come inexpensive. And in the face of a worldwide recession, we are going to want the best price for our cash. So, which machine will be worth our hard earned dough? The Xbox360 or the PS3?

Alas, the solution to that query relies on five key points that each zealous gamer is troubled about.

1. Which machine has a deeper game catalogue? Games outline game machines, not the opposite. Quality, of course, is more crucial than quantity, but a console that has one hundred games has better possibilities of getting more quality games than a console which has fifty games. When it comes to the range of the game library, the Xbox360 is the definitive winner. Having been released a year prior to the PS3, the Xbox360 has been able to amass quite a number of exclusive titles. WINNER: Xbox 360.

2. Which console offers a more rewarding online experience? Basically, this is a bout between Xbox Live and the Playstation Network. The distinction between them is clear, yet a definite winner is difficult. Xbox Live offers a smooth, optimized multi player experience. The Playstation Network is said to be quite laggy. Xbox Live hosts more demos and freebies than its opposite number. Though the Playstation Network has developed a 2nd Life social networking, avatar-based game called Home, the Xbox Live has locked down partnerships with a slew of digital distributors that will stream content for Xbox360 owners. The most important point here though, is that Playstation Network is totally free, whereas Xbox Live costs quite a considerable amount for monthly upkeep. Considering this, the small technicalities of Playstation Network's occassional lag can definitely be overlooked. WINNER: Playstation 3.

3. Which console is more reliable? The PS3 is known as a particularly durable machine. There are even rumors that the Eastern engineers who test drove the PS3 had it play continuously inside a sauna bath… and the unit fared extraordinarily, well. The Xbox360 is afflicted by endless reports of blunder codes involving three red lights - infamously known as 3RL - which suggest general hardware failure that will render the console unplayable. Though Microsoft has attempted to fix the situation by extending the Xbox 360's warranty to an unique three years, the PS3 is the current console that delivers uninterrupted gaming delight. If you need to play confidently about your console, go for the PS3. WINNER: Playstation 3.

4. Which console is more affordable? As of this writing, the Xbox360 Arcade package costs $199, and the base package costs $299. The Playstation 3 80GB costs $399 and Sony refuses to implement a price cut, saying that they already lose $307 for every unit sold since production of the PS3 is quite pricey. WINNER: Xbox360.

Based on the 4 areas of doubt debated above, there is no definitive winner as both consoles have pros and cons which must be considered.

But the more important question is : is which points discussed mean more to you as a consumer. Consider these and you will no doubt find your answer.

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Burn Zombie Burn

May 8, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The latest addition to Sony’s PlayStation Store, Burn Zombie Burn is a deeply addictive game. It much resembles Bizarre Creation’s Geometry Wars and House Marque’s Super Stardust HD in that you face waves of numerous enemies. The only difference is instead of different coloured geometric shapes or asteroids and spaceships, you have to shoot yourself through hordes of zombies!

The basic principle is you have to survive as long as possible by shooting zombies and getting a high multiplier to increase the points you get from each zombie. Sounds easy, yeah? Well there is a slight twist. You do not get multiplier points for killing a certain amount of zombies. No, you get multipliers from burning zombies! You have to set alight zombies with your flaming plank of wood and then blow some zombie brains.

This neat twist by developers Kuju, adds a new element to the game that is not seen in geometry wars or Super Stardust HD. In order to get huge scores, you need to have a group of zombies set alight to get your multiplier up and shoot none burning zombies to get maximum points and drop health pick-ups. Ok that’s fair enough. But burning zombies are much faster and hit harder so much be avoider, and they drop much better goodies but when you kill them your multiplier goes down and you get less points. So when playing you must have a constant balance of burning zombies and normal zombies. This intuitive gameplay element makes this game hugely entertaining, challenging and massively addictive, without it Burn Zombie Burn would be another arcade-style shooter.

As in any zombie shooter, its all about what weapons you have to kill the deadly horde of brain eating zombies. So in the zombie repellent case we have the default pistol and burning plank of wood. As the waves progress, you unlock machine guns, shotguns, TNT, chainsaws, baseball bats, cricket bats, flame-throwers, a brain gun (to distract zombies) and lawnmowers, yes lawnmowers, one of the most effective weapons to plough through a horde of zombies. The more you use each weapon, the more combo points you gain for that weapon. Once you attain 3 combo points for any mixture of weapon you can press a button in the map which will either make it start raining and puts out burning zombies, but increases your score, or sends the zombies into a crazy zombie dance.

Burn Zombie Burn has several two game modes arcade and challenge mode with each having freeplay, timed and defend daisy modes. The first two modes are self explanatory. The Defend Daisy mode sees you defend your girlfriend Daisy who is sitting in your car. You have to keep the zombies away, with burning zombies heal her, but do more damage and you have to keep the TNT away from her as that can hurt her too.

Burn Zombie Burn has a very polished feel to it, and looks brilliant with its cartoon graphics and it’s main protagonist straight from the 1950’s. Burn Zombie Burn sees mindless arcade shooting mixed with strategy and this mix works wonderfully, Kuju really have nailed it perfectly. The weapons, while some are standard zombie killers, are fun and inventive, especially the lawnmower and the various bats. Overall this is a great game to play to blow off some steam and doesn’t need to be taken seriously, unless your after those big scores.

Score: 8 / 10

Burn Zombie Burn is available on the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 3.

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REVIEW: Prince of Persia (Multiplatform)

January 5, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Prince of Persia games have been around since the days of the Apple II and have graced previous generations of consoles like the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The last reincarnation of the Persian Prince on these platforms were fantastic. The first Prince of Persia - The Sands of Time was a platforming gem, whilst The Warrior Within took the fighting mantel. Lastly the Two Thrones melded these two important elements into one great game, finishing off the story brilliantly.

Now the Prince is reborn on the new generation of consoles with the Prince of Peria on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and the trusty PC. The Ubisoft team have gone with a completely new art and graphical direction, with the game looking like a beautiful painted canvas. The new cell shaded design is an instant win, for me, and the new Prince and his sexy side-kick Elika both look stunning.

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The basic story premise is Elika's father and ruler of the kingdom destroys the Tree of Life, which contains the God Ahriman. With the Tree of Life destroyed, Ahriman begins to infect the kingdom and its lands with Corruptions. It’s the Prince's and Elika's job to heal lands known as fertile grounds to restore power back to the Tree of Life and stop the evil god Ahriman escaping. Nice and simple!

You as the Prince has to jump, swing and do your usual platforming tricks to get to where Elika has to use her magic powers to heal the fertile grounds. When I first started I expected to be doing the many button platform moves that engrossed me in The Sands of Time, however, I was met with the same style of "platforming" as in Assassin's Creed, which makes platforming more like the gimmicky quick-time events that plague most video games these days and takes away the skill needed. This did not impress me! To do a wall run and then jump to an opposite ledge, all I had to do was press X (yes I'm playing on the PS3....), then wait till he got near to the platform I am suppose to jump to and press X again. Also, the places where you are suppose to wall jump are nicely marked out for you with what looks like cat scratches along the wall. To be brief, I am not happy with the platforming element one bit! But I will say the animations are superb.

Moving on, once you reach the healing place in the fertile ground it is time to do battle! Each fertile grounds has a sort of boss which you have to fight and kill to allow Elika to heal the grounds and restore power to the Tree. And here is where my other moan is. After the great fighting you could do in The Warrior Within, we get this drivel!! Block....keep blocking, right my turn, gauntlet attack, sword attack the Elika's magical attack then repeat. Fun I say in a sarcastic tone. Yes you can mix it up a bit more and unlock new moves and attacks, and there is the odd God of War style button mashing element, but really it is a pathetic attempt by Ubisoft, again in the mould of the repetitiveness of Assassin's Creed. The enemies are different and do have distinct attacks, but when they do attack all you have to do is press block, then do which ever combo you have memorized.

Once disposed of the enemies its time for Elika to heal the fertile grounds. Once she has performed this piece of magic, you watch as the plagued lands and corruption that resides there is destroyed and the groun transformed magically back to its fertile state. Honestly, when i first saw this, I thought it was majestic. Once the lands have been transformed back to their fertile state, you notice orbs floating around the fertile grounds. These are light seeds, they are what Elika (you really) need to open up new grounds for you to heal and also you can improve Elika's magical powers and your own skills.

With your task complete it is now time to move on to the next fertile ground to heal. Fortunately the ever so helpful Elika has another useful trick up her sleeve. She provides you with a Fable II style compass, but unlike Fable II's disappears after a few seconds. Don't know why they didn't leave it on permanently. Oh well, a little more on Elika! Elika is important to the Prince, as whenever the Prince is in trouble, for example you thought you were playing the Sands of Times and thought you had to do proper platforming but finding yourself tumbling to your death, Elika pours out a magical hand that grabs you and pulls you back to your original starting point of the jump you messed up. Nothing like the rewind ability in Sands of time one bit.... Also she is there to help you jump further with a quick tap of the triangle button or Y button i presume for 360 gamers. She also elaborates on the plot of the story more as you have the ability to talk to and understand more about Ahriman, the Tree of Life etc.

Overall, the new Prince of Persia is a good game. It has luscious graphics and animations, especially when you heal the fertile grounds. However, it is let down the same way Assassin's Creed was let down, it is overly repetitive and it doesn't allow for skill to complete the game, but opts for a a quick-time event styled press a button and let the animations do the rest. Elika is a nice addition but could be used more, and being able to play her in a co-op mode would be fantastic, more so when you are fighting the Corrupted. The story is simplistic and won’t win any awards, with the voice typically American. I'm sorry but when did a Persian Prince have a Yank accent.

I was looking forward to this game greatly as I loved the previous incarnation of the Prince, but with new incarnation I am unfortunately disappointed. Its too simplistic and repetitive and no replayability in it. The other problem is it has the potential to be a much better game. I would recommend people to play it if they have never played previous Prince of Persia Games, but to true fans of the series be warned...

Graphics - 9/10
Story - 6/10
Gameplay - 5/10

Overall - 6.5/10

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