Top Xbox 360 games of 2009

May 26, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Xbox 360 is still arguably the most popular next gen console out there, mainly due to an impressive array of exclusive titles found only on that console, and Microsoft's ability to flash enough cash to buy titles previously exclusive to other systems, such as Final Fantasy. With this dominant approach, the Xbox 360 continues to offer a range of great games. Nearly halfway through the year, we list the three most impressive games to emerge on the system thus far;

#3: The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

We covered this game in an earlier preview, and Dark Athena is certainly enjoying the praise it deserves. Not only a sequel but also more of an expansion, this title features a port of the original Butcher Bay Riddick game, adding new content and a multiplayer option that the fans were crying out for. This game is undoubtedly one of the best movie-based games ever released.

#2: Halo Wars

Probably one of the most well loved gaming franchises in the world, Halo continues to dominate even as the developers, Bungie, break into new ground. Halo wars is the first game in the franchise to break away from the First person Shooter genre, instead playing as a real time strategy game. It's art style is unique, combat is intriguingly diverse, and it's singleplayer campaign should be pretty interesting as well for fans of the series looking for answers. This expands the Halo universe even further and is a must have for fans of the series.

#1: Star Ocean: The Last Hope

Serving as a prequel to the wildly popular Star Ocean franchise, The Last Hope was eagerly anticipated by fans the world over. From developers Square Enix, this title was always going to be a deep, emotional and gorgeous game to play. Bringing the entire galaxy to bear in an adventure which will pit your RPG skills against a host of galactic enemies, Star Ocean: The Last Hope does everything you'd expect from a Square Enix game, and does it with style and beauty.

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Star Ocean: The Last Hope

March 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Star Ocean is a long-lived and enduring franchise which first appeared all those years ago on the Super Famicom. A sequel followed,Star Ocean: The Second Story, on the 3D Playstation in the late nineties. Over the years, numerous more Star Ocean games have been released, all of which expand on and refine the original action-oriented role-playing game formula. Square Enix have now developed a next gen entry into the pantheon; Star Ocean: The Last Hope, which they promise will take the much loved franchise on a new and fresh direction.

Combat is dealt with in real time, with your enemies actually visible upon the field on vision, with the player able to dip in and control the various characters at their disposal. The Last Hope expands upon the usual formula by allowing use of up to four characters at a time instead of three. Switching between characters is done with the left and right bumpers.

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Another new aspect to the game is BEAT, a function utilized to affect the general posture of your character. This can be manipulated to give your character a more passive or agressive stance for example. A completely new feature to the series is this: when an enemy locks onto you and charges you, holding down the B button allows you to use the analog to slip around behind him as he reaches your position, allowing you a chance for a critical strike.

Visually this game is beautiful, as you would expect from a Square Enix title.The special cutscenes have been handled by Visual Works, the studio that helped the create the notoriously detailed and gorgeous cutscenes from the Final Fantasy series. In The Last Hope, vibrant worlds and gorgeous characters form to create a typically engrossing RPG. Gameplay is polished and works well, keeping the flow just right whilst retaining many of the traditional RPG elements you wouldn't want to lose.

Perhaps the best thing about Star Ocean; The Last Hope is that it is intended as a prequel, and so is the perfect place for newcomers to the series to enter into the world of Star Ocean. For veterans of the franchise, there will no doubt be the noltalgia of the earlier games flowing through this title. Star Ocean; The Last Hope could well be the best RPG released thus far for the Xbox 360.

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