Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Review

 

The autonomous robotic organisms are back to the small screen destroying their own homeworld in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. The original, War for Cybertron was surprisingly good after the low expectations of the terribly made movie-based games. It had a cult following, but could the sequel ride the popularity of the first or fall short with high expectations?

The story surrounds the last remaining Autobots planning to flee Cybertron on the vessel known as the arc.  Optimus Prime continues his everlasting war with Megatron and his Decepticon minions with all genres of past transformers. Blending the stories of Beast Wars and Dinobots with generation one transformers creates and ends many arguments of adamant fans of the Transformers universe.

Fall of Cybertron tells its story through different characters in each chapter. As the campaign twists and turns the gamer plays as both well-known Autobot and Decepticon characters. Each character has different abilities and styles of warfare, changing up shoot-’em-up gameplay from chapter to chapter. With 13 total chapters, the game builds a connection with each character until the climactic and glorious final battle destined to happen. Unfortunately, the game only lasts for only 10 hours.

The third-person shooter plays and controls just like Gears of War without a cover system. The amount of weapons your character can hold attach at a time is limited to just two. Without a cover system the game has a button to switch which arm to fire from while hiding the majority of your large robotic frame behind cover. Weapons are swapped out and upgraded at Cybertron defense grid stations. Each character is part of a class of transformers.

Within each class, there are certain abilities that aid their best gameplay style. About a third into the game, an infiltrator class transformer, named Cliffhanger, is the smallest class transformer in the game. With a lack of firepower he is forced to fight outside normal means with hand-to-hand executions. Cliffhanger is given cloak ability, giving him a better chance to get in close and kill his foes before he is marked by crosshairs. Each class mixes up the game with different abilities and tactics. The campaign engages in a great story, but it is designed as one big tutorial to prepare for multiplayer.

Multiplayer has numerous forms and is the most expanded section of the game from the original. Building your own transformer has expanded to metallic plating, color weapon, ability choice and body structure along with overall design and class loadout. There are four basic transformer load outs: the agile Infiltrator, the heavy tank Titan class, the support class scientist and the mid-range warrior class Destroyer. After creating your new transformer from several options for various categories, the only choice remaining is which multiplayer mode to join.

Fall for Cybertron has included the four player last stand mode, Escalation, for wave after wave of decepticons attack Optimus Prime, Warpath, Cliffhanger and Bumblebee. Each one covers one of the four classes to create a solid team of a healer, tank, etc. The battle maps have stations for weapon changeouts and purchases of ammo and upgrades along with levers to activate certain defenses against the overwhelming onslaught lasting 15 rounds.

Other multiplayer modes all include human-to-human, autobot-to-decepticon combat. These modes bring the user-created transformer into battle. With each game the users chosen class gains experience to unlock other load outs with abilities and weapons. The multiplayer exceeds just the basic team deathmatch with objective based games to conquer territories, capture the flag and headhunter.

The overall game is a success for fans, but besides the enjoyment of fighting as a massive transformer the game falls short as a Gears of War knockoff. The multiplayer is solid, but unless you have to be a transformer there are plenty of other shooters to replace Transfromers: Fall of Cybertron.

 

Score: 6.75 / 10

Valhalla: Solid story, Great character additions for fans, Expanded multiplayer

Hel: Basic Third Person Shooter, Nothing to attractive to newcomers

Here at Top Tyr each game is played through its entirety before the review process begins. The review is based on entertaining gameplay, story and innovative advancement in gaming. Intangibles and changes between sequels are also viewed.   
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Lego Batman 2 Review

Another Lego game has arrived in Lego Batman 2: Super Heroes. The typical review would explain the great Lego adapted story packaged around simplistic yet entertaining gameplay. The humor would clean up any gaps of mellow points throughout the game. Fans of the adapted movies or comic book characters enjoyed each reminiscing moment re-enacted by the funny and adorable Legos.

Lego Batman 2 is the next of the lasting seven-year formula that has barely changed over the years. The simple addiction of collecting items throughout each level, which unlocks more gameplay in future play-throughs, feeds a great replay value. The breaking and rebuilding of Lego pieces to solve puzzles attaches to a childhood love. The formula has not changed since Lego Star Wars on the previous generation of consoles, because it has never needed to do so.

Nevertheless, Lego Batman 2 has improved the genre in some areas. Previous Lego games have created humor without speech by just using facial expressions and vocal tones. Lego Batman 2 gave its characters the gift of language and the humor was just as effective. Adding speech gave more comic relief for each super hero’s personalities spite or love for one another. Other improvements are less significant, but one worth mention is the new potential for a split-screen co-op. Instead of the mandatory shared screen, now when characters go their separate ways the screen will divide until they reunite to share the screen again.

The relative flaws are all associated with controls. Certain parts of the game create clunky controls for each scenario; Superman stands out in this category. In flight or where third person battles occur there is a lack of inverted controls, which is a standard in almost all games in today’s generation.

However, this is all just a small part to a solid overall game adding itself onto an ever-popular series.

 

Score: 8.0 / 10

Valhalla: United super hero personalities are hilarious, Improved Co-op, Enjoyable Story

Hel: Controls are Clunky at Times, Little Innovation

 

Here at Top Tyr each game is played through its entirety before the review process begins. The review is based on entertaining gameplay, story and innovative advancement in gaming. Intangibles and changes between sequels are also viewed.   

Diablo III Review

It has finally arrived. Eleven years after the last Diablo game in the series and almost four years since its announcement, Diablo III brings evil back into homes and on computer screens. Can Blizzard surpass the dreams of their followers and grab the attention of a new generation of gamers?

Diablo III, following arguably the best RPG of its time in Diablo II, point and click gameplay is streamlined. Many fans feared the simplified design in character abilities and attributes would dumb down the game. Diablo III rid of stop and start gameplay during level ups by taking the power away of assigning each level’s point attributes (statistical upgrades) and simply automatically applying it to keep your character in the action. Blizzard also erased the use of upgrading abilities with each growing level. It was replaced with a rune system, which gives each ability a unique set of upgrades. Each ability can only have one rune upgrade at a time. Creating so many different combinations of moves and abilities the game seems infinite yet streamlined to eliminate downtime from what matters: the gameplay and story.

Brand new classes formed new power structures in Diablo III. The monk and the barbarian are melee warriors, the wizard and witch doctor are caster classes, leaving the demon hunter as a ranged class. Each class has its own unique skill point orb, while spending and refilling it differently. Mana still exists for the witch doctor class, but each class primarily uses skills generators to refill their skill potential orb before spending it on more powerful skill spenders. Previous Diablo games only allowed two skills each assigned to a click of the mouse. Battles are now filled with four more abilities to hotkeys for battle. When those skills kill enemies in battle, they drop gold and now health orbs, neither of which need to be manually picked up. This recreation of health and mana regeneration eliminated the old potion bar and regulated the use for spamming potions making them less important. All of this streamlining keeps the player out of the menus and in the battle.

Although, I have become more familiar with hardcore RPGs since the last Diablo, Diablo III felt a little easier. This downside of streamlining by forcing the game to control the players strategy results in also forcing the game to be easier, because the character cannot vary his or her character strategy into battle. The downside might make the game less hardcore and easier for a new generation of gamers to enjoy, but the upside created a more entertaining experience with constant action and less bogged down numbers game. The problem created from a controlled and limited skill tree: I found myself never changing my hotkey abilities even as new skills were unlocked. By the time I started Act III, my characters skill choices and armor attachments were unchanged for the remainder of the game.

Leah, Cain’s niece, plays a pitvotal role in the game aiding the player in the war against the forces of Hell.

As with all Blizzard games, the story is essential and this RPG is no exception. The beginning of the game establishes its roots in the older games with old settings, characters and even bosses. The nostalgia created a comforting feeling before settling in to battle the realms of evil. The old setting established the foundations and the new graphic potential created a detailed story.

Just a Deckard Cain guided past players he appears in the new one, but with a new companion. Leah, Cain’s niece, joins the cast in the battle for humanity and becomes central theme to the game. Without the prime evils from previous games, Hell unleashes two lesser evils Azmodan and Belial, threatening the world of Sanctuary. The Diablo Lore is explained throughout the game creating a powerful attachment and understanding to the world in peril. Surprisingly, Diablo is less dark and more joyous story than previous games.

The new Battle.net spawned from last year’s release of Starcraft II continues its success for Diablo III. It creates a smoother drop in and out multiplayer, but by forcing gamers to be connected to battle.net at all times, even for single player, can cut off gamers. We saw the early flaws with this idea when servers need to be fixed.

Score: 9.0 / 10

               Valhalla = Streamlined gameplay, Old and the New create in-depth story, Co-Op more friendly

               Hel = Game is Easy unless on Hardcore difficulty, Hardcore gamers lose strategy options

Here at Top Tyr each game is played through its entirety before the review process begins. The review is based on entertaining gameplay, story and innovative advancement in gaming. Intangibles and changes between sequels are also viewed.