Max: The Curse of Brotherhood Review

Platform: Xbox One Publisher: Microsoft Developer: Press Play
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Platformer Rating: Teen

In 2010 Press Play an independent company released Max & The Magic Marker for the Wii and was not only praised for their work but won some awards as well.  Since then Press Play wanted to continue their dreams by making Max come to life but was unable to achieve this goal until around mid 2012 when Microsoft not only bought Max, but also purchased Press Play.  The thing about being a first party developer under a high profile publisher is that not only do you get a bigger budget but fans across the world will now have you under their microscope and with Press Play’s first Xbox game Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, it deserves every bit of that.

Not only is Max: The Curse of Brotherhood night and day compared to “The Magic Marker” but it is also one of the most charming and best looking platformer I have seen, all for the price of just $14.99.  The characters designs are beautiful, the character’s voices fit them perfectly, and something that is completely original to its own. On the other hand it also suffers from stuttering in cutscenes.  While it isn’t something that makes this game any less enjoyable, it is something that is noticeable immediately.

Unlike the cut scenes the gameplay on the other hand runs smooth through and through.  I did encounter a glitch a couple of times but the gameplay was refreshing and an overall joy.  Max plays very similar to Limbo with the same physics 2.5D Platforming.  I would say Max is Limbo’s colorful twin in all honesty.  Even though the platforming and style is pretty much exactly the same the gameplay is way more varied in Max due to The Magic Marker.

The Magic Marker allows for a variety of puzzles based off of elements.  In each new Chapter you unlock you will unlock a new ability for you Magic Marker that makes the puzzles more complex and in which always keeps the game new and refreshing.  Whether you use vines, flames, or water you will always be getting something new with each chapter. Most of the puzzles are usually a breeze to get through but when offered the right puzzles this game shines in vibrant colors.  Using all the elements together is when Max is at its best.  It does offer some great action puzzles as well.  This is where the platforming really shows while you are sliding down a tree trunk and then all the sudden you need to create a vine to make it to the next gap.  These are exciting sequences that is enjoyable but mostly easy. Don’t worry though, Max does offer a challenge with numerous puzzles and also has many hidden items to make the game even harder much like Mario does.  While I would prefer the main puzzles were all this challenging max does offer a wide variety of puzzles that will always keep you on your toes.


Max is both beautiful and fun.  The story is charming that reminds me of Pixar, Nintendo, Media Molecule, and Rare like characters.  It may not challenge you like a game like Portal would but offers you variety and a unique experience.  Much like Limbo it is a great game and Press play has shown that they are not only a great developer, but have shown that they have the potential to be a superb studio for Microsoft in the long run.

Score Positive Negative
Gameplay 8.5 Wide Variaty of puzzles and fun platforming Much of the game is easy
Artstyle 8.5 Charming characters, colorfule, and beautiful settings Cutscenes Stutter
Story 8 Voice Acting Fits characters
Overall 8.3
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Tearaway Review

Platform: PSV Publisher: Sony Developer: Media Molecule
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: 3D Platformer Rating: Everyone

A game that tries to break the barrier from reality and virtual reality by creating a unique design and throwing you into a beautiful fantasy world.  This is how I would explain Tearaway.  Media Molecule in 2008 released one of PlayStation’s most iconic characters with Sackboy in LittleBigPlanet.  On the other hand the question remained if it was a one-time thing or if they could manage to make another great new ip, but rest assured that Media Molecule returned to the PS3’s handheld brother with one of the most charming and original titles I have ever witnessed.

Tearaway much like The Legend of Zelda Wind Waker will forever have a timeless artistic style that will bring beautiful visuals to your eyes.  Built around cardboard paper Tearaway manages to make this papery world come to life whether it be animals, water, or even monsters.  It is a real visual treat and completely unique to its own.

It is also interesting how they play out the story of Tearaway.  It is about a messenger that “You” and I literally mean “You” will help guide him or her to your world so you can receive the message that they want you to receive. In essence you are two characters in Tearaway.  You are the messenger as well as yourself playing as a god in this beautiful world.  You will see adorable characters on your way that helps tell this charming tale and it actually succeeds in letting you feel as if you’re a god by using Vita’s mechanics to burst your fingers through the screen, shake the Vita to cause the world to shake, or to smash enemies with your thumbs.  No matter what is going on in the world of Tearaway you and your messenger has embarked on this adventure together However even though they succeeded, this story wasn’t something that you will be mesmerized by either and is mostly charming with little substance.

Where the game stands out for being original the gameplay also shows in likewise ways by using the controls as I mentioned before.  On the other hand I have the same complaint as I do with Mario.  It is overly easy and doesn’t challenge you in any shape or form.  Even dyeing doesn’t penalize you.  Instead you will be revived very close by and every enemy you killed previously is still dead.  There is lots to collect though including ways to edit your messenger.  In ways it reminds me of Banjo-Kazooie collecting Music Notes and Jiggies but much more linear and without any challenge I found myself wanting more.  Much more.  Do not take this as having a bad experience though as I did enjoy the game thoroughly, I just wish they would have given me a little bit more, both from a challenging aspect and a length standpoint as it is a short game that can be completed in a few sittings.

Just when you thought games were becoming stagnant Media Molecule shows the world that being creative can often times pique our interest.  If anything this game will offer you a beautiful world with a charming tale.  While it is an easy game it is also fun and an instant classic.

Score Positive Negative
Art Style/Audio 9.5 Timeless Artstyle
Gameplay 7 Fun atmosphere and interesting controls Overly Easy
3D Platformer B Tier = 8 Charming with good controls Overly Easy
Story/Singleplayer 8 Unique idea Short Story
Overall 8.1


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Ryse Son of Rome Review

Platform: Xbox One Publisher: Microsoft Develeoper: Crytek
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Hack and Slash Rating: Mature

Ryse’s debut for Xbox One has been one of the most talked about games since E3 of 2013.  Unfortunately for Crytek I wouldn’t necessarily say that it was good press.  Instead many people dubbed it as Quick Time Event the game.  With Crytek working hard since that point it seems that they may have rectified this issue and even announced multiplayer at one point.  The issue still stands though, would Ryse be a solid launch title for Xbox One or would it just be another hack and slash game that falls short of the mark.

Ryse is a story about a man by the name of Darrius.  The beginning of the tale starts with the murder of his family and Darrius seeking revenge on the people who had done such brutal crime.  If this all sounds familiar please go look at a little game called God of War. The thing is Ryse never achieved the a true sense of character development.   There isn’t much more to the story of Ryse beyond meeting a few characters who you will likely not care about.  On the other hand where Crytek lacks the writing skills they made up for with phenomenal voice acting and great acting all around.  Every character was brilliant and one of the best cast of voice actors I’ve seen in games.

Adding to the voice acting and acting it shows partially because the graphics and presentation is absolutely stunning.  The facial expressions are unmatched in any game I’ve seen and the sense of a Roman war is actually there.  From the huge building to catapults being flung over your head this game is stunning to look at.  The only drawback was that not every character is a perfect rendition.  The main characters are flawless but there is one woman in the game I have to say I just wasn’t feeling it.  It really came with the hair.  The hair just didn’t seem realistic.

The big question was whether or not Ryse would play as good as it looks.  I personally play games on hard difficulty starting off so I did enjoy the challenge that the game offered.  Unfortunately the game is repetitive and has a shallow combat system.  Your three mechanics is Strike, stun with shield, and block.  It seems to be heavily influenced by Assassin’s Creed and Batman: Arkham Asylum.  To give you a sense of things it is much better than the overly easy Assassin’s Creed combat system but poor compared to Batman.  The main draw is the executions which you can upgrade through experience points.  You also have the option on what kind of executions you want to go with.  You can choose from XP Bonus, Regenerating health, etc.  Regenerating Health was the most useful for me as I mentioned before hard difficulty did offer me an enjoyable challenge.  Speaking of enjoyable they do offer a variety of enemies to change things up a bit.  This is where most of the enjoyment comes from actually.  When they are throwing different enemies at you constantly whether it be archers or minotaurs the game can offer some real enjoyment.  They aren’t pushovers either since the enemies don’t just attack one at a time.  They can just all bombard you so be ready and be responsive with your evades and blocks.  When it all comes down to it, the gameplay is largely shallow with some enjoyment under hard difficulty.  If you were to play normal though, I expect this game would be rather boring from beginning to end.

Because of the repetitive and shallow gameplay the multiplayer experience isn’t much an excitement.  While the difficulty seems to be setup nicely this will only give you a limited amount of enjoyment thanks to the lackluster combat system.  While it nice having different set pieces and objectives which I will admit to having fun with it really is hindered due to as I’ve mentioned multiple times, a shallow combat system.  Not even the upgrades in multiplayer pushed me forward in multiplayer.


When all is said and done Ryse is an enjoyable Roman tale.  The story is actually an enjoyment over all but lacks a true character development and there for gives you any reason to care for the characters beyond the superb voice acting.  The gameplay is shallow but not poor either.  Playing through Ryse once should give you an enjoyment if you play on hard difficulty but is poor when compared to higher tier hack and slash games like God of War.  Ryse is a decent title overall but not a reason to buy Xbox One either.  Crytek has really made a name for themselves being graphical geniuses but sadly they also continue with shallow and unmemorable experiences.

Gameplay 7 Fun on Hard Difficulty Shallow Combat
Graphics 9.5 Best looking game I’ve seen on Consoles Every character is not treated equally
Story 7 Good Roman Tale Bad Character Development
Beat em up 5 Wide Variety of enemies Poor compared to better hack and slash games
Multiplayer 5 Interest settings Shallow Combat
Overall 6.7
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Killer Instinct Review

Platform: Xbox One Publisher: Microsoft Developer: Rare Ltd/Double Helix
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Fighting Rating: Teen


Killer Instinct is back and it has been nearly two decades since the original release of Killer Instinct in 1994 by Rare.  Since then Rare Ltd. Has went through some major changes including being owned by Microsoft.  Rare Ltd.  Is not the only developers on Killer Instinct though, in fact Double Helix has joined in on the action and took the main lead on Killer Instinct’s development with some Rare members. Bringing back the nostalgia was a certainty, however it is hard to say that they could bring the expectations as well.  Don’t fret though, this game brings back Killer Instinct with a complex fighting system where your main focus is to string combos together through technical combos using Openers, combo linkers, and enders.  Unlike most fighting games where once a combo starts the opponent has to sit there helplessly until they finish the combo, in Killer instinct you have a chance to do the iconic Combo breaker to break the combo.  This is where you will play chess like matches by mixing up your attacks from light, medium, or heavy.  If you are someone who only goes for heavy attacks which may have a little more distance and power, it is also slower and being predictable your opponent will quickly figure out they need to try to break your combos on heavy attacks.  Don’t just randomly start hitting the combo breaker button though because if you choose the wrong one you will go into a lockout and become helpless for the next 3 seconds. A few other twists on the combo system includes shadow linkers and enders.  Shadow linkers is a quick special that will last you for a limited amount of time and depending on the character you are using could give you different perks.  Anything from more powerful strikes to regenerating health.  An ender on the other hand is one of the most important things you must do.  If you string a combo together for max damage and you do not finish with an ender you will not receive the bonus damage it would have given you before.  For extra damage it is always important to finish with enders.  Of course there is much more advanced techniques than just these that other fighters use but with the quick pacing of Killer Instinct and them promoting you to get in your opponent’s face it is a constant rush while also allowing mind games with the combo breaker system. Unfortunately even though Killer Instinct has a brilliant fighting system it also lacks content that may turn people away from purchasing an Xbox One on day one.  With six characters at launch, online game mode, plenty of unlockable, survival mode, and what is possibly the best tutorial I’ve ever played on any fighting game Killer Instinct allows you to have a lot fun although limited by the lack of story and more characters.  Fret not though, Starting January Killer Instinct will have one new character every month up til June.  You will also be getting storyline between January-March though the release date has yet to be confirmed. Analysis When all is said and done Killer Instinct is one of the best fighters I have played when it comes to gameplay.  The graphics are pretty though it doesn’t scream next gen and unfortunately the lack of content is its main flaw so the choice to get Killer Instinct  would be whether to wait for Season 1 to be over when it will have 15 characters and storyline or buy it now and wait for the rest of the game to be complete.

Score Positive Negative
Gameplay 9 Complex Fighting System Low amount of game modes
Graphics 7.5 Particle Effects Doesn’t Scream Next Gen
Fighting Genre 9 One of the best Fighters I’ve played  Not complete until 2014
Overall 8.5

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Pokemon XY Review

Platform: 3DS Publisher: Nintendo/The PokemonCompany Developer: Game Freak
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Japanese Role-Playing Game Rating: E

In 1996 Pokémon Red and Green debuted in Japan and immediately took off to being one of the biggest phenomenons of all time which includes the mascots Pikachu and Ash.  It is hard to believe that it has been 17 years since the original Pokémon with 151 pocket monster, but what is even more surprising is how long GameFreak has managed to run the main franchise with the same formula and still being a huge success.  Now that we are at what many people believe to be the first big evolution of Pokémon games distancing themselves from the popular sprites that made them so popular to full 3D battles much like the franchise Pokémon Stadium.

As all Pokémon games you start off in a small town where you will get to choose between one of three starters. Fire, Water, or grass types.   This time however you get to choose two starters.  One from the first generation and another from the 6th generation.  With that said there is an immediate change in the game as you step out into the world inspired by France.  Instead of having only a rival in Pokémon you now have an entire group of friends that will go on this journey with you.  Each having their own personality and quirks.  Not to say that they are interesting or anything because they really aren’t.  The story is something that can be followed by all ages and it is really only something that is more of an add-on to Pokémon due to the highly addictive gameplay.  In fact I’ve racked up 100 hours of gameplay since release.  Something that I’ve “never” done so quickly with any release.  The story may not be something that gets you emotionally attached but it also gets the job done with roughly 40 hours of gameplay.  As you can see I’ve played 60 hours after the story so there is plenty of replay ability with over 700 pocket monsters now.

Speaking of the story being followed by all ages the gameplay is like that in many ways.  As many people know Pokémon has evolved from their childhood and is now super popular both with adults and kids, so how can GameFreak accomplish such a hard task satisfying them both?  The answer is all in the strategies that you use with your Pokémon, and with a much wider variety than any Pokémon game I have ever seen you can catch an abundance of Pokémon for your six Pokémon team. While the artificial intelligence is lack luster at best it is somehow satisfying steam rolling trainers at the same time because you know you are training a good Pokémon.  What I am trying to say is yes the game can be easy but this is why the story and Meta-game are completely separated which I will get to in a moment.  In XY the pacing of the game is much faster which may be another reason that I am finding it so addicting.  With the new Exp. Share that you find early on you will now be able to share half of your exp. Points with your entire team regardless if they battled or not.  You have the choice to turn this on or off but it is a great addition for people who do not like grinding for hours and hours.  I use to restart Pokémon games any time I wanted to switch my team because I hated grinding Pokémon for hours so I just decided not to do it at all and restart.  Now I can change Pokémon at any time because experience is easier to get.  You now get Experience points for catching Pokémon as well which actually encourages you to catch Pokémon.

With the overhaul on exp points GameFreak also made the game easier in other ways like breeding Pokémon and EV (Effort Value) points for example.  Once again instead of investing hours in grinding you now can use Super Training to replace this process through a few mini-games which involves you shooting a blow up balloon.  Friendship is also required through the brand new Amie petting machine.  Both of which are kind of boring processes to do but are in no way huge annoyances either.


So looking back on everything I said you will see that Pokémon is still very similar to older games but has managed to appeal to both adults and kids with its more than welcoming difficulty but what about the minor differences?  These are things that I noticed immediately as these minor differences are some of the biggest differences.  This includes experience points gained when catching Pokémon, saving is almost immediately now, and battles/trades now take place from whenever and wherever.  Yes that is right, Pokémon went through a massive overhaul on the multiplayer front of things.  Pokémon has managed to coming as close as they possibly could in being a mmo without being intrusive either.  All your friends are on the bottom screen as well as battles, trades, and a new feature called o-powers.  These O-powers allow you to use short time limit upgrades like exp. boost on yourself or on a friend for a short period of time.  It is an interesting feature that allows you to stay connected with your friends.  And hey if you want to battle your friends in style you can!  Now for the first time ever you can change your characters clothes and hair.  Unfortunately for us there isn’t many hairstyles or clothes.  While you can unlock more hairstyles it is still a small amount of choices.  Hopefully some kind of DLC will come out giving us more options. Oh by the way, did I mention you now have skates?  Yeah that is right, now you have skates which is actually more convenient than the bicycle(which you also get) thanks to the thumb stick.  You have an option to run/walk with the d-pad or just skating around with the thumb stick.  A very fluid and nice feature.

Now finally for the multiplayer part of things, Pokémon XY keeps track of your record through online multiplayer battles where you will truly test how good of a trainer you are.  These will show all the different strategies that can be used and I can promise you if you are a new person to the online community you are in for a real surprise.  It is both addicting and will have you constantly looking for new strategies to make yourself a better trainer.  And with the new Fairy typing it does make the dragon class a little weaker being beat down by little pink blobs.  The only two drawbacks multiplayer that I can find right now comes with Torchic being a gift for early adopters of XY and you cannot do six team random online battles which is a real shame.  You do get use to the 3 vs. 3 battle system but it is unfortunate that you don’t at least have the option for 6 vs. 6.  Torchic’s evolution on the other hand is listed as an Uber Tier Pokémon making it a threat to almost any Pokémon.  With everybody getting Torchic it has been spammed early on so it is best to find a counter for Blaziken early on as you will fight him more than often.

And even though some people was worried about Mega- Pokémon these Pokémon are in no way over powering.  They just like any other Pokémon can be wiped out quickly with the right strategies.  None the less you can only use one mega Pokémon once per each battle so you need to choose widely. Funny thing is that GameFreak has been accused of Mega-Pokémon being too much like DragonBall Z, but GameFreak actually references DragonBall in XY a couple of times like “Their power must be over 9000.”  Maybe it was a subtle hint of where they got the idea, but it actually went over well.  For the more competitive scene it may not even be a justified move making a pokemon go mega over holding an item, as megas do have their own draw backs.


From what has probably been GameFreak’s most anticipated game in years it has both met my expectations and blown them away.  With a dismal story but a near perfect game in every other aspect from its addicting gameplay to its highly strategic online you will have hours and hours with your pocket monsters.

CategoryRatingPositiveNegativeOverall9.3Superb Game


Singleplayer 8 Adult/Kid Friendly No emotional Drive
Gameplay 10 Highly Addicting No Difficult Settings
Multiplayer 9.5 Super Strategic No 6vs6 Random Battles
Artstyle 9 Charming/adorable Not Full 3D
Jrpg 10 700+ monsters Low Supply of New Monsters

Overal  – 9.3

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Grand Theft Auto V Review

Platform: X360/PS3 Publisher: Rockstar Developer: Rockstar
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Sandbox Rating: Mature

I specifically waited for the Multiplayer to be released for this review, and with a lot of problems even getting the multiple running it was once again delayed.  Now after over 20 days I will finally be able to give you the review for what looks to be the biggest release of the year.

For the first time in any Grand Theft Auto game you will be following three protagonists instead of one.  In fact there really isn’t many games that does something like this.  Not any of the three characters in this game is any more important than the other and you have complete control of each character when it comes to clothes, houses, hair, facial hair, or what car they own. Each character also has their own unique background and abilities that you can use in missions which I will get to in a just a bit.

The game starts out 10 years before the main game actually happens where a heist that goes wrong.  Michael and Trevor are on a heist with another friend as well.  Michael gets caught, Trevor escapes, and their old friend dies.   This sets up the game 10 years later where you find Michael a rich man with a horrible family, Franklin a black guy stuck in the hood stealing cars for money, and Trevor a psychopath meth head in a trailer.

Without giving any spoilers away having each character’s individuality is extremely important on how they clash with each other.  Michael just now getting back into the criminal business is extremely clever, manipulative, and really can act as your stealth player with his accuracy.  Trevor on the other hand is irrational, has poor judgment, and will kill anybody he feels has done wrong to him.  Too bad for people he pretty much feels this way about everybody.  And Franklin with his car skills is able to weave and bob in and out of traffic by slowing down time.   Because each are so different than the other while all working together the story plays out in such a way that I wouldn’t have expected at all.  Not only is it the best GTA in terms of stories, but it is also one of the best stories I have ever played.

The game its self is almost just as remarkable.  With every mission feeling vastly different you never feel as if you are repeating yourself like many other open world games.  In fact a lot of games in other genres as well.  You may have to steal a car from an acting studio, fight aliens off when under the influence, fly a plane across the city, or even try to get information from the FIB (FBI) without being caught. Even when you finish the story you can play through a ton of side missions. The biggest attraction to GTAV is the heists though.  With each heist you will go through an elaborate plan on how you can rob this place as efficiently as possible.  This will include using all three members who each get their own cut, some other crew members which will be how effective your heist is, whether you want to enter loud or quiet for example, etc Choosing how to do the heist not only is important on if it is successful or not, but it also changes the entire mission based on what you chose.  Because of this the replayabily is immensely high.  Not to mention each mission has an Assassin’s Creed like synchronization to where if you do each goal in a mission then you get a 100% on it.

If you like cars well GTAV has plenty of that.  Not only can you buy cars through the internet on your phone, but you can also steal anything from a car, SUV, fire truck, bus, Jet, Helicopter, jet ski, submarine, and so much more.  So you don’t want to drive and just want to see what possibilities are in the city?  You can go hand gliding, golfing, play tennis, or maybe you want to race on bicycles or cars.   The city is so big and with so many things to do you will be able to play this for weeks, months, or even years to come.

But maybe you aren’t going to want to play single player for months to come.  Maybe you want to goof off with your friends and now you can with GTA Online.  GTA Online came with a lot of problems and was actually unplayable for many people.  Now that it is finally here I must say that the multiplayer is hilarious to play in with your friends.  Just driving around with your friends in GTAIV could be fun, but because GTAV is setup similar to an MMO you will now be able to setup crews with your friends, buy houses, car garages, and personal cars.  Getting money and ranking up in multiplayer is very important.  Getting jobs, robbing gas stations, or killing other players in the city are a few ways of making money.  Though even though you can get money you will still need to rank up to buy specific cars or guns.  This is where the fun in GTA Online comes.  However because some people can be jerks and just try to kill you constantly you may find yourself wanting to turn on passive mode.  This will allow you to roam around in GTA Online without having to die by other players.

Even though I have so much to praise about this game I still wanted to talk about the complaints at the end.  The customization for building a multiplayer character can be both annoying with having to go through a family tree type setup and the gun mechanics.

I could have brought this up in the gameplay section but I really wanted to wait because it plays a vital role in multiplayer.  GTA has never been known for having the best mechanics for gun play but they have once again continues with the auto target that seems to work to a degree.  Sometimes it targets the wrong enemy and sometimes it won’t target the enemy at all.  Even though the targeting doesn’t work efficiently though, the cover system is actually pretty decent allowing for an extra function in GTA


This game is fun, chaotic, and with a superb story.  It is also a game that could benefit with being released on PC though.  The graphics can be improved but for such a big city it is also forgiven.  The multiplayer can have annoyances but is vastly fun with friends and the story is must see.  With this big of a release and this big of a game it earns all the praise it has been getting.

Gameplay 9.5
Sandbox Genre 10
Multiplayer 9
Graphics 9
Story 10
Overall 9.5
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Crysis 3 Review

Platform: PC/X360/PS3 Publisher: Electronic Arts Developer: Crytek
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: First Person Shooter Rating: Mature

The hyper realistic Sci-Fi Shooter Crysis both gets high praise for its stunning graphics and flacked for some of its more generic first person shooter elements.  The thing is maybe everything you hear on the internet isn’t entirely true.

Crysis 3 is a standard FPS in a beautiful Sci-Fi world where the Ceth Aliens have invaded and is trying to take over the world.  While yes the story is a bit generic the gameplay is fast and fluid.  Every time you shoot it feels responsive and with the abilities from the Nano Suit you can play the game exactly how you would like to rather than be forced to play a specific way. The nano suit is what makes the game unique with its special armor abilities. If you want to run and gun you can turn on armor ability, absorb bullets like they are coming from a pea shooter, and mow down your enemies.  Maybe you are more of a sneaky fellow though.  If that is the case turn on your cloaking ability and stalk your prey. Or maybe you just want to hack turrets to kill your enemies for you.  No matter what you do choosing how you are going to attack is possibly the most important thing in the game as you will need to use your suit in a number of ways to defeat your enemies.  And with a good variety in enemies from human Cell Soldiers to Ceth Stalkers you will find that using your suit in every possible way to survive is necessary.  And while the original Crysis was an open world shooter, Crysis 2 a corridor shooter, Crysis 3 seems to be able to hit a nice blend perfectly.  Giving you both corridor and open scale to see the beautiful sci-fi world around you. Even though the game looks much better on PC and possibly the best looking game the consoles still hold their ground and possibly the best looking console shooter.

I will say that fighting the Ceth is far more rewarding than it was to fight the humans though.  The Ceth is powerful, smart, and can challenge you in a number of ways.  One of my favorite missions was when Ceth Stalkers was hunting me down in high plain grass.  Not only was the surroundings beautiful but watching the grass starting to move downward coming towards you can give you a rush like you’re being hunted by a Raptor from Jurassic Park.  In fact the behavior they exposed was very similar.  Setting up traps for other stalkers and attacking from all angles.  You quickly become the hunted. “Clever girl.”

An all new aspect of the game is the weapons.  You are now able to use Ceth weapons and a Cross-Bow which becomes the most versatile weapon in possibly all games.  You want to blow up a helicopter, sure just shoot an explosive arrow at it.  What about a Small turret?  Yeah just shoot an electric arrow at it?  You want to stalk your prey quietly?  Just use a regular arrow.  The number of ways the cross-bow becomes effective this weapon may quickly become your favorite.  Don’t worry though, they have plenty of other weapons for you and you can quickly modify your weapons on the fly by giving them red dot sites and silencers if you want to.

The downside though is not from what people say and it being generic.  In fact it is one of the best shooters on the market today.  Both beautiful and finely tuned.  The problem is in fact the Nanosuit.  While the Nanosuit is cool and allows for some pretty cool scenarios you become far too powerful the more you know how to use it.  The stalkers for example are an awesome enemy but a complete pushover because the nanosuit allows you to absorb their attacks by using overshield.  If I was a regular man in this same situation it would have turned out amazing.  Even if I was Masterchief I think it would have been amazing.  While it is obvious Crytek was inspired by Masterchief and Halo I still believe they made The Nanosuit too powerful.  Even Masterchief can die in one hit by a sword and many other weapons.

The Multiplayer brings the solid shooting over from the story and allows you to go head to head with competitive people across the world.  Nothing screams superb about the multiplayer and is mostly things you will see in other games such as capture the flag and Team Death Match but they do have one game mode called Hunter.  Hunter allows asymmetrical gameplay where a team of Hunters will try to kill normal soldiers. The hunters are silent and invisible so they can kill the regular humans before the time runs out.  This is by far the most interesting game mode they have and does create some tention while playing multiplayer. It does allow for some fun gameplay to side track you for a while but unfortunately the multiplayer is not the best in the game industry but in general can be solid.

The story of Prophet is an interesting one but a shallow one.  Prophet is possibly more Ceth than human now completing his transformation that he took in the original Crysis years ago.  Telling a story about this Super suit and bringing emotions of Prophet together telling why he was the only hope to save mankind can be emotional but never truly gets you to care about the character himself.   While you do learn a little bit about Prophet and some of the characters that helps him, something is missing from this and his story.    It is like they are telling me to care but not giving me a reason to care.  Pairing that with a generic storyline just didn’t pair together correctly.  None the less it is a great scifi-action story with a bit of emotion to it.  Not something that I will remember for years but the ending was satisfying enough to get me to wonder about Prophet and truly feel like it is the end of his trilogy.


Crysis 3 is a great FPS shooter and one of the best on the market.  It is both stunning to look at and fun to play for FPS fans but the story was generic and never gave me any real reason to care about the characters in the game.  Crytek has proven they can make a game with good gameplay, now they just need to prove they can make a game with good story.

Gameplay 8
FPS Genre 8.5
Multiplayer 8
Graphics 10
Story 7
Overall 8.3
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To the Moon Review

Platform: PC Publisher: Freebird Games Developer: Freebird Games
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Point & Click Adventure Rating: T

Every once in a while something will really catch you off guard and take you by surprise.  Something so beautiful that and so original that you can’t possibly compare it to anything else that you have seen or read.  This has been my experience with To The Moon.

To The Moon is primarily a story driven game.  In fact the game is more of an interactive book than an actual game.  There for the first thing you need to understand is that if you want to go around solving puzzles, leveling your characters up, or shooting people then this is not what you are looking for.  However if you are looking for what I consider one of the most beautiful stories I have ever witnessed, this is the perfect game for you.  This is a love story about a couple named Johnny and River that starts out with a simple but complex plot.  A man by the name of Johnny that is dying is trying to change his life before he dies by letting scientists go inside his mind and altering the events of his past.  He wants to go to the moon.  He doesn’t know why, he just knows he wants to go there.  What is inside his mind will leave a mark on you and your life for a very long time though.  The combination of the beautifully crafted music with the one of the all-time great stories I feel no shame in admitting this game made me cry multiple times and by the end of the game when you truly learn what has happened in the old man’s life was so climactic and breath taking I couldn’t help but cry.  My heart sunk and it truly felt as if the characters was alive.  Don’t worry though, even though the game is admittedly sad it also has a lot of humor thanks to the two scientists who are picking away at Johnny’s memories.   I can’t say much without spoilers but what I will say is that I truly believe if this game was taken to Hollywood and had a good director behind it, it could win tons of awards. You will laugh, you will cry, and you will love this story undoubtedly.

The gameplay is pretty nonexistent and to be honest, it is exactly what it needed.   Instead of saying the story was distracting of the game, this time the gameplay was never distracting to the story. In each memory that you arrive in, you will need to find mementos of jonny’s past to link his memories together.  While doing this you will learn a lot about Jonny, River, and some other events in his life.  You will need to solve a puzzle at the end of the memory by flipping cards over which can usually be done in less than 10 seconds after a little practice.  Beyond that it is all story driven.


Even though this game is more of an interactive story than a game I have been recommending this to anybody and everybody.  Even people who do not play games.  That is how much faith I have in the story of “To the Moon”.  It is a one of a kind and something that should not be missed for anybody who is looking for a good story.  You will laugh, you will cry, and something that will truly effect you emotionally before the end of this beautifully crafted story.  Instant classic.

Story 10
Artistic Value 10
Gameplay 6
Overall 8.7
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Brothers a Tale of Two Sons Review

Platform: Xbox 360 Publisher: 505 Games Developer: Starbreeze Games
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Fantasy-Adventure Rating: Teen

At first glance Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons looks like a simple game that is based around a simple but also original idea.  You can view this game as something intriguing but it is one of those games that needs to be experienced to see the full artistic value.  Something I would consider to be similar to one of my all-time favorite games by the name of ICO.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is about two young boys setting out on an adventure to get medicine across the many lands to save their father. Through an abstract like story without dialogue or voice it starts off with showing the mother die before the youngest brother’s eyes.  Now with the fear of their father dying and them becoming orphans they go through this fantasy world that will have you in shock at how beautiful it truly is.  Some of the settings and the creativity combined had me in awe.  If someone told me this was a next generation game I would have believed it.  The character models aren’t highly detailed but the scenery and the beautiful fantasy creatures such as Giants and Trolls will really take you into the fantasy world that they have created.  Even hours after you stop your gaming session you will remember many of the events and locations you visit.  Regardless of the fear of becoming orphans the two brothers make the game a light-hearted adventure by joking with each other or helping each other and at times it will pull your heart strings.  Whether it be that you save a man from hanging himself after his house has burned down or saving turtles who has been flipped upside down every bit of the world will have you immersed.  The world combined with the music is a one of a kind and a beautiful place.

The simple mechanics only requires four buttons to be used throughout the entire game.  You control both brothers at the same time.  The older brother with the left analog stick and the younger brother with the right analog stick.  The action buttons is left and right trigger.  Each brother is unique and has different advantages based on their size and strength.  Whether it be the older brother to pull heavy levers or the younger brother who can fit in small locations you can solve any puzzle as a team.  The puzzles was never challenging and a breeze but the simplistic control scheme and the originality makes this game a joy to take.


Much like ICO, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a magnificent game that must be experienced individually.  With the wonderful music, abstract story, and beautiful scenery this is a game that I will remember for a long time.  Starbreeze games has immediately got a fan out of me and if you are even remotely intrigued by this game, try it.

Story 8.5
Artstyle/Audio 9.5
Gameplay 8
Fantasy Adventure 9
Artistic Value 9
Overall 8.8
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The Swapper Review

Platform: PC Publisher: Facepalm Games Developer: Facepalm Games
Reviewer: JayWood2010 Genre: Puzzle-Platformer Rating : Teen

The Swapper takes place on a mostly abandoned Theseus Space Station in the distant future.  Not much is known about the mysterious Space Station but reveals clues slowly about the tragic events that caused evacuation.  The mysterious atmosphere paired with the ominous music creates a sense of exploration and wonders beyond the next puzzle.  The main protagonist never talks but instead it gets you to question yourself throughout the adventure.  “The Swapper” Is a device that allows you to make clones of yourself with a single shot and then swap bodies with your clones.  The questions start to become darker as you progress through the game though. “How far would you go to live?  Is it ok to kill a clone? Was the body I swapped with me apart of me?  Did I kill a part of myself while saving me?”  The game begs for you to answer these questions and even leaves you with a decision that could ultimately reveal to you what your take is on the subject subconsciously.  The story isn’t going to make you cry, laugh, or win awards.  But what it will do is make you question a part of life that you may never have questioned before.

With a refreshing and original take on a story it is only fitting that the gameplay is just as refreshing.  What could be explained as a mix between Portal and Metroid “The Swapper” offers both exploration that Metroid is known for and the brilliant teleporting puzzles that is in Portal.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t Aperture, you will not be laughing and the Puzzles are much more intense than anything in Portal.  To advance in “The Swapper” you must collect orbs to open doors, elevators, etc.  At any time you can back track to figure out that wretched puzzle you couldn’t figure out previously.  And at times you will need to do such things.  I myself had to play this game in short bursts because it will make you use every bit of your brain to figure out some of these puzzles.  I was literally stuck on one specific puzzle for over 40 minutes if not an hour.  You can create up to four clones and swap between the four bodies.  The catch is that certain lights will not allow your Swapper to shoot through them.  Some lights will only allow you to Swap bodies, but not create a clone and others will be vice versa.  You will need to maneuver through puzzles to press switches to turn off lights, switch them, open doors, etc. Your clones do exactly as you do.  So if you move right they will move right.  If you jump, they jump.  And in some puzzles you will need to kill clones like they are disposable waste to get to that orb.  With precision and time you can figure these puzzles out but the game does not get any easier giving you new challenges along the way to keep you guessing. Whether it be anti-gravity to where you can walk on the ceiling or a simple puzzle that involves a few clones you will be required to think and think even more.  The difficulty can be a double edged sword as I can see people quitting this game without reaching the final sequence but for the ones looking for an engaging puzzle game with a real challenge this is something you will not want to pass up.  I can say for me that solving a puzzle was more rewarding than any other game I’ve played personally.


With complete originality and the mix of adventure with insane puzzles that will wreck your brain you will not want to miss this game if you want a challenging puzzle platformer.  While the story doesn’t fill you with emotions the questions that it brings up does bring up good conversation.  With what I consider the best two years of Indie gaming I will mark this down as another solid title.

Story 8
Graphics/Audio 8.5
Gameplay 9
Puzzle-Platformer Genre 9.5
Overall 8.8
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