Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fable III | Review

Synopsis: What kind of ruler will you be? Fable III will help you with your little identity crisis whether you are a favored leader or a hated overlord. The third entry in the Fable series takes you back to the kingdom of Albion, fifty years after the events of Fable II. The land is in the middle of an industrial revolution and the citizens are in an uproar regarding how your brother, Logan, is acting as king. To go along with the high production value of this title, such stars as Simon Pegg, Sir Ben Kingsley, and last but certainly not least, John Cleese have lent their voices to the title adding that blockbuster touch. Like Fables past, you will be faced with a number of difficult decisions that will ultimately effect who will be your friends or enemies, but this time around comes online coop, so enough with what this title has to offer and let’s get down to brass tacks.

Praise: To start, the folks at Lionhead did a great job at making Albion a beautiful kingdom, with many sites and environments to take in on your journey. The voice acting is also very fitting to the characters and everyone loves John Cleese advising you on what to do. I had previous tried Fable 1 and 2 and while both were good games, I just couldn’t really get into the games, but with Fable 3 I was hooked just after a couple hours, mostly by the story, choices, and character progression. The choices you have to make is probably the best part of my playthrough as I actually had to put thought into the decisions and try to weigh the outcomes, at times wishing I could go back and do things differently. The online coop is easy to get into allowing the players to do quests together, get married, have children, trade items, and become business partners for more funds.

Gripes: I came across some issues during my playthrough that need to be addressed in the review, starting with the video cut scenes as they seemed to be blurry and choppy at times playing on an HDTV. There is also a number of “filler” quests in which you have to earn guild seals to progress the storyline which tended to be dull and tedious at time. After playing online with a few different people, I had noticed that the online aspect was rather buggy, as my character’s would stop moving, so it seemed like I would just float through Albion without motions and would tend to end up in loading screens at random times. Lastly, I found the story and gameplay encountered amazing on my quest to confront the tyrannical king, but without giving away any spoilers, felt that the rest of the game slowed way down and l just wanted to complete the game.

Overall, Fable III is an engrossing good time, with great replay value as immediately after completing my playthrough, as the do-gooder everyone liked and keeping promises made, I wanted to go back and play as the tyrant to see how the story differs. Whether you are new to the series or a die-hard fan, there is enough background to not be lost as to what is going on in this newest entry. Also, there is a lot of dry and subtle humor to keep you smiling throughout the 20 plus hours it takes to play through the story.

Mashbuttons.com gives Fable III a 8 out of 10.

Fable III is available now for the Xbox 360 and PC.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Epic trailer for what looks to be an epic Wii title

What better way to show off a potentially epic title like Epic Mickey than to release an epic trailer for the title. Okay, enough word play, but really this game looks like it will live up to it's title. In the trailer you will get a glimpse of characters and worlds your little friend Mickey will encounter. Expect to see Epic Mickey for the Wii on store shelves November 30th.

Fallout New Vegas | A Review

As I began to boot up Bethesda's latest in the Fallout series, I couldn't help but stave off a grand sense of deja vu.  Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?  Well, that really depends on how you felt about the previous installment in the beloved franchise.

If you've played Fallout 3, you'll be immediately at home with the newest version.  This time the backdrop is different (Las Vegas and surrounding desert), and your character is different (you play a courier who narrowly escapes death trying to uncover why), but the gameplay has hardly changed.
Who doesn't love a hero in a cowboy hat?
Before we get into gameplay, lets talk story...you play the role of a courier sent to deliver a package.  On your way you're picked up by a man, one Benny Gecko, dressed in a checkered suit, with two of his goons.  They want what you're delivering, and leave you for dead in a shallow-grave in the Mojave desert. This is all in the first 3 minutes of game, so are you really dead?  No, you're found by a robot (you'll encounter many in the Mojave Wasteland), who takes you to a nearby town, and upon your recovery, you'll create your character and attributes, much in the same way you did in Fallout 3.  By answering questions a certain way, viewing a few ink-blot tests, the game will create a "best-fit" that you can fine-tune as you see fit.  Now it's on to finding out who shot you, and all of the fun that comes along the way.
Part of the clever ways to define your character and stats

Interesting enough, the location of New Vegas didn't actually suffer a direct nuclear attack (like the Capital Wasteland did from Fallout 3), so the action actually comes from two rival factions.  First, there's the New California Republic, and then the Caesar's Legion, who have been fighting each other for some time.  As you play through, you'll encounter other groups as well, like the Powder Ganger's, the Great Kahns, and of course the Brotherhood of Steel (wouldn't be a Fallout game without them) and depending on who you decide to partner with, your experience (and subsequently, your missions) will vary.  Fallout has never been one to shy away from a ton of content, and you won't go hungry here, there's so many missions, side-missions and locations to find, you'll likely easily clock in 40-60 hours relatively quickly, and depending on how you play, if you really try to explore everything you'll likely be able to put in over 100 hours without blinking. 

Gameplay here hasn't changed much since the last time you charted out.  You'll still find plenty to love exploring the terrain, and "finding" new places, and adding to your ever-growing list of quests/side-quests.  Though shooting without the V.A.T.S. system is a little more forgiving this time around, you'll still find yourself using it as accuracy and efficiency are much better in that mode than free-shooting.  If you've played any of Gearbox's Borderlands, you'll have a little bit of a transition back to the more stats based shooting.  I long for a shooting engine more akin to Borderlands myself, but hey, you can't have it all.

Of course this all sounds pretty swell, right?  Well, it is, unless you didn't like Fallout 3.  If you did, not only will you enjoy this one as well, you'll be right at home with the mechanics, as playing the previous title will ensure the learning curve is little to none.  Sometimes you'll feel like you're playing a really large add-on/DLC pack, but if you were one who couldn't get enough of the 5 DLC packs they released for Fallout 3, this one's for you.

Graphics get a bit of a bump here, but mostly in the sharpness, as seems they borrow alot of the textures from the previous game.  Sound is good, and voice acting is pretty great, considering all the voice-talent behind it (Matthew Perry, Ron Perlman and Danny Trejo to name a few).

Overall Mashbuttons.com gives Fallout: New Vegas an 8.5 out of 10.  Once again, you will find a solid RPG package, delivering some of the best bang for your buck value anywhere.  Available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Games for Windows PC.

*Note: Fallout: New Vegas was provided by Bethesda Softworks for our editorial consideration.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tron Evolution multiplayer trailer has me drooling on my keyboard

Since the sequel to the film has been announced, I have been amped for all things Tron lately and I am quite sure I am not the only one. Disney Interactive has provided the below multiplayer trailer for the available online modes and let me finish this post with......light cycles!

White knuckes got you down, Deep Silver has a solution for that!

This just in from those comical folks at Deep Silver, a white knuckle cream to prevent you from those embarrassing moments. Check out the infomercial and testimonials to brighten your Thursday and prepare you for the gravity defying Nail'd.

Get over here! Mortal Kombat tells of Scorpion's past

Warner Bros, the masters holding the Mortal Kombat franchise has released a new trailer showing the history of Scorpion, showing how he went from human to hell spawn along with the start of his rivalry with Sub-Zero. Pretty entertaining, I definitely suggest giving it a peek before pre ordering this beast of a fighting title.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Front Mission Evolved | Review

Synopsis: Front Mission is back to the future, 2171, to be specific in this recent installment to the series, players are put in the third person perspective of both the wanzers and pilots. What’s a wanzer you ask; well it is a codename for wanderpanzers, which is an armored humanoid battle vehicle that you will pilot in a number of battles around the globe. Toting the new “Evolved” to the title brings in a number of new features to the gameplay, such as third person perspective, online gameplay, and the ability to play as the pilot, Dylan Ramsey, without his wanzer. Without any further anticipation, get ready to arm your wanzer and take to the battlefield in this review of Front Mission Evolved.

Praise: The extent of my mech or wanzer experience lays solely with Front Mission for the DS, Mech Warrior 2, and F.E.A.R. 2 as there aren’t a lot of these types of games out there. I was however pleasantly surprised by this title as the gameplay is fast and fluid while the customization options for your wanzer’s arms, shoulders and backpack are virtually limitless. With each kill of the opposition you will earn cold hard cash to throw new weapons to your artillery along with skills and abilities so that each mission can potentially play differently. The single player story mode is great practice before taking your wanzer online for some heavy metal destruction, and the level system was a smart move to show off bragging rights and earn new weapons, unfortunately, I am only a level 8 so far, which means no bragging from me…yet. The graphics look good if not great most of the time, but one thing that made me fall in love with Square years back is the cinematic cut scenes, in which there are a plenty that look amazing as expected.

Gripes: To start I did not like the gameplay when you play as pilot Dylan without his wanzer as it felt really generic. There is also this feature called EDGE which can be used once charged but I did not notice any difference or benefit as is just seemed to turn the screen grey and the enemies red. While I did not have a problem trying to find games online, I did notice I would play the same people a couple times in one sitting, which kind of worries me about the online community for this title, as it normally doesn’t last long before no one else is playing, luckily there aren’t many games in the mech genre. There isn’t much replay value to the single player campaign which lasts about 7 to 8 hours playing on normal, without being too much of a challenge to complete.

Overall, Front Mission Evolved was rather fun to play through aside from the times played without my wanzer. Though I mentioned there isn’t much replay value to the single player campaign, it is a great way to learn how to play before taking your battle online, as that is where most of the fun is. Diehard fans of this genre will like having a new title to play, though controls seem to be easy enough to pick up and play without the technical customization options found in previous titles, action is fast enough to keep the matches coming. Wanzer up cowboy and keep an eye out for me, as I will be playing this online for a while.

Mashbuttons.com gives Front Mission Evolved a 7 out of 10.

Front Mission Evolved is available now for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes | Review

Synopsis: It is time to review yet another Capcom title, this time it will be Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes for the Nintendo Wii. Samurai Heroes is the recent action beat em up game, where you play as one of a dozen playable warlords working to rewrite history in the quest to rule 16th century Japan. Along with more than two handfuls of playable characters, you have the ability to choose a supporting general to help lead your armies, and decisions made throughout gameplay directly affect the characters in which you will encounter as either friends or enemies. Fans of the Dynasty Warrior games may want to pay attention to this one.

Praise: You can tell this is a Capcom title through and through with the visual art style and white knuckle fast action. Whether you are trying to take control of the numerous camps in each level or trying to just see how big your hit combo can reach, there is no shortage of action or enemies to take out. There is a lot of replay value behind Samurai Heroes as each characters story plays out differently and with each character’s weapon being different, it makes for a different experience with each playthrough. There is also an RPG element to this game as you level up, earn money and natural resources to upgrade equipment, and learn new skills after each level.

Gripes: I don’t know if I am one of the few or one of the many that do not really enjoy this type of game, but there is a LOT of button mashing in this game, even though there are a number of different moves and abilities, it just seems that with the large amount of enemies coming at you at one time, it is just as effective to just keep pressing buttons as it is to try and deliberately nail down combos. The levels and characters all look like carbon copies with the exception of playable characters and bosses, while levels seem to be the same objectives and similar maps with the objective being to take the boss.

Overall, Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes us a button masher’s dream and seeing that it is similar to the Dynasty Warriors titles, fans of the Temo Koei franchise may be interested in getting their hands on this title until that next action beat em up is released. While there is a lot of replay value to this title and 2 player offline coop to keep you and your friends playing with each character for a while. Though this is not my cup of tea, it is a pretty solid title for the genre.

Mashbuttons.com gives Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes a 5 out of 10.

Sengoku Basara: Samurai Heroes is available now for the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lost in Shadow dev diary reveals the mysteries

In probably the most clever dev diary I have seen, the new Lost in Shadow diary is pretty cool. With questions fielded and answered by shadows, revealing the reasoning the behind how the main character was made and the perspective size of the castle. After my hands on with this title's demo, and hearing more about it from the dev diaries, I can't wait to get my hands on Hudson's upcoming release.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows | Review

Synopsis: Konami has released its new console entry to the vampire slayer series and with a game that was a solid platformer on the handheld Nintendo DS, let’s see how it fares on the next gen consoles. In Lord of Shadows, you assume the role of Gabriel Belmont, member of the Brotherhood of Light, on a mission to destroy the Lord of Shadows and release his murdered wife from limbo. You will traverse across a world crawling with creatures of darkness wreaking chaos, using your combat cross to destroy these creatures and use their powers to bring balance back to this wasteland. This new entry is not your typical Castlevania title as this is more of a third person action adventure game puzzler rather than the platformer of past entries. This Belmont totes a combat cross over the trusted and effective whip, however, the cross is still able to be used as a whip and can also be upgraded to do much, much more. Will Lord of Shadows stand out as the next Castlevania entry or fall short like Lament of Innocence?

Praise: Belmont, check! Whip type weapon, check! Plethora of baddies to send back to hell, check! After being disappointed with Lament of Innocence, I was more than skeptical about the new release, and after playing five of what looks like twelve chapters, I am looking forward to completing this action filled vamp slayer. The graphics are stunning from the environment to the characters and the dramatic cut scenes. The action is fast and fluid; with the ability to unlock new moves and magical powers which play similar to other triple A action titles. With just shy of 10 hours about halfway through the story, there is a lot being offered by Konami and it looks like they made a lot of changes from the last attempt to make sure they did not make the same mistake twice. For all the completionists, Konami has made it so that this game won’t be completed in one playthrough by adding challenges to each level, and with to ability to upgrade skills, when you go back and replay levels, you will have access to areas that weren’t available the first time through.

Gripes: Yes, the Castlevania fanboy does have some issues with this entry and feels that the developers have strayed from their roots. First and foremost, where is the castle? You do fight in the obligatory castle, however, it seems as though the majority of the gameplay environments are forests, ruins, and cliffs. You will encounter familiar enemies as well, but there are also a lot of new enemies that I was not familiar with from the previous entries. In regards to the levels, each is around 20 to 30 minutes each, and each starts with a dialogue from a mysterious character, but the cut scenes are so gorgeous, I almost wish the dialogue was replaced with cut scenes as the majority of them are short in length. In regards to environment and camera controls, well, there is no camera controls, and I found myself jumping aimlessly at walls as many of times I would not be able to determine where I could or couldn’t go.

Overall, it is a Castlevania through and through. With lots and I mean lots of replay value for the hardcore fans and an enjoyable experience for those new to the franchise, Lord of Shadows is a great action adventure game. Little issues aside, that were rather frustrating at times, all was forgiven at each level complete screen. With a number of moves, magic abilities, and mounts, there is a countless number of ways to take down the supernatural enemies and epically large boss fights.

Mashbuttons.com gives Castlevania: Lord of Shadows an 8 out of 10.

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows is available now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

EA Sports NBA Jam | Review

Synopsis: Boomshakalaka! EA Sports bring back the phrase that will make almost any game reminiscent to playing the four player basketball arcade game, this time however, Wii gamers get the first chance to this secret filled sports title, while 360 and PS3 gamers have to wait until the non-descript holiday season. The new entry includes the classic 2 on 2 gameplay that the original sported in the nineties, but will also keep gameplay fresh with the addition of new characters, modes, and depth. With new game modes, comes the Wii control modes as well, whether you like gaming on the classic controller or taking advantage of the motion controls, you will take control of the current NBA roster to overcome challenges and to take on all the other teams. Will this throwback to an arcade classic, get its long overdue comeback or fall flat on the hardwood?

Praise: It is NBA Jam, need I say more? If I do have to, where do I start? There is a huge roster of current NBA stars along with a massive amount of unlockable characters, modes, and politicians. It is the same tried and true gameplay that is full of huge dunks, leveling shoves, and on fire three pointers. To say that I was skeptical about the lack of online multiplayer is an understatement, so when I got this, the first thing I did was have a couple friends over I played this with in the arcade and put it to work. Four hours later, the lack of multiplayer was forgotten and I was frantically playing the remix modes and campaign to see what else I can unlock. This is more difficult than the original, which I prefer as the original does not provide much of a challenge anymore and the unlockable content is where the replay value is at.

Gripes: In regards to controls, I was not so fond of the motion controls as getting whipped in the face by the cord when you shoot is less than fun, but when using the classic controller, it felt like I was a teenager again playing on the Genesis. It is fun without being able to play online multiplayer but this is a game where most of the fun comes from playing against friends, but unless you live in a frat house or have a bunch of roommates into basketball games, you will not get a lot of multiplayer games in. This is solely my opinion and I am sure many will disagree, but some of the bugs and glitches from the arcade or original would have been nice, especially in regards to being on fire, as it is a lot easier to lose your fire streak. Some challenges can be incredibly hard to the point where you play over and over waiting for the computer to make a mistake so you complete the challenge and move on to the next.

Overall, NBA Jam is a lot of fun, online or not. Knowing that online will be available on the 360 or PS3 versions, it would be hard to switch consoles and start over again after putting in the numerous hours on the Wii version to unlock all that’s available. However, don’t write off this version of the remake as once you start unlocking teams, characters, and modes, it will be hard to turn off, especially if the Wii is your main gaming console.

Mashbuttons.com gives EA Sports NBA Jam an 8 out of 10.

EA Sports NBA Jam is available now for the Nintendo Wii.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions | Review

Activision threw us another title for review, this time it's in the form of a Beenox-developed new Spidey title.  Beenox has mainly been responsible for Windows/Mac ports, and a few original titles, most recently, the Activision Franchise, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits.  Tasked with reinventing the aging super-hero franchise, they've changed up the formula enough to prove this isn't just your usual friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.  In fact, this isn't even you friendly same-world Spider-Man, as Shattered Dimensions follows 4 different Spidey incarnations, in a parallel-universe bending storyline as they try to contain the power of the broken Tablet of Order and Chaos.

Madame Webb, acts as your "mission control", as she brings all 4 Spider-Men together to fulfill the destiny of tracking down the pieces of the just broken Tablet of Order and Chaos (Thanks Mysterio).  Control Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man Noir, Ultimate Spider-Man, and lastly, Spider-Man 2099 in parallel universes all driven by the same goal.

Each universe pulled directly from the different comics of the same name have unique game-play elements to them.  The Amazing Spider-Man is very run-of-the mill (though the clever comments from Spidey, are voiced by one Neil Patrick Harris, so that's always a plus).  Spider-Man Noir takes a more stealth approach, as you navigate "Solid Snake-style" (or even more topical, Batman AA-style) through each level, taking out baddies one at a time in the shadows.  Very cool stuff here.  Next up is Spider-Man 2099, in which you spend the majority of the levels "free-falling" as one level feels like one long boss-battle.  Lastly is Ultimate Spider-Man, who uses the power of the mysterious black suit, that adds a unique element of gameplay with tendrils available to shoot out all around him.

As you take on each dimensions levels (each dimension has 4 acts) you'll unlock challenge points, (like mini Achievements), that will allow you to bank and buy upgrades, both of the offensive and defensive variety.  Focus on challenges to really build up your skill set to help you through the later, more difficult levels.

Many of your favorite villains are here in full-effect!  From Hobgoblin, Deadpool, Doc Oc, Sand man, Carnage, and on and on.  Fans of the series will find a lot to love here.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself playing, and Mashbuttons gives Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions an 8 out of 10.

Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions is available now for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii

NBA 2K11 Review

Though I would love to say that the NBA is dead to me after moving my beloved Super Sonics to, of all places, Oklahoma City, I just can’t quit it. Luckily, not living in Seattle any more I have adopted the Phoenix Suns as my new team and all is right with the world. NBA 2k11 is the latest installment in the brilliant 2k basketball series. The main feature of this game is the focus around Michael Jordan and reliving the moments that defined his career.

The Good:
This game starts off forcing you to play one of the Jordan challenges (Bull vs Lakers finals in 91’), so you are immediately immersed in nostalgia. The idea to not only bring back the greatest basketball players of time but almost all of the other players and teams that were involved was epic. Most importantly, one of the teams brought back was the 96’ Super Sonics! That’s right, Kemp, Payton, Hawkins and Schrempf. The graphics get sharper and more life like every year and this year is no exception. This year also brings dynamic commentary that is updated to keep it fresh game in and game out. They have improved the GM AI logic, so if you are used to Madden-like rip off trades, you will be disappointed. But I feel it a good thing because computer controlled teams will make realistic roster moves.

The Bad:
The online mode is a bit frustrating, having to deal lag and slow downs through out a game. Anytime you have a game that plays so smooth offline and then is choppy online, it can make the problem seem worse than it really is. The only other negative I could find was the passing in the game, lots of times the pass doesn’t go to who you want it to go to and instead you end up throwing the ball right to the other team. This could be remedied by using the right bumper and selecting who to pass to, but I guess my skills aren’t mad enough.

Anytime you play a game and have to look for things to complain about, it’s a good thing. This is a game that you will look forward to playing over and over.

I give NBA 2K11 9 out of 10.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

More Da Vinci inventions shown off in new Brotherhood trailer

A new walkthrough trailer has been released showing a mission to locate and dismantle Leonardo's tank made for the opposition. It is 5 minutes of Brotherhood goodness and a couple peeks at some of the other contraptions to be found in this title. Just a bit longer than a month until we will be able to experience the Assassin multiplayer awesomeness.

Nail'd trailer is available to fulfill your off road fetishes

SouthPeak Games has released a new trailer for their extreme off road title to be expected at the end of November. Nail'd is more of an arcade racing experience, think along the lines of San Francisco Rush meets MX vs Atv. Enjoy the trailer and mark your calendars for November 30th.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quantum Theory | Review

Synopsis: With little hype, Tecmo Koei has released Quantum Theory, their third person action shooter. I was lucky enough to receive a review copy going into the weekend and got the chance to play through it with little interruptions before possibly breaking two fingers in a batting cage. You take the role of Syd, to take out the Living Tower, overtaken by black material after a world war has damaged the human race. It may sound like a daunting task but you don’t take on this feat alone, as you have a partner named Filena, a mysterious woman that helps take out baddies on your trip to ascend and destroy this villainous tower. With features such as a shape shifting battlefield, strong two person combos, and online gameplay modes, let’s see how this new release stacks up.

Praise: It’s an action shooter, full of fast paced action, put that together with a variety of weapons, melee attacks, and Syd/Filena combos make for quite the satisfying experience. The action also escalates the higher up the tower you and your companion go, with larger enemies and bosses. Weapons range from the typical assault rifle, pistol, plasma rifle, grenade launcher, etc. and it is a good idea to strategically plan ahead in regards to ammo and weapon type as there is not an overabundance of ammo. Filena is also a nice addition as she is really helpful and you can determine when you use her against groups of the opposition, but to top it all off, she also looks good. The story is straight to the point without adding in any unnecessary confusion, and cuts scenes are short and sweet quickly placing you back in the action.

Gripes: There are many people that are adamant about not giving the game a chance because they think it is a Gears of War clone. Not true, though it does play similarly, both have dark environments, and ridiculously large guns, both biceps and weapons. It does not really stray from those basics and were my first impressions, but when sticking with it to see where the story goes will make you remember you are playing as Syd and not Marcus. My only issues after that are that sometimes I will be walking down a corridor and then suddenly I can’t go any further although it looks like a hall I can continue walking down and wonder why there isn’t a wall in these places. Lastly because it is so dark and the only bright and vibrant colors come from Filena or stained glass windows, it is sometimes hard to identify enemies from a distance.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised when playing through Quantum Theory. From the start I was a bit skeptical but shortly lost track of time and was running and gunning my way up the tower with my mysterious girl at my side. The graphics are pretty solid and with the game installing to the hard drive, I don’t recall a time where I had an issue with load screens. There is a moderate amount of replay value as I would like to check it out again on a harder difficulty and the online would be more fun if there was a larger community for it.

Mashbuttons.com gives Quantum Theory a 7 out of 10.

Quantum Theory is available now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock | Review

Synopsis: It is time to save rock in the new Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and since Activision gave us a review copy with the new guitar, you lucky viewers get a mashbuttons review of the recent music game. Boasting a solid ninety plus tracks and a new gameplay features like quest mode, Guitar Hero now has more content than previous entries. To make this title as hardcore as possible, the developers have made Gene Simmons, from KISS and not the aerobics guru, the narrator in your quest to become a rock god. Quickplay+ is also a new feature to the Guitar Hero series, which is similar to the previous quickplay mode, with thirteen challenges to complete for each song. Along with a handful of new features, Warriors of Rock also has a new guitar peripheral, complete with a more hardcore rock god look. When all is said and done let’s see how Warriors of Rock compares with the previous Guitar Hero titles.

Praise: I have been a Guitar Hero fan from the beginning, playing Incubus on the original breakout entry on the PS2 with a wired guitar. Oh how far this franchise has come, from wireless instruments, addition of online play, a wider variety of instruments, and bigger more epic playable songs. Though it seems that the hype has died down significantly for these music games, it still seems like there is a strong demand and a large online community supporting each entry. The track list in Warriors of Rock is by far the best in my opinion with the large number of familiar songs and a handful of song that I am unfamiliar with, but almost equally good. I grew pretty fond of the quest mode throughout gameplay as you pick one of the available characters and each character has a set list of a specific genre, once you earn a required amount of stars you will transform into your character’s god form. The new guitar is not required but it does stand out from the previous guitars as is it customizable and the part in which you strum feels like it has more tension, which is a huge plus from the previous guitars.

Gripes: The downside to another Guitar Hero title, well, it is the same title we have been playing for years, with different background animations, peripherals, and tracks. Though it seems like each time one of these games come out, I look forward to the available tracks, play through all the songs in a matter of days, and then not play it again until there is a group of people around. Unfortunately, this is no different, as after sending each character into their warrior form, I tried out the quick play and quickly stopped trying to complete the challenges. In regards to the guitar peripheral, the change in which I am not a fan of is the shape as with the way I have held all the previous guitars was never an issue until now as the new guitar hurts my right wrist after three to four songs. You have the ability to import songs from other Guitar Hero titles, but I find it hard to pay Microsoft Points to import tracks from games I have already purchased once, but hey, to each their own.

Overall, this is another Guitar Hero title, not great, and not bad. Toting a strong track list, Warriors of Rock does stand out from the previous entries. Having a fresh title is always nice to have new songs to play either alone, online with other players that have not mastered the songs, or just to play at home with friends and family. Though fun to play through the first time, unfortunately I did not find a lot of replay value after the first playthrough, though I do see myself playing it from time to time when entertaining or trying to find out which Salido family member is the best until the next title is released.

Mashbuttons.com gives Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock a 6 out of 10.

Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock is available now for the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation 3.