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Command & Conquer: Red Alert [IP]





NICE PLATAFORMER

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"

Summary

Trine is a well balanced platafformer game with a nice combination of action-adventure and puzzle game. It's a nice game to kill some time, but if you want to get all trophies (on PS3) you'll spend a lot of time doing this. This trophies are not difficult, except for 1. The "Better than the Developers" trophy is the hardest in the game. This trophy is gained by finishing the last level, wich is a race against time with a lot of obstacles, but you have to do it on the Very Hard difficulty, but also you have to do this without getting killed. This doesn't sound that hard, well try to do this at the first shot.
Something Trine lacks is probably the boss fights, because they are repetitive and aren't any challenge for any player.
In conclusion, this game is pretty fun, and can be really addictive.




It's a 3-Way...An All Tolkien 3-Way!

7.0

Great
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Almost, but not quite"

Summary

It becomes readily apparent to most that I am a lover of the platforming genre. Some of my personal favorites over the past few years have skewed to that genre, particularly Ratchet and Clank and New Super Mario Bros.. Trine is a game I've been eagerly waiting for to come on the PSN…and I wish I waited a little bit longer for it.

Before we get to that, let's get right to the story. Trine is about a nimble thief, a frail and wisecracking wizard and a portly knight who touch the item called the Trine in the beginning of the game. The item is, of course, of magical properties and fuses the souls of the three into one.

This is where the crux of the game is drawn from: You can switch between all three characters at will to traverse through all of the areas. For example, you can use the grappling hook on the thief to scale to the top of a platform. Or, you can use the wizard to create boxes to jump on so you can step up to the top. Or, you can use the knight to push a boulder onto a see-saw to prop up the seesaw to reach the top.

All three have various strengths and weaknesses. The thief can only shoot arrows, but she easily has the best jump height and is the only person who can use the grappling hook. The knight is the slowest, but has a big shield to deflect attacks and environmental hazards. The wizard doesn't really fight at all, but he's important to solve some of the physics based puzzles and can set up makeshift attacks with his box spells.

You have to use all three characters to go through the environments, which sets up some excellent platforming levels. Each character has been very well implemented in each environment, so if one person dies there is another way to solve the puzzle of getting out of the area. In the playthrough, it doesn't seem like one character is preferred over another, which really comes to show the excellent balance the game has.

The environments themselves are colorful, lush and have a lavish storybook quality to them. The enemies have a stopmotion like quality to them that adds a certain charm to the game. It's very easy to be lost in the little details of the game, especially when they are this beautiful to look at.

Also, the way the story folds out is particularly well done. Adding the storybook quality is the narration that happens before, during and after the levels, which really helps envelop you into the game. The often humorous quips from the narrator inject even more charm into the already humorous story.

There is a lot to love about Trine…which is why it's painful to say that it falters on one key component: control. The game uses a rather loose physics engine that has items and girders falling realistically (much like LittleBigPlanet), but the characters don't react fast enough to the action.

This is especially true for the thief, who is supposed to be the most agile of the characters. Her speed and jumping is too spastic to get a good grip on. On top of that, her grappling hook is incredibly touchy. Sometimes, you'll plan out a strategy and see a wooden plank and think "Hey, I can grapple off of that!" only to find out your wrong and fall into a bed of spikes, thus killing your thief and jinxing you until the next checkpoint.

On top of that, the wizard's spell cursor moves a little too slow for it to be useful in a flash. This becomes incredibly annoying later on, because you need to be quick about summoning planks and boxes. This adds another unnecessary difficulty spike to a game that gets difficult later on, which may lead to some getting the PC version of the game instead.

There are a lot of pluses with Trine that should be celebrated. It's enchanting score, graphics and story makes the game a joy to watch with its smart script and narration. Unfortunately, the control hampers the expereince that PC gamers don't have to experience. If you have a decent PC that can run Trine, play it on that. Otherwise, $20 for the PSN version is a good bargain for the $30 PC version that you'll want to try.




Do not pay money for this game under any circumstances.

5.5

Mediocre
Difficulty:
Hard
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Waste of time"

Summary

I don't like writing short reviews, but I'll keep this one quick.

Underneath a heap of minor gameplay annoyances that add up to a frustrating experience, Trine is a good game. The platforming elements are decent, and the visuals are truly awe-inspiring. The art direction in this game is stellar, and as such the levels are great fun to look at. The problem is that basically everything else about Trine is frustrating, boring, or both. The game doesn't lack for polish and it doesn't feel unfinished, which makes the gameplay annoyances seem especially odd.

As the platforming is basically the only redeeming quality Trine has, you'll become quickly annoyed with the way that the characters can't seem to move in any direction through the air except up. Tapping the jump button will cause the character to make a huge arc through the air that will land them a maximum of about four feet from the starting point. This makes jumping feel extremely unwieldy, and frequently makes it difficult to make large jumps. Even after getting a running start, it will frustrate you to no end that your character will still jump directly upward and gain almost no lateral distance.

The other major annoyance in the game is combat. Over the course of the game's levels, you will face hundreds upon hundreds of enemies which look EXACTLY IDENTICAL. There is no enemy variety to speak of; the only adversary you will encounter are skeletons carrying a variety of different weapons. The cookie-cutter enemies could be forgiven if the combat were at least good, but it simply is not. You will play three characters during the game, but only two of them - the thief and the knight - have any combat abilities whatsoever. This means that if these two characters are killed, you will be left with a wizard to fend off the hordes of undead with no abilities except a spell which generates boxes and planks out of thin air, which is exactly as useless in a fight as it sounds. The knight's and the thief's combat abilities make them capable in a fight, but unfortunately killing off wave after wave of identical skeletons is absolutely no fun.

If you take only one thing away from this review, let it be this: Trine is a terrible game. It's not one that lacks for polish, and the visuals are stunning. Download the demo first and see if maybe you could get some enjoyment out of it to justify the ten dollar asking price, but otherwise, do not pay money for this game under any circumstances. Never have I so thoroughly regretted spending money on a game.




History nerd? Or just a person that likes to conquer and rule over all and everything!? Then this is the game for you!

10

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Surprisingly good"

Summary

After playing a whole game with Bavaria I must say: This is wonderful! Once upon a time I played Europa Universalis 2. It was okay. I didn't like that you couldn't see your troops in political view. That has been fixed now!

After 400 years my Bavaria controlled most of the German lands in Europe. I also had some colonies in northern America. I must say that the game isn't too hard or too easy. I had some problems with Austria and France for a while but I did survive.

The graphics ain't good at all, but who cares? It's great gameplay. You can if you want to start as China and colonise all of America. It takes alot of money and hope but you can do it!

The music and sound is okay. The music is from Europa Universalis III which makes it a little less good than if it would have been from Europa Universalis II. The sounds are okay, could be better, could have been worse.

But i'll after playing this game give it a ten of ten because you never get tired of it and the developers are promising and tell us that there will be new features in patches!




I wish it were to be released in 2005 or earlier.

5.5

Mediocre

Summary

For the Glory is basically EU 2 with the mod on it. The mod pretty much fixes alot of bugs (the team is still doing that) and polishes EU 2 to its potential. This is probably as far as EU 2 Engine game can go.

The graphic is very outdated and the interface is quite inconvenience. There aren't many choices of countries you can choose of. It is a shame that they release it a little too late since EU 3 pretty replace all of its features.

For those who have played EU3 will know what I'm talking about. When EU3 first came out, players were complained that it lacked some of the features from EU 2, but now they have added back with their latest expansion.

I would suggest to play Heir to the Throne and EU 3. For those who already owned the latest franchise, don't even bother buying For the Glory. If you insists on getting it, at least buy the demo and see if it suits your taste or not.
8.0

Superb
7.2
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