Assassin’s Creed 2: Revenge of the Guido

Assassin’s Creed 2

Because of some outcry from my previous post, due to the fact that I had the audacity to put AC2 on a worst sequel list, I thought I’d give the game another chance and play it a touch more. Having endured the game from start to finish I look back and wish I’d had something better to do during my weekend. There are a very few moments that I can look back and think “Well…that was fun.” And the few there were the game was quick to make me forget. But, I digress.

Look Familiar?

Assassin’s Creed 2 and I had a gentleman’s understanding: I would do what I wanted to and enjoy myself a little bit and would then, on occasion, acquiesce and do what the game wanted me to, an act much akin to torture. You play as Ezio, the hero assassin from Midwestern Italy, who happens to be a Guido a bit ahead of his time. Seriously, a bad Italian accent, double popped collar, gold chain and, eventually, a goatee! Doesn’t he just belong on Jersey Shore? Add this trailblazer to the otherwise sub-par acting from the rest of the cast to get a truly unpleasant experience. Why everyone talks in English throwing in bits of Italian at random is beyond me. I would have much preferred if it had been spoken entirely in Italian or no attempts at all were made to insert it so that I could at least know what language they were supposed to be speaking. Acting aside, I find the story to be horrendously boring. There’s nothing to congeal the entire affair into a single cohesive story. Instead, Ezio just kinda runs around killing people, never with a clear goal besides sweet Italian revenge on his mind.

I'm a bad mother-SHUT YO MOUTH

On top of that, AC2 feels poorly shoehorned in to fit the already awkward Assassin’ Creed storyline. I suppose that’s why the Desmond sequences are few and far between (read 3). Those were one of my favorite parts about the original game, running around, stealing pens, finding creepy writing on the wall, fun times. In the second, you get a face full of Ezio and his time consuming side quests. There’s no point to doing any of the optional things, unless you’re into watching some creepy naked people run around…weirdo. I suppose you could do the quests if you wanted the sweet payday, but that is pretty much pointless. Once Ezio arrives at his uncles Villa money becomes utterly meaningless. You’ve got so much of the stuff you’re practically throwing it away, which is coincidentally a pretty effective distraction. Don’t have enough for that sword? Just wait 20 minutes for the money to come rolling in. I like the idea of resource systems as long as they remain relevant after you gain access to them. And make sure you renovate the brothel first.

Graphics wise, it doesn’t look much better than its predecessor. Yes, the faces have been significantly improved but the effects and everything else have not. In a game where killing people in dramatic close ups is a feature I’d expect blood to have better splatter effects than a watermelon at a Gallagher show. The sound effects are really disappointing as well. I am unsure what the issue was, but there were so many missed cues for sounds, from sword clanks to hearty cheers of victory. Sound is normally something that should not be noticed unless it’s done poorly, so I guess that’s one place AC2 succeeds.


Speaking of things that haven’t been improved, the combat is still ridiculously simple to win at. Forever. You can still get through every single fight in the game by defending until you can counter. There aren’t even tricky counters to pull off like in the previous game. At least until you get to the enemies that simply cannot be countered, Ubisoft’s fix to the combat system. This can be solved by dropping your weapons and taking theirs. Same principle, easier execution *ba dum tish*. Similarly, there seems to also be a downgrade to the free running parkour controls. I can’t place the blame squarely on Ezio, but sometimes I really don’t want to jump into the river.

Zoom zoom ZOOOOM

And the flying sequence…I don’t get it. I’ve heard through the grapevine that it was the funnest thing in the game and I only found it boring. Sure, he’s flying in a thingy created by Leonardo Da Vinci, but it’s trivial and unchallenging, something which can be applied to most of the rest of the game. There’s no challenge to any of it. At best it can be infuriatingly frustrating but nothing else. And it’s never the player’s fault that something is difficult, it’s the wonky camera or funky controls that are the culprit.

Overall, I leave Assassin’s Creed 2 in its place at 3rd worst sequel as previously stated. It wasn’t fun and I wish I had had something better to do with my weekend. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be getting back to my E3 coverage.


Top five worst sequels, here’s some wet water.

Top Five Worst Sequels
By personal request from my good friend Brett, I’ll be giving a rundown of the five worst sequels made. This is to be restricted to video games, not movies. Five is not enough for the badness of the matrices. Anyway, moving on.
5. Deus EX: Invisible War

So, I’ll be honest, I’ve never played any of the Deus Ex games, but I’m told the first at least is quite good. Normally, I don’t take word of mouth on games until I’ve played them at least a little bit, but I feel like the Deus Ex saga may be a special case. I’ve never found a game more widely accepted as being good as the first Deus Ex, so I assume it’s pretty good. So why hate on the second? Well, I’ve never heard another game called a letdown as much as Deus Ex: Invisible War. If you don’t believe me, go find someone, a friend, relative, loved one, guy on the street with a giant beard, and ask them their thoughts on the entire Deus Ex series. I guarantee, on my right knee, that they will agree with me. That was a bit more rhyming than I intended.

4. Bioshock 2

As far as games I’ve played go, Bioshock 2, The Bioshocker, makes the bottom of my worsts list. I’ve had a few words on BS2 so I shant go into much detail as to why it’s here, but it is. Accept it. Anyway, on its own BS2 is not a bad game. It’s cool and, dare I say it, enjoyable but it has the unfortunate quality of having been a sequel to Bioshock. Being the child of this super awesome game, it has some big shoes to fill and, like a small child parading around in their father’s Crocs, it just doesn’t quite fit.

3. Assassin’s Creed 2

At first I was a bit hesitant to put Assassin’s Creed 2on this list, I just recently started playing through it last week, but then I kept playing it. Yes, it is a bit cleaner looking than the first game, but honestly I’m disappointed in the boring content in this game. I had problems with the first Creed due to its repetitive nature and the sequel failed to improve upon this fault. As much as I love fetch quests, oh wait, I don’t. Why can’t people go get their own stuff? I’m not even a blade for hire anymore, I’m a messenger boy. I’m only surprised that the developers didn’t dress Enzio up in brown short shorts to resemble his UPS descendants. I haven’t quite made my way through the entirety of the game yet, nor can I be sure that I ever will, so someday I might rescind this idea but I find this unlikely as I doubt they had sweet UPS trucks back in the day.

Da Vinci would be proud.

2. Metal Gear Solid 2

Oh Kojima. You so silly.

Now, I’m a huge fan of the Metal Gear Solid series. Yes, the long winded cutscenes of Hideo Kojima can get a bit dull at times, but they make up for it with good writing and a great sense of humor. Except the second. Well, at least a large portion of it. The parts with Raiden were really unpleasant, to say the least. I really don’t care if you’re having relationship issues with your girlfriend, Raiden, take care of that at home, not the office. This is a place for work, not your personal problems. The other elements of the game are fine, so I suppose if you played it muted and skipped every cutscene MGS2 would probably get a lot better, but then it wouldn’t have the same charm that makes MGS games great.

1. Legend of Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link
This one’s a bit of a stretch back in time, but still a goodie. Everyone remembers the good ol’e days of the original Legend of Zelda. Runnin’ around, pew pewing with your sword, killing Gannon. Fun times. Then, for some reason, they threw all of that away and made The Legend of Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. Right off the bat you can see a problem with this game: It’s about Link. No one really cares about him, he’s just the mute hero who happens to repeatedly save the world. This game doesn’t even fit into the otherwise “solid” Legend of Zelda mythos, which we all know is near flawless. Second only to the TV series, the adventure of Link is one of the biggest WTF’s of the franchise. It has a weird 2d slash 3d combat system and a wonky RPG style leveling system, which is frankly out of place in a Zelda game.


That, and it’s hard. Unnecessarily so. I’ve seldom found a game that I just could not beat, but this is one of them. Yes, I should probably go grind more before I hit that second temple, but that’s just bad design and out of place in a Zelda game. If I was going to go run up a grind fest I’d play a good game, like Final Fantasy, that way I might feel sad when my Nintendo cartridge accidentally erases my save data.

And there you have it. My top 5 worst sequels. I hope this has been insightful, if nothing else. I’m still taking suggestions for future content, so please feel free to chime in with your two cents.

LRRHZBBQ and other things

I apologize for my lack of updates of the past couple months, I blame the industry (Read: Other people) more then myself, but in the upcoming summer months I pledge to bring you new content every two weeks at least. To that end I will be taking suggestions to games you’d like to hear about. Leave your suggestion in the comments or private messages or…I dunno, carrier pigeon? Anyway, with that I present to you…

Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ

Momo is the guy at the bottom.

Scientific Purposes

A while back I picked up Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ, henceforth referred to as LRRHZBBQ, for about 15 bucks in a Best Buy discount bin. I’d gone through all of my Advance Wars and Phoenix Wright games and needed something new for my DS, so why not. I mean, it has a T for Teen rating for “Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Fantasy violence, Mild Language, and Mild Suggestive Themes.” At the very least, I had to check it out, at the very least for scientific purposes.

"Oh my"-George Takei

My results? Basically, I’ve determined that LRRHZBBQ is pandering at its finest, at least as much as you can get in a DS game. Spain based Gammick obviously knows what they’re doing, maybe a bit too well for their own good. It’s got zombies, guns, a buxom lass with an unreasonably short skirt, and a Japanese guy who shoots ninja stars that look like peaches. Ok, I’m not sure who this Momo “Kamikaze” Taro character is or why he shoots peaches, but he’s cool…I guess. Never really played him. Maybe it’s a Japan thing. Who would to, what with Little Red “Ready to Rock” Riding Hood, whose hobbies include hunting, cooking, collecting guns and being charming, available to play? That and the fact that they are functionally identical. Except for shooting peaches. Weird.

Actual Gameplay!!!

Anyway, the whole affair is actually a very fun game. You, presumably Little Red, are on the lower DS screen moving left to right on one of eight panels. You move forward through scrolling levels where zombies buried beneath the streets rise to nom you. You are armed with an infinite ammunition machine gun (or rapid fire ninja star gun…) along with a variety of other collectable but limited weapons, including shotguns, flamethrowers (the only part where the BBQ comes into play), or a giant death lazer. Yea, don’t get that one either but it’s cool nonetheless. You fire by touching the lower screen with the stylus and Little Red fires from her current position toward it. To reload, you lift the stylus up. Use the D-pad or stylus to move across the bottom of the screen and tap your character to duck. Pretty simple, right? LRRHZBBQ has the feel of one of those old-school arcade games that everyone could pick up after looking at the controls. Both simple yet intricate and, eventually, incredibly challenging. As far as DS games go, this one is actually difficult. The first levels are easily doable, even at the hard difficulty setting, but after a bit it becomes almost unbeatably hard. And on any other system that would be a bad thing, but this is the Nintendo DS, the system you use when the alternative is reading a book. If it were easy, you’d sail through it in an hour and wonder what you were going to do for the rest of your road trip but, as it is, it takes time and development of skill to beat. Even when it gets really bad it’s never the game’s fault for your dying, since every attack can be avoided or dodged if you’re pro, so it isn’t infuriating to fail. Especially when you get to see a bit more of Red. Rawr.

LRRHZBBQ is also one of the few DS games I’ve played that effectively uses both screens without using the touch screen exclusively, the top screen left as a stats display or some other useless stuff, or using the touch screen as a large button. The map stretches across both screen and you can, and will often need to, shoot from the lower screen to the top. All of the bosses, and most of the minibosses, inhabit the upper screen leaving the lower screen for various attacks and allowing Red to hop around without cluttering the already small space with an overly large boss. Personally, I prefer to keep Zombie Pinocchio as far away from me as possible.

So dramatic

Speaking of Zombie Pinocchio, don’t get LRRHZBBQ for a good story. As far as I can tell, there’s an evil scientist or something who’s released a virus, I think, that is awakening the dead. You, being Little Red, have to get to your grandmother’s house to save her. After you kill the zombie big bad wolf you carry on, trying to find the source and killing fairy tale characters. There’s even a zombie Santa. I guess this is what happens when Spain and Japan collaborate. Weird.


Graphics-wise, LRHZBQWXOZLALALA is about average for a 3d on the DS (rendered, not 3DS). It has some good 2d drawn images, but those aren’t important (unless…weird). The in-game graphics are a bit blocky and pixelated at times, but for the most part they’re decent enough. Partly, I blame the DS touch screen, and the rest on the…concentration on other ass-pects aspects of the game.

Overall, LRRHZBBQ is entertaining to say the least. The most detrimental thing is that no one has ever heard of it. It’s certainly no Professor Layton, but it should keep you entertained for a few dozen hours, unless you have something against firing hot lead into the Zombie three little pigs. That’s completely normal, right?


Portal 2

Portal 2
Still thinking with portals

The sequel to the highly acclaimed 2007 Orange Box physics puzzler, Portal, Portal 2, released April 18th, 2011, offers a continuation of the original. Yup, that’s basically the game. Yes there are a lot more features and “modes” than offered in the original, but I’ll get to that later. Portal 2 is more of the fun portal hopping puzzle platforming that everyone loved in the original. That being said, if you thought the original was good, then the second will not disappoint. If you, on the other hand, never played the first, then I would like to know what rock you were living under for the past 4 years, what with the game’s relative cheapness and free giveaways. Anyway, I digress.

Bidness time.

One big addition in the sequel is that of a story. As simple as it is, the story in Portal 2 is far better than some that I’ve seen in more than a few high budget games of recent release. Yes, there is still plenty of that dark humor that everyone loved in the original, but you also get more of the history of Aperture and everything else involved for a far more lasting and enjoyable experience. I can’t say much more than that in order to avoid spoilers for those who have yet to finish the game, but the ending is absolutely worth the hours you put into the game. Seriously though, Cave Johnson is one of the best parts of this game.

Speaking of time, Portal 2 is about three times as long as the original Portal. So, if you thought 2 hours for Portal was worth it then 3x$20 = $60 should also seem appropriate. The problem is, where Portal was “The perfect length” for a game of its type, Portal 2 seems to drag on forever in certain places and, dare I say it, may be too long. I’m not saying that it gets boring and unplayable, just that the game can be repetitive after solving similar puzzles repeatedly, and with only 3 new mechanics to add to your portal shooting repertoire. Though, once you get past those few dull humps the game quickly picks back up and refuses to let you stop playing.

Graphics-wise, Portal 2 looks much much much better than the original ever did, which is to be expected with Valve updating their Source engine for 4 years. The environments are exquisite and highly varied, but not too busy like some other games.

Really, the only thing I can hold against Portal 2 are the loading screens. Late game they become less intrusive, but early game the screens manage to jar me out of the experience and remind me that I’m playing a video game. I thought loading screens were relics of the past to be forgotten. In the original Valve didn’t have any, why put them in the second? I can understand why certain parts didn’t have screens but I could have gone without being interrupted every minute to be shown a loading screen. Like I said, though, as the challenges become harder this isn’t as much of a problem or a problem at all once you are forced to spend time on puzzles, but early game it is very distracting.

Guess who's about to die

Single player aside, Portal 2 also includes robot controlled co-op mode, where two players cooperate to complete challenging portal based puzzles, at least in theory anyway. If you ever played The New Super Mario Bros then you will know exactly why this style of play can be the most fun and infuriating thing ever created. If you ever die in co-op it’s probably because your teammate shot a portal under your feet leading into a deathtrap of some kind. Now, while this kind of behavior between friends is fun and the novelty wears off quickly in that case, Portal 2 co-op allows you to venture into the internet to enlist help. This is a bad idea. Do you know who is on the internet? Because I do. It’s the kind of people who tend to live under bridges and eat goats. You probably won’t run into these kinds of people, but when you do…remember that I warned you.

Overall, I’d give Portal 29 homicidal robots out of 10 homicidal robots because one of them is broken and the other 9 are homicidal robots and going to kill me if I speak badly about OH NO! NOT THE CLAMPS!

Portal 2 is the best game that will be released this year. You should buy it immediately, [subject name here].

Bulletstorming the gates


From the creators of the hit game Duty Calls, Epic Games, comes a game that will cause children to become serial rapists, Bulletstorm. No, seriously, Fox News said this game will turn your kids into bona fide southern Bubbas. Don’t believe me? Go ahead, read it I’ll wait…AREN’T THEY CRAZY? Anyway, future rise in the rate of rape aside, Bulletstorm is a hilarious sci-fi romp through the blood and guts of some unknown alien race mutants. They probably deserved it anyway.

Bros 4 life

First off, if you are unsure of whether or not you want to shell out the cash for Bulletstorm, a decision not to be taken lightly, try the free demo on your respective Xbox, Steam, or PlayStation networks. Then, after you’ve spent a while thinking “Maybe this is pretty cool,” get the full game and spend a few hours playing before you get back to where you left off. For a game titled Bulletstorm, I for one am a little disappointed that it takes 20 minutes before you can wield your gun toward some unfriendly aliens mutants. I can let this slide even, it’s not a horrible offense, but I expect better.

So what should make BulletStorm so different? The game awards points (which you can use to buy new guns and upgrades) for performing “skill shots,” which consist of things like the standard headshot to the “Fan-tastic” for making an enemy spin on the ceiling using the drill gun. Other such skillful shots, with oft hilarious names/connotations, become available as you collect guns throughout the game. This isn’t incredibly new, Mad World for the Wii did something similar years ago. While Mad World had a lot more variety to what you could do, with the Wii motion controls and all, it was easily mastered during the first level and not really varied beyond that. BS, on the other dismembered hand, had the foresight to add color and different guns, adding some spice to the horrific killing, which you pick up during the game each with their own strengths and skills. Though after an act or two you can manage to perform most of the skills associated with your newest weapon and get back down to shootin’ stuff.

Pretty much this, like, all the time.

Graphics wise, Bulletstorm feels like somebody had great plans for the game to look fantastic but then someone else decided to cheap out and use the Unreal engine. Now there’s nothing wrong with using the Unreal engine, it’s pretty cool, but it isn’t that great. Games using it often look pretty gritty, especially when the oft used dirt filter is used. Because of this, BS doesn’t look a whole lot different from other similar shooters. On occasion, it looks like someone decided that Bulletstorm absolutely needed to have super awesome graphical sequences, but they just never come out right. Half the time you are distracted by things shooting at your face and don’t get to take in the stunning vistas. That’s not to say that Bulletstorm looks bad. It is still a fine looking game, just not very differentiable from other next-genners.

I...I don't...I don't know...

As far as the campaign goes, don’t expect at deep and captivating story from Bulletstorm. It, like the level design, is incredibly linear with the budget of twists and turns spent in the opening prologue (which is the most boring part of the game). After that, however, the game just becomes ridiculously hilarious. Between your rampant path of destruction and the fantastic one liners delivered by Steve Blum (Read: Spike Spiegel) the game remains up tempo and entertaining. Around the end it kinda peters off and the ending seems very labored, but is worth it for completion’s sake.

Once you’ve finished off the single player portions of Bulletstorm the multiplayer modes are worth a try. Anarchy mode features a Firefight style mode where you and up to four other players fight off wave after wave of enemies. The other, Echo mode, allows you to replay certain parts of the single player with teammates. Both reward (and sometimes require) precision teamwork to pull off team skill shots for bonus points and extra carnage. Otherwise, these modes aren’t a whole lot different from the basic game. Still hilarious, though.

Kinda...exactly like this.

Being billed as “Not your average shooter,” I am saddened that I can barely distinguish it from other average shooters of today. Don’t get me wrong, it is fun, but nothing at all new. It still has the realistic brown dirt look that is so common in games today and, while there is some variety, there isn’t enough to actually be called variety. Yes, shooting someone in the genitals is humorous, but only to a certain extent. There’s not a whole lot beyond the standard kicking, shooting, and electric leashing thing. While it is fun, it gets old eventually. Bulletstorm has that quirky, highly immature sense of humor that video game’s target demographic is known for and, if you’re into that, will result in a very fun time. If not, then just hope you don’t leave feeling “one hell of a murder boner” for Epic Games.

I don't know what this is, but it comes up when you google image search Bulletstorm

Killer7 is killer…awesome.


If you, like me, have been stuck inside by the recent Snowgnarok, the end of days predicted by Norse mythology where the gods of old fight to the death and snow rains down upon the Earth, then you’ve probably been playing video games for the past week. Aside from the Call of Duty, League of Legends, and Dungeons and Dragons I’ve been playing, I felt it time to pick up my old copy of Killer7 again and see if I could beat it on one of the harder difficulties. Suffice it to say I didn’t get too far, but I thought I would share with you, the people of the internet, why, in my humble opinion, Killer7 is one of the best games of all time.

Personal favorite

When it was released for the PS2 and GameCube back in the day of 2005, Killer7 was one of those games no one had ever heard of that, while receiving both good and bad reviews from critics, flopped by its publisher Capcom’s standards and fell to the wayside of modern gaming culture. Yes, it was not one of the best looking games around, but it had and still has one of the best storylines ever put into a video game. Newer games do not even begin to compare to the depth of story held by this now five year old game, leaving me with the feeling that, possibly because of how Killer7 turned out, no one wanted to put good story in games because developers believed they would flop.

The crew. They bad.

A large part of Killer7‘s appeal comes from the relative simplicity of its gameplay. It is an action-adventure first-person rail shooter. This means that the player moves throughout each labyrinthine level on a line, with a few forks in the road to choose from now and then, and whenever an enemy appears they can go into first person view to aim and fire their weapon at the enemy. Killing enemies lets you collect blood which can be used to either power attacks or buy upgrades. Simple enough to let the story take main stage and allow the gameplay to help convey that story without being cluttered with extraneous details. Anyway, I digress. The players takes the role of one of 7 characters, members of the elite assassin’s gang Killer7 with the last name Smith, to go throughout the level, each with their own talents, weapons, and personalities. Should one of them fall in battle, Garcian “The Cleaner” Smith, the weakest character by far at the close of the game, must be sent out if you wish to retrieve the brown paper bag containing their remains and revive your fallen comrade. If Garcian should be killed then it’s game over since there is no one to pick up his kibbles ‘n’ bits.

So what’s so great about the Killer7 story. Well, for starters, it has one, something modern games can barely boast. There is even a surprise twist at the end that even M. Night Shyamarmalade wouldn’t see coming. The game starts out in the not too distant 21st century after the world has signed a non-aggression pact and destroyed its entire nuclear stockpile (by shooting the missiles and the launching more missiles at them). But, there are members of Japan’s political system which want to separate from the rest of the world (mainly the US). The separatists, calling themselves the Heaven’s Smile are taking drastic measures to ensure that they gain control over the Japanese political giant. That’s where the Killer7 assassin’s come in. BTW, this is all on the inner cover of the instruction booklet, the story just gets better as you go on and I’d hate to spoil any of it for anyone, so just go play it yourself and get the big picture.

This guy is your main contact...yea

Anyway, so what exactly are you fighting? Every level, the Killer7 assassins have been tasked with a mission to kill some member of the Heaven’s Smile gang, of which belong some of the creepiest enemies I have ever seen in a video game. The Heaven’s Smile lackeys are created via a virus which increases the human desire to kill and have been equipped with a “bomb organ” which allows them to explode at will, totally not like anything else in the world. This is frightening. At first Heaven’s Smiles will shamble forward like Resident Evil zombies, slowly walking at you, and one on one they aren’t that hard to kill, but when half a dozen are sprinting at you and you have to land 6 precisely aimed shots before you have to reload which takes forever and then they explode on your face and you die it can be fairly intense and, after the first few levels anyway, this doesn’t happen often. The standard Heaven’s Smiles get quickly replaced bigger and badder ones, which are out for blood. Granted you are also out for their blood (you get extra blood for pro-shooting), but that’s beside the point.

Pretty much looks like this

One of the main failing points for Killer7 was that the graphics were considered subpar. Initially the game was designed to be GameCube exclusive, back when the GC was losing to the video game giants, the Xbox and PS2, and was forced to have a very limited budget, both monetarily and memory wise, concerning graphics. Also, Cel-shading was, for whatever reason, really popular in game development at the time, especially on the GameCube, which was often looked down upon by gamers if not done exceptionally well. Killer7 comes off as heavily monotone and blocky and can be, and is quite often, visually uninteresting to the average player. That isn’t to say that the people at Grasshopper Manufacture, the team who went on to make No More Heroes, did a poor job. The main characters are incredibly well done and do not suffer the same block shaped downfalls as many of the Heaven’s Smiles and other characters face. The game also switches animation style in a few places that look incredible, but, as I wish not to spoil anything, you’ll just have to play it yourself to see.

If you have ever complained about a video games story for being bad, then Killer7 is the game for you. It has a story that, like a good book, will make you keep playing until you reach the end which, unlike in so many other games today, will not leave you disappointed. Granted obtaining a copy may be a little difficult given your current situation, Amazon has it for around ten bucks which is very worth it. If you are not big into story games and want to just kill stuff there are plenty of other games out there to fulfill your violent needs, but for a unique and truly delightful experience, Killer7 is a classic and absolutely fantastic choice.


Little Big Planet 2

Little Big Planet 2

Released January 18, Play-Station 3 exclusive Little Big Planet 2 is the long awaited sequel to the original Little Big Planet, long considered one of the best PS3 games available. Little Big Planet was a quirky 2.5D puzzle platformer starring the infamous Sackboy whose in game content was pretty good but the game’s appeal came from the ability to generate user content for the community. Millions of user created maps were available to play in every shape from male genitalia to a remake of the original NES game Contra. Little Big Planet users were able to do downright amazing things with relatively simple tools.

He doesn't like hats.

So what is different between the first and the second? For starters, where the original was marketed as a platformer Little Big Planet 2 was instead marketed as a “platform for games” and, as such, developers Media Molecule have done their best to give as much creative freedom to the users as possible. New tools like the “controllinator,” which allows buttons and Sixaxis motions to be directly mapped to Sackboy actions, as well as wearable hats and grappling hooks which can be combined with pretty much anything to create unique Sackboy tools allow for unprecedented freedom to create.

Did you know that Sackbots have a pre-set kill limit?

Artifical intelligence (AI) has also been added with the introduction of the Sackbots. The first Little Big Planet only had the capacity for scripted entities but the new Sackbots can be programmed to do anything Sackboy can and serve as fairly effective enemies or allies within various custom games. The Sackbots are, however, limited to the skill and creativity of their programmer and, as is too often the case, can act pretty stupidly. They do make fairly good race car drivers, though.

Side by side comparison.

Graphics wise, Little Big Planet 2 has received a major face lift compared to its predecessor. The game has undergone major improvements to its graphics system since the original, including new particle and physics engines and updates to the lighting. While at first it is difficult to tell the difference between the two, side by side comparison reveals that the newest version’s looks have drastically improved. Little Big Planet 2 look and feels, as much as possible for a game starring a burlap sack, more realistic and is, overall, more stylized and easier on the eyes.

The community levels are not the only reason to get the newest Little Big Planet. In fact, creators will have to explore the in game worlds at least a little bit to gain access to all the developer items. The story mode still has players exploring new planets to save the universe from the Negativitron and collecting various stickers and doo-dads throughout the level. Mostly, the single-player levels serve as a display of what can be done in Little Big Planet 2 and as a springboard for ideas by would be developers. They are pretty enjoyable, too.

In addition to the three million and counting platformer style levels imported and updated from the original Little Big Planet, new custom levels and game types are already popping up on the PlayStation Network (PSN).  Already racing games, classic arcade style games, and even a few first person shooters are available to play. If you buy a new game this year, go with Little Big Planet 2, since it will probably include most of the others at some point or another.

See you, Space Cowboy...

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