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Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D Review

By: cinderkin Sep 6, 2011 | 5 Comments

With the Nintendo 3DS's recent price drop I got my hands on the handheld and a copy of The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D. Is this a blast from the past, or does this fairy boy need to grow up and move on? Find out in the Gouki.com Review.

Remember the days of playing on your Nintendo 64 and getting Ocarina of Time for the first time? How hooked into the game you became, and how engaged into the story you were? Well fast forward 13 years to 2011 and having that same feeling hit you again. That’s right Jimmy’s Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time has returned in glorious 3D on the Nintendo 3DS. Is this remake of a classic worth your money, or should this game just remain a memory. Find out in the Gouki.com Review.

 

Story:

The story in Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time follows a young boy named Link (or whatever you want his name to be) through an epic quest involving fairies, sages, ocarinas, magic, and time travel. An evil man by the name of Ganondorf comes from the Gerudo Valley to the land of Hyrule to take over as king of the land. Link’s quest is to collect 3 spiritual stones and seek the princess of Hyrule. He finds out that he must obtain the Master Sword to stop the evil Ganondorf, but is too young to fulfill his quest. He then spends 7 years in a mystical place only to return to Hyrule and see it completely destroyed. Link then with the help of Sheik saves 6 sages and does battle with Ganondorf. Now most people have already played through Ocarina of Time numerous times and know the story well. In Ocarina of Time 3D everything is just as you remember it. Everything has been left intact story wise and you’ll feel right at home in this version too.

Gameplay:

The 3DS isn’t exactly the same as a N64 controller or a GameCube controller, but Ocarina of Time 3D does a great job with the systems control. The game uses the bottom touch screen for inventory management, map, and ocarina. This is the first time that you can hold 4 items plus the ocarina at the same time, instead of the usually 3 or 2 with ocarina. This comes in handy in the later stages when you need to change boots or use the lenses of truth on the fly. The controls take a few minutes to get used to, but you’ll get the hang of it in no time and be plugging away at the game just like before. As like before there is horse riding, sword slashing and Ocarina playing plus a bunch of puzzles to solve. This version also comes with Ocarina of Time Master Quest, which is a harder version of the game with new dungeon layouts. You basically get two games in one! Overall the gameplay and controls are quite impressive.

Visuals:

The look of Ocarina of Time is believe it or not better than its N64 and GameCube predecessor. The visual improvements are immediately apparent. The characters look more rounded out and less boxy than before. Link both young and old look different, in a good way. The 3D aspect also adds a nice touch to the games visuals. The entire game can be played in 3D and still be enjoyed, but I recommend only using the 3D during cut scenes. There are also other visual changes that have been added to this version of the game, such as with the bridge to the castle in the future looks like an actual golden bridge instead of a rainbow walkway. Bottom line is that the visual aspect of the game has been improved all around.

Audio:

One of the best things about Zelda games is the music. Koji Kondo’s original soundtrack hasn’t been messed with here in Ocarina of Time. From the classic Kakariko Village theme, to the Lost Woods, or the Gerudo Valley (I could listen to these all day) everything is represented just as you remember it. Link’s grunts and screams, the Ocarina tunes, or the constant annoyance that is Navi the fairy (hey hey, listen) are also portrayed correctly. Ocarina of Time 3D is exactly as I remembered it in the music department. I love it.

The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time 3D is a great game for a handheld system. You get two games for the price of one, full 3D, and a Zelda game that is consider one of the greatest in the series. Everything is as you remember it, every secret, every heart piece, and every strategy. I loved this game as a kid and I love it now as an adult. This is currently the best game in the Nintendo 3DS lineup. If you haven’t played Ocarina of Time before, now’s the time to get it. If you loved it back in the day you’ll love it even more now.

Review

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Mortal Kombat Review

By: Cinderkin Apr 19, 2011 | 11 Comments

You weak pathetic fools, I've come for your souls! Mortal Kombat is back and this time its gone back to its roots. Is this new MK the savior of the series or is it time to finally Finish MK? Find out in the Gouki.com Exclusive Review.

Mortal Kombat first hit the arcades in 1992 and was the first fighting game to offer so much violence that it helped create the ESRB. The Mortal Kombat series has gone through some upgrades, changes, iteration, and super heroes. Which most of us would agree was the ultimate downfall for the violent fighting game. The best MK games in the series according to the majority of the fans are the first 3 games. 2D fighting, with blood, lots of characters, and of course fatalities. Mortal Kombat has made 8 games before this new one, and 5 didn’t really leave us with much to be remembered. The last game in the series MK vs DC Universe suffered from a teen rating, little blood, and no fatalities. It seemed like the Mortal Kombat series was done for. Luckily Ed Boon Creative Director and his team at Nether-realms Studios (previously Midway) has come to their senses and released “Mortal Kombat” the 9th game in the series, and its gone back to its roots. 2D fighting, in a 3D setting, with blood, lots of characters, and fatalities. Is this Mortal Kombat the savior of the series, or is it time to finally Finish MK?

Story:

MK9 has what can only be described as the best story in any fighting game period. The story starts off at the end of MK7 when the world is at Armageddon, where every fighter from the series is dead. The only two remaining are Shao Khan, Emperor of Outworld, and Raiden, Thunder God and protector of Earthrealm.  These two are fighting it out and Shao Khan clearly has the advantage. Let’s just say Raiden doesn’t look like much of a God at this point (although there is a reason for that). With Shao Khan only one strike from victory, Raiden sends a message back in time (what?) to himself in hopes of preventing Armageddon. At first it’s quite silly, but once you think about what is being done here, you’ll soon appreciate why. Mortal Kombat has always had crazy, all over the place, bad story telling. The most anyone even remembers is from the 2 live action films (sad but true). This time Nether-Realms Studios (NRS) and Ed boon can retell the story from a different perspective and change anything they want because this is  MK9  not MK1, 2, or, 3. With that being said MK9 offers a story so engaging that you could literally get stuck playing for hours and not even reach the halfway point. The story will take you through the events of the 10th Mortal Kombat tournament, then the tournament in Outworld, and finally Khan’s invasion of earth. Retelling the events of the first 3 Mortal Kombat games with new twists, plot lines and events. The only problem I have with story mode is the fact that you can’t skip any cut-scenes, which means that if you want to save and quit you have to watch the cut-scene then quit forcing you to re-watch the cut-scene upon returning. Another issue is that once you’ve completed story mode, there is no chapter select option. Meaning that once the story is completed; those looking to play their favorites parts will have to replay the entire story again (without skipping cut-scenes). Other than that with story mode offering over 10 hours of story with fights, and cut-scenes it’s truly the greatest story in a fighting game.

Game Modes:

With a full length story mode, MK9 also has a lot of game modes. The Arcade Ladder, which is the original arcade style gameplay where you choose a character and fight your way through 10 fights to beat it. The game offers a nice ending for each of the 27 characters (28 on the PS3) once Arcade Ladder is completed. There is also Tag Team Ladder. Tag Team is new to the MK series, and it’s a great addition to the game. Letting you swap in and out your partner and perform combos together. The basic versus mode has returned offering up to 4 players with the new Tag Team mode. Also new to MK is Test Your Luck, which is where you choose a fighter and then spin 4-7 slot machine reels to determine what type of modifiers are added to the fight. Some of these included: headless kombat, armless kombat, danger, health regeneration, dark kombat, and so much more. Each time I’ve played Test Your Luck I’ve only come across a couple repeats. Test Your Might, Test Your Strike and Test Your sight have all returned which are great additions. There is also the Krypt which is filled 300 items for you to buy; there are alternate costumes, fatalities, concept art, and more in the krypt. The Nekropolis is the gallery for the game, where all of your krypt items will be, and character endings as well. There are a few training modes too, such as Practice Mode, Tag Team Practice, Tutorial, and for the first time ever Fatality Tutorial. There is also the Challenge Tower, offering 300 challenges for you to try your skills at. The first couple challenges are really easy, but once you start making your way into the 200’s it gets really difficult. There is a special prize awaiting those who can finish the 300th challenge as well. Online play is also available, but if you didn’t buy it new, or renting it you’re going to have to pay $10 to play online.

Gameplay:

This time MK has gone back to its roots. The game features great 3D visuals with 2D fighting with the old school 5 button layout and classic moves for all characters. Front Punch, Front Kick, Back Punch, and Back Kick take the place of High and Low attacks. The block button is a main staple in the MK series, those who play other fighting games will have to take the time to get used to the controls, but for MK veterans you’ll feel right at home. The game just feels good whether you’re using a controller or using a fight stick. MK9 for the first time has gone the way of a special meter (ala Street Fighter) where you build up meter during a fight to pull of enhanced versions of special moves (EX moves), Breakers, and the all new X-Ray Attacks. To perform an enhanced move you need 1 stock of meter, 2 stocks to do combo breakers, and all 3 stocks to do the X-Ray move. X-Rays are the most devastating attack in the game, and can truly change the tide of any fight. So never think the match is over because one well place X-Ray can either help give you the victory or seal fate. There are 27 (28 for PS3) characters to use each offering something different to the table.  This is the most balances MK game to date, and no one character is too overpowered. NRS has been working hard to insure that if any infinites, glitches, or overpowered characters arise, they can easily patch the game to keep it working right.

Visuals:

MK9 is the best looking MK in the series. The blood and gore aren’t over the top like they have been doing recently, which is adds a nice touch to the realistic damage the fighters take during matches. Fatalities have returned, and they are some of the most gruesome ones to date. The all new X-Ray attacks look amazing. Each character has their very own skeleton, so when an X-Ray is performed on let’s say Sub-Zero it will look completely different against Reptile. The backgrounds are nice and offer great scenery to the fights. Old school stages have returned, such as the Pit, the Acid Pool, Shang Tsung’s Courtyard, and the Temple. There are over 20 stages as well. In Tag Team matches when the first person is eliminated sometimes they fall to their deaths, or just bounce off the screen. These things are really cool, and fun to see. Stage Fatalities are back, but unfortunately they are only for a few stages. Another thing to note is that pallet swaps are a thing of the past, in MK9 no, stance, uppercut (toasty!), sweep, throw, or special move look the same. No characters share any of the latter attacks. It’s great to see every character have their own defining styles. The animations looks great, but sometimes they look a little stiff. Juggling a character in any fighting game looks weird, and MK9 is no exception. The cut-scenes in story mode are absolutely stunning for a fighting game. Really great what they did with the games visuals. Even the menu screens look great.

Audio:

Audio has always played a big part in the MK series, with its iconic character voices like scorpion’s “Get Over Here” or Shang Tsung’s “Your Soul Is Mine”. The voice work in MK9 is amazing; every character has their own sayings, grunts, and screams. Even when facing Shao Khan sometimes he will tell you that you suck, or that you’re pathetic. Classic Mortal Kombat style at work here. The ambience sounds are a nice touch as well. Certain stages have screams of agony in the background, and even stages where Shao Khan is sitting in the background watching you fight he’ll yell at you. Dan Forden is well known for his great music in some of the earlier MK games unfortunately doesn’t return here for the music, but there are still great tunes all around in MK9. The voice work in story mode is top notch too. It really helps bring the entire story mode together.

Online:

Online mode consists of a few options that should keep almost everyone happy. You’ve got your basic Ranked match, which puts you up against a random opponent and fight for the top spot on the leaderboards. Player matches are similar to ranked although they are not recorded for leaderboard purposes. Private matches let you invite your friends to play 1vs1 or Tag Team for fun, or bragging rights. The all new King of the Hill mode lets you build a lobby of up to 8 players, and let you fight it out in the classic quarter style matches. Winner stays, and loser goes to the back of the line. KotH also allows you to use your xbox avatar of mini versions of the fighters while watching the matches. You can offer respect points, cheer, or boo those fighting. It’s very silly, but really cool in a unique lobby experience. There are also massive lobbies as well, you can either join or create a room where anyone can join. This is really cool, as there are chat options and leaderboards just for the one room. You can challenge whoever you want or wait to be challenged. It’s a really cool way to meet new MK fans or just to see how you stack up. The only issues I’ve found so far is that sometimes the games are laggy and servers go down, but the game just came out and hopefully this will be fixed soon. Another thing is 4 player Tag Team only works from two consoles, meaning that you can only play 4 player online with a buddy sitting next to you. Other than that the online mode is pretty fun, and will offer a ton of added replay value to an already complete package.

 

Mortal Kombat is back and better than ever, with over 10 hours of story, 15 hours of the challenge tower, and an impressive online component. I have no doubts that MK will continue to rise now that they have realized their mistakes over the years. MK9 is a gift to the fans, and fighting game community. Do yourself a favor and get your hands on this awesome game. Take it from me a guy who has been disappointed with the series since MK3. I love Mortal Kombat 9 and I can’t wait to see what they continue to do with DLC and the rest of the series, Mortal Kombat is a Flawless Victory (ok maybe not that good, but I had to say it)

 

Bottom Line: Buy It!

Review

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Driver: San Francisco Review

By: Cinderkin Sep 12, 2011 | 3 Comments

Driver has returned after years of hits and misses with HD graphics, new game mechanics, and online multiplayer. Can Driver San Francisco bring back the old fans and bring in new ones? Find out in the Gouki.com Review.

Driver has returned after years of hits and misses with HD graphics, new game mechanics, and online multiplayer. With the developers taking Driver back to its roots, back to the city where it all began and the original hero and villain. Can Driver San Francisco bring back the old fans and bring in new ones? Find out in the Gouki.com Review.

Story:

The story of Driver: SF follows that of John Tanner, a cop who has gone undercover before, and is considered to be the best wheelman on the force.  The story takes place shortly after the events of Driv3r (Driver 3) where Jericho, Tanners arch enemy puts a bullet in Tanners back and leaves him for dead. Tanner just released from the hospital and Jericho on his way to prison, the story begins. Jericho breaks free from his prison escort van and then hijacks it, which leads to Tanner and is partner Jones on a high speed chase straight out of the movies. After a brief car chase Tanner and Jones find themselves in a huge car crash, which leaves Tanner in the hospital suffering from a coma. This isn’t really explained very well as the game immediately picks back up with Tanner and Jones searching for Jericho, and Tanner with new special abilities. This is where the story takes a turn for the worse, Tanner gains the ability to shift into different bodies and drive their cars. When I say turn for the worse I mean it, the story goes from something that could lead to something great, and then makes a hard left into the supernatural world. At first your thinking ok this is kind of dumb, but I can get passed it, then as the story progresses it gets even more ridiculous, with Jericho having the ability also. Only to find out that Tanner was in fact in a coma and the entire story was in his head. Pretty lame excuse for the supernatural to me. Also the story is really short; it can easily be finished in less than 5 hours.

Gameplay:

The game play in Driver San Francisco is by far the worst part of the game. With the name Driver you wouldn’t expect the worst part of the game play to be the driving, but unfortunately it is.  The vehicles all control relatively the same, which leaves a lot to be desired seeing as there are over 120 licensed vehicles in the game. It’s a shame that you can categorize them into 5 groups of cars and that’s it. The handling is by far the worst part. The game is all about high speed chases, but you can barely make left and right turns at high speeds, which is another problem. When some cars are going 100 mph in the game it feels as if it’s going 55 mph.  Other cars don’t have this problem, but there is no consistency.  The shift ability is surprisingly fun, switching cars on the fly, causing major accidents, freaking out passengers, it’s great. Unfortunately this does get old quickly, and with how fast the story ends and how much shifting is required it gets tired fast.  There are some good things about Driver: SF. For instance, the game runs at a wonderful 60 frames per second, and you can really see that in game. Even though the story is short there are a ton of other activities to do in the single player aspect ranging from races, cop chases, stunts, and even a film editor mode. There is also online play with 11 different game modes.

Visuals:

Driver: SF looks pretty damn good considering that it’s running at a full 60 frames per second. Not an easy feat to do, just ask EA and the team working on Battlefield 3. The car models all look like you would expect them to; even in the cockpit view the game looks great. The car crashes aren’t bad either, although after playing games like burnout you tend to miss the crazy crashes. The city pedestrians however don’t really look to great, and as with most driving games all citizens jump out of your way to avoid danger. I did find a few glitches here and there, mostly concerning the Shift mechanic. There were times where I would shift back into my vehicle only to find it stuck inside a wall swiftly ending my high speed chase. Also with shift cars would suddenly disappear after you’ve left it and swapped cars. Overall though the game looks nice and runs smooth for the most part.

Audio:

I have to say that the audio department is a hit and miss for me. The cars sound great; the ambience noise from the city does as well. Crashes actually sound like car crashes, the screeching sounds from drifting are great, and voice work is done really well. You can really get a sense of partnership between Tanner and Jones thanks to the talented voice work. The soundtrack however is horrible in my honest opinion. The music doesn’t fit the games timeline or era at all, there is no way to customize it to remove or add songs. Each activity has a specific soundtrack for it, for instance racing has 5 songs, and car chases has its own 3 or 4, and story missions sometimes have no music at all.  I think this is a big mistake as I don’t like any song during the racing and my favorite songs on play during the free ride part of the game. If it wasn’t for custom soundtracks on PC and Xbox 360 I would have lost my mind while playing through this game.

Online:

Driver: SF has a huge online component, which makes me believe it truly took away from the single player experience. This game is a perfect example of quantity over quality, with 11 different game modes, with only 4 or 5 actually being any fun. There are Races, Trailblazers, Tag, Capture the Flag, Relay Races, and more.  Races range from your standard point to point checkpoints, and also Shift Races. The normal racing is decent, but with the bad controls and an online community that has forgotten the word sportsmanship it becomes quickly frustrating. Shift Races are much or less the same only having the ability to shift into other cars if you get into trouble, problem is most players will shift into oncoming traffic and ram head on into you, just to take the lead. While this can be fun with a group of friends, having some random person do it to you isn’t. Capture the Flag is a game mode honestly better left to 3rd and 1st person shooters. In Driver it’s just a hectic mess of cars smashing into each other, making the team aspect very difficult. Trailblazer and Tag are by far the best modes online. Trailblazer has everyone against each other all trying to follow a lead cars trail and score points. This can get really crazy with shift, but is pretty fun and fair. Tag is well simply put tag with a twist, one player is it and the goal is to stay it for as long as possible, if your tagged that person becomes it and starts to score points. This mode is fun because you’re running for your life when there are 5 other players shifting into every car possible to tag you.  There is some fun to be had in Driver’s online mode, but I think the developers should have spent more time on a few modes instead of giving us a bunch of half ass modes.

Driver San Francisco is a game that I was looking forward to a lot and was severely disappointed with the overall product. After the game was delayed 5 months or more it just didn’t deliver the goods. I love Driver 1 and 2 and I wish this game really went back to the roots, and gave us something worthwhile. There were too many problems that plagued this game and I unfortunately can’t honestly recommend playing it. There is a demo up if you want to try it, but save your money and rent it if you have to play it otherwise pass on this.

 

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MX vs ATV Alive Review

By: Cinderkin May 23, 2011 | 6 Comments

Motocross games have been around since Excite Bike on the NES. Have these games really come a long way? Is MX vs ATV Alive worth your money or your time? Find out in the Gouki.com Exclusive Review!

MX games have been some of the most fun racing games since Excite Bike on the NES. With today’s technology the pixelated graphics of the old Excite Bike are long gone. Does the new MX vs ATV Alive game bring the fun or does it just suck? Find out below.

 

 

Career:

Let me first start off by saying MX vs ATV Alive has one of the worst career modes I have ever seen in a racing game. I have been a fan of the MX series for a long time, and I was truly disgusted when I went to the single player career. The reason being is that every single racing game ever in existence starts you off with a race or two, then as you win you progress further through your career. MX vs ATV Alive is the complete opposite of that. When you first start your career you have access to 4 races, 2 National, 2 Short Tracks, and 2 Free Ride levels. Which isn’t bad a first glance, but after you’ve earned the gold medal in all 4 races then that’s it. The only way to unlock more tracks is to increase your rider level / XP to 10 and then 25, which after getting the gold medals in the 4 available tracks my rider level was only 3. Meaning that you are required to either play online or replay the same 4 tracks numerous times. This is uncalled for, and absolutely ridiculous.  There are a total of 16 tracks, with 12 being National and 4 Short Tracks. That is a very small amount of races, and Supercross tracks are for some reason missing entirely from the game. Because of the poorly done career mode the game quickly loses any and all flare it had. THQ if you're reading this never force gamers to replay the same 4 tracks over 20 times just to unlock more tracks in career.

Game Modes:

With a lackluster career mode, all that is left is multiplayer local and online. On the local side of things you literally have the exact same options for races as you do in career. Meaning that if you haven’t reached rider level 10 or 25 in career or online then you will only have access to the same 4 races and 2 free ride levels. This is unacceptable, think about a time when you have picked up a new game from the store and a friend comes over or your sibling wants to play with you, you pop the game in and can play for hours. Imagine doing the same thing with MX vs ATV alive and only have 4 races to play? That is an unplayable experience; this isn’t NES days where you can only fit so many tracks into a cartridge. These are 8 gigs of space to work with. Online multiplayer is the same garbage as the rest of the game; you still only have access to 4 races. WTF? This isn’t even a game.

Controls:

Usually I don’t devote an entire section to controls in games, but MX vs ATV is an exception. The control scheme is interesting in the fact that you control your rider with the left stick, and your Bike or ATV with the right stick. At first this is very difficult to use, but eventually you get the hang of it. There are stunts in the game like in most MX games, but there is nowhere in game a stunt list. The game just assumes you know how to perform the 30 plus tricks. I literally had to Google an online manual for this game just to do a backflip. That should never be the case!

Visuals:

The game looks decent to be honest, the tracks are ordinary, but the dirt on the track is one of the best visuals in the game. Every track looks different, and that is a good thing as does the track itself changes based on what line the riders are taking. The riders themselves all look the same, except for what gear they are wearing. The problem is that the different costumes all look the same during a race. You can’t distinct fully tell the difference which is unfortunate, because the game literally gives you tons of gear to put on your rider.  The character customization and the Bikes and ATV options are plentiful, but unfortunately aren’t needed.

Audio:

The audio is hit or miss in MX vs ATV Alive. The music fits the game well, but there are so little music tracks that you hear the same songs over and over again. The engine sounds in the game are pretty great, you can hear the difference between using the clutch and hammering down on the accelerator. It’s exactly how it should sound. There isn’t much more to say about the audio, because it’s decent, but it doesn’t really change the fact that MX vs ATV Alive is bad.

Online:

I already explained that the online is the same trash as the career mode, but I didn’t go into detail. The online component is very bland and doesn’t offer much to this game. You can have up to 16 players racing at the same time which is nice, but if your rider level isn’t high enough you’ll only be playing those first 4 tracks. Even if someone who is a level 10 or 25 hosts a game at different tracks, you can’t participate until you’re a high enough level. This is absolutely terrible, no gamer should have to go through that just to play the game. You gain XP playing online, but you get less than you do in single player. You can play Ranked, Player and Private games, but even in Private games when everyone is ready to race you still have to wait 30 seconds before each race even starts.

 

I honestly hated this game. I can barely even call this a game; even though it’s cheaper than most titles it feels very incomplete. There are so little good things in this game that I can’t honestly recommend it to any gamer. It is a slap in the face for Motocross fans, racing fans, and gamers alike. MX vs ATV Alive makes you wish you weren’t while playing it. This is truly garbage and I’d rather play MX Unleashed on the original Xbox/PS2 than to play this game again.

 

Bottom Line: FLUSH IT!

 

Community Review

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Sleeping Dogs Review

By: Cinderkin Aug 14, 2012 | 1 Comments

Started out as Black Lotus starring a female protagonist, then becoming the next gen True Crime, and later named True Crime: Hong Kong has found its home in Sleeping Dogs. Is this identity complex game worth your money? Find out in this Gouki.com Review.

Sleeping Dogs has had its ups and downs in its fairly long development cycle. Originally starting off as a new IP called Black Lotus; then being turned into the latest in the True Crime franchise and then ultimately scrapped and cancelled by its former publisher Activision back in 2010. There wasn’t much to be excited about once Square Enix decided to pick up United Front’s latest game and change the name to Sleeping Dogs. Was this a smart move for Square Enix or should Sleeping Dogs do as its name implies and be put down.

Story:

The story in Sleeping Dogs follows a man named Wei Shen who was born in Hong Kong, but grew up in the United States after his mother decided to give him and his late sister Mimi a better life in America. Wei now back in Hong Kong as an undercover cop is sent in to infiltrate a well known triad group known as the Sun On Yee (a reference to a real group known as the Sun Yee On).  Wei’s main goal is to follow triad members and ultimately cripple the organization from the inside out. Wei grew up with most of the lower class triad members, and has a personal stake in the undercover operation, which leads his handler Raymond questioning his motives. Throughout the story Wei has to remember who he is and what his true goal is, as he fights with himself mentally to break from becoming too involved with the triads.

Gameplay:

The gameplay in Sleeping Dogs is not what you would normally expect from open world sandbox games. Where most in the genre focus on gunplay more than hand to hand combat, Sleeping Dogs takes what Batman Arkham Asylum brought us and expands on it. Combat is fun and fluid with the controls being easy to pick up and understand. The game has a huge emphasis on hand to hand combat and environmental attacks, such as throwing enemies into walls or dumpsters. The game also features some of the most brutal environmental attacks like throwing enemies on fish hooks, crushing them under car engines, or slicing their faces off in a bench saw. There is also gunplay in the game, but not to what most would expect from the genre. Rarely do you have a gun or weapon in your inventory, as most times you will obtain weapons by disarming enemies and using it against them. Once a knife breaks or you run out of bullets Wei will just toss it keeping the gameplay fresh and interesting. The game uses what is called an aggressive cover system, where Wei will get destroyed by gunfire if he sits behind cover too long. What the game wants you to do is vault over cover and either disarm an enemy or take him out with a slow motion gunshot while vaulting.

Sleeping Dogs offers a ton of side missions, collectibles, and other activities to keep you entertained. Ranging from doing favors for the locals, singing bad karaoke, betting on cock fighting, or racing events. The player can even shop and purchase new clothing or vehicles. There is always something to do in Hong Kong. Driving in open world games are usually hit or miss, but Sleeping Dogs does a wonderful job making the driving accessible. Cars turn how they should, motorcycles are fast and handle great, and the boats are what you would expect. Unfortunately there are no aircrafts Sleeping Dogs, but it does offer cab rides for those that want to get around the large recreation of Hong Kong easily.

Visuals:

Sleeping Dogs looks great for an open world sandbox type of game. I can’t say it’s the best looking game of this current generation, but the character models look great, as well as the environments. Cut scenes are well done with very believable moments.  Animations seem stiff sometimes, but nothing that can take away from what the rest of the game offers. The weather effects are done nicely as well, with water effects showing on the roads, the people of Hong Kong as well as cars. The city is very lively and filled with people roaming around living their day to day lives. It’s nice seeing NPC’s carrying on conversations with each other, or talking on the phone, or even buying food from a street vendor. It’s easy to get immersed into the world and it feels real.

Audio:

The audio presentation in this game is well thought out, and is done much better than a lot of games this generation. The voice acting is superb with a great amount of voice talent ranging from Will Yun Lee, Emma Stone, Lucy Liu, Tom Wilkinson and Parry Shen to name a few. Voice acting is done with a mix of English and Cantonese language, which offers a realistic touch to each character as well as being able to understand them. The music is also nicely done, ranging from Chinese hip hop, America rock, and classic music. They really give you a variety of tracks to listen to, with about 10 radio stations. The ambient sounds are well done, as well as the NPC’s who fill the city. There is some really good humor to be had by listening to NPC’s in Sleeping Dogs.  

Overall Sleeping Dogs is by far one of the most fun sandbox action games of this generation. Whether it’s fighting thugs in hand to hand combat, or shooting up rooms John Woo style; there is a ton of fun to be had here. With a compelling story, only plagued by its length and a world filled with activities that will keep you coming back for more. This game has hours of gameplay and nonstop fun. If you are a fan of this genre and can’t wait for GTA: V then Sleeping Dogs will fill your empty void for the year. It’s a blast!

Review

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DiRT 3 Review

By: Cinderkin May 25, 2011 | 5 Comments

DiRT 3 is here, but is it worth the money? Has Codemasters made a great game or is this another washed up sequel? Find out in the Gouki.com Exclusive Review.

It’s time to get DiRTy! Codemasters is back with the third rendition of the DiRT series. This series has been one of the best in the racing genre. Can DiRT 3 bring the fun that was in the first 2 or have we seen all that DiRT has to offer? Find out below.

 

DiRT Tour (Career):

The career mode in DiRT is called the DiRT Tour, and is a pretty impressive mode. You begin by creating your racing profile, with a name, nationality, and nickname. Then you’re thrown into your first event. This is good, but there is no beginning tutorial to help you get into things. Before each event you have the option to tweak some settings like difficulty, assists, and other options. There are a total of four seasons in the DiRT Tour, with four competitions in each season, with 6 events in each. There are a ton of events to be had here. Each event ranges from different disciplines such as Rally, Rally Cross, Land Rush, Head 2 Head, Gymkhana Events and DC Challenges. This offers a great variety and keeps the game from getting stale. DC Challenges and Gymkhana Events are new to the DiRT series, bringing a fun and challenging experience to the basic racing modes. In DC challenges you are asked to perform certain tricks to score points, these tricks range from jumps, drifts, spins, and donuts. Gymkhana Events bring all of these tricks together to in one large trick demo. These additions to the series are welcome, and I look forward to seeing more in the future. As you progress in DiRT Tour you gain Rider Rep or XP which allows for more teams to give you cars to race in events. Each car also has its own challenges to build Rep. DiRT Tour is hours of fun, and is one of the best career modes in a racing game.

Game Modes:

There are a ton of game modes in DiRT 3, ranging from single player, local split screen, and online multi player. Other than career mode for single player there is Time Trials and Single Race events, letting you choose your favorite tracks and trying to either beat your best times or race against the AI. Local play is actually a pretty big component in DiRT 3. You have split screen options that let you set individual or team events, rounds, and all of the disciplines. There is even a Joyride option, and the ability to save settings for future races. The online component is great as well; you have options to race against other opponents in Pro Tour, and Jam Sessions. Pro Tour is your general Ranked matches where you choose a discipline and race. Jam Sessions are Player matches where you can invite your friends to play through the various disciplines. There also some Party Play options online as well. For the first time in the series players can upload 30 second clips straight to their Youtube accounts. This is a pretty cool feature, but the only problem is it takes a pretty long time to upload, and you can’t save a replay to upload later. Replays must be uploaded at the end of a race, meaning a lot of times most will just skip this feature. Overall DiRT 3 has a ton of game modes for anyone to enjoy.

Visuals:

DiRT 3 looks amazing. The landscapes look great, and each has its own distinct feel to it. From Kenya to Aspen and Finland to Michigan each track breathes life into the game. The rain effects, the snow, day, and night all have its own feel to it. The only thing missing in that aspect is the tracks showing where cars have been and wear and tear on the tracks. The cars look great as well; the details are nice with dirt covering the cars after races. The cockpit view is the most impressive in than in any other game, when the rain hits the windshield and the wipers come on it adds realism to the game. Crashing the vehicles look great as well with bits and pieces flying everywhere and cars becoming more compact with each head on collision. DiRT 3 covers the visual department very nicely.

Audio:

The audio is to be expected in DiRT 3, it’s good, but not great. The music tracks are nice, but there are so few you hear the same ones a lot. There is also the problem with music only being in the menus, and during replays. While this isn’t horrible it would have been nice to have an option to listen to music while racing. The engine sounds are a nice touch, but it’s hard to tell the difference between most vehicles. Your co-driver in Rally events get the job done, detailing when a turn or jump is coming up, but again the option to turn that off would have been nice. DiRT 3 covers the basis in the audio department, but lacks in this area where the rest of the game really shines.

Online:

The online experience will definitely keep the life and replay value of DiRT 3 alive. It’s done very well. Pro Tour mode is very easy to get into, but just like DiRT 2 there is no real matchmaking option. You just get thrown to the wolves, and new players will be turned away by racing constantly against high level players. There is however a hardcore option which forces players to the cockpit view with no assists or hud. I find this to be a ton of fun. Where online shines the most is in the Jam Sessions. Grab a group of friends and set the parameters however you like, and if you’re tired of the basic racing events then you can jump into Party Play at any time. You could easily hours in the playing online because they have added some really cool and new types of events. There is Invasion, where players have to smash into robot cardboard cutouts that randomly appear on the tracks.  Outbreak is like a zombie type mode, where one player chases down everyone and tries to ram them, added them to the infection until no one is left. The best mode by far is Transporter which is essentially Capture the Flag. Transporter becomes one of the most hectic events with cars smashing into each other to claim the flag, as well as placing the flags in places not that easy to acquire. It’s a lot of fun. The online has something for everyone, and it will keep you coming back for a long time.

DiRT 3 is a big step in the right direction for the series, as it’s one of the best racers available now. I can’t stress this enough that if you’re a fan of racing, dirt, or just fun you’ll have a great time with DiRT3

 

Bottom Line: BUY IT!

Review

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Dead Island Review

By: cinderkin Sep 18, 2011 | 6 Comments

Dead Island has recently been released and with all sorts of choices for zombie games, does Dead Island have what it takes to keep your interest. Is it worth your money? I tell you straight in the Gouki.com Official Review. Don’t be a Jimmy! Check it out.

Zombie games have become quite popular in the last few years, with successes such as Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead, and Dead Nation (see a trend here?). Techland and Deep Silver have gotten on board with a Zombie game of their own with Dead Island. Does this 5 year plus developed game show a fine polish or is it another Techland disaster? Find out in the Gouki.com Review.

 

 

Story:

The story of Dead Island is by far one of the most uninspired pieces of garbage I have seen in a game in a long time. The game starts with giving you a short character bio for each of the four cast members, detailing why they are on the island of Banoi and a little insight into who they are. None of these things matter as the game quickly removes any real story aspect from the game. The game starts with you in your hotel room after a zombie outbreak has occurred, leaving you helpless to fend off zombies. You quickly here a voice that tells you to grab a weapon and head for safety. You’ll soon find yourself incapacitated by the undead, but find out that you are immune to becoming a zombie (how convenient).  Meaning that every surviving person on the island makes you their personal errand boy/girl because you can’t become infected by the undead and they all can; making for some pretty cheesy story arcs.  You’ll soon find yourself ignoring any sense of story here, which is probably the only bad thing about Dead Island.

Gameplay:

The gameplay mechanics in Dead Island are what you would expect from your average first person shooter, but this is no shooter. While there are guns, they are very hard to come by. Your only real source for survival is relying heavily on melee combat, and team work.  Dead Island is a 4-player co-op experience and this is where the game shines very well.  It reminds me a lot of Borderlands with all of the weapons and how there are hundreds of different customization options for them.  Dead Island also uses a very unique way of melee combat, with the right analog stick you can slash and swing in whichever direction you feel. It makes aiming for the head or limbs that much easier, and as we all know cut or bash a zombie in the head and they’re dead. This takes a bit of time to get used to but once you do it is a lot of fun slicing the heads of zombies with perfect precision. There are times when there are a ton of zombies attacking you at once without any frame rate issues. Also there are a bunch of different zombie types, ranging from Walkers, Infected, Thugs, and more. My only gripe with the online multiplayer is that the game doesn’t force character selection like in Left 4 Dead, which sounds like a good thing, but when you have 3 out of 4 players using the same character it’s impossible to differentiate between them as each character looks exactly the same. This also doesn’t help with team unity, because in Dead Island each of the 4 characters has special abilities and skills that benefit one another for the best survival.  When all 4 players are the same guy it tends to become mute point. Another great thing about co-op is that you aren’t really tied to a leash with your partners, you are basically free to explore the island however you like, but there are some missions that require all players there to start. Exploring the island is essential for finding new weapons and mods, plus also secret missions. The driving mechanics in the game aren’t bad but there aren’t great either. I do have a problem with driving in first person only and with the steering wheel being on the right side, but I’m just being picky here. Overall the game plays much like Borderlands and Left 4 Dead and that is a good thing.

Visuals:

The look of Dead Island feels a little outdated with some bad textures here and there, and the character models look a little flushed out and not as refined, but the undead look great. The environments also look pretty good considering how there are so many places to go and zombies on screen. The game rarely loads either unless you are leaving or entering certain areas of the game. Seeing a zombie get his head bashed in by a spiked bat never gets old, the way the blood splatters and how pieces of flesh fly everywhere are great touches.  For the most part the game looks good and you can really immerse yourself in the island of Banoi quite easily. Weapons look like you would expect them too; it’s also nice to see the wear and tear the more you use them. Bats start cracking, knifes look rusted, sickles start to bend its great. Also seeing your weapons change as you upgrade them and customize them are a nice touch as well. The fire effects from Molotov cocktails and exploding canister look great as well. Overall the visual aspect of the game isn’t the best, but it doesn’t take away from the experience.

Audio:

The audio department can be a bit of a hit or miss in some areas. While the voice acting is done rather well, the cheesy one liners and pleas from some of the other survivors are sometimes quite laughable. The zombies sound great and the ambiences make you really feel like you’re stuck on an island that is infested with the undead. You can literally hear a zombie around the corner moaning and groaning while they wait to attack. The character you play as don’t sound bad at all, but can get cheesy too with how they are feeling about the current situation. Unfortunately the cheesy one liners get repeated quite often as you explore the island.  For the most part the audio in Dead Island does a good job immersing you into the game.

Overall:

Dead Island is a pretty good game with a lot going for it. The 4 player co-op is a lot of fun, and the single player is just as good. The RPG elements that of Boarderlands with skill trees, weapon customization, and leveling up are all represented well here in Dead Island. The game clocks in at well over 40 hours, and the each character plays so differently that you can essentially play through 4 different times. This game remains fun from chapter 1 until the very end. Dead Island is a huge success over Techland’s latest Call of Juarez:  The Cartel. Anyone thinking about playing Dead Island will be happy to know that you can enjoy it solo or with friends and there is a character for every play style.

Originally released back in 1998 in the Arcades, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is a hardcore fighting game based on the original manga Stardust Crusaders. It’s finally being re-released for everyone’s enjoyment on the PS3 and Xbox 360. Is it worth your money?

If you were a fighting game fan back in the late 90’s going to the Arcades you may have heard of and played JoJo’s Venture or the later renamed JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Although if you were like me then you never got a chance to play it because either your arcade didn’t have it or you were hooked on Street Fighter III and Marvel vs Capcom games. Unfortunately the latter was the case for many of us and we missed out on JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Even after the game was ported to the PS1 and Dreamcast many gamers had no clue this game existed. Capcom has given us the opportunity to play this golden gem from the CPS-3 era on the PS3 and Xbox 360 with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD.

Story:

The story of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD (JoJo HD) is based on the 3rd story arc of the original Manga commonly known as Stardust Crusaders. Following a teenager named Jotaro Kujo who develops “Bizarre” supernatural powers known as the “Stand”. Jotaro learns from his grandfather Joseph Joestar of the relation of the “Stand” with their bloodline and of the ancestral enemy of his family, a vampire by the name Dio Brando. Jotaro then embarks on a quest to save his mother and to defeat the evil Dio. JoJo’s HD explains the story of all 22 characters through the games story mode (Arcade).

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Get Back On The Offensive! The Anomaly 2 Review!

By: Cinderkin Jun 3, 2013 | 0 Comments

11 bit studios are back with a sequel to last years’ “Anomaly Warzone Earth” simply titled “Anomaly 2”. Is this tower offense game an improvement over the original or is it a sequel that could have stayed buried? Find out in the Gouki.com Review

Earth has been hit hard by mechanical alien like creatures and now is a frozen wasteland. Humanity is struggling to survive and all hope is left on a few convoys searching for supplies to recover and rebuild the lost super weapon “Project Shockwave”. The campaign is 14 missions that recap a lot of the first game while easing new players in so that nothing is missed. It’s roughly 5-6 hours which is short for a game like this. Although short it’s a game that doesn’t feel too stale with little recycling of any kind during the campaign.

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Do you own a FightStick, but have trouble storing it or traveling with it? Then you’re in luck as a quick release JLF shaft called The Link by PhreakMods has been re-released and is better than ever.

Do you own a FightStick, but have trouble storing it or traveling with it? Then you’re in luck as a quick release JLF shaft called The Link by PhreakMods has been re-released and is better than ever. What exactly is The Link? The Link is a redesign of the Sanwa JLF shaft, which is the standard in a good majority of FightSticks on the market. It’s been designed so that once you stop gaming and need to store or travel with your FightStick you can remove the shaft that is sticking out and in the way.

Why this device is such a good product is because of how easy it is to install and use. The Link comes in three parts: the base, the top and the collar operation piece. All you need to do to use it after installation is to simply pull up on the spring loaded collar to release the shaft from the base. The same is done when putting it back on. Included with The Link is a 3mm hex key which allows you to tighten or loosen the ball top if need be without the need to open up the entire FightStick.

Installation of The Link is a breeze if you’ve got the tools to open up your FightStick. All you do is open up the FightStick to access the JLF assembly, remove the e-clip over original JLF base and swap it for The Link base, then replace the e-clip. It’s really that easy and only takes 10 to 15 minutes.

 I’ve use The Link now for 2 weeks and have had absolutely no issues while using it. This device is amazingly simple and practical. I used to travel for work and it was always a hassle to bring my FightStick with me due to not having room for the stick with shaft and ball top connected. I’ve also had the unfortunate mishap of my FightStick dropping ball top down and breaking. The Link alleviates those issues and I love it.

Another thing to note is that The Link doesn’t come off during normal play unless you absolutely want it off. It’s designed so well that it feels like using the basic Sanwa JLF shaft and doesn’t affect play at all. It took less than 10 minutes to get used to it and most users won’t even notice a difference while using it. It’s also worth noting that when The Link isn’t in the FightStick there is a hole where it was. I highly advice purchasing the extra dust washer and black cover cap to keep everything protected.

The link is available for purchase at FocusAttack.com for $35 RRP. I highly recommend this product to anyone and everyone that owns a FightStick, you won’t regret owning one!

Get ready for the next battle, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is finally here. Is it worth your money? Find out in the Gouki.com Review. Don’t be a Jimmy!

The time has come to pull out all the stops and do battle in the latest Tekken Tag Tournament. This time it’s bigger, better, and all around more badass than ever before. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (TTT 2) is filled with over 50 fighters, new stages, new combos, and more. The latest 3D fighting game has made it to consoles, but is it worth your money though? Read on below.

TTT 2 offers a ton of game modes for you to spend hours upon hours in. Arcade mode returns as well as Ghost Battle which pits you against and unlimited amount of opponents’ ghost data as you rank up your fighter from Beginner to Tekken Lord. Time Attack, Survival, Versus, Practice, and for the first time in a fighting game Fight Lab. If you’ve ever felt like a fighting game was just too hard to get into because the moves look to complex or you just don’t understand the game mechanics, well then you have nothing to worry about with TTT 2. Fight Lab is a fleshed out tutorial system which allows you to learn the basics as well as the advanced mechanics of the game. It teaches you the ins and outs of the game, from high and low attacks, defense, tagging, launchers and ground bounces, and side stepping, as well as allowing you to fully customize your own fighter named Combot. Fight Lab truly is a groundbreaking feature that more fighting games need to implement.

Although TTT 2 has a ton of offline modes to choose from, online is where it thrives. Tekken 6 suffered with a really bad and unplayable online experience. Namco Bandai has put a ton of effort into making sure TTT 2 has the online longevity and I say that it truly nails it in every way. There are two game modes right now which are Ranked and 8 slot lobby Player matches. The flow of the menus are amazing, rarely can you find a game which allows for match after match without being kicked back to a menu. While you wait for an opponent the game allows you to practice your moves while you wait. When an opponent is found the game shows you the players’ connection to you and gives you the option to opt in or out, this is a great addition because everyone hates having matches in lag. Speaking of lag TTT 2 doesn’t have any, with the ability to set your search options to only connect to players with great ping you won’t have to worry about lag at all. I even did 20 matches with a friend who lives on the other side of the US and is known for having a really poor connection (unplayable) with zero lag. Whichever netcode is being used here is by far the best in the genre.

The gameplay is so smooth and the animations are clean. This game is filled with thousands of moves with no slow down whatsoever. Although a Tag fighting game TTT 2 allows you to pick between either 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, or 2 vs 1 including pair play for online. I’ve noticed that solo play is much stronger than tag play, although I see this being possibly changed in an update. Every character can be partnered up with another and some have special tag combos and tag throws when properly paired. With over 50 fighters including almost every single fighter from the Tekken franchise you have a ton of tag team options to choose from.

TTT 2 is an absolutely beautiful game in every sense of the word, fighters looked detailed as well as the stages. These aren’t your ordinary stages either, with stages from all over the world. Some have crazy backgrounds like the festival parade with floats, or the high school with all the students cheering you on. Fighters actually get dirty during matches as well. The details behind this game are phenomenal. Each fighter can also be fully customized with clothing, weapons, and special effects. There are hundreds of costumes to choose from all included without costing extra. The game even lets you save up to 10 different costumes for each fighter.

The games audio shines as well. Every fighter speaks in their native tongue which is a nice touch for authenticity. Each stage has music that really gets you in the mood to kick someone’s ass, including the newly implemented Tekken Tunes which allows you to fully customize the games soundtrack to your liking. Not only does this allow you to choose the music from the game to edit, but you can even take tracks from your favorite albums and put them into the game. Feel like fighting to Rock, Rap, Country, or the theme song to Pokémon you now have that option. Tekken Tunes is an awesome feature and more games should implement it.

Tekken Tag Tournament 2 damn near has everything a fighting game should have. No game of the genre has come close to what TTT 2 has done.  They really nailed this game and even if you aren’t familiar with the 3D fighting game style, with modes like Fight Lab you can’t go wrong. Although not my favorite fighting game series, I can’t deny that this game is the best in the genre. Namco Bandai has raised the bar for all other companies to follow. If you love fighting games you’ll love this game. If you like fighting games you’ll love this game. If you hate fighting games you’ll love this game. It has so much content and should be awarded for offering this much. We Are Tekken!

Review

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Mess with Lights and Shadows in the Game of Lums

By: Cinderkin Aug 2, 2013 | 2 Comments

The Vampires invaded Lums world. The only way to stop them is to destroy their hideouts in the shadows and expose them to the light. Is it worth your money? Find out in the review.

iPhone games are getting more and more popular as the years go on with games like Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, and Cut the Rope. There are hundreds of thousands of games on the app store and most of them are filled with micro transactions. I rarely play iPhone games because they aren’t really fun, but sometimes a game comes out that gets you hooked. That game is Lums, the game of lights and shadows.

Developed by Hyperbolic Magnetism Lums at first glance looks like a clone of Angry Birds, but you’ll soon realize that not only is it a different game it’s much better. Vampires have invaded the world of Lums and the only way to stop them is to expose them to the light. The game offers 48 levels with over a 100 stars to collect. With 5 different characters to use, each with unique abilities that help you destroy the vampires. There is the Cannonball Lum who is best at destroying everything, create spotlights with the Light Lum, or turn vampires into stone with the Stone Lum and more.

The gameplay of Lums is slightly similar to Angry Birds, although you have full control over your Lums. While holding your finger to the screen and swiping around you can maneuver your Lum in any direction you want. The levels are designed so that there are hazards you must avoid while also trying to collect stars. With well-placed vampires you’ll need to figure out the best path of destroying them while also going fast to score the most points. If a level gets too difficult or you have trouble completing it there is a Nuke Bomb available to you.

The game has a dark setting, but the detail in the levels as well as the little characters are very nice. From the rain effects to the light burning vampires, this game although with a dark pallet of colors still shows off great detail and art. The audio soundtrack reminds me of the Terminator and Zelda, which you may think is an odd combo, but it works quite well.

Lums is an iphone game that complements its touch controls well and is a challenging but rewarding experience. For only a $0.99 you really have no reason not to pick up this little gem from the app store. Lums is also available for $1.99 for the iPad for those that have one. It’s the perfect game to play on the go, during breaks at work, or even at home lounging. Be sure to grab Lums today. You’ll be glad you did.

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