Everybody’s Golf 2 Review (PSP)

Now you can find my review for Everybody’s Golf 2 (PSP) on Button Masher!

http://buttonmasher.co.nz/2008/07/08/everybodys-golf-2-review-psp/

After reading, please help me out and also digg the review:
http://digg.com/playstation/Everybody_s_Golf_2_Review_PSPIf you don’t have a digg account, here’s your chance to join the insane web phenomenon! Digg is a news site where the web community decides what they want to hear about. So the articles with the most diggs gain an even larger readership. Join Digg here, its easy 🙂 http://digg.com/register/ .

If Everybody’s Golf 2 sounds like your cup of tea, the game is now in NZ stores (since June 27th).

Grand Theft Auto IV Review (360)

You can check out the Salient website here for the Grand Theft Auto IV review, click on the printed version for a closeup, or read it below…


Game: Grand Theft Auto IV
Platform: Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Action Adventure
Developer: Rockstar North
Publisher: Rockstar

Only once in a while do games really remind you of why you play video games in the first place. Grand Theft Auto IV is one such a game. On the surface it may seem like a mindless romp: running over pedestrians, firing on hotdog stands and soliciting in the service of prostitutes; it is that and oh so much more. Behind it is a gritty story of crime and alliances all encased in a virtual city, showcasing the irony behind American culture.

You play as Niko Bellic, a European immigrant arriving in Liberty City (based on New York City) to meet his cousin Roman who says he’s been living the American Dream. Niko soon finds out that it is anything but and Roman is heavily in debt. This is not a story from rags to riches but as Sam Houser, Rockstar President, puts it, “a story from rags to slightly better rags.” The plot has many twists and turns and Niko’s dark past will inevitably catch up with him. The characters are dynamic and engaging, and there was never the urge to skip a cutscene. Every cutscene is interesting and enjoyable to watch, from the comic relief of Brucie the oddball auto garage owner, to Little Jacob the Jamaican arms dealer who is near impossible to understand!

Liberty City is smaller than the state of San Andreas, but the developers have substantiated that it is better to put in greater detail than large areas of nothingness. In GTA style you have streets to run around in, cars to jack, shops to visit, pedestrians to bowl over. At the beginning you only have access to a section of the city, but once you have unlocked all parts of Liberty City the world is really yours for the taking. The scope is incredible, from surfing the web at an internet café, to listening to all eighteen radio stations and competing in darts at the local pub. The game pokes fun at TV shows such as CSI and 24, and brands like Sprite. Even the series itself is fair game, with the Xbox 360 achievement ‘Warm Coffee’ after taking your girlfriend inside, alluding to the controversial hot coffee mod in San Andreas. Even something as simple as a taxi ride is made satisfying as you sit back and look at Liberty City go on around you, while Niko chats to the cabbie.

In this GTA your mobile phone plays a crucial role. By pressing the up button, a virtual phone comes onscreen that you can call on or receive calls and texts from characters you have met in the game. Once you do enough missions for a character, the phone presents new options and you can go socialising with them in a number of activities such as bowling, dining out, or even visiting a strip club.

The mission structure is pretty similar to previous installments where you head out to a destination on your radar, a cut scene plays and the mission starts with the location mapped to your radar. Although there are variations, sometimes missions start as soon as you answer a call. This time around if you fail a mission you can easily restart it from your mobile phone, which is a godsend after getting fed up with travel time in San Andreas. One small nitpick however, the game does autosave after completing missions, but saving is still a pain as you have to travel all the way to your safe house and save there.

Using the powerful Euphoria animation technology, the animation plays smooth and believably well. For example, if you gently ram into a pedestrian they will lose balance and topple over, then carefully pick themselves up. After a long night at the pub, Niko will stumble around for a good while, falling over easily and using whatever he can to balance himself. Yes it is possible to go drink driving! Be prepared for real nausea as your screen is distorted and your eyes punished as a reward.

Multiplayer has arrived for the first in the GTA series. There is no main menu in GTA IV so like Burnout Paradise, multiplayer is accessed in-game through your mobile phone. It is definitely mayhem as you and up to fifteen others parade around Liberty City guns a-blazing and cars a-squealing. There are fifteen multiplayer modes comprised under team, cooperative, competitive, race and party focuses. Free Mode is the highlight where there are no rules, and you have free roam of the city alongside your mates.

Not only is Grand Theft Auto IV one of the best games ever created but it has got itself into the Guinness World Records for the biggest entertainment release of all time! Rockstar have really cornered themselves now. How can they possibly improve upon this? If you own an Xbox 360 or PS3, you owe it to yourself to buy this game.

By Mriceguy

Burnout Paradise Review (360)

You can check out the Salient website here for the Burnout Paradise review, click on the printed version for a closeup, or read it below…

Burnout Paradise
Genre: Arcade Racer
Developer: Criterion Games
Publisher: EA Games

Burnout Paradise flat spins the Burnout franchise in an entirely new direction, creating a huge open world named Paradise City. Paradise City is a fictional American location consisting of mountain ranges, a beach and a harbour town. As soon as you start up the game, Paradise City by Guns N’ Roses blares from your speakers, you’re thrown into a junk yard, and you are free to chose a car, and roam the city. Criterion Games promised an open world to explore at your leisure, and that’s exactly what they delivered.

There are no boundaries or set paths, the beauty of this game is that you clear your own route through the streets to the finish. At each intersection marked by traffic lights, there is one of five different events on offer. Races involve you competing against the AI to a set landmark. Stunt Run has you performing outrageous stunts like a madman before your time runs out. The classic Road Rage mode is back, from previous titles with the aim to score the most takedowns (crashing into an opponent car and obliterating them from existence). Marked Man is a game of cat and mouse as you try to escape from your pursuers.

Showtime mode is the evolution of Crash mode. Crash mode was a feature in the previous Burnout games where you picked an intersection, and drove your way into traffic, trying to crash into as many vehicles as possible. In Paradise you can enter into Showtime mode at any time, which has you flipping over endlessly — steering your wreck left and right as you bounce along the streets, smashing into traffic to rack up the points.

The Online component of Burnout Paradise is absolutely seamless between offline and online. One moment you’re driving on your own, and the next racing or competing for challenges among your friends or other gamers. The Freeburn challenges are so different to what Burnout has been before and work perfectly with the open world of Paradise City. Some involve racking up jump distance, drift meters or performing a jump in a specific location like the airfield or the mines. Headset support is an added edition with players usually helping each other out when someone needs a hand.

I don’t own a Live Vision camera for the 360 (PlayStation Eye for the PS3), but every time you score a takedown, their camera snaps a picture and adds it to your collection, which is rather neat. Of course my collection is mostly made up of people with their middle finger outstretched!

If you loved the original Burnout series there is a good chance you will love this game too. If you haven’t played a Burnout game before, Burnout Paradise is the perfect open world racer. There is just so much to do in this game, and you can do it your way!

By Mriceguy

cat killer

This TV3 story shocked me. You would think there would be some laws in place to deal with such people who do horrific things to harmless animals. This New Zealand man, Yopie Alternburg, uses modified possum traps to catch and kill cats in his own backyard.

The Campbell Live interview is here.

I posted this comment to the article:

“For those of you who think this is a right course of action to take. Do you think shooting a harmless dog in the back of the head, while it’s still full of a life, would be a normal thing to do. If anything humans are the pests. We’re the ones who have destroyed most of the wildlife in this country.”

Note that the photo above is of our family cat, Mustang, and he is not in any way connected to the killings.

*