Slick Anthology

A video game collection in blog form… a constant work in progress

Dance Central 2

Dance Central 2 Cover

System: Xbox 360

Genre: Rhythm

Release: 8/25/11

Completed: No

Continuing the success from the original Dance Central, Harmonix’s sequel Dance Central 2 features more music and more interestingly simultaneous multiplayer. In the original DC players had to take turns dancing, with only one being on camera at a time, but with Dance Central 2 players can dance and compete against one another at the same time. Coincidentally, this echoes the pattern of improved multiplayer across sequels in Harmonix’s earlier Guitar Hero series.  With Dance Central 2 making the first nearly obsolete in that respect alone, I think it’s safe to say the sequel is the better of the two. And you can even import the songs from the first game into the second, so no disc-swapping is needed!

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Dance Central

Dance Central CoverSystem: Xbox 360

Genre: Rhythm

Release: 11/4/10

Completed: No

Not to be content with just taking over the plastic instrument field, Harmonix’s Kinect-enabled Dance Central revolutionized the dancing game and gave Xbox 360 owners a Kinect game to be proud of. After the release of Dance Central, Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution series was all but dead (and yet there are still more and more games being released in the series!). What Dance Central did right was create a game that made you actually feel like you were dancing, something that no other rhythm game could say. While the sequels are arguably better in terms of songs and gameplay, there is no denying the awesomeness of the original Dance Central.

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Crackdown

Crackdown Cover

System: Xbox 360

Genre: Action/Sandbox

Release: 2/20/07

Completed: No

I didn’t know that Crackdown was such an early release on the 360! A Grand Theft Auto clone where you play as a super powered cop, Crackdown is an open world game that just lets you have some fun. Oh, and you can follow the story line and do all that fun stuff should you choose. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Crackdown, specifically praising the gameplay and unique powers at your disposal. Despite this, I haven’t given the game much time to say I’ve even played it. Also, the cover here is totally taking a page from the GTA franchise. They copy their gameplay and they copy their artwork! Sheesh!

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Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena

Chronicles of Riddick Assault on Dark Athena Cover

System: Xbox 360

Genre: First Person/Action

Release: 4/7/09

Completed: Partially

I’ve yet to see any of the Riddick movies, so this was my first actual experience with Vin Diesel’s sci-fi character (I also passed on the Xbox title Escape From Butcher Bay). Assault on Dark Athena is actually a sequel to the Xbox game and even includes a remade campaign from the earlier, very well regarded, title. Regardless, I didn’t find this game to be my cup of tea (and I love me some tea). The darkness and atmosphere was fine and all, but I didn’t like the visuals or the gameplay. Perhaps I didn’t give it enough time, as some people really like this one, but I just didn’t enjoy it all that much. For what it’s worth, the game is still relatively cheap and easy to come by, and I’d say try it out if you like the film series it’s based on.

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Castlevania: Lords of Shadow

Castlevania Lords of Shadow Cover

System: Xbox 360

Genre: Action

Release: 10/5/10

Completed: No

Castlevania is one of the greatest video game series made. I really mean it, it’s up there with the likes of Mario, Zelda, and even the GTAs. Lords of Shadow is a bit of a departure from the series roots, focusing more on action elements seen in games like God of War than the exploration and RPG emphasis in games prior (which themselves had less of the style of gameplay from the original NES games). Even so, Lords of Shadow was a successful reboot of the series on the consoles. The sequel on the 3DS… not so much.

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Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

Call of Juarez Bound in Blood Cover

System: Xbox 360

Genre: First Person Shooter

Release: 6/30/09

Completed: No

Yahtzee over at Zero Punctuation did a very funny piece about the game that actually made me want to play it. To my disappointment however, Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood offers only online multiplayer and no split screen co-op. That’s a real bummer with newer generations of games: they rely heavily on online gameplay and bypass the standard multiplayer affair. Regardless, the game is relatively inexpensive these days, and it’s a Western themed game that I look forward to running through.

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Bulletstorm: Epic Edition

Bulletstorm Epic Edition Cover

System: Xbox 360

Genre: First Person Shooter

Release: 2/22/11

Completed: Partially

Cliff Bleszinski, the brainchild behind Xbox 360 series Gears of War, teamed up with People Can Fly, a development company which is best known for the Painkiller series of surreal first person shooters, to create the action-packed craziness that is Bulletstorm. The game takes a very head-on approach to the shooter. You get bonuses for killing enemies in creative ways (like lassoing them by the legs, flinging them in the air, then shooting off their head and/or limbs), the story is over the top and fun, and the combat is… actually the combat is just average. Bulletstorm was pegged as a more fun version of other shooters by putting more emphasis on action and combat than story. While it is worth it for shooter fans searching for something new, it doesn’t offer enough for casual gamers to remain entertained.

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Brink

Brink Cover

System: Xbox 360

Genre: First Person Shooter/RPG

Release: 5/10/11

Completed: No

Brink reminded me a lot of Borderlands: a first person shooter with RPG like elements, and even a bit of team based combat akin to Team Fortress 2. But Brink didn’t execute like any of these titles, and instead is an alright shooter with some team elements. A big draw to the game was the parkour moves, which let you scale walls and run across the obstacle-filled environment while avoiding (most of the time) gunfire. It’s a unique concept that hasn’t been seen before, or at least hasn’t been seen done well before. I’m still intrigued by the game and will be giving it some time in the future.

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Borderlands 2

Borderlands 2 Cover

System: Xbox 360

Genre: First Person Shooter/RPG

Release: 9/18/12

Completed: Yes

In very few instances a game comes out that I actually buy the week of its release. With Borderlands 2, I actually bought the game the day it came out. I was and still am a huge fan of the original game, and while this sequel doesn’t have the same wow factor of the original, it’s still a damn fine video game, and a fantastic sequel to a stellar RPG/Shooter. The characters, level progression and skills, voice acting, animation, improvements to combat, and so many more tweaks, additions, and fixes make Borderlands 2 another must-play game. If you’re thinking of playing this one instead of the first, I’d still recommend checking out Borderlands 1 as it has a lot to offer that this game does not. And then treat yourself again and play Borderlands 2!

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Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition

Borderlands Game of the Year Edition Cover

System: Xbox 360

Genre: First Person Shooter/RPG

Release: 10/12/10

Completed: Yes

Words cannot accurately describe how much I love Borderlands. The game is a combination First Person Shooter and Role Playing Game, and if my memory serves me right it was plugged during its release as “Diablo II with guns.” While that’s not the greatest metaphor it is at least somewhat right. Borderlands: Game of the Year Edition here comes with the full original game as well as all four expansion packs on a separate disc (which you can download yourself and then give to a friend to download too!). If you haven’t played the game yet, this is the way to go. Even with Borderlands 2 out there, this game is still entirely worth your time. I recommend the game to the fullest.

Read my review of the game (the PS3 version) here.

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