Monday, May 23, 2011

LA Noire: Review - The Good and The Bad

                               L.A. Noire, recently released last 5/17/11, is a dark and violent crime thriller set against the backdrop of 1940s Los Angeles. It utilizes a revolutionary new facial animation technology. Noire blends the breathtaking action of chases and shootouts with true detective work including interrogations and clue-finding, as newly-minted officer Cole Phelps embarks on a desperate search for truth in a city where everyone has something to hide.

Here is where I'm at. I actually just finished the game and have gotten a hold of a few vehicles, mostly the rare ones. I haven't been looking for the film reels and just half-assed the landmarks. I pre-ordered the game for the ps3 which unfortunately, because of the hack, hindered me from accessing my exclusive contents. Yeah I know it's BS, but what the heck. I'm going for 100% in game and platinum trophy to honor this game.

What's really great about this game is that it's a breath of fresh air. By that I mean the setting of the game and most especially the investigation part of the game. Finally, a game where you actually use your brain.

Let's talk about the graphics. One word, revolutionary. Yes, this IMO, sets the bar higher for future video games especially those that focuses on the story a lot. Rockstar games really made my ps3 worth buying. The graphics are perfect! Smooth, detailed, very high quality. The environment is amazing in every way. Definitely makes walking around worthwhile. There's one feature that really made me go "woooah". It's the black & white option from the pause menu under display. This gives the game a feel for the classic movies. Playing this game is like watching a movie. There are no scenes where the graphics change. There are no transitions from gameplay graphics to mini movie graphics. Why not a perfect score for graphics you say? Simple, it's not perfect. You can still see overlapping of character to character or character to objects. Some graphic glitches here and there. Fortunately, this seldom happens.

The story for the cases are outstanding. Very well thought out. It's like watching CSI except in the wrong year. It's like reading a good detective book or watching a good police investigation show/movie. Just when you think you got it all figured out, something else comes up. Twist and turns are always exciting in stories.
I don't fancy the entire story that much though. Especially the ending. What about the ending? Hmmm... I find it kind of dry for a very well written plot. The story in general is quite impressive. I'm just a little hard to please when it comes to the story.

Gameplay is excellent. Very focused on investigation and on problem solving. There are shootouts, car chases, tailing a suspect, and on foot chases. My favorite would be the on foot chases and tailing the suspect. Maybe the latter just gets my juice flowing. There are also a great deal of interrogations which I enjoy a lot. There are 3 options in the interrogation part. Truth, lie, and doubt. I'll be talking about these things in my next post so keep posted.

I only have one problem with this game though. Where's the multiplayer mode? I'm talking about something similar to Red Dead Redemption's online multiplayer mode. Yes the story, graphics, and single player modes are great, but my $60.00 felt like it didn't get what it deserved.

Overall I'm quite disappointed. After finishing the story what do you do? Collect boring 100 reels? Yeah, 100! They made it a hundred just to extend playing time. It's my fault not researching about the game entirely. I was just too excited I guess. I wouldn't have recommended this game to my past self if I only knew.

I give this game a 6.7 due to the lack of modes in the game. If it only had a simple online game with the likes of RDR's multiplayer online, I would've added 3 more to the score.

Don't hesitate to comment. peace!!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Michael Jackson the Experience (my experience)

As an above average Michael Jackson fan I am so happy that this game finally came out on the xbox. This is truly a treat for the MJ fans out there. Being able to hear his top hits. Dance to it, sing to it, sing and dance to it! It's simply awesome.

Me and my girlfriend actually tried this out before it was released at Best Buy. Even before trying it out we were like "we should get this game". After trying it out we were like "let's pre-order later". It was amazing how it was showcased on the kinect. You can see your entire body including your face and you get a couple of back up dancers while dancing to the song. So it's as if you're a star with back up dancers. I'm actually not sure about seeing yourself  other than with the xbox, but whatever, it's MJ!!!

This game is really enjoyable when there's at least two of you playing together. Solo mode? I don't really dig it. Unless if there was going to be a contest of some sort in which I had to practice and all. Anyways, this is a totally fun family game. Bring your dad, your mom, your little sister, brother, heck get your neighbors. I'm sure it would be so awesome during parties especially when alcohol is introduced.

Modes include, solo, party, and there's also a tutorial. You can play up to 4 players either battle or cooperative. So yeah, you can have your enemies over to your place as well.

All in all I'd recommend this game to people who host parties and to those who have people in their place often. Very enjoyable indeed, and who doesn't want to do a bunch of MJ dance moves? Trust me, you don't have to be a dancer to play this game. You'll have fun either way. Enjoy!

Friday, March 11, 2011

NBA 2k12 My Player: Hopes and Expectations

                      Why just My Player? Personally I think this is the best mode to have ever hit a video game based on sports. I have played the other modes but this one, by a mile, is my favorite of them all.

Don't get me wrong, I'm already very pleased with the improvement in MP from 2k10 - 2k11. The graphics improved, trading has been added, post conference, attribute limit, and the visit to the White House. Let's tackle each aspect.

Improved graphics: 
Graphics greatly improved since the transition of 2k10 up to 2k11. It is much smoother, more flow in the movements, and very life like movement wise, but as always, there have been flaws.
I've gone through the game for about 6 seasons so far (crazy right?), and there have been events where I just go, WTF!? There are situations for example when you guard someone really tight and as you time your block with his shot, the ball just goes through your hand! WTF!? Also, the animation of the dunk, no matter how awesome it is, has been a problem of mine in the defensive end. Once the guy goes for a dunk (as long as he's about 6'5), it's pretty much over, even with a 99 block. I'm just complaining, it isn't really that big a deal. Just gets me frustrated sometimes when I really want to go block someone and end up getting embarrassed instead. Also, I hate it when players go through me. It happens a lot especially when the "timeout animation" occurs. The high fives just fail and instead of patting their butts, my hand goes through. Which by the way is kind of disturbing.

I don't really use it much. I'm not the type where I'd want a trade to a better team. I'd want the worst team possible for me to get my stats up and not worry about teammates complaining with my production. I've tried the trade a few times though. I was in the Clippers and we were on top of the conference and i requested a trade to the interested team but ended up going to Pistons, who by the way had the worst record. Fortunately I got traded to the Warriors who had good talent. This happened to me a lot. Lakers wanted me but the organization wasn't able to make a deal. Through all this, I only had 60 overall. I wasn't that important, not yet.

Post Conference:
This part is pretty much useless. I memorized the best answer to any question and still our chemistry was at 2%. I have established my role in the team so it didn't really matter. I got the ball whenever I wanted. The only important part for me (for a while), was the league wide popularity. Where I can get product endorsements, and awesome billboards. It was all short-lived though. If I'm not mistaken, there were only 5 endorsements throughout the mode. The last one was the second billboard. I was expecting some Gatorade endorsements and all but maybe that was just too much to ask.

Attribute limit:
You probably noticed your skills being limited to a certain point. This is so annoying since there is no way to improve more and more each year. The only way to break the limit is to wear some shoe for the improvement of a certain skill. I wish the limit breaks whenever a year goes by or something. It's going to be a 99 skill but it's going to have to be earned. I have 800k skill points in stack and it just hurts my achy breaky heart each time I look at it. Yes, I'm a pretty experienced player but I can't have space to improve except for reading plays and strategies to break my stats every year.

White House:
This trip was awesome at first glance but as it progresses, it becomes lame in a second. I must give them props for having a great Obama animation though but other than that, lame.

I expect 2k12 MP to have more endorsements and not just Jordan Brands, to give a little more excitement to the mode. Also, the most important improvement in my liking would be the customization of the character. Please add more hairstyles, tats, uniforms, maybe a little multi-colored sleeve. I'd also like to have the option to update the roster even while I'm in the middle of the season. Star players in particular are making moves in an alarming rate so the option to update the roster, as a fan, would be cool to have Even with all of this though, I'd play MP no matter what. I just love the freakin' game mode so much.

2k guys did it. They are no doubt the best at making a basketball game. I hope they keep the excitement coming.

What do you want 2k to have in MP? Email me your ideas and I shall post the top ideas I like best.
Happy gaming guys!

Monday, March 7, 2011

AC Brotherhood (Multiplayer) Advanced Manhunt Tips (Being the Hunted)

My preferred round is to be the target.
Here are the reasons why:
1. I find it more satisfying to stun someone rather than kill for total humiliation and to piss people off.
2. I like how my pursuers have a hard time of finding me when I'm just there beside them.
3. So many profile combinations to use than others expect.
4. Pursuers think that they have the upper hand in this certain round, I'd like to prove them otherwise.
5. Lastly, being the defender or target is totally underrated.

If you think that you are at a disadvantage against your pursuer then clearly you haven't discovered the true art of being a target. Most of the time this is the most critical round of the session. In my experience, if you defend well, there's no way in hell your opponents could kill you or outscore you. So as long as you defend well, your group will win.

Walk like an NPC. I'ts too hard to mimic!!! Not! just stay with a walking group and let go of the left analog stick. Never ever get left behind. And be in the middle of the walking group as much as possible since you can't be in front unless you control your movements manually. I don't want to waste your time about these things since your already advanced and you already know the tendencies of the NPC. Just be observant, study their walking paths and patterns. How NPCs move from walking to joining a group.

How do you know when your pursuers are near? I used to think that I'm so good at identifying my pursuers 'cause I get the voices in my head when I play. Actually it's just part of the game. The whispers are true guys, and yep, you're not crazy. So increase your television volume a bit and find the right time to talk to your teammates. This is a very critical habit to develop and can be applied in every mode of multiplayer. If you hear whispers during single player, well that's just residual effect of playing the multiplayer mode too much. If this persists, you are going crazy.

Basic ability setting either for advanced or less advanced players is smoke bomb, and that's it! Any other ability will do as long as you have a smoke bomb, preferably the long lasting one to stun a couple of pursuers in close proximity. My preferred ability setting though is the long lasting smoke bomb, and power mute. Why power mute? Usually when two of my pursuers are close enough to be stuck in my smoke bomb and they already know which persona I am, I use my mute to set up a perfect smoke bomb since the strong mute covers so much area. Flaws of this setting is that if your pursuer charges at you, there's no way of muting and you will most likely be a goner.

The other good combination for a smoke bomb is the charge ability. It's the best way to stun a single pursuer on ground simply because you can just run up to your pursuer and don't have to worry about being spotted. This would be the better ability setting for less experienced players. Only flaw is if your pursuer is carrying a throwing knife or a smoke bomb then oops, you got served.

My other suggested combination for maybe the later part of the round would be the disguise ability (preferably the strong disguise) and the smoke bomb. Why not the start? At the start, your opponents should not have used any abilities yet, and most of them have templar vision which can see through your disguise which pretty much renders it useless. In the later part of the game some of their templar visions are cooling down and gives the disguise a much higher chance of success.

Why not use morph? Well, morph has too many flaws. The charge ability neglects you being blended. So even if there's ten of your persona in one group and your pursuer charges that group, you will be screwed. Templar vision and firecrackers also renders the morph ability useless. My advise is to just find an area with your persona nearby (preferably in the same group as you).

But what is the best combination? Teamwork! As you've probably noticed in some of your sessions, you can stun another pursuer before he gets up as long as you weren't the one who stunned him. If your teammate knows this then you're in luck. You can just switch up and stun 2 opponents forever without using any smoke bombs. I don't advise locking on to your pursuers especially in this particular trick. Sometimes there are instances where L1 (lock - unlock button) doesn't work so well. So while you stunned your locked target, you can never stun another target if you haven't unlocked your previous target. And why would you lock on when you can only stun abstergo agents? You can practically just keep tapping the circle button if you aren't sure of the timing when your target is in the process of getting up. But again there's an exception. The only time I lock on my target is if I notice him having used the ability disguise. Other than that, I just use it if I'm sure no other pursuer is around the perimeter.

These are the abilities I usually use in this mode and I'm sure a lot of you have different combinations and techniques so please message me your suggestions and I will post them if I like them.

P.S. Stunning is awesome but it doesn't work like the assassination button. The assassination button has the advantage of the stunning button if pressed at the same time. Only way to counter the assassination is to time it with throwing the smoke bomb. And throwing the smoke bomb should be done before your pursuer even presses square (assassination button). Otherwise, it's the connection problem.

Email your suggestions and criticisms. They will be much appreciated.
Thank you for reading and Happy gaming!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

AC Brotherhood (Multiplayer) Advanced Manhunt Tips

               This is my favorite multiplayer mode. As i said in my previous post, not only 'cause identifying your target or pursuer is easier but also because teamwork plays a major role in the team's success. Even if you are outnumbered. Even if there's 4 of you and you get separate targets just 'cause you want to show that you are the best in your group, you will easily be beaten by a well organized group of a 3 membered group. A good target can always stun a single pursuer given that the pursuer is only an average player. So again I say, teamwork, both as targets or as pursuers, is essential to success.

my suggested abilities: templar vision and charge
This is my starting set up since I prefer hunting really quick. Templar vision is effective when executed properly. Use it where your target doesn't see you, or when you are on high ground to prevent the smoke stun attack. If your target is hiding near a hay bale what are you going to do? While nearing your target get inside the hay bale, use your templar vision and as soon as you feel like your templar vision is already done, go out and surprise your "blended" target.  If he/she is close enough then hidden kill for an extra 200 points! Why not firecrackers? Well, if i was the target and my screen goes white, I'd get my ass out of the area as soon as i can. So it requires quick targeting skills. Also, the firecracker's smoke is somewhat in the way of locking-on to your target. Exceptions, firecrackers work perfectly against groups that stay together.

Don't run while pursuing your target? Here's an exception. If you are not quite experienced with the compass yet, be wary of running. It will be costly to making an incognito kill. You don't want your scores to be 100 everytime right? Advanced players know where there targets are. They know that before they reach the corner they'll see their target and thus slow down, not compromising the stealth meter. Be very aggressive playing the pursuer. constantly check other targets so you'll avoid being stunned unexpectedly by simply switching targets. As much as possible, stay high to avoid smoke bombs, charges, mute. However, knives can be thrown, but that's only if they see you. If you are on the high ground always go for the acrobatic kill as much as you can for an extra 100 point acrobatic kill. Remember, teamwork. Good teams stay together so pursuers should also stay together to avoid multi stunning embarrassment.

Scenario: 3 of your targets are on the same area, and there are only 2 of you.
Use templar vision, remember where the blue targets are. Lock-on to one of the identified targets and let your teammate lock on to it, while you take out the next target. But wait, how about the other one? Here's how, firecracker is a must in these situations. Time perfectly when your teammate goes for the kill, throw the firecrackers and quickly kill your locked target. When executed well, the last target will be blinded preventing him from stunning, thus an easy kill. Flaw to this strategy is if your targets are on to you. If you have been locked-on by your target he can stun you even if he's blinded as long as you are in stunning range.

Make sure that when you are on the ground, be close to walls.

Scenario: 1 on 1. When nearing your target and you know he's just waiting to charge for an easy stun, be ready to wall climb anytime. Lock on to your target, you are close, suddenly he charges! Wall climb as quickly as you can. If you're lucky enough to grab on to a ledge then its going to be an acrobatic kill! Alright! Don't worry if you lose sight of your target. As long as you're locked in and he is close, he's done for.

Poison tip? I don't have any 'cause I don't use poison often in manhunt, simply because others intercept the poison kill. But usually, the easiest way to poison is when your target stuns your teammate and you are just nearby. As your target stuns, poison him quickly. Works everytime.

Keep posted for more tips. Shall update this when I have the time.
Happy gaming!
Email me at for questions and suggestions.

NBA 2k11 My Player Madness

                  I was so excited to play the new My Player when I first got the game. It's what I play for like 80% of the time in NBA 2k11. Do they have new hairstyles for MP? Do they have new featured accessories? I couldn't wait! When I got to The MP creation I was disappointed by the fact that every body edit was the same, hair, eyes, nose, everything that has to do with the physical body was basically the same with 2k10, even the tats! Oh well... I still liked the creation part though thanks to the manual facial editing system (whatever that's called). However, there were improvements in the accessory settings a little bit, i repeat, a little bit. Anyways, i was too excited to start my 1st game.

I knew I'd suck the 1st time but dang, i got too much turnovers that even I didn't want to hold the ball anymore. Apparently, the AI is a lot quicker in their reaction time against your passes. They intercept, tip your pass left and right. Scoring is much more difficult since you still suck at shooting and your speed and quickness is very poor to beat your guy off the dribble. I figured out that the easiest way to score would be upgrading my midrange shot and shoot it from a post up position. That worked like a charm. As I progress through my 4th game I tried something different. When on defense I try running to the opposite end of the court whenever the opponent shot it, and to my amazement, the defensive player assigned to me just waited for the rebound and I was open for a fastbreak layup. I did this over and over and got 60 points in that game! No prolific rebounds or assists stat but building up the teammate grade meter with points is the fastest way to go. Don't get me wrong. I play terrific D, except for the final part where you get the rebound, 'cause once that ball is up in the air, I run as fast as i could to the other end for an uncontested layup (long passes worked like magic, never had problems until I downloaded the patch). I also applied my skills in stealing just by reading plays and intercepting passes which gave me about 4 steals a game. So i sailed through my career doing this averaging 66 points per game in my 1st regular season. Won MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, All-star MVP. What a successful 1st season right?

I knew the playofffs was just around the corner and it didn't worry me one bit, and that confidence carried on giving me no problems whatsoever. The finals game against the Magic was a little different though, it was a little harder 'cause i accidentally created a 99 player and added him to the magic roster. This guy was a pain in the ass but fortunately he wasn't the "attack the basket every possession" type of player. And before I knew it, we became the NBA champs! Guess what, we go to the White House!!! By the way, I was playing with the Golden State Warriors which was kind of ideal for my trick to work since David Lee was my main rebounder and he passes quite well for his size.

As I play through the next season, I developed certain strategies to rack up my stats. Especially when the patch came, the long passes from David Lee never seemed to work anymore. I never get to catch it even with 85 handles, or if I catch it, it wouldn't be a perfect catch wherein I just end up turning the ball over. Not to mention, the transition defense became tighter so even if I caught the ball properly there was a 90% chance of having a body on me before i gather for my layup.

Here's my final strategy for MP giving me an average of 100pts, 15 reb, 12 stls in an 8min game.

Offense: Proceed to the weak side of the floor (where less players hang out) behind the 3 pt line, maybe a good 5 feet away from the ball handler. Call for a pick (this is an off-ball play). Go towards the pick and be sure to get your defender stuck to your screener and once your defender is in the animation of fighting through the pick simply move back your starting point and attack the basket and ask for a pass before you touch the painted area. If executed perfectly will get you an easy bucket. It works everytime and will take about 3 seconds which gives you more opportunities to do this. Imagine a perfect offensive play that only takes 3 seconds. I know right? Here's the play i poorly drew. 

The flaw to this offense is if your screener rolls (goes toward the basket), and if a player from the strong side suddenly moves to the weak side providing an extra defender to intercept the pass. Other than that you're good.

Defense: So much steals? It's easy! Other than reading the plays of the opposing offense, here's another trick. as the inbounder gets ready, stand in front of the receiver usually the PG, he will wait a little bit and pass it to the another player usually the SG. Here's the key, timing is everything. By the time you notice that he won't be passing to the PG, quickly move in front of the SG and steal. Don't do it too early or too late. There is only a very small margin for error. This works maybe 10% of the time. Not much? Well, you'll be doing this for the entire game so if you're lucky you'll probably get 20 steals. Awesome!

Thanks for reading guys! Happy gaming!
Email me for questions at

Saturday, March 5, 2011

AC Brotherhood (Multiplayer)

Okay, I know it's a late review but a review none the less right?

AC Brotherhood is an action packed game based on the story of Desmond Miles whose past is so important for the safety of the future. Apparently there's a machine that you get yourself into to access your past. Unfortunately for Desmond he is part of Adam's bloodline. Adam who you say? Adam from the story Adam and Eve. That's right, and this story just gets even weirder and weirder but i won't go into details with that. That's all you need to know if you haven't played this awesome series yet.

Let's get down to business. I'm here to talk about the basic multiplayer modes of the game.
Like every other multiplayer experience you start off at the lobby, waiting for other players to join in depending on what type of mode you choose.

8 Players for:
Wanted, which is played by random people having contracts to kill each other, the higher you are on the rankings the more assassins will be after you. Advanced Wanted, similar to wanted but locating your target would be more difficult and tasking. Manhunt, this is a group battle in which 4 members per team will NOT kill each other but take turns in killing each other. There will be 2 rounds and in each round 1 team will be the hunter and the other the hunted. Chest Capture, yes it is the so called capture the flag but with a little twist. This is the more complicated mode because like manhunt you will be divided into 2 groups and 2 rounds. In a round one shall protect the "chest" by assassinating the chest captors, the other one shall capture the chest and thus while locating the chest you better have your A game 'cause the other team is now watching over it. In order for the chest captors to steal a chest they should stand inside the circle surrounding the chest. The bar will fill up and if its fully highlighted voila! Success! You got the chest for 150 points! There are 3 chests every batch and every chest you catch gives you more points in that certain batch. And you get points based on how many players were in the circle. 1st and 2nd captured are worth 150 to each player capture (2 players get 150 each = 300). Last chest which is the 3rd in each set is worth 400 per player capture. The most effective thing to do when you're going to be a chest captor is to capture the chests together for optimum points and for defensive purposes. The key for the other team, protect the chest as a group.
6 Players for:
Alliance, 3 groups with 2 members each. Each group is given a contract to kill another group while group2 shall have a contract to kill your group. Finally, Advanced Alliance, similar to alliance but it is more difficult to locate your targets.

Once the mode has been chosen, you shall have the option to choose which character you would like to be, again depending on the game mode. If it's a group mode then 1 group shall have the same character skin (manhunt, alliance, chest capture).
Next would be selecting your profile settings which contains abilities that you unlocked in the process of leveling up. Things such as perks, abilities, bonuses will be available depending on what level you are on. certain perks, abilities and bonuses will only be unlocked by accomplishing certain challenges, and they aren't called challenges for nothing. Here are some of the abilities from strategywiki's_Creed:_Brotherhood/Abilities,_perks,_bonuses

Now, it's GAME ON!!!
Game shall be decided in point system either as a team or as an individual.

My personal favorite mode you say? It has got to be Manhunt since it is easier to locate your target and to escape from your target 'cause each group has only 1 designated character skin. But the real reason that I love this mode so much is because of the simple type of teamwork needed to win. It's not necessary to have microphones and all but just show your teammates your effort in helping the team achieve the win. If you want to level up faster without boosting, this mode is perfect. Get in a good team and just watch how they move so you can help out. The simplest smoke bomb can really make a huge difference.

Email me at for tips in multiplayer strategies or simply add me on facebook.
Happy Gaming!