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Rise of Nightmares - Kinect Compatible (Xbox 360)
Rise of Nightmares - Kinect Compatible (Xbox 360)
Offered by musicMagpie
Price: £8.17

77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new breed of horror game?, 21 Sept. 2011
Rise of Nightmares is a horror game controlled entirely with Kinect.
You play as Josh- an alcoholic- on holiday with his wife as a last ditch attempt to save his marriage.
Whilst travelling through Eastern Europe the train is attacked and de-railed, and his wife kidnapped, leaving him and the other survivors stranded in a dark forest. They seek refuge in an ominous looking castle..........

GAMEPLAY & CONTROLS

The most important thing to consider is whether or not you'd feel comfortable with the control scheme, as it does require some degree of co-ordination on your part.

From a standing (neutral) position, by placing either foot forward - your character (in game) moves forward, similarly by placing a foot backwards you move backwards.

Turning is achieved by twisting your shoulders (to the left/right).
To interact - just hold one hand out, to fight - put both hands up like a boxer.

The controls felt awkward at first, but became more instinctive after a few hours play. It's responsive and Kinect picks up movements well.

The `auto walk' option (activated by raising your right hand) helps if you're struggling, (although I rarely used it).
It also helps to point you in the right direction if ever you're unsure where to go next. But it can't be used in certain rooms (those with traps.)
Head-tracking works in cutscenes and side-stepping during boss-fights only.

When fighting, you automatically lock on to the nearest enemy, health recovers gradually, you can defend (by crossing your arms), and can only hold one main weapon at a time - which can degrade and break.

There's a variety of one/two handed and projectile weapons (axes, chainsaws, explosives etc) and a few other `special surprises'! You can target an enemy's limbs with melee weapons, and use your feet to kick them back (useful when surrounded.)
One handed weapons can be held in either left or right hands, and you can always use your `kick' attack - even when defending.

The variety of enemies give combat an element of strategy, e.g zombies - some spew acid, have weapons, armour, can self destruct etc, which effects how you approach each situation.
There are creepy clown dolls, banshee's that can deafen you with screams (cover your ears - no really - Kinect can detect it,) and a Frankenstein-like giant who has poor sight and detects you by movement and sound (so you have to stay perfectly still/quiet when he's close!)

A few rooms require you to dodge mechanical traps, they look daunting - but are easy to get past if you think about what you're doing.

The game also features context based events and some simple puzzles - which use Kinect in a number of interesting ways. They mimic real-life movements and add a lot of variety to the combat heavy game play.

The game has an arcade-like feel, the combat has depth, but the adventure elements are fairly simple, although there is a good variety to them, and always something new to see and do just around the corner.

GRAPHICS

The graphics, whilst not the best are suitably atmospheric. The character models/monsters are detailed, lip synching and animation is fine. There is no screen tearing or slowdown.

Some locations feel `empty', (early on), but the environments become larger, and the art style more fantastical the further into the game you go.

SOUND

The in game music fits the setting. Character voices are a little cheesy and the script OTT, but it fits the b-movie, tongue-in-cheek style.

There is one irritating part in the graveyard when one character keeps repeating the same line of dialogue whenever you walk past, but apart from that it's fine.

FEATURES

It's a single player game, has multiple difficulty settings and is rated +18 for a reason (excessive gore / bad language.)
The story mode has nine chapters (providing approx 10 - 12hrs play time), plus three 'challenge levels'.

The presentation is good - and the menus are easy to navigate.
The environments are open to exploration, but story progression is linear. There are collectibles - detective tapes, tarot cards, and secret events, plus there's a chapter select option.

OVERALL

I found Rise of Nightmares to be a refreshing, unique and immersive experience that uses Kinect in a number of innovative ways.
In turns scary, tense, goofy and funny, it's a little rough in places but overall a worthwhile and memorable experience.
But, I stress, the whole experience depends upon whether you can feel comfortable with the control scheme and the level of co-ordination required.

RECOMMENDED
If you like B-Movie horror
If you like The House of the Dead, Splatterhouse or older Resident Evil games.
If you bought Kinect for new game experiences.

AVOID
If you feel the control system sounds too odd or complicated.
If you're expecting AAA blockbuster quality.
If you're expecting a serious in depth adventure game.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2012 9:24 PM BST


Sonic: Unleashed (Xbox 360)
Sonic: Unleashed (Xbox 360)
Offered by EVERGAME
Price: £19.30

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super Sonic!, 1 Feb. 2009
I honestly wasn't expecting much, boy was I wrong! Sonic Unleashed is one of the best games I've played in a long time.

The game itself follows Sonic & Chip's worldwide adventure to restore the broken fragments of the planet after a devastating attack by Dr Eggman.
Gameplay is split over Sonic's speed levels and Werehog's fighting stages. In addition there's Tail's plane flying levels, several explorable hub worlds filled with secrets/sub plots/and missions ( which are all optional.)

Graphics: - in a word, stunning. The visuals are crisp and vibrant, and move at an incredible speed. The animation is really fluid. The cut-scenes and presention are of really high quality. The art style is really good - your adventure takes you all over the globe, from the frozen icecaps of Holoska to the sunny mediteranean-esque Atopos, the looks and atmosphere are great, (both on standard Tv and HD.)

Audio: Like the graphics - really good. The stage tunes are rather catchy!! The main theme song 'Endless Possibilities' - (sung by Jaret Reddick from Bowling for soup) is a great song + the character voices suit the characters.

Gameplay:

Sonic's levels feature all of the best bits of his previous 2d and 3d games combined. Sonic can boost, drift, slide and grind ( and later on learn to light dash, wall jump and stomp.) The stages are relatively large and fun, sonic is lighting fast, there are multpile pathways/secrets = lots of replay value.

Werehog's levels play exactly like 'God of War', which is a good thing. They feature a mix of platforming/fighting and some surprisingly good puzzles.
The fighting system is deep and all aspects can be upgraded with experience points (- to unlock new moves, increase health etc.)
You also have charged, special + unleashed attacks, you can pick up and throw enemies and parts from the scenery, and do finishing moves.
Like God of War - there are a few QTE's in the game - but they are reletively easy, and are often the best bits in the boss fights.
The camera is great and always moves itself into the best position to show you where you need to go.

Hint - for the tricky parts of platforming, keep HOLD of the grab (B) button throughout whilst jumping around - the Werehog will instantly grab hold of any ledge/pole he's facing - like in Tomb Raider, and you'll be able to get around a lot quicker.)

In all I like both the Sonic and Werehog gamestyles a lot. Sonic only has the one main stage per country, Werehog has two levels for the first country - but only one per country thereafter.
Both characters gain experience and can upgrade their abilities.
Both characters have great boss fights, that actually get better and better further into the game (Werehog's final boss being by far my favorite.)

Lifespan: The game itself is fairly lengthy, and has a large amount of secrets - as well as music/artwork/videos/special items to collect.

There are 400 sun and moon medals to collect - I remember another reviewer complaining about having to collect the medals to progress.
On avarage I only found around 50% of them on my 1st playthrough and I was never asked to collect more medals to continue the story, so it's not really a problem - although I can't help but wonder what having all of the medals will unlock.
The hub worlds have many missions ( everything from collecting rings to ghost hunts, even trivia quizzes!) The characters in the hub worlds are surprisingly likeable, and they have fairly decent storylines you can play through - but be warned some of the decisions you make will affect their outcome, so choose wisely.

This game has many secrets and is built to last.
(Hint - if you were to buy + feed Chip with his favorite foods only - I wonder what might happen.....!)

Overall: This is one of the best games I've played in years.
If you're a fan of the Sonic Adventure series or 3d platform games in general, then I would highly recommend it.
If you prefer the 2d retro games only I'd suggest trying a demo/renting it first, or watch the videos on youtube.

Also, ( I own the Wii version too) the x360/ps3 version is better designed, has more levels/content and has better graphics then the Wii version, but it is also more complex and challenging.
If you're buying the game for someone who's young or has difficulty with fast games + lots of buttons - the wii version is alot more simple and straightforward, and might be preferable in that case.

But overall the x360/ps3 version is the better game.


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