MIDDLE-EARTH – SHADOWS of MORDOR / SUPER SMASH BROS. [Reviews]: Oh-So Preciousssss!!!

If you have ever played a Lord of the Rings game, then you know that they have generally sucked.

All of them!

For some reason, every time a game has come out based on this series it has just not been up to par, lacking the substance of what the fans have always wanted. Well, loyal Tolkien fans, the game you have been waiting all your lives for has finally arrived. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor is by far the greatest LOTR game to hit the shelves in… ever!

You're not getting my  last bowl of Captain Crunch.
You’re not getting my last bowl of Captain Crunch.

The main character of this game is a ranger named Talion. It takes place between the stories of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. After suffering a great tragedy — including his own death — Talion is possessed by the wraith of Celebrimbor (you have no idea how important this guy is in the history of Middle-earth; but you soon will). Sworn to take revenge on the leaders of Sauron’s army, the two begin their dark and treacherous journey together in the grave lands of Mordor. The physical gameplay of SOM is what makes this game stand out. Story mission aside, the whole point of the game is to assassinate and overthrow the captains of Sauron’s Uruk-hai army.

Arguably the true highlight of SOM is the Nemesis system. Whenever you face an Uruk captain, if you don’t kill them, they will remember you when you meet again. Sometimes you think you’ve killed them and WRONG! They come back from the dead intent on taking you down in a fit of revenge for the scars you left them with.

Unfortunately, then best part of this system doesn’t start until the second half of the game, where you can brand a captain and make them a slave to your will. This actually makes the beginning of the game harder than the second half because you have to hunt down all the enemies yourself and survive with little-to-no super buffed up ranger-wraith powers. There’s nothing like branding a war chief’s bodyguards, commanding them to assassinate him and then just sitting back to watch the carnage– while laughing your ass off.

That's for saying that you'd rather play The Witcher!
That’s for saying that you’d rather play The Witcher!

On a side note: the final boss battles are the weakest, most pathetic boss battles in the history of gaming, as they require you to do nothing more than press buttons in the correct sequence when the prompts appear. This is an absolute tragedy and it seems like the creators couldn’t figure out how to make an epic ending.

The graphics in SOM are purty, but there was definitely some room for improvement. While the two huge, open world maps are beautiful, there are way too many instances of copy and paste structures and textures. Every single human slave looked exactly alike, sporting white rags and bald heads. Even the orcs only had so many different body types. In other words, although good looking, the graphics were extremely repetitive. This, of course, took away from the overall experience this otherwise stellar game had to offer.

From the first time you behead a Uruk henchman until you finally get your revenge (again, total weaksauce) the game keeps you satisfied with plenty of action, gore and strategy. What it lacks in some areas it makes up for in the pure fun of slaughtering Uruks and corrupting their hierarchy. While it may have the highly-publicized gameplay style of Assassins Creed and Batman Arkham, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor doesn’t quite live up to those genres.

But hey, LEGOs included, this is still the best LOTR game I have ever played.

3.75 (out of 5) Rings to Rule Them All.
3.75 (out of 5) Rings to Rule Them All.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WB Interactive Ent/Monolith Productions’ Middle-earth: Shadows of Mordor in stores now.




Smash you baby! It’s the Saint of all Superkick, back in the GHG offices and I got a game you have to check out.

If you have been a follower of Nintendo’s hit fighting game series, Super Smash Bros., prepared to be mind-blown for a fourth time. Super Smash Bros. For the Nintendo 3DS is the handheld version of the fourth iteration of the Smash Bros. series– a preview for what we can expect for the console version, due later this year. Like every version before, you have the original Classic mode but this one has a slight spin. Depending on which difficulty setting you play at will determine the surplus of rewards you get in the end.

Why can't we be friendssss... why can't we beee friendsssss??
Why can’t we be friendssss… why can’t we beee friendsssss??

Online play is also back. You can brawl with your friends through WiFi or Nintendo’s adhoc feature. Thankfully — YES LAWD!! — the character selection in 3DS Super Smash is large. For first time ever, four iconic video game characters are featured in the game: Pac-Man, Mario, Sonic, and Mega Man. Personal favorites of your favorite Patron of SuperKickdom include the blue bomber, Greninja, Pikachu, Sonic, and Little Mac (from Punch Out!!!!!).

If you own a 3DS, you definitely need to add this in the collection. Although it lacks story, the game features should still be enough to keep you pulled in. Graphically, you’ll also notice the difference from what we can expect from the console version. But until that version hits stores, Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 3DS is simply a smashing piece of work.

2.8 other million have already agree.

4.75 (out of 5) Super Smash Kicks!
4.75 (out of 5) Super Smash Kicks!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. available for the 3DS right now and the Wii U on November 21st. — Kenny Sanders

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