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The first person shooter video game, Doom 2: Hell on Earth, developed by ID Software and the Xbox live arcade version is done by Nerve Software, published by GT Interactive for the MS-DOS version, Activision for the Gameboy Color, and Bethesda Softworks the Xbox Live Arcade version. Due to being released multiples times, including being bundled with Doom 3: BFG edition as the latest version in October 16, 2012, I will instead tell you the first release of it, the MS-DOS on September 30, 1994 in North America and October 10, 1994 in Europe. Due to the immense success of Doom, ID Software worked quickly to follow up with its sequel, Doom 2: Hell on Earth. Unlike the initial Shareware and Mail Orders the first Doom went through initially, Doom 2 was released commercially in stores instead. This lead to Doom 2 also being a commercial success. On December 26, 1995, ID Software released Doom 2's expansion pack, Master Levels for Doom, containing 21 new levels for the gamer to play with. The story is that while Doom marine was busy kicking Demon butts in hell; Demons were invading Earth and wrecking the place up. Now back on Earth, with billions killed, the surviving humanity hatches a plan to escape this nightmare by building spaceships to escape to space, however with the Demons blocking the only Spaceport with a barrier, preventing any ships from escaping, Doom Marine must find a way to break the barriers on that spaceport and even find a way to beat back the Demonic invasion however he can. Positives: 1. The same awesome gameplay of Doom 1 still resonates well here. Those who enjoyed the first Doom's gameplay will be pleased to see that the gameplay in Doom 2 is kept intact. There are very few changes in this as for the most part, you're still running rather fast in non linear intricately designed levels where massive swarms of enemies are still cleverly placed, especially in the more open areas of Doom 2 where since you're on Earth, you will often fight in urban areas where places are open for you to move around in to reach the level's exit. To balance this, the enemies in Doom come in much larger quantities, and have newer and deadlier enemies. For your weapons, you only have one new weapon: Double Barreled Sawed Off Shotgun: The big brother to the regular shotgun. This weapon not only fires two larger and more powerful slugs at targets, but is capable of killing medium level enemies in one well placed shot, let alone obliterating low level enemies to giblets. It's balanced to the regular shotgun in that it has a slower firing rate than the regular shotgun and doesn't handle multiple low level enemies as well as it as a result, and it requires two shotgun ammo per shot so it can consume your shotgun ammo pretty rapidly through heavy usage so use it wisely. There are also a few new items as swell such as the Megasphere, an item that supercharges your health and armor to 200 each. In respect to the Wolfenstein games, there are two secret levels based on Wolfenstein here too, including a Commander Keen easter egg in the final one of the two. 2. I personally think the Doom 2 ost maybe slightly better than the original ost, and that's saying something. Thanks to Bobby Prince's background as a lawyer, the composer of the classic Doom games knew how much music he can sample and take from other musics without incurring the wrath of the Music business lawyers. This has led to many pretty awesome osts such as the first level in Doom 2's takes a sample from Megadeth's Hanger 18, The Demon's Dead sampling from Black Sabboth's After All (The Dead), The Demon's dead is my personal favorite theme in the entire game. For your hearing pleasure. 3. Doom 2 still looks aesthetically pleasing too. Due to lack of any new technologies in graphics at the intervals of its release, there were little changes in graphics outside of newer hardwares allowing them to take advantage of increased performance. Still Doom 2, much like its predecessor still look impressive for a 20+ year old game. 4. The inclusion of expansion packs does help extend the life of this gameplay over its predecessor. With expansion packs in hand, Doom 2 totals to a huge 62 levels compared to the Ultimate Doom's 36 levels. If you wish to acquire both expansion packs Master Levels for Doom and Nerve Software's No Rest for the Living, Doom 3 BFG edition has that for ya. 5. Mod Support is just as great as the first Doom is. Thanks to the active Doom modding community, Doom 2 also has received the same good mod support that will help ensure Doom 2 can age well in this day and age despite being older. Check their forums and mod depositories for many Doom mods to enjoy. Negatives: 1. The game's narrative is still rather simple. Much like the first Doom, this game does little with the story outside of including text speeches in the few intermissions in Doom 2 to explain the situation and what your character must do. Not a terrible or even a bad thing, but one I feel more narrative loving people won't particularly like. 2. If Doom 1 didn't convinced you, Doom 2 will do very little to as well due to having very few changes to its predecessor. Doom 2's biggest problem is that for the most part, it feels very much like the first video game in the series. This isn't a problem for those who loved the first Doom, but for those who wanted more in a sequel or wanted a better reason to enjoy Doom than what Doom 1 provided; this game will disappoint those few people. Conclusion: If you wanted more Doom loving goodness, Doom 2: Hell on Earth will provide plenty of that with its vanilla 32 levels that can expand to an awesome 62 levels in total while you listen to some awesome metal osts and find some mods to play this game. Only those who didn't like the first Doom would not like this game due to having few changes that wouldn't convince you to pick up the Doom series. Score: 9.5/10 Grade: A
Rayman 2 is a platforming video game developed by Ubisoft studios Montpelier, Milan, Shangai (DS), Montreal, Casablanca, DC Studios for the 3DS, and Gameloft for the iOS. Due to Ubisoft porting the living crap out of this game in future consoles, this video game has been on PC Windows, Nintendo 64, Playstation 1 and 2, Dreamcast, Gameboy Color, Nintendo DS and 3DS, and Apple's iOS. Its original release to make things simple was on October 29, 1999. Originally, this 3D adventure of Rayman was supposed to be another 2D video game in the same vein of its predecessor and first video game in the series and it was supposed to release for the PS1 and Sega Saturn. However, due to rising and effective technologies and techniques for 3D platforming after Super Mario 64's influential success in it, this idea was scrapped in favor of making it a 3D game. Concept art showing some 2D art designs, scrapped powers that were mentioned or redesigned such as the platform fist were put in the video game magazine EGM, and a beta version of the original 2D version of Rayman 2 can be unlocked in the Playstation version of Rayman 2. It's story is that a large Robo pirate invasion force came to Glade of Dreams, Rayman's and its inhabitants world, to steal it's populace for slavery. Successfully destroying the Heart of the world and splitting it into 1000 yellow lums (or 800 in the Playstation and Gameboy color version), this greatly weakens the fighting power of the planet's resistance against the invaders and renders Rayman powerless and he was captured as a result. Thanks to Globox, Rayman's frog friend, and Li the Fairy, they managed to bail Rayman out of his prison aboard the Robo Pirates prison ship, the Buccaneer. Separated from Globox and hearing that Li, who had provided Globox with the Silver Lum to power Rayman up, has been captured, Rayman must not only save them, but also save the world from the Robo Pirate menace by enlisting the aid of a powerful being called the Polokus by awakening him by finding four masks. Positives: 1. The platforming gameplay is fantastic in this successful transition of the Rayman franchise to 3D. The mid 90's to early 2000's was a huge transition period for gaming as many games in order to maintain relevance in this technological race for the best and latest stuff available to the ever evolving tastes of it's consumers. This trend was transitioning the original 2D roots to merge into the brand new 3D environments at the time. Many games that had fame back than suffered in this transition while others however transitioned beautifully and have even remained in the 3D world since. Rayman 2 is part of the latter as not only are the platforming elements and controls tight with Rayman's flair for gameplay such as his signature helicopter fly mode that allows him to descent in a controlled slow flight, flying energy attacks that have replaced Rayman's usual fist attacks from his previous game, and even includes an effective strafing mechanic where you can use it for combat purposes or even to move to the side better. Its primary gameplay is to reach from the start to the finish of a level with as many items as you can in each level. These items are Yellow Lums that are necessary for you to collect enough to progress to the next set of levels through the hall of doors, and cages where if you get ten destroyed cages you can increase your maximum health to a total of 8 times. These cages contents can include yellow lums and other lums in the game as well. These other lums are red lums that heal you, blue lums that can refill a portion of your oxygen meter while swimming, green lums that act as save points in a level for you if you suffer a critical injury, and purple lums that help act as hook points for you to grab and swing from. 2. The level designs are great as well. Rayman 2's levels offer excellent variety in gameplay to you such as in the level Precipice, you're being chased by a small robo pirate fleet as they attempt to kill you again, get to go swamp surfing in the Marshes of Awakening, or even control and ride a pirate ship in the Iron Mountains. You'll find plenty of intricate and varied gameplay designs that will surely keep Rayman 2 fresh and entertaining throughout. 3. The graphics in this near 15+ year old game is beautiful and among the best designed games I've seen in this department. One thing I love about the Rayman franchise is how gorgeous their games are. This game is no exception as not only do the environments of the Rayman verse portrayed quirky but show a delightfully bright and vivid imagery in color and in appearance. This helps immerse yourself into the world of the Rayman verse as you can feel the environments in the game alive, weird, and aesthetically pleasing for most to enjoy. Seriously, I'm surprised I haven't' seen more Rayman fan art considering how gorgeous their games are unless there's a nefarious reason. Some examples of how gorgeous the art design is in this game. 4. The story and characters are effective in this game. Returning Rayman is still the likable hero who now is put at his low after his defeat at the hands of the Robo Pirates. Despite his circumstance, he still keeps a cheerful outlook on things and is willing to do whatever it takes to save his world. Along the way, he meets Li the fairy, your helpful mage foxgirl who helps Rayman out by boosting his powers to better heights, and even provides two bonus levels that provide a relatively easy 100 lums in total for you to collect while restoring your health to full capacity and provide a powerful boost to your fist attacks that last after 3 hits from the enemy. Another one is Globox, Rayman's best friend who is a married frog to his wife Uglette and their dozens of babies, the teensies, and many more that would leave a good impressionable impact on you. The story itself is actually an effective story where Rayman must find the means to awaken Polokus, the most powerful being in the Glade of Dreams to enlist him in the fight against the Robo Pirates while traveling around the world meeting all kinds of different creatures, some friendly and some aren't, while traversing through many treacherous environments to reach his objectives. Than at the end of the story, you'll face the leader of the Robo Pirates, Admiral Razorbeard in a duel to the death while he uses his mech to kill you. This entertaining adventure story can entertain those who do like a good story. As part of the collectibles in this game is that the more yellow lums you collect, the more lore pieces you can acquire so you can better understand the world of the Glade of Dreams better. Some of the lore logs are hilarious to read. 5. The music is also good. The wonderful musical score in this game help match the aesthetics of the environment from the creepy and eerie Tomb of the Ancients to the energetic beat of the Precipice (yes that's one of my favorite levels in the game) along with many others you'll enjoy. Also of note, the N64 version has a different soundtrack from the other versions of Rayman 2 but both are entertaining to listen to. For your listening pleasure folks. This is the PC version that I played on. Negatives: 1. Bonus levels are difficult to achieve if you don't know how to do alternate rabid button presses well. If there is a problem I had with this game, its how due to my poor skills with rabid button presses as I cannot beat a robo pirate in a race, I have never beaten a bonus stage at all. Because of that, I have never beaten them at any point in my playthroughs. If anyone has, please tell me what it provides. However this critique of it is more a problem with my poor skill in alternate rabid button pressing. Fortunately, I do not believe they're necessary to beat the game to achieve 100 (or 99.9% in my case). Conclusion: Rayman 2: The Great Escape is easily one of the greatest platforming games ever to have graced the genre. With its ageless art design, fantastic and varied platforming gameplay, excellent level designs that offer a good variety of gameplay, some quirky and interesting characters, a good story, and a good ost that help make this game a classic 3D platformer. Personally, if you want to have the best Rayman 2 experience, getting the PC version at GOG.com, the N64 and Playstation versions are a good way to find that as the hand held version don't do the game justice for how truly great it is. Score: 10/10 Grade: A+
The video game Space Hulk (2013 version), developed and published by Full Control, using the Unity Game engine, and released for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux on August 15, 2013, and released on December 5, 2013 for the IOS, is a turn based tactics video game that is based on Games Workshop's famed table top board game called Space Hulk. Much like the Table Top game, you're in command of a group of the Space Marine Chapter, Blood Angels, and their detachment of terminators, elite units clad in one of the most heavily armored suits in the setting, who must enter inside the dangerous Space Hulks, massive derelict ships that have been adrift in space and the warp itself where they are to face one of the few units in the setting that can rend even their mighty terminator armor next to useless in the dreaded Tyranid Genestealers who infest the space hulks in countless numbers. Positives: 1. For those who have enjoyed the Table Top game would probably enjoy this game's strict adherence to the Table Top game itself. This game pretty much picked up all the rules of the table top game if what others have said about it. That means that your gameplay consists of a large turn based tactics board where you take turns to move your terminators into position against the swarm of Genestealers, whom are able to come out at certain locations at their choosing to reach or complete certain objectives. Your movement and actions performed are based on how many action points per terminator has and how many command points you carry per turn. Each Terminator has 4 action points compared to the Genestealers 6 action points. Your terminators have several abilities in the form of attack using their submachine guns on steroids in Stormbolters, Heavy flamer, and assault cannons, their melee weapons that include power fists and chain fists, Lightning Claws, Power Swords, and Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield, overwatch that allows terminators to snap fire at any approaching Genestealers in their line of sight, guard that provides terminators with a free reroll of their die should their first roll fail to match the Genestealers roll, opening doors or even outright destroying them if you choose. Space Hulk gameplay. There are several things to know about the weapons you come equipped in the Space Hulk. A. Your standard terminator load out is the terminator equipped with Storm Bolter and Power Fist. My advice is to stick him to shooting and overwatch as due to the Genestealers three rolls against your one roll that is unmodifiable, the Genestealer has the advantage in melee combat. Only fight in melee with these guys as a last resort and stick to shooting Genestealers with em and you're fine. B. Terminator with Heavy Flamer is a special heavy weapon terminator that can bathe an area with flame. The terminators flame can not only burn multiple Genestealers to death very well, but the burning flames can last for a single turn as well, providing a very effective measure of crowd control and area denial to Genestealers. Unlike other ranged weapon terminators, he cannot be put into overwatch, cannot reload after his limited 6 fuel of flames can cause friendly fire with his flames so use it cautiously, and his melee capabilities are the same as the Storm Bolter terminators so the mentioned rule applies to him as well. C. Terminator with Assault Cannon is your best ranged terminator in the game thanks to his high accuracy, and unlike his Heavy Flamer brethren, he can reload one time in the whole mission for his respectable 10 ammo clips to a total of 20 in a mission, and he can be put into overwatch. However, if he uses his assault cannon for too long, he can suffer a chance where his assault cannon can jam and malfunction, causing an explosion that kills him and anyone near him so keep an eye on how his assault cannon glows yellow to indicate overuse. His melee abilities are the same as the mentioned above so avoid fighting in melee. D. Terminator with Chain Fist is similar to your Terminator with storm bolter and power fist save for that his chain fist has a special rule where he automatically destroys a door upon command due to his chain fists power field able to slice through doors easily. Much like his compared brothers, he should be put into overwatch and shooting despite his chain fist as he really should avoid using it if he can in combat. E. Terminator with Lightning Claws has no ranged weapons to use so he can never be put into overwatch or shoot. However, to compensate for it, his melee abilities are significantly better than the previous terminators as not only does he has two rolls compared to the Power Fists one roll of die he can use in combat, but he also provides a +1 modifier to the highest roll to better his chances at winning. F. Terminator Sergeant with Power Sword provides a unique rule where you can reroll for command points for better or worse results. Equipped with Storm Bolter and Power Sword, unlike his more melee adept brethren, he can shoot and be put into over-watch at your command and not like your terminators with Power Fists however, he is also good in melee combat thanks to being a sergeant providing him with a +1 modifier to his melee abilities, and should an enemy's roll be higher than his, his parry rule goes into effect, forcing the enemy to reroll his highest dice for better or worse results. While he doesn't excel in any particular role, he's by far your most adaptable and versatile unit you can have in your squad. G. Terminator Sergeant with Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield is by far your best melee terminator in the game. Not only does being a sergeant provide him with the ability to reroll for better or worse command points and a +1 modifier to go along with his +1 modifier he naturally receives wielding a Thunder Hammer that provides a +2 modifier to his combat rolls, but his Storm Shield allows him to negate one roll of die from the Genestealer's combat rolls, canceling 33% of the Genestealer's combat effectiveness against him while he touts an impressive +2 modifier to his own combat roll. Due to lacking ranged weapons however, his only real weakness is that he cannot shoot or ever be put into overwatch. H. Terminator Librarian is your mage of the group. He carries his own unique combat abilities in the form of Psychic points that he carries 20 per mission. This can be used in melee where if he were to suffer a lower roll, his passive rule of pre-cog allows him to add psi points to his roll, guaranteeing he wins the round. However don't use him in melee if you can despite this and his +1 modifier from his Power Axe to his melee attack to make him a respectable melee terminator. Instead use his storm bolter for combat if you can and especially use his psychic powers. He has several in the form that he can trade his psi points to add to your command points per missing number though I'd advice only use it if you really need it as a terminator sergeant's reroll is more than good enough, a psychic barrier that blocks anyone from moving on this square space, very effective at denying movement to the enemy while keeping your guys safe for one turn, psychic storm that allows him to attack one target with a high chance to killing it, and psychic wave that works similar to his psychic storm only that it has a weaker chance at killing foes while being able to attack multiple targets with one attack. Whatever terminator you come equipped with, you must use their abilities to the best of your capabilities to ensure you're able to survive the mission against Genestealers, whom have no ranged weapons to attack but are deadly in melee as they can roll three unmodifiable dice compared to most of your terminators one roll of die in melee combat, encouraging you to use ranged attacks whenever you can, and they're limitless in number so you're always outnumbered by them, though their patterns of attack can be anticipated by the red beeping circles to indicate they're moving. They have one unique unit in the Brood Lord, a giant vicious Genestealer that can roll three or four dice and can add the lowest and highest number in his dice to combine for the best roll he'll pit against your own, has high dodge rating to make him very evasive towards ranged weapons, and is immune to psychic attacks. Learn the rules in this game well as knowing them can mean the difference between you losing badly or doing well. 2. The atmosphere in the game works pretty well. While not great, you can tell that effort was put into ensuring the Space Hulk was as authentically dark, tight and claustrophobic, and filled with Genestealers to increase the mood of despair as possible. The little side camera at the top right while adding little to gameplay value does add a nice touch of an alien like aura around the Space Hulk. And the game's aesthetics looks well from a distance. I'd avoid looking too closely or you'll notice the rather poor detail and clipping issues this game has. 3. You can get DLC's for more campaigns and missions, including a separate chapter in the Space Wolves. Not only can you get more missions from the DLC campaigns available along with the purely aesthetics dlc skins for Genestealers, but you can get the Space Wolves exclusive campaign where you play as the Space Marine Chapter Space Wolves that come with their own unique rules such as having one less command point at the benefit of having a natural +2 modifier to all melee combat rolls, making Space Wolves far more adept at melee combat than the Blood Angels despite lore suggesting that Blood Angels should be on par with them in melee combat as both specialize in melee. 4. The multiplayer provides you with the best experience in the game. Due to the game's nature of being inspired or ripped from the Table Top game, Space Hulk should be played with friends. There you and your friend get the option of playing either terminators or Genestealers, which the Genestealer player is provided with the ability to pick and choose which entry his Genestealers should crawl out from and he can coordinate, how many Genestealers he receives per turn, and which tunnel should his Genestealers appear to plan for whatever the terminators have planned for them. This set of gameplay and the nature of it can provide alot of fun for good friends. Negatives: 1. Graphics aren't that impressive. As I mentioned, while the game looks impressive from a distance, however even so, you'll notice some problems in various clipping animations and the details up close aren't good. Due to the stiff and repetitive animations used, one of which is notably hilarious for how Genestealers dodge flames by ducking despite being submerged in it, this can also wear whatever affection you had for the game's graphics. 2. Combat is very luck based. Due to the nature of the game being based on the Table Top, this means your chances are based entirely on how well the dice gods love you. Thus this can lead to an awesome streak where your guys are able to kill multiple Genestealers in one turn, or seeing your terminator sergeant with thunder hammer and storm shield lose out to Genestealers multiple times and die each time. To make matters worse, because the game takes it's sweet time to complete a turn, meaning should you lose a guy you really needed alive for your chances, you will have to use the windows button to quickly exit and return to the last save point as it is much quicker. This style of gameplay can be frustrating against computer players as unlike the more friendly and competitive nature of battling between friends, you don't get such love for CP's so you'll grow more ticked if you start losing guys in Single player because of these rules in their game. 3. You can't really customize your terminator load outs outside of what types of units you can carry. Your options are very limited as you're dependent upon what types of terminators you'll deploy in your mission so you're pretty much stuck with what the game's mission provides for you on the mission. 4. Missions and Objectives get repetitive and tedious pretty quickly. Because your missions largely consist of 'Capture object, defend, keep important guy alive, or kill Brood-lord,' you will get bored of the game's campaign and missions pretty quickly as save for the Space Wolves one, most of the campaigns are Blood Angels so prepare for the same repetitive flavor and game throughout this mission. 5. Storm Bolters sound rather unimpressive. Being a WH40K fan, one thing I'll note is that bolters are essentially rapid firing rpg rifles as the rounds are huge at .75 caliber and are explode on contact so I was disappointed hearing how the Storm Bolter sounded more like an angry Submachine gun than a gun that is shooting heavy rockets at you. Conclusion: Despite being a faithful adaptation of the Table Top game, this game is rather bare in performance, graphics, stiff and repetitive animations, it's tedious missions and objectives, luck based combat, and poor and stiff animations can wear out plenty of players for this game. Even if you're a fan of WH40K and the Space Hulk, it is recommended that you get this only if it is one sale and you're interested in getting this game. Personally, I'd wait for the price to drop on Full Controls Sequel game, Space Hulk Ascension as I've heard it is much better in comparison. Score: 6.5/10 Grade: D