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Portal 2 Review

Box art

DEVELOPER: Valve Corporation

PUBLISHER  : Valve Corporation


Reviewed on: PC

GENRE              : Puzzle, platform game

ESRB                   : E10+

“Science isn’t about why, it’s about why not.”

                                                                      -Cave Johnson

Can’t stop thinking with portals? Still mad that it took you so long to figure out the solution to a simple test chamber? Constantly thinking of real life applications for portals? This is what I call the “Portal Effect.”

Ever played a video game and experienced that feeling of immense content and that lasting appeal that influences your thought process days after you’ve completed it? For me only a few games have truly done that. Portal 2 is one of those games. Having played the original Portal I knew what to expect from Valve. But little did I know that this game would be such an amazingly polished product, improving in every possible aspect and establishing a landmark in gaming.


HA! That's GLaDOS. I killed her in the firs-- OH SHIT!!

GLaDoS is back. Vengeful you ask? Not really. But happier than ever to humiliate and put you through ever so challenging test chambers.

I really wouldn’t want to spoil anything here because, trust me, Portal 2’s campaign is one of the best you’ll ever play. ‘Mind boggling on an unprecedented scale’ and several “OH SH**!!” moments are spread throughout this cleverly paced plot. The script is humorous, compelling and inspiring. Several back-stories and revelations come to the fore throughout the event of the game and the best of all, apart from a few situations the acts are completely unpredictable. Those who’ve played the original Portal are in for special easter eggs and hilarious references. But even if you haven’t you’d still be laughing your a** off at the witty dialogues.

The game is divided into a number of chapters but the entire play through shouldn’t take you a very long time. Of course, it is much longer compared to ‘Portal 1’ (the only complain gamers had with the original) which lasted only about 4-5 hours. But don’t expect to be playing the campaign for weeks. I completed my first playthrough in about 8-9 hours which is presumably satisfactory.


Portal 2 offers great visuals. Animations are realistic and the lighting is beautiful. Character models are great as well. Of course, it isn’t by any means the best in the market but is definitely noteworthy. When falling from great heights motion blur looks pretty neat. What is surprising is that I never came across any major glitch throughout the game even when I went about creating portals like a mindless idiot at times. It isn’t exactly eye-candy but it doesn’t need to be. The creative art design is stand out and makes up for any shortcomings that this department faces.



Thank you for staggering through Aperture Science's propulsion gel testin. You've made some real contributions to society

“Thinking with portals”- That is how you’re supposed to be doing it. But it’s not just that. Some puzzles don’t need that much of an extensive use of portals, just simple physics. And that is precisely what Portal 2 does best. It offers so much of variety that you’d rarely find any 2 puzzles that would solve the same way.True to physics the game mechanics make Portal 2 a pleasure to play. There are practically no improvements that you would want in Portal 2’s gameplay.

Truth is you’ll be surprised at how “genius” the level design can get. Portals, elevators, buttons along with propulsion gel, repulsion gel, conversion gel, then a combination of all three, turrets and excursion funnels take Portal 2’s test chambers to an amazing level of complexity. But that doesn’t mean the puzzles are too tough. The test chambers don’t require a high thinking ability, rather how well you are able to comprehend the situation and “notice” the environments. There might be instances when you’d want to bang your head against the wall for not being able to see an obvious solution but, if you are using walkthroughs to get past levels, trust me you are ‘killing the game.’


Audio is technically outstanding with attention paid to every little detail in the game.

Voice acting-

The voice acting is a true highlight for Portal 2 with Stephen Merchant as Wheatley stealing the show. J.K. Simmons does a commendable job of bringing Cave Johnson to life. And of course, there’s GLaDOS.


Music is expertly composed keeping up with the pace of the game. Entering a new test chamber, successfully solving one, boss fights, all have their fitting scores. Great job done here!

*I highly recommend playing the game with headphones on else, it is quite likely that you’ll miss the in-game music transitions.


Portal 2 is a mind-boggling wonder. The way the story unfolds, the “killer surprises” and the mind-bending revelations all of it is just perfect. Solving puzzles doesn’t get any better than this. It is inarguably a thoroughly enjoyable and faithful sequel. The only complain that I had with the game was that there wasn’t a lot to do after completing the game once but that is because I loved Portal 2 so much that I wanted more of it. Portal 2 is one hell of an experience that is not to be missed.

Graphics– 9

Gameplay– 10

Story– 9.5

Audio– 10

•             Voice acting– 10

•             Music– 10

Overall- 9.5 (Mind=Blown)

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Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlines Review


Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines


Developer(s):      Ubisoft Montreal

                                    Griptonite games

Publisher(s):      Ubisoft

Platform(s):        PlayStation Portable only

Genre(s):              Third-person, Action-adventure

ESRB:                      Mature

Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines, the PSP instalment of the successful Assassin’s Creed franchise has arrived with really anxious hearts but why is it that I feel relieved after completing this game and thank God that it didn’t last any longer. Well, read my review on Assassin’s Creed Bloodlines and find out-


We play as Altair-Ibn-La-ahad, the protagonist from Assassin’s Creed. The story is set months after the events of the original Assassin’s Creed. The game largely revolves around the cities of Limassol and Kyrenia in the island of Cyprus. Altair tries to find out the reason of the Templar gathering in Cyprus and plans to assassinate the last of them. The antagonist is Armand Bouchart, who has become the Grand Master of the Templar Order. He seeks the “Apple of Eden”, which allows the user to control the minds of people and make them carry out the bidding of whoever is using the Apple. Altair has to well, of course stop him from using the Templar Archive to further their goals by carrying out a series of assassinations and interrogations. The plot offers nothing new and is not mesmerizing at all and till the time someone will try to dissolve himself into the game you’ll get into some very predictable and not at all fascinating boss fights. Completely absurd twists in the plot make the gamer feel the weightlessness of it, leave alone feeling the legend of the franchise.


Making the leap of faith is now the only enjoyable thing


The gameplay is expected to play stealthily but stupid and poor Artificial Intelligence, numerous glitches, and frustrating controls all these elements fall way short of providing even a tolerable gameplay. The combat has got nice and good looking special moves and counter attacks but is very repetitive. If you run, take a leap or climb a wall the guards doltishly take out their swords and murmur something and the moment they are alerted of our presence they shout out, “I’ve found the assassin.” I mean alright, I was moving for the past hour and killing your comrades right in front of you and now you found me. Bravo! They would run towards you and start attacking foolishly in the same repetitive way and with a very, very restricted quantity of moves. Same goes for us. Where we feel that our move is executed well and are expecting an awe-inspiring visual, poor sound effects spoil all the fun. The graphics of the environment, however, I would say are well designed but again as you get closer to objects I don’t seem to understand why they undergo a transformation, a heap of hay suddenly increases in quantity, invisible foes suddenly appear and give you a fright. In spite of this at some instances the game seems fun like chasing some enemy or stealthily assassinating him and of course interrogating foes.

But don’t forget the sticky and frustrating control scheme that would just get you all mixed up and you might be jumping off a roof when you just want to climb on a small platform. Altair just doesn’t perform jumps when he is supposed to and will bounce off walls unnecessarily and wouldn’t get hold of a protruding brick that would just be at his height level.

Apart from this there are always plenty of glitches to give you company and make you regret about the bucks you’ve spent on this game when you’re gradually starting to feel that the game isn’t so bad after all.



Never judge a game by just by its visuals



Graphics aren’t so poor after all but the environments and character details are no more than what has already been delivered to the PSP years back. Yet shadowing and lighting is fine. The game occasionally looks beautiful and there is no denying that. Cutscenes offer almost the same graphics as the normal gameplay and you seriously can’t make out in which direction a person is looking. Textures aren’t so blocky but not outstanding. Frustrating and completely insane glitches are spotted not only in the gameplay but the cutscenes as well. In an interval a foe might be having a beard but in the following one the appearance drastically changes, like balding of a man or change in his robes. Well, that can be neglected, can’t it??

Graphics aren't so bad



The game has been delivered well with simplified menus and the ability to repeat levels using memory blocks. There are a variety of accomplishments that will get you hooked up to your PSP for hours after completing the single-player story…just kidding, in reality even the campaign is so frustrating and can be completed only by gamers who’ve either got loads of free time or the really dedicated ones. The campaign is quite short, but honestly that’s something good J. This 5-7 hours of play offers quite a lot in a compact form altogether but far from the original title. Silver and Gold Templar coins are well hidden sometimes on high rooftops and are nicely spread across the game. Using these coins you can upgrade Altair’s abilities such as increase in synchronisation rates and delivering critical hits.

Looks nice... at least in the screenshot


The navigation map actually is fine but you’ve to get used to it. While in alert phase, the map highlights spots for camouflaging and becoming anonymous. There are gates connected to different areas of Limassol and others as well. Guards are spread across the city looking keenly towards us and occasionally becoming suspicious. The crowd acts completely abnormally also disappearing after turning at corners. So you can’t really follow them and killing them drains your health like anything, but you can still have fun by grabbing them. Honestly, the only really entertaining thing I found was running and jumping across platforms and rooftops. Climbing has never been made so easy. But issues are here too, you would struggle to get hold of objects as already mentioned and Altair would hang down buildings when commanded to jump. The game is far too easy. I never had to replay a boss fight or a mission. Exceptions, however, occurred because of either stupid bugs or sticky control schemes. One thing that is great is the connectivity between the PSP game and Assassin’s Creed 2 on the PS3. Depending on your progress you can unlock new things in both –going from the PSP to PS3 gets you 6 new weapons whereas on the PSP you get a few things too.


News about the translation of the original Assassin’s Creed

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Rock Band: Unplugged Review

Rock Band Unplugged


Developer(s):      Harmonix

                                    Backbone Entertainment

Publisher(s):      MTV Games

                                    Electronic Arts

Distributor(s):  EA Distribution

Platform(s):        PlayStation Portable only

Genre(s):              Rhythm Game

ESRB:                      Teen

The new installment of Rock Band on Sony’s handheld console does not entirely live up to the standards of Rock Band but serves as a complete entertainment package. It is a great musical game but like many others it doesn’t come without its flaws. I managed to get this game quite a time ago in August and had earned quite a lot of cash, fans and stars and even the van, the bus and the airplane, but I had to update my firmware and therefore the data got corrupted. Now that I completed the game I have reviewed the game.


Similar to games like Guitar Hero and of course like its Rock band predecessors this gameplay is primarily about hitting a button or sets of buttons while the come near the phrase indicator. Doesn’t seem too fun by just the description but with a blend of intriguing songs it is brilliant altogether. Stars are awarded on how well you play a track. The overdrive system is great gaining power on pressing a series of glowing white notes. The phrase indicator serves well. Playing notes accurately get a higher score and affect the cash and number of fans acquired. At the start of every song the band members are

Gameplay lives up to Rock Band but only to an extent


introduced as bass guitarist, drummer, vocalist and lead guitarist respectively. Switching between vocals, guitars and drums is quite comfortable with the L and R buttons. The rhythm of the gameplay completely absorbs the gamer. The world tour is immensely gratifying and addictive. Getting on the road and playing gigs in places like London, Shanghai, Berlin, Tokyo, Sydney, Moscow, Rome, Paris and numerous more is simply exalting.

The Extras menu offers Band Survival mode in which one is able to play the instrument he wants through the entire song. The Training module offers sets of interactive tutorials that would explain well to any rock band newbie.

One of the major drawbacks in the gameplay is that the visuals are not as inspiring and brilliant as of its predecessors. The worst aspect is of course is the absence of much expected multiplayer feature. No wi-fi or online feature in the game make it feel empty and exhausted after a short while.


Visuals are just fine


The visuals are just fine. All band members have only a small set of moves which become very repetitive after a while. Members can be customized as we like either wearing the heart of bones shirt or pair of funky trousers. Hairstyles have a wide variety. Characters are well highlighted but at many instances flawed visuals and glitches are spotted. The spotlights and transitions are outstanding but a great room for improvement left behind. Band and instruments detailing could be highly improved however I didn’t keep my expectations high on this aspect from a game like Rock Band Unplugged.


Game menus, interactive touring, selecting staff members and various offers all add up Rock Band Unplugged’s superb presentation. The player creates a band, selects a logo and starts on the world tour. He faces challenges and innumerable contests with captivating rewards. Any time he can customize his band members or buy a variety of good looking instruments all that is within the budget. With each staff member comes offers, varying fans and cash and so on. The game never feels empty although your money sure can. There’s a lot to do and if someone honestly gets about 40- 50 hours of dedicated play he would be able to finish every gig (very daring ones would show that dedication). Finishing the game can also mean simply finishing the Shanghai Immortals List or attaining Legendary Status (can be achieved by playing all 41 soundtracks consecutively and is worth 205 stars!!).

Difficulties to choose from


The Extras Menu features an option of unlocking all songs. Songs can also be downloaded from the PlayStation Network in the Music Store Menu. As one starts the game he has to complete a set of training missions (they are optional however) to have an idea of how the game works. Unlockables include city shirts, instruments of course and numerous spotlight gigs and song marathons.


A musical game one like Harmonix’s Rock Band or the Guitar Hero series has to have some solid soundtracks which are addictive and fun to play. Rock Band Unplugged is to a great extent successful in offering that. The songs are unanimously superb. Great titles like Kryptonite by 3 Doors Down or Jackons 5’s ABC. Even ones like The Perfect Drug, Miss Murder, Float On, Alive, Today, More Than A Feeling and numerous others. All are different in their way with varying difficulties in different instruments. Some songs might seem slow and worth a challenge on Hard whereas several others might serve as a challenge only at the basic difficulty. Soundtracks from some great bands such as Linkin Park, Metallica and Iron Maiden were missing which was truly disappointing. However, with as many as 41 tracks to play, I rarely felt their absence.

 Final Thoughts

Rock Band Unplugged is just the experience for a rock band fan or the one’s looking for some pleasurable and satisfying musical game. It’s not one of the best titles out there but is a great PSP exclusive altogether. The addictive gameplay, awesome soundtracks, few salient features and a brilliant world tour make this game worth play. However disappointing elements such as few glitches and very limited character customization have brought it substantially below perfection.

 Graphics- 7.5

Gameplay- 8.5

Presentation- 8.0

Soundtracks- 8.7

Overall-  8.2/10 (Great)

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Resistance: Retribution Review


Resistance: Retribution

Developer: Sony Bend

Publisher: SCEA

Platform(s): PlayStation Portable Only

Genre: Third-person shooter

ESRB: Mature

Insomniac’s Resistance makes it to the PSP but this time the credit goes to Sony Bend. Retribution has brought to us a great storyline, entertaining gameplay and an entirely beautiful experience.


Retribution has a brilliant plot which is altogether inebriating. The chimeran invasions at various locations, exploring more into the conversion process and somewhat unexpected turns make the game running smoothly at a fine pace. The story has almost all that is needed, however, with a few unintelligent and flawed situations.

The protagonist- JAMES GRAYSON

James Grayson

The Mercenary

This British soldier is clearly a very impressive character and has a lot of effect on the entire game. At times he might seem heroic but a few moments later he is back giving out obscenities and vulgar expressions  not only to the chimeras and his French allies but surprisingly even to himself. Grayson’s hatred for Mallery is quite well defined as, in almost every location that he encounters Mallery we come across the line- “I really hate Mallery.”

So, we really couldn’t have missed that. 🙂 


Sony Bend has succeeded in putting up a good looking game however taking this aspect into consideration we come across many glitches which could feel frustrating or rather, stupid.

Detalling is simply too great

The lighting and shadowing effects are undoubtedly applaudable and the beautifully detailed environments cannot be neglected. The cutscenes before the start of every chapter (do not confuse with the in game cutscenes) are immensely satisfying and awe inspiring. The realistic fire, water and other environments and well detailed foes, all add up to it. 

The detailing is like never before on the PSP (however much similar to Syphon Filter series). The weapon reloading and firing bullets are full of realism. The intensity at which the enemies blow up and the blood effects are great. The in game cutscenes (mentioned earlier) especially the characters seriously needed some improvement in detailing. At certain instances in the game we might end up looking at a squint eyed Mallery or even Grayson carrying an idiotic expression.


gameplay 1

Brilliant effects and shooting mechanics provide a great gaming experience

The Gameplay (also includes the Artificial Intelligence and in game physics) is a major component that makes this game even better. The shooting mechanics are simply too great and the wide variety of weapons ranging from carbines to LAARK rockets, the hybrid Razor or the Auger help tackling different enemies. The newly introduced auto aim feature is nicely presented. Before the release of the game this feature was quite controversial and received a critical approach from many gamers as they said that it would make the game considerably easy. However, self exploding Boilers, outnumbering hybrids, mighty and gigantic Titans, frustrating leapers and many more chimeras are always there to compensate and we would hate to think what it would be like without the auto aim.

Defeating the enemies is not quite easy if you’re not ready with a strategy or plan. Switching quickly from the storm rifle for getting a headshot of a Boiler to a LAARK rocket or Grenade to deal with a Titan requires quick thinking. When to use Chaingun and Auger shields, benefits of alternate ammunitions require experience and practice. Pushing crates or pulling down levers is achieved by reaching to the object, pressing the up button and constantly pressing X. Such minigames are interactive and are guided through well.

defeating the titan

Titan!! Get the LAARK!


 Controls are practically easy. The R1 fires, secondary fire with the L1, the UP button zooms in, RIGHT changes weapons, camera control with the functional buttons (circle, square, cross and triangle) and movement with the analog stick is quite comfortable (non-sticky too). The crosshairs auto aim on the enemies but if we zoom in, in weapons like the Fareye (Sniper) it goes into manual aim. Sitting in one of the hammers and shooting down enemies is great fun. Using its powerful chaingun or missiles makes blowing up the Chimera easier. Walking into tunnels or climbing crates does a fine job getting through. The swimming mechanics are great. Grayson dives and stays and holds his breath either till he dies or till we resurface him. Poor guy.
All of this and more make the gameplay simply amazing.

A few improvements here and there could have been made such as better use of AI and a little more authenticity throughout the game. One thing that is not negligible is the extremely sticky cover system. Whenever we get near a wall, crates or covers Grayson automatically slips into cover. While running for health capsules, two massive Titans behind you and, oops, you get near a cover. What then? It simply attracts you like there is a magnetic pull. This seriously can be is frustrating. However, slight ups and downs do not completely disappoint a gamer and the gameplay nears perfection.


This game truly has a fabulous presentation with lots of innovative elements and ideas. Everything from location selects to autosaves, it’s immensely beautiful and well presented.


The location select

There’s got to be something more than just the campaign and there is. Skill points that the series is well known for are presented in a wide variety for different areas and locations in Retribution. The intel are spread all over the game and are to be collected from secret spots like openings near the end of a wall which lead to a room, pushing crates to lead to secret passageway are few  of them.

Unlockable content

The unlockables especially the l

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