Hijinks Reviews: Mafia II

Born the son of a poor immigrant, Vito is a beaten down Italian American who is trying to secure his piece of the American Dream. Looking to escape the life of poverty that consumed his childhood, Vito is soon swayed by the lure of power and wealth that a life of Organized Crime can bring. A petty criminal his whole life, Vito, along with his childhood friend, Joe, will descend into the world of organized crime. Together, they will work to prove themselves to the Mob as they try to make their names on the streets of a cold and unforgiving city.

That’s the official storyline released for the game, Mafia II. This is another sequel to a game I’ve never played, so I can’t speak to whether this is an improvement over the original or not. Also, having never played the original, I expected the game to simply be an open ended GTA type game set back in the 40’s, and that wasn’t quite what I got once I sat down with the game. I’ll give you the details after the jump. Continue reading Hijinks Reviews: Mafia II

Hijinks Reviews: Crackdown 2

I played a bit of the original Crackdown game when it first came out, but all of my time with that game was spent online with my buddy, Bob Sacamano. I didn’t get any single player time in at all, and in total, I think we spent about 3 hours with that game… most of that was just running around shooting things and driving all over the city. The complete opposite was true for Crackdown 2. I played for about 3-4 hours, all by myself… no time spent in the multiplayer.

This was one of those games that really loses some luster in single player mode, I think. I have a feeling that a lot would be added, simply by having more teammates to create more carnage. From the time that I spent with the game, I don’t get the feeling that this is one of those storyline-centric games… it’s really more about the adventure and carnage. I spent nearly as much time finding and chasing orbs to build my characters skills than I did actually advancing in the story. Continue reading Hijinks Reviews: Crackdown 2

Hijinks Reviews: Madden 11

Hey sports fans! I apologize I haven’t given Madden the attention that it deserves. We got such an overwhelming response to our NCAA 11 coverage I really should have churned this out right away, but I got incredibly busy (coaching real life football, who woulda thunk!) and now we are almost 2 months past release date… I’m ashamed. However, you are still here reading, so without further delay, we’ll jump into what’s good and bad about this years edition.

The big changes in this year’s game are four-fold: dual analog stick control, more intuitive blocking, Strategy Pad, and GameFlow. In some cases the upgrades were a home run, some surprised me. I’ll get into the details after the jump. Continue reading Hijinks Reviews: Madden 11

Hijinks Reviews: Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

I have to begin this review by being honest and up front with you guys, I don’t have a ton of time to play lots of video games. I know that’s about as bad a way as possible to start a video game review… but I don’t want to come across as a guy that’s put in hours and hours with a game when that’s just simply not true. Having a family and coaching a football team doesn’t allow for much alone time in front of the television to play these games. Maybe down the road if this blog becomes a full time gig, I’ll be able to give these games the requisite time to give a full review. In the meantime, you get the average guy who leads a full, active life’s view of the game, you can take that for what it’s worth.

The other truth I have to lay on you is this, I never played the original Kane & Lynch game. I walked into Blockbuster with the knowledge that that original game sparked talks of an upcoming movie, and apparently was good enough for a sequel, so I grabbed a copy and gave it a try. Simply put, it’s not worth your time. For a bit more in depth reason as to why, join me after the jump. Continue reading Hijinks Reviews: Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days

Hijinks Reviews: Batman Arkham Asylum

Hello again boys and girls. I realize Batman: Arkham Asylum isn’t the latest and greatest video game by any means, however, it is a solid game that merits involvement in our line of game reviews. It’s no coincidence that it’s also one of the games I played with my recent game pass from Blockbuster.

B:AA (short for Batman: Arkham Asylum, I like to simplify things) is an action-adventure stealth game that gets quite a bit more right than wrong. Many of the other Batman games that have come out over the years took a lot of liberties with their story lines. This one strictly adheres to the comic book mythology. They even went so far as to have long-time Batman scribe Paul Dini write the story. That’s a big point in favor of the game. The second big thing they got right with this game is the voice acting. They went out and got the actors from the DC Animated Universe, Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill to voice Batman and Joker, respectively. Many hardcore Batman aficionados consider these two to be the best representations of what these characters should sound like, in an animated universe anyway. The third biggest achievement? No Robin!! Just how Batman should be!! Continue reading Hijinks Reviews: Batman Arkham Asylum