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: 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

Portal 2: Release date announced

We won’t have to wait too much longer, as Valve announced Wed morning Portal 2’s release date to be February 9th of next year.  Being a huge fan of the original, I’ll definitely be putting this one on my list.  Inherently, I’ll be opting for the PC or Mac version, as a game like Portal, in my humble opinion, is best played with a mouse.  They’re also releasing for PS3 and Xbox 360.

There’s some awesome new elements they’re rolling out with this one, including Wheatley, a friendly British robot that will accompany you, voiced by Stephen Merchant (writer for both versions of The Office, and also starred in a few episodes of the US version).

They’ve also added features, among others, like Repulsion and Propulsion Gel, an Excursion Funnel, the Pneumatic Diversity Vent, the Aerial Faith Plate, and a Thermal Discouragement Beam.  For trailers showcasing these features and more, check out Portal’s official teaser site here.

For the latest news, keep an eye on gameinformer.

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