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: UFC Undisputed 2010

UFC Undisputed 2010 is the 2nd edition of the THQ line of UFC games and, as expected, it makes some improvements over last years game. Here’s the big changes that they touted:

  • Encourage camaraderie by forming fight camps and leagues to participate in ranking and champion tracking systems. Join forces, train like real-life UFC fighters and go online to compete against other camps in the virtual UFC world.
  • Navigate a roster of more than 100 prolific UFC fighters, each fully rendered to convey a photorealistic appearance. Prominent UFC personalities, including the commentary team of Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg.
  • A new Sway System with full upper body and head movement allows for the dodging of attacks, while on the ground and a new Posture System delivers fight-ending strikes from every position.
  • Choose from an array of moves from all available disciplines, including newly added Sambo, Karate and Greco-Roman Wrestling, to become a true mixed martial artist.
  • The “Game Is Watching You” system tracks every action and uses this information to dictate in-game commentary and career progression. Enhance the Career Mode experience through online co-op sparring sessions.

I can tell you that they really delivered on most of those promises. However, this game has been plagued with a number of problems on the online side, so I didn’t mess with that at all. For my thoughts on that parts I did play though, follow me after the jump. Continue reading Hijinks Reviews: UFC Undisputed 2010