Video Game Review: L.A. Noire

Video Game Review: L.A. Noire

Developed by Team Bondi and published by the stellar Rockstar Games, L.A. Noire represents what I feel is a huge break through in interactive content. While much of L.A. Noire is a game, it its very core, L.A. Noire represents what I hope is a step forward for the medium. L.A. Noire is probably best described as being an interactive movie, or television show. The game deals with mature themes, and for the first time, the entire performance of a an actor is captured through new motion capture technology, so ever tick, wink, and suspicious look is there for you to see.

Your name is Cole Phelps, a WWII vet who is starting his career off as a patrol-man in the LAPD. As the game progresses, you move your way up to traffic detective, homicide, vice, and eventually arson. All while being told a story relating to Phelps military service.

Games from Rockstar have always been break throughs, whether it be the open world of GTA III, the story of Vice City and San Andreas, the rendered detail in GTA IV, and taking those elements and putting them in the wild west in Red Dead Redemption. Here they take it one step further. Los Angeles is alive in this game, rife with pedestrians, signs, and familiar landmarks, from the ding on the traffic signal, to the music coming from the radio, it is absolutely immersive. Though the game is technically open, it pushes you along the story like no other game from the publisher. Honestly, I’ve never been a “completionist,” but I do terrible at open world games, I get so side tracked with the world, that I never end up continuing with the story. L.A. Noire moves things forward, but its nice to know those side missions are there for you.

L.A. Noire for some reason triggers memories of the point & click adventure games I used to be obsessed with as a kid. The classic Lucasart games like Indiana Jones, The Dig, and also Kings Quest & Hugo’s House of Horrors. The interaction of the environment is great, and the dialogue detailed.

The fighting mechanics are so-so in this game, but that is always a criticism of these guys. However, it wasn’t so bad in Red Dead. In this, the fighting isn’t the necessarily the focus, so its quickly forgotten because of the story.

If you’re looking for a unique, entertaining, and enthralling game, look no further than L.A. Noire.

If you’ve got both a PS3 and an Xbox, I’d recommend the PS3 version. The Xbox version comes on three discs.

App Review: iFlux for iPhone/iPad

Check out my quick video review of the new iFlux App for your iPhone and iPad. Things I left out, the app has ALL the sound effects from the film. I’m actually quite impressed with the polish. The built in speedometer can actually recognize your speed, though, I don’t recommend speeding to 88 just to hear a sound effect. Just set it to 30 and you’ll be jumping through time without getting a ticket. Also, I know Dec 1st isn’t the birth of christ, but I figured you’d show up early and do some sightseeing early on before hittin’ up the manger with the three wisemen.

Happy Friday!

Update: Apparently the app has been pulled form the app store. Hopefully you guys got a chance to pick it up before. If not, lets hope Universal releases the app during the blu-ray rerelease a la what Lucasfilm did with the original lightsabre app and the release of The Force Unleashed and release it as a promo for the launch.

DS Review: Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword

DS Review: Ninja Gaiden Dragon Sword

Ninja Gaiden Dragon SwordWhat you’ve got in Ninja Gaiden is an excellent action packed adventure game with a creative control scheme and great story. [Read more…]

Review: Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

Review: Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

Rainbow Six: Vegas 2Rainbow Six: Vegas 2 is the perfect example of how not to change a good thing. Great gameplay, great graphics, great multiplayer, now even better! [Read more…]

PSP Review: Need for Speed Pro Street

PSP Review: Need for Speed Pro Street

needforspeed.gifYou’ll hear me talk a lot about mobile/handheld gaming on this site, you’ll also have to suffer through my frequent frustration with half rate, crappy PSP and DS titles. Need for Speed Pro Street for the PSP fits in this category.

Unlike its predecessor, the tracks found here are closed, shifting away from open world illegal street racing. So are they fun, innovative, interesting tracks? No. Boring. Very very boring. [Read more…]

Xbox 360 Review: Army Of Two

Xbox 360 Review: Army Of Two

army-of-two-screen.jpgToday I’d like to take a look at the recently released shooter from EA Games, Army Of Two, for the Xbox360.

The touted draw to this game is that it’s really meant to be played in Co-Op mode, whether via Xbox live or split screen. This will allow the players to perform team related tasks, such as accessing higher areas by jumping off of your comrade, vehicle combat (one drives and one fires), simultaneous sniping, [Read more…]

Xbox 360 Review: Frontlines: Fuel of War

Xbox 360 Review: Frontlines: Fuel of War

frontlines_fuel_of_war_76550.jpg

So blame me for not being able to shake the near perfection of Call of Duty 4, but its hard to play an FPS and not compare it to that game. COD4, with a combination of its gameplay, story, and graphics managed to feel fresh, despite the same old (some may argue tired) FPS mechanics. Unfortunately, one could not feel the same way about Frontlines: Fuel of War.

[Read more…]

PSP Review: Patapon

01.jpg

I like it, I can’t tell you why, but I like it. There’s something strangely addicting about hitting buttons to a beat, like a pringle, I just can’t have one. It’s music, its cartoonish 2D environment, it draws me to it pata pata pata pon, pon pon pata pon.

Oh right, I gotta write this review. There’s been some hype around this PSP release from the makers of LocoRoco. The game play is simple, and the story, interestingly deeper than you think. It’s about a tribe of people known as Patapon, a group that flourished until they were defeated by the evil Zigaton tribe. Their God, the Patapon, uses war drums to direct the tribe back to their home land.

[Read more…]

PSP Review: WipeOut Pulse

PSP Review: WipeOut Pulse

wipeout.jpg

It’s a good time to be a PSP owner, last week saw the release of WipeOut Pulse, the follow up to the PSP launch title that built a decent community. With Patapon dropping this week, and God of War in March, it’s gonna be hard to focus on one. But, I’ve found my self not being able to put WipeOut Pulse down since I picked it up last week.

[Read more…]