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September 12th, 2011, 16:50
Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood

CoJ was one of those rare games that had a unique story and settings for a shooter, but due to some shortcomings, it couldn't reach a very high position. But BiB is different. It's a very well made game. It has hardly anything unlikable. The story, character development, perfect connection with the first game and of course the cut-scenes are downright awesome. Ray Mccall who is somehow a main character in the series is among my favorite characters and he is one of the reasons I like the story in both CoJ games so much. Also the gun-play is very well designed and completely delivers a wild west game. ( specially the duels ) Also the visuals in this game are great and in the highest settings, game looks absolutely gorgeous at some points.
Also the multi-player in the game is extremely addicting. I play it every day. The designing of the maps is great and there are lots of small details that you can use in your advantage. Also due to the fact that weapons in this game are a lot older than other FPSs, you have to be more careful about when you shoot. A single missed shot can lead to a loss which makes the multi-player a lot more tense and skill based.
The bottom line is if you are a shooter fan, you should try CoJ: BiB. There's a lot to appreciate in it. But be sure to play the first CoJ first. It makes the experience a lot better.

Score: 8.7/10

Rise of the Argonauts

Between all of the underdog games I have played, I feel sorry for the failure of RotA the most. It's obviously a game that its developers put their heart into making it and they did it with enthusiasm and concern and I personally didn't see any sign of lazy work in it. But the problem is that RotA suffers from some wrong major and minor design choices which show themselves from the start and made many people abandon the game without advancing far into it.

The biggest problem which most of the critics and gamers complained about is the enormous amount of dialogues in the game which takes around 70-80% of the game's time if you are willing to listen to all of it. Dialogues in the game are very well written and personally didn't get bored listen to all of it. But for a game which many looked at it as a God of War clone with RPG elements, it's a major turn-off.

The other big problem of the game is the uselessness of RPG elements. When you do certain things in the game ( like finishing a part of the story, killing a number of enemies, etc ) you complete a deed and you can dedicate it to one of the four gods in the game. You can also gain favor with gods by choosing dialogues that represent their symbol. For example, blunt and ruthless dialogues gain favor with Ares or compassionate and forgiving dialogues gain favor with Apollo. Ares, strengthens your mace, Hermes, your sword, Apollo, your shield and Athena your spear. Each God has 25 skills ( some of them are upgrades. ) The problem is these skills won't have a significant effect on game. Since there isn't much combat in the game and when there is, it's just very easy. You really don't have the need for the skills.

RotA is one of the easiest game I have ever played. I was playing it on legendary ( hard difficulty ) and died 5 times in the whole game. ( all of them during boss fights ) Jason is just basically strong himself, but then he has the company of two ( one at first ) other strong Argonauts who kill all of the enemies even if you don't interfere. Let alone when you do it. The problem is when Argonauts lose all of their health , the fall on the ground and you simply need to get to them and press the left mouse button and they resurrect at full health. It's easy as that. But with all of the things said, RotA's combat is very enjoyable and slashing your enemies with those rewarding slow-motions can be quite delightful.

Well, as the title says, RotA is about the famous Greek mythological tale. But expect some iconic events and characters, RotA is very different form its main source. For example, in the original mythology, Jason's uncle, Pelias, orders him to look for the golden fleece. But in the game, Jason tries to find it to bring back his dead wife, Alceme. Also, Jason's wife in the mythology is a witch named Medea who meets Jason during his journey for the fleece, not before it. But this dramatic change is not a very bad thing, because the developers knew what they are doing and made a good story and excellent character development ( especially for Jason himself ). So although story in the game is good, but you shouldn't expect anything similar to the original tale.

The other worthy aspect of the game is its epic, cinematic and sometimes amazing cut-scenes which are followed by a great and suitable musical score.

RotA uses Unreal engine 3.0 and it shows it. I believe the engine has been fairly put to a good use in this game. Some levels like Tartarus or Saria look great. But the problem is that the game doesn't take advantage of strong PCs. There is only one graphical settings that you can change and that is resolution. Nothing else. Quite disappointing.

Also the voice acting in RotA is good due to the fact that there are lots of dialogues in the game and also the financial success of the game was not certain at all.

In the end, I have to say RotA had problems and some serious ones, but in the end, when I finished it, I had the feeling that it deserved the time I dedicated to it. If you don't mind lots of dialogues and some rough edges, Rise of the Argonauts is definitely a game worth to play.

Score: 7.7/10
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