Grand Theft Auto V: Xbox 360 Review

Intro
The game starts of in a prologue type mission were you play with Michael & Trevor and their allies Brad and unknown accomplice. It will show you the basic mechanics of the game and some key story elements that will be uncovered later in the game.

After you “completed” the mission the game lets you play with Franklin for a while.

Franklin
He is the first character you encounter after the tutorial mission, he is you’re basic hoodlum thug (except he is not that violent in the beginning). He lives together with his aunt who is a feminist (they both own the house), and they don’t like each other that much. He has some generic hoodlum friends, and most of his missions are not that great and unrewarding (in the tow-truck side quest-line he even talks about not getting paid). After a couple of missions he will encounter Michael’s son and after he tried to steal his car he was captured by Michael. Later on Michael will take Franklin under his wing to be a better criminal. When Trevor enters the game, Franklin holds both of them together.

His special ability consist of a slow-motion driving sequence, what makes him the best driver in the game.

Michael
Is a rich retired criminal, he is married and has a teenage daughter and son. He does not get along with them, and during the game there will be lot of friction between his family and him. Also he should be death so when Trevor noticed that he is not, hell breaks lose.

His special ability is slow-mode, that you can use when taking cover or using you’re guns. He is the most accurate shooter, and he is a great sniper.

Trevor
Is a psychopath killer, he is the only one that got away untouched after the prologue. He went into hiding in the desert and started Trevor Philips Industries. He trades in drugs & weapons with his company and made a good living out of it (although he still lives in a filthy trailer). He has some hillbilly friends, that are afraid of him.

His special ability is a rage, in this mode he will do more damage and he takes less damage.

Driving
You need to practice a lot if you want to become a good driver. It feels like a combination of arcade / realistic driving. You can drive with a motorcycle downhill with max speed and land on your two wheels, but you can also drive on low speed into a tree and die instantly. You can level up your driving skill but you hardly notice it, you are getting better in driving not your character.

Level system
Just like GTA San Andreas you can level up all your characters in certain skills, with a 1-5 skill system: Shooting, Strength, Stamina, Lung Capacity (diving), Driving, Stealth and flying. But you hardly notice the difference.

Heist system
One of the big selling points of the game are the heist missions, you can decide which approach you take (stealth or a action mission), and which people you take with you. You can choice between three different crew classes: Driver, Hacker or Gunman. The driver has three skills: driving skill, composer and vehicle choice. The hacker has :sys knowledge, decryption skill and access speed. The Gunman has four skills: health, accuracy, shoot rate and weapon choice. The better the crew member the more cut they ask for (except for certain members you discover while exploring). They also level up after each heist (25%, if they survive), but their cut stay’s the same, so if you use a bad crew member at the start of the game, you can get a great one at the end, that cost you almost nothing.

The sad thing about this system is, that their are only a couple of heist missions that use this system: Jeweler, Bank robbery, FIB raid and the Union Depository heist. You also have two more heist, but it does not reward you with a payout (one is to dangerous to sell, and the other holds you’re money for a investment), and you can’t take a crew member with you.

They should have used this system more often, instead of the many cheap repetitive mission that ruins the game.

The swap system
The swap system lets you swap between the three protagonist (Michael, Trevor & Franklin) of the story line. So you can decide which character you want to control in certain missions. This mechanic was also used in the game Clive Barker’s: Jericho, and it worked great in that game, and it also works great in this game. Except in most missions the game decides if you can switch or not (the later missions let’s you swap when you want). And in the free-roaming mode you can swap when you want, except if you are prohibited by a story mission.

Payout
The single player mode is full of repetitive missions that has little to no payout, only a couple of these missions will give you some money to spent, but most of the time you will get no reward and the missions even cost you money sometimes. I don’t mind that one heist mission was a bust, and you did not receive any payment, but it happens with two out of the six heist missions and 80% of all story missions don’t give you any payment either. Most of the side missions also give you no money.

This is the most frustrating thing about the game, you spend many hour’s playing the game (between the Jeweler heist and the Bank heist) without getting paid. So most features of the game like the car configuration and the properties you won’t use, because you cannot afford it (because you need the money for you’re guns).

Multiple times in the game I wanted to do a rage quit, because of the lack of payment.

Properties
After lacking in GTAIV, they reintroduced the property system. You need allot of money to buy a property and they come in two variations: Auto pay-out (with 2 type of missions that repeat: defeat the assault and deliver cargo) and do it yourself missions like the tow-truck missions (if you don’t do anything, you won’t get a payout).

They messed this system up, because you won’t get you’re investment back except doing multiple repetitive missions. And with the auto pay-out properties you need to be in the game for a long long time. So most properties have no function (except for the storage and the free upgrades for Franklin’s cars properties), except if you like grinding.

Verdict for the story-mode / free-roaming of Grand Theft Auto V
So my verdict of the single player mode of GTAV is not that great. Yes the game looks great (except for the many pop-ups), and it feels like a Grand Theft Auto game, but it lacks on so many levels. Beside the things I mentioned about the: lack of pay-out, repetitive missions, misuse of the property system, the lack of heist missions and things like the arcade driving makes this a mediocre game, that dropped the ball on so many points. But the arcade like tennis, darts and the realistic looking golf game is a lot of fun, and the story is not that bad either, just don’t except a lot of this game, then you won’t be disappointed.

StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm: The Reckoning on Brutal Difficulty

This is the final mission of the Heart of the Swarm campaign and it takes place on the capital planet of the Terran forces called Korhal. In this mission you need to assault Emperor Mengsk’s Palace main gate. Mengsk’s forces outnumber you 10 to 1 so it will be a challenge, but luckily you’re champions will assist you with their forces in this mission if you destroy three key blockades. All of Mengsk’s forces are mercenaries that you could summon in the Wings of Liberty campaign. But luckily you get another ally, Jim Raynor and his raiders will assist you in this mission (Most of his forces are also in mercenary form).

The final mission of Heart of the Swarm is not on the same difficulty level as the final mission of Wings of Liberty. The Reckoning is easier then All In. You just need to destroy everything on your path and defend the Hyperion (and your own base of course) and destroy the blockades that are holding back your reinforcements.

For this mission I suggest you use Drop Pods and destroy the base right next to you before Raynor arrives. Then destroy the counter attack of Mengsk and help the Hyperion build up his base by defending it with Kerrigan. After his base is build destroy the base right outside the Hyperion and then it is just a matter of defending against Mengsk armada and destroying their bases. Before you destroy the blockades I suggest you destroy the bases were the are located so that the reinforcement will assault another base with their full might.

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StarCraft II Heart of the Swarm: Death From Above on Brutal Difficulty

This is the second of three missions that takes place on the capital planet of the Terran forces called Korhal. In this mission you need to disable the Terran Psi Destroyer. First you need to destroy three power links with Dehaka and his Primal Zerg. Every time you destroy a power link the Psi field will be disabled for a few minutes. When the shield is down you need to attack with Kerrigan and the other Zerg units to destroy the Terran bases and forces. Whenever the field is up, you normal Zerg units will take massive damage when they enter the field. You need to act swiftly with Dehaka because the field will slowly come to your main Zerg base to wipe it out. When you have disabled the last power link, Dehaka and his Primal Zerg will appear on the main map. Then you just need to destroy everything on your path and shutdown the Terran Psi Destroyer.

Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm, Ultralisk Mutations & Evolution

This is the last evolution mission that take place on the capital planet of the Terran forces called Korhal. You need to choice between one of the evolutions of the Ultralisk.

The first evolution is called the Noxious, it is sort of like the Abomination from the strategy game (also from Blizzard) Warcraft III. It will emit a cloud of disease and attacks every living unit automatically. The Noxious also has an automatic toxic blast that will attack a unit or structure every 10seconds for 20 damage.

The second evolution is called the Torrasque, it also resembles a unit from Warcraft III, only this time it resembles the Tauren Hero. When the Torrasque dies he will turn into a cocoon and will resurrect (permanently) again with full live to attack his foes again. The cool down is 60sec so if you play it well this can be a great ally, so that is the reason why I choice for this strain.

Like the other evolution you can also choice a mutation, you can choice from three mutation. One is a burrow attack, the other is a life drain life equal to 40% of all damage dealt from normal attacks and the last one is a splash damage gain so his attacks will deal 25 damage to each target. I choice for the last one because you lose the damage from the first evolution and can compensated with this mutation.

Starcraft II Heart of the Swarm: Mission 18, Planetfall on Brutal Difficulty

This is the second campaign of the StarCraft II franchise, it’s called the Heart of the Swarm and it focused mostly on Kerrigan and uniting all the Zerg forces.

As always I try to play on the highest difficulty, after finishing the Terran campaign Wings of Liberty on brutal last year, I was more than ready to start directly with Brutal on the Heart of the Swarm campaign.

Most of the mission are not that hard on brutal, you can only lose if you are too slow or attacking to early. But after mission 17 it will start to challenge you, and the final 3 mission are really a pain in the ass, everything needs to be perfect or you will lose horrible. The trouble with this campaign is the lack of strategy; most times you need to mass an army to win, you hardly use any abilities (other than Kerrigan’s) and evolutions that need to morph. But I guess that is the point of the Zerg campaign, you need to swarm your opponents.

This is the first of three missions that take place on the capital planet of the Terran forces called Korhal. In this mission you need to defend you’re Bile Launchers against the Terran armada and on Brutal difficulty even you’re main hero Kerrigan will bite the dust fast because of the huge amount of forces and battleships that will use their cannons against you. There is hardly any strategy however, just mass units and use Kerrigan efficiently to win. So don’t waste time building defences, because the will easily be crushed by the enemy.

XCOM Enemy Unknown: Terror Mission, Classic Ironman

Alien terror attack in Saint Petersburg. This is my second video of this game, but sadly I could not upload my first (battleship mission from Slingshot).

This game needs to be played on Ironman, else it would be no fun or challenge. But sometimes I wish I could reload, because of the many stupid things that will happen. Units that warp in and attack / kill your soldiers. Constant misses of soldiers and constant hits of aliens. Positioning myself at the captain area (Ethereal (constant deflect)) and then the movement AI finds it necessary to move your unit past both force field to get to the other space what resulted in me losing 4 high level soldiers (and 2 squaddies). Flanking that is not correct / should not be a flank. All aliens spawn at once and you can go on like this.

Also one big problem is that every soldiers can only get 1 rank per mission, so if you lose a high ranking soldier it is that much of a pain to get one back on that same rank.

They Bleed Pixels

They Bleed Pixels: Prologue, Bloodless and Swiftness

The prologue of They Bleed Pixels. I only did a swiftness and bloodless run in this video, so I avoided most monsters and pages.

They Bleed Pixels: Dream 1, Rank A Immortality

This is the first mission of They Bleed Pixels. I got all the pages, killed all the monsters and got the high combo reward without dying in this video.

They Bleed Pixels: Dream 2 Chapter 1, Rank A Immortality

This is the second mission of They Bleed Pixels. I got all the pages, but I missed one monster without dying in this video.

They Bleed Pixels: Dream 2 Chapter 2, Rank S Immortality

This is the third mission of They Bleed Pixels. I got all the pages and killed all the monsters without dying in this video. I also got Rank S without the high combo…

Each mission is getting harder and harder to get on immortality, because of the many instant death sections.

They Bleed Pixels: Dream 2 Chapter 3, Rank S Immortality

This is the fourth mission of They Bleed Pixels. I missed 1 page and missed 1 monster but I did that without dying in this video. I also got Rank S with a high combo of 24.

This mission is very annoying to complete without dying. And that’s why I skipped the last page because the change that I could lose a live was high. The fun part was that if I got that last monster and page I would have been in the top high score list.

Happy new year (2013) !!!

A new year has come, and hopefully this will be a great year!

Ghost Master: Weird Séances

I saw this game on Steam for only 70 eurocent and I thought it would be bad, but I looked further in and it seems funny enough so I bought it.

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WarZ Survival: 60 + people with only a hammer

I solely use this character to do almost naked runs in Campos City. This time I only had a hammer with 60+ people on one server. I know that the video is dark, but in game I mostly see nothing either. But I am in Campos City for the duration of this video, so you should see plenty.

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