Video game reviews (January – February 2013)
LEAGUE OF LEGENDS
I spend half of most weekends working with my friends to crush other players into the ground playing my favorite game, League of Legends.
League of Legends is a free, online role-playing game. Two teams of up to five people choose characters, or “Champions,” and are thrust into a sprawling battlefield, where their goal is to destroy the opposing team’s base.
Though I love playing with friends, sometimes teamwork is a burden. One game, my team was at our opponent’s base and ready to destroy it. However, one of our teammates wasn’t near us. We urged him to hurry up and group with us. Unfortunately, he took his time and we were ambushed and lost the battle.
I picked up the basics of the game—right click to move and attack, keyboard for special attacks and spells—within a few days. However, learning enough to win can take weeks when playing against skilled opponents. The first time I played against human opponents I was destroyed and bombarded with insults from all the other players.
There are more than 100 Champions to choose from. My favorite is Ahri, a nine-tailed fox who can dash around the battlefield and charm opponents, stopping them in their tracks so you can attack them.
You can buy new Champions or “Runes,” artifacts that you equip on your Champion for extra damage or speed, using in-game currency. For real money, you can buy skins, which customize your Champions’ looks and voice.
The producers of League of Legends update the game with new items, Champions and maps every few weeks. League of Legends can be addictive and bring out the worst in other people. But it’s fun and a great way to build teamwork with your friends.
When I first got Halo 4 for Xbox 360, I stayed up all night playing and my mom got mad at me. It took me four days to complete the game. The graphics are epic! When I played Halo 3 after Halo 4, I realized that the graphics weren’t as cool as I thought back in 2007. The Halo 4 graphics are so life-like; it looks like the characters in the in-game scenes are real actors.
Halo 4 starts off four years after the war has ended on Earth. Master Chief wakes up on a prison planet along with an enemy, Didact, who wants to annihilate the human race. Master Chief also seeks a path to Earth to help his AI, Cortana, who is dying. What really pulled me into the story is the way they got Master Chief to seem more human and emotional. They make it look like he’s attached to Cortana more now that she’s dying.
Halo 4’s multiplayer has been stepped up to a new level with new weapons and upgrades. The thruster pack is like running but it throws you about the same distance, so it’s useless in my opinion. One of the most useful upgrades is Promethean Vision, which lets you spot enemies behind objects or in the fog. There is also a customizable weapons list that lets you choose your weapons for an online battle, which is an idea from Modern Warfare. And there have been adjustments to the controller settings. I found it easy to get used to these controls.
If you’re reading this, get this game! If your parents say it’s too violent … it is, but it’s still worth playing.
SHADOW OF THE COLUSSUS
Shadow of the Colossus is an action-adventure game for the Playstation 2. Even though it’s an old game it’s still worth a try. Someone told me that the game was hard so I wasn’t sure that I was going to like it. It was hard, I’ll admit, because the game gives you few hints about the story. But as it went on I was hooked.
You play as Wander, who is on a journey to resurrect Mono, a mysterious girl who is dead or in a trance. To save Mono, Wander rides his horse Agro to battle these enormous creatures called colossi that are in the form of animals or human-like beings. The game is like a puzzle in which you have to discover the weakness of each colossi. After beating one colossi I wanted to go onto the next one to see what it looked like and how I would battle it. I once took three hours on one colossi. It didn’t have fur that I could grab onto to climb up to his head and reach his weak point. I got frustrated, so I went on YouTube and looked up a tutorial on how to fight it.
My favorite colossi to battle was the bird-like Avion. What struck me was how beautiful the battle was. As I was running across his body, he was flying above a lake and these remains of a structure. It looks like a painting. This game convinced me that video games are an art form because at one point I’d be frustrated and at another I was amazed by the visuals.
This game isn’t a first-person shooter like Call of Duty and some people might think it’s dumb, but it’s just as good. Plus you get to ride on a horse. I mean, how cool is that?