Level Up! Borderlands 2 Reviewed (Mania.com)

By:Tim Janson
Date: Thursday, September 27, 2012
Source: Mania.com

Warner Brothers Interactive announces Midway Arcade Origins 
  
Midway Arcade Origins, is a compilation of more than 30 classic, genre-defining Midway titles from the golden age of arcades. Available for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 system this holiday season, the collection offers arcade favorites, including Gauntlet, Rampage, Joust, Spy Hunter, Defender, Marble Madness and more. 
  
New players can experience these industry-defining classics, while longtime fans of classic arcade games can re-master their favorite titles with new PlayStation Network Trophies and Xbox 360 Achievements support. Players will also be able to enjoy many games with up to three of their friends in local, co-op multiplayer and post their high scores online. 
  
Midway Arcade Origins, being developed by Backbone Entertainment, combines more than 30 golden age arcade classics on one disc for $29.99. 
  
Konami announces Zone of the Enders HD Collection 
  
Konami today unveiled the launch date for ZONE OF THE ENDERS HD COLLECTION, coming October 30 to the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360.  Konami will also include a demo of one of the most anticipated action titles, Metgal Gear Rising Vengeance.  The demo will be the first time consumers will be able to experience the title's thrilling "cut at will" game mechanic first hand at home. 
  
Developed by Kojima Productions, Zone of the Enders HD Collection will include fan favorites Zone of the Enders and the European special edition version of its sequel Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner. This will be the first time these games are available in fully remastered HD, and the first time this version of Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner has been released stateside. 
  
The essential Zone of the Enders series features the engrossing storytelling of Hideo Kojima, paired with thrilling robot fights in a futuristic interplanetary setting. Players experience high-flying robot combat as they grab enemies, unleash a whirlwind of blade strikes and fire off guns from a distance, all while spiraling freely in open air. Partnering with legendary animation house Sunrise, Zone of the Enders HD Collection will also include a brand new opening animation, as well as fully up-resed renders of the original opening animations from the original games. 
  
ZONE OF THE ENDERS HD COLLECTION will be available on October 30th for the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. 
  
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Massive Fury DLC now available 
  
Starting today, Fall of Cybertron players on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC can download the Massive Fury Pack, which includes the following multiplayer characters, which includes their full body + individual body parts for use in the multiplayer character creator.  It also includes the following single-player campaign items:  
  
·        KICKBACK (Flying Insecticon) 
·        SHARPSHOT (Flying Insecticon) 
·        HARDSHELL (Beetle Tank Insecticon) 
·        G1 RETRO OPTIMUS PRIME 
·        AUTOBOT HOUND 
  
Single-Player campaign items: 
·        G2 BRUTICUS (character skin) 
·        G1 SHOCKWAVE BLAST CANNON (weapon) 
·        G1 MEGATRON PISTOL GUN (weapon) 
  
The price for each pack is 800 Microsoft points or $9.99 for PlayStation and PC gamers.  
  
Ubisoft releases Puzzler World 2012 3D 
  
Ubisoft announced today that Puzzler  World 2012 3D for the Nintendo 3DS is now available at retail in North America.  The first in the series to feature 3D gameplay, Puzzler World 2012 3D will allow players to enjoy over 1,200 fun and challenging classic puzzles.  The game will include favorites like Crosswords, Wordsearch and Spot the Dirrerence with eight all-new variations like Pathfinder, Takegaki and Suko.  Additional bonus games will unlock with progress, adding new layers of variety to the experience over time.   
  
With Puzzler World 2012 3D, players can collect trophies in a personal trophy cabinet as proof of skill, collect hint tokens for help on tricky clues and puzzles, and teach the game to remember individual letters and numbers using the handwriting recognition feature.  Add more variety and hours of fun by unlocking bonus games with new modes.  Take on additional bonus games such as Hangman, Chain Letters, Missing Piece, and more with Challenge mode.  For an extra challenge, unlock Master mode puzzles to reveal a broad range of even tougher puzzles.  
  
Zombies Reveal Trailer - Official Call of Duty: Black Ops II Video 
 
The full Call of Duty: Black Ops II Zombies reveal trailer is available to view… 

Darksiders II’s First DLC, Argul’s Tomb, Available Now 
  
Now, fans of the award-winning, action-adventure game Darksiders II can extend the journey even further by downloading the game’s first downloadable content (DLC) pack, Argul’s Tomb. The DLC is now available for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, and features: 
  
·        Two icy unexplored dungeons 
  
·        New legendary loot 
  
·        Challenging new boss battles 
  
Note that the Limited Edition version of Darksiders II includes a unique code allowing the purchaser to download this first content pack for free. Players should follow the instructions on the card to redeem their content. For all other customers, Argul’s Tomb is available to download for 560 MS Points / $6.99. 
  
Disney Interactive Unveils New "Aladdin" Themed Level Of "Disney Epic Mickey: Power Of Illusion" 
  
 
DUE OUT NEXT WEEK 
  
Resident Evil 6 (Capcom)  Rated M  PS3, Xbox 360 
  
Blending action and survival horror, Resident Evil 6 promises to be the dramatic horror experience of 2012. Resident Evil favorites Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield are joined by new characters, including Jake Muller, to face a new horror, the highly virulent C-virus, as the narrative moves between North America, the war-torn Eastern European state of Edonia and the Chinese city of Lanshiang. Joining this cast will be presidential aide Derek Simmons, who vows to track down Leon for his involvement in the President's death, and femme fatale Ada Wong. But what part will Ada play as the story unravels and does she have ties to the mysterious Neo-Umbrella? 
  
Experience three distinct, yet interwoven story threads and the innovative Crossover mechanic. 
View larger With three distinct, yet interwoven story threads, each with their own pair of protagonists for either solo or co-op play, both offline and online, not only will Resident Evil 6 deliver both different perspectives and gameplay styles but, with the introduction of the innovative Crossover gameplay mechanic players will be able to team up and share the horror. At key moments during the game, up to four players can join together online to tackle a specific situation, with some stages seeing the usual partnerships swapped to further increase the depth of gameplay. 
  
NBA 2K13 (2K Games) Rated E  PS3, Xbox 360, PSP, Wii, PC 
  
NBA 2K13 is a simulation basketball video game set in the National Basketball Association. The fourteenth release in the franchise history, it has been the most popular NBA video game in recent years, and is the first to feature multiple players on the cover - Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers, and Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls. Additional features include: current and past NBA superstars, optional Kinect sensor support, new mapping of player/character moves to the right analog controller stick positions, dynamic shot generation, signature skills, a revamped passing system, and more. 
  
NBA 2K13 represents all things basketball and takes the virtual battle of the hardwoods to the next level. Featuring an enhanced My Player mode and all-new gameplay features, NBA 2K13 lets gamers pit the best players in NBA history against the new dynasty of talent.

REVIEW

Borderlands 2 (2K Games) Rated M  PS3

Borderlands 2 is here with its infectious brand of first-person shooting and vault hunting with its unmistakable comic book style visuals.  Developer Gearbox Software is well aware of what worked so well the first time around and rather than any major tinkering around, they’ve given us more of what we loved so much in Borderlands.   Thus we get more loot to uncover, more enemies to blast, more varied missions to undertake, and a new cast of Vault Hunters with which to play.  While perhaps not delivering a lot of originality over the original, it still delivers an intoxicating shoot-em-up experience. 
  
Borderlands 2 is set five years after the events in the first game and once again the action takes place on Pandora.  The Hyperion Corp. has setup shop in order to mine the recently discovered valuable resource called Eridium.  The main antagonist is Handsome Jack who controls Pandora but rumors of a large vault on Pandora attract a new group of Vault Hunters: Axton, Maya, Salvador, and Zer0.  Their train is sabotaged by Handsome Jack and they are left for dead.  It’s here where you pick which of the four characters you want to play.  
  
Salvador is a "gunzerker" who can dual-wield any combination of guns,  throw multiple grenades at once, and regenerate massive amounts of health and ammunition.  Maya, is able to Phaselock which suspends and immobilizes enemies in midair.  Her powers revolve around the game's elements (fire, electricity, corrosion, explosions, and slag.) Her Phaselock can even be used to convert enemies into temporary allies.  Axton, is a commando who utilizes turrets to decimate his enemies from a distance.  The turret can be armed with additional gun barrels, can detonate upon deployment, or stick to walls and ceilings. Zer0, is an assassin who can create a decoy of himself and becoming invisible for a short time. He is a skilled sniper as well.  You can upgrade his sniping or Deception ability as a primary method of damage-dealing.  The four player characters from the original game, Roland, Lilith, Brick, and Mordecai, all return as NPCs that the new characters will encounter on various missions in Pandora. 
  
Your game begins with learning the basics of movement, combat, and recovering loot.  Along to assist you is the small maintenance robot named Claptrap, a non-stop talking little bot who serves as the player’s guide, annoyance, and comic relief.  Borderlands 2 consists of main story missions as well as a ton of optional side missions.  These side missions can gain you extra loot and power-ups.  The experience you get from killing enemies and completing missions can be used to upgrade a host of abilities that allows you to specialize your character.  These include things such as increasing your max health, weapon and ability damage, weapon accuracy, ammo capacity, as well as an exhaustive amount of weapon mods.  I found these menus a bit hard to navigate because they are very busy but after a few times it shouldn’t be a problem and there literally is millions of possibilities to customize your character. 
  
Pandora has much more life than it did with an incredible array of colorful characters dotting the land.  There is a LOT of dialog in the game and most of it feels fresh and original rather than typical canned responses, thus it makes it intriguing to speak to the people you encounter.  To go along with this is impeccable voice acting that brings the characters to life and puts you smack dab in a wild, sci-fi western.  
  
Borderlands 2 is not an easy game by any means.  Some missions, even early on can be downright maddening to complete but it’s usually worth it for the rewards.  It definitely pays to explore everywhere and try every side mission to nail down all of the loot you can.  Doing so will easily stretch the game beyond the 30 hour mark.  It might not by Skyrim, but it’s incredibly deep and challenging.  The combat system is relatively the same although I found some of the effects to be inconsistent when it comes to the damage that you mete out.  You can score critical hits and even when you’re dead you’re given a chance to get a second wind and a rush of health if you can kill an enemy within a certain amount of time. 
  
A drop-in play system allows you to play through the main story with others or you can choose to go it alone.  An icon indicates how well you and potential other players are matched in terms of skill and attempts to scale the difficulty appropriately.  Note however that when it comes to loot in multi-player it’s everyman for himself.  
  
Nitpicks are few, there is some occasional sluggishness and longer than average load times but hardly a drawback to sequel that lives up to the hearty reputation of the original.
 



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