The Scrap Yard

Review of XCOM: Enemy Unknown for Xbox 360

A few house-keeping notes before we begin the review:
1.) I misspelled “unknown” in the title around four times out of sheer tiredom (so don’t grammar nazi me on this review).
2.) Happy Late Holidays Everyone!
3.) As a mark of the new year, as you might’ve seen in my RE6 DLC review, I’m changing my reviewing style. Hopefully it sticks.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown Reviewx-com-enemy-unknown

XCOM: Enemy Unknown is the only (?) tactical shooter on the Xbox 360 to date, and I’m glad the genre has finally spilled over onto a console that is currently oversaturated with “COD IS KOOL GUYZ!!?!1” kinds of games. My God, Firaxis and 2K Games, we needed XCOM.

The entire game is pretty much a very violent match of Civilization, which is fitting as it’s made by the same people. You move units around to tactically advantageous spots, kill aliens before they kill you and rescue civilians. The gameplay is completely turn-based, and how well you do is determined solely by how good of a strategist you are. Enemies, on their turn, can one-shot kill you or poison your entire squad if you try and play this like any other shooter on the market. But if you use a little wit or have experience with Civ 5, XCOM’s normal difficulty will be a piece of cake.

The turn-based battles your units go through are all part of a bigger conflict, a massive alien invasion on earth. After every battle, you’ll keep the husks of the aliens you’ve killed, and use them to research and build better weapons and armor for which to combat the extraterrestrial threat with. You’ll get everything from robotic drones to jetpacks if you can keep enough countries safe to fund the XCOM project with, which is no easy task. You need to choose who you will defend wisely, as certain countries provide better bonuses than others. All of this is taking place during and behind the scenes of the basic turn-based combat missions, so it requires a lot of time investment and strategy to play XCOM successfully. I for one chose only to play it on weekends, for fear of forgetting what I strategized the previous day if I played on weekdays.xcom%20main%202

As we’ve already established, the gameplay is decidedly awesome. The music, on the other hand, is kind of lacking. Sure, the vibes it gives off alone are scarier than all of Resident Evil 6 combined, but there just isn’t much background music at all. All you’ll hear are the metallic voices of your troops, guns firing and feet scuffling. Not much of a soundtrack, if you ask me. The graphics aren’t cutting edge either, being fairly modest textures. What the visuals do do well is provide you with easy to access and informative stats. A little half colored in shield symbol represents that your unit is only partially behind cover and can be easily shot, and a target mark on an alien’s head means the odds of scoring a critical hit are heightened. It’s all presented really well, and makes the planning and strategizing part of XCOM a lot more engrossing than, say, Civ 5’s combat.

I’m not really impressed with XCOM’s length. I beat it on normal in just under eighteen hours, a time of which I hear is a rarity but was easily accomplished for me. For the price I paid, $25 for a new copy (I got it on Black Friday. That’s how back-logged on reviews I am, people), it was worth it, but for anything over forty I’d be hesitant to fork over the cash. On a final note, if you’ve got the cash and want a fun, challenging, brain stimulating and involved game that doesn’t require twitch reflexes, pick up XCOM: Enemy Unknown. You’ll be happy you did.

The Scrap Yard

Dishonored Tip Guide

A quick tip guide to help you in Dishonored:

Achievement Tip: “Hornet’s Nest” is a tricky achievement to get. Not hard, but tricky. You need level 2 Bend Time and a lot of crossbow bolts, but it can be done. The best place to do this, I found, is in the part of the Golden Cat mission (before you actually get to the Golden Cat) where there’s the first Wall of Light you encounter in-game. Climb on top of the train car inches in front of it, and wait until four enemies appear on-screen. Then, freeze time, auto-aim for the guards’ heads, and shoot at least two bolts at each. By that point time will have unfrozen itself, and four freshly killed bodies will drop to the ground simultaneously. Oh, and an achievement will pop.

***Ultimate Dishonored Easter Egg/Jack-ass Moment***: This isn’t necessarily an easter egg, but a really amusing thing that Arkane Studios slipped into the game. Alright, so right after the Kaldwin’s bridge mission, roam around the Hounds Pit Pub until you run across the bathing room. You’ll spot Pierro, your tech-guy, peeping on Callista, the maid who is taking a bath. He pleads to you not to tell her, and you can respond however you want. But after that, you can actually walk in to the bathroom, tell her about Pierro, and even flirt with her. It’s hilarious. But here’s the best part: If you hop into the tub with her (by crouching and vaulting yourself in) she’ll scream, hop out, and you’ll get a game over screen that reads something to the tune of “The loyalist conspiracy has been disbanded due to irreconcilable hostilities”. <—- Dishonored is now my GOTY.

The Scrap Yard

Sonic 4: Episode 2 Tip Guide

There are many little nuances of Sonic 4 Ep. 2 that need exposure, so without further ado here’s the tip guide!

Special Stage tip: Maybe it’s just me, but I didn’t know that if you held down Y you could boost. It doesn’t activate right away which is why some people (like myself) might not know it exists, but it is required to pass Special Stage 7 in the giant loop section.

Red Ring Tip: In Oil Desert Act 2, there is a red ring right below where you start. To get this ring surrounded by slick oil, go down the pipes and fly to a solid platform with a spring on it by using Tails’ flight. Then, aim left and activate the Tails rolling combo, which will effectively run you up the oil pipes and into the red ring.

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Sonic CD Tip Guide

This is gonna be a tip guide (as if you didn’t know already) for Sonic CD on Xbox Live Arcade!

Achievement Tip: To get the “Statue Saviour” and “Ring King” achievements, follow these steps. In Wacky Workbench, make your way across the first set of platforms. Then, when you come to the freeze jet, continue forward just a little bit until you come to a slope. Slowly go down that slope, then hop up it. If you do it just right, you’ll fall into a secret room that has the statue. That’s the “Statue Saviour” achievement. Once the statue is done spewing rings, hop out and then hop right back in. The statue will continuously spew rings however many times you do this. Once you reach the 200 ring mark, bam! The “Ring King” achievement is yours as well.