Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ranking the Primarchs part 2

The second installment of Ranking the Primarchs brought to you by the Crazy Gamer

8.  Alpharius and Omegon, Primarchs of the Alpha Legion

Spoiler alert!  If you haven't read the book Legion you may want to look away.

Still with me?  Okay, it was revealed that the Alpha Legion has two Primarchs who are exact duplicates of each other.  They were distrusted by their brother Primarchs because of their secretive ways.  Unlike the other Primarchs who were physically much larger and more powerful than their legionaries, the twins are only slightly bigger than an average marine.  They had to fight differently than their brothers and as such used deception and misdirection on a scale that was seen as repulsive to the other Primarchs.  Ask any Alpha legionnaire who is Alpharius and they will answer, "I am Alpharius."

I guess I put them so far up the list because they are so unique among the Primarchs and their characterization in the book Legion ,to me, make them very interesting.

7. Mortarion, Primarch of the Death Guard

See what I did there Death Guard fans?

Anyway, like so many of the traitor Primarchs, fate wasn't so kind to Mortarion who as a baby landed on the planet of Barbarous which was surrounded in a poisonous fog.  Everyone except the rulers who lived high above the poison fog, everyone else had to endure short painful lives.  Mortarion thought this was wrong and led the populace against their despotic rulers, one of whom had sheltered the young Mortarion.  Mortarion felt guilt and the thought of killing the person who had rescued him even if that act could not forgive the horrors his adoptive father reeked on the human populace.

Mortarion was almost successful but relented in killing his adoptive father.  When he returned to the humans they told him about a stranger who had arrived while Mortarion was waging his war.  This stranger was interested in him, and wanted Mortarion to come with him to a place called Terra to be one of twenty princes.

Mortarion was confused, why would this man be interested in him?  Mortarion didn't want to leave the people he had sworn to protect but the stranger seemed adamant.

Finally, the stranger offered him a compromise:

Defeat the tyrant who was Mortarion's adoptive father and the stranger would leave.

Fail and Mortarion would have to come with the stranger.

Mortarion confronts his erstwhile father but cannot overcome him.  As he is at death's door the stranger appears and with one sure strike he kills the overlord.

Mortarion must go with the stranger.

Mortarion is not happy.

The stranger turns out to be the Emperor of mankind and Mortarion learns that he is one of the Emperor's twenty sons called the Primarchs.

Mortarion is presented as being the reaper, striking from the shadows.

His fall to Chaos might seem very obvious given the enmity that Mortarion felt towards the Emperor for taking him away from his home world and killing his adoptive father when he had failed.  Still Mortarion is a deeply nuanced character that I found interesting.

6.  Magnus the Red, Primarch of the Thousand Son's

Cyclopean Magnus as he is known was wise, but his wisdom brought him arrogance.  I find it fascinating the philosophical questions that are brought forth with Magnus and his role in the Horus Heresy.  Magnus is the only psyker among the Primarchs and at first this gives him special status with the Emperor who is the most powerful psyker to ever exist.  Magnus delves too deep for the Emperor's liking and is rebuked officially at the Council of Nikea by the Emperor along with his brother Primarchs.

Does Magnus give up?  Of course not and as he is looking where he shouldn't he detects the daemons of Chaos trying to ensnare Horus.  He tries to help Horus, but is defeated.  Then he warns the Emperor that Horus has been turned.  He is correct, Horus had been turned, but the Emperor refused to believe him because Magnus had violated the edict of Nikea.

Magnus decides to show the Emperor using his psychic might and in so doing unleashes the daemons of the warp on Terra.  Oops!

Magnus's hubris leads to his downfall as the Emperor orders Leman Russ and the Space Wolves to destroy him.

But the fact remains; Magnus was right.

Is doing something wrong for the right reason okay?

Does the fact that a decision is wrong mean that everything that comes from it wrong also?

These questions fascinate me, and Magnus bring them out so I rank him high on my list.

Looks like I've gotten a bit long winded.  So join me for part 3 of my ranking the Primarchs!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Ranking the Primarchs

In the Warhammer 40,000 canon the Emperor created twenty "sons," to bring light to the galaxy.  But are all of his sons equal?

The Crazy Gamer says no!

I will now rank them from least to greatest.  I will use the official background, the history of their legion, as well as their characterization in the Black Library novels to decide who is the best.

Without further ado:

20 and 19: The two unknown Primarchs.  According to the lore of 40k two legions were wiped out prior to the Great Crusade for unknown reasons.

18: Angron, Primarch of the World Eaters

The gladiator Primarch.  Angron is a beserker who even before his fall was unbalanced.  He frequently is in a rage for one reason or another and because of this he is a very one dimensional character.

17. Perturabo, Primarch of the Iron Warriors

Perturabo is a master of siege craft and defense.  He ranks so low because he has never been explored in any major way.  He is apparently featured in John French's novella Crimson Fist, but I haven't had a chance to read it yet.

16.  The Khan, Primarch of the White Scars

Khan is presented as being a master of the hunt.  We know that he is present at the Siege of Terra but little is known about what he did there or what he did after.  Again the Khan is a victim of little attention from the Horus Heresy series so this might change.

15. Vulcan, Primarch of the Salamanders 

Vulcan is also a victim of little exposition from the Black Library novels.  His chapter is also difficult to understand as they seem, at least on the surface, to have no place.  They are portrayed as artificers and craftsmen yet the Iron Hands, Iron Warriors, and the Emperor's Children all seem to have greater legacies in this regard.

I admit that I have not read Nick Kyme's Tome of Fire trilogy that deals with the Salamanders so I don't want to be too stringent in my criticism.

Hopefully some more characterization will be coming soon.

14. Lorgar Aurelian, Primarch of the Word Bearers

Lorgar is the first Primarch that I have listed that is ranked low because of his characterization in the Black Library novels.  Lorgar is a huge feature in the novel The First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. The characterization is of a son who desperately wants to please his father.  Not too bad in of itself but he does so by going against his father's express wishes.  When he is rebuked he locks himself away leaving his legion alone to attempt to figure out what to do.  Not the mark of a good leader in my book.  Lorgar is a petulant child who is jealous of his brothers.

13. Ferrus Manus, Primarch of the Iron Hands

Ferrus is the master craftsman who it is said has crafted several of his brother Primarch's weapons.  His arms are made of Iron thus how his legion received its name.  In many ways he and his legion are seen as the loyalist counterpart of Perturabo.  Ferrus is not portrayed as icy as his brother Perturabo.  If anything he is very trusting and that is his great flaw which undoes him on Istavaan V leading him to be the first Primarch killed.

12.  Conrad Curze; the Night Haunter, Primarch of the Night Lords

Curze was raised on the tortured world of Nostramo the planet of perpetual night.  Growing up on a planet in which crime rules and the only cause of death more prevalent than murder is suicide had a very negative impact on the young Curze.  He became the Night Haunter to combat the crime on his world.  Curze is another victim of not having very much written about him in Black Library novels as of this writing.  He is a deeply flawed character who is thought to have had two personalities the wise and protective Curze and the remorseless, brutal psychopathic Night Haunter.

11.  Lion El'Johnson, Primarch of the Dark Angels

He is the Lion of Caliban.  His chapter is very interesting with many nuances, but the Lion is very difficult, for me at least, to get my head around.  He is supposed to be a tactical genius but he makes so many bad decisions that if he was a CEO of a company he would probably get a huge bonus.

10.  Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor's Children

Fulgrim is a dandy, yet he a sublime warrior whose artistry in personal combat is near legendary.  He has two strikes against him.  First, his legion is pretentious to the extreme and that makes them annoying to read.  Second, he is tricked into using a daemon weapon causing the daemon to take over his body.  The daemon sides with the Warmaster and does all this depraved nonsense.  Fulgrim fights regain his body and once that's done he's like "I'm back , but all that gross stuff the daemon did, yeah I'm cool with it."

Pretty suckie Fulgrim. Not cool!

9. Corvus Corax, Primarch of Raven Guard

Corax and his legion had one of the Horus Heresy books dedicated to them.  The first half of the book characterized him, his legion, and his doubts very well.  Instead of taking a page from Lorgar's book Corax doesn't give in and sulk.  However, the second half of the book changes his characterization back to a brooding loner.  I'm not sure which is the real Corax, thus he ranks lower than he might otherwise.

So here is the first half.  Tune in next time for the final installment of... ranking the Primarchs! 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Clashes in Style: East vs. West in videogames

Video games as an industry have been evolving for decades now.  Once upon a time every new game came from a Japanese publisher and although localized for an American audience their aesthetic was by and large an eastern one.  

As time has progressed this has changed.  More and more games are created in the West and thus has begun a clash in stye between the East and the West.

Today many gamers despise the Eastern art style and feel that the Western art style is superior.

I disagree, but before you grab your gun let me explain why.

First: The difference

Western games typically have male protagonists with slab like muscles.  Usually they are older, scarred, tough, and frequently have a military background.

Common also is a protagonist who is ruggedly individualistic or who is part of a small band of likewise muscular, scarred, and toughened individuals.

Here are some popular examples:

From Gears of War

Sometimes the humanity is completely taken away as in Master Chief here
Don't worry if you like Fantasy games more.  We have beef cake there as well.

Apparently steroids are very popular amongst western game hero's.

Now the East:

Eastern art style game hero's are often younger, sometimes much younger, than their western counterparts.

Generally they are thinner and more effeminate.

They are also known for their very bizarre hair styles which frequently are very spiky.

Here are some examples.

Above is the main character from Square Soft's magnificent Secret of Mana

Even more reverent is Crono from Chrono Trigger
One of my favorite characters is Edgar Figaro from Final Fantasy VI.  He lacks the flamboyant hair but is still a young, slight built hero.

Now you have seen some of the differences between Eastern art style hero's versus their Western counterparts.

I personally prefer the Eastern art style.

I am not a football player.

I am not a marine.

I do not use steroids.

That said the East isn't perfect either

I don't get shirtless low rise jean style males.  I don't get drawing men so effeminate that I can't with a glance tell if he is supposed to be male.

The East style, in my opinion, however has much greater variety in character "types," for lack of a better word.

The West is a bit too obsessed with bald, steroid laced, he men for my liking.

But guess what!

There is an even better alternative!

Commander Shepard can look like anyone you the player wants.  My Shepard no doubt looks very different from yours.

I wish game companies would spend more time giving players tons of different options for creating characters instead of tacking on some lame muliplayer experience.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

True General Challange (Warhammer and 40k) 2

These days when a new Codex or Army Book is released within days of it's release (and sometimes before that) the Internet will have savaged its contents and decided what units are worthwhile and which are not. 

Soon many armies look alike or are very similar to each other.  To a certain degree this is fluid as FAQ and new rules change things up, but by and large "builds," dominate the landscape especially in tournaments. 

How can we stop this and decide who are really good generals. 

Well I have two stories to tell you to illustrate my point.

The first involves myself.  We must go way back in time to 1997.

Are you with me?  We didn't even know what Y2K was and had zero concept of what a "smart phone," was but we got by.  Even then when the Internet was fresh and new (well broadband was anyway) we as players knew that some units weren't as worthwhile as others.

We were playing 5th edition Warhammer then.  I was playing High Elves and I had one unit of (poorly) painted archers.  They were my only fully painted unit and I was determined to use them even if they weren't the best. 

Some background in case you are wondering: High Elf archers had the same stats and equipment options as they do now and Warhammer had the same modifiers. 

My opponent and I decided to go get a burger and some 40k players volunteered to put out terrain for us.  When we got back the battlefield was covered with a large amount of the terrain in the middle of the board.

My opponent and I decided to go with it.  He played an Empire army, it was a 2000pt game. 

I had very little expectation for my archers, but that game they did awesome.

Wanna know why? 

My archers could move and shoot.  I had to move them so I could get shots because of the terrain.  My friend had units of crossbows and handgunners that couldn't do that. 

With a large amount of terrain that we played on my archers, normally irrelevant, became very useful. 

Units that are otherwise not seen as very good can be made better (or worse) based on terrain. 

Now the next story:

Jump forward a few years to a third edition 40k tournament my gaming group hosted.  Most of our players were WW 2 players who like a lot of terrain. 

Our tables were packed with terrain.  I'm talking dozens of pieces.  In addition we used a lot of the book special rules for the tables (go find a 3rd edition rulebook for examples of what I mean)

That weekend the best tournament player in the state (by tournament results, there used to be a name for it, but I have long since forgotten it) came to show us country yokels wha'ts what.

He got to his first table and found out there was a blizzard on it.  His response "Tournaments don't use these rules."

We must have missed that rule.  Our tournament organizer told him to deal with it. 

He lost the tournament.

The moral of this story:


Take what you normally use and triple it!

No, I take it back quadruple it!

When that happens is your super list so super? 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Variety the spice of life

A quick post today.

First person shooters, I'm told, are at the cutting edge of fresh ideas and innovation.

Here are three images from three different first person shooter games.  Can you pick out the one that hasn't been released yet?


Fresh Ideas?

If you say so.

(Source: Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops 2, and Battlefield 3)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fans vs. Fanboys

Today the specifics of the Wii U launch were unveiled. 

For those of you who are not in the know the Wii U is the successor system to the Nintendo Wii that came out back in 2006.  Reports are mixed but the systems specks are believed to be either slightly less powerful than the current PS3/ Xbox 360 systems or slightly more powerful than those systems.

I, the Crazy Gamer, will be getting a Wii U.

I hear you cry "Why?"

The new Xbox and PS4 will be so much more powerful!

You must be a fanboy!

Thus this posts title.  I am a Nintendo Fan.  I freely admit it.  I'm not ashamed.

But a Fanboy?  No, I am not, but you might just be. 

Am I just dealing with semantics here?  We have a fan and we have a fanboy.  What's the difference?  For many the only difference is the added word boy in the second word.

Ahem, I shall illuminate you. 

I bring you light, where once their was only darkness. 

Okay, that was obnoxious.  I'll stop.

Still with me? 

Oh good!

We all know what a fan is.  Somebody who enjoys something.

Here is my official (Websters got nothing on me!) definition of a fanboy

Fanboy: Noun- One who likes a particular thing so strongly that they must vehemently attack anyone who has a different opinion or different preferences.

So first, how do I prove that I am not a Nintendo fan boy?

I was a Nintendo child of the 80's.  My wonderful parents bought me a Nintendo Entertainment System in 1988 and I haven't looked back since.

This may lead you to believe that I am a Fanboy.

However.  I have also owned various PCs, a Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, PS3, and an Xbox 360.  I have enjoyed all of these systems.  Today I play PS3 the most, but I partake in and enjoy games for each system. 

I like games.  I like particular games.  The system doesn't matter.  It's the games!

While I play PS3 the most, I have had many countless enjoyable experiences on the 360, the Wii, and the PC. 

Will I get a PS4 or Xbox 720?  Probably.  The games will decide that for me. 

Now for the fanboy part.

Here is a very... um... passionate "Fanboy"

These are his words not mine.

I'm sorry but Assassin's Creed III is to awsome for the wii U it dosen't deserve it Assassin's Creed has been X-box,and Playstation exclusive it dosen't really belong on a Nintendo system Nintendo's titles should be a new mario game, a new Zelda,or starfox,or maybe a new F-Zero(haven't seen one of those in ages)etc not Batman Arkham city and assassin's Creed III those are hardcore games for hardcore systems the only hardcore Nintendo systems Ive seen is their ds's/3ds's adn the Wii no Wii U but Wii I know I'm hating but Assassin's Creed is just too cool 4 Nintendo.
Nuf said
Back to me!
This was posted on a game website showing Assassin's Creed III for the Wii U. 
If you don't want a Wii U don't buy one.
I don't like Justin Beiber, guess what? I don't buy his stuff.  I don't troll around music websites writing about how stupid he is. 
A fanboy is different from a fan, in my opinion, because they feel it necessary to attack things that they don't like. 
I will buy a Wii U because I want to play New Super Mario Brothers Wii U, Rayman, and Nintendo Land.  If Xbox 720 or PS4 offer games I want to play then I'll get those.
For all you Fanboys, just chill out and enjoy the games.
Oh and what the hell is a hardcore gamer anyway?  Stay tuned to see if I am one or not.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Games I'm looking forward to

Here are the games that I am looking forward to for the fall and winter.  I hope that you will check them out!  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Resident Evil 6

I 'liked' Resident Evil 5 and from what I've seen of RE 6 I think it will be an improvement.  You should check out the demo on PSN or Xbox Live.

Next on my list is the quasi historical Assassins Creed 3

I was nervous when I first heard rumblings that the developers were moving the series to the time period of the American Revolution.  Colonial America did not seem an appropriate backdrop for the par core style of Assassins Creed.  However, after seeing countless images and video I can say that I am very excited about this third game.

Now, if only a historian would research piles of hay and its impact on society.

Lego Lord of the Rings

Some people despise the Lego games.  I think they are fun to play with a buddy or a spouse.  My wife and I played Lego Batman together and it was great fun (except when she as invincible Superman "accidentally," killed me. 

They might not be the deepest games in the world, but they are fun!

Starcraft 2: Heart of the Swarm

If you like real time strategy games then Blizzard's masterpiece is still the best of them all.  From the finely tuned competitive multi player (which I don't play but I understand is quite good) to the master crafted single player campaign, it's still tops. 
Though it's any ones guess as to when it will actually be released.

Wrath of the White Witch

Please, I beg you, play this game if you like RPG's.  Level 5 has created a playable cartoon.  You owe it to yourself to see it in action.  Those who like to take part in the "Are video games art," debate then this can be one awesome piece of evidence that video games are art. 
It comes out early next year.  Please, please give it a chance! 

Torchlight 2

I don't have a picture for this one.  This is only available on Steam which sucks but I still want play this game.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The True General Challange

You are the champion of the world! 
Are you?

Anyone who has been a fan of Warhammer and/or Warhammer 40,000 (from here on Fantasy and 40k respectively) knows that tournaments are very popular.
And why shouldn’t they be?
These games are about winning aren’t they?
For months you’ve slaved away, scouring the forums for the perfect list, buying the models, assembling them, and then you no doubt spent countless hours painting each one so that they are all works of art.

Now you want to lead them into righteous battle against all comers, kicking each in the teeth on your quest to the top.
Now you’ve won!

You stand in front of cheering crowds, drinking in their adulation.  You are a modern day NapolĂ©on!
Oh, you don’t like French people…

Okay you’re a modern day Caesar, or Alexander the Great, perhaps you’re Hannibal reborn.  Genghis Khan, William the Conqueror, and the Duke of Marlborough wish that they were half as awesome as you are!

Compared to you Patton was a halfwit!
Or not

I like tournaments.  They are a great opportunity to meet cool new people and talk about and partake in a great hobby.  But every now and then I come across players that get a bit too wrapped up in how awesome they are at the game.
Don’t get me wrong; they are awesome at list manipulation, they are not great generals.
Imagine what Napoleon could have done if he could pick his forces.  Would Waterloo been different if he had 75,000 Old Guard? 
What if Lee could take a special character that gave him access to highly trained soldiers with high end equipment in 1862?
But that isn’t the way it works.  A great general has to do the best he can with what he’s got. 

A challenge!

Maybe you are a great general, but I need you to prove it.
A friend of mine placed fifth in a Warhammer Tournament playing an Empire army at 2500 points that had
No artillery
No unit with more than 36 models (and only 1 that large)
No monsters
No wizard lord
No war altar
No inner circle knights
Yet he still won 3 tied 1 and lost one.

So I dare you.  Play a fluffy army!

Space Marine 2000pt list
Try this
1 Captain (equipment your choice)
3 10 man tactical squads (weapon options are your choice) in rhinos
1 10 man scout squad
10 man assault squad
10 man devastator squad
This brings you depending on equipment to about 1400pts
The rest of the points you can do with what you will but!
No more than 1 elite, 1 more fast attack, and 1 more heavy

Will you accept the challenge to be a great general? 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Am I just too old?

Am I too old- A mobile phone game opinion post?

How about that for a long unwieldy title for my blog post?
Let me tell you a story!  Don’t worry, it’s relevant to my overall topic, I promise!

My grandmother on my dad’s side of the family refused to own and wouldn’t even use a microwave.  She had an oven; in her mind she had no use for the newfangled contraption.  Of course if I wanted to help her out while cooking I could use it, she had no problem letting me get my hands dirty with the modern techno sorcery, but not her, oh no!  It wasn’t a generational thing either, my mother’s parents used the microwave and other modern technology just fine (except for the computer but that’s a different article).  As near as I could tell my grandmother simply didn’t like modern technology.
As a youth I didn’t understand.  It made no sense.  Why would you not use the quickest most efficient means for accomplishing a task?  I made a vow, then and there, that I would not become like my grandmother.  If I couldn’t appreciate a new technology at least I would make myself familiar with it and never malign it.

Fast forward to present day.
You thought I forgot didn’t you?

I don’t “get” the modern fascination with cellphone games.  At first I just thought, “stupid kid crap, they just don’t have long enough attention spans.  It’s all that Facetwitter, or Youbook, and texting nonsense, grumble, grumble.”
But then, like a once dormant volcano, a catastrophic explosion shot an inescapable question into my mind.
Was it really that the technology is stupid?  Or am I just too old to “get it”.
Had I broken my vow?
Had I become just as guilty as my grandmother all those years ago?
I had to fight it; I had to figure out just where this hate came from before it was too late.
My findings might just shock you.

Perhaps the problem is that I just don’t like portable games?  I sure hope not!  I have a Nintendo 3ds and before that I had (still have) a DS and a PSP.  Before them I had members of the previous iteration of handhelds. 
The bottom line is that I like portable games just fine.  While I prefer to sit down at home and play games on a big screen, I have enjoyed and am enjoying portable games.  Look at my previous article about New Super Mario Brothers 2 if you don’t believe me.
In research for this article I played some popular cellphone games.  It wasn’t screen size which isn’t much smaller and in some cases is slightly larger than the portable systems screens that I just mentioned. 
I will say that I didn’t like all the touch screen controls.  My stupid hands take up too much of the small screen, though part of that is because I’m a lefty who writes “over the top,” but after time I’m sure I would become defter in my handling.  So that’s not it.

Perhaps it’s the types of games?  In researching I look into the variety of games and they were quite large.  There were puzzle games, strategy games, tower defense games, along with more traditional games. 
I have always broken the types of games I play into three categories:
1.        Story games- Games I play because I want to know the story and how the story plays out.  Typically these are RPG’s and are my favorite.
2.       Accomplishment games- Games in which I want to accomplish something.  Usually beating the game, but not always.  Mario games fall into this category.
3.       Time waster games- Games I play because they are addictive and I have nothing better to do or play.  These are short games that are played over and over. 
Over the years I have played countless games in all of the above categories.  While I prefer story games, I actually play less of these than the other because of the time investment that they require.  Most of the mobile phone games fit into the third category, but then so would Mario Kart and I’ve played tons of that over the years. 
It was as I looked over this list and considered the games I have played recently that the answer hit me.
Here are the games I’ve played since January:
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (1)
Final Fantasy X-2 (1)
Diablo III (2)
Lego Batman 2 (2)
Transformers Fall of Cybertron (2)
New Super Mario Bros 2 (2)

Do you see it? 

Let’s go back the previous year:
Batman Arkham City (1)
Disgaea 4 (2)
Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1)
Mass Effect 2 (1)
Assassins Creed 2 Brotherhood (2)
Assassins Creed 2 (2)
Dragon Age 2 (1)
Do you see?

Despite what I thought, I really haven’t played any games that I would label as a three.  I’m so excited!  I’m not too old; I just don’t have any time to waste!
So I discovered the truth!
You may be asking, “But Crazy guy I work and have a family, I still have time to play waste games.”
Good for you!
I’m sure if I played fewer story games I could fit a lot of level 3 games into my schedule.  I prefer to have a story, I just do. 
Until Next time!

Fall of Cybertron Review

Review: Transformers Fall of Cybertron

Starscream: Who dares disrupt my coronation!
Megatron: Coronation?  This is bad comedy.
Starscream: Megatron is that you?
Megatron: Here’s a hint!
Megatron turns into a cannon and blows Starscream away

Ah… memories… you are so good to me!  Transformers Fall of Cybertron brings plenty of good memories and combines them with fun gameplay.  Crazy Gamer recommends the game highly!
But enough with the vague platitudes, I’m not running for office here!  Let’s get to the nitty gritty and I’ll describe in detail while I feel you should play this game.

For those of you who don’t know Transformers Fall of Cybertron (from here on FoC) is a third person action game by High Moon Studios.  The game is available for PS3, X-box 360, and PC, I played the PS3 version but as near as I can tell all versions have the same features.

Graphics- The graphics are top notch for the current generation of systems.  Animations are crisp and I especially appreciate that all the transformation animations were different.  Optimus Prime transforms in a business-like manner whereas Jazz is flashy and Megatron is intimidating. 
Environments are good, not great.  There are a lot of industrial areas as one would expect from a game that takes place on a robot planet.  Still, I wish there was a greater variety of environments.  I almost wish they had taken the game a few steps further to prehistoric Earth in order to add some more environments.  Still it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of the game.

Gameplay- At first I was worried.  Unlike the previous game in the series War for Cybertron in which you were allowed to choose the Transformer that you play as, FoC has dedicated chapters in which you play a specific Transformer. 
Like most kids of the 80s I have my favorites and I want to be able to play as them.  I was scared, what if I had to play as Thundercraker or… shudder Arcee? 
When I saw the list of playable Transformers I was assuaged a bit, but why would I want to play Cliffjumper if I could play as Prime?  I soon learned however that everyone is worth playing.
Prime plays like a general; he even gives you the ability to call down artillery in the form of Metroplex’s huge guns.  When you play him you’re the hero, saving the day for the autobots all over Cybertron.
Cliffjumper is a little guy and if you’re not careful you’ll get yourself shot to pieces, but he can cloak and get into tight spots.
Jazz plays flashy with a grapple ability that has him zipping all over the place.
Starscream is a back stabber, he cloaks like Cliffjumper but unlike Cliff who uses his ability to get around tight spots, Starscream sneaks up on enemies to gut them from behind.
When the Combaticons “merge for the kill,” into Bruticus you feel unstoppable.  I had the overwhelming desire to go on a rampage and for a bit I lost track of my mission. 
Megatron makes you feel like a badass and his scenario recreates in part the coronation of Starscream from the 1986 animated movie.
The bottom line is that all the scenarios are different and all are fun to play. 
Now a few critiques
I wish Soundwave would have had more to do.  You play as him very briefly in the beginning of Megatron’s chapter and I wish I could have played him longer.  Soundwave ejects his disks (Rumble, Frenzy, and Laserbeak) to do his bidding and I think a really cool chapter could have been designed around him.  Maybe it’ll come in the form of DLC.  Also, I wonder where Ravage and Ratbat were.
Grimlock- Every other Transformer in the game can transform at will by pushing the left analog stick in except for one and that one is sad to say Grimlock.  Instead you accumulate rage points from killing decepticons.  On one hand I can understand why the developers decided to do this.  Transformed Grimlock an avatar of destruction who crushes all underfoot or with swings of his tail and if that wasn’t enough he can also breathe fire.  Why would I want to not have him transformed and therefore why have his untransformed version at all?  I understand High Moon, I really do.  I just wish I could maul decepticons as a mechanical T-Rex at my leisure.  I’m selfish that way.
The game boasts 13 chapters.  Finding most (near 80%) of the hidden stuff and playing through the entire campaign will take you a dozen or so hours.  The game has plenty of content and it’s a testament to the awesome experience that High Moon has given me that makes me greedily want to have more to play.  I do wish that upon replaying a chapter that you could choose what Transformer you play as.  In some cases this would require limiting the options (Grimlock wouldn’t fit in Cliffjumper’s chapter, but Bumblebee would).  This would allow us the chance to play some of the cameo characters such as Ironhide or Ratchet.  Maybe some worthwhile DLC will come out that will allow this.
The only area that I would label the game weak in is the weaponry.  Perhaps weak is too strong of a word, rather the variety is lacking.  No, that isn’t it either.   How about this; there are a lot of choices but not all of the choices are viable or as viable as they should be.  There are about a dozen stock primary weapons available from the get go and another half dozen that can be unlocked throughout the campaign.  Of these I found that I only used three with any regularity.  The heavy weapons are even worse of the few that are in the game only two stood out.  Hopefully this will be addressed in future DLC.
Sound- FOC’s music didn’t stand out, nor was it loud and obtuse either.  It does its job, so I have no complaints here.  For a game such as this I don’t need a moving score, just one that does not annoy me. 
Should you just plug in your mp3 player then?  No!  The voice work is very good.  I would label the voice work in the top five for the entire generation.  Peter Cullen reprises his role as Optimus Prime and he as usual does a fantastic job as does Gregg Berger who reprises his role as Grimlock.
However some new talent is also present.  Nolan North does a great job with Cliffjumper.  He plays him with a slight inferiority complex which long time Transformers fans will appreciate considering that characters history.
Fred Tatasciore plays Megatron and at first I was sad that Frank Welker didn’t play him.  I wrongly thought that Welker had voiced Megatron in War for Cybertron but I was incorrect.  Megatron was played by Fred in that game also.  Fred is perhaps most famous for his line in Assassin’s Creed II where he plays Italian noble Mario Auditore with the famous line; “It’s a me Mario!” Anyway I digress; the bottom line is that he does a very sinister Megatron.
The voice work is great throughout.  There are no weak roles here.
One problem does surface however.  The in games “chirps,” come in at various volume levels.  Sometimes they are hard to hear, other times they are louder than ambient noise.  It isn’t a deal breaker, but it is a bizarre occurrence in an otherwise polished game.

Other issues:
I’ve had a few issues of the game freezing.  Hopefully future updates will correct this.