Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Call of Duty : Modern Warfare 3

People love to hate it, but the Call of Duty franchise is successful for a reason. No other first-person shooter has the same flair for visual spectacle in its singleplayer campaign, and few can match its utterly addictive multiplayer. While Call of Duty games have become formulaic at this point, as evidenced by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's muddled narrative and at times frustrating design, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games have refined and polished the Modern Warfare experience to produce the best of the series with the third installment.

Modern Warfare 3 comes to us by way of an older engine, but still looks great. Sure, it's not among the very best out there nowadays, but it performs well. At any given time the screen appears ready to burst with effects and visual madness. Entire battles are waged before you; buildings burn and crumble while a steady flow of explosions batter your senses. This is Call of Duty, and Modern Warfare 3 collects these moments of boom in abundance, presenting them in all their 60 frames-per-second glory.

Modern Warfare 3's singleplayer campaign hits many of the same highs and lows as its predecessors. Amazing setpieces serve as backdrops for giant firefights yet again. This is no understatement. Few games retain the crazy roller coaster pace that this does level after level, with brief moments to breathe set between the next eruption of gunplay. The shooting feels extremely responsive and well-tuned, and the battlegrounds challenge your awareness at all times. You're always given different situations that mix-up the gameplay just enough to keep things interesting. The game presents a formidable challenge, as always, on the Hardened and Veteran settings – something that the more hardcore players will want to delve into.

Still, Modern Warfare 3's campaign suffers from a run of the mill story and the patented Call of Duty monster closet syndrome, a common shooter ailment that occurs when infinitely spawning enemies pour from around corners, doors and stairs without end. At several points enemies even appear to completely disregard their own safety if it means they can run past your allies and just shoot you in the face. The story is difficult to follow as usual, and while it does wrap up the arc begun by the previous Modern Warfare games, it isn't ultimately all that interesting or satisfying. Moments of emotional weight fell flat as I found it difficult to muster up feelings of sadness about the death of one named soldier after witnessing the countless deaths of hundreds of other Americans.

If singleplayer is good, then Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer is fantastic. Like the other Call of Duty games before it, this entry pulls you in with its persistent leveling system and frantic combat. All of the sixteen new maps are fun to play and, with a whole new slew of challenges to complete, rewards constantly pop up and keep you hooked with the next little endorphin rush. No matter whether I play for five minutes or five hours, multiplayer in Modern Warfare 3 always makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something.

Some of the rewards you're constantly unlocking are killstreaks and perks—series stand-bys—which are a few great examples of how Modern Warfare 3 refines the series. You still unlock weapons by leveling up, but weapons also have levels as well. Leveling up a gun adds Weapon Proficiencies, which are essentially perks for your weapon. These proficiencies take things like the hip fire accuracy perk from the previous games and add it to your weapon unlocks, giving you the ability to focus on other perks when customizing your class.

Killstreaks have also been reworked into Strike Packages to bring a better sense of balance and reward to all types of players. You still unlock abilities in Strike Packages by getting kills, but now you can specialize your killstreak rewards so they suit your playstyle. If you're not the type who goes on huge streaks and you're not always watching your kill/death ratio, you can take a Support Strike Package. This package doesn't have rewards that are as offensively-focused as the Assault package, but all kills carry over between spawns. This gives less-skilled players a way to contribute to the fight, and will hopefully give clans and groups ways to better specialize their players into a cohesive team unit. It's a great new feature, and showcases how Call of Duty offers one of the most varied multiplayer shooter experiences around.

The controls feel as good as ever, and that same sense of exhilaration and speed that comes from a great round of multiplayer still exists. Like past Call of Duty games, occasional moments where one team totally dominates the other due to Assault Strike Package rewards still happen, but overall this remains a slight annoyance when weighed against the rest of the multiplayer package.

New modes like Kill Confirmed also help keep things from feeling like just more of the same. While lone-wolf players still have Team Deathmatch free-for-all and numerous other older modes, Kill Confirmed changes how the game plays, encouraging team work in ways Modern Warfare didn't previously offer. In this mode, everyone drops a dog tag when they're slain. To get points, you have to not only kill the person, but also collect their tag (you can deny kills by collecting the tags of your allies before the enemy does). The results in an entirely new dynamic, where players must coordinate, play as a team, and attempt to use the dog tags as lures for enemy players.

Combine Kill Confirmed with modes like Team Defender (where each team attempts to hold onto one flag for as long as they can), new private match modes (which you can tweak and customize yourself), as well as many returning favorites, and you have a multiplayer experience you can play for months—if not years—on end. The sixteen maps already span a wide array of settings. And with new modes and the need to switch up loadouts you have an extremely dynamic multiplayer suite. An especially tactics-focused player can sink hours of time into creating classes for specific game types, devising battle plans for specific maps, and developing sports like "plays" for their team.

On top of the single and multiplayer campaigns, extra time can be sunk into the cooperative Spec Ops mode. This mission mode from the previous Modern Warfare returns with a whole new set of stages that challenge you in a variety of ways. For instance, you might have to quickly take over a plane, while in another mission you'll be tasked with disarming chemical weapons or silently getting past a large number of enemies. Additionally there's a Survival Mode, where two players try to survive against endless waves of increasingly difficult enemies. It's not exactly original (or zombies), but it's a game type that works well in Call of Duty, and can be played over and over again if you care about getting to the top of those oh-so-precious leaderboards.

The menus and interface of Modern Warfare 3 on the PC are basically the same – though at launch Elite isn't active. Elite is a service offered by Activision that keeps track of an array of stats, allowing you to compare yourself to other players and see your progress on heat maps. If you pay for the premium services, you also get access to exclusive video content, additional storage space for videos and screenshots, clan support and more. Granted, PC players have been doing things like making clan pages and using other websites to organize and trade info for years now, but the lack of an official centralized hub is disappointing. Elite should make its way to the platform at some point in the future, but for now PC players just don't have access to all the same information as their console counterparts. That being said, I also don't think it's something you'd miss if you've never tried it, and overall Modern Warfare 3's PC gameplay is every bit as exhilarating. Combine this with the speed and precision of mouse-and-keyboard controls and you have a crazy, fast-paced title that PC shooter fans shouldn't pass on.

Despite its flaws, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 takes the fantastic series we’ve come to love over the years and iterates on it with great success. The multiplayer is hands-down the best it has ever been, with more features, more modes and a ton of new levels. The singleplayer campaign and Spec Ops mode add value to the overall package, creating something that may not be perfect, but is too damn addicting to pass up.
out of 10Click here for ratings guide
Modern Warfare 3’s menus are laid out clearly and work well. The lack of Elite at launch is a bit disappointing.
Sure, the engine is dated, but the work that’s been done still creates scenes that are impressive to watch. And it always runs at 60 frames per second.
A lot has actually been done with the guns to make them sound like they have more weight. The voice acting is also well done, though I could stand for a bit less rockin’ guitars.
The campaign story has its failings, but fantastic set pieces nonetheless. The multiplayer is the best it’s ever been, and Spec Ops is also great fun.
9.5Lasting Appeal
This is the Call of Duty players will be playing online for hours and hours thanks to its engrossing multiplayer experience. That is, until the next one comes out…
(out of 10)

Battlefield 3

It delivers scorching multiplayer, fitting of its decade-long pedigree of famously expansive big-team battles, but stumbles over a generic single-player campaign that feels like a different game.

While DICE may not deliver a memorable story here, it doesn't need to when Battlefield 3's online warfare raises every bar imaginable, delivering one of the best multiplayer experiences of the year. I doubt Battlefield purists will complain much about the campaign, honestly; I know you're enlisting in this battle to bring down entire armies online.

From the beaches of Kharg Island to the hills of Damavand Peak, Battlefield 3's multiplayer maps provide an immediate sense of scale. Everything about their design screams size, personalization, and the need to take creative initiative to succeed. Choose to pop headshots from the prone position, spin barrel rolls in a jet outfitted with personal unlocks, or see how many dog tags you can knife from your opponents; Battlefield 3's multiplayer is about the freedom of choice. 

The online fight feels like a geography lesson (in a good way). Depending on the game mode, each map utilizes a different area or shifts wider and wider as gameplay progresses. You might not see half of a map like Caspian Border or Seine Crossing during your first few Rush matches. Yes, certain areas feel empty and repeated map elements like shipping crates conjure deja vu, but the sense of scope is exhilarating. Where many online shooters teach you the nooks and crannies of every map, Battlefield 3 is a wide sandbox that encourages variety and exploration. Battlefield 3 shines in matches with 63 other players, where every bullet has a new enemy's name on it.

Running to the front lines.

Is the gameplay balanced? Battlefield 3's online teeter-totter comes down to personal preference. I've been pinned down at my spawn point in Operation Metro by a dozen, well-stocked snipers and I've taken over an entire conquest map single-handedly. I'm no Maverick in a jet, so I learned to rain down hellfire from a chopper. For any class or tactic that doesn't work, like a painter's palette, Battlefield 3 offers alternatives. All four streamlined classes (Soldier, Engineer, Assault, and Recon) get their own problem-solving unlocks, so leveling each one is paramount to sitting on top of the leaderboards.

Battlefield 3's rewards and progression will keep you coming back to its online rumble for a long time. From adding heat-seeking missiles to an Anti-Aircraft Tank to simply changing camouflage, there's always a carrot dangling just out of reach -- if you can wrangle the score to earn it. While the newly implemented Team Deathmatch modes encourage high kills and low deaths, Battlefield remains a team-based game where you can sit atop the scoreboard no matter how many times you've died. Heal an injured teammate, resupply a sniper, or make sure a tank gets fixed up, Battlefield is about working towards the greater good and it's just as refreshing now as it was in 2002 -- all while looking outstanding on PC.

From sun flares to smoke bursting from a collapsing building, Battlefield 3's Frostbite 2 engine provides marvelous visuals. It performs admirably on lowered settings, but for anyone who's doubled up on their NVIDIA GeForce GTX 580s, Battlefield 3provides a gorgeous spectrum of environments speckled with detail to brag about. Nighttime elements present a stark intensity, with glowing fluorescent signs dotting the cityscape and street lights blinding you from seeing enemies. The waves crashing on a beach below a late-game villa are mesmerizing -- as is the simple scrub brush dotting maps like Operation Firestorm. At maximum settings, Battlefield 3 looks stunning.

Nighttime provides stark contrasts.

The engine isn't perfect by any means. I encountered prone legs jutting through walls, saw snipers half-buried in mountainsides, watched my dead body stick through the hood of a jeep, and even noticed a story character float in a straight line from point A to point B, walls be damned. I've seen flower pots float in midair, noticed AI soldiers in their shooting position long after death, and I somehow committed suicide by running over the lip of a crater. These glitches are annoying, but they don't break the game. But they do break the immersion of the story and in the case of an undeserved multiplayer suicide, cause unneeded frustration.

While longtime fans know Battlefield as a multiplayer experience, its campaign and cooperative experiences can't be ignored. For those of you more interested in the single-player campaign than multiplayer, definitely take note. Whereas both Battlefield: Bad Company games added a story underwritten with humor, Battlefield 3 takes a more serious path. Its tale of global threats reads like twenty years of military fiction thrown in a blender and turned into a checklist. WMDs? Check. Russians? Uh huh. Insurgents tucked into Middle Eastern alleyways? Yup. It's all there and woven into levels through the recollections of Sergeant James Blackburn during an interrogation (didn't we see this in Call of Duty: Black Ops?). There's inherent tension in the threat of a terrorist attack, but Battlefield 3's campaign feels like well-trodden ground. 

In campaign, you can't fly 'em.

Battlefield 3's campaign does hit some memorable moments (especially in the graphics department), but as a whole it's trite and frustrating. The campaign jams Battlefield 3's multiplayer into a linear box where freedom of choice gets thrown out a non-destructible window. There are only a few buildings to blow holes in, barely any vehicles to take the wheel of, and quicktime events adorn enemy encounters in almost every level. While you can literally crash a helicopter on an opponent's head while parachuting to safety if you so choose in multiplayer, campaign makes you hit spacebar at just the right moment to avoid getting punched -- they're two different games. 

The co-op missions surround the events of the campaign, yet feel more enjoyable as individual levels. Working with a teammate leads to more creative approaches of attacks, though the same AI frustrations are in place. While opening doors and during other set animations, AI enemies gain invulnerability. They also have an uncanny ability to pick you out of the crowd. Even while using an AI teammate as cover -- not standard operating procedure, I know -- enemies still find you.

Additionally, most levels feature a bottleneck where death hits out of the blue. Whether it's a grenade exploding without an indicator, a blast from an unseen enemy, or late-game quicktime event that introduces a new button, the campaign and co-op levels are a minefield of frustration -- especially when cranking the difficulty up to hard. All told, it's a brief affair -- I burned through the single-player portion in under six hours, the co-op content adds another two or three.


When you shut down Battlefield 3 and let the Frostbite 2-powered dust settle, it certainly has some problems. But DICE’s adoration of and expertise with the online experience permeates every aspect of its multiplayer. Regardless of the narrative missteps or the occasional glitches, Battlefield 3 offers an unforgettable, world-class multiplayer suite that's sure to excite shooter fans, whether they fired their first bullet in Battlefield 1942 or have just now heeded Battlefield's call of duty.


out of 10Click here for ratings guide
The multiplayer’s robust, the browser-based launcher works well, but those who don’t play online won’t find much meat in the other modes.
Frostbite 2 shines in multiplayer, single-player, and co-op.
You’ll hear every bullet whizzing by your head, and the crash of rubble all around you.
Traversing the enormous world feels great, on foot or in a vehicle, but the single-player’s quicktime events are just lame.
9.5Lasting Appeal
Multiplayer unlocks will keep you chasing the dragon for months.
(out of 10)


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fifa soccer 12 review

Last year FIFA consolidated its reputation as the pre-eminent football video game, but nothing wilts faster than laurels rested upon. That said, a pitfall awaiting such annual franchises is the pressure to innovate simply for the sake of it, to make this year's iteration substantially different from the last. And so this year FIFA retrns with a glitzy marquee of new gameplay features and innumerable tweaks.

Thankfuly, the much-hyped trinity of Player Impact Engine, Precision Dribbling and Tactical Defending wasn't empty bluster or beguiling hucksterism on EA's behalf. Individually, each feature quietly revolutionises the game's already-solid gameplay for the better. Yet taken together, they radically reshape the game.

First up, tactical defending perhaps poses the biggest challenge to veteran fans of the series. Since the release of the demo it's been divisive and has more than a few naysayers. Replacing the 'pressurise' defensive system, wherein you could launch fullbacks like Tomahawk missiles, tactical defending is a much more sophisticated approach to defending and ultimately it engenders games with a more authentic rhythm. Instead of bludgeoning teams with an overwhelming tide of pressure that requires little skill, you use the defensive cornerstones of 'contain' and 'jockey' to marshall the opposition when you lose the ball. If done correctly you'll be able to restrict the other team's movement, eventually forcing mistakes. It's more engaging, and you actually have more to do than ever before when you're not in possession.

Whilst in previous games tackling was an ever-dependable tactic to regain possession speedily, in FIFA 12 tackling is, as it should be, a last defence. You have to decide expertly when to stick out a leg. Mistime it fractionally and you'll be left in the wake of a gloating winger as he scampers towards goal. So whenever possible, stay on your feet or you'll get brutally punished.

Tactical defending schools you in the admittedly less glamourous part of the game. It rewards you for being more defensively minded, for marking your man, and for maintaining your shape while those around you lose theirs. And while that might not be as immediately exciting as dancing around defenders with Messi, it does significantly alter the tempo of matches. Games open up, allowing passages of play much closer to the real thing, and as consequence you can be much more creative going forward.

For the curmudgeons out there resistant to change, you can switch back to the 'pressure' system of yesteryear. But once you adapt to tactical defending you can't go back. Last year's system seems crude by comparison, stifling the flow of matches and suffocating skill.

This heightened realism is only augmented further by Precision Dribbling, which is arguably FIFA 12's greatest addition. Subtle and seemingly insignificant, precision dribbling is, when mastered, an indispensable part of the gameplay. Basically, it enables you to control the ball deftly in close quarters but it really has a wealth of uses.

Despite its name, dropping into Precision Dribbling (which can be done by manually pressing L1/LB) allows you do so much beyond just dribble. Of course it doesn't instantly transform every player into Iniesta (which would be nice but ultimately unrealistic). But use it sparingly and discerningly and it can buy you that extra half a yard to unleash a shot from the edge of the box or thread a defence-dissecting through-ball.

The final part of the much-hyped trinity is the Player Impact Engine, a complex algorithm two-years in the making, which simulates player collisions with unparalleled realism. And for the most part, it makes good on this ambitious promise. Occasionally it produces anatomically-improbable encounters or some faintly-erotic embraces in the middle of the park but such mishaps are rare and entirely excusable, since what it gives the game is immeasurable. Yes, I'm repeating myself, but it invests players with almost-tangible mass, so when they collide they react, for the most part, like bodies crashing at speed, reacting according to velocity and the angle of impact.

The only potential problem I experienced was the inability of referees to correctly interpret some of these sophisticated collisions. Instead of easily dividing challenges into 'foul' or 'no foul', the Player Impact Engine adds a whole spectrum of ambiguity into the mix, and the ref makes mistakes. But this is a problem not exclusive to FIFA 12, its an issue inherent to football itself. What would a game of football be without the odd suspect decision to rail against? Accidental or intentional, it once again brings the sim closer to the reality.

In addition to such major gameplay changes, there are myriad new features in the new FIFA 12 but some of the standout ones include improvements to the Career mode. For those who spend hours in the manager's dugout, the drama is said to be much closer to the real thing. And while that may be the case, it certainly teaches you to play careful attention to the statistics

For most, progress is tediously slow, but player logic has been improved and the game does its best to simulate various aspects of the modern game – from the drama of transfer deadline day activity to the petulant whimsy of the modern-day footballer. A scouting system and youth academy have even been thrown in for good measure too, but all of it is displayed in such an insipid manner, in layers of static menus, that it can be a fairly bland, sterile experience.

EA Sports Football Club promises to provide players with challenges ripped right from that week's newspaper back pages. Whether this is a successful feature, I can't say at this moment because the servers don't go live until after launch, but if EA supports this feature all-year round – as it has done with previous online features – with innovative scenarios it really could prove to be a wonderful addition. Only time will tell.

Presentation is another one of FIFA 12's many strengths. Everything is slick and sumptuous, from the team selection screens to the brilliantly-polished graphics that preface each match and FIFA's access to official licensing means it remains unrivalled in terms of authenticity. From the stellar Barcelona to the humble Accrington Stanley, teams look the way they should. The likenesses of the top players are at times uncanny, though they do suffer from dead-eye syndrome from time to time. Stadiums and lighting effects help sell the illusion too but crowds, while convincing from a distance, look suspiciously-related when seen in close-up shots.

Just one of the subsidiary modes is Ultimate Team – wherein you earn, buy, sell, and trade players in the hope building your very own Galácticos – is available for the very first time at launch. Since its launch with FIFA 09 it's been a huge hit, with millions of in-game card packs being purchased. So it's no surprise that it's been included on the disc this year. You'll start with a fairly meagre bunch of players, and through hard graft or by splashing actual money you can improve the quality of your team. Previously only available as post-release paid DLC, the inclusion of Ultimate Team makes FIFA 12 even better value.

But no matter what mode you choose to experience in FIFA 12 you still get the same incredible gameplay.


Thankfully, FIFA 12 has not inovated simply for the sake of it. The gameplay innovations greatly improve the way FIFA plays. Matches unfold with a more authentic tempo, taking it much closer to the real thing. Revolution? Evolution? Who really cares. More importantly, is FIFA 12 the best football game in the world? I don't think so. But I'd put it in my top one.
out of 10Click here for ratings guide
Unrivalled authenticity and broadcast-quality presentation means FIFA remains peerless in terms of its look.
Stadiums look magnificent and the appearance of some players is uncanny, but crowds don't stand up to close scrutiny.
Commentary is varied and games have an authentic buzz about them.
Bold innovation pays off, with a suite of new features that enhance not only your enjoyment of the game but take it one step closer to the real thing.
10Lasting Appeal
With finely-tuned gameplay and a plethora of different modes and online features, you'll be playing FIFA 12 all season long.
(out of 10)


PES 2012 Review

PES 2012 faces the same long battle as its predecessor. It's a new year, a new season but the same uphill struggle for Konami in the battle for virtual football glory.
Why? Because of the rival. Have a look at our FIFA 12 review and you'll see another fantastic follow up, with EA Sports snapping up some big name features and having the balls to shake up its winning formula to incorporate them.

It seems the last thing that Konami can do is rely on a bit of complacency from the champions.

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Still, PES 2012 jogs out of the tunnel looking sprightly. Visually (and without too much gushing), stadium environments are often close to awe-inspiring. There's a real quality to Konami's lighting system, which really shines in floodlit night matches.

Where FIFA 12 might be a bit too bright and clean at times to trick the brain fully, PES 2012 has a slightly darker tone and makes better use of shadow to add more weight and dimension to the stands, the players and pitch itself, which can look comparatively flat in FIFA.

Looking down the pitch towards the far stand for a goal kick is the best example of this. We actually felt a swell of nervous pride when we took in the scene which felt so real, and it's all thanks to Konami getting the lighting spot on.

Player likeness is similarly impressive in places - although, like its rival, PES still understandably pays the most attention to its top earners - with certain stars like Gerard and Ferdinand arguably looking more real in the Konami team than they do in the EA camp.

Having said that, it comes down to a matter of taste and for every PES model that knocks the socks off FIFA's effort, the latter will come back with a similarly superior doppelganger elsewhere.

Continuing the aesthetic praise, PES 2012 takes full advantage of its Champions League partnership with a full-on television intro to the tournament (including that choral piece that you make up words for) that just feels really good. All the Champions League trimmings are present on the pitch as well with players marching out towards the official black and white, fluttering centre circle flag.

It's simple but well executed visual advances like all of the above - along with returning visual features like motion blur in replays - that make PES a proper alternative to FIFA at face value.

Unfortunately graphical prowess doesn't quite hold up when players actually start to move. There's a clear lack of animations in PES 2012 compared to its opponent. Player's simply don't have the same range of movement as in FIFA and it has a few knock-on effects.

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The dribbling itself becomes robotic when tearing into a sprint. Rather than smooth regular strides players seem to run jolt their sprint, with their legs speeding up in short bursts. This doesn't have an adverse effect on the sprint itself, players don't stutter forward, but their leg movement doesn't really fit the pace of the run itself.

There's also less freedom of movement generally, with PES players apparently unable to take quite so many touches as their rivals, turning circles are never quite tight enough. We never really felt like we had as much nuanced control as we did in FIFA.

Add to that to the PES brand floaty finish to player's movement across the turf, which hasn't changed since last year, and dribbling can sometimes be a touch unwieldy.

Tackles and collisions also feel shallow. Having gotten used to the new FIFA physics system, the PES engine instantly looks outdated with basic stumble animations triggering upon impact.

Most players feel incredibly weak on the ball to begin with as well. They seem to hit the deck with the slightest of brushes and the referees are incredibly harsh.

This could be more of a quirk of the engine, though, something that needs to be gotten used to all over again rather than an out and out criticism. The amount of fouls you'll concede at first is frustrating but actually just means that you have to work on your patience and timing to get the ball fairly. Still, we would have liked a bit more muscle to our men.

When it comes to player AI though, things start looking up. Team-mates often outdo their FIFA opponents as far as intelligence is concerned, especially up front. Strikers are much more willing to make the darting runs through defence that we crave from FIFA.

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If your fellow footballers still aren't cutting the mustard though you can direct a team-mate's run yourself with the right stick. This also applies to freekicks and throw-ins so that you can actually put players where you want them rather than helplessly delivering a ball knowing that the opposition is going to cut it out the moment it leaves your foot.

It's a welcome addition but one we didn't have to use all that much, which is testament to the standard AI.

Goalkeepers, however, pale in comparison. As in PES 2011, it's almost as if someone's told the men between the sticks that they get more points for a parry. No matter how soft, straight forward or predictable a shot on goal is the keeper will palm it away in a frenzy rather than make the easy catch. We're not exaggerating when we say we've gone whole games without seeing the keeper hold on to the ball.

We're just taking a look at our review of PES 2011 and realising how much we're having to repeat ourselves when it comes to the little characteristics that mean PES still doesn't feel as solid or even finished as FIFA.

Having said all that there is a slightly different quality to PES this year that will spread smiles across the faces of the faithful. Where last year's effort tried to go full-on sim by denying players any assistance whatsoever, this year assistance returns as standard with options to remove it should you choose (makes sense).

What this means is that PES 2012 has the frantic edge thanks to parry-happy keepers, slightly slippery dribbling and shots that can float in from just about anywhere (we've forced some delightful tips over the cross bar from the centre circle) or be punched in at close range. At the same time though it lends a helping hand to curb too much frustration.

Dare we say it but, at times, it does feel like the return to PS2 and classic PES circa 04/05.

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With standard assistance in play, crosses into the box are pinpoint accurate with little player input, and through balls are similarly forgiving if not quite so laser targeted. But we quite like the level of assistance in those areas though since there are other elements of the game that require more from you anyway - mainly those that hold the power gauge in strict regard.

Shooting then is as difficult as it has been with every new edition of PES we've picked up in recent years and the passing system offers so much freedom that you'll be able to make your own through-balls from scratch with the correct direction on the stick and enough power with A/X.


Off the pitch the highlight is, of course, Master League where players take on a team of no-names and buy, sell, train and play their way to world-beating stature. Now Master League comes as part of the 'Football Life' suite (imagine our terror when we couldn't see the ML logo at first glance) which also includes Become a Legend and Club Boss modes.

The former sees you take on one player throughout a journey from amateur zero to international hero whereas Club Boss tasks you with the much more sober task of guiding a club financially.

All of them come complete with proper cutscenes - including Master League - which is the big addition and a novelty, even if it is a bit ham fisted in some places.

Coaches and players approach you at your desk to give advice, make complaints or just have a natter about what's going on and sometimes can be quite useful and satisfying. Our right hand man, for example takes us through suggested tactics before every game on a whiteboard and we had to gamble with our response to a player who had a deep desire for the number 10 shirt.

It's the kind of feature we've seen in other titles and it has the same hiccups. Anyone who's played a THQ wrestling game in the past will be familiar with the way in which character models often make awkward motions while subtitles replaces actual words. Dialogue itself can be a bit unnatural as well.

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Still, it's a decent addition. At the best of times it brings more situations to deal with throughout Master League and, at worst, it won't distract too much from PES' most loved mode, which still isn't rivalled somehow by the FIFA equivalent.

PES 2012 then has a combination of qualities from the series' recent history. It's definitely a step away from the hardcore simulation that was attempted last year and more towards the PS2 era of flairsome fun.

We love the graphical style of PES 2012 in part but really can't get along with the animation set, which we feel is lacking. Add the lack of licenses, dire commentary and mono-cheer crowd - three things that we've given up complaining about in this series - and Konami falls just short of recreating the beauty of the game.

Mechanically while AI is a step ahead of the rival, goalkeepers remain dumb, midfielders weak and referees harsh. Those elements, along with some crazy shot ability here and there do make some contribution to the classic PES feel but altogether 2012 feels cheaper than the ever more luxurious FIFA.

With the slight step back to classic PES, the fun factor becomes a more valid excuse once more but FIFA is far from the spark-free stick in the mud it once was.

When it comes to picking sides, you've all played the demos and you've probably already made up your minds. If you love PES then you'll love PES 2012. For us though, FIFA remains the footie game of choice at lunch.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Komponen Dasar Elektronika

Komponen Elektronika
Berdasarkan cara kerjanya, komponen elektronikadiklasifikasikan menjadi dua bagian yaitu komponen pasif dan komponen aktif. Komponen pasif adalah komponen elektronika yang dapat beroperasi tanpa memerlukan arus dan tegangan listrik, sedangkan komponen aktif adalah komponen elektronika yang memerlukan arus atau tegangan untuk dapat beroperasi. Dari kedua jenis komponen tersebut, berdasarkan fungsinya komponen elektronika dapat dibagi menjadi tranducer, sensor, dan actuator.
Komponen Pasif:

  1. Resistor (tahanan)
    • Resistor tetap yang memiliki nilai tahanan (resistansi) tetap.
    • Resistor Variable  yang memiliki nilai tahanan bervariasi.
  2. Kapasitor (Condensator)
    • Kapasitor tetap yang memiliki nilai kapasitansi tetap.
    • Kapasitor Variable (Varco) yang memiliki nilai kapasitansi bervariasi.
  3. Inductor (kumparan)
  4. Trafo (Transformator)
  5. Relay
  6. Saklar (switch)
Komponen Aktif:


  1. Dioda
    • Dioda Bridge
    • Photo Dioda
    • Dioda Zener
    • Dioda Pemancar Cahaya (LED)
    • Dioda Scottky
  2. Transistor 
    • Transistor Efek Medan
    • Transistor Bipolar
    • Transistor IGBT
    • Transistor Darlington
    • Photo Transistor
  3. IC (Integrated Circuit)
    • IC Analog
    • IC Digital
  1. LDR (Light Dependent Resistance)
  2. Solarcell
  3. NTC (Negative Temperature Coeffisient)
  4. PTC (Positive Temperature Corfficient)
  5. Ultasonic.
  6. Bimetal
  1. LDR (Light Dependent Resistance) : Resistansi berubah karena pengaruh perubahan intensitas cahaya
  2. Solarcell : Tegangan dihasilkan karena cahaya.
  3. NTC (Negative Temperature Coeffisient) : Resistansi mengecil jika temperature meninggi.
  4. PTC (Positive Temperature Corfficient) : Resistansi membesar jika temperature mengecil.
  5. Microfon (Mic) : Tegangan berubah karena pengarus perubahan suara.
  1. Speaker
  2. LED
  3. Lampu
Setiap komponen elektronika mempunyai sifat dan karakteristik masing-masing sehingga jika disusun dalam suatu sistem yang benar dapat menghasilkan sebuah perangkat elektronik yang bermanfaat. Komponen-komponen tersebut ditulis dengan simbol internasional untuk membantu pemahaman saat menelusuri cara kerja sistem atau pada saat perancangan sebuah rangkaian elektronika melalui skema elektronika dalam bentuk gambar. 


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