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System Requirements:
Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
1.7GHz (3GHz Recommended)
512MB RAM (1GB recommended)
DX8 level graphics (DX9 recommended)
Internet connection required

Half-Life 2:Episode 2 is the second in a trilogy telling the story of the aftermath of Half-Life 2. There’s a portal being opened up by the enemy and Alyx (from the previous games) has the data needed to close it. The enemy is aware of this and will try its utmost to eliminate you and Alyx. You resume the role of Gordon Freeman with Alyx close by for the majority of the time. Although she’s not invincible, she’s very handy to have around. You still get to solve many obstacles on your own though. Many other characters from the previous games will be there as well (Dog, Dr. Kleiner, Dr. Magnusson, G-Man).

Game Play

The majority of the game is a first person shooter and your objective is to bring this data safely to a lab to stop the portal and save the planet. Although the lab is not very far, there will be many traps and roadblocks to make it difficult for you. Fortunately there are refugee bases and weapon caches to aide you. You won't be walking around and blasting guns ALL the time, there are some car driving scenes to offer some game play variety. As you progress in the game your car will get upgraded a couple times. You'll be fighting against aliens, big bugs, and combine soldiers. There are some tough bosses to defeat as well. The story is good and will engulf you, and the ending will trigger emotions. The game play itself is pretty linear, but action packed. There's little room and not much time for exploring. You'll be using your trusty gravity gun to help you get past obstacles and to manipulate the environment around you.

What’s included with Episode 2?

Half-Life 2: Episode 2 is a stand-alone title; you don’t need Half-Life 2 to play it. It's highly recommended that you play Half-life 2 and Episode 1 to understand the continuing storyline. So for $30 or less you get about seven hours of single player action. The best way to get Episode 2 is with the Orange Box, as you get Team Fortress 2 along with “giftable” copies of Half-Life 2 and Episode 1 if you already own them.

Are there new weapons or enemies?

There are some new enemies, vehicles, and weapons in this game. Hunters are a formidable foe and in groups they are extremely tough. In the ending levels you’ll be given a great new way to destroy striders but you’ll also have many of them to destroy, so it won’t be an easy task. You get to drive and race in a “new” vehicle as well; it is mission critical, so don’t let it get destroyed.


As you play this game you can unlock various achievements. I’m not sure of the rewards other than adding enhanced game play and bragging rights. Some of the achievements include running over X number of enemies with the car, killing a combine with his own grenade, propelling yourself as a rocket, beating dog in a race and more. Some of the achievements will be met through the storyline but many of them you’ll really have to work for.


The graphics are still some of the best on the market. The character models look extremely life-like. The maps are gorgeous and the scenery is very pretty in the wooded levels. There are some caves and caverns to explore too. The enemy models are gory and scary looking. The object manipulation and gravity effect is very realistic, and the physics engine is superb. All in all, the graphics will not disappoint if your system can handle it.


The voice acting is great in this game, and every character has a unique voice. Each weapon has its own sound effect. When manipulating objects the noises are very realistic. When entering certain areas techno music kicks in, often catching me off guard. It usually indicates something big is about to happen. I didn’t notice any light and fluffy background music.


This game has lots of blood and gore though most of it is in self-defense.
-4 for violence
-2.5 for blood spray
-2.5 for gruesome details

There is language and blasphemy too.
PG13 language –4
Using God’s name in vain –5

On a positive note there is no sexual content other than Alyx’s dad wanting grandkids from you and Alyx. Alyx is dressed modestly, which is good. I didn’t see any occult references, just aliens and combines.


I ran into a very annoying glitch that affects ATI users. There must be a bad texture that causes the game to crash to desktop when seen by the player. I experienced this with multiple drivers and the only way I was able to get past it was to walk backwards looking another direction. I hope this gets patched soon as it’s very frustrating.

Final Thoughts

This game is really fun if you don’t mind the violence and language. The final battles are pretty challenging. The game play is pretty short but it’s a good deal if you get the Orange Box bundle. ATI users be warned and save early and often after you escape the guardian.

Final Ratings
Game Play 17/20
Graphics 10/10
Sound 9/10
Controls 5/5
Stability 3/5

Appropriateness 32/50
Final Score 76%

Comment (0) Hits: 8044

System Requirements
1.2GHz CPU
Windows Vista/XP/2000
32MB DX9 Video DX 9 Sound
Heavenly Harmony and microphone/headset required!

Heavenly Harmony is a Christian karaoke/American Idol style game. The original game comes with twenty-five songs, and you can add twenty great Christmas Classics for the reasonable price of $19.95.

What songs are there?

Here is the song list; the selection and variety is great.

  • Away In A Manger
  • Carol Of The Bells
  • Deck the Halls
  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • The First Noel
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Hark The Herald Angels Sing
  • Here We Come A caroling
  • It Came Upon The Midnight Clear
  • Jingle Bells
  • Joy To The World
  • Holy Night
  • Little Town Of Bethlehem
  • Oh Christmas Tree
  • Oh Come All Ye Faithful
  • Silent Night
  • We Three Kings
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • What Child Is This
  • Twelve Days Of Christmas



I think the grading is a bit more lenient on most of the new songs. I was able to get a Silver record on my first try on a couple of the medium difficulty songs. On the flip side, one of the easy songs had a challenging range to keep up with. Lastly, there is a new difficulty mode: Extreme.


Installation was a breeze; it detected my Heavenly Harmony install and put the songs right in. The expansion pack songs have a CC in the name to distinguish them from the default songs.


As far as I can tell, the graphics have not changed. A new backdrop of carolers would have been cool - maybe next time. Smile


This game is all about music and the mp3 files sound good. I like the variety of music styles and the ratio of men and women vocalists. I have no idea who sings the songs since the original artists are not mentioned.


I did not experience any technical glitches whatsoever.


This game is all about singing Christmas music, so I can’t fault it for anything here.

Final Thoughts

Cloud 9 Games has released a great expansion pack to an already entertaining karaoke game. I highly recommend it to everyone who owns Heavenly Harmony. I look forward to future expansion packs.

Final Ratings

Game Play 20/20
Graphics 7/10
Sound 9/10
Stability 5/5
Interface 4/5
Appropriateness 50/50

Overall 95%
Comment (0) Hits: 4017

System Requirements
Windows XP or Vista
1.7GHz CPU
2.5GB HDD Space
128MB DX compatible video card
DX 9 compatible sound

The slogan on this box is Real Cars, Real Racing. This game is definitely focused on realism and not tricked out cars, electronic music, or city street racing like the Need for Speed series. For those who like Need for Speed or other arcade-style racing games, they may find Race 07 far too realistic, in both presentation and interface. This is intended for racing simulation fans. This game is the official World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) racing game for 2007. You can play on all 32 worldwide tracks used in the 2006 and 2007 racing seasons.

Getting Started

When you install the game you can install it in online or offline mode. The online mode installs it through Steam. You can race people online and compare your stats with others across the globe. There are many controllers pre-configured. I didn’t see my SideWinder Force Feedback 2 joystick, but I was able to customize it and get it working with little difficulty.

Game Modes

You can play in any of these game modes:

Race Event - If you want to race in a few clicks, go here! There is no need for practice or qualifying; just choose your track, class, car, and driver and you’re off!

Championship - This is the heart of the game. It’s a fully simulated WTCC season where you’ll race around the world, hoping to become the world champion. You can customize the championship to race against other classes of cars if you prefer.

Additional Events - In here you can play against your best lap in Time Attack mode. If you play online, you can download other player’s records and try to beat them. You can also practice on any racetrack to get a feel for it.

How to win

Points determine your racing skills, not knocking your opponents off of the track. The driver with the best lap in the qualifying session receives the best grid position in the first round of the race. Points are awarded to the top eight racers in the end. For races in the two-race format, after the first round, the grid positions are reversed with the fastest qualifier in 8th position. When both races are over points are tallied from both rounds and a winner is named.

Championship mode uses the two-race format in addition to adding weight to the winner’s car. A car that continually finishes in the top three will have weight added until it reaches 80 extra kilos. If a car fails to place in the top three, it will have its ballast reduced.


The game box boasts having three hundred different cars to choose from. You can ride in Formula One cars, Mini Coopers, BMWs, Chevys, and more. There’s a racing class that allows you to race cars from 1987 as well. Each car type has a unique feel, and they all ride differently. Once you find a model you like, there are various paint jobs and skins to choose from. You can even import your own.


This game is all about realism; the amount of realism is determined by your difficulty level and game settings, which you can customize. You can race in the sunshine or during a heavy downpour. Sometimes you will need your headlights and windshield wipers; not only for rain but to wipe away insects. Just like real life! Car damage can be as realistic as you want it to be. For novices it’s set to only 30%; when you get to 75% or more you will start to lose tires in most crashes. Depending on your settings, you can allow for mechanical failures, tire wear, and also adjust the traction control.


The cars are really nicely detailed and they all look unique. When it comes to driving, you can change your view to external, behind the steering wheel, or through the windshield. The scenery and weather conditions are realistic looking. Some of the tracks have town scenery for some variety. The audience is now fully 3D rendered models instead of the cardboard standup look in previous titles.


The car and engine noises are unique to each car and model. The weather effects sound realistic as well. The menu music reminds me of James Bond style music; other than that there is no music during the races themselves.


This game has built in support for many joysticks and steering wheels. If you do not see yours in the list, you can easily add it. There is keyboard and force feedback support as well.


This game is rated E for everyone and it’s perfectly legal to speed in races. The rules in this racing format enforce yielding to other drivers since you can get penalized for over taking them. This isn’t a crash and smash game.

Final Thoughts

For those who are into flashy racing games you may find this title tedious. However, if you would like a realistic racing simulation and follow the WTCC you’ll enjoy this game. This game is perfectly clean. There are no half naked flag girls and no vehicular violence here. Only serious racers need apply.

Final Ratings

Game Play 16/20
Graphics 7/10
Sound 7/10
Stability 5/5
Controls 5/5
Appropriateness 50/50

Overall 90%


Comment (2) Hits: 5628

Operating Systems: Microsoft® Windows® 98 SE, Me, 2000, XP, VistaTM
Pentium IV 1.5 MHz or Athlon equivalent.
XGA monitor 4:3 aspect ratio with true Screen Area/Resolution 1024 x 768 and 16 millions of colors
7GB free Hard Disk space
DVD reader
ESRB Rating E 10+

Anacapri the Dream is the sequel to A Quiet Weekend in Capri. The storylines are not dependant on each other, so you don’t have to know anything about the prequel to enjoy this game. As an accomplished archaeologist, you are invited to the island of Anacapri to assist in recovering a lost artifact. Your goal is to locate the powerful Obsidion Disk. This disk is fabled to have been crafted by the gods to test humans to see what they would do with great power. Many great leaders have been corrupted by it. What will you do if you find it?

I’m in Anacapri, now what?

Your reputation precedes you and many of the islanders know why you have arrived. Some people will be very helpful and others won’t give you the time of day. You’re not the only person in search of this disk; many have failed, and many are hoping that you too will fail. Explore the town, talk to people, and gather clues and tips on where to locate this disc. In your adventures you will see many pretty beaches, old churches, under ground tunnels and caverns, war bunkers and more.

How do I move around?

Each picture/scene has what are called hot spots. These are square areas (outlined by default) and when you hover your mouse over them, the cursor will change to a directional arrow allowing you to move in that direction. If you are at a dead end you will have a button on the bottom of the screen allowing you to turn around. Sometimes you have to walk past a spot and turn around in order to see a hot spot for you to interact with an object.

Am I dreaming?

Most of this game will be spent in a dream mode where the people in real life have different identities. Reality is thrown out the window when you talk to some animals that were once powerful leaders corrupted and cursed by the disk. As you gather fragments of the disk, you’ll have to choose whether to keep the disk and collect your money or destroy the disk and free these tormented animals from their curse. When you switch to reality mode, you will be in a house that has many clues on how to solve some puzzles in dream mode. For example, you’ll see a pink piggy bank and when you use the ATM in the dream world, the pin code is “piggy”. As you gather disk fragments, you will get codes to unlock new areas of your house, thus providing more clues for new puzzles.

Puzzles and mini-games

What adventure game would be complete without puzzles? Some of the puzzles are not too bad, while most of them are pretty far fetched to solve. Fortunately there is a very thorough walkthrough available. There are some literal puzzles you’ll have to piece together to activate certain areas. I learned how to play an Italian card game called Scopa, because you have to beat this Scopa addict in order for him to lend you his boat.


The interface is pretty basic yet it's not very intuitive. The controls to move around are easy enough, but some of the areas are only visible coming from one direction, so it's easy to miss an area or an important person. Launching the game and saving games could be a little bit easier. They should clarify things a bit. You have to be careful when saving a game, as it gets assigned to a number save slot with no comments to describe the save. Make sure you don't overwrite the wrong one! There are some helpful features that are worth noting. For example, the game automatically records conversations so you can always go back and read them to refresh your memory. The map of Anacapri is a lifesaver, since it's easy to get lost and the map helps you orient yourself better. There are also jump points to make traveling faster.


My biggest complaint in the graphics department is that this game ONLY runs in 1024x768, so if you run your screen at a higher resolution, you’ll be playing in a weird windowed mode with no window borders. There really isn't anything graphically fancy here. The game is basically over eight thousand pictures with hot spots allowing you to move in various directions. Some of them are truly beautiful. There are some panoramic pictures that you have to look at different angles to see hot spots that would not have normally been visible. The water in the game is animated and there are a few computer effects added, but they often look cheesy. Cut scenes and movies would have really helped in getting the player immersed into the storyline. I couldn't help feeling like a tourist at times just wandering around not knowing what to do or even knowing what's going on. There is even a game mode that allows you to just wander around without a storyline.


You can play this game in English or Italian. If you choose to play it in English, the voice acting doesn’t fit on a few of the people that you meet. Some of the voices are just plain annoying. The sound effects throughout the game are very fitting. You hear birds, people, dogs barking, etc. Music is triggered at certain points in the game and it grows on you after a while. It reminds me of Tubular Bells (not the part in Exorcist) a little bit.


This game is pretty clean but there are some things worth mentioning. Some of the characters are not fully dressed. There is a Siren that has a bare chest covered only by her hair. While you’re playing Scopa the guy taunts you a bit and sometimes says the D word when you do a good move on him. In reality mode there is a possible romance with a main character’s soon to be ex-wife. I thought that relationship was a bit awkward. There are references to other gods in this game and finally, there is a monk’s spirit that you have to summon for assistance.


I’m really not much into adventure games but this game does offer plenty of game play hours. The photography is well done and the music is decent. Some of the voice acting is annoying, but the main characters sound fine. If you like adventure games you will probably enjoy it. There are two possible endings, but one is clearly better than the other. My favorite take away was learning how to play Scopa.

Final Ratings

Game Play 14/20
Graphics 6/10
Sound 6/10
Stability 4/5
Controls 4/5
Appropriateness 41.5/50
-2 swearing
-3.5 revealing clothing
-3 Supernatural references

Final Score 75.5%
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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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