Professor Layton and the Curious Village



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Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Level 5
Platform: Nintendo Ds
Genre: Puzzle
Players: Single
Input: Gamepad, Touch Screen
Mild Violence
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Sometimes, all it takes is a new game in a given genre to remind us why said genre is good.  Even a dead one like the Point and Click Adventure genre.  Professor Layton and the Curious Village does a fine job of reminding us veteran gamer who loved Point and Click Adventure games why we loved them in the first place. [Read more...]

Geometry Wars Galaxies



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Publisher: Sierra
Developer: Sierra
Platform: Wii, DS
Genre: Arcade, Shooter
Players: Single, Multiplayer
Input: Wii Classic Controller, Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Touchscreen, Gamepad
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If I were to go back to before the Xbox 360 came out and told myself that one of the best games that’s going to be on the 360, home of graphical powerhouses like Gears of War and Bioshock, is a game with graphics that’s only marginally better than those old school vector graphics arcade games, I wouldn’t believe a word of it.  He/I would also be dead wrong.  Geometry Wars Retro Evolved instantly became a killer app for the 360 on launch day, and ever since, people have been clamoring for a sequel.  Those people got their wish.  Just not exactly how they hoped it would be. [Read more...]

Final Fantasy: Revenant Wings Review



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Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Platform: Nintendo Ds
Genre: Tactical Role Playing
Players: Single
Input: Gamepad, Touch Screen
Mild Fantasy Violence
Mild Language
Mild Suggestive Themes
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Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings should already be considered one of the better games on the DS, it is well worth the price of admission but can run a tad long, especially if you plan to gain the magical 100% completion mark. It is versatile enough to be played at home while also watching TV or on the go while at work or waiting for transport with its quick missions and abundant saves. The game had such a great impression on me that I might just have to give FFXII another spin on my PS2.

8.5 out of 10

Open Season



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Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Platform: Wii, DS, Xbox 360, PSP
Genre: Action Adventure
Players: Single, Multiplayer
Input: Wii Remote, Nunchuk, Gamepad, Controller
Cartoon Violence
Comic Mischief
Crude Humor
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Not much needs, nor should be said about this game. It is disappointing that a company like Ubisoft would release a game of this caliber. Yes the game has its moments but it does not justify charging us the full price, or even charging extra because it is for a new console. The game is even too simple for its intended target, but far too violent for a younger age group, even too violent for the 10 to 12 year olds this game was intended for. Visually the game looks good, but beyond that nothing really stands out and gameplay becomes far too repetitive. I’d recommend renting it if you liked the movie, but for everyone else there are better alternatives.

Graphics: I’ve seen a lot worse, but this game does nothing spectacular.

Story: Loosely follows the story from the movie by having similar events and the same premise, but really doesn’t offer much insight into the movie. In the end the game is just about getting Boog, the bear, back home, and eventually saving the forest from the hunters.

Gameplay:  The Wii-mote really doesn’t add anything to the mix and really feels more like a gimmick than a gameplay feature. Nothing really stands out as the game consists of fetch quests, straight forward mini-games, and easy to solve puzzles.

Music and Sound FX: The music is weak plain and simple, except for the song played in the store at the beginning of the game, and the voice of Elliot, the deer, becomes annoying after just a couple of minutes of playing.

Game Over: Even for kids this game will be on the simple side, and the only redeeming quality was the fact that the game allowed us to be so violent – throwing the deer at hunters, throwing hunters into the fire, throwing anything and everything over the cliffs – even including it into the gameplay, yeah parents pretty violent for its intended audience. The game is also very short clocking in at a little less than 7 hours. It does have its fun parts, but as a whole it underachieves. Beyond that this game is your run of the mill rip off that tries to capitalize on the parents and children who enjoyed the movie.

2 out of 5

Cars



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Publisher: THQ
Developer: THQ
Platform: Wii, DS, PSP,
Xbox 360
Genre: Adventure
Players: Single, Multiplayer
Input: Wii Remote, Nunchuk
Comic Mischief
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In 2006 Disney and Pixar unleashed another one of their joint mega-blockbuster animated movies and the young ones loved it. Now coming off the Cars Movie craze comes Cars the Videogame. Honestly I never watched the movie, although I do want to watch it, so I don’t know exactly how the movie plot goes or it’s correlation to the game. What I can guess is that the game takes place after the movie, because of what the trailers show, and Lightning McQueen now lives in Radiator Springs with all his car friends.

The gameplay is free-roaming allowing you to choose what order you want to do your missions. These missions include collecting items and racing, they are accepted by interacting with the citizens of Radiator Springs. Although the collection missions are simple, by nature, the races are both in the form of Piston Cup competition and challenges from other cars and increase in challenge as you move further into the game. The controls will ultimately be the deciding factor because while the fetch quest are always an annoyance the racing aspects of the game will either drive you to the brink or allow you to cruise into victory lane. They’re not horrible, but then again not really executed correctly, it’s really more hit and miss and those who put in ample time with the game will undoubtedly figure it out.

Visually the game resembles the movie but has nowhere near the graphical polish its movie counterpart was able to put out. While the gap is closing between computer generated movies and their games it is still very easy to see the difference.

This game is best summed up by its controls some will be put off and some will adjust, get use to them and really like the game. I mean it’s not a bad game, but on that same not it’s not for everyone and for its intended audience its does what it’s supposed to – tie in with the movie and enhance that experience. And for those that do find this game fun multiplayer will be a complete joy.

Graphics: Interactive media is getting closer to the cinematic experience.

Story: Unlike the movie, which focused on friends and family (thank you IMDb), this game focuses more on the races.

Gameplay: The hit or miss controls will eventually determine how much Cars you’ll play, but definitely a different approach to a licensed game.

Music and Sound FX: The actual actors’ voices are used, but the song selection is weak.

Game Over: In the end if you liked the movie you’ll most likely like the game, as it has a lot to offer, but don’t expect it to be overly complicated. It’s definitely a kid’s game that I think plenty of kids will enjoy.

2 out of 5

Exit



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Publisher: Taito
Developer: Taito
Platform: DS, PSP. Xbox 360
Genre: Puzzle, Action
Players: Single
Input: Gamepad, Touch Screen
Cartoon Violence
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The plainly named Exit is an addictive puzzle/platformer that I’ve never heard of until I had to review it. As escapologist hero Mr. ESC, you must rescue hapless victims from places such as burning buildings, flooded subways, dark underground tunnels, and hospitals during an earthquake all within a time limit. It is a 2D game presented with pseudo 3D backgrounds and well animated characters. The characters themselves are straight out of a ClipArt collection.

[Read more...]