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Posted:
2010-05-05

homer

Super Gamer Dude

8.2

LEGO Batman is the fifth go of Traveller's Tales at the LEGO theme but still only minimal change has happened during this time. However, even if that is the situation, gamers and fans of the dark-caped crusader, are sure to find the game amusing. The main reason here is that the gameplay used is a proven success. It is enjoyable and easy to understand. Yet all the problems in the past concerning the LEGO games, such as nonsense puzzles and the AI problem are still present. At this stage you would have expected Traveller's Tales to nearly perfect the game, but that is not so.

LEGO Batman is a unique game because it did not take its story from any of the Batman movies or from the comics. The plot within the game is kind of original; thus, it gives the creators a wide horizon, since there is no pressure to follow up with a well known story. The Batman here is not even connected with the Batman we know. It is exactly like a Batman in the toy shelf where you can create anything you desire with it.

The main idea of the plot is basically a story of Batman chasing and capturing villains that escaped from the Arkham Asylum. When you play LEGO Batman, the main goal is basically to destroy enemies and smash objects. The story isn't all that important.

The charm of LEGO is still present in the game and as a whole, it is still very funny. You have the same stoic Batman here, Robin is still same old goofy self, and the villains have remained amazingly crazy. The characters are really good LEGO counterparts of the cartoon Batman. However, aside from the characters, the background is not something to get crazy about. It would have been better to see a more creative Gotham City.

To the game's credit, LEGO Batman has everything in the mix. There are a multitude of characters spread out in six acts. In the first half you can use Batman and Robin. There are also power suits you can use. Robin can use the magnetic suit that allows him to walk through metal walls. And Batman has the demolition suit so he can turn stuff into smithereens in an instant (this fits Batman, he always wants everybody's attention, right?).

When you reach act three to six, you may start using the villains. In this plot, you can have a taste of how the sinister villains set up their master plan. This, however, is before the ultimate meeting between them and the bat. Each villain has their own unique powers. Poison Ivy uses her kiss to poison another. The joker gives joybuzzers to anyone he touches. Mr. Freeze places anyone in the cold storage. The Riddler controls the minds of other villains to make them his minions. You know the rest. But the main Batman Nemesis here is Killer Moth. Oh yes, the all popular Killer Moth that everybody remembers (That was an attempt at sarcasm, by the way. No one really knows who Killer Moth is or was.)

And on top of the story, there are dozens of unlockable characters that can be used when replaying levels. Among these characters are Night Wing, Batgirl, Hush, Man-Bat and others; which can be unlocked with each LEGO bit collected in the game (Cool, huh!)

There are many good things going for this game. The huge downside is that the problem from the previous LEGO games was never addressed. The AI presents problems; the jumps are difficult to time and stuff like that. But if you are looking for a good laugh with a buddy while appreciating the comical Batman and friends the game has created, then by all means, go ahead and purchase the game!

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Posted:
2010-09-21

rogerbunce

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

The Beatles Rock Band On the Wii is another project of Rock Band that follows suit to the new era of full band rhythm of games, but Beatles stand out from the rest of the competition as it is the only one with a real life band. The all Beatles play list has made a sense of strong continuity between the sons, while maintaining the musical diversity enough to keep things interesting and varied. Rock out as one of the Fab 4 in the Story Mode, and you’ll unlock a bevy of photographs and videos that translates the humanity of the larger than life members of The Beatles.

The Story Mode starts with a theatrical trailer that will give you a brief history and insight into the Beatles’ musical and artistic careers. As you progress in the game, the connection between you players and the band members is reinforced as you play in legendary venues. Cutscenes bring to life and bridge the chapters in the Story Mode while unlockable photos and video clips provide snippets from the Beatles’ career. Plating along the songs gives you a visual treat as well due to the artistic elements incorporated. Each song has a one of a kind video that accompanies it, and it reflects the song’s themes and its place in the career of the Beatles.

Of course, by playing this version of Rock Band, only Beatles content is entertained. There is no character creation, you cannot customize the looks of the band members and songs previously downloaded won’t work in this version. There are cooperative and competitive online modes, but as with all Rock Band games, they all shine singularly. The most significant new game play feature is the vocal harmonies.

Before you play the song, you choose which of the two vocal harmonies you are: either solo or harmonies. Harmony parts are displayed in the same area as the lead vocals. Visually, the differentiation did a great job, but it’s up to you to sing them. If you have trouble harmonizing, there is a practice mode available to sort things out. You can highlight the part you want to learn, and then you can drop the pitch out to make sure you got it.

This game is already great since the Beatles and their music legacy is great; but the real exquisiteness has been captured by the way it causes excitement I playing as a united band. The Beatles Rock Band is not just about playing their music; it transcends into a more personal level and knits your band mates closer.

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Posted:
2010-12-17

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

6.4

The Sims series is not all blood and guts action that some gamers prefer. Neither is it an out and out fantasy adventure. It is in fact at heart, despite some of its wacky ideas, fairly true to life as far as the characters go. Now we have Sims 3, its the same old thing with the same old welcome variations. That is not a criticism, the formula works and if it doesn't need fixing don't fix it.

Each Sim has an aim in life, chosen by you, and in the end that is what you aim to achieve for it. But like real life, there are smaller, short term aims, and obstacles which require attention now rather than later. This of course is allowed by the now traditional open Sims experience. Success in these lesser aims earns Lifetime Happiness Points to unlock Lifetime Rewards of various kinds. It seems there is a limitless rainbow of situations and opportunities provided by the The Sims 3. There are still interactions between the Sims, many trivial and true to everyday life, and all the more amusing for that.

Every self respecting Sim wants a career, but you don't get to see them at their work, you only have control of certain aspects relevant to your life situation, such as enhancing promotion prospects or dodging work for a day. There are too mmany jobs and rewards to mention here and it will take you a long time to explore them all.

Much of the experience involves looking after your Sims and keeping them happy, and again with so many possibilities for happiness and unhappiness thhis is quite a complicatedd task when you realize all the possible complex interactions that are pesent.

There is also much online functionality with players being able to share custom made videos and content. It is a great shame that add ons, such as new towns are not available for download. There are other tiny drawbacks, like the boredom of wathching sleeping Sims, but many of these have not been a major problem in the past, so why should they be now. Hopefully these things will be resolved in the future.

No-one claims that the Sims experience is perfect, but then, nor is life. Its my sort of game.

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Posted:
2010-12-28

Wiiuser

Super Gamer Dude

6.3

Like all great things that don’t last forever, Mickey Mouse just isn’t the same icon he once was anymore. Mickey’s fame and popularity slowly waned and has become more of a corporate symbol rather than the vivacious character capable of sustaining grand adventures.

Epic Mickey was created by Warren Spector and his Junction Point team in an exceptional manner to pay tribute to Mickey Mouse and bring him back to the spotlight as an icon in films and games. Mickey Mouse was already gradually being forgotten, but with this new game it can be said that Mickey Mouse is back in action. The game was made to showcase the traits that all people love about Mickey Mouse. Playing the game can lead players and fans alike to think that Mickey is still one of the best out there and given the right break, can still hold up to among and against any Disney characters.

The concept of the game is all about Mickey needing to destroy Phantom Blot to save wasteland. Mickey was the culprit in unleashing the hideous creature when he destroyed a magical world with powerful paint and thinner chemicals. He eventually realizes that he needs to redeem himself and save Wasteland from total demise. Thus, when he was pulled back to Wasteland, courtesy of Phantom Blot, Mickey discovers the reality behind Wasteland and the presence of Oswald, the Rabbit adds to the element of excitement as the game unfolds and really portrays the goodness and the best of Mickey Mouse that appeals to all, whether young or old.

The game is loaded with full CG sequences but lacks in-game voice acting. It was made into 2D visual to depict the Mickey we all love. With such retro technology, Mickey can easily convey and relay his emotions that make him as charming as ever.

However, the game is not perfect and has too many loopholes; such as the failure to show and give way to permanence in the game, which is kind of disturbing. The game ultimately becomes a choice and consequence type, but fails in the aspect where you’re supposed to create something in a certain place, only to find it gone when you come back for it. Your work disappears and the place is back to its normal appearance when you first came. With this problem, the choice and consequence mode of the game is not completely enhanced and may be deemed a failure as a result.

The most annoying aspects of Epic Mickey are the control setup of the game and even more so with the camera views. It’s like the camera has a mind on its own. It brings a lot of stress as I couldn’t even control the unnecessary movement of the camera in the game. This problem has resulted in several “untimely demise”, which was quite irksome as the camera issue aggravates the setup. It was very hard for me to concentrate on my character especially in fighting scenes because of the quirky and constant movement of the camera.

With all the problems that besieged the controls and the camera views and angles, the game is saved by its very impressive graphics. This, at least has made me feel like it’s a wonderful gaming experience, after all. In the same breath, the creators likewise made an effort to portray and show the history of the relationship of Oswald and Mickey in the game so as to give variety rather than concentrate on one aspect, which is to kill the Blot.

It’s kind of funny how Spector and his team can create an exceedingly impressive base to make Mickey Mouse get counted again; yet the small stuff that they’re not supposed to sweat are so flawed, they could pull down to the ground and damage the larger, more significant experience. Don’t fret, though. Epic Mickey and its positive elements do manage to ultimately make this move worth the shot. Although you could say, I was guilty of losing my patience, if you keep your expectations a bit lower and manage to keep your frustrations under control, there shouldn’t be any reason for throwing the Wii Remote – or at least keep the throwing episodes to a minimum. Watch out that the wrist strap is wrapped tight.

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Posted:
2010-12-28

smithy

Super Gamer Dude

8.5

Sonic Colors Wii edition might well be SEGA's redemption yet as it proves once again the embodiment of SEGA excellence in this final offering for 2010. Although not quite flawless, Sonic Colors offers more than enough excitement rather than disappointments in this new adventure, with great looks, flashy abilities and breezy action, making this entry much more creditable compared to other offerings in an occasionally wobbly franchise. Saving the best for last, SEGA ultimately came up with a Sonic that's as vivaciously modern and fun as it can get.

Sonic Colors starts at a peculiar place created by Dr. Eggman Robotnik where the Wisp's planet is trapped and its power-granting alien creatures are held captive by the evil doctor. The astonishing beauty of Sonic Colors appears to be a fantastically wacky combination of Super Mario Galaxy, Captain Eo, and Tron, which incorporates all the Sonic indispensable essentials, from the casino to the grassy meadows of the Wisps' home planet. Among my personal preferences that many of my mates likewise find fabulous are the Starlight Carnival where you can witness the endearing blue hedgehog zip through space on an energy road and the Sweet Mountain scene from which you get a glimpse of Sonic racing trenches of popcorn flanking huge mounds of cake. Sonic Colors is undoubtedly the most excellent graphics on Wii in 2010, with its outstanding lighting and marvelous animation.

The gameplay itself is a pleasant surprise; already, the remarkably crafted smart and precise controls are astounding, but the presence of the wisps adds another dimension to the game where each wisp color corresponds to a certain power that Sonic can use. There are 8 colored wisps which give Sonic the extra quirks to some of its fascinating basic moves and abilities.

The addition of the new features in the gameplay is anything but lackluster and can absolutely test the capability of a diehard Sonic fan with unexpected twists and turns as you continue to explore the game that comes with amazing design and intricacies of the most intriguing puzzle concept ever. Sonic Colors definitely challenges your prowess through numerous paths, which you can only explore every time you secure a new Wisp that grants you a specific power.

The creators of the game made a near perfect work of blending the new and the old aspects of platforming that Sonic games are famous for. It provides a fresh and distinct flavor into the game as the players experience the evolution of the game in the last twenty years of its inception.

However, as colorful and wonderful as it gets, the game has its loopholes. There are certain parts of the game that are ridiculously too-easy and illogical they take the challenge out of the game. These areas are so downright dreary it even made me toss my Wii Remote and nunchuk from sheer disappointment. Worse, there's no other way to go around it but finish each stage of every world to make headway in the game. These parts with underhanded design seem like death-generators and are the main problems in Sonic Colors. The lack of warp pipes and alternate paths to create a fast traveling game necessitates following the long routes; a monotonous approach that plainly kills the fun in the game. Towards to the end of the game, checkpoints could not be located, making me waste a good three minutes stuck on the same level, throwing life after life and doing the same maneuver over and over.

Despite the few flaws that spoil an otherwise totally splendid gaming experience, Sonic Colors still ends up quite an awesome experience overall. This is one game that Sonic fans and Wii owners shouldn't miss grabbing. As an indicator of future offerings from SEGA, Sonic Colors undoubtedly delivers a taste of forthcoming treats.

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Posted:
2011-01-22

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

6.0

If you have tried any snow sport, you would probably describe it as cold (obviously), expensive (think of all those layers of clothes you have to put on, not to mention put up with, Ugh!), and short (you certainly couldn’t prolong winter, and you absolutely can’t stay out in the cold for long either).

For those who don’t want to miss out on the “fun” of winter sports (if only to show that you know something about it) but hate to be out there in the cold; here’s some good news. Three cheers for Family Ski and Snowboard video game. You don’t need to go anywhere except in your living room or playroom, all warm and comfy, while skiing and snowboarding. Cool! Here’s the crucial question: Is it any better than its predecessor, Family Ski? This, I’ve already established, would have been better off with a title such as Collective Crotch Flailing – or something similar. Let’s find out.

To play Family Ski and Snowboard, you have to use the Wii Remote and Nunchuk much like you would the ski poles. You need to wag them in an up-and-down motion to gain speed just like in real skiing. However, you could also gather speed in other ways by simply twisting the controllers and then tucking in your arms. This sometimes present a problem as you may have a hard time twisting the controls you’re your arms all tucked under. Possible solution is to just use the Wii balance board. You just place the board parallel to the TV set if you want to ski; or perpendicularly if you go for snowboarding. Both require you to tilt your weight so you can steer.

It might look a bit intimidating but don’t get too anxious; the balance board is totally responsive. You would probably need to train a bit, though because it can be very sensitive to the slightest movements. The board can actually sense when you do jumping motions along with the shifts from a crouching position to a standing position. A word of caution…never do a real jump; it could damage the technomagical innards of the board. Using the board is definitely more fun than just using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk. Though for fancier moves you might want to perform some extraordinary twirls and spins using the remote and the Nunchuk. To feel the real vibe of skiing, however, using the board is a much better option.

Similar to the original game, there’s a free-roaming resort that you can get to explore. You can play in the slopes at your own pace, or you could join in races, trick competitions, mogul races and much more. You also meet a lot of characters including ski instructors and random people whom you can ask for help. All these stuff contribute to the game having a more realistic feel to it. Still, it’s easy to notice that it’s actually a bit unstructured. For players who are used to having linear progression in playing, you can’t find that in this game. You just randomly play without even getting to unlock new stuff as you successfully finish a game. For the most part, it’s just a lot of maneuvering in flat stretches of slopes to get to the event you have chosen. If you want to join some competition with your friends, lucky for you; there’s a Competition Mode and you can flaunt your skills in skiing or snowboarding there.

Family Ski and Snowboard in Wii can be fun, especially for those who play it for the first time. What it lacks is some progression from previous version. But if you definitely want to experience the tediousness of snow sports, then by all means; give it a try. You can always stop when the boredom becomes unbearable.

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Posted:
2013-05-24

deanowen

Super Gamer Dude

5.2

Club Penguin Game Day Wii gives the player hours of playing time in three different modes. The Story Mode entertains the player with plenty of competition, Quick Play and a Tournament mode challenges the player to mini-games.

The player must first create his or her own penguin, choose the color for the penguin and give the penguin a cute name. In the Story Mode players have a choice of four different colors blue, green, yellow or red as a team color. The task they are presented with is to conquer the winter island. The team color must control all areas of the island. The player engages in mini-games and must come in third or higher in order to control an area. Once a mini-game is completed, the player will receive coins and some new games to play. Zones on the island will also be unlocked and the player can buy items for the penguin. Players must go through the game’s Story Mode in order to play the dozen events of Game Day.

Club Penguin Game Day has a good assortment of mini-games that will entertain the kids for hours. The limited numbers of mini-games can be played out if different ways every time, giving all players many hours of replay appreciation. The mini-games center on Fast Freeze, Sumo Smash, Sled and Slide and more. Kids and adults will find the games exciting with a lot of action. Every time a team beats a challenge, they triumph over another area of the island. The player’s goal is to take over as much of the island as possible.

The island is sectioned off into six locations. The players must play a set of four mini-games and a challenge game. Once they have conquered all the challenges and the areas are changed to the player’s team color, the player can move on to Quick Play or Tournament mode. Only the Wiimote can be used on the mini-games. The events the penguins perform are well executed. The family will have hours of fun completing each event. The cute little penguins will waggle and twist around in events like snowball rolling contests, sack races, to throwing large sacks of coffee off their heads to the finish line. What a bizarre sight it is to see, coffee being hefted off penguins head.

While the games are simple enough to learn the controls can become frustrating. The player needs to point the location in which they want to penguin to go in order for the penguin to move and then click. The penguin will then be located in the right spot. Each of the mini-games moves the penguins in a different way in order to complete the task. Some of the maneuvers will be hard for a younger child to master.

The mechanics of the penguins in the game are exceptionally well done and will wiggle and bounce their way into everyone’s heart. The team playing is fun with both friends and family and those of all ages. There is hours of enjoyment for everyone.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

wetwet

Super Gamer Dude

5.0

Marvel Super Hero Squad for the Wii, developed by Blue Tongue Entertainment, features miniature versions of everyone's favorite Marvel super heroes, and was published by THQ. The characters featured are Iron Man, Wolverine, Storm, Captain America and the rest of the super hero squad cast, from the toy line and television show. As a result the graphics for the game are, understandably, a bit cartoon like, and the music is suited to a younger audience. This is a beat 'em up game where players use the powers from their favorite Marvel super heroes to fight off all the villains that get in the way of the saving the world.

The comic storyline of the game has been simplified so that children can understand the story from a their perspective. You get to venture into places such as Asteroid M, Asgard, The Vault, Villainville and Super Hero City. The plot develops as Doctor Doom aims to collect enough fractals to create a complete Infinity Sword, in order to become one of the most powerful villains in the universe.

The game starts in a S.H.I.E.L.D missile base where MODOK and A.I.M. appear, and take an Infinity Sword fractal to Doctor Doom. This is the beginning of the serious plot that develops which involves Doctor Doom working in coordination with some of the most powerful and menacing villains. Some of the undesirables which you must face are The Juggernaut, Magneto, Mystique, Loki and The Abomination. This makes it hard for the super hero squad to thwart Doctor Doom's evil plot to take over the world. Luckily, the Super Hero Squad, team up with your favorite friends in order to take on the evil Doctor Doom and all of his colleagues as they try to make the world their own.

The game received decent reviews and will probably be seen as an average game by experienced gamers, but is the perfect game for kids, who are its target audience. The multiplayer aspect of the game is another feature that makes it good for children as it encourages teamwork.

There is also battle mode to the game where players can choose to play their favorite Marvel characters to fight in an arena. The battle mode is a simple fighting game mode where people have life bars and use their powers to battle it out until there is only one person standing.

Note that the game has a sequel which gives this game added play value. Marvel Super Hero Squad, The Infinity Gauntlet was released in 2010 and expands on the story presented in Marvel Super Hero Squad.

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Posted:
2013-12-11

monk

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

First of all, I recently watched LEGO: Marvel Super Heroes: Maximum Overload which I loved. I thought the unique use of LEGO graphics was genius and fun to watch at the same time. So, when I came across the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes video game I was doubly pleased. The graphics are amazing! The style, look and feel of the game is comparable if not better than the movie. You even feel like you're part of an extended sort of choose your own adventure version of the movie when playing. I have good memories of LEGO from my childhood and Marvel Super Heroes was another favorite, so this game has combined some of my favorite things together in one, making it even more enjoyable to play.

The game takes place in a highly populated New York City and offers you the choice of a wide range of Marvel characters, both heroes and villains. Following the Marvel comics story line, the basic idea of the game is to stop Loki and the other villains from destroying the world with a super-weapon they are trying to create. You get the choice of which characters you control, and by using their different abilities like Spiderman's web action. You also get to build new constructions in the city, smash them up, solve puzzles and travel through various environments. Some of the places you will travel through are the Green Goblin's Oscorp Tower, Grand Central Station and Doctor Doom's Castle. You can also sky dive and explore the city in between missions and do so many other things. In fact, you really must explore the city in order to uncover all the secrets present within the game.

Each mission or level is quite involved and the secrets are very well hidden. Through exploring you will be able to unlock over 100 characters you can play and discover other things like hidden bricks. Every character has a unique voice and animation, making the game even more memorable. Most of the characters have multiple abilities. It's fun to figure out what character abilities are need to move past the various challenges. Personally, my favorite Marvel characters are Captain America, Spiderman and the Incredible Hulk.

A really nice feature of the game is the ability to control multiple characters by pressing a button. In order to move forward in the game, you have to use a mixture of the super-hero powers and battle the bad guys. There's plenty of humor packed in the game as well that makes it even more entertaining. During the game there are plenty of tutorials and prompts to help you play.

Overall I really think the LEGO Marvel Super Heroes game is fun for all ages. Visually, it's bright, interesting and full of a narrative that offers plenty of fun jokes. Effects like cascading water, debris flying around and super hero powers are very entertaining to the viewer. It's also reasonably priced at about $25. It's also available on all major consoles, so anyone who loves video games can easily purchase it. Christmas is coming up so it's a perfect gift for all the game lovers in your life.

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Posted:
2014-01-15

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

6.5

Sometimes when a video game makes the transition from one type of entertainment to a home console the results are outstanding, but Toy Story Mania for the Nintendo Wii just does not deliver on the experience made popular by the theme park attraction. Basically, one to four players compete in various shooting gallery type events, and the highest score wins.

The shooting gallery mechanic is something that is often explored by games for the Wii, and this one incorporates Buzz, Woody, and the rest of the Toy Story gang by using ring toss, eggs, and even the old suction cup gun to dial into the kid factor in all of us. However, if you have been to Disney World in Orlando and ridden the Toy Story ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios, you will be a touch disappointed with the results of this game.

While the graphics are great and the sound effects are interesting, the jerky motion of the Wii controller makes it difficult to find a knack for hitting your target. Largely, a game of tossing rings is difficult anyway, but the game seems to lack the polish of a finely tuned first person perspective. Of course, mastering a game is not a prerequisite for finding it playable, the thing is there is just not too much here for long-term enjoyment. Sure it's fun for a little bit, but every title has a shelf life. Unfortunately, after a few rounds between the family and friends, the action gets old quickly.

Toy Story Mania for the Nintendo Wii makes good on its claim to deliver a shooting gallery experience. Still, this title has a certain amount of appeal for players just looking to enjoy the famous characters and throw a few eggs at some targets. However, anyone not in that particular target market will find little more under the surface of this particular game because it is exactly what it promises to be.

Toy Story Mania also comes with some three-dimensional effects that do not necessarily translate well from the Wii console. The Wii has never been noted for having performance enabled hardware, and while the manufacturers should be given some credit for trying something new, it just does not work that well with or without those paper glasses.

The multiplayer modes add a bit of excitement and competition, but everyone tends to be jockeying for the same position in co-op mode, which makes playing the game feel a bit crowded. The friendly competition again gets old replay after replay as well, which does not help the title out enough to justify a purchase.

In the end, Toy Story Mania makes good as a shooting gallery game played once a month, but anyone thinking they will relive the family vacation through the Wii is mistaken. The game tries, but ultimately the Wii just does not have the horsepower to deliver a top notch performance for what producers were aiming for. Unfortunately, this is one toy that will find itself on the shelf more often than in the console.


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