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Posted:
2011-01-23

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

Sony PSP

5.0

Tony Hawk games are quite tricky when it comes to handheld systems; though Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 proved that it could actually work well with handheld systems. However, Tony Hawk’s Project 8 was not given the same attention and is denied the chance to perform better on PSP. It’s basically fun with spurts of excitement along the way, but it destroys the whole concept of innovation aimed at the new addition to the series.

Based on Underground 2’s engine, Project 8 has 10 varied areas, none of which are actually connected. Just like old Tony Hawk games, you need to finish one area first before you can open another; then you can choose the particular levels that you see fit for you to play. It’s not entirely one city just like other next-gen versions. Your main goal is to rise up from that embarrassing #200 amateur skaters ranking and emerge among the top eight. You move up the rankings when you find every secret token in the game, cross gaps, and beat challenges. If you complete ample number of challenges, you may enter the Birdman’s cream of the crop Project 8.

There are moderately sized levels that have a number of healthy challenges. Skate towards highlighted characters; this opens up challenges that are added to the traditional Classic mode, which now works better in the Career Mode. Yes, you read it right. Instead of you going around short challenges, you can basically roam around to play challenges and at the same time increase your rankings. In fact, if you get to complete ten challenges it can definitely boost your rankings up.

Quite new to this release is the Spot Challenges. These challenges basically test your skating skills in grinding a specific distance or when you’re trying to gain air. Though, for technical reasons, you need to talk to certain characters to activate the challenges. This effectively negates the reason for the challenges in the next-gen versions in which you’re supposed to get the tasks done while also performing free skating in the levels. It’s a separate event, but it seems to be quite pointless.

Most of the contests involving skill have three precise rankings: Amateur, Pro and Sick. You can surface to Project 8 when you’ve mastered the Amateur level of difficulty in the challenges. Playing the Pro level is a piece of cake. Your skating skills are truly tested when you play in the Sick level, though. Some of these Sick level challenges can be extremely tough but Tony Hawk fans would probably just sweep away through these challenges.

The Classic Mode is exclusive to the PSP version. In this mode you can pick a skater and then play in 8 redesigned levels. You need to accomplish 10 different tasks in a 2-minute time limit. You have to collect the letters S-K-A-T-E to earn high scores, and find the secret disc, which is another part of this quite-old-school mode. It’s a perfect addition to Project 8, especially for those who find the Career Mode to be quite a drag.

There are definitely extra modes and the wireless play makes Project 8 a good release but it doesn’t quite pay up for its many deficiencies. The graphics are a so-so and runs relatively smoothly for the most part. As for the sound, the game has a lot of music tracks that you’d be able to listen to; though the game lacks voice acting and also ambient noise. As for the gameplay, it’s not really that hot and you can’t really be jumping for it. Overall, the game is quite a nuisance to play but if you enjoy skating games, then it might be a good idea to help yourself to Tony Hawk’s Project 8.

User Reviews (14)

del - 14 reviews

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Posted:
2011-01-23

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

Sony PSP

7.0

If you were a major fan of “Tekken: Dark Resurrection” game on PSP and you still are, then for sure, you’ll love Tekken 6 just as equally. Though the game has a certain familiar feel to it being that most of the characters featured in Dark Resurrection make a comeback here, Tekken 6 like its predecessor, still maintains the “oomph!” and punch that the series always has from the start.

The game offers a brand new mechanics for returning players to master but still retains its accessibility for newcomers. If you think Dark Resurrection’s roster of playable characters was positively crazy, Tekken 6 gets even crazier. With the addition of 6 new playable characters to the roster, Tekken 6 has a total of 41 characters to choose from; making it the most comprehensive roster in the entire history of the series to date. Some minor changes have been made to old characters’ moves and combos, even new moves have made its way to some character’s list, but only to a small extent so no need to worry about your favorite character being completely alien to you.

Even with brand new fighting mechanics to boot, newcomers and veterans alike don’t have a problem using the controls with the four buttons assigned to all four limbs and the control stick to aid in combos. Learning the moves is a piece of cake and you can see some flashy moves in combat sooner than you think. The game becomes more deeply spectacularly when you learn how to string together combos and moves to impact more damaging combos, leaving your opponent helpless. Important moves like wall juggles, throw counters and roll evasions add to the depth that the game already has. As an added bonus to the 10-hit combos that veteran players have grown accustomed to, the game introduces the Bound system, which allows you to extend combo damage by slamming an airborne opponent to the ground and leaving him/her defenseless to more attacks. Rage is another cool thing added to the game; when a player’s health hits 10 percent, the rage system activates, which is a power-up that gives you rage-fueled strikes. It can either give you a miraculous win if you still can pull it off in a split-second or it can be completely useless to you.

On a negative note, Tekken 6 has omitted the one relaxing part of the game - Bowling; where you can earn money just by having your favorite character play a game of Bowling. But not to worry, everything else is there, from the classic Arcade mode to Challenges like Gold Rush. Another sad thing about Tekken 6 is the removal of the game sharing feature that Dark Resurrection offered. The game is played with wireless ad hoc connection, which means that your friend must have a copy of the game in order for you to play in a battle together. But I rarely consider this as a misfortune, given that Tekken 6 has a big roster of characters to choose from, you can still do a bunch of things and never get tired of playing it whether you’re a newcomer itching to get his fists bloody or a returning player exploring his undying love of the game.

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Posted:
2011-01-28

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

Sony PSP

6.6

This game is much like the Lego games, with only two characters at a time and both must be active so as to solve puzzles and overcome your enemies. The graphics in this game are ugly, blurry and undefined, far worse than they should be on a PSP. The music is just like it is in the movie UP which is a plus for the game.

The characters each have their own unique abilities to help them on their South American journey of exploration. Carl can grab on high ridges with his cane and can use his other abilities to scare off enemies; he can hit enemies with his golf club and he can use his torch to light a dark cave. Russell uses grappling hooks to attach ropes, he is a mirror to the blind enemies and can pick up heavy objects that Carl cannot.

The game however has some technical problems that restrain the main objective from being fully achieved. At times the AI controlled partner will make playing the game real difficult and you will have problems progressing with the game. When they get on your way, at times they can cause you to miss a jump. At other times they will stick behind, following you wherever you go to even when you don't want their company. You will also find this other major problem at times it is extremely easy to miss a jump because of the gauche angles. When a box is place at the edge of alevel, the camera may not give a good view as there is an angle and this can be dangerous to you.

You will also encounter some silly mini-games in every level of the game. You may be involved in collecting spiders, or playing squash. One good thing worth noting about this game is that you cannot die. If you are hit by an enemy or you miss a jump, all you do is loose energy and since there are plenty of fruits scattered all over, you can reenergize and get back on your feet. If the fruits run out then you may not be able to do things that can expose you to death.

Apart from plot forming there are another three game plays in the game: a canoe section, being tethered to a house, and aerial dog fight sections while in small planes.

The game is easy to play and will be ideal for children. It has good mechanics which are simple and easy to learn.

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Posted:
2013-08-17

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

3DS

8.4

Mario Tennis Open was developed by Camelot for the Nintendo 3DS, and released to the American market on May 20, 2012. The game features (like most Mario titles) the typical Mario cast, and offers different tennis-based games. The game released with mixed reviews, and unlike previous Mario Tennis titles, there were no RPG elements and no character-specific abilities to set them drastically apart.

The game has a total of 24 playable characters, all from the Mario universe. Only 12 are available for play initially, with four more characters available for unlock during the game and the other eight requiring QR codes. You can also use a Mii character. If you're unfamiliar with what Mii is, the basic explanation is that it is a digital avatar or caricature of yourself that is created by you and used in certain games on the Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS consoles. In this game, it is actually advisable to use your Mii character, as the many customization options made available by purchasing things through the expansive and fun in-game store can't be used on any of the other characters.

In fact, the upgrade and customization options in Mario Tennis Open are a source of quite a few of the problems people have with this game. For example, the statistics of items (such as racquets, hats or shoes) aren't easily discernible; for one thing, the stats are displayed in pie charts (something many major reviewing organizations found absolutely mystifying). For another, you can't see the cumulative effect. While this might not seem too bad, it has the unforeseen effect of making it impossible to actually compare your Mii character's stats against any of the default characters' stats.

That's really a huge letdown, because the in-game reward system has the makings to be great. New things are unlocked for purchase with virtually everything you do (all purchasable with coins earned by playing, of course), many of them stat-altering items that give you a real sense of reward for your work and enhance the replay value of the game. The lack of a basic system for comparison ruins all of that.

One good point about the game is that it is amazingly addictive. The interface is mostly easy to use; you can do different traditional tennis strokes (slice, lob, topspin, drop shot, etc.) with either button combinations or using the touchscreen. Again, though, something positive is brought down by something that doesn't work quite right. The camera must be moved by using the 3DS gyroscope. This entails rotating the console, while playing, to move the camera.

Mario Tennis Open features pretty good multiplayer content, with both online and local multiplayer having the ability for gaming options with up to four players. However, the game includes a feature that allows the AI to move for you if you don't put your hand on the controlling button; this frees up more time and concentration for precise shots. Because the AI also will tell you which shot is best, you end up with what can only be called "Simon Says," in the words of IGN.

Overall, the only way to describe Mario Tennis Open is "not enough." They started with a great core concept, and at the core it's a great game. Unfortunately, that quality doesn't extend to everything else.


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