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Posted:
2010-12-17

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

6.40

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:
2011-01-22

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

6.00

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:
2010-09-22

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

8.60

Sonic and The Secret Rings for the Wii lets you run in 3D space at breakneck speeds through great – looking, wow –worthy stages. It was able to redeem our blue hedgehog after a slew of disappointing and downright bad games.

The story follows Sonic in his dreams, wherein a genie appears. This genie is from the book Arabian Nights, which is currently under siege by the evil genie Emazor. According to the good genie, if Emazor gains enough power, he will leave Arabian Nights and terrorize Sonic’s world. Sonic must stop Erazor at any cost, and to do so he must go inside the book and collect magic rings that will restore Arabian Nights to order.

You play as Sonic, and you travel to 7 adventure worlds ranging from floating ruins to a pirate world. Each level is made of several different challenges, or mini games. These games add variety and uniqueness.

Sonic’s controls are easy enough. Hold the Wii remote sideways and tilt it left or right to move Sonic side to side. Button 1 makes Sonic stop while button 2 makes him jump. There is a bit of frustration here since Sonic will automatically run as fast as he can forwards, it’s your job to make him jump and avoid obstacles. Time you jumps and sidesteps so that you’ll avoid the hazards. Combat can de achieved by jumping into the air and homing in on your enemies. Jumping will automatically target your enemies, and while you’re in the air, move the remote forward to strike the enemy.

If you devote enough playing hours to it, Sonic and The Secret Rings will be finished in just a matter of a few days, or over the weekend. Multiplayer mode involved different mini games that make creative use of the remote, and you get to play with 3 friends, or 3 AI characters.

The visuals are sharp and colorful in Secret Rings; you can feel the e thrill of the game as Sonic speeds up in your screen. And no matter how fast Sonic gets, there is no downtime for the game, just seamless game play. The music and dialogue lends to the game a 90’s vibe into it, and they match the game perfectly you’ll feel a sudden burst if energy just listening to it.

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Posted:
2010-10-08

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

7.70

Guitar Hero World Tour is Activision’s take of Rock Band. The moment the latter announced it would make possible the playing of guitar, bass, drums, and sing to your favorite music like a full blown band, it was not long before Activision made Guitar Hero follow. It is not as revolutionary as Rock Band, but the huge hits that came with this package is a huge step for the Guitar Hero franchise.

The additional parts of playing the drums and singing along are now incorporated in World Tour, and are amongst the most obvious differences from previous Guitar Hero games. You can play 1 instrument alone, perform as a band with some friends, or go online and form an online super band. The long-awaited ability to play as a "real" band in Guitar Hero has improved what was previously an experience shared by one or two people on guitar and bass. Bickering over setlists; swapping instruments midset; getting sweaty and stinky from jumping around in a small room while your friend with the terrible voice gives it his or her all in "Livin' on a Prayer" as your neighbors bang on the wall...that's when Guitar Hero World Tour is at its best.

This game is not without flaws though. Wii owners lament the fact that guitar controllers are so expensive, almost the same price as the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of World Tour; but they have no choice as 4 remote controllers are needed if you want play as a full band. Given that you can afford the hardware, their durability is questionable. The cymbals of the drums are either too sensitive or not sensitive enough while the bass pedal is inconsistent. The guitars have problems of their own as well; the frets begin to stick after a day, and the strum bar soon was not able to accurately recognize input. You can activate star power though, by tilting your instrument or by pressing a button below the strum bar.

Guitar Hero World Tour is a big innovation for the Guitar Hero franchise. Expensive or not, it is a blast to play with your friends or with friends you made online while playing this game. The songs are of extremely great quality, and the addition of a music studio for you to rock out to the tune of your own music is a great idea.

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Posted:
2010-10-16

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

8.10

This game features your character Jack- the newest member in Varrigan City’s Death Watch. Your duties involve a constant onslaught and discovery of hidden tools of mayhem. Its pretty much all the action packed in one game. Besides the bloodbath that Madworld has to offer, it also provides humor to balance with the serious story of the game as well as a pulsing hip-hop music background as you go to every quest and mission. Warnings should be given for children though as this may contain gruesome sights that can be dangerous for them. In addition, try to use headphones so they can not hear the violence in this game

Equipped with Madworld are minigames so you won’t be fired up with the entire bloodbath. One of which is throwing your enemies into a giant hand which eventually closes and squeezes blood out of your enemy. The idea is funny but still has a bloody outcome. Anther example of the minigames installed is when you stick your enemies in barrels that launch into the atmosphere. The barrels will then explode at a certain altitude and eventually creates a bloody fireworks display. These minigames can be very much entertaining and can be visited anytime while on the game.

Those bosses on the end of each level can be very much a pain in the ass but once you discover their tricks and weaknesses, which shouldn't take too long; you will be able to slay them easily. You can also replay certain sections of the battles in order for you to formulate a plan or an attack that can deal greater damage to the enemy or the level boss.

On this game, you can have the luxury of repeating it over from the start to gain a higher score, unlock difficulty levels or unlock better items, or simply discover a new way to fry your enemies. Whichever the reason, Madworld is simply the best game with interesting story lines and top-quality visual design.

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Posted:
2010-12-16

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

8.00

The Tetris Party Deluxe version of the game is simply a replica of the usual Tetris you’ve played before, with many added and more complex variations. It contains several special modes and some of which are nearly as much fun as the original, and in my opinion, unbeatable standard Tetris; and I have played a lot of it over the years.

The Deluxe version has additional games. There are six included new ones included in the package, some of the play modes include Master, which is the play mode that start at speedy rate; Bombliss, which is done by bombing columns of blocks, Sprint that requires destroying 40 lines in a minimal time, Coop VS Coop required two pairs to compete one another in a field, Stage Racer asks to take control of the Tetris blocks. In Field Climber, you will encounter tetriminos or the falling blocks so the climber could go up on top. The Shadow Mode requires finishing a puzzle with a shadow emerging from the background, and this is one of the most challenging Tetris game as it uses irregularly shaped tetriminos.

Tetris Party Deluxe comes with a Balance Board Support. This mode can be played on a smaller set-up and with more unusual blocks but the mechanics is still the same. Leaning front or back will plunge the tetramino, leaning left or right will move the block. The control might not be that accurate but the balance board provides a more unconventional way of playing this games.

Apart from the balance board, a new feature is added which is playing with a three AI opponent. Of course, this applies to each new play modes. In this setting, you can block an opponents’ tetriminos into spinning or fire blocks in his grid. In Duel Space Mode, players drop blocks one at a time and compete in covering the board’s area. This game is an enjoyable option from other simple modes.

Overall, the additional play modes are challenging; especially the Shadow and Field Climber. And it did meet some expectations from the players since it is full of original ideas which are honestly fun and exciting.

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Posted:
2010-12-28

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

6.50

Making this kind of video game has its accompanying heavy burdens. Most people expect a great game inspired by the greatest performer of all time. To make this game successful, the loyal fans of Michael Jackson should be really impressed. It must relate to the passion that Michael Jackson shared with us onstage. This video game after all, is a dancing game and there is nobody better in dancing than the King of Pop himself.

The main concept of the video game is patterned from Ubisoft’s other creation, Just Dance, except that the tracks used in the video game are the songs and dance music created by Michael Jackson. The Experience can be likened to Just Dance 2 – with all songs readily open and accessible right off the bat. Players copy the on-screen dancers’ steps like mirror-images. The 26-song track includes Thriller, Bad, Dangerous, and Smooth Criminal, among others. Each song has its own variation of the iconic dance routines and related music video; thus, you can see zombies in “Thriller”, for instance. This is a good start to the game especially for Michael Jackson’s fans. The track selection is quite impressive, albeit few in number and despite not having any downloadable content site to help expand the list; nonetheless, making the players relive the fantastic performances by the King of Pop and get a definite kick as they dance to his music. Moreover, the unrestricted scoring system effectively wards off any feeling of intimidation from discouraging the players to dance their best.

One remarkable improvement, which is some kind of departure from being just another Just Dance is the challenge of dancing not only as the main performer but as solo backup dancer or with three other wigglers. The game’s presentation is extraordinarily clean and provides enough interactive communication between player and video game. With the game’s own reward system, the player can eventually unlock videos that teach different moves and dancing steps.

Apart from these little trimmings, however, The Experience fails to deliver the necessary punch to make this game an all time success. All in all the video game is great but still it lacks the emotion and passion emanated by Michael Jackson on the dance floor and on stage. The Video game fell short of the hype as a tribute to the King of Pop. The creators of the video game should have doubled their effort in making this video game, with full awareness of giving justice to the musical legacy that Michael Jackson has left behind. The fans undoubtedly felt excited, but probably only on a superficial level as the game itself fell short of higher expectations. The game can certainly rock with you; just lower your expectations.

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Posted:
2011-01-18

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

8.60

Inspired by Pac-Man Fever, the concept of Pac-Man Party is as easy as any party game comes; you’re your regular board game with certain twists. You participate and play in mini-games and you need to obtain points to win. The twists include collecting cookies (similar to power pellets) and building castles in lieu of coins and stars. You have to complete the set and return to base (starting point); the first player to accomplish this wins the game. You even get the chance to build your own castle every time you stop at clear space and this is where it the game gets more interesting; it is in fact the focal point of Pac-Man Party. Whenever you land on your own castle, you earn bonus cookies, but if an opponent does, you have to engage in an ensuing battle to retain control of your castle. The battle comes as a mini-game where up to four players may participate. If you get the upper hand, you regain control of your castle; plus you get all their cookies. Conversely, if you lose the battle, they can take away your castle and cookies.

Re-inventing the concept of the board game by converting it into a video, yet still carefully adapts the necessary features (especially the visual design) to preserve its originality and fun is by no means that simple and it’s quite impressive the way Namco Bandai manages to do this. While the initial stage of the gameplay is admittedly a little slow, the game speed picks up once ample castles are built by players to create occasions for the mini-games – then it becomes much like what a Pac-Man game should be: hectic, frantic, zippy and just full of unadulterated fun!

I do have a minor issue with this system and that’s when one of my mates has taken so long collecting the required number cookies that it further delayed the step up to the mini games. But I guess that can be expected in any party game and not exclusive to Pac-Man Party. Further, the straightforward motion controls offset any delays as only the most basic controls are used even for the mini-games; so you don’t waste time trying to figure out some complex moves of the Wii Remote.

Three main modes of playing are presented in the game. The Story Mode is a single player mode where you get to experience the tale of how Pac-Man safeguards an undisclosed cookie recipe from the clutches of the ghosts: Pinky, Inky, Blinky and Clyde. You have to play a total of 50 mini games within five game worlds in this mode. The Party Mode is the typical multiplayer for four players; while the last mode is the free-play Mini Games Mode.

Apart from the three primary modes two bonus modes are in place, which are completely separate from the principal game. One is the rewards and achievements system where you execute a particular task that can earn you some rewards in the form of a sticker displayed on the background. Another bonus mode called The Arcade Mode, allows you to play three original arcade games, namely: Pac-Man, Galaga and Dig Dug. Needless to say, the inclusion of these games brings added allure to Pac-Man party as a whole.

I’m quite amazed at how Pac-Man Party manages to pack a lot of personality into the game even as it overflows with color and notwithstanding the meticulous details of the game worlds and fascinating Miis. One more delightful thing is the make-over that Pac-Man and the ghosts got in this title. I wasn’t impressed at first but am now swayed over by the personality enhancements. My one major disappointment is that I miss the presence of some Namco Bandai characters like Ms. Pac-Man and Pac, Jr. who have always been key staples in most Pac-Man series; they would have added more flavor as playable characters to an already enjoyable game.

I couldn’t help but notice the great care given to sound and music production. The tracks portray a sense of inspiration and may well be some of the greatest musical compositions ever arranged for a party game. Even the sound effects are efficiently presented very much in the same manner that the classic Pac-Man sounds are set – as random noises to represent speech of the characters.

Pac-Man is absolutely a total blast of a party game. It has received a lot of buzz because of its genuine and charming concept. The game is full of fun and excitement that’s even made more vibrant by its colors and personality. If you’re ready for another Wii party, better not miss the Pac-Man Party – you’re sure to have the time of your life.

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Posted:
2010-11-05

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

6.90

The story of the game is based on the 1990’s film Karate Kid, where you will be playing the role of a wimpy kid who is unskilled with self defense and who lacks courage to go against bullies. At first, you will need to find an old man - who is very skilled in the said art of Karate, and who will be the one to teach you all of things you need to master Karate. The main goal of this game will be to win tournaments and deal with the bad guys that try to bully you.

This game utilizes the Wii motions perfectly with every move. You can execute every move perfectly with the Wii remote every time your character uses a nun-chuck or a sword. You can also use two Wii controls when you want to go all out using two weapons on every hand. Attacks are made by simply pressing the buttons and moving the Wii controller on the air. Also, if you like to customize a certain move so you can easily perform it, you can simply go to the move editor. Like what was said earlier, the main focus of this game is to beat bad guys in order to get ranks.

The games’ graphics are pretty enhanced and lively. Every moves and actions are crisp and in detail. Also, you can enjoy the beautiful environments of this game varying from beaches to mountains and arenas. In addition, you will also be able to enjoy the game with the heart pumping sounds that every punch or kick brings about. Besides the actions music and sound effects, you can also find the upbeat fighting music of this game quite engaging.

During the game, you will also be able to unlock ranks as well as mini games that can help you upgrade items or skills. You can also share the fun with its multiplayer mode with a maximum of four characters fighting at the same time. Just be sure you don’t get to too serious with beating each other on the game.

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Posted:
2011-07-20

demonic

Super Gamer Dude

8.10

Although the game has several additions, these do not considerably transform the game into something new. The hand plants for instance are there since they make up big portions in skating while the foot plants are there only for fun and not very significant. The new control selection will not also end with the trick set. You can explore San Van by foot which would be good in getting up the stairs rapidly or perhaps stay still so that you will have the chance to see what is around you and decide on your next line. Furthermore, not using your skateboard will also enable you to position pieces of the world around. This is by far, the largest addition to the game.

While positioning objects around and installing your personal line is remarkable, positioning your skater with no use of the board is moderately awful. The camera used is inappropriate and the movements are very inflexible and artificial which will make it difficult for the player to control the skater to do what should be done. But the concrete segment in the manipulation is great. The player will be able to position things which make sense. For instance, you can move small ramps, benches, tables and bins around but you cannot move cars and bus stops.

With regards to the permanence, there are fascinating ways in handling this. One is if you place an item anywhere without peculiarity, it will certainly stay there so if you place a ramp at the center of the road, it will be taken out once you leave whereas if you place a bench beside a building, it will most likely stay there. As soon as you have placed the items in the location where you want them, you will now be able to open the create-a-spot editor, operate a highlighted zone that is big to install your spot, skate it and then eventually, upload for the benefit of other people.

The replay/film editor can also be used for customization. There are cameras added one of which is the tripod and the other is the freeform follow camera. However, the film effects of the game are not included and instead are just waiting to be bought as DLC. The developer of the game has for the most part made some improvements to the game’s set-up. There are more goals accessible compared to the previous game. Yet, there are problems in terms of the presentation.

Another element that has improved is the game’s online component. The player will now be able to participate in all kinds of cooperative goals which are location specific. This kind of feature is very remarkable and definitely handled well. Although Skate 2 is really fun, it is far from achieving perfection with several issues to tackle. But as a whole, it is fun and players should not look further for what is best.


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