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Posted:
2010-04-23

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.8

If you have been addicted to video games since the 90s, you’ve probably developed an addiction to the Super Mario Bros. It’s one of those first few games that people used to play on older game consoles. It has also proved to be very addictive to children and adults alike.

The popularity of the Super Mario Bros. game has now gone several levels higher with new versions of the game in more modern game consoles. It is unquestionably a forever part of the history of video games.

The newest Super Mario game called New Super Mario Bros released for use in Nintendo DS is beyond doubt something special. It remains true to its roots depicting Mario’s side-scrolling environments, with almost the same but more enhanced look and feel; and even a gameplay that has an unbelievably classic touch to it. There are new elements that add up to the game making the game even more fun.

It’s the first time in 15 years that a new Super Mario game has been classically designed. New Super Mario Bros. features stunning 3D graphics in a 2D gameplay. Although this new version offers a variety of superb changes in the game to fans and gamers; almost all of the original elements remain intact. The main plot and central goal of the game is … you guessed right – To SAVE THE PRINCESS!

This game doesn’t have much of plus points for its story, as the original concept, which is Mario going up levels to the challenge of making it to the castle, collecting coins, defeating Koopas, Goombas, and all other oddly-named monsters of Mushroom Kingdom, is still basically the same. If you have played the original before, you surely need a refresher because this game in Nintendo DS is just about the same except for some breezy twists. It is a remarkable super sequel to the original.

It actually took more than a decade to develop the Mario mechanics in the side-scrolling design. The dilemma was, how could the company further go without wandering from the existing formula of run/jump/bounce and without ending up in a game that is not-so-Mario? Fortunately for the creators, they were able to successfully and beautifully do the innovation without departing from the original concept.

There are a number of areas which made it quite ideal to produce the new Super Mario game on Nintendo DS. For one, the market of hand held game consoles is more open to game designs like the side-scrolling action games. And two, Nintendo DS has more horsepower under its console than the system of Game Boy Advance. The advancements of the gameplay is more likely brought by the capabilities of the Nintendo DS processor and not the system’s more unique elements.

the presentation of the game is terrific and really well-designed, overall. The only disappointment is that the extras found in the game are recycled mini-games from the Super Mario 64 DS. Other than that, fans and gamers can count on pure delight and enjoyment of the game’s presentation. The graphics of the game are also quite awe inspiring. The really slick hybrid 2D/3D engine enables level designers to have some splendid effects and gameplay elements.

These are stuff that weren’t really possible way back in 2D days. The sound is also exquisite. There is of course the unforgettable, very famous Classic Mario soundtrack that goes with each level and with Mario’s voice now more enhanced in each level; there really isn’t any reason to complain. So you ask, and the gameplay? Well, there’s no doubt about it; you have to be exceedingly picky not to give it an excellent rating.

Indeed, Super Mario will forever be remembered in the video gaming world. It’s one of those games that remain original yet offer fun that is at par with the challenges of the newer hybrids in the video-gaming world.

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Posted:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.7

Nintendo has again outdone itself by inventing a sequel to their 2007 Phantom Hourglass. The same hero, Link, now faces new challenges in The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks. The plot has its time set a century after the Phantom Hourglass; where Link is a train engineer who goes to Hyrule Castle for the royal blessing he needs to become a truly qualified engineer. Well, the plot thickens, of course and everything goes wrong; but unlike its predecessors, the princess isn’t kidnapped or locked away, instead she gives him a note informing him that the spirit tracks which run around Hyrule Castle is slowly disappearing. Throughout the game, Link and Princess Zelda travel around places to restore power to the Tracks and recover Zelda’s body from the Demon’s tower.

The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has retained most of its features but there are some new additions. You can still see Beedle marketing his merchandise; and you still encounter boulders and enemies to break and annihilate. But the game has now become more intense and exciting because of added features or characters like the hidden rabbits that you should find and capture, for instance. You can also bring items for trading and let commuters ride between stops; where the challenge is to follow the signs and stop accurately at platforms.

Another great new feature is Princess Zelda’s ability to alter her skill sets depending on what Phantom she possesses when inside the Tower of Spirits. Together, Link and Zelda become an awesome duo that can solve puzzles and destroy enemies. Having full control of the Phantom both manually or automatically likewise takes the game to a whole new level. There is minor setback when it comes to the automation of the Phantom, though. Their Path-finding isn’t that smart, so do expect small bloopers like falling into quicksand once in a while when there’s a completely good bridge; walking straight into walls and some other blunders. Using manual control to take charge may become a hindrance when you’re in a tight situation and you need a quick back-up. The ability to play different characters like Link and the Phantom is a great opportunity to cover each character’s weaknesses; thus, making the game more enjoyable and entertaining.

These new additions, however, does not avert the fact that there are also some glitches to this installment. First, it is undeniably longer than its predecessor, the Phantom Hourglass, with all its options for extensions. Second, there is a mix of confusing controls purportedly designed to make everything smoother; but when you get to a tight spot they can interfere with your strategy rather than help.

But these are just small drawbacks to this new Nintendo DS game. Link’s adventures in the new Legend of Zelda: Spirit tracks will definitely satisfy your craving for more of the sliding blocks and puzzles you love. They won’t have big surprises but you can definitely get new tricks from enhanced old stuff. It’s totally a blast for all Link and Zelda fans out there.

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Posted:
2010-04-27

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.6

God of War is probably one of the best fantasy games Sony has ever produced. Ask any game player about the game and they will probably give you not just a brief description but a very detailed one at that. Some may even give you a couple of tips. Give any new detail or development about Kratos and it becomes an instant Internet sensation. No doubt this game has a lot of loyal fans and the legion just keeps getting bigger by the day.

The God of War Collection is a collection of the two previous God of War games available in Play Station 3. Both were equally good games and to have them played side by side is really cool. The stories have not been altered which I believe is really brilliant on the part of Sony since altering it would have ruined the whole game and most like leave a lot of people quite upset with such change. This is a very good example of predictive maintenance or what the old school would describe as, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And since the stories work pretty well, Sony is quite smart in its decision to leave them be.

With no change whatsoever in terms of the game flow, there isn’t much to say about the gameplay but that it is similar to the previous ones. Even if it was released a couple of years back, the experience of playing would still have been as unparalleled as today. The game still remains to be at the top of the pack even after a long span of time and no matter how many times you’ve finished it, you still won’t get bored with doing it all over again. It’s like an addiction – the good kind, of course.

One good thing about releasing this game in PS3 is that you get to experience playing it in high definition. The players look better, the places look more natural, and the whole feel is just breathtaking. During battles, the characters are more responsive to controls and game lags are hardly experienced even when there are a lot of onscreen goings-on. If you’ve played the previous versions then you will most definitely love this improvement.

There are still some minor flaws already encountered in the past that stick with the new release. There are a couple of frames with some shaky camera movements and awkward camera positions. Also, there are collision problems that undeniably need some polishing. However, these are just minor setbacks which hardly make any difference to the overall quality of the game.

If you haven’t played any of the God of War games then this is the perfect opportunity to do so. If you had, then here’s a chance to relive the whole experience one more time. Whatever reason you may have for buying or playing this game, the satisfaction it brings about till the very end is absolutely worth your while. This is a must-have collection you shouldn’t ignore. Grab the opportunity now and start playing God of Wars.

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Posted:
2010-05-06

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.5

Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party is the new Wii edition of the Rayman series. A few years back, Rayman was a hit. The limbless body jumping from side to side was cool, but as time went on, the character became dull and boring. However, the new evil Rabbids are its saving grace. They are worthy to be added to the Rayman series. They are well designed and are suitable for the comedic part of the game. The game developers had incorporated a fresh gameplay and tons of new mini games which are crazy, to say the least and at the maximum – really, really crazy. Total fun insured. The game uses the Wii Balance Board for a different result.

There is no escaping the fact that the novelty of each mini game wears thin and TV Party is expected to eventually have the same fate; but somehow it has managed to safe that at the moment. The sequel strictly embraces the proven formula of the past; yet TV Party is still a cut above, when compared to other games on Wii that are swarmed with mini games. The humor in the game is unique, and this time the emphasis is placed on the multiplayer mode. There are mini games that are compatible with four player-split screen contests - really fabulous fun games, don’t you think? And what’s more, it features an eight-player turn-based option.

The plot of the game goes something like this: Rayman is trapped and is coerced to watch a critter television. The shows here are actually the 50 mini games that make up the jokes and spoofs. The creators of the game have also chosen to present most of the cinematics in 2D style. Although the skits and the cinematics were fun, it leaves a feeling of something missing and would have been a lot better if it were shown in a different way. The gameplay is on 3D and it does not fit well with the cinematics on 2D. There was a noticeable amount of load screens between menus and mini-games with the occasional frame rate problems in the game.

But if you are looking for plain fun and a good deal of laughs, the game certainly has the capacity to give that to you. As you progress to the programs on TV, you encounter new challenges as you find yourself playing in skits and spoofs of movies and TV programs. The programs include reality shows and more.

I still feel that TV Party is better than Rabbids 2 in terms of mini-games; to be fair. The controls on Wii work well in games such as the spoof where a rabbid rides a bull down the mountain; or in another, where you play Godzilla. The Balance Board is basically used and although it’s debatable if it’s really engrossing enough, it sure is a novelty. In addition, this game extensively makes use of the Wii remote in nunchuk in. Fortunately, TV Party is back on track with spoofs rather than just shooting as many rabbids as possible. There heaps of more of fun in these games rather than just plain old shooting.

To sum it all up, Rabbids TV Party does not revolutionize the mini-game genre on Wii. It only adds a more fun situation in the game. And generally, the feel is just the same as the prequel. And just to reiterate, the issues on the 2D cinematics and the too many load screens are a definite nuisance. However, if you get past these issues, the game is undoubtedly fun. Thus if you liked the earlier Rabbids in the past, you’re going to love them this time.

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Posted:
2010-05-14

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

7.3

In the video gaming world, it seems that LEGO games have been coming out endlessly, quipped with the fact that after a really good half-dozen major console releases and a variety of portable variants, the formula still stays the same. The latest release which is LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues has been available to major consoles but the PSP and Nintendo DS versions of the game are a bit different and offer an unfortunately worse and disappointing experience than on other platforms.

The general formula of the game is not new to us. You start a chapter of the story, then you break everything around you into pieces, then you answer some simple puzzles that oftentimes include moving objects around, then you collect a lot of LEGO pieces and go out to gather and buy new characters, cheats, and all the interesting stuff that are really cool. True to the game’s roots, the central gameplay of running around and breaking everything on the way makes you still entertained to a certain degree, but you might say to yourself that all these are not new to you.

What makes the portable version of LEGO Indy 2 different from its major console counterparts is that the story mainly revolves around the fourth film, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. There are also flashbacks to the first three movies; though these parts are divided to one-off challenges, which constitute four from each four films that remind you of the classic scenes. They are not direct tributes, though. You may be on a scene where you collect rocks on a rocking boat, which is supposed to be a reversal to the opening of the movie, The Last Crusade per se. Rewards like golden hats are awarded to in these challenges, which is the game’s version of the usual golden treasure chests that are vital in unlocking more content.

The disappointing thing with LEGO Indy 2 on PSP and DS is simply the fact that it is boring and the controls seem to be very lopsided. The level design seems to be incredibly boxy, which makes milieu unexciting to travel through. Most of the areas are small, which means that there is only very few exploring to do. Though there are certain scenes where you may want to go back to and try again when you get specific characters that have certain functions, such as digging, climbing or cutting ropes, for example; it seems too much of a linear experience and you get the feeling that the everything is inching for you to even go to the next level.

The controls prove to be worse. The jumping isn’t that responsive as it should be and there seems to be a slight pause from when you press the button to the actual jump that the character does. This means that some platform sections are quite annoying. Another example is when you grab a rope and you use it to swing yourself. The action requires you to be really spot-on. All these really contribute to uneven controls of the game.

LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues is equipped with interesting and fun factors but none of the entire experience is really that exciting. The main story is really rather boring and the controls are also very sloppy. It may be good to try this game but there are other far more interesting and exciting games on PSP and DS handheld consoles.

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Posted:
2013-08-15

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.6

The latest edition of FIFA 2010 World Cup is now making its way to Wii. The game has invested much on colorful characters and models, with wonderful on pitch player physics and some out of this world slow-mo effects. It really emphasizes the all important cool and awesome effect to gamers.

The game play is still old school with only eight directions available for movement. Anyone can figure out how the game is played. And the best feature that they have added is the momentum meter. The effectiveness is determined by the meter. As you work up the ball on the field to a better position, the meter goes up; and the higher the meter the better shot you have on the goal. If the meter is half full, and then you make a strike on the ball, you acquire a fantastic Ala-Matrix slow-mo effect. As one may observe, the gameplay is easy. FIFA 10 on Wii is a very good game for those who want to have that old school arcade-style fun.

And parallel to the gameplay, the graphics are also kid friendly. Bright colors are found everywhere and the player models look cartoon like. But many would probably prefer to have some realistic look incorporated to the game. Adaptability in the animations would have been a great addition.

But alongside these very appealing and attractive features, the game also has flaws and disappointments. First, the cool effect of the slow-mo is only good the first few times you see it. Afterwards, it gets a little boring. Moreover, the momentum builder can easily be used every time a team makes it across three fourths of the field. It would have been better if the slow-mo feature is saved for really special shots. This way its novelty is not diminished and it is more fun for gamers when they attain such.

With regards to the gameplay, it is somewhat difficult to make effective runs; and it's even more difficult to turn the corner when somebody put up their defense against you. The creators of the game should have incorporated the 360 degree movement in FIFA 10 on PS3. Its absence is not beneficial to a good soccer game. Of course, it is understood that such feature can only be effective in high def visuals and is not possible on Wii, but there must be a way to make a player run a circle.

Another thing that bothers is the pass movements here are somewhat inaccurate. It's difficult to weave passes through the defense because you cannot properly determine the power of your pass via the controls. In the past, when you hold down the button, the power of the pass increases. However, holding the button down in this format results in a through ball. Often times, the player you want to pass the ball to do not detect it. Thus, the AI of the entire team should also be considered as subject for improvement.

The main thing to remember is that FIFA 10 is made especially to cater to hardcore gamers that want the game to be as close as reality. The target market for the game is those that want to have fun, arcade style! - the type of game that people play with their family and friends; not caring about the details. All that matters is the gun the game offers. The most important thing to them is FUN, FUN, and FUN!

FIFA 10 World Cup is recommended to this type of people or group. And those that want the real thing must we wary of the above sighted observations in the game.

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Posted:
2010-04-27

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.8

Call of Duty World at War has some big shoes to fill since its predecessor was a huge success. The new addition to the whole Call of Duty franchise only wishes to be just as good as the previous ones. The previous game decided to go for a more fictional set-up, but you won’t get to see that in the new release. This game takes you back to World War 2 when different nations were at war and everything was in chaos. It’s quite a puzzle though that they decided to go back to the basics with this one but I guess a little trip down memory lane never hurt anyone.

The Call of Duty franchise is known for having great visuals and this installment is no exception. They might have taken a step back in the storyboard but they surely didn’t do the same thing in this field. From the setting to the blood effects, everything looks so real. You might even find yourself marveling at the whole scenery; rather than focusing on the game itself. The animations are remarkably good as well. When a building is blasted or when blood splatters, the effects are truly impressive. And even with so much onscreen goings-on, the game doesn’t lag behind. It still maintains the same quality so there’s no need to be anxious even when things get a little bit crowded.

The battle scenes in World of War are as close as you can get to the real thing. You get fighter planes flying overhead, missiles coming at you from all directions, and the presence of different war machines and equipments just add up to the authentic feel and keep you on your toes. What’s even more amazing is that you can relive this again and again.

The sound quality of the games fits well with the great visuals. But then again, the whole franchise is also known for this so this doesn’t come as a surprise at all. The game offers you an opportunity to hear in close range the sound of different war machines as well as the sound of destruction. Back your game up with really great speakers and it will surely sound like the ones you hear in the movies. There might not be anything new in the audio section of the game; but you can bet it still can blow you away when you hear those convincingly realistic sounds. The sound of explosives, the firing of different machineries gives you the sense of thrill and excitement whenever you hear them.

The gameplay is practically similar to the previous Call of Duty games with the whole WW2 theme. What’s different with this one is it focuses more on the latter part of the war. Another difference is that you get to pick on whose side you’re on and whom you want to play with. Go for the U.S. campaign and you get Sgt. Roebuck. On the other hand, fight for Russia and you get Sgt. Reznov.
We all know how it ends up – one team triumphs over the other, of course. Even then, you still get sucked playing the game because of the whole idea of great battle fights and the great experience that goes with it.

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Posted:
2010-12-14

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

7.2

If you think you are a good strategist, then you had better try Disgaea 2. I blieve I am a good strategist, but it really did challenge me. I have a lot of mates that agree with me, as well. This game has tons of challenges that will tickle your minds and make you want to play more. This is the perfect strategy game to play if you like being challenged up to your limits. This is no easy game to play, and without a proper strategy and accurate thinking, you will certainly have a difficult time going through the game.

This game is all about Adell and Rozalin who are on their journey to find the villains of the game. They will be going through tons of challenges and they need to win these in order for them to come closer to their mission. You will be going through tactics that you can use during battles or combats. Each chapter will take you long hours of playing already. Though it may sound like it is just like the other games around, you can first check out on the challenges and obstacles that the main characters will be going through. This game is difficult as you may have several trials before you can actually go to the next chapter.

What is unique about this game is that you can choose from English or Japanese characters to play your part. If you are a fan of Japanese characters, then this is your chance to play them on this highly challenging PSP game. The graphics are excellent. The scenes are clearly shown in this game. The audio and voice acting are also done well. The presentation and plot are very good which makes this game a highly recommendable one. Sometimes, gamers wanted to be challenged and make thing difficult for them to get into a game for hours. Digaea 2 is a game for people who loves challenges and would like to test their skills. All in all, this game is fun, exciting and challenging. It will definitely make your mind work overtime.

Take my word for it, I would highly recommend you buy this game. You will get your monies worth out of it.

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Posted:
2013-08-20

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

8.3

The Sims is that place where we can live another life, the life we have always dreamed of. Through this life-simulation game, we can create a world; well, more of a house really, with people inside it and control them as they live their own lives in this engaging little game. The Sims has been so successful that they are in their third generation, the Sims 3. And now they are out with their first Stuff pack, The Sims 3 Design and High-Tech Stuff. You don’t really need them to be able to play the game but they are full of stuff exclusively redesigned for Sims 3. Some may even be familiar since they were pulled out from the previous eras.

This is quite off-the-wall for EA since they do have their Sims 3 store that provides all the stuff you need in the game; making the Stuff packs quite useless. It could be that the Store is not earning as much as they initially expected.

The Design and High Tech can be considered as a fine-tuning of the Ultra Lounge collection that was released in the Sims 3 Store some time ago. What makes this Stuff pack special is the comeback of past stuffs from the former Sims generation which is their way of celebrating the game’s 10th anniversary.

One of the returnees is the All My Fishes aquarium that is much larger than the usual fish bowl in the original game. This one can hold up to six fishes at one time and is way more attractive than the first.

Making its comeback in Sims 3 is the Das Kauker R86 electric guitar, which is a total let down. It does have earmarks of an electric guitar plus the animated notes that keep popping out from an amplifier that is so cute; but basically, it is not that far from the same familiar acoustic. They both have the same shape where the electric guitar could have done better as a lightning bolt or the cased guitar shape. Another cast down is the absence of new tracks. The only thing that has been added is the feature that allows unskilled players to upset the neighbors to the point that they call the authorities.

You can also enjoy the heart-shaped vibrating bed or the Vibromatic NL3000, which also allows the Sims to play in its double bed feature. Don’t worry; it still has its vibrating feature that you have come to love.

Well, the rest is just a collection of modern, remodeled stuff that are great for the game. The most interesting are the lightning objects that come with blue hue and a continuous equalizer animation. You also have the corner bath that has a right angle layout and a transparent wall. There is also a treadmill and stereos with great energetic sounds.

This is not the typical expansion pack you get from other games; but it is worth its price. It presents something new and interesting for users to enjoy.

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Posted:
2014-01-16

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

7.2

This first-person shooter type of game is the genre on Wii that is more popularly known as the “hit or miss”. In the past, Ubisoft has started with this genre on Wii with Red Steel which did not gain much popularity. They then went off to the unexpected hit Call of Duty 3. Then the level of expectation was raised when the creators released Medal of Honor Heroes 2, which topped the charts in 2009. Thus, you can say that the first-person shooter type has gained some popularity on Wii games. One such game is the Quantum of Solace; which, unfortunately, has definitely several weaknesses.

The game has the right idea set in place. It is similar to the 360 and the PS3 SKUs when it comes to gameplay. But outside of that, there are some flagrant weaknesses. We are talking here of visuals, controls, bugs, the AI issues, and more crucially, the frame rate of the game. In Quantum of Solace, you barely see Bond running at times. This is even more evident in key instances of the game.

The core design of the game is a mimic of its PS3 and 360 versions. Therefore, you achieve the interlock of both the first person character as well as the new cover system, which fortunately adds new maneuver skills. For the most part, the cover system is user friendly so it is very rewarding. These maneuvers include having an auto-catch while sprinting, and having to snipe enemies from behind the comforts of walls, pillars and boxes. It shows that the 3rd person action game incorporated in the cover works quite well with the Wii controller/remote.

As mentioned, the game suffers from the sluggish frame rate. When key instances come, the frame rate becomes such a critical problem for players; and often further aggravated when used with the cover system. It all depends on how you play the game, of course. When you run the game in a decent 30fps or so, the IR doesn’t refresh that fast and you feel the same oddness that’s also found in other games such as COD: World at War. When you’re in a hurry and move the cursor too fast, the game becomes choppy and unable to catch up with your movements. In using iron sights, some movements of enemies don’t even register. But, the shooting aspect is not without a positive feature. There is the lock-on system, which orient the camera with a specific enemy. The feature fixes the camera problems, but the aiming is still up to the player to adjust.

However, the adoption of destructible environments is quite good and there are enough environments that can be destroyed in this game. Most of it is found on the scripted events.

The game has unique features that only Wii can offer. Here is where you can play a split-screen multiplayer and you still have online options. You can choose from local play with friends, to games played with strangers. Added to this, the game works pretty well in the online mode; it is actually the place where the game really works at its optimum best by design. But overall, you really can’t say that the game is that good. Some Bond fans may not appreciate the game at all.


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