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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

8.1

Need for Speed is one of the best and well-embraced racing games of all time. It gives you that adrenaline rush of how it is to be in front of a wheel, driving at a high speed while dodging other cars along the way. Coming from a very successful line, this PSP version falls quite short when compared to its console counterpart but still remains to be relatively better when compared with other portable racing games.

The PSP version still has that arcade feel to it, but minus the customization part this time. The only thing you could alter or change in your car is its color. Thus, all you have to do is just race, beat your competitors, and eventually try to win the race. Maybe they took into consideration the fact that most PSP players just focus on actually playing the game rather than making all those adjustments.

Without all those adjustments or upgrades available for your car, what is there to look forward to after each race then? Luckily, you get to drive different cars; a selection so wide, there are just enough cars to choose from to suit different types of players. But don’t get too keyed up just yet. You just can’t choose which car to drive from at the start. You still have to earn them by unlocking each one whenever you finish a race or when you beat other players in a game.

The game also loses the ability for the player to manually change gears. Instead, cars are set to automatic, taking away the thrill of how it is to actually change gears. Some may think it’s cool but many are of the opinion that it’s a total bust since you are just left with simply stepping on the gas and waiting until it actually climbs up speed. Since it automatically changes gear, it frequently fails to do so and you just notice that the car you’re driving is running low on revs.

The graphics aren’t that bad. There are some places indicating well-thought of locations; others are just downright dull and simply boring. In addition, when you make your way to the city, it doesn’t feel and look as though it is a city. For example, there aren’t much people you could see. And if you could spot a couple, they look kind of weird and just seem to just blend in the crowd instead of popping out.

Its audio however rivals those of its counterparts. Sound effects are placed just right and quite accurately at that. The screeching of the wheels, the changing of the gears, as well as the crashes, all of them sound pretty close to the real thing. The soundtrack of the game is also a good one. It offers you a wide variety of music unlike other racing games that only offer a couple at most, which can get pretty annoying with its repetitious playing.

The PSP version might not be the best among the Need for Speed games; but at least in this game you get to live the experience of driving the best cars in the world, in places you’ve never been to before.

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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:
2010-04-27

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

7.6

Singing is a great way of expressing oneself and one’s emotions. You can do it anywhere, anytime you feel like it. But for those who love to sound like pros with the music and on the microphones, you can now do karaoke in your own living rooms with your very own Xbox 360 console. The karaoke game Lips was released last 2008 and was the predecessor of Lips: Number One Hits; which let you do what you probably love the most - sing. Now, the second installment is released for the same Xbox 360 console karaoke game; and is called Lips: Party Classics. This second song pack contains 40 famous, well-played songs that many people love and are already familiar with.

This game is just an add-on which means you don’t have to buy new accessories (like the microphones); although if you feel like buying new accessories, it may interest you to know that there is also a new innovation on Lips microphones. These innovative accessories now come as wireless gadgets with some simple motion-sensing features that allow you to do moves like tapping on a tambourine, and the game kind of automatically recognizes your moves; thus making appropriate sounds.

This game has basically the same feature as its predecessor with the single player mode that has a ranking system for players; and the multiplayer mode that features a competition mode or a co-op mode with an add-on of three mini-games. This is a fun game for those who aren’t too competitive because there is no score that says you fail at singing, which could get you pretty much discouraged. The scores are essentially for hitting the notes right; if you can’t hit the high notes, then you get lower scores and vice versa. The motivation comes from endless number of awards you can get and the idea of elevating your rank when you sing the songs right.

Being attached to an Xbox Live allows you to correlate your standing with other singers in the Lips community. You can also buy new tracks to enhance your song list. The Party Classics edition also sport some upgrades like the ability to create your own playlist for convenience.

The modes have been altered, too. The jukebox mode is gone but there is a freestyle mode that lets you coordinate songs from external devices like the Apple iPod. This allows you to sing new songs without necessarily buying new tracks.
Alright, it’s not a perfect world, so even a seemingly perfect game comes with some snags. Since there are different installments and different CDs, jumping from one track to another can be inconvenient when songs are not in the same song pack. Players have to change CDs, which is really a waste of time. But it’s not really a big deal if you really love to belch it out.

For singers and aspiring singers; professionals or amateurs; young and old and just about everyone out there who could and would like to sing, practice and bond with family and friends, Lips: Party Classics is absolutely a great game to enjoy with your original Lips Karaoke Game. When it comes to singing, this game can definitely deliver.

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Posted:
2010-12-14

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

7.3

As the title says, this game is all about hunting monsters; there’s not much of a storyline, so don't expect one. Seriously, the storyline is non existent, but don't get me wrong the game is epic. You also get to play cooperative games. You will be experiencing quests, rewards, weapons, and crafts. You may get to think that this is an all adventure game but it has added extras like farming and animal culture. In other words, the game is somehow confusingly fun.

The farming part is very good, it gives you a lot of work to do which will keep you busy and prevent you from getting bored. You can also be playing cooperative with friends which is very enjoyable to do. But when you get to the part where you need to hunt down the monsters, this is where the action is. You will be doing fighting, combats and battles. But before you get in the hunting part, training will first be conducted. The things that you will be doing in the training are exactly what you will do in hunting part. So there really is sense of putting in the training part. Maybe this is just a way to lengthen the game. You will be going through quest and win over challenges like in every game. There are three quests that you need to get over; gathering, hunting and slaying. For the gathering quest, you will be getting herbs, mushrooms, or hides that can be collected from the flora and fauna of a given environment. In the hunting quest, you will be after a beast. And in the slaying quest, you will be killing several enemies. These will all have different challenges that you need to win over.

The graphics of the game is good. The audio and voice acting are also good. The presentation and plot are somehow misleading as you might get lost in the game if you really do not follow from scene to scene. The game play is a bit different but the difficulty and challenges are common. However, the farming and cooperative scenes are good and impressive.

All in all, Monster Hunter Freedom is fun and at the same time confusing, you really cannot identify the connection from hunting down to farming. But still, this is a good game to play especially with friends. The cooperative play is the best part of the game. If you love farming, you can just stay in the part where you will be dealing with the farm. It is still unique and gives us a fresher way to play games on your PSP. I have to repeat that you really NEED to play it with friends though; it is really at its best when enjoyed with your mates!

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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:
2010-04-25

TheStig

Super Gamer Dude

5.5

History was made in September 2006 when Nintendo released their new game console Wii that has taken the hearts of many gamers around the globe. Its innovative way of playing is so refreshing that they are must-haves for every household. It is so much fun to use because it’s interactive; which also presents a challenge for the producers because they have to constantly think of games that would be good entertainment for just about everyone.

Today, they have moved a level up with the introduction of their newest dance craze Just Dance. There was a time when dancing was so popular in arcades and later on found their way to households using dance pads, otherwise known as dance mats or dance platforms. Last year, Wii released its own version of dancing, Just Dance.

Just Dance functions on a different level because you don’t have to push buttons and unlock levels or any progression of that kind. All you have to do is - just dance. You just have to follow the dancer on your screen doing the actual steps to the beat of the song. This Wii game offers songs from different genres with a wide range of difficulties from easy to the most difficult.

Being a first, the game has areas that they could definitely improve upon. Generally, dancing has to be perfect in timing and execution; and the same goes for Just Dance. People who are into dancing or what you would call “natural” find it quite easy to follow the tempo and the dance steps; but for beginners or those who haven’t really done much dancing it can be quite a problem.

Likewise, some find it challenging enough as points is given for every step correctly followed and you get a total score at the end of the song. Others just find it simply boring. If not for the “red light/green light, Strike-A-Pose” point system of elimination, where the Last One Standing is declared the winner, there really is nothing to do that resembles a challenge. You can, in fact, easily memorize the moves and steps and just flail away.

Just Dance could have also fared better with the graphics and layout department. The dancers are dressed appropriately according to the song and everything is colorful and vibrant but the “main characters” you have to mimic are just silhouettes, which could have been more realistic if they didn’t appear like shadows. The design is overly simple where they could have added more creativity to improve it.

With all these flaws, the game can still be great entertainment as a family activity or when you want to keep guests occupied. It can be quite competitive for small group gatherings with the multiplayer phase which allows up to four players to dance off and see who’s the greatest. It can be a delightful experience for “bonding moments” where happy memories are made to last a lifetime. But if you’re not the sentimental type, this might not be your cup of tea.

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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:
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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