Nintendo has been very busy with their gaming. On November 25, 2008 they released Club Penguin: Elite Penguin Force for Nintendo DS console. Elite Penguin Force or more commonly known in the game for its shortcut EPF is a cool spy agency that aims to keep Club Penguin safe; the very same Club Penguin of Walt Disney youve been playing online.
Club Penguin is an adventure where a single player plays as a covert member of one of the penguins in the Elite Penguin Force. Here, the gamer travels around an island and is supposed to assist other penguins, and needs to sometimes crack mysteries in the process. There are also confidential missions that the player has to finish. These missions are exclusive for Nintendo DS consoles.
Being a game that is more geared into the adventurous side, it heavily relies on the plot, and luckily, Club Penguin has an excellent one. Children would really love the game for all its humor and action packed adventures.
Club penguin offers mini games that include fishing, dancing, snowboarding and other touchscreen games that can be played over and over at any given time in any place during the game. This is a way to earn coins which are important for getting costumes and other add-ons.
Earning coins is vital in the game, and Club Penguin, being inspired from an online Disney game, has the ability to transfer earned coins from the Nintendo DS version to the online game through wireless connections as long as they are using the same account. How cool is that! Moreover, players can simultaneously play on the online community and get those special features the game has to offer, through the Nintendo DS. Awesome! You can also make your own three-dimensional avatars, build your own profile, talk with friends and enjoy sharing Club Penguin accessories. Using the same wireless connection also allows you to get newer missions and achieve in-game honors. This game just reeks of absolutely fantastic!
Well, okay, so not absolutely; the features have its slight drawbacks, too. They are made for the younger generation, which means the interface design is leaning on a much simpler side where children can easily move along in the game. Its simplicity can be a bit boring for some adults who are much more used to high-tech graphics, but they work wonders for the little gamers. The game also has its ambiguities that can be confusing to players, making it tougher to deal with the game at times. Getting stuck can be an agonizing ordeal. The game also entails lots of reading; lots and lots of them. The saving factor is theyre easy to read.
All in all this is a fabulous game; not only for little kids but for teens, too. They are simple but adventurous enough for kids to enjoy. The ability to use wireless connections to relate your Nintendo account to the original online game is a huge plus; and you can just constantly play without having to put your PC to tremendous wear and tear every time you play. Given that there are still very limited adventurous games on DS at the moment, this charming game can serve as a gateway for more challenging games of this genre in the DS console format.
With the success of the well-received and widely popular Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, it was just too good an opportunity to pass and not make a sequel; so after two years, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games was finally released. It still offers the players the same 27 events based on the core disciplines of the Olympic Games which features both classic and dream events. The once popular sprints and pole vaults however, are now replaced with snowboarding, hockey, skiing, skating, curling, and many more. What’s great in this new version is that you can choose which sport to play from the very start.
The game’s dream events filled with beautiful settings like rolling hills, gleaming snow, and clear blue skies makes this game interesting. The only downside to this is that each dream event mode requires unlocking done by single-player mode or multiplayer mode. What’s more annoying is that most of the events in the game are not worth the time it takes to unlock the different dream events. But what did you really expect? It would be such a bore if everything was simply handed down, right?
The one event in this game which really rocks is curling. Not many people know what this sport is but I guess once they get to know what it is they’ll get hooked. Curling is a mix of bocce ball, shuffleboard, and horseshoes. Simply put, the player who throws rocks closest to the target wins. It might seem ordinary but what makes this game fun is that the developers incorporate the actual game into how you control each throw. Speed, strength, and different ways of countering each throw can be controlled giving you full power of how it turns out. Say goodbye to blaming it all on the computer for your failure.
Working your way through the game can be such a bust when it becomes repetitive. Each event can be replayed until you reach the necessary skill level you wish to have. The tracks and courses are predetermined so once you have already played it; it won’t excite you as much as it did the first time around. The controls were also made to be user-friendly making it somewhat easy even for casual players. But hey, not everyone gets good at it that fast.
Besides the different events, Mario & Sonic also offer players a chance to some party games namely balloon popping and wheel spinning. These are strategically placed randomly before the start of each Olympic event.
This game might get you hooked right away but it will also bore you as fast as it enticed you. The whole package could have been put together better if it had been more exciting games and if the controls were as engaging as it hoped to be. It fails in comparison to the previous Olympic game in terms of graphics but it makes up for it in terms of being imaginative. Overall, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games is a disappointment. But if you are that type of person who enjoys unlocking levels and stages then this game is just enough to keep you distracted or busy for the moment since the events are really not that mind-blowing. Still, it will not stop anyone, both kids and those kids at heart, from enjoying it especially during gatherings.
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.
Assassins Creed 2 is a sequel that’s a lot better than its predecessor in many ways. Put about 2 years of intensive development and you get a game that is this good. It is most likely one of the best follow-ups to date. What’s good about this game is that they tried to tweak almost all the flaws of the previous one; and surprisingly, they succeeded.
You could control the main character from the moment he was born. You can track how his character builds up making you understand the character better. The creative team should be given special credit for this. You don’t get to use weapons for about a couple of minutes or so but that isn’t a total bust. The story is so good that you don’t even notice you haven’t even battled yet.
As the story builds up, so does your skill and the number of weapons you can use. There are similar games out there that have the same flow but what sets this game apart from the rest is that each one is carefully crafted and nothing feels rushed.
Ezio, the main character, and all the things you can make him do, are the portions where the game truly shines. In addition, he can now do more things both in the offense and defense. Obviously, it takes some practice but once you get the hang of things, it takes you to a whole new level. You pick up a close encounter of how it is to be an assassin. From the preparation and strategy to the actual assassination itself, everything is placed in your hands. When you’ve fully discovered what Ezio can do, won’t be much of a problem to you.
The game is well known for its killing theme and this sequel has accomplished that, so you definitely won’t get disappointed. It offers players a wide variety of ways to kill an enemy. Whether you want it at close range, from a distance, or a good hand to hand combat; everything’s possible in this game. Some attacks are so gory; the game shouldn’t be played by young kids. It’s not just your usual sword fights and throwing of grenade sort of fights. You can stick a spear onto your opponent and drag him around; eventually killing him. This is just an example but things become quite brutal in most cases. Then again, you are playing as an assassin so that is what you should expect.
The graphics however isn’t quite at par with most of its competitors. The quality of the visuals is good but could have been better and adjustments could have been done with a thing or two. But what they lack in graphics, they try to compensate in sound quality. The soundtrack gives you a fairly good feel of the setting. The rustling of the leaves, the sound of hitting swords, or the sound of a knife getting buried in the opponent’s body; all vividly captured and delivered brilliantly, making it sound so real.
Sequels are a disappointment most of the time and often just ruin the whole franchise. Luckily, Assassins Creed 2 didn’t fall under that category and took a better route instead. If you didn’t like the first one maybe this would turn things around and make you fall in love with the game.
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.
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.
Brain teasers like puzzles are all-time favorites when it comes to pass-time activities. They just keep you active without getting physically tired. Usually, you buy books, or get papers to play these puzzles; but here’s good news for those who find puzzles irresistible - Nintendo DS offers you something new. With the use of their high-technology systems, Nintendo DS presents Puzzler World, the best game for people who love solving puzzles.
Puzzler World offers up to 1000 games over 500 hours of playtime. The puzzles include Codeword, Hangman, Equate, Word Search, Sudoku, Link-a-Pix, Crossword and Silhouette; also Spot the Difference, Jigsaw, Picture Quiz, Chain Letters and Missing Piece. The game allows for up to three user profiles and a stop and save option that lets you stop anytime between puzzles, save your progress and continue on the same puzzle the next time you decide to play.
Puzzler world has three gaming modes. Challenge mode offers up to over 500 unique puzzles that come with a smaller mini puzzle making a total of up to a thousand brain teasers. Finishing one puzzle lets you unlock another one and it goes on and on giving you one puzzle after another to play every chance you get. The Quick Play mode allows you to play random puzzles. These puzzles are easier than the ones you get in the Challenge mode. The third mode lets you use your own handwriting. Here you get to write in numbers and letters to let the game familiarize your own handwriting.
The graphics used in the game is quite simple and without extravagant borders; just the right touch for brain teasers. They do have vibrant colors and cool graphic effects.
Puzzles don’t really need sound effects so they’re not of much use here; all the same, you occasionally hear chimes and whistles as when you guess the right words, for example. Elevator-like tunes are also heard when you’re on the menu page or when doing timed games.
Puzzles in Puzzle World are all played using a stylus. You use it as a pen to write and slide over sections, and sometimes for tapping sections. For the writing part, letter recognition is kind of so-so. At the beginning, the game tends to misinterpret what you write; but it goes easier with a little practice and getting accustomed to the game style. Another drawback is the size of the puzzles, which are way too small and quite niggling. The same is true with the erasing mechanism, where you need to tap a button to switch from pen to eraser and back to pen; kind of tedious really and could have been made more straightforward.
Being a game with over a thousand puzzles, it definitely gives you hours of playing time with an average of at least three minutes per puzzle. This is much better than buying books with limited number of puzzles. The only hiccup is that the difficulty level on the Quick Play mode is random; so you can’t choose from easy to hard.
The hint coins are cool and very useful in solving puzzles. Most of the puzzles are relatively easy; but hint coins come in handy and quite valuable when you move on to the harder puzzles. As for the originality, the puzzles in this game are all old ones but they are still definitely fun to play with.
This game is truly addictive with all those puzzles and games available for you. After finishing one puzzle, nothing stops you from moving on to the next challenge. This is the perfect game where you can spend hours of playing – thinking, more like it – without even realizing it.
All in all this is a very wonderful game for those who love mind challenges; it’s a great game that’s literally mind boggling. Puzzler World is a great way to spend extra time wisely and sharpen your mind.
The most exciting part of playing Supreme Commander 2 is building huge armies and dispensing them to annihilate the opposing army. The game has a broad selection of options in building your army, which is why the pace of play is faster in this game than the original. The procedure for upgrading and building are more simplified and spontaneous. All upgrades now take place on a tech tree and you don’t have to cheat around with useless Tech 1 units and rebuild engineering squads to tech up a building. You can only have one engineer that's the same from beginning to end.
The economy has also been changed to a more conventional approach, which makes it easier for players to manage and maintain structures and units. In building your structures, two primary resources are necessary: mass and energy. In order to obtain the highest amount of resources possible, you need to expand your starting position on a map to have more extractor spots. With this, you will usually encounter an enemy. Research points can also be a great resource in the game, as it enables you to improve the effectiveness of your units, and also improve the defence of your structures.
In the original Supreme Commander, simultaneously enhancing your economy, while also fittingly assigning squads of engineers to assist is very strenuous. But you can save points and instantly unlock your favorite units. In Supreme Commander 2, the speed of gameplay reduces the fulfilment of getting these units in the field, but one of the benefits is that the game is more competitive and more prone to quick changes of momentum.
Another modification in the game is that the United Earth Federation, the Illuminate, and the Cybran Nation are now more distinct from each other. There are more units that only one army can use. This makes the whole real-time strategy game more entertaining. Gamers can choose a large-scale strategy or a smaller-scale approach.
However, the campaign is not that attention-grabbing compared to the original. The gameplay is boring because the first few missions for every campaign are too short and plainly serve as introductions to the armies. Every mission is designed differently and provides individual missions for each army, but the amusement value declines because you can already predict the next thing that happens as you go through a series of checkpoints in assembly line fashion. Another issue for the campaign is that the characters are shallow, which makes you easily forget them.
Still it’s worth exploring as even with the changes; this is still a hardcore game that is quite challenging in that it requires a lot of planning and thought-provoking deliberation before you can succeed.
For MMA fans, UFC Undisputed 2010 features the best of mixed martial arts with more than a hundred fighters clashing in the octagon. The fighters comprise of superstars from all sorts of fighting disciplines, including wrestling, boxing, jiu jitsu and kick boxing. Now, the sport is transformed to a video game to extend the UFC fever to its fans all over the world.
UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship is one of the most popular mixed martial arts organizations in the world hosting the most electrifying fights. To give you an overview of the UFC, competitors battle in the Octagon, an eight-sided mat surrounded by chain-link walls. Fighters can win via knockout, submission, or judge's decision.
To get into the game, lets discuss the controls first. The controls are quite simple, but the part where it requires you to go through the game's long tutorial before jumping onto a game is irksome. Almost every move that the fighters make, including grapples, transitions, takedowns and submissions, requires a Right analog stick movement. Strikes such as punches and kicks can be performed through the controllers face buttons.
However, one of the games weakest points is the lack of direction for gamers. It never shows how to use ground positions or how to cleverly get out of it.
A new "sway" system reveals the striking game, which allows fighters to move in and out and counter more believably than before. The game's ground matches the game. It depicts the fighters jock position, which is common in real UFC fights. However, even with this improved realism, there's still a concern with finishing fights. It's so hard to knock your opponent out. You usually win the fight by submission, within seconds of your initial move.
UFC Undisputed 2010 still has the usual Exhibition and Tournament modes. There is also an update, the Ultimate Fights Mode, which enables you to re-enact classic UFC fights. One of the upgrade includes pre-match interviews and commentary. However, the fighters say the similar things in interviews and Joe Rogan repeats his commentary again and again. Completing matches under more difficult modes allow you to unlock rewards. Also, theres no simple retry option. You have to go back to the menu if you want to start the challenge again.
Career mode is a great feature of this game. You can create your own fighter and have a 12-year career filled with sponsors and championships. You can go to fight camps and training which adds up to your stats. These actions allow your fighter to improve strength, stamina, speed and other skills. You also have your own coach; you can go to weigh-ins, and make rivalries with other fighters. Career mode is really entertaining, but you still have to sort out every detail in the menu to enjoy it.
The online mode allows gamers to go fight for a remarkable leader board spot and earn awards. It also includes Online Fight Camps. This allows you to train and team up with other fighters under a combined camp online. You can make your own name for your club and even choose a logo. However, the game is mostly the same as last year. The biggest change to the online mode is that you need to have a code to use the features. You need a code in order to unlock the online features. You need to purchase the game to play online and access the features.
UFC Undisputed 2010 is an easy game but it has a deep fighting engine with an amusing career mode and online features. UFC Undisputed 2010 is still a great game and it would be wonderful for MMA fans to really get into the hype of this UFC video game.
James Cameron's recent movie is one those successful movies who fell for the trap of a movie getting tied-in with a game. As a response to the movie's monstrous hit, comes James Cameron's Avatar: The Game.
The game and the movie have the same setting which is from a distant moon called Pandora. You can still find the terrifying animals, carnivorous plants, beautiful sceneries, and of course the Na'vi. The problems being faced are still the same. There is still the constant battle between the humans and the inhabitants. Let me just end this movie and game comparison with this statement - if you've seen the movie, then you know what to expect.
If you were thrown off the edge of your seat when you watched the movie, I suggest that don't get your hopes up that much for this game. If only it had the same amount of preparation as the movie, then it would have turned out quite differently and it would have fared better. You know that feeling when you see something and you feel as if it was finished for the sake of being finished on time? It's like an anti-climax. Unfortunately, that's what you get when you play this game. The only thing that saves this game is the graphics, which even the movie was well-known for.
You might feel a little blown off the game by now. But don't fret just yet. The game might not be that good but at least it lets you experience what it is to fight the war from different sides. You have the choice to battle as part of the Na'vi and protect Pandora, or become part of the RDA and fight the inhabitants and finish your mission of extracting minerals in Pandora.
If machines and guns are your preference, then you should take on the RDA campaign. You are provided with different gadgets for you to use as weapons or as defense, whichever might be to your advantage. On the other hand, if you opt for the more primitive style like attacking in close range, then I suggest you fight for the Na'vi. You go back to the basics of having to use staffs, bow and arrow, and knives in this campaign.
The two campaigns are quite different and offer you a whole new perspective; a great strategy on the part of the creators of the game. But unfortunately, both campaigns are just average and neither one is a complete stand-out.
The best part of this game though is not the campaign but the Pandorapedia wherein you get to experience and learn a lot about Pandora. You get to marvel at its wonders and just simply enjoy what you see.
The game in its totality lacks a lot of the game stuff, like things that would make you want to throw the controller because you can't finish a certain level; or if you do, you want to redo it all over again. The game is focused more on the looks of Pandora, leaving all the other elements behind. The controls are poorly developed, the missions lack depth and the fighting leaves you wanting for more.