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Posted:
2014-03-28

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

9.0

The first time de Blob came out it was a delightful game that was family friendly filled with a lot of humor, a solid gameplay and an art direction that could tickle the back bone. The second time around it is a lovable game surprisingly improved on all of the good and bad potentials. De Blob 2 is provokingly fun.

Those who have played the earlier version will immediately notice that this new version is a stand alone. There is enough evil in it in the form of the Inkies led by the hilarious Comrade Black who allowed that the INKT Corporation absorb all of the colors from Prisma city. And then there is Bloc and his fun cohorts who are there to make sure that the city be painted back to its colorful past, in the process redeem the residents and get them out of the clutches of a colorless life.

Given that the name of the hero is Blob, one would never expect that he would be so interesting and intriguing in a blobby sort of way, I mean, he is goo, an amorphous super absorbent blob. Kirby, Jigglypuff and the other characters are not far behind. They are colorful characters that remind me of a pack of Skittles, the sour and the sweet types.

Although I would be the first to say that the title by itself is unimpressive, the gameplay is impressive. The fact that this game made the kids giggle and kept them playing was indicative enough that this is one game that the whole family could enjoy. The target audience is obviously for the below 10 kids, but I must confess, sometimes and oftentimes my kids ask me to join and I end up playing for several hours on end. So yeah, I enjoy this mindless and childish game very much, and that is saying a lot as I have a whole library of adult games which I never bother to play.

There are other versions which have better visuals in terms of sharpness but they are just indicative of the game console, not the game design. There is a single player mode and a multiplayer mode. The multiplayer is a little harder and more challenging than the single player since the split screen can be confusing for some people.

The music or soundtrack is great. I have had my fair share of kids and adult games and I can honestly say that the music in those games can be part and parcel of the attraction. I can count on one hand the games which had the music which did not irritate me and I am happy to say that de Blob 2 is one of them. That is a big plus in my opinion especially with the number of hours that I and the kids spend playing.

De Blob 2 is charming, simple, appealing, highly fun and sweet and sour, ingredients that make my mouth water. Everything about it is appealing and the gameplay is fantastic, for a family oriented game. Blob and his colorful cohorts are just the right mix that can give a game a long lasting appeal, for the young and the old alike.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-02-03

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

7.0

The story is deftly conveyed in the opening scenes, as flashbacks show some of the events that have transpired for your character, Isaac Clarke, in the three years since the end of the last game. In the flashbacks, we discover you spent time in a hospital, as well as setting the scene for the self-recriminations that will follow you through the game for asking your girlfriend to work on the Ishimura, the scene of the first game, where she lost her life. Before too long, you find yourself awakening in the Sprawl, a station on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, with necromorphs, mutated reanimated people, heading right for you.

Pitting yourself against those creatures is what this game's all about, and there are tons of ways to take them down. The game might not let you walk around with a Gatling gun, but there's more ways than just shooting a necromorph to take 'em out. To begin with, you have psychic powers. You can slow enemies down, stop them dead in the water with Stasis, pick up items telekinetically, or throw them through the air with your mind. The addition of these mental abilities makes it a lot easier to deal with the fact that guns and explosives are few and far between, despite having a number of mining and industrial implements with which to fight off attackers. Not to mention, it's pretty cool to shoot off a creature's limb and then impale them with it.

The game's single-player campaign will have you surviving for about 11 to 13 hours, the first time around. There are a couple of good reasons to go back for more, however. To begin with, the game lets you play through a second time with all your upgraded weapons and equipment, with further upgrades available from there. That gives a player a strong reason to want to keep playing, to find out just what that next upgrade will give them. There's also a Hardcore mode that is an insanely difficult version that only allows a player three saves through the entire game, and anytime you die it restarts to your most recent save.

Once you've ran through the single-player mode a couple times, the multiplayer in this game will keep you playing again and again. Multiplayer bouts consist of teams dividing between the humans and the necromorphs. Playing as a necromorph completely changes the game from most first-person shooter multiplayer games. No longer can you go and run through enemies on your own. Humans are more powerful than necromorphs, one-on-one, so you'll have to work with your teammates to take them down. Fortunately, you can pick from four different types of necromorphs from the single-player game, so there are plenty of tactics that teams can use for the different maps.

The horror experience brought on by playing Dead Space 2 is a thrill, there's no doubt about it. Throw in a repeatable first-player game, and multiplayer that's a blast, and you have yourself a winner.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-03-28

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

9.0

The first time de Blob came out it was a delightful game that was family friendly filled with a lot of humor, a solid gameplay and an art direction that could tickle the back bone. The second time around it is a lovable game surprisingly improved on all of the good and bad potentials. De Blob 2 is provokingly fun.

Those who have played the earlier version will immediately notice that this new version is a stand alone. There is enough evil in it in the form of the Inkies led by the hilarious Comrade Black who allowed that the INKT Corporation absorb all of the colors from Prisma city. And then there is Bloc and his fun cohorts who are there to make sure that the city be painted back to its colorful past, in the process redeem the residents and get them out of the clutches of a colorless life.

Given that the name of the hero is Blob, one would never expect that he would be so interesting and intriguing in a blobby sort of way, I mean, he is goo, an amorphous super absorbent blob. Kirby, Jigglypuff and the other characters are not far behind. They are colorful characters that remind me of a pack of Skittles, the sour and the sweet types.

Although I would be the first to say that the title by itself is unimpressive, the gameplay is impressive. The fact that this game made the kids giggle and kept them playing was indicative enough that this is one game that the whole family could enjoy. The target audience is obviously for the below 10 kids, but I must confess, sometimes and oftentimes my kids ask me to join and I end up playing for several hours on end. So yeah, I enjoy this mindless and childish game very much, and that is saying a lot as I have a whole library of adult games which I never bother to play.

There are other versions which have better visuals in terms of sharpness but they are just indicative of the game console, not the game design. There is a single player mode and a multiplayer mode. The multiplayer is a little harder and more challenging than the single player since the split screen can be confusing for some people.

The music or soundtrack is great. I have had my fair share of kids and adult games and I can honestly say that the music in those games can be part and parcel of the attraction. I can count on one hand the games which had the music which did not irritate me and I am happy to say that de Blob 2 is one of them. That is a big plus in my opinion especially with the number of hours that I and the kids spend playing.

De Blob 2 is charming, simple, appealing, highly fun and sweet and sour, ingredients that make my mouth water. Everything about it is appealing and the gameplay is fantastic, for a family oriented game. Blob and his colorful cohorts are just the right mix that can give a game a long lasting appeal, for the young and the old alike.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-03-17

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

8.5

Mario returns, this time with his pal Yoshi, to chase the evil King Bowser through the universe to save Princess Peach. Released in 2010, Super Mario Galaxy 2 picks up where the original Super Mario Galaxy left off and expands the game's concepts to new galaxies, further refining the gravity defying stunts performed by Mario and providing increasingly intricate level design. In addition to returning power ups, such as the fire flower and bumblebee Mario, new power-ups are introduced. Look forward to using drill Mario to drill through spherical planets. Utilize rock Mario to smash through previously impenetrable obstacles. The "cloud Mario" power up allows Mario to create cloud platforms in mid air to save a falling player, or to reach thought to be inaccessible platforms. In addition to these identified power-ups, Yoshi returns in a mainline Super Mario 3D adventure for the first time since Super Mario Sunshine. For those gamers disappointed by Yoshi's seemingly half-baked implementation of Mario's prehistoric pal, Super Mario Galaxy 2's implementation will erase such memories. No longer is Yoshi limited to land, or simply spitting fruit juices. As if Yoshi's inclusion wasn't enough for Mario fanatics, Mario's brother Luigi is finally playable from the start of the adventure.

Super Mario Galaxy 2, picking up where Super Mario Galaxy left off, is clearly the better for development time being spent on ensuring the game can be played by all ages and skill levels. The game begins with a 2D representation of the world and as the player slowly masters Mario's moves, the world opens up and before the player realizes it, Mario is performing acrobatic moves not seen even in Olympic competition. As some of the acrobatic feats require intricate timing, Nintendo has seen it fit to add a "super guide" for those players who fail a challenge multiple times. The gamer is provided the opportunity to view Hint TVs should an objective be unclear and can alternatively allow the computer to take control of Mario to complete a task. No longer will new players in the Mario universe be stymied to the point of frustration by a single objective. The player is awarded a bronze start rather than the usual gold star, but the player is allowed to progress. In an additional effort to maintain a wide audience, the cooperative Co-Star mode returns in the sequel and offers less experienced gamers either the benefit of point and play action, or the assistance from a fellow gamer as they clear the way for the newbie to control Mario throughout the world.

As core gameplay concepts were already established in the original, Super Mario Galaxy 2 ups the presentation ante, providing instances of beautiful graphical bump mapping and a massive increase in sweeping, orchestral music. The effect of such orchestrated music cannot be overstated, as experiencing Mario soaring through the atmosphere as the vibration of stringed instruments float through the air is both exhilarating and jaw-dropping. The Super Mario Galaxy aesthetic is continued in it's sequel, providing sprawling visits as well as tightly designed, dungeon inspired locales. Primary colors splash off of the screen and fill your retina's with beautifully formed polygonal representations of Mario and the gang. Super Mario Galaxy 2 takes everything that made Super Mario Galaxy excellent, further refines it, and adds unique gameplay twists to leave players with the greatest 3D platforming experiencing found in all of gaming.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-02-02

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

8.5

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 for the PS3 allows the player to battle their way through the last section of the most exciting, amusing and easy going fantasy story of the entire decade. This game follows the adventures of the boy wizard and is based on what are arguably the most violent stories of the series. To respond to this new level of action and aggression the game designers have branched out from the earlier episodes and turned this latest installment into a third-person narrative, turning it into what is to all intents and purposes a classic first person shooter. While the simplicity of this design may disappoint some users that have grown to like the increasing complexity of the series, this reviewer finds the change refreshing. The game moves along at a quick pace and can be completed in anything between 10 to 12 hours of play.

The game allows you to play as one of many characters, including Hermione, Ginny, Ron, Neville, Seamus, Molly Weasley, Professor McGonagall or Harry himself. The ultimate goal is to avert the destruction of Hogwarts School and ultimately to destroy Voldemort. The enemies you meet are the toughest yet, but luckily the player is offered the most powerful tools at the disposal of a learned and experienced wizard. The action is kicked up a big notch in this version and the exciting story moves along at fair old lick. You will have to use the skills of magic that you have learned in order to challenge and destroy Snatchers and Death Eaters, along with many weird and wonderful giants. The entire game takes place within the boundaries of the second part of the adventure in the Deathly Hallows.

One of the must stunning aspects of the game is the action environments. The graphic portrayal for the monsters and other characters are excellent and their movements are believable. The backdrops and screen shots are truly astounding and each screen offers a visual treat for players.

The game offers some unique challenges with a third person shooter presentation. Each spell is represented by a different weapon and each weapon needs some time to recharge before it can be used again. This allows budding wizards and warlocks to think carefully about switching weapons during long battles. This aspect of the game is the most challenging and interesting and also the most frustrating to the novice player. The largest complaint we have with this game is the length, which is simply too short to contain and do justice to all the potential action and stories that could have been put into this otherwise outstanding game.

It is perhaps unfortunate that the material for the books and films is so good that no game could possibly live up them, but this one has takes a very good shot at it and in many aspects comes very close.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-03-28

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo DS

9.0

The first time de Blob came out it was a delightful game that was family friendly filled with a lot of humor, a solid gameplay and an art direction that could tickle the back bone. The second time around it is a lovable game surprisingly improved on all of the good and bad potentials. De Blob 2 is provokingly fun.

Those who have played the earlier version will immediately notice that this new version is a stand alone. There is enough evil in it in the form of the Inkies led by the hilarious Comrade Black who allowed that the INKT Corporation absorb all of the colors from Prisma city. And then there is Bloc and his fun cohorts who are there to make sure that the city be painted back to its colorful past, in the process redeem the residents and get them out of the clutches of a colorless life.

Given that the name of the hero is Blob, one would never expect that he would be so interesting and intriguing in a blobby sort of way, I mean, he is goo, an amorphous super absorbent blob. Kirby, Jigglypuff and the other characters are not far behind. They are colorful characters that remind me of a pack of Skittles, the sour and the sweet types.

Although I would be the first to say that the title by itself is unimpressive, the gameplay is impressive. The fact that this game made the kids giggle and kept them playing was indicative enough that this is one game that the whole family could enjoy. The target audience is obviously for the below 10 kids, but I must confess, sometimes and oftentimes my kids ask me to join and I end up playing for several hours on end. So yeah, I enjoy this mindless and childish game very much, and that is saying a lot as I have a whole library of adult games which I never bother to play.

There are other versions which have better visuals in terms of sharpness but they are just indicative of the game console, not the game design. There is a single player mode and a multiplayer mode. The multiplayer is a little harder and more challenging than the single player since the split screen can be confusing for some people.

The music or soundtrack is great. I have had my fair share of kids and adult games and I can honestly say that the music in those games can be part and parcel of the attraction. I can count on one hand the games which had the music which did not irritate me and I am happy to say that de Blob 2 is one of them. That is a big plus in my opinion especially with the number of hours that I and the kids spend playing.

De Blob 2 is charming, simple, appealing, highly fun and sweet and sour, ingredients that make my mouth water. Everything about it is appealing and the gameplay is fantastic, for a family oriented game. Blob and his colorful cohorts are just the right mix that can give a game a long lasting appeal, for the young and the old alike.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-03-03

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

8.0

To describe Injustice Gods Among Us as an all action fighting game would be an understatement. The level of violence and the manner of delivering it is so over the top it verges on slapstick and is all the better for it. The cast of characters in the game read like a whos who of DC Comic heros with Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor, Green Arrow, Luchador Bane, The Flash, Nightwing, Deathstroke, Catwoman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Solomon Grundy, Cyborg, The Joker and Harley Quinn all playing their part which usually means fighting every other member of the cast using their own special immensely exaggerated abilities.

The action takes place in various on earth and above earth locations and moving between them is usually achieved by battering your way through walls and other obstacles or, better still, punching or throwing another character through them.

Scattered around these locations or battlefields are various objects which give extra powers to each character and the quality and quantity of these added powers depend on the character finding the power enhancing object.

In amongst this fighting chaos there is some sort of story. After Lois Lane, carrying Superman's unborn child, is blown up in nothing less than a nuclear explosion, Superman takes it upon himself to build a new and more just world. However, Batman, who is the on screen persona of the player, has other ideas and forms alliances with some of the other characters to frustrate Superman's plans. So not too strong on plot but moving from one outrageously epic battle to the next provides sufficient fun for the story to be pretty much irrelevant.

The cartoon like graphics are purpose built and suit that purpose well. The characters appear much as you have seen them before from other games or comics, but if you have not seen them before they are probably well enough conceived for the viewer to guess their names from a list of those available. The voice acting and incidental sounds are not very realistic, but given the characters and the nature of the action perhaps realistic is an inappropriate term to use and the cover all 'well suited' may be better.

Although the game does not take itself too seriously it is certainly seriously good fun.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-03-03

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

8.0

To describe Injustice Gods Among Us as an all action fighting game would be an understatement. The level of violence and the manner of delivering it is so over the top it verges on slapstick and is all the better for it. The cast of characters in the game read like a whos who of DC Comic heros with Batman, Superman, Lex Luthor, Green Arrow, Luchador Bane, The Flash, Nightwing, Deathstroke, Catwoman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Solomon Grundy, Cyborg, The Joker and Harley Quinn all playing their part which usually means fighting every other member of the cast using their own special immensely exaggerated abilities.

The action takes place in various on earth and above earth locations and moving between them is usually achieved by battering your way through walls and other obstacles or, better still, punching or throwing another character through them.

Scattered around these locations or battlefields are various objects which give extra powers to each character and the quality and quantity of these added powers depend on the character finding the power enhancing object.

In amongst this fighting chaos there is some sort of story. After Lois Lane, carrying Superman's unborn child, is blown up in nothing less than a nuclear explosion, Superman takes it upon himself to build a new and more just world. However, Batman, who is the on screen persona of the player, has other ideas and forms alliances with some of the other characters to frustrate Superman's plans. So not too strong on plot but moving from one outrageously epic battle to the next provides sufficient fun for the story to be pretty much irrelevant.

The cartoon like graphics are purpose built and suit that purpose well. The characters appear much as you have seen them before from other games or comics, but if you have not seen them before they are probably well enough conceived for the viewer to guess their names from a list of those available. The voice acting and incidental sounds are not very realistic, but given the characters and the nature of the action perhaps realistic is an inappropriate term to use and the cover all 'well suited' may be better.

Although the game does not take itself too seriously it is certainly seriously good fun.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-01-15

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

6.5

Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii brings back that old school vibe to the Donkey Kong universe. After Donkey Kong for the Nintendo 64 was released gamers were a bit skeptical as to whether or not there would be another Donkey Kong game as which was as much fun as the original versions on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Donkey Kong Country Returns gets back to the game's roots and takes gamers to side-scrolling adventures again. This game was developed by Retro Studios and was the first game in the franchise that was not developed by Rare.

The basic story of Donkey Kong Country Returns is the fight against a group of evil creatures known as Tikis, which belong to the Tiki Tak, Tribe who arrive on Donkey Kong Island, hypnotize all the animals, and take all the bananas. This is extremely annoying to Donkey Kong and so he and Diddy Kong join together and set out to stop the Tiki Tak Tribe.

Gamers can play by themselves or with a friend as Donkey and Diddy Kong. The two can use teamwork to get through levels and reach areas that they normally could not on their own.

Take note that Donkey Kong Country Returns takes advantage of the Wii motion mechanics and adds elements of movement into the game. Although the movement is subtle, it is present and is fun. You have to move the controller in order to pound the floor at times in order to get through some portions of a level, it is a feature that is quite unique to Donkey Kong Country Returns and can be very effective.

The graphics are not the best you will ever see but the game has a lot more to offer than the graphics alone. All old school gamers will appreciate playing this game as it helps bring back old memories through the level design and music. Levels such as the mine with the karts and many other levels definitely give that feeling of nostalgia.

Donkey Kong Country Returns received a lot of positive reviews from gaming critics. It received the Editor's Choice Award from IGN and it was consistently rated at 8.5 and above from a lot of reputable gaming organizations. Anyone who loves side-scrolling games with the added element of mystery here and there will enjoy Donkey Kong Country Returns especially when played as a twosome.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-01-15

pamh

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

6.5

Sometimes when a video game makes the transition from one type of entertainment to a home console the results are outstanding, but Toy Story Mania for the Nintendo Wii just does not deliver on the experience made popular by the theme park attraction. Basically, one to four players compete in various shooting gallery type events, and the highest score wins.

The shooting gallery mechanic is something that is often explored by games for the Wii, and this one incorporates Buzz, Woody, and the rest of the Toy Story gang by using ring toss, eggs, and even the old suction cup gun to dial into the kid factor in all of us. However, if you have been to Disney World in Orlando and ridden the Toy Story ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios, you will be a touch disappointed with the results of this game.

While the graphics are great and the sound effects are interesting, the jerky motion of the Wii controller makes it difficult to find a knack for hitting your target. Largely, a game of tossing rings is difficult anyway, but the game seems to lack the polish of a finely tuned first person perspective. Of course, mastering a game is not a prerequisite for finding it playable, the thing is there is just not too much here for long-term enjoyment. Sure it's fun for a little bit, but every title has a shelf life. Unfortunately, after a few rounds between the family and friends, the action gets old quickly.

Toy Story Mania for the Nintendo Wii makes good on its claim to deliver a shooting gallery experience. Still, this title has a certain amount of appeal for players just looking to enjoy the famous characters and throw a few eggs at some targets. However, anyone not in that particular target market will find little more under the surface of this particular game because it is exactly what it promises to be.

Toy Story Mania also comes with some three-dimensional effects that do not necessarily translate well from the Wii console. The Wii has never been noted for having performance enabled hardware, and while the manufacturers should be given some credit for trying something new, it just does not work that well with or without those paper glasses.

The multiplayer modes add a bit of excitement and competition, but everyone tends to be jockeying for the same position in co-op mode, which makes playing the game feel a bit crowded. The friendly competition again gets old replay after replay as well, which does not help the title out enough to justify a purchase.

In the end, Toy Story Mania makes good as a shooting gallery game played once a month, but anyone thinking they will relive the family vacation through the Wii is mistaken. The game tries, but ultimately the Wii just does not have the horsepower to deliver a top notch performance for what producers were aiming for. Unfortunately, this is one toy that will find itself on the shelf more often than in the console.


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