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Is the horizon of the endless sea on sunset evenings a sight that inspires a deep desire to see what's beyond it? Do the quiet spaces in a forest where the leaves form dappled shadows intrigue you? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to live on a volcanic isle with a dragon as your roommate?
If these questions resonate with you, The Wind Waker HD, Nintendo's Gamecube classic reborn in high definition resolution, is a game you should consider.
What awaits is a sprawling adventure in a whimsical, dangerous cartoon world amidst colorful windswept ocean breezes and the mysterious depths of unexplored islands. When young Link's sister Aryll is kidnapped by a giant bird, he sets in with a talking boat called The King of Red Lions to find her. He is embroiled in a conflict far bigger than the player imagines when his fate crosses that of a band of sea-faring pirates.
Link will make friends with leaves that play fiddles, fire cannons at monstrous sea creatures, climb a tower of light and encounter an island wrapped in a powerful gale. He can also choose to chase pigs, feed map-writing fish, confront a roving band of bratty bullies, take selfies and hunt for buried sea treasure. The adventure is diverse and vacillates between humor and pathos like a well-kept metronome.
This installment does not follow the classic Zelda formula of journeying around 10 dungeons on a sprawling land, like Ocarina of Time. The sea is mammoth, but no island is larger than a typical Zelda dungeon. Oddly, the amount of those traditional experiences is low. Instead, it subverts the franchise's expectations with bosses without dungeons and areas to explore that do not conform to the long-running franchise's expectations. The closer you are to a dreamer and an explorer at heart, the higher the chance you will be enchanted into its world.
For those who have played The Wind Waker before, the question remains: is the Wii U version worth it? Visually, any rough edges have been smoothed out, the images are bursting with renewed clarity and vibrancy in widescreen, and the journey is brighter for it. Some prefer the original look. It's like choosing between two wonderful landscapes in an art gallery -- make a choice by experiencing it beyond screenshots or movies.
Due to common and long-standing complaints, Nintendo has tweaked various elements like sailing, using the grappling hook, a certain hunting quest and the Nintendo gallery. Elsewhere, little additions like Miiverse messages that wash up in bottles upon the shore add to the dreamy escapism. A Hero mode is significantly more demanding.
Unfortunately, Nintendo says the missing dungeons were later used in Twilight Princess, but surely they could have designed entirely new ones. They've done it before with Link's Awakening, so that sounds a lot like an excuse. Even 10 years later, Wind Waker has areas that still feel unfinished.
Still, an unfinished masterpiece is still a masterpiece. Wind Waker HD awakens the dreamer.
Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing is a game that was released for the Wii in 2010. The game is similar in fashion to the more popular Mario Kart Wii. In Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing, players are allowed to choose from popular Sega characters including Sonic, Chu Chu Rocket, Ryo Hazuki from the Shenmue series, Alex Kidd, Amigo from the Samba de Amigo series, Jet Set Radio's Beat character, AiAi the monkey from Super Monkey Ball, Dr. Eggman, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Shadow the Hedgehog and many others.
Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing has many features and modes that are available in either single player or multiplayer. While similar in design to Mario Kart, Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing is able to present a totally unique gameplay experience featuring the most famous Sega characters. The vehicles in the game vary and are dependent on who the player is choosing. Although players will also come across hidden vehicles at times from completing events or other challenges.
The controls for driving the vehicles are user friendly allowing the person to race through the levels without losing control over their kart or other race vehicle. There are many items in the game race courses that the player may collect and use. These items may be used by the racer to stun or throw other opponents off course similar in fashion to Mario Kart. Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing places items such as boxing gloves or rockets to be launched at an opponent. Other items might include Sonic's Sneakers which enable the racer a temporary boost on the course.
Like any racing game, playing Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing in multiplayer mode is where the most excitement is to be had. There are many game modes that the players can choose from to race or battle it out in different types of arenas. When playing multiplayer, the screen is split so that each player may see their on screen actions clearly. The Battle Mode is on the more popular multiplayer modes and lets players battle it out by using the items on the race course.
When the player is driving, they'll not only be able to perform basic driving techniques but they can perform power slides which will give them a boost of power around a corner. Power slides can be useful when the racer is trying to get past another racer on the course or whipping around a tight corner. When on the course, the racer can look for hidden shortcut tracks that will put them ahead and save time off their finishing track time.
While items on the race course offer a racer an edge on their opponent, each character also has their own unique special move they can perform. An example is Sonic has the option of charging up and boosting through the course whereas the other characters have their own unique moves relative to their character theme. The graphics, texture details, vehicle animations and level-specific tracks all tie into making this game a Sega racing game that is a fun game to play whenever.
Just Dance is a franchise that insists players do not take themselves seriously. Anytime that a video game demands that its player be uncomfortable you are either going to have a great time, or just a revealing one. Fortunately, Just Dance 2014 offers a fun and contagious experience that can become the life of the party.
While Just Dance 2014 is not the most accomplished dancing game on the market, that would be Dance Central, it is probably one of the best party games out there. The game offers 47 great tracks, many of them current pop hits, including some classics from ABBA, Bob Marley and even Daft Punk. These tracks, instead of the generic ones that the initial Just Dance games came preloaded with, can get any people into the dancing mood.
The heart of the game comes when people are dancing, of course, and it has never been easier. Rather than relying on motion capture Just Dance 2014 works off of a mirror like system. Players line up in front of a system and stand across from a real dance, motion capped and recorded previously, and try to mimic their moves. The routines are easy, fun, and even a bit creative. Being a party game expect have the most fun while dancing with other people. Certain songs lend themselves to multiple person routines and the choreographing can get hectic and hilarious. There are many different versions of the songs available, offering alternate choreographed routines, but they are hidden behind an unlocking mechanism. The more you dance the more you will unlock and the more fun you will end up having.
Other modes make a return: players can go online and participate on the World Dancefloor or go into the Just Sweat mode. The World Dancefloor is a mode that is shared with everyone else in the world and dancers can join in with anybody that they see there. It's a good way to change up the pace.
If there are any major flaws with the Just Dance 2014 release it would have to be in the strictness of the scoring. The game rewards enthusiasm and energy over technique and it's hard to really correlate the two to become better at the game. Though, if you are playing Just Dance to try and get high scores then you are probably at the wrong kind of party.
Just Dance 2014 offers what everybody wants out of a party game. It is harmless, loud, energetic, fun, and lacking the pressure that is associated with going out to clubs. Busting the game out will do for dance parties what Rock Band did for musician parties. People will be lining up to try out the new ridiculous routines and the choreographed moves are a great way to open up and get comfortable with your friends. At the end of the day Just Dance 2014 is a complete package in what all it offers: fun.
I'll make it simple: if you are a Just Dance fanatic, this game won't explode in your face. Unfortunately, that's about the nicest thing I can say about Just Dance Kids 2014.
If you want a Just Dance experience that subtracts the potential evils of pop music so you can be absolutely sure it won't turn your kids into mini Miley Cyruses, then get Just Dance Disney Party. It is on the Wii, which means you can play it on your Wii U. You need Wii remotes and a sensor bar to play anyway.
If you want a new Just Dance game, get Just Dance 4. It has more features, far better design, more songs and includes a lot of songs kids would actually want to dance to.
Just Dance may be a successful rhythm game series where players follow onscreen avatars by moving their Wii remotes in time to the popular tunes of the day, but behind this humble premise lies respect for the player. If you're the type of person who really enjoys dancing alone or with your friends in front of your TV to pop music, it is true that Ubisoft do put a lot of effort into trying to please you.
However, this is only applicable to games like Just Dance 4. That game has shadowy, colorful avatars who allow players to project their personalities into the game. It has dance choreography that may prompt an embarrassed smile when you realize what you have to do to win, but ultimately are really well thought-out, and designed to hit a sweet spot between step complexity and fun. It has a broad selection of tunes that will appeal to a wide variety of pop music fans.
Just Dance Kids 2014 on the other hand contains unconvincing smiley digitized tweens who were probably focus-tested to produce the hippest attitudes you can get for a way cool gnarly game like this. Cowabunga dude, kids are radical, am I right? I feel sorry for the children who appear in this failure of a game, who were probably lured into Ubisoft's van by the promise of candy.
Compare the One Direction choreography in this game to Just Dance 4; it's like night and day. Kids are not morons. They can handle regular Just Dance move routines, not these totally simple and boring moves that nobody outside your 100-year-old grandpa would have a problem replicating.
Kids do not usually wake up and say, "I want to dance to Pat Benetar's 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' today. Oh no, Mary Had a Little Lamb, I've been itching to dance to that! Oh wait, no, I love Kenny Loggins, let's do that one!" Kids want to dance to Justin Bieber, or songs like "Call Me Maybe" or "Umbrella," which are in Just Dance 4, a game that does not get a sixth of its songs by plopping in entries from other titles.
Don't be mean to your kids, get them what they really want.
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.
'Driveclub' on the PlayStation 4 is a 2014 racing video game developed by Evolution Studios and published by Sony Computer Entertainment.
As of the writing of this review, 'Driveclub' is half a game. It's most likely not worth your money. However, if you're reading this significantly after the period of its release, it's likely now a full game and probably worth your money. How does that work out?
'Driveclub', as I write this is experiencing severe issues that remove almost all online features for a great majority of players. They range from errors not letting players access the features at all to an inability to handle online traffic, so that one has to spam the desired online option over and over until they finally get through. Some features, like an intriguing idea that allows you to do spontaneous mini-challenges based on other player's feats during a race to earn experience, just don't work in the game's present state. Some players have reported less severe problems, but there is such an outcry about server and online issues that the head of the studios Sony owns had to offer a public apology.
If you're looking for a racing game that you can play with friends online, or even experience the varied interaction of online strangers to enhance it, right now this game is not it; it may well be in the future, however. Its developer Evolution Studios claims they are working around the clock to fix the issues. 'Driveclub' was originally supposed to launch alongside a free version for Sony's PlayStation Plus membership. Since you need that to play most online games on the platform anyway, if you're looking for an online community in 'Driveclub', then it would be wise to wait until that delayed free version of the game finally makes it out. Then you can try it out for yourself and test whether the online options work. Additionally, like Sony's Gran Turismo series, the game's developer, Evolution Studios have published a timeline of additional features they are going to add to the game, such as weather like rain and snow, or photo and replay modes (much of this is likely to be free). Considering you will have a much better game as a result if you do wait and will be likely to be able to try it for free, there's really not much incentive to buy the game now.
However, once the game does work, it comes with a wholehearted recommendation. 'Driveclub' is a successful fusion between sim racers, with their precise, demanding control, and arcade racers with their breathtaking sense of speed and simple challenges. If you yearn for the days of "Blue Skies" racers like Sega Rally, Ridge Racer and Daytona USA, but would like a lot more tracks and cars, then 'Driveclub' is right up your alley. Yes, it does demand somewhat more realistic handling than those other games, but you won't be bogged down with lots of car modding and customization. What customization is there is limited to cosmetics or options like automatic/manual transmission.
The tracks are meticulously designed, and the sense of thrill while barreling through their breathtaking vistas is so acute that the invitation for just one more go is always a tempting one. There are about 30 completely original tracks, more if you count variations and reversals. 'Driveclub' rewards you with experience for expert driving like drafting behind other cars, and it dings you for those "oops" moments like bumping into other cars. Leveling up with this experience gives you juicier paint options, more cars and things of that like. Thus, there's no need to grind to become good at the game, but you are constantly rewarded for skill and have an impetus to get better. Car handling has that great feel of power and speed that communicates the unbridled freedom to wreak around the world in your exotic muscle car of choice.
'Driveclub' on the PlayStation 4 is not an especially expansive game. Right now, many people can't actually join or create the six-person Driveclubs, and race smoothly with their members. The twelve person multi-player racers are a mess as well, and so are challenges you can be sent or send to other players. Nevertheless, it is an impeccably designed racer that has the drive, but not the club, to be appropriately called 'Driveclub'.
The Lego video games have been a hit since the original Lego Star Wars hit the consoles years ago. With that knowledge in hand, Lego Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars for the Nintendo Wii console is a nice glimpse at the evolution of the franchise. This title allows players to jump in as Lego versions of their favorite modern characters from the animated series, which means Captain Rex, Ahsoka, and many more are ready to gear up and start finding those precious studs and bricks.
Game play on Lego Star Wars 3 is pretty much as any veteran of the Lego titles on the Wii would expect because the Nunchuk and controller go hand in hand for direction, attacking, jumping, force abilities, and everything else. This game, like just about all of the Lego titles for all of the consoles, allows two players to take to the screen to work in a co-op mode in either story or free play.
In story mode, players get to experience several different views of some of their favorite Clone Wars episodes by playing through the level as different characters. However, many characters have different abilities: Jedi can use the force, Sith can use a different version of the force, short characters can fit in air ducts, and droids can talk to other droids. Since not all the characters are available at the beginning of the game, that level can be replayed in free play once all the characters, or at least the needed characters, have been unlocked.
Why replay the level? Lego Star Wars 3 The Clone Wars works like a progressive game, which means various hidden mini-kits and other tasks are hidden inside each level and many require a specific character ability to uncover. Of course, characters can only be unlocked by collecting studs by playing the game and locating the character in the map mode. Since the map is made up of exploring a Jedi Cruiser or, as players will soon discover, sneaking around General Grievous Malevolence, finding a certain character and having enough money to buy him or her can present quite a challenge.
Part of the fun of this game is figuring out what tasks have to be completed to move the level forward. There a few challenging situations that really drive players to solve the puzzles presented on the screen, and some can be pretty difficult. Of course, once players figure out what they need to do the game moves pretty quickly. Still, between free play, story mode, finding bricks and mini-kits, and unlocking a serious amount of characters, this game will keep players busy long after buying it.
Even if you are not one for completing a game to the very end, there is plenty in this Wii game to keep you coming back for more. Plus, if you have a family members or friend who also likes the Star Wars television show, this game can make for some long enjoyable nights.
Ever wanted to make and rule your own world? Freakyforms Deluxe 3DS lets players do just that. Create a world, fill it with plants and vegetation, and then create a whole bunch of creatures to inhabit that world. The control is all in the players hands (or controller)to create as they see fit. Let your imagination run wild with this wild ride of a game.
The players are allotted a number of options as they create their creatures. Among the choices are a wide variety of colors, textures, and even voices. Create away with a touchscreen application that lets you be the decision maker for a brand new world of fun. The player will possess the ultimate say in height, weight, and even body parts for their creations. When the character is how the player desires it to be, they can then choose a heart for the character and make it come alive right before their eyes.
When the character is ready to go, it will be immersed in a virtual world that is also entirely controlled by the player. If the player is not satisfied with how the scenery looks for their character they can pause play and change it. Once everything is set, the character will interact with other game characters. This will entail the character going on mini journeys to perform specific tasks. As the tasks are completed, the character will win new characters, new accessories, and new scenery for the game.
A unique aspect to Freakyforms Deluxe is that there is a role playing game built right in to it. Here the player and their freaky form will be sent into a dungeon. It is in the dungeon that the character will be asked to engage in fights, and quests in order to proceed farther along in the game. The key to the whole creation aspect is to make a character that can survive the dungeon mode of the game.
QR codes are also an aspect of the game. With these codes one can interact with their friends and play together. It is awesome the way many can develop some of the weirdest characters. In this mode of game play the player can also develop their own unique set of rules for the interactive between self and their friends. This makes the world truly their own to manipulate and use as they see fit.
'Infamous Second Son' on the PlayStation 4 is an open world, action-adventure video game published by Sony Computer Entertainment and developed by Sucker Punch.
As one of the biggest PlayStation 4 exclusives for the past few years, many people have been looking forward to the release of 'Infamous Second Son' as the true launch of the PS4, much like the release of Titanfall marked a second launch for the Xbox One. Thankfully, Infamous lives up to most of the expectations for it masterfully, marking the beginning of what will hopefully be a fantastic run of games for PS4 owners.
Story wise, 'Infamous Second Son' takes place a number of years after Cole's use of the Ray Field Inhibitor at the end of Infamous 2. Not all the Conduits were killed after the event, and you play as Delsin, who has very recently had his Conduit gene activated. As you play through the game, you unlock the ability to manipulate more elements such as smoke and neon (that's right, neon) along with new abilities.
For people who have played an Infamous game before, this path will seem rather well-trodden, and to be sure, 'Infamous Second Son' uses a lot of the tropes that the previous Infamous games have made well-established. Not only did the progression make it in, but so did the binary morality choices between pure angelic good and pure satanic evil.
Indeed, these polarizing morality choices also continue to make absolutely no difference to the story as a whole, making you feel like you are simply making the choices towards whatever cool ability that you want next and what alignment that it goes along with. An interesting change in Second Son is a minute-to-minute morality system. As you kill or disable more and more enemies and bystanders, you build a combo based on one of the moralities, allowing you to use a special ability. This makes the combat feel more like a morality issue, and far more important than any story choice.
When it comes to the graphics, Infamous Second Son is one of the best looking games on the PS4. The game's version of Seattle, while not exactly accurate to the real life city, is absolutely beautiful, and character models along with their facial animations are by far the most detailed I have ever seen. This game shows what a game from this generation of consoles should look like, not only does it look great, but it makes use of a wide array of colors in a way very similar to the beautiful world of Killzone Shadow Fall. Unlike Shadow Fall, Second Son also has fantastic gameplay, though it is very similar to past games. Your initial powers may not seem all that similar to those that Cole had, but play long enough and the experience begins to feel very similar.
Sadly, Second Son falls into the exact same trap that Infamous 2 did when it comes to its combat encounters. As you progress in the game and become more powerful, the existing enemies simply don't present a challenge any more, and instead of creating fun new environments and enemies, Sucker Punch has decided to simply throw more enemies into the fray. This lack of variety manages to make the rather exciting combat mechanics in Infamous begin to feel boring. Even as you get more and more powerful, the constant scaling of enemies means you feel no change.
All in all though, 'Infamous Second Son' is absolutely the game that PlayStation 4 owners have been waiting for. If you own a PlayStation 4, dust it off and grab a copy of this game. It may have flaws, but at its core it is still the best game available on the system.
In the second installment of the Mass Effect series for the PC, players were shocked early in story when Commander Shepard was killed. Granted, Shepard was immediately resurrected and the mission to find and destroy the Collectors continued unobstructed, but in that single moment of death, players learned that the Mass Effect series was playing for keeps and that any character even the protagonist was in danger of not seeing the complete story play out. In Mass Effect 3 for the PC, a masterpiece of gaming, players once again assume the role of Commander Shepard and once again, there is no guarantee that he (or she) or any of the series' character will survive until the end.
With Commander Shepard successfully thwarting the Collectors and enduring his uneasy alliance with Cerebus in Mass Effect 2, in Mass Effect 3 for the PC his attention now turns to the world-devouring Reapers, gargantuan technological insects bent on the destruction of the majority of the universe. No longer is Commander Shepard stitching together an elite assault team as he did in previous installments of the game; in Mass Effect 3 for the PC, Shepard's task is to convince a variety of civilizations at war with one another to set aside their millennia-old grudges to form an alliance. It is through an almost endless series of incomparable set pieces, wonderfully written dialogue, and perfectly-executed action sequences that Commander Shepard accomplishes this or not, depending on the choices of players and determines the fate of the universe.
While the fate of the universe is occasionally determined within the action portion of Mass Effect 3 for the PC, it is through the series' standard dialogue wheel that most choices take place. These choices are endless. The lives of main characters, the continued existence of planets, and the destiny of life across the universe are impacted by the choices made by Commander Shepard. Never have the choices in the series been so morally ambiguous and unlike the first two parts of the series, the choices made in Mass Effect 3 for the PC are final.
Even when these choices are final and the last credits for Commander Shepard's adventure roll, players still will have countless hours of fun on Mass Effect 3 for the PC. The addition of a multiplayer mode to Mass Effect 3 for the PC is excellent. Similar to other multiplayer shooter games, players are given a variety of objectives, ranging from capture-the-flag to outlasting the enemy. Notable, however, in Mass Effect for the PC is that players are given the opportunity to play as any race or class within the Mass Effect universe. Additionally, the multiplayer component of Mass Effect 3 for the PC enables players to level up their characters and classes, which gives them access to improved armor, weapons, and skills. An added bonus to multiplayer is its impact on the single player campaign. By successfully competing in multiplayer for Mass Effect 3 for the PC, players earn additional allies for the final confrontation with the Reapers.
Mass Effect 3 for the PC is an excellent game. It successfully wraps up Commander Shepard's epic journey while solidifying the Mass Effect series for the PC as one of the great adventures of modern gaming.
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