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Okami was originally released for the Playstation 2 in 2006. Normally a re release of a game on another system is nothing to write home about. That is not the case here. This enhanced port of the Playstation 2 game blows away its predecessor in every possible way. The highlight of the game even on the Playstation 2 was the Celestial Brush. You would use this brush to paint the game world to open up new paths and solve riddles and progress through the adventure. It was fun even on the PS2's analog controller. But add the Wii's nunchuk and remote and it really feels like you are painting right on your television screen. Not all of the controls transition perfectly to the Wii, the dodge function is a bit clumsy but we can forgive this simply because using the Wii's Remote to paint with the Celestial Brush is such a joy.
Initially, the game's puzzles are a little on the easy side. Your character needs to add light to one of the game's environment's and so you draw a sun in the sky, which solves the puzzle. These puzzles will get progressively more difficult as the game moves on and feel incredibly satisfying when you figure them out.
Another reason Okami was a hit on the PS2 is the deep storyline. PS2 fans said it felt like a Legend of Zelda style adventure. Perhaps that's why Nintendo fans were begging for a re release on the Wii even back then. We won't spoil it for you, but the game's world is truly epic in scope and feel and the character development throughout the title does remind you of a more traditional Nintendo franchise.
The game's overworld is not as streamlined as say, Nintendo's Zelda titles and you have the ability to go back and forth and just explore this amazing world. The game was beautiful on the Playstation 2 and Nintendo has taken advantage of the Wii's more advanced hardware to offer an even better look to the game. Okami now supports 480p progressive scan and a 16:9 widescreen mode that will look amazing on your big screen television. The game still does suffer at times from some slowdown and it is a bit disappointing that developer Ready At Dawn made no attempt to clean this up during the port process.
The game's soundtrack is easily one of my favorite of all time. It fits the Okami's different environments perfectly and the score soars during the games occasional cinematic sequences. The sound runs in Dolby Pro Logic II on the Nintendo Wii, another upgrade over the PS2 version. The game itself is a little on the easy side, although the difficulty will ramp up as Okami progresses. Perhaps the highlight of the combat is the game's amazing boss battles. You'll fight creatures that take up the whole screen.
Okami isn't a perfect port but it is a must play title for any Nintendo Wii owner, especially Zelda fans.
Ever since hitting the main stream fitness circuit in the mid 1990s, it is hard pressed to find a gym that does not offer Zumba classes on a regular basis. Zumba gained popularity by its ability to make working out more fun for those who naturally detest traditional cardio and weight training. Though Zumba work out DVDs have been available for years, Nintendo Wii attempts to cash in on the Zumba dance craze with a series of games that promises to get the player moving and grooving, all while working out major muscle groups and toning the core.
The latest Zumba game offered by Nintendo is Zumba Core. Released in October, 2012, Zumba Core offers new choreography that has specifically been designed to target the notoriously difficult core area, all while maximizing the cardio and toning benefits to the rest of the body. There are dozens of new songs as well as additional dance styles which enable the player to dance to disco, funk and celtic bluegrass music, if they feel so inclined.
Of course, there is the belt that comes with the game to hold the controller in, enabling the Wii to detect the accuracy of players' dance moves. While the belt serves it's purpose, it is a function that any old belt can also do. No need to buy multiple belts for multiple players, simply grab a few regular belts and make sure that the Wii remote is firmly in place.
While Zumba is a fun workout to do by one's self, it is even more entertaining when there are multiple players. Though it seems cheesy, when there's three or four players, a Zumba workout can quickly feel like a dance party. Working out to Zumba Core with friends can quickly bring out one's competitive side as well, since players are rated at the end of each dance.
The calorie and progress tracker is a great feature, as it can be helpful to visualize calories burned during play. Overall, Zumba Core is a great game, that can really help motivate people to work out, especially people who don't particularly like a traditional style of working out. It can be a wonderful way to spend time with friends and can be a great way to squeeze exercise into a busy day. Though Zumba Core promises to deliver moves which target the core area, it was difficult to differentiate the moves presented in this game with any of the previous Zumba Wii games. There was no real dramatic difference in abdominal muscles, even after several weeks of regular game play.
Unless someone is seriously committed to a lifestyle change, including incorporating a healthy diet and exercise routine into one's life, she should not expect occasional game play of Zumba Core to dramatically change a soft belly into a hardened six pack. However, Zumba Core can be a great way to ease into a healthy fitness routine and have fun with friends.
When the current generation of video game consoles first began we were quickly welcomed to it by The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion. Up until this point, the elder scrolls series had been popular on PC and, even though a version of the third game was released on the original Xbox, the series had never taken off on consoles before. But then of course, came Oblivion, which sold millions of copies on both he PS3 and the Xbox 360, shattering expectations.
There was, of course, a single black spot. The PS3 release of the game was incredibly buggy, laggy, and to a large extent broken. Bethesda never truly completely fixed the game, leaving it broken to this day. Does Skyrim on the PS3 share these issues as well? If it does, can the game's quality otherwise make up for it?
Certainly, Skyrim shares a lot of things with its predecessor. The game takes place in Cyrodil's northern neighbor of Skyrim, making snow and Nordic lore plentiful. The core game play remains very similar to that of Oblivion, creating a open fantasy world for players to explore. While exploring the world, you will stumble upon a seemingly endless number of quests to do, and your map will rapidly fill with places to explore.
The game's combat remains mostly unchanged from Oblivion. While it has been somewhat improved as far as feel is concerned, the first-person based combat still seems a bit clunky, though less so than it did in Oblivion. Of course, Elder Scrolls games have never really been about the combat, they've been about the stories.
Those stories, thankfully, are better than ever. The use of the Nordic aesthetic allows the writers of Oblivion to go in some really interesting directions with both the main story and the side quests. The guilds common to all elder scrolls games, remain at their core unchanged, but they also gain a distinctive Nordic twist.
Of course, none of these amazing pieces of the games are worth anything if you cannot experience them properly, and the PS3 has some serious issues. Sadly, most of the issues that existed with the Oblivion release on PS3 carry through to Skyrim. While not completely broken like Oblivion was, Skyrim has serious problems that include, but are not limited to freezes, textures not loading, and major frame rate problems. In addition, these problems are made even worse the more time that you spend playing the game.
In addition to the problems with the core game that are slowly being fixed, there are other issues with the PS3 release. As Bethesda continues to release DLC for the game, it is coming to the PS3 extremely late, if at all. A worried Sony has begun to help Bethesda with its PS3 issues, and things are improving, albeit very slowly.
At the end of the day, it is hard to recommend the PS3 version of Skyrim until its major issues are fixed, and it could be a long time until it happens.
Fable III is your average game, with enough thrills and spins to keep you going and also has its fair share of blunders. Fable III sets its story a few decades after the Fable II, with Fable IIs hero becoming King and having two children, the elder child (your brother) takes his place at the thrown. He then proves to be a little bit evil by oppressing the people under his new rule. You then play as his brother or sister as you may choose. To rid of his bad doings and save the kingdom from your brother's evil rule, this might seem a little cliched. However, the game does have enough in its story, quests, missions and gameplay to keep you interested throughout the whole game.
When it comes to sheer fun, Fable III will not disappoint. The game integrates a sense of humor in every corner of the quest with funny punch lines and cut scenes that will surely keep gamers happy throughout the game. Fable III also poses great improvements in gameplay such as challenging battles and sword fights while also improving in overall design. Gamers can enjoy great graphics and scenery around the very well crafted map of old medieval times. Every town, every place you travel into has its certain feel and no two places look the same as the others. However, blunders also pile up for the game even with bug fixes and advancements being made at the PC version from the consoles. Fable III remains the simple and shallow game that it is on the consoles.
The lack of choice also seems to be a bore-handler for the game, with almost no other moral choice to go about your quest and very few side quests actually almost none. The game feels more like a story that you have to play through without having your choices get considered to the outcome of the game. This represents a lack of effort in the developers side in an era where action-role playing games often have good choices and other possible outcomes at the end of the game. Having none would prove to be a blunt idea that makes for a shallow and boring game.
Glitches in the game are still evident even with most of the common bugs in the console version fixed. Overall, Fable III is still a gorgeous game, if you are able to take in the lack of choice and emotional interaction with the characters and have fun with fight scenes, questing and scenery then it is a worthwhile game to play.
While Train Simulator 2013 on the PC can never generate the unique atmosphere experienced by enthusiasts on their railway journeys it can fill gaps in the enthusiasts time table when other things, such as rising train fares and home and family commitments conspire to keep them away from the real thing. Of course where the game scores highly is with the number of routes available for journeys, but unfortunately these are extras and come at a price, although with the ever rising costs of train fares, buying these extras is probably less than the fare for the equivalent journey, and this is especially true for the routes in countries other than your own.
There are five routes included in the basic package and these are London to Brighton and Isle of Wight in Britain, the North East Corridor and the Sherman Hill North America, and the Munich to Augsburg line in Germany. An extensive choice of other lines in Britain, America and Germany are also available for download.
There is also a wide range of locomotive engines and rolling stock on offer both diesel and steam, and again the basic package comes with a choice of around thirteen trains going back as far as the early sixties with representatives from the same three countries, and once again more are there for downloading. There are also some added scenarios to download which are needed for certain engines and rolling stock. For instance the British GEML Class 90 add on locomotive requires the Great Western Main Line London Ipswich add on. These mix and match add ons can be a bit confusing but they are all listed in tables in Wikipedia. I believe that there are software resources
as extras that allow the user to create their own layouts and worlds but that is beyond my knowledge.
One of the greatest improvements with this game is that you can now save multiple games which was not allowed in earlier versions, which was a bit of a drawback as some routes take up some considerable time to run. The graphics may look good but as I have never undertaken any of the journeys for real I cannot vouch for the accuracy, but i would suspect its pretty close.
To get off to a quick start, and to get a look at the possibilities the game offers to a new player, you can choose the Quick Drive option. This option allows you to get up and running quickly. You choose your train, route, time of day, weather and season. Of course all these choices and more are available in the more complex modes.
There is also a Career-Mode which will score you on your timing, speed and the level of comfort your journey provides for your passengers. The passenger comfort is something not obviously considered in a train simulation which is usually assumed to be all about driving from A to B while looking at scenery. The driver needs to know what stations he is scheduled to stop at and the times of arrival and departure.
The game has undergone the year on year upgrades in terms of graphics and sound both of which are important for real train journeys. Of course the standard of graphics depends on the quality of your computer's graphics card, the sound less so.
The game in its basic form will be of interest to almost anyone who does not want to take it too seriously, it does give them a chance to do something which most will never do ie. drive a train. In its more detailed forms with additional lines and locomotives it will be of interest to railway enthusiasts and those who have tried the basic format and enjoyed it. I enjoyed it but would not wish to go further than the starter pack and so would not recommend it too highly. How a real railway enthusiast would rate the game needs to be seen.
Big Brain Academy is a game for people of all ages that is both entertaining and educational. There are puzzles, brain teasers and memory tests of all kinds. The game is broken up into two parts - solo and group - and sub-categories of these two parts.
The game opens with Professor Lobe introducing himself and telling you a few basic facts about the game. You must go to the office before playing, where you select your character and register for your student record book. You may pick one of the characters that they provide for you, or better yet, you can simply use your own Mii.
There are two solo activities and these are Practice and Test. They recommend taking the test first to gauge speed, accuracy and the size of your brain. They will tell you which categories you excel at, and which ones you need to work on. The practice exercises have four difficulty levels - easy, medium, hard and expert. The scores given for these are broken down into bronze, silver, gold and platinum awards.
There are five Practice and Test categories. They are Identify, Memory, Analysis, Compute and Visualize. There are three subcategories for each of the five main categories. They all test your visual reaction time and mental acuity. Some of them test your hand-eye coordination as well. One such exercise is Whack Match, a subcategory in Identify. You are presented with a picture and you must whack the matching character with a mallet when it pops out of a hole in the ground. Your mathematical skills will get a workout with Mallet Math, a sub-category of Compute. You will be given a number and you must figure out which blocks you need to leave on the screen which add up to that number. All the other blocks you whack away with a hammer.
There are three group activities. The first activity is Brain Quiz which consists of twelve categories. Each contestant picks which category they would like to play. The level of difficulty that will appear is completely random. This section of the game is popular because there are five puzzle types included here that don't show up anywhere else in the game.
The second activity is Mental Marathon. Here you may either play alone or as part of a team. You play one of the previously mentioned subcategories in a race to see how many correct answers you can achieve before the timer runs out. Each correct answer extends your time remaining, but a wrong answer will end the round immediately.
The third activity is Mind Sprint. You may play against another player, or against the records of an opponent stored in the game's memory. This is a split-screen game that is a race to see who will finish the tasks the quickest.
All in all, Big Brain Academy is a fun way to test and train your brain and keep your mind and memory sharp.
Sherlock Holmes is an icon, and perhaps one of the most famous private detectives in all of fiction. Holmes has spread out to practically every form of media, from the original fiction to film, radio, comic books and others. He's even appeared in video games before, though never quite like he has in The Testament of Sherlock Holmes.
In The Testament of Sherlock Holmes, something is going very wrong at Baker Street. Holmes has recently solved a case where he re-assembled the gems of a famous necklace and returned them to his client. However, the client accuses the necklace of being a pale imitation. This casts suspicion on Holmes, which is then made even worse when he goes to an appointment with the Archbishop of Knightsbridge, who is beaten, mutilated and set on fire. The circumstantial evidence doesn't look good for Sherlock, who has to follow leads and prove his innocence of the crimes he appears to be guilty of.
Players step into the shoes of the famous detective and have to use all of his methods to figure out who actually committed the heinous crimes Sherlock is accused of. This requires deciding which leads to follow and which to ignore, collecting facts and the use of the deduction mechanic which allows the player to see the crime re-enacted. There are even segments of the game where players take on the role of the faithful John Watson, who must examine his old friend's behavior to see whether or not it really is Sherlock who's responsible for the brtual and bestial crimes that have been committed. Of course, it's also entirely possible that there is a deeper, darker game being played and that Holmes and Watson are just two more pieces on the game board.
Though it's now available on the Xbox 360, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes wasn't actually released in America until the late Fall of 2012. The game was made part of the general hype of the E3 convention in the year 2011, and it features new graphics engines and gameplay mechanics that make an action/mystery game that much more feasible. Designed and released for consoles, The Testament of Sherlock Holmes takes simultaneously a more traditional as well as a more unique twist on a Holmes video game than has been done in recent memory.
As a character, Sherlock Holmes appeared in four full length novels and 56 short stories by the acclaimed author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes has become iconic through his renderings by various actors, and this particular interpretation of him remains true to both the cultural feeling of who and what Holmes is, along with all the source material that was created by Conan Doyle himself. The theme and atmosphere, combined with the intuitive gameplay and style of the engine, renders a dark, dreary London where crime lurks around every corner, and madness dwells just out of sight.
Families all over have enjoyed the Madagascar movies and now can also have the pleasure of interacting with the characters right on their Xbox 360. Madagascar 3 the Video Game was published by D3 Publisher and hit the nail right on the head with a cherry on top. This game is cooperative and is great for all ages. It is rated E for everyone, and is the perfect addition to a families game collection. Madagascar 3 is not violent like many games on the market today, which makes it perfect for learning and having a good time with young children.
In this game, the players are able to take only two animals out at a time and have them work together as a team. It makes the game fun when you can work together having fun rather than killing anything that crosses your path. One of the best things about Madagascar 3 is that each animal in the game has a special item that they collect. The game offers humor, challenge, and most of all a good time to anyone that gets the chance to play it. This game also offers multiplayer mini games that can be challenging and very competitive. People that have not seen the movie, but have played the game are now encouraged to purchase or rent the movie for their viewing pleasure.
The graphics in Madagascar 3 are also phenomenal. The real life sounds and effects make you be able to get into the game like you are actually the character yourself. A lot of families these days are worried about the violence and adult features that video games bring to their child's life, but with this game they welcome it with open arms. This game also gives exploration skills and keeps everyone entertained.
The 3D style of this game is what most people look for when they buy video games for their PS3 these days. For families that have seen the Madagascar movies, they will be able to search back through memories and get to experience the humor and excitement that the characters brought to their day. Being able to play as if you are the characters and face the challenges thrown at you can definitely make even an adult jump for joy. The game is a bit repetitive, but that is good for little ones that are still learning the basic concepts of video games and learning styles in general.
Madagascar 3 has definitely became a very popular option to play for many children and adults who own video game consoles. The Madagascar 3 PS3 game is available to be bought or rent for playing pleasure. Parents who want to surprise their children with a fun and thought provoking game should definitely give this one a shot. It is affordable and worth every penny. Madagascar 3 can bring parents and children closer together by learning and playing together. This game has made its way in to the video game collections of people all over the world.
This game would have been amazing, if not for bugs, and some downtime in connection. The story is well plotted and the scenes are well laid out. The almost real execution, the nice soundtrack which is not disturbing at all and the whole game is fun. Some of the cons of the game are that there is no text chat that could help you communicate with the other gamers; battles are short and at times not that challenging.
Splinter Cell: Conviction is a unique game wherein it has this mark and execute feature. This gameplay feature lets the player mark targets, objects, and enemies, and when they come out the door, that mark the player placed on those targets then fires. There is also this kind of visual shadow, or the last known position, that allows the player to flank his enemies without his actual position being known.
You would be able to see the difference, the development as compared with the early ones in the series. Sam could still do those bending and sneaking around but in this edition, Sam could use the bystanders and the civilians as covers, or those vehicles and some walls, and other vertical surfaces. The visual silhouette could help you cover your real spot by fooling the guards with the silhouette, and then you can zoom to where you want to get to next.
What makes the executions great is that there are many ways in approaching the different levels and planning attacks. You can be very flexible in this game, and you can use all your wide imagination. The game allows you to be creative and resourceful. You can throw such gadgets like remote cameras, you can have your guns silenced.
The Splinter Cell: Conviction looks really attractive though the colors make it look outdated. The texture may be grainy and there may be some rough edges. The soundtrack is also a little beyond just okay. It is not bothersome, but it makes the game spontaneous. Sounds happen to be where they are needed, improving those fight scenes and other effects. There are even certain alarms or warnings when a guard senses your presence and the movements of cameras, and the like.
The game is overall easy to get through, especially if you play the normal difficulty level. But with the hardest difficulty level, you can use your other gadgets and think of other ways because you will really be in need of them.
The PC version of the Splinter Cell: Conviction may not be the best version of the game, though. A great plot and a great way of telling the story may give it a plus, but it is not able to bring out the best of the game. Yes, you can play with other players but there is not a form of text chat communication between you making it not work out. But overall, the game is fun and entertaining, as long as you are not so keen about everything.
The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season will make for an amusing artifact for our ancestors when they pull it up from the rubble of the apocalypse. They'll probably find a working device to play it on too, since it's on every platform Telltale could reasonably port it to, with varying degrees of technical glitches and also varying success of patching these away. Hopefully, our ancestors find a working PC with it installed, as that has the best chance in its complete ability to fix the consistent graphical hiccups and annoying bugs of the series.
If they do get to play it, they'll probably scratch their heads at how humanity seemed obsessed with zombies in the early 21st century. Legions have written about how many of our movies, video games, TV shows and novels are taking an apocalyptic tone in response to world events and societal trends that they think have inspired them. That is what The Walking Dead is all about.
It is a prequel of sorts, but does include various nods to the TV show that fans might enjoy. While there is a deceptive variety of character situations, which change dramatically in the original episodically released parts collected here, Lee Everett, once a prisoner of the state and now free to be a prisoner of the state of emergency, and his charge, the little girl Clementine, are the focus of the story. That might raise a red flag. This is basically The Road, but not as good. That popular piece of zombie fiction is so because it centered upon a similar dynamic, but it was far more powerful in its elemental beauty.
Unlike The Road, the writers of The Walking Dead do not understand that to write is to mold truth like clay. Though the strongest focal point zones in on Everett and Clementine, it plays out exactly as you might predict, with the expected dramatic panache. Many of the surrounding characters, decently drawn to be reasonably distinctive, are really only there to satisfy some sort of imaginary quota Telltale feels they have to fill for zombie fiction stock characters. The game's plot is manipulative beyond reason. It places vulnerable characters in harsh situations not for a masterful exercise in apocalyptic thought, but to set your feelings on the Emotional Roller Coaster. Personally, it only made me scream -- in frustration.
So then why did it get so much praise? Well, it isn't badly written. Dialogue covers all the bases it should. It stands out in an environment where most zombie games focus on shooting action, even if it is as eye-rollingly obvious as a cancer drama between an estranged child and their parent. It sold itself as a narrative you can affect, and you can to a very small degree. A more charcoal-drawn style of graphics make homage to the comic. Voice acting is almost always extremely on point.
The biggest reason the game made waves is because it was like Oblivion or Final Fantasy VII, which were games that introduced to a mass market the delights of a niche. In this case, the niche are visual novels from Japan, which often let you choose text in mechanically the exact same manner Telltale uses. If you give up the idea that every game must have puzzles or action, then this is a compelling format for telling stories interactively. However, the Walking Dead does not mine the medium's sizable depths.
You're not going to play this game for the puzzles, of which the few exist are really there for pacing. You're not going to play it for the weird mini-game quick time events either. Enjoying The Walking Dead means throwing away the critic inside you, or being less exposed to this kind of thing. Our ancestors, having the benefit of hundreds of years of developed fiction will have no such luxury, and I can only think they'd measure it as only an interesting blip on the cultural map of the time. The Walking Dead is no landmark, but if you understand the narrative thrill a puppet show can have even though you can clearly see the strings, it's not a bad way to spend 10 to 15 hours.
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