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Posted:
2013-05-29

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

7.9

Taking a much loved literary series and movie franchise and turning it into a successful video game can be a tricky proposition, but Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 for the Nintendo Wii manages to accomplish the task with relative ease. The title is a one or two player co-op adventure that allows the players to explore the world of the famous boy wizard that was revealed through the first four books and movies.

Gameplay is centered on exploring the Hogwarts castle and grounds because that area serves as the launching point for each level of the game. The castle and grounds are huge, but the game takes full advantage of whatever horsepower the Wii can conjure up because the graphics and sound are top notch and could have come right out of the films themselves.

The control scheme is pretty simple, at first because of the usual combination of Wii remote controller and Nunchuk dictate movement, jumping, spell casting, and all other player moves. The game uses a submenu, easily controlled by the Nunchuk, to select individual spells collected through playing. The spell casting menu is a bit difficult to control at first, but fortunately becomes second nature after spending some time on the game.

The biggest asset of Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 is the familiar and famous characters that players get to control. Exploring the world of Harry Potter as Harry or Ron is one thing, but walking around as Dumbledore or an evil wizard is something altogether different. In typical Lego game fashion, players start out with limited character options but can unlock other characters by redeeming studs and discovering new faces around the Hogwarts grounds.

Those unlockable features are what makes the addictive gameplay of the game. Players need to find owl posts and collect as many studs as possible to get bonus abilities, like invulnerability, that make the game easier and a bit more fun to play. The co-op nature of the game requires players to work together to solve certain puzzles, which only enhances the need for certain special abilities or characters to be unlocked and playable. Luckily, this only adds to the fun of the game.

One issue in particular that changes things up for players is the split screen that occurs when players are far apart. At first the split screen can be a bit frustrating because the play area gets shrunk by nearly half for both players; however, after a few sessions, this issue becomes invaluable because both players can explore areas of the level or the castle without having to be in close proximity to each other.

All things considered, Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 is a fun game that doubles as a platformer and a puzzle game. This combination has served several Lego titles well, and it does complete justice to this particular game. Players will spend hours combing through the world of Harry Potter and facing down the challenges the famous character encountered, which makes for some familiar and entertaining days and nights.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

The fact that the developers at Traveller's Tales have waited so long to transform the Lord of the Rings trilogy into a LEGO game is at first surprising. But since 2005 and the release of LEGO Star Wars, Traveller's Tales has tweaked and expanded their simple formula of taking well loved movie franchises and reinterpreting them into simple LEGO puzzle/action games into an epic art. Seven years ago The Lord of the Rings franchise would have been reduced to ten playable levels per movie. The best part though of LEGO Lord of the Rings is the gorgeous and faithful open world. Traveller's Tale's base formula would have grown tiresome fast if they had simply leaned on the Lord of the Rings films' appeal to sell games, but their devotion to the source material, and utilization of simple yet effective gameplay mechanics, makes LEGO: Lord of the Rings a solid entry for LEGO and Lord of the Rings devotees alike.

The look of this game is as inventive and amusing as any other LEGO reimagining, continuing the tradition from LEGO STar Wars III, The Clone Wars, however, Traveller's Tale include vistas and elements which appear closer to diaramas than LEGO sets. The variety is good and allows the visuals to really capture from the movies what LEGO blocks cannot.

Gameplay in the LEGO games has always broken down to simple puzzles and light boss battles, mixed together in a very straightforward way. Where previous LEGO games have differed though, is that instead of offering a level by level recreation of the feature films, the world of the films is recreated for the player to explore. This is an invitation to nostalgia. Many players will find more pleasure in exploring the detailed world of Middle Earth for every last collectible than playing the game's vanilla story missions. Not that there is anything wrong with the story missions specifically. They are well worth playing in order to enjoy the always amusing cutscenes. The developers have always had a loving sense of humor toward these beloved characters and franchises. The humor in this game is no different. The majority of the enjoyment in the story missions also comes from replay. LEGO games might be the most jam packed full of collectibles and hidden extras of any franchise ever. After finishing a level for the first time, the real fun begins. Freeplay mode allows players to go through any level with any character they want. This unlocks a whole new layer of puzzles and hidden goodies to uncover. Every unlockable character has unique abilities which are worth experimenting with.

LEGO Lord of the Rings is not the most faithful recreation of the Lord of the Rings universe, but it is certainly the best. Other attempts to adapt Lord of the Rings into a video game have failed mostly because they all got away from what makes an adaptation great. There is a secret Traveller's Tale knows and should stamp on the back of every license developer's eyelids, take what is there, and have fun with it.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

7.8

For over 20 years Punch-Out! has been a source of exciting gameplay and intense action. The brawls are weirdly fun but it is just as addicting as the first version. There are around thirteen fighters who challenge the player into exhilarating and exciting fights. Other than the unbalanced board, this is still a source of good fun.

The goal is to become the Punch-Out! champion and once that is reached, there is a fight to defend the title several times. Don’t think that simply because you will meet the fighters you defeated again that you can get over them with the usual moves though. They learned what your moves were and know how to evade them. This adds more challenge to the gameplay and you may need to calm down a bit to learn new moves and use them wisely so you can defeat your challengers. You need to find the weaknesses of the challengers and until you do you can’t defeat them, so prepare to get defeated!

In the Punch-Out! Wii version there is a two-player mode. Don’t expect too much out of it though; it is quite ridiculous, but weirdly fun. Here you cannot avoid the punches, you just have to keep on hitting and take advantage of any opening if you can. It is not a really deep game, but is antes up the challenge and fun a lot. Prepare to clean up the mess you create while in playing this mode, any sodas can get tipped over in the excitement of the game.

Punch-Out! may be a familiar game, but replaying it is not monotonous at all. This Wii version is a fantastic upgrade to an old and familiar game. The intensity of the fights are more than expected and just as rewarding when you get to win the challenges. You need to be constantly on your toes with this version with all the learning the challengers do along the way. You cannot just stick to one move all the time; remember they learn so you need to learn as well. This is probably why it is more intense because there really is a need to step back and observe how to get over the challengers and win.

If you are looking for fun, excitement and a lot of challenges, then the Punch-Out! Wii is the game for you. The balance board may be difficult and disappointing and the motion controls exhausting, but that just adds to the charm of the game. If you want entertainment value you get it with this game with no problem. Playing it again and again is not monotonous either because of all the learning involved.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

6.2

Call of Duty is a name that has found its place in the gaming world as one of the all-time most popular FPS (first person shooters). This is the third game on the Modern Warfare line, but the eighth game on the Call of Duty title as a whole. The game definitely has a more realistic approach to the first person shooting genre than some of the other competitors out there (ie., the Halo series). The weapons, vehicles, and scenery all give the player a sense of warfare that is reminiscent to that of real life combat.

Now for the Gameplay.

There are two modes of gameplay in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, single-player campaign and multi-player. Single-player campaigns in Call of Duty are notorious for being short, albeit exciting. Modern Warfare 3 is no exception. You'll control a war hero who guides a team through a rain of bullets and explosives fired from masses of terrorists. Your team may die in the process, but most of the time it doesn't effect your primary objective: keep yourself alive. You'll use a host of different weaponry: snipers, sub-machine guns, and rocket launchers to kill off the enemies. The end result in many of the campaign missions is the player reaching the objective as the sole survivor after a series of bloody battles. The campaign as a whole is very interactive and fast paced, and usually takes about six to seven hours to complete.

The multi-player, on the other hand, is endless. Ever since online multi-player was added to the Call of Duty series, the game started selling big. Many owners of the game neglect the campaign, and bought the game for the sole reason of enjoying the multi-player experience. You'll start out on multi-player with just a few weapons with new ones becoming available as you gain experience through victories and kills. One of the huge draws to the multi-player mode is the ability for the player to customize a series of classes that he/she can choose from to engage in online battles. The class system allows you to choose weapons, gear, and perks that you'll spawn with. There are nearly endless possibilities for customization.

The killstreak system in multi-player got a total re-haul from Modern Warfare 2. Instead of the traditional "get rewards for your kills" system, Modern Warfare 3 breaks it down into three different modes: assault, support, and specialist. The assault follows the same routine as the original system and rewards you by kill count. The support mode tallies up actions and kills between lives and bestows you rewards that benefit the team as a whole, like the UAV. The specialist stands unique in that the rewards are not guns or UAV's, but the player becomes faster, stronger and bullets deal more damage.

Overall, the game is a great buy. The campaign is short, but the multi-player more than compensates for that. The player will play endless hours of online battles all the while gaining upgrades and abilities that make it feel completely satisfying and worthwhile.

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Posted:
2013-12-05

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

Watch Dogs is an open world action/adventure action game from the same makers as the successful Sleeping Dogs, Ubisoft Montreal, and published by Ubisoft.

Players take the part of an Irish vigilante character named Aiden Pierce living in a stylized version of Chicago. Aiden has the knowledge and expertise to regularly hack into the government's CtOS, otherwise known as the City's Central Operating System, a system that runs every technical aspect of the entire city. His knowledge gives Aiden the power to hack everything from bank accounts, public and private records and smartphones to traffic lights and street cameras. Aiden must use this technical know how and everything else he can in a mission to assassinate a media mogul named Joseph DeMarco, who has been acquitted of charges of a murder which he in fact committed.

Watch Dogs allows players access to an open world where they can free roam around many areas. They can use the central operating system to cause traffic jams or even major car collisions or other disruption as a distraction from his real mission. Players can make useful being able to hack into the system to avoid being located by the authorities. The city is literally under the player's control at any given time during the game.

Watch Dogs offers more than just computer hacking and hijacking technology, even though that is the main point of the game. Players can enjoy taking care of business in the city their own way. Players have access to many different weapons, super fast cars, and powerful computers.

In the online multiplayer mode, game players also have the challenge of finding hidden characters that they didn't realize were in the game, which works by one player secretly taking the place of another player or steal another's identity, without the second player realizing. Things can get a little complicated. When online, players will be able to hack into other player's information and use that to their advantage. They can go around the game committing crimes and causing problems without drawing attention to their own character.

With such a novel technological emphasis and amazing game play, players may be left wondering if the game is lacking anywhere else. The answer to that question is no, Ubisoft has worked hard to make sure all of the graphics are of amazing quality. They have continually pushed back the release date so they can make sure Watch Dogs is completely ready with no issues before it was publicly released. It is released for most systems including the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and the Wii U.

Watch Dogs has beautiful, stunning views along with great story lines. After playing Sleeping Dogs and comparing it to this game, I found it every bit as good and I can say with confidence that Watch Dogs will be a new best selling game.

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Posted:
2013-12-17

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

Featuring player characters who are either plumbers or strange mushroom people, and journeying through lands that turn you into a flying squirrel simply by touching acorns, it will surprise absolutely no one to learn a Mario game is peculiar. Even Mario DLC is strange.

That's what New Super Luigi U is. Though you can buy the game in a retail package, like most DLC, it was designed to be downloaded and played as a companion to the main game. New Luigi U contains nearly the same multi-player setup, graphics, sounds, and game mechanics from its brother title, New Super Mario Bros. U. Although there's an unlockable that will take players a step closer to Mario, you can't actually play as the more famous brother. As a piece that fits into a whole, it is prudent to keep in mind that the levels are shorter, and while multiplayer is available, elements like the Challenge Mode are not.

While some levels are modifications of earlier ones into significantly altered forms, others are entirely brand new. What they all share is a 100 second time limit and a tall, lanky, green, skittish, mustachioed coward who sweats out "Whew! I did it!" when you make it through. Like Mario U, this is an adventure through 80 or so levels of 2D platforming. Unlike Mario U, Nintendo's designers seem to have been cackling like mad scientists while making it.

Whether you will enjoy it has little to do with how much you enjoy flipping and flopping through bizarrely fantastic physical landscapes that play out like Rube Goldberg machines filtered through the minds of Roald Dahl, Salvador Dali and Hello Kitty, which is a "typical" Mario experience. It has more to do with whether you're the type of player who can enjoy mastering extremely precise demands on your trigger finger. These demands play out like being asked to thread a hyper, wobbling needle through a hole that's doing the limbo while drunk. If you don't like trying again when you don't succeed the first few times, Luigi U may be a little intense and cause anger issues.

(And if you just find it too unbelievably cruel, there is a secret that allows you to play as usually multi-player-only character Nabbit. This guy is a strange thief who appeared in the original as an enemy. He can't be hit by enemies or collect power-ups, which is like entering an invincibility mode of sorts.)

This is not to say the levels are poorly designed. Each stage is devoted to the idea of the younger brother's wonky momentum. A bevy of surprises and laughs are waiting for those who appreciate that Nintendo is top of the class for making these types of games. However, considering how much more the levels bear repetition, it would have been nice if there was an easier way to repeat them without going through multiple, irritating steps.

Just like Luigi himself, this game is New Super Mario Bros. U's lesser-known, more unique, loopier brother.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

Shinobido 2 Revenge of Zen takes place 6 months after the events of the first game. Shinobido 2 allows players to act as Zen, a stealthy ninja assassin, who was betrayed by his companions and left for dead. He sets out on a perilous journey to restore the peace of Utakata and find those who wronged him. Shinobido 2 Revenge of Zen takes precedence over the first game because of its new gameplay options, adventurous storyline, and easy to use touch controls.

While playing Shinobido 2 Revenge of Zen, players can scale walls with an added grapple hook, jump across roof tops, stealthily attack enemies from behind, and sneak across various landscapes. Each button allows the user to have a very different experience with each skill, whether that is jumping, dashing, or crouching. Every skill is essential to help you with your missions. The missions are designed to not only move the story along, but players affect the game's military and war situation. With the Harakiri Engine, the game is constantly updating so that players feel the consequence of each choice they make. Since the players are allowed to choose the missions they want to complete, every player has a choice in their own destiny. Missions vary from rescuing villagers, stealing, transporting goods, assassinations, destroying the enemy, and more.

Featuring new gameplay options, players can use different skills to kill enemies. These skills include Assassination, which allows players to sneak up on enemies and kill them much quicker and easily, Chimatsuri Sappo, which kills your enemies in one single hit, Zankoku, freezes time and allows the player to kill their foe in one hit, or Fukurou, which allows the player to travel in the sky by flying. If the skills do not seem like they are enough, players also can make use of the tools that ninja assassins can use. Tools can be upgraded by using the Alchemy jar. There is always room for new tools too so be sure to experiment with the Alchemy jar.

The touch screen controls provides the players with new ways to spot enemies from far away by displaying a caution button on the screen when the player gets closer to a target. Players can even switch to a first person view for a better look at the target. By touching the tool management icon on the upper left corner, players can have a look at a map of the area they are in. The "near" functions serve as a way to expand the inventory of items. By placing items in the network jar, other players that are nearby can connect with your items and it will multiply the amount of those items, which is incredibly useful when going on missions.

Shinobido 2 Revenge of Zen has enough to satisfy any player that likes a game that is action packed, provides a storyline in which their actions determine the outcome, allows players to upgrade and develop new weapons, and lets players become a stealth master.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

Blizzard Entertainment released the fourth expansion for their massively popular MMORPG World of Warcraft on September 25, 2012. World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria picks up after the events of the previous expansion, Cataclysm Mists of Pandaria introduces a new continent, new questing zones, and raises the maximum player level to 90.

Mists of Pandaria introduces a new race and class for players to choose. The Pandaren race are giant pandas, and are faction-neutral in the beginning. Players can choose whether their Pandaren will be Horde or Alliance after a series of quests. The Monk class uses Energy like Rogues in DPS or tank spec, and Mana in healing spec. Monks also use a new resource called "Chi" which is used in advanced attack moves.

A unique aspect of this expansion pack is the vanity pet battle system. Players are able to battle their vanity pets against other player's vanity pets, or vanity pets that are found in the wild. Vanity pets can be trained to level 25, and players are able to capture vanity pets that are defeated in battle.

Mists of Pandaria utilizes a new questing system on the continent of Pandaria. Every zone in Pandaria has its own set of questing achievements, which players complete when they progress through the various quest chains. Every quest chain ends with an upgraded green item, and the final quest reward for the zone is usually a blue item. This new way of questing allows players to gain a better grasp of the progressive nature of the Mists of Pandaria story line.

Players will find a dramatic change to the talent point system. Blizzard removed talent points and spell ranks in favor of a single talent tree for each class. Players can choose a new talent every 15 levels, and they will find that many of the talents that used to be in the talent tree are now automatically in their Spellbooks.

A new series of instances, called Scenarios, are introduced in Mists of Pandaria. Scenarios are unique in that they do not require a tank or healing class for the group to be successful. Scenarios are available when players reach level 90. Scenarios are goal-based, and are designed to be completed quickly, usually within fifteen minutes.

Mists of Panderia also sees changes to Dungeons and Raids. There is now a Challenge Mode option for five-player Dungeons. In Challenge Mode, players' gear is normalized, and the players attempt to speed clear the Dungeon in a specified amount of time. Rewards in Challenge Mode may include mounts, pets, or titles.

World of Warcraft: Mists of Panderia provides exciting content for both beginning and established players. Players who enjoyed group questing may be disappointed at the expansions reliance on single-player quest chains and world phasing. Players will enjoy the changes that further evolves the game and keeps content feeling fresh after eight years.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

8.5

There have been a lot of movies turned into games and didn’t quite succeed, and had given people less to expect from the same deal. It was announced that Electronic Arts would be making a game based on a movie, The Godfather. Although may be a bit risky especially for a movie title adored for all time. Electronic Arts really tried their best to pull it off. Good thing they did it well, with the different platform releases. So, as Playstation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360, and PC version was a big hit, it’s time for the Wii’s version of the game. Although it is the same game, there are noticeable and enhanced tweaks done for the Wii’s version. As for the movie goes, the game’s giving it a much respectable applaud as well. The Godfather: Blackhand Edition.

With Wii’s unique controls, there is no wonder it would be a totally different experience when you played in a different platform. With the Wii Remote and Nunchuk, you get the advantage of getting the feel of the game like making the gestures and doing some punches. Though it is not perfect, sometimes it might not respond to your gesture right away, so might need to get familiar with the exact gestures what action suits you the best.

As normal game goes, you start at the bottom working your way up to be the Don of New York. The Character didn’t really appear in the movies but still, gives you the feel of connection of the concept. The Don of New York of that period held you in his wings and will be teaching you how to be a true mobster.

You will be going through a lot of mob fights and rivalry. Have missions regarding killing someone of getting something from someone.. As typical as it gets, Grand Theft Auto Series might be familiar when playing this game. You can run around town, shooting people at random, steal vehicles, or just goof around looking for a senseless fight and getting chased, both enemies and police. You will have badge icon indications which help you know how you’ve been doing with the authority. These games are really not for kids, specially this game. The story is serious with a mix of suspense and action, nostalgic with the movie. There you’ll have the a gambling den, Extorting businesses, and a lot of illegal rackets. And different thing about with Wii’s version is that you can bribe the police to stop chasing you down. Unlike from another platform which didn’t have this idea.

With the Wii remote and nunchuk controller, it really built a different feel for your liking. You can manually use the gun to aim where the wii remote is aiming. Picking up people and punching with gestures. Although graphic-wise. It’s not didn’t outstand from the other Wii games. But definitely not noticeable on the long run because you’ll be busy with the actual gameplay. Overall, it’s a great game that was developed with confidence and did its fair share out from the movie.

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Posted:
2013-12-08

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

7.5

Watch Dogs is an open world action/adventure action game from the same makers as the successful Sleeping Dogs, Ubisoft Montreal, and published by Ubisoft.

Players take the part of an Irish vigilante character named Aiden Pierce living in a stylized version of Chicago. Aiden has the knowledge and expertise to regularly hack into the government's CtOS, otherwise known as the City's Central Operating System, a system that runs every technical aspect of the entire city. His knowledge gives Aiden the power to hack everything from bank accounts, public and private records and smartphones to traffic lights and street cameras. Aiden must use this technical know how and everything else he can in a mission to assassinate a media mogul named Joseph DeMarco, who has been acquitted of charges of a murder which he in fact committed.

Watch Dogs allows players access to an open world where they can free roam around many areas. They can use the central operating system to cause traffic jams or even major car collisions or other disruption as a distraction from his real mission. Players can make useful being able to hack into the system to avoid being located by the authorities. The city is literally under the player's control at any given time during the game.

Watch Dogs offers more than just computer hacking and hijacking technology, even though that is the main point of the game. Players can enjoy taking care of business in the city their own way. Players have access to many different weapons, super fast cars, and powerful computers.

In the online multiplayer mode, game players also have the challenge of finding hidden characters that they didn't realize were in the game, which works by one player secretly taking the place of another player or steal another's identity, without the second player realizing. Things can get a little complicated. When online, players will be able to hack into other player's information and use that to their advantage. They can go around the game committing crimes and causing problems without drawing attention to their own character.

With such a novel technological emphasis and amazing game play, players may be left wondering if the game is lacking anywhere else. The answer to that question is no, Ubisoft has worked hard to make sure all of the graphics are of amazing quality. They have continually pushed back the release date so they can make sure Watch Dogs is completely ready with no issues before it was publicly released. It is released for most systems including the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and the Wii U.

Watch Dogs has beautiful, stunning views along with great story lines. After playing Sleeping Dogs and comparing it to this game, I found it every bit as good and I can say with confidence that Watch Dogs will be a new best selling game.


  Viewing Reviews 1-10 of 31