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Posted:
2014-02-02

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

6.3

Ben 10 Omniverse is a classic example of a game that relies on a TV fan-base to be successful. Keeping in mind that the game is obviously targeted at boys aged six to ten, it succeeds on a few levels and fails at others.

The game does a good job at remaking the story elements and characters from the show. Players will play as young boy hero Ben, who has the power to temporarily transform himself into various alien creatures using a device called the Omnitrix. The game successfully uses this mechanic to add a layer of strategic depth to the game. Players will need to consistently use the Omnitrix power to win, and they will need to choose the correct alien form for any given scenario. There are multiple simple puzzles that will require the use of specific forms to overcome. There's nothing overly challenging, but considering the target demographic, simple is probably best.

The combat itself has very little depth. With some exception, combat revolves around mashing the attack button in order to stack as many attacks together as possible for maximum damage. There are some combos, and different alien forms have different attacks, but the basics are always the same. One serious lacking, considering the game's platform, is that it makes very little use of the Wii's motion functionality. All of the game's controls could easily be rolled into a standard Xbox or PS3 controller. While the game is available across consoles, its target demographic is most likely to have a Wii, and thus it would be nice to see more Wii-specific functionality. The control format, however, is easy to use and readily accessible, even to less-experienced players. The Omnitrix tool is a bit clunky at first, but not overly difficult to master.

Where the game really shines is in dialogue and characterization, which is taken right out of the cartoon. Many of the lines are actually quite humorous and would be downright hilarious to the target audience. Players will immediately recognize the voice and personality of their favorite characters from the show. The dialogue is also delivered in a classic text and voice-over format, so young gamers can read along as they play. This inclusion of text is a major plus for any children's game.

Graphics quality for the game is understandably cartoon-looking, but this is acceptable because it fits the cartoon quality of the original show. Level design and appearance is nothing spectacular, but it isn't something that hurts the game overall.

Repetition is what kills Ben 10 Omniverse. Targeting a young player demographic should be no excuse for simplified gameplay. The entire game consists of basically traveling to various locations and beating up on various alien or robotic enemies over and over again. There is low replay value and the multiplayer options are limited.

All in all, Ben 10 Omniverse is an okay game that will appeal to fans of the series and probably no one else. The dialogue is fitting, humorous and memorable, but intensely repetitive gameplay and lack of strategic depth will limit the game's overarching popularity.

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Posted:
2014-02-23

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

Xbox 360

6.3

Ben 10 Omniverse is a classic example of a game that relies on a TV fan-base to be successful. Keeping in mind that the game is obviously targeted at boys aged six to ten, it succeeds on a few levels and fails at others.

The game does a good job at remaking the story elements and characters from the show. Players will play as young boy hero Ben, who has the power to temporarily transform himself into various alien creatures using a device called the Omnitrix. The game successfully uses this mechanic to add a layer of strategic depth to the game. Players will need to consistently use the Omnitrix power to win, and they will need to choose the correct alien form for any given scenario. There are multiple simple puzzles that will require the use of specific forms to overcome. There's nothing overly challenging, but considering the target demographic, simple is probably best.

The combat itself has very little depth. With some exception, combat revolves around mashing the attack button in order to stack as many attacks together as possible for maximum damage. There are some combos, and different alien forms have different attacks, but the basics are always the same. One serious lacking, considering the game's platform, is that it makes very little use of the Wii's motion functionality. All of the game's controls could easily be rolled into a standard Xbox or PS3 controller. While the game is available across consoles, its target demographic is most likely to have a Wii, and thus it would be nice to see more Wii-specific functionality. The control format, however, is easy to use and readily accessible, even to less-experienced players. The Omnitrix tool is a bit clunky at first, but not overly difficult to master.

Where the game really shines is in dialogue and characterization, which is taken right out of the cartoon. Many of the lines are actually quite humorous and would be downright hilarious to the target audience. Players will immediately recognize the voice and personality of their favorite characters from the show. The dialogue is also delivered in a classic text and voice-over format, so young gamers can read along as they play. This inclusion of text is a major plus for any children's game.

Graphics quality for the game is understandably cartoon-looking, but this is acceptable because it fits the cartoon quality of the original show. Level design and appearance is nothing spectacular, but it isn't something that hurts the game overall.

Repetition is what kills Ben 10 Omniverse. Targeting a young player demographic should be no excuse for simplified gameplay. The entire game consists of basically traveling to various locations and beating up on various alien or robotic enemies over and over again. There is low replay value and the multiplayer options are limited.

All in all, Ben 10 Omniverse is an okay game that will appeal to fans of the series and probably no one else. The dialogue is fitting, humorous and memorable, but intensely repetitive gameplay and lack of strategic depth will limit the game's overarching popularity.

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Posted:
2014-03-14

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

Nintendo Wii

9.0

When New Super Mario Brothers first came out on the DS in 2006, it was the first new side scrolling 2D platformer in the Mario series since Super Mario World 2 came out in 1995. The game was a massive success on the DS, and more importantly than that, it was a fantastic game that brought back a rush of nostalgia for anyone who grew up with the NES and Super NES Mario platformers. Thanks to that success, Nintendo is now releasing New Super Mario Brothers on the Wii, but can lightning strike twice?

New Super Mario Brothers Wii continues the same style that was used in the DS version of the game, and by extension every Super Mario 2D platformer ever made. You'll spend a ton of time running from left to right, grabbing different colors and sizes of coins, and jumping on top of the heads of a lot of goombas.

For the Super Mario connoisseurs out there, if I had to pick a game that this new title feels the most like, its definitely Super Mario Brothers 3, which is considered by many people to be the best 2D Mario game ever created.

Not everything about New Super Mario Brothers Wii is familiar, though. The game adds a number of new power-ups, like the ice flower that serves as the exact opposite of the fire flower and the propeller suit that allows you to fly with just a shake of the remote.

Speaking of remote-shaking, the game thankfully does not make any sort of extensive use of the Wii remote in its controls. You hold the remote sideways, using the d-pad with the 1 and 2 button to control Mario. While certain moves will require shaking or moving the remote side to side, the game does not require the sort of wild movements that many Wii games tend to overuse.

The most intriguing part of New Super Mario Brothers Wii has nothing to do with the single player at all. With this new game, Nintendo has introduced 4-player co-operative multiplayer. This multiplayer brings 4 characters into the single player levels and has them all trying to reach the end of the level. This might sound hectic and out of control, and you would be right. While that level of insanity might seem annoying at first, it is a ton of fun to jump around on top of your friends while fighting to get as many points as you can.

With New Super Mario Brothers Wii, Nintendo has managed to take what seemed like a one-off remake on the DS and transform it into a full fledged franchise. They have basically brought 2D Mario games back from the dead and created a world in which 3D and 2D Mario games can coexist once more. In fact, if Nintendo keeps up this trend, I look forward to new 2D Mario iterations far more than I look forward to the inevitable future 3D iterations of Mario games yet to come.

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Posted:
2014-04-10

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

PlayStation 3

5.8

The story of the game has to do with the continent of North America being split down the middle between the Pacificians and the Atlantic Alliance. The West Coast ended up choosing to allow DNA alteration, while the East Coast banned genetic engineering and chose the route of cybernetics instead. When the Pacificians can't take the ban on genetic engineering any more, they secede, and the Atlantic Alliance sends you, Jet Brody, to bring back the renegade general leading the separation.

This third-person shooter plays very similar to other games of its sort. When you take cover, your health regenerates. You get to shoot machine guns, rocket launchers, sniper rifles, and other implements of distant death. You get to drive around on an All Terrain Vehicle in between shooting at foes. One thing that is different about this game, however, is that you are able to terraform the ground with your guns and grenades. You can use this feature to move the terrain up, or down. This is used in the game to help complete a couple of traps, and to find hidden items throughout the levels, and in a couple places to kill enemies, but that's it. Generally, too, the game points out any opportunity to use the skill to take out targets, so there goes your chance to feel like you pulled off a sweet move with it. While it's an interesting feature to check out, it doesn't really add a lot to the gameplay.

That's too bad, too, because the gameplay could use a little adding to. It mostly consists of fighting off the enormous number of enemies that the game throws at you. Spending time fighting through the same section over and over again to reach another save point would be the most rewarding part of the whole experience, except that you end up doing it again in the very next section. That makes the yellow goo that comes along with each head shot the most rewarding part of the game.

The visuals in the game definitely make a person feel like they are a couple hundred years in the future, if that future became very drab. Most of the levels are filled with grays and browns, making a person wonder if the if they had outlawed color in the future along with genetic engineering.

While the Fracture experience isn't a completely unpleasant one to take on, it had its annoyances. The fights are difficult, sometimes overwhelmingly so, and the tool that the game gives you to help deal with them, doesn't do much for you tactically. What you're left with is a game that you could slog through the muck and fight for but probably won't.

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Posted:
2013-05-29

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

PS Vita

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

PC Games

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

PC Games

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

Nintendo Wii

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

Nintendo Wii

6.3

Ben 10 Omniverse is a classic example of a game that relies on a TV fan-base to be successful. Keeping in mind that the game is obviously targeted at boys aged six to ten, it succeeds on a few levels and fails at others.

The game does a good job at remaking the story elements and characters from the show. Players will play as young boy hero Ben, who has the power to temporarily transform himself into various alien creatures using a device called the Omnitrix. The game successfully uses this mechanic to add a layer of strategic depth to the game. Players will need to consistently use the Omnitrix power to win, and they will need to choose the correct alien form for any given scenario. There are multiple simple puzzles that will require the use of specific forms to overcome. There's nothing overly challenging, but considering the target demographic, simple is probably best.

The combat itself has very little depth. With some exception, combat revolves around mashing the attack button in order to stack as many attacks together as possible for maximum damage. There are some combos, and different alien forms have different attacks, but the basics are always the same. One serious lacking, considering the game's platform, is that it makes very little use of the Wii's motion functionality. All of the game's controls could easily be rolled into a standard Xbox or PS3 controller. While the game is available across consoles, its target demographic is most likely to have a Wii, and thus it would be nice to see more Wii-specific functionality. The control format, however, is easy to use and readily accessible, even to less-experienced players. The Omnitrix tool is a bit clunky at first, but not overly difficult to master.

Where the game really shines is in dialogue and characterization, which is taken right out of the cartoon. Many of the lines are actually quite humorous and would be downright hilarious to the target audience. Players will immediately recognize the voice and personality of their favorite characters from the show. The dialogue is also delivered in a classic text and voice-over format, so young gamers can read along as they play. This inclusion of text is a major plus for any children's game.

Graphics quality for the game is understandably cartoon-looking, but this is acceptable because it fits the cartoon quality of the original show. Level design and appearance is nothing spectacular, but it isn't something that hurts the game overall.

Repetition is what kills Ben 10 Omniverse. Targeting a young player demographic should be no excuse for simplified gameplay. The entire game consists of basically traveling to various locations and beating up on various alien or robotic enemies over and over again. There is low replay value and the multiplayer options are limited.

All in all, Ben 10 Omniverse is an okay game that will appeal to fans of the series and probably no one else. The dialogue is fitting, humorous and memorable, but intensely repetitive gameplay and lack of strategic depth will limit the game's overarching popularity.

avatar name

Posted:
2013-05-29

kandoo

Super Gamer Dude

PC Games

8.2

Many gamers out there like to play shoot and kill games with nothing much going for it in terms of plot or depth of characters. With Nightfall Mysteries Asylum Conspiracy, this is a game where you have to be determined to complete the game or risk the chance of not sleeping anyways.

The plot is on a remote island where an asylum is said to be located. Grandpa Charles was last seen on the island and you are determined to find out where he is while having to experience the mystery and suspense of the search.

When you get to the island, you find yourself looking at an abandoned hospital which curiously holds a big population consisting of ranting and raving patients who may or may not know about your grandfather; then there is that brother and sister who seem familiar to you and yet you can't quite place from where you knew them from; there is even a police officer who is investigating the mystery surrounding the death of his wife. Add on the mysterious doctor who is too good to be true and is as sleazy as can be. You need to figure out how to put all of these people together to find out where your grandfather was last seen and his relationship with the mysterious lot.

Nightfall Mysteries Asylum Conspiracy was obviously well throughout as a game of puzzle, mystery, and suspense. You, as the grandson, will go through the hospital and experience the horrors and mysteries which you need to uncover and pick up bits and pieces of items that can help you find your grandfather. The game is a little short, but the suspense more than makes up for the lack of time.

There are so many tasks you need to accomplish before you can even enter the hospital like getting an ID (whatever for? It is abandoned supposedly), and you need to guess a password to get in. then there is the demon door which you need to get through. It can be quite annoying and frustrating at times, but it just adds on to the appeal of the game. You may have to make use of your notebook a lot through the game for this will hold the hints that will help you complete the game levels, one by one.

For gamers who like mystery, suspense and horror, Nightfall Mysteries Asylum Conspiracy is a wonderful game to add to the collection. It hits the nerves directly which just antes up the suspense and the determination of the player to continue and complete the game levels. The only downside is that the game is a little short for my taste, but it can be lengthy for the yellow blooded. This is the perfect experience for those who love mystery games and sweat out fear in the process. Good One!


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