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Marvel Super Hero Squad for the Wii, developed by Blue Tongue Entertainment, features miniature versions of everyone's favorite Marvel super heroes, and was published by THQ. The characters featured are Iron Man, Wolverine, Storm, Captain America and the rest of the super hero squad cast, from the toy line and television show. As a result the graphics for the game are, understandably, a bit cartoon like, and the music is suited to a younger audience. This is a beat 'em up game where players use the powers from their favorite Marvel super heroes to fight off all the villains that get in the way of the saving the world.
The comic storyline of the game has been simplified so that children can understand the story from a their perspective. You get to venture into places such as Asteroid M, Asgard, The Vault, Villainville and Super Hero City. The plot develops as Doctor Doom aims to collect enough fractals to create a complete Infinity Sword, in order to become one of the most powerful villains in the universe.
The game starts in a S.H.I.E.L.D missile base where MODOK and A.I.M. appear, and take an Infinity Sword fractal to Doctor Doom. This is the beginning of the serious plot that develops which involves Doctor Doom working in coordination with some of the most powerful and menacing villains. Some of the undesirables which you must face are The Juggernaut, Magneto, Mystique, Loki and The Abomination. This makes it hard for the super hero squad to thwart Doctor Doom's evil plot to take over the world. Luckily, the Super Hero Squad, team up with your favorite friends in order to take on the evil Doctor Doom and all of his colleagues as they try to make the world their own.
The game received decent reviews and will probably be seen as an average game by experienced gamers, but is the perfect game for kids, who are its target audience. The multiplayer aspect of the game is another feature that makes it good for children as it encourages teamwork.
There is also battle mode to the game where players can choose to play their favorite Marvel characters to fight in an arena. The battle mode is a simple fighting game mode where people have life bars and use their powers to battle it out until there is only one person standing.
Note that the game has a sequel which gives this game added play value. Marvel Super Hero Squad, The Infinity Gauntlet was released in 2010 and expands on the story presented in Marvel Super Hero Squad.
Legions of console gamers have vigorously anticipated the day that Nintendo and Sega would mingle their franchises together and create a legendary mash-up game. After two decades of staunch rivalry, the two companies finally merged efforts in 2007 to release Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games on the Wii. While this game offers extraordinary appeal to casual gamers, the masses that have been patiently waiting for this moment will be disappointed.
The meshing of the Mario and Sonic universes is visually stunning and decadently vibrant. The bold color schemes of both worlds merge seamlessly. All in-game animations are lightning quick and the frame-rate holds steady. Most of the work seems to have gone into the exceptional graphics because there is no real driving force behind this game.
The entirety of the game-play mechanics is based on quickness and memorization. Since this game primarily employs the mini-game format, competition is based on the accumulation of points through a series of brief events. Divided into four sections, there are a total of twenty categories of battle. The four basic classifications are Power, All-Around, Speed, and Skill. The infamous Nintendo characters featured include Mario, Wario, Luigi, Waluigi, Yoshi, Peach, Daisy and Bowser while the notorious Sega cast showcases Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, Blaze, Dr. Eggman, Amy, Vector, and Shadow.
While the mini-game system should lend well to the Olympic concept, it does not balance the mundane quality of the real-life games being included with any level of imagination. Instead, famous Nintendo and Sega characters that used to be endowed with superhuman abilities now compete in events based only on physical attributes. Their former superpowers are reduced to being mere power-ups and attribute boosters. The standard contests include the Javelin, Long Jump and the 100 Meter Dash.
The winning technique in every game is based on accuracy on some level. This can be especially frustrating since the specificity required exceeds the capacity of the Wii-mote. Also, racing games still require seemingly irrelevant displays to be lined up perfectly in order to achieve victory. Most of the events have nothing in common with their real-life counterparts and do not even attempt to simulate them. Instead, meticulous aim and perfect timing define the elements of winning.
An overwhelming majority of the instructions on screen are too vague to provide any sort of actual guidance. Stark penalties will be constantly applied to players who cannot follow rules that are impossible to keep track of. The game lacks complexity on all levels.
The most entertainment that Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games delivers is in the realm of aesthetic and nostalgic amusement. The soundtrack is prominently comprised of throwback music from both franchises. Players will enjoy the excellent quality character designs and infinite subtle details of individualization. A plethora of hidden content waits to be unlocked by players that can answer obscure trivia questionnaires. However, the real question is wondering why Nintendo and Sega made their first crossover so blatantly superficial after two decades of built-in hype.
The Pixar movie Brave opened to somewhat mixed reviews. The film, while decent, had the Pixar name to live up to and there were some that didn't feel it met the bill. So what to make of the Pixar backed game of the same name? It's a lot like its movie counterpart from which it draws inspiration. It's not half bad, but it lacks the polish that you would expect from a high end video game. The game's graphics are great and you feel like you are playing within the movie at times. The gameplay is rather basic and bland and a co op mode never really takes off like it could. Brave feels like a game made for children with certain adult elements tossed into it to keep things interesting. I guess you could say that about most Pixar movies though too.
Perhaps the biggest curveball the game tosses at you is the fact that the game presents a slightly different story than what you saw in the movie theater. All of the main characters are still there, but it's just told from a different perspective. We won't spoil it for you, but let's just say that the story is actually one of the game's high points. Perhaps a bit damning to Pixar, we actually liked it better than the plot of the main movie. It should be noted though that the game doesn't last much longer than that of a movie, you can beat the main storyline in about 4 hours. That's fine if you paid $10 to see it in the theater. It's not so fine if you just dropped $50 at the local game store.
The game does offer collectibles and other unlockables to add replay value but it's really not enough to make up for the short campaign. Perhaps this will be a better purchase for your child if you happen to find the game in the bargain bin someday.
Graphics are themed after the movie and it does at times make it easy to get lost in the animation. If you take a closer look though, you'll see that the textures don't really stand up to the best titles of this generation. Some clipping issues exist, and some textures are just muddy.
The game does offer a co op mode for a friend to play along but it's here where you can see that the game was designed with a younger audience in mind. The 2nd player has infinite lives, you'll just keep coming back from the dead. Playing Co op makes a very easy game even easier. The gameplay, co op or solo, is extremely linear, moving from one environment to the next. There's not much skill to combat, it's more of a button mashing affair than anything.
Brave is a video game designed to let your child play through an alternate version of the movie storyline. It shows Pixar charm occasionally, but it's mostly just another poor movie adaption.
FIFA 12 for Wii, when taken alone is in fact pretty good game, but when compared to the versions of the game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions it looks like a poor relation.
There are redeeming features such as Support Your Club in which you can represent your home, or any other town, and attempt to guide them to glory by playing against other such teams. Success is measured by a league table which positions you relatve to other game players who are taking part that mode's competition.
Over 500 officially listed clubs and more than 15,000 players are available to build teams around. There are of course the necessary year on year improvements in the control of the on pitch action such as dribbling, passing and bodily contact, and injuries also play more of a part the game. There is some doubt about the goal scoring mechanics as you can often score goals from totally unrealistic positions. Running off the ball is an art that no football game as has as yet mastered and team tactics is another grey area and is a problem which I believe wil not be overcome any time soon.
The game's visuals also suffer dramatically compared to other versions of the game. The textures are blocky, the crowd lacks detail and the commentary at times is quite laughable, as the commentators randomly shout out catchphrases that have nothing to do with what's really happening on the field at the time. Load times are also longer on Wii than on other systems, and the menus just lack the detail and polish seen on other systems.
If the Wii is the only system that you own, FIFA 12 is a passable video game. It's arcade style play can be fun and enjoyable at times, especially with another player beside you. FIFA City does give the game some depth and replay value as you strive to unlock the various objectives. But if you own an Xbox or PS3, stay away from the Wii version.
The Tiger Woods video game series has been a huge success for Electronic Arts since the company first brought Mr.Woods on board. As the game has grown in popularity, EA has allotted more resources in an endeavor to make significant improvements each year. The 2012 version of this franchise is no exception. EA has developed everything about this game with The Masters, one of the world's most famous golfing tournaments in mind. The control on the Wii is a delight and the Wii remote even offers an advantage over the Xbox and PlayStation 3 controllers. All of your favorite pro golfers are there and their digital versions do bear a striking resemblance to the real people you see on TV. Augusta National is recreated in all its glory right down to every last sand trap. EA really went all out to give The Masters an authentic feel.
The game's career mode, like everything else this year, also centers on the famous tournament. Your goal is to start as a rookie golfer in some local tournaments and as you start piling up wins, you gain invitations to bigger and better tournaments, culminating becoming good enough to get an invitation to The Masters. This mode is a great success and arguably offers more longevity in 2012 than in previous years. In prior years, career mode was just a series of tournaments, all played one after another, but this year the mode keeps you constantly focused on getting to The Masters and it's an added touch that really draws you in.
When you tire of tournament play, you can recreate 'Masters Moments' which will put you in the same position as a famous player of the past and asks you to recreate and make the same shot that the golfing legend made to get on the map at Augusta.
A new addition to the controls this year is your in game caddie. It essentially acts as an AI shot selector for you, offering suggestions on your lie and the best club to use for the shot at the green or over the water. You can always ignore your caddie and choose your own club, but more often than not, this system does offer solid advice.
Another Wii advantage is that the game ships with 25 courses, whereas the PS3 and Xbox versions only ship with 16. Now, those two system do offer up to 20 more courses through downloadable content, but that would cost you quite a bit of extra money to get all 36 courses. For the $60 you are paying at retail, the Wii offers 9 more courses than any other system. That's a pretty big deal.
Motion controls this year are as good as ever. The Wii version even supports the Wii Fit balance board so you can adjust where you put your feet.
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12 The Masters really is one of the best golf games currently on the market and the Wii edition is clearly the best version of them all.
The FIFA video game series is one of the most popular in the world, although more popular in Europe than the United States. Its release in certain parts of Europe is celebrated the same way EA's Madden franchise is celebrated in the U.S. People lining up to get FIFA 13 for the Wii this year probably waited in line with much excitement to see what next exciting changes were made in this year's update. Then, those same poor people, got home, fired up the game and soon realized that they just wasted $60. FIFA 13 for the Wii is essentially FIFA 12 for the Wii with a roster update. That's it. I could stop the review here if I wanted to.
Everything from the title screen to the player select screen to the pixels that make up the players and the pitch they play on is identical to FIFA 12. Electronic Arts did NOTHING new with the 2013 version of this game, other than bring the player rosters up to date for the new year. If someone that saw you playing FIFA 12 for Wii last year walked in and saw you playing FIFA 13, they would probably ask you why you were playing last year's game. Further infuriating is that EA is charging full price for this rip off of a game. A roster update downloaded from EA's website is sometimes free for other titles or a few dollars at best. But no, EA just took $60 of your hard earned dollars and the only time they lifted their finger to do anything was when they put their hand out to take your money.
This matter is made even worse when you stop and realize that even EA's FIFA 12 for Wii was a mediocre game at best that received relatively poor reviews. The Wii version of that game was lacking major features that were on the Xbox and PS3 systems. But instead of doing something to improve the game the following year, EA simply shoveled the same garbage out again. If you need a reminder, FIFA 12 for Wii suffered from poor visuals, laughable player models, a lack of detail in the stadium and commentary at times that does not match up very well with the action on the field. FIFA 12 for Wii (and obviously, FIFA 13 for Wii) is a much less realistic version of the game than what you would get on the PS3 or Xbox. It has much more of an arcade style feel to it.
FIFA 13 as a franchise is not a total loss this year though. The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 updates did actually receive more significant updates. Your $60 is much better spent this year on one of those platforms. If you want this game on a Nintendo platform, FIFA 13 for the Wii U, Nintendo's new console, has the feature updates offered in the Xbox and PS3 versions that this regular Wii version is sorely lacking.
The story starts with New York City being overwhelmed by an alien virus from invading aliens, known as the Ceph. In addition to the Ceph trying to conquer humanity, and kill you, is a group known as the CELL who are mercenaries for the company that built your suit, Crynet. These forces are fighting with marines, preventing them from fighting off the Ceph, though why theyre doing that isnt ever explained. Either way, its just more enemies for you to kill in your supersuit.
The first, most important thing about Crysis 2, is that you get armor, called the Nanosuit, that you will be wearing all game. This armor does more than just protect your character, however. It is the key to the super powers that make this game so much different than its current competitors. You have a ton of different capabilities available to you with the Nanosuit on, and the game forces you to make use of every one of them over the course of proceeding through it.
The way it makes you use these different skills is through enormous set-pieces that youll come across, over and over. Youll usually enter an area from above, allowing you to sit cloaked and strategize on the best way to defeat patrolling, emplaced, apparently-aware enemies before trying out some tactic that puts all the best items of a situation at your advantage. Being able to strategize attacks like this before you go in is something that has been missing from a lot of first-person shooters, and being able to do it here is an enormously satisfying experience, whether you actually pull it off or not.
Another feature that makes this game great is the multiplayer. What youll find when you step online is a leveling and reward system that pays a player for playing, much like the Call of Duty series of games. The essential difference between the two is that every player gets a Nanosuit. This allows for players to engage in the same sort of tactical battles that the single-player game offers. Playing against enemies that have the capability to cloak and power up their armor throws enormous changes into the game, and upgrading all those different skills along with your weapons will keep players coming back.
The sheer volume of gameplay elements that Crysis 2 does so well makes it a must-have for fans of first-person shooters. From a single-player game that will have you playing through again and again, to a multiplayer experience filled with more adrenaline than you can shake a stick at, to graphics that will make you buy a drool cup, Crysis 2 takes the FPS to a whole new level.
Debuting in the mid 1990's on the Sony Playstation and 3DO, the Rayman franchise jumped on the scene with fresh platforming action and pastel colored, sprite-based visuals. As the Nintendo Wii was released, a rethinking of the Rayman universe was due and developed in order to take advantage of the Wii's unique remote-based, pointer control functionality. As the series has been stretched to cover three discrete games, UbiSoft saw it fitting to release each installment in one party collection.
Beginning the Rabbid series and the first game in the collection is Rayman Raving Rabbids. Originally released as a proof of concept game at the launch of the groundbreaking Nintendo Wii, Raving Rabbids provides nearly 70 inventive minigames to show off the various uses of the Wii Remote. As the player you'll be playing Whack-a-Mole, or should I say Whack-a-Bunny, you'll use the Wii Remote to close bathroom portapotty doors, flail your arms to deliver bombs, point with the Wii Remote to play dentist to gnarly bunny mouths, and even smack bunnies that are singing off-key. Clearly, Rayman Raving Rabbids exhibits the zany humor we've come to expect from the Rayman series and it's French developer UbiSoft.
Taken as a whole, Rayman Raving Rabbids is clearly designed to be a multiplayer laugh fest and the minigames including concurrent multiplayer solidify this concept. Two players can engage in most of the included minigames. The crown jewel of the cooperative minigames involves a faux, on-rails first person shooter in which player shoot plungers at enemies as the attempt to escape their captors.
As Rayman Raving Rabbids was clearly developed in an effort to show off the unique Nintendo Wii functions, releasing at launch comes at an expense. In UbiSoft's zest to release the game immediately, some glaring omissions are present. Unlike most every other Wii game, Raving Rabbids doesn't run in progressive scan and is limited to 30 frames per second, albeit in the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio. Despite these shortcomings, Rayman Raving Rabbids provides a hilarious and effective display of the multifaceted possibilities of Nintendo's paradigm shifting control scheme.
The follow up to UbiSoft's launch day hit, follows the mantra "more is better." UbiSoft took what was great about the original and placed an increased emphasis on cooperative and simultaneous competitive play. Released just one year after the original, UbiSoft quickly developed an additional 54 minigames, all of which can be played with or against a partner. One of the highlights of the first Rabbid game, the cooperative shooting minigames have been segregated from the main game and are now housed within a "shooting range." Rather than having to wade through the litany of different games as done in the original, Rabbids 2 provides the player greater control over the selection of games to be played. Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 continues the cute, humorous, and clean aesthetic of the original, while adding the omitted progressive scan resolution left out of the original due to development time constraints.
Released nearly two years to the day of the release of the original, the third installment of the Rabbid series ups the presentation ante and provides additional minigames for cooperative and competitive play. In this installment, the raving rabbids take control of the title character, Rayman's television station and "broadcast" different types of minigames each day of the week. This television aesthetic is continued even to the microgames played during "commercial breaks." As in the sequel, the third in the rabbids series continues with the gross-out humor, accessible minigames, and clean visual aesthetic. Newly introduced in the third incarnation is the possibility of using the popular Wii Balance Board to play minigames involving dancing and racing. Consistent with UbiSoft's humor, the game boasts the first minigame one can play entirely with their posterior. In this third Rabbid game, multiplayer is also kicked up a notch. Rather than only four players being able to play as in the previous two installments, up to eight players can now play selected turn-based minigames.
All in all, this pack of three standalone, high quality Rayman minigame collections is a bargain and guaranteed to provide multiplayer thrills for gamers of all ages.
Battleship is a game based partly on a movie and partly on a board game, and with this mixed parentage of creativity you'd think they'd have done a better job. A short, five-hour campaign is marked by a plague of issues, most of which would have been avoidable. Gameplay centers around two different playing modes; a first-person shooter element that needs some work, and a strategy part that has you giving your ships offshore coordinates to help them fight back against attacking alien ships (apparently the ships are unable to do this on their own).
Graphics for Battleship are mostly substandard and uninteresting, giving a distinct reminder of past titles on last-generation consoles. The FPS gameplay feels like a Call of Duty knock-off, with a nearly identical control scheme. This is were the similarity stops. Bucking normal FPS logic, the bloom from the gun actually reduces as you fire, meaning that your shots are horribly inaccurate until the clip is almost gone. Reloading takes a painful amount of time, and switching weapons isn't much faster. Invisible walls hold you to the main path, although you occasionally should search for holes in the wall if you're trying to get all of the in-game collectibles.
The strategy portion of the game is strange and somewhat pointless. Many times per mission, you must bring up a map that shows the coordinates of your ships and the enemy ships offshore, and if you don't help your ships fight off the enemies, you will lose the mission. Unfortunately, you must kill enemies in order to gain powerups for your ships or you will lose, meaning you must incessantly switch between gameplay modes to win each mission.
Another common complaint is the lack of sufficient checkpoints. If you fail a mission and must go back, you're stuck playing through tedious mission objectives once again (including the strategy portion) and again. The only purpose this seems to serve is extending the much-too-short campaign, although the five hours there is can be painful enough. Enemies are frustratingly difficult to actually hit with your shots and manage to kill, all while balancing the strategy mode.
There is no other mode to keep you playing after the short, seven-mission campaign is over, and the campaign is pretty short. This is not a game that's going to keep you entertained for a while. In fact, it's unlikely that any buyer will play it for much more than a month. The FPS falls way short of the industry standard, the strategy sections aren't much better and there are no positive defining features to set the game apart from the plethora of other poorly-executed games on market.
Critical reviews of Battleship reflect the weak points of the game. Most reviewers have put it below 5/10, citing the many gameplay problems and nonexistent replay value. Sadly, the board game is much better than the one available for your video game console, and doesn't offer the terrible attempts at a knockoff first-person shooting game.
This time Electronic Arts partners with developers Criterion Games after their epic mishap with their previous Need for Speed installment, they probably felt like a change was needed and partnering up with Criterion could be something they should have done earlier.
Criterion, known for its extreme style of open-world racing games such as the Burnout series has made its mark in the gaming industry with insane concepts of car racing. This time around with Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, they ramped up the ante by taking one of the coolest city's ever to be made in the video game world and super cars that would make even the most experienced racing gamer drool. The city is named Seacrest County and what makes it cool is simple one thing; they have Lamborghini cop cars. Now, even the in your craziest dreams did you ever see a Lamborghini cop car? How about a city with that have cars racing around its perfectly woven streets?
In that list you'll find Lamborghinis, Audi R8s, Aston Martin DBSs, Porsche 911s and if those still won't tickle your fancy how about the ultimate Pagani Zonda or world's most expensive car; The Bugatti Veyron. If that didn't get racing gamers aroused then probably nothing will. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit simplifies the concept of racing games ever so easily. By thoroughly embracing the idea of racing your million-dollar super car in city streets against other million-dollar super cars or more interestingly; million-dollar cop cars.
In this game, you get into action by simply driving into a specific marker in the city, take your pick at which even you want to participate choose your side and off you go. Racing your car into the busy streets against other cars or cops depending on the racing event you have chosen. You can either play as the cop or the hard headed racer, race your rank, reputation or wanted levels as you weave through traffic, smashing on other innocent cars (Yes, million-dollar super cars too) running people off, drifting on corners and just simply acting like an insane racer felon. Funny thing is the more you really do drive like an insane felon; the more points you get, more new cars you can unlock and open new areas of Seacrest County.
One of the best aspects about this game; as much as racing physics itself, is probably the landscape and graphics that certainly feels like it's alive. That's what you would expect from Criterion Games but Need For Speed Hot Pursuit certainly looks a thousand fold better than any other racing game out there in the market.
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