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12 Reviews


  Viewing Reviews 1-10 of 12
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Posted:
2013-12-16

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

7.9

Donkey Kong Country Returns for the Wii was an excellent return to the Donkey Kong Country series for Nintendo, and did a great job of evoking the feeling of the old Super Nintendo games that so many of us fell in love with as children. While the name of Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D might suggest a new game in the series, this title is simply a port of the original Wii game.

However, that is not to say that it degrades the game at all - in fact, Donkey Kong Country Returns always felt sort of like it should have been on the 3DS in the first place. The game's focus on multiple planes within a 2D platforming environment makes it perfect for the 3DS. Even better yet, this refresh of a classic Wii game also gets a few new features.

For starters, the designers have added a new mode with the rather blunt moniker "new mode". This mode more or less translates into an easy mode for the game, giving the player an extra point of damage they can take as well as adding some new items to Cranky Kong's shop that make the game far easier - like a barrel that allows you to respawn Diddy Kong at any time. The 3DS version of the game also tacks 8 new levels on to the end of the game, although these levels barely warrant a mention due to the fact that they are pretty generic and offer no new challenge or anything meaningfully different from the rest of the game's levels.

The port also brings some new problems to the table though. The controls, especially when it comes to charging feel a bit weird. While the shaking of the Wii remote felt pretty spot on in the original version, the remapping of that movement to a single button hold has made it awkward. Even worse yet, the down scaling from the Wii, while mostly successful has left a few residual performance issues in its wake.

If you played the original version of the game for the Wii, you will immediately notice that the 3DS version runs at a frame rate of only 30 fps instead of the original's 60 fps - but even more importantly, there are many times throughout the game where the frame rate will drop precipitously without any warning, ruining countless jumps and tricky platforming bits. It is far too clear that this was once a Wii game that was downgraded to work on the 3DS instead.

All of that said, Donkey Kong Country Returns remains an excellent platformer in its new portable form. Sure, the Wii version might remain the better version, and there is absolutely no reason to pick this up if you already played it on the Wii, but for people new to the game or to the series, Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D is a great place to start, and remains one of the best 2D platformers to be released in recent memory.

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Posted:
2013-08-17

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

7.3

Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 for Wii is the seventh release in the Lego video games franchise. It is more of a direct sequel to Harry Potter Years 1-4 than a brand new game, but anyone who played the first Harry Potter in this series will tell you that's a good thing.

The famous Lego humor is as strong as ever in this version's cutscenes. The game does a fine parody of many of the famous scenes from the films and even manages to make the death of a major character seem funny. Lego's writing team really should be given a raise for how they have continuously offered up outstanding material in every game in the franchise so far.

This title once again features co op gameplay and the world is filled to the brim with countless secrets to unlock including additional characters and costumes.

Gameplay has the four final Harry Potter films split up into six playable worlds. Hogwarts castle serves as a hub in between worlds with plenty to explore and unlock.

The game does feel a bit redundant since this is a reprise of much from the 1-4 game. Many of the worlds you visit are the same and so are quite a few of the spells you will cast. While this is slightly disappointing, it's not any worse than the movies, which returned players to the same environments as well. At least it's being true to its source material, eh?

One highlight is that the hub surrounding the castle we mentioned did receive a bit of an expansion. You can explore the Dark Forest, an observatory and other fun areas.

We should mention again that the developer really spared no expense filling this game with unlockables. There are entire parts of the hub world that are optional and don't need to be visited to beat the main story. More than 200 Harry Potter Lego characters can be purchased with the Lego studs you'll pick up throughout the levels.

The game's graphics are what you would expect. Each Harry Potter character is rendered as a Lego and the resemblances for most are uncanny.

Sound is another strong point of the game, all of your favorites sounds from the Harry Potter soundtrack are here and they serve as a perfect backdrop as you smash Lego blocks and wander around Hogwarts castle.

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that this title suffers from the usual Lego franchise downfalls, like shoddy platforming, too much button spamming and a weak camera, but the developer in this case has gone to such lengths to pack the game with bonuses and extras that it almost makes up for the game's shortcomings.

Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 is not without its flaws. It will seem a bit redundant at times if you played the last game and the controls and camera can be frustrating. But if you are a Lego franchise veteran, this game provides exactly what you want: Excellent fan service and incredible fun.

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Posted:
2014-06-15

Better on multiplayer.

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

Need for Speed Most Wanted has the weird position of sharing its name with a title from earlier in this console generation, but being a spiritual successor to an entirely different title from that generation. The original Most Wanted was one of those titles that bridged the gap between the PS2 and the PS3 by being released in very slight variations on both systems. It was a fun and silly title that used live-action actors to depict its tale of street racers and the police.

The latest Need for Speed Most Wanted has absolutely nothing to do with that game, though. Developed by Criterion, the game pulls almost all of its core gameplay elements from Burnout Paradise, with a few major tweaks. Just like Burnout: Paradise, it takes place in an open world where both the traversal between races and the racing itself happens. Also just like Paradise, it has a massive amount of leaderboards to compete with friends on, this time supplemented by the autolog system that EA has become so fond of.

Most Wanted's multiplayer is also very similar to that of Paradise, in that it simply dumps people into the world and allows the host to choose events, which consist of crazy challenges instead of the usual point-to-point races. For example, one event requires to park yourself on the wing of a plane and stay there. The players compete in the event, then drive on to the next one. This mode really shines in how it encourages players to be complete dicks to one another. If you are taken down during a multiplayer event, you are automatically disqualified, encouraging constant violence between players and creating an extremely hectic and fun experience.

All this said, the game absolutely falls apart when it comes to the single player. Solo play shifts the game's focus to its wide array of cars. As you drive around in the world, you find new, extremely expensive cars just sitting on the side of the road for you to hop in. Each car has a set events that you have to win in order to unlock upgrades and get "speed points" which allow you to race AI drivers on the "Most Wanted" list.

While the system is not inherently flawed, it quickly grows repetitive. The races that initially seem to be car-specific are actually repeated ad nauseam. Not every vehicle has the exact same races, but they pop up enough times to make the task of earning points a grind. The addition of cops to the Burnout Paradise equation feels out of place at best, and the difficulty of escaping from them with very little reward make them utterly pointless at worse.

Whether you should get Need for Speed: Most Wanted depends on what you want out of it. If you are looking for a fantastic multiplayer arcade racer, by all means, pick it up. However, if you are looking for a good solo racer, you should probably look elsewhere.

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Posted:
2014-02-21

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

Need for Speed Most Wanted has the weird position of sharing its name with a title from earlier in this console generation, but being a spiritual successor to an entirely different title from that generation. The original Most Wanted was one of those titles that bridged the gap between the PS2 and the PS3 by being released in very slight variations on both systems. It was a fun and silly title that used live-action actors to depict its tale of street racers and the police.

The latest Need for Speed Most Wanted has absolutely nothing to do with that game, though. Developed by Criterion, the game pulls almost all of its core gameplay elements from Burnout Paradise, with a few major tweaks. Just like Burnout: Paradise, it takes place in an open world where both the traversal between races and the racing itself happens. Also just like Paradise, it has a massive amount of leaderboards to compete with friends on, this time supplemented by the autolog system that EA has become so fond of.

Most Wanted's multiplayer is also very similar to that of Paradise, in that it simply dumps people into the world and allows the host to choose events, which consist of crazy challenges instead of the usual point-to-point races. For example, one event requires to park yourself on the wing of a plane and stay there. The players compete in the event, then drive on to the next one. This mode really shines in how it encourages players to be complete dicks to one another. If you are taken down during a multiplayer event, you are automatically disqualified, encouraging constant violence between players and creating an extremely hectic and fun experience.

All this said, the game absolutely falls apart when it comes to the single player. Solo play shifts the game's focus to its wide array of cars. As you drive around in the world, you find new, extremely expensive cars just sitting on the side of the road for you to hop in. Each car has a set events that you have to win in order to unlock upgrades and get "speed points" which allow you to race AI drivers on the "Most Wanted" list.

While the system is not inherently flawed, it quickly grows repetitive. The races that initially seem to be car-specific are actually repeated ad nauseum. Not every vehicle has the exact same races, but they pop up enough times to make the task of earning points a grind. The addition of cops to the Burnout Paradise equation feels out of place at best, and the difficulty of escaping from them with very little reward make them utterly pointless at worse.

Whether you should get Need for Speed: Most Wanted depends on what you want out of it. If you are looking for a fantastic multiplayer arcade racer, by all means, pick it up. However, if you are looking for a good solo racer, you should probably look elsewhere.

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Posted:
2014-01-15

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

8.2

No matter what else comes out for a Nintendo, each of them is always remembered by the Mario game or games that came out for that system. For most systems this was a great thing, but the GameCube's Mario game, Super Mario Sunshine, has been dismissed by both critics and consumers as one of the worst 3D Mario games ever made. Can Super Mario Galaxy show the world that Sunshine was just a hiccup in an otherwise stellar franchise?

The short answer to this question is a resounding yes, but lets look at the reasons why. By setting Super Mario Galaxy in space, the game designers found it much easier to each world (level) from each other visually and stylistically. That said, the best thing about this clear separation between each world is that they can each have their own distinct rules. Past games have done this to some extent, but every level in Super Mario Galaxy looks one hundred percent unique and interesting.

Super Mario Galaxy also ditches the extremely gimmicky water backpack from Super Mario Sunshine in favor of a much more tradition 3D platforming style of gameplay. However, the game adds a new kind of collectible called star bits that requires you to point at them on the screen to collect them. I'm sure that Nintendo felt obligated to make use of the system's motion controls, but for games like this, they often just detract from the overall experience.

Thankfully, the sometimes odd motion controls don't take away from the gameplay as a whole. Like most 3D Mario games, Super Mario Galaxy manages to walk the line between being too easy and being too hard. I never felt like I was just breezing through the worlds, but I also never felt like I was being unjustly punished by unforgiving level design, at least for required levels. Some optional levels are certainly crazy hard, but that's the point.

Of course, Super Mario Galaxy is not without its weak spots. Practically every new suit that the game introduces handles terribly, particularly the spring suit. Like any Mario game, the story seems silly and tacked on to the point where you wonder why Nintendo even bothers to write a story for any of their games in the first place. But to be honest, these are minor nitpicks when we're talking about the best game available for the Wii right now.

Super Mario Galaxy sets an incredibly high bar for other games that come out on the Wii, and I certainly hope that they are able to match it, because if they can, the Wii will be able to truly give the Xbox 360 and the PS3 a run for their money when it comes to software. Moreover, Super Mario Galaxy picks the Mario series of 3D platformers back up after they fell so hard in Sunshine, and now I am once again looking forward to whatever Nintendo comes up with for Mario during their next time up at bat.

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Posted:
2013-08-17

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

4.0

The game does offer an intriguing feature wherein you can create your own custom boxer that has your face, uploaded through either the Xbox Vision camera or downloaded from a picture you've transferred to the game. This feature works very well, with a boxer that looks very similar to you after you've waited the ten minutes required for the image to render. There are a number of body styles that you can choose from to make your character just right. Unfortunately, this mode doesn't support a lot of female customization, meaning that women boxers don't look quite right. There are also a ton of custom boxers that have been uploaded to the internet for your free download.

Once you've created a boxer, though, good luck finding something to do with them. There are a couple of different game types, but the Brawl for It All mode that is essentially the campaign takes a long time to complete, thanks to AI that is so challenging that it takes learning cheap moves before you can think that you'll have a chance to win against it. Online play exists, but there is an enormous advantage given to the player with the best connection, so playing online is actually pretty much pointless.

The gameplay in FaceBreaker consists of mashing buttons to attack with a high or a low punch, a throw, or a haymaker. There are also block and parry buttons that aren't really necessary for success. Other than that, just try to stay out of the corner and pick up a couple cheap moves that you can do repeatedly, and you'll have found the entirety of the recipe for success in this game. Indeed, it's not very flavorful at all.

That blandness seeps into the AI that you fight, as well. As you fight them, they'll decide that it's time for you to lose, and that's pretty much it. They'll back you into a corner and wallop on you until the match is over. Even if you manage to fight them off some, all it takes is a single combo of good punches and they can fill their facebreaker meter, which then allows them to knock their opponent to the canvas with a single haymaker punch. Once someone's on the ground, the game tells you to break their face, and with a button press you unleash a finishing move that breaks their face, according to the game. It's not a pleasant way to lose a match, and when it's done repeatedly by an opponent that you can find no reasonable way to beat, well, it gets to be rather annoying.

Unless you like to play video games to find the annoying aspects of them, it might be a good idea to turn the other cheek with FaceBreaker.

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Posted:
2013-12-15

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

7.8

Game Freak released Pokemon Y for the 3DS in October of 2013. The series has effectively become an empire over the past 15 years, giving this new addition a lot to live up to. Often times marketed to kids in the beginning, the Pokemon games of today are challenged with appealing not only to todayÂ’s children, but also to those of us who were fans when it originally appeared and are now adults. How can this be accomplished in one game? How well did Game Freak actually manage to do this?

Unlike previous games in this franchise, Pokemon Y has a much more fast-paced opening. This is excellent news to the Pokemon veterans, as they will no longer have to drag their character through an hour of slow tutorials and limited options. Luckily, this is done in such a way as to not be confusing to those who are inexperienced with Pokemon games. The result is an action-packed first hour that effectively explains the game play and introduces the player to many opportunities to battle and collect different Pokemon and even acquire their first gym badge. Overall, this feature appears to be an improvement over past games.

Introducing the very first entirely 3D game in the franchise, Game Freak has made it a stunningly successful transition. Without mentioning any spoilers, experienced Pokemon trainers should look forward to the way their favorite Pokemon will look in the new 3D game. Whether vicious or adorable, many of the returning favorites have been incredibly revamped.

One long-awaited change made is the ability to create a customized avatar. It is refreshing to be able to express yourself and how you would like to appear to the many other players in the game with more than choosing your gender. While it is not yet fully customizable, you may change your skin tone. An addition of many different accessories allows for even more personalized characters.

Unfortunately the story line and character development are very similar to the other games. With such a large adult fan base, Game Freak should aim to create less linear plots and NPCs. Considering how much of this game is played in a single-player RPG style, the story and characters within is a large portion of the playerÂ’s entertainment.

Luckily for the experienced trainers, the main feature of the game is not drastically changed from its successful predecessors. The actual trading and battling will be similar in many ways to the previous games. A few small tweaks and improvements have been made. These minute changes seem to eliminate some of the more tedious work between battles.

There is one rather important alteration to battle, however. Mega Evolutions are transformations for Pokemon that can actually change their type. This adds a large strategic feature to the battle system. The playerÂ’s original six-Pokemon roster is effectively increased by one, because the Pokemon the player chooses can be Mega Evolved into a different type. For example, evolving one Pokemon to a different type can remove its weakness to a certain element. Because this adds so many different possibilities for battle outcomes and grants the player a huge advantage, there are a few limits set in place by the developer to even out the gameplay. Only one Mega Evolution may be summoned in each battle, and not every Pokemon that can be obtained has a Mega Evolution capability. While the in-game AI still has trouble understanding elemental reactions and weaknesses, PvP battles have a much more strategic feel due to this new feature.

Lastly, the changes made to the multiplayer mode, the Player Search System. It was introduced in earlier games and has been gracefully improved upon. This allows PvP battles and trades to be done more quickly and easily. The improvements also allow players to show off their customizable content easily.

Game Freak has produced an excellent new game in this long-standing series. Tackling another Pokemon game cannot be an easy task. Making a game playable for young, new players and entertaining for the veteran fans is always a hurdle. Taking a series from 2D to full 3D is sometimes a challenge that causes a developer to fail, and has been seen with more than one popular franchise (Sonic the Hedgehog). When done correctly, tackling and overcoming these two challenges can put a game down in the history books as a milestone for a franchise. Pokemon Y for the 3DS will be another great.

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Posted:
2013-12-28

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

8.5

F1 Race Stars is a racing simulator game which seems to be aimed mostly towards Mario Kart fans, or at those who enjoyed playing such releases as Cars 2 the Video Game, rather than your typical racing car games such as Forza and Gran Turismo. Some may also get the impression that because it is a cartoon based game that it is geared towards the younger generation, but they would be wrong in this assumption.

The variety of tracks are vastly different to each other, and you may find yourself flying through mines, or over uneven surfaces, and each track seems to be as crazy as the last one. During your driving you must get off to a good start by picking up the power ups, as failing to do this may leave you mid position or worst still back at the rear in last position at the start. Various power ups also effect how the game is played, for instance, a driver might obtain a power up that gives him teleportation abilities, enabling him to reach pole position. Or another power up may enable the safety car that in turn slows the racer down. You also have various obstacles and goodies on the track, such as water spouts or paving slabs which boost the driver's speed. Good old fashioned, sound driving skills are a must if you are to grab all the goodies and rush down the hidden tracks during the more frantic levels.

Some of the tracks are also very well designed having twists and turns, jumps and track loops which make it hard to position the car centrally whilst traveling upside down. The characters are modeled on the leading F1 drivers, except that they are in a cartoon style in fitting with the game style and overall layout.

Due to the gameplay style associated with this game, no levels are the same, due to the power ups effecting the overall state of play, in some cases drastically affecting the game in both good and bad ways depending on the power up obtained, either by you or one of your opponents. Adopting this approach enables replay ability because the same level, should you choose to replay a level, is always different to that of the last, due to the way in which the power ups and characters interacts with each other during this mode of play. That and the numerous obstacles which end up on various tracks where a simple shunt by an opponent for example can throw your positioning into chaos always make for different situations.

The sound quality is superb and the details on the many characters are well designed, and the online gameplay will allow users to race other F1 Race Star fans. In conclusion this racing game has been heavily influenced by previous titles but in this case I think they have done them justice in both appearance and game playability.

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Posted:
2014-01-30

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

Need for Speed Most Wanted has the weird position of sharing its name with a title from earlier in this console generation, but being a spiritual successor to an entirely different title from that generation. The original Most Wanted was one of those titles that bridged the gap between the PS2 and the PS3 by being released in very slight variations on both systems. It was a fun and silly title that used live-action actors to depict its tale of street racers and the police.

The latest Need for Speed Most Wanted has absolutely nothing to do with that game, though. Developed by Criterion, the game pulls almost all of its core gameplay elements from Burnout Paradise, with a few major tweaks. Just like Burnout: Paradise, it takes place in an open world where both the traversal between races and the racing itself happens. Also just like Paradise, it has a massive amount of leaderboards to compete with friends on, this time supplemented by the autolog system that EA has become so fond of.

Most Wanted's multiplayer is also very similar to that of Paradise, in that it simply dumps people into the world and allows the host to choose events, which consist of crazy challenges instead of the usual point-to-point races. For example, one event requires to park yourself on the wing of a plane and stay there. The players compete in the event, then drive on to the next one. This mode really shines in how it encourages players to be complete dicks to one another. If you are taken down during a multiplayer event, you are automatically disqualified, encouraging constant violence between players and creating an extremely hectic and fun experience.

All this said, the game absolutely falls apart when it comes to the single player. Solo play shifts the game's focus to its wide array of cars. As you drive around in the world, you find new, extremely expensive cars just sitting on the side of the road for you to hop in. Each car has a set events that you have to win in order to unlock upgrades and get "speed points" which allow you to race AI drivers on the "Most Wanted" list.

While the system is not inherently flawed, it quickly grows repetitive. The races that initially seem to be car-specific are actually repeated ad nauseam. Not every vehicle has the exact same races, but they pop up enough times to make the task of earning points a grind. The addition of cops to the Burnout Paradise equation feels out of place at best, and the difficulty of escaping from them with very little reward make them utterly pointless at worse.

Whether you should get Need for Speed: Most Wanted depends on what you want out of it. If you are looking for a fantastic multiplayer arcade racer, by all means, pick it up. However, if you are looking for a good solo racer, you should probably look elsewhere.

avatar name

Posted:
2014-06-15

Better on multiplayer.

mig51

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

Need for Speed Most Wanted has the weird position of sharing its name with a title from earlier in this console generation, but being a spiritual successor to an entirely different title from that generation. The original Most Wanted was one of those titles that bridged the gap between the PS2 and the PS3 by being released in very slight variations on both systems. It was a fun and silly title that used live-action actors to depict its tale of street racers and the police.

The latest Need for Speed Most Wanted has absolutely nothing to do with that game, though. Developed by Criterion, the game pulls almost all of its core gameplay elements from Burnout Paradise, with a few major tweaks. Just like Burnout: Paradise, it takes place in an open world where both the traversal between races and the racing itself happens. Also just like Paradise, it has a massive amount of leaderboards to compete with friends on, this time supplemented by the autolog system that EA has become so fond of.

Most Wanted's multiplayer is also very similar to that of Paradise, in that it simply dumps people into the world and allows the host to choose events, which consist of crazy challenges instead of the usual point-to-point races. For example, one event requires to park yourself on the wing of a plane and stay there. The players compete in the event, then drive on to the next one. This mode really shines in how it encourages players to be complete dicks to one another. If you are taken down during a multiplayer event, you are automatically disqualified, encouraging constant violence between players and creating an extremely hectic and fun experience.

All this said, the game absolutely falls apart when it comes to the single player. Solo play shifts the game's focus to its wide array of cars. As you drive around in the world, you find new, extremely expensive cars just sitting on the side of the road for you to hop in. Each car has a set events that you have to win in order to unlock upgrades and get "speed points" which allow you to race AI drivers on the "Most Wanted" list.

While the system is not inherently flawed, it quickly grows repetitive. The races that initially seem to be car-specific are actually repeated ad nauseum. Not every vehicle has the exact same races, but they pop up enough times to make the task of earning points a grind. The addition of cops to the Burnout Paradise equation feels out of place at best, and the difficulty of escaping from them with very little reward make them utterly pointless at worse.

Whether you should get Need for Speed: Most Wanted depends on what you want out of it. If you are looking for a fantastic multiplayer arcade racer, by all means, pick it up. However, if you are looking for a good solo racer, you should probably look elsewhere.


  Viewing Reviews 1-10 of 12