wii

Red Steel 2

Full Review

red Steel 2 CoverThe first third-party Wii game was revealed in the May 2006 issue of Game Informer. It promised intuitive swordfighting controls and unmatched precision in gunplay, all in a stylish Yakuza setting. In the six months between reveal and launch, Red Steel hype built to unattainable levels. Disappointment was inevitable. But even with tempered expectations, Red Steel is barely an average game, and the case for motion controls in action games took a serious blow when it failed to impress.

That said, the game rode the launch hype into some pretty decent sales, eventually crossing the million mark. A sequel was rumored almost as soon as the original appeared on store shelves. It took three and a half years, but the sequel did eventually arrive in March 2010. Barring the focus on guns and swords, Red Steel 2 is nothing like the original: the realistic visuals are switched out for a cel-shaded style, the Yakuza setting and characters are changed to an otherworldly-mix of Samurai and Western trappings, and the hopes dashed by waggle at launch are replaced with renewed fervor for precise motion controls, which are provided by the Wii Motion Plus controller attachment that Red Steel 2 requires.

Even if you made the mistake of purchasing Red Steel back in 2006, don't make the mistake of ignoring Red Steel 2 now.

Super Mario Galaxy

Full Review

Super Mario Galaxy CoverI loved Super Mario 64. It was the first game I ever played on what is one of my favorite consoles, and my memories of the game have stuck with me to this day.  The running, the jumping, the exploration of huge levels, it was incredible.  Mario made the best transition to 3D ever, well, until Ocarina of Time came around.  The next 3D Mario iteration was Super Mario Sunshine, which I was less then enthused about.  I'm not sure if it was the water pack gimmick or what, but I was never convinced that it would be worth playing.  Nintendo has finally delivered its third true 3D Mario game (well, two and a half years ago) with Super Mario Galaxy.  While it is almost unrecognizable in terms of what a Mario game should be like, it plays just like Mario 64 did 14 years ago: awesomely.

Galaxy's gimmick is that instead of featuring one giant, flat plane, each world is made up of small, Little Prince-like planets and objects.  Gravity and physics are now Mario's biggest friend and foe, as you're constantly being challenged in new ways to jump and explore.  I love games like Braid and Portal that challenge me to think and play different, Super Mario Galaxy joins that elite group, in my opinion.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is due in less than two months, and it'll probably be the first Wii game I buy at launch in over three years.  I'd love to have a first hour review of that game at launch (hint, hint, Nintendo), but I've got a first hour review of this game also on the back burner.  Here's my full review of Super Mario Galaxy.  I collected all 120 stars in the game which took me about 25-30 hours.

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Full Review
Tatsunoko Vs Capcom Cover

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars is the latest installment in the crossover series developed by Eighting and published by Capcom. Originally released in Japan more than a year ago (Dec 11, 2008), Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is finally making it's stateside debut January 26th, 2010.

You may be asking yourself, "Who the heck are these Tatsunoko characters?". I myself am asking this same question as I venture into this unknown universe. To my current knowledge, it is basically one of the grandfather anime production studios that really took off in the 80s and early 90s in Japan. Most of their work made it overseas with the likes of Samarai Pizza Cats, G-Force, and Robotech. If you grew up with cartoons in the 90s, there is a chance you will run across some familiar faces here (though you may have forgotten their names).

Capcom took a huge gamble bringing such an unknown universe stateside. To put the odds in their favor, the game has gained a few critical changes. First off, online match making has been included. Secondly, at the cost of losing one character from the original Japanese game due to licensing issues (see Hakushon Daimaō), Capcom has graciously added five new playable characters to the international version of the game.

This game was never originally planned to make it over here. I was able to play the title while I was over in Japan a year ago and was super excited to hear Capcom was putting so much effort into bringing it overseas. The game definitely warrants a purchase and fills the empty void of 2D fighters (with online) on the Wii. Hopefully word gets out about this game because I have a feeling it's going to be an uphill battle. I've lived in Japan for two years and I still don't know who half these Tatsunoko characters are.

Jumper: Griffin's Story

Full Review
Jumper Griffins Story Cover

Jumper: Griffin's Story is a video game spinoff of a movie that was based on a novel by author Steven Gould. Yes, you read that right. It was developed by an Aussie studio called RedTribe, famous for such megahits as Looney Tunes: Acme Arsenal and Space Chimps. The movie and novel follow the life of a young man named David Rice as he grows up and eventually realizes he has the ability to teleport. At first it’s a life saving surprise, but over time David starts to use his ability to his advantage. He travels the globe and "accumulates" vast riches. However, his activities don’t go unnoticed. In the movie, we are introduced to a secret society of "Paladins"; men whose job it is to hunt down and kill those with the ability to teleport, also known as Jumpers. It isn’t long before the Paladins take an interest in David.

As we follow David’s adventures, we’re introduced to a fellow Jumper named Griffin. He plays a multi-faceted role as both David’s teacher and, to a certain degree, his antagonist. He’s an intriguing character and it’s clear he’s been around the block before with the Paladins. He’s cocky and experienced and generally more interesting than the character of David. Perhaps that’s why the game follows Griffin’s story rather than David’s. But was the decision to base a game on a supporting role rather than the main character a good one? Read on to find out.

Chibi-Robo!

First Hour Review
Chibi Robo Cover

Ever get tired of fighting? Can't someone make a game about something besides combat? Those were questions I was asking myself when I discovered Chibi-Robo. I remembered this Nintendo-published game vaguely from when it first came out, but looked into it with more interest as I tried to find a game about something other than violence.

Granted, games like The Sims are about something other than fighting, but what I was looking for was a game that used familiar game elements in a non-combat setting. For example, could you earn experience points by talking to people? Explore and find something other than more enemies to fight? Surely it can be done, but it didn't seem to exist in the wild.

That's when I found Chibi-Robo. Developed by Skip Ltd. and published by Nintendo, it seems to be an adventure game in which you play as a tiny robot and explore a house. Your mission is to make the host family happy, which you do by cleaning up trash and spills, finding lost objects, and sundry other tasks.

But will a non-violent game be able to offer an exciting first hour experience?

Call of Duty: World at War

First Hour Review
Call Of Duty World At War Cover

Call of Duty: World at War is the fifth Call of Duty game as the series once again, goes back to World War II. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was simply one of the most amazing games I've ever played, and I awarded it the first perfect score for a first hour review ever (I don't give numerical scores anymore, but I'll let you all know if I play one better). World at War was released in 2008 on all modern consoles and the PC and uses a modified version of the Modern Warfare engine. I will be playing the Windows version.

I was a bit disappointed to hear that Activision chose to set their latest during World War II, since the technology in Modern Warfare is part of what made the game so great. I wasn't planning to play the game, but I received a free copy with my graphics card, so how could I refuse to play at least the first hour of it? Of course, the multiplayer portion of the Call of Duty series is undoubtedly one of the more popular aspects, but I will be limiting my time to the single player campaign.

Tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the start of World War II. Let us hope there is never another one like it.

SimCity Creator

Full Review
Simcity Creator Cover

SimCity Creator is a city-building game for the Nintendo DS. The game is known as SimCity DS 2 in Japan, but EA decided to rebrand it as SimCity Creator to align it with the Wii game of the same name that was also released in September 2008 (supposedly, the first SimCity DS, so they were also trying to break out of that stigma). So please, take note that this review is of the DS game and not the Wii game, while both SimCity games, they seem different enough to definitely qualify as unique games.

I've always been a fan of SimCity, remembering back to the days of DOS where if you bulldozed a church God sent your way a tornado as thanks; and sleeping over at my friend Joey's house just so I could play SimCity 2000 all night (plus he had a pretty awesome Lego collection). SimCity and I have a long history, heck, I even played SimCity 64 for the 64DD in Akihabara, Japan. However, I skipped SimCity DS because I honestly didn't think the stylus was accurate enough to play a tile-based game where precision mattered. If the controls for SimCity DS are anything like Creator's, I'll be both right and wrong, which I'll describe below.

SimCity Creator is a unique game, blending some fun scenarios with original building architecture, but let's see if it's actually worth playing.

World of Goo

Full Review

World of Goo CoverWorld of Goo is a physics based puzzle game available for Windows, Linux, OS X, and WiiWare. I reviewed the first hour of the game a few months ago and just kept on playing it until it was unfortunately over. World of Goo was one of the highlights during February's indie game month at the First Hour, and as Magic Toy Chest developers, Graduate Games, told me, "it's tough following World of Goo." That it is. The game has a ton of charm, wit, and atmosphere to carry it over about 50 levels. Each one is unique and will leave you wanting more, and while I feel the story is a bit overdone, this is a brilliant game. Let's get into it.

World of Goo

First Hour Review

World of Goo CoverWorld of Goo is a 2D puzzle game for the PC, Mac, Linux, and WiiWare released last year. It was independently made by 2D-Boy and has been a huge hit across the board. The goal of the game is to get the required number of goo balls into each level's pipe. You use the goos to build bridges, towers, and anything else you can imagine and construct. The game's impressive physics are really its highlight, but it doesn't slack in any other areas either.

World of Goo is available in a box, as a direct download, and even over Steam. As you'll see, this game's first hour is so good you'll want to go right out and buy a copy, so don't complain when you can't find it anywhere!

Kung Fu Panda

Full Review

Kung fu Panda CoverKung Fu Panda was a free game with my Xbox 360. When was the last time you got games with your system (yes, games, as Lego Indiana Jones was packed in too)? The Wii restarted a great trend by including Wii Sports, and sure, it was the Xbox 360 Holiday Bundle, but it's so nice to have something to play when you first plug it in. Did you know that I got three(!) games included with my Super Nintendo? Super Mario World, Super Mario Kart, and Super Mario All-Stars. It was the single greatest day of my childhood.

So Kung Fu Panda is the new video game based off the movie of the same name. Have you seen it? If so, you will probably enjoy this game for as long as it lasts (not that long). If you haven't seen it, you probably won't appreciate the humor it has to offer. That is, until you see the movie. Let's just get into my review of Kung Fu Panda for the Xbox 360, all score are out of 10.

Syndicate content