[Game Review] Pilotwings Resort (3DS)

I’ve never played a Pilotwings game prior to Resort, but I’ve heard mostly good things. People seem to traditionally find that this series has always been used for showing off how technically advanced the system it is released on is, and the past games have helped set the bar for what subsequent releases on the system should be able to achieve in terms of visual prowess. One look at Pilotwings Resort and it would be easy to see that the game does in fact do a great job of showing off the technical potential of Nintendo’s new handheld, but it doesn’t do it very well.

For as technically impressive as the Island of Wuhu (first seen in Wii Sports Resort) looks with full 3D popping on your shiny new 3DS, the entire game is just completely bland and totally boring. Does that mean it’s bad? No, not at all. It’s just really hard to get $40 worth of fun out of it.

Still, there are plenty of things Pilotwings Resort does right. Can the good outweigh the bad in this 3DS launch game?

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[Mobile Game Review] MiniSquadron (Android)

Operating System: Android
Played on: HTC Evo 4G
Developer: Gray Fin Studios
Genre: Arcade
Cost: $2.99

I’m sure at least one other person has noticed that the Android Market is finally starting to build a decent catalog of mobile games. It took way too long, but it’s finally starting to happen. Games like the recently reviewed Radiant HD, the soon to be reviewed Game Dev Story, Angry Birds and Guns n’ Glory, and many others have finally given me something to do while waiting in line at the BMV or ignoring my World Literature lecture.

MiniSquadron is an arcade-style, 2D sidescrolling aerial dog-fighter (an airplane game with guns) that offers plenty of innovation, exciting game modes, and tons of different planes to unlock and use to blast your enemies into smithereens. If you have an Android phone, listen up. This review’s for you.

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[Game Review] Minecraft (PC)

Developer: Notch
Publisher: Mojang Specifications.
Platform: PC

There is a game out there that successfully combines genres in gaming that I previously thought were not able to be blended. The game in question, Minecraft, is an indie game by programmer “Notch.” Notch is a swede developer who recently put forth the alpha version of his brainchild, and in the span of only a few months went from unknown indie dev to unknown indie dev MILLIONAIRE. But enough about Notch, you want to hear about Minecraft.

Imagine taking the build-ability of Legos, zombie/monster horror and survival, adventure games, and mix in a delightfully pixelated world and you’ve got Minecraft. Minecraft has several modes for you to enjoy, from the classic mode where you spawn in your world with unlimited resources at the tips of your fingers with which to construct whatever you see fit.

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[Android App Review] Jewels

Platform: Android Smartphones (Reviewed on HTC Hero)
Developer: MH Games
Price: Free
Genre: Match-Three Puzzle

Jewels is, as I’m sure you’ve guessed if you have a functioning brain, a derivative of the phenomenally popular Bejeweled. Of course, match-three puzzle games have become more common than AIDS in Africa (was that in bad taste?) since the original Bejeweled launched in 2000, and for good reason. It’s simple, it’s addictive, and it’s fun.

Why am I reviewing a free Bejeweled rip off? Because Android users can’t currently get the real thing on their mobile phones, and everyone loves match-three puzzle games. There are countless variations of the genre on the app store, so I want to make sure you readers are able to find the best one. It’s not like I’m saving your money so much as I’m saving your time since this is a completely free app, but surely that’s good enough right? And I’m also really bored.

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[Game Review] No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle (Wii)

System: Wii (Exclusive)
Devloper: Grasshopper Manufacture
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action

I have always wanted Quentin Tarantino to make a video game. The way he makes his films, with over-the-top violence, plenty of sex, ass loads of awesomeness, and way too much dialogue would make the perfect video game script.

However, that’s not likely to happen any time soon. So instead, us gamers have to look to Suda 51 and Grasshopper Manufacture to get our overdose of interactive bad assery, and Suda’s latest masterpiece, No More Heroes 2, is more than enough for any gamer craving something out of the ordinary in the best way imaginable. Continue reading

[Game Review] Battlefield: Bad Company (XBox 360)

System: XBox 360 (Also on PS3)
Developer: DICE Studios
Pulbisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: FPS

In a time dominated by Call of Duty, Battlefield: Bad Company brings something to the First Person Shooter table. With the launch of its sequel only hours away, I figured I would give you folks a taste of what was, and of what can be expected. Bad Company delivers in many areas that other FPS games don’t, namely, environment. When you get in the game, I urge you, take a look around at a building or tree and SHOOT at it.

Trees come down, windows break, grenades will BLOW UP WALLS! Artillery and tank rounds will leave smoldering craters where people once were and buildings will crumble. The game brings a fantastic sense of realism on the virtual battlefield by allowing both the player and AI to change the playing field at almost any time. This leads up to one of my major gripes about Bad Company, namely in the single player area, and that is AI. Continue reading

[Game Review] N.O.V.A. (iPhone)

System: iPhone
First Person Shooter

A lot of people have been said the iPhone would be a pitiful replacement for mobile gaming, they say. Touch interface alone cannot stand with the contending champs such as the DS or the PSP, they say. Well, Gameloft is here to prove whoever “they” may be wrong. N.O.V.A. was actually a well-hyped game for the iPhone leaving expectations quite high, but thankfully, N.O.V.A. lives up to every bit of it.

The story is pretty standard for a futuristic shooter. Your an ex-military soldier who gets drafted back into the fight to take care of some invading aliens. You follow the orders of an A.I. reminiscent of Cortana in Halo. You also have a suit kind of like the Mjolner armor. I feel like I know where some of the inspiration came from. Continue reading

[Game Review] Manhunt 2 (Wii)

manhunt_2_wii_box_artSystem: Wii (Also on PS2, PSP, PC)
Developer: Rockstar Toronto/Rockstar London
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Genre: Stealth/Action

I’m a video game elitist. I’m picky about the games I play, and I’m extremely particular about games I enjoy. Oftentimes I feel like games are TOO complicated and complex for me to enjoy. I get lost, and not in the good way, between missions and tasks and side missions and side tasks that I never feel like I’m progressing enough in the game to warrant the amount of time I invest into the game. You fly through the first couple of missions, feeling good, and then all of a sudden you end up between 30% and 60% completed before you really hit the wall, where the game becomes a chore rather than entertaining.

Manhunt 2 centers around Danny Lamb, an escapee from a mental hospital, and his pursuit of the truth. Now, I didn’t play Manhunt so I probably missed a lot of backstory because of that, and perhaps that actually allows me to enjoy the game enough for what it is. I have no expectations from the previous game for the sequel to live up to. Continue reading

[Game Review] Borderlands (Xbox 360)

System: Xbox 360 (Also on: PS3, PC)
Developer: Gearbox Software
Publisher: 2K Games
Genre: FPRPG (First-Person Role-Playing Game)

I first heard about borderlands through a mailing list from Gearbox Software, the company behind the game. For months I waited eagerly as more information about this new FPS/RPG surfaced, and about how wicked awesome the designers promised it would be. Now that the game is finally out, I am here to inform you that it is, in fact, wicked awesome. Continue reading

[Game Review] Brutal Legend (Xbox 360)

System: Xbox 360 (Also on PS3)
Developer: Double Fine
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Action/Adventure/RTS/Metal

Brutal Legend is the most recent project from comical genius Tim Schafer, the driving force behind critically acclaimed games like Psychonauts and Grim Fandango. Never heard of those games? I wish I couldn’t say this, but I’m not surprised.

For some reason Schafer’s games tend to go unnoticed by the general gaming public despite rave reviews, likely due to a severe lack of marketing push from Publishers. Chances are, though, that you’ve at least heard of Brutal Legend. This game has gotten plenty of attention from general gaming press and public as well as music-centered publications thanks to a stellar heavy metal theme and all-star voice cast. Continue reading