Reviews & Articles

PreviewFairytale Fights

September 29, 2013
Not suitable for children
by: GrizzMagoo available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

After a few turns around the Anime Fest, it was time for me to make my way past the booth babes at the Playlogic table and wrap my fingers around the controls of Fairytale Fights. Set to ship Oct. 27, Fairytale Fights is not the sweetsy-peetsy, E-rated title you might be conjuring in your head.

ReviewMagic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers

September 26, 2013
Your grandparents’ card games never looked this good!
by: CentCMD available on: Xbox Live Arcade
I discovered Magic: The Gathering — Duels of the Planeswalkers for Xbox Live Arcade while looking for a traditional card game. I downloaded the demo, and I was immediately struck by the artistry of the game board and the simplicity of the user interface. The interface is ornate and magnificent looking, and it complements the artwork featured on the cards. The game’s graphics were amazingly impressive for a card game; I purchased the full game the same day I downloaded the demo. I learned the game by following the brief tutorial. It familiarizes players with the basic gameplay rules and controls. I highly recommend everyone who gets this game play the tutorial.

ReviewWallace & Gromit Episode 3: Muzzled!

September 24, 2013
No animals were harmed in the making of this game
by: drewmcgee available on: PC
TellTale Games has impressed me yet again with the third installment of Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventure. This time, in Wallace & Gromit Episode 3: Muzzled!, the ingenious inventor and his trusty canine partner are up against the cunning wits of a swindler named Monty Muzzle. The backdrop for the game is, as always, West Wallaby Street.

ReviewTrainz Simulator 2009 — World Builder Edition

September 20, 2013
Chugga, chugga, choo, choo, baby!
by: Scorpogee available on: PC
For the rest of us who admire the work of train hobbyists but can’t afford to spend a ton of money or don’t have the space available for that track layout, there’s Trainz Simulator 2009 — World Builder Edition. Developer Auran, who runs Planet Auran for Trainz enthusiasts, has developed a pretty formidable simulation for those who want to ride the tracks or produce their own layouts on the computer.

ReviewKingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

September 17, 2013
A great bite-size game from a great series
by: Pashford available on: Nintendo DS
I remember when SquareSoft would come out with a game and it meant I was about to be sidetracked by something grand for a good month. SquareSoft definitely made sure to hand out nothing but RPG gold, and it did so pretty effortlessly. Enix eventually came along and, well, ruined that. Not being a huge fan of much that’s come out of the SquareEnix group, the Kingdom Hearts series has not yet hit a real snag and has maintained interest for me as an RPG lover. Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is a portable spin of the console series and is between the first and second games.

ReviewThe Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

September 14, 2013
Flamboyant outfits, pianos, theaters and frogs not included
by: Psychphan available on: Nintendo DS
Very few items make it into public consciousness. No matter how hard you try, you cannot escape them. No, this isn’t about the fads of a decade. What I am writing about are the touchstones of humanity, things that you owe to yourself if you are a living, breathing person. One such example is The Wizard of Oz. It doesn’t matter if you read the book, saw the play or watched the movie; you know the basic gist of the plot and characters. (An old dog of mine was Toto in the play version several years ago.) The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road is similar to the original story but has a few twists.

ReviewFor the Glory: A Europa Universalis Game

September 11, 2013
Proving that even simulated world conquest is impossible!
by: CentCMD available on: PC
Alexander the Great and I have many things in common. We have nine letters in our first names, we like world travel and we have a weird desire to conquer stuff. As for the latter, I play videogames. When For the Glory: A Europe Universalis Game gave me the opportunity to play out my Alexander-inspired fantasies and conquer the world from the comfort of my PC, I was more than thrilled. All those years of studying politics seemed to finally be worth the tuition money.

ReviewGish

September 8, 2013
Clever and fun to play with minor flaws
by: Psychphan available on: PC
The wonderful thing about the indie gaming community is the simple fact there are several little gems, regardless of genre. Some are even hiding in plain sight on digital distribution sites. One of those gems belongs to the platforming genre, and that gem is Gish. It is a fun game to play — period.

ReviewAssassin's Creed: Brotherhood

September 3, 2013
No disappointments in this installment
by: BlueMark available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is quite possibly the best installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. There is simply nothing in the game that can disappoint anyone.

ReviewMega Man 9

August 30, 2013
What was old is new
by: Pashford available on: Xbox Live Arcade

Rock Man, The Blue Bomber, Super Fighting Robot ... Mega Man has gone through the ringer when it comes to nicknames — and rightfully so, as he has had a rather extensive career stretching back all the way to the original Nintendo. Capcom loves a franchise, and were it not for Ryu and Ken, Mega Man might be its favorite child. Having starred in several game series, Mega Man hit a bump just like Sonic did in the late 1990s, as the transition to 3-D seemed difficult for the young android. The only way the series seemed to persevere is by holding him in the 2-D realm. After a few hits and many misses, Mega Man is put into the most comfortable environment he knows — the one that blasted him into stardom — and directly returns to his roots with Mega Man 9, the latest installment in the original Mega Man series.

ReviewThe Wizard's Pen

August 23, 2013
by: Sylvene available on: PC
The one thing I have to wonder about casual games is how addictive they make them, and also marvel at the production values many companies throw into the making of them. Wizard's Pen is a hidden object game from PopCap Games and it's another winner from the moment you start the game, with beautiful graphics and good but repetitive sound.

You begin by entering your chosen name and the game begins the story, addressing you by name. You are apprenticed to a great wizard who's gone missing, leaving behind a blank ...

ReviewPenguins & Friends: Hey! That’s my Fish!

August 20, 2013
Fun in the Artic
by: Psychphan available on: WiiWare

I confess: The Wii has been an interest of mine ever since it came out. It was doing things that have never really been done before. Plus, it has a degree of accessibility that has never been seen before; it is a console that can behave like a traditional console (especially when one obtains a game through the Wii Virtual Console) and can act like a PC due to the motions of the Wii-mote. After all these years, those were the reasons my sister and I finally picked up a Wii. After about a week of proud ownership, a little WiiWare game caught my eye on the Wii Shop Channel. That game was Penguins and Friends: Hey! That’s my Fish! Is it worth using blocks on your Wii?

The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning

August 17, 2013
by: Soapy available on: Nintendo DS
The cute little purple dragon named Spyro starts all over again in The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning. The storyline has nothing to do with any of the prior games, so you don’t have to have played any previous games to be able to pick up this one. The controls are a mix of touch screen usage as well as the regular controller, letting you solve puzzles and target bad guys with your thumb while moving and attacking with the D-pad and buttons. The game is released on several platforms, including the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube, so for a DS game, it’s just not going to be as nice unfortunately. Elijah Wood, David Spade and Gary Oldman do lend their voices talents to the game which is something to go “wow” over.

Cake Mania

August 14, 2013
by: Alladania available on: PC
I preface this review with a confession. I don’t cook. (Okay, maybe a little, but not really.) That being said, I love playing Cake Mania. Luckily, no actual cooking knowledge is required.

Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter

August 11, 2013
by: Tsasa available on: Xbox 360
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter was built utilizing the tremendous power of the Xbox 360, taking advantage of its increased computing power to deliver unprecedented graphics and a myriad of innovative features. This urban environment war game against the Nicaraguan terrorist army in Mexico City is another giant leap for the gaming industry. It is breath taking in more ways than one can imagine. Only the best urban warfare gamers will be able to take the challenge and complete this game’s scenarios.

Super Smash Bros. Melee

August 8, 2013
by: SeanMike available on: GameCube
This is the reason to buy a GameCube. Super Smash Bros. Melee (time to make a macro so I can type that faster) is quite possibly one of the most fun multiplayer party type games…ever.

I'll leave it at that so you can run out and buy it.

What? Don't own a GameCube?

Soul Calibur III

August 5, 2013
by: Psychochild available on: PlayStation 2
"The Legend Will Never Die"
My love of the Soul Calibur games goes back a long way through multiple consoles. First was Soul Blade (also known as Soul Edge in the arcades) on the original PlayStation, then Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast, Soul Calibur 2 on the GameCube, and now Soul Calibur 3 on the PlayStation 2. Through all the incarnations, the game has offered a lot of really great gameplay with slick presentation and a smooth interface. Each new game has really improved upon the previous games and astounded fans of the series.

ReviewMetroid: Other M

July 29, 2013
When metroids are involved, no one can hear you scream
by: Psychphan available on: Nintendo Wii

I would never have considered myself to be a long-term Metroid fan. I didn’t play the original until close I was about 9, never understood why folks got excited about Super Metroid until four years ago, and I absolutely love Metroid II on the old Gameboy despite the rest of the world hating it. I also think that Metroid Prime was the first first-person shooter that got the genre to work on a console. These thoughts have been swirling around my head as I’ve been playing Metroid: Other M. It’s not as bad as many players claim, and many of the criticisms are misplaced.

ReviewBlast Angle HD

July 25, 2013
Explosive fun
by: Asterix available on: iPad

Blast Angle HD can be described as a single- and multiplayer artillery dueling game. In the single-player campaign, the player is in charge of defending the planet from the invading aliens.

ReviewValhalla Knights: Eldar Saga

July 22, 2013
Draw your sword! Eldar needs you!
by: Link_to_the_future available on: Nintendo Wii
Valhalla Knights is a name that hearkens images of warriors and castles, lords and ladies, chivalry and evil, monsters and magic. Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga spins an epic tale of the Eldar Region, a land plagued by monsters for a thousand years. One hero, the man destined to reunite the four races — dwarves, elves, halflings and men — is your character in this story. Hired by a young man, who is bound to a wheelchair because of a deadly illness and who is a descendant of a long line of mages, your quest is to gather the “Star Fragments.” These fragments are pieces from a great meteor shower hundreds of years ago that spawned monsters throughout Eldar.

ReviewNancy Drew: The Model Mysteries

July 18, 2013
Nancy Boo
by: GrizzMagoo available on: Nintendo DS
I’ve read just about every Nancy Drew story there is, so I’m always curious to see how Nancy fares on a digital platform. So far, no DS version of the classic series has come close to recreating those exciting adventures Nancy and I used to share, and unfortunately, Nancy Drew: The Model Mysteries is still far from my childhood memories.

ReviewBeat Hazard

July 15, 2013
Combining a love of music and gaming
by: Jcoffey available on: PC

I love music. I think everyone does, really; it’s pretty much everywhere you go. Chances are, if you’re walking down the street, you’re going to hear music from somewhere. Sometimes, it’s even in your head. Along with music, I also love gaming. For me, the two are generally separated. Aside from a few amazing exceptions, I’ve found no real way to combine my love of music and passion for gaming.

Then I played Beat Hazard.

PreviewCaptains of DarkTide

July 12, 2013
Good start to high-seas fun
by: drewmcgee available on: Browser
The unending mayhem of MMO battle takes to the high seas in Silverlode Interactive’s upcoming title Captains of DarkTide. With the ability to customize your crew, ordnance, ship type and image, your swashbuckling days will be filled with options.

ReviewNaughty Bear

July 9, 2013
Reminiscent of old Saturday morning cartoons
by: TreavorClark available on: Xbox 360

I think if we were to sit down and watch the cartoons we watched as a kid, we would see that violence was a common bedfellow with the comedy of the likes of Wile E. Coyote and so forth. This really doesn’t mean those cartoons were bad and they created violent children; we were just enlightened by the comical chase. The game Naughty Bear takes this idea and makes it into a modern-day game that feels very reminiscent of those Saturday cartoons ... with a tad bit more emphasis on the violent atmosphere.

ReviewRock Band 3

July 6, 2013
The pinnacle of music videogames
by: brubinow available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii

For those willing to make the investment, Rock Band 3 is one of the best multiplayer experiences around. I shudder to think how much money I’ve spent on Rock Band games, instruments and song downloads since I first got into it, but few games are as purely joyful to play as Rock Band 3. Far from being just a new songlist, Rock Band 3 represents a great leap forward for music rhythm gaming.