“When Rhythm Heaven was first launched, it opened up a Pandora’s box of musical minigame mania that tipped the weirdness scale with its goofy rhythm challenges and cartoony antics. Tapping out complex rhythms while harvesting beets in the garden or juggling scientific beakers filled with dangerous substances offered some refreshingly oddball ways to get your groove on, and for the series’ console debut, Rhythm Heaven Fever brings even more creative craziness to the table. It’s easily as bizarre as its portable predecessors, and it’s just as challenging. But the ever-rotating array of charming activities keeps the sometimes frustrating difficulty curve at bay long enough for the addictive gameplay and infectious tunes to take hold.”
“Nintendo’s popular pink protagonist has been on some wild rides of late. Journeying into lush yarn-filled worlds and splitting into a tiny horde of cute little ankle biters have offered some neat new ways to hang with Kirby and his pals. But after spending the past few games shaking up the status quo with off-the-wall concepts, HAL Laboratory returns to the series’ roots with Kirby’s Return to Dreamland. While innovation has pushed the series forward in interesting ways, the return to basics is no bad thing. New screen-annihilating super abilities and bubbly multiplayer co-op liven up this ever-charming romp through Kirby’s old stomping grounds. This is classic Kirby with a few minor twists.”
Everyone has their artifacts of power. For a freelancer hoping to break into video game print magazines, there’s nothing more mystical and awe-inspiring than the ever-elusive debug console. These hard-to-attain devices mirror their retail counterparts, only they possess a dark and sinister magic that lets you run early review and preview code. A necessity for working with long-lead print outlets, debug units are harder to come by than they should be. As a freelancer, you will lust after these arcane artifacts. You might even be inspired to quest for them. You will most likely fail. Miserably. But do you REALLY need them to succeed? Let’s talk some shop, shall we?
It’s always entertaining when I’m playing a game for review in the living room and my wife walks by with her own commentary. This time it was “agh, that game is awful,” and it came a few minutes after putting up with what is arguably the most horrendous attempt at Russian sounding voice over dialogue we’ve possibly ever heard. Ghost Recon for Wii wasn’t really on my radar until it showed up on my doorstep for me to review, so I dug into it to see where things were at. Hoo boy. The gameplay wasn’t what I was expecting. At all. While I actually felt that was a good thing at first, the experience quickly went downhill from there. If you’re curious, you can read all about it in my review over here at GamePro.
I’ll admit it: I was a GoldenEye crack addict back when the original came out for N64. I spent a good chunk of my high school and college years playing through the campaign over and over again and blowing the hell out of buds in split-screen multiplayer. So in tackling GoldenEye 007, I was both excited to check it out and reserved about whether it was going to be any good compared to its predecessor – a game that dished out massive levels of fun for me over the years. You can read all about my thoughts on how it came out in a recent digital issue of EGMi here. If you want the short version: it’s good. Damn good. That is all.
I haven’t played a Kirby game in some time, but once I fired up Epic Yarn I was grinning from ear to ear. Though the little fellow has mostly new moves, the classic gameplay (minus the suck-o-lux moves) feels really tight, and the new yarn-centric theme adds some really fun twists. My write-up is the lead review in the latest digital issue of EGMi, which you can read over here. This game is definitely worth picking up.
I have to say: I’m getting pretty pumped about the Nintendo 3DS. There’s a slick run-down of the system and a bunch of games in the works for in the September issues of Nintendo Power. You’ll also find a few pieces I wrote this issue: Page 95 has a Community features on Tyler Mann’s killer Kingdom Hearts cosplay, and on page 90 you’ll find my reviews of the DS and Wii versions of Despicable Me. Pro tip: if you’re going to shell out for that one, pick up the DS version. That’s all for this month, but I have more NP stuff in the works shortly.
“Summer is officially here, and the month of June brings with it some seriously hot downloadable games to match rising temperatures and sunny weather. If you need a break from the bright sun, there are plenty of cool new gaming downloads to check out for every system. Get ready for action this month, as we blast colorful gems, pull off daredevil bike stunts, incinerate space garbage, and dogfight with classic cartoon characters.”
“Post-apocalyptic worlds are all the rage these days. Never mind the fact we may inevitably be one day cast, bruised and battered, into the decimated ruins of our own crumbling society following some global catastrophe; it’s still fun as hell to wander around grim virtual wastelands mingling with other depraved souls struggling to survive by resorting to any means necessary. Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon eschews the brutal smash and grab mentality that sucked me into many dozens of hours of loot-hunting slaughter-fests in Fallout 3 and Borderlands, delivering instead a more poetic and introspective journey through a slowly dying world shrouded in darkness.”
“Blending technology with the supernatural in a survival horror game setting has the potential to get the blood pumping and dish out spine-tingling chills when done properly. With a creepy plot involving a murderous Web site, the advent of cell phone teleportation, and more than a few dead Japanese girls, Calling might have had a shot at succeeding if it didn’t blow its entire bag of horror tricks in the first 30 minutes of the game. Plus, there are only so many times you can tolerate mindlessly shaking the controller around like a lunatic to fend off touchy-feely spooks before you’d rather beat yourself senseless with the thing to make it all stop.”