Review – Rise of the Argonauts

I’m not really sure what I think of Rise of the Argonauts. On one hand, the game suffers from some poor design choices that can really slow the pace to an insufferable crawl and frustrate the player immensely … so I wouldn’t recommend it. On the other hand, the exciting combat sequences, engrossing story, fine voice acting and art direction made the game quite enjoyable … so I’d totally recommend it.

On another hand, the developer calls this game an RPG, which it totally isn’t. Yeah, you can choose new abilities and change your outfits, but both aspects are so limited that you can’t really call it a full-blown RPG … so we’re back to not recommending it again (for RPG players).… Read the rest

Review – Grand Theft Auto IV **

Grand Theft Auto IV is the greatest game in the history of electronics. No game since GTAIII has revolutionized digital entertainment this awesomely (ok — maybe since Halo 3). I bought my copy the night it launched and have already put in over forty hours of play, merely enough to scratch the surface of this diamond in the rough.

For those of you who don’t know, GTAIV was made by Rockstar Games, a company made exclusively of the “who’s who” of game developers. Everything they touch turns to solid gold and the innovation they bring to the table is easily enough to drive dozens of smaller developing studios.… Read the rest

Review – Lost: Via Domus

This game is horrible.

I could finish the review there but I think I really need the warped therapy that you can only get by ripping into a game that’s tormented you for a week. Not one aspect of this game is redeemable (except maybe the easy 1000 gamer points — but even then I feel cheap). From inception to execution I can’t believe that Ubisoft Montreal had anything to do with this poor excuse for digital entertainment. On top of that, I can’t believe that ABC and the show’s writers signed off on it. Scratch that; I can totally believe ABC signed off on it.… Read the rest

Review – Mass Effect Downloadable Content: Pack #1

Mass Effect is one of the best games I’ve played in recent years. The intricate character development, the beauty of the various worlds, the epic music, the quality voice work … fantastic. I’ve already played through the game twice and I can’t wait for the sequel (which was just made official). So naturally I leapt at the chance to get some filler content with the first DLC pack “Bring Down the Sky”: a 400 point ($5) roughly ninety minute add-on with an additional fifty achievement points thrown in.

Before I get to talking about what I thought went wrong with the pack, I just want to say that I loved playing it as much as the rest of the game.… Read the rest

Are you ready to rock? … well you can’t.

Way to go EA / MTV. Way to f up the launch of what should have been your biggest title this Christmas season. Rock Band launched today, or so gamers were told. In reality it seems like there were only a handful of units shipped to retailers with little or no warning about the shortage. The only press release I’ve seen even hinting at production shortages was unearthed yesterday, in which the EA spokesman said that there might be a little supply crunch … until MARCH OF 2008!

Best Buy held midnight launch parties at about two dozen locations across the US and reports are coming in that a large majority of those stores got shipped a paltry number (one store in Kentucky received two PS3 bundles, and that’s it) or no games at all.… Read the rest

Review – Portal

Portal is a fantastic little game that really compliments Valve’s Orange Box compilation. If it were just a Half-Life collection with Team Fortress thrown in (as it pretty much always was with the PC versions of the franchise) then the Orange Box would still be a steal at $60, but Portal adds some great new game play and some interesting story elements to the Half-Life universe. The only problem I have with the game is that it’s too short, which isn’t the worst problem you could have.

Starting with a tech demo called Narbacular Drop, the student developers at DigiPen caught the attention of the Valve team and it’s easy to see why.… Read the rest

Virtual Console Previews/Reviews – Week of May 20th

Wii Virtual Console:

Streets of Rage 2 (Genesis): One of my favorite games of all time. So simple, yet so amazingly fun … and a great soundtrack, too. I’m still amazed that they can get music that intricate from a console less powerful than my phone. Same-screen co-op makes this game even more fun with a friend. A no-brainer in my opinion, unless you have that Sega classics disc for the Dreamcast.

The Grand Uppercut … the henchman’s most feared foe.

DK Country 2: Diddy Kong’s Quest(SNES): I was never a big fan of the DK series (except for the original), so I’ve never really played more than a few minutes of either DK Country games.… Read the rest

Virtual Console Previews/Reviews – Week of May 14th

Wii Virtual Console:

Ninja Gaiden (NES): Play as Ryu Hayabusa, a ninja warrior who embarks on a quest to avenge his father’s death. A classic, albeit frustrating game. I would hope that unlimited lives are included in this version as dying repeatedly because of wonky wall-jumping mechanics would bring back too many traumatizing memories.

Ninja Spirit (TurboGrafix): Play as Moonlight, a ninja warrior who embarks on a quest to avenge … his father’s … death … wait a minute! So yeah, expect more of the same here but with better graphics.

I pitty the fool who plays Battletoads!

Pac-Man (NES): I don’t think I need to say much about this one.… Read the rest

Virtual Console Previews/Reviews – Week of April 16th

Wii Virtual Console:

Glass Joe, you were so misunderstood.

Punch Out!! (NES): Not Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, but I actually liked this one better anyway. Quite possibly my favorite NES game of all time. At 500 points, this is a complete no-brainer. Go get this … now. Japan has had this on the VC for about a month and a half now, I wonder what the hold up was? We have it now so I guess it doesn’t matter.

Virtua Fighter 2 (Sega Genesis): The reason I purchased the infamous 32X for the Genesis was for Virtua Fighter 3D and it was well worth the money (at the time).… Read the rest

Virtual Console Previews/Reviews – Week of April 9th

Wii Virtual Console:

30000 high score? n00b.

Galaga (NES): I don’t really need to explain this one to the people who would be reading this article. Galaga was an awesome arcade game and the NES conversion was good enough to recommend this purchase to any fan of classic shooters.

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle (Sega Genesis): A horrible game. I have no idea who is deciding what titles are released for the Genesis, but they should be fired. Seriously … Alex Kidd?!? Before Earthworm Jim, the NHL series, Road Rash, etc.? This game is worthless.

Bravoman (TG16): Another good game for the TurboGraphix this week.… Read the rest