Review – Spider-Man: Friend or Mere Acquaintance

In another installment in my untimely series on finding something to hate while surrounded by the best games in years, here’s another look at games that ate shit in 2007.

Until recently, the Spider-Man franchise had been the only comic book license that somewhat translated into an enjoyable gaming experience. Next Level Games, a company that specializes in cramming a licensed properties into games that have nothing to do with the license they are based on, must have won some sort of raffle to be awarded the development of Friend or Foe. Any company that works solely in licensed games is going to suck worse than a circus put on by disabled veterans. Anyone who tells you different is Next Level Games.

Now That's Amore!

With hands full of cash and laps full of stripper, Next Level Games didn’t waste time on relating this game to the movie or even comic when they had already developed what I can only assume would have been called Mario Strikers Love Corndogs if Nintendo had called them first. →  Read the rest

Review – Superman Returns

As you are happily whiling away the hours on the great games that have come out in the past few months, allow me to darken your day with another reminders of how much shit last year’s flood of licensed games sucked.

As a child, I spent a fair amount of my time educating myself, to a very precise degree, on the capabilities of superheroes, should a need arise to discuss how such powers would fair in various hypothetical conflicts. For example, I know the powers of each superhero so well, I could tell, with scientific accuracy, who would win in a battle royal between Namor, Aquaman, Namorita, Black Manta, and Aqua Lad.*

The sound of dueling banjos plays in the distance...

Later in life I developed a deep resentment when I came upon two crushing realizations. The first, and perhaps the one that should have been foreseeable, was that no one ever got laid due to their wielding of such knowledge. →  Read the rest

A Portrait of the Guitar Hero as a Young Man in a Rock Band

I started playing my mom’s beat up guitar when I was about nine or ten. At the time I thought it was fun solely because a friend taught me to strum and sing the Oscar Mayer wiener song, and I did so – often publicly. In middle school, I found a few others who for various reasons could play an instrument mildly well, and we did so — publicly. Our first time out was the school’s talent show. We were probably there for the sole reason of showing the assholes who beat us up in the locker room that we could do something better than they could. We chose to perform, despite my lobbying for the wiener song, Sweet Child O’ Mine. As I opened up the first few riffs – girls screamed. →  Read the rest

Review – Transformers the Game

Before you get all doe-y eyed for the great video games that have come out in the past two months, and start swallowing the industry’s mandate that we can only have decent games around the pinnacle event of a religion that totally hates video games, lets take a minute and remember how fucking terrible the rest of 2007 was for video games. Starting with Transformers the Game.

Transformers the Movie was the cinematic equivalent of going to a space zoo and jumping into a pit of laser equipped alligators and beating them down with your cock. While on fire. While the Teen Girl Squad cheers you on. Transformers the Game is the video game equivalent of falling into the same crocodilian awesomeness, only to find your cock quickly chomped off. And you’re on fire. →  Read the rest

Review – Lair

So, the critics have called this game unoriginal and unplayable due to its extra 21st chromosome technology control scheme. Harsh. They say the game’s opening monologue may as well have been ripped from the Fellowship of the Rings DVD. However there is a significant difference which qualifies this as “not a rip off,” when I’m-supposed-to-be-Cate-Blanchett gets to the part of the prologue where she introduces the uber-evil force that we’ll be up against. It’s not the giant fiery eye of Sauron or even a giant fiery uvula, but rather a volcano. Holy shit, volcanoes weren’t even in Lord of the Rings for at least two movies. How can those dicks over at every other game review site say this is unoriginal?

That’s right, the evil that has torn apart the peaceful world of Dragonslairville is – volcanoes.
 →  Read the rest

Review – Heavenly Sword demo

Well, it’s come to this. The best offering for the PS3 right now is a fucking DEMO. After enduring months of postponed releases and crocodile tears over how “hard” it is to develop for the PS3 we finally have a kickass demo. Why not wait another few days and write a review for the full release, you ask? Because I have lost all hope that any PS3 game will ever be released on time. (See my nonexistent review of Lair dated Nov. 17, 2006) Since it’ll take longer to read this article than play the demo, I’ll take you through all the other unnecessary pre-release media as well.

The game’s controls and what’s really happening onscreen go together like Depends and a thong. On numerous occasions, I had to wonder if I had downloaded the demo or just a game video, and I was pretending to play along like a four year old who’s run out of tokens at Chuck E. →  Read the rest

Review – Mario Party 8

Mario Party 8 is great for those who love board games, but don’t have a properly calibrated floor to play one on. I was so bored playing the required 80 hours of remedial shoots and ladders needed to unlock all of the party games that I started to appreciate Warhol’s “Sleep”. The party games combine the all the fun of watching real estate infomercials with the innovation of watching a marathon of real estate infomercials.

  No disrespect to Tom Vu, however. In his infomercial, this late 80’s real estate mogul turned seminar hawker/ pimp had a waterfall that he built using the leftover chicks from the playboy mansion. And best of all, he would act like he never saw them. He would give the original crib tour and walk by as if he just had a non-woman waterfall built of regular rocks and Waterfall-Mart bought supplies.
 →  Read the rest

Review – Madden 08

The Madden Curse Comes to the Wii

For years we’ve seen each Madden cover supermodel fall to the “curse” of becoming overpaid, injured and irrelevant. And just as eerily, the infamous curse is plaguing the upper right corner of its cover as well.

I know I’m supposed to unconditionally lower my expectations for the Wii’s substandard graphics and love it because of it’s removable showerhead inspired controller, but this is just lazy. (And by the way, the joy of flailing a little white rod at my TV is neither new nor innovative.) Crowd shots, backgrounds, stadium flybys and even the loading screen still shots rely on heavy, let’s say, “artistic” blurring to compensate for these worse than average Wii graphics. Whereas the animations have finally improved on the other two consoles, the motion capture for the Wii looks like it was recorded in the Madden bus toilet using a breakfast burrito and some pork rinds. →  Read the rest

Review – Halo 2 Vista

Is Halo 2 for Windows Vista Worth Your Hard Earned Cash?

If you’re reading this (which you clearly are) I assume that you fall into one of two categories:

1. You are thinking of re-buying your favorite XBOX game for the PC and are wondering if $50 for a three year old game that you already have might be worth it.

2. You want to get a well detailed laugh at the people in category #1.

So, sure, I’ll save you some precious expending of your literacy skill and humor you with the summary of this review: Of course not.

But you already knew that. Unless you suffer from chronic short term memory, and frequent Books-A-Million every ten minutes to pick up your copy of Teen People, you don’t need me to tell you not to buy things that you already bought. →  Read the rest