Review – Lunar Knights

Because Lunar Knights is such a solid little game, I had hoped the gameworld would be fleshed out; I hoped that I’d have enough new levels to allow me to upgrade all my weapons without returning to the same stages over and over. I wanted the many mechanics to continue to build on each other and each to be fully realized. Hell, while playing it I designed my own game (usually I charge to see my ace designs, but for the sake of this review I am willing to go hungry):

Multiple high quality CG movies in a DS game? Yes, please.

Imagine Zelda in one expertly designed dungeon that has many facets closed off at any given point. As you progress you gain control over the weather but cannot change it at will, you must decide on the climate before descending into the dungeon, so choose well. →  Read the rest

65 reasons to own a DS

Recently, PSP Fanboy began a series of articles called “60 Reasons to own a PSP.” They may only be up to reason 45 despite the series beginning a month ago, but today we are showing you everything we’ve got. Yes, 65 reasons to own a DS, but here’s the catch — they’re all games.

PSP fans (we have some at this site) and savvy readers may be quick to point out that PSP Fanboy could have taken the same approach. Forget that it’s debatable the PSP has 65 good games because that’s not the point. The PSP crowd may like games, but we believe the PSP Fanboy article shows what is important to that fanbase.

Features, a lot of features. Nubs, wireless, movies, browsers, messengers, waffle irons. Games are number one on their list, but they still get one sixtieth of the list, like free VoIP (in Britain only) and adjustable screen brightness. →  Read the rest

Review – Sonic and the Secret Rings

Here is perhaps my most controversial review ever. Not because of what I have to say about Sonic and the Secret Rings, but because of the context in which I say it. I was unable to finish Sonic, not because of time constraints (it was a rental), but because I gave up on an increasingly frustrating game and control scheme. I have much to talk about, but the question is whether it means anything at all.

Secret Rings attempts to redo Sonic in 3d by limiting your movement capabilities in order to emulate, ironically, the 2d Sonics of yore. Sonic always moves forward (he can move backwards, but its only meant for backing up a few paces to retry something). All you have to do is jump and steer left and right. →  Read the rest

Review – Final Fantasy X

It’s not some startling revelation to say that jRPGs are a hotly debated topic among many gamers, as they struggle to figure out the present and future of the genre. I have absolutely no clue what the developers behind FFX were trying to do, but I know the result of their work is a game that fully embraces what these games have become. It has been streamlined and simplified so as to provide players with something easy, relaxing, and colorful. It’s like an anime Disney attraction where you get to play a part.

Take the combat. It is a system where mages have enough MP to cast plenty of spells, and tank characters can one-hit-kill. Enemies are designed so that you can tell just by looking at them what characters you will need in order to end the battle in three steps. →  Read the rest

The results of a gaming experiment

Before the holiday season, I made a blog post about a little experiment I planned on undertaking over the break. I was going to be very choosy about which games I played, and the rules were something like this:

1. Nothing with too much story or too many cutscenes
2. Nothing with too much unlocking hell
3. Challenging is okay
4. Skill based is preferred

Essentially, I wanted a holiday break where the gaming was filled with old skool sensibility. It was quite a learning experience too, both about gaming in general and my own tastes.

Here are some of the titles I ended up playing, and what I thought about each.


Twilight Princess: Zelda is the only game I pardoned from the first rule, not because it was the only story heavy game I was playing before the experiment, but because it was the only one I wanted to continue playing. →  Read the rest

Let Us Cling Together: The joy of playing games cooperatively

Imagine you’re delving into a dark labyrinth. You’re exploring the endless hallways, looking for a path leading deeper into the ruin when you’re ambushed by a dozen demons both ahead and behind. You’re certain this is the end… but then you realize your partner was trailing a ways behind you, and by now she should blasting her way through the enemies attacking from the rear. Thus assured, you unsheath your sword and charge on ahead… This is the magic of cooperative gaming.

I find it hard to get into any competitive game (with the exception of Smash Bros). The idea of playing against other people just isn’t as fun as playing alongside them. I tend to find cooperative games much more enjoyable, but it’s a much under-appreciated genre. Before the release of Half-Life, Valve promised cooperative play in the game but never delivered, instead creating only an online deathmatch mode. →  Read the rest

Review – Trauma Center: Second Opinion

After their small splash in the DS world with last year’s Under the Knife, Atlus has rolled out the operating table once again with Wii’s Trauma Center: Second Opinion. Atlus showed us a great way to use the touch-screened handheld with Under the Knife, but have they done the same for the Wii and its innovative wii-mote? Even without a medical license, I can easily prescribe Second Opinion.

If you’ve ever played the board game Operation, then you have a small inkling of what to expect from Trauma Center. You play as Derek Stiles, a rookie doctor that has just finished his residency at Hope Hospital, in fictitious Angeles Bay. At the beginning of the game, Derek acts a little lazy when dealing with the other doctors. He’s still young and in need of guidance. →  Read the rest

Wii: The Lazy Gamer’s Console

The Wii is like the full spectrum of gaming. You can play like a non-true-gamer and make minimal movements. You can also play quirky little games like the upcoming Cooking Momma: Cook Off, as well as the big hitters, like the Legend of Zelda. Whatever you want, Wii’s got it. It’s like the Wal-Mart of gaming. Just less evil.

One thing that is also really cool, even though it’s just a side-effect of Nintendo’s ultimate aim of getting non-gamers into the gaming fold, is the fact that you can hold the controller in a really comfortable position. Because the two essential pieces of the controller are separate and tethered with a fairly long wire, you get to move your arms farther away from each other than you would with traditional controllers. →  Read the rest

Thinking about my Wii

When will WiiDS (pronounced “weeds”) games come out? I am looking forward to making my girlfriend hold the DS, which I can assume will display only a map for about every game with connectivity, while I play Wii games. She has tried to explain maps to me before and it never works out because we both have terrible senses of direction and tempers. Threatening to kick her out of the car will probably be less effective when sitting in the living room playing video games so I’ll have to come up with a new threat for getting me lost. Not knowing where I am while driving costs a few minutes, but in a game can cost me my life.

Here is a good idea for a game. Take notes, Nintendo. The player with the DS frantically draws monsters (or stick figures, depending on their artistic ability) and quickly assigns them basic AI, while the Wii player fights those same created monsters with his remote controlled sword/gun/2×4. →  Read the rest

Weekly News We care About Wrap Up – 4.14.06

Video game skills do not usually transfer to real life skills
Man in his 30s attempts to outrun cops in a car because he did it in GTA. Instead of putting age restrictions on games, there should be an IQ test. Is anyone else waiting for the guy who played too much Trauma Center to show up in the news?


Too good to be true?

Two Revolution games announced
Red Steel is coming to the Revolution, and check out the fake screen shots. Maybe they’re not polished, who knows. The game seems to be another attempt by Nintendo to convince gamers that they can appeal to an older crowd. The choice of a FPS is slightly odd, though. They tend to do terribly in Japan and if the Revolution is to stand a chance, my guess is that it’d have to repeat the DS’s and Allied Forces strategy of dominating the homeland. →  Read the rest