Posted On 03 Mar 2012 By admin
There's always a bit of a danger when you're approaching an entry in a beloved series. Even if it's one that's as contentious as Mario Kart: Double Dash!! seems to be within Mario Kart fan circles, there are always those who hold it dear and will get angry if anyone besmirches their game or claims that another, more popular entry is better. Like, if I were to say that Mario Kart Wii is better than Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, I absolutely know that there would be a pretty vocal contingent of people who would think I was crazy. I'm going to do my damndest to avoid ranking the Mario Kart games. The only thing I'll say is that I truly believe that Mario Kart 7 is the greatest Mario Kart game yet made, and that Mario Kart: Double Dash!! is... not one of my favourites. That absolutely doesn't mean that it's a bad game. In fact, it's often just as thrilling and fun as its brethren, and even some of the oft-criticized changes to the formula are pretty interesting. It's in the tiniest of details where Double Dash!! falters, and in a series as consistent (and often, unchanging) as...
Posted On 24 Feb 2012 By admin
Every Friday, I'll be looking back at some of the best (or most interesting, at least) video games released on Nintendo's most misunderstood console, the GameCube. This week, it's one of the most popular RPGs on a Nintendo console, Namco's Tales of Symphonia. For information on this project, take a look at the original post, and feel free to make suggestions in the comments! From a critical perspective, I really don't feel like Tales of Symphonia is all that. JRPGs are so reliant on their story and storytelling methods that when they fail, they fail hard (and this is a problem that's pretty endemic not only in JRPGs, but in most games that try to tell stories, honestly), and Tales of Symphonia is so often an anime nightmare in the storytelling department that it has to fight extra hard in its other elements to prop it up. Which, coincidentally enough, is exactly what it does....
Posted On 17 Feb 2012 By admin
Every Friday, I'll be looking back at some of the best (or most interesting, at least) video games released on Nintendo's most misunderstood console, the GameCube. This week, it's only one of the most divisive video games ever released, the insane and brilliant killer7 from Suda51. For information on this project, take a look at the original post, and feel free to make suggestions in the comments! Discussions about whether video games can or cannot be art often miss the point: the art that these people are debating is usually the fine arts, and the question they're really asking is whether video games can match the level of contextual wholeness that other various arts have reached over time. Those on the side of video games often shoot back with games like Shadow of the Colossus or Okami or what-have-you; but while those games are excellent excercises in style, they don't necessarily deconstruct the form or make commentary on the medium or society at large - they entertain, rather than setting out to cause cognitive dissonance. I don't want to get into a discussion of art here - that's too broad of a topic and one that I'm not really...
Posted On 07 Feb 2012 By admin
It was only a month into the new year, and Nintendo did well to keep good games coming to the Nintendo eShop. Not only that, but there were two samurai themed titles to come to us. Samurai Sword Destiny goes more towards button mashing, while Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword forces the player to use patience and reflex for combat. Today I'm going to go ahead and review Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword. I've already beaten it, and feel like I have mastered its battle system. Well, I thought I did until I went into the more challenging mode offered after the first play through. The story of the game is pretty simple. You have to rescue Princess Cherry Blossom using the help of her dear friend, Kappa. Princess Cherry Blossom watches over a sacred sakura tree, and brings peace to the world. When she was taken by an evil being, the world turned to chaos and evil began to rule. You are a young samurai, and are pure of heart enough to hear the Kappa and use the powers given by him. There are some spoilers about the game in this review, so you will have to...
Posted On 03 Feb 2012 By admin
Skyward Sword, the latest and allegedly greatest game of the long-running Zelda series. It’s been 25 years since the original Legend of Zelda came out and started one of gaming’s most crucial and popular series, and Nintendo intended to cap that anniversary with one of the most ambitious projects in Nintendo’s history. But how good [...]
Posted On 02 Feb 2012 By admin
GameTrailers has released their official review for the Nintendo 3DS and Capcom's Resident Evil: Revelations. While more than a few reviews for the new Resident Evil title have made their way online, this is the first video review (at least that I know of) that walks through the pros and cons of the game in detail. ...
Posted On 17 Jan 2012 By admin
Man, the 3DS got good out of nowhere, didn't it? In the span of about two months, we've had one of the best 3D Mario adventures yet made, some fantastic remakes of classic games, and now the 3DS is starting to make in-roads as a terrific downloadable/indie hotbed of activity. Wayforward's Mighty Switch Force (part of the "Mighty Blank Blank" series as it's often referred to) continues this stretch with an outwardly simple game that very well could be seen as something important or influential later on in the 3DS's lifespan. First, let's give credit where credit is due: Wayforward have quietly established themselves as one of the hardest-working and most dependable Western development studios working today. Their work rarely makes your hair stand on end with crazy ideas or insane production values, but over the last few years they've created a veritable pantheon of completely solid (and often, way better than they need to be) games. From their work on the DS with the only good version of Thor to one of the best games of 2009, A Boy and His Blob, Wayforward has quickly become synonymous with exceptionally well-crafted gameplay - and Mighty Switch Force absolutely deserves...
Posted On 08 Jan 2012 By admin
Games in the Mario Kart series have always focused on one particular style of play: the way gamers can easily pick up and play together, and partake in the series' mindless, chaotic fun. Unarguably, these were the design intentions that inspired the original Super Mario Kart on the SNES all of those years ago, in 1992. Of course, it's entirely possible for any single gamer to pick up a controller and perfect their skills at Nintendo's fan-favourite racing series, in the Grand Prix mode... but, let's face it, Mario Kart games were never meant to be played alone, and that's a staple that has existed into the series' four-player compatibility in Mario Kart 64, doubling up in Double Dash!!, and connecting to the worldwide web on the DS. Simply, the series has always been about finding fresh, new ways to enjoy playing together. After all, it's fun to play together! Race on inside for our full review of Nintendo's 2011 racing hit, Mario Kart 7....
Posted On 07 Jan 2012 By admin
While 2011 was considered by many to be a banner year for the RPG, it might have been, in its own quiet way, an even bigger year for the puzzle game. Games like Portal 2 and Catherine demonstrated that the puzzle genre is big enough for experiments in 3D space and elaborate storytelling, while Skyward Sword arguably perfected a mix of adventuring and puzzling so well that even people (like my girlfriend) who are normally turned off from large 3D adventures were pulled in by the puzzle solving. In it's own way, Pushmo might be the most superlative example of the pure puzzle genre as one could find in 2011. It might eventually threaten to be a game defined by its product features rather than its gameplay (though I'll get to why even that's not a big problem with Pushmo), but strictly assessed on the merits of its gameplay, this is game that absolutely deserves to stand next to titans of the genre like Tetris and Picross....
Posted On 05 Jan 2012 By admin
As John Lennon would say, "another year over and a new one just begun". Another year of gaming has transpired - one that I heralded as "The Year of Zelda" back at the outset. 2011 delivered with Zelda, but with so much more as well. There were new announcements at E3, the launch of Nintendo's newest handheld and a whole lot of good ol' gamin', plus even more good new gamin' with the revolutionary 3DS and Wii Motion Plus. In one short year the world of gaming has still come a long way. In our Top Ten for Twenty-Ten it was Super Mario Galaxy 2, Dragon Quest IX and Donkey Kong Country Returns taking the top three spots on the podium. Looking back to the start of 2011, we listed our top ten most anticipated games for the year. Some of those titles like Kid Icarus and Paper Mario are still to come. Others like Dragon Quest VI were just too underwhelming to make the top 11, although not bad games. Several of our most anticipated titles delivered everything we had expected, and on occasion, even more. Others we hadn't heard anything about this time last year, but they...