Wii Sports Resort and Motion Plus Review

Tag: Game Reviews, Nintendo
| Image 1 of 17 |
Wii Sports Resort Swordplay

We've looked before at the capabilities of the MotionPlus and now we've had some hands on time with the new gadget we've got a run down of it's pro's, con's and some general reflections.

Included in the box of the MotionPlus and Wii Sports bundle you'll find the add on itself, the game and a silicon jacket that comfortably fits around the now longer remote and gives better grip and comfort during play, which is a nice touch for your money and makes the £22 outlay slightly more justifiable.  On date of purchase the Wii Sports Resort and MotionPlus bundle was £35, substantially reduced by trading in Zelda at Game (who am I kidding I'm not gonna play it again it's been covered in dust for the last 12 months). I also took advantage of the Game £3 discount on a stand-alone motion plus (which still comes with the silicon jacket) reducing the price from £22 to £19, when purchased with the MotionPlus and Wii Sports bundle.

After 5 minutes of massively patronising instructional videos that you have to watch telling you how to connect the MotionPlus and jacket you've already connected, you parachute out of an aeroplane down to the Wii Sports Resort (Wuhu Island).  Falling through the air gives you your first chance to experiment with how the MotionPlus works and demonstrates perfectly the accuracy in which movements of the remote are replicated on screen.

On the island itself, Wii Sports Resort follows the familiar formula seen in Wii Sports, Wii Play and Wii Fit.  There are 12 sports at launch and as your progress in each one, you'll unlock new modes of that sport or new difficulties.  The games available are Swordplay, Wakeboarding, Frisbee, Archery, Basketball, Table Tennis, Golf, Bowling, Power Cruising, Canoeing, Cycling and Airsports.

Happy 20th Birthday to the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis Console!

Tag: Game Industry, Hardware and Technology

ImageBoy does that make me feel old.  As of today, this classic console has been entertaining the western world for 20 years. Well, America (just over 20 years for Japan and around 19 for Europe), see guys we’ve been the last in line for a while now.

With my ever-growing resentment towards my creaky Commodore 64 with its cassette loaded games and joystick, I probably wasn’t far off giving up on gaming and instead dedicating my life to something even less illustrious like sticker collections or even paying attention at school.

Early adopters and damn lucky kids at Christmas managed to get the Japanese Mega Drive, which really was the daddy as it played games from every corner of the world. Any half decent UK town would have a couple of indie game retailers, just full of obscure Japanese titles. One of which I bought and fell in love with, despite having no idea what the hell it was even called, I eventually learned it had the most excellent title of Magical Flying Hat Turbo Adventure, which was remade for the west with an Egyptian style mummy lead character and renamed as Decap Attack.

Why I'm excited about the new Wolfenstein game - Preview

wolfenstein-2009The new Wolfenstein game is released on the 21st of August, on the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC and I'm excited not only because it looks like a brand new, quality first person shooter for me to get my teeth into, but also because the franchise's history carries so much positivity and good gaming experiences for me in the past. For me and most of my generation, who started playing video games in the late 80s and early 90s, Wolfenstein, along with Doom, was one of the first, and one of the best, games I played and introduced me to so many aspects of FPS gaming that I'd go so far as labelling it a defining game in my personal gaming culture and tastes.  Being a bit of a history nut Wolfenstein just pips Doom for me with the WWII back drop and visuals making it that little bit more enjoyable and iconic.

Plunged once more into the world of the Nazis and the Occult, you will play as  BJ Blazkowicz in 1943, sent on a special ops mission behind enemy lines and into the heart of the 3rd Reich to investigate evidence that they have a mysterious new power in their arsenal. 

A member of the Office of Secret Actions, Blazkowicz finds that through some remarkable 1940's technology (…) the Nazis are harnessing the power of something called the Black Sun, via a dark parallel dimension called The Veil, to create a new weapon of mass destruction and bring victory to the fascist war machine.  Clearly based on historical fact, this sounds at once a bit silly, but also admittedly a bit awesome, as you attempt to (not for the first time in Mr. Blazkowicz's career and probably not for the first time in your gaming career) save the world from Nazi domination.

Batman Arkham Asylum first impressions

Tag: Game Industry, Game Reviews, Microsoft

Turns out, the inmates are running the asylum

A first look at the playable demo for the upcoming Batman - Arkham Asylum

Based on previous experience, games based on comics are generally pretty poor. Many are tie-ins from big budget films, meaning constraints such as a tie in storyline and release dates means developers are forced to rush out any old tripe under the official license. However, if anyone can save us from this sea of cack, it’s the big Bats. First appearing in 1939, Batman’s latest offering is Batman: Arkham Asylum, a third person adventure taking inspiration in part from the 1989 comic series of the same name. The story sees Batman trapped in the asylum with the maddest and most malice of Gotham City’s criminal element.

Top video game psychos

Tag: Funny, Misc, Top 5's

Because we ALL go a little crazy sometimes!

Given that the majority of computer games are set within fantasy realms, and given the slightly crazy storylines that develop within, it’s no surprise that every so often a total nutcase is thrown up from the twisted minds of the developers. True, most computer game characters are a little nuts, but these guys take insane to a whole new level! Here is a selection of my personal favourite crazies.

The Death of the JRPG?

Ten years ago, turn based RPG action ruled the gaming world. Titles such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest had gamers craving multiple discs, turn based battles and logic defying haircuts. Not only were these games massively popular with both their fan boy audience and casual gamers but, in the case of Final Fantasy, were some the best games of their generation. Due to the fact that the majority of these games originated from Japan and shared similar themes, the genre was affectionately crowned the ‘JRPG’. Hours were chalked up, bosses were beaten and potions were thrown, all in the name of this eccentric and engrossing brand of gaming.

 

It’s no exaggeration to say that in its golden age, the JRPG really was the most popular gaming genre of its time. There’s not a gamer in their twenties that hasn’t at least heard of Final Fantasy VII and almost ten million of those gamers bought the game.  This giant fan base has inspired everything, from the standard geek fare of cosplay, to the big budget heights of films and energy drinks. This success allowed other JRPGs to break into the mainstream, with Pokémon becoming a global Gameboy phenomenon and Square going on to release a host of other Final Fantasy titles, each gaining commercial and critical success.

Final fantasy 7

Moon Review

Tag: Game Reviews, Nintendo

One small step for man, one giant leap into hell.

The Nintendo DS is lacking a good First Person Shooter other than Metroid, and this is where Moon comes in. The question is does Moon live up to its undoubtedly high expectations of being a true hardcore FPS for the DS?

You are Major Kane, Chief of Military Operations for the ETEO (Extra-Terrestrial Encounter Organisation). A subterranean structure of an unknown origin has been discovered on the moon. So it’s up to you and you boys to go and check it out, of course you know something has to go wrong. The game starts with a brief video of you and your men landing, it’s a pretty impressive video I might add. The game then teaches you very quickly the basic controls of Major Kane. The control pad moves Kane and the stylus is used to aim the gun, while the L button shoots.  The top screen of the DS displays the gun, while the bottom shows the map and weapon selection. A quick tap on the screen will change your weapon. It all works very smoothly and you know at once that the controls are not going to be an issue.


Luminary Review

Luminary Review

Developer: AeriaGames

 

Here’s a little secret about MMO games. What makes them good has nothing to do with design or gameplay; it’s all about the chat. Levelling up? Just a way to impress members whom you think are of the opposite sex. Exploring the world? Merely showing off to them your hard-earned armour and items. A tad cynical you might think. This view actually makes a game like Luminary, a free online downloadable MMO from AeriaGames, difficult to review. If chatting with other users, a pastime not directly controllable by the developers, keeps people playing, then the quality of your gaming experience is entirely dynamic. Manage to find someone to adventure and trade with who can speak to you without resorting to spiking their sentences with nonsensical numbers? Maybe they’ll be kind to you. You might actually enjoy Luminary. It, like all MMORPG’s that have come before it, relies too much on players being social in the absence of original game design such as unique worlds or interesting characters and quests. Rather than spend the time developing these features, creators of MMO’s concentrate on giving their players the ability to chat with/abuse each other with the minimum of fuss. In other words, push the game itself aside so they can blah blah blah. It almost seems as if the game itself is of secondary concern.

 

Killzone 2 Napalm and Cordite map pack (review)

Tag: Game Reviews, Sony

ImageThis is the third map pack released for Killzone 2. It features two new multiplayer maps and two new weapons. All of which you should be familiar with to some extent as they appear in the single player campaign.

 

The first map is Suljeva Cliffside, which is from one of K2’s dustier browner levels. This is from a very brief section of the single player game that you will have passed though in a matter of minutes.

 

It is a fairly straight map with a couple of underground tunnels with sentry guns guarding the passages. Outside there are twisted remains of metal huts which make for handy hiding spaces. The level itself is on a hill with one team at the top and the other at the bottom, it’s almost like a valley with a high verge on one side and buildings on the other meaning you’ll be wide open in this gauntlet like section.

 

At the bottom of the hill there are large panels of metal stuck in the ground which act as cover for any assault coming down the hill. The tower at the bottom is something you are required to blow up on some missions.

 

This map supports the flamethrower weapon, but there’s a catch. You cannot spawn with the weapon by choosing it from your loadout selection. Instead one, I repeat one, randomly appears on the map. You can only get it for yourself by picking it up first or killing whoever has it and nabbing it off their corpse. This might be because it is very powerful, thus keeping games balanced, as it does massive damage and takes ages to put yourself out if you get flamed. You can’t help but feel cheated though after being promised new weapons only to realise you’ll rarely get a go. Giving each player the weapon at random points when they re-spawn would have been a fairer option.

Fat Princess (PSN Review)

Tag: Game Reviews, Sony

ImageIt cheers me up every time I explain this game to anyone. It’s a 32 player, medieval era game of capture the flag, except the flag is a Princess. And to make it extra difficult to get away with her, the other team stuff her with cake making her a Fat Princess meaning it takes much longer to carry her back to your castle. If you don’t laugh every time you hear her scream “CAKE!” you probably never will.

 

The maps are symmetrically designed so no team has an obvious upper hand. As you can see by the pictures, the game’s gone for a cartoonish, cell-shaded style that belies all the blood and gore plastered all over the battlefield. It’s a treat to look at and is razor sharp on a HD set. The locations include forests, volcanoes, tropical islands and mountains.

 

The single-player campaign (under the childishly amusingly named ‘Play With Yourself’ option) is merely a training device to show you the game modes. There are capture the flag (Princess) options, varying from do it once and make sure you still have theirs in captivity, the other is to do steal their princess three times. Invasion mode is like conquest mode in the Battlefield games where you capture towers (also used to drop off wood and metal) instead of cake addled rich kids. Team Deathmatch; kill the other team, simple as. All the above are online games too. There is also the Gladiate mode where you pick a class and try and stay alive through twelve waves of enemy soldiers on your own.

 

There are five classes that have their own unique advantages and they can all be upgraded once for extra weapons and abilities. You choose your class by picking up a hat from a machine at your base, or by picking up a blood soaked one off the battlefield from either team. So what do all these stumpy classes mean?

The Top Five Most Life Consuming Games of All Time

Tag: Casual Gaming, Misc, Top 5's

No other form of entertainment has the ability to suck up so much of our free time and make hours pass by like seconds. Most people who read this will agree that they have spent more time blowing their games wide open, than on more worthwhile pursuits such as....gardening.
In honour of the countless hours of entertainment gaming can give I have compiled a list of the five most life consuming games and have taken a look at what makes them so addictive.

1. World of Warcraft:   It would be wrong to start any list of life consuming games without paying homage to the worldwide MMORPG phenomenon that is World of Warcraft. Since its release in September of 2001, Blizzard entertainment’s “pay to play,” open world RPG has gone on to have over 11 million monthly subscribers. While perhaps the entire MMORPG genre could be given a rightful place in this list, no other game of its type has sucked people in quite as much as Warcraft. With numerous expansion packs to extend the games already limitless lifespan and horror stories of people dying at their computers after playing marathon five day sessions, Warcraft is probably the most worthy of the five games in this list to be labelled life consuming, literally.

 The diverse World of Warcraft

Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (PS3 review)

Tag: Game Reviews, Microsoft, PC Gaming, Sony


ImageThe Western genre in recent years has been criminally underused both in the cinemas and gaming. The only games that spring to mind in the last five years are Red Dead Revolver, Gun, the vampire flavoured Darkwatch and the first Call of Juarez title (PC and 360 only).

 

Hopefully we’ll start to see a few more, as Bound in Blood marks a series and genre really starting to demand (and be worthy of) attention as an alternative first person shooter contender to the sci-fi of Halo and Killzone or the near-future of games like COD: Modern Warfare and the Tom Clancy titles.

 

Like any decent shooter this game knows it’s all about the weapons and atmosphere. As such it borrows from a wide range of western cinema including classic John Wayne style to Clint Eastwood cool.

 

The setting has you playing as one of two playable brothers, Thomas and Ray, who bicker and fight like a pair of western cliché (in a good way) gunslinger versions of Kane and Lynch, with the added inconvenience of being related to each other. After deciding they no longer fancied taking orders as soldiers for the South in the Civil War they desert to go save their family and home.

Prototype Review

Tag: Casual Gaming, Game Reviews, Microsoft, Sony

“Prototype”

It’s been a while since developers have given us the chance to play as a badass super powered anti hero, but recently gamers have had both INFAMOUS and PROTOTYPE  to flex their mutated muscles in. Both of these titles offer gamers the chance to indulge in fantasies of super strength and unbelievable powers, let loose in an open world setting, however only Prototype lets you do it in such a destructive, action packed way.Mercer gets mad

Prototype has been developed by the same team that brought us Spiderman II and more recently Hulk: Ultimate Destruction and that lineage really shows. Running around Manhattan as a biological super weapon quickly becomes reminiscent of both these previous Activsion titles which may not necessarily be a good thing. On first look Prototype really does feel like the lovechild of these two games, with much of the movement within the game looking and feeling like the web slingers last gen outing. Luckily for Prototype it does just enough to make it stand above its mediocre parents.

The game tells the Story of Alex Mercer, a victim of amnesia who wakes up in a morgue to find he’s imbued with superhuman abilities and a bad attitude. Cue government conspiracies, shady cover ups, and legions of infected zombies that Alex must battle through in order to discover the truth about his past. Whilst the story may be pretty standard videogame stuff it’s presented stylishly, through well scripted cut scenes and the “web of intrigue,” which sees Alex consuming those with knowledge of his past in order to gain their memories.

Super Mario Galaxy Review

Tag: Game Reviews, Nintendo

Mario shoots off into space for his next adventure....

Our favourite plumber has pretty much done it all, from karting to brawling to platforming.  We can safely say that Mario has been a busy guy. However has Mario ever been in space? He has now, as he embarks on yet another platformer travelling from planet to planet. Does Galaxy live up to Mario’s Legacy of brilliant platforming?  In short answer, yes.

From the opening of the game straight away it is clear that the game has had a lot of work put into it. The graphics for a start are miles ahead of 90% of Wii games, with some excellent lighting effects and texture detail. The models are great and the worlds even better. Everything seems to have a beautiful Nintendo gloss over it. The game is so full of character from the rabbits to the Lumas. Mario has never looked so good.

WipEout Fury expansion pack (PSN Review)

Tag: Game Reviews, Sony

ImageFury is the first expansion pack to the leading futuristic racer, WipEout HD. Saying it’s an expansion is underselling it to say the least though.

 

Fury features 8 new race circuits, 13 new ships, 13 new Trophies, 6 new music tracks and most importantly three new game modes.

 

First up we have Zone Battle. This is similar to the old Zone mode but features competitors and level boosting with you needing to reach a set level first to win. Boosting is built up by filling up a bar by flying over the speed boost pads. You can unleash it at any time or max it out, then release it to propel yourself forward up to eight levels. Or you can re-absorb it to get some health back. There are no weapons, but when you or anyone else does use a boost it creates a ‘barrier’ which is an obstacle on the track that’s a bit wider than your ship. Hitting this takes a large chunk of your health. This mode is quite fun in single player but gets very hectic online and quickly becomes more about dodging the barriers than keeping your vessel on track at speeds exceeding 1000 km/h.

 

Game Hub is an open platform for games journalism where anyone can register and start their portfolio of posts covering the games industry. To make the most of your passion for games, for your career, qualification or just for fun - create your account today.