Playing Magical Starsign is like taking a portal back to 1995. Much of the game feels like it came straight from the late SNES period - an era where RPGs in English were as rare and treasured as diamonds, and even mediocre titles got far more attention from fans than they rightfully deserved. By the standards of that time, Magical Starsign would have been a very good RPG - it's got vibrant, colorful sprite graphics, cute characters, a wealth of varied environments to travel to and explore, and
Imagine if Voldemort finally got his snaky hands on Harry Potter – only instead of exacting his bloody revenge, he gave the boy wizard a lobotomy and sent him back to Hogwarts.
Take an amnesiac hero who discovers his true inner power within the first hour, a sprawling world ripped apart by warring factions, a twee supporting cast with surprisingly clear gender distinctions (in true ‘JRPG’ fashion the girls all have child’s faces surgically implanted onto adult bodies) and a cast of amateur voice actors. Enchanted Arms? Infinite Undiscovery? No, this one’s Magnacarta 2.
Today, we're treated to two brand new "Touch Generations" games from Nintendo - the brand is supposed to encapsulate titles that appeal to anyone and everyone by focusing on simple, touch-screen gameplay and easily explainable ideas. Magnetica fits all those criteria, though its extremely straightforward, color-matching puzzles might be too little for the asking price.
Here's the setup - there's a winding track packed with colored marbles that are slowly rolling towards a hole. Your job is to
Download Magntetica Twist (known as Actionloop Twist in the UK), even if it’s only to experience the awesome ball-clack noise. For less ardent audiophiles, there’s also a polished puzzler here as well. The premise? Your Mii is plopped into a rotating cannon – twisted by turning the remote – that fires coloured marbles. Around your cannon a track of balls snake towards The Hole of Bad Things (our name). Chain
If you’ve ever wondered who pays a hero 200 gold to walk 40 metres and kill a rat, there’s now a series of strategy games to answer that question. Majesty 2 is an RTS wherein you have no direct control over any units. All you can do is offer gold for the completion of objectives, and hope some nearby hero is short on cash and in the mood for a quest. It’s bizarre.
Majin and The Forsaken Kingdom is good. You’d never know from looking at the box, watching a trailer, and maybe not even from playing the first hour. To experience Majin, you need to dive in - to have “aha” moments with a dozen or so difficult puzzles, or slay your first gargantuan Zelda-style boss. So when a talking rat introduces you to gameplay elements with a squeakier voice than a prepubescent chew toy, we encourage you to have some patience and rest assured he’ll be gone in a few minutes...
If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. That’s the scenario facing baseball-loving 360 owners this spring, who (once again) are left with no choices for their major league fix. You either get MLB 2K11, or you get nothing. Considering its overall quality, that’s not necessarily a terrible thing; while there are plenty of things to complain about, 2K11 is built on a foundation that produces plenty of fun. Even so, the franchise appears to be jogging on a treadmill. Lacking any new substantial modes or “wow” factors, it’s not a gotta-have title...
As the only baseball game on the Xbox 360, Major League Baseball 2K6 is something of an all-or-nothing proposition. Unfortunately, this next-gen rookie gets outplayed by the seasoned vets on the "old" consoles.
At first, everything looks fine, especially on an HDTV. Field details are sharp and textures appear to have depth. The audio commentary boasts a larger library of lines, giving players more variety in what they hear when compared to the PS2 and Xbox games. But the game suffers from the
Exclusives scare us - were fans of competition in our sports video games. For the second straight year, 2K Sports owns the only rights to build a licensed MLB game for the Xbox 360, and last seasons was little more than a painful foul ball off of the foot. To their credit, the gang over at 2K did an in-depth overhaul rarely seen in annual sports games; the result, were happy to say, is a smashing success.
As we expect by now from a next-gen game, the visuals and sound are pretty darned sweet.