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With brilliantly imaginative games like Canvas Curse, Epic Yarn and Mass Attack, the Kirby series has proven that it can re-invent itself and pull it off successfully every time. But what about classic Kirby? Aside from Squeak Squad on DS, there hasn't been a traditional Kirby on consoles for more than a decade. Kirby's Return to Dream Land was worth the wait though – it's a perfect example of how to update a classic series and do everything right...
Have you had hobo stew before? We knew a hobo once who could make a real mean stew. There’s no science to the recipe. You just take whatever you can scrounge up and throw it all into a boiling pot. Some of those ingredients may be better by themselves or if prepared differently, but when you’re a hobo you take what you can get. Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny is a stew with plenty of fixings in the pot, but it’s a bit overcooked...
At first glance, Mystery Case Files: The Malgrave Incident looks like another bit of casual flotsam in a sea of Wii shovelware, which is a shame, because behind its dull box art and a title that makes it sound like a Wii port of some bargain bin PC dud, it's actually a quality game...
About an hour into Conduit 2 it becomes increasingly clear that this Wii shooter series is suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. While the 2009 original had a more serious alien invasion vibe along with a straight-laced protagonist, that same hero is now slinging PG-rated, Duke Nukem-aping one-liners within a goofy storyline that borders on nonsensical garbage. When it finally sinks in that Jon St. John – the voice behind Duke himself – has replaced Michael Ford's voice actor from the original game, those groan-inducing zingers quickly transform from seeming unnecessary to feeling totally desperate...
Nintendo has proven time and time again that it can slap Mario and the gang on the cover of pretty much any kind of game, punt it out the door, and it’ll sell. The franchise has been largely synonymous with quality, though a few duds have snuck into the line-up. Past attempts to pair the heroic plumber with popular sporting pastimes haven’t always yielded the best results, but Mario Sports Mix strikes the right balance between solid sporting action and Mushroom Kingdom-themed wackiness...
Fluidity is a funny little puzzle game that sports a puddle of water as its main protagonist; however, you don’t get to control the water by any conventional means. Instead, the game sports a movement mechanic very similar to those ball-in-a-maze puzzles you used to play with as a kid. In order to move the water from one point to another, you must tilt the entire level. This simple design feature makes for a puzzle game that is incredibly fresh and genuinely satisfying to play...
The developers of Lost in Shadow try to squeeze every drop they can from the game’s core mechanic, and they do an admirable job of it. The story follows an unnamed boy who has his shadow separated from his body, and his now-sentient shadow takes a long fall from the top of a tower that looks suspiciously like it came out of the world of ICO or Shadow of the Colossus. The shadow’s quest is to climb the tower and regain his body. This leads to a whole lot of classic 2D platforming, but requires 3D thinking due to the nature of shadows...
Nintendo typically doesn't indulge in "special editions" or reverent collections of its aging franchises, so the very fact we're getting a 25th Anniversary edition of Super Mario All-Stars is something to note. Granted, it's the exact same game that shipped on the Super NES way back in 1993, but now it comes bundled with a nifty red box, art book and a 20-track CD full of classic songs and iconic sound effects.
Slaying dragons is one of those things that games should always do well. The ingredients are simple - cool characters and big ass, fire-breathing dragons. But when the dragon-slaying recipe includes sluggish framerates, shallow character development, and controls made nearly impossible thanks to difficult camera angles, then you get something to the effect of Naruto Shippuden: Dragon Blade Chronicles...
The Ghost Recon moniker is a noble pedigree for a game to have, but Tom Clancy has been known to attach his name to complete garbage from time to time. So when we first approached Ghost Recon for the Wii, we were understandably skeptical. On one hand, we have the opportunity to play as Ghosts from the Tom Clancy world, which are some of the most over-the-top-super-action-hero types this side of Governor Schwarzenegger. On the other hand, there’s the Wii. The Wii has been known to render otherwise great franchises into pure mediocrity...
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