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If the Namco Museum games were a total bust, we suspect Namco Bandai would stop making them. Fortunately, the most recent remix... or re-release... or re-released remix made us glad we came back for more. Namco Museum Megamix is a collection of 18 classic Namco arcade games, and six of those games have been “remixed” or updated to more contemporary gameplay. While the old classics retain their appeal (and, unfortunately, bad graphics), the remixed games don't all make the mark...
Party games are often where franchises go to either die or try to make an easy buck. Pac-Man Party doesn't seal Pac-Man's future as dead, but it sure makes us hope this isn't where he plans to stay...
The lore of time traveling devices is one of deeply rich and storied heritage. There was the DeLorean in Back to the Future, a mythical hovercraft in HG Wells' famous novel, the amazing spaceship in Flight of the Navigator... and a magical washing machine? Yes, time travel has arrived to the ridiculous, flatulence-riddled world of the Rabbids, and they're on a crash course to make their mark on every critical moment in this world's history...
Disclaimer: I’m a hardcore fan of the 3D platformer and a diehard Disney dork. Now, that’s not to say you too must be able to tell the difference between a Horace Horsecollar and a Clarabelle Cow in order to enjoy Epic Mickey. Nor does it require you to have played all the Jak, Ratchet & Clank games, or everything ever released on N64… but it certainly does help. And judging by those criteria alone, Epic Mickey is absolutely breathtaking...
Since the early 2000s, Donkey Kong hasn’t mattered much. It’s been nothing but Mario cameos and weird spin-offs like Konga and King of Swing, leading many of us to wonder if we’d ever see a return to the bounce-heavy, bonus room-filled splendor of the game that kick-started DK’s career. We’re happy to say after years of waiting, DKC Returns ticks most of the boxes you’d expect and stands as a strong, recommendable lesson in classic game design – with a few issues that irked us enough to take notice.
Sonic Colors suffers from some serious bi-polar disorder – when it’s in a good mood, it really loves you, but when it’s in a bad mood, it hates your damn guts. In its happier moments, which outnumber the unhappy moments, the level design is a wonder of flowing ramps and corkscrews, of sprawling multi-tiered stages offering numerous avenues to explore. When it’s feeling cranky, it’s full of cruelly-placed enemies designed to interrupt your blissful speedy trajectory and horrifically cheap deaths that throw you all the way back to the beginning of a stage...
FlingSmash, in both its choice of title and its apparently shallow game mechanic, doesn’t seem like it could be anything other than a mindless waggle-fest. Instead, it’s a fun exercise in taking advantage of the Wii’s biggest strengths. It comes bundled with the new (in sexy black) Wii remote plus, which looks just like a regular remote but has MotionPlus built right into it. The central mechanic of the game is indeed just swinging the remote, but with MotionPlus designed into it, it’s actually a precision-based affair rather than random flailing...
It may be a kiddy game, but PokePark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure is quite decent as far as Pokemon spin-off games go, if you approach it with the right mindset. You play as Pikachu, and your adventure consists of exploring the park and unlocking new areas by playing the various attractions (i.e. minigames) and making friends with all the Pokemon. Compared to the core Pokemon games, it's ultra simplistic and often repetitive, but the pretty graphics and Pokemon fanservice make it oddly compelling, despite the minigame-heavy formula sounding terrible on paper...
Living up to the impossibly rosy memories of fans of the contender for the N64’s best game is, well, probably impossible. Take note that this GoldenEye 007 is not an “HD” version of the original with Wii controls slapped on. It’s a retelling of the GoldenEye story, using the movie’s screenwriter to give it a proper 2010 contemporary vibe (Bond now has a smartphone) and tossing out the now embarrassingly crusty Pierce Brosnan in favor of perpetually pouty-mouthed and bat-eared Daniel Craig. Sorry, Daniel, we really do think you’re a supremely suave Bond...
Get the tissues ready, because this is a semi-tragedy. Shaun White Skateboarding is a partly a bad game, but it’s painfully close to being a good one. The fatal flaw is one option. One mystifyingly absent option. Controlling your skater can be done with the balance board or a Wii remote and Nunchuk combo, and most sane gamers are likely to plump for the latter. Movement’s handled by the analogue stick (so far so good) and grinding is dependent on twisting the point of the remote, which works well enough. But jumping is mapped to an upwards flick of your wrist, and stunts depend on you to tilt the remote at the same time. It’s a city-sized disaster...
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