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And so it was that Aragorn, son of Arathorn, High King of the Reunited Kingdom, stared into the flame-shrouded eyes of the Balrog as it stood before the Black Gate of Mordor...
Murder mystery dinner parties work because they combine our two favorite things: dead people and pudding. So why hasn’t popular culture caught on? A Touch of Frosted Icing, Inspector Mousse, Miami Vice Cream, Charlie’s Angel Delight – these things write themselves. Guilty Party makes up for lost time with a mix of social crime-thwartery and a pudding-obsessed plot...
What do you get when you take the Mario out of the Mario Party? Apparently something really quite bland. But it’s really amazing how much fun a party can have with a game that’s lacking in large amounts of personality...
You don't see the name Batman associated much with comedy nowadays. That's why it's nice to see this cartoony beat-em-up add some much-needed levity to what's become a very gritty franchise. Arkham Asylum this is not - both adults and kids will find themselves chuckling as they punch through levels as the Bat-ster and his host of sidekicks. With its witty banter and entertaining scenery, Batman: The Brave and the Bold might even charm you into having fun for a little while. There's just one little problem: you can't lose...
Remember Tetris Party on WiiWare from a couple of years ago? How about the fact that it was twelve bucks? Well, how would you like to pay more than double that for a barely-improved version? Me neither!
We love it when developers take risks, especially calculated ones. NHL Slapshot is the perfect example; a new franchise on with a gimmicky controller (risk!) built on a rock-solid engine that guarantees a smooth experience (calculated!). What’s more, Slapshot embraces its existence on the Wii with a playful attitude that’s a welcome change from your traditional sports sim. Who knows – it may even get the kids into hockey. Stranger things have happened...
The concept of Ivy the Kiwi is sound – a Kirby: Canvas Curse-style platformer where you guide an adorable bird through all manner of hazards. Ivy never stops walking, and you can't control her directly. To get her to go where you want, you point with the remote while holding the A button to draw vines on the screen that she'll walk on, which you can use in a number of ways. Problem is, using the Wii's motion control instead of a DS stylus presents some annoying difficulties...
Since its introduction last year, Metroid: Other M has been touted as several different things. Some promotional materials suggest it’s a brand-new take on the franchise, depicting Samus Aran as an ass-kicking, skull-crushing heroine with hot new moves from developer Team Ninja. Other days Nintendo claims it’s still the Metroid you know and love, full of hidden power-ups and long periods of total isolation – just you against the hostile environment. And there’s still a third angle that says Other M is all about Samus’ personal background, and the story will be the most intense, cutscene-filled extravaganza a Nintendo console has ever seen.
These three viewpoints are indicative of the game itself – it’s a collection of very different ideas sandwiched into one game that occasionally can’t pull them all together. It often feels like Team Ninja had an idea, and Nintendo had an idea, and neither game was fully realized, opting instead to mash together first and third-person views when one or the other would have sufficed. Make no mistake, Other M has a few outstanding, franchise-defining moments as it draws to a close, but overall it’s a bit of a letdown...
We lost a little piece of ourselves last season when 2K Sports announced that their long-running NHL 2K series was going on hiatus. Things are tough all around for sports-minded gamers, after all, with franchises dying (March Madness, College Hoops, and NASCAR) or being put on indefinite leave (The BIGS, All Pro Football). When it turned out that NHL 2K11 would actually exist this year as a Wii exclusive, it kept our hopes alive that maybe, just maybe, the once-proud 2K pucks name will be restored to glory...
In Tournament of Legends, gamers are given the unique opportunity to fight as the C-list celebrities of forgotten Greek mythology. Characters are obvious stand-ins for classics and the roster includes a snake woman with snake hair, a skeleton, a big cow-guy and a dude with a raven’s head. Even though Tournament of Legends doesn’t employ any authentic historical characters, it does utilize authentic Roman Numerals for most of the numbers in the game...
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