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If it has nothing else going for it (and it almost doesn’t), at least the setting of Planet 51 looks the part. Green people whizzing around on Jetsons-like hovercars and hoverpods, with a nice amount of detail to the vehicles, characters and environment – it manages more than most tie-in games and provides an actual world to play around in.
Portal 2 isn't everything I wanted it to be, but how could it have been? In 2007, Portal jumped out from behind the release of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, catching us unawares and stupefying our faces off, and we've spent the past four years canonizing it with jokes about Companion Cubes, cake lies, and huge successes. Without the element of surprise, and with an impossible tower of expectations looming over it, the best developer Valve could have hoped to do is make Portal 2 the next best thing. It succeeded...
Portal: Still Alive breaks every rule. It’s the first Live Arcade game to clock in at a weighty 629Mb - well over Microsoft’s miserly 250Mb limit. It’s also the first Live Arcade game to be a re-release of an existing retail game. Most importantly, even one year after its initial release, Portal is a game unlike any other, and once again one of the games of the year.
As ten minutes listening to any Top 40 radio station will tell you, timing is far more important than talent in the music business. If Led Zeppelin was just arriving on the scene today, they’d be lucky to open for Katy Perry. Rhythm action band game Power Gig: Rise of the SixString is another great example. Three years ago, its licensed soundtrack and creative guitar and drum controllers might have made it a player. But its timing is awful and it’s here now, far too late to become legendary. In fact, it’s more Justin Bieber than John Lennon in the talent department, too.
Power Gig: Rise of the SixString is available as a standalone game, a game and guitar controller combo, and a “band kit” that adds in a drum controller and microphone as well. And as luck would have it, those three variations deliver radically different experiences. So I’m going to take a slightly different approach and review the game, the guitar, and the drums individually, then wrap it all up into one combined score for the database. You ready? Then throw on a black concert t-shirt and let’s hit the stage...
It’s not even remotely difficult to imagine how the idea for PowerUp Forever came about. Somebody played the hypnotic, 2D game flOw (try the demo here and buy it on PSN) and said, “Hey! Wouldn’t this be fun if your onscreen avatar had a gun?”
The first time publisher Ubisoft spoke to us about the new Prince of Persia game, we’ll admit we feared it was going to stink so badly we’d staple week-old roadkill to our faces to try to mask its smell. The super-macho Prince, always the center of this platform adventure series, is being hobbled with a new sidekick character whose help you require for basically everything?
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