Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Fahrenheit Xbox Review

In the last two decades there has been a noticeable trend in video games, one that most people would have noticed. Video games are starting to grow up, and I don't mean like Manhunts gore or Call of Duty's realism, I am talking about something that is trying to find its place in the world and become its own thing. I have a belief that video games are currently going through a trend that other forms of mediums have gone through before.
I will start at the beginning, when plays were invented the idea was to just act out a piece of writing and in all fairness it is still just that. Then film came along which tried to be the same thing, but soon people started to realise that film wasn't going to catch on if it tried to be something else but thanks to many innovative minds film has become one of the world biggest mediums and it still entertains millions of people to this day.
But what about gaming? Well in the last 20 years video games have started to become inspired by the idea of interactive media, games are not games anymore they are interactive entertainment where you can live out things that you could not in real life which is why it has become the fastest growing medium on the planet today. But even with that in mind it is only like this because games have set to become the next film, I suppose an interactive movie would be the idea in many modern cases, but that is not to say that all games are like that. There are different types of games, most noticeably those that try to be like movies by using a mixture of action and story but those are often let down by the fact that the story is very flawed and when you tear it down to the bear bones it's just a game.
Then you have games that are interactive movies, most noticeably in the adventure genre. Back in the early days there were what we would call a text adventure, a game that was entirely text and nothing else, no images, scenery or anything like that, I would go as far as to call them the first true interactive book. Modern adventures are like that but in movie form, most noticeably games like Fahrenheit.
Created by Quantic Dream, Fahrenheit is a paranormal thriller that grips you in the same way as a film with its well written plot, characters and story.
The game is set in New York, January 2009 and begins with a scene showing Lucas Kane (the games protagonist), in a possessed trance stabbing a man to death in the restroom of a diner. After the murder Lucas wakes from his trance to find the horrible thing he has done and flees from the scene. He did not know the man he killed and he had no idea why he killed him, all he does know is that it wasn't his fault. Now a wanted man Lucas must clear his name or face a life of imprisonment.
Lucas isn't the only character you control, throughout the game you get to control all of the games main characters most noticeably the games other two heroes detectives Carla Valenti and Tyler Miles who have been assigned to find and arrest Kane.
Because of the multiple characters the game has a story that can branch depending on what you do, the actions of one character directly effects another character. An example of this is if you instantly flee from the diner at the start of the game after you commit the murder you will make it easy for the police who will find all clues with ease, but if you try and cover up your actions and hide the evidence then you could end up with the police missing a few clues. Either way your actions will change the games story in some way. That is not to say the game game will not lose the plot, not matter what your actions are the game will stay within the plot.
The story is not the only thing that is affected by your actions, the game also has a physiological theme to it. The main characters all have a mental health meter that ranges from full ("Neutral") to empty ("Wrecked") and is there to show you the condition of the characters mental health. Many of the games events (such as Lucas seeing the body of his victim) subtract points from the mental health meter (until it goes down from neutral to stressed, tense and so on) but everyday actions such as sleep, food, drink and using the toilet will add points to it, same is said for events where the character makes a discovery or action that helps them in some way (the best example of this is a moral choice early in the game where Lucas can either rescue a drowning child and risk being caught by the police or he can simply walk away from it all and pretend that nothing had happened). An empty sanity meter will end the game depending on the character, Carla and Tyler will hand in their badges and quit the force while Lucas will either turn himself in or commit suicide.
The characters themselves are all very well developed and three dimensional, they all have a personality, back story and morals. The characters are not perfect and they all have problems, before the murder Lucas was dealing with a split between him and his girlfriend, Tyler is nagged about which is more important to him his job or his lover Sam, and Carla is claustrophobic.
The gameplay mechanics are not very solid, the games controls can be confusing because of the camera, it is one of those games where your direction might change with the camera angle, not that it is a problem it doesn't ruin what is a story driven experience.
At the start of the game you are told by the games director David Cage that Fahrenheit is a "interactive film" which is what the developer Quantic Dream had intended for it to be. To demonstrate this point the game contains action scenes where you do not directly control the characters of the game, instead you are made to preform quick time events (or QTEs), when this happens the game becomes reminiscent of the old electronic toy Simon where four lights would flash and you had to press them in that order, get it right and you will continue, get it wrong and you could get a game over. Many people hate QTEs because they break up the gameplay but I don't mind them because they let you do things that would normally be impossible in the game. Another type of QTE featured in the game is where the player had to rapidly hit the shoulder buttons, this is suppose to tire the player and is normally featured in scenes that involve actions like running. The idea is that the player is immense in the game.
Graphically the game isn't bad but it could be better for a game that was released in 2005. The games sound track is really impressive and it comes in two types, you have the background music, this normally happens during events to help to create a sense of suspense or urgency, the other type of music is the music you can play in the game, for example when at home the character you are playing as can turn their stereo and listen to some music this music is good too because it gives you an insight into the characters tastes in music, their likes and dislikes.
In all it may not be perfect but Fahrenheit is one of the best examples of an interactive movie out there, the only thing that is more movie than it are interactive Full Motion Video games like Wing Commander (a sci-fi game that sees you take control of a character who is played by Mark Hammil), besides that there isn't much out there like it.
If you are a fan of adventure games or thrillers buy this game, if you want more buy its sequel Heavy Rain.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Space Channel 5 Dreamcast Review

In the last few years music games have seen a big rise in popularity thanks to the likes of Dancing Stage, Singstar, Guitar hero and Rock Band. While the genre has reached its peak in terms of popularity it would be wrong to forget the games that built up one of the biggest money makers in gaming today.
Released for SEGA's Dreamcast in 2000, Space channel 5 can best be described as the video game equivalent of 1970's memory game Simon were you had to remember a sequence and repeat it after it finished, it is a "listen and repeat" game that has you listen to actions and copy them with the correct timing.
The game is set at the end of the 25th century, a race of alines known as Morolians have suddenly invaded earth, taken its people hostage and are forcing them to daaaaance. Space Channel 5 reporter Ulala is sent in to shoot aliens, rescue hostages and find out why they invaded in the first place.
Space channel 5 is unique to say the least, the game has a futuristic theme but it also has this dated feel to it, the game is a bit Austin Powers to say the least. Not to say that is a bad thing I love the idea of getting into the grove with Ulala in what may be one of the most charming games I have ever played.
The music is the games most important aspect and I have to say it is that it is phenomenal, the music is just really strong and it gets you in the perfect mood for the game with its Jazz and Bass.
For what the gameplay is it's pretty flawless. It is like Simon, the sounds play in a order and you repeat them, only here you have 6 buttons instead of 4. The sync between the gameplay and music is spot on. The game itself is memorable thanks to that charm alone it has this campness to it that you just can't help but like, at the same time it is also what keeps you going. Space Channel 5 is a game that requires your full attention, mistakes are very costly in this game, if you mess up the routine you will lose a life and will have no way to recover from that mistake until the next commands are made. The games goal is to try and get to the end of the stage with a high view rating, Ulala's report show will be taken of air if it does not meet expected view ratings. Your rating is affected by how well you are doing, do well and people become interested in your TV show, do badly and you will be taken off air (you will also be taken off air if you lose all of your lives in a boss fight). The music is like this to, do well and the music stays upbeat and in tune, do badly and the music goes completely out of tune and Ulala just limps off to the next section.
Each stage has an order of events, most of the stage will see you fighting off aliens and saving earthlings, near the end of the stage you will be faced with a sub-boss where you have a dance off, at the end of each stage you fight the boss by dancing and shooting. Throughout the game you will also save hostages, depending on who you save they will either just follow and mimic Ulala or preform a special action, a good example of this is late in the game when you save Space Michael Jackson (yeah, I forgot to mention Michael Jackson worked on this game with sega) and everyone starts copying his actions. Some of the rescued hostages change the music, for example if you rescue a guitarist the music then has an electric guitar to go with its mix or jazz and bass, even though these things are temporary you sure do appreciate it.
Between each stage you see some full motion video cutscenes but these are uninteresting and break up the gameplay so you are just best off skipping them and going straight to the next stage. While the game seems all well and good there are some areas that ruin the experience slightly, along with the cutscenes there is also the length, Space channel 5 has only four stages and takes an hour to complete the first time, thankfully after you complete the game you unlock the extra mode which see's you doing all 4 stages again only this time the stages have new areas, again this takes roughtly an hour and it isn't much harder than the regular game, so in all Space Channel 5 takes less than 3 hours to complete so I can't recommend paying a lot of money for it, the game offers replay value in the form of saving all earthlings but besides that once the novelty has worn off there isn't anything else to make you continue playing.
Graphically the the game is good for Dreamcast standards but there is one thing that bothers me, all the character models are 3D but everything else like the backgrounds are pre-rendered or full motion video which does create some problems at times, I dislike how there are sometimes enemies or things that are placed in really awkward looking postitions because the back grounds are all pre-rendered, I know games like Resident Evil were all pre-rendered backgrounds but with them there was still some sense of interaction, Ulala could be dancing on a white background for all I care and the game would still play exactly the same, that may not be much of a bad thing but it does make the backgrounds feel "fake".
Space Channel 5 is a really enjoyable game, SEGA was put up with a hard task when having to make a game that appealed to both male games and women who didn't really play games. With bags of charm, great gameplay and a groovy soundtrack Space Channel 5 is a game that should be in most Dreamcast collections.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Super Strike Gunner SNES Review

Oh my lord what a bore, back in the 80's and 90's shump's were like FPS, they were everywhere the only difference was that the popular ones were good well the less popular ones weren't. Super Strike Gunner is such a game.
To start off the game is just so dull and bland the backgrounds are lifeless and plain, the levels are repetitive and the enemy patterns are easier than a game of Simon.
At the lest I can say the developers got the gameplay right the ship moves smoothly and the controls are sound. Before each stage you get to pick a special weapon what I like about the weapons is how they react to the control's, for example with the turret the bullets go faster if you push the button down hard and then you have weapons like the spread missiles where the amount you fire depends on how long you hold the button down for. This is the nicest thing I can say about the game, if it wasn't for the games dullness I would recommend it but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
The game isn't very difficult if you were to stay focused you would easily get through the stages without dying. The enemies ranged from stuff like plans, jets choppers, thanks ,boats, turrets and all the other boring stuff, why is everything grey or brown? Why can't the enemies be a little more varied or colourful?
The bosses suck, they are over sized and fill multiple screens, it's not always a bad thing but it isn't needed the bosses week points and weapons are all spread out so it is easy to take the boss down while avoiding gun fire. Like all shump's there are power up's, but these are crappy ones they come in two flavours ammo refill and weapon upgrade (or what is in some cases a downgrade considering how bad some upgrades are) and as always you die and you lose all the time and effort you worked on.
What really annoy's me is the level design, there are times when you can go as long as 15 seconds without there being any enemies on the screen.
One more thing, if you hold down the fire button and fly the the to of the screen your rate of fire increases, this is because the game only allows so many shoots on the screen at once, it also works when you are shooting things from up close, try it yourself the bosses will go down much faster.
The graphics while not bad just scream generic dullness, the kind that visually bores you and causes you to loose interest like I did. The backgrounds vary you have your classic jungle, desert, beach, sea and sky themes along with a few others, the creativity is lacking.
The music sucks, like the rest of the game it is boring and uninspired, just pointless samples that loop over and over.
In all Super Strike gunner may not be the worst shump ever but it is one hell of a boring one, avoid.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Donkey kong Classics NES Review

29 years, that's how long it has been since Donkey Kong was released in arcades, to think it has been nearly 30 years since Nintendo changed gaming and helped shaped the gaming present.
Back in the eighties Donkey Kong was huge, its impact is comparable to that of Pac-Man, Space Invaders or Pong, it was that game that everyone wanted on their console. Atari, Coleco and several other companies fought each other for the rights to do a conversion, there were many Donkey Kong conversions, some were good and some were god awful. But at the end of the day it was Nintendo who wins the title for best conversion, but lets be honest no one knows a game better than the people who made it.
Donkey Kong Jr was another case, all those companies duked it out to see who could make the most successful donkey Kong conversion, again Nintendo won.
Both Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr were ported to NES, it seems that those games were the reason why the NES was made. While game games were both given separate releases they were eventually re-released as one game, Donkey Kong Classics.
Donkey Kong Classics is a compilation containing the NES versions of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr, like the original releases both games have a game A and game B, game A is like the normal game and game B is like a hard mode. The games also had a two player option where players took turns to see who would get the best high score.
Donkey Kong on NES is a fairly faithful conversion, the graphics replicate the original well, there isn't much to say about it, you have the legendary first stage where you jump over the barrel's that Donkey Kong throws at you, the theme of the original game was to get to the top of the screen.
After the first stage you have the second stage which consists of classic platforming, you have several platforms scattered all over the stage and you have to jump to them so that you can complete the stage, this time Donkey Kong isn't throwing barrels at you instead he is sending giant springs off you kill you, the springs move by jumping so there is always a blind spot where they jump, they can't kill you if they stand there.
One thing that is disappointing about the NES version of Donkey Kong is the decision to drop the 3rd stage, meaning that the NES version of Donkey Kong has only 3 stages. Missing stages and all Donkey Kong is a timeless classic that you can play over and over again, the games fun rests in its challenge, each time you beat the final stage the game starts over with a higher difficulty meaning that you will play until your lives run out.
Donkey Kong Jr is the opposite of Donkey Kong, you're not the small man trying to save the fair maiden from the big ape this time you are the small ape trying to save the big ape from the small man.
Donkey Kong Jr added to the foundations that had been set by Donkey Kong, I would go as far to say that this is the better game, the stages are bigger, the game is more colourful, there is a bigger emphasis on platforming and this conversion contains all 4 original stages. The biggest change to the gameplay was the vines, you get around Jr had to climb vines, this opened up the game play to new ideas.
Graphically Donkey Kong Jr is better than Donkey Kong, but both are still good considering that this is a conversion of an arcade game.
The two games are timeless classics. Both are available on Nintendo Virtual Console.

Mach Rider NES Review

It's the year 2112, the earth has been invaded and taken over by the evil forces known as the Quadrunners. You are Mach Rider, it is your job to travel from sector to sector on your motorcycle searching for survivors and destroying all that stands in your way.
Released as a launch title in America Mach Rider is one of Nintendo's forgotten hits. The game see's you playing as Mach Rider in one of three game modes, the Fighting course, the Endurance course and the Solo course.
Each game mode is different. The Fighting course is the main game, the goal is just to get from A to B, it doesn't matter how you do it just don't run out of lives. The Fighting course is the story mode, there are ten stages in total and each stage tells you part of the story. The Endurance mode is just that, under a time limit you have to travel is certain distance before the clock runs out, fail to do the distance in the time limit and it is game over. The solo course if that game as the Endurance course only with out enemies.
The game was different to other driving games at the time, it was a fairly complex thanks to the inclusion of gears and that fact that Mach Riders bike has a machine gun attached to it. Mach Rider is seen by some as a spiritual predecessor to F-Zero due to its futuristic setting, incredibly fast vehicles and violent driving. The only thing Mach Rider doesn't share with F-Zero is weapons.
Mach Rider is a fairly addictive game, the Fighting Course is good in both short busts and long plays (it really depends on how good you are). The endurance and solo course are strictly for long plays, these modes can go on for as long as you want all you need to do is beat the stages time limit.
Mach rider isn't the hardest game in the world but it still requires some skill to play, if you are good at it you can good for ages without ever crashing, if you suck you will die, and die, and die.
One nice little feature in Mach Rider is the option to create your own stages and ride them in the game modes, sadly though like Excite Bike this feature is let down by a problem, you can not save the stages that you have made, thankfully if you own the Virtual Console version then you can.
The graphics in Mach Rider are very colourful which may not please fans of dark post apocalyptic worlds, there are some cool graphical effects in the game, the road turns smoothly and it looks rather nice. The music consists of one track that goes on forever as you race, is this a bad thing? No, the music is great it gets you in the right mood for this type of game.
Mach Rider is a fun action game in all and if I was to compare it to something I would have to say that it is like Outrun but with guns.

Super Off-Road NES Review

Developed in 1989 by The Leland Corporation Super Off-Road (full title Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off-Road) was an arcade racer that had you race around tracks against three Ivan Stewart's, the game had some success in the arcades and was later ported to every home console available at the time.
The NES conversion was handled by Rare possibly because a lot of their NES games were in isometric 3D (Like Snake Rattle and Roll).
Rare did a brilliant job with this conversion, nothing is missing from the original. The game has you race against Ivan Stewart over 8 tracks in 99 races. The amount of races in this game stunned me, I was wondering when it would end, in all it took me over 3 hours to do all 99 races and this was without any breaks, saves, passwords or continues. Depending on the type of person you are you will either find this game really addictive or really repetitive, I couldn't put the controller down so the game really absorbs you.
The original arcade game allowed up to three people to play at the same time, the NES version allows up to 4 players at the same time (depending on if you have the NES 4-score or the NES satellite), the game is already competitive in the single player so imagine how much fun you would have in multiplayer.
Super Off-Road featured something that was quite new at the time, the ability to upgrade your vehicle, at the start of the game your truck is a piece of crap, it is slow and feels chunky,upgrade it and the car becomes faster and has smoother handling. Another useful feature the game included was the use of Nitro, the Nitro can give you a speed boost when you need it but don't abuse it, Nitro works best when used in the right place, if you use the Nitro on a straight then you will cover a good distance in a short amount of time, use it in an area that is fully of bumps and rocks and you have pretty much wasted your Nitro.
The game is split into two circuits, the beginners circuit and the championship circuit. In the beginners circuit you only race on half the tracks, the opponents are easy to beat and you are allowed continues if you run out of lives. The Championship circuit features all 8 tracks and tougher opponent AI, if you lose a ace badly the game gets easier, but if you lap everyone and win a race then be prepared to feel the wrath of Ivan. It is true what they say humiliation is tomorrow's fuel.
Control wise it is ok as long as you are not to picky, at first the controls seem blocky but after some practice you get past those turns with ease.
Graphically the game looks no where near as good as the arcade versions (it wouldn't) but it still replicates the game well enough to do the NES justice.
The music is alight too, each track has different music, some tracks get on my nerves while others I enjoy listen to, even if they are just lopped.
In all Super-Off Road is one of the best racers on the NES. If you want the game you can pick it up cheap on ebay.

Fatal Fury Sega Mega Drive Review

SNK's The King Of Fighters series is entering it's 16th year, with the recent announcement of The King Of Fighters XIII I decided it would be fitting to look at the game that got the ball rolling. Fatal Fury: The King Of Fighters.
Known in Japan as Garou Densetsu - Shukumei no Tatakai (Which in English translates as Legend of Hungry Wolf - Battle of Destiny) Fatal Fury is the first game in SNK's Garou series (Which included games such as Fatal Fury, Real Bout and the brilliant Garou: Mark of the Wolves), the game see's you play as one of 3 characters Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard (Terry's younger brother) and Joe Higashi (a kick boxer who enters the King of Fighters with Terry and Andy).
The game is set in South Town, the host of the King Of Fighters. Terry enters the tournament so that he can fight Geese Howard, the who murdered Terry's adoptive father Jeff Bogard.
Fatal Fury was originally released on SNK's Neo-Geo system. The Neo-Geo was an arcade board that was later made into a home console (an expensive one two).
The Neo Geo version of Fatal Fury was on a 55 Megabyte cartridge, there was no way that was ever going to fit on the Mega Drive. Takara were put in charge of the Mega Drive conversion, to cut down the game so that it would fit on a mega drive cart several changes were made, for starters the music and graphics were toned down (which was the norm). Other changes included the removal of bonus stages and the removal of two of the games opponents, so instead if fighting Bill Kane and Hwa Jai you fight the other playable characters, also there seems to be some missing moves (you'll have to take my word for that), one last thing that is missing in the Mega Drive version is the option to fight your opponents two-on-one, that may of sounded unfair but the original Neo Geo version was a very hard game.
Changes aside this conversion stays true to the arcade game, the game play is what sets the game aside, it is a traditional 2D fighter but it spices things up a bit by adding the ability to switch between the back ground and foreground meaning you could escape the enemy if cornered. It may sound like a gimmick but the idea works and it add's extra depth to the game.The gameplay not changed much over time, it still plays like a modern fighting in terms of button commands and such.
The game features a 2 player mode where you can play as either the original 3 characters (Terry, Andy and Joe) or that opponents that were not playable in the single player mode (and Geese Howard if you know the cheat code).
For Mega Drive the sound is surprisingly good, I'll admit the title music nearly made my ears bleed but the actual in game soundtrack is fairly good, not a patch on the Neo Geo versions but still good.
The graphics despite being toned down still look the standard on Mega Drive, I'll admit it looks nowhere as nice as Street Fighter II Champion Edition but it is still very colourful.
So in conclusion Fatal Fury on Mega Drive is a good conversion that stays faithful to the original arcade game, if you are looking for some 16-bit fighters then I would recommend this.

Friday, 12 March 2010

*Article* Five games that should get the NPC treatment.

NOTE: I'll let you in on a secret. I hate NPC and I promised myself that I would never buy one. I made this because it is good article material.

These days it seems that Nintendo can advertise anything Wii game and make it sell.
These include "hardcore" (A term I use loosely) games like Metroid Prime 3, Super Smash Bros Brawl and Mario Kart.
The same goes for "casual" (another loose term) titles like Wii Fit, Big Brain Academy and Animal Crossing.
But that's not all that they have been advertising, recently they have been trying to promote their new play control range.
For those who don't know new play control is a range of past game cube titles like Pikmin that have been ported to Wii. So far the range has given us the likes of Pikmin, Pikmin 2, Mario Power Tennis and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, all with new Wii controls.
We are also getting the Metroid Prime Trilogy this September.
So with the near endless potential of the Wiimote what other games could be added to the new play control range?

Number Five

Wave Race Blue Storm.

All those who use Virtual Console will have probably seen wave race in the Wii shopping channel.
For those who are not familiar with wave race it is a Jet Ski Racing game.
There have been many Jet Ski games over the years but Wave Wace was the only one that was ever good.
If the game was ever put on NPC it would most likely play like the Jet ski game from Wii Sports Resort as that and Wave Race were made by the same development team.
As good a game it is it is unlikely that is game would ever see a re-release due to licensing and advertisement (Such as McDonalds).
Saying that through they could just do what they did with wave race 64 and change everything into Nintendo Wii and DS advertisements.

Number Four

1080 Avalanche

Hey remember that Shaun White Snowboarding that came out last year, well this would play just like that and it would be balance board compatible.
1080 is a Downhill racing game, the whole idea is to race down a mountain on a snowboard, and the game also featured a trick mode.
Sadly though I can see this being like Wave Race with the licensing issues. The game featured licensed songs and some advertising.

Number 3

Doshin the Giant

Released on the Gamecube in 2002 Doshin the Giant was strange game where you played as a giant known as Doshin, In the game you control Doshin, the idea is to make your self grow by helping the local natives, the natives will ask you to perform tasks such as reforming the land or bringing then an item. While the game may come off as boring at times there is one thing that really does the game great justice. I like Doshin the Giant because it has that Sim City Feel to it.
Just like in Sim city you have the power to do what you want, you can have things built, you can make the people happy and you can also defend from natural disasters and such, and just like in Sim City you also have the power to destroy everything when you get bored.
In the game you can transform into the hate giant Jashin who has the power to shoot fire balls from his hands, he has the power to crush villages and mountains it's awesome.
While it may not sound like much the game could work with the Wiimote.
For example, Doshin has higher and lower the ground level by waving his hands, he can also pull the ground with his hands and lets not forget Jashin's fireball throw either.
Though the game would work well with the Wii the chances of it selling are slim due to the games obscurity. So chances are that this will never get a re-release or sequel.

Number 2

Battalion Wars

The sequel is one of the Wii's better titles; it is also one of the hardest.
Sadly Battalion Wars was one of the later Gamecube titles so very few got a chance to play it. For that reason alone it deserves a release.
Being honest it isn't very different from the sequel so the control scheme would be the same.

Number 1

Mario Golf Toadstool Tour

Let’s face it how could this not be number one.
Golf is one of the most popular sports on the Wii, there is a ton of golf games available on the system, you have the family favourite Wii Sports Golf, you have the realistic Tiger Woods games and you also have the Mario Golf Rivals Such as We Love Golf.
So for the sake of good competition Nintendo should release this game on new play control. Why they haven't added it to the range yet is above me, the game is made by Camelot, the same developers of Mario Power Tennis, Golden Sun and Everybody's Golf, so you wouldn't have to worry about weather this is good or not.

So now all we can do is hope that these games get a re-release or sequel in the future.

*Article* Through the years: mario Spinoffs (all 3 parts).

Note: This was my first article for the site and it was split into 3 parts. Some things I wanted to go over, it is wrong of me to call Hotle mario terrible because I have never sat down and played it. I blame the internet.

Welcome to a series I am starting called through the years, in through the reads I will write about gaming and its history.
This week we are talking about the Mario spinoff's there have been a huge amount of these in the last 25 years due to Marios popularity, Mario has now featured in over 100 games.

Game and Watch Mario
Like I said Mario is very popular even in his early days, Nintendo decided that it would be a good idea to release game and watch games based off him so they did.
They were no different from the normal game and watch games, a total rip-off. The Mario game and watch games are now worth loads on internet auction sites like eBay.

Wrecking Crew
This was the first popular Mario spinoff.
Wrecking Crew was released on the NES in 1987 (1985 if you live in Japan or America) and featured Mario straight out of his hugely successful NES debut in Super Mario Bros.
This game saw the plumber as a construction worker demolishing buildings.
Being fair the game wasn't quite as good as Mario's first NES outing.
The game did have a sequel on SNES called Wrecking Crew 97 but it was only released in Japan.

Super Mario Bros 2
Ok I have cheated here, most people know this as the second game in the Mario Bros series but did you know that it was never a Mario game to begin with.
This one is a pretty big controversy in the gaming world, it starts like this: In 1986 Nintendo released a sequel to Super Mario Bros in Japan, the game was called Super Mario Bros 2 and it ran off the same engine as the first Super Mario Bros, after the release Nintendo came to this conclusion, this game was hard and I mean Mega man hard. Nintendo decided that the game would be too hard for western gamers to cope with. So instead they took an already existing game and put Mario in it and called it super Mario bros 2, the game was Doki Doki Panic it was a game for the Famicom disk system.
The US version of Super Mario Bros 2 was released in Japan under the name Super Mario USA but to the Japanese all it was to them was a game that they already had minus the ability to save.
A true injustice, Nintendo really got the better of everyone that time.

This Next one is a spinoff series. In 1990 Nintendo released Dr Mario a puzzle game for the NES and game boy.
The game sees you playing as Mario killing viruses using a new medicine that he has made. The game was pretty good and has had 2 sequels since it was released. The game also got a rerelease in on the Game Boy Advance 2005 as part of the Nintendo NES classics collection.
The newest game in the series is Dr Mario & Germ Buster on WiiWare.

Educational Mario
In the 1990's Nintendo released several educational Mario games,
These games spanned across several platforms including NES, SNES and PC.
These games were:
Mario Teaches Typing (PC)
Mario Teaches Typing 2 (PC)
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters (SNES)
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers (SNES)
Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun (SNES)
Mario's Game Gallery/Mario's FUNdamentals (PC)
Mario's Time Machine (NES/SNES/PC)
Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up (PC)
Mario is Missing! (NES/SNES/PC)

I won't lie these games were terrible, people tend not to speak of them.

Mario & Yoshi
Also known as Yoshi's egg and Yoshi. Mario & Yoshi is another Mario Puzzle game, it was released on NES and game boy in 1991.
The game was a fairly decent puzzle game which saw you making lines by swapping the piles around.

Mario Kart
Now here is the one we have all been waiting for arguably the best Mario Spinoff ever made this game has gone to become one of Nintendo’s biggest series, there isn't much to be said about Mario Kart that hasn't already been said.
Mario Kart is always expanding and getting bigger.
Today there are 6 Mario Kart games, chances are that there will be more in the future.

Yoshi's cookie
This game was released on the NES,SNES and Game boy and is about making Yoshi's favourite food. Yoshi Cookies. The game see's you play as Mario who has to align Yoshi cookies in The game was another decent Mario puzzler, there was a game mode based off Yoshi's cookie in Tetris DS.

Mario Paint
Mario Paint on SNES was just like MS paint so it was a bit primitive, you used a SNES mouse to play the game.
This game has become famous thanks to one of the features to be found in the game. Mario Paint has a feature known as Mario Paint Composer, this game mode lets you create music, if you wanted to you could create the Super Mario Bros theme using it, and it was a very good music program. It is still used by many people today, just go on YouTube and type in Mario Paint you will be amazed.

Mario & Wario
Mario & Wario was released on the Super Famicom in 1993, just like Mario Paint you play with the mouse. The game was developed by Gamefreak (Famous for Pokemon, Pluseman and the SNES mouse). In Mario and Wario you have to guide Mario to the end of each stage while avoiding Wario's traps.
Sadly the game was never released outsize of Japan despite the fact that the game itself was in English text.

Yoshi's Safari
This Mario game is one of a kind; it is an on-rail shooter.
Released on the SNES in 1993, Yoshi's Safari saw you playing as Mario shooting foes with the Super Scope while on Yoshi's back.

Donkey Kong 94
This is the sequel to the game that started it all.
Donkey Kong 94 is just like the original Donkey Kong but with a bit of Super Mario Bros 2 thrown into the mix. Ever played Mario Vs Donkey Kong on the GBA? While this is just like that minus the mini Mario’s.

Hotel Mario
By now I'm sure many of you would have heard of this game (Thanks to YTP, AVGN ect), hotel Mario was a game that was not made by Nintendo.
It is a long story and it goes like this.
In the 16-bit era Nintendo were trying to come up with a CD drive add-on for the SNES Nintendo hired two company’s Sony and Phillips.
Sadly talks with Sony broke down so Nintendo made a deal with Phillips.
Because of this Phillips were allowed to take well known Nintendo franchises and do whatever the hell they wanted with them, the result was 3 rubbish Zelda games and one bad Mario game.
The plot o Hotel Mario is this, Bowser has once again kidnapped the princess and it is up too Mario and Luigi to rescue her, to do this Mario and Luigi must make it through Bowsers 7 hotels.
Now the aim of the game is this. To get to the next stage you have to close doors, this is easily one of the worst Mario games ever made.

Mario's Tennis
This would you believe was the first game in the Mario tennis series, it was released on Nintendo's Virtua boy. The Virtua boy was a "handheld" Nintendo console that you had to look into. The idea of the console was that it was virtual reality.
Mario's tennis wasn't that good a tennis game; it was just tennis, nothing more.

Mario Clash
This was the other Mario title to be released on Nintendo's Virtua boy.
The idea of this game is too throw shells at enemies. That's it. The game does make good use of the Virtua Boy's 3D effects but that's just about it.

Mario's Picross series
For all those who don't know Picross is a nonogram logic puzzle involving a grid with numbers.
In Mario's Picross you have to chip have squares to solve puzzles, it isn't really that much of a Mario game but it is still pretty good for picross.
There were sequels released on the Gameboy and SNES but they were Japan only.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the seven stars
Developed by Squaresoft and released on the SNES in 1995 Super Mario RPG was the first Mario game to be an RPG.
The game saw you as Mario on a quest to save the Mushroom kingdom from an evil being called Smithy.For the time the games graphics were amazing and it was easily hailed as one of the best RPG's on the SNES.
Sadly the game was never released in Europe, but don't worry it is now available on Wii Virtual console.

Game & Watch Gallery Series
Remember what I said about the game and watch in part one well they weren't the only game & watch that Mario featured in.
The game and watch gallery is series of compilation games, the games let you play the original game and watch games as well as new versions featuring Mario characters.
In all there are 4 Gallery's.

Mario Excitebike
This game was released on Nintendo's Satellaview in 1997. For all those who don't know Satellaview was a service that Nintendo did in the late 1990's. You how these days everyone goes on about DLC and downloadable game on PSN/XBOX Live/WiiWare, well Satellaview was just that.
Mario Excitbike is just Excitebike with Mario in.

Mario no Photopi
Now this one is really obscure, Mario no Photopi is a creativity game that used a smart media cartridge that let you import photos to your N64. The game was only released in Japan and over there it is pretty rare so don't fancy your chances of ever getting this game.

Mario Party series
When ever there is an argument about Nintendo milking its franchises and characters this game is always used as evidence.
Mario party was released for the N64 in 1999 (1998 if your Japanese), it was a like playing a board game. The whole idea of Mario party is to see who can get the most starts; Mario Party also features mini games. These are the best thing about the games.
Mario Party isn't bad but you have to consider the fact that there has been 10 Mario party games in the last ten years. The fact that games are always the same from the last doesn't help much either.

Super Smash Brothers
Ahh Super Smash Bros a game that takes our all time favourite Nintendo characters and has them beat the crap out of each other.
The first Super Smash Bros was released on the N64 in 1999 and has since become one of Nintendo's biggest games.
Super Smash Bros was the game that started it all.
Melee was the best selling game on Gamecube.
And Brawl is one of the best games on wii.
Just like with Mario Kart there isn't anything that I can say that hasn't already been said.

Mario Sports Series
These are a series of Sports games that feature Mario characters, games in this series include Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Strikers, Mario Baseball, Mario Basketball and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.
The Mario sports games are all pretty good and they have all had good feedback.
The next game in the Mario sports series is set to be Mario and Sonic at the Olympic winter games.

Paper Mario Series
These three games are all Mario RPG's; these games are famous for their art style, in the game Mario is everything around him is made of Paper.
Paper Mario is often regarded as the best RPG on the N64, same for its sequel Paper Mario and the thousand year door and Gamecube.
The Latest game in the series is Super Paper Mario on Wii.
Unlike the first 2 Super Paper Mario is a platformer and not a turn based RPG.
All three games are worth owning, the first two are now fairly rare.
Paper Mario is available on Wii Virtual Console.

Mario Artist
Here is one more obscure Mario game that you have most likely never heard of Mario Artist.
This was a game that was played on an expansion for the Nintendo 64; the expansion was called the DD64.
There were 3 versions of this game Paint Studio which is just Mario Paint on steroids; Polygon studio which let you make 3D images and Talent Studio which was an animation program.

Luigi's Mansion
A Gamecube launch title Luigi's Mansion was the first Mario game on the console, but the game wasn't about Mario, it was about Luigi.
This game was Luigi's first solo adventure, the thing that makes this game standout is it's gameplay, its one of a kind I don't think that Luigi's mansion fits into a genre.
The plot to Luigi's mansion is this Luigi has won a mansion in a competition that he never entered, he tells Mario about his new mansion and they agree to meet there, but all is not well when Luigi gets there he cannot find Mario anywhere and to make matters worse the mansion is invested with ghosts.
To get Mario back Luigi has to capture Ghosts using a vacuum cleaner.
Some people consider this to be a gaming gem but there is one big fault with the game as a whole, it's very short.

Mario & Luigi Series
This is the 3rd Mario RPG series and is exclusive to Nintendo Handhelds.
Mario & Luigi superstar saga is the first game in the series and it see's Mario and Luigi on a quest to receive Princess Peach's stolen voice.
The second game in the series is partners in time, in this game Mario and Luigi have to travel in time to defeat a race of aliens who invaded the mushroom kingdom when they were children.
Last year a new Mario and Luigi game was announced.
The Mario and Luigi games play just like Paper Mario.

Mario Vs Donkey Kong Series
Released ten years after Donkey Kong 94 Mario and Donkey Kong see's you doing the same thing you did ten years ago. Only this time Mario and Donkey Kong are fighting over Toys.
There are currently two games in the series with a 3rd one announced three weeks ago at E3.

Super Mario Ball
By now Mario has done just about everything when it comes to games, so what was next for him? Pinball, sadly to say this game was rubbish.
You'd think that Mario would have learnt from Sonics Mistakes when it came to pinball games.

Dancing Stage Mario Mix
Known in the US as DDR Mario Mix this game was just like every other Dancing stage game the only difference here was that this one had Mario in.

Super Princess Peach
Just like Luigi's Mansion this was a Mario game that didn't have you playing as Mario. Super Princess Peach is a platformer for the DS that see's you play the role of the Princess. In this game the roles are reversed Mario has been captured and it is up to the Princess to save him.
Easy to say this was a decent platformer and is worth owning.

EA Sports Big
I'll be honest when I first saw this I laughed; EA sports games that featured Mario, Luigi and Peach as playable characters.
As you would expect with it being EA sports BIG these games were good.

Itadaki Street DS
Itadaki Street is a party game made by Square-Enix, Itadaki Street is a Dragon Quest crossover game for example the Itadaki Street games on PSP featured characters from Final Fantasy including Cloud Strife.
Itadaki Street DS is just like the others but this one has Mario characters.

Well that's it all of the Mario Spinoffs (Excluding Yoshi's island but that's a separate franchise).

*Article* Do Video games cost too much?

NOTE: This is an article I wrote for a website back in 2009, my opinion on some matters may have changed in the last year.

This past year I have noticed something that has begun to bother me constantly when on the look out for new games to play.
My problem with modern games is the pricing both long term and short term.
To start off lets see how the money has changed over time.
Back in the early days new titles could end up costing as little as £2 for games on your home computers (but they were normally rubbish games), bigger and more serious titles normally cost around a tenner, which was a lot of money for the time.

Then came game consoles like the SEGA master system and NES, here is when game prices started to go up, through he 1980's and early 90's video game prices had risen to about £30-£40 on a new game, which is closer to the standard we have today, by that time money had changed as well people could afford to pay that much money for a new game.
The prices in the 16-bit era were no different, games were costing the same type of money to make and buy.
The came the Playstation and N64 era, at this time developers were starting to give up on cartridges and moved to CD because it was cheaper for them to makes games on, thanks to this the playstation ended up having one of the biggest and best game library's ever in gaming, and as before these games were on average £30-£40.
The there was the Nintendo 64 a games console with twice the number of bits that the playstation had (the playstation was 32-bit).
Because of its immense power the N64 games had to be on cartridges, this angered a lot of developers because by this time making games for something like the N64 had become expensive so most of them dropped support, Square being the best example, Nintendo had lost Final Fantasy because of cartridges, with the N64 you could tell that the games cost a lot to make because of the retail price.
Nintendo 64 games retailed at £50-£60 on average, sometimes there were one off's like F-Zero X that retailed for £30 and other times there were expansion pack games like Perfect dark and Donkey Kong 64 that retailed for a staggering £70.
The fact that the N64 did so well still has be myth today, I mean sure the technology was great and it had some amazing exclusives like Super Mario 64 and Zelda but what king of person had that money, not kids that's for sure, they would have had to wait for their birthdays and Christmas for that and even then they would only be able to afford one game.
Now by the new millennium everyone was using disks, the X-Box used DVD's as did the playstation and GameCube so the price would have been the same for each console around £30-£40.
Looking at this generation I have to say that when it game to stuff like value for money and bundling I'd have to say that Nintendo had it best.
Lets just do a comparison. When it came to extras PS2 games ended up costing more, games like Time Crisis 2 & 3 ended up costing quite a lot because of the lightgun that game bundled with the games.
As for the x-box all I can say is STEEL BATTALION, it's humongous, money wise the entire thing was like £100.
Now with Nintendo it was a case of all add-on's are free, no kidding they did not affect the retail price at all, for example lets look at Donkey Konga and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, both games came bundled with a set of bongos that you could play them with now you would think that it would add to the price but it doesn't, nothing on GameCube a price increase because of an add-on.
Zelda: Four Swords Adventures came with a GBA link cable but the price was still £40 RRP.
Pokemon Colosseum came with a free memory card but the RRP was still £40.
Mario Party 6 came with a microphone but the price was still (you guessed it) £40.
So for value I'd have to say Nintendo were best that gen (it may have finished behind the Xbox and PS2 but owning a cube was a lot cheap then owning a PS2 or Xbox).
Now we move on to the current gen of gaming and this is where I really start to get annoyed.
This generation has been dubbed "the next gen" of video games, the technology has gotten better and games look a lot more life like and realistic.
Now gaming has been hit by two big problems this gen
1) Production and development price has increased, games cost more top make.
2) We have been hit by a recession, the worlds banking system took a fall a while back and is still recovering, I'm not quite in the know when it comes to politics but I do know that things have become more expensive because of it.
as a result of the above two video games can now cost on average as much as £50, that's insane, I can understand a game being £50 when the console its on has just launched but why is it that nearly four years into the next gen that we have games been sold for £50 RRP ?
Thinking about it I suppose this is a short term effect caused by the problems involved with production and money so i shouldn't last long should it?

Well it turns out I'm wrong because video games have come to the point where the price never goes down take for example the ever so popular Call of Duty 4, it was voted game of the year back in 2007 and even came number 1 in Game's top 100 video games of all time list.
You'd think that all this popularity would make the price go down, what with things like Playstation Platinum and X-box classics now but wait, what's thins, the games is still being retailed for above £40 two years after its release despite its success and high sales why?
For nearly two years had the game been priced at £50 RRP, they even release a game of the year edition with extra content to help justify the pricing, but again that was nearly two years ago, it makes me wonder how people can happily afford to pay as much as £40 for a game that came out two years ago.
The only reason that the game price has gone down to £40 is because the sequel is out soon.
Anyway my point is this, the value of games has gone up but the value of money hasn't, £30 ten years ago is worth the same amount as £30 today so why isn't it the same for games.
Maybe the technology is moving too fast, that will be it.

House of the Dead Overkill Nintendo Wii Review

The House of the Dead first appeared in arcades in the 1990's and has since become a must for any arcade, with its fast paced action, hordes of monsters and over the top violence. How can you not enjoy it.
The last House of the Dead game (House of the dead 4) was never released outside of arcades so how did SEGA come back from this disappointment? They decided to make this one exclusive to home systems (RIP arcades). This is the 5th game in the House of the Dead series (excluding all spin offs like typing the dead) and a prequel to the first game.

Single Player and Multiplayer

These are the same; it's an arcade style shooter so there are no modes made exclusively for multiplayer it plays the same on single player and multiplayer.


I'll start off with the menus, you have 3 gameplay modes Story mode which is the main game, the directors cut mode (AKA hard mode) which has to be unlocked and the mini game mode. vThe game is your normal arcade shooter you aim at the mutant (because the Z word is forbidden) with the wiimote, pull the trigger with the B button and fire.
The game has multiple weapons to choose from, they range from Magnums to shotguns all the way to machine guns, the guns have to be brought from the gun shop before you can use them through, all guns can be upgraded in the gun shop, the guns have five areas where you can upgrade them, these attributes are:

Recoil: Upgrading this reduces the kick-back from firing, this helps you increase the steadiness of your aim.
Fire rate: This increases the rate in which you can fire bullets.
Clip size: This increases the capacity of your gun so you don't need to reload as often.
Damage: Self explanatory.
Reload: This reduces the time it takes to reload your weapon.

Of course this isn't all free you need money for these upgrades, you get money at the end of each mission depending on how well you did.
If you own a second weapon then you can equip it before a mission starts you can switch the weapons by using the Z button.

The game also what is called dual wielding, this is when you use two guns at once, to do this you will need two wiimote's, this is a good idea at first but it is ruined by the fact that you will be unable to aim correctly with your weaker hand so you best stick to the regular method.

The game has 5 different types of mutants, these are:
Normal: These will try and beat you to death, some times they will use weapons, they are not that hard to kill.
Big: Same as the normal ones but they can take more damage.
Armoured: These ones can only be shot in certain places so find the weak spot.
Super: These aren't like the normal mutants, they will run at you and try to grab you, if they do grab you shake the wiimote to get them off of you.
Puke: These are just like the Super Mutants the only difference is that they will explode if they get too close to you.

Each stage of the games stages are filled with bonus items, these are:
Slow Mo-Fo mode: shooting this will make time move in slow motion, perfect for getting high scores.
Golden Brain: There are 10 of these in every stage (15 in directors cut), make sure that you shoot them for big bonuses.
Health pack: Shoot these to regain health.
Grenades: Grenades are good for when there is a horde of mutants attacking you this will wipe out a large group of mutants with an explosion.

As you go through the stage you will also find survivors who are trying to escape the mutants if you save them from the mutants you get bonus points, if the mutants kill them you get no points and if you shoot them you lose points.

Like all arcade games you gain points for doing things, in this game you get points for shooting mutants, you gain more points depending on where you shoot them, head shots give you maximum points.
When you kill a mutant you start off a combo, the combo meter on the top of the screen fills up every time you kill a mutant the combo meter comes in 4 stages, Extreme violence, Hardcore violence, Ultra violence, Psychotic and GOREGASAM!

The better the combo the higher the points you will earn.
But remember if you miss a shot or take damage then the combo meter will go back down to zero.

Each stage has a boss at the end, these bosses aren't too hard and they all have a week spot.

One more thing I should mention, in this game is a weapon known as the hand cannon and it is the most powerful gun in the game, SEGA decided to release a hand cannon that you insert you wiimote in, so if you are willing to spend an extra £10-£15 then you can have an even more realistic experience.

Graphics and sound

The graphics in this game are pretty good it's like Resident Evil the Umbrella Chronicles only better and with added gore. Also one thing I adore about this game is the way it is presented, the screen has is black dot effect, you know kind of like when you go to the cinema to watch a movie, I can see why they made it like that because the game is made to be a bit like a B-Movie.

The music in this game is mostly country western and funk, so if you don’t like it then turn the music off through the option menu, put on some slayer and your all set.

Best House of the Dead game to date nothing more can be said, its funny, it's over the top, it is like that on purpose and I love it.

+ Aim is perfect
+ Great humour
+ It's like watching a B-Movie
+ Classic shooter gameplay.

- Too short for some
- Dual-Wielding doesn't really work.


Sonic and the Black Knight Nintendo Wii review

Sonic's back and as always he refuses to settle for that traditional Sonic gameplay that the fans scream for.
Sonic and the Black Knight are the 3rd Sonic adventure game on Wii and the 2nd game in what is called the storybook series (The last storybook game was the Secret Rings).
This game see's Sonic using a weapon for the first time in his career, a sword.

Single Player
The game takes place in the medieval world of Camelot, a world made famous by the tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
But all is not well in Camelot as it has been taken over by the Black Knight and his Underworld Army. The only thing that can save Camelot is a brave hero who is as fast as the wind.
Enter Sonic.
After been brought to Camelot by a sorceress named Merlina Sonic discovers that the Black Knight is actually King Arthur and that he has to defeat him in order to save Camelot.
Wielding the scared Caliburn it's up to Sonic to defeat the Knights of the Round Table and save Camelot.

The multiplayer mode lets you and your friend's battle for the title of best knight.
This mode is alright but it does have its flaws, like not playing anything like the single player mode and at times being a complete mess.

Sonic and the Black Knights game play is like a mix between Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic Unleashed, what I mean by this is that you are still using that back view of Sonic but with improvements like 2-D sections and a lack of On-Rails.
Game has the same jump controls as Sonic Unleashed and the same Wiimote Nunchuk set up, and that's about it for old features.
The game is focused on the idea of cutting through foes with your sword while at the same time maintaining a high speed and I will admit the games does this quite well, the wiimote responds quite well to when you attack, some would call these waggle controls and I will admit that is true but if you do just waggle and not put any effort into your swings then you might as well not bother playing this game as you will just find it to be a bore.

As you would have guessed sword attacks are done by swinging the wiimote, not anything amazing but effective none the less.
The developers have decided to keep the speed break feature from the Secret Rings and improve on it turning it into the soul surge a move that allows you to do fatal blows against the enemies. To use the soul surge you have to hold down the B button and swing the wiimote, if there are no enemies nearby then you will do a speed break but if there are enemies near by then Sonic will use the soul surge attack, what you need to do is slash while using the soul surge, this will do massive damage to any foe.
Another new ability is the block; this one speaks for its self. To do the block you have to hold down the Z button, be warned the block only lasts a few seconds.
The game also has boss fights against the knights of the Round Table, these fights are hard at first but they get easier once you get used to the sword combat in the game.
The games other boss battles vary, some are fun while others are slightly dodgy and badly put together.

The game gives you the ability to change your sword style if you not happy with your current style. You have 3 sword styles to choose from, Knight which is balanced, Paladin which is offensive and Cavalier which is focused on speed.
The game also has a few other features such as item collecting, unlock able characters.
If you have Nintendo wi-fi you can take part in the online ranking, this mode is great because it gives the game replay value after you have compleated the story.

The graphics haven't really gotten any better or worse since Unleashed.
The music loses out when compared to Unleashed and Secret Rings, it's not as catchy or as memorable as the music in those games, it's good but not as memorable. The game does gain points though for having something that Unleashed lacked language settings. I'll be honest the voice acting has been a bit poor in the last 7 years so its great that the game lets you have the voices set to Japanese.

It's not the best idea for a Sonic game but does what it set out to do.

+ Combat and speed are equally balanced
+ Sword combat does work
+ Art style is awesome
+ Online ranking gives the game new life

- Multiplayer is bit rubbish
- Few bad boss battles
- Bad voice acting
- Bit on the short side.


Saturday, 27 February 2010

Madworld Nintendo Wii Review

MadWorld is the first game from new developer Platinum games, made up of former members of Capcom's now shut down Clover Studio (responsible for the classic 'Okami').

Single Player
MadWorlds Story revolves around a terrorist plot and a sport known as the Death Watch games. You play as the games main protagonist Jack Cayman a contestant in the Death Watch games who has a prosthetic chainsaw arm. The game is what I call a revival for the beat em up genre, in fact the game reminds of No More Heroes because of the plot, you are fighting people know as KillSeekers so that you will be crowned as the number one killer. The game only has two modes, single player and multiplayer.

The multiplayer mode works like this, you and your opponent are up against each other to see who can get the most points in a BloodBath challenge, that's it, no battle mode just BloodBath challenges.

At first the games button layout is confusing for example you press Z to jump, but after a while you will adapt to the set up.
The game is a beat em up, you only have one aim and that is to kill anything that moves.
Here's how you attack, by pressing the A button you punch, if you continue to press A then you will perform a punch combo, you can beat the enemy to death if you want but it won't earn you many points, if you hold the control stick up then you will do a more powerful punch, this is good if you want to stun foes. When you are near a KillSeeker you can press and hold A to grab them, once you have done that feel free to do what you want with them, be warned the enemy can fight back but there is a way around that, when holding a enemy you can head butt them by shaking the nunchuk, head butting an enemy can stun them. To throw them shake the wiimote.
On to the chainsaw, if you hold down the B button Jack will release his chainsaw, the chainsaw is powered by fuel, the fuel meter is located below the health bar and the gauge will go down if you are using the chainsaw, to the refill the gauge just stop using the chainsaw.
To attack with the chainsaw swing the wiimote, Jack will swing vertically or horizontally depending on which way you swing the wiimote.

In MadWorld you are scored on your kill's, if you want to can just beat up and cut through all of the KillSeekers but you won't each many points doing so, the idea is to be creative with your kill's.
For example throwing a KillSeeker into a spike will earn you a fairly high amount of points but if you want even more points you need to make sure that the person you kill suffers as much as possible, so to get a high score you should throw an object over the KillSeeker (tires, barrels, anything that will trap them), then impale them with something (Stick a lamppost through their head) and then carry them to the hazard instead of throwing them into it because you will gain more points shoving a guy into a spike than you would if you were to throw them.
Try and use the environment to your advantage and be creative with your kills because it will give you more points. When you have beaten your foe to a pulp you can do special finisher moves, you have two different types of finishers, the A button finisher where you throw the enemy around and the B button finishers which are just plain awesome, these finishers have you do things such as back breaking, beheading and heart removal. In the game there are certain levels where you are on a bike, these levels remind me of that bike mini game in Final Fantasy 7 except this actually works.

In each stage you will unlock bonuses such as happy pills (Pills that give you health), weapons (bats, knifes ect) and balloons (1up's). Another big bonus is the BloodBath challenge, these are bonus games that you find in the stages and they are made so that you can gain more points. These bonus games are really fun and addictive and most of them are based off sports like darts and golf. These games are both silly and fun and you gain a hell of a lot of points doing them. When you have gained enough points you unlock the boss battle, this is self explanatory, you go up against the boss you fight the boss, you kill the boss next stage. The boss fights like the bloodbath challenges are very creative and amusing.
The best thing about the boss fights are the action sequences, here you have to do several wiimote movements, get them right and you will damage the boss greatly, you also get these sequences when you defeat the boss, the boss deaths are some of the funniest deaths I have ever seen in a video game. There are two faults with MadWorld, the first is the length, the game is fairly short and you will have it done in around 5 hours. The second problem is that some may find the game to be repetitive.

Graphics and Sound
Ever seen or read Sin City, well MadWorld looks just like that. MadWorld is black, white and red all over.
The games music is mostly rap so it won't win metal heads over.

Even if you are not a fan of gore MadWorld is still great fun, if you are a fan of Beat em ups or Viewtiful Joe don't be afraid to pick this up.

+ Great Humour
+ Best Beat em up in years
+ BloodBath Challenges are genius
+ Boss battles are well thought out.

- Very short
- Can get repetitive


Klona Nintendo Wii Review

It has been years since the last game in the Klonoa series was released, so how does this remake of the first Klonoa game (Klonoa: Door to Phantomile on PS1) fair?
Here is a brief on the games plot: The games two heroes Klonoa and Hewpoe one day witness a crash near their home, the crash is on top of a mountain called Bell Hill, they decided to climb the mountain and investigate unaware of the evils that lurk ahead.

Klonoa plays just like all of the previous games it's a 2.5D platformer.
The Klonoa games are best known for the method used to kill enemies, to kill enemies you have to inflate them into a ball and throw them, inflated enemies can also be used to perform a double jump. To inflate an enemy you press the attack button (Buttons vary on which control method you are using) the enemy is now an inflated ball which is held by Klonoa until you decide to get rid of it, there are two ways of getting rid of the inflated foes you can either throw them by pressing the attack button or you can use them to perform a double jump (Press jump button twice).
Thrown enemies can be used to break objects or kill other foes, most of the games puzzles revolve around inflating enemies so make sure there are enemies to inflate when you are blocked by an obstacle such as a pitfall.

The enemies in this game vary you have enemies known as moo's theses are the games main enemy so I will focus on them, moo's vary in size, shape and ability, you have the normal weak moo's, you have the flying moo's, you have moo's that use weapons, there are also giant and armoured moo's as well.
Klonoa also has the ability to create a gust of wind that blows the enemies the other way, you don't really need this ability but it is good if you are trapped.
Another thing that Klonoa can do is a small hover move that keeps you in the air for a few extra seconds, to do this to press the jump button after jumping, it's a very useful move.

In Klonoa you have a health bar goes down as you take damage, to regain health you need to find these heart shaped metal objects, they come in two colours sliver (One heart) and Gold (Three hearts).
Like most platformers there are collectables to be found in the stages, in Klonoa you have dream crystals these can be found scattered all over the stages, these are like the coins in Mario get 100 of them and you gain an extra life. The games 1up's are in the form of Sliver and Gold coins, sliver coins give you one life and gold coins give you three. Other things to be found in Klonoa include Keys, in certain levels keys are needed to unlock doors. Mirror fairy's, these things are found in bubbles they double the amount of crystals gained making it easier to gain a one up. There is also the Memory clock this is the games checkpoint, find these and attack them so you can start off from that point when you die. The last thing to be found are captured villagers, these are the people who live in Phantomile there are six of them in each stage.

In the game you get to visit different areas each area is dived into two stages or visions as the game calls them, these to are presented in a Mario style, for example the first stage is called Vision 1-1.
You choose what vision you want to do by selecting it on the map.
Each vision is in two parts, vision 2 always has a boss at the end.
There are only two problems with Klonoa that I would like to point out, the first one is the length it isn't a very long game but you do unlock new modes after you complete the game so I suppose there is some replay value.
The other problem is the difficulty, the game is fairly easy.
These problems aside though, Klonoa is a charming yet short adventure.

Graphics and Sound
The graphi's colourful and it looks really clear, Namco have always been a pretty good company when it comes to colourful graphics.
The games music is good and it fits the stages perfectly, the game has two languages for the voice acting there is the Phantomile language (The language that has been used in the past Klonoa titles) and there is the new English voice acting. Given the choice I'd recommend the Phantomile language. The English isn't terrible but it is a bit on and off, some characters are alright while others just sound terrible.

This is a great platforming title for the wii, full of charm though if you want an even bigger, better adventure, get Klonoa 2 on PS2.

+ Same Klonoa gameplay
+ Great graphics
+ Makes good use of all four controller options
+ Full of charm
+ Class example of how a remake should be done.

- Bit short
- Too easy
- English voice acting is bit rubbish.


NOTE: People have told me that this is one of my better reviews, but it still has it flaws.

Disaster Day of Crisis Nintendo Wii Review

Disaster: Day of Crisis was announced for the Wii back in 2006 and was set to be released in 2007, but for some reason this game vanished off the radar, because of this gamers started asking weather or not this game would every get a release, then in September 2008 out of nowhere came the news that Disaster was to be released in October 2008.
So after two years in development was this worth the wait or was it a complete disaster?

Chances are you have never played a game like this, it is a mix of genres. I think that this game was made with the sole purpose of showing people what the wiimote could do, just like most early developed wii games like Wii Sports, Wii play and WarioWare Smooth Moves.
On to the game now, you play as Raymond Bryce a former Marine, he is the games main character.
The whole idea of Disaster is to save the lives of people and survive the biggest natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, tornado's, flood's and volcanic eruption's. The disasters are not the only thing in your way though, you also have to deal with a terrorist group known as SURGE as they plan to set off nuclear devices all over America.
The game is a third person action adventure you spend most of your time running around exploring and looking for survivors. The control method is simple, you use the control stick to move, A to jump and B to run. The game lets you control the camera by using the D-Pad on the wiimote. The Z button can be used to call out to people.
In this game you have a health bar that goes down when you take damage, the health bar can be restored by using first aid kits and plasters. If you rescue enough people the health bar will increase.
The other bar is the stamina bar, stamina keeps you going, run out of it and you will die, the stamina bar goes down over time, to regain stamina you need food.

During the game Ray has the ability to break objects to see if there is anything inside them, for example food and first aid. To break the objects you shake the wiimote.
Every now and then you will come to the point where you have save someone or escape an disaster, when this happens an action sequence will start, in action sequences you have to do actions depending on the situation, for example if you are lifting a heavy object you have to press A rapidly and then do a wiimote action that represents lifting, an other example is when running away from something you have to shake the wiimote and nunchuk up and down rapidly to escape. This game is full of these sequences some may think that this is a bad thing but it does give the game a cinematic feel.
The game also has driving sections, in these sections are in first person and normally consist of you being chased by something or you chasing something, these sections aren't bad the control is alright it isn't like Need For Speed where the car has really bad turning.

The last thing I want to go over is the shooting sections, yes this game has violence in it. The shooting sections are done in a Time Crisis style of play, you shoot with the B button and take cover using the Z button. To reload your weapons you shake the nunchuk. If you want to kill your enemies quicker you can focus your vision and zoom in by pressing the C button. As the game goes on you receive different weapons, to switch weapons while in combat press the D-Pad the in the direction which you have set the weapon on (Just like Zelda). These sections show up quite a lot in Disaster so get used to them.
In disaster there are items made to help you survive, to view these items you press the - button on the wiimote. These items are:
Plasters: Used for minor injury, heals 25% of your health.
First aid kit: Used for more serious injuries, heals 50% of your health.
Crackers: These are good for you and they will restore your stamina.
Stanima30: This new product stops all loss of stamina for a short period of time. Good for when there is no food nearby.

Disaster also has a level up system, this can help improve certain abilities such as strength and focus, to level up you will need SP points, you can gain SP points either by finding them or doing actions such as saving people who need help. There is also a point system for guns, this is used so you can buy new weapons for later stages.
Disaster is full of content, the amount of extras and features in this game amazed me and they defiantly add to the games lifespan.
Disaster should takes about 7 hours to complete on the first play through, the game does have replay value thanks to the hard mode and hidden extras.
The games only big problem is the enemy A.I its bit rubbish.
Also the story is a bit cliche.

Graphics and Sound
The graphics are not that special, they're not bad but they're not that good either.
The sound is great though it helps build the game up and it gives it that cinematic feel I mentioned before. The games voice acing is pretty good too.

It's a year late but that doesn't make it any worse. It is anything but a disaster.

+ Good soundtrack
+ Good voice acting
+ Full of content
+ Some nice ideas...

- ...but some are poorly done
- Doesn't look that great
- Cliche story.


Sonic and the Secret Rings Nintendo Wii Review

If you had three wishes what would they be?
My first two would be the obvious fame and fortune.
My third and final wish though would have to be me feeling the same about the wii now as I did back when it first came out, and no I don't mean that I want to get rid of feelings of disappointment and wasted potential, no I'm talking about the feeling gamers had back in the early days of the wii.
The feeling of control that the wii gave you was like nothing else you had ever played before, the games were simple, addictive and fun.
Saying that lets look back at one of those early games, Sonic and the Secret Rings.

Single Player
The games story revolves around the famous story book world of the Arabian Nights, a place which brought us tales such as Aladdin and Sinbad. The plot and story are very straight forward, Sonic the Hedgehog is sent to the Arabian Nights by a genie called Shahra to stop an evil genie called Erazor Djinn from destroying it.

The multiplayer is its own game altogether so here is a quick summary.
The party mode in Sonic and the Secret Rings is nothing more than a clone of Mario Party, you have four characters running around the board looking for items, the character with the most items wins.
The game is split into rounds, at the end of each round you are made to play a mini game (just like mario party).
To sum it up it was alright at the time but now the party mode isn't really worth playing, the board game is boring and the minigames are not that good by todays standard.

This time around SEGA decided to get rid of the traditional 3D platforming that was in the earlier 3D Sonic titles, this time they have gone for a completely different approach to it.
This time around you view sonic from the back, to add to that Sonic is now on rails he can move forward, back and side ways on the path that you are on. Sonic's movement is controlled by tilting the wiimote in different directions,tilting forwards will make him run, tilting backwards will make him backstep, and tilting to the sides will make him shift from side to side.
The movement controls are good but they are ruined by one thing, the backstep. In this game you can not jump backwards or turn around, because of this sonic is left valunable to enemy attack and other hazards, it's something that will annoy you.
On to jumping, straight to the point the jumping is broken, to jump you press 2, but if you want to do a bigger jump or clear a gap then you have to hold the jump button down, this can spoil things because you will find yourself stopping every few moments to charge a jump just so you can go on, to make things worse the jumping charges sometimes messes up so you end up falling of a cliff and dying, that's about it with jumping, on the upside sonic can still do the homing attack when he jumps.
Thankfully the game doesn't punish you for dying as you have unlimited lives.

Sonic also has a new ability known as time break and speed break.
Time break is the ability to slow down time, this is useful for getting through areas that require careful timing or a high amount of focus.
The Speed Break is the ability to break the speed barrier, think of it as a down graded version of the Chaos control power from Shadow the Hedgehog.
These ability's are not to be taken for granted though you will need spirt orbs to power them.
The game lets you play on several levels that are mostly based off the Arabian Nights stories, the levels are a mixed bag, they do have their moments but they also have their problems, some suffer from badly placed pits, obstacles,and platforms, some of the levels have a gimmick that can ruin it, one level has a wind that blows you back so that it is really hard to move forward, at times the wind even threw me back to the start of the stage due to a piece of debris hitting me.
Another thing that annoys me are the enemies, they just get in the way, I know that's the whole idea but these guys really get in the way, it can ruin the games fast pace.
Another problem I have with the enemies is the design, it's really uncreative, most of them are reused over and over just with different colours, after a while the sight of them really starts to annoy you.
What about the big enemies then? Well the boss battles range from mostly bad to a somewhat good, the earlier boss battles are really lame you just run in circles until you or the boss dies, the later ones are an improvement though.
One last thing that annoys me are the extra missions, the main levels are alright but some of the missions are tedious and lengthy, no one wants to do them, but you have to do these missions if you want to get further in the game.
One last thing I want to talk about is the level up system, as the game progresses you gain exp and level up, as you level up you are given the choice to upgrade sonic's ability's, doing this can really help you later on in the game.
As always the game is full of unlockable content including artwork, sound track, movies and more.
There is fun to be had in SatSR but there are also a lot of problems that can ruin it for you as well, but if you look past those problems here is a lot of fun to be had, the faluts won't bother you loads and they will at times be balanced out by the games good factors.
The game should take around eight to ten hours to complete.

Graphics and Sound
For an early wii title SanSR does look quite nice, Soinc looks much better than he did in the last few games and the levels do look like they have some life in them, the jungle level being a good example. What I also like is the way the cutscenes are done.
The music is different to the other sonic games, this time around the sound track has lyrics to go with it. In all the soundtrack is good.

The game did try something different which we do like to see, back then it was worth having but by todays standard its just another game, does have its faults but still fun.

+ Alright graphics.
+ Decent Soundtrack
+ nice unlockable content
+ Well presented cut scenes.

- Controls have some problems
- Broken jump
- Enemies are pretty crap
- Mostly bad missions
- Party mode is weak


Warioware Smooth Moves Nintendo Wii Review

Once again I am looking at early 2007, the Nintendo wii has not long been out and gamers are anticipating the release of the PS3 (or at least they were until they found out the price).
Looking to make a good first impression Nintendo continued to rapidly release titles for the wii. 2007 was set to be release year for big titles such as Excite Truck, Mario Strikers (the first wii game to have online play), Super Smash Brothers Brawl (Which only just got the December 2007 release in Japan), Metroid Prime 3, Super Paper Mario and Super Mario Galaxy.
In comes Warioware Smooth Moves, a game that was made to show people what they could do with the wiimote (in all fairness we already had that with wii play but this is way better).

Single Player
The single player mode is the same as every other warioware game, your goal to to complete all the stages by playing micro games.
As always Wario's trademark humour is present.
The game follows this plot. One day Wario was minding his own business sitting on his ass at home eating sweets when this little what ever the hell it is comes and runs off with it, after that everything is just random.

The games multiplayer is a disappointment to say the least, it is fun and a good laugh when you have friends around but it is ruined by one big problem, you have to play with one wiimote, now I'll give them credit they knew this and based some of the multiplayer games around it but being honest when I think of multiplayer the first thing I think of is the option to play with more than one controller, having to take off the strap and changed the controller between mini games is insane and you never get enough time to prepare for the next game because of it.

Just like in previous games you find your self playing five second long micro games, that's it there isn't much more that can be said the games are choose at random but often follow a theme, for example on Wario's levels all of the games are Wario related, in 9-volts level all of the micro games are Nintendo related.
As the game goes on you are shown different ways to play the mini games, these techniques (known as forms) vary on the micro games, the forms range from simple stuff like the controller (a form where you have to point the wiimote at the screen), to sillier stuff like the elephant (a form where you have to but the wiimote over your nose as if it were a trunk).
As always Warioware is a fun game that will always make you smile and laugh.
Now onto one fault that did bother me when playing the game. Some times when playing the micro games the control doesn't work, this is normally due to the limitations of the wiimote, it doesn't always detect the movement correctly with is a pain because you often end up being forced to play one of the mini games that doesn't work as well as it should.
At the end of the day warioware is one of those games that you really need imagination to play, if you look at it as pointing/waving/waggling the wiimote then you are not going to enjoy it as much so you really need to be in the right mode to play it, act as if you are running, act as you would if you did the ingame tasks, that's the key to the games success.
In all Warioware Smooth Moves is worth playing, buying it on the other hand is an entirely different question, the game only takes two hours to complete so you really need to be the type of person who can always go back to a game.

This one speaks for its self.
Graphics and Sound
I'm not quite sure what to think of warioware games, they do look nice but the games are so varied that you are never quite sure what to think of the visual's, most people who be bewildered by the strangeness. But looking past that Warioware is a genially pretty game.
Just like all of the other warioware games smooth moves has an incredibly catchy soundtrack that will stick in your head.

It always has been a good show case for the wiimote's potential. I'm still waiting for something like the starwing mini game, that would be ace.

+ Pretty Visuals
+ Same great gameplay
+ Catchy tunes
+ Great sence of humour
+ Shows off the wiimotes potential.

- Multiplayer is lacking
- wiimote doesn't always work
- Very, very short.


Metal Slug Anthology Nintendo Wii Review

Ah Metal Slug possibly the greatest shoot'em up series ever, every time you play a Metal Slug game you know its gonna be good.
Since its debut in 1996 Metal Slug has gained a huge following and its own franchise.

Single Player/Multiplayer
Metal Slug is an arcade game at heart so the game never changes no matter how you play it, one play, two play its all the same.
Metal Slug Anthology was released to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Metal Slug franchise, the game contains six classic metal Slug titles plus an all new one.
Let me tell you about each game:

Metal Slug (1996).
This is the game that started it all. Your mission is to shoot your way through wave after wave of enemy solider's and defeat General Morden.

Metal Slug 2 (1998)
The sequel to the hit Metal Slug added two new playable characters as well as new enemies including Alien's.

Metal Slug X (1999)
This game is just Metal Slug two but with a bunch of changes and improvements.

Metal Slug 3 (2000)
Metal Slug 3 took the last two games and went absolutely crazy, this is considered by many to be the best Metal Slug game, it has new enemies, new weapons, and levels with split paths, it has a huge amount of replay value.
Just to demonstrate how awesome Metal Slug 3 is let me tell you what the first enemy you kill is, go on guess, a GIANT ENEMY CRAB.

Metal Slug 4 (2002)
As always the Metal Slug games are still adding new stuff, this game has new weapons and new characters to play as.

Metal Slug 5 (2003)
You'd think by now that the Metal Slug formula would start to get stale well it doesn't. Metal Slug 5 gives you new ability's, new attacks and new background graphics to boot. This one does lack some of the older features but it does add new stuff like cut scenes to replace it.

Metal Slug 6 (2006)
This is the newest game available in the Metal Slug Anthology. This game features the most changes, now you can choose the games difficulty at the start, you can carry two weapons, and you can also build up a score by killing enemies, the more enemies you kill the more your score gets multiplied by.

The games are all alike but that is no bad thing really considering that this is the type of game that never gets old no matter how many times you complete it.

All the games play the same, which is good because that saves me going over all 7 games again.
Metal Slug is a side scrolling run and gun shooter, the aim is to kill your way to victory by shooting, stabbing, and blowing up anything that stands in your way.
I'll start with the controls, in the arcade the metal slug games tend to have a joy stick and three buttons, sadly the wiimote doesn't have the ideal layout for a three button arcade game, thankfully they found a way around it.
To play the game you hold the wiimote on its side as if it was a NES controller or something. You use the D-Pad to move, + to start and - to pause.
The 1 and 2 buttons act as the shoot and jump, the A and B buttons do nothing. What is this no grenade button, well good news they found a way around it, to throw and grenade you just shake the wiimote making the game fully playable.
The Metal Slug games have always been known for their trademark action and humour. The Metal Slug games have some of the best weapons and power-up's in video game history, for example one power up is that you can get fat from eating too much food, when this happens you fire power increases and you weapons are more wide spread. Another example are some of the weapons, you have the normal stuff like machine guns, laser beams and rocket launchers but you also have more bizarre stuff like thunder clouds and nappie wearing chimps that shoot enemies for you. Awesome.
Another thing that metal slug is famous for are the vehicles, the vehicles in these games are awesome, in fact did you know that Metal Slug is the name of the tank you use in the game ? Anyway these vehicles are great, they have large fire power and health bars (something you don't have), out of all the things you can ride on Metal Slug I'd have to say that my favourite is the Elephant.
Metal Slug is one of those classic hard core one hit kill games, you get hit by anything even once and you are dead, die three times and it is game over, fortunately unlike the arcade version you get unlimited continues so you don't have to spend all of your money trying to complete it.
All of the Metal Slug stages follow the same format, you fight some bad guys, rescue some prisoners of war who give you weapons that are in their underpants, fight some more enemies, save some more P.O.W.'s, fight a boss.
It's funny you'd think that games with a constant format would get dull and repetitive but for some reason they never do, people still play the old 2D Mario games, people still play the old 2D Sonic games and people are still playing the Metal Slug games, they have this never ending appeal that gives you near to endless replay value. The humour helps too ,if Metal Slug was more serious and didn't have that sence of humour I wouldn't see myself playing it so much.
I think I have said enough, Metal Slug, always has been fun, always will be fun.

Graphics and Sound
Metal Slug's soundtrack is time less everyone who has played the games knows it and it is used in all of the games.
The graphics are some of the best 2D sprites ever, Neo-Geo were great at 2D graphics, they have been using the same sprites for years and they still look nice despite their old age.

It's one of the best completion games ever made, each game is a classic and it is jammed fully of content.

+ 6 Classics
+ and a new one
+ good emulation
+ Great sound track
+ Cool unlockable content

- Some of the bosses just won't die
- some areas will pee you off.


NOTE: This is one of my worst reviews, I wasn't even taking a serious approach to it.

No More Heroes Nintendo Wii Review

Back in 2008 gaming had once again come under controversy, news papers and politicians alike were going crazy thanks to Manhunt 2.
In the end action was taken Manhunt 2 was banned and it looked like violent games were about to come under fire like they did in Germany and Australia, fearing the worse developers did what they could to make sure that their games would not under underfire.
Enter no more heroes a game that was so gory and so over the top that the developers decided to censer it in Europe and Asia.
Who would have ever thought that to be a good thing.

Single Player
The game has you take the role of big time loser Travis Touchdown who is on a quest to become the worlds greatest assassin after killing a drifter.
The drifter turned out to be a highly trained assassin, one of the best in the world, he was so good that he was ranked 11th.
Now taking the rank of 11th Travis has to kill his way to number 1, but it won't be easy he will need, skill, wits and a hell of a lot of money.

No more heroes is a sandbox hack 'n' slash action adventure game.
The sandbox section involves roaming around the fictional town of Santa Destroy, like all modern sandbox games you can walk or drive around the area going from place to place doing tasks. Just like other sandbox games Santa Destroy is full of huge landmarks such as Destroy Stratum.
The sandbox makes up only a small part of the games and being honest there really isn't much freedom or a lot to do, Santa Destroy can feel a bit empty at times, there are people in Santa destroy but not that many. You can also enter buildings, there are shops like AREA 51 and Beefhead Video, services like the job centre and gym, and some random ares where you do challenges like time attacks.
On to adventure, sandbox games are also regarded as adventure games in some respect but to me the adventure aspect are the stages them selves. The stages in no more heroes are fairly big, for example the first stage has you running around a mansion killing people so that you can find the exit. There is a lot to see in the levels.
Now on to the action and hack and slash this is the games main focus, you just go around killing everyone that stands in your way, as classic as it gets.
You play the game using the wiimote and nunchuck, the controls are spread out across them.
When roaming around freely you can use the A button to dig and the B button to run faster, but be warned you need batteries to do so.
When driving you hold the A button to accelerate and the B to break, if you break and swing the wiimote you can do drifts which is good because you can turn without slowing down. If you hold down the Z button you can use turbo but like running it drains your batteries power.
On last thing, if you shake the wiimote while driving you can do a jump.
The bike jump seems like a waste of time really because while it is really cool you can't jump over this with it, trust me I've tried, even if you are mile over something you will still hit a wall and crash, there are only two parts in the entire game where the bike jump comes in handy.
On to the normal gameplay controls, just like any hack and slash game you can get past a hoard of enemies just by mashing the attack button over and over again, while this may seem redundant and repetitive (like most modern hack and slash games) this is quite fun , the combat has some complexity to it.
The B button will let you punch and kick your enemies, doing a fully charged punch or kick will daze your enemies, when dazed you can either cut them to ribbons or grab the and preform a wrestling move on them, the wrestling moves are the most powerful attacks in the game, no joke, learn to make use of them, you preform the moves buy going a series of timed wiimote actions.
Seeing how you are fighting huge groups of foes at once you will need a way to defend your self, you do this by locking on to an enemy. Once locked-on you will automatically block any attacks the enemy uses on you and I mean attacks from all enemies not just the one you are locked-on to.
As the game goes on you can gain new ability's and power ups that help you though out the game, make sure you get as many as possible because chances are you won't be able to get through the entire game without beefing up first.
While I did say that the stages are great for exploring they can also end up being linear, a lot of the time you have to take a set path, there are times where you get to got to extra areas and get items but that's about it.
Now on to the boss battles, these are what the game is all about, there are 10 bosses in the game who you have to defeat, each boss battle is different so they never feel the same or dull.
The bosses themselves are all very memorable, fighting a big muscled guy in a super hero costume who shouts "Destroy Busta!" while firing laser beams at you is just awesome.
The bosses are no push overs either to beat them you will have to do it the old fashioned way, find the pattern and expose their weakness.
In all no more heroes is an enjoyable experience with some fun mini games and very memorable moments. A huge part of the games appeal is the humour everything is so well written and funny, it will have to in stitches.
No more heroes is a classic hack 'n' slash game it should take around half a day to complete the first time but if you want more there is also the higher difficulty you unlock when you have completed it.

Graphics and Sound
Graphically No More heroes is good but it isn't much of an improvement over Killer 7 (A game made by the same people). Visually though No More Heroes is great, the game just oozes with style, remember what I said about the censering of no more heroes while here is what what happened, in the American Version the enemies bleed when you kill them, actually bleed would be an understatement they explode into a fountain of blood, in the other versions of no more heroes the enemies explode into piles of ash and coins which is cool because the ash makes it look more artistic and the coins make it like older games such as street gangs where the enemies would drop coins when you killed them.
As for the sound the game does have a good sound track even though most of the levels share the same music, the music is catchy and it does suit the game well, the driving music for example is just perfect.

In all No more Heroes is a very enjoyable and humours game that can be played over and over.

+ Good, deep, complex fighting
+ Lots of style
+ Great Humour
+ Awesome cast of characters
+ Lots of extra content.

- Santa destroy is empty
- Some of the mini games are weak