Friday, April 2, 2010

SPC Showdown - 4/2/2010

It's time for the second edition of the SPC Showdown, and tonight's battles are primed and ready for your viewing and reading pleasure. It's a special edition here as we're taking a look at this gen's biggest first party battle-- Nintendo vs. Sony. Can Sony pull off the upset from the reigning king, Nintendo? Let's find out! We'll be pitting ten games against one another by popularity and genre, and I'll be picking the winner of each. The first party with the most wins is victorious!

Round One: Super Mario Galaxy VS. God of War III

Two of the most critically acclaimed games on either system. Which is better overall?

Super Mario Galaxy

It's not every day that the term "best game of all time" is thrown out there, but with Super Mario Galaxy it may very well fit. With ingenious level design, an awesome gravity mechanic, multiple unique galaxies to explore, new power-ups such as Boo Mario and the Ice Flower, and a brilliantly-orchestrated soundtrack, Super Mario Galaxy is a tough act to beat. We'll see how the May sequel fares.


God of War III

But let's not count out God of War III! While Mario focuses on bright colors and a happy-go-lucky world, God of War III is more about realism and barbaric brutality. While this sequel doesn't necessarily go out of its way to innovate or reinvent the wheel, it does bring the same carnage and action that you know and love from the God of War series. One of the best looking games of all time, God of War III is a winner... just not the winner.


Winner: Super Mario Galaxy

Round Two: Wario Land: Shake It! VS. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Two games all about treasure hunters, so which game reigns supreme?

Wario Land: Shake It!

A 2D platformer totally different from Uncharted save for the treasure-hunter element, this game is played one of two ways. Sure, you can run through the levels as fast as you can without seeking out treasure and exploring, but the best way to play is to search for treasure, plunder for booty, and grab as many coins and possible. It's also great to complete the in-game challenges such as leaping off three enemy heads in one jump and completing a given level in the time limit. Whatever your draw is, Wario Land: Shake It! has something for everyone.


Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

As does Uncharted 2, a treasure-seeking adventure taking place far and wide from blistering cold mountains to mysterious ancient temples. The cover system you know and love is present and accounted for plenty of opportunities to seek out the ever-elusive headshot and kill various swashbucklers in your path. This is all the while exploring the expertly-crafted areas for booty, gold, and treasure. Don't forget about the excellent multiplayer mode that adds hundreds of hours to one's playtime.


Winner: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Round Three: New Super Mario Bros. Wii VS. LittleBigPlanet

Two 2-D platformers, but which runs and jumps over the competition?

New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Both games here were rated as a 9.75, and were respectively Games of the Year here on SPC for 2008 and 2009. New Super Mario Bros. Wii showcases brilliant level design, a pretty stiff challenge, awesome 2-4 simultaneous multiplayer action, and a host of new, intriguing ideas. Everything feels tight from the platforming to the levels crafted for the sole purpose of having fun. It's New Super Mario Bros. Wii, and it was Game of the Year 2009.


LittleBigPlanet

The Game of the Year 2008 was LittleBigPlanet whose mantra is Play, Create, and Share. You did a lot of each in the game. Playing the game's impressively-designed levels, creating your own levels which was an arduous process all in itself, and showing off your created goodies to the very expansive LittleBigPlanet community. The main problem with this game is while NSMB's platforming is tight, LittleBigPlanet's is excessively floaty causing problems for some players.


Winner: New Super Mario Bros. Wii

Round Four: Metroid Prime 3: Corruption VS. Resistance 2

Two games revolving around shooting only different types of shooting. Who wins this match-up?

Metroid Prime 3: Corruption

Retro Studios have done a terrific job with the Metroid I.P. Truly a magnificent job. Metroid Prime 3: Corruption was no exception with many worlds to explore, items to obtain, enemies to obliterate, and puzzles to solve. The IR controls with the Wii remote are just stupendous, and the level design is top-notch as usual.


Resistance 2

This was my first Resistance game, and I found myself absolutely adoring it. It had everything, a fun single-player campaign with plenty of epic firefights to be had, a cooperative campaign mode, separate from the single-player one, with up to eight players duking out against the aggressive A.I., and a fun competitive multiplayer mode that took up a lot of my time. Fortunately, the online play squeaks out the victory over Metroid this time around.


Winner: Resistance 2

Final Round: Excitebots: Trick Racing VS. Motorstorm: Pacific Rift

It all comes down to this. Which first-party will come out the victor?

Excitebots: Trick Racing

Some of the most fun I've had with a racing game this generation, Excitebots: Trick Racing boasts impressive visuals and track design, some of the craziest racing this side of pothole-filled Daytona, and just an immense amount of wacky fun. Super Air Spins? Check. Super sandwiches? Check. Banging a tambourine to Shave and A Haircut... Two Bits? Check. Competent online which awards star points to purchase new bots and paint jobs? Check. Fantastic racing experience? You know the rest.


Motorstorm: Pacific Rift

From one of the wackiest racing games to one of the most beautiful, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift is all about stiff competition, blazing fast racing, and hardcore wipeouts! There's all sorts of race types and locales to race on from ocean shores to volcanic valleys. Online mode adds even more fun into the mix for up to eleven other racers jockeying for position. Want the need for speed but don't want to put your life on the line? Check out Motorstorm: Pacific Rift.


Winner: Excitebots: Trick Racing




...




Overall winner: Nintendo (3-2)

There you have it. It'd be very interesting to pit more games against one another like this. Kudos to Sony for having one of the most impressive first party outputs in the history of the gaming world, and great job, Nintendo, at reigning supreme in the first party landscape... for now. We'll see if this continues with games like ModNation Racers and PS Move coming out in the near-future. Until next time, this has been your SPC Showdown!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Top Five Game Hubs

When it was revealed that Super Mario Galaxy 2 would not have a game hub, some gamers felt let down by this news. It's since been replaced by a world map. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, a game hub is an area of the game that connects to every game world. This short list of five showcases my personal favorites in overworlds, hubs, or whatever you prefer to call them.

5) Timber Island (Diddy Kong Racing)

The tropical overworld of Diddy Kong Racing, Timber Island was taken over by Wizpig's evil magic. With four unique worlds to explore all connected by the island such as Dino Domain, Sherbet Lake, Snowflake Mountain, and Dragon Forest, there was plenty to do and see. The island can be explored either via car, hovercraft, or airplane as you raced Taj, scooped up hidden balloons, and saved the day as one of ten characters.


4) Peach's Castle (Super Mario 64)

Hearing the iconic theme as you run in and around the majestic castle of one Princess Peach Toadstool. There's four levels to the castle, and as you earn power stars, beat Bowser, and grab the key, you unlock new areas of the castle to explore. There's the basement, the first floor, second floor, and mezzanine to discover secrets and leap through paintings to journey through new worlds. Call it nostalgia, but Peach's Castle remains one of my favorite early hubs of gaming history.


3) Showdown Town (Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts)

Separated into different districts, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts' Showdown Town is a massive beast to explore. It's full of hidden parts to obtain for your vehicles, plenty of animals to converse with, and tons of worlds connecting to it. The city is absolutely staggering in size, and all without any load times. There's also plenty of places to just hang out and sight-see, taking pictures to share with friends (or the SPC faithful!).


2) Delfino Plaza (Super Mario Sunshine)

It's time to visit another tropical paradise in Super Mario Sunshine's Delfino Plaza which rests on the dolphin-shaped Isle Delfino. A happy, charming little burg full of places to plunder, roofs to run on, and beaches to bounce along on. The sunny shores and bright blue skies hide plenty of secrets underneath. There's secret power stars to obtain, 1-ups to scout out, coins to gather, and secrets to explore. One of my favorite hubs period, it was just beat out by number one.


1) Gruntilda's Lair (Banjo-Kazooie)

The number one hub on my list comes from Banjo-Kazooie. It's the multi-tiered, multi-chambered, multi-layered lair of the mischievous witch, Gruntilda. While Super Mario 64 was all about progression-based exploration, Banjo-Kazooie upped the ante with even more progression-based antics. Earning music notes to open doors, obtaining Jiggies to unlock new worlds, and finding secrets abound in the many levels and layers of Gruntilda's lair.

What hubs/overworlds are you most partial to? Let everyone know your opinion in the comments section!

Central City Census - April

It's the start of a new month here at SuperPhillip Central, and no fooling here! Before we get to this month's Census, let's view the results of last month's.

Of the current gen platforms, which have died on you?

Nintendo Wii
16 (13%)
PlayStation 3
21 (17%)
Xbox 360
60 (51%)
Sony PSP
9 (7%)
Nintendo DS
13 (11%)
None have yet
34 (29%)

Votes so far: 117

With 117 unique votes, this edition of the Census allowed for multiple answers as you can see when you add up the total votes. Not surprisingly, the 360 received the dubious honor of having the most votes thanks to the notorious Red Ring of Death. Following that was the Yellow Light of Death for the PlayStation 3 and bricking of the Wii. In second place of the vote our Census users picked that none of their systems have died yet. Congrats to them. I'm so jealous! With that out of the way, let's see what April has in store for our voters.

April's Census is no laughing matter. It's a quick and simple, no-nonsense question. What type of PC do you use primarily-- desktop, laptop, both, or other?

Stay tuned for May for the results!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Review Round-Up - March

March came in like a lamb and out like a lion! We have 18 unique reviews this month-- that's gotta be some kind of record! Taking top honors this month are the new Pokemon titles, HeartGold and SoulSilver and Hot Shots Golf Fore! We had a good variety of scores this month with the lowest being Sonic Classic Collection with a 5.5. Still average, so not bad! Not bad at all! We started off strong with Mega Man 10, continued with more downloadable titles such as Hamsterball and Max and the Magic Marker. Meanwhile, we plundered the deep with Endless Ocean: Blue World, saved a kingdom in White Knight Chronicles: International Edition, and our blades bled red with Red Steel 2. Don't forget about episode one of One-Sentence Reviews! Overall, a fantastic and productive month for SuperPhillip Central! As always, italicized reviews are classic reviews, written before this blog came to be. To satiate your appetite for new reviews, for next month how about something from the God of War series? Perhaps God of War III? Maybe we'll take a look at Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as well! Stay tuned as April's going to be a busy month!

All scores are out of 10.
5 = Average

Mega Man 10 (WiiWare, PSN, XBLA) - 8.5
White Knight Chronicles: International Edition (PS3) - 8.25
Endless Ocean: Blue World (Wii) - 8.5
Pokemon Puzzle League (N64) - 8.25
Mega Man X7 (PS2) - 6.0
Castlevania Judgment (Wii) - 7.0
Sonic Classic Collection (DS) - 5.5
Darksiders (PS3, 360) - 9.0
Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days (DS) - 8.75
Hot Shots Golf Fore! (PS2) - 9.25
Phantasy Star 0 (DS) - 8.5
Max and the Magic Marker (WiiWare) - 7.0
Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver (DS) - 9.25
Hamsterball (PSN) - 8.0
Red Steel 2 (Wii) - 8.75

Elebits (Wii) - 7.75
Tony Hawk's Project 8 (PS3, 360) - 7.25

One-Sentence Reviews - Episode One

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) - Trailer Three

Super Mario Galaxy 2 is already my number one most anticipated game of this year. This new trailer only solidifies this fact. Check out the new levels and power-ups such as rock Mario (Golem, anyone?) and gameplay with Boo Mario, Ice Mario, and Mario riding a ball containing a power star. The new hub showcases how streamlined this game has become, and it looks to be for the better. New, new, new, new, new, new.



Red Steel 2 (Wii) Review

Time to wrap-up the month of March which was already review-heavy with a review of Red Steel 2. I really enjoyed this title much more than I thought I would. I missed out on the original Red Steel, but according to reviews and public opinion, that was a good thing! Well, enough of my incoherent babbling, here's my review of Red Steel 2.

Because turning the gun sideways wasn't badass enough.


When it came to the Wii's launch line-up, few games were as hyped to heck and back than the original Red Steel. Unfortunately, it did not live up to many players' expectations just following short of being great. Now the developers have gone back to the drawing board and have completely retooled the franchise. Their end result is Red Steel 2, a game more about swords than shooting. Is Red Steel 2 on the cutting edge, or is it just a dull blade?

You play as a nameless swordsman seeking revenge after a gang captured him, dragged his body by a bike, and left him for dead. It turns out that the gang, the Jackals, have occupied a nearby town and are raising hell. It's time to draw out a mythical katana to slay these savage foes and save the town. What there is of story in Red Steel 2 is very small. There's first-person cut-scenes and the occasional cinematic showcasing your character's acrobatic prowess. Other than that, the story is on the light side which may put some players off.

Nice eyebrows, stranger!

There's seven chapters in Red Steel 2, and each has you completing missions around several unique and individual areas. There's always a main mission to follow such as opening up a gate or lowering a bridge, and your task is easily marked on a map shown on the lower left corner of your HUD (heads-on display). Green arrows show which doorway you should enter through to reach the primary objective. Meanwhile, there's side missions which are good for earning money that involve tasks like activating comm beacons, destroying Jackal trucks, and eliminating wanted posters placed around the city. Occasionally you'll get into battle with the Jackal gang or even a boss character. The nice thing about this is that health regenerates fully once a battle is completed.

There's a fair amount of different enemy types that are gradually introduced throughout the game's duration. The earliest enemies are armorless goons who attack with either swords or guns that can be easily deflected with your sword. As you go on, you meet a hammering hothead whose weakness is on his backside, a chain gunner who isn't shy about letting you meet each and every one of his bullets, and a lancer who loves showing off his agile acrobatics. Even the bosses are varied each with a different fighting style and attack pattern.

Combat-wise, Red Steel 2 only works with the MotionPlus attachment which for some bundles it is sold with. Might I say that Wii Sports Resort's swordfighting has been eclipsed? The swordplay of Red Steel 2 works very well, it's very fast and fluid, and most importantly it's a lot of fun to do. You hold the Wii remote up like a sword, parrying bullets and attacks by holding the A button. Some opponents will signal where they're going to attack, so it's up to you to move the Wii remote accordingly to defend. Attacker signaling he's going to strike vertically? Defend by holding the blade horizontally, and vice versa.

The sword action is often intense.

There's a wide assortment of ways to attack with your trusty blade. You can stab enemies, do weak attacks, or make broad motions with your arm to perform strong blows. This is perfect for enemies wearing heavy armor that only strong attacks can penetrate. The same rules for defending works when attacking-- that is, that if an opponent is holding up their sword vertically to parry, you attack vertically. Again, and vice versa. There's a myriad of special finishers you learn, purchase, and acquire throughout the game. These are performed through different button combinations and Wii remote motions. One is unleashed by holding down the fire button and locking onto up to three enemies before releasing the trigger. This slows down time and blasts every baddie with a bullet that is within range. Others involve moving behind the foe with a horizontal slash, performing a heavy stab into an enemy's heart, and leaping into the air before driving down your sword into an unfortunate bad guy.

When a foe is staggering after taking so many hits, that's when the real fun begins. Well, fun if you're demented like I am. You can take out an adversary using a variety of ways. An icon will appear over the foe's head, signaling what you need to do to defeat them. Sometimes a simple stab will work or slap to the head with the brunt of your blade, but other times it's more advantageous to use one of the aforementioned finisher moves. Not only do these moves earn you more reward money, but they are just damn cool to see even through repeated viewings.

Speaking of money, you earn cold, hard cash through battle as well as by smashing boxes, barrels, and other breakables. There's also hidden tokens worth 5,000 and shoot-able tokens worth 3,000 that are cleverly placed throughout the game's many locales. You spend your cash at one of three different shops, buying new finishing moves, hidden powers, guns and weapon upgrades, health and armor boosters, and much more. By the end of the game, you are one bad-ass swordsman.

Complete missions to earn cash to buy and upgrade weapons.

But the swordplay is only three-fourths of the equation. There's also the gunplay which works awesomely as well. You just hit the fire button to ready your gun at any time, even mid sword fight. There's four guns in total to purchase, and each one can be upgraded to fire faster, have more firepower, and have a quicker reload speed. You can fire a shot into an opponent's knee, and while they're dazed, go in for the kill! Unfortunately, guns become rather useless late in the game where every enemy can dodge your bullets effortlessly or they wear heavy armor.

This goon left himself open for a bullet to the chest!

Red Steel 2 will take most players anywhere from 10-12 hours to complete. There's three difficulties to choose from as well as a challenge mode where players can tackle any of the seven chapters, shooting and slicing for the high score-- arcade-style. Although just another means to make more money, searching for all of the secret tokens is another great alternative to get the most out of the game.

Red Steel 2 supports a stunning cel-shaded art-style with beautiful vistas, towns, and other areas. Everything is colorful, crisp, and wonderful to look at. There's an impressive mix of old West meets ancient East. However, load times are masked rather poorly through door-opening sequences. It can look quite pathetic seeing your character struggle to pound open a door for the fifth time. Regardless, it's a necessary evil to keep the loading manageable in the grand scheme of things. Another potential problem for people is that there is no blood. Instead, enemies fall into dust. You can be sure this was to keep the game's rating at a "T". On the sound side of things, the voice work is passable albeit imperfect, and the soundtrack is appropriate if not a bit memorable. Tom Salta did another admirable job on this score.

"Ah, grasshopper. You caught me funking out."

From the fast and frenzied swordplay to the fun and feverish gunplay, Red Steel 2 hits its mark splendidly and creates one wild ride from beginning to end. Yes, there could have been something on the lines of multiplayer, but what is here is a strong, solid foundation for further games or dare I say, sequels. For those of you who were disappointed with the original Red Steel, may you take its sequel as a personal apology from the developers. Tech-demo this is not.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.75/10]

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Hamsterball (PSN) Review

One genre in particular that I enjoy is the ball-rolling genre. I like Super Monkey Ball, Marble Madness, Kororinpa, and all that. Here's something now for PlayStation Network users, it's Hamsterball, and here's the review.

Little hamsters, big adventures


The ball-rolling genre was first made popular by a game called Marble Madness. Many imitators and clones have since come out including Super Monkey Ball and Kororinpa. Originally released on the PC in 2005, Hamsterball rolls its way onto Sony's PlayStation Network with style offering new modes and fun multiplayer. Is this Marble Madness and Super Monkey Ball clone worthy of your digital dollars?

Hamsterball is made up of two different game styles. The first is Hustle mode where the game plays just like an extended version of Super Monkey Ball. You roll your little hamster through colorful and themed labyrinths, avoiding obstacles, trying to stay on the course without falling, and head toward the goal. Unlike Super Monkey Ball, Hamsterball is much more lenient with its punishment for falling off. Instead of having to start back over at the beginning of the level-- which would be particularly cruel seeing as most levels take at least one and a half minutes to beat-- you just are placed back near where you fell or died. There's plenty of obstacles to get in your hamster's way such as falling platforms, trap doors, crushers, spinning top enemies with spikes lining their bodies, and much more. In all, there's around thirty-five different levels to explore each with different themes such as winter, gravity, night, circuit, and more.

Watch out for the wintry slopes of this level.

As you roll through the levels, there's little piggy bank collectibles and stopwatch icons to gather. Not only do these increase your overall score, but the stopwatch actually acts as a score multiplier. These icons are usually hidden or placed in the most precarious of positions. At the end of a course, your score is tallied up based on much time is left on the clock as well as how many icons you collected throughout the level.

There's even more difficult bonus levels included.

The second of two game styles is much more akin to Marble Madness. You roll your hamster ball on an isometric course with a fixed camera. Usually you're rolling down a mammoth-sized structure on your way to the goal. On the way, there's hidden locks that open up new courses for multiplayer. The time limits for the trial mode are much stricter than hustle, and because the camera is stuck in one angle, it can be hard to properly control your hamster in a speedy manner to complete a given level. However, with practice this becomes as natural as sleeping.

It may be a clone, but it's still awesome.

The multiplayer modes include race mode and sumo mode. Race mode is pretty self-explanatory as it has players racing against one another to see who can get through the course as fast as possible. Meanwhile, sumo mode plays out in one of several areans. The object is to hit the other players out of the arena. Each time a player is knocked out, the player who knocked them out scores points. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the time limit. These modes are great fun with friends, and you can even set it up where you compete against up to five AI opponents or four real-life opponents in sumo mode.

Hamsterball doesn't look too terribly different from its PC counterpart of several years ago. That isn't to say it is bad either. It holds up well on the PlayStation 3 with vibrant colors and passable textures. And little touches help make the game look better than it otherwise would have. It's cute seeing your hamster breakdance at the end of a given stage. The soundtrack is quite catchy with it being mostly jazz. Overall, the presentation is admirable for a download title that's several years old.

All-in-all, for ten dollars, Hamsterball is a worthwhile addition to the wide catalog of PlayStation Network software. There's plenty of levels in the three specific modes, the multiplayer is fun, the game isn't too punishing so newcomers to the ball-rolling genre can jump right in, and mastering each course will take hours upon hours of practice to complete. For a great PSN game, roll on over to Hamsterball.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.0/10]

Metroid: Other M (Wii) - New Trailer

Check out this new trailer of Metroid: Other M. Notice the seamless transition between 2D and 3D portions of the game. The trailer shows us new locales, enemies, and the same old Metroid gameplay we've grown to love. Metroid: Other M blasts the Wii in late June.



Monday, March 29, 2010

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Spring Has Sprung Edition

Welcome to another episode of my favorite VGMs. This week we're celebrating the arrival of spring with some music from Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, No More Heroes 1 & 2, and Phantasy Star Online. Get ready and get set, because here we go!

v521. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles - Sorrow

Sorrow is the theme as you battle the axe-wielding Steve Burnside monster. It features very gripping chanting and a great orchestral score. This version is from the Darkside Symphony CD. Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles didn't do so hot at retail which is a shame because for a rail-shooter it's full of content and justifies the full price point. Pick it up when you get the chance!



v522. Phantasy Star Online - Can Still See the Light (ENDING THEME)


Can Still See the Light is a two part song. The first is a haunting lyrical theme while the second chimes in with a forceful orchestral sound. I remember playing this game to death with my older brother in the offline cooperative mode. This was the Gamecube version might I add. Who didn't love downing a foe and uncovering a mysterious red box?



v523. No More Heroes - The virgin child makes her wish without feeling anything


The virgin child makes her wish without feeling anything is a poetic little ditty sung by one of Travis' ranked opponents in Santa Destroy Stadium. There's two versions of this song. There's the original heard first followed by the Dark Side version by a Japanese band known as Neutrino. Both versions have their own merits, but I prefer the poignant original.



v524. No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle - No More Riot


Is No More Riot the official title of the song? Who knows, who cares? Let's talk No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle instead! The game cut out the overworld exploration and in its stead added in several 8-bit mini-games and more boss battles. This tune features the catchy-as-a-cold No More Heroes guitar riff in it. Listen and be amazed!



v525. Sonic and the Secret Rings - High and Broken

High and broken. Sounds like a current Sonic Team game to me. Sonic and the Secret Rings was a fun game not without its caveats. The controls were good for the most part, and the level design was almost decent. The soundtrack is a love or hate thing. I happen to love it.



Stay tuned next week as we have music from The Munchables, Animal Crossing, and We Love Golf! If you'd like to revisit past episodes of my VGMs, just type in SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs in the search bar at the top left corner of each page.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Most Overlooked Wii Games - Part Five

Something that is common with most games on any overlooked list is that most of them lacked any sort of television advertising. There's not always an excuse as to why a game fails to sell, however. Sometimes, the fan base just isn't there or, in the Wii's case, have moved on from growing tired of waiting for third parties to get their act together. Here's part five (sad there's already five parts, huh?) of the Wii's most overlooked and/or underrated games.

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers

Unlike every other game on this list, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers actually had television advertising, so there's really no reason this title shouldn't have sold. Did the reviewers get to the consumers? I think we hold reviewers in too high of standing. Nonetheless, The Crystal Bearers main storyline followed a vast assortment of mini-games with unorthodox battles in between. There's over 300 different achievement-like medals to earn in the game, one of the best soundtracks to ever grace the Wii, and some fabulous graphics to boot. Wait until this title goes down in price before snagging it as it's definitely worth it.


Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles

Take a walk on the darkside with Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles, a Wii-exclusive on-rails shooter taking place during the Resident Evil 2 and Veronica X scenarios of the series. There's even a brand-new scenario entitled Operation Javier that shows Leon S. Kennedy and Jack Krauser teaming up on a mission to take out a South American dictator. With plenty of unlockable content such as enemy models, voice samples, upgradeable weapons, secret files, and much more, Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles is one of the best on-rails shooters I've yet to play. Only House of the Dead: Overkill triumphs this excellent game.


Silent Hill: Shattered Memories

Is it time to put the Silent Hill franchise to sleep? The series continues to go into a rapid decline. First with Silent Hill Homecoming and now Silent Hill: Shattered Dreams for Wii, PS2, and PSP. The Wii version was definitive with better controls, better visuals, and some fun Wii remote tricks. What's to blame for the decline of the series much more the failure on-- count 'em-- five platforms? Lack of interest in the Silent Hill name? Lack of advertising? Regardless, whether you're a fan of the series or not, Shattered Memories is a great game to hop into the Silent Hill series with.


Castlevania Judgment

This unusual fighter takes place in a fully three-dimensional arena. You use the Wii remote to attack your foes, block with the nunchuk, and whip your opponent into submission. While not the world's most intricate fighter-- this game won't be showing up at EVO-- Castlevania Judgment is a good game for fans to leap into. There's nearly twenty different fighters to select from, all designed by one of the lead artists from the Death Note anime, each with their own attacks, hyper moves, and personalities. Of course, all that's standard for a brawler, right? Throw in multiple modes such as Dracula's Castle, story, arcade, and online modes, and you have a competent fighter that many overlooked and over-criticized.


A Boy and His Blob

"C'mon, blob!" the boy yells, calling his friend, the blob, over. The two go off on an adventure to save the world of Blobonia from sinister shadow creatures in this platformer/puzzler. The eponymous blob has a lot of shapes he can take from a rocket to a weight to a jack that can be used to lift objects high into the air or to be used as a platform. To add to the forty plus levels there's several treasure chests hidden throughout each of the game's levels. These chests when collected open secret challenge levels, the ultimate test in A Boy and His Blob. These are levels where you have to go through them flawlessly or start from the beginning all over again. Whether you like vibrant visuals or rewarding gameplay, A Boy and His Blob has something for you.


There goes another edition of Most Overlooked into the books. Have any games you'd love to see in future editions? Let me know in the comments section!

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