Friday, April 1, 2011

Top Five Wrestling Games

Wrestlemania is this weekend, and it's the grand daddy of them all. The Miz versus John Cena? Oh my God. How is this pay-per-view not going to get big ratings? Snark aside, I was once a huge wrestling fan, but that was during the Attitude Era. This PG stuff and Cenation doesn't cut if for me. Regardless, here's my top five favorite wrestling games of all time.

5) WWE SmackDown! Here Comes the Pain (PS2)


Create and develop your own superstar through a story mode inked by WWE writers. You can track seasonal stats, build up abilities, earn money, and unlock hidden content through these modes. New modes included the Elimination Chamber, First Blood, and Bra & Panties matches. The gameplay was fast and frenetic-- perfect for multiplayer sessions late at night. The first SmackDown game that I would consider a classic, Here Comes the Pain does a great job of excelling at what it sets out to do, and it's number five on our countdown.

4) WCW/NWO Revenge (N64)


Sure, every entrance was pretty much the same, but there's no doubt that WCW/NWO Revenge laid the foundation for future wrestling games on the system. Without Revenge, we wouldn't have the later titles on this list. Using strong or weak grapples to take down opponents, using high-flying moves to incapacitate foes, and using one of dozens of WCW wrestlers including Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Sting, and Goldberg made Revenge one memorable game.

3) WWF Wrestlemania 2000 (N64)


Wrestlemania 2000 had plenty of content to it from an abundance of match types to lots of familiar Attitude era superstars to play as. The superstar entrances were incredible, the Create-A-Wrestler was impressive and still is to this day, and the stamina and grapple systems from Revenge were updated to make this one force to be reckoned with. Throw in the Rock, Mankind, the Undertaker, Triple H, and more, and you have one excellent wrestling game that I spent many a-night playing in multiplayer with friends.

2) WWE Day of Reckoning (GCN)



The last great wrestling game (Day of Reckoning 2 had too many loading screens), WWE Day of Reckoning featured impressive visuals for its day. This was back when each platform received its own style of wrestling game. Sony received the Smackdown series, Microsoft got the Raw brand, and the Gamecube got Wrestlemania and what I deem the superior series, Day of Reckoning. From the awesome story mode to the enhanced grapple and ringside mechanics, Day of Reckoning was WWF Wrestlemania 2000 on steroids.

1) WWF No Mercy (N64)


The epitome of an excellent wrestling game, WWF No Mercy had it all-- multiple arenas, a wealth of unlockable characters and legends, a multi-path story mode that put you right in the shoes of a WWF superstar, a robust Create-A-Wrestler mode, the ability to go backstage and take out opponents with chairs, sledgehammers, and bouquets of roses, and multiple match types like battle royal and the incredible ladder match. Those looking for the ultimate wrasslin' game, look no further than the Nintendo 64's No Mercy.

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The WWE may not be as hot as it was back in the nineties, nor are their games as up to snuff. However, as this list shows, there's still the classics to pick up and play. Have a great weekend, everybody!

Central City Census - April

April Fools' is here, but I have no interest in coming up with a joke for this year. You'll have to look elsewhere for your "humor" today. Instead, let's take a look at last month's Census and see the results.

Do you have an interest in the PSP NGP?

Yes, I'll buy one no questions asked. 6 (16%)
Yes, but it depends on the price/games. 17 (47%)
No, not until more is shown. 4 (11%)
No, I have no interest in the PSP NGP. 9 (25%)

Votes so far: 36

It seems like the most of you are interested, but it depends on the price and/or games. Nearly half of you chose that as your answer. A quarter of you have no interest at all in Sony's new portable, and 16% of you will buy one no questions asked. Let's seek out April's Census.

This poll is rather simple. Which do you use more-- consoles, your PC, Apple products, or traditional portables to play games on?

Review Round-Up - March

No puzzle can triumph over Professor
Layton and his apprentice, Luke.

It's a brand-new month, so it's time for a Review Round-Up! We at SuperPhillip Central reviewed five games this month, so let's compare and contrast the scores for your viewing and reading pleasure. The top scorers for this month were Professor Layton's newest outing on the DS in Professor Layton and the Unwound Future as well as Sly 2: Band of Thieves. Both of which scored a 9.0. de Blob 2 failed to live up to its predecessor, but it's still an adequate game earning an 8.0. Meanwhile, two Retro Reviews (the first batch of the year) for Bomberman Hero (6.5) and Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers 2 (5.0) failed to impress too much. That's alright though. April is looking even better with reviews of DS titles such as Pokemon Black and White and Okamiden.

Professor Layton and the Unwound Future (DS) - 9.0
Sly 2: Band of Thieves (PS3) - 9.0
de Blob 2 (PS3, 360, Wii) - 8.0
Bomberman Hero (N64) - 6.5
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers 2 (NES) - 5.0

This blob has your monochrome world covered.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Xenoblade Gets A New Name - And A Confirmed Release in Europe

Xenoblade is coming to Europe as Xenoblade Chronicles! It's just a matter of time now until a North American announcement is made, right? ...Right? Regardless, I would expect a pre-E3 announcement from Nintendo of America for Xenoblade's arrival to the Americas. Watch this Japanese trailer turned European and be in awe at the expansive world for your troupe of heroes to explore.



Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nintendo 3DS: Launch Titles to Avoid

Yesterday I listed five launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS that I deemed worthy of a purchase for those seeking out new games for your gorgeous new handheld. With that in mind, let's take a small sample of five games to avoid like the plague. Now this isn't the type of plague where your penis falls off or something gross like that as this is all metaphorical. Anywho, where was I? Ah, yes. Five Nintendo 3DS launch titles to avoid. Let's get to it.

Steel Diver


When you read that Shigeru Miyamoto is taking a hand in a game, you expect a lot. Unfortunately, whatever cool gameplay elements Steel Diver, a new Nintendo IP, has are quickly washed away and submerged in a short campaign. Using the touch screen to control one of three subs through one of seven missions, avoiding mines, destroying enemy battleships from below, and fighting off giant sea creatures is intuitive enough, but by the time it's all over, you'll be wanting a lot more. The augmented reality of moving the 3DS around to search for battleships to sink is cool, but I cannot help but wish Steel Diver was a budget title. This game is simply not enough bang for your buck, and there's so many better more meatier games in the 3DS' launch lineup to pursue and engage.


Bust-A-Move Universe


Priced at a budget price and for good reason, there's little in the way of content and freshness. Where's the multiplayer? Where's the new modes? How long can one player enjoy the single-player mode before wanting more? The answers are in order of the questions: nowhere in sight, there aren't any, and not very long at all. Sure, the addictive nature of this puzzler is present, but it's obvious that Square-Enix just needed a game to push out for launch. This was obviously the best they could come up with. The lack of proper 3D only further hurts this title's cause.


Super Monkey Ball 3D


Aiai and the gang are back, and SEGA is determined to kill this franchise even further. The difficulty is nonexistent until the final world, the game can be completed within an hour as most levels feature a heavy helping of side-rails to prevent your little monkey from falling off the course, and the two accompanying mini-games (one a Mario Kart ripoff and the other a Smash Bros. ripoff) just aren't that much fun. The Monkey Ball series has seen a fierce decline ever since Banana Blitz, and Super Monkey Ball 3D will have you going bananas in a bad way at how poorly and incompetently SEGA has tarnished this once-fun franchise.


Combat of Giants: Dinosaurs 3D


Dinosaurs and 3D-- what possibly could go wrong? In another attempt to steal money from unsuspecting launch buyers, Ubisoft has created this mess of a fighting game. The concept of this buggy game is simple-- add one part Punch-Out! and throw in a heaping helping of prehistoric pals to duke it out against one another. The main problem here is that there is so little content. There's but four classes of dinosaur types to fight, and once all of those are completed, you take on the game's final boss. All this is over within a matter of a few hours. Save your money and buy Jurassic Park if you need your dinosaur fix.


Asphalt 3D


Take a fast-paced racer, throw in some adequate controls via the comfortable circle pad, and then add in online play, and jumble all that with some messy collision detection, numerous glitches, a botched drifting mechanic, and you have Asphalt 3D, another lazy 3DS title from Ubisoft. There is no reason at all to give this game a second glance when you have the far superior Ridge Racer 3D on the same platform for the same price. Do yourself a favor and if you have the need for speed, get Ridge Racer 3D instead.


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Hopefully this list you readers will take to heart as these launch titles just aren't up to snuff. They're either rushed for launch or just have something that is too difficult to overlook. Hope you 3DS owners are enjoying your new handheld!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nintendo 3DS: Launch Titles to Look Out For

The Nintendo 3DS hit the other half of the world this past weekend, and feverish gamers and non-gamers alike are getting up-close and personal to Nintendo's newest portable gaming device. Now the built-in software can last you for eons on its own, but perhaps you're interested in something outside the box. That's where this buyer's guide comes in. Out of the multiple launch titles for the Nintendo 3DS, I've picked five of the best that you should look into.

Nintendogs + Cats


No matter which of the three editions of Nintendogs + Cats you choose, you're bound to say "D'awww" more times than you're willing to admit. The game makes of almost every use of the Nintendo 3DS' impressive hardware features including the microphone for less-problematic voice commands, the 3D camera for when your face comes closer to the screen, your virtual pets will lick your face, and the augmented reality card to literally have your kitty or puppy in the palm of your hand. Add in competitions and toys to collect, and you have one launch title to look out for.


Pilotwings Resort


Many in the media have breezed through this game, citing that it lasts but a few hours. However, Pilotwings Resort contains much more bang for your buck than that. The game includes five difficulties or classes of challenges, the aim of the game to perfect your high scores to earn three red stars on all of the classes and challenges, some of the most impressive 3D yet on the 3DS, free flight mode to collect dioramas that are in-your-face, and the familiar Wuhu Island as your backdrop. Players on NeoGAF and GameFAQs have been reporting playtime lengths of over ten hours. What appears to be light on content is anything but when you fly the friendly skies of Pilotwings Resort.


Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition


A mouthful of a title and one expansive amount of gaming content in Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition. The premier title to use the 3DS' online functionality, the online play is fast, frenetic, and flawless. Players can opt for traditional analog controls or use the brand-new touch-screen controls for beginners to hadouken with the best of them. All the characters and stages from the console versions are present in this handheld port, and there's even an exclusive Streetpass trophy-collecting mode where passersby can duel their trophies. The side with the best trophy stats wins. There's over 500 of these special trophy characters to collect making for some great fun for completionists.


Ridge Racer 3D



You've entered slipstream! Race on one of two dozen courses in the newest installment of the Ridge Racer franchise. This game is like a greatest hits collection of tracks and music from past Ridge Racer games. Not everything is recycled, however. There's new content to be had. From the extensive campaign mode to Streetpass ghost mode functionality and three new tracks made exclusively for the 3DS installment, Ridge Racer 3DS is a beast in 3D mode. Add in some lightning fast speed with cars whizzing in and out of view and you have one meaty and excellent racing experience. What lacks in online play is made up for by the beefy single-player modes.


Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars



This turn-based strategy game was originally a Nintendo DS title, but Ubisoft wanted something of greater substance for the 3DS' launch. Yes, Ubisoft is not known for their quality handheld titles, but Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars just happens to be one of them. Sharing gameplay ideas from X-Com, Advance Wars, and Fire Emblem, you're tasked with taking down a Russian dictator using drones to seize power and the will of his countrymen. The simple visuals show that this title was up-ported from the DS to the 3DS, but that doesn't make this a phoned-in effort. With enough tactical gameplay to make army generals giddy, Shadow Wars is indeed of greater substance, and one of the 3DS launch's surprise hits.

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The new smell of a new gaming system is always fun. Did you purchase a Nintendo 3DS? If so and even if not, which launch titles appeal to you? There's still Steel Diver, Rayman 3D, Super Monkey Ball 3D and more to choose from.

Second Nintendo 3DS North American Advertisement

This time around, Pilotwings Resort, Face Raiders, and Nintendogs + Cats are featured as the games in this the second Nintendo 3DS commercial for the Americas. These ads are pretty cool, in my opinion, and they show off a new kind of perspective that most commercials don't go after. Did that last line even make sense? Who cares. Here's the ad.



Monday, March 28, 2011

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Nintendo 3DS is Out Edition

The Nintendo 3DS is officially out, but that has nothing to do with the VGMs. This week we're listening to music from classics such as the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Mario Kart 64, and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, to name a few. Time to be seated in the upright position with seatbelts on as we rock it on into the night, and learn something in the process!

v686. The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - Forest (Two Versions)

The Lost Woods were not a truly confusing place like future Zeldas. In fact, it was quite easy to get through to reach the Master Sword. A Link to the Past remains one of my favorite games of all time. I need to go back and play it now that I think of it. Regardless, there are two variations of Forest in this VGM. The first is the original as heard in the game. The second comes from the Legend of Zelda: Sound and Drama CD. It's a remixed version of this already catchy theme. What is your favorite Zelda game of all time?



v687. Mario Kart 64 - Highway


Highway is the theme of Toad's Turnpike, a simple figure-eight course. However, when you add in items and traffic, it becomes seriously less simple of a track. In mirror mode, the traffic actually comes AT you, meaning you're heading for a head-on collision! This definitely makes Toad's Turnpike one of the toughest tracks in Mario Kart history when played this way. The theme itself of Highway uses piano as the main melody with a good bassline to back it up. I have to ask-- which Mario Kart is your personal favorite? I personally enjoy Mario Kart DS the best, but I won't touch online play.



v688. Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - Cursed Clock Tower

My first introduction to the Castlevania franchise was Dawn of Sorrow for the Nintendo DS. It remains my favorite to this day despite soon playing Symphony of the Night shortly thereafter. I greatly enjoyed farming souls, acquiring new abilities, and beating down bad bosses in Soma Cruz's quest to get through the castle. Though the soundtrack pales in comparison to Symphony of the Night's, Dawn of Sorrow still has enough admirable tracks to give it an edge overall to the excellent Symphony of the Night. Do you have a favorite Castlevania game? This seems to be a recurring question these five videos!



v689. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest - Disco Train


Back when Rare wasn't destroyed by Microsoft (almost literally if you follow the news), they produced good video games such as Perfect Dark, Banjo-Kazooie, and yes, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. This theme, Disco Train, plays during the amusement park roller coaster levels. My favorite being Rickety Race where the goal was to get first place in a race that took place on rails. By leaping over gaps and jumping on baddies, you'd edge yourself closer to number one and that fabled DK Coin. Did you have a favorite level in Donkey Kong Country 2? Let me know in the comments section.



v690. Wave Race 64 - Drake Lake

Drake Lake was a foggy jet-ski course in Wave Race 64. You weaved through a marsh-like area. I wouldn't have been surprised if there were crocs in that water! Regardless, the song itself relies heavily on the wonderful pan flute, along with piano and violin, is one of my favorite instruments. The box art displayed here shows the Players' Choice version. That means the title had sold over one million copies worldwide. A PC line was proposed for the Wii, but Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, shot it down for, in his opinion, if every Nintendo game went down in price, then people would just wait for the price to eventually go down for the games instead of buying them when they are brand-new. That's just a paraphrase anyhow.



There goes another installment of the favorite VGMs. Tune in next week as we have five more excellent musical tracks to share with the masses. Until then, have a great week!

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