Friday, September 19, 2008

Sonic the Hedgehog (360) Review

All righty. Here we have the second of two of my worst-rated games. To be fair, I've played a lot of bad games, but that was all before I started the reviewing gig to combine two things I love doing-- playing games and writing. While Sonic the Hedgehog fares better than Ninjabread Man, it's not necessarily something to break out the champagne bottle and wine glasses. Well, except if you want to get drunk enough to forget wasting your time on either game. You know a game is pitiful when all the official screens are touched up to ridiculous levels. Neither Sonic nor Ninja look at all like what you see in the pictures in the reviews. Shameless! At least it's somewhat close in other games!

I believe this was one of my first five reviews-- there's not even a recap or SuperPhillip Says. I'm too embarrassed to read it myself, but here it is anyway, friends, with some better pictures than the original review.


Sonic Rushed, New Generation, same old problems.

Coming from someone who played and A-ranked every 3-D Sonic from Sonic Adventure 2 to Shadow the Hedgehog, I've come to accept Sonic's transition from his roots to what we now see before us in 2006. Sonic Adventure was the blue blur's first step into total 3-D gaming. That was 1998. This is 2006. I expect more from Sonic Team than the same horrible camera, myriad glitches, and deviation from Sonic that both Sonic Adventure and Sonic the Hedgehog supply. This goes especially since this Sonic game was supposed to go back to his roots. I did not die because the automated jump sequence I was participating in decided to send me careening to death in the original Sonic the Hedgehog, so, Sonic Team, please tell me how this game returns his roots. Which roots exactly? Because it seems to me as if Sonic Team decided to go back to its Sonic Adventure rulebook. Sonic Team got this game out on the 360 first for a reason, and it shows that they weren't quite finished with their work.

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This is the part where I'd fall off the platform magically.

The camera is something that all 3-D Sonic games have a difficult time getting a grasp of. Most of the time the speed of the characters is too swift for the camera to adequately follow. Other times the camera locks while you're moving, so you don't even have a clue as to where you're running to (usually to pain). Another way the camera can mess with the gamer is to flip sides without warning. Sonic may be running one way only to have the camera flip. This usually happens when I'm holding the control stick forward to run, and then I'm forced to alter the direction of the control stick just to meet the happy-go-lucky camera.

Another staple in 3-D Sonic games but becomes prevalent in StH are glitches. Glitches when you homing attack, glitches when you pressed the button to homing attack and nothing happens, glitches when you aim your homing attack at one enemy yet get another to totally throw off your groove.

It'd help if I could see where I was grinding to.

This installment of the Sonic series once again deviates from the title's focus to include episodes with the always brooding Shadow the Hedgehog and nasally and annoying newcomer Silver the Hedgehog. Apparently the twenty characters Sonic Team pulled from their collective butts to put into Sonic games wasn't enough, so they added this psychic hedgehog into the fray. Shadow's levels are similar to Sonic's except that include vehicles in them. Why a speedy hedgehog would need vehicles is beyond me, but we're dealing with Sonic Team so anything is fair game with them involved. Silver's level are more puzzle oriented as he uses his telekinetic powers to move boxes, make platforms, and stop missiles to fling them at enemies. Truly I'd prefer a focus to actually be on the person the game was made after, but Silver is an intuitive addition to the series.

A beef I have with game is one that I had with Sonic Adventure-- the over-world. Sonic is meant to be a fast-paced game. However, the tedious, uninspired world maps filled with boring side missions (which not only take fifteen seconds to load a mission, but it also takes fifteen seconds just to load the freaking mission request!!) that don't add anything to experience besides ennui.

Two positives that I will compliment are 1) the fantastic soundtrack-- a series staple-- is both pumping, riveting, and memorable, and 2) the story. Some will like it and some will hate it, but that truly goes for anything in this world.

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Waiter, there's emo in my hedgehog!

Overall, I think even the Sonic faithful will be disappointed with this game. I don't believe I'd even recommend it to the greatest Sonic fan. However, I'm sure there will be many who blindly take Sonic Team's rushed project and love it. I'm not one of those people. This game is worse than all previous 3-D Sonics because it has horrible control, a chaotic camera, cheap deaths, and annoying load times that detract from any enjoyment I would have had while playing this game. Do not buy this game unless you have a collection going on, or you're messed up in the head. Someone has to show Sonic Team that this debacle of a game, this shoddy effort on a game-- isn't going to fly anymore. The blue blur deserves better.

Overall: 2.5/10

Ninjabread Man (Wii) Review

I was supposed to post this Thursday, but I fell asleep early and I slept the rest of the night away. However, it's okay. There will just be two reviews today-- one right now and one later tonight. We start off with the lowest-scoring review of mine. It's no surprise considering it's shovelware! I was really curious to see just how bad this game was. Do I regret it? Not at all. Most of my reviews are games that have at the very least some positive aspects to them. Ninjabread Man? Not so much. I'm asked why so many of my reviews are positive. Well. the games I review are purchased for the most part. I usually do research before deciding to purchase a game. I haven't gotten burned too much that way though it has happened as the second review today will show you. Regardless, here is my review of Ninjabread Man with another low-scoring review coming up later on within the day.


Can't catch him he's the Ninjabread Man?

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Well, why the hell would you want to? Ninjabread Man is a shovelware title developed by some third-rate company cashing in on the success of the Wii. You play the title role as he traverses all three- yes, three-- levels and a short tutorial on his quest to find fuel cells. Collect all of the fuel cells in a level to power up the transporter sending Ninjabread Man to the next level to start the process all over again. Does the premise sound sweet enough for you? Yeah, sweet as getting a cavity.

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His expression says it all.

Right from the beginning you can tell that this game is pretty horrible. There is no cohesive story anywhere to be found in Ninjabread Man, so if you don't have the instruction manual to study up on this literary masterpiece then you're out of luck. Besides the absent story, you'll come across the main game which is pretty empty itself. You begin with a tutorial mission explaining the controls of the game. You can either opt to use the broken motion controls of the nunchuk to jump or simply press a button. A button is a much more intelligent choice as motion controls + crappy developers = a crappy cooker-cutter game covered in poop sauce. The nunchuk's control stick guides Ninjabread Man around.

Now we get to the fun part. Attacking is done by waving the Wii remote sideways. Well, this isn't necessarily true because even if you wave the Wii remote Ninjabread Man may or may not even attack with his sword. This means you're waggling your Wii remote around like a moron standing in front of an enemy who is open to attack you while you're TRYING to form some kind of offense. Thankfully, Ninjabread Man has a projectile attack where he can throw some kind of cookie shurikens at enemies-- hell, I don't know what he's throwing. It might as well be the crack that the developers of this game were snorting to believe that this game was actually ready to be sold.

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Are we having fun yet?!!!

Once you exit the brief tutorial you're thrown into the first level. This game's your standard platformer. The goal of each level is to find all of these fuel cell-type items to unlock a transporter that will send Ninjabread Man into the next level. Why is he doing this? Well, since there's no story here, we can assume he's doing this just because he's friggin' Ninjabread Man. Complete one level, go to the next to traverse around the sugary platform delights the game offers, once again searching for fuel cells.

What happens once you complete the final (third) level? Not a damn thing. You just get taken back to the title screen. Yippie! Fortunately you won't have to suffer long as the game took me less than an hour to complete. There's no replay value at all unless you just looooooove going through the game so much which makes me question your taste. Heck, if I paid the $30.00 for this title I'd try to delude myself into thinking I made a decent purchase, too!

From the bland Playstation 2 level-graphics to the ugly enemies that are hardly distinguishable, there's not a lot to take in from Ninjabread Man. Ninjabread Man himself doesn't look too shabby, but then again trying to say he's the best looking part of this game is like trying to discover the best-looking piece of crap after one of my dumps. Ninjabread Man shouts occasionally, but that's pretty much all the sound you'll hear save for the generic and uninspired music in the background.

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Even in widescreen this game sucks ass.

Lemme just say that Ninjabread Man isn't all bad. I was actually impressed at one point. There's a puzzle where you're supposed to run along an invisible path to reach one of the fuel cells. Fall down, and you'll find the solution to the puzzle saying how many steps you need to take to reach the fuel cell. Seriously, with the intelligence of the developers who made this travesty of a game, I was surprised they could think up a puzzle for this title.

Ninjabread Man actually has a lot of stuff going for it, but the developers simply squandered this potential. The game as it stands has broken motion controls, pathetic graphics, an incredibly short life-span (see: watching two episodes of Friends but without the anorexics), and very cheap production values. If you're still interested in checking out this title to see for yourself, by all means please rent. Purchasing Ninjabread Man is not only a stupid financial decision, but then I'd also have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

[SuperPhillip Says]

Story: lol wut

Graphics: Yep, there ARE graphics in this game. I confirm and understand this.

Gameplay: The motion controls are broken, and the platforming is mediocre at best.

Sound: This is what they play in Hell if that's what you believe in.

Replay Value: No.

Overall: 1.5/10
- Crap on a disc. No amount of sugar could make this title sweet.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Crackdown (X360) Review

As the countdown until review #100 continues, I have my first Xbox 360 review from early 2006 for the superhuman sandbox title, Crackdown. Tomorrow I will be posting the first of the two or three lowest scoring games of my current catalog of game reviews. Please look forward to that as well.


Short but sweet.

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From the creator of GTA, Crackdown starts you off as a no-name agent under an authoritative branch of Pacific City known only as The Agency. It is here where you are immediately put into the fray and let loose into this beautifully-crafted world. The aim of being set loose into Pacific City is to go after the leaders and generals of each gang holding a grip onto each island of the city. That's pretty much it for the story. Nonetheless, these gangs are Los Muertos, The Volk, and Shai-Gen, and each gang has several leaders all working under one general. Players can take on the general, or boss, immediately from the start. However, only by defeating gang leaders will chances of victory against the gang general increase. By taking on a general from the word go, players will find themselves facing off overpowered soldiers, superior firepower, and overwhelming odds. Hence, killing off the gang leaders is recommended.

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What can I say? I'll do anything for a close-up.

You start off with limited abilities, weak strength, slow agility, mediocre driving skill, and less than stellar weapons and firepower. As you use a certain skill regularly, your experience for that skill will increase. Powering up agility by seeking out agility orbs, completing rooftop races, and killing foes from high altitudes will allow you to jump higher. Running over bad guys with a vehicle and finishing races around the city will raise your driving skill. Leveling up your explosive ability will increase the blast radius of your grenades, rockets, and any other explosives. Additionally, taking out enemies with your fists will level up your throwing capacity-- what you can and how far you can throw. Finally, murdering gang members with your firearms will upgrade them to more effectively kill targets. This RPG element rises replay value severalfold.

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Say hello to my little-- wait. You've heard that line before already ad nauseum, haven't you?

The sandbox-style gameplay allows the player a plethora of ways to tackle an objective. Countless times I thought of ways to approach a gang leader. Maybe I should take the cliffs instead of going guns blazing down the middle, or perhaps I should take rockets right down their throats? The possibilities are numerous. Los Muertos, Volk, and Shai-Gen gangs can be taken on in any order and at the player's discretion. The world is large, but by no means Oblivion or even Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas-scale. However, you're given more freedom to scale obstacles unlike the two aforementioned titles. If you can see it, you can probably climb it. The pleasure of leaping from rooftop to rooftop is something reminiscent of Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. It's just a lot of fun. Driving around is a little frustrating at first, but once my skill level improved I was careening around corners with little problem. The only problem I found with the gameplay was unlike most sandbox titles, this one could be finished rather quickly.

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My version of valet parking. Enjoy.

Graphically, the game has an eye-catching style. It's cel-shaded. The cars, the denizens, the weapons-- all cel-shaded. This is a nice touch by the developers to capture a cartoon, comic book-ish style. The draw distance is impressive as well. Being on top of a building you can essentially view all of Pacific City in its crime-drenched glory. Audio-wise, the game is pretty mediocre. Explosions and sound effects are pleasant, but the music whilst driving is nothing notable and was more yawn-inducing than anything. Voicework was limited to the fellow in charge of briefing you of missions. Nothing impressive, but nothing horrible either. Gang members after you surely like to say "Time to die." or "You're gonna die" in different voices. Silly how they're all in the same gang and are all saying the same thing in different voices.

One of the greatest items of interest for 360 owners are achievements. This game has a lot of them, too. There's 900 points total with the final 100 coming through a future download. The imagination of some of these rival Dead Rising's: tossing an object or person a long distance, keeping a body in the air for a set period of time, and pulling some cool car stunts are some examples. However, some such as finding needles in haystacks like the hidden orbs, and to some extent the agility orbs, are a hassle that some gamers might just shrug off acquiring.

Overall, Crackdown is a very enjoyable experience, but at the same time is not for everyone. Those looking for a world as interactive as San Andreas or wanting a deep story need not apply. However, those wanting mindless combat and fun, GTA-inspired gameplay, and an interesting city to explore should at least check the game out.

[SuperPhillip Says]

Story: What there is isn't very notable. Don't play Crackdown for the story.

Graphics: Solid cel-shading creating a stylized feel. Draw-distance is incredible at all times.

Gameplay: Combat isn't deep by any means, but the RPG element of leveling up abilities is a nice touch.

Audio: The man who briefs you will be your new friend. You'll listen to him talk a lot. The music is pretty poor and not towards my own tastes.

Replay Value: The game is pretty short for a sandbox title, but getting all the achievements will give this game some more legs.

Overall: 7.5/10

Kirby Super Star Ultra (DS) - US Commercial

The enhanced version of the SNES classic, Kirby Super Star, hits shelves next week. I'm unsure if I can crank out a review by month's end, but we'll see how things go. Enjoy this wonderful commercial for Kirby Super Star Ultra below with a direct link below that.

Monster Hunter 3 (Wii) Scans

This looks really nice. I enjoyed the PSP and PS2 versions.

(Posted from GoNintendo)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First Ever Review: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz (Wii)

Hello, everyone. Happy Tuesday. We start off the 100th review celebration with my very first review ever-- Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz for the Wii. The date of the original review is posted under the score. You can just worship the quality... or lack thereof... It's not the very pinnacle of my review career, but this review was the starting point to where I am, as well as SuperPhillip Central, are today. Hope you'll at least get a laugh out of this newbie review.


Go Bananas!

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Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz presents Aiai and the rest of the monkey crew's first foray into the next generation of gaming: the Wii. Not only are there an additional two monkeys joining them, but there's also a total of ten worlds (two unlockable) with nine levels apiece all capping off with a boss battle-- a series' first. Also included are fifty multiplayer games which make the single player mode seem like an afterthought, but more on that later. The entire game uses the Wii remote which will touched upon as well.

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The worlds are colorful and pleasing to view.

Single player mode features the same tried and true formula of this game's predecessors. You guide a monkey through increasingly difficult labyrinths, gathering bananas (20 for a 1-up), and navigating obstacles and enemies whilst attempting to stay on top of the level. New to the traditional SMB games is the jump feature. By pressing the A or B button on the remote, you leap into the air. This is helpful for leaping for baddies, obstacles, and other hazards to your quest to reach the goal. As you can probably imagine the possibilities in game design this opens up and which the designers took advantage of.

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Rolling with the Wii remote may take some getting used to.

The main qualm with the game is how it controls itself-- the Wii remote. By tilting the remote forward, you tilt the playing field forward. By twisting the remote left or right, the respective directions move your monkey. This control setup felt too loose, and this idea presented itself strongly in the later levels where precision was key. When wanting to hold still, the ball continued to move often times costing me both time and patience. The later levels are incredibly frustrating and an unnecessary challenge because of being hindered by the Wii remote. I couldn't help but think how much I'd rather be using a more accurate controller such as a control stick to delicately move in a way that seemed impossible by using the Wii remote.

The boss battles consist of hitting the boss character's sweet spot while avoiding attacks that will knock your monkey off the battlefield. The beginning battles aren't too difficult, but the later ones are quite challenging especially World 5's octopus. You will fall off, and you will fall off a lot. Once again the Wiimote's inaccurate controls hinder the battles and make the game seem harder than it has to be.

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One of the new simians to monkey around with.

Multiplayer mode, or Party Mode, features 50 party games, some feature both the Wiimote and nunchuk attachment while others just rely on the Wii remote. Most of the games are forgettable, unresponsive, dumbed down versions of their former glory. Seeing as most of the work going into the game went into multiplayer, Party Mode is a letdown. More time should have went into the single-player, adding new stages (though to be fair 100 is a lot already) or tweaking the controls would have been appreciated.

Finally, the music of the game is very well done. Memorable tunes are abundant for any audiophile. They're nothing complex, but music doesn't have to be to sound great. I recommend setting some time aside to just listen to it and appreciate it.

Overall, as a Monkey Ball fan, I feel pleased with my purchase. I don't feel that I'll ever unlock Worlds 9 or 10 as the game seems like more dabbling in overly frustrating and difficult gameplay. A pro will love this game (which I was until playing this game), but others might feel overwhelmed by the difficulty. A rental for the latter. Just remember one last thing: You will fall, and you will fall A LOT.
Happy banana hunting, all.

Overall: 6.75/10
Originally posted 11/25/06

The Next Two Weeks Will Be Special.

I am a couple reviews away from reaching my 100th review. I'm going to be marking this occasion with a two week commemoration showcasing the best-reviewed and worst-reviewed games of the past. A new review will sneak in here and there, too, to keep things fresh all leading up to a week from Friday when my 100th review will be posted. Today I am going to start off with my first ever review. Look forward to it later today.

Monday, September 15, 2008

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Monday, Monday

The weekend really flew by, didn't it? Well, have no fear. My favorite VGMs are here! Doesn't that make having to go back to school or work feel much better? ...No? Oh... Sorry then. Nonetheless, I have five more VGMs to share this week for everyone. Let's hop right to it!


This is the theme of Blaze Heatnix stage in Mega Man X6. I know it's good. Why? Because the level takes at least nine minutes to beat and I'm not sick of the song yet. Why? Because you spend the majority of the level facing a mini-boss in various locations with various variances.

Mega Man X6 is the worst 2-D game of the X series. Why? Because it sports horrible and oftentimes cheap level design and it reeks of "rushed".

That notwithstanding, the soundtrack is just fantastic as most Mega Man X games possess. Did anyone else not enjoy this game too much like me?

Let's follow up Mega Man X6 with an even worse installment in the series, Mega Man X7. It's probably my least liked of the series. Capcom, to their credit, tried something new with 3-D levels. Unfortunately, unless it's Mega Man Legends, Mega Man (and especially X) is better suited for 2-D fields or at least a 2-D path with 3-D changes like Mega Man X8.

It's also my least favorite of the X series' music. There were seven or so different composers who worked on this game's music yet it's the worst of the series to me. Go figure.

Here's the first battle theme with X's Dr. Wily, the everliving Sigma!

It's time for another performance from the Toyko City Philharmonic. This time they are performing a track from Super Mario World appropriately named, "Super Mario World".

The ending is my favorite part. It makes you want to get up and stand in a chorus line, kicking your legs left and then right with everyone else.

Here's another pick from the Bomberman series. This time we're taking a listen to "Aquanet II" from The Second Attack. Pardon the pun, but I hope you'll be blown away by it.

This medley is from a rare orchestrated album of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask tracks including Clock Town, Termina Field, the Astral Observatory, and much more. Our focus with volume 160 is the track called "Majora's Wrath". It is a combination of two battle themes, the boss theme and then the final boss theme.

If you have not played Majora's Mask and don't want any bosses revealed, please do not watch this video for fear of spoilers.

Direct Linkage:
Direct Link - Blaze Heatnix Stage
Direct Link - Our Blood Boils - vs. Sigma 1st
Direct Link - Super Mario World
Direct Link - Aquanet II
Direct Link - Majora's Wrath

We'll see you next week for volumes 161-165! If you'd like to check out other videos from my channel, feel free to check it out personally here!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Madden NFL 09 All-Play (Wii) Review

And here I was thinking I wouldn't get around to it. I just didn't feel like it. Then I had a good idea for the review, and now here it is.

Well, football season returned last week, and my hometown Rams kicked ass and took names. No, not on the field, of course, but off. After their humiliating performance, they went to a local preschool to get their confidence back as they beat the s*** out of the children there. No, no. I'm just kidding. The children actually beat the s*** out of the Rams!

Nonetheless, here is a completely brand-new review for your reading and viewing pleasure. I decided to do somewhat of a gimmick review, but it still has a lot of information about the game as well as more humor than usual. Let me know what you guys and gals think.


Dear EA: Wii owners are not mentally deficient, so please stop treating us like we are.

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Hello. I am SuperPhillip. Congratulations on twenty years of "boom, pow, tough-actin' Tinactin" Madden! You know, the last Madden game my older brother and I picked up was Madden NFL 2002 for the Playstation 2 exactly seven years ago-- a full third of my life ago. My bro loved every past edition of the Madden franchise purchasing each and every Madden that came out from 1993 all the way to our final gridiron showdown in 2002. I decided to end my Madden hiatus once I got wind of this new Wii version, Madden NFL 09 All-Play. It was being touted as a whole new way to play without the glitches of the past two versions and enhanced online play. Now I could enjoy my-- as an ad put it-- "favorite football franchise" (funny enough the acronym for that is "FFF") and have an entirely fresh and fun experience. Unfortunately, it wasn't all entirely that way.

A shot like this was simply taken via the instant replay feature.

There's plenty of options and content here in the newest Wii Madden. Some are fantastic while others just take up space or still haven't been fully realized yet. One of these examples is the Franchise mode. You pick a team, have your players go through mini-game challenges such as passing tests, tackling tests, and red zone plays in order to boost your players' ratings, play or simulate your games, and try to survive for the Super Bowl. That's really all that's to it, and from my understanding that's all that's been to it for years now. The mode is stagnant, really. I would love the ability to export my franchise team into the other modes, but this option is nowhere to be found!

Another option or two that I noticed were nowhere to be found are a create a team or create a player modes. I'm sure the HD and even the PS2 and Xbox versions have them, so I was curious as to why they were left out of the Wii installment. Perhaps you were afraid that you wouldn't be able to fit these game aspects into your instruction manual as they're usually only ten black and white pages thick anyway, so you decided to leave them out of the game completely. After all, we "casual" Wii owners wouldn't be able to follow such a mysterious feature without the aid of instructions! I think that is a well-thought out decision, so bravo, EA execs!

Number 77 looks like he's doing push-ups, does he not?

On the positive side of the football field, I really enjoyed the new inclusion of the 5-on-5 football mode. This arcade-style mode gives folks the ability to play a short game with short teams with a short playbook. Each team is made up of five players (the option of big head mode is given for an even more arcade-style game), and both offense and defense only have four basic plays to run. Offense can either run or throw a short, middle, or deep pass whereas defense can either blitz, cover short, middle, or deep. Offense only gets four chances to score a touchdown to earn a point, but if they fail then the other team gets to try from wherever the last down fell. It's an incredibly streamlined, fast-paced mode which was quite a blast to play.

To round out the package, a tweaked online mode is along for the ride. You guys at EA gave us the luxury of using an EA tag instead of the abomination known as friend codes, so adding a pal is as easy as 1-2-3. Playing online is smooth and the framerate is consistently constant-- no matter how redundant the preceding phrase was. Not all is right though because when playing online, if your opponent quits either intentionally or otherwise, you'll get the loss and he or she will get the win! Obviously you guys at EA overlooked that just so you could piss off the fellow who came up with the phrase "cheaters never prosper". You need not admit it. Your secret is safe with me!

Call Your Shots is a great new feature exclusive to the Wii version.

Controlling the game is pretty amusing, too, and I mean that in a satisfied way. The biggest addition to the formula is the brand new Call Your Shots feature. In my opinion, this is the most revolutionary new treat to hit Madden since his shtick as the spokesman for Tinactin! (Tinactin reference #2.) Athlete's foot can kiss my ass, but then my ass would probably get painfully itchy then, so never mind. Anyway, Call Your Shots is great. You can tweak any given play by pressing the A button as your team is lining up. You can then point to a receiver and customize his path by making waypoints for him to follow. The only downfall of this is that if you're playing local multiplayer (yep, a lot of people still do that in 2008), your opponent can see your play. Not that that matters anyway because instead of selecting a play by pressing a button, you have to actually point with the Wii remote at the play you want to call. This means you can see your friend's play, and he can see yours pretty easily. I hope Nick doesn't think I'm blitzing up his team's butt! Oops. He figured it out! To be fair though, it's great to use online and also great to use against the computer AI. Just beef them up to a harder difficulty, or you won't have too much of a demanding challenge.

I'm thankful that optional tutorials are listed during each game. Being accustomed to a Playstation 2 controller for the majority of my life for Madden games, switching to the buttons and motions of the Wii remote took some practice and time to learn. Not too bad, however. To pass you simply hold a direction on the d-pad and make a flicking or throwing motion to toss the pigskin (hopefully) to your intended receiver. Just be sure your man isn’t under cover by four defenders like I do just for the fun of it. A swift motion will throw a bullet pass while a slow motion will lob a slower pass towards your target. I really don’t see how these Wii controls for passing are more intuitive than playing another version, so you may want to look into that. Nonetheless, I really dug the simple field goal and punting controls as well as the cool touch of having a quarterback shout things from the remote’s speaker. I could have sworn one of the times he yelled, “Help! I’m trapped inside this Wii remote, you little %#%!”

Hold the d-pad in the direction of the corresponding receiver and throw.

Now where does the “All-Play” in Madden NFL 09 All-Play fit into the game? Well, the All-Play modes– for both control and difficulty– are to help novice players or folks just looking for some stress-free entertainment get into the game. The most basic control is just the Wii remote by itself where the player just shakes the crap out of the little bugger at opportune times. The All-Play difficulty has one main change to it. There’s no play clock, so you when you’re in the lead you can hypothetically let the clock run from 9:45 to 0:00 without any penalty. Of course, this means that some jackass will take advantage of and exploit this to his or her own benefit, and you know what? This jackass did just that. I came to win, baby.

Whenever you score a touchdown, sack a quarterback, recover a fumble, catch a pass for an interception, foil an assassination attempt against Dick Butkus, or cause a safety, the player who made the play will have the opportunity to boost his performance. How? No, not by Enzyte, but by wildly shaking the Wii remote and nunchuk like a complete tool. Ah... giving a player a performance-enhancing drug-like boost through the sacred art of interpretive dance... It’s a beautiful thing.

What isn’t a beautiful thing, however, is the presentation. The graphics are passable, but seriously, this does not look at all like an effort built from the ground up. Which graphical engine did you port to the Wii? Did you upgrade the PS2 engine, or did you severely downgrade the Xbox engine? I mean, the PS2 version of Madden NFL 2002 had deteriorating fields over time and had the players accumulating dirt, mud, blood, and feces on their jerseys. That game’s seven years old on weaker hardware. Why is it when I set the rain or snow to come down 100% there’s no participation at all no matter how far or short I slide the damn thing? Why is it when my team wins a game and as they celebrate it uses the same recycled celebration from Madden NFL 2002 where the player goes up and shakes the camera? Why is it that this time when the player shakes the camera he disappears from view? Does he somehow fuse his spirit into the camera and causes it to shake? If so, that is badass. EA, you have some very creative minds there.

This isn't a play. Number 25 slept with number 57's wife.

Which brings me to what I saw on the latest NPD. The Wii version sold the least by a wide margin compared to the PS3 and 360 versions. Now don’t ask yourselves why the Wii version didn’t sell. No, that’s not the right question. You should be asking yourself why should it sell. If I only owned a Wii and still had my PS2 or Xbox, why should I pick up the Wii version over what I’m familiar to? You’ve honestly done nothing to show why the Wii version would be better than a version from last-gen. Football is a serious sport, and as serious gamers or even people who want a serious football game who’ve never touched one, we take it... well, seriously. I, along with several million others, would rather play a serious effort. It’s just hilarious and pathetic that you guys still don’t get it. You don’t get the Wii demographic, or at least your executives don’t. We’re not mentally-handicapped. Just because someone is new to gaming does not mean they’re completely stupid and will buy anything colorful. Wii owners don’t want watered-down, cartoon-filled versions of normal games. We don’t want Imagine: Madden. We want regular Madden that takes advantage of the Wii’s technology. The sooner you realize that (and actually market the Wii version instead of only storming the airwaves with 360/PS3 only commercials), the better your sales will be.

Which game would a serious football fan buy?

However, as a total package I did enjoy your product– this year’s Madden. Then again it was my first in seven years, so I was deprived for awhile. I thought it was entertaining, and I believe that the ideas are there. Unfortunately, I think the game is due for yet another overhaul. Make it a game that I could easily choose over a Playstation 2 installment. Give me the modes of the HD consoles just without the technically impressive graphics. Most importantly, just give us, your customers, some hints that you actually gave a lot of effort into 2010. For now though I must give your game this score:

Overall: 7.0/10

Hugs and kisses that might give you mono,

Animal Crossing: City Folk and Wii Music Boxarts

Both box arts look quite pleasing to my eyes at least. The quality of the actual games themselves is still up in the air, however.