Saturday, November 29, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

As you may have noticed, I changed the sidebar color scheme to a give the site a Christmas theme. I hope you enjoy it. I do need some help though. I'd like to have the current banner of the blog also edited. I'd like Christmas lights on the buildings and the banner to look snowy, if that makes sense. I was hoping someone here would be up to the task sense I have zero skill with photo-altering software.

On a second note, I have temporarily taken away the chat box usually found on the sidebar. I'm really wanting more comments attributed to my various blog postings. Don't worry though. This is just an experiment for the time being, but I do wish that it'll be a successful one!

Have a happy holiday season, and I hope that you'll continue to let SuperPhillip Central be a positive part of it.

- SuperPhillip

Friday, November 28, 2008

SuperPhillip's Top 10 Video Game Villains

Naughty or... naughty? Christmas is swiftly approaching, and Santa Claus is making his list and checking it twice. You can be certain that none of the villains appearing on this list will be receiving anything but coal. Perhaps some of them would like that anyway... The following is my top ten video game villains-- the ones that are just darn cool, funny, entertaining, hilarious, and/or badass as the kids say. Let's see if any of my picks match yours!

10. Count Dracula (Castlevania)

This isn't some person who can't stop being evil-- Dracula just can't stay dead. Over and over again, century after century, whether it's the Belmont clan or someone else to try to put him into eternal slumber, Count Dracula never says die permanently. Someone always has to go and wake him up! Every encounter with the king of the night is a different experience. Sometimes his last form is a monstrous demon or devil while others are more subdued.

"What is a man? A miserable little pile of secrets! But enough talk... have at you!"

"Dracula: It was not by my hand that I am once again given flesh. I was called here by humans, who wish to pay me tribute.
Richter: Tribute?!?! You steal men's souls, and make them your slaves!
Dracula: Perhaps the same could be said of all religions..."

9. Dr. Wily (Mega Man)

He's been in nine mainline Mega Man titles as well as numerous spin-offs. It's Dr. Albert Wily, the mad scientist who just never gives up and never runs out of ideas for new robots to terrorize humanity with. Every ending he begs for forgiveness, but by the sixth time Mega Man knows what's up. Without Dr. Wily, we wouldn't have all of these cool robots to destroy. Thanks, Dr. Wily. P.S. Your final form in Mega Man 7 can go drink my plasma, you jerk.

8.Wario (Super Mario)

Even when he stars in a game, he still acts out of his number one characteristic-- greed. Nintendo's favorite antihero, the plump, treasure-seeking, coin-snatching, nose-picking, fart-blasting Wario is another villain who's entertaining just because he's hilarious, fat, as well as unpredictable.

“I’m number one!”
"Have a rotten day!"
"I'm-a Wario! I'm-a gonna win!"

7. Bowser (Super Mario)

Originally known to North American gamers as King Koopa, it wasn't until Super Mario Bros. 3 was released that the name we've come to known him as, Bowser, became popular. Sometimes Mario's reluctant ally, but usually his sworn nemesis, Bowser never backs down-- even when facing defeat after defeat after defeat. He's resilient for sure, and varies in size from game to game. The recent Super Mario Galaxy had him wishing to use the Power Stars for his own evil purposes until Mario once again stepped in to put him back on the disabled list.

"On Tuesday, I'll call a vote and have myself elected Grand Imperial Boss."

I know what you're thinking....all this power, AND looks, too!"

"I am Bowser, businessman of legend! Fear my accounting!"

""Gwa ha ha ha ha ha! Is that all you've got? How sad! You'd best take some vitamins, 'cause that didn't hurt at all!"

6. Dr. Eggman (Sonic the Hedgehog)

Whether you use the American name of Robotnik or the original Japanese name of Eggman, this doctor has been Sonic's rival ever since the beginning. You thought Dr. Wily created a lot of robots! Dr. Eggman builds robots, battleships, and machines to face his speedy blue nemesis at the end of every zone. He must have one heck of a 401k! Not only that, but he can also be a very good comedic villain when he wants to. Then again, when it's time to get serious, you bet he's up to the challenge. Sure, he never wins, but he's up to the challenge.

"Those idiots, they're ruining everything! How am I supposed to conquer the city and build the Eggman Empire if there is no city?"

5. Fawful (Mario & Luigi)

Can't do enough to describing to represent this awesome little fella. Let the quotes do the talking!

"I am the great Cackletta's most best pupil, who is named Fawful! I am here, laughing at you! If you are giving us the chase, just to get your silly princess's voice, then you are idiots of foolishness! Princess Peach's sweet voice will soon be the bread that makes the sandwich of Cackletta's desires! And this battle shall be the delicious mustard on that bread! The mustard of your doom!"

"I have boredom...Guests? Now I have...FURY! I say to you WELCOME! Welcome to Fawful's Bean 'n' Badge! In this place beans are like precious treasure milked from a famous cow made of jewels! All who come with beans leave with badges so rare they make mustaches droop with disbelief!"

"You are like brainless cats that are too dumb to know they are stupid! You have curiosity...but my tale is long, so long it makes babies old and hairy lips grow gray with aging. Do you dare hear?"

"I am waiting like an elevator. I have the commerce. I run Fawful's Bean 'n' Badge, but...the day comes soon when Fawful rises again, and then no baby's candy has safety! I am counting chickens before they are even eggs, before the chickens are even chickens!
Hooof... Heffff...D-Did I...have insanity?"

Gotta hand it to Nintendo's localization team. They definitely are fantastic at their jobs and creating an interesting script/dialogue.

4. Sigma (Mega Man X)

When I was a child growing up, I played Mega Man X for the first time in 1993. I was just a hair over seven years old at the time, and I was wowed by the character of Sigma. He was a master manipulator, witty, charismatic, foreboding, sinister, and just plain cool in my book. Seven sequels and a number of new bodies and giant mechanical robots later, Sigma is still one of more favorite villains-- even more so than Dr. Wily-- the man who is hinted to be Zero and Sigma's creator.

3. Ganondorf (The Legend of Zelda)

Evil in the form of a Gerudo, Ganondorf scared the crap out of me as a child when I saw him in Ocarina of Time. His sinister smile, his tall, ominous presence, his chilling eyes... all of these added up to a powerful mastermind that showered Hyrule as well as younger players such as myself with a cloud of fear. Heading up the spiral staircase as the organ melody grew closer and louder made my heart race. And then the final battle... I still get goosebumps thinking about and playing that moment. It's just awesome-- no other word can describe it.

"Do not think that this ends here... the history of light and shadow will be written in blood!"

"How ridiculous... So many pathetic creatures, scattered across a handful of islands, drifting on this sea like fallen leaves on a forgotten pool... What they can possibly hope to achieve? Don't you see? All of you... Your gods destroyed you! I have been waiting for you, boy. For one like you... Yes... For the hero."

2. Kefka Palazzo (Final Fantasy VI)

Unlike any other villain in the Final Fantasy series, this one actually fulfilled his evil plan of world-domination! The maniacal Kefka succeeded in covering the world in chaos creating a world of ruin which he could watch from his massive Tower of Kefka. There's two camps, really, when it comes to Final Fantasy: those who like Sephiroth the most, and those who prefer Kefka. I'm obviously in the latter group. Not to mention Kefka has a disturbing backstory of abuse and is a tragic figure in all aspects... plus he's funny.

"Nothing can beat the music of hundreds of voices screaming in unison!"

"I hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate hate you!"

"Life...Dreams...Hope...Where'd they come from? And where are they headed...? These things...I'm going to destroy!!"

1. Gruntilda Winkybunion (Banjo-Kazooie)

My favorite video game villain, here she is, there's no better villain in this biz. The laugh-out-loud funny, Gruntilda, who even beat out that bad guy from Zelda. I honestly looked at her large picture in the entrance lobby of her lair, and I cracked up laughing-- she did not care. She looked and was just so hilarious and cute, even if she wanted to give the character I was playing the boot. She had her green skin in Banjo-Kazooie, and she lost it all by the time she reached Banjo-Tooie. If you disagree with my number one pick, I don't care, but you're entitled to that opinion since what fair is fair.

"Is it me or is your nose square? The fans will hate it, you butt-ugly bear!"

"You [Kazooie] side with Banjo but change tack, imagine you on Grunty's back!

"My belly's big, it's rather neat, it's years since I have seen my feet!"

"Your butt will tell you and you'll know, when my boot swings to and fro!"

"Your feathered friend is such a joke, where are the "funny" lines she once spoke?"


There you have it. Did any of your favorites make my list? Have a great weekend, and be sure to stay tuned as I have more planned during it!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I Couldn't NOT Post This

Posted by Stop It on NeoGAF:
...ask a gamer what the "maturation" of the games industry is represented by and they'll show you Gears, MGS and KZ2. Ask the same question to a sane analyst and they'll point you to the PS2s "casual" library, the DS, and Wii.

What is defined as "Adult" games here are actually testosterone filled games aimed squarely at teenagers, whereas games like Wii Fit, Brain Training and the like are truly Adult games because they break down the barriers of gaming and appeal to the general adult populace, not just children and adults who wish they still were.

To add to my earlier post, it also explains why this forum is the way it is.

The current trend of games that are apparently "mature" has brainwashed a generation of gamers into thinking that they are in fact, mature and thus more clever than everyone else. This attitude has cascaded onto forums where suddenly, opinions don't exist any more, everything spouted by these "enlightened" gamers is fact and thus, hyperbole reigns supreme.

This has caused a lack of a middle ground, here and in most gaming forums, and has affected every sphere of conversation, games are either "GOTF" or "Utter ****" and anyone who tries to moderate opinion on these games are wrong; Good examples of this are GTA4, suddenly the worst game ever, and KZ2, currently untouchable as the best game ever made, ever, shits on everything, apparently.

What is worse is how this has now invaded things like Sales Age and discussing the future of consoles, everything is now a bomba or "great success", consoles are either dead or about to sell like mad, the "Year of the" meme has got to the point where I cannot tell quite who is being cynical or sincere any more.

So, if gaming wants to be seen as truly an "Adult" hobby, the hobbyists have a lot of growing up to do.
Original Topic in its entirety

That's essentially my viewpoint-- NeoGAF audience included.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Newest Reviews For the Rest of 2008

We're approaching the end of another year, so instead of making a new reviews post for December, why not just post what I have planned for the rest of the year? Not really any filler this time around. We're looking at over 10,000 words total here easily. I better do some finger exercises!

Q4 2008 Newest Reviews

Animal Crossing: City Folk (Wii)
Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts (360)
Dead Space (360)
Gears of War 2 (360)
LittleBigPlanet (PS3)
Mega Man 9 (PSN, XBLA, WW)
Motorstorm: Pacific Rift (PS3)
Resistance 2 (PS3)
Saints Row 2 (360)
Sonic Unleashed (360)

Maybe they'll be some surprises, too. Who wants to make a wager on how many I complete? Do I have anyone higher than two?


Your confidence in me (or lack thereof) depresses me.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise (DS) Review

I reviewed the original Viva Pinata a while ago, but now it's the DS port's turn. Wait. A 360 game ported to the DS...? That probably won't go so well... or will it? Plus there's a special surpise at the end of the review as promised. I finally got around to writing the review. It's a busy time of year, alright, but it's a good kind of busy if that makes sense. Onto the review:

Viva Pinatas Are the Ones For Me!

Viva Pinata originally hit the Xbox 360 in 2006 with a modest fanfare and even less sales. However, as time has gone on, the title has reached million seller status. Not content on leaving their more lighthearted than usual intellectual property to one market, Microsoft decided to send Rare's newest series to Nintendo territory. Here, it's their hope that even more gamers will experience Viva Pinata to grow the series even further, and Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise, a port of the console version for handheld audiences, is the sum of their planning, plotting, and porting. The original Viva Pinata was certainly a big game, but with Pocket Paradise do big things come in a much smaller package?

On a mystical island, pinata animals are raised on various gardens, These said pinatas are cared for, bred, and prepared for their important duty of entertaining at parties around the globe. Now where do you enter the picture? Well, it seems that the old farmer in charge has retired, and now his once prized and legendary garden that was full of happy pinatas and grassy knolls is now full of weeds, debris, and-- hey, that's not some pinata droppings, is it? It's up to you to take this rundown garden and make it great once again-- luring and inviting the numerous breeds of pinata into the garden.

The shovel can be used to destroy objects,
pat down soil, and build bodies of water.

The goal of this "garden simulation game"-- a misnomer as you're not really going to be growing tomatoes here-- is to essentially raise the quality and value of your garden. This is done by attracting new pinata to visit, and hopefully to live in, your garden, sprucing up the place by removing debris, and keeping your garden looking spic and span. As your gardening rank goes up by having new pinata enter your garden, successfully growing trees, fruits, and vegetables, and romancing said pinatas (more on that later), your garden will grow in size. This allows even more room for you to work with.

Each pinata is attracted to your garden through different means. The beginning pinata, the whirlm, only requires there to be a large enough patch of tended soil in the garden, whereas other pinatas are much more finicky and demanding-- requiring certain items and pinatas to be located in the garden. It's not just visit and resident requirements that are needed to be met either. If you wish to allow two pinatas of the same species to get funky with one another, you'll need to build them a house as well as meet the other romance requirements. A feature that was thankfully left out from the 360 version is the romance mini-game. In the 360 game, you had to play a mini-game where you controlled one of the pinatas in a dangerous maze where the walls were made out of enemies. The goal was to reach that pinata's mate to have them begin "romancing" one another. For the first time or so, doing this was no problem, but if you wanted to romance them again and again, you'd have to play the mini-game... again and again. It got rather tedious, so it's nice that Rare decided to nix this so the pinata can go straight to filling something into their mate other than candy. Thus, after an impressive FMV of the pair's romance dance, an egg gets delivered. Ah, the miracle of life... No doctor's fees here.

I was going to make a newgat/nougat joke,
but there's enough innuendo in the review as is.

Unlike the 360 version, Pocket Paradise utilizes an overhead view of the garden, allowing the player to move the camera around at his or her leisure by dragging the stylus or using the directional pad. This gives the player a better view of what's going on in and around their garden without the constant spinning that the console and PC versions required. On the top right of the bottom screen is where all of the tools, shops (buying new seeds, pinatas and their homes, and new tools), and options are located. It's a much more streamlined process than the original which is much more adequate for a portable experience.

The HD world of Viva Pinata has somehow been faithfully placed into the enormously larger limitations of the DS, and that is very impressive. The models are clean, colorful, and crisp. The garden textures and frills are pleasing to look at additionally. Included are several FMV clips from the Saturday morning cartoon series which pop at the end of the beginning tutorials (these said tutorials are exclusive to the DS version), and these run great as well. Sound is another story. The voice clips are great, but when you're tending to your garden you might "grow" bored. There's absolutely no music period then which is quite disheartening since sometimes you're just waiting around idly for an egg to hatch or something of that regard. With no music, the process of waiting can give even the most patient player a case of ennui.

The in-game graphics are very enticing for the eyes.
Just don't forget that you have a job to do.

If you've played the original Viva Pinata, then you're really not missing much with this handheld version. If you missed out on the original game because you lack an Xbox 360, then you can't go wrong with Pocket Paradise. If you own a 360 but never picked the game up, would it be worth ten bucks more to get a portable version when the console version is cheaper and has more bells and whistles? If you think possum is "The Other White Meat", you might be a redneck. Wait. What? For fans of the series, however, it really depends on how addicted you are to colorful world concocted by the fine old folks at Rare. Either way, it's an admirable effort and a good choice for most DS collections.

[SuperPhillip Says]

Graphics: The world of the 360 game is represented quite well even when shrunk down to tinier margins. What we have here is a very pleasing package, and no doubt since the graphical powerhouse at Rare's behind it.

Gameplay: Does pinata on pinata action sound hot to you? Well, for the five people that did resonate to, allow me to interest everyone else. All stylus controls are incredibly easy and less cumbersome than analog, so creating an apt garden is easier than ever.

Sound: The majority of your time will be listening to sound effects as there is no music to accompany your gardening. This was a very big slight to me since there is a chunk of your time with nothing to do, waiting for something to happen whether it's a pinata to visit or an egg to hatch.

Replay Value: A percentage is clearly shown on the top screen to indicate your progress. You can spend upwards of 30-40 hours trying to reach the highest gardening level possible. There's also local trading between DSes if you can find someone with a copy of the game.

Overall: 8.0/10 - Rated 0.5 lower than the original even though it's easier and less tedious to play, but why? The original game is ten dollars cheaper for starters, and there's not too much separating the two games to warrant a second purchase of recycled content for those who've already tended their garden in the original like myself. However, there is if you missed out on the original and would prefer a portable version to a console one.

SPC Mailbag - Thanksgiving Edition

It's once again time to pull out the old SPC Mailbag. It's made of synthetic fibers, and it's tested by Homeland Security just incase some of you were angry about a review or article and laced hazardous material with your letter. In this installment, we have three questions that run the gamut of subjects-- one blog-related, one downloadable game-related, and finally, one gaming in general question. Let's open it up!

Why do you sometimes have blog entries that are completely blank?

Most recently, Tuesday's entries were blank. This is because I don't like cramming a number of special updates (editorials, reviews, and segments like the SPC Mailbag) into one day. I like to spread them out-- not only for my convenience, but also to make browsing the blog much easier. Hopefully that makes enough sense. I certainly do have a great amount of madness to my methods...

What are your thoughts on the downloadable game scene (involving WiiWare/XBLA/PSN). Do you think it's a waste of time or that it might actually be some competition for retail games?

I really doubt downloadable games will become popular next generation. For me personally, there's nothing like having a tangible game in your possession. All you own with downloadable content is data, and even then you can lose it and not get it back via loopholes and shady dealings. I think companies will want to continue selling their games for $50-60 instead of putting them up online for a smaller fee. I could be completely wrong, of course. I'm not a video game analyst like Michael Pachter, but then that would mean I'd be wrong 99.99% of the time...

What are some of your pet peeves when in comes to gaming?

This is a can of worms that you just had to open! I'm kidding. Well, game-wise I really loathe invisible walls. I like exploring levels, and when a stupid invisible wall blocks me from what looks like something I could walk on, it's obnoxious. How hard is it to place a seeable barrier of some kind? I also dislike racists, homophobes, internet d-bags, and tough guys over online gaming. People who boost their gamerscore and brag about it I view as sad-- especially if they cheat to boost it. It's a useless number that means nothing.

Additionally, I hate the ESRB's rating scale for M-rated games. "Mature"-- an incredible misnomer since a lot of the games with that label are anything but, yet E and T games are the ones that are "immature" and/or "kiddy" to some... I dislike ignorant gamers who don't honestly know how ignorant they are when it comes to a variety of subjects. The Wii is right now the most popular subject to be completely misinformed over.

I'm out of breath now after that rant, so let's end it there. I'm putting away the SPC Mailbag for now. As always, if you have any questions you'd like to me to attempt to answer, please hit me up with an e-mail at:

Have a great Thanksgiving, everybody.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quantum of Solace (PS3) Review

NOTE: There's two updates today. Check out the other one here.

SuperPhillip Central has been toning it down on posts recently. That's mostly due to my personal life, but at the same time my free time has been going to a batch of new games. This is the very first that I'll be reviewing with many, many more to come. We have Quantum of Solace for the Playstation 3. The Xbox 360 and PS3 versions are nearly identical if not exact, so this review essentially covers both. The Wii version is obviously less graphically advanced, but it does have motion controls and proper online. You can get a general sense of the Wii version, so no worries, my Wii brethren.

As a side note, I tried entering this review without mentioning Goldeneye. How many Bond reviews on various sites have you seen bring up Goldeneye? I especially abhor it when the question is asked, "Is this the game that can finally dethrone Goldeneye?" Get off of it already, people. Goldeneye is a great game, but nothing can top something that revolutionized the FPS experience. Stop trying to compare everything to it. Anyone agree with that? Don't comment just yet. Read the review first, or I'll beat the living daylights out of you. Perhaps I should live and let die... Meet my friend, Mr. Moonraker! Wait.. That one doesn't even make sense!!!


The Passing of the Golden Gun to Activision

Bond. James Bond. No other introduction casts more excitement than any other in the eyes of the world's most notorious and popular spy. From the late years of the Nintendo 64 and all the way up to the end of the last generation of consoles, it was Electronic Arts who held the Bond license with their trigger fingers, armed and ready to fire a Bond title each year of their run. This was from The World is Not Enough all the way to Everything or Nothing-- both solid titles in their own respective rights. Now enters a new agent into the mission of creating an entertaining experience for Mr. Bond and his fans, Activision. Is their first foray into 007's world, Quantum of Solace, a rousing success or has this mission been compromised?

Hey... Pierce Brosnan looks a lot different
in this one. Is this a Face-Off ripoff?

The video game adaptation of the latest entry into the Bond series, Quantum of Solace, not only dabbles into the story of the movie without spoiling too much for those yet to sneak into a theater, the game also draws on various scenes and locales from the previous film, Casino Royale. In fact, most of the game is spent playing through Casino Royale with scenes from Quantum of Solace as the bookends. The spoilers for the newest movie are minor at worst. However, the game will give away crucial elements of Royale, so be forewarned if you've delayed watching it yet (and you call yourself a fan!). For someone completely oblivious to the story of either movie, all of the scenes will just come across as loosely-connected and confusing. Narrative this is not as the video game version of Solace is mostly to be played as a companion to the actual movie.

And even though you may not know exactly what's going, you will be able to know that no luxury was too large for Activision. The majority of the cast of both movies reprise their roles, and they come off just as competent as they do on the big screen. Well, big screen as in movie theater big screen and not 34" HDTV big screen... those rich jerks. What we have here is James Bond himself, Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench as "M", and Mads Mikkelsen as Casino Royales' Le Chiffre, to name a few. The score is lively as well as original, fully orchestrated, and it gets you into the right mood whether it's sneaky stealth or a frenzied firefight.

Quantum of Solace was created via the Call of Duty 4 engine. While by no means as great of a looker as its graphical source, Solace does come off as beautiful at best and bland and uninspired at worst. Some areas like moving atop a train bound to Montenegro as a downpour of rain drenches the earth are awe-inducing; others such as the airport aren't as interesting to gaze upon. Character-wise, Daniel Craig's model looks shockingly like the genuine article, and animations are believable enough. Regardless, beauty is only skin-deep. In the handbook of any secret agent, you can be sure that one of the top tips is that appearances can be deceiving. For example, an Aston Martin might look heavenly from the outside, but who knows how well it drives? As for Quantum of Solace, this baby performs well, but nowhere near remarkable.

May her Majesty have mercy on you if you get that tuxedo wet.

Most of James Bond is played in first person view. What separates this FPS action-shooter from its other operatives is a cover system which is very much an integrated mechanic of the game. It's used extensively and can be used anywhere there's a place to hide behind. The camera zooms out showing Bond in third person. It enables Bond to hide behind cover while allowing him to peak out and pick off foes or play it safe and assault them with some blind fire. Covering is essential as the enemies didn't get their firearms accuracy from Dick Cheney. They'll shoot the right target if you give them the chance. Of course, Bond has adequate firepower, too, with a wealthy armada of assault rifles, machine guns, pistols, explosives, and other handy hardware. If things get up close and personal, Bond can perform a special move to incapacitate a foe in a swift, but nonetheless elegant, fashion. Joining the never-ending parade of shooters with regenerating health, when Bond is in danger the gun barrel from almost every Bond opening appears. The clearer the image comes, the closer her Majesty's men better order a coffin.

Bond takes "kicking butt" literally here.

The campaign mode of Quantum of Solace is rather short lasting anywhere from 5-7 hours the first run through. There's four difficulties ranging from the easiest setting all the way up to the unforgiving, but manageable with the generous amount of in-level checkpoints available, 007 mode. The majority of missions in the game are linear as they only offer a room or two to detour into here and there. There is a collection aspect to the game, however, which is to gather the various power weapons and cell phones strewn about relaying helpful intel to Bond. This extends the life of the single player campaign by another few hours, but it's still disappointing that the experience is cut so short given that the developers had two movies to work with.

Shoot strategically-placed gas tanks to make short work
of some really stupid enemies.

"Don't shoot that gas tank behind me, okay, man?!"

Fortunately, the multiplayer mode fares even better than the already competent campaign. As for this, there's a multitude of modes for both every-operative-for-himself and teams. The free-for-all modes consist of your standard deathmatch and classic deathmatch. The only difference here is that in one you equip yourself with weapons whereas the other has you picking up weapons from around the map. There's also a Golden Gun mode where players scurry to equip Scaramanga's favorite weapon and blast their opponents with its one-hit-kill powers. Pro-tip: this time the gun has bullets that explode on impact. Team-based modes feature the MI6 team against a group known only as the Organization. Traditional modes like a king of the hill-themed game as well as team deathmatch, Bond vs The Organization, and a mode where the goal is to assist Bond to the escape point.

Kills as well as deaths are easy to come by. Just like in single-player, it doesn't take pumping a full load of ammo into a guy's chest for him to croak. The approach here is more realistic which can be bad or good depending the situation. In single-player, it's a blessing since who wants to spend a minute on a firefight that should take half the time? In multiplayer, it can battles rather quick. It can be frustrating to be shot dead with a flurry of bullets before you can even turn around or react. Another annoying aspect is the shotgun. I'm all for easy kills up close, but when I can essentially snipe my opponent from across the room with it, there's a serious problem with balance. You can bet the shotgun is getting serious legs online. You'd have to be pretty pathetic and lacking skill to always use the shotgun, so that's exactly what I do!

Multiplayer is honestly tons of fun with either public or
private matches and twelve rather large maps in all.

Multiplayer has legs as with each match you play-- win or lose- you earn credits which can be spent at the weapon store. These weapons can be equipped as your arsenal for a given match. Mid-match you can even switch to a new set of weapons if that nail gun isn't doing serious business for you, or you inadvertently keep killing yourself with your own proximity mines. There's also gold plated variants which show to the opposition that you're a gold digger and you don't care. Who cares anyway? Do you expect them to live? No! You expect them to die!

Coming into Quantum of Solace, I had very reserved expectations of the game. I had great experiences with past Bond games from the Nintendo 64 to Everything or Nothing. To be truthful, I'm plenty impressed with what Treyarch and Activision have done here with the Bond license. It certainly doesn't have the license to kill the better Bond titles of the past, but it does have that license to thrill-- no matter how chintzy I made that sound. The campaign is unfortunately short, but it is enjoyable. The multiplayer action is wonderful. The community is decent, but do expect that you'll occasionally be sitting in a lobby all by your lonesome for minutes at a time. And the options are numerous. Is this the best Bond ever? No, Pierce Brosnan is, but Quantum of Solace is rather well put-together title. I'm interested in seeing what Activision does next with it. Perhaps the formula will be a bit more shaken and not stirred next time around.

[SuperPhillip Says]

Story: Follow James Bond as he tackles a new organization, Quantum, who wants to take Bolivia's water supply. The game takes place in both Quantum of Solace as well as its predecessor, Casino Royale.

Graphics: QoS recycles the Call of Duty 4 engine for varying degrees of graphical prowess-- some better than others.

Gameplay: The heavily-integrated cover system offers a different amount of strategy rather than the run-and-gun fare.

Sound: Top-of-the-line voice work performed by the films' actors. The orchestral score is quite good as well adding up to an audiophile's dream.

Replay Value: The campaign takes a short amount of time to complete fully, but multiplayer will keep players coming back for more for weeks, if not months. Online only. No splitscreen. No bots. No sense whatsoever.

Overall: 007.5/0010

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Gobble Gobble Edition

It's going to be Thanksgiving this Thursday whether we like it not, so why not bare the torment with SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs. Wait. Wait. "Whether we like it or not"? "Bare the torment?" Wait, it's Thanksgiving! Sorry, I confused Thanksgiving with a nightmare I had of a day where everyone was forced to listen to and watch: George W. Bush, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, The Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, every "actor" on the Disney Channel, Jimmy Fallon, Dane Cook, Carlos Mencia-- you know, I think there's more people in this world that are obnoxious to me than I actually can stand... Well, I am thankful that I don't have to deal with those people, and I'm thankful that you're joining me this week for another installment of SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs! This week we have Banjo, Wario, F-Zero, and de Blob...o. Sit back, start clicking, start watching, start listening, and start enjoying (hopefully)!


I already uploaded this song when I posted the Wario Land: Shake It! soundtrack. Gurgle Gulch, along with many other tracks from the game, will appear on this list as well. This jazzy piano piece sets the pace as Wario escapes Foulwater Falls.

These two tracks come from the original F-Zero. Anyone who's ever played an F-Zero title (save for Maximum Velocity) should be familiar with them. It's Mute City and Big Blue. But why bother playing versions that you've heard ad nauseum? Let's listen to the official arranged album released in 1992 for F-Zero. The whole album features some great smooth jazz. It's a delight to listen to. Hope you agree.

From the fantastic third-party title for Wii, de Blob, it's DB 606, a song that plays when Blob is in a euphoric mood. I really dig the funky beat and great guitar sound. Pick up de Blob if you haven't already, gang!

This is the Dear Friends arrange album version of Final Fantasy V's "Lenna's Theme". It's a very touching melody heightened by the flute it's played on. Even without playing the game fully, I really felt sad listening to this theme. It invoked an emotion from me-- that's a sign of a great and magical musical piece.

This comes from Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts for the Xbox 360-- the bear and bird's long-awaited return! Banjoland is the first main world of the game, and it's a museum of sorts housing various landmarks and objects from the past two Banjo-Kazooie games for the Nintendo 64. Fittingly enough, the theme of the level is a medley of B-K tunes such as Click Clock Wood, Mad Monster Mansion, and Freezeey Peak to name a few. The second track plays during Jiggy challenges. For those unaware, jiggies are to Banjo-Kazooie as power stars are to Super Mario 64.

Here's what themes are included and the order before looping back to the beginning:

Click Clock Wood
Freezeey Peak
Mad Monster Mansion
Gobi's Desert
Crazy Cuckooland
Mayahem Temple
Rusty Bucket Bay

Direct Linkage:

Gurgle Gulch
Mute City / Big Blue
DB 606 (Euphoric)
Lenna's Theme

Have a great Thanksgiving from SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs!
Until then, check out my Youtube channel as it's there that you can find all of my past and future volumes!