Friday, June 26, 2009

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (Wii) Review

Tiger Woods jumped the gun this year since usually his games come out in August. I'm not complaining though. If you'd like to compare this year's edition to last, check out this link. As for now, here's my review of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 for the Nintendo Wii.

Keepin' His Eye On the Ball

Last year, I was blown away by all of the content, features, and accessibility of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09 All-Play. Usually there isn't a real reason to invest in yearly editions of sports franchises as they feel more like expansions than full-fledged new games. This isn't the case at least for the Wii version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10. Dropping the All-Play moniker and picking up Wii MotionPlus use, does Tiger Woods still swing with the best of them, or is it high time EA and the gang return to the clubhouse?

The biggest edition this year just so happens to be bundled with one of the SKUs of the game-- Wii MotionPlus. Along with Grand Slam Tennis and Virtua Tennis 2009, Tiger Woods is one of the first games to utilize Nintendo's new peripheral. Let it be known that this small device clipped to the bottom of the Wii works, and it works wonderfully. Last year's installment worked adequately, and it read your swing. However you could cheat and not perform a full swing. Not so much with Tiger Woods 10... At least not so much with MotionPlus attached. To drive the ball with 100% power you need not a strong swing but a smart one. That is, a soft, smooth stroke is all that is required. WM+ reads how you move the club in an almost 1:1 fashion. Then again, 1:1 talk is just relegated to message board arguments anyway, so what it does it matter? It works well, and that's all that matters. It's important to keep your wrists straight because you'll draw or fade the ball if you don't, sending your shot careening unintentionally to the left or right.

The king of swing in the world of golf readies his shot.

Not all shots require 100% power to reach the green. In fact, some can have your ball roaring past the hole. When push comes to shove, you'll need to adjust your own stance. Perhaps not bringing the Wii remote so far back or not using as much speed on your follow-through. Thankfully, there's an ability to take practice swings on any shot with the push of a button. It's not as simple as analog control, but it makes the game that much more rewarding in the end. At the start you'll be struggling to hit the ball straight and with enough power, but once you get it and start recording good scores, you'll fall in love.

Approach shots require less of a half circle motion swing and more about speed while putting has been severely overhauled for this year's Tiger. There's still the Classic Putting mode which has you utilizing a plethora of putters in attempts to sink your shots. How far you bring back the Wii remote makes the side gauge rise higher emulating your stroke strength. A putt preview gives you the option to check if your current shot set-up will make to the hole. If not, you need to manually adjust since the putt preview is a one time per hole deal. There's also a brand new putting option, Precision Putting. This putting mode gives you just one club, and getting it in the hole is all about how hard and straight you hit it. It's just like putting in real life.

New courses bring the count up to 27.

There's three swing difficulties in the game. The All-Play is perfect for young and inexperienced golfers. It shows the line of where the ball is going to go, and hitting 100% is an effortless experience. Standard is your typical mode that most players should frequently use. Advanced removes the putt preview option, so you feel like you're playing like the pro you are. Get on with your bad self.

Last year's Tiger Woods game was jam-packed with content, and this year is no different. There's a large variety of single-player and multi-player modes to sink your feverish teeth into. Get ready to waste the most amount of time in the Career mode. Here you create your own golfer using a bevy of options and purchase new wardrobe, clubs, and equipment from the Shop. Hats, shirts, pants, shoes, socks, wristbands, watches, glasses, jewelry, clubs, shafts, balls, and more are available to purchase. Do it. The economy needs your support! You can also spend Wii Points on wacky bonus costumes like a knight or bunny rabbit if you have 100 points burning a hole in your account(hence the Pay-to-Play logo which is more like Pay-to-Use). You can earn experience points from playing well with your custom golfer, and these can be used to build his or her stats from how far your golfer can strike the ball, how well he or she can putt, or how well he or she can make it out of the rough or bunker-- to name a few.

So what do you do with your newly born golfer now that he or she is a budding beginner? Why, take them into the three areas of Career mode, of course! The first of which is the PGA Tour Season where you start off playing in amateur tournaments gaining prestige, cash, new sponsorships, and more cash. The way to the big leagues is fraught with challenges that must be passed in order to advance up the PGA ladder. In the PGA Tour Season you'll go all the way to playing majors such as the U.S. and British Opens all the while taking on tour legends such as Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh in semi-weekly 1-4 round competitions. Second up is the FedExCup that allows you to fast-forward past the hard work and skill it takes to make it to the FedExCup and leap directly into four tournaments of playoff goodness where the best man and best score determines the champion of it all.

18th hole... One back. Are you up to it?

Replacing the Tiger Challenge mode from last year is the Tournament Challenge mode where you relive the greatest moments of PGA history and completely alter the past which in turn ruins the future. ...Ahem. Well, you do get to relive the greatest moments at the very least. Sixteen courses each have three challenges on them-- an easy, medium, and hard challenge. Beating the easy challenge will unlock the medium challenge whereas completing the medium challenge will unlock the hard. Finishing off the hard challenge will unlock that course for play along with a new professional or two. Challenges range from stroke or match play battles with a computer opponent, long drive, putting and closest-to-the-pin challenges, and good old fashioned traditional "beat the score" challenges spread across one, three, six, or nine holes.

As if the Career mode wasn't good enough for friendships to be broken and lives to be ruined, the Wii-exclusive Golf Party mode has returned. Party mode is an arcade-themed collection of entertaining mini-games. At the start, players choose how many games they wish to play-- 5,10, or 15. The player with the most points at the end of the game, earned by winning the party games or by lucking out on in-game bonuses, wins the party. Ball battles return where when a player's ball is in the air, the player and his/her opponents can influence the direction of the ball by pulling and spinning it in various directions. Certain jerks will love ruining a perfect green shot and turning it into a water hazard. This certain jerk did at the very least. As for the individual games, there's Capture-the-Flag like mini-games where you try to chip or putt your ball into your opponent's hole in order to take it over. Mind. Gutter. Out. Other modes include speed golf where strokes don't matter, ring golf, a rapid-fire shooting gallery where you get a set amount of time to drive the ball through as many targets of different point values as possible, and gimmick games like ball juggling with the Wii remote and a ball-collection range cart game. The latter are two are interesting novelties.

One game that definitely isn't a novelty is the incredible disc golf mode. It's the same rules as traditional golf, but instead of throwing your whole body into directing a ball, you're using your arm to direct a disc. MotionPlus really shines with this mode making it clear that if you mess up a throw, you have no one to blame for but yourself this time. Blast! My attempts at blaming it on the controller are foiled! Disc golf really feels like its own game as every course unlocked in the golf side of the game can be used to play disc golf.

Disc golf is a terrific new feature.

Something already unlocked and available from the start of play is the comprehensive online mode. Last year's was terrific, and this year it's even better. It's not just good for the Wii-- it's good in general. All you need to hop online is an EA tag which can be used on any EA Wii game such as Madden or Grand Slam Tennis. Of course, if you don't have one, you just have to quickly sign up and receive on straight from the game's online lobby. You can play ranked against a random stranger in the internets, set up your own game, or call on your friends with the EA messenger, creating buddy lists and contacting them with ease. You can take turns playing or you can all play at the same time. Your shots are shown on your opponents' screens as colored arcs and lines. Very cool for those who want to have a high-tech foursome and not wait in between shots. Mind. Gutter. Out. Finally, there's daily one-round tournaments and special week-long four-round tournaments that you can play at your own leisure to try to top the leaderboards. You can even play against the pros as they play various tournaments live with the scores updating on a consistent basis. Beginners beware.

Four player disc golf without leaving the house!
...And without paying for a course memberhip!

This year's edition has commentary by The Golf Channel's Kelly Tillman and ESPN's Scott van Pelt of Sportscenter fame. Van Pelt replaces Sam Torrence from last year, and while some of Torrence's dialogue is recycled by Van Pelt this year, most of what is heard is brand new. There's still problems with the duo where putts slope like a mountain and they say the lie is perfectly straight. Otherwise, they'll tolerable. Visually, the game is a step-up from the laziness that shot out from last year's version. There could still be work with all of the jagged edges on courses, characters, and objects, and tress that are as static as television sets that still haven't upgraded to digital, but overall things look a lot nicer.

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 is a dramatic improvement to a game that was already filled to the brim with content and entertainment. Wii MotionPlus adds an entirely new dimension to gameplay, and it's all for the better. Being that it's optional, the game is still a blast with the Wii remote by itself. Some players might actually prefer that if they can develop their golf swing properly. With three Career modes, a comprehensive character creator, 27 courses from Wolf Creek to T.P.C Boston to Pebble Beach, a highly competent online system, and Wii MotionPlus, Tiger's golf bag is stuffed this year.

[SuperPhillip Says: 9.25/10]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mega Man Maverick Hunter X (PSP) Review

This is the second of two Mega Man game reviews coming off two games I'd like sequels for. This is an early review, and it probably shows. Enjoy at the very least regardless of its age.

X searches for a Dallas basketball team.

user posted image

Mega Man X premiered on the Super Nintendo in the early part of 1994. The title didn't really change the formula of choose one of eight levels, beat boss, choose another level, beat boss with previous boss' weapon, rinse and repeat as much as it did add to that formula. Now this version of Mega Man could latch onto walls, scaling up them, charge up his X-buster, find capsules to learn new armor modifications, and pummel plasma into new animal-themed bosses. More than a decade later the title has remade for the Playstation Portable in the form of Mega Man Maverick Hunter X.

A showing of a beautiful animated cut-scene.

Maverick Hunter X bumps the presentation by adding animated cutscenes with not too shabby voicework. These cutscenes help to flesh out the backstory more and further explain events of the game. Graphically you'll find 3-D models of X, his enemies, and the surroundings. Rest assured this is still a 2-D side-scrolling action title. It simply has 3-D models.

You'll start off in the familiar highway opening stage blasting away at baddies, then being intercepted by Vile, saved by your friend Zero, and heading out to face off against eight Maverick bosses ranging from Chill Penguin to Boomer Kuwanger. Like any Mega Man game of this formula you're able to choose which stage to enter. By beating a Maverick at the end of each stage you get their weapon. The easiest way to play through Maverick Hunter X is to use the weapon that the boss is weak against for each of the bosses. Veterans will probably want to change it up and try beating each boss with simply the X-buster to make things more challenging.

X is walking in a winter wonderland.

Unlike previous Mega Man games, X can discover heart tanks (one in each of the eight Maverick levels) which increase his health and sub-tanks (four in all scattered in the eight Maverick levels) to be used to refill his health. Additionally hidden away in some of levels are Dr. Light's capsules. By discovering one Dr. Light will grant you a piece of armor. One piece will allow X to dash while another will grant X the ability to perform a more powerful charge shot with his X-buster. The capsule locations aren't the same as they were in the SNES version either. Speaking of changes, veterans will notice that Sigma's levels are reconfigurated and are somewhat different in order of events and enemies.

An added bonus to Maverick Hunter X is the option to play as X's nemesis, Vile. This gives the player an alternate take on the story with different sub-tank and heart tank locations. This mode is unlocked once you beat the game as X and is an added challenge to an already meaty game.

Using the right weapon on a boss makes all the difference.

Mega Man X is one of my favorite games of all time, and Maverick Hunter X improves the original game with impressive graphics and an updated story. My only beef with the game is that the soundtrack is too meh for my tastes. Some of the tracks are nice, but some don't fit with the levels at all. Listening to Vile's butt rock theme while playing as him is pretty annoying as well. As a whole though without soundtrack issues, Maverick Hunter X is one hell of a remake. Paired with Mega Man Powered Up, and you have 2-D action side-scrolling bliss.

Story: Sigma leads the Mavericks against humanity. The Maverick Hunters are the only ones left to stop them.

Graphics: Not too bad at all. Backgrounds are beautiful and bosses are as bad (in the good way) as ever.

Gameplay: Heaven for any Mega Man fan.

Audio: X is voiced by Mark "This hand of mine is burning red" Ratha, and the rest of voices are great, too. The soundtrack turned me off somewhat, however.

Replay Value: The main mode won't take you but four hours if you're real slow and collect everything, but Vile's mode is an alternate take for more action. Games like this beg to be played over again anyway.

[SuperPhillip Says: 9.0/10]

Mega Man: Powered Up (PSP) Review

Here's the first of two Mega Man reviews. Why not? We just covered them in games I'd like sequels to. It's Mega Man: Powered Up for Sony's PSP. This is one of the first reviews along with the next that I ever wrote.

Mega Man got..... Good Score!

Mega Man returns to his roots with Mega Man: Powered Up, a remake of the original NES Mega Man game, complete with new characters, options, music, and attitude. Those who played the original NES cartridge or purchased Mega Man Anniversary Collection (PS2, GCN, Xbox) know how it wasn't for casual gamers. There was some pretty nice difficulty for us full-fledged gamers. Nowhere near a Super Ghosts 'N' Goblins difficulty, but a difficulty nonetheless. This remains intact with this remake as do a lot of things.

The graphics are colorful and pleasing to the eye.

Firstly for changes, if you play the new style mode you'll realize that there's an edition of an opening stage as well as two new robot masters, Time Man and Oil Man. These duo of bots come with their own respective stages to master on top of the original six's levels. If you dislike the new style gameplay or changes, you can always go back to old style which is the game on a smaller screen with the opening stages, Time Man, and Oil Man excluded. Graphically the game has changed to a more chibi-inspired approach. Some may dislike it, but I personally enjoyed the colorful characters and levels. Voice work has been included which is a nice touch also. None of the voices made me cringe which is a first for quite a while. Music has been upgraded as well featuring returning themes with more modern sound and instruments-- an additional treat for audiophiles such as myself. Furthermore once you beat a boss using only Mega Man's Mega Buster, you can select to play as them in new style mode which is an added treat.

Get bored of playing as Mega? Play as another character instead.

If you become bored with either new or old style modes, you can play Challenge mode. This mode features level designs encompassing different goals. My favorite addition would have to be the Construction mode which allows for aspiring designers to craft their own levels in a variety of themed locales and settings. Each room you create is its own grid, and you can place a set number of enemies in each grid. You're able to set platforms easily, drop in enemies, and add a boss all within minutes, or if you desire, take all the time you need to create one masterful level. The possibilities with the level creator are limitless allowing an infinite number of replay value. What's better yet is that you can share your levels to anyone over Capcom's own server.

user posted image
Construction Mode allows unlimited replay value.

Mega Man Powered Up is a fantastic remake of a classic game that launched the life of a gaming icon. If only Capcom would take Mega back to its roots or continue to unleash great Mega Man games such as this would Mega's career stop becoming so tarnished. Sadly, the likelihood of a follow up to this remake are not likely at all thanks for worldwide sales. Regardless, pick up this future classic if you can.

Story: Dr. Wily has betrayed Dr. Light and has taken their robots to try to rule the world!

Graphics: Colorful chibi-inspired design that may not be for everyone admittedly.

Sound: Great remixed tracks and voice work to add an extra dimension to the original Mega Man.

Gameplay: Jumping, shooting, platforming, and a pretty steep difficulty later on are what you get in this gaming gift.

Replay Value: Collecting power-ups and construction kits for created levels, playing as the various robot masters, constructing new levels, and playing through challenge mode make a myriad ways to play Powered Up.

[SuperPhillip Says: 9.0/10]
A must for any Mega Man fan unless you dislike the art style for some reason. My first PSP game and the last PSP game I've played recently after ten other games in my PSP. That should tell you something about how much I keep coming back to it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Sequels I'd Love to See

We all have them. Games that we absolutely love that never received a sequel. Occasionally, we're surprised and they do happen such as Mega Man 9 or Contra 4. The following is a list of games that I'd love to see given a sequel. I tried to choose games that don't have an obvious chance such as Resistance 2, Pikmin, and so forth. You'd roll your eyes anyway if you haven't already! Let's start listing, baby!

Kirby Canvas Curse (DS)

In early 2006, the Nintendo DS had just released that past quarter in North America. Since then, there was a drought period when it came to interesting releases. That started to stop in June of 2006 as Kirby Canvas Curse came out. While the earlier Yoshi's Touch & Go was more of a tech demo than a full-fledged adventure, Canvas Curse was an entire journey onto itself. The gameplay was fantastic and intuitive as your drew lines for Kirby to follow through magical worlds and challenging levels. Darn it. Now I want to play it again!

Mega Man Powered Up (PSP)

Poor sales were the reason for the lack of any sequels here. All we received was a 3-D model remake of the original Mega Man. Instead of six bosses, two more were added: Oil Man and Time Man. Not only that, but you could play as all eight Robot Masters as well to reach hidden construction pieces that you can use to build your own levels. I am sad I will not see a 2 1/2-D Wood Man or Quick Man stage in the near future.

Mega Man Maverick Hunter X (PSP)

Another case of poor sales, Mega Man Maverick Hunter X fell victim to Powered Up's problem. Maverick Hunter X was a remake of the original Mega Man X full of cutscenes, voice acting, and the ability to play as Vile. Thinking about playing a remade Mega Man X2 or X4 sends an X-buster shot straight to the heart.

Donkey Kong Country (SNES)

I absolutely adore Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat and the King of Swing portable duo. They're great games to themselves, but I would really love to see another traditional platforming game featuring the Kong family. Jungle Beat was close, but it didn't use anything from the DKC universe aside from, of course, Donkey Kong. Here's hoping we see a rebirth like we saw of Super Mario Bros. Considering Shigeru Miyamoto's opinion on Rare's take on the DK universe, don't hold your breath.

Ristar (GEN)

Just look at that game. It's gorgeous to this day. I missed out on Ristar on the original SEGA Genesis, and I only got to play it on Sonic's Ultimate Genesis Collection. I feel like a missed out all this time. It's a fantastic adventure full of innovative platforming and tricky bosses. It's one of those games you find yourself playing over and over again. Perhaps SEGA might not be the best to develop a miraculous return, but I'm sure some studio out there is.

Jet Force Gemini (N64)

Jet Force Gemini was a really epic game back when it was released. It was released the same fall that Donkey Kong 64 did. Both games were collectathons, but Jet Force Gemini less so. One of the biggest problems people had with the game was that you were forced to save all of the Tribals before being able to face the final boss. I personally didn't mind. I liked venturing through the lesser-visited parts of the levels, but for a sequel, Tribal-collecting or any major collecting would have to be optional.

Beetle Adventure Racing (N64)

This tremendous racing game from Electronic Arts came out for the original party machine-- the Nintendo 64. There were six explorable tracks each oozing with secret paths, shortcuts, and time bonuses. They were just a blast to adventure through. This game has gone a generation without a word of a sequel, and that's one generation too many for a lot of us.

Dewy's Adventure (Wii)

Dewy's Adventure was an interesting game. The real downside of it were how you controlled Dewy, a dew droplet. You had to tilt the Wii remote to slide him around, and this sometimes felt like controlling a stick of butter on a skillet-- way too slippery. I'd love to see the developers try again because the game was still a joy to play. It just needed more precise controls.

We Love Golf! (Wii)

I can think of no better cartoon golf game on Wii that would benefit most from Wii MotionPlus than Camelot's We Love Golf. This game had a lot of content to play through: tournaments, match and stroke play, closest to the pin contests, ring golf, a cast of anime golfers, Capcom costumes, eight regular courses, three short courses, online play, a great soundtrack by Motoi Sakuraba (Tales of, Star Ocean, Golden Sun), and you have a game that I need a sequel for.

What games would you like to see sequels for? They can be as common or as rare a series as you'd like. Let us know in our comments section!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Grand Slam Tennis (Wii) Review

Wii MotionPlus reached North American shores on June 6th, and with it, three games came compatible-- none of which were Nintendo-developed. This is the first review with the second MotionPlus game planned to be reviewed for Friday.

Wham, Slam, Thank You, Ma'am.

This month, motion controls have been all the buzz in the industry with Sony's 1:1 wand and Microsoft's impressive full-body motion Project Natal technology. While those companies are still unveiling their respective technologies for later, Nintendo is here with the MotionPlus peripheral for Wii to say that the future is now. Oddly enough the first three titles compatible with MotionPlus aren't developed by Nintendo at all. Virtua Tennis 2009 from SEGA, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10, and our focus, Grand Slam Tennis from Electronic Arts. Does Grand Slam Tennis get the swing of things, or has it committed a double-fault?

You can play Grand Slam Tennis with or without Wii MotionPlus and with or without the nunchuk. Without the nunchuk the game moves your character around for you-- perfect for beginners or those still learning the nuances of the game. You can still press the d-pad on the Wii remote to move away or towards the net and left or right. Without MotionPlus, the game plays similar to that little old game you may or may not have played-- tennis on Wii Sports. With a short swing you can pull off a flat shot, swing to high-to-low for a slice, and swing low-to-high for a topspin. There's still button input, however, when it comes to lobs and drops. These are performed by pressing A or B respectively when acting out a shot. However, the real fun and precision comes when you hook up Wii MotionPlus.

A-Almost there..!!

It's a night and day difference really. Just by testing out the tennis ball machine, you can hit as many shots at as fast or as slow of a pace as you desire. You can see balls fading and drawing to the timing of your swings. The game calls for smooth motions as opposed to rough and heavy swings. From the simplicity of the controls without MotionPlus, you can now see that the game pinpoints your shots on how you hold your Wii remote. You can perform forehands and backhands with near-perfect precision. Hit the ball at an angle, and it will go left or right. Hit the ball straight on with the Wii remote and it'll get shot straight ahead. It's a wonderful system, but it's not without its eccentricities or demand for practice. The learning curve is relatively high especially since there is no training mode to speak of for whatever bizarre reason, but once you nail the controls, the experience is sensational.

Locked and ready to go.

You can create your own rising tennis star with the semi-customizable create-a-player mode. From eyes to hair, from wardrobe to rackets, this player is your avatar for many of the game's modes such Grand Slam Tennis' own single-player mode for those wanting to test their skills before playing against a human opponent. The Grand Slam mode has you taking on various fun challenges such as one-on-one matches, doubles matches, and quirky mini-games as you earn tennis pros old and new from the likes of Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Serena Williams, Pete Sampras, and John McEnroe. Your created clobber can earn stars from victories against the pros. What these stars actually do is never explained, but it seems to be a skill level of sorts. You can also learn moves from the pros such as Serena Williams' backhand or Roger Federer's dive. These will help you as you move on to the Grand Slam tournaments. Speaking of which, once you complete enough mini-missions, you'll be able to play in that tennis stadium's tournament. There's four in all: the U.S., French, Australian Opens, and the grand-daddy of them all, Wimbledon.

Each venue has multiple courts to play on.

If the single-player mode has you burnt out, perhaps you'd enjoy the company of a human opponent instead? Obviously you can play locally where there's a tremendous amount of party games such as one where the player or players with the most points at the end of the time limit wins. Regardless, the online mode is fantastic, too. You can find a player in a matter of seconds to maybe a minute's time. A buddy can join you on the same machine for some doubles action as well. Both singles and doubles matches are relatively lag free unlike past tennis efforts on the same and other consoles. Adding friends is a breeze, too. All you need to do is enter the name of a friend, have a friend already added on your Wii friends list, or add a friend automatically after a match. I've made a lot of new friendly rivals this way. It's this hassle-free online system for Wii that you really have to commend EA for. It's fast, simple, and makes for a fun online experience.

Playing against strangers online can be ranked or unranked. Ranked matches can only be played if you have an EA account which you can sign up for on your Wii. You'll then earn a worldwide rank and nation rank to compare your skills with the world. There's even a contest that pits countries against one another. If someone from England beats someone from the U.S., that person earns a point for their nation. It's a really cool idea that's enjoyable in execution.

"You've gotta be kidding me!"

Visually, Grand Slam Tennis has a very distinct look to it, and it's a pleasing one, too. The best Wii games don't go with an ultra-realistic look but a stylized look to them. Everything runs at a smooth speed include the players who are animated splendidly. It's very cool to see how your player reacts to how you hold the Wii remote with MotionPlus attached. Rolling the Wii remote within your hands will make your player roll the tennis racket the same way. It's a very cool touch. Meanwhile, sound-wise the commentary pops up in-between serves, and it's pretty much superfluous and dry.

The satisfaction one gets from playing Grand Slam Tennis depends on a few things. 1) If one has Wii MotionPlus since it's leagues better than without, 2) If one has enough patience to stick with the game in order to get past the high learning curve, and 3) If one has online access or friends nearby as the game is a little light on single-player content. Otherwise, Virtua Tennis 2009 may be a better option for you or your budding Wii tennis pro.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.75/10]

Monday, June 22, 2009

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Gettin' Funky Edition

Monday, Monday... That means it's time for five more video game tracks deemed worthy for my favorites. This week we have House of the Dead: Overkill, Final Fantasy XI, and Sonic Unleashed-- to name a few. Sit back, relax, and click on whatever your heart's content.

v336. The House of the Dead: Overkill - Get Funky

This is the vocal version of Detective Issac "Motherf***in'" Washington's theme. Regardless of the purposefully gratuitous use of the f-bomb, Get Funky is a completely catchy, fittingly funky track. Included are various in-game voice clips sprinkled throughout the beginning, middle, and end of this great song. Overkill has a surprisingly competent soundtrack.

v337. Final Fantasy XI - Opening Theme

This is now the only mainline Final Fantasy game I don't own-- much less have ever played. Regardless, this opening theme is just masterful. The choir sends chills up the spine, the ending fanfare is superb, and there's no part of this somewhat lengthy piece that I don't absolutely adore. Proof that Nobuo Uematsu still knows his stuff (as if that were ever in question).

v338. F-Zero GX - Feel Our Pain (Fire Field)

The pain the song title is talking about is when your unsuspecting vehicle gets slammed off the track into the fiery depths below. When the main beat kicks in at eleven seconds, you can just see yourself going up and down the quick undulating bumps of Fire Field with the music syncing with your movements. One of many great themes from the F-Zero GX soundtrack.

v339. Kirby Air Ride - Checker Knights

This bouncy and lively track comes from Kirby Air Ride, a cult favorite from the Gamecube. Why have a symphony orchestra play music for The Wind Waker when we can have it for a Kirby spin-off instead! Why not both? Anyway, not everyone enjoyed Air Ride. Which side of the fence are you on?

v340. Sonic Unleashed - Shamar (Night)

Sonic Unleashed may have once again been another game to kick Sonic faithfuls in their nuts/lady parts, but the soundtrack is without question marvelous. This theme plays during one of the many hub areas of the game, Shamar, at night. It's a sultry jazz piece that really gets good when everything stops save for a poignant trumpet fanfare leading to the strong finish. A great piece of music right here, and Sonic Unleashed is full of them even if the game didn't satisfy every gamer out there.

Next week we have Zelda, Mario, Chocobo, and more! I hope you'll look forward to it!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

And you have to ask why gamers are made fun of all the time?

Welcome to NeoGAF, the preeminent video game industry discussion community.

So much for any message board being a place for serious video game discussion, fellow gamers. You don't even have to like the Wii to see how pathetic that was (nor the actual topic subject). And that's supposed to be the best board for taking about games! Yikes indeed!

Late Review Posted: Rune Factory: Frontier (Wii)

This was supposed to be posted Wednesday, but here it is now. Released in March in North America, here is my review of Rune Factory: Frontier for the Wii.

Farming. They'll turn anything to a video game, but the Harvest Moon series proved that it could definitely be fun as well as addicting. The dozen or so sequels have certainly shown that. The first two Rune Factory games, a more action-inspired spin-off series of the Harvest Moon franchise, appeared on the Nintendo DS to decent reviews. Now for the first time ever, the Rune Factory series hits a home console, the Wii to be exact. Is it a bumper crop for fun, or will you want to plow this game over?