GAME FACE MARIO MAYHEM, Part 1: Super Mario Strikers


Mario first reared his mustachioed head in 1981 as the Jumpman in the coin-op clash of “man vs. animal”, Donkey Kong. The game had to go through a whole lot of dog doo to save Nintendo from sinking in quicksands of failure. But it did, and Donkey Kong and “Jumpman”‘s heydays were only beginning. Decades later, Mario’s put up over 700 million sold units in the combination of both Mario and Super Mario, making it easily the bestselling series of all time. Mario’s also not a stranger to sports as he is to platforming. He’s done basketball (also as a guest in NBA Street Vol 3), snowboarding (as a guest in SSX On Tour) baseball, golf, tennis, even joined forces with Sonic for the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series. But there’s just one sport that’s being left out. You guessed it. Soccer. The beautiful game. The world game. Football. And Mario’s just as menacing on the pitch as he is on the tracks, or the court, or the field, or the course. And just be ready for a surprise at every nook, cranny, and corner…kick.

North American cover art

Toad sets up what looks to be a menacing bicycle kick against the goalie.

Mario’s first delve into big-league soccer, Super Mario Strikers (known in Europe and Australia as Mario Smash Football) is a GameCube-exclusive good ole five-a-side football game representing the basic rules of football, except referees are ruled out and players give new meaning to the term “offense”. It was released in November 2005 for Europeans, December for Americans, January ’06 for the Japanese, and April for the Australians. (Did that offend anyone in any way?) Revealed as part of E3 ’05, the teams in Strikers compose of a Mario character–the “captain”–with a backup team of “side kicks” (get it?) whom are Toads, Hammer Brothers, Birdos, and Koopas. The game’s goalie (strangely enough, on both sides) is Kritter, a Kremling from the Donkey Kong Country trilogy (except for the robot-composed Super Team, who have a Robo-Kritter). The only playable captains are Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Waluigi, Wario, and Donkey Kong. (Bowser also NPCs to obstruct players occasionally.) There are several modes in-game:

  • Grudge Match - The standard single and multiplayer game mode.
  • Cup Battles - 1-4 players are allowed to compete in tournaments against AI opponents to advance through cups for rewards.
  • Super Cup Battles - Dominated the Cup Battles? Super denotes a higher tier of enemy lines, and only the strong survive…no, seriously, that was ripped from the game.
  • Strikers 101 - The game’s tutorial mode, allowing you to learn the basics of the game and then use them in “games” to hone your skills.
  • Spoils - This is for the people who love to gloat their highest milestones to others. This records awards you’ve won like soccer trophies, so you can cherish the moments and brag about them, too.

Both sidekicks and caps have varying attributes with “balanced” and “defensive” ways to play available. Strikers, for the most part, sticks to the rulebook of soccer with abilities to dash, slide tackle, etc. But then there’s the fact that players can land serious hits with or without the ball, resulting in a more arcade-esque game of soccer. The game has six stadiums/stadia that only change aesthetically and do not alter the playing field, even with electric fences to prevent to ball from going out of bounds. And yes, you can knock players into these fences. The further you go into the game, the more “cheats” you an access; these include a weakened goalie and an infinite set of items to use in impeding opponents.

I already said it was first shown in 2005′s E3, where game director Mike Inglehart and marking director Grace Kim expected the game to be more realistic, but after some consultations with Nintendo the creators opted for a more “over-the-top” turnout. The electric fences were added to accentuate the sport’s physicality, and there are no penalties or cards since the power-up system has compensated for this, considering power-ups are given to the team of a player that has been hurt.

Want to learn the basics of the game right now? Hands up, I’ve got you covered. (Do note that Strikers does not have “positions” in their vocabulary.)

DEFENSE

Slide Tackle (B) – This is one of the classic defensive tricks that always loses the victim of the ball. You can even perform one tackle after another if you wish, but that just makes you look silly. I recommend doing this if it seems like an opponent is about to take a shot at the goal. (Do note that both the tacklee and tackler will trip and fall.)

Big Hit (Y when not having the ball) – Despite being defensive, this is one of the more pain-dealing tricks on the pitch. The Big Hit is literally a bodyslam into an opponent, whether they possess the ball or not. There’s about a 7/8 out of 10 chance that the victim will fork over the ball, and there’s a 4/5 out of 10 chance it’ll go to another opponent. I recommend doing this also if an opponent is about to shoot.

Power-Ups (X, Z to switch)- A Mario game really isn’t a Mario game without power-ups. And like in Mario Power Tennis, power-ups are a major component in Strikers. You receive power-ups by charging shots or having a hurt player. When the time is right, you can use power-ups to impede opposition, relieve them of the ball, and get one step closer to a point. The power-ups include but aren’t limited to:

  • Banana Peels - They were toughies in Mario Kart, and they’re toughies now. They work by being thrown out and anxiously awaiting a player to slip on them. These peels come alone or have up to 6 of them released at a time.
  • The Normal Shells – These shells come in green, red, spiny, and–most notorious of all–blue. Green shells fly in straight lines, bouncing off walls and damaging victims. Red shells’ specialties are their homing abilities, victimizing the nearest player. But the dreaded blue shell not only apprehends victims, but freezes them in their tracks. Spiny shells do not stop after first hit, and go off until contact with another item or after hitting the wall twice. These shells all come as singles or triplets.
  • The Giant Shells – Just like normal shells, except giant-er! Giant green shells bowl over anything in its path, giant reds keep going after hitting a wall, homing in on a victim, and then acting like a mere giant green shell. Giant blues, however, freeze victims as usual, but now detonate on impact as well. Giant spinies are literal bulldozers on an unstoppable rampage down the pitch. Unlike normals, these shells only come in sets of one. But can you imagine how unstoppable they would be as triplets?
  • Bob-ombs - These living explosives will stand still for a second, and then explode, affecting victims in its range. However, the Giant Bob-ombhas a explosion radius of at least 4x larger, and it sends out a shockwave!
  • Chain Chomp - Everywhere it goes, it’s feared. It’s been considered one of the scariest foes in Super Mario 64. And it’s especially scary in this game. Like Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing can grant you an All-Star Move to get you back in the game, Chain Chomps (along with Stars) can only be obtained by the losing team. The Chomp will blaze down the pitch and damage every hand of the opposition. In fact, it won’t leave until there’s at least one man down.

Deke (Z) - When in possession of the ball, opponents are likely to go for your jugular to rid you of the ball. Now you can go for their jugulars when you deke! With a quick Z press–ahem, blue button press, the player can do a quick one-two. This is useful to get rid of opponents and proceed towards the goal.

OFFENSE

  • Turbo Run (R + thumbstick) – Have you ever heard this phrase?: What is a principle when you are venturing in the woods with, I dunno, a friend or two? A plump kid. When you encounter a bear or an equally threatening animal, your first instinct is to hightail it out of there. And with a plump kid, you don’t have to be the fastest–you just don’t want to be the slowest. And that really applies when you’re turbo-running. Sometimes, your fastest trailblaze down the pitch just isn’t enough. So what else to do than run faster? (Tip: Do note that while turbo-running, you can’t free move, deke, or shoot.)
  • Pass (A) – No one likes a ballhog, so with one of the oldest tricks in the book you can relieve yourself of the ball to another teammate. There are also special passes: besides the plain old ground pass, there’s also the lob pass (L+A) which is equally efficient in receiving the ball. If you play your cards right you could also uncover a special-er kind of pass…
  • Simple Shot (B) – The easiest to pull off, but the least likely to score. I suggest charging your shots.
  • Charged Shot (Hold B) – Okay, now we’re talking. Charged shots are more likely to score, and honestly look a lot sweeter. There is, obviously, a limit to the charge of your shot, and the sidekicks’ limit differs from the captains’ limit. Sidekicks can only go as far as–I dunno–a “fire ball”. But captains can go as far as…
  • Super Strike (Hold B for captains only) – …this. This really puts the Strikers in Super Mario Strikers. As a captain, you can hold B to the limit (you will see lightning surrounding you when you reach the limit) and you will then see a bar with two parts marked green. There is a white marker that will wave across the entire bar only once. If you time it right, you can land the marker on both green parts with a B press, and that will ensure your Strike is properly aligned. If not–believe it or not–Kritter actually has a chance of blocking it, although he will be temporarily dazed afterward. A successful Super Strike will count as two goals instead of one, and it will look like this:
  • One-Timer Shot (A + B) – Now this, my friend, is a one-two. The first part of the one-timer is a pass to a teammate. The second part, performed by the final receptor, is the instant shot. You can perform this anywhere, even across the pitch. And a volley shot will bewilder Kritter; just saying.
  • Perfect Pass (A with teammate near goal) – This is the special-er pass I was talking about. This is only performable if you are passing to a teammate near the goal. You will be certified of a perfected pass if the trail behind the ball is green. If you time it right, you can follow up with something even better… (And yes, there are such things are perfect lob passes.)
  • Perfect One-Timer Shot (B directly after Perfect Pass) – The last receptor of this one-timer not only shoots the ball. He gets a few seconds of slo-mo glory before slamming it in! The perfect one-timer is a great opportunity to score and honestly is one of the sweetest-looking moves in the game.

………………………………..

Now to actually talk about the game itself. I really enjoyed Strikers; it had quality GameCube visuals, its arcade soccer had fast-paced, and energetic vibes, the game offered lots of challenge on upper tiers, and the Strikers 101 mode was really helpful. Don’t think I’ve had this much fun on the pitch since FIFA 12. It really hit gold on its addiction factor, and it would have you with the skills of a cartoon version of Ronaldo or Pele in no time. However, the game simply doesn’t feel Mario enough. No honestly, after you’ve heard Luigi says his name at least ten times in his victory celebrations, you’ll be at your wit’s end. And there’s not one chip of properly “Mario” music in the game. And besides, if there was a soccer school, Strikers would be a major dropout. (Unlike FIFA, whom would likely have perfect attendance and finish as the valedictorian. ;) Um, let’s get back to the flaws.) It simply doesn’t follow the sane rules of soccer, and the rules it does follow have more twists than you can give to those unbreakable 50 Cent headphones. Some noticeable issues in frame rate, as well as a lack of animation and audio variety (hence Luigi) that brings the game down even further from perfection. From the cover, and artwork, you may believe that Strikers is super-hardcore. But it, well, isn’t. And besides, Donkey Kong’s breaking the rules of soccer by hitting the ball with his hands. Now I can’t criticize and praise the game all day….we need a chart for that!

2 out of 5 – Educational value – The game does teach you the basics of soccer, and you may sometimes use logical thinking as an advantage on the pitch.

 2 out of 5 – Positive messagesStrikers puts up a model of being sportmanslike, both on a playing field and off, although red-card antics are the norm of the game. As almost always in the games I review, perseverance is key as well.

0 out of 5 – Positive role models – Not really applicable.

 2 1/2 out of 5 – Ease of play – It may take a while to fully comprehend the controls of the game, but when you do, it gets a lot easier to grasp–although it’s still kinda baffling at times.

3 out of 5 – Violence – In this game, antics that would give you red cards or even worse aren’t punished–they’re rewarded. You can do all sorts of dastardly deeds on the pitch, like knocking opponents into the electric fences, victimizing them with power ups, tackling or big hitting them, or even having Giant Bowser come onto the field and make the forwards’ lives even more miserable. But all of it is cartoon violence meant more for laughs, and when played by the appropriate audiences, this factor of the game can be an uproar.

1 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Peach and Daisy are, somewhat but nevertheless, wearing risque and skimpy outfits that show off their stomachs and legs.

0 out of 5 - Language – This aspect is not applicable.

1 out of 5 – Product Placement – Besides being a Mario game, Donkey Kong (cross-advertising?) is likely as far as the game goes in product placement.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not applicable.

……………………………………

Are you kidding?! Now THIS is art!

Smarts: C- (2 points)

Play-Again Ratio: B+ (3.5 points)

Fun: B (3 points)

Entertainment: A (4 points)

Humor: A+ (5 points)

Style: A- (4 points)

FINAL SCORE: 21.5 out of 30 (YEESH. 80), 71% out of 100%, 4 stars out of 5

CONSENSUS: Super Mario Strikers does mark gold on some factors, like the pace of the game and all the modes–and it truly is a fun game–but serious problems like frame rate, a lack of variety, and some definite rule-bending push Strikers away from its true optimum.

…………………………….

But that’s not all! You’ve heard that this is only part 1 of Game Face Mario Mayhem, right? Well, part 2 is coming soon, and it’s gonna be an even bigger, better Mario game! I can’t say what it is, but let’s just say it’s two-fisted, red-blooded, and all-American. I’ve said too much already.

Check out my latest Sammwak spinoff that’s literally like my own little social network: 3GS! http://3gsam.wordpress.com/

Stay classy, America. ~S~ 8-)

…………………………….

Random Videos o’ the Week: I got stuck between two videos and just couldn’t decide. Lemme describe the first one: Annoying Orange is one of the comedy moguls of YouTube history. Ever since its first episode in October 2009 (which garnered over 100 mil. views to date), Orange’s official channel has gained over 2 million subscribers and over 1 billion video views, and to add to that Orange and friends have gotten their own show on Cartoon Network! (Catch The Annoying Orange every Monday at 8:30!) Well, they’ve taken a blast to the past, giving the first-ever episode a reanimation–literally! This animated spin has already gotten over 1 mil since late July and has gotten over 20k likes. Witness the fruity goodness–now in glorious animation (and glorious 720p HD!)!

Our next video is probably just as awesome, maybe a bit more awesome even. A regular gummi worm is 10-25 cm of gelatinous, chewy goodness. In the shape of a worm. First introduced by Trolli in July of 1981 (in fact, the 60th anniversary of gummi bears), these worms come in all shapes and sizes. But it doesn’t come close to the world’s largest gummy worm, brought to you by  the makers of the gummi cola bottle and the tablet that turns sour into sweet. Clocking in at over 2 feet, 50 cubic inches, and 3 pounds of sweet, sweet goodness, the world’s largest gummi worm is 128 times of a normal gummi. And it makes a rad dirt cake, too. And it’s actually for sale too (all seven flavors), for the price of $28! The worm’s official video has over 10 million views since its launch in October 2010, and almost 30k likers are craving this monstrosity. Step aside, Epic Meal Time…this epic meal has the oomph for a whole year of fine dine. But this isn’t as far as they can go, so check out and subscribe to their channels! (, )

Disney’s upcoming WRECK-IT RALPH destines to give video game movies a new, better name


Movies, like anything, come in all shapes and sizes. Action-packed movies that are literally their own explosives, drama titles that pull at your heartstrings, horror bloodbaths that’ll leave you jolting your boxes of popcorn instead of enjoying them, comedies that’ll have you laughing until you can’t breathe, etc. But there’s one type of movie that’s barely gotten true honor: the video game genre. Yes, that exists. Probably the only existent “inner gamer” movie has to be The Wizard, a Christmas ’89 title that introduced what would become one of the biggest games in history: Super Mario Bros. 3. And speaking of arcade games, that’s where that story ends, and this new story begins.

File:Wreck-It Ralph poster.jpg

(How many video game characters can you spot? :D)

I have never been so excited for a movie. Um, ever. Directed by the former animation director for both The Simpsons and Futarama, Wreck-It Ralph, the 52nd Disney Animated Feature and the first of 2012 (the 51st being last year’s Winnie the Pooh), starts at a typically nostalgic down-the-block arcade. One of the titles in that arcade is Fix-It Felix, Jr., where you play Felix himself and must constantly repair the damages of a building facade while the game’s villain smashes away atop the building. That villain is the 9′-tall, 643-pound Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly), and for three decades he’s been the guy that everyone loved to hate. And Ralph’s tired of that. And to make everyone notice he can be the hero, he literally disappears from the game via power cord and joins the light-gun FPS Hero’s Duty, battling “Cy-Bugs” alongside the game’s own hero, Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch). But he doesn’t spend the whole movie in this game, as he later goes onto a candy-themed kart racer called Sugar Rush, and here he meets one of the game’s main characters, Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). Vanellope has learned that her game is faced with a threat that could affect the entire arcade. The worst part? Ralph may have started the whole thing.

I was originally gonna come out with a “Top 5 Most Self-Anticipated Movies of the Year” post, but I’ll tell you right here and now, this movie was #1 before the list was even finished. I first came intact with this movie at this year’s Comic-Con, and I’ve been loving it ever since. <3 This movie promises appearances from some of your favorite game characters: Ryu, Ken, M. Bison, Zangief, Chun-Li, Cammy (all Street Fighters), Clyde (one of the Pac Man ghosts), Bowser, Eggman, Kano, Smoke, Q*bert, and it doesn’t even stop there. (This fact about the movie took a page from Roger Rabbit’s 1988 adventure, also from Disney.) There’s a result of over 200 individual models based off these inclusions. Running on a budget of $150 million to possibly make movie history by rejuvenating the game movie genre, this movie luckily had a date shift to November 2 this year, which was originally next March. (Thank goodness!) And to add to that, it also got a major appearance in the latest Game Informer, and Fix-It Felix’s adventure is now available in full-Flash at Ralph’s official site. And–you likely should’ve seen this coming–Wreck-It Ralph will be receiving his own video game on the Wii, DS, and 3DS! This Disney Inter.-Activision project is stated to be a “story extension” to the movie. And to add to that, Ralph will even be featured among the racers in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing Transformed! How can you say “game over” to that? Well, Wreck-It Ralphwill premiere November 2 in 3D, but the story’s not quite done yet…and besides, you haven’t seen these Wreck-It Ralph TV spots yet!

 

………………………………………

File:Paperman (2012) poster.jpg

This is Disney’s new black-and-white short flick, Paperman. Blending traditional and computer animation, you’ll be able to see this movie directly after Wreck-It Ralph, like La Luna was shown right after Brave. The synopsis states that the movie follows a lonely young man in mid-century NYC, whose destiny takes a turn after meeting a ravishing woman during a morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams has slipped through his fingers, he gets a second chance at love when he spots the woman in the window of a skyscraper across the avenue of his office. Armed with love, imagination, and a stack of papers, his efforts show not even close to paralleling his awaiting fates. Hearts will break and papers will fly this fall. Ooh, sounds romantic. Anyway, whether you’re in it or not, you can catch Wreck-It Ralph and Paperman in their premieres this fall, and it’s going to be like watching all those scenes at the end of The Avengers. ;)

………………………

Stay cool,

~S~ 8-)

p.s. Random Video o’ the Week: In the 90s, Goosebumps was hot, Pogs were a fad, Nickelodeon was on fire, and all girls talked about were bands like Hanson, or the Backstreet Boys, or N*SYNC. Now, Goosebumps HorrorLand is the only existent series, Pogs have vanished from the mainstream, and girls are obsessing over people like Justin Bieber and Big Time Rush. Oh, and Nickelodeon still holds a small flame. But you should’ve seen them back in the day. All That, Kenan & Kel, Legends, Figure It Out, Family Double Dare, Clarissa, the list goes on. 90′s kids had it all, and after more than a decade of being in the shadows (excluding SpongeBob, which is still alive, and Figure It Out, which has been revived) it just had to get re-honored in all its nostalgic glory. So TeenNick made The 90′s Are All That last summer. While it’s on every night from 12-2am, with a 2-4am encore right after, at least you can get a taste of how it feels now. (Ever since last August it’s received almost 30k hits.)

Get Ur Game Face On: De Blob 2


Hey guys it’s Sam, and welcome to the second episode of our game reviewing segment, Get Ur Game Face On. Anyway, there are a lot of unknown companies that one day have their names known by 5% of people, and the next day having their names known as the people that gave us the amazing game [please insert amazing game title]. And that’s what happened with lots of companies we now know. Take Bethesda, for example. With the dwindling of games like Brink and RAGE, it was almost certified that Bethesda would begin crippling from the game world, and taking all of their series with them. That is, until they introduced the worldwide phenomenon known as Skyrim. See what I mean? THQ (short for Toy Headquarters. Now you know.) already got a start, giving us pretty much the entire anthology of SpongeBob games. But maybe our porous pal needed a break. So they gave us the first De Blob in ’08. And this is its ’11 sequel.

The two main characters of the game in a nutshell. Blob (the blue guy on the left) is the hero, the guy you control. And Pinky (the pink robot on the right) is your sidekick and guide.

In 2008, the original De Blob met favorably received success, or (as THQ president & CEO Brian Farrell calls it) “broad, critical acclaim.” But the demands rose too high, and they were too big to maintain. So THQ could most likely do nothing but bring out the only weapon in a wave of fiscal demands: a sequel. Instantly the wave died down and THQ could breath a bit easier. That sequel, as I said and will say again, was De Blob 2, also known previously as De Blob: The Underground. Instead of being a Wii exclusive, it (like the forthcoming Epic Mickey sequel) was also available for the Xbox and PS3 as well, alongside the Nintendo DS and 3DS. It was developed by the now inactive Blue Tongue Entertainment, or by Halfbrick Studios (the same buddies that gave us the Fruit Ninja saga) for the DS version, and published by THQ and Syfy Kids (yes, I hasten to add this, but that actually does exist!).

In this game, you basically pick up where the original adventure left off: giving color and happiness with a vengeance (as the antagonistic INKT Corp. has outlawed all the fun and color) to the monochromatic Manhattan parody Chroma City, as a Blob. But not just any Blob. The Caesar of color, the superhero of the spectrum, the rivet of the rainbow, the—oh, you know what I mean. But not alone, with his trusty robo-sidekick Pinky. You can turn into different colors by jumping into different pools of colored paint, or by slamming into different-colored Paintbots, allowing you to make the world literally your canvas & easel. But there are some obstacles in your way, such as surfaces that automatically strip you of your wet, colorful goodness, as well as ink that acts as deadly poison to our hippie of a hero.

While there are several things that separate DE BLOB 2 from its predecessor, it has some fatal flaws, as you can learn from the section below.

Definitely one of the most feel-good games of the year, De Blob 2‘s infectious vibe is only cramped up by one thing: frustration, and frustration under more than one circumstance. You sometimes have no clue what to do, and how to do it, leaving you helplessly struggling for a solution. Repetitive level design occurs repeatedly for a great level of annoyance, and you honestly don’t want to fail root & branch. That’s usually something you always hear in games, but this is a special emphasis; failure results in having to replay long sections or entire levels, putting a chockful of work into the toilet. The targeting system of the game can be a pro various times in the game, but other times when you’re brawling against diverse enemy armies, it’s definitely a con trying to decipher. You should never trust De Blob 2‘s saving system, and even I have examples. Sometimes when I exit a session of De Blob-ing, and come back to that session, I have to redo entire—oh, wait, I already told you about this. But on the bright side, painting the city is more fun that it looks like, and great visuals and tunes make a joyous atmosphere to roam in. Cutscenes are smart and amusingly entertaining, and there is simple fun in the game’s combat. And, of course, there are plenty of cheesily great win quotes in the game like, “Blobberific!” Y’know what, let’s roll the chart.

 2 3/4 out of 5 – Educational value – There are puzzle aspects to many of the levels, requiring a great amount of logic and thinking, but the intention of the game is definitely entertainment over education.

 3 1/2 out of 5 – Positive messages – Blob is a compassionate hero, determined to bring color (and freedom, and peace, and justice, and—) back to a world ruled by a monochromatic black-and-white tyrant and its corporation. Certain story moments, though, pose moral questions to players, asking them to choose between going after an escaping villain or rescuing innocents.

3 out of 5 – Positive role models – Blob and Pinky are self-sacrificing heroes who value the freedom of their people. Players could choose to make Blob a bit more callous in his pursuit of the baddies if they opt to follow the villains rather than save the innocents at certain points of the game.

 4 out of 5 – Ease of play – Controls work very smoothly. If the camera seems problematic at first, know that you can adjust the inversion of the camera functionality; it’s very likely you can find a setting that will be comfortable for your personal style of play, where you prefer going down to go up, or prefer going down to go down. The game offers only two levels of difficulty that sound equally simple: easy and normal.

2 1/2 out of 5 – Violence – Blob fights enemy robots at times with a jump-and-smash ability (or Pinky can zap them with paint). Defeated enemies disappear in a burst of ink. Obviously enough, ink is very poisonous to Blob, and you can surely die if you stay in too long or do not meet a body of water soon enough. Blob can use his jump-and-smash combo to smash into things with violent slams. Overall, the violence is cartoonishly executed, made more for quirks.

 0 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – This aspect is not applicable.

1 out of 5 - Language – “Dammit” rolls off the tongue in a cutscene.

1 out of 5 – Product Placement – This game is the sequel to De Blob, a cult classic on the Wii.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not applicable.

……………………………..

Play-Again Ratio: B- (3 points)

Smarts: B+ (3.5 points)

Fun: B (3 points)

Style: A (4 points)

Humor: A (4 points)

Entertainment: A (4 points)

FINAL SCORE: 21.5 out of 30 (well, that was unexpected), 3 stars out of 5, 69% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: De Blob 2 is a funky-fresh sequel with the same infectious vibe as its predecessor, but monotony and other frustrations get the upper hand of the game and ruin its jam to the point where the game is only fun to play for about ten minutes, if not longer.

PRICE: Have it your way, but here’s the pricing for the game. On the Xbox 360, the game costs $16, but new copies are $9, and used ones are $6. Own a Nintendo DS? You can buy the game for only $9, with new copies being $5, and used ones being $3. Fan of the PS3? It costs yet again $16, but new copies are $9, and used ones are $7. Wii junkie? The game costs $13, with $7 for a new copy, and $2 for a used. At GameStop, the game costs $20 new, and $18 pre-owned on the Xbox. On the Wii, the game costs $20, but pre-owned versions are only $15. The same thing applies for the PS3 and DS versions as well.

………………………..

Subscribe, like, rate, comment, reblog, share, please check out that adorable SpongeBob gif at the top of the sidebar, and stay tuned for a brand new post next Monday! Oh, and please consider the following: Wii Play Games could be back on the radar, it’s already at about 20 hits about now and it’s possible that it could be back in the hypes to raise the bar! If you want to revive WPG, go to wiiplaygames.wordpress.com and subscribe, enough subscriptions will make me considering a new post! Now, go go go!

- Sam :D

p.s. Would You Rather o’ the Week: Would you rather…wear only Gap clothing for the rest of your life, or wear only New Balance shoes for the rest of your life?

p.p.s. Random Video o’ the Week: I’m too exhausted to say more, so check out this hot jam. It’s Basement Jaxx and Robyn. C’mon, you know you want to. It’s got really good reception.

Game n Vote: Righteous Quest 2/Jumping Finn


Hey guys it’s Sam, and remember the last time we had a Game n Vote session? I know…early 2011, right? Or was it 2010? Well, I’ve decided to revive our beloved segment to kick off the New Year, and if one can do that, they must be very honored. Well, today I’m reviewing another Adventure Time game that’s as frustrating as it is fun. Ladies, gentlemen, and magical dogs, I give you Righteous Quest 2.

Sadly, there's little skill to be found in this game, Finn.

Righteous Quest 2 is the same Adventure Time-themed 2D platformer that Righteous Quest was, but definitely less fun. This game takes place over five (not including the unlockable Lumpy Space level) destinations: the Candy Kingdom, where you fend off Candy Zombies, the Obstacle Course, where you make your way through traps and Battle Cubes, the Ice Kingdom, where you make your way through snow monsters and slippery land, the Ninja Passage, where you make your way through Marceline-sent ninjas, and finally the ultimate boss battle level, starring Marceline herself.

Thankfully enough, this game is a bit more harder than the first Quest, making it at least a bit more fun. The Ninjas come back and now take several hits to defeat, the Ice Kingdom’s snow monsters take 2 hits to destroy, etc. The bad thing about this game is that it takes its responsibilities way too far and turns the game into an impossible 2D version of Sonic Unleashed, literally. The final boss battle is simply the hardest aspect. Marceline’s health goes down unbelievably slow, bit by bit, and it won’t even help if you unleash your full Wizard Powers on her. The game is confusing, head-hurting, and nonetheless a waste of time, no matter how high you can get your score, but I bet you struggle on the boss battle, too!

THE GOOD

“A bit” harder than last time

Very nostalgic music

Wizard Powers are normally very useful.

THE BAD

Difficulty is horribly punishing

Boss battle is merely impossible

Finn’s complaints when left idle are annoying

The game has a clear lack of substance

………………………….

Game-play: B- (3 pts)

Play-Again Ratio: C (2 pts)

Style: B+ (3 pts)

Fun: C- (1.5 pts)

Smarts: C (2 pts)

Entertainment: C- (1.5 pts)

FINAL SCORE: 13 out of 30 (sweet muffins!), 2 stars out of 5, 44% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: What’s boring, mind-numbing, impossible, and all together a waste of time? Sadly enough, Righteous Quest 2, that’s what.

Well, if you don’t believe me, you could always try playing Righteous Quest 2 here. Not-so-happy journeying!

………………………………

Well, you’re back. I predict that you rage quit. You rage quit, didn’t you? Yeah, you did. Anyway, let’s use our gracious poll to see what you think about the game!

Well, goodbye for now from Sammwak…just kidding! It’s the new year, and I gotta start it with something we’ve never seen before…a Game n Vote double feature! That’s right, not one, but two Finn and Jake games are getting reviewed, and I’m finishing up my sealed deal with an actually fun adventure: Jumping Finn.

Talk about major buttkicking!

Jumping Finn may look like just an ordinary Adventure Time game with not a lot of hope going for it. Actually, despite its lack of badges, it’s the best Adventure Time game I’ve played since…probably the Sound Castle games. It just debuted in the final month of summer 2011 at cartoonnetworkla.com before it finally hit primetime. The game is actually about trying to rescue Princess Bubblegum from the Ice King like usual, and the method of this game is to kick Finn’s butt (literally) and make him go flying. You can even set the power of Jake’s kick, Let’s Golf-style. At the end of your run, you receive “money” that sums up and is usable to buy power-ups and boosts, like fans, rainbows, and even Marceline and Lady Rainicorn themselves. The game ends when you rescue the princess after flying through the Ice King’s castle. The power-ups are:

  • Upgrade Kick (increasing the amount of kicks Jake can use on Finn in the air)
  • Upgrade Bounce (increasing the amount of bounces Jake can use on Finn when he leaves the sky)
  • Fan (Helps Finn stay airborne)
  • Rainbow w/ Cloud (Finn gets launched upon contact)
  • Marceline (Finn gets launched after being hit by her Axe bass)
  • Birds (Finn gets carried by them)
  • Lady Rainicorn (Finn can ride her up, but it requires clicking and holding)
  • Meteor (Finn can ride it fast and far)

This game is an absolute prime success in its only job: satisfying anyone who plays it. This game is definitely a fun, engaging, and somewhat hilarious entry into Adventure Time‘s countless list of games and their sequels. Heck, the game even allows you to continue your previous game! It saves your progress! No other Finn & Jake game can do that! None! Definitely a good way to kill time in a satisfyingly entertaining way. If you don’t believe me, check out this red-hot rating!

THE GOOD

Very fun and entertaining

Kills time very quickly

Upgrades and power-ups are definitely worth the big air

Reasonable storyline

Great charm.

THE BAD

Lack of badges removes hopes and striving.

………………………………..

Game-play: A+ (5 pts)

Entertainment: A+ (5 pts)

Fun: A+ (5 pts)

Play-Again Ratio: A+ (5 pts)

Style: A (4 pts)

Smarts: A (4 pts)

FINAL SCORE: 28 out of 30 (sweet muffins…again!!), 6 stars out of 5, 92% out of 100%

CONSENSUS: It may have a lack of badges, but Jumping Finn‘s charm, humor, entertainment, and time-killing strategies definitely move the loss of badges over players’ heads and make it one of the best Finn & Jake adventures yet.

Click here. Come on. Hello? Why aren’t you clicking? COME ON!!

…………………………

I’m not even gonna say a word. Just vote.

Well, goodbye from Sammwak, for real this time. :( But don’t be sad! Come back on the 9th for another red-hot Sammwak post! Make sure to subscribe, like (bloggers only), comment, and rate!

Your friend,

Samuel M. – promoting the cure to boredom since 2010

Parents Produce: The Game of Life – How To Make Chores Fun


Hey parents, it’s Sam, and usually, I aim my posts for kids, but any age can enjoy Sammwak, so I’ve decided to have a segment in honor of parental needs too! Without parents, we’d be as wild as monkeys without their bananas. If there’s one thing I know kids hate doing, it’s chores. If there’s one thing I know kids love doing, it’s to play video games. So parents, why choose when you can do them both? (Based on Lucky Luke’s letter submission of the April 2011 subscriber’s issue of Nintendo Power.)

Lucky Luke says he and his 8-year old brother are always told by their mom to spend more time mastering chores than video games. Then, as if a light bulb flashed over her head, she got the perfect idea: turning chores into video games! Each week, Luke and company get 3 lives. A life is lost when chores are done lazily, they talk, or goof off. When they lose their third and final life, they get a “game over”, which means a weekly video game restriction. Luckily, their mom does things like hide rewards or extra lives in her shoes when she asks her kids to put them away. Now this is a life I would want to live! Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out well for editor-in-chief Chris Slate, as he says the magazine staff took turns jumping on his head trying to beat the final boss. It’s every gamer for themselves, folks.

The way I would probably do it is almost identical to Luke’s with a little twist that makes the odds a little more even.

  • At the start of the week, we get five lives. I’m the king of second chances, man!
  • If we do something really good, we get a 3-life boost. I’m trying to be fair without being invincible.
  • Rewards can originate from actual games, such as power pellets and mushrooms. But here’s the catch–they can be traded in for real cash. I’m not trying to be a penny-pincher, but it’s honestly a good way to fill your allowance. Almost like those Mom Bucks from Rodrick Rules. Here’s the chart: power pellets can be traded in for $1.00, super mushrooms go for $1.25, leaves go for $1.50, hearts go for $2.00, and if you’re good enough to get a Starman…it’s a $4-boost.

The main reason why we played video games is how fun it would be in real life. That’s what bored gaming YouTubers do all their online life. This is known as the online abbreviation “IRL”. Anyways, parents, if you want to make your chores worth getting up and doing, follow my procedures and your kids will never sneak out of chores again, absolutely positive!

If you like my ideas to make your life better, than subscribe for more weekly juice, and if enough kids and parents like Parents Produce, it’s going on the list of main segments! Also be a doll and click the like button if you blog at WordPress. And as the final post and day of September, I’ll give you a couple things to look forward to on Sammwak!

  • Nintendo’s super-duper-specially-important 122nd birthday celebration. That’s as old as the world’s oldest grandma, no kidding!
  • Why did the vampire go to the orthodontist?…To improve his bite! Sounds cheesy, but it’s a hint for the second annual Sammwak Halloween special. One thing is that there’s a lot of surprises!
  • A not-yet-clarified celebration of my three-hundredth post…the one you’re looking at right now! Man, isn’t 2011 the year of celebration?

Game n Vote – Electric Man 2


Hey guys it’s Sam and after a long, postless week of waking up early and preparing for school, I can kick back on my first Friday and deliver you the daily juice–daily gaming juice, that is. Yessiree, Game n Vote is getting picked up, slapped several times, and put back on Sammwak! Today, we put our hands down and ball them into fists as we enter the tournament of one of Addicting Games’ most…well, addicting games (also, at 94%, one of the most acclaimed), Electric Man 2.

A blue Electric Man delivers a powerful kick that sends a Pyromaniac flying near another already-defeated Pyromaniac.

Electric Man 2HS: The Tournament of Voltagen (much more commonly abbreviated as Electric Man 2, or also EM2), rated Tween+, started off just as “some fighting game” back in the start of 2007. But as time went, the game currently has almost twenty million plays, and I don’t know if that’s just in the country, or even around the world. (Speaking of EM2, why is it number two if we never knew number one?) The storyline follows the namesake tournament of Voltagen, described at the start screen of the game as:

“…where combat teams of varying numbers compete against each other to determine the most powerful being in the stick man universe. The current champion has never been beaten. Any combination of martial arts, street fighting, and superhuman powers can be used to wipe out your opponents. Let the games begin…”

You play a stick man with tushie-kicking powers, as well as an electric glow engulfing him (the color can be adjusted). The challenges range from the robotic warriors, the Replicants, to the disabled but able, the Blind, and everyone in between. I enjoy this game merely because it captures every aspect possible in an online fighting game. You have a good time fighting, not too much of a challenge comes up, and you even get to finish opponents in style with slow-mo moves. What more could you ask for?

Code:

:) – Good fact

:D – Very good fact

:/ – “Meh, I can deal with it” fact

:( – Bad fact

;( – Very bad fact

THE GOOD

  • Amazing online fighting capture :)
  • Even if they are stick men, the visuals are top-dog. :)
  • Very successful and precise fighting. :)
  • Slow-mo moves are the perfect touch to finishing opponents. Or just being cool. :D
  • Opponents do put up a precise amount of challenges. :)
  • Lots of range in the styles of opponents. (you don’t face the same style of person every time…unless they get harder.) :D
  • Helpful, but short, tutorial. :)
  • Impressive move lists. :D
  • Very short time to wait for the game to come up. :D

THE BAD

  • Only single-player; impossible to brawl against your friends. ;(
  • No free play, or free-fight, or whatever. You’re always in the competition, even if you want to take it easy. ;(
  • Even on easy, the challenge gets a little too hard. Only the master of the universe comes out alive on Pro. :(
  • Not much is known about the game’s background. :/

The game’s one of Addicting Games’ darlings, and that is a fact, but the game simply does not live up to the perfect expectations. Nobody’s perfect, and same rule for games. But Electric Man 2 would’ve gotten more hits than “David after the Dentist” if it could’ve mended the holes it made.

Gameplay (do the controls turn out nifty?): A (5 points)

Entertainment (will the game keep you glued to your seat?): A- (4 points)

Smarts (does it know where it’s going, in terms of intelligence?): B+ (3 points)

AI (are the opponents perfect, just right, or plain cheap?): B (3 points)

Style (does the game amount to eye candy?): A- (4 points)

Final score: 19 out of 25

Recommendation: 4 out of 5 (near-perfect chance)

- Positive messages – Actually, there is one message that usual players don’t even think about learning: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

- Good role models – You do stand-up? Because you’re making me blow an intestine…That wasn’t funny? Anyways, there’s probably only one role model in this game, and that’s Electric Man; every girl’s dream soul mate, a guy who can stand up for himself even if he has to fist-fly, a guy who always keeps brawling for more in the end, and one that stands up after defeat (that is Sagat‘s idea of a strong fighter).

- Violence – Oh, come on! It’s a fighting game; that’s what violence was built for! Sure you’re expecting why I didn’t give it five bombs out of five. The only reason I took one off is that the violence was…well, violent, but it wasn’t actually, in a way, bloody.

————————-

I recommend this game to anyone who wants a good fighting game to spend their day with. Apparently, words with links in them are the new hot stuff; URLs are for chumps. So go here, here, or if you’re extra-picky today, here, to play the game. Can you beat the boss and become the new champion? Or will the only person getting beat is you, into coleslaw like you knead your dough?

Happy fighting.

————————–

So you have determined your strength and returned to your base. Now to answer some questions…

Now, the only thing you have to do is check back for more Game n Votes right here on Sammwak, as well as the other things I put up here!

Sincerely yours,

Sam

The Top 5 Biggest Game Companies PROMO


Hey guys, it’s Sam with a major announcement! Have you spent your life battling between two games? Is your life doomed to be defied picking one game over the other? (Mortal Kombat 9 or Portal 2? We can never decide…) Worry no more! The upcoming posts about the top five biggest game companies are headed to Sammwak! Get some history behind your favorite companies and their top games, some feedback to know what games are worth it. So starting the Monday after this week’s Monday, come on down to Sammwak to find out…

I put these pictures in because I felt like it. I'm not spoiling it. I promise.

So starting August the 8th, find out which company’s hot, and which others are a hot mess! Be there or be a hot mess!

- Sam

Game n Vote – Thrills and Chills


Hey it’s Sam, and when gaming and voting collide, we have another fresh-off-the-grill Game n Vote to kick off the beginning of August! :D Another one from Flapjack (click here if you missed the first), this game takes the water and freezes it into a winter wonderland in today’s harbor adventure, Thrills and Chills.

The title screen has to be the most enticing aspect of the game itself.

If you thought Adventure Bound was a ridiculous concept, you ain’t seen nothing yet! It has to be the easiest, most tedious, and most nettlesome* game I’ve ever played. (*nettlesome = annoying) Do you know how hard it was to compensate to that pestiferous theme song while making this post alone?

THE STORYLINE

Flapjack has found a new winter adventure: Flipping and flying all over Stormalong Harbor!…Yes, that’s it.

THE CONCEPT

You have to make Flapjack do flips on a piece of wood as the snowy, woody ground slopes down, curves up, and makes gaps to trick over…or fall into, which is A) hilarious, and B) what that little kid deserves. If this is the future of Tony Hawk games, then I’ll never buy another Activision product again.

Flapjack flips out!

THE PRESENTATION

The game has an interface with ‘PLAY’ carved into the snow (what.), and some wintery music playing in the background. But all the game breaks down to is: Jump, make a trick. Jump, make another trick. Jump, bail face-first. Rinse and repeat. There’s no collection of levels to progress onto; it’s just one undersized level that you have the power to begin, but you don’t know when it ends. There’s not even any other characters, or better boards. It’s just Flapjack and a lousy piece of wood. Would you want to play that for a half hour?

THE GAMEPLAY

This is another Flapjack game where the mouse is a main component. With your cursor in play, you click to crouch, and release to jump. Airborne, you click to do flips for speed and extra time. There’s pretty much nothing beyond that. So, it’s kind of a letdown. I guess I’ll have to say it now: SON, I AM DISAPPOINT. It’s easier than peeling a banana, but as tedious as the latest Harry Potter game. Maybe even more.

The easiest controls in the world, in a nutshell.

THE PLUSSES

You’re probably wondering, “Sam, why are there even any plusses?” And, my friend, it’s because I SAID SO. (The nicer way to translate it is, “Because there simply are plusses.”)

  • :) At least the controls are easy to learn.
  • :) When you pick up speed, it gets more “thrilling” than usual.
  • :) At least the Flapjack model looks good.

THE MINUSES

Oh, here we go…

  • :( The game has the most annoying theme song ever. (Adventure Bound, you’ve been dethroned.) And when it ends, it loops right back into the beginning.
  • :( You’re more likely to bail than to boost, and did I mention the time spent bailing clocks in at 3 SECONDS?!?!
  • :( You don’t know when the level will end. You could be preparing for an epic trick, but then Flapjack bails off board himself and begins dancing, which marks the end of the thrills and chills.
  • :( Did I mention that you can’t play again? No, literally. You try to hit ‘PLAY AGAIN’, and the game is unresponsive. Ignorant.
  • :( You’re doomed for a face full of snow when you wind back on the tip of your board? >:( It’s like doing a manual, and those always work!!!
  • :( No voice acting. None at all. No “whees”, no hysterical laughter, no “oofs” in mid-bail? That’s another slab of perfectly good character stripped away.
  • :( The worst sound effects ever in a game. When you bail, it sounds like a car horn mixed with a swung golf club.
  • :( The most tedious and repetitive Flapjack game I’ve ever played. (Adventure Bound, you just got dethroned again!)

You call this rewarding? I call it punishment.

THE VERDICT

For a frosty frolic, Thrills and Chills is not your ideal game with tedious gameplay, an annoying theme song, and bad sound effects. But for all who are desperate for something wintery, you could give it a try…but don’t come to me looking all disappointed and say, “Sam told me to.” This game gets a “fair” 6.0 out of 10. Or, as IGN would do it…

Awesome? I know, I know. If you enjoy this post, and you are a WordPress blogger, than please like me, and to any of you out there who don’t even know what WordPress is, please subscribe to me. And thus concludes another Game n Vote! Check back for more in the weeks to come, and remember: What you think isn’t really is even though it seems it isn’t but it really is what it is. Isn’t it?

- Sam

 

Game n Vote – Adventure Bound


Hey guys it’s Sam, and it’s been long since we’ve had a personal time to game and vote. Well, here we are, and this game is yet again, from Cartoon Network. But this one’s not from Adventure Time; it’s from Flapjack. I know that show hasn’t been around since the late summer of 2010, where it was cancelled but ended. This game is an adventure at sea, and it’s real adventure bound…that’s why it’s called Adventure Bound.

Flapjack scores some precious loot in-game.

It’s a good thing that the games of forgotten Cartoon Network shows are still around, because I’d never find this game without them. And for a sailor’s venturing, it’s actually pretty fun. The concept may be freaking ridiculous, but at least there are some solid sound effects to captivate those moments.

THE STORYLINE

It’s actually just that Flapjack and K’nuckles want to find treasure in the sky, only what the bravest, most adventurous adventurers would do. No, seriously that’s what Captain K said himself.

K'nuckles explains the storyline.

THE CONCEPT

This is the concept which I said was “freaking ridiculous”: You control Bubbie the whale (with Flapjack and Captain inside), and click to send one adventurer in the sky through her spout, and it’s your job to catch them before they bounce into the sea. And don’t forget them precious chains/combos. Pretty ludicrous, huh?

THE PRESENTATION

Adventure Bound has a sleek user interface with that sailor feel, such as seaside sounds of anchors and birds, but the noise is too much when you just want to hit play. However, the venturing gets old, and there’s little variation from one level to the next. And it actually takes more time than expected to recover a player overboard.

GAMEPLAY

The gameplay is so easy, a caveman could…play it. (Geico sue deflect!) It just consists of moving your mouse to control Bubbie, and click to send a player into the air. A little too easy, but I have to say, the gameplay does come out clean. It has good interest rate attractions, the situations remind you of the show, and it’s actually easier than you think.

THE PLUSSES

  • :) The interface is well-crafted.
  • :) The gameplay is easy to learn for beginners.
  • :) Good environments to fess up for corked visuals.
  • :) Controls have great, if not perfect, outcomes.
  • :) Yes, there are badges, which equal goals to strive for.

THE MINUSES

But here’s the thing…

  •  :( There’s no pausing, let alone getting out. Is it Super Smash Flash 2 again?
  • :( The main levels are awfully easy, even at level 5 or higher. And the amount of coins there is in environments like bubbles and seagulls might be near to impossible to catch without losing a matey.

IS THAT POSSIBLE?!?!

  • :( No one talks. No one at all (excluding the horrific voice acting). No hysterical laughter, no “Whees”, not even any startled cries falling overboard?
  • :( You send out adventurers at random. You don’t know what to expect. It’s not like Tetris, where you can know what block is next, and hold it or anything.
  • :( At the bottom right, you’ll see your progress bar. (That’s what I call it.) It has Bubbie on it (you), and it swims as you swim to track your progress. However, it can swim off the bar and off screen….
  • :( Speaking of the bonus game, it starts out easy, but it gets punishingly hard. You have to click faster than a running gazelle. That’s why the “Get x8 in the Bonus Game” is impossible to get.
  • :( The voice acting is abominable. Flapjack and K’nuckles alike both sound like screaming men.
  • :( Not a completely reasonable storyline.
  • :( Awfully repetitive.
  • :( The most annoying game music I’ve ever heard, even if it does fit the situation.
  • :( During the main level, if you see the first photo I uploaded, Flapjack looks awfully sketchy. And then it always pretends like nothing happened with…

Even if you fall overboard five times, it's still the best adventure ever.

The whole bonus game, in one picture.

THE VERDICT

Adventure Bound isn’t the best Flapjack game out there, as it gets quite old, and quite tedious, quite fast, but for beginning Flapjack gamers, with its enticing controls and down-to-earth environments, what more could you ask for? My final score is a “good” 7.5 out of 10. Or, as IGN would do it..

Pretty impressive, huh? Anyways, you can check out Adventure Bound yourself by following the rainbow…just kidding, just follow this link. Happy spouting!

———————

Back after a long day at sea? Time to vote!

Check back for more rip-snooting good times with the ultimate gaming-and-voting fusion! This is Sammwak, and remember: Don’t do drugs, sleep with a turtle, dance with a grasshopper, and play with an ant.

- Sam

PWN S0M3 N00B$!: Kinect Adventures


Hey guys it’s Sam, and sorry about the long hiatus. Luckily, I have a new treat within a new segment for video games, called Pwn Some Noobs (or, for stylization, PWN SOM3 N00B$!), as a substitute for Gamecritic. You know there are a lot of Game Critics around Google? Today, we’ll take a deep look at one game that you can’t not know. It was the first game for the Xbox 360′s Kinect, back in November 2010. Unveiled at the 2010 E3,  today’s token is the adventurous Kinect Adventures. It’s not the Kinect’s instant killer app, but is it worth the hassle? Let’s find out.

Revving it up in Rallyball!

Kinect Adventures was the Microsoft Studios-Good Science team’s treat for a good kickoff for a new contraption. It was actually featured with every Kinect bought, a “pack-in game”, you might call it. There’s only five mini games, but lots of modes to choose from. Players could take it easy with Free Play, or they could fight for rewards in Adventure Mode, winning achievements and completing journeys. I didn’t had much interest of this game at first, but then I jumped into Adventure Mode. My eyes were opened, and it is now one of my most-played X360 games. The environments are vivid and breathtaking, the sensor does a jolly good job of motion tracking, and the rewards are definitely enough bangs for your buck. Oh, and don’t forget that sleek interface. And don’t get me wrong, it got fairly positive critical feedback. There’s even a solid storyline to keep everything afloat. And it sold a mind-blowing 10 million copies with the Kinect, which ranks as the second-highest sale, behind Call of Duty: Black Ops. Here are the parts where it got a little bumpy.

————————–

- Even at Advanced, excluding time challenges, Adventure Mode is super easy. Not only does it hand successes to you like it’s nobody’s business, but you also have lots of living statues to record.

- Gaming is repetitive with only five mini games: River Rush, where you use your motion to steer down river rapids, Reflex Ridge, where you jump, duck, and dodge your way through an obstacle course, Space Pop, where you use flight and hovering to pop bubbles, 20,000 Leaks, where you use your body to fix leaks started by fish, and Rallyball, where you scramble about sending balls flying into blocks and targets.. Even if they take place at different destinations, it’s still the same thing over and over again.

- Show Off & Share photos bear cheesy, embarrassing captions, like “Superhero Moment”, “Oo! Oo! Call On Me!”, and “Surf the Floor”.

-  Space Pop is punishingly hard if you don’t read the directions. Take it from me, as I was absolutely clueless upon what to do. Despite the fact that I ended up collecting 196 pins…go figure.

- The game has an annoying way of telling you you’re in the wrong place. In the top left corner, a huge pop-up will pop up and indicate where you are in your space! Not only is that annoying, but it’s super annoying!

- Games get real old, real fast. Even critics will tell you the exact same thing.

————-

CRITICS CALL

The game walked away with lots of sixes and sevens, and churning out only one eight. GameSpot gave the game a 7.0, saying: “This motion-based minigame collection is inconsistent, but it gives you a good excuse to start leaping and scrambling around with your new Kinect.” The game got a critic score of 6.6, while users bumped up their own score to a 7.3. Metacritic coughed up a 61 out of 100 for Kinect Adventures, and 1UP.com with a B at 80/100. G4′s X-Play gave the game 4 out of 5 stars overall.

FINALE

Kinect Adventures rallies up a 7 out of 10, a 7.0 out of 10, and a 72 out of 100. If you get the Kinect, please get some other game, because this game gets old and won’t have the interest rate to last you more than 2 hours. Capiche? Oh, and you know what else doesn’t have the interest rate to last you more than 2 hours? Today’s question, which comes from a user named FickDBanana…Fick again? Anyways, he said: “If you could start your own cereal business, what would you name your first cereal?” You heard the bananabrain! What would you name your own cereal?…This should be good. Leave your creative answers in my comment section, or via email.

This is Sam on Sammwak, and see you next Friday where we get to, again, PWN SOM3 N00B$!

Yours truly,

Sam