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.
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.
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.
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 😀
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.
Hey guys it’s Sam, and it’s time for our first-ever episode of gaming news! I know, gaming new’s been a part of Sammwak’s lore for a long time. Actually, one of the first posts on Sammwak was about Left 4 Dead. But it’s time to take that knowledge to a whole ‘notha [level]. And that’s what our segment 1st Person is for; all the news that’s fit to–no, um, it’s the largest source for–no, that’s GameSpot’s slogan. Um, while I think of a catchphrase, how about we get to our first game and find out the first piece of news in our series premiere.
There are a lot of games out there for the Xbox Live Arcade, open since the Christmas month of 2004. Through its eight years of existence, some really good and bad XBLA titles have come to be. Some good examples include the ‘Splosion Man duo, Limbo, and Super Meat Boy. Some bad examples include Zombie Wranglers, Tour de France 2009, and Blazing Birds. And another bad example might include the recently released title Warp, the second “XBLA House Party” released for the XBLA, PS3, and PC. In this game, you control an inhuman character named Zero, who seemingly looks like he was a rejected de Blob sidekick. Zero is taken to a military-grade facility, where he fades in and out of consciousness and at one point awakens to find that he is being operated on, having a disc-shaped object extracted from him. Soon after, through telepathic procedures, a fellow alien contacts our hero, saying that it can sense other aliens in the facility and planning the duo’s great escape. Zero then proceeds to fulfill his title as a facility escapee under your control, helping any aliens on the way, but not before reabsorbing that disc. It may seem kinda cute, but this game fulfills its M-rated properties: Warp seems like the perfect name for this game, not only manifesting our hero’s eponymous attack (where he warps through walls and even through people & objects), but also of the game’s oddly balanced warp between violence and cuteness.
A hybrid between stealth, action, and puzzle, Warp is one of two currently-released titles from the Canadian indie developer Trapdoor Inc., the other being Fez for the rarely-known PlayStation-esque NES hardware clone, the PolyStation. Considering Trapdoor has clearly not had much taste in the more popular gaming culture, can Warp be their first success?…Well, kind of. GameSpot’s Jeremiah Johnson said that although the game had merits (enjoyable puzzles, charming balance of gore and cuteness, superb visuals, tough leaderboard challenge rooms), it also had its flaws, like clunky controls and some trial-and-error puzzles. On high, he said that it was an “entertaining top-down puzzler” that was still, however, weighed down. He gave the game a 6.5/10, which ranks as “fair” on the meter, an above-average level. Users were slightly more positive, upping the ranks to 7.2. IGN’s Daemon Hatfield was a lot more positive for the game, however. He called it “brainy and amusing”, and despite some hiccups around the final half of the game, he highly recommended it as a “rich, satisfying adventure.” He gave it an 8.5/10, which is not only “great” on the meter, but also received an Editor’s Choice award. So, yeah. IGN really likes this game. Joystiq gave it a 3/5-star score, saying that it wasn’t particularly memorable, and didn’t quite create an identity for itself, and pulled the inspiration from the many corners of gaming’s landscape, and for that reason, Warp got degraded a bit more. Game Informer gave the game a 6.75/10 score, saying that it was “promising at first, but it becomes more tedious as it progresses”. They said the simple factors of the game weren’t enough to make a standout in the Arcade, and that anyone looking to go deeper should choose a different game. Overall, Warp overall may have fatal flaws that push it back, but it does have its moments. Approach the game with caution.
It’s Manhattan. A viral plague called Blacklight is spreading. The infected become grotesque behemoths on uncontrollable manhunts for the uninfected. You’re an amnesiac mutant, enabled with the power of shape-shifting and absorbing others (known as “consuming”), as well as tremendous power that even allows you to climb up buildings effortlessly. What kind of person are you? You are Alex Mercer, the star of Radical Ent.’s hit of summer 2009, Prototype. Despite its gameplay similarities to other games, it was a critical and commercial success, having enough sales to be inflicted into the Xbox’s Hall of Platinum Hits. And, of course, after that there needed to be a second phase. And so that’s where Prototype 2 comes in, the super-heroic sci-fi sequel. In this game, a man named James Heller goes out to fulfill his goal of eradicating Blacklight, but also plans to terminate a person whom he believes is responsible for the death of his family in the virus outbreak: none other than Alex himself. James practically shares the exact same powers as Alex, although shape-shifting and consumption has become more tactical. Like, if James consumes a soldier, people’s reactions will show they want nothing to do with him. To prevent enemy overwhelm, Radical has included more down-to-earth AI, as well as weapon use, like fending off using a freshly-ripped tank cannon.
Prototype 2, in my eyes, looks like a good game. But is it?…Somewhat yes. IGN’s Greg Miller quoted that the said game “[had] no impact”, and despite the factors of the game, nothing really meant anything to Miller. He said he doubted he’d remember the game’s “sterile side missions and curse word-laden dialogue”, and he came to the conclusion that Prototype 2 was a case of “forgettable fun”. He gave the game a 7/10, which is only “good”. At GameSpot, editor Tom Mc Shea praised the game’s empowering mechanics of movement, huge variety of attacks, experimenting incentives, and fun-to-find collectibles. But he also criticized the game’s practical lack of challenge, and also that it contained little that hasn’t been seen before in the series. He said that these “sporadic missteps” where however covered up by its “brutal delights”, and wrapped up his review with a 7.5/10 score. Another “good”. Joystiq handed out another 3/5-star review, saying that people would have different emotions for the game, as much as you liked its mobility and brands of mass destruction, and how much you can forgive more brain-dead moments like repetition and witless dialogue. Even Destructoid gave the game an 8/10! So, overall, this sequel looks like a good pick to add to your library, but discerning gamers beware.
“In Assassin’s Creed we set up a timeline with this whole end of the world plot in December 2012… That’s fast approaching, and the story we have to tell, we obviously need to do it before we arrive at that point. It would be stupid of us to be centering a game on a semi-reality and then have that conclusion happen after that date in real life…” – Alexandre Amacio, Revelations creative director
Never has Ubisoft attempted such a game that I’ve known of. This is one of the biggest twists in the company’s history. But indeed, their award-winning saga Assassin’s Creed is going back, way back, to the era the thirteen original colonies called “the good ole days”. In other words, Assassin’s Creed is going to the American Revolution with its newest upcoming title, Assassin’s Creed III. This open-world stealthy action-adventure is said by Ubisoft to be bigger than any other installment (no chiz), and it will feature a new character (much like in Prototype 2) named Connor Kenway, whose birth name is Ratohnhaké:ton, which is pronounced (ra-tohn-ha-ke-ton). Spanning 3 decades of Connor’s life from 1753-’83, the war between the Assassins and Templers has moved to the colonial Americas. Connor is a half-English half-Mohawk man drawn into the fight when his home undergoes attack by white colonists. Over the course of the game, it being an art of long-long-ago historical fiction, you’ll run into famous faces of the past like Ben Franklin, presidents Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, Charles Lee, William Prescott, among even others. Work on this game began almost automatically after the primetime release of Assassin’s Creed II, but the following year when Ubisoft first revealed Brotherhood, confusion occurred as to whether or not this was the real deal. Well, luckily, now they know, and now you know to mark your calendar for this game’s release on October 30 in North America, Halloween 2012 for the PAL region.
This game was the cover story of this month’s issue for Game Informer (keep an eye out for the exclusive second issue cover), and it has already exceeded the pre-order numbers of its two previous predecessors, surpassing Brotherhood and achieving numbers 10 times of that Revelations received in a comparable time frame. So, yeah, people really want this game. Attorney/planter/politician Patrick Henry once said in 1775 in his famous speech, “Give me liberty, or give me death!” The rest of Ubisoft says, “Why don’t we just go and give them both?”
You can tell by this picture that Microsoft’s M-rated Arcade title Bloodforge is a very violent game. Well, you don’t say? The game has “blood” in its name, of course it’s violent! Anyway, there’s this guy named Crom, and he’s, y’know, a little miffed. Okay, a lotta miffed. He has murdered his own family, tricked into the act of the god Arawn, and he wants revenge. It’s a familiar setup, by the looks of it, because there’s that one mad guy who charted a brutally satisfying course to get revenge against the gods. Hint: It wasn’t Percy Jackson. And, of course, Crom’s quest to gain his right is a bloodstained one, especially gorier than your average hack-and-slash. And please do like this post if I’m not the only one whom is greatly reminded of Skyrim and Ninja Gaiden 3 whilst looking at screenshots for this game. This game honestly looks like it had mixed emotions, depending on the type of player. Some people praised this game, saying that it was worth every penny–or, in this case, Microsoft Point–while others think that, um, well, there were only 3 player reviews on GameSpot for this game and they were all positive. Are they right in the editor’s eyes?…
Nope. Carolyn Petit, an experienced GameSpot enthusiast in both reading and editing, said that despite some grotesque character designs, the game had tedious combat, terrible boss battles, a generally underdeveloped world, a distractedly unstable camera, and a number of tech problems of minor level. She gave the game 4 merits overall: Brutal (the good), Shallow, Bad Camera, and Derivative (the bad). Petit wrapped up her review with a 3/10 score, a “bad” on the scale. After this cold review, Bloodforge found no luck at IGN, either. Steven Hopper, a level-four editor, praised the game’s visuals and graphics, but criticism got the better of him for numerous reasons: an awful camera, a shallow story, derivative gameplay, and bringing nothing unique and/or innovative to the table to yak up. Hopper said that the game was a bad competitor against series like God of War or Darksiders, and considering the Arcade’s other chockful of prime experiences, it was hard to recommend Bloodforge to anyone, anywhere, anywho. He gave the game a 4/10 score, another “bad” on the meter. Joystiq handed out yet another 3/5-star score, saying that it would be more difficult to confront as a full-priced standalone, and that its action would be tiresome lasting any longer than its campaign, clocking in at a rough five hours’ worth. Attempt to play this game as thoughtfully as Microsoft developed it, you’ll come out disappointed. Attempt to play it whilst accepting it as a button-masher, and you’ll come out guiltily pleased. So overall, Bloodforge might offer a small portion, but all-around, it looks like you should skip this opportunity.
Well, that’s our news for this week! Thanks for watching, and if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got an anger management class to attend, if you know what I mean. Th-that was a funny joke, right? Oh, if you haven’t already, go check out my friend Maggie at nuthatchlover.wordpress.com. If you like looking at cute pictures and seeing what’s been on the Pinterestboard lately, this is the place to be. If you have a license to Pin, you can also follow Big Mag (see what I did there? ) on Pinterest and see what she’s been further Pinning. And this goes for the both of us—comment, like, rate, subscribe, reblog, follow, and stay tuned for more! (Also feel free to check me out at Google+ @ Samuel Mwak‘s page!)
p.s. Time for our Would You Rather o’ the Week! Would you rather…eat bacon with everything you eat ever, ever, ever, ever again, or would you eat pizza with everything you eat ever, ever, ever, ever again?
p.p.s. Time for our Random Video o’ the Week! This week goes to “Dubstep Puffle“, a video from the official channel for Club Penguin, consisting of a dark gray pet Puffle wearing a pair of headphones, listening to dubstep, while in numerous situations, like living memes and riding inside a box in space that is farting out a rainbow. At the end of the video, you can snag a secret code to get your Puffle their own set of headphones, although I’m not sure it’s gonna be dubstep they’ll be listening to. Anyway, since its debut on the 5th this month, it’s gotten almost 400,000 views, but with you I can bet cold hard fake cash it’s gonna go longer.
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.
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!
“A bit” harder than last time
Very nostalgic music
Wizard Powers are normally very useful.
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.
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!
Very fun and entertaining
Kills time very quickly
Upgrades and power-ups are definitely worth the big air
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.
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!
Samuel M. – promoting the cure to boredom since 2010
Hey guys it’s Sam, and if there’s one thing I report myself doing, it’s to play video games. I review video games. I recommend video games. I rant over video games. I get a couple new video games all the time. And today, we’re taking it to the course of boxing gloves and rubber balls known as ABC’s Wipeout. The slapstick violent comedic competition was so famed, it not only got several KCA nominations, but it got a hand with Activision to make Wipeout: The Game in 2010 alongside the season 3 premiere, currently for the Wii, DS, and DSi. The game then got a following brother in summer 2011, now gracing the Kinect motion controls in Wipeout: In The Zone. And when you think it’s the end of the line, it’s just begun. Because just tomorrow, yet another Wipeout-licensed game is flopping into stores tomorrow…Wipeout 2.
Name: Wipeout 2/Wipeout II
Releasing: October 11, 2011
Announced: August 18, 2011
Publisher/Developer: Activision (Activision Blizzard?)/Endemol
Rating: E10+ for mild cartoon violence (and possibly an extra comic mischief, as of the DS version)
Sequel to: Wipeout: The Game, the first of the trio. Surprising, isn’t it?
Difference from original: The player will navigate the same ragdoll-esque contestant from In The Zone, but through environments of more snowy and icy obstacles. Looks like someone’s preparing for the winter!
I don’t get it. Why is it called Wipeout 2 if it’s the third game in the series? Why not Wipeout 3? The truth is that despite its Kinect compatibility (compatible, not required), it is the partner of the original Wipeout-licensed 2010 game. But its Kinect controls aren’t limited to just the Xbox…turns out it’s available for the PS3 (via Move compatibility), the Wii, the DS, and even the 3DS! The game claims to have more than fifty whopping obstacles up its sleeve. The game is cut into eight whole episodes, each half being a different season (summer or winter). Then those episodes are broken into sections. The first is a race against speed, the second is an endurance challenge of survival, and the third is yet another speed race. GameSpot already has their share of previews, and the game is to be crafted and distributed in yet the same hands from last time. Is it going to be the biggest? Perhaps. Is it going to be the best? At over half of the price of summer’s game, it just might be.
So bounce on over to game retailers near you and get Wipeout 2 for just the predictably-assumed price of $50! But then again, GameStop almost always assigns that price. Go figure. Anyway, this is Sam again from Sammwak, telling you to have a great week!
Good night and big balls,
Hey guys it’s Sam, Tanzania’s typing terror, and if there’s one thing I do for a living, it’s read. Reading is the top support of my writing curriculum, let alone is it the most fun thing to do atop of it. Without books, I’d never have ideas for styling new comics. Speaking of books, guess who’s coming back to review another?…Yep, the jolly good bookie! Today’s book is the third of a companion series to Italy’s famed Geronimo Stilton…but it’s under Thea’s eyes now! Ladies and gentlemice, I present to you Thea Stilton and the Ghost of the Shipwreck.
The series beginning in April 2009 with The Dragon’s Code, this book follows the storyline that has been part of series lore for 2 years: Thea is Geronimo’s brother, and his polar opposite: when Geronimo is such a ‘fraidy mouse, Thea loves embarking on adventures across the globe! The story begins at Mouseford Academy, Thea’s school when she was young. She had a such a good time there that she returned to teach a journalism class. In this era, she met 5 special students: Nicky, Pamela, Colette, Paulina, and Violet. They all became great friends faster than a Cheez-It. They even named their group after Thea, and since, they have been known as the Thea Sisters. Isn’t that cute?
This following installment to The Mountain of Fire follows the Sisters to the discovery of a mysterious shipwreck off Whale Island during a marine biology lesson. Legend has it a diamond of all sorts of rarities called Jasmine’s Heart was aboard the ship when it sank. But that’s just the start. Professor van Kraken, biology teacher, vanishes, and the five must find him and the priceless jewel. And when they think it’s all over, they get an invitation to China for yet another lost treasure hunt! To make a long story short: someone must really like Clash of the Titans.
So the series’ first-ever double feature does follow the “villain is the least expected” format from a lot of books, but it garners what I call that Geronimo touch, rebalancing all the writing, illustration, and perspective to their most colorful. And Ghost of the Shipwreck isn’t half bad for a Geronimo-like book. I don’t even believe I have any flawing points to chew this book out for!
3 out of 5 – Educational value – Each mouse originates from a real-life country. Nicky is Australian, Colette is French, Paulina is Peruvian, Violet is Chinese, and Pamela (best for last!) is Tanzanian! And you may think all they do is sit around filing their nails, but actual facts come from the different places they trek into, such as learning undersea facts, and not just a taste, but a mouthful of Chinese culture.
2 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – The Sisters do find a way out of aspects of trouble, and almost always find a way out of any bad situation. These are what people call “superthinkers”, the people that can rely on their mind to find a way to save their life.
5 out of 5 – Ease of read – Ghost of the Shipwreck is obviously a book all ages can enjoy. It doesn’t show any severe signs of violence whatsoever, it’s funny, informational, and the ultimate friendship. Amongst setting the blog record of scoring a perfect 5!
Entertainment: A+ (5 points)
Fun: A+ (5 points)
Smarts: A (4 points)
Style: A+ (5 points)
Read-Again Ratio: A+ (5 points)
Humor: A (5 points)
Final score: 29 out of 30 (EVEN CLOSER!), 5 stars out of 5
CONSENSUS: Ghost of the Shipwreck must be read, because it’s a perfect mix of every emotion rolled up into one, plus it’s peppered with undersea and Chinese-cultural facts that always keep the book going. If there’s a chart of 2010’s top 10 books, #3, #2, and #1 would all be Ghost of the Shipwreck.
FUN FACTS, GOOFS, AND OTHER SILLY STUFF: On page 108, when Madame Hu is trying to get her paws on a lacquer box, Colette says, “Paws off, cheddarface!”, which is coincidentally the name of Geronimo’s sixth book. Also, on the cover, you see that Colette (the blonde at the bottom) has a blue scuba wetsuit. But in the book, it is pink. I feel so guilty taking off that point for Smarts.
PRICE: Interested in getting the book? Swim over to Amazon and get it for 8 dollars (plus the new and used prices of $4.00 and 30 cents), or scurry over to Barnes & Noble for the same big price, but save 75% getting the marketplace version of just $2.
RENT, BUY, OR SKIP?: Brother, you shouldn’t even be asking that question after all this. YES, OF COURSE BUY! I’ve no doubt that this needn’t be skipped, or my name is not Sammwak!
So if you haven’t had the chance to read this series, don’t wait any longer! Go to the library, get one of their books, and embark alongside their adventures!
p.s. If there’s one thing I have a habit of doing, it’s starting new blogs. After several failed experiments like Gamers United League, Sammwak en Espanol, and vice versa, I have settled on my legitimate companion blog…2Sam2Mwak! Named after Potter Puppet Pals creator Neil Cicierega’s 2nd channel (2Neil2Cicierega), and honoring several famous YouTubers’ second channels (freddiew2 and finebros2, for instance), I’ll have even more juice that goes more behind-the-scenes than ever before! Stay tuned for the world premiere of 2Sam2Mwak on October 28, the nearest I could ever get to the Halloween special without intersecting into it!
Hey guys, it’s Sam again. Yes, it is the start of July today, a very patriotic month on the face of the country! And not only is July the month of America and independence, it’s also the month of everything Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. Everyone’s waiting for the big finale of the worldwide phenomenon, where it all ends. Not only is the epic fantasy itself releasing on July 15…
But its accompanying video game (again, by EA) and soundtrack (again, composed by the French film composer Alexandre Desplat) are releasing the same month…surprisingly, the same day on July 12, just three days before the big opening. The game has received a rating of E10+ for fantasy violence, or, if you’re talking about the Nintendo DS version, mild fantasy violence.
Harry Potter and the Death…eh, you can read, you know what’s it called. This game continues Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s search to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes that gave Lord Voldemort immortality, and it all leads up to Harry and Voldemort’s final battle, sort of like the final Transformers. Still a third-person action adventure, this game isn’t entirely just a carbon copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, to address complaints from Part 1. The game will use cut-scenes to progress linearly, but without side missions like Part 1. This game’s combat involves button pressing which casts spells as attacks. Three face buttons, usually with either a symbol or a letter, and the second spell of a button can be activated if pressed twice. And if you’ve seen past movies, you’ve heard of Apparition. As a use of defense teleporting in and out of battle, Apparating is now a part of Part 2. With an over-the-shoulder view, you can control several characters including Harry, Ron, Hermione, Professor McGonagall, Neville, Ginny, and more.
HP7 Part 2 (that felt a lot better :D), the soundtrack to the movie of the same name, is composed, as I said, by the returning Alexandre Desplat (responsible for music for movies like Fantastic Mr. Fox, Twilight: New Moon, and The King’s Speech). The release date was announced by Amazon on 7/12/2011. Speaking of Amazon, they’re allowing pre-orders of the soundtrack, priced at just $12! 😉 Warner Bros.’s website confirmed Alexandre’s return to compose Part 2. Desplat himself said scoring was a “great challenge” and that he has “a lot of expectations to fulfill” ahead of him. The soundtrack composes of twenty-five songs, from “Lily’s Theme” to “A New Beginning”. The longest song is “Severus and Lily” at 6 minutes. “The Tunnel”, at almost 1:10, ranks as the shortest.
So, do you know what you’re going to be casting…er, craving…this July? 😀 😉
Later, from Sammwak. And now, I shall Apparate away! d(^_^)b