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.
(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!
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. ;)
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.)
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 :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.
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 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?
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…
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!