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.
It’s been a long time since an online game as addictive & immersive as Glitch reared its angelic head. But now, finally, another one of those games has been shared with the public world, one just as beautiful, diverse, and fluid as Glitch, one that definitely builds upon its predecessor. The “threequel” of a wildly successful and silly online game saga, this game has taken its fancy-pant-wearing hero to newly epic proportions never seen before in his history. What’s all the hub-bub about? In this gripping episode, you’re going to find out.
If you remember one of my old posts back in 2010’s days, you’d remember the time when I excitedly blabbed about the announcement of the upcoming World 3 (or at least, all we have of it, the real release date is TBA) in the Fancy Pants Adventures trilogy, the obvious follower of World 2. I rambled on about its debuts of distinguishable toppings to the sundae, including swimming and water-related levels, the introduction of Fancy Pants Man’s sister and her cat, pencil combat, and lots more. Now, you can’t believe the excitement I had when right here, right now, the sneak peek, the closest we can get to World 3, has come, and it’s not just the most beautiful game in the trilogy. It’s one of the most breathtaking online games I’ve ever played, hands down, deal is done. If you think Super Mario Galaxy 2 was the best adventurer’s game you’ve played, wait till you see this.
Fancy Pants Man clearly proves that stunning visuals, marvelous gameplay, catchy tunes, and proficient, solid distinguishes really do add up for one of the best experiences you’ve seen. Enemies have a bit more smarts in the game now: the gun-wielding rat (or, as I like to call him, the “gunmouse” *ba dum CRASH*) can now aim his gun in different directions, a new miner headlight-bearing spider is smart enough to safely land on surfaces below him, blabbity blabbity bloo. I’ve been waiting a long time to tell you about my favorite part of this game: the swimming levels. Whether it’s for a task or just a visit to the wonderland of wetness, the swimming levels are by far the most beautiful aspects of the game, mixed with its equally beauteous music. I kept repeating quotes like “It’s so beautiful”, “I feel like I’m gonna cry”, or “(too sucked in to say much)” while I was swimming through the waters. You could also do lots of stuff like “surf” on the surface of the water, push off of undersea surfaces and fly gracefully into the water, and more. If this is how Michael Phelps practiced for the Olympics, it’s no surprise he’s a multi-gold-medalist. Definitely a game I’m proud to have on my Chrome homepage, and definitely one I’ll come back to and enjoy all over again.
1 out of 5 – Educational value – Your brain does get tested a bit in timed challenges, and maybe getting from place to place requires a bit of logic, but the game is mainly an entertainer, not an educator.
2 3/4 out of 5 – Positive messages – Fancy Pants Man has had a past of heroism, dueling against agitated penguins and bunnies, all for a good cause that some things are worth journeying and fighting for, like peace and love, or an ice cream cone. The new introduction of multiplayer on the consoles are definitely worth saying that “Four is better than two, let alone two being better than one.”
5 out of 5 – Ease of play – The controls are easy to grasp: left and right to move, down to duck, and S to jump. Jump onto a wall to begin wall-climbing, and with just enough momentum, speed, and time you might end up wall-jumping from building to building (Jump & direction to do so). These controls work well and are etched into the game appropriately.
3 1/2 out of 5 – Violence – There are rats that wield pistols that will attempt to shoot at Fancy Pants Man (but the fired “bullets” look more like balls of scribble), as well as spiders that will attempt to cause harm to our hero. FP Man can retaliate by jumping onto them, making them now able to kick, which is what he can also do to snails. When FP Man loses his health, he will fall to the ground, and his angelic soul will rise.
2 out of 5 – Product Placement – World 3 is the third of a very successful and popular online game trilogy called Fancy Pants Adventures made by Brad Borne (who also went on to make Mirror’s Edge 2D), and you can find the games pretty much anywhere from Armor Games to Newgrounds.
Whatever I just mentioned above.
Little to strive for means that you’re just running around for nothing.
Fun: A+ (5 pts)
Entertainment: A+ (5 pts)
Style: A+ (5 pts)
Smarts: A (4.5 pts)
Play-Again Ratio: A+ (5 pts)
Gameplay: A+ (5 pts)
FINAL SCORE: 29.5 out of 30 (you’ve gotta be kidding me), 5 stars out of 5, 94% out of 100%
CONSENSUS: A beautiful, fluid, and atmospheric entry into the series, the World 3 sneak peek is not just the most immersive, beautiful, and solid entry into the series; it’s simply one of the most breathtaking online games created.
Now, as the title says, we’re not finished quite yet. Fancy Pants Man may have embarked on a beauteous journey, but that doesn’t mean his minutes in heaven are over. Fancy Pants Man is going predictably where no online game hero has gone before; the PlayStation Network and the Xbox Live Arcade. It may not be World 3 (perhaps the origin of a devolution), but the console game will include a 2-4 player mode, pencil combat just as World 3 promised, and a fresh batch of new levels, as well as the ones from World 1 and 2. Similar to Limbo, the console version’s story will be about FP Man’s journey through pirates and pencils in order to save his pirate-kidnapped sister. There might also be, according to footage, a “king of the hill” mode in the game, and if you still don’t believe me, check out this trailer.
Now are you excited? The game is actually out as we speak, rated E for mild cartoon violence, and the full game costs a whopping price of 800 Microsoft points, while the trial is free, but not real. Almost 20,000 people have given it a 4-star rating on Xbox.com, and 600 people have taken the time to Like on Facebook. And remember the game’s catchy motto: “Run fast, run fancy.”
Subscribe, rate, like, com—oh, come on, do I really have to tell you what to do every time? This blog’s been alive for almost 2 years!
p.s. Giants or Patriots? The Super Bowl’s only two days away!
If you remember how Sammwak used to be last year, you might remember my post in May asking you to decide what was the best Xbox Live Arcade game (if it doesn’t ring a bell, click here): the creepy world of Limbo, the plant soiling of Plants vs. Zombies, the arcade aesthetics of Scott Pilgrim, the blood-red ruckus of Super Meat Boy, and the futuristic frenzies of Monday Night Combat. Almost twenty votes came in over those months, and I’ve decided that you’ve waited long enough for 8 months straight. These were the results of the nomination. And the nominees, one more time, were…
Limbo is a creepy puzzle-platformer that got released for the Marketplace last summer, and has been a huge success since. It takes place in an eerie black-and-white monochromatic atmosphere (which is how the game got recognized as a “video game of art” as well as a “trial of death”) heavily resembling an olden horror flick, where you are this unnamed boy searching for his sister. But that’s not the worst thing. You have to fend off against deadly obstacles like giant spiders, worms, and bear traps! And you cannot pass this game once without gruesomely dying your head off a couple times. Pretty fun, huh? It was often blamed for its abrupt ending and minimal storyline, but Limbo brushed that off with plenty of awards for Best Visual Art, Excellence In Visual Art, and categories like that. Can this scream its way over to the Top XBLA Game title?
Plants vs. Zombies got its grand start at the Arcade back in September at the crack of back-to-school. It is a creative and enjoyable tower defense-stylized action game that takes place at the biggest battlefield of all: your house. With only plants with superb abilities, you must defend your house from the waves of pure zombie ferocity coming at you in different styles, like the Conehead Zombie and even the Zombie Bobsled Team. It as well as its soundtrack got a positive reaction from critics and players, being picked by Gamezebo as one of the “Best Games of 2010.” The game also received an app for the iPhone and iPad. Can this game be the one to soil the path to the grand title?
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game had a close shave releasing to the XBLA almost at the start of September 2010, but it got a boost a few days before at the end of August and picked up its pace. The game is a side-scrolling beat em’ up based not only on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim graphic novel series, but tying in to the release of the 2010 movie of the same name. It picks up the 8-bit feel as you play as Scott, Ramona, Kim, or Stephen Stills, along with characters Nega-Scott as an unlockable and Knives Chau as DLC. The game’s storyline picks up from O’Malley’s classic: defeating Ramona’s seven evil exes. It also adds a touch as you can purchase items to replenish your health and boost stats, as well as the ability to revive knocked-out characters. The game received mixed to positive reviews, as critics complained of its lack of online co-op, visibility issues, and chaotic 3-player play. But can this game get the coins to win the XBLA title?
The successor, sequel, or adaptation of 2008′s flash game Meat Boy, Super Meat Boy takes it to the next level in October 2010. Actually, over 300 levels. As from the original game, the tiny, skinless, cube-shaped slab of meat we call Meat Boy must save his girlfriend, Band-Aid Girl, from the villainous and diabolical Dr. Fetus. But the quest isn’t just fun and games. Meat Boy’s quest is life-or-death, as he must overcome obstacles like sawblades, salt, etc. Having the required fine timing of series like Mega Man, this guy can run, jump, and stick to walls either to slide off them, jump off them, or as I liked to do, hop your way up them. The game also folds into warp zones and retro-styled bonus levels. Don’t forget to unlock “Teh Internets”! As acclaimed as the game is, can Meat Boy’s blood, sweat, and tears earn it the Top XBLA Game title?
Monday Night Combat is a downloadable third-person shooter from Uber Entertainment, represented as the futuristic Monday Night sport. Available for both the XBLA and Windows (supported by Steam), it pits you up as a Pro in either orange (Hotshot) or blue (Iceman). Its basis is almost like a tower-defense tradition–your job is, with your weapons, fending off against bots (Blitz Mode), opposing teammates, or even BOTH (Crossfire Mode) to destroy the opposing Moneyball (It’s a ball full of money. It’s so simple) while protecting your own. It’s also a good idea to construct turrets/towers in your base that automatically fire by themselves, and upgrade them with loose cash. The Assault is the main Soldier of the game shooting like there’s no tomorrow, while the Support likely resembles a Medic or an Engineer, healing teammates and bots, as well as hacking into built turrets. The Sniper is a good long-ranger with sneaky Flaks and surprising Traps. The Assassin has her own level, cloaking to invisible sights and attacking opposing teammates. And no one forgets the cash-bleeding mascot, Bullseye! Can all this with Mickey Cantor’s silly announcing have a successful fire at the grand title?
And the winner of the title of the B-E-S-T Xbox Live Arcade Game is…
Monday Night Combat! Snagging the lead with seven votes, MNC has literally grabbed the title and held it ever since the polls opened. With 43.75% of the votes for the taking, Monday Night Combat‘s not-so-hard work deserves to earn the award it rightly deserves! Ain’t it a beauty? You could cry just looking at it.
Oh, and the second place runner-up is…
…Limbo! Coming in second at an astonishing five votes, Limbo regardless has been noted as one of the top games of the 2010 year, so it might be a bit of a shocker for XBLA regulars that it fell behind. But as we all know, runner-ups still get awards!
Super Meat Boy covers the third-place title in red, mucky blood, and that’s a lot of what you’re going to shed as Meat Boy in his prime-cut adventure that will hand you your rump on a platter. This game got the bronze title at an astounding two votes, quite disappointing for a highly acclaimed game. No offense to Team Meat, the geniuses behind the game, but our fans just didn’t give your work of art a second thinking.
Scott Pilgrim and Plants vs. Zombies were both tied at one vote. Ouch. Anyway, comment, rate, like, share, and stay tuned for more Sammwak-y goodness! Also, my question of the week for you…if “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” says “he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake”, is Santa just a jolly old stalker? Comment below! And thanks for subscribing: I bet you’ll be first place in every top 5!
#1 bestselling game for the Kinect? Who gives a fudge muffin? “Kinect interprets all your moves”? Epic lie. Oh, sorry, I didn’t see you there. Hey guys it’s Sam, and I’m about to review one of my Christmas presents that I received. One that’ll definitely put some sweat on your brow, one that’ll definitely teach you the rules of sporting, and one that you can crumple to the floor in seas of laughter with. Indeed, it is Kinect Sports, a game as smashing as its spikes in volleyball.
One of the two Kinect games released exactly on the debuting date of its console (the other being the pack-in Kinect Adventures), Kinect Sports has a simple 3-million-unit selling plot: you engage in six sports: track & field (shown above in the hurdling quarter of the sport), bowling, boxing, ping pong (titled in-game as table tennis), soccer, and beach volleyball under the sun. The controls differ depending on the sport, like for instance you can swing your arm back and forward to bowl a ball, or you can constantly swipe your arm to return ping-pong shots. Displaying an impressive interface and a good sporting variety, not only is this game a blast, but it’s a hardcore exercise. Every time I play this game and feel my forehead, it’s sopping wet. At the very start of the game, you also get a chance to stay and warm up the crowd if you want. All the “best bits” or best moments of your sporting time will end up as a video compilation accessible for sharing online.
It’s nothing to worry about when you look over the E10+ rating of the game despite some pretty intense boxing, but it all breaks down in cartoony matters. If you can do the motion in real life, you can do it in the game. The controls are darn easy if not slightly unresponsive (and by slightly, I mean 35% of the time), and the way you can level up after winning a game is definitely something worth striving for, worth the time, achievements, and gamer points. If you’re not following me, I’ll review each and every sport.
Select a ball: Move arm out to the left or right (depending on your dominant hand)
Bowl a ball: Swing your arm back, then forward
Bowling has been praised as arguably the sport you’ll keep coming back to the most. Taking place at Neon Lanes, you will go up against either a real or CPU opponent bowler for 10 tries in one game. Nonetheless, the bowler with the most points at the end of the game wins hands-down. Bowling is somewhat the funniest sport there is, since there are abilities to break a hole into the alley (which will actually give you an achievement), and even toss the ball into the crowd by accident if you’re not ready. If you want to add some extra spin into your bowl, swing your arm out further during your bowl.
This is one of my favorite sports of the game. Why? The controls actually manage to regularly register, and it’s a good split against fun, humor, and strangely-felt nostalgia. Was I the only one who felt nostalgic playing a couple rounds? It was as nostalgic as this sport’s final rating, a 9.2 out of 10.
Serve ball: Throw the ball up, and use other hand to slam it into play
Spike: (Only possible during Jump indicator) Jump and slam ball
Defend: Use head, feet, or arms to block the ball
Ah, nothing like a piping hot session of NBA Jam-inspired beach volleyball under the sun. The game takes place at Waveside, where your avatar and teammate earn chances to be paparazzi magnets as well as your avatar getting the honor of picking up the volleyball. This is the sport with the most demerits, all blamed on the near-unresponsive controls. The second or third time around, this sport was impossible to complete, and I ended up losing about 2-7 (yes, 7 is the maximum before victory). I’m not saying the Rare-Microsoft team did a bad job of crafting the sport’s experience (although I deeply boo Rare for abandoning Nintendo and its plans), but all I’m saying is that the sport was a bit…well…off. There’s a lot of excitement in the sport with sweat streaming down your brow as you can finally admit that “the next point wins”, but the bits of nostalgia scattered in the sport like bacon on salad sets it up for a 8.3 score out of 10.
Serve ball: Similar to volleyball
Simple strike: Swing your arm from back to forward
Backhand strike: Swing your arm across yourself, and swipe it back
Pinging the pong has never been so entertaining in this game of table tennis. With simple, helpful controls, this game is an engaging, tense, and fun way to burn calories quick. The sport takes place at the Blade Center, where you walk into play with a screaming crowd supporting you, as you muster enough strength to shake hands with your opponent and warm up the crowd. There are two ways to fail in this sport: Miss a shot or shoot one off the table. Easy as that. The controls never bother to troll you by failing to respond, and the only times I got agitated were against my own reflexes. Just another tip: if you want to smash a hit off the table (hopefully), wait for the ball to trail white, wavy lines behind it. If your ball is in this state, then your next hit is ensured to be a smash. Similar to volleyball, you can also ace your opponent by scoring a point without the opponent even touching the ball. The maximum amount of points required for victory is 11, but when you know your pong-pinging, it’ll go by a lot quicker than it sounds. Nonetheless, ping-pong smashes itself into a 9.3 score out of 10.
Sprint: Run in place, with knees lifted
Throw discus/javelin: Swipe your arm
Jump hurdles: Jump in place (when hurdle becomes green)
Track and field may be the most sequenced and advertised of the sports, as well as one of the most unresponsive. You are pitted up against 7 CPU opponents, and there are four sequences: sprint, javelin, long jump, discus, and hurdles. What makes the game so challenging is yet again, its unresponsive controls. Your player might occasionally slow down on the track even when you’re lifting your knees as high as you can, and javelin and discus throws go a lot lower than what should be accepted. Set these “minor” issues aside, and track and field is nonetheless one of the most engaging sports of the roster. The nostalgia just kindles as soon as the FIFA-like announcers state a new record has aroused. Instant replays, possibly of “world” records, are the most entertaining of the entire bunch, featuring slow-mo shots of events while famed songs play in the background, such as the classic “Chariots of Fire”. Each sequence is simple and easy without much hassle (save for what I just pointed out above), and track & field long jumps its way into the 8-point distance with a 8.8 score out of 10.
Punch: Punch high or low
Block: Hold hands in front of face or on chest
The nostalgia will definitely feel near in a “friendly” match of boxing. Taking place at Tornado Gardens (I don’t get it), your avatar will be shown dressed in the traditional boxing gear, while the ref talks over the rules of a fair fight, and so on, and so forth. Boxing is arguably the most violent aspect of Kinect Sports alone, and it makes you feel as if you really are there with its 1st-person views. Upon getting hit, your vision will blur and the crowd will muffle, just like the real thing! This serving of Punch-Out!!-styled boxing will definitely have you on the edge of your seats even if you’re standing up! You can either knock down your opponent by depleting their health bar (which engages into the tense counting sequence), or automatically K.O. them for the win. My hits sometimes don’t register (then again, I was swinging my arm in an arc), but look past that, and your great boxing game question will be answered. To make a long story short, boxing slugs its way into a 8.6 score out of 10.
Block: Step into the indicated path of the passed ball
Pass: Kick in the direction of the arrow you want to shoot with, leading to the person you want to shoot to
Style shot: Head or kick the ball
Shoot: Give it a good kick!
Soccer, also known as football in the achievements as well as England (real football would go onto Season Two), is definitely the most educational of the six, taking place in Lotus Park. Teaching you teamwork, defense, and stylizing your shots, soccer may not be the genius of perfect controls (nuff said), but it’ll definitely leave a drop of knowledge on your brow. And maybe, some drops of sweat. Your avatar will start out catering to a snapping camera’s needs, before the field scatters and things go into business. The FIFA-like announcers of track & field arguably return in this sport, and if you’ve visited the world of FIFA alone, this nostalgia trip shouldn’t be much of a challenge. Successful goals will result in replays with the ball sometimes even shooting directly at the camera. And all of the success is tracked by a scoreboard, which gives you approximately 3 minutes to strain your stuff. I’ve said enough, so soccer makes the goal and scores an 8.2 out of 10 score.
4 out of 5 – Ease of play – If you can do it in real life, you can do it in the game. Playing volleyball requires you to jump up and spike an imaginary ball, bowling has you toss a ball down an alley, and track & field has you run on the spot and jump to hop over hurdles. It’s very easy to pick up this game — but choosing an event might be a bit hard.
2 1/2 out of 5 – Violence – The most violent of the mix goes to the boxing, featuring a hardcore battle in a first-person perspective. You may feel a bit violent throwing punches in the air and beating up an invisible opponent, but the avatars are all predictably safe under their [head]gear. Upon a hit, your vision gets blurry and the sound of the crowd is muffled.
5 out of 5 – Product Placement – Besides being one of the “buddying” games of the successful Kinect, the game has a lot of advertisement hidden in sports. Names include T-Mobile, Samsung, Xbox 360 (duh) and Xbox LIVE, Microsoft, among others. Plenty of famous songs play during in-sport replays, like Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance” (no lie), Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl”, James Brown’s “I Feel Good”, Vangelis’s “Chariots of Fire”, and lots more.
Fun: A (5 pts)
Style: A (5 pts)
Entertainment: A+ (5 pts)
Gameplay: B (3 pts)
Smarts: B (3 pts)
Play-Again Ratio: A (4 pts)
FINAL SCORE: 25 out of 30 (hot dog!), 4 stars out of 5, 87% out of 100%
CONSENSUS: What’s a good workout, a good game, a good laugh fest, and a good time with friends and family besides some issues? Kinect Sports, that’s what.
RENT, BUY, OR SKIP?: Buy it with all your power! But if you’ve had enough of some Kinect games’ tomfoolery (Adrenalin Misfits, Deca Sports Freedom, etc.) you may want to consider renting it and taking a good look at it.
PRICE: Kinect Sports sells for $44.99 pre-owned, and $49.99 new. One version at Amazon sells for a regular price of 49 dollars (with a freaking 2% of the savings), but the game is used for $22, and almost $37 new.
Well, that’s another wild winter break day for Sammwak! Keep on commenting, keep on rating, keep on liking (for all bloggers), and surely keep on subscribing! I bet by the peak of 2013, we’ll already have 100,000 hits if we can get almost 50,000 in under a year! But anyway, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta get back to my work so I can get Season Two a-rolling!
Your blogger, brother, and friend,
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, and I feel really super good today (besides feeling sluggish about it being September aka school month). You know why? Because I checked my site stats, and last Saturday morning I had fifty views! Did you know that’s the same number of homes in a city of Nebraska? Do you know how good that makes me feel? Anyway I figured that it’s a Monday, and after an ignorant hiatus, I’ve decided to come back at you with an old Sammwak original: the top 10 Xbox 360 games! (See I published it!) To agree or disagree? That is the answer. From the fighting ring to the soccer field and everything in between, bring on the list!
10. Get ready to soil your plants in Plants vs Zombies.
One of last year’s most memorable games that hit the Xbox Live Arcade, PvZ took tower defensive games to the next level. If you’re not very “bright” (get it?), you won’t know the storyline: Your house is attacked by hordes of zombies looking for brains, and while you chill in your house, the only battlefield you have is your lawn. The soldiers? Plants.
HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: Beautiful graphics never go awry. Endless amount of opportunities, such as getting new plants (earned or bought as a Twiddydinky) or facing new zombies. Impressive mini games when you want to take a break from the adventure. Awesome versus mode.
HOW IT DIDN’T: You actually have to w-w-(if I say this, my lips will swell like salami)-work to earn things! Progress is unbelievably slow (unlike the iPhone version, the most fair edition sold). Take a white kid and dab two drops of ketchup on his neck and call him a vampire, that’s simply not my league of gaming.
9. Be the predator, but don’t be the prey in Mirror’s Edge.
Faith in mid-fight with a “Blue.”
One of 2008-2010’s most reflected action-adventure games (and my sister’s only played game), taking the phrase “freedom of movement” to a dangerously high level. You play as Faith, a 24-year old in a utopian city that makes a living as a runner, a master of parkour who carries communiques about the city. Faith discovers corruption at the city’s core, and she gets hunted down (at least, that’s what the back said). Along the way, you encounter the Pursuit Police (also skilled in parkour), former runner Jackknife, and even Ropeburn the bulky wrestler!
HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: The most beautiful graphics I’ve seen in an action-adventure game. The core controls are super easy, and you can string them together for even more combat skill. Reasonable voice acting for each character, and a real bang of an ending.
HOW IT DIDN’T: Freaking impossible, even on easy. The combat does sag a little, and the amount of trial and error is time-sucking, soul-sucking, and…well, frustrating.
8. Team up and throw down in Skate 3.
The third and most recent installment in Electronic Art’s open-world skateboarding series Skate, this game flipped into retail stores May 2010. Since San Vanelona has put up a strict skate-free rule, we take to the streets of Port Carverton (home of the Sharks). But this city of not only the residence of Sharks, but stars. Stars in the skateboarding history, that is, from Danny Way to Rob Dydrek and everyone in between.
HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: The controls did churn out easy and quite impressive. The environments were breathtaking and so lifelike, and there are very worthy skaters to unlock, even if they’re skeletons of slabs of meat. Simply throwing yourself off buildings is instant fun.
HOW IT DIDN’T: The engine just couldn’t keep up with the visuals, so every now and then Skate 3 does glitch up (carrying the series’ old tradition). The droning format it undergoes simply melted away my entertainment. Challenges slowly got impossible.
FUN FACT: Did you know that the game before this installment was not Skate 2, but instead the spin-off Skate It? Since Thanksgiving 2008, this extreme sporting game has been getting air on the DS, the Wii, and the iPhone.
7. It’s a futuristic battle to the finish in Monday Night Combat.
Juicing up the XBLA last summer as part of the Xbox Live Summer of Arcade, MNC has intelligent and heavy use of a Monday Night Football background, with a character-class based system with clones that fight for money. Speaking of money, there’s a Moneyball (a ball of money….) that must be defended on one team, while destroyed on the other. Classes, defense, money…yup, it’s pretty much tower defense.
HOW THIS GAME ROCKED: The visuals are also clean and striking, and the controls are actually awfully easy at the core. It makes you feel as if you’re in the arena, and I might be a thick-header for saying this, but it’s very lifelike. Bullseye has to be the best mascot in a 3-person shooter game.
HOW IT DIDN’T: And that’s pretty much it, save the fact that you’re literally blazing bullets every five seconds.
FUN FACT: Did you know that MNC is getting a free-to-play sequel sometime in late 2011 or early 2012 called Super MNC? It’s got new classes, bringing back the old ones, but gives out more of a strategical test.
6. Take the rallies and the ridges in Kinect Adventures.
The first game for the Xbox 360’s Kinect, Kinect Adventures depicted an adventurous storyline with people looking for journeying. There are five mini-games in Free Play, let alone Adventure Mode: River Rush (see picture), Reflex Ridge, Space Pop, 20,000 Leaks, and Rallyball. Adventure on your own or have a cooperative or competitive time with friends.
HOW IT ROCKED: The events did have lots of range, and they were fun in their own ways. As long as the Kinect could track you, the controls did work good. Successful multiplayer, whether it’s co-op or competition.
HOW IT DIDN’T: The most annoying way of telling players that they can’t be tracked: A huge message pops up in the corner of the screen, and tells you to move backward or move forward or left, IT’S SO ANNOYING! Anyway, the game’s also really repetitive so it doesn’t have much interest for people to stay round for at least a handful of hours.
5. You’re the ninja Terminator, and you’re no conjurer of cheap tricks in Mini Ninjas.
Welcome back to the world of Japanese adventure! In this big little action-adventure, flatlands are attacked with horrific weather as bad as earthquakes, and mysterious figures are seen caging animals. The truth is that the Evil Samurai Warlord banished 300 years ago had made an unholy return turning caged animals into mindless warriors in an attempt to take over the world! When the ninja master sends out armies of ninjas with no return, he turns to his final two, knowing that the fate of the world rests in their little hands.
HOW IT ROCKED: Beautiful art making a cohesive world of vibrancy. (sorry, too psychedelic?) Unlimited combat options, which make for some pretty fun fights, whether you need to possess a fox for a quick retreat, or a bear for a good old mauling.
HOW IT DIDN’T: Every flaw literally points their finger at the bad camera. Fighting does get tiresome towards the end of the game. And a not very impressive way to fight bosses, but an extremely hilarious one at most: pantsing them. (I’m not even pulling your chain!) So points for and against you.
4. Get to the dancefloor and get funky in Dance Central.
The killer app of the Xbox 360’s Kinect (hands down), Dance Central is the second game for the Kinect (see no. 6 for the first) and actually sneaked exercises into what seems to be just having a good time. With a soundtrack with grooves as classic as “Funkytown”, to as current as Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”. There are ten avatars (counting ELIOT and the Pink Ninja), and t0 top it off, there’s even a ten-second freestyle!
HOW IT ROCKED: Invigorating visuals upon a wide complexity of dance, a helpful training mode. It’s hard to resist dancing with your friends. A party’s dream game.
HOW IT DIDN’T: Girlie moves that men can’t survive to perform. When routines are easy, they’re a little too easy; they’re super-duper-fragilisticexpialadocius-1-million-points easy. No character customization? Well, that stinks, because I was looking forward to dancing under my own creation. And at first glance, you’d think you reached hip-hop-happy land. So why is this game always defending the right to get funky?
3. For these ragdolls, it’s a rush in Activision’s Wipeout: In The Zone.
In 2008, we first received the hilarious show, Wipeout. Then we received Wipeout: The Game in 2010. And now, the Kinect evolution! Yessiree, this game totally supports Kinect gaming! And for once…this isn’t garbage! It’s actually fun for a change, even if you’re playing a little experience at Best Buy!
HOW IT ROCKED: Successful Kinect mechanics for multiplayer, and awesome mechanics of obstacles you’d actually see on the show. Good voice samples and entertaining visuals never grate up. A good game to get a simple handful of laughs out of.
HOW IT DIDN’T: Replays rub your misfortune in your unlucky face. Tasks to do before running a course are embarrassing, like striking poses or dancing. Kinect models do patch up, while it’s infrequent, but noticeable. Not really some achievements worth striving for.
2. Put the pedal to the metal with over twenty Sega characters in Sonic & Sega Racing.
for comic mischief, cartoon violence, and mild suggestive themes.
First revving into the market February 2010 nine days after Valentine’s Day (six after my birthday), Sonic & Sega Racing is the third and most recent installment in the Sega Superstars crossover series. With an endless amount of courses to unleash your inner all-star, it’s also a great game for friends who want competition, whether it’s racing or the mini-games’ varies from king of the hill to knockout!
HOW IT ROCKED: Very smooth controls with endless speed senses which fall into the beautiful visuals and great frame rates. Impressive course design with plenty of variety and range even when you have to drive in a circle three times. Even when they’re literal Sega mascots to ultimate D-listers, this game has a good mix range of racers. Ultimately successful multiplayer with endless fun.
HOW IT DIDN’T: No way to Grand Prix with a friend. Even with up to four players racing, the one signed in gets all the credit.
Okay, this is it. My most recommended game. Change your underwear. Man the floorboards. Take your vitamins. Because number one has arrived, and even critics and players alike agree with me all across the country….
The best fighting game around for ages. Super Street Fighter IV brought everything back of what we needed. Bringing back “forgotten” characters while introducing newcomers, giving “that new touch” to that old game, man this game has it all. I can do the whole evening just in training mode. No wonder me and my brother made onebyonetv in its honor.
HOW IT ROCKED: Gorgeous models and arena designs. Ultimate success in rebalancing characters along with the robust gameplay. Excellent competitive multiplayer if imperfect. Video replay is the best way to share fights with friends in a new, evolved way. All together, definitely makes a better game than last year’s at 2 thirds of the price.
HOW IT DIDN’T: Only limited to a wee two-player multiplayer. You know what would’ve patched it up? Team battle. DUH! Online fighting does suffer if either fighter has slow connection. Video replay mode could be a tad easier to use.
So that’s all, folks. A deep sorry for not being able to catch up these past weeks, so I forced myself to do this one. Thanks for always being a part of Sammwak, and if you blog here at WordPress, please like this post. And if you’re just a viewer, then please subscribe or leave a comment in that section!
p.s. Do you know I’ve gotten up to sixty comments here on Sammwak? Good golly!
Hey guys, it’s Sam with another noob-pwnin’ good time on PWN SOME NOOBS! (Oh, you miss the stylization? It’s easier to do without.) I’m here to announce a brand new adventure this fall, on September 13 (it’ll be a Tuesday, guys). It used to be an Xbox Arcade game, but it do-si-doed onto a full retailer. Twisted Pixel (the studio behind the ‘Splosion Man duo) brought us the ultimate spaghetti Western journey. Become the true western puppeteer in…
You thought the Western subgenre of action-adventure had crippled since Fatshark’s Lead and Gold last year. You’re wrong, partner! Twisted Pixel took a break from its action-platforming comic world and decided to put on the ol’ cowboy hat. The game is set as an Old Western play. So the third-person shooter is played like it was acted out in a theater. (The sets are 2D pieces of wood, the zombie cowboy himself is just a puppet!) The beginning footage is actually live-action when people attend to see the play (shot at an Austin, TX theater). You play as the Gunstringer, an undead one-eyed marionette betrayed by his posse, and as he rises from his grave, he plans an unholy vengeance. (Dead-Eye Plankton all over again…) So you’re playing as a zombie cowboy…how convenient.
The rating has been confirmed as T for Teen for blood, cartoon violence, drug reference, and sexual themes. (Kind of like western Sims.) So, you wanna know how the game works?
Left hand – Controls the Gunstringer’s movement.
Right hand – Aiming and firing the Gunstringer’s gun.
Left and right hands – During rail shooter moments of the game, they can both be used to handle two guns at once.
There’s also the element of marking multiple villains to fire, and all marked villains are shot with that handy gesture. This game will also come with codes to download the first DLC (Wavy Tube Man Chronicles), and Fruit Ninja Kinect.
HOW THE GAME MIGHT RULE
It’s like Rango died, came back from the grave, and embarked on another Western adventure. Maybe the whole mechanic will run swimmingly, and it will all result in a great spaghetti Western adventure. It looks good just by looking at the cover.
HOW IT MIGHT NOT
Question: Why would you ever make a motion-sensor shooter? It sounds a little weird. And the controls might completely wonk out and the game could have crumbled like the Pentagon during 9/11. Just saying…
The reviews have been mostly positive with critics’ first hands-on perspectives of the game.
I would consider buying this game if it’s that good of a romp. But dust off your finger guns and prepare for unholy battle in The Gunstringer, lassoing retailers everywhere this September. Check out this trailer to know the game a bit more!
So long, partner. We’ll do-si-do again on Sammwak, because the old saying goes: “If you get thrown from a horse, you have to get up and get back on, unless you landed on a cactus; then you have to roll around and scream in pain.”