Monday, November 10, 2008

Game Review ( Gears of War 2 - 360 )

-Note: This will likely be my last review for a couple months.-

Graphics: 4.75/5 Near perfect - I noticed instantly the game looked sharper than in Gears of War, but there are also some things holding the game back. Mainly, the texture details don't come in quickly, and there are times at the start of multiplayer matches for instance, that your whole character looks like a blurry blob for a few seconds before the graphics load in. Not a big deal though, because the game looks great when it does load. Also, the game suffers from pretty terrible lag at times on Xbox LIVE matches. Sometimes the games run smoothly, and other times the matches are absolutely unplayable.

Sound: 4/5 The gun sounds seem to have been upgraded, ( The sniper sounds the most different ) but the dialogue really remains as it did in Gears 1. Cheesy, somewhat emotionless, and pretty average. That's not to say the game sounds bad, but the dialogue is very average for a game that overall actually sounds pretty good.

Control: 4.5/5 ONLY A 4.5? WTFZ?! I rate it this for a couple reasons. First, the shotgun is less effective in this game, and the direction it shoots is different. Also, the BoomShot is still like it was after the Gears 1 update. And finally, the sniper will not down players even if it is an active reload. Instead, it just does more damage. There are also issues with the camera after being knocked down by a smoke grenade. When your player is down and standing up, the camera gets all screwed up, and it just seems unfinished.

Fun: 4.5/5 It's pretty hard to effectively rate Gears of War 2 as it is now. The campaign is certainly fun and more entertaining than the first, but that won't take you forever to do. The multiplayer is (likely) what you bought this game for, and if you did, it's really a love it or hate it kind of thing. Some elements have been added that shouldn't have been, ( Mortars in multiplayer are pretty unfair, you have to admit, although they are fun to use. ) and some are welcome additions, such as the fixed sniper, and chainsaw duels. Basically, for anything you wanted fixed from Gears 1, something else got screwed up in Gears 2. The most aggravating thing though is what I stated earlier on - the lag/framerate issues. 5v5 in Gears 2?! SWEET! It kind of sucks to say that Epic didn't figure out how to keep the lag down while doing so. I mean, with a game as big as everyone knew this would be, and to make the matches 5v5 instead of 4v4 without making the connections at least DECENT was just stupid. If Epic couldn't pull off 5v5, they should have left it at 4v4 - I'd be fine with that. Overall, the multiplayer is decent fun, but the amount of B.S. and inconsistency really makes it frustrating for the hardcore gamer. It is also sometimes quite difficult to get into a matchmaking game. Often times you can sit in the multiplayer lobby for upwards of 10-20 minutes watching your game "Find Players"... then restart. The best new addition really has to be Horde mode, in which you and up to four other people can attack a horde of Locust that come in "waves", all the way up to 50. The game gets super intense, and it really is a blast. Basically, when Cliffy B said Gears of War 2 would be "Bigger, better, and more bad ass" than Gears 1, he forgot to also say "Gears 2 will be more laggy, inconsistent, and frustrating than ever before."


-Subject to change after an update or two.-

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Game Review ( Vigilante 8 Arcade - 360 Arcade )

Graphics: 3.75/5 Look good, like an average arcade game nowadays from Xbox Live, but the explosions look like powdered cheese flying everywhere, and the frame rate drops at times, sadly. The levels look great, though.

Sound: 4/5 If you remember Vigilante 2, this is the music from that. Memories flood in... also, there are car noises, explosions, and all of that... above average, and pretty good for an arcade game.

Control: 4.25/5 This broke the game for most people, but I got it right away. It is somewhat strange, but if you can't adjust quickly, you must not play many video games. The cars do feel "loose" and seem to turn freely, but it's not as bad as it's made out to seem. If you're skeptical, just download the demo.

Fun: 4/5 For $10, this seems like a fair purchase, and should be a no brainer for Vigilante 8 fans. Some old-school characters come back, you can "customize" your car, and there is one DLC pack coming out soon for 320 MSP including 2 new levels and a couple new cars. The camera angles are screwed up sometimes, there is lag on multiplayer, and some dislike the controls, but to me, this is a solid remake of a really great game. I recommend it more-so if you intend to play it alone / locally.


Game Review ( AC/DC Live: Rock Band Track Pack - 360 )

Graphics: 4/5 Same as Rock Band 1, and so is the interface. Yeah - it's Rock Band 1, with 18 songs. Really simple. You can't make a character either, but why does it matter?

Sound: 5/5 Not all would really care for this pack because, as you can see, it's live, from 1992 at Donnington. Personally, I've almost exclusively heard AC/DC live, and live only. I think the songs sound great. There is also an over 10 minute version of Jailbreak that is actually surprisingly fun.

Control: 4.75/5 The charts are really good here. Thunderstruck has all hammer-ons for the intro in case you were wondering, but in Rock Band 1/2 with the transfer, only the green notes are hammer-ons, all else are strummed. I don't know of any more significant chart changes, but this one I noticed, and many disliked it. Personally, I play it much better this way because it helps with my timing, and it's more realistic. And ah yes, "Let There Be Rock" on expert drums is, indeed, a BITCH.

Fun: 5/5 Might just be the best $40 I've ever spent. You're spending just over $2 per song, for 18 songs, and over 99 minutes of music. And it's AC/DC, one of my very favorite bands. If you like AC/DC, this is well worth it. If you like playing guitar, this is well worth it. If you don't like AC/DC and play drums, this may not be worth it. I find the drums really fun to play, even though the charts are super simple for the most part. To me, this is a must buy.


( P.S. Watch out for "High Voltage" and "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" on Expert guitar. That is all. )

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Game Review ( Guitar Hero: World Tour - 360 )

Graphics: 4/5 The venues look stunning - just about all of them really look good. Maybe not graphically, but just the way they're laid out. The audience is probably the most pitiful looking thing. There are duplicated of the same character standing in groups of five. Uhhh... As far as the band members, the drummer doesn't play to the beat of the music/hit every note most of the time as the Rock Band drummer does, and the characters don't feel real at all. They are emotionless on stage. Bummer.

Sound: 3.75/5 Once again, doesn't stack up to Rock Band. The Rock Band 2 set was just better overall. World Tour of course has some great songs, my favorites including the most obvious ones and a few others, but the majority of the songs are weak. And what's with the spanish songs like La Bamba? Really? Does that belong in a Guitar HERO game? Another thing that I wasn't expecting to see but would have liked to have seen ( or heard ) is the crowd singing along.

Control: 4/5 While most of the songs are a lot of fun to play on drums, I can't say the same about the guitar. While I know Neversoft likes to make songs "challenging" they do it in an unnecessary fashion. Neversoft has an eternal hard-on for using three button chords at least 50 times in nearly every song. It's not that it makes the song hard necessarily, but Neversoft thinks so, and it's just annoying and funny at the same time. The one big thing that people will be hating this game for quite a bit if they have Rock Band 2 drums is that they aren't velocity sensative in World Tour, and, more annoyingly, you have to use star power by hitting the yellow and blue pads at the same time. This can take getting used to for some people - it can be hard to do without breaking a combo.

Fun: 4/5 Overall, Guitar Hero: World Tour is not a bad game, but it's not what it was cracked up to be at all. The music maker isn't too fun, and you'll find yourself using it as a freestyle mode more than not, and there are very few interesting and fun songs up on GHTunes. The track list is fairly weak compared to Rock Band 2, the characters aren't realistic ( although there is great customization ) and the game just isn't as fun as Rock Band. While the menus and the like look great, it seems Neversoft may have spent more time with designing them than trying to find a few more fun songs to play in the game.


Game Review ( Far Cry 2 - 360 )

Graphics: 4.5/5 The game looks great. Fantastic really. The single player world is HUGE, and there are very few loading times. The graphics in the game are what really bring this game to life.

Sound: 4.5/5 Some say the sound is the best part of FC2, and I disagree. It is really good, but the graphics and gameplay are much better. It would be better if your own character talked, but since there are a lot to choose from, I can see why it wasn't done.

Control: 4/5 Good, but not great. Actually very similar to Call of Duty 4 - and the controls aren' the only thing similar. Anyway, the layout is about the same except you can't prone, and the sprinting is a little more annoying in this game. It is impossible to make a sharp turn while sprinting, which can be frustrating especially on smaller multiplayer maps with a lot of stuff like Love Shacks.

Fun: 4.5/ Far Cry 2 is very underrated, and it has a strong fanbase for a reason. Far Cry 2 has a map maker in which you can make literally any map to your desire ( Unless you want to construct YOUR OWN buildings, seeing as how it's not possible. There is only a set of pre-made buildings, which is really SICKENING. ) but it takes about an hour or so to get really used to. The multiplayer is also, contrary to what many people say, is fantastic. There is definitely B.S. in there, I'll give them that, but what online shooter doesn't have that? For instance - you can shoot an RPG at a truck, and it won't blow it up in one shot -- nope -- it takes TWO hits, even if you shoot a guy on the turret on the back of the truck, he still won't die, and if he gets out and you then shoot the truck, it will say "so-and-so killed himself." That is certainly aggrivating. Also, the longer you wait to get the game, the more likely you are to get frustrated with it, seeing as you how you get "diamonds" when leveling up which are used to upgrade your primary and secondary weapons. While Far Cry 2 isn't perfect, the online play certainly needs to be experienced. Think of it as Team Fortress 2, but without the cartoony-look.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Game Review ( iCopter - iPhone/iPod App )

iCopter is a "rip-off" of the ever-popular Copter flash game in which you fly a breaking down helicopter through a cave. This app costs 99 cents.

Graphics: 2/5 Super simple. Green ( or red or blue background, depends one if you change the settings ) and a simple helicopter ( that can be changed, although there are only two choices. ) Nothing special here. Annoyingly though, the game will sometimes hiccup, which can cause you to crash. Lame!

Sound: ???/5 For one, I'm not sure the game has sound, and second, I wouldn't really know because I always listen to music when playing this app.

Control: 3.5/5 If you played the computer version, this is much different. The game moves a lot quicker, and the game is overall quite a bit harder.

Fun: 3.75/5 Not a bad app to kill a few minutes. Challenging, but fun. It's just a shame it isn't free and the game occasionally hiccups. Still, if you're a fan of the flash version of this game, this is worth a download. Hey, it's only a dollar.


Game Review ( Flick Bowling - iPod/iPhone App )

Price: $4.99, but on sale for limited time at 99 cents.

Basically, I downloaded this game because it got great reviews at the $5, and it dropped down to only a buck. I can start by saying - those that think this was a bargain at $5 are stupid.

Graphics: 4.5/5 Among the best in the App Store that I can see. Great 3D graphics, good looking characters, and a big selection of bowling balls. The game is just lacking alleys. There is only one default one, but there is (supposedly) going to be a free update later this month adding another one.

Sound: ???/5 Gah, sorry - can't say. I only heard the menu music. From that, I got the impression that this is just another sub-par sounding game. However, the bowling sounds could be great. I don't know, though, because I was listening to music.

Control: 3.75/5 Took me a little while to get used to - it was really quite frustrating. Early on, I was flicking really quickly, so quick that the ball would very slowly roll down the lane. The trick is to do a nice swift, not-too-fast flick to get a super fast roll. Once you get the controls down, the game feels good.

Fun: 4/5 For a dollar, this is definitely worth it. If it was $5, I'd say HELLZ NAW! There are eight characters, high score tracker, and a lot of bowling balls. That's all fine and good, but where is the "Tournament Mode", or stat-tracking, or even character specific stats? I don't understand why a $5 game wouldn't have things like this. Also, the A.I. as pretty bad. Almost always, based on the difficulty setting, the A.I. will get the same amount of pins. For instance, on easy, he almost always gets 7 pins, followed by a spare or near spare. Medium, 8 pins first try and seemingly always a spare. On hard, the guy is a machine, getting a strike nearly every time. Flick Bowling, like I stated already, is worth it for the price it's currently at. The game is just sometimes inconsistent, and it's lacking features that a game of this seemingly-great quality should have.


Game Review ( Asphalt 4: Elite Racing - iPhone/iPod App )

A4:ER is - simply put - the best racing game from the app store. Even though the price is steep at $10, you will find more depth than any other racing game in there. I'll keep the review as short as possible. Basically, I'll tell you there are 9 different tracks, ranging from New York, Dubai, Los Angeles, Paris and so on, and 28 unlockable cars.

Graphics: 4.75/5 This is an iPod/iPhone and this thing has graphics better than those of the DS? Get out. The different tracks and cars look fantastic, and the frame rate pretty rarely drops. This game is gorgeous. Easily the best looking App I have, I'll tell you that.

Sound: 1/5 Turn. It. Off. I played less than half a race with the sound on before turning on my music. The drift sound is quite possibly the most annoying sound I've ever heard in my LIFE. The music and the like isn't necessarily bad, but it's just a lot better to be able to listen to your own music rather than a REEEEKWWWWEEEEEEE!!!! every three seconds when turning a corner. Gah! My ears are bleeding thinking about it.

Control: 3.75/5 There are three different ways to control. You can use the accelerometer ( Move iPod/iPhone side-to-side to steer ) tap ( Left side to go left, right side to go right. ) or steer using the on-screen steering wheel, which I only tried to use once but gave up because it just seemed pointless. One thing all three controls have in common are that your car is ALWAYS accelerating. Nothing to press to move, it happens automatically, which is actually pretty cool. My real beef with the controls are that none of the three work spectacularily well. Although the "tap" mode is best, it's still hard to control drifts and the like.

Fun: 3.75/5 When you first play A4:ER, you'll likely love it or hate it instantly. I for one loved it. But after playing all the tracks about four times over each, I realized that the game was $10 for a reason. It does have depth, ( 28 cars to unlock like I said, including some pretty good customizing ) but only about $10 worth. If you do buy this game, I recommend you really pace yourself, otherwise you're going to regret it. You'll fly through the game and realize that it wasn't worth $10. This game is great for Burnout/Need for Speed/Cruis'n U.S.A. fans, since it has features similar to those all in one, but it's just to easy to fly through. Sure, there's multiplayer, but it's seemingly impossible to find anyone that is playing online. I recommend, unless you really can't wait, getting Need for Speed from the App store, which is due out in November. Not to say A4:ER is incomplete, it just seems to be missing a few things, and it's sort of hard to really justify the $10 price tag.


Game Review ( Line Rider iRide - iPod/iPhone App )

What internet-using flash-game junky HASN'T played -- or at least heard of Line Rider? In case you haven't, in Line Rider you draw a track for the sled-dude ( Bosh, I believe is his name. ) and make him to basically whatever you want, including flips and jumps. You can also add scenery to the background, and whatever else you want. This flash game has come to the App Store.

Graphics: 1.5/5 Simple, and still not as good as the on-the-net version. The graphics look grainy, even though they are so simple. Doesn't matter, though, because you wouldn't buy this game based on graphics anyway.

Sound: 1.25/5 Just annoying - the sound should just die. I recommend simply listening to music... I'm not sure why sound was even added to the game.

Control: 1/5 This is where the game took a shit for me. Basically, there are two main drawing tools. One that draws straight lines, and another free-draw line drawer. When I was using the free-draw pen, it kept making straight lines, making it physically impossible to make even a simple loop. Worst controls ever.

Fun: 1.25/5 For me, I had zero fun with this. As a matter of fact, I deleted this app without backing it up, making me completely waste my $3. Line Rider was great on the computer, but I've found Line Rider iRide to be buggy buggy buggy. However, there is a "community" feature that allows you to upload and download other creator's tracks. Great idea, but I have no idea how it turned out, seeing as how I was so frustrated with the game I deleted it. Basically, this game is broken. Possibly just for me, seeing as how other people have it and love it, but I wouldn't recommend it, unless you want to take the risk. Buyer beware.


Hardware Review ( iPod Touch 8GB )

Although I got this awhile ago, I've been playing with it a LOT since. I've finally gotten around to writing a review... anyway, I finally got it. The iPod Touch 8GB, the same day the 2nd gen, 16GB, built-in-speaker-same-exact-price version came out... don't know why I didn't get that one.

Anyway, I'll start out with the look - sexy. Looks just like the first-gen iPhone, but it just doesn't make calls. ( Well, actually, there is a free "App" in the "App Store" that-- well, nevermind. ) The back of it does have the much hated ( at least by me ) chrome that gets scratched super easily. Transversely, however, the front is nearly impossible to scratch. I saw a YouTube video where a guy tried to scratch the screen with a box cutter to no avail. Being in disbelief, I tried something similar with a bottle cap - I'll just say the video is legit. It's hard to believe that this thing is that hard to scratch. It smudges easily, and a lot, but doesn't scratch.

Secondly, the features - several. Unless you have the 2nd-gen iPod Touch, you can download the "App Store" to your iPod Touch for a fee of $9.95. ( Unless you Jailbreak it - good luck though. Nearly bricked my iPod. ) Basically, the "App Store" features a whole lot of "Applications" made by people and companies, and there are literally thousands. Here you can find games, travel, education, entertainment, music, and a whole bunch of other apps. Although most of the good ones you have to pay for, they are generally pretty reasonable, and you get a good idea of how good an app really is just by reading a few reviews or trying the "Lite" version of the app, if there is one available. Once an app is downloaded, it will download to your - what I will call - homepage, where you can have several pages of apps. Also at the homepage is the other stuff. Music, videos, photos, settings, calender, contacts, among other things that come with the iPod upon purchasing. The most notable however, being Safari, which is the internet. And, if you are in a Wi-Fi hotspot with decent/good bandwidth, works very well for the most part. My only real complaint is that sometimes, for no reason, pages will lag, causing you to mess up your typing, and sometimes even throwing you back to the "home page" for no reason at all. That's actually just about my only biff with this iPod - the thing is great.

Basically, if you don't have an iPod or MP3 player by now, you shouldn't get this iPod Touch. Why? Because you should get the NEWER and BETTER iPod Touch that also costs $300 but has 16 GB instead of 8GB. I do however recommend you get a warranty, seeing as how Apple products seem to fail in the long run. ( I know they do for me, anyway. ) If you don't have a cell phone yet for any reason or need a new one, AND have the money to pay $70+ a month for it, get the new iPhone 3G which is essentially this, just with a phone, obviously.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Game Review ( Rock Band 2 - 360 )

Graphics: 4/5 Virtually no changes at all graphically - there are a few new venues and instruments and the like, but nothing else has really changed, which could or could not be a good thing.

Sound: 4.75/5 Most definitely the best soundtrack in any music game. AC/DC, Bob Dylan, Metallica and other well-known musicians are in this game. Also, ALL songs in the game are masters. While all that is fine and good, the soundtrack is far from perfect. It seems that for almost every great song there is a bad one stinking up the place. Overall though, there's no denying this really is quite an epic soundtrack.

Control: 5/5 "Rock Band is too easy"... How many times have you heard that? I don't think anyone will be saying that after playing through Rock Band 2. Songs like "Bodhisatvva" , "Pain Killer" , "Battery", and others, are truly insane. Those three particular songs are also equally as hard or harder on drums. Rock Band 2 also intruduces hammer-on chords, most notably in the song "Bodhisattva". This game will challenge even the well seasoned Guitar Hero and Rock Band veterans.

Fun: 4.75/5 Rock Band 2, for $60, is one hell of a good investment. You're getting over 80 songs for under a dollar each! Rock Band 2 is in a way, disappointing. For thing, the drum trainer is a joke for anyone that plays on expert... It could be very helpful for the noobs though. Basically, if you enjoyed Rock Band, you'll definitely love this game, too. However, one big letdown is the lack of any significant features. Besides drum trainer and battle of the bands mode, there isn't anythin really all that amazing added to this game that weren't in the original. Still, $60 for 80 plus songs makes this more than worth it. Oh, and don't forget to buy the new drums. (Review coming soon.)


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Game Review ( Guitar Hero: Aerosmith - 360 )

Graphics: 4.25/5 Looking better than Guitar Hero III at least. The graphics look cleaner, and the animations are really good. There is still "clipping" though, which is somewhat annoying, but the game looks solid. The venues are also very nicely done.

Sound: 4.25/5 The soundtrack is pretty good in this one. Despite its name, GH:A doesn't have tracks EXCLUSIVELY from Aerosmith. There are some songs by Joe Perry ( Guitarist of Aerosmith ) The Clash, Stone Temple Pilots, among other bands. Still, most of the game does have Aerosmith tracks from back in the seventies to today.

Control: 4/5 Figures - you will likely notice a lot of these guitar expert tracks are made strictly to make them more difficult. It doesn't work, but you'll know what I mean when you see them. A lot of the songs, mostly earlier ones, have a lot of chord hopping, and other songs also have green + orange chords and just a lot of fret presses you would likely not see in a game made by Harmonix. Still, some of the charts are actually super fun. The main riff of "Walk This Way" is easy, but very fun to play.

Fun: 4.25/5 It's hard to say if this game's worth buying. If you are a HUGE Aerosmith nut, you've probably already bought it since it's been out for ~2 months. If you're not that big of an Aerosmith fan, it's better that you rent it. I beat the game in just about one sitting, five starring every song on expert except for one bonus song all in one attempt. The game is easy - quite a bit easier than Guitar Hero III. The achievements are also more reasonable in this game as well as opposed to Guitar Hero III which had some really bogus ones. I highly recommend this as a rental, whether you like Aerosmith or not, for the achievement points if you're a SCOREWHORE, or just for fun if you really like Guitar Hero.

4/5 ( You just likely won't be coming back to this game after you play each song through once or twice unless you really like Aerosmith. )

Monday, July 07, 2008

Game Review ( Cold Storage Map - Halo 3 - 360 )

Cold Storage was released today (7-7-8) for free from Bungie. But, it's not REALLY free unless you have the Heroic and Legendary map packs. Speaking of that, the Legendary Map Pack has gotten a price change. Instead of being 800 MSP, it's now 600.

I never played the original version of this map in Halo 1, so I can't do a comparison, but I can tell you that Cold Storage is not that great of a map. It is best for FFA fans ( I'm not one ) as opposed to players that prefer teams. Cold Storage is a pretty small map, with teleporters everywhere. The map includes a battle rifle, plasma rifle, sniper, shotgun, and the like in standard slayer mode. Cold Storage is a pretty decent map, overall. If you were thinking about getting the Legendary Map Pack, now is the time to do it. Heroic, Legendary and Cold Storage - 7 maps - for only 600 MSP if you're just getting them right now. One hell of a deal. Cold Storage isn't a bad map, but it isn't a good map - I can see why Bungie remade this map and made it free.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Game Review ( Legendary Map Pack - 360 )

These maps came out quite awhile ago, and I planned on waiting until they were free, but after hearing they won't be free ( at least for awhile ) I got them just today.

Avalanche: 4.25/5 Huge map, with man cannons to make it seem less small and help you travel, but - meh. There are vehicles at the spawns on this map, but - it's just not that great. Cool design, but too big, and not the most epic of battles. Avalanche isn't bad, but I thought it'd be a lot better than it actually is.

Black Out: 4.75/5 A remake of the classic Lock Out from Halo 2 - yeah, I bet you didn't know that. Black Out is a great map for Team Slayer as well as Team SWAT. Great map, and is actually better than the original map - wow.

Ghost Town: 4.5/5 A map many people thought would be terrible before the pack came out, but surprised most, including me. Ghost Town is a fantastic map. It's asymmetrical, ( If you don't know what that means get the hell out. ) and it just has a great look to it. It's medium size, and fun to play on. A lot of fun - great for most game modes.

For $10, you get these pretty damn good maps, a 3-month subscription to Bungie Pro ( Meh. If you don't know what that is, it doesn't matter. ) and the ability to finally play Team SWAT whenever you want. I must warn you, though, Team SWAT doesn't play the same was as in Halo 2 - it seems harder... for whatever reason... still, you can't really go wrong. I'd say buy it.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Drink Review ( Mountain Dew:Revolution )

Smell: 4/5 Smells a lot like Baja Blast from Taco Bell - not only smells like it, but... well you'll find out.

Color: 3.75/5 Almost looks like Baja Blast from Taco Bell, too. Really, Baja Blast just is a little more greenish.

Taste: 4.5/5 If you like Baja Blast, you'll way more than likely really love Revolution. Tastes almost identical, especially the aftertaste, but that isn't a bad thing - I think Baja Blast should quit being exclusive to Taco Bell and be sold in cans. Anyway, it's good - better than Super Nova, but not better than Voltage - looks like Voltage will win, and apparently, I'm not the only one that thinks so.

Drink Review ( Mountain Dew:Super Nova )

Smell: 4/5 Meh. Like Voltage, not much to smell... smells like normal Mountain Dew with a little bit of strawberry-melon in it.

Color: 3.75/5 A light pink color. Looks lame... it'd be better if it were a deep pink or neon.

Taste: 4.25/5 Not bad, but not fantastic. People say it tastes like garbage ( the aftertaste especially ) but I don't know what they're drinking. Super Nova is supposed to be strawberry-melon flavored, and it is just that. ( But I can't really taste the melon. ) Quite good, but nothing like Voltage.

Drink Review ( Mountain Dew:Voltage )

Smell: 4/5 Doesn't have that strong of a smell, much like the other "DEWmocracy" Mountain Dews. Faintly smells like the flavor, raspberry, but not much.

Color: 3.75/5 I'll likely give all three a 3.75/5 - all of them are faded colors. Voltage is a faded blue color.

Taste: 5/5 Most importantly, Voltage is very distinctive and probably the best dew of the three. Very strong raspberry flavor, with what almost has a cotton candy after taste or something... either way, definitely the best of the three.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Game Review ( Rock Band DLC 6/17 - 360 )

I probably won't bother reviewing DLC previous to this, but I'll review what comes out in the future - or try to.


Hammerhead: 4.25/5 Great song to listen to, not amazing on guitar - actually pretty easy, but difficult on drums. I beat it after a few tries, and it is one unique and fun chart, but it's not spectacular. I'd say it's worth downloading, though.

Rock 'N' Roll Dream: 4.25/5 Only a buck, and it's worth it. Not a hard song by any means on drums or guitar ( Although the second solo is a bit tricky ) but it's well worth purchasing. The drums are an easy 100% on Expert, but just a lot of fun, and it's a great song, too.

Afterlife: 4.5/5 The one with the "impossible solo". Afterlife is quite challenging to the average Expert player on guitar - does that make sense? The solo will give many people fits if they don't know when to use their Overdrive. Most decent Expert players will probably average anywhere between 40-60% on this solo - so you had better have Overdrive. On drums, the quickquickquick double bass isn't troubled, but a lot of it is. Great song.

Critical Acclaim: 4.5/5 I really disliked this song at first, but it's amazing on guitar especially. The song is quite easy to FC if you can get the solo down, which is NOTHING compared to Afterlife's. The drums are also fun. Both A7X songs are worth downloading whether your a guitar or drum player. And, if you play both, it's even more of a better value.


This weeks DLC gets a 4.5/5

Monday, June 09, 2008

Game Review ( FrontLines: Fuel of War - 360 )

Graphics: 4.75/5 Honestly, amazing. They didn't look too great in the demo for whatever reason, but the in-game graphics and the cutscenes are some of the best on the 360. The most unbelievable part is that there is virtually no lag offline. There are a few hiccups, but it's quite rare. Online though is a bit of a different story. While the game usually runs well, certain rooms and certain maps have some lag issues.

Sound: 4.5/5 Almost up to par with Call of Duty 4, but not quite. The vehicles and explosions sound great, even better than Bad Company.

Control: 4.75/5 The game controls arcade-like in a way, and the helicopters and vehicles for the most part control very well. The on-foot controls may take a bit of time because certain buttons are different than that of Call of Duty 4, but you should get it.

Fun: 4.5/5 The single player to me is probably the best part. The multiplayer is okay, but there are some seriously forgettable maps, not many people play the game online, and there are lag problems. FrontLines should definitely be rented just for the single player experience. And for you achievement whores, the game boasts some moderately easy achievements.

Game Review ( Battlefield: Bad Company DEMO - 360 )

Graphics: 4/5 Look good, very good, actually, but the frame rate just about ruins it. The demo is nearly unplayable, I'll tell you straight up. If the frame rate held up like it probably should, the game would be fantastic looking.

Sound: 4.25/5 Above average - the guns explosions and tanks are all great. Not as good as Call of Duty, but that's hard to stack up to.

Control: 3.75/5 Pretty much turned me off. The on-foot controls are quite simple, the tank controls are a little bizarre and take SOME getting used to, and I frankly think the helicopters are impossible to control. It will take me quite a bit of practice to get the flying down.

Fun: 4/5 This game has potential - the demo is quite fun, there are FSU environments, ( You should know what that means by now... ) and the game has a pretty nice atmosphere. This could give SOCOM: Confrontation a run for its money - some how - when it comes out for the PS3 later this year, but the framerate is ridiculous, and something needs to be done for this game to stand a chance as an elite FPS on the 360.


Game Review ( NASCAR '09 DEMO - 360 )

Graphics: 4.25/5 The game runs great, the cars and lighting are phenomenal, but the crashes are just lame... there are no flips, no fires, no realistic awesome smashes. The tracks look okay, and everything else is just meh. Not bad for a NASCAR game, though.

Sound: 3.5/5 No music during gameplay, and there are only a few songs on the tracklist. All you really here the whole game is the car accelerating and your pit crew telling you what's up.

Control: 4.5/5 Absolutely worlds better than the virtually NASCAR '08 from last year. You can actually drive with the stock controller - hurrah! Takes some getting used to, but you'll get it.

Fun: 4/5 What can I say, left turn, straight away, left turn... it is what it is - NASCAR, and it will likely appeal only to fans, but I must say, juding by the demo, it'll be a pretty good game.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Game Review ( Grand Theft Auto IV - 360 )

Graphics: 5/5 At first glance, the game looks pretty unimpressive, but quickly, the game grows on you and you'll appreciate it much more. The character models are good, the body movements are fantastic, the Ragdoll Body physics are great, the city is fantastic, there is little framerate drop even in online play, and the game looks absolutely stunning from a helicopter when you fly over the city. Grand Theft Auto IV may not look like the best 360 game straight up, but when you consider how much is put into this game, it really does look good.

Sound: 5/5 Easy 5/5, and one of the best sounding games ever. Radio stations and TV stations and characters with great dialogue for the most part. The game sounds great, of course. I can't think of one sound flaw in this game. The voiceovers don't impress everyone, but I think they are done quite well.

Control: 4.75/5 Very confusing when you first boot up the game, but quite easy to get down after a little while of playing. Many people have the car's new "realistic" controls. I actually like it better because, well, it's more realistic. It is frustrating at times, but it's not hard to get used to. The helicopters on the other hand, that's another story. They control well unless you're going fast - good luck landing one of those things. The new cover system and fighting system are pretty good, but not great. The cover system is actully somewhat useless, especially in online play, since players know where you are, and the fighting system is also flawed online because sometimes, although seldomly, headshots don't register.

Fun: 5/5 Are you surprised by the score? Of course not. The critics really gave this game what it deserves. GTAIV is definitely one of the best games of all-time. Sim-like gameplay, plus a great story, plus phenomenal multiplayer equals one great game. Although the game seems, and almost is, perfect, there are of course flaws. One thing for instance is the lack of being able to play co-op, which is a real downer. Still, the several different game modes will keep you occupied for months - or even years to come. If you are trying to find a reason to dislike this game, good luck, because just about anywhere you look, you will find greatness.


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Game Review ( Mario Kart Wii - Wii )

Graphics: 4/5 From afar, the game looks pretty good. When up close, though, the character models are not very good, and actually look worse than the GameCube version. This game does look good for the most part though, and the fact that the framerate seems to drop very little, and there are 12 racers on the track this time around, is impressive.

Sound: 3.75/5 Tracks are the same for the retro tracks, which is nice to see, and of course new for the new tracks. People say the music is annoying - not really. The thing that really is annoying are the voiceovers. Every few seconds you will hear your character and all the others wailing out. It gets old in minutes. Most characters don't sound at all like they did in previous games. What's with Donkey Kong sounding like Scooby Doo?

Control: 4.5/5 Why people dislike the Wii Wheel, I'll never know, but I think it's great. It took a Grand Prix play to get used to it, and now I don't think I'd ever go use a GameCube controller for this game. There are other ways to play: Wii controller on the side ( Same thing as using the Wii Wheel ) , Wii+Nunchuck, Classic Controller, and GameCube controller. I only give this a 4.5 because there are times when I turn right or left on the Wii controller, but the character on screen goes the opposite way. Doesn't happen often, but it happens sometimes. Really though, the Wii Wheel is great.

Fun: 4.5/5 Mario Kart Wii may very well be the best game in the series despite a LOT of flaws. Tedious loops of character grunts, so-so graphics, unbelievably cheap A.I., and a lack of some really great retro tracks are just a few things that bug me about this game. There is online play, obviously, and it is fun, but not as fun as most people say it is. I definitely recommend getting this game simply because there are so few games as fun as this one on the Wii. This is arguably the Wii's best games available now - it certainly gives Super Smash Bros. Brawl a run for its money.


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Game Review ( Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - DS )

Graphics: 4.5/5 CoD4 for the DS looks surprisingly good, and it suffers very little frame rate drops. There are also a lot of different and cool looking environments in the game. The character models look even better. One of the better looking DS games to date.

Sound: 4.25/5 People say it sounds great, I think it sound good. The guns sound good, but not like their real life counterparts, and the voice overs don't sound too great at all.

Control: 4.5/5 Along with Metroid Prime Hunters, this is the best and easiest to control shooters on the DS. This is how they should all be. You should be able to quickly learn these controls. They are effective and work well, although there are a few minor problems, like sprinting in to walls and the like because of the DS's D-pad. Other than that, well done.

Fun: 3.75/5 Sadly, CoD4 for the DS is worthy of nothing more than a rental - unless you have a few friends that have the game as well. The fact is, the single player is the only thing to this game unless you have friends to play with. After you're done with the campaign, there is no real reason to come back. The campaign is indeed fun, but it won't last forever. The single player has a similar story to the one in the 360 and PS3 versions of the game, but the experience is much different, as are the levels. This game could very well have been the best shooter on the DS if it had Wi-Fi, but sadly, it doesn't, leaving this shooter just another that falls short of being dubbed a gem.


Game Review ( Mario Party DS - DS )

Graphics: 4.5/5 They look very solid for a DS game, and certainly better than the N64 versions of the game. No drop in frame rate, and it overall looks very good.

Sound: 3.75/5 Grainy sounding Mario, Luigi, DK, Peach, Yoshi etc. = annoying. The game doesn't sound fantastic, it's just pretty average. Past games sounded better.

Control: 4/5 Obviously, Mario Party is known for its mini-games. On the DS, the microphone and touch screen are put into use, of course. Most games are exactly the same that involve the microphone, and some with the touch screen are the same too, just with different skins, but they are still enjoyable. The other minigames are played with the control pad.

Fun: 3.5/5 Mario Party DS is lacking a few things - Wi-Fi, more playable maps, and more characters, but it's a decent game. The minigames are quite fun, even though some are almost the same. Mario Party DS really doesn't feel like its own game, and just a minigame itself. I wouldn't recommend buying this game simply because it is lacking some things games on the N64 did have. Another problem I have with this game is its story mode. While it could be a nice addition, the story is lame and predictable, and if you fail in the story mode, you have to redo a whole 10 turn or more game. I would recommend this game if you are going on a road trip with (a) friend(s), because it's fun in groups, only playing a few games at a time, and can be played with one copy of the game.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Game Review ( Call of Duty 4 Variety Map Pack - 360 )

Released today is the much anticipated Variety Map Pack (VMP) the first, and possibly, the last map pack for the game. It features the maps Creek, China Town, Killhouse, and Broadcast. ( Killhouse can only be played in Free-for-All and Team Tactical, sadly. )


Creek: 4.5/5 I really wanted to play this map, and it doesn't disappoint. While there are a lot of frustrating snipers, the map is well covered in weeds and trees to make it somewhat difficult to snipe. There is a hill, a broken down barn house, and a cool little cave you can walk into. Creek isn't the best map in the pack, but it is a lot of fun.

China Town: 4.75/5 "Most of the Call of Duty 4 maps are built from the ground up" - this isn't one of them. You'll notice right away, if you played Call of Duty 2, this looks just like Carentan, France from Call of Duty 2. Not a bad thing - it was one of the best maps - but it is VERY similar. The only difference is that it looks a lot prettier and, well, it's in China apparently. One of, if not the best, map of the four. Great for all modes of play.

Broadcast: 5/5 My favorite map of the four, definitely. Broadcast is quite similar to the "Charlie Don't Surf" mission of single player, and it's amazing to play online. It's inside the TV station, as well as outside. It doesn't look completely like the single player version, but different enough to see the difference. Everything about this map is great with a few problems - airstrikes and helicopters are only really about 20% effective, since about 80% of the map is indoors.

Killhouse: 4/5 I finally played Killhouse. I played it in a 2-on-3 private match, and I must say, it's really not that bad. It's a small map with an almost entirely open roof for good use of airstrikes and helicopters. It's definitely not as good as the others, but it is pretty fun.


The VMP just comes down to this: $12.50 for one NEW map. Why do I saw this? It costs $12.50 for 1000 Microsoft Points through Xbox LIVE, Broadcast is essentially a map from single player with some subtle differences and new rooms, China Town is Carentan France from Call of Duty 2 with a new slap of skin on it, and Killhouse will probably get played by quite a few in actual game modes. Still, this is one of the best ways someone can spend ten bucks. You get three great maps that are probably better than any of the ones included in the game. ( Hah. Probably only saying that because I've played the on-disc maps so many times. ) Still, VMP adds a quartet of tasty maps that will only add to Call of Duty 4's seemingly endless online playability.


[5 for value. I make no sense.]

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Game Review ( Burnout Paradise - 360 )

Graphics: 4.5/5 Good, but not amazing. The frame rate holds up, and I suppose the graphics are more impressive just given that. Also, there aren't any load times while driving around the huge city, unless you start a race or the sort.

Sound: 5/5 A decent soundtrack, but the real thing here that sounds great are the cars, yet again. A car going 200mph hearing opposing cars whip by sounds amazing yet again. Burnout always has great sound, anyway. No surprise here.

Control: 4.5/5 As with most next-gen racers, you use the triggers to drive. It's comfortable, and I wouldn't have it any other way. However, some things are just pointless. The ability to do stunts in this game such as barrel rolls and flat spins is quite lame.

Fun: 4.25/5 Everything is well above average in Paradise, but it just isn't as fun as previous games. The online play is set up the best by far, but the city just isn't as fun to drive around in as one would think, and there are little things about the game that will get on your nerves. ( Ex. Fail a race? Better drive back to the starting line. ) Still, Burnout Paradise is the first REAL Burnout next-gen game for the 360. Well worth a look for any racing fan.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Game Review ( 3/25 Rock Band DLC - 360 )

Half a week past release, and I'm sure you know by now, the Boston pack is up on Xbox LIVE! ( And more recently, PSN. ) My review. I'll try to make it as short as possible.


Hitch a Ride: 4.5/5 I never heard of this Boston song before it was made DLC. ( Wasn't the biggest Boston fan. ) And didn't like it the first time I heard it, but it's a great song. It has a fantastic guitar solo, and the drums are fun, too. ( You'll be hearing that a lot. 5 of the 6 songs have relatively similar drumming charts. )

More Than a Feeling: 4.5/5 Another re-release, and a great one. MTaF was of course in Guitar Hero 1, and I'm glad to see it in Rock Band. A very easy but fun song on guitar, and of course, drums. I have heard it a lot over the years though and that's why it gets a 4.5. It'

Peace of Mind: 4.5/5 One of the harder drum songs in the pack, especially if you have a broken set. Yet another great song, by the way, on drums or guitar. Getting sick of hearing it? You'll hear it a few more times.

Rock and Roll Band: 4.75/5 Probably my favorite song of the six. Just really, really catchy lyrically, and the drums and guitar are, get this - fun. This song to me is quite underrated.

Smokin': 4.25/5 Of course, one of Boston's most popular songs, and it's here. Why rated lower than the others? First, I'm not the biggest fan of this song. Second, while I don't really care much, you play the organ during the "guitar solo". It's fun, it's challenging, but it's awkward. Also, the drums aren't too great on this song, although they are probably the most difficult.

Something About You: 4.5/5 As far as the song goes, I probably like it the least of the six, but it's very fun to play. (Surprised?) Fun on guitar and drums, and like other Boston songs, will have you singing along.


Even though I'm sure you already have, BUY the Boston Pack. It is very well worth it. For $10 you get some of the best Boston songs, and virtually their entire debut album. By-far the best DLC to date - but I do have to say, and I'm not the only one to think this I'm sure, several of these songs sound quite similar to eachother.

4.75/5 ( Not really the average score, but as far as value, it's definitely worth $10.)

A Serious Review Drought

I haven't been posting many reviews recently, mostly because I've been playing games like Halo 2, ( Yes, 2. ) Rock Band, and Call of Duty 4. However, I should be reviewing some more in the near future. Those games include:

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga (360)
Burnout Paradise (360)

A few older games, I know, but get over it. I'll probably start getting some DS games to review, too.


DVD Review ( Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Volume 4 )

Volume 4 is part 2 of the third season. ( Volume 5 is the final part. )


The Ninja Sword of Nowhere: 4/5 Krang sends Shredder back to earth to get what he believes is an alien metal. The turtles buy the sword that Shredder is trying to get, and he tries to hunt them down.

20,000 Leaks Under the Sea: 4/5 Shredder tries to flood the sewers to kill the turtles, but he floods the entire city. The turtles attempt to get the water back into the ocean.

[*]Take Me to Your Leader: 4.5/5 The world goes into a deep freeze due to Krang's draining of the sun's energy. The turtles, without Leonardo, who believes he's not fit to be a leader, try to stop Shredder and Krang.

Four Musketurtles: 3.75/5 Leonardo believes he's a musketeer, and the other turtles with him try to prevent Shredder from getting a new founded gem that could power the Technodrome.

[*]Turtles, Turtles Everywhere: 4.5/5 Shredder has automated garbage trucks steal all of the turtles in the city. The TMNT try to get the automated garbage truck main robot to attack Shredder.

[*]Cowabunga Shredhead: 5/5 Shredder uses a duplicator to make holograms of the turtles. Rocksteady and Bebop mess up the program, turning Shredder's personality into Michelangelo's. The turtles mess with "Shredder"'s mind my saying Shredder and Michelangelo to play mind-tricks on him to confuse him, and ultimately, help them out.

[*]Invasion of the Turtle Snatchers: 4.5/5 Shredder tries to get his hands on new alien equipment after he finds out Rocksteady was captured my an alien spaceship. Meanwhile, Donatello gets sucked up by it too. Rocksteady and Donatello temporarily work together, but then are enemies once again. The aliens tell Donatello of a toy that must be dug back up from earth or it will be the end of the world.

Camera Bugged: 4/5 An alien from the planet of Polaris has a camera that eliminates whatever it captures on camera. Shredder and Krang get this camera, and intend to use it to eliminate the turtles.

Green with Jealousy: 4.75/5 Krang created a vile full of love potion that has all the turtles but Donatello in love with Irma. Donatello tries his best to reverse the spell.

Return of the Fly: 4/5 Baxter returns as his fly-self and decides to get revenge on both the turtles and Shredder.

Casey Jones: "Outlaw Hero": 4.25/5 The turtles meet Casey Jones, a law fighter that tries to keep law breakers in check. He soon takes the turtles side.

Mutagen Monster: 4.25/5 The turtles work to stop a mutated bull from wreaking too much havoc on the city.


TMNT Volume 4 is a very solid section of the third season, but not nearly good as the previous. Many of the episodes are really average. Still, you gotta get this to be one step further in completing your TMNT collection on DVD.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Game Review ( SEGA Superstars Tennis - 360 )

Graphics: 4.5/5 Really looks good. Vibrant colors and drastically different looking stages. It's a shame the framerate drops like it does in ( If you can find a game ) multiplayer on LIVE.

Sound: 4.25/5 Same tedious grunts by characters such as AiAi will make others in the next room over think you're watching Asian porn. The music is pretty good, but reused on a few stages. Not bad, though.

Control: 3.75/5 Just way too simple as well as complicated - believe it. Hit X and A in different combinations to get off a different shot, and press LT or RT when you want to go into "Superstar Mode", where you hit balls differently than you would without it.

Fun: 3.5/5 Looks great, sounds good, but lacks the key ingredient for a good game - fun. Very few play this game on LIVE, and the single player is tedious as hell. The challenge mode is the same over and over again with a new skin slapped on the activity you need to complete. SEGA Superstars Tennis is well worth a rental, but certainly not a purchase.


Game Review ( 3/18 Rock Band DLC - 360 )

Blinded By Fear: 4.5/5 Fun song on guitar - impossible on Expert Drums. If you haven't seen the chart, look it up on YouTube.

D.O.A.: 4.5/5 The easiest song of the three all-around. Not terribly difficult at all on Expert drums, and the guitar isn't bad, either. Pretty good song, too.

Thrasher: 4.25/5 I like the song itself the least of the three, but it's still another challenge on guitar and drums - especially guitar. The constant strumming will have you sore in about 30-45 seconds.


Even though I really didn't think I'd get this pack, I did - and no regrets. The songs are a challenge, and pretty good too, if you like the genre. I recommend getting for the challenge - or at least get one of them.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Game Review ( Brain Challenge - 360 Arcade )

Graphics: 3/5 Not much to speak of. They're just really average, and well under the 150 MB graphical limit.

Sound: 3/5 A simple tune in the background is basically all you hear, with the occasional "Good job!" thrown in there. Also average.

Control: 4/5 The stress games really make for some weird controls - but that's exactly the point. My only REAL problem with the controls is that the analog stick skips too far sometimes when you move it once. Besides that, everything is pretty simple and uncomplicated.

Fun: 3.75/5 Brain Challenge is probably not worth the $10. Definitely five, for sure, but $10 is pushing it. The game isn't bad, but the mini games aren't all interesting, and there aren't many features. The multi player is decent fun, if you can even connect to a room. I recommend getting it only if you haven't yet tried Brain Age or a game similar to this.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Game Review ( Super Smash Bros. Brawl Characters - Wii )

Since I have nothing else to do, I'll just review all of the characters from SSBB/5588, seeing as how I have them all already. ( I need to get laid, I know. ) If you don't know the hidden characters, don't read on. [I will go in alphabetical order.]


Bowser: Bowser plays just like he did in Melee and virtually no differently. He remains one of the better, if not the best, heavier characters in Brawl. His fleeing abilities are really good, too, much better than Donkey Kong's. Obviously, though, Bowser suffers from lack of maneuverability because of his big size. 4.25/5

*#Captain Falcon: I haven't played TOO much with Captain Falcon, because I wasn't a fan of him in previous SSB games, but he's not that bad. He is surprisingly fast, and packs quite a punch. His fleeing isn't very good, though - pretty average. He is also one of the "Original Twelve", appearing in all three SSB games. Overall, he's a pretty average character with little to say about. 3.75/5

~Diddy Kong: Making his first appearance this time around is Diddy Kong, nephew of Donkey Kong. Diddy Kong is VERY underrated in Brawl. He has some solid speed, and a great Super Smash once you learn how to control it well. If you haven't played with him much, I highly recommend you start. He's a really great fighter and you may be as surprised as I was when I started playing with him consistently. 4.5/5

#Donkey Kong: Donkey Kong is one of my personal favorites, and a bit of a dark horse in the Brawl line-up. He, like Captain Falcon and many others, is one of the "Original Twelve". Donkey Kong is probably the best heavy-weight in Brawl. He hits quite quickly, and has some very powerful attacks. His Super Smash isn't that fantastic, but it gets better the more you use it. My favorite heavy-weight in Brawl, but is lacking some things. 4.5/5

*Falco: Falco Lombardi, member of Star Fox, is back again in Brawl. He plays in the same fashion as Fox - exactly the same - and is virtually no different. He is an absolute clone. However, I prefer Falco to Fox because - well, - I just do. 4.25/5

#Fox: Fox McLoud, leader of Star Fox, is back for a third time. Like stated above, he is the same character is Falco in just about every way. If you like playing as Falco, you should have no problem playing as Fox. 4.25/5

*Ganondorf: The antagonist of the Zelda series returns for a second time. He is much like Captain Falcon in that they have quite similar attacks. I can't say much else about him, seeing as how he is so similar. I must say, though, Ganondorf has a better Smash Move. 3.75/5

Ice Climbers: Nana and Bobo, the Ice Climbers, may well be my least favorite characters in Brawl and Melee. They don't move that fast, and they don't hit too hard. They only real positive thing about them is that they are small in size, making them harder to hit. Their Super Smash is pretty average, too. 3/5

~Ike: Ike is a character that, I must say, have played very little with. He's a pretty good character, but he reminds me of link and Marth. ( Probably because of his sword. ) I still prefer Toon Link to all the sword wielders in Brawl, though. 4/5

*#Jigglypuff: Yet another member of the "Original Twelve". I'm not too fond of Jigglypuff myself, but she (he?) is a pretty decent character. Best thing about him/her would have to be his/her flight ability - which is much like King Dedede's and Kirby's. One of my least favorite characters in Brawl. 3.5/5

~King Dedede: Here's another huge target - King Dedede is the biggest body in the game - bigger than both Bowser and D.K. Dedede has a good save maneuver, and his attacks are very powerful, but he moves slowly, and hits even slower. If you like raw power, though, he's your guy. 4.25/5

#Kirby: One of the more unique characters in the game. As you probably know by now, Kirby can suck-in any opponent and use his/her powers against him/her. Not all of the attacks, but the basic ones, and it's definitely a cool feature. Kirby also has a very useful escape maneuver. I, personally, don't care for Kirby - I like the more balanced fighters for the most part - but he's definitely different. 4/5

#Link: Link is one of the most popular characters in the series, and for good reason. He's pretty quick, and has some serious power. Link is my favorite swordsman in the series. Despite me not liking him much in the original SSB, he has grown on me, and turns out to be one of the best fighters to use when you're in a hole. 4.5/5

*~Lucario: Another Pokemon added to the list of fighters - can't complain. Lucario seems to be a bit like Mewtwo. Has some quick, tricky maneuvers, a similar flight ability, and some very similar attacks. If you liked playing as Mewtwo, you'll like Lucario. Also, he has a unique ability. When his damage against has gone up, his damage to goes up as well. Now that may make you use him more. 4.5/5

~Lucas: You probably haven't heard of Lucas and neither have I, but Lucas is from the Japanese-Only game Mother. Lucas is like Fox is to Falco - a nearly exact clone. There are subtle differences, but you likely won't notice them unless you play as him a lot. Lucas has some pretty good powerful attacks, but his flee-attack is very week. He only really has a double jump, and nothing else. If you use is B+^ attack while falling, and you practice, it is the best in the game, or at least one of the best. Lucas is definitely a solid character to use with practice. 4.25/5

*#Luigi: My favorite Mario Kart racer is back for a third time around. Luigi is quite a bit like Mario, but not as much as you'd think. Luigi has a drastically, and surprisingly, different Smash Move, which proves to be one of the most effective in the game. Luigi is definitely one of my favorite characters. 4.75/5

#Mario: Who DOESN'T know Mario? What would SSB be without Mario? Anyways, I think Mario is overrated. While he is almost perfectly balanced - solid attacks, decent flight attack - he just isn't entirely my type, or I just have bad luck with him. He is, or at least should be, though, the character or choice for SSB,SSBM, or SSBB noobs. 4/5

*Marth: Marth is back again to represent the Fire Emblem series. Like Ike and Link, he is a swordsman. I don't particularly care for Marth, but he is one hell of a fighter. He is quick, and has some super powerful attacks. Just because I rate him low, doesn't mean he's a bad fighter. In fact, he may just be the best no-one-ever-really-picks fighter in the game. 4/5

~Meta Knight: Yet another fighter from the Kirby series. Meta Knight turns out to be one of my favorite characters in Brawl. He has a solid escape maneuver, some really quick and powerful attacks, and a simple yet super effective Super Smash. Also, to top it all off, he's small in size making it a bit harder for objects to hit him. Great fighter, in my opinion. He truly has it all. 4.75/5

*Mr. Game & Watch: Well, look who's back - Mr. G&W. Game and Watch was the only character I wasn't able to unlock in Melee due to the difficulty of doing so, so after unlocking him in Brawl I was obviously excited. Mr. G&W is certainly the most unique looking of all the characters - he's 2D! He has some average speed, mustered up with some great power, and he has a pretty effective Super Smash. Another one of my favorite characters in the game. 5/5

*#Ness: That one kid from Earthbound is back - Ness. I never thought Ness was all that great, but after playing with Lucas, I started using Ness a bit, and he's not too bad. Like Lucas though, he's not REALLY my type. If you like Lucas, you like Ness, if you don't like Lucas, you won't like Ness. That's how it goes. 4.25/5

~Olimar: A familiar face - Olimar took part in the popular GameCube titles Pikmin and Pikmin 2. Olimar's main attacks are with, what else, Pikmin. Olimar is, overall, a pretty weak character. He isn't too strong, not too quick, and his escape combo is virtually useless. However, he has one of, if not the best, Smash Moves in the game, which kind of makes up for his lack of real fighting power. He's an okay character, but not of much interest or use to me. 3.25/5

Peach: One of the weaker characters in my opinion, is Peach. Her best feature is her jump technique, but that's all that's really decent about her. Her Final Smash isn't even much of an attack, and she isn't that quick or strong. It is realistic for her character, but she's not a good character for Brawl. 3/5

#Pikachu: Whoever doesn't know of Pikachu should be shot. This Pokemon is back again, and he plays the same way as before. A quick character that benefits from his small size. However, his only real great attack is his Thunder attack. His other moves and his Smash Move is disappointing. ( His Smash Move is quite similar to Sonic's) Pikachu's really a useless character unless you use him in Multi-Man Melee. 3.5/5

~Pit: Here's a character most people haven't probably heard of. Pit is from Kid Icarus from way back in the early Nintendo days. Pit sacrifices an ^+B attack for what proves to be the best flight technique in the game. Because of this, though, he lacks some serious power. Still, he's a pretty solid and unique character. 4/5

~Pokemon Trainer: As Pokemon Trainer, you don't actually play as him. You play as Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard - appearing in that order. That's right - three characters. Pokemon Trainer is one of my favorite fighters for that reason. There's speed in Squirtle, power in Charizard, and a good, even balance in Ivysaur. Also, the Smash Move, although similar to Mario's , Samus's and the like, is super effective and is sure to get at least one kill if located well. Great fighter, indeed. 4.75/5

*~R.O.B.: R.O.B. is probably one of the more random characters to be included into Brawl. He lacks several things. He's not super strong and can't stand up to the likes of Bowser and D.K. too well, and he's also not that fast. To make things even a bit worse, he doesn't have much range with the exception of his laser, which doesn't always work. With him lackin this badly, he should have a great Smash Move, but he doesn't. It's one of the worst in Brawl. R.O.B. should have probably been excluded from Brawl, but here he is. Not great, not good, but not bad. 3.5/5

#Samus: My most played character from the original SSB and SSBM is back and plays the same as ever. She has been toned down a bit. While she was super fast in the original SSB and SSBM, Samus has slowed down considerably in this game. However, Zero Suit Samus goes SUPER fast. (Review later.) Samus isn't what she once was in previous games in some ways, and it's hard to pick her when there are so many other better fighters to use. Still, I've used Samus for the most time in Brawl's. 4.5/5

*~Snake: Every gamer should know by now that Snake was put in Brawl - that was announced awhile back. Anyways, Snake doesn't disappoint in Brawl. He brings a mortar, homing rocket lancher, grenades, and mines. Because of this, he is a hard character to get used to. But if you do get used to him, he can be VERY effective. He has speed, power, and one of the best flight mechanisms in Brawl. 4.5/5

*~Sonic: As for Snake, you should know about Sonic by now. Sonic will very likely be one of the last few characters you will unlock in Brawl - and is it worth it? Sadly, the answer is no, not really. Sonic is byfar the fastest character in Brawl, and for good reason, but because of this, the player will have to practice quite a bit. Sonic also lacks any really strong attacks. You can control most of them, but they are still not very predictable. Third, his Smash Move is mediocre at best - it's much like Pikachu's. Fly around the stage in a super fast ball hitting opponents. It should be a one or two hit KO, right? It's not. It hits with 15%-18% force, and doesn't too often knock the opponent out of the ring. It's too bad Sonic isn't a better character. 4.25/5

*~Toon Link: Exactly like Young Link before him, Toon Link is an exact copy of Link with the slightly better edge because of his smaller size. When you do get Toon Link, though, you unlock one of the better stages in the game, Pirate Ship, which takes place on seas as if you were playing in The Windwaker. Toon Link is a good character, but not at all a different character from Link. 4.5/5

~Wario: It took two previous installments of SSB before Wario got into the Brawl, and it's about time. Wario is a heavyweight character that is seriously lacking any speed. His attacks, however, aren't for the most part. When built up enough, his fart attack will own anybody in close proximity. He also has an ^+B attack very similar to Samus's. If that's now enough, he can hop on his motorcycle and ride opponents out of the ring. Wario's Smash Move isn't the greatest, but it's not bad. He changes clothes and has amazing speed abilities, and his attacks are greatly powered up. He's a good character if you can tolerate his annoying "Wah-ha-ha!"s. 4.25/5

*~Wolf: Wolf is the second clone of Fox, people say. Falco first, now him. While he does seem a lot like Falco and Fox, there are also some great differences. For one, his blaster shoots much slower but does a lot more damage. Second, his ^+B attack doesn't take nearly as long and is equally as effective. He's not nearly as quick as Falco or Fox is, but it's worth it. Wolf is more my type - Fox and Falco are too spazzy. Definitely well worth getting. 4.75/5

#Yoshi: The last of the "Original Twelve" alphabetically is Yoshi. Like a few others from the original SSB, I'm not impressed by Yoshi. His flee attack isn't that great, and his attacks aren't either. He's really a character that will probably only be used by serious Yoshi fans. 3.5/5

Zelda/Sheik: Zelda/Sheik is back for a second time around, and is much better than Princess Peach. Zelda is better alone, but Sheik is better than both. They're Final Smash is exactly the same, Zelda's and Sheik's, but it doesn't really matter. They're a feared two-some. Better yet you can choose who you want to play as and change any time during a match like you could in Melee. 3.75/5

~Zero Suit Samus: You will use Z.S.S. after you use Samus's Smash Move, or before a match by pressing a combination of buttons. I don't care for her that much - Samus to be in her suit is much more effective. As Z.S.S., she's a bit like, yet another, Fox. Her Smash Move isn't a Smash Move at all, instead, she gets back on her armor and turns back into Samus. 3.75/5


And that's it. My review/guide of all the characters. Overall, the roster is pretty solid, but there are a few duds in there.

[*] An asterisk indicates the character must be unlocked.]
[~] A tilde indicates the character is new to the series.]
[#] A pound indicates the character is one of the "Original Twelve".]

Game Review ( 3/11 Rock Band DLC - 360 )

Crush,Crush,Crush: 4.75/5 The only song of the three I had heard previous to it being on Rock Band. It's a good song, but it's a female vocalist, so some may not like it. Great song on drums, although easy.

Beethoven's C*** (A.K.A. "Beethoven's Cunt"): 4.5/5 A pretty good song created by the lead singer of System of a Down. Once again, great song for drums.

Shockwave: 4.75/5 Really a great song. One of the first new-age metal songs to be introduced to Rock Band. Challenging song on all levels, but well worth buying.


All three of the songs this week are worth buying. Not only are they some of the best songs available for DLC, they are also only 80 MSP ($1) - just another reason to download them right away.


[[Value-wise, definitely a 5/5.]]

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Game Review ( Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Wii )

Graphics: 4.75/5 SSBB looks pretty much like Super Smash Bros. Melee, with a bit more polish. The thing that is most amazing about this game graphically is how the framerate stands up. There is virtually zero lag. And with this game having the most action on the screen at once, it's nice to see. There are quite a few maps, too - all of which are unique and are great to play on for the most part.

Sound: 5/5 One of the best sounding games ever. SSBB has a great soundtrack with a lot of variety, and the in-game sounds never sounded better. The attacks and grunts of all the different characters is fantastic. Very well done.

Control: 4.75/5 Nintendo gives players the option to use a Wii remote, a Wii+Nunchuck combination, Classic controller, or GameCube controller to play SSBB. I, personally, use the GameCube controller, and the controls are the same as on SSBM. All of these combinations will give you the opportunity to play several different ways.

Fun: 5/5 SSBB may very well be the game of the year - at least for the Wii. SSBB has endless replay value. Fourteen unlockable characters, tournaments, online play, the Subspace Emissary, and MUCH more, will keep you playing for a long time. Subspace Emissary is definitely lacking, though, as it is very repetitive. However, the cutscenes are absolutely fantastic. If you liked Melee, you will definitely love Brawl. It has what Melee had and much more - more characters, stages, items, and fun. SSBB is the must-buy Wii game of the year.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Game Review ( 11/20 - 2/26 Rock Band DLC - 360 )

Reviewing each indivudual song and pack will take forever, so I'll do it quickly in one post - telling you which ones are most worth getting and which ones you should skip. From now on, though, I will review the DLC as it comes available. Since I already reviewed the 11/20 packs, I'll review the single songs.


"Fortunate Son" - 4.25/5
"Juke Box Hero" - 4.5/5
"Bang a Gong (Get it On)" - 4/5
"My Sharona" - 5/5
"Cherry Bomb" - 2.75/5

David Bowie Pack 01 - 4.5/5

Black Sabbath Pack 01 - 4.25/5

Punk Pack 01 - 3.25/5

"My Iron Lung" - 3.75/5
"Brass In Pocket" - 4/5
"Buddy Holly" - 4.75/5

"Attack" - 3.75/5
"The Kill" - 4/5
"Dirty Little Secret" - 4.5/5
"Move Along" - 4.5/5
"Song With A Mission" - 4/5

"Gimme Three Steps" - 4.25/5
"Hard To Handle" - 4.25/5
"Limelight" - 5/5

"Die, Alright!" - 3.5/5
"Interstate Love Song" - 4.75/5
"The Number of the Beast" - 4.25/5

"Action" - 4/5
"Last Train to Clarksville" - 4/5
"All the Small Things" - 4.5/5

Oasis Pack 01 - 4.25/5

"Siva" - 4/5
"Working Man" - 5/5
"Ten Speed (Of God's Blood and Burial)" - 4.25/5

February OXM
Harmonix Pack 01 - 4.25/5
-Note: These songs were only available for download via the OXM February 2008 disc.-

"Roam" - 3.5/5
"We Care a Lot" - 4.5/5
"Calling Dr. Love" - 4.5/5

(Arguably) Punk Pack 02 - 4.25/5

"Sex Type Thing" - 4.5/5
"El Scorcho" - 4.5/5
"Why Do You Love Me?" - 4.25/5

Nine Inch Nails Pack 01 - 4/5


That's my review for the DLC up to this point. If you didn't read all of that, this is my quick list of what songs to get and which to stay away from.

Buy: "Juke Box Hero" , "My Sharona" , "David Bowie Pack 01" (Believe me, the songs grow on you.) , "Buddy Holly" , "Dirty Little Secret" , "Move Along" , "Limelight" , "Interstate Love Song" , "All the Small Things" , "Working Man" , "We Care a Lot" , "Calling Dr. Love" , "Sex Type Thing" , "El Scorcho"

(Songs "worth buying" are those with a 4.5 rating or higher.)
(Grand Total: $2.00 x 26 = $52.00 + $5.49 (David Bowie Pack 01) = $57.49)

DON'T Buy: "Cherry Bomb" , "Punk Pack 01" , "Die, Alright!" , "Roam"

(Songs "not worth buying" are those with a 3.5 rating or lower.)
(Grand Total: $2.00 x 3 = $6.00 + $5.49 (Punk Pack 01) = $11.49)
I just saved you $11.49. You're welcome.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Game Review ( Mass Effect - 360 )

Graphics: 4.5/5 I am being a bit generous here. While Mass Effect has some pretty damn good gameplay graphics, and a TON of great looking cut scenes, the game suffers often from framerate drops and random loading screens. Also, textures don't load up occasionally. Also, the graphics have a "fuzzy" look much like Rock Band. While it seems to fit better in Rock Band, it doesn't look too bad here.

Sound: 5/5 One of, if not the best, sounding games ever. Each and every gun sounds great, but that's nothing compared to the THOUSANDS of lines of dialogue in this game. Every character talks, including your character, Commander Shepherd, and every new alien, item, and planet you discover is read off by some dude. This game makes for a cinematic-like experience, thanks to the incredible sound.

Control: 4.5/5 Definitely unique. Coming from the creators of KotoR, Mass Effect has a similar fighting control, but it's actually a little bit better. The combat is over the shoulder much like Gears of War and GRAW. The controls are a bit funky at first, but you can have the ability of choosing how you want the aim assist to be - High, medium, or low. There are occasional glitches where you may get stuck, or buttons won't work correctly, ( most likely because of the lag ) but for the most part, it controls well, and isn't too difficult to learn either.

Fun: 4.75/5 Mass Effect is a game that should be experienced by any 360 owner. Mass Effect seems like a really long interactive movie that you don't ever want to end. Memorable characters, tons of options, and plentiful action - this is a must play for shooter and/or RPG fans. Describing this game to anyone wouldn't do it justice - you have to play it to believe it.


Game Review ( Surf's Up - 360 )

Graphics: 3/5 A decent looking game, but nothing spectacular. Average looking everything, with some nice looking levels, but it's just a subpar looking 360 game.

Sound: 4/5 Lines from the movie, clips from the movie, and some songs from bands like Simple Plan and the Plain White T's. Not bad at all.

Control: 2.75/5 Overly simplistic. The game consists of almost exclusively pressing the B button, with the occasional Y button press.

Fun: 2.75/5 I give this a 2.75 rating as an overall value rating. For a days worth of 950-1000 achievement points, it's one of the best "Achievement Whore" games as far as fun and ease of achievements. However, if you buy this game expecting good replayability, you're mistaken. The game is a joke and is no challenge at all. The only thing it really is is repetitive. Worth a quick rental, and nothing more.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Game Review ( Frontlines: Fuel of War - Demo - 360 )

Graphics: 3.25/5 Don't look that great, but graphics take a hit with 32 player online play. The models look okay, and the environments are "meh". The one thing that's really disturbing is the red "powder" blood. So N64...

Sound: 3.5/5 Pretty average. Sounds like garbage compared to Call of Duty 4, actually. The guns sound okay and there are decent voiceovers, but it's really nothing special.

Control: 3.75/5 Not only do the tanks and helicopters take awhile to get the controls down for, the controls of the infantrymen are weird too. LB to reload, RB to sprint - I constanly press the wrong buttons. Hard to get used to.

Fun: 4/5 F:FoW is actually a pretty decent game. It controls like most FPS's now-a-days. It reminds me of War Rock for the PC, as well as Battle Field for the PC. There are some problems with this game. For instance, there is a glitch where it's nearly impossible to get up some ladders in the game, and every automatic gun kills and shoots the same way. This game feels a lot like Halo and Call of Duty 4 combined into one. This game has some unique features, and is pretty fun. Not too sure if it will be worth the $60 asking price, but it will be worth quite a long rental from GameFly.


Thursday, February 07, 2008

Game Review ( Beautiful Katamari - 360 )

First off I have to say, I TRIED to like this game, and just couldn't. I'm very aware that most people with completely disagree with me on this review.

Graphics: 3.25/5 They're a different style, it's colorful too, but I think it's bizarre and actually pretty ugly.

Sound: 2.5/5 The music is just annoying as all hell, and everything in this game you have to read - no voiceovers here.

Control: 2/5 It's very different indeed, but it's garbage. It takes getting used to, and it isn't worth it. I should be able to control the Katamari how I want, not just use the two sticks. Frustrating. Constantly get stuck in corners, too.

Fun: 3/5 This game COULD be fun if it had better sound and more tolerable controls. However, it doesn't, and this is just one trashy game - no matter how you look at it.


Game Review ( The Simpsons Game - 360 )

The Simpsons Game has been out for awhile, but I finally got it from GameFly - I must say it's a great game for a Simpsons fan.

Graphics: 4/5 While at first I was unimpressed, the graphics really aren't bad at all. The characters are in a full 3D look, that somewhat looks like cel-shading. The in-HD cut scenes throughout the game are really great and make this game even better - it's like watching a Simpsons episode, but playing it at the same time.

Sound: 5/5 Certainly the best thing about this game. The sound effects and music are all great, and there have to be at LEAST a few thousand lines from characters in this game. Most every character ever taking an appearance in the show can be seen in this game, whether it's in an "episode", or just walking around Springfield - you can also talk to them whenever you want.

Control: 3/5 Not as bad as people say, but still pretty damn bad. The camera can definitely be annoying at certain parts in the game when spaces are tight or you want to look at a certain part of the level, but it doesn't happen too often. I'd say the simplistic controls are probably more-so annoying than the camera. It controls like an average adventure game from five years ago.

Fun: 3.75/5 "The Simpsons Game" is a real great experience. The story is written very well, it's a fun game to get Achievements for, and it's a must-play for any Simpsons fan. You can walk around Springfield as much as you want at your pace, and walk into quite a few buildings around the city including the church, Moe's, Android's Dungeon (The comic book store), The Simpsons House, the Kwik-E-Mart, and more. The inside of the buildings look almost just like the show. It's a good game, but it could've been better. The tediousness of getting collectables gets frustratingly not worth it after only maybe an hour, there's no Xbox LIVE Co-Op, either. Still, it's a unique game, and you will find yourself playing spoofs of other games as well, such as Space Invaders, Gauntlet and Everquest. Flawed, and probably shouldn't be bought by anyone - no matter how big of a Simpsons nut you are - but it's well worth a rental and a lot of fun until you finish the game.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Game Review ( The Police Pack 01 - 360 Arcade )

Can't Stand Losing You: 4.75/5 Didn't care for it much at all at first, but it's a great song. Very easy on both guitar and drums, but fantastic song.

Synchronicity II: 4/5 Average song... it was already in Guitar Hero: Rock's the 80's, too. Easy on guitar and pretty easy on drums too.

Roxanne: 4.5/5 A classic. Easy on drums and guitar, though.


[All songs are master tracks.]

Game Review ( Queens of the Stoneage Pack 01 - 360 Arcade )

3's & 7's: 4.5/5 Great song, but it's also in Guitar Hero III. Difficult song on guitar, pretty easy on drums for the most part.

Little Sister: 4.75/5 Even better song. Hard on both guitar and drums...

Sick, Sick, Sick: 4.5/5 So trippy, but so catchy. Once again, hard on guitar and drums.


[All of these songs are master tracks.]

Game Review ( Metallica Pack 01 -360 Arcade )

The songs in this pack, with the exception of MAYBE "And Justice For All" are pretty damn hard on any instrument you play on. "Blackened" and "Ride the Lightning" are both very difficult on drums, and all three are quite a challenge on guitar. Still, for 440 MSP you're getting your moneys worth. The songs are all quite long, and they're all fun to play.

...And Justice For All: 5/5 Awesome song - it's really long too. A lot of fun on guitar and drums.

Blackened: 4.25/5 I can't beat this song on expert drums and it's the only song in Rock Band I haven't 5*ed yet on expert guitar. It's a good song, but the worst of the three.

Ride the Lightning: 4.5/5 I can't beat this song on expert drums either, although I haven't tried in awhile - the main section is pretty difficult.


[All of these songs are master tracks.]

Far Less Reviews This Year

I likely will be reviewing a lot less games this year just because I've been barely using my Gamefly. The only thing I've been doing is playing Call of Duty 4 and Rock Band. The only thing I'll be really posting up on a weekly basis will probably be Rock Band songs.


Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Game Review ( Bankshot Billiards 2 - 360 Arcade )

After months of contemplating on whether or not to get this game, I finally did as the price dropped to 800 MSP.

Graphics: 3.75/5 Kept really simple. Everything looks great, but the fact that every game you play is on the same table is a little depressing.

Sound: 3.5/5 Average background music that occasionally drops out, like Uno. The balls hitting eachother sound great, of course.

Control: 4.5/5 Really very simple. It's basically Yahoo! Pool for your 360. You can turn on aim-assist or off - whatever you please.

Fun: 4/5 Bankshot Billiards is not nearly as bad as people make it seem. It's a lot of fun. Although I haven't even seen a game online, it's still a good single player game, and local multiplayer game. There are several modes, too. Including the traditional 8-Ball, 9-Ball, 14.1 Continuous, Golf, and even Trick Shots. If you like virtual pool games, this is well worth $10. It's not very deep, not many people play it on Live, and the leaderboards are completely messed up, but the game is a good time killer.