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Archive for March, 2012

Review #458

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

3D Classics: Kid Icarus
Developer: Arika
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: 03/22/2012

The truth is, I’ve never been a big fan of Nintendo first party titles. I’ve never liked any of the Mario games, and only a few of the Zelda titles. Metroid is hit or miss with me, as is the Donkey Kong franchise. Kirby have never done it for me and I’d rather play something like Shining Force or Ogre Tactics to Fire Emblem. Now that’s not to say that all Nintendo franchises have left me cold. I love Pokemon in all its forms and I keep hoping they’ll remake Pro Wrestling …or at least put it on the Virtual Console. I loved their Popeye game back in the day and I can never get enough of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Still, there’s one old school Nintendo made game that I played more than any other…and that’s Kid Icarus. Man I loved that game. Whether it was slowing working my way up through all the levels, or going gonzo with “Icarus Fights Medusa Angels,” I could spend hours with that game where otherwise I’d be engrossed with something like Wizardry or The Bard’s Tale on my PC. Now, a quarter of a century later, Kid Icarus has been re-released on the 3DS as a “3D Classics” pr-order bonus for when you purchased Kid Icarus: Uprising. Uprising was a game I knew I was going to get day one due to its being a cross of Contra and a rails shooter, and getting the 3D Classic was just icing on the cake. So while everyone else is covering the new game, I thought I’d first cover the original and see how it holds up as a 3DS title and what changes have been made.
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Review #457

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Dragon Crystal
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Rougelike/Dungeon Hack
Release Date: 03/15/2012

Dragon Crystal is an odd game to me for two reasons. The first is that it was a nearly straight port to the Sega Game Gear from the Sega Master System. How often did that happen? The second is that it was chosen along with Sonic The Hedgehog: Triple Trouble and Shinobi to be one of the first three Game Gear titles for Nintendo’s e-Shop. I was happy to see it on there, as I’m a big fan of roguelikes but I was surprised Sega didn’t go with a bigger name title as they had with the others, say, one of the Shining Force titles? Wouldn’t this get lost amongst two of Sega’s biggest franchises ever? Well, Sega probably felt the same which is why this is priced at only $2.99. That makes Dragon Crystal the cheapest of the games and one of the cheaper titles in the e-Shop. The question then remains if you’re getting what you paid for, or if this is a diamond in the rough. Let’s find out.
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Review #456

Monday, March 5th, 2012

Nickelodeon Nicktoons MLB 3D
Developer: Black Lantern Studios, Inc.
Publisher: 2K Play
Genre: Arcade Sports
Release Date: 03/06/2012

March 6th is a pretty big day for gamers. For some, it’s Mass Effect 3 day. For others it’s Street Fighter X Tekken day. But for a lot of other gamers – it’s Baseball day. It’s the day MLB: The Show ‘12 hits for the Sony Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita. It’s also the day 2K Sports releases MLB 2k12 for the PS2, PSP, Nintendo DS, Wii, Xbox 360 and the PS3. However between both those games, one major system is overlooked. That’s right – the Nintendo 3DS. Why 2K Games decided to give the PS2 (in fact MLB 2k12 is the last official release for the venerable system) and the PSP versions, but not the 3DS (ESPECIALLY with a DS version) is beyond me. Don’t worry though baseball fans, where 2K Sports lets 3DS owners down, 2K Play saves the day with Nickelodeon Nicktoons MLB 3D. This double licensed arcade baseball game is the first North American baseball game for the Nintendo 3DS. Sure some gamers might shudder at the idea of using Ren Hoek or Jimmy Neutron in their starting lineup instead of real baseball players, but true baseball fans still hold games like Baseball Stars, Base Wars and Baseball Simulator 1.000 as some of the best baseball titles ever – and they were far from SERIOUS BUSINESS. Hell, none of them even had the MLB license…which this game does. So is the pairing of Nicktoons characters and Major League Baseball a surprisingly entertaining matchup, or is the end result a weird game that will appeal to neither prospective audience.
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Review #455

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Shadows On the Vatican – Act I: Greed
Developer:10th Art Studios
Publisher: Adventure Productions
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 02/13/2012

Although the North America has companies like Double Fine and Telltale Games, the vast majority of adventure games are being developed and published across the Atlantic in Europe. Case in point, the game we are looking at today, Shadows On the Vatican is a four part episodic adventure gaming coming out of Italy. I did an interview with several of the staff working on the game back in January and I have to admit, I’ve been really looking forward to this game. It’s one of the few I knew I wanted to review if I had the opportunity and so here we are. So does the first episode, Greed, having me chomping at the bit for more…or have I seen enough?
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