Legendary Game Review

Legendary Game CoverThe world of Legendary is defiantly something out of myth. With flying Griffins, Werewolves and large Golems roaming the streets of New York this story is one that comes wrapped neatly in a small little box. Although I’m not sure if I’d want to see Pandora’s box under my Christmas tree! Continue reading “Legendary Game Review”

Game Review | Animal Paradise (Nintendo DS)

Animal paradise for the Nintendo DSIf I were told to describe Empire Interactive’s Animal Paradise in three words I would say cute, adorable and mildly addicting. Ok so the last description is two words hopefully you’ll see what I mean. Continue reading “Game Review | Animal Paradise (Nintendo DS)”

Game Review | Unsolved Crimes (Nintendo DS)

Remember all of the skills you learned from those marathons of CSI New York? Well its finally time to put them to use! You get to use the intuitive observation skills of Gil Grissom and the deductive reasoning skills of Sherlock Holmes as you solve cases as the rookie in the New York Homicide division in 1976. You and your partner Marcy Blake are assigned cases from Captain Abbot, the head of the department. And as if the bodies aren’t enough for this, add in an abducted model (who happens to be Marcy’s sister) and you have Empire Interactive’s Unsolved Crimes.

With this being my first hand held game since Pokémon Yellow for the Gameboy Color, it was an easy introduction game for the DS. While investigating crime scenes, Marcy asks you questions involving the case and you get to choose the correct answer from multiple choice options. Sounds simple right? Well, it is. You have a total of three tries before you get kicked out of the department, with the occasional bonus question to gain an extra “star”. Some of Marcy’s questions involve drawing the trajectory of a bullet, or filling in missing portions of a map but most consist of either writing in the answer or choosing from 5 multiple choice answers. This makes for the game to be simpler that I would have preferred but I will admit that there are those questions that had me perplexed for a while, but for the most part the questions were pretty easy as long as you think it through logically. It’s all elementary my dear Watson.

Dare I add to the cheesiness? Yes I do. The graphics are a crime in itself. With the graphic’s color range as far as I can throw an elephant, I wouldn’t suggest nominating this game for any awards in artistic design. The colors are limited in shades and textures are minimal at best. The 3D aspect of searching through the crime scenes are rather flat. Whether this was a conscious choice on the designers part I’m not sure, but I don’t believe it fits with the game very well.

The continuing story line of a kidnapped model gives you a break from the usual routine. With the tracking down of suspects, searching their apartment for incriminating evidence, or memorizing license plates from suspicious vehicles, the game becomes a little more intriguing. After a while, solving cases one after another becomes a routine and rather predicable, but when side investigations from this continuing story arc are put in intermittently into the case lineup, it can keep us interested enough to see the game through to the end.

Although the somewhat repetitious game play and poor graphics are a downside to the game, upside of a good thinking game with a story to break up the monotony helps bring this game up a couple of notches in my book. It may not be the huge adrenaline rush that games like Gear of War 2 is, but if you want something different than “woah! Did you just see its head explode?” kind of game then give this game a try! Not that I’m condemning those kind of games. I may not look it, but trust me, I enjoy the games where I get to watch an alien creature’s head pop through a sniper scope! But every once in a while I do want to embrace the idea that while playing a video game you can use your brain for more than planning around AI aliens trying to kill you, and Unsolved Crimes would be one of those games where I can get my synapses started up.

Game Review | Guitar Hero: World Tour (Xbox 360)

World Tour
Cover for the 360 version of Guitar Hero: World Tour

Time to trade that controller for the plastic guitar once again! Yah, you know what I’m talking about: Guitar Hero. The newest installment, Guitar Hero: World Tour by Activision boasts a new array of features and game play options that pushes this game beyond that of what Guitar Hero 3 ever was. In fact there are so many  upgrades, I may have to turn this single review into reviews to give this game the justice it deserves!

Lets start with the staple equipment of the game: the guitar. This edition has given the traditional guitar a few upgrades including a star power button next to the strum bar, a longer whammy bar, slide bar, longer neck and a bigger body! The guitar is considerably easier to hold for longer periods of time with it’s larger body size and longer neck. One of the more prominent changes in the guitar is the new slide bar! It’s a tad bit tricky to learn how to use because of the smooth surface of the pad, which makes it hard to distinguish the separate pads from each other, but this new feature seems to be a good touch to add a new twist into the play. The new star power button is a wonderful idea for those who have a hard time tilting the guitar and hitting a note (such as yours truly), but the positioning right up against the strum bar makes it hard to hit, causing those notes to be missed anyways if you decide to go this route to activate the star power. Overall the new guitar design is a great upgrade from the old style with little to complain about!

Now onto the game itself! The graphics are considerably improved from Guitar Hero 3 with smoother curves, more details, bigger (and cooler) venues and smoother character movement with some amusing cut scenes between songs in Career mode. I do have to say, the game has started catching up with what the 360 console is capable of while still holding onto its signature look.

Once you start in either career or quick play mode, you’re able to choose from what you want to play: guitar, bass, drums or vocals which makes for a nice change up every once in a while. The gameplay screen has changed slightly as the display showing your star power, rock meter, score and note streak has been shifted over to the left side of the fret board and is smaller, making it harder to see how much star power has been built up.

The beginning set list is a little slow at first on medium, making the difficulty rather easy, even for a guitar newbie like me! As you advance through career mode, the songs become (thankfully) harder and more challenging. Activision this time around has included a shocking variety in this set list, with everything from Michael Jackson’s “Beat it” to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze”! Yes, that’s right Hendrix fans, Jimi’s been added to the Guitar Hero world!

So there’s the basics and a very small introduction to the new Guitar Hero. The new features list continues on and on with everything from the ability to customize everything about your character’s look and their instrument to the new feature to create your own song! More than likely a part two to this review is coming up, with a coverage of just about every other feature that I didn’t get a chance to cover

Oh, and for those of you who are yelling and screaming at me about the drum and mic set: I haven’t been able to get my hands on either of those…yet. So in the next review I’ll try to fully cover those new features of the game! I’ve only got so much money on me you know!