Community Games Round-Up: Second Go Around + An Interview With Trino Team!

•May 27, 2009 • 1 Comment

Community Games Round-Up

So, it’s been about a month and a half. Initial response to the Community Games Round-Up wasn’t anything to write home about, and then Ryan Rigney over at Blend Games got involved. Here is a link to my N4G article, and here is a link to Rigney’s. You can look at the temperatures of those two submissions, mine ending at 20 degrees, and Ryan’s ending at 249. So needless to say, thank you Ryan, I really do appreciate it.

So here we are, at the beginning of another round up. Which games will be deserving of your dollars this time? And which ones will go the way of Rocket Fart? A harrowing question indeed. These are done in no particular order, well scratch that, they’re done in alphabetical order for ease of tracking. I hope you enjoy this edition of: The Community Games Round-Up!

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What Now?

•May 23, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Well, I am officially saddened, for Batman: Arkham Asylum is being pushed back until September (at the soonest), so I must find another game worthy of my time. I’d had June set aside as my Batman and Boom Blox month for a while, and now that has all been pushed out the window. Except for the Boom Blox of course. I know that I do not have many regular readers, but if anyone happens to stop by and could help me with a conundrum, I would appreciate it.

My conundrum of course being, what do I get?  It really only between three games, and each of them has its personal merits. At the top of the list is a game I’ve been following for quite some time because it reminds me of an open world super hero game, which is a genre I’ve enjoyed in both Spiderman 2 and The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. I’m of course talking about Prototype.



Yeah, pretty cool I guess. I mean, I have opposable thumbs, but whatever.

Jumping around the city, causing all kinds of mayhem and destruction is something that can always hold my attention for longer than it should. This is a completely single player experience, which means that it’ll have to stay interesting throughout, and even after it’s finished if it’s to get a buy from me. Of course, I still play Spiderman 2 every now and then. With Alex Mercer’s (the protagonist) myriad of powers, and an ever evolving landscape, I don’t see this game getting boring for a long while. Add and interesting story and varied enemies, and this may replace Spiderman 2 as my go to open world game.

Second on my list would have to be Ghostbuster: The Videogame. I’m not someones who’s been holding my breath for a Ghostbusters game worth playing. I liked the movies, and I’ve had my doubts that a game could live up to them. After watching multiple videos and reading many previews, this could most definitely be a game worth playing. Ghostbusters has humor and a nostalgic flavor that Prototype has no chance of capturing. So that is, of course, what Ghostbusters has going for it. Plus, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.


Stay forever puffed marshmallow man. Forever puffed.

The last game has the key benefit of being one I’ve actually played. Red Faction: Guerrila released it’s demo, and I have to say that I’m a fan. The gun play is solid, and while I didn’t run into any truy outstanding weapons, I liked the destructible environments. The hammer was awesome to be sure, and I even found some vehicles to drive around in. I think it may be relegated to a rent though, just because (aside from the almost entirely destructible environments) there’s not much new here. I am interested to see what the mission structure is like though.

So, populace, what do you have to say? Prototype, Ghostbuster, or Red Faction. All opinions are appreciated, though not necessarily taken into account.

PiCT A BiT O Art: A Review

•May 22, 2009 • Leave a Comment

This is a small game on a small platform, so I’m going to make this review to fit that style. 2 weeks ago I bought my Nintendo DSi, only to realize I’d purchased it just a little too late to write a topical review. Suffice it to say that I’m quite enjoying it, and I haven’t found an instance where I’m upset the GBA slot is gone. I bought GTA: Chinatown Wars as well, and instead of writing a full review for that, I’ll just say that it’s a Buy from me. Once again, no full review due to lack of topicalness.

One game I’d always wanted for the DS was Clubhouse Games, because of the sheer amount of games that comes in the package. When I went to the DSi store, I found 5 card games there for 5 dollars. Of course due to a promotion, I’d been given $10 free, so I didn’t have to pay jack. I would also say buy it, as long as you don’t have Clubhouse Games already. Anyways, so far in this review I have done nothing but digress. I tell you all of the above so that I can tell you that I was left with $5 and a decision.

Do I buy a game I know I’ll enjoy (Dr. Mario), or do I take a chance on a newcomer? There was WarioWare: Snapped, and there was also a game that intrigued me by the name of Art Style: PiCTO BiTS. I already had a copy of WarioWare: Touched in my DSi at the time, so I opted for the newest newcomer, PiCTO BiTS.

Match Three, Win A Goomba (A.K.A. The Review)

I would highly recommend watching the included tutorial videos in the game, because I will no doubt be unable to properly describe the game. Let me attempt though. Each level begins the same, with a blank top screen, and 45 colored blocks on the bottom. Now, I don’t have the technology to take screenshots off of a DS, so you’re all just going to have to with what I could find on google, which was a single screenshot pictured below.

PiCTO BiTS takes inspiration from classic Nintendo games, Bejeweled, and Tetris as well. If I were told to mix these three game-types together, I would not have come up with something nearly as creative. You can fill up a pallet with the various colored bricks, and then place them anywhere on the touch screen. You will do this as different shapes of multicolored multi-layered bricks fall onto the screen. They fall down slowly one row at a time, which makes it easier to lay out your pallet fast enough. The goal? Why, to connect three of course. Or four. Or to make a box. Whatever your heart desires.


My one picture, make of it what you can.


PiCTO BiTS is a game that can only truly be done on the DS. Perhaps the Wii could see a similar game, but the DS is the only platform with a precise enough control scheme to make it work. The top screen shows your progress in a rather clever way, in that each block that you manage to clear out becomes a pixel of an 8-Bit Nintendo character ranging from Mario to Ice Climbers. It starts off challenging enough to make you sweat, but you won’t likely get stuck until about 8 or 9 levels in. You will most definitely be tested, and you will love every minute of it.

If you create combos, you’ll receive coins which can be used to buy you out of a sticky situation. If your screen begins to fill up with too many blocks, you can let loose a POW, which will get rid of a significant amount of the troubling pixels. Unfortunately, one of your pallet boxes (8 total) will become unusable. Once you collect 5 coins you can buy it back. Coins you collect can also be used to buy music, or special “Dark” versions of the levels you’ve already played.

Recommendation: Buy It – Really, it’s pretty much free if you purchase it once you buy your DSi, and that’s a hard price to beat. PiCTO BiTS is a truly original game that has an old school flavor that’s hard to resist. If you do end up having to pay for it, $5 is still an acceptable price for a game as addictive as this.

5 Video Games in Real Life

•April 16, 2009 • 3 Comments

It’s an accepted fact that video games aren’t real. Of course some people would like to tell you that you don’t know the difference between video games and reality (*cough* Jack Thompson of course *cough*). Well, sometimes the line is actually blurred. It would appear that video games have seeped into our reality from time to time, and it’s only a matter of days, months, or years before we have to deal with the emerging video game menace. So why not prepare ahead of time by taking a look at the events that have already happened. Whaddya say?

Resident Evil 4

RE 4

I will start this one out with a little hypothetical. Imagine you live on a residential street in New Orleans, and are enjoying a lovely day in the sun, tending to your plants (in this scenario, you’re a gardener. Deal with it). Somewhere between spreading manure on your beloved daisy’s, and pouring water on your potatoes, you hear a scream of rage from off in the distance. You, intrigued of course, look up from your work to find a man standing a ways away. He’s looking at you, and he looks pissed.

You stand up, confuzzled, and the man screams gibberish at you. The gibberish is Spanish, and after a torrent of unintelligible words are thrown at you (unless you speak Spanish, in which case they’re… telligable…) the man advances, gets close enough, and punches you in the face. You grab your trusty garden rake, and attempt to defend yourself. Unfortunately for your, you’re also 67 in this scenario, so you don’t last long before the man bites your arm, rips a chunk off, and goes about chewing it and swallowing it, all while pinning you to the ground.

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Monopoly: Godfather II Edition

•April 13, 2009 • 1 Comment


I have to hand it EA this time. I believe it was about November that Fallout 3 came out, and it managed to keep me playing from 9 in the morning to 11 at night (almost straight) on a lazy Saturday. No other game between November and about 3 days ago has managed to keep my interest for that long. That’s right, The Godfather II has kept me entertained for 14 hours straight, and I’m as surprised as most of you probably are. And I need to get a life.

The first Godfather game was okay, nothing special in my opinion, but I will say that most of the Wii controls added to the experience. So naturally my expectations were low when I recieved The Godfather II from Gamefly 3 days ago. My low expectations were crushed minutes later, but crushed in a good way.

She Ain’t No Looker


I’d like to get this out of the way as soon as possible. If you’re a “graphics whore” unlike myself, then you’ll no doubt find much to hate in Godfather II. When I started the game up, and it got to the title screen, I found some fairly noticable framerate issues. Mainly just that the spinning sign was a little jumpy. This worried me, but when I got into the game, the problem did not present itself. Regardless, the graphics aren’t too impressive either, and yes, I’m gonna say it, this is no Grand Theft Auto 4 in terms of looks, or much else. Where GTA 4 featured a terrifically detailed world, most of The Godfather II’s buildings are copy pasted, and the textures aren’t all that great to look at.

The pop-in is also very noticable, with cars first showing up texturless and white, and then gaining their colors. It kind of reminded me of the way the world would glitch in Assassins Creed, and it actually slightly amused me. The main players in the story are all definitive in their voicework, and the locations all feature varied styles and vehicles. Also, sometimes whil walking on the second or third story of a building, I’d find a crack in the floor that I could see through. Not too weird considering the pop-in though, so I’ll let it slide.

Continue reading ‘Monopoly: Godfather II Edition’

My Second Zombie Attack

•April 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Zombie Attack Series


If you haven’t, be sure to read the beginning!


Scruffy and I were walking down the road. It had been 28 days since he had become a zombie dog, but I didn’t care. If that meant that I had to tie a loop of rope around the end of a piece of wood and walk him down the sidewalk ten feet in front of me, that’s what I was going to do. I made sure to notify kids walking by that he should not be pet. Scruffy is not good with children. I had tried to let children pet him, but unfortunately for them, Scruffy only saw them as delicious cranberry’s (zombies love cranberries), and ate them. All twelve of them. I was upset to find out that the first eleven children Scruffy had eaten had not been flukes.

We were heading down to the pet store, because I had recently decided that Scruffy needed a play mate that wasn’t dead. We arrived at the pet store and Scruffy began to act up, as he does when there is fresh meat around, “No no Scruffy, you can’t eat the birdies” I told him. This only seemed to anger him. Fine I thought, if Scruffy isn’t going to behave then he’ll just have to wait outside. After much struggling I managed to tie him to a stroller. Just because Scruffy doesn’t get along with children doesn’t mean he won’t get along with babies.

I made my way inside and stepped up to the counter. “Hello, sir, I’m looking for a good friend for my zombie dog” I had only recently found out that people do not react well to zombie dogs, but I also know that lying is bad, so I grew quieter at the mention of zombie.

“What was that sir? A what dog?” The clerk inquired.

“A uhh… a zombie dog” I told him, looking at some brochures for purchasing a platypus, “Would a platypus be a good friend for a dog?” I showed him the brochure.

He looked at me quizzically, “Well first off sir, that is actually just a picture of a duck, sitting next to a beaver, it is not a platypus. Second off, if you do have a zombie dog, might I suggest the gun store across the street? Shotgun shells make excellent friends for zombies” He looked past me.

I turned around. “Is that your dog?” He asked me sounding worried.

“Yes” I replied.

“Is it running towards me or you?” He asked. I decided that now would be a good time to go to the back of the store and hide in a gerbil tank. Scruffy had somehow managed to make the baby carriage mobile and was running into the store. ‘What kind of person makes a baby carriage with wheels?’ I thought to myself as I dived into the tank. The gerbils were displeased, so I tossed them out of the tank. I could see that Scruffy was becoming friends with the shop keeper with his teeth.

A gerbil bit me on my hand. I grabbed it and chucked it, hitting Scruffy on the back of the head. He turned around and somehow saw me in the gerbil tank. This was when I realized that the tank was made of glass and that I had been watching Scruffy through the clear walls.

Scruffy turned around and ran towards me, dragging the carriage behind him. He jumped and hit the glass. He fell down on the ground, got up, and jumped into the glass again. He did this again. And then again. And then again.

Six hours later it was beginning to get dark out. “Come on Scruffy. How about you stop, and on the way home we can go to the grocery store and pick up some cranberry’s. Would you like that?” I turned to the recently reanimated corpse of the clerk, “You can come too”. Neither of them seemed to care. I was now getting tired, so I closed my eyes.


I woke up and Scruffy was no longer moving. Neither was the shop keeper. Perhaps they have fallen asleep, was my first thought, but then I realized that Scruffy had never gone *BANG* *BANG* before, and he had most certainly not fallen asleep since becoming a zombie. I flipped the tank and crawled out. I walked out of the store and ran into a guy holding a shotgun. He turned around and aimed it at my face. He lowered it.

“Come with me if you want to live” He said.

Not one to turn down people who quote The Terminator, I followed.

CrazyEarth? No, MadWorld.

•April 8, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Mad Review

To Jump the Gu… Chainsaw


It’s difficult to begin playing a game like MadWorld without having heard something about it in various other places, and while it hasn’t necessarily been critically lauded, MadWorld has received respectable reviews despite it’s bloody nature on what is predominantly a console aimed at the younger and older audience. Just because this is true, hardcore gamers don’t have to suffer thanks to a rise of “adult” games that are actually fun, and not just exercises in torture porn. Yes, I’m looking at you Manhunt 2.

It would be precocious of me to suggest that we may be moving past mini-game collection on the Wii. But with three consecutive, and above average, Wii games not aimed at your grandparents (i.e. Deadly Creatures, House of the Dead: Overkill, and of course MadWorld), we may be at the tail end of what was indeed a dark, and far too long chapter in the Wii’s history. We will always have some level of first party Nintendo support to look forward to from Nintendo, and very rarely does one of their game come even close to being a disappointment. Now, third party support is beginning to surpass Nintendo, especially with the advent of hardcore/ casual games like Boom Blox. The Big N will most certainly have to once again begin catering to their fans soon, before they all jump ship to a console with quite a few less Babyz games.

Now on to the review.

You Don’t Know Jack


The story is an uncomplicated one. Varrigan City has been taken over by people who want to use it to play a game. A game of death and destruction. The police have blocked off access to the island that is Varrigan City, and no one gets in or out. The city is a mad house where the inmates rule, and you’re stuck in the middle of it all, and loving every minute of it.

You are, of course, Jack. A man who doesn’t have a problem doing what needs to be done. Shortly after the opening cutscene, he comes upon a giant TV screen talking with one of his “employees”. After dispatching of said employee, Jack has found himself a sponsor. 13 is his name, and his spokesman will be your guide through the wonderful Mad World that is Varrigan City. Enjoy your stay, just don’t take the subway.

What if All You Saw Was Black and White… and Red?


Of course the first thing I noticed once I’d booted up MadWorld was the black & white graphic novel style. I had seen this before in previews, and I was immediately worried that due to the lack of color difference, I would face the trouble of telling my enemies apart from the environment. As I began to play the tutorial, this problem was non-existent, my fears remained though due to the fact that I was in an enclosed area consisting mostly of white.

Later, my fears were elated once I’d entered a larger play area past the enclosed tutorial. The enemies are a dark black that stands out despite the small color palette. This kind of graphical approach makes for a game that looks terrific despite the Wii’s graphical limitations. It just goes to show that you don’t have to rely on processing power to have a game look stunning, sometimes an uncommon art style will suffice. The enemies are all throw-away thugs with maniacal senses of humor. After throwing one of them onto some spikes on the wall, a thug nearby began laughing at his fallen ally/ foe. I felt it was a nice touch.

If you’re a gorehound unlike myself, a person who finds themselves at the movies watching Saw and Hostel, you’ll probably get a kick out of all of the violence that is MadWorld’s gameplay. As I found increasingly creative ways to dispatch of my foes, the blood would satisfyingly ramp up. Just because I’m not a fan of the torture porn genre, doesn’t mean I don’t a appreciate a nice and violent video game every once in a while. And MadWorld is indeed a very violent game, not intended for the feint of heart. Oh, or children. Probably not your kids

How Does That Make You Feel?


To throw a powerful punch, you swing the Wii remote (of course), and to dodge via backflip a flick of the nunchuck served very nicely. At first, it was a simple game of “beat em’ up”. A genre which I’m not too keen about. I quickly learned that by holding down the B button, I would take out a chainsaw that would make quick work of my foes. Of course, if all you had to do was kill random enemies with your chainsaw and fists, then this wouldn’t be a very original game. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

Every level starts you off with one goal in mind. Rack up as many points as you can without going over the time limit, and beat the boss. As you play, you’ll find increasingly violent ways to kill. I don’t want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say that the combination of trashcans, street signs, and spikes can make for a very fun time. Each level also features mini challenges ranging from throwing people in front of trains, to human darts.

Even just the first two boss fights illustrate how varied they can be. The first one had me fighting a gigantic lummox with an equally gigantic mace. The second one featured a cowboy who was, “The brokest back in the west” (not my own words). The first was slow and uncoordinated, the second was fast and precise. The first couple of boss fights are not too difficult, and to say I had much trouble with any of them would be a lie, but they do get increasingly harder as you continue.

In Summation


I don’t honestly have many qualms with MadWorld. It features no online modes, but it does have local multiplayer for the various mini-challenges found in each level that can extend its replay value. Other than that, the levels don’t change. How much game time you find in MadWorld really depends on how much you can replay the same levels for a higher score, and how much you like an added challenge. MadWorld on Hard is HAAAARRRD. I gave it a whirl and the game had me begging forgivness within the first two levels. Thankfully I had some new weapons to use, but I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

More than once I found myself rushing through the levels, thinking that the time of 30 minutes was running out, to find out that I had spent only 10 minutes in the level. So for myself, I know that I can most definitely do better, and possibly get 3 times as much as some of my scores, but once I’ve done that, I think I’ll be pretty much done with MadWorld. My main qualm with MadWorld would be that the journey ends much to soon (around 7 hours for me), and the replay value is fairly low beyond what’s previously mentioned.

Recommendation: Buy It – As far as Wii games go, let’s be honest, the excellent game pickings are slim. We’re fed shovel after shovel of mini game collections and children’s game, and when a game comes along that is both fun, and wholly original for the console, hell, all consoles, one should take notice. Don’t let MadWorld fall to the wayside, pick it up, play it, and enjoy what the Wii hath wrought.