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MrWalshMan

MrWalshMan
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Member since: 28.07.2010

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      01.07.2011 21:39

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      Play it

      I'm not quite sure where to start here, Galaxy 2 is so much like it's predecessor that I fear that I may just end up repeating my review of the first game.
      With that said, any new Mario game is welcomed with open arms and this is no different. Super Mario Galaxy 2 is wonderful.
      Before playing this game, I strongly suggest that you play Super Mario Galaxy 1 first, not because of story elements or anything like that but because SMG2 feels like it has been aimed at those who have done so, or at least it feels that way in the later parts of the game, because they are much more difficult.

      SMG2 is an action platform game with the same twist as SMG1, Mario is in space, and gravity is the main quirk among the protagonist's trademark running and jumping. That said, the game finds equal use of gravity twisted worlds and more traditionally level planes.

      Everything about this game does its absolute best to improve upon SMG1, and it that regard it succeeds. The gameplay, the visuals and the soundtrack are all superb, and there is no need to discuss this any further.

      The first was great and so is this, now go buy it.

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      28.12.2010 13:01
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      BRILLIANT!

      Wind Waker is a unique member of the Zelda series. With its cell-shaded graphics and vast ocean world, the game throws itself far from Zelda tradition yet it still manages to be familiar to long-time fans.

      The game is strictly single-player, like most zelda games and is beautifully crafted with a long lasting and intricate narrative. Despite not having any voice acting the script is sharply written and is somewhat compensated with well placed sound cues like laughing and so on.
      The game will last you at least a solid 40 hours, mainly because of two things. The story is incredibly deep and intertwines with the world you're in seamlessly. Plus, the world itself is huge, this is really only known once you start crossing the Great Sea and realising how far apart the main islands are from each other.
      Also, the islands have so much to say about them, firstly you'll notice how alive they all feel. Be it the bustling markets of populated lands or the swaying trees in the forest islands; you really begin to get lost in it all.

      Of course, the biggest change from the Zelda norm in this game is its cell shaded graphics. The creator of the game was once quoted as saying that he wanted to create an "interactive cartoon". There's probably no better way to describe it. It ends up creating a beautiful world on your television screen and is at its best when in motion. A particular favourite aspect of mine is the way the main character's eyes move around when you stop controlling him and watch him gaze around the world with such cute expression.

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      30.07.2010 20:54
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      Still the only reasonable option

      Now, if you're looking online for one of these Wii remotes (or Wiimotes), chances are you already have a Wii and are simply looking to get some more Wiimotes to play with friends and family. Because of this, you already know how good a product this is - so what is there for me to say that you don't already know?

      Well for starters, this official Wiimote is relatively cheap if you know where to look; going for £18 on Amazon. This of course is great due to the fact that there are very few third-party alternatives and those that are on the market are rediculously priced.

      Of course, being the official controller, you can be assured that it will be of the same quality and performance as the one you're currently using, unfortunately they don't come with a nunchuck as standard - but they can be bought seperately for around £5 or bundled with Wiimotes for even cheaper.

      Now, for those who may not already have a Wiimote, here are the basics:

      - The Motion controls are very responsive and work perfectly
      - The design is beautifully minimal, focusing on just the game you're playing
      - Finally, battery life is very long lasting

      Overall, this is still the only Wiimote worth getting; granted it is partly due to there being hardly any competition yet, but you must admire it's high quality.

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        30.07.2010 18:30
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        A great multiplayer game

        It's not often you see a game that gathers up videogame characters in a manner like a celebrity episode of Gladiators. Yet in simple terms, that what this game is - a fighting game containing Nintendo's most recognisable game protagonists of past and present.

        - Gameplay -

        The Smash Bros. series has followed a unique control scheme over the years, using the control stick to move (and even jump) freeing up the face buttons for attacks, and these attacks change depending on the movement of the control stick, allowing even novices to pull off some fancy moves. However, this 'one size fits all' approach to the controls has left the actual fighting mechanic a little messy. No matter how good you are at the game, the controls make you feel like you've won a match purely by luck.

        Of course, Brawl has a fantastic multiplayer, especially now that online play has come to the Smash Bros. series - regardless of the way the controls are, at least it's still as fun.

        For lone players, there is now a single player adventure to cater for them. This mode uses the same control scheme, but in a platforming scenario the game plays like a classic Kirby.

        - Presentation -

        The game is one of the best looking on the Wii, withh all of the very different characters managing to look like they belong in the Brawl universe, whilst still maintaining their unique style.

        - Verdict -

        Despite the controls being let down by trying to be easy to use by everyone, the game is still very enjoyable - and is one of the best multiplayer games of recent years.

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        • Resident Evil 4 (GC) / Archive Game / 5 Readings / 5 Ratings
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          30.07.2010 16:12
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          A difinative horror game

          It only took one more game (Resident Evil 5) in this series before the over-the-shoulder style gameplay began to grow tiring. However, Resident Evil 4 was a welcome change to the confusing puzzle layout of the earlier games, and it managed to create an action packed game that could still send shivers down your spine.

          - Story -

          You play as Resident Evil regular Leon S. Kennedy, now a government agent due to his previous zombie surviving experience.
          His first mission ends up being to find the President's daughter who has been kidnapped by a cult, and it is up to Leon to go to Europe and find her.

          Upon arriving, Leon discovers that the local villagers are not too pleased to see him, and is soon fighting for his life.
          The plot eventually becomes rather complex, but the game lasts so long that all loose ends are eventually tied up. The game will last you a good 10-15 hours.

          - Gameplay -

          The controls for the Gamecube version are a little unorthodox and feel strange at first, but it will be only a matter of minutes before you become a zombie killing master.

          Speaking of zombies, the game has moved on from the mindless undead and enemies are now people infected with parasites; with this enemies are now much faster and intelligent. Because of this, tension can build up very quickly and if you don't fight back intelligently then it will be only a matter of time before you're surrounded by chainsaw weilding maniacs.

          - Presentation -

          The game world looks brilliant, in saying that I mean that the places you visit are horribe and not the most inviting. You'll find yourself arguing with your better judgement whether or not to enter that dungeon up ahead.

          The enemies are genuinely scary, the utter hatred for you they portray in their mad stares at you could peirce into your very soul!
          The boss fights are the most exciting, with gruesome appearences, you'll be instinctively running away from them.

          - Verdict -

          This game is how a horror game should be done, there probably won't be another Resident Evil game like it due to number 5's failure, but enjoy it whilst you can, because it will stay with you long after you turn the console off.

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            30.07.2010 14:09
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            A nice stray from 'standard' games

            Pheonix Wright: Ace Attorney is part of an interesting game genre - a sort of interactive story more than a 'traditional' game. It's refreshing once in a while to play something a little different and find it to be a lot of fun.

            - Story -

            You play the role of Phoenix Wright, a newly graduated lawyer who's first case ends up being the murder trial of his best friend.
            The story is very anime, with plenty of plot twists and Phoenix finding himself in bizzare situations.
            Along the way, you'll meet plenty of memorable characters, each with their unique traits, and the longer you get to know them the more you begin to care about them - which is a great achievement in a game that presents itself with nothing but lightly animated sprites and text.
            The story will last you around 10-15 hours, and the DS version has an extra case added since being ported from the GBA.

            - Gameplay -

            Playing through the game requires nothing other than the stylus. You simply use the touch screen to search crime scenes, questions witnesses and present evidence.
            Although it's hard to imagine a game being made from the law profession, the developers have managed to create what is essentially a puzzle adventure game - and it works so simply that the controls don't even need to be thought about, they just work as you would expect them to. This allows anyone to simply jump in and immediately enjoy the story offered to you.

            One drawback from this game being a one-way adventure, is that there is very little replay value. Granted, it's nice to go back to pick up on some of the dramatic irony that would have been missed when you didn't know how the cases ended, but other than that there is no reason to go back once you've finished.

            - Presentation -

            As stated earlier, this game is a port of a GBA game, so the game is presented with 2-D imagery. However, the style of the game is very anime, with characters dominating the screen and the world is filled with colour, having you visiting all sorts of places.
            The sound is intentionally retro, going back to Capcoms old 8-bit music style and creating some memorable tunes.

            - Verdict -

            A nice game to escape from the cliche genres for a few days, but like a book, you likely won't go back to it once you've played it.

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            30.07.2010 00:41
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            A sublime single-player game

            The final installment in the prime trilogy closes up what has been a an incredible start (Metroid Prime 1) followed by an average second part (metroid prime 2), and tries to wrap it all up in such an outstanding way in order to please to die hard metroid fans.

            - Story -

            Following the adventures of Samus Aran, interstellar bounty hunter, the player finds themselves meeting with a glactic federation fleet only to be informed that their computer network has been corrupted by space pirates using Phazon (the deadly material that has caused Samus a lot of trouble in the trilogy). So, Samus, along with a few other bounty hunters are sent to restore order, track the space pirates and complete other tasks.

            From this intial starting point, the game has you visiting other planets and following the usual metroid style of exploring that fans are familiar with.
            There are very few twists as the plot is fairly one-track, however there are a few exciting set pieces here and there.

            - Gameplay -

            The game uses the Wiimote to great effect to create one of the most responsive first-person shooter I have ever played. It goes to show, that when done right, the Wiimote rivals the mouse for fast responsive aiming.
            The rest of the controls are as you'd expect, focusing around the A button and control stick, all other actions are set to buttons directly next to these, allowing for great ease of use.

            The worlds are brilliantly designed, with branching pathways and levels to go back to once you've upgraded you're abilities.
            Boss fights are fun and challenging, and help to drive the plot and keep you entertained.

            My only gripe with this game is that there is no multiplayer, once you've finished the 10-12 hour single player, there is not much else to do apart from going back and trying to collect all of the hidden items to get the secret ending.

            - Presentation -

            As with all Metroids, the production value is high. The visuals are clean and crisp and perfectly capture that Metroid look, despite the addition of other characters - something not common in the Metroid series.
            What I really like about this game are the small details, such as Samus' visor, with steam and water dripping off it and seeing her reflection in it when she is near a light source.
            Enemies are animated well and varied (so much so that Samus is able to catalogue them all) and are fun to fight against.

            The soundtrack helps to capture Metroid's eerie feel going well with it's sci-fi setting. Of course, there are a vast array of classic Metroid tunes subtly snuck in to treat fans with a dose of nostalgia.

            - Verdict -

            A great ending to a brilliantly started trilogy, whilst the single player is epic, it's disappointing to find no mulitplayer in this game.

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            29.07.2010 22:58
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            Perfect for Gamecube/Virtual Console games

            Nowadays, the Gamecube has fallen into obscurity since the release of the Nintendo Wii. This is mainly due to the Wii's ability to play Gamecube titles. However, since the Wii's release, Gamecube games have disappeared from the retail market.

            However, Gamecube titles live on in the online market, and therefore Wii players who never had a Gamecube are able to enjoy some great games.

            Of course, they're going to need a Gamecube controller, and that is where the Wavebird comes in. The Wavebird is a wireless Gamecube controller, slightly larger than the standard controller, it gives users much more freedom. Especially due to Gamecube controllers having rather short cables when compared to wired controllers from other consoles.

            The controller requires 2 AA batteries, and battery length (although depends mostly on the brand of battery) last a long time due to a low energy consumption rate compared to other wireless products.

            The controller manages to maintain the standard Gamecube button layout, meaning no compromise has to be made by the player to use it, games will just be as easy to play on this controller, it is near identical to the original.

            I also like how the power button doesn't invade any space near the other buttons, preventing any accidental shutdowns.

            As well as playing gamecube games, this controller is highly recommended for play downloadable games on the Wii Virtual Console - such as old N64 releases.

            Overall, this controller is very responsive, and does not suffer from any delay, even among mobile phones, or wi-fi; which you would think would interfere with it.

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            • Okami (Wii) / Nintendo Wii Game / 10 Readings / 10 Ratings
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              29.07.2010 22:02
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              Something for everyone's 'To Do List'

              Okami takes the action adventure format established by The Legend of Zelda and makes it's own beautifully crafted experience that will have you locked away in your room for weeks, and then begging for more if you manage to see everything packed onto the disc.

              - Story -

              In the quiet village of Kamiki, the residents are tormented by a ferocious 8 headed beast that goes by the name of Orochi. A white wolf enters the village and banishes the beast to an eternal slumber.
              Fast-forward 100 years and Orochi has found away to break his bonds. The white wolf (the sun goddess, Amaterasu) has been ressurrected to quell the beast. This is where you enter.
              You play the sun goddess, Amaterasu, and must travel the land and defeat evil forces to save the nation of Nippon.
              What follows is an intricately woven plot lasting well over 40 hours; and is full of twists and turns whilst cleverly referencing eastern mythology.

              - Gameplay -

              Basic controls have you playing a basic platformer - running jumping and so on. Beyond this is a wonderful feature unique to Okami; the ability to manipulate the world with the 'celestial brush' - a paintbrush that can be used to attack enemies, interact with the enviroment and many more things. The brush is controlled by aiming the Wiimote at the screen, and is one of the reasons why the game was ported from the PS2 - because it works brilliantly.

              The celestial brush opens the game up to a wide array of combat techniques and ingenious puzzles.
              Speaking of combat, Amaterasu is capable of using a variety of weapons that are gradually aqquired throughout the adventure and some other items with useful effects in the non-combat aspects of the game.

              The game will last you, at the very least, 40 hours and that's only from the main quest, there is so much more to do after you've seen the tremendeous end sequence.

              - Presentation -

              Another one of Okami's redeeming features is it's beautiful art direction, made from inspiration from eastern ink and wash paintings. Okami's looks and feels like an ancient tapestry brought to life.
              You simply never tire of of the use of colour and simple shapes, making the whole world put infront of you feel entirely believable.

              The soundtrack is just as delightful. Again, refering to eastern music, sound cues drop in at all of the right moments, be it whilst viewing a sweeping vista for the first time or a horrible foe revealing itself.

              - Verdict -

              Okami is the epitome of a great action adventure game, that will eat away at your spare time if you are willing to give it. A must buy.

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                29.07.2010 17:40
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                Only for dedicated fans

                With every portable Pokemon release, there has been a console version to allow the developers to cash in on the newest game. That is no different with Pokemon Battle Revolution; the next console Pokemon released alongside Pokemon Diamond/Pearl for the DS.

                - Gameplay -

                PBR is a game for pokemon fans, anyone new to the franchise should play a 'proper' pokemon on a handheld.
                Your job is to battle creatures called pokemon against other pokemon trainers to try to become the champion of Poketopia - the fictional pokemon battle island where this game takes place.
                Battling is done through a turn based system, reminisent of the old final fantasy games, of course it has many other features which have been realised over the years on the portable games; such as double battles, item holding and other advanced tactics.

                This game can be played without a DS pokemon game, with players being given a 'rental pass' with 6 pre-chosen pokemon for you to battle. However, the choice of creatures is very limited and battling others who can often have much more powerful creatures is difficult.
                This game is really for those who have Diamond/Pearl with a strong team of pokemon already trained. Transferring pokemon to the Wii is easier than any past console Pokemon thanks to wireless connectivity.

                The game has a comendable single-player, lasting around 6-8 hours plus some extras once you've finished the main quest.

                However, this game was made with multiplayer in mind. You can play locally but online is it's defining feature. Unlike the DS games, where you can only play against added friends, you can play against random people online in PBR.

                Another nice feature is the customisation. Players can dress their trainer and cutomise their smack talk. Among this, is DS connectivity, allowing you to send items and pokemon to your DS game via wireless. But of course, this does not matter to those without a DS Pokemon game.

                - Presentation -

                Unfortunately, looking at the game it is easy to notice that it was rushed to make the most out of Diamnod/Pearl's popularity. The creatures look blocky and animations are sub-par. The graphics are so poor that I wonder if there was any effort at all to try and make the creature look convincingly alive.

                - Sound -

                There is nothing positive worth noting about the sound, the music is forgetable. Another problem is the ever present commentator, limited to the same few over-enthusiastic lines every time your pokemon attack.
                One final thing that I dislike are the pokemon's cries, in particular the ones of the creatures from the gameboy games, who still have the original 8-bit scratching groans.

                - Verdict -

                In closing, whilst it is still buyable, this game is only for Pokemon fans with the latest DS games, and even then, only for those who are desperate for a more open multiplayer than on their DS - assuming they can handle how bland it looks and sounds.

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                  29.07.2010 12:41
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                  An amazing single and multiplayer experience

                  When the Gamecube was launched, Nintendo decided to go back to it's classic Metroid series - a collection of brilliant sci-fi side scrollers. When entering the realm of 3 dimensions, Metroid was reborn as a first-person adventure in the form of Metroid Prime and has since been regared as one of the best games of the past decade.

                  Enter Metroid Prime: Hunters, Nintendo's effort to transfer this great Metroid setup to the DS, and manages to maintain the brilliant first-person adventure layout.

                  - Story -

                  You play the role of Samus Aran, interstellar bounty hunter. Set sometime between Metroid Prime 1 and 2, Samus is contacted by the Galactic Federation concerning a message from an unknown region of space speaking of an ultimate power residing there. It is up to Samus to ensure that this power does not end up in the wrong hands.
                  What follows is a roughly 8 hour single player experience through a number of planets and other locations.

                  - Gameplay -

                  Nintendo have found a way to make a first-person game work on the DS; the default control layout uses the bottom touch screen to aim Samus' weapon, the D-pad is used to move, the left-trigger is used to shoot, jumping by double tapping the screen. The game also intelligently uses the lower screen to toggle through weapons and abilities such as the morph ball, allowing you to search through any nooks and crannys you find in the world.

                  The worlds you enter are intelligently designed, with several different paths becoming available as you gain new abilities. It's always interesting to return to a planet and find a new path that you didn't even notice the last time you were there.

                  Once you've finished the main story, you are left with a great online multiplayer function. Players can set up games of up to 4 players and shoot it out on a wide array of different maps; from narrow corridors to large vistas.
                  You'll no doubt spend weeks playing against people around the world.

                  - Presetation -

                  To put it simple, the game looks amazing. The developers have managed to take the alien art style of the original Prime and have done their best to power it through a portable device.
                  You'll be engulfed by the unique worlds given to you in this game, luckily though you will never get lost. Despite the open feel of the world you will always have at least a vague idea of where you need to go next.
                  And of course, this top notch presentation is carried over to the multiplayer.

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                    28.07.2010 20:21
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                    An essential for the DS

                    It's very rare that a game is regarded as an essential for a console, but this game is an exception. If you have a Nintendo DS, you need Mario Kart DS.

                    Mario Kart DS is a simple racing game at heart, but there is so much content and variety that it is only a matter of time before this game becomes an addiction.

                    On their own, the player can choose to play through a basic grand prix, unlocking new characters and vehicles and gaining trophies and highscores.
                    Players can also participate in time trials, simple races and challenges such as boss fights from classic mario games.

                    However, the real meat of this game is in the multiplayer, online and off mulitplayer is easily accessable. Offline, you can link up to up to 3 other friends using only one copy of the game.
                    Online, is even easier to access; players can compete locally, with friends or worldwide.

                    Mario Kart DS runs smoothly throughout, and looks brilliant on the DS. The items players can use against each other are perfectly balanced and are gained depending on your current position.
                    Player can choose from an array of Mario related characters and choose all sorts of vehicles, if that wasn't enough, player can create personal emblems to really leave their mark on the track.

                    Overall, Mario Kart DS is one of the best portable racers, one of those games that can be played for minutes or hours at a time - the perfect portable game. It is also one of the best ways to experience the DS online capabilities.

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                      28.07.2010 19:33
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                      One of the greatest Zelda games, and therefore one of the best games ever

                      Nostalgia is a strange thing. It shrouds memories leaving only the good things no matter how many bad things there were. Such is the case with the first 3-D Zelda - Ocarina of Time. OoT is considered one of the greatest games of all time, and due to this Twilight Princess was made almost as a tribute to it. Harking back to the glory days of open worlds and riding horseback through a living world. But as such, it will never really be considered a great game on it's own merits; which is a huge shame.

                      Twilight Princess follows the story of a young farm boy called Link, whom finds himself in the middle of an evil force enshrouding itself over the land of Hyrule in which he resides.
                      Whilst the plot is rather big and complicated, underneath it all is the classic Zelda plotline than regulars are familiar with.

                      In terms of gameplay, Twilight Princess cleverly makes use of the Wiimote - using it for swordplay, arrow shooting, and many other actions. None of these uses of motion control feel unnatural, it's what you would expect from the interface and it works very well.

                      As expected from any Zelda, the world is beautifully built and dungeons and boss battle are clever and epic in scale. Of course, this style of game gives off deja' vu to Ocarina of Time players. However, after playing both I must give my personal opinion - Twilight Princess is better than Ocarina of Time. It trumps it in every way, scale, visuals, audio, and sheer fan service sell this game to you from the moment you see the intro video.

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                        28.07.2010 18:44
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                        Great fun, a must buy

                        With the success of New Super Mario Bros. on the DS, Nintendo have decided to move this new property to the Wii. New Super Mario Bros. Wii, much like the DS game a year or two before it, goes back to the original side-scrolling that Mario and Co. are famous for.

                        - Gameplay -
                        Whilst revisiting the classic Mario layout, Nintendo have also brought back the old two button control system. Which means that on the Wii, the Wiimote is held sideways, using the D-pad and the 1 and 2 buttons for actions. One thing that wasn't present in the 80's was the ability to shake the controller to spin your character.
                        What's brilliant about this control layout, is that Nintendo have used it to create a classic Mario game - one that is easy to learn how to play, but rather difficult to master. Arguably the best kind of game.
                        In the game, you find yourself traversing side-scrolling levels, running jumping and having a jolly good time; the usual Mario game, and of course it is brilliant because of this.

                        One of the new features in this Mario game is the local multiplayer, allowing up to 4 player to cooperate or compete. Whilst this feature would have benefited greatly from an online option, it is still great fun with friends by your side.

                        - Presetation -
                        Much like other Mario games, the art style is what makes the game so interesting to look at, with the usual toony game worlds such as forest, sky, mountain and lava.

                        Overall, New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a fresh look at the classic Mario layout, and gives some variety to Mario fans, and complements Super Mario Galaxy perfectly on your shelf.

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                          28.07.2010 18:07
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                          A piece of videogame history

                          Any 3-D platforming game you play has some influence from Super Mario 64 which was released in 1996. That game set the standard for how such games were to be and it's been rare for any other platformer to stray from that magic formula of running and jumping.

                          Enter Super Mario Galaxy, more than 10 years since Super Mario 64, Nintendo have expanded upon the platforming basics that were set back then and created an ingenious means of navigating a 3-D space in a game.

                          In Super Mario Galaxy, you play as the famous plumber and the game initially feels rather traditional as a platformer. It's only when you enter space, and run around your first planetoid, that you realise what Nintendo has done.

                          - Gameplay -

                          If you're in any way familiar with videogames than the basic controls of this game should feel entirely natural to you. Moving is done with the control stick and jumping is done with the A button. The rest is really expanded from that.
                          Levels are designed clearly but are are challenging enough to not seem like the game is holding your hand the whole way through.
                          Early levels are relatively easy, however moving much later into the game levels can be devilish - perfect for older mario fans who have grown out of their teens.

                          - Presentation -

                          Whilst being on the Wii means that the game doesn't look as pretty as the games on Xbox 360 and PS3, this game does look gorgeous. The graphics are brilliant considering the above. However, the art is what sells the visuals to you, with imaginative worlds and sprawling colour schemes, you could easily lose yourself.

                          - Sound -

                          Unlike other Mario games, this game has opted for a orchestral soundtrack, not only are classic mario tunes remixed, but the original scores and some of Mario's best and do their part to sell the epic, spacey feeling.

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