Cubello, is one of those wierd games that comes around every once in a while. You know, the ones that have the catchy music, the lively colours, and a simple, clean and satisfying look to it. Generally now-a-days, these sorts of games are about one in every two thousand or so. Some of you might disagree with me when I say this, but Cubello is by far one of the most addictive games available on WiiWare, and for only 600 points, £4.20, it's well worth your money. So, just what is it that adds this subtle touch of elegence to a game that focuses on cubes, and matching up similar coulours into blcks of four? Well, firstly, it has the intuitive design, adding more depth to the game than appears-to-the-eye. So, what am I talking about? Well, I'm of course speaking about the 'ammo' style workings of the core game. You have a rack, which can store up to ten cubes, which will empty as you fire. How do you restore your ammo though? Well, you knock sets of fours off of the cubello in the centre of the screen. Just remember, that your sets of four will have to be the same colour! So, you're knocking off your blocks, in order to restore ammo, but what is the real aim of the game? Well, you'll be attempting to knock every single block off of the cubello. Sounds a bit boring, doesn't it? However, the clever touch is that if you run out of ammo, you lose the game. Another thing about the cubello, is that it will move towards you, and eventually, if it gets close enough, the game will end. These factors all and that small sense of competitive-ness to the game. Each level is designed to make you think, offering some great puzzles along the way. So, I'd say, you should get some of those Nintendo points, and make sure that you buy Cubello, it will be well worth your £4.20.
Monday, 30 March 2009
Endless Ocean is a very different game to anything else in the market - for one point, it is the first true sandbox game around. Many other games have sandbox elements, but the game still has a mission layout - even the reasonably sandboxy No More Heroes. So, what is a sandbox game, and why is it so special? Mainly because of the facts that they give the user complete control with normally more than one objective, which the user can then complete by either doing just one of them, or all. Sandbox gaming goes further than this though, normally giving the user complete control over what they decide to do. Endless Ocean is the first game to completely incorporate this design, and therefore the first sandbox game. So, focusing back on this gem of a title, what does Endless Ocean offer? Well, firstly it provides some of the greatest graphics on a Nintendo console ever, some great gameplay elements, an amazing roster of fish, birds and mammals, as well as some of the most amazing music that has ever appeared on a game. Looking at the graphics, the water effects are amazing, and when you are diving, you see things as you would if one was diving for real. Things are at first tinted blue, but as soon as you go up to something, this tint begins to fade until you are left with beautiful coral reefs, or maybe just the sandy ocean floor. Then, of course, there are the animals, which have fantastic movements, which are slick and smooth. The only thing that doesn't look that great is the polar bear, but that is only one thing in the whole game. So what about the gameplay? Diving all the time may sound boring, but it is pulled off a treat, with that vague whiff of a story that is so deep that it almost reaches the ocean floor. That is the other factor that is amazing about the game - the story, and that fantastically characterised girl, whatever you call her. Isn't she just mysterious? That is definitely one of the best characters in gaming. Full stop. The music however, is the most hauntingly spectacular feature of the game. All tracks are sung by amazing singer Hayley Westenra, and they each offer that magnificent feeling every time you get into the water. The mix of music and graphics at some of the cut scenes are is enough to sometimes make you tremble - it really is that astounding.
Posted by mailtoad at 05:11
When you look at the sparkling finish that is on De Blob, it's hard to believe that it is here because some college students decided that it would be fun to have a muck around with some video game coding, and a little blob of paint. It is just amazing. From the way that Blob - the protagonist - rolls around, painting buildings, right the way through to the multitude of different characters and modes. If we first look at the basic gameplay, we'll notice how easy it is to grasp, but at the same time, when you've managed to paint the entire city, you'll feel that same sense of acheivemnt that you will with any Zelda or Mario title. That's the thing. Many people will say that De Blob is just for the casual gamer, but it really isn't. Yes, you could complete the game within 5 hours, but that just isn't the point of De Blob - if you've completed the game in that amount of time, you've only scratched the surface of what the game has to offer. If you manage to play every bonus mission, then paint the entire areas in each challenge, and then try and claim every medal, you start to realise that in reality, De Blob offers over 20 hours of gameplay. So now lets focus on the painting. At first it may seem that De Blob only has three colours to choose from - red, blue, yellow. However, as you go more in depth into the game, you'll realise that you can mix these colours to widen your variety all the way up to: red, yellow, blue, green, purple, orange and brown. Then of course you also have the inkies - bad guys that cover you in ink if you touch them. So, what's wrong with this you may ask - well, ink drains paint points, and then your life. The only way to keep your paint points is by rushing to either a water hydrant, or maybe to the sea. Basically, De Blob is a great game and is definitely worth a buy.
Posted by mailtoad at 04:57
The Legend of Zelda series is one for the books. It has fantastic music, beautiful scenery, great character setail and much more. So how was Twilight Princess different? Well, they certainly cranked up the difficulty levels, as it is much harder than Wind Waker. It is much more complex, and it is much more satisfying when you manage to beat the dungeons, simply because of this difficulty level. Despite this difficulty cranking, it is easy to see the many factors that make the game a Zelda title. Such as the musical features. When you are playing as a wolf, you can find howling stones all around the place, which - after you have howled at them, allow human Link the ability to learn new hidden techniques. The same old third-person perspective is bundled into the game as well, and the many different enemies and locations make it really feel like a Zelda game. Now we can focus on what really makes this title different from the others - the transformation of Link. You start the game as Human Link, where you have to do menial tasks around the village, which is all very so-so. Then, about half an hour into the game, when you are in the Ordona Spring, King Bulblin bursts in, kidnaps Ilia, and then lays the curse onto the realm. Link, being the bearer of the Triforce of Courage, does not turn into a spirit like everyone else, but instead turns into a wolf. He meets Midna, Princess of the Twili, not to much later in the game, and so sets out the plot for t he game. The wolf sections of the game are at first hard work, and many people find that this game is a gmae of two halves, much like Sonic Unleashed. The human sections are brilliantly fun, while the early wolf sections are a bit of a drag. This isn't enough to way the game down though, as once you are past the tears of light parts, wolf Link sections really pick up. Overall a great game and definitely worth a buy.
Posted by mailtoad at 02:05
Cooking Mama is a sad game, because on the DS it worked perfectly. However, the Wii version is a different story. Generally speaking, the controls are broken. Simple tasks become laborious chores, and the gamer soon loses interest. So, is there anything to keep you coming back for more? Well, no - not really. The new recipes are too easy to unlock - even if you fail a recipe, you can still unlock a new one - and the gameplay doesn't really vary. But there is something that keeps drawing you back. That is the multiplayer mode. Although it plays exactly like the single player modes, it's good to know that you're being pitted against somebody on a fair field. It's not like it's just you who will have to suffer from broken controls. So the muliplayer really isn't that bad for a quick blast every now and again - if your friends have the tolerance to stomach inprecise controls. The other mode, where you cook against Mama's friends is easily the worst of the lot, because they don't suffer from any 'control issues' and so it seems nigh on impossible to beat them sometimes. Well, they would be - if Cooking Mama's difficulty issues weren't existant. Once again - it is simply too easy to beat them - even with 'broken controls'. Then, as well as this, if you happen to lose to these friends, it'll generally be because at the last mini-game your controls failed you, and they got a gold award. It's all just a little bit stupid. 505 Games obviously have a lot of work to do.
Posted by mailtoad at 01:37
Sunday, 29 March 2009
Boom Blox is definitely a genre buster, and doesn't fit into any category. The gameplay is different from anything else, and is currently being used in a new game from EA based on Nerf. Back to Boom Blox, the graphics are interesting and unique, as well as hilariously funny. The story mode doesn't last very long, and isn't nearly as fun as the create modes, the explore modes or the multiplayer modes. The creat mode is genuinely funny and offers some great laughs with your friends. Nothing beats seeing a brick shaped dog throw a little ball at a block shaped monkey. The part that was created by Steven Spielberg is actually the worst part of the game, but it still offers some complex and tricky puzzles. A game for all ages, Boom Blox has 'it' whatever 'it' is.
Posted by mailtoad at 11:44
Battalion Wars 2 is a franchise that is very closely related to that of Advance Wars, becasue they are both based on the same game - Advance Wars on the GBA. Battalion Wars went onto the home consoles, with the original going onto Gamecube, followed by this on the Wii. The game is a step up from the original, with the new naval units being introduced. The game is a treat to play, and has a fantastic control system, which is easy to get to grips with. Many people have approved of the wide selection of soldiers and vehicles to play as or use. The flight sections are very well implemented with the controls working as well as they do on flight-focused games such as Heatseeker. The graphics are impressive, as is the voice acting. A great buy that has been greatly overlooked.
Posted by mailtoad at 11:38