Punch-Out Comes To Nintendo Wii

June 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Believe it or not, Punch-Out!! For the Wii has been a very highly anticipated game. The originals are considered boxing game classics, and some of the finest games of the NES generation. In reality, as shown by positive reviews of the NES version of Punch-out!! downloaded on the Wii, it's still as much of a blast to play as ever.

The graphics have an amazing cell-shaded look to them, like Windwaker only a little more realistic. They exhibit a very strange yet somehow familiar style. When you strike an opponent hard in the face, he's shocked for a second and small birds flutter around his head. Not just that, but had such a far-out visual style manifested itself in any other of today's fighting games it would have been shunned. This extends to the opponents themselves, all of which are pretty wacky ; from Disco Boy, a self-absorbed disco fanatic who enjoys doing a little dance in the ring before the match, to King Hippo, who...well, I'm really not quite sure what he is, except big, has almost no neck, and is maybe totally daft.

At first look, Punch-Out!!'s gameplay seems something similar to a far more stylized version of Wii Sports Boxing. While a NES-style form of play is available by turning the Wii remote on it's side, the standard practice is to use both the Wiimote and the nunchuk. Move them forward and backward to perform different punches, and move them both to the side to avoid. When knocked down, shake the mote and chuk to rise and re-enter the fight, at which point a new round begins.

As for the sound department, you can think how superior the sound is in comparison to how it was on the NES. The punch-induced smacks and taunts from opponents come across just realistically enough for you to engaged in what's happening.

The original look and feel of the game has been incredibly well re-imagined, Nintendo having clearly put a lot of care into rendering this game. Punch-Out!! may seem like an incredibly simplistic title, but then, that doesn't mean it isn't incredibly fun!

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Red Faction: Guerrilla

June 10, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Red Faction was a FPS originally released on the Playstation 2. The success of this title paved way for a multi-platform sequel, which revolutionised the gnere by placing large emphasis on dual-wielding and alternate fire mode weaponry. In fact, for a long time the Red Faction franchise was best described as Unreal Tournament meets Halo, due to it's frantic yet epic combat. The new sequel, Red Faction Guerrilla,  deviates from the format set up in the initial games, toning down the frantic action to concentrate on a slower pace.

Understandably, this may cause fans of the original to be a bit sceptical. Changing the time-tested formula in such a way seems like a strange move for a franchise that really didn't need it, but early reports show that the game continues to work extremely well. As you may have heard already, in the early stages of the development when creators booted it up all the game's buildings and structures instantly collapsed. It turns out the engine was so advanced that they had to bring in builders and architects to properly structure planks inside the buildings so that they wouldn't fall over. obviously the developers are investing a lot of time and effort into the realism of this title.

The game follows demo expert Alec Mason as he moves to the new Mars plantation for a job in mining. However, the Earth Defense Force is oppressing the people on Mars and have taken Alec's brother on charges of insurrection. This causes Mason to join in a revolution against the EDF tyrants in the hopes of restoring the balance. In game, Mason has access to a wide variety of weaponry including a sledgehammer, a jetpack, mine charges (he is a demolition expert after all), a missile launcher, assault rifles, and other weaponry. The game allows almost free exploration of the red planet, allowing for immersive and deep-rooted gaming opportunities.

Developers have also promised that staple of current FPS games; the online multiplayer mode, although the single player campaign looks to remain the major hook for players. Watch out for Red Faction: Guerrilla on all next gen platforms and the PC now!

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Wolfenstein Returns!

June 9, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Wolfenstein is a videogame series which has been around longer than most. In reality, it first debuted in the early 80s amongst the first stealth-action games. Since then, however, it has gone through some major re-imaginings, from the intensely bloody shoot-em-up Wolfenstein 3D to Return To Castle Wolfenstein, in which multi-player was a pretty major part. Lucky for us gamers, the new Wolfenstein to be released on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 will draw from components of all 3 games, as well as other sources.

The story of the game occurs in the fictional city of Isenstadt, where the Nazi's are trying to unleash the power of an artifact called Black Sun. As American soldier B.J. Blazkowicz, it's your job to stop them at any price. But in order to do this, you're going to be forced to essentially use it yourself before they can. By harnessing it's power you can dive into an alternative realm and take advantage of the diverse landscape and circumstances to outflank foes and reach new areas. This dimension is known as The Veil. Veil pools are dotted here and there and you can recharge your energy by standing in them for a time. As you progress you can unlock new capabilities which may be used in the Veil, like the power called Mire, which permits you to slow time. This is great for escaping heavy fire or dodging out of the trail of an incoming missile. But hey, Wolfenstein isn't all puzzles and method, it is a first-person shooter, and if you would like to all but forego the other elements you sure as heck can.

Wolfenstein features a large assortment of weaponry, all of which can be upgraded with cash; adding on components like scopes, bayonets, and grenade launchers. It's clear that the creators wanted the player to have a lot of choice in how he played the game, not only in provisions the weaponry but also in that there are sometimes multiple paths or options to take in each level. This may be highly satisfying when the player can decide whether he is going to avoid Nazi fire by rushing up a flight of steps to his right and thus outflank his enemies, or slide down a manhole to his left and into the sewer, and escape that way. And , it greatly contributes to replayability, making certain players will come back to try new tactics and directions to glean the full gaming value.

As for a release date, no precise date has been shared, but it's likely that Wolfenstein will be coming out before the end of this year.

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Boom Blox: Bash Party

June 4, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Boom Blox was, in a number of ways, one of the biggest Wii games of 2008; not so much in terms of it's quality as a game, but rather it's popularity and hype. Of course, it was a game that, weirdly enough, Steven Spielberg himself had partnered with Electronic Arts to make. It was an intricate puzzle game drawing some inspiration from Jenga, and featuring almost 400 levels of gameplay and it's own advanced level editor. Now that it's time for the sequel, EA has been working hard to both expand what worked well and eliminate or solve what didn't.

Boom Blox is a game of "strategic destruction". Each explosion and crash should be clear and streamlined, and that is precisely what EA has been going for by fully overhauling the game's graphics engine. The bulk of the backround 2D characters and animations are now absolutely 3D, running smoothly and in better detail. There are all types of detailed stuff in the backround that can actually interact with the gameplay.

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This time around there should be between 400 and six hundred new and unique levels to play with. It's clear that often the blox are just set up like a game of Jenga, but other times there are all sorts of different kinds of formations and you have to solve ways to most effectively make them collapse. For example, some levels occur underwater, or even hovering in zero-g space. Elements like this, as well as others such as surroundings and characters, can bring a whole new twist to the game.

One interesting new mechanic is the item called the slingshot. With the slingshot you can pick up any item in the level, pull back, and "slingshot" it into the blox structure. There are numerous levels in the game that make use of this mechanic, and to great effect.

Boom Blox has proved to be great fun both as a singleplayer puzzler and a competitive multi player game in the past, so as the advent of it's sequel Boom Blox Bash Party approaches, it's little wonder folks are wild with excitement. Boom Blox isn't just some cheap, casual offering. It's a core game and deserves to be treated that way, and many folks who have considered themselves to be hardcore gamers have enjoyed it enormously. This time around, EA is to be applauded.

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Wii Ports Final Fantasy: Echoes of Time!

June 3, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

The Nintendo Wii continues to bow to fan requests by porting popular games from the company's other consoles onto that system.The latest in this line is a fresh port of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, originally released on the DS. Owners of the Wii version will be able to play online alongside DS users in an impressive display of cross-console interactivity. One major downside is that the Wii port will not be making any graphics enhancements to the title. Echoes of Time plays like a classic RPG, bringing all elements of the genre to bear in a world-spanning adventure. Expect to level up, expand your party and train for new skills as your quest grows ever more perillous.

Both the single player and multiplayer versions of this game bring great playability. Those interested in focussing on the storyline are betest off sticking to the immersive and epic single player, whilst players wanting to pit their skills in the online arena will be catered for accordingly.

But one thing you may be curious about is how they solved the problem of the two screens that are required to play the DS version. There are still two screens in the Wii version, side by side. You can customize each screen's size, navigating the various options by using the pointer rather than a stylus; it's as simple as that. The Wii version also irons out a few creases in the general flow and gameplay areas, along with almost cutting out any load times.

Many thought that porting a dual screen, handheld game to a console would pose too many problems to be a success, but Square Enix have proved them wrong yet again. Despite a lack of graphical edge, Final Fantasy: Echoes of Time on the Wii brings the same great RPG experience from the handheld arena and offers it to the wider gaming community.

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