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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 (2009)

June 9, 2011

VERDICT:

4/10 Super Let Downs

I played this game a long time ago, and ever reviewed it already for my college’s newspaper, but when I saw it on my saved drafts, I decided to let out some anger by bashing this terrible game. Let me start by saying that the 4 points I’m awarding this game is for being true to the characters. Sure, it is a terrible game, but being able to handle Gambit or Deadpool is fun any way. But then again, let me stop there and remind people who checking out the vast variety of characters can only be fun for so long, once you remember how boring the game is, then you change characters and start again.

Trying out characters is the only reason why I have this game more than 2 hours of game time, because if it was anything but super heroes, I wouldn’t have played passed the first level. I remember Game Informer, IGN, and those better known video game reviewers gave MUA2 passing grades, and that is why I never trust what they say. To sum it up: this game lacks plot, the game play is childish, and the graphics aren’t good enough to make up for these unacceptable characteristics of the game.

I started playing this game with high expectations. Most previews of this game said it would be a million times better than the first one, it would be the game of the year, and it would break barriers. But here is the truth: it did none of that. The game started and I was thrown into a frenzy of enemies and button smashing. MUA2 began with random fighting, and after two hours of playing I still had no idea why I was fighting or what I was fighting for. Some lady tries to explain missions and reasons for fighting, but none of it made sense and wasn’t interesting enough to pay attention to it. After some time, you are just getting thrown into different levels, smashing buttons until everything is dead, and you move on to the next level. Big woop.

The game play is also nothing like what I expected. The pre-game news talked a lot about a new way of going about adventure games, co-op would be amazing, and the game play would pull you in for hours. There were supposed to be teamwork and strategies to the fighting, but once I realized that I could stare at my phone and text with one hand while pressing X over and over again with the other and still beat the level, I realized that this game is pointless. Button mashing is my most hated characteristic in a game, and Ultimate Alliance 2 is only smashing.

Just so I don’t start ranting about button-mashing, let me just repeat myself: button mashing is my most hated characteristic in a game. It makes the game boring, lame, and childish. When you can literally not watch the game and smash the controller against your face, and still win, then you should just smash your face into a wall and save your money.

The graphics are passable, sure, but it is nothing great or extraordinary. You see some cool moves from the super heroes, and all the different choices of characters are cool, but it doesn’t make up for how lame the game is. You have a large variety of heroes, from Spiderman to Gambit, to Thor, and even Venom and Deadpool, but like I said before, seeing the different characters is the only fun part about the game (well, that is if you’re a super hero nerd, like some of us).

I know this is an old game, and I’m sure most people have heard about this game, but I just wanted to let out some steam and get rid of one of the many drafts I have saved on here. It’s not relevant, but most of the stuff I write isn’t anyway. So, if you read this, and you were thinking “hey, I want to get a cheap game about super heroes,” don’t buy this one. It will lead you through a hard to follow story while you mind-numbingly just bash your controller. Want to see the cool characters in this game? Just look them up on the internet and wait for a better super hero game to come out (although I doubt that would happen any time soon… let’s just cross out fingers).

And the winner for how long until PSN gets hacked again is…

June 8, 2011

It’s easier than boning my mom???

Hey! Fabiola is a saint! But no, really, you were all wrong, PNS got hacked this past week, yet again. Since we’re on the subject, let’s talk about this a little bit. Sony got SCREWED hard. 77 million users got their info stolen, and Sony is now down millions and millions of dollars. When the accounts were hacked, this means credit card info was taken, all game achievements lost (yes, this is very important to people), and PSN was shut down for months now.

So, what is the result of all of this? First, Sony needs to revamp their security system, which doesn’t seem to be working since they keep getting hacked every other week. Second, they need to deal with lawsuits and things of that matter for the customers that were effed in the processes. And third, they need to somehow get the millions of fans back on their side, which will be pretty hard. Although, Playstation is doing a great job with that, since I recently got the email telling me that because of all these problems I get a bunch of stuff for free. I think it was like 3 games, a crap load of downloadable content, and things like that.

RESULTS:

It’s easier than boning your mom: 5 votes (haha, funny guys…)

I just hacked it again: 2 votes (I think I found the culprits!)

Few months: 1 vote

This weekend: 0 votes (oo, so close, yet no one got it)

Two weeks: 0 votes (probably another right answer, we’ll see next week)

Personally, I believe it will take Sony a long time to get this all figured out. From what I’ve been reading, they are having a tough time dealing with the hackers, the bad guys seem to always be a step ahead. Now, it seems like the hackers are just doing it for fun, they are actually dangling info in Sony’s face to kind of be like “hey look, we can do it againn, na na na na boo boo.” Who’s had the worst year ever you ask? Well, it sure isn’t Arnold and his baby-mama-drama and I wouldn’t say it’s Macho Man (R.I.P. brotha), it is most certainly Sony and PSN for getting hacked more times than your mom has given some old, gross sailor a dirty sanchez. Boom!

ModNation Racers (2010)

June 1, 2011

VERDICT:

8/10 Wannabe-Sackboy Racers

Another weird day. I know today is supposed to be a new release review, but again, I just started this whole process over again and my GameFly isn’t set up yet. So, the newest release I got: ModNation Racers (as you could tell from the title of this post… obvi). Frankly, this is one of the best games I have played in a while. The racing is fun, creating characters and beating the career mode is fun, but really, this game is just a great multiplayer with awesomely fun races online. So, when it comes down to it, the game is good, the multiplayer/online content makes it great.

I won’t spend too much time describing the game, because like all racing games, you just race. Duh! In ModNation you also get attacks, like any other non-serious racing game would have, which you can power up to three different levels. Using the right ones and finding power ups takes skill, but that all comes with play-time. The game features a story mode (which is fun to play, but the cut-scenes are SO annoying to watch), online racing, multiplayer racing, and creation stations. Pretty basic stuff, but once you start playing, it will consume you.

To follow the footsteps of LittleBigPlanet, you can create almost anything. And I literally mean, anything. You can change your racer to be anything from Iron Man, to Leonardo.. the Ninja Turtle, of course. Also, you can create some awesome cars, my favorite being The General Car Insurance one (couldn’t find a picture, but play online and you will find him). And the tracks that some people create will straight up amaze you. Almost like that feeling you got when you opened up the online content for LittleBigPlanet, you know the feeling, the “holy shit, how does someone have the time and ability to create such a master piece!” Yeah, that feeling.

So, since this game can be comparable to LittleBigPlanet so much, I decided to have them duel to the death. We can judge on character creations, maps, and all-around possibility for fun for the game.

LittleBigPlanet (LBP) vs. ModNation Racers (MNR)

1. Characters: Both these games give the player an amazing ability to make anything and anyone you want. MNR gives you the chance to make both the racer and the car, which is a plus for them, but the overall graphics (which obviously impacts the creations) goes to LBP. I am not talking about the maps (I’ll talk about those next), but the characters in MNR just lack texture, which gives LBP the edge. Although cars can be made pretty cool looking, I still think that the character is what matters most. Sure, in both games you can create anyone you’d like, go make your Nana if you want, but LBP will give you the ability to make wrinkles on that sad face of hers, while MNR will only allow you to give her a crazy hair-do which will only look like an awkward helmet-hair-thing.

Winner on characters: clearly LittleBigPlanet

2. Maps: With creating maps, I have not been able to succeed in either game. That might be my lack of commitment to the task, since I really never had the time to create some of the things other kids have been able to make, but either way, kids can create freaking statues of Davids out of these map creators. And the background imagery and the graphics for both the levels in LBP and the tracks on MNR are just breath taking. Again, texture is a huge plus for LBP, but when you are racing around an amazon or jumping a huge cliff in MNR, it’s all just as amazing. I’m coping out here, but I think this is a tie.

Winner on maps: Tie

3. Fun: Again, this might be a tie, but let me think out loud here. MNR took over my dorms television time pretty quickly, but I think that was mostly because everyone is so competitive and this has great multiplayer capabilities. LBP was not a huge hit in groups, mostly because different skill levels warrants different speeds on the levels (so, let’s just say people got tired of me running around the maps and them getting left behind to pop). Although I was never disappointed playing the story mode for LBP. But if you take these two different aspects, I guess MNR wins, because there are more people having fun with the game. But then again, there won’t always be a group of people trying to play the game…… I’m stuck.

Winner on fun: huge mental bust, both these games are a blast.

So, in the end, LittleBigPlanet squeaks out the win, solely on how cute their little Sacks are, err, I mean Sackboys. But don’t count out ModNation Racers, this game has so much potential and it will liven up a room just as much as Mario Kart once did. Sure, it does not have the classic edge to it, but when people pick the controller up and take a couple of laps, like I said before, it will consume you. Just take this: I got this game from GameFly, kept if for about a month and a half (usually I keep the games for two weeks, enough time to beat them), and once I finally got rid of it for a new game, my roommate went out and bought it for himself because he couldn’t live without it. If that doesn’t make you want to try it, then I don’t know what will.

5 Minutes to Kill (Yourself) (2010)

May 30, 2011

VERDICT:

3/10 Reasons to Actually Kill (Yourself)

So, I know Tuesday I’m supposed to write about the “Poll of the Week,” but I thought I would wait for that. Since I just put the new poll up 3 days ago, there are only a few votes, so I’ll give it another week. Saying that, I wish I hadn’t skipped writing about the poll, because this game was a huge waste of time.

Adult Swim Games has some of the most random/weird online flash games around. From robot unicorns spreading rainbows, to a backyard surgeon stitching up his buddy’s chest after the most red-neck open heart surgery possible. So, to fit the bill, we get 5 Minutes to Kill (Yourself).

The objective of the game is to, well, kill yourself in 5 minutes. The guy hates his job, he gets an annoying TPS report (I think it is missing the cover sheet, or something like that), and he decides to kill himself in the office to shove it in his superiors’ faces. I don’t know how that works, but this guy has a very twisted mind, I guess it makes sense to him. So, what makes this game a 3 out of 10?

First, the controls are terrible. With the camera angle given, using the arrow keys take a while to get used to. Left is up, down is left, and well, you get the point. To go along with these terrible controls, the movements are really sensitive, so getting in front of an item to hurt yourself takes so long. When the whole point of the game is to find items to kill yourself, and it takes forever to actually get an item, oh, and it’s all timed… yeah, all these add up to a recipe for a terrible game.

Second, there are so many little problems with the production of the game. Once you start the game, there is no pause button or menu button. You start the 5 minutes and you can’t finish them until the timer runs out or you hit “refresh” for the page. Also, after playing the game a dozen times, I had glitches and my character froze maybe 3 or 4 times. Again, when you can’t restart your session, glitches become very annoying.

So, what does this game have to make it fun? It’s pretty damn brutal. Sure, it’s a little out there, but if you’re searching for games on Adult Swim, you should know what you’re getting into… and that is a lot of blood and gruesome deaths. Here are some of the more frequent ways to hurt your character (the more brutal ones take combining items to find):

Most Brutal Ways to Die:

– Sticking your face in a paper shredder. Not the best way to get rid of sensitive paperwork, but definitely the best way to get rid of your face.

– Try to bother your boss and get attacked by a family of weasels.  I don’t know what to say about this one, but this was probably the weirdest way to die. Who keeps violent weasels?

– Find a lighter, then find a fire extinguisher. Aim towards face. That’s gotta hurt.

– Put a donkey piñata on your head and wait for your co-workers to start trying to bash some candy out of your head. That’s literally what they try to do… they actually yell, “give me some candy!”

– Have a clown stab the crap out of you in a bathroom stall? Yeah, I don’t know why there are clowns in an office, but they do some good work with those blades homie.

Sure, these all sound pretty crazy and enjoyable to watch (if you’re trying to grow up to be the next John Wayne Gacy), but when it comes down to it, this game is pointless. The map consists of one large office space, and three other small rooms (the bosses office, bathroom, and break room), so the game becomes very repetitive. Sure, taking a stapler to the face can be a good way of killing yourself, but having to do it 7 times to actually make a dent in the character’s health can get boring.

If you want to see some blood, playing this game for just one 5 minute session would do the trick. Just one turn and you can see all the different ways to die, and the game is over. I also gave the sequel to this game a shot, and while it does have a better way of controlling the character (mouse click and hold), it still only has a limited amount of items to hurt the character. Although the game has been improved, it would only take 2 turns to see everything, and the game is over. Oh, and the second game has a butt-ton of loading time, so, that makes it even worse.

Play 5 Minutes to Kill (Yourself)

Judge Dredd (1995)

May 29, 2011

VERDICT:

5/10 Strong-fisted Judgements

With this patriotic day ahead of us, I thought of only one option for what I could review… Judge Dredd.  Yes, I know the comic is British, but it is set in a futuristic America, and I’ve always had a very strong “America” feeling when thinking of this game.  I mean, just watch the movie, it’s Rocky taking down bad guys as a violent police officer.  And since this game came out to compliment the movie, I can only picture “America” for anything Dredd.

But let’s be real here: the movie wasn’t a big hit, which means the game wasn’t a big hit.  When it first came out, it received some great reviews, but when taken out of context (time context, that is), this game isn’t remembered by anyone.  Countless times I’ve had friends sift through my collection of SNES games and pick out Judge Dredd in confusion. “Wtf is this game,” is usually what they ask.  But beyond all judgement, I used to enjoy this game. Do I enjoy it now?  Not so much.

Here, we have a platformer, action/adventure game, but the levels are more vertical than they should be.  I don’t think this was done on purpose (since it is unlikely that every setting should have the same vertical layout), but all levels seem to just take the futuristic cop down into the gutters and never really to the sides like a regular side-scrolling platform game would do.  Sure, on each level of the platforms there is some left and right movement, but eventually you just have to find stairs and head further down to reach the end of the level.  Each level has a different goal, but ultimately you have to find your way around the map and either kill or arrest the bad guys.  Other goals are to blow up their ammo barrels or shut down the building’s automatic doors, but its hard to miss these objectives since everything is on your path to the exit door.

When I dusted off the cartridge and popped it into the SNES, one thing quickly brought back some memories: “Password.”  Of course, I have not picked up this game is many years, but still I thought, “screw that, I wouldn’t even think about using a password.”  That didn’t last long.  As classic as a “password” option on the title screen, the game was classically hard as balls.  On the first level, it took me all of 6 minutes to die 3 times (the only 3 lives you get… no continues).  So, I Googled, and as fast as I could utter “hypocrite,” I had the password for invincibility.  Call me whatever you want, but time permitting, I had to do something to get through this game before I wrote this review.

I can’t say I remember the plot of the movie much, but as far as the game’s plot is concerned, it isn’t too important (like many platform games from this era).  The city is getting taken over and it’s your job to fix it. Boom. I still have no idea who the bad guy is, no idea why these prisoners are escaping from prison, and no idea why Judge Dredd hates these dudes so much that he made it his personal mission to end their lives.  So, putting that aside, the game’s purpose is to end lives (or be civil and arrest lives).  The controls are as basic as the graphic… ha, I got two talking points out of the way with one sentence.  Jump button, punch/kick button, shoot button, and arrest button.  4 buttons, 4 moves.  Boom, again.  Oh, you can also switch between ammo, but that is never necessary, since the different looking bullets barely show a difference in ability.  And the graphics, are eh. They are exactly what you would expect out of a SNES game.

bitch is guilty!

It might sound like I am bashing this game (maybe because I am), but back in the day this was one of my favorite games. Back when I had the patience to sit through the lost lives, sit through zero continues, and sit through the repetitive maps.  It might have been my childish eagerness, or whatever the nice way of calling a child plain stupid is,  but I actually enjoyed the difficulty of a game like this, and actually enjoyed playing it over and over again, restlessly, so that I could inch past the levels and hopefully reach the end one day.  Now, I just couldn’t sit through it. Even with a password for invincibility in this game, which allowed me to literally run through levels, I got bored and turned if off after a handful of levels.

So, even though this game could not beat out today’s most basic online flash games, it still deserves a 5 out of 10. I would have been too heartbroken to give it anything less because it took up so much of my time when it first came out. Just know that this 5/10 is because of a 2 or 3 point handicap that I gave this game. It really has nothing going for it, nothing to help it stand out, at all. I might be the only one stupid enough to give this game this much credit, but if you’ve seen the movie, or even read the comics (which I couldn’t think of one person that has), the game deserves a shot. It won’t take long to realize that it should never warrant more than 30 minutes of your time, but still, it wouldn’t hurt.

One prediction though: this game will be wanted very soon. The amazing Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) is making the new version (to be exact, the production company he owns is doing it), which is supposed to have no connection at all to the 1995 version, and it stars Karl Urban (Leonard McCoy in the newest Star Trek movie) as Judge Dredd. When the new movie comes out and people start to mention the 1995 version and the game that came along with it, don’t forget what I said, it might be a great conversation starter. I can see it now, you and a cute brunette at the bar, talking about new movie releases, and you mention Dredd, this game, and what you’ve just read… that will get you so much action. Boom.

And the best video game made from a cartoon is…

May 27, 2011

A Tie Between:

The Simpsons: The Arcade Game & Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time!

This poll really brings me back to my childhood.  I mean, I don’t want to make this a sappy post about how I was raised in arcades, and blah blab blah, but really, I kind of was.  I used to have to scrounge for coins, beg my mom for change, so that I could go around the corner and play some games… which one was my favorite arcade game you ask?  Well, there are two that I will never forget: The Simpsons game and Metal Slug.

Before I start praising the two winners, let me preface with confessing I usually had a partner for both games, since we all know that games in the early 90’s were so much harder.  Most side-scrolling action games can be repetitive, but these two gems always kept me on my toes.  For The Simpsons, I would drop so much dough into the machine so that I could eat some donuts with Homer, oh, and save Maggie from the evil clutches of Mr. Burns and his flamboyant partner, Smithers.  Classic side-scroller, but the mini-games between stages set apart this arcade game from others with an always an entertaining battle with your teammates.  Turtles in Time, on the other hand, ate up more of my time on the Super Nintendo than any other game (and it actually still does).  Even though I have beaten this game around 700 times, with a record of 34 minutes, I still blow into the cartridge and pop it into the system every once in a while.  It doesn’t have mini-games or any other gimmick to pull you in, it is just a perfect side-scroller with nothing but action.  Plus, I love throwing the foot soldiers towards the screen, it’s a great way to end their evil lives.

RESULTS:

The Simpsons: The Arcade Game: 4 votes

– Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time: 4 votes

The Simpsons Road Rage: 1 vote (I guess my boy Durrekk voted)

South Park: 0 votes (I blame myself for all these zeros)

Beavis and Butt-head: 0 votes (I stopped writing and people stopped following)

The Simpsons: Bart’s Nightmare: 0 votes (such a creepy game)

Spongebob’s Boating Bash: 0 votes (but hopefully, people start voting again)

Ed, Edd n Eddy: Jawbreakers: 0 votes (I expected this result)

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: 0 votes (read explanation below)

So, I was going to keep the Power Rangers game off this post, try to hide it, but I thought I would own up to my stupidity.  I know there was never a Power Rangers cartoon, but I guess I added the game to the list because it was such a great game and it came out around the same time all these other side-scrolling, 90’s cartoon, games.  I wasn’t thinking, I wasn’t focused, and it somehow got onto this poll. It won’t happen again.

Speaking of things that won’t happen again.. me disappearing.  I’m finally out of college, moved away to the West Coast, and have all the time in the world to write and play video games (well, not all the time in the world, I still have a job, but you know what I mean).

So, enjoy.

And the battle for the most anticipated goes to…

January 6, 2011

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Well, that was a long poll… woops.  I know I took forever to finally end this poll, but I think it was time.  I mean, it has been months after both these games came out… again, woops.  I have been a terrible blogger, I think that’s what I would call myself, but either way, this gave the poll a chance to get a higher score, even though it didn’t mean much.

Call of Duty: Black Ops got a handful more votes than Halo: Reach, and well, even though no one knows how much a “handful” is, either way, Halo got beat badly.  To tell you the truth, I have not been able to play Halo as much as I’ve wanted, but from the small taste I got, I still think Black Ops deserved this win.  The story mode has always interested me in the Call of Duty series, and this new installment satisfied my need for action, adventure, surprise, and cold-blooded killing.

RESULTS:

– Call of Duty: Black Ops: 23 votes (cold-bloodedddd)

– Halo: Reach: 10 votes (seems the series is dying down)

Others: World of Warcraft (1 vote), SoTC/ICO combo for PS3 in 2011 (1 vote), Mass Effect 3 (1 vote), Gears of War 3 (1 vote.. and true, I can’t wait to play this)

So, I’ll get the reviews for these games soon enough, and I hope you all enjoy the new poll for this week.  Video games from cartoons are a dime-a-dozen, but when a good one comes by, it’s a goodie.  Don’t forget to vote, do your part and I’ll do mine.