Lunar: Silver Star Harmony
Publisher: Xseed
Rating: T - Teen
Platform(s): PSP

A traditional top down RPG with a compelling story. There are more female characters then in the original but it's still basically Alex's game to win. His dream to become Dragon Master will have him encounter many dragons and many, many battles before he gains his goal. He will do his sword dance while everyone else adds support and healing. The game has legs - it's been around since 1992. Nice on the PSP with its bigger screen. Excellent manual - renders the characters in full color. An RPG for those who like RPGs


  • To Order: PSP http://www.amazon.com/ $39.99 05/29/2010

  • Foto Showdown
    Publisher: Konami
    Rating: E - Everyone
    Platform(s): DSi

    Take Your Photos Into Battle!

    Generate more than 150 monsters
    Battle through over 70 levels
    Challenge Friends and Swap Monsters

    An RPG where you generate new monsters by clicking the camera shutter on your DSi/DSi-XL. The scene you view with the camera somehow is supposed to influence the type of monster you get, but we never figured it out.

  • To Order: DS http://www.amazon.com/ $29.36 05/26/2010

  • Final Fantasy XIII
    Publisher: Square Enix
    Rating: T - Teen
    Platform(s): XBox460 PS3


    Summary
    Stunning graphics and a deep, rewarding combat system can't save this adventure game from linear, repetitive gameplay and weak characterization.

    Review
    It's hard to know where to start when reviewing a title like Final Fantasy XIII. There's not much mediocrity in this game: it's either brilliant or awful, and frequently both at the same time. I chose to abandon the game after 35 hours of play, so this review doesn't address the last three (of 13) chapters.

    Graphics and sound
    The brilliance begins with the breathtaking opening sequence. It's a masterfully rendered mini-movie comprised of outtakes from the game. The sequence doesn't make much sense. It doesn't have to. What it does is tell you right off the bat that the next ...       ( continued )


    04/12/2010

    T.A.C. HEROES - Big Red One
    Publisher: Storm City
    Rating: E-10+ - Everyone 10+
    Platform(s): DS

    From the North African coast to the shores of Normandy and the forests of central Europe, men of the 1st Infantry Division led the way toward the liberation of Europe!

    Outfit, lead and direct your G.I. squad through over 36 Missions and 2 Campaigns or play as the Germans, Vichy French or Italians in Combat Mission Action!

  • To Order: DS http://www.amazon.com/ $19.99 04/12/2010

  • ATV Quad Kings - DS
    Publisher: Storm City
    Rating: E - Everyone
    Platform(s): DS

    ATV Quad Kings immerses the player in the world of ATV motorcross racing where both aggressive driving and unparalleled skills are needed to become the number one ATV champion.It's dirty, fast and furious racing, so bring your helmet and don't get lost in the dust!

    Travel across the globe from the USA all the way to Australia to compete in 18 high adrenaline races across 9 breathtaking locations. Perform daring tricks and catch big air to increase your skills and earn cash to race the biggest, baddest bike on the track.

  • To Order: DS http://www.amazon.com/ $19.99 04/12/2010

  • The Sky Crawlers - Innocent Aces
    Publisher: XSeed Games
    Rating: T - Teen
    Platform(s): Wii

    From the makers of the acclaimed ACE COMBAT series:
    Use realistic, intuitive flight controls in intense dogfights and aerial maneuvers. The Nunchuk becomes your flight control stick, while the Wii Remote serves as your throttle.

    Fly dozens of demanding missions solo, or have a co-pilot man secondary weapons.
    Master your air combat abilities in ongoing wars waged between private corporations.
    Immerse yourself in a world of detailed 3-D landscapes with flight sounds and radio chatter.
    Enter a complex alternative world featured in the award-winning animated film.

    03/14/2010


    Star Ocean - The Last Hope
    Publisher: Square Enix
    Rating: T - Teen
    Platform(s): PS3

    A dying earth cries out for a hero
    In the aftermath ov World War III, humanity turns to the starts in search of a new home. Explore the galaxy, discover allies and enemies, and encounter a threat so great that it endagners all of creation.

    PS3 Exclusive features:
    Japanese audio, multilingual text options and selectable character portraits, real-time battle system.

    (Almost) all battles all the time.
    03/13/2010


    Naruto Shippuden: Clash of the Ninja 3
    Publisher: TOMY
    Rating: Teen
    Price: $36.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    Does not disappoint - may be the best Wii fighter to date. 40 characters, some new, some old, good online battling, smooth and responsive tag fighting system. Battle mechanics are complex requiring deliberate and thoughtful planning. A fighting game for those who love fighting games.

    12/01/2009

    Need for Speed - Nitro
    Publisher: EA
    Rating: Everyone 10+
    Price: $44.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    Experience different street racing cultures around the world - drive against the top racers in the world. Become skilled at quick starts, drifting and drafting. Nitro, as the name implies is about speed. Tag the world with your graffiti touting your victories. Thirty classic and modern licensed cars - muscles, exotics and tuners. Race on 15 tracks, jumps, canyons. Take part in street races across five cities (BTW Street racing is illegal).

    12/01/2009

    Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks
    Publisher: D3PUBLISHER
    Rating: Everyone 10+
    Price: $39.49       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): X-BOX 360
    Game Site: http://www.ben10thevideogame.com/vilgaxattacks/

    Ben 10 is an adolescent boy's dream character. "10" is for the different super characters that he can morph into - aliens from alien planets: Echo Echo, Goop, Brainstorm, Chromastone, Big Chill, Humungousaur, Spidermonkey, Swampfire, Jet Ray, and Cannonbolt. They are as varied as their names imply.

    But actually, who are they; who is the Villgax character that shares the title; how did Ben become Ben 10 anyway? If you are a fan of the Cartoon Network show - you know. But how about those kids who don't watch the show? Must be at least a few hundred thousand of them. There is no information in the manual and only three verbs on the box - Experience, Explore, Battle. Whatever happened to "selling" a game? Dumping it on the shelves and expecting the buyers to fill in the spaces is a disservice to the team that made the game and shows a lack of respect for your clients.

    There is information if you will read the very fine print on the back of the box and go through four different levels of sites - but how many kids will? http://www.ben10thevideogame.com/vilgaxattacks/

    11/23/2009

    Half-Minute Hero
    Publisher: Xseed
    Rating: Everyone 10+
    Price: $27.99
    Platform(s): PSP

    For some, this game will contain, "all of the best and none of the rest". There are four different game play modes, with different storylines and characters: Hero - action RPG, Evil Lord - real-time strategy, Princess - action shooter, Knight - a protecting mission. What they have in common is that each game must be solved in 30 seconds. A clever idea, like leaving out the "kissing part" in the movies.

    The music is new-age but the graphics are old-age - 8-bit pixels. But. If you want to "cut to the chase" - just battle, with none of the other stuff - this one's for you. For some of us - we'll wait for the "other stuff".

    The release is only on the PSP and has a nice detailed and colorful manual. I never have been able to resolve the gorgeous, detailed art accompanying these games with the 8-bit pixel graphics in the games. Always feels like bait and switch to me.

    It's a provocative challenge, "Save the world - 30 seconds at a time" .

    11/20/2009

    Secret Saturdays: Beasts of the 5th Sun
    Publisher: D3PUBLISHER
    Rating: Everyone +10
    Price: $39.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    The game is introduced by an awesome half human, half robot who evokes Aztec history and prophecies about the end of a cycle of suns and the beginning of a new era - "The 5th sun". The mood is set - ominous, foreboding, as the speaker intones, "Are you afraid of the dark?" and I only wished that this impressive beginning would have carried through to the game. But then, this side scroller action game originates from a Cartoon Network kid's show.

    Zak's last name is Saturday and he is the son of a family of scientists engaged in searching out and protecting Cryptids - strange looking non-humans. Some of them have become Zak's friends - Zon, Komodo and Fiskerton, and they fortunately have special skills that Zak can use to his advantage when dealing with enemies. Zak does have "The Claw" which is like Luke having the Force. This is a grappling hook that works not only at an angle, but also straight-up onto ceilings. Why haven't they thought of this before?

    The game begins with the encyclopedia of Cryptids, the Crypticon, being stolen and the Saturdays and their pet cryptids go out to retrieve this valuable tome. Meanwhile, Zac scans the cryptids he finds into his own Crypto book. Scanned cryptids can either be stunned so that gates can be passed or controlled to aid in fighting. There are a gazillion cryptids to find and catalogue plus the arch-villain boss from the opening screen. Lots of fighting and grappling here - no time to be afraid..

    There is not one jot of information in the manual about what players can look forward to in the game; no list of good guys, bad guys, weapons, hazards, levels. Controls are mapped to the Wii controller images. In-game instructions flash on once, never to return. Can it be that the producer imagines that everyone knows about and has played the Saturdays?

    Games that are patterned on the Cartoon Network shows are much like games from movies - almost always a bit disappointing.

    11/20/2009

    Astro Boy: The Video Game
    Publisher: D3Publisher
    Rating: Evearyone +10
    Price: $39.49       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    The Boy has been discovered - a movie and new game are pushing for a new super hero. This manga character is not new to me and for those who want a history, Netflicks carries the complete 1960s animated series. In the original story, a scientist who has lost his son creates a robot in his son's image, powered by a unique "blue core energy". When the robot boy doesn't grow up, his father abandons him. Subsequently he is taken under the wing of a more kindly scientist, who helps him understand who/what he is and how he might use his unusual special powers. It's a touching story and develops Astro Boy as a character you get attached to and want to know more about as the story develops.

    I don't know what the movie does - but the game focuses mainly on the fighting and not enough on developing a character. Astro's enemies are mostly robots; Police robots by the gazillions, headless drone robots, punk robots, gangster robots with flying teeth, fire robots, scrap-pile robots, hulking worker robots, biting scavenger robots - and that's just the robots. And much creativity and dedication has gone into all these robots.

    The sheer number of enemies keeps our boy fighting constantly and he does so with some unusual weapons: butt machine guns, finger laser, an air dash, arm cannon, flip kick, ground slide which is like crouch, drill attack and absorbability. The arm attack only works in a straight line which means you have to position Astro inline with his target.

    The locations are interesting and varied - a pastel deco Metro City, a Tokyo style neon downtown, a junkyard, boiling acid and lava. For a those who want a side scrolling fighting game this will fulfill - for those who want more complex hero, perhaps the movie will deliver.

    11/14/2009

    Cars: Race O Rama
    Publisher: THQ
    Rating: Everyone
    Price: $36.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    No you didnít miss the movie - this is just a little snack to keep the Car fans happy. Once again you are back in Radiator Springs. By now you know the drill, only this time THQ has bypassed a story and gone straight to racing events. Lightning McQueen and Chick Hicks pit their racing schools against one another for the Race-O-Rama Trophy. Game is played with the remote held sideways - never mentioned in the manual or in the game directions. It is mention in the "Options" - it is not an option. Too expensive for an "old" game.

    11/14/2009

    Marvel Super Hero Squad
    Publisher: THQ
    Rating: Everyion +10
    Price: $36.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    A Marvel bonanza with Captain America, Dr. Doom, Falcon, Hulk, Iron Man, Juggernaut, Ms. Marvel, Silver Surfer, Thing, Thor and Wolverine. All are fighting to recover the Fractals of the Infinity Sword 'cause you know what will happen if they don't. Swapping in single player is limited to two persons per campaign. A female commander gives you instructions. Everything can be accomplished if you hit it long enough. Graphics are in the style of cartoon drawings - not too smooth but the movement is plenty smooth. Lots of fun.

    11/14/2009

    The Hardy Boys - The Hidden Theft
    Publisher: The Adventure Company
    Rating: Everyone
    Price: $29.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    This was a disappointing game on the PC and it doesn't fare any better on the Wii. If The Adventure Company wants to attract boys to this series they are going to have to make them way more dashing and daring. Sheesh - Nancy has more gumption.

    I haven't the heart to write this one over - just go to the PC review: http://www.games4girls.com/reviews/hardyboys.html
    If you still want to play a Hardy Boys mystery - go for Hardy Boys; Treasure on the Tracks. Now that's a good one.

    10/20/2009


    Chicken Blaster
    Publisher: ZOO Games
    Rating: Teen
    Price: $19.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    Play the role of a chicken farmer whose birds have gone hawire and save the farm by shooting these mad chickens!

    6 different weapons- including a shotgun, machine gun & fireworks
    4 "crazy" chickens bosses to fight
    Multiplayer mayhem - 2 players can shoot heat-to-head

    10/18/2009


    Monster Trucks Mayhem
    Publisher: ZOO Games
    Rating: Teen
    Price: $19.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    Strap yourself in because it's time for some MONSTER TRUCKS MAYHEM!

    Enormous tires, incredibly powerful engines, and the shocking excitement of monster truck racing has come exclusively to Wii!
    Six unique and extreme monster trucks available for play including Indestructible Destroyer (a military style crusher) and Yellow Beast (a crazy cab out for vengeance)
    Massive interactive environments include breakable landscapes and destructible elements.

    10/18/2009


    Naruto Shippuden: Ninja Destiny 2
    Publisher: TOMY
    Rating: Teen
    Price: $29.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): DS

    Time to Fight!
    34 Awesome 3D Fighters! All NEW Quest Mode! Wireless Multiplayer Battles!

    09/12/2009

    ATV Quad Kings
    Publisher: Zoo Publishing Inc
    Rating: Everyone
    Price: $19.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    Travel across the globe from the United States to Australia and race in nine breathtaking locations! Win the five World Tour trophies including the ultimate ATV Quad Kings Trophy to be #1!

    09/10/2009

    BUILD'n RACE
    Publisher: Zoo Publishing Inc
    Rating: Everyone
    Price: $21.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): Wii

    Rev Your Engines
    for a fantastic heart-pounding racing experience exclusively for Wii! BUILD'n RACE puts you in the driver's seat on spectacular courses with insane ramps, death-defying jumps, sharp switchbacks and more!
    Track construction: Over 1,000 different building blocks and tools.

    09/10/2009

    Aliens in the Attic
    Publisher: Playlogic
    Rating: Everone 10+
    Price: $29.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): DS

    Aliens have invaded the attic upstairs and are trying to take over the Earth. It's your job to fend them off! Use Hannah's jumping talents, Tom's engineering knowledge and Jake's heavy weapon skills to complete this fun, challenging platform adventure and save the planet from these knee high invaders.

    Ed Note: Basically a platform shooter with unlimited ammo. Don't know if it follows the movie - but each character has a special ability. Tom is the engineering type and is the one who can operate the aliens' weapons. Jake supplies the muscle and can handle the heavier weapons. Hannah - poor Hannah is the jumper and is used to get the guys up to the higher places. She has no defense and can be a liability since the health bar is shared by all. Stylus is a poor aiming instrument - better to use the D-pad. There is no multiplayer. Text can be in English, French, Dutch, Italian or Spanish.

    09/01/2009

    Batman - Arkham Asylum
    Publisher: WB/Eidos
    Rating: Teen
    Price: $52.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): XP, Vista, PS3, XBOX360

    Welcome to the Madhouse!
    Descend into the core of the criminally insane as The Joker launches his most diabolical plot ever. The inmates of Arkham Asylum have been set free - and it's up to Batman to bring order to the chaos and take back the asylum. Explore the depths of this never-before seen island as you experience the darkest journey of Batman's life. Promises to be the blockbuster of the year.
    08/24/2009


    The King of Fighters XII
    Publisher: SNK/Playmore/Ignition
    Rating: Teen
    Price: $56.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Platform(s): PS3

    WITNESS THE REBIRTH OF A KING
    SNK PLAYMORE's unrivaled 3-on-3 fighting masterpiece returns with unprecedented next-generation features, including high-definition hand drawn visuals, thrilling online combat, and revolutionary new gameplay systems.
    08/19/2009


    Brave: A Warrior's Tale
    South Peak
    Rating: Everyone 10+
    Price: $29.99       To Order: http://www.amazon.com
    Plaform(s): Wii

    Set in a fantastic world based upon the mythology of Native America. Brave: A Warrior's Tale plays as a series of flashbacks in which a now elderly Brave describes the events of his life. Between the warrior's tales of his youth, the player takes control of Courage, a young boy who takes lessons from his elder's experiences to stop the evil Wendigo's threat to their village.
    08/16/2009



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