hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts


Aliens games to play that aren't Aliens: Colonial Marines

Feb 12 // Jim Sterling
Alien 3SEGA Genesis1993 I have fond memories of Alien 3. Not the most refined of games, this sidescrolling shooter nonetheless maintains its own unique charm. A nice little soundtrack, an atmospheric (for its time) visual style, and a genuine effort to be authentic as possible within the 16-bit limitations, Alien 3 is worth giving a spin. If you're into vent crawling, ladder climbing, prisoner rescuing and Alien blasting, you'll get your fix right here.  The fact I still remember that stage intro screen after all these years has got to say something!  Alien TrilogyPlayStation, SEGA Saturn, PC1996 Okay, Alien Trilogy isn't that good of a game, and it's here mostly for nostalgia. I played the everloving hell out of it when I was a kid, and I recall many a school sick day spent playing this little number. The music still induces a little shiver down my spine.  Trilogy is a fairly basic little DOOM clone. You run around various stages inspired by Alien, Aliens and Alien 3, blasting Alien warriors, Dog Aliens, and excruciatingly annoying Chestbursters. The game's stingy with its ammo and can be pretty damn cheap, which is why I rarely felt shame inputting the famous password:  1GOTP1NK8C1DBOOTSON. That's, "I got pink acid boots on" for those lacking an eye for subtlety. Great cheat name, and the unlimited firepower was certainly nothing to spit at! You can pick PSOne discs up for peanuts on eBay, and it'll work on your PS3. Worth a spin, if only for reminiscence's sake.  Aliens vs. Predator 2PC, Mac2001 If I'm quite honest, I never really gelled with any of the Rebellion/Monolith AvP games, but AvP2 is so fondly regarded, I'd not be doing my job if it was omitted from the pile. This game is widely considered the last word in terms of Marine-on-Xenomorph-on-Predator action, with its three-way battles designed to make Preds feel badass, Xenos feel insidious, and Marines shit their pants. In many ways, playing as the terrified and powerless humans was the most fun part of the game. You are gonna die, but sometimes it's hilarious to be so utterly screwed. I may not have quite appreciated it the way some people did, but I'd be a fool to contest the assertion that it pretty much codified the idea of what an Aliens vs. Predator game should be, and has not been topped by anything in the field. There just doesn't exist a worthy adversary to this particular installment.  Aliens: ExterminationArcade2006 Anybody who hangs out with me for any length of time will soon learn one thing -- if there's an Extermination arcade machine in the vicinity, I'm going to find and play it. A few places local to me always seem to boast one of these, and I consider it a failure of a trip if I visit one of these places and don't waste at least one coin.  Extermination is a typical lightgun shooter. You grab your plastic pulse rifle and face the incoming horde of screaming Xenomorphs. It's silly arcade fun that never tries to be anything else, and while it looks pretty dated now, it still offers a pretty good commitment to detail and some cool environments. Plus, who isn't a sucker for a solid plastic-gun-holdy-shooty game? Aliens vs. PredatorArcade1994 Aliens vs. Predator for arcade is one of those games that really make me hate the dodgy world of licensing. Capcom made this, but SEGA owns the rights to Aliens games, so the chances of it ever getting a re-release are minimal at best. Still, if you can get a chance to play it, do so. It's bursting with character, is entertainingly ridiculous, and delivers some righteous brawler action the only way a Capcom arcade game can. You get to be either a Marine or a Predator, and face off against an army of increasingly colorful and bizarre Xenomorphs. It's as garish and neon as any nineties brawler could be, and I love it for that fact. The Alien designs are outlandish and strictly nonsensical, but that doesn't stop them from being cooler than they had any right to be. I have a lot of time for this little beauty.  Aliens: InfestationNintendo DS2011 SEGA's run with the license may not be the most glorious chapter of interactive Aliens history, but it is at least responsible for bringing us Aliens: Infestation, a genuinely great scrolling shooter from the fine folks at WayForward. Atmospheric, original, and closer to the spirit of the property than Colonial Marines could ever hope to be, this unique little spin on the Aliens universe is challenging, engaging, and quite a lot of fun. Players get to switch between four Marines at any one time, and there is a small army of 19 heroes to rescue and play. The twist is that once one of them dies, they're gone for good. If you start growing fond of one (which is possible, as they all have their own neat looks and personalities), you may very well find yourself in mourning.  For a retro-style shooter, Infestation is surprisingly scary. Aliens hit hard, and hit fast, while the dismal environments can be genuinely foreboding. While the difficulty can border on the wrong side of unfair, it at least makes Xenomorphs intimidating, credible threats, returning some of the edge they've lost in the transition from indestructible stalker to mindless bug. 
Xenomorph action that won't ruin your day
Aliens: Colonial Marines is finally out over more than half a decade of waiting, and the disappointment is real enough to lick. It's a terrible letdown, to the point that this particular Aliens fan -- who buys almost anything...


Batman: Arkham 3 is due for release in 2013 [Update]

Arkhaaaaaaaaw MAH GAWD!
Feb 12
// Jim Sterling
[Update: According to the rumor mill, Rocksteady won't be involved in this one. According to my Twitter feed of random people saying random things, the less-spectacular Spark Unlimited may take the helm. Hmmmm.] Warner Bros. ...

Walking Dead: Survival Instinct finally gets real trailer

Was it worth the wait?
Feb 07
// Jim Sterling
Activision's tried to put it off for as long as possible, but has finally released a real gameplay trailer for The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct. Now the day's finally arrived, I don't even know what to say. In all honesty...
Delayed DLC photo
Delayed DLC

Scott Pilgrim DLC has last-minute delay

After years of waiting, more waiting
Feb 04
// Conrad Zimmerman
Last week, we reported on an announcement regarding long-anticipated downloadable content for Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game posted to the Tumblr of Scott Pilgrim creator Bryan Lee O'Malley which vanished into...

Finally, a new Dynasty Warriors-style Kamen Rider game

Took 'em long enough
Jan 16
// Josh Tolentino
Well, it's about time! Toei's Kamen Rider was a Dynasty Warriors before Dynasty Warriors of a sort, defined as it was by a lone hero in a ridiculous costume effortlessly plowing through hordes of weak mini...

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct confirmed for Wii U

Shuffling in ZombiU's footsteps
Jan 10
// Jim Sterling
[Update: The Walking Dead is coming out on March 26 in North America.] The likes of Crysis 3 and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 may be turning their backs on the Wii U, but never fear! Activision never misses a trick, and has...

The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct trailer is ... hmmmm

Jan 02 // Jim Sterling
Oh. Looks like I wasn't wrong about the screen tearing.
Walking Dead: SI footage photo
Footage of first-person zombie spin-off fails to impress
[Update: This is a not an official trailer by Activision or Terminal Reality. Rather, it's a fan made video of gameplay clips taken from an interview by IGN Start on the upcoming game.] The Terminal Reality-developed The Wal...


SEGA/Creative Assembly get Games Workshop license

Total Warhammer
Dec 06
// Jim Sterling
SEGA has inked a deal with Games Workshop in order to start bringing Warhammer games into production. Creative Assembly, the studio responsible for Total War, will be working on the fantasy tabletop IP.  THQ still has th...

Review: Transformers Prime: The Game

Dec 04 // Jim Sterling
Transformers Prime: The Game (Wii, Wii U [reviewed])Developer: NowproPublisher: ActivisionRelease: October 4 (Wii), October 18 (Wii U)MSRP: $39.99 (Wii) $49.99 (Wii U) Transformers Prime is about as basic as a game can get. Its levels typically run between two and four minutes, consisting either of remedial brawling or on-rails vehicular sections. Usually you get about forty to sixty seconds of gameplay buffered by brief and pointless cutscenes, themselves lasting seconds long. The lengthiest stage clocked in at around seven minutes, and only because the final boss' health meter took a long time to drain. The battle itself was as good as won several minutes before then -- watching the health bar reduce was little more than busywork.  Easy, lasting maybe two hours long, Transformers Prime's campaign almost goes out of its way to look, sound, and play like the cheap, disposable cash-in it is. It exists for the sole purpose of making money from fans, and does nothing to hide its intentions. At only a mere 120 minutes, Prime is too long, for as repetitive and slow as it is, a running time of thirty minutes could only improve one's sentiments toward it.  Starring one of several predetermined Autobots, each level consists mostly of simplistic button-mashing combat across a series of tiny, unfurnished arenas. Characters perform uncomplicated attacks consisting of pressing either the A or Y button up to three times in various combinations, and can lock to fire a barrage of weak gunfire with the shoulder buttons, or double tap to charge a slightly stronger blast. An obligatory power meter fills with each attack, allowing a temporary "upgrade" mode which delivers more powerful blows. Due to the lousy targeting, attacks frequently miss, or pass harmlessly through opponents. This doesn't matter, because the game is so easy you'll barely feel pressure to keep up the attack. In fact, some fights can be won simply by locking on and holding the fire button until everything's dead.  [embed]239846:45976[/embed] Every so often, you'll encounter a boss battle against one of the Decepticons, who try to scupper your progress with predictable and repeated attack patterns, or shields that are broken by transforming into a vehicle before performing a melee attack to turn into robot form with a powerful smash. There are also linear vehicular chases which require the GamePad to be tilted left and right in order to avoid sparse obstacles. The motion control is as responsive as the vehicles are fast -- not very. There are many mobile racing games with tighter controls and better paced action, available at a fraction of the price.  Is Transformers Prime for children? Probably. Is it unnecessarily cruel to review it? Perhaps. It did, however, arrive unbidden at my doorstep and so I'm duty bound to do something with it. I don't want to write this review. Do you even want to read it? Like the aforementioned final boss of this game, this review was over as soon as it began, and the droning, monotonous attack simply keeps occurring as a matter of formality. With each word, Transformers Prime's health bar drains, our own remains so full of life that we could only fail if we chose to consciously do so. It's at this point the metaphor falls apart.  There is a multiplayer mode, but before you ask who would waste their time going online with it, don't bother -- not even Activision bothered. The multiplayer mode is local only, pitting two players against each other in mindless brawling battles. A range of both Autobots and Decepticons can be chosen, though their attacks are all randomly imbalanced and the vehicle modes of flying transformers are useless, given how it's impossible to target opponents as a jet. Balance, of course, was not the goal here -- like the game itself, this mode exists for no reason other than its own sake.  Graphically, things look terrible, and I suspect Prime's little more than a sloppily upscaled version of the Wii alternative. It certainly looks like it, with its lack of textures, threadbare environments, and unimpressive animation. Not only is this game a cheap licensed brawler, it's a cheap HD port of a cheap licensed brawler. Now that's some serious respect for the Wii U.  The highest praise one can afford this game is that it's playable. It's not broken, nor is it really that offensive. It's just a condensed exercise in bromidic game design, a brief waste of time squirted out of some mercenary developer's squalid hole. It's not terrible enough to be memorable, not good enough to justify your attention, it's just sat there, a stale dumpling on a dirty plate. I would hope even children are more discerning in their tastes than this, but we cannot know that for sure. All I know is, if your idea of a brilliant joke is hearing a robot say "scrap" instead of "crap" every few minutes, Transformers Prime is for you. Not only does it perform that exact joke with that same regularity, your laughing at it qualifies you as stupid enough to think Prime is worth money. 
Sloptimus Slime
I'll admit, I've struggled to keep up with the Transformers brand since Generation One. I've played the High Moon Studios games, and loved them, but the TV shows have been something of a blur to me -- be it Armada, Animated, ...

Review: Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse

Nov 20 // Jim Sterling
Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Heavy Iron StudiosPublisher: ActivisionRelease: November 20, 2012MSRP: $59.99 If Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse provides one laudable service, it's that it is a nostalgic experience. Remember licensed games from the early 2000s? The ones that provided borderline workable gameplay with visuals that lost something in the transition from 2D cartoon to 3D software? The kind of videogame that regurgitated lines from the show, completely out of context, in the petty hope that we'd remember an old joke and be tricked into thinking it was funny?  Multiverse is exactly that experience. Memories of old Simpsons and South Park games come flooding back in this soporific third-person shooter with substandard cel-shaded graphics that'd look right at home on a PlayStation 2. As Brian states that all he needs now "is a midget with some gin," or as Stewie charmlessly repeats that victory shall be his, it's hard not to feel a little reminiscent glow in the heart. Indeed, this is everything we've come to know and loathe about licensed games, distilled into its purest form.  Any "original" writing found within the game is offensive, and not in the usual Family Guy way. At least on the show, there's a sense the writers were aiming to be funny. Not so in Back to the Multiverse. Nary does a level go by without something being called "gay" or "queer." There's no actual gag to that -- it's just someone calling something gay, and we're meant to laugh. One level set in a world where "it's desirable to be crippled" comes off not as satirical or witty, but as outright spiteful. I love offensive humor, but only if there's "humor" evidenced somewhere in the proceedings. There are no offensive jokes here, there are only offensive comments, coming from a developer that's trying far too hard to emulate McFarlane.  This unfunny dialog is repeated over and over again. If an Amish opponent's banal sex joke doesn't make you smile the first time, you'll be trying to eat your own teeth after you've heard it for the twentieth. Get it, because Amish people don't have sex? No? Get it now? Now? How about now? Over and over again, a tiny selection of character models per level bark the same puerile phrases at you, while the protagonists fire back with out-of-place commentary culled shamelessly from the show.  Gameplay does nothing to make up for the worthless script, either. Played co-op or solo, the campaign puts us in the role of Stewie and Brian as they travel the Multiverse and pursue recurring nemesis Bertram. A sub-standard third-person shooter, our two heroes run from point A to point B, mowing down brainless enemies and occasionally stopping to activate a switch or pursue a short fetch quest. Stewie has access to a range of powerful weapons, such as rocket launchers, laser pistols, and satchel charges, while Brian uses more grounded weaponry including pistols and shotguns. As chapters are cleared, each character can access more guns, but it becomes clear early on that Brian's shotgun is really the only decent weapon in the game. Everything else is either unwieldy or ineffective, while the shotgun's spread and high damage makes up for how terrible the actual combat is to control.  With its floaty physics and imprecise aiming, Multiverse's shambolic combat feels like something dredged up from the N64 era. It's barely even worth aiming due to how erratically enemies run around and how inadequate the weapons are. The only worthwhile tactic is to just take that shotgun and run around in vague circles, blasting the air until the last enemy stops spouting repetitive and unamusing trash. This is more or less how the game is played from beginning to end. Its idea of challenge is to throw more enemies at the player, a tactic mitigated by the fact that dying simply respawns you a few yard back, with no actual penalty. Progress is a matter of attrition, a pointless slog for the few hours it takes to reach its anticlimactic climax.  Special combat items alleviate some of the boredom temporarily. It can be at least mildly amusing to distract enemies with a Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Man, or summon Ernie the Giant Chicken to combat enemies to the tune of "Surfin' Bird." These may raise a slight smirk once, but only once. If at all.  There's a set of challenge courses that reuse stages from the main game and charge you with special tasks, such as collecting items within a time limit or killing a set number of enemies without slaughtering innocent characters. While the challenges themselves are unremarkable, they do let you use characters other than Brian and Stewie -- all of which seem to be noticeably more fun to use. They all have their own unique weapons that are far more enjoyable to use, such as Lois' salad-spewing kitchen utensils or Quagmire's machine gun. Quite why these superior characters were relegated to a bunch of shallow extra modes is puzzling, because if they were usable in the campaign, it might have made for a better experience.  Multiplayer is also available, but it's local only,  and is really just a series of mundane and trite modes designed to let players run around thoughtlessly shooting each other, just like the rest of the game. It exists more or less for the purpose of allowing Multiverse to say it has multiplayer. In that effort, it at least can be called a success.  Technical issues are naturally in place, to really hammer home how substandard eveything is. The game regularly freezes itself for a few seconds, usually in intervals of two. This can throw the audio out of sync in cutscenes, or screw up your actions as it lags out just when you attempt to input something. As already noted, the visuals are unappealing and dated, especially the poorly compressed cinematics.  Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is crude, archaic, sloppy, and unfunny, but I don't want the show to be blamed for any of it -- not because I wish to defend Family Guy, but because by blaming the show, we let this game get away with being the invidious dross it is. Multiverse deserves is to be judged as feculence on its own merits, singled out to be eviscerated mercilessly, and if we tie it so closely to the property upon which it is based, we allow its burden to be shouldered.  Let Back to the Multiverse drift alone -- naked, ashamed, and floating bereft on a sea of contempt, buoyed not by excuse nor justification. It is not bad because Family Guy is bad, it is bad because it is unfettered, unrepentant swill. 
Seth McFailin'
Reviewing Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is difficult, because if I were to say it's bland, unfunny, and offensive, a large portion of the audience will fire back with, "Just like the show!" Meanwhile, another portion wil...

Review: Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition

Nov 17 // Jim Sterling
Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition (Wii U)Developer: Warner Bros. Studios, Rocksteady GamesPublisher: Warner Bros.Release: November 18, 2012MSRP: $59.99 Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition mostly sticks true to the original incarnation released last year. Mostly. Taking place in an open world populated by Gotham's criminal element, Batman once again finds himself interred in Arkham City under the watchful gaze of Professor Hugo Strange, working as he does to uncover the secret of Protocol Ten, scupper the Joker's latest evil scheme, and punch a lot of things in the face.  From its gripping story to the flowing combat and excellent predatory stealth segments, Arkham City is still good as it ever was when we bore down to its core. The Armored Edition gets its name from new combat suits worn by both Batman and Catwoman, suits that build kinetic energy as either playable protagonist successfully lands attacks on the mooks of Gotham. When the energy icon is full, tapping it on the touchscreen grants the player faster reflexes and extra attack power to finish fights more quickly.  [embed]238794:45814[/embed] It's strange that this feature was not only added, but had the game named after it, since it really isn't a unique or interesting addition. It's not a bad addition, but I can't say I'm grateful for it either. It's just there, and tapping the icon to get a bit of a boost is no different from pretty much any action game with any sort of special power meter. I'm confused as to why this is seen as such a big deal, but at the very least, I can say that it's inoffensive.  The other new changes, however, are a bit less subtle and much less welcome as far as this reviewer's concerned. Outside of general gameplay and combat, Armored Edition makes heavy use of the GamePad's touchscreen to the point of saturation. All in-game menu items, from map usage to leveling up to selecting gadgets, are done on the GamePad itself, and much of it feels like an unnecessary hassle. Leveling up Batman's gear is particularly irritating, as you now have to swipe your way through unresponsive rows of tiny icons and unintuitive screens. Unlike with my previous playthroughs of the game, I've found myself not immediately going into the WayneTech menu to upgrade, because I simply can't be bothered to fiddle with the menus.  Gadgets themselves also insist on using the touchscreen, with the biggest offender being the hacking device. Whereas before, you'd rotated the analog sticks (or press keyboard keys) to solve puzzles, you now have to open up a whole new hacking minigame where you trace your finger on the touchscreen to find the right hotspot while avoiding a red line that intermittently sweeps past. I used to like how quick and efficient hacking was in Arkham City, bypassing the flow-breakage of dreary door-opening minigames found in other titles, but Armored Edition has spoiled that. Another issue is the gyroscope being used to aim Batarangs and the Batclaw. You can use the right stick to aim, but the gyroscope still registers and can throw the reticule off slightly. The remote Batarangs are also controlled via the GamePad screen, and again can be steered using motion or stick input, with similar conflicts. These issues are tiny, never really getting too much in the way, but they help hammer home just how much was changed simply for the sake of change, regardless of whether or not it improved the game. Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition simply tries too hard to be more than the port it honestly should've been. If you can implement new features and controls in ways that make the experience superior, then I'm all for it, but here we have a game that's fallen into the familiar trap of attempting to alter everything without regard for whether or not it actually improves anything. Dragging my finger slowly across a small screen to open a door is not gameplay -- it simply isn't. Fiddling with dragging gadgets to hotkey them, when opening a menu and hitting a button to select them would be quicker, is not an improvement -- it's a detriment. It's making things less efficient than they used to be an effort to impress us.  Arkham City's overall quality is hard to tarnish, and the original product still manages to shine despite the unbroken things that Warner Bros. Studios attempted to fix. While it would have been better had it remained unmolested, Rocksteady's work is solid as stone, and I still found it hard not to have a great time replaying one of the best licensed games around.  In addition to the main game, Armored Edition sports all the content from the Game of the Year re-release, including Harley Quinn's Revenge and the Robin Pack. You do not, however, get the Batman: Year One animation that came with Game of the Year. Even so, you receive a fairly decent barrel of content for your buck, especially if you're a newcomer to the game.  Batman: Arkham City Armored Edition fails to ruin what still is an admirable game, but there's no skipping around the issue of elements being forced in and serving only to render it inferior, making previously simple functions more complicated than they should be and dragging down the game's pace. While still a very good game at its core, this is not as good as the original, purer release. There's no shame in a Wii U title that doesn't shoehorn Wii U features into itself, and if the game would be better off without them, I'd really rather that be the route taken.  Armored Edition didn't take that route. It took things that already worked perfectly and shook them until they cracked. Not shattered completely, but undoubtedly broken, just a little bit. If you only own Nintendo systems and love Batman, this remains a very worthy purchase, one that will give your hours of crimefighting enjoyment. If you've already played Arkham City, however, you'll be better off leaving it, because you already experienced the definitive version. 
Arkham City Wii U photo
Barkham up the wrong tree
For most of this generation, Nintendo existed as its own entity in the market. The Wii couldn't match the technical prowess of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, while third-party publishers famously struggled when attempting to...

Review: ThunderCats

Oct 31 // Jim Sterling
ThunderCats (DS)Developer: Aspect Digital EntertainmentPublisher: Namco BandaiRelease: October 30, 2012MSRP: $29.99 ThunderCats is a simple beat-'em-up-style platformer, and when I say simple, I mean this wouldn't even look advanced in the early '90s. With its substandard graphics, featuring largely featureless character models and muddy, flat scenery, the game looks like a slightly below average SEGA Genesis title, and plays like a dumbed-down Golden Axe.  From its visuals to its distinctly dated music, it's clear Aspect Digital was attempting to evoke a "retro" feel. However, unlike games that use the retro aesthetic to communicate a developer's love for bygone years, ThunderCats exploits it to cut corners, skimp on features, and ultimately provide a bland, tacky series of one-note levels.  Playing as Lion-O (obviously), ThunderCats' victims go from short stage to short stage, mindlessly hacking at identical opponents who attack in a predictable fashion and are more than happy to line up for their own lumps. The cat's sword swings feel totally disconnected from their targets, carrying zero sense of impact as the blade slices in front of enemy character models with only the vaguest trace of an "explosion" effect to demonstrate a strike. The game's idea of challenge is simply to throw as many opponents and bullets at the player as possible, and never does it try to deviate from that path with any nuance. [embed]237751:45625[/embed] Lion-O himself is simply unpleasant to control. He moves slowly, with an awful double-jump that has a pointless delay and palpable lack of responsiveness. His attacks are sluggish and his ponderous animations cannot be canceled, with most player damage suffered due to his inability to adequately dodge or avoid incoming fire. As he fights, he builds up a power meter, allowing him to unleash a blast of energy in a straight line. Its specific direction of fire makes it pointless to use in many situations, though admittedly it can be effective against bosses.  As the game progresses, support characters become available. Three of them (Tygra, Cheetara, and Panthro) unleash powerful attacks, while Wilykit and Wilykat can be summoned to drop healing items or sword power-ups. Support characters are used by spending tokens collected through levels, but Lion-O can only carry up to three at a time.  ThunderCats offers a disjointed sense of progression. Short beat-'em-up stages can precede multiple boss fights in a row, or Godawful platforming sections that expose just how inelegant Lion-O's jumping is and usually cause death (without checkpoints) thanks to how hard it is to tell what part of a platform can be safely landed on, and what our heroic cat will just gormlessly fall through. None of these sections flow well together, especially thanks to how repetitive and boring the boss battles are.  Now is as good a time as any to point out that having Lion-O say, with a poorly compressed voice clip, "ThunderCats, HOOOOO," every two minutes is not very enjoyable.  As mentioned, stages have no checkpoints, and saves between levels are literally a case of pot luck. At one point, I returned to the game to find that it hadn't saved anything for two levels. It was at this point, I must confess, that I decided a better use of my time and the game would be to toss it into a river -- something I plan to do at my earliest convenience.  There's not really much else to be said about ThunderCats because there's nothing else to it. It's a bottom-of-the-barrel brawler that might have been really appreciated in 1985, but is outclassed and humiliated even by the standards of the 16-bit era. It hides behind nostalgia like a coward, attempting to distract from its unpleasantness by convincing the player it's part of the "good old days" of gaming, but nobody exists who could be foolish enough to fall for its ploy.  And this is how ThunderCats ends. Not with a bang, but with a truly disgusting DS game. 
ThunderCats review photo
ThunderCats, HO-rrible!
The ThunderCats reboot was, by most accounts, a tragedy. Unlike most of the property rehashes that account for a worrying amount of modern entertainment, the new ThunderCats series was actually pretty well regarded and, from ...


New Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse screenshots

Trio of images feature multiplayer in the multiverse
Oct 23
// Conrad Zimmerman
Activision released new screenshots of Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse today, giving a look at the title's multiplayer component. I wish I could muster some enthusiasm for it -- there's split-screen, after all, and I ...

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man

Jun 27 // Jim Sterling
The Amazing Spider-Man (PC, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: BeenoxPublisher:  Activision Released: June 26, 2012 (August 10, 2012 PC)MSRP: $59.99 Interestingly, The Amazing Spider-Man is not so much based upon the upcoming movie of the same name as it is an epilogue to the film's events. It doesn't spoil much about the plot, focusing mostly on a new story in the aftermath of the Lizard's Manhattan rampage, but do be warned that there might be minor giveaways. Unless, for some reason, you're laboring under the impression that the Lizard defeats Spider-Man at the end of the movie, there's no reason that this game will ruin your theatrical experience.  Curt Connors (the human half of the Lizard) is incarcerated as Oscorp sets about destroying all his cross-species research. Our adventure begins with a first-person walk through Oscorp's science labs, where Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy come face to face with some of the company's more disturbing creations: the half-human Rhino, Scorpion, and Vermin. Naturally, all hell breaks loose shortly after Parker's arrival, and the hybrids escape, along with the highly contagious disease they carry that can turn regular humans into cross-species monsters.  As a story, The Amazing Spider-Man's tale of science gone wrong isn't too enthralling, although it gets points for a rather nice portrayal of Alistair Smythe. Spider-Man's other opponents -- the aforementioned Rhino, Scorpion, and Vermin -- are rather disappointing in that they're not really the same characters from the comic books. They share names and vague likenesses, but they're all mindless monsters that only possess thematic similarities and exist mostly to pad out the boss roster. With that in mind, the game does what it's supposed to do: provide some sort of conflict for Spider-Man that can and will be easily discarded when the movie gets its inevitable sequel.  [embed]230233:44198[/embed] Amazing provides a healthy mixture of indoors and open-world sections, with Spider-Man web-slinging his way across New York and entering interior environments to undertake crucial missions. The simple ability to swing through the streets and skyscrapers of New Work is as enjoyable as it's always been, aided by some surprisingly nice visuals and fluid animations. Aiding the web-slinger in his quest is a new "Web Rush" power, which allows Spidey to zip from walls to ceilings to predetermined locations at the press of a single button. The button can also be held to slow time and more carefully select destinations and enemy targets, who can be rushed into for extra damage. Though Web Rush serves as an interesting new mode of transportation and augments the traditional web-swinging movements nicely, savvy players may notice something familiar about it, and once they do, everything else clicks into place -- this is basically Batman: Arkham City, with Spider-Man standing in for the Dark Knight.  To say the game copies Rocksteady's Arkham games is to put it mildly, as Beenox has essentially scavenged everything it could from Spidey's industry rival. The Web Rush is Batman's grappling hook, but that's just the first similarity. The combat system, too, has been taken wholesale from Arkham, with players button mashing and hitting counter-attacks as soon as they see a visual cue on screen. There are boss encounters mimicking Batman's fight against Bane in Arkham Asylum, there are shielded enemies that must be jumped over and hit in the back. There are even photography sections in which players take pictures based on vague cues, à la The Riddler's challenges. By far the most significant link between Spider-Man and Arkham comes in the predatory stealth sections. Just like Asylum and City, Parker will enter rooms in which heavily armed thugs patrol and must be taken out one by one. If Spidey is exposed for too long, the guards will open fire and he'll die pretty quickly. However, he can hit a quick-escape button to leap back into the shadows -- again, just like Bats -- and resume his hunt as the enemies grow more paranoid and panicky. The mimicry on display is utterly shameless, to the point where Beenox had to know we'd spot it, and just didn't care.  The thing is, though ... I don't much care, either. Unoriginal or not, the gameplay works with the wall-crawler standing in for the caped crusader. With Parker able to crawl on almost any wall and ceiling, he's afforded more flexibility than Bruce Wayne, and it's never unsatisfying to land a sweet stealth takedown, cocooning unwitting opponents and dragging them to the rafters. Fact of the matter is, the same predatory stealth that worked so well for Batman is just as perfect for Spider-Man, and since Beenox has used it pretty damn well, I can't fault the studio one bit.  Admittedly, it lacks some of the polish and tightness of the Arkham games. The camera, in particular, can be quite awkward to deal with, especially when Parker's stuck to ceilings. It can be quite hard to navigate the environments, with no mini-map for indoors environments, and the constant perspective shift as the player traverses multiple surfaces can be rather disorienting. The combat system, too, doesn't do quite so good a job of providing player feedback, and the customary Spider-Sense visual cues can be a bit too subtle and brief to effectively help counter opposing attacks. With Spider-Man's superior flexibility in the stealth arena, some players may find the action isn't very challenging, either. The game rarely provides much in the way of resistance, existing purely to make players feel like badasses, which it pulls off fairly well.  The Amazing Spider-Man differentiates itself from Arkham City in a number of impressive open-world boss fights, as Spidey takes on Smythe's "Spider Slayers" and other twisted machinery. Some of these robots are huge in scale, requiring Parker to swing across entire city blocks as gigantic metal snakes and other creatures smash half of New York apart in an effort to get to him. Again, these battles aren't too hard, and most of them involve repetitive action (shoot webbing, rush to weak point, hammer button, repeat), but the sheer scale of these conflicts still manages to keep each fight exciting and makes excellent book-ends to methodical interior sections.  The main game will take between six and eight hours to beat, but there's plenty of optional content to keep things running longer. The city is full of sick pedestrians, petty crimes, and car chases to deal with, and there are side missions that Parker can trigger in order to find new upgrades for his combat abilities. Bruce Campbell is also on hand to provide some "Xtreme Challenges" consisting of acrobatic displays, timed checkpoint races, and other distractions. There's a wide variety of stuff to do, although many of the tasks on offer are repeated to a significant degree.  The Amazing Spider-Man is a good game, but being chained to the movie painfully holds it back. Unable to introduce any iconic villains in any real context, and forced to work off the back of the film's plot, one gets the constant feeling that this game is restrained and never allowed to be all that it could be. It takes many good things from Arkham, but one aspect it fails to exploit is the deft use of a rogue's gallery. One of the biggest joys of Arkham Asylum and City was waiting to find out which villain would turn up next, or which memorable location would be discovered. There is none of that here, bound as it is by a universe that has only introduced Kurt Connors as a true antagonist. The fact is made even more egregious when one realizes that not a single cast member from the movie shows up to provide any voice acting -- this could well have been its own thing, and should have been, but had to bolt itself onto Hollywood in the name of money.  Money is what The Amazing Spider-Man will make, and some of that cash will be deserved. However, something tells me this game is merely establishing itself as the foundation for a better product somewhere down the line. I will be surprised if Activision doesn't announce a standalone Spider-Man game in the future, taking the elements from this title and putting them in something that can take far better advantage of them, with a more original story and a wider range of characters. The publisher would be stupid not to, as what we have here is fun, and could truly be great if applied to a more flexible title.  At any rate, The Amazing Spider-Man is still a good game, even if it does feel like a wasted creative opportunity. It steals liberally from the Bat, but it does so with a high enough degree of skill and style that it can be forgiven. If you've ever played one of the Arkham games and felt that you'd enjoy yourself more in blue-and-red as opposed to black, then The Amazing Spider-Man will provide you with plenty of harmless fun for a good few hours. Since that's better than most Spider-Man games have done in the past few years, I'm happy with it. Happy, but certainly longing for more.

When there's a new movie on the horizon, Activision's usually on call to bring us the obligatory videogame tie-in. As is the creed of the obligatory videogame tie-in, the product is rushed, slapdash, visually unimpressive, an...


Bruce Campbell gets extreme in The Amazing Spider-Man

Jun 22
// Jim Sterling
Will The Amazing Spider-Man be a good videogame? Well, it's a licensed game made to coincide with an upcoming blockbuster, and Beenox is making it. Draw your own conclusions.  Good or bad, however, everybody's favorite ...

Harry Potter for Kinect announced (that's its name!)

May 25
// Jim Sterling
Remember a long while back, when Harry Potter was showcased for Kinect? No? Hardly surprising, since it looked like every other Kinect game. Well, it seems as if we're going to get the on-rails, arm-flapping, licensed cash-in...

Activision to publish Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse

May 07
// Conrad Zimmerman
Activision and Fox announced today the impending arrival of a new Family Guy game. Inspired by the season 8 premiere episode, "Road to the Multiverse," Family Guy: Back to the Multiverse is currently in development ...

I'VE SOILED MY TUNIC! COMPLETELY BY CHOICE! That's right! You heard me! WayForward will be making a game based on Cartoon Network's Adventure Time, and I couldn't possibly be any happier! This is, like, the perfect marriage e...


New trailer for Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock

Feb 22
// Conrad Zimmerman
I'm still waiting for a really good Doctor Who game. The BBC-produced episodic adventure game released last year does not qualify, as far as I'm concerned, but there's hope for The Eternity Clock. Due out next mont...

Reminder: Alvin and Chipmunks here to kill my childhood

Nov 18
// Conrad Zimmerman
Here's a little video reminder that Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked is coming to theaters and that there is a game based on said violation of nostalgia. Said game is available in stores now. It's particularly egreg...

Review: NCIS

Nov 03 // Maurice Tan
NCIS (Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, PC, Wii)Developer: Ubisoft ShanghaiPublisher: UbisoftReleased: November 1, 2011MSRP: $39.99 The NCIS game is set during season 9, or just after season 8. It's been one year since Ziva David has passed her U.S. citizenship exam and even Anthony DiNozzo Sr. (voiced by Robert Wagner who plays him in the TV series) makes an appearance. During four seemingly unrelated episodes the NCIS team has to solve cases ranging from a casino robbery, a bank robbery masking an Arab country's embassy break-in, the murder of an officer in an Iraq military compound, and finally some circumspect deaths surrounding the arrest of DiNozzo's father in Dubai. As a mini-arc of sorts, all cases come together in the end to unravel some TV-logic terrorist plot. If you watch NCIS, you know what to expect. The structure of NCIS is pretty similar to the CSI games and so is the gameplay. Instead of only moving your cursor around to select points of interest, you now move a character with a cursor. It gives you a bit more of an emotional connection to the characters of the show than a mere cursor does, although you'll still just move a cursor around crime scenes to select stuff, or point Abby to a lab machine to work her magic. While the crime scenes feel a bit like CSI-lite, due to all evidence being gathered by simply taking photographs and nobody wearing gloves, there is still some occasional pixel hunting to find that last piece of evidence. Contrary to the CSI games, you'll always have an on-screen indicator of your progress as a percentage and it's impossible to miss anything before moving on. Back at the NCIS office, Abby and McGee will do their respective things. That means they will do the kind of mini-games the CSI games had, but this time around they are a lot easier and a lot clearer. It's impossible to mess anything up; although you can run out of tries -- indicated by Caf-POW drinks -- you can always restart these sections without losing anything. Playing as McGee you'll perform some simple memorization and reaction mini-games to "hack a database" that you'd think NCIS would have access to (like conference logs from Naval Command), or keep a reticule over a moving vehicle as he tracks it with his satellite. Abby's job involves grabbing fingerprints from evidence and doing analyses. Chemical analysis simply involves matching shapes to a spectrometer output, while bullet casing and fingerprint analyses are a matter of matching the evidence to the correct image. Everything is like the CSI games at heart, but there are a couple of differences that set NCIS apart. For one, everything is much, much easier. As in: it's impossible to fail throughout the entire game. Anyone can play and complete it; the only reason not to complete it is if you get too bored or frustrated with not being able to find that last bullet in a crime scene. The interrogations now only require the press of one button in a QTE (it's the same button every time) to keep the pressure on and sometimes confront subjects with evidence that conflicts with their statement. This evidence is no longer just one piece of evidence out of dozens, as was the case in CSI: Fatal Conspiracy for instance, but now it is complete and clear proof of something. Whenever Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (the only other person to be voiced by the TV show character's actor), McGee or Abby has run through all the evidence with their analyses, Gibbs will tell them to "DEDUCTION BOARD!" and combine evidence they've analyzed on the Deduction Board -- that big screen they always use in the show when they are explaining how things are connected to the case. This prompts a matching of evidence that usually makes sense to match, sometimes restricting the player to combine obvious matches until you have made other prerequisite matches first. After you match two connected pieces of evidence, you have to select the right answer as to why they are connected. The other answers are always ridiculous, like "<Terrorist guy's name> just loves America," so again this is hard to mess up. When you've connected enough evidence on the Deduction Board, it becomes proof you can use to confront people during interrogation. Besides the CSI mini-games receiving some simplification, the NCIS universe treatment and a visual make-over, the game on the whole feels more like an NCIS game than CSI: Fatal Conspiracy felt like a CSI game. Characters will interact more during and outside of gameplay, giving you the impression you are watching the NCIS team doing their job at your command instead of being a nameless CSI employee, and sometimes there is some hilarity between DiNozzo and Ziva. The series' comedy flair makes an appearance here and there, but the game is a bit more serious than a random episode of the current season of NCIS. Apart from the occasional jokes and banter, the characters don't act like complete clowns and the only reference to Bert the farting hippo is in the loading screen logo. Ziva is really, really dumb in the game, though, and not funny or charming at all. Of more inadvertent comedy value is the act of moving objects around on crime scenes. You'll be prompted to press a button and move the thumbstick to one location in order to move a box, slide a door open, or have DiNozzo push Ziva upwards so she can make a picture. But if you don't move all the way to the indicated direction, the characters will move back into their original position. You guessed it: you can move back and forth for some inappropriate and sometimes hilariously juvenile non-canon character animations. Silliness aside, the added interaction between characters and the increased clarity of mini-games throughout the game gives NCIS what it needs to be better than the past CSI games. That doesn't mean it's a great title or an example of what this type of game should be like -- L.A. Noire is still the best example of the detective adventure genre -- but it's better than you'd expect it to be, even though any veteran player will scoff at the further reduction in difficulty and the game's 4-5 hour playtime with no replayability to speak of. Achievement and trophy whores can be pleased, though, as there's now no way to mess up getting that 1000/1000 or Platinum trophy in this game. Graphically it is a marked improvement over previous CSI games, even if it still only looks "okay" at best. For what it sets out to do NCIS does the job with its virtual counterparts of the team, although Abby looks even creepier than in the show. Some might find the lack of blinking eyes disturbing, too. There is also one satellite tracking mini-game in the third case that is ridiculously hard due to the default controller sensitivity; a strange oversight given that the entirety of the game feels tailored for a casual player. Likewise, this default sensitivity can sometimes make it a bit hard to find evidence on the crime scenes with a controller. It might sound like this is just some stupid game that you can't believe anyone would play, let alone buy. But you know what? There's an incomprehensible addictive quality to NCIS. It's all too easy to keep playing it until an episode is over and even then it's easy to immediately jump into the next episode. Sure, it won't astound anyone but the game does provide a very solid NCIS experience for fans of the show that don't play a lot of games -- if any. NCIS is the best of Ubisoft's series of licensed forensic adventure games, which admittedly may not mean that much depending on your gaming preferences; you just have to accept that it was made for a very specific audience. If you don't care about NCIS or virtual points, there's really no reason at all why you should ever play this. Just like there is little reason to play any Naruto game if you hate Naruto, or Dark Souls if you can't stand dying. This is the kind of game you can easily give to an elder family member if they are a fan of the show, without ever having to explain how it works. It offers a couple of casual evenings worth of extra NCIS entertainment with your favorite characters, and for some fans that might be just what they want.

After the drop in quality between 2009's CSI: Deadly Intent with its crazy cases and the plain mediocre CSI: Fatal Conspiracy in 2010, it appears Ubisoft has moved development of the similar and new NCIS game from Telltale Ga...

Review: The War of the Worlds

Nov 01 // Conrad Zimmerman
The War of the Worlds [PS3, Xbox 360 (reviewed)]Developer: Other OceanPublisher: Paramount Digital EntertainmentReleased: October 25, 2011MSRP: $9.99 (800 MS Points)  The War of the Worlds tells a similar story to the one found in H.G. Wells' classic novel, though with different characters and set in the mid-twentieth century. Our narrator, Arthur Clark, must make his way across the burning city of London as a martian invasion fleet is attacking. Throughout the game, the plot advances with past-tense narration from Arthur, expertly voiced by Patrick Stewart (who lends considerable weight and dignity to a decent script), and radio broadcasts discovered in stages. Presented as a 2D side-scrolling game, Arthur runs, jumps and clambors across debris, over and through buildings and even one of the martian towers. The faded, largely black and white visual design is effective at being a bit on the creepy side. Shadowy tripods, barely visible through fog, march in the backgrounds and look really cool. Some foreground elements don't really hold up their end of the bargain, though. Arthur's movements, for example, are serviceable but seem unnatural and most of the already alien invaders look really out of place against the environments. It does help in the sense that your eye is drawn towards active elements in the game but that's merely a silver lining. Arthur is a common man and not the sort of super-powered figure we're often accustomed to playing in games. He can run, jump, crouch and roll but that's about it for his repertoire until acquiring an axe mid-game (and even then, he's no warrior). He's frail to the point where falling more than twice his height could mean death and is no match whatsoever for the advanced weapons of the martians. About half the game is spent hiding from spotlights or running from them when stealth isn't an option and the timing on these sequences is nice and tight. Maybe it's a bit too tight at times. There are a few parts where the timing can be so exact that death can happen dozens of times before you get it right, the margin for error so low that it's hard to believe you haven't made it. The War of the Worlds provides checkpoints within levels where you'll return when Arthur bites it and they're very frequent but it can be frustrating for those without patience for this kind of action/platform game. When you aren't running or hiding under a piece of rubble in the hopes that a flying saucer will pass you by, there are some light puzzle sections featuring the deadly black smoke choking the city. It seeps into buildings and you must be quick to use switches that open and close doors and vents to escape. Occasionally, you'll have to explore a bit to find your way through a structure, usually riddled with some sort of nastiness or another. Bloodsucking ivy and spiders hide in these places, the only two enemies in the game that give you reasonable opportunity to defeat, and provide challenging obstacles. There's another, altogether weirder puzzle in this game which is rather interesting because it actually does force you to think outside of "switch A opens door B." I don't want to spoil anything about this particular moment, as I find it to be the highlight of the game and much of its charm lies in the discovery.  The reason the puzzle is interesting is that it's wholly different from anything else in the game and all the pieces are there for you to discover. You can figure out what needs to be done based on several clues but it won't hold your hand and just point out the way. That one puzzle is very refreshing. The rest are pretty basic, with environmental hazards likely to be a greater impediment to success than figuring out what the correct course of action is. The martians are doggedly persistent in their objective to exterminate all human life. Tentacles with sweeping laser beams will pop through walls to clean out rooms where they think you might be hiding. Being seen by a spotlight from a saucer means you have little time to move, though it is possible to escape them. Some of the best thrills from this game come from areas where you're being pursued.  It's decidedly from the old school and some of the stickier problems of classic platformers it pays homage to (such as Out of this World or Flashback) are present here. Arthur moves stiffly until you can get him going and has a hitbox that does not always seem clearly defined. The War of the Worlds is thankfully forgiving when it comes to grabbing ledges, which is a step in the right direction. The War of the Worlds winds up being a competent action/platform game in the end, and a fun one for fans of the genre. The debatably antiquated gameplay style and mechanics might be a turn-off for some, but those who enjoy those trappings should be satisfied.

In 1898, H.G. Wells published a tale of invaders from another world, descending upon Earth's cities with a terrible force. The War of the Worlds has been adapted into every form of media since that time, including a couple of videogames. The latest attempt to tell the story has arrived on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network, bringing tripods and heat rays with it.

Review: The Adventures of Tintin

Oct 27 // Maurice Tan
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (PC, Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PS3, Wii, DS, 3DS)Developer: Ubisoft MontpellierPublisher: UbisoftReleased: October 20, 2011 (EU); December 6, 2011 (North America)MSRP: €49.99 At its heart, Tintin is not so much a children's game as it is somewhat of a throwback to the old 2D Prince of Persia and Another World games. The vast majority of the game sees you controlling the boy reporter with his questionable fashion sense as he side-scrolls his way from room to room. The basic trappings of platforming are all here. Jump, climb up ledges and ladders, wall jump off conveniently placed walls, or even hit a baddy with a few punches. The platforming itself is a joy to play, with just the right mix of cartoon and realistic physics to make it feel like you're really in the world of Tintin. Combat often offers you the choice to go in as a brawler, or to sneak around enemies and instantly take them down from behind. Occasionally you'll come across enemies who shield themselves with an armor suit or an umbrella, requiring you to use throwable objects like beach balls and explosives or luring the enemy to a slippery section on the ground, making him go "wee-wee-wee-wee-boing!" If you just want to pummel enemies head on, then in most cases you can, but there's always the option to take a more elegant approach by using your surroundings and this adds a lot more fun for the more experienced players. The 2D sections use some clever 3D to give you access to hidden paths for collectible Golden Crabs and make it feel like the world has some more volume than it appears to have. Whether you're a kid or an adult, these sections are a blast and thankfully they'll have you occupied for most of the game. At other times you'll move out of a 2D section to follow a corridor in 3D, and this is where you notice that the game is much better off with its 2D gameplay. It's meant to switch the perspective around a bit and keep things varied, but none of these sections ever add anything other than the obligatory "run from danger towards the camera" bit. While the swap to playing Snowy can be fun to play here and there, it feels more like he just had to be put into the game in some fashion -- sniffing paths and exploring sections Tintin doesn't fit in -- than that he's an integral character. Likewise, there are some plane flying levels where you'll evade obstacles and occasionally shoot at rocks or enemies. These levels sadly never offer anything that is solid in gameplay, expands upon the story or the world of Tintin, and quite frankly the flying was done a lot better in the Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole game. A few simple swashbuckling sections can take a little bit to figure out how to work the controls, as the analog stick suddenly moves your sword while your character is on rails. Slightly more entertaining are the various driving missions where you'll alternate between driving your bike and shooting at vicious Arabs/Berbers from the bike's sidecar. None of it is terrible to play, but neither will it blow you or your child's mind. It's just there to spice things up from the platforming and break the inevitable repetition, and at least it does that well enough. Still, the entire journey through the game's "Tintin" mode, in which you play through the movie's events, is an enjoyable and very family-friendly one. There's no drinking, no blood, and defeating enemies with retarded AI will just make them lie on the ground with their butt up in the air. Beyond the "Tintin" story mode, there's a challenge mode where you can play some more of the plane, swashbuckling, and sidecar sections. This mode also lets you use Kinect if you have the Xbox 360 version of the game, which offers some good family fun. Swashbuckling lets your inner child get its due, with on-screen prompts for where to hold your arm to block an incoming blow and flapping your arms around to slash at pirates in different directions. The sidecar and plane challenges are controlled by holding your arms out as if you're holding the handle bars or a steering wheel, respectively. The plane's shooting challenge is brilliant, though, since you can shoot down enemy planes by moving both your hands back and forth. The Kinect functionality doesn't offer enough to buy it for this alone, but if you're wondering which version to pick and you have Kinect, the Xbox 360 version is definitely the one to get. Tintin also has a very expansive co-op mode where Ubisoft Montpellier seems to have gone all out with the craziness. After the conclusion of the movie's story, Thompson and Thomson accidentally hit Captain Haddock in the head and this cues a wonderfully bizarre dream state for the drunken captain. Here you'll unlock level by level by playing through weird alternate versions of the game's locations, in which enemies make reflective remarks on being inside a dream. These co-op levels are of the 2D platforming kind and you'll have access to some new attacks like Tintin's hookshot that never appears in the story mode. You can choose to play it solo if you want, but to get all the collectibles you'll sometimes need a different character or a co-op partner, plus it's more fun to play it cooperatively. You'll also get a chance to play some of the side characters who each have their own special ability. Although you can probably breeze through Tintin's main story mode and spend an hour or two completing all the challenges, the co-op mode will offer at least a bunch of hours worth of extra content whether you play it by yourself or not. Moreover, the game does a great job at giving you that Tintin vibe and atmosphere of boyish adventure, despite the graphics reflecting that somewhat creepy look the characters have in 3D. It should be noted that Tintin can also be a bit of a dick in this game, though. He'll just barge into places without permission and steal other people's property without so much as a blink of an eye. If a servant is just there to protect his master's property he'll only get a black eye for his trouble. Or worse, be set on fire. I also don't really understand this obsession with having Tintin and enemies end up with their butt in the air when they are knocked out -- in various positions -- but c'est la vie. Putting that aside, there's a lot to enjoy in this game. The Adventures of Tintin may not be a fantastic game, but as licensed games go it's far more than decent. The different modes and variety in gameplay do not always reach the same level of quality, but the majority of it is a lot of fun to play for kids and adults alike.

Ah yes, the movie games. For every G-Force there is a Thor. For every Rango you have a Megamind: Ultimate Showdown, and for every Captain America a James Cameron's Avatar: The Game. Like that last one, The Adventures of Tinti...


War of the Worlds set to hit XBLA October 26th

Oct 14
// Brett Zeidler
Other Ocean recently announced through their Facebook page that their upcoming Patrick Stewart-narrated sidescrolling adventure, The War of the Worlds, will be hitting the Xbox Live Arcade on October 26th. PlayStation 3 and P...

Here come the MIBs; Third film means new game coming

Oct 13
// Conrad Zimmerman
Activision has announced today that they will be publishing a new Men In Black game to coincide with the release of the upcoming Men in Black III this spring. The press release states that the title will release on,...

More War of the Worlds footage to gawk at lovingly

Oct 13
// Conrad Zimmerman
Here we have the latest trailer for War of the Worlds. Once again, it's narrated by Patrick Stewart, so I know you'll watch it. He ruminates on how tiny we must look to Martians. It's all very excellent. I want to play this....

Spongebob will never stop rolling

Oct 05
// Smurgesborg
SpongeBob and THQ have had a scarily successful career in the realm of videogames, and their reign of yellow terror shall continue with SpongeBob’s Surf & Skate Roadtrip on November 8th.  If you can't tell, the...

There's a Puss In my Boot in my game

Sep 29
// Smurgesborg
Some of you may not know that they're making a Puss in Boots movie, and a coinciding video game will release alongside it. THQ has announced that they're working on the licensed title, and it will be a motion-controlled title...

DreamWorks Super Star Kartz is a real game

Sep 07
// Jordan Devore
You would be forgiven for thinking that we, as a society, were past the days of random franchises getting kart racers. Activision has announced DreamWorks Super Star Kartz for enough systems to blot out the sun: DS, 3DS, Wii,...

New 3DS games: Thor: God of Thunder & Captain America

Sep 01
// Dale North
Both Thor: God of Thunder & Captain America: Super Soldier were announced as new 3DS titles by Sega today. Both games were released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, and Nintendo DS earlier this year, and now the...

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...