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Review Round-Up: The games of April

3:00 AM on 05.04.2010 // Matthew Razak

As far as releases go April seems to be the month where 2010 finally starts to slow down a little. While we had some big releases like Super Street Fighter IV and Splinter Cell: Conviction the month was pretty much lacking in AAA releases compared to previous months. That doesn't mean we didn't have a lot of games (good and bad) release throughout April.

If you're able to tear yourself away from SSF IV for a few seconds you might find some interesting things to pick up that you missed down below. You'll also find a few things you'll be glad you didn't pick up at all. Surprisingly we went an entire month without any controversy or scandal review wise. I told Mr. Ross to score SSF IV lower, but he just wouldn't listen.

Major thanks to GrumpyTurtle for the epic artwork you see above. Someone who is near him give him a high five for being awesome.

3D Dot Game Heroes (PS3)

As it stands, this homage/plagiarism to/of The Legend of Zelda is an enjoyable little adventure that will give PS3 owners the retro fix they need. Unfortunately, and I hate to say it, 3D Dot Game Heroes may have benefited more from being half the length and coming out as a digital title.

 

7.5 -- Good (7s are solid games that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed], Wii, PlayStation Portable, iPhone)

EA Canada’s FIFA foundation is rock solid, so it’s hard to imagine a world where World Cup could ever be bad; whether or not it’s worth $60 is between you, God, and Daniel Agger who, let me remind you, was recently kicked in the face.

Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Again (Nintendo DS)

Part tiresome graphic novel, part tiresome guessing game.

 

Score: 5.0 -- Mediocre (5s are an exercise in apathy, neither Solid nor Liquid. Not exactly bad, but not very good either. Just a bit "meh," really.)

Chaos Rings (iPhone)

At $12.99, it's more than worth the cost of downloading, and if you love JRPGs, you really do need to check it out. Simple as that.

 

9.5 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)

Dead or Alive Paradise (PSP)

Fap... No.

 

Score: 1.0 -- Epic Fail (1s are the lowest of the low. There is no potential, no skill, no depth and no talent. These games have nothing to offer the world, and will die lonely and forgotten.)

Final Fight: Double Impact (PlayStation Network [reviewed], Xbox Live Arcade)

There are no quality concerns I have over the gameplay whatsoever ... Final Fight: Double Impact is an excellent package combining two great arcade classics.


Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Fruit Ninja (iPhone)

If you don't mind shallow portable gaming, however, Fruit Ninja is a recommended purchase. It's cheap, it's undemanding, and it's perfectly suited to the platform it's on.

Score: 8.0 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Max and the Magic Marker (Wii [reviewed], PC]

I can only say that the majority of this game does not live up to all it can be ... What can be said about Max and the Magic Marker is that there is potential there, but potential doesn’t make for a game that anyone older than 8 would be very interested in.

Score: 6 -- Alright (6s may be slightly above average or simply inoffensive. Fans of the genre should enjoy them a bit, but a fair few will be left unfulfilled.)

Mega Man 10 (WiiWare [reviewed], PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade)

Overall, Mega Man 10 doesn't have as many high-water moments as Mega Man 9, but it is still consistently fun, while providing more overall content than the Mega Man games that preceded it ... The truly amazing moments are fewer and farther between this time around, but this is still a great game.

Score: 8.5 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won’t astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Resonance of Fate (PlayStation 3 (reviewed), Xbox 360

Ultimately, Resonance of Fate stands as a great option for JRPG fans who feel like games have been getting a little bit too streamlined ... About the only desire it does not quite satisfy is the one for a heavy, involved plot.

Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

The Scourge Project: Episode 1 & 2 (PC)

Isn't it horrible when a game lives up to your low expectations and doesn't provide the pleasant curveball you were secretly hoping for?

Score: 2.5 -- Bad (2s are a disaster. Any good they might have had are quickly swallowed up by glitches, poor design choices or a plethora of other issues. The desperate or the gullible may find a glimmer of fun hidden somewhere in the pit.)

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (iPhone)

At best, it's an alright game, but everything good about it was good in 1992. The iPhone itself has added nothing, and you could get five better games on iTunes for the cost of one mediocre Genesis port.

Score: 5.5 -- Mediocre (5s are an exercise in apathy, neither Solid nor Liquid. Not exactly bad, but not very good either. Just a bit "meh," really.)

Splinter Cell: Conviction (PC, Xbox 360 [reviewed])

Overall, the gameplay is consistently terrific ... By the time Conviction finishes, only the most demanding player won't feel like they've been on a rather awesome ride ... I sincerely hope that this latest installment represents the future of the franchise. 

Score: 9.0 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)

Super Street Fighter IV (PlayStation 3 , Xbox 360 [reviewed])

Buy this game.

 

Score: 9.5 -- Superb (9s are a hallmark of excellence. There may be flaws, but they are negligible and won't cause massive damage to what is a supreme title.)

Trauma Team (Wii)

...the Wii control scheme on all of these fields is fantastic, leaving the only stress to come from operating room pressure. But what really makes this game is the television-style drama that you'll uncover in the episodes from these six characters.

Score: 8.5 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

WarioWare D.I.Y. (DS)

...the pros far outweigh the cons in this game. Making your own WarioWare game is even more fun than it looks ... There is a strange sort of "living the dream" joy in creating your own, potentially superior game, and sandwiching it in between the games of these great developers.

Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 (PlayStation Network [reviewed], UMD)

Would I have liked to see even more new content? Oh, absolutely. The price is right, though. The game is a great value for those who aren't acquainted with the series. And for returning players, the mutations, tweaks, and other additions make My Lord 2 worth getting.

Score: 8.5 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

 

DLC

Gratuitous Space Battles Expansion Packs: The Order and The Tribe (PC)

...overall, both packs provide everything you might want from this sort of game - a diverse selection of ships and weapons with which to set up epic - nay, gratuitous - space battles.

Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.)

Mega Man 10: Bass Mode DLC (WiiWare [reviewed], Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network)

Just like with the rest of Mega Man 10, I think Mega Man fans will be satisfied with Bass mode, but it will help if they set their expectations to "low."

Score: 7 -- Good (7s are solid efforts that definitely have an audience. Might lack replay value, could be too short or there are some hard-to-ignore faults, but the experience is fun.)

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Matthew Razak, Contributor
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