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Review Round-Up: The games of June

10:00 AM on 07.02.2010 // Matthew Razak

Wooooo. What a busy, busy month for reviews. We had so many reviews that you could barely keep a hold of yourself, I'm sure. Reviews coming out of our ass at rates unseen by a review sh*tting ass before. Reviews from all directions ever. Reviews you never even saw coming. You were all, like, walking down the street, and then BAM! REVIEWS!

Reviews...

I've clearly overcompensated for our lack of reviews. I apologize. Look, it was June. E3 happens in June and game releases slow down and we get really, really busy. That combination of things results in an epically slow month review wise with some reviews just missing the month's deadline. Despite this, we did deliver unto you some reviews last month and you may peruse them below if you so wish.

This month's art was done by Edco. You can find it in wallpaper size and in badass sketch form below. He does really great things, including naked Yetis. I'm not in charge of what Mr. Destructoid wears (he killed the last man who suggested he change his look), but our intrepid leader sure looks debonair with an eye-patch. You can check out more of Edco's work on his blog or at Cup Doodle where he shows off with some friends. His art... he shows off his art with some friends. Not his... you know.

Backbreaker (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])

Sadly, those kinds of beautiful demonstrations of the laws of physics are one of the only redeeming qualities of Backbreaker, a frustrating mess of poor design decisions and awful AI ... For all its lifelike hits, Backbreaker simply isn’t fun to play.

Score: 3.5 -- Poor (3s went wrong somewhere along the line. The original idea might have promise, but in practice the game has failed. Threatens to be interesting sometimes, but rarely.)

Green Day: Rock Band (PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox 360)

Bottom line here is what you'd expect -- Green Day: Rock Band is a must-have for fans of the band and Rock Band.

 

Score: 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.)

[Note: Add 2 points if you've ripped a picture of Billie Joe out of SPIN magazine to put up in your locker; remove 7.5 points if you absolutely despise Green Day.]

Joe Danger (PSN)


Joe Danger is pretty much nothing but balls out fun ... It offers up gameplay for almost any gamer out there, no matter what genre of gaming you like. That might be a bit of hyperbole, but what isn't is that from the very basis of its control scheme and design the game screams that it doesn't want to get in the way of you having fun and it succeeds wonderfully at it.

Score: 9 -- 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.)

RISK: Factions (Xbox LIVE Arcade)

Much to my delight, Stainless didn't do just a one-to-one translation of the board game to your television. Clearly a lot of time was put into making sure Factions not only overflowed with personality, but was also able to capture the interest of new players.

Score: 9 -- 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.)

Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love (PlayStation 2, Wii)

Your enjoyment of Sakura Wars depends almost entirely on your ability to tolerate anime fluff ... Sakura Wars is a game apart. It is a niche game within a niche genre, and is quite proud of it. The open-minded and unafraid will find a cheerful experience that is happily free of more contemporary obsessions with maturity and grit, content to be silly, fluffy, quirky and madly "anime".

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.)

Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse episode 32: They Stole Max's Brain! (PC [reviewed], Mac, PSN, iPad)

The episode has all the hallmarks of a mid-season slump. The game always feels like it's holding itself back, saving the really novel stuff for subsequent episodes. Surprising introductory puzzle aside, it does nothing to innovate and barely feels like its moving the plot along.

Score: 4 -- Below Average (4s have some high points, but they soon give way to glaring faults. Not the worst games, but are difficult to recommend.)

Transformers: Cybertron Adventures (Wii)

Overall, it's a very solid game, although it can get quite repetitive ... Ultimately though, Cybertron Adventures is surprisingly good. It's definitely not as great in the gameplay department as War for Cybertron, with a lot less to do and a far more restricted format, but its superior narrative and decent arcade action is at least enough to make it worth picking up on its own.

Score: 7.0 -- 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.)

Transformers: War for Cybertron (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PS3, PC, Wii, DS)

Transformers: War for Cybertron is a rousing step forward for the franchise as it pertains to videogames. A thoughtfully crafted story mode, an intense multiplayer mode, online co-op and a full on horde addition makes this the most robust, lovingly developed and authentic Transformers experience you could hope to get on a home console.

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.)

PORTABLE

Call of Duty: World at War: Zombies II (iPhone)

The best that can be said of Zombies II is that it's not bad, but it's not particularly good either. It's alright, and for its comparitively high asking price, alright doesn't quite cut it.

Score: 6.0 -- 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.)

Guitar Hero (iPhone)

Guitar Hero is quite possibly the best music game of this nature on the iPhone. With a nice variety of starter songs, a solid interface, and a great aesthetic, not to mention extra challenges and avatar customization, Guitar Hero for the iPhone is a great little music game, and worthy of your attention.

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.)

Mega Man Zero Collection (DS)

Like the Metroid Prime Trilogy and the God of War Collection, getting this many good games for this price is an unquestionable value. The Mega Man Zero Collection offers more hours of quality 2D action/adventure per dollar than any other game on the DS.

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.)

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker (PlayStation Portable)

It's not quite a show-stopper like Metal Gear Solid 4, or the total package like Metal Gear Solid 3, but in many ways, it's the most progressive game in the Metal Gear Solid series since the original.

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.)

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Matthew Razak, Contributor
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Monday reviews aren't on Monday. It's old school, trust me. OK, so I've been and editor for a while now. I probably should fill this part in a bit more fully. I've been here a while. In most a... more   |   staff directory

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