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Reviews Round-up: The games of March

12:00 PM on 04.05.2010 // Matthew Razak

Damn. I am not a game release historian, but I bet there hasn't been a March full of this many quality games in a long, long time. I'm sure someone will take the time to go back and check every March since the dawn of gaming, but without doing any research I am declaring this the best March in gaming history.

Why for, you ask. Check out the games we reviewed below. There are more AAA titles and indie classics than you can shake a stick at. If I didn't know any better and it wasn't 80 degrees outside while I was typing this I'd say that it was November or December. We even had a platform launch. What the hell, March? Where did you come from!?

Now just because we had a lot of big titles landing doesn't mean we had a lot of high scores (drama!). Read on to see if the names lived up to their hype.

Thanks once again to Rockvillian for the art.

GAMES

Age of Zombies (PSP)

If you've still got room in your belly for another zombie shooter, then this is most definitely for you. It's simple, it's fun and it's very silly. 

 

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.)

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3, PC)

As hyperbolic as this may sound, Bad Company 2 provides some of the best team-based multiplayer around. It's an utter shame that the single-player is only decent at best (even that is being generous) -- otherwise, we'd have a real winner on our hands ... If you are interested, even slightly, absolutely buy this 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.)

Calling (Wii)

The game is mind-numbing in how repetitive and murky and simply uninteresting it is ... A miserable little game that does nothing for anybody.

 

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.)

Cave Story (WiiWare)

...Cave Story on WiiWare is a godsend. The new modes, graphics, and sound, plus the ability to play with a NES-style controller on an HDTV, makes the experience feel totally deluxe. If the original Cave Story was a like VHS rough-cut bootleg, this WiiWare port is the special edition DVD -- an indispensable purchase for any fans of the genre.

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.)

Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight (PC)

Overall, the game is a complete exercise in frustration ... As it stands, it's a waste of time, far too frustrating, and absolutely not worth $49.99.

 

Score: 3.0 -- 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.)

Final Fantasy XIII (Xbox 360, PS3 [Reviewed])

It's the worst main chapter in the Final Fantasy series to date, and if this is the future of the franchise, that future is incredibly bleak indeed.

 

Score: 4.0 -- Below Average (4s have some high points, but they soon give way to glaring faults. Not the worst games, but are difficult to recommend.)

Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon (Wii)

Is Fragile Dreams worth playing? Absolutely, if you have the sheer willpower and patience to see it through. There is truly nothing quite like this game, on the Wii or anywhere else. However, the game makes so many unfair demands of the player and requires so much forgiveness that most won't want to stick with 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.)

God of War III (PlayStation 3)

...it's a game that redefines scale in action games, one of the few titles that truly hammers home the meaning of "last-gen." God of War III is like nothing you've ever seen or experienced in gaming. The end has begun, and you are not ready.

Score: 10 -- Flawless Victory (10s are as close to perfect as you will get in a genre or on a platform. Pure, untarnished videogame ecstasy.)

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. Though they may be disappointed with some of the music and levels, fans of Mega Man can't afford to miss Mega Man 10.

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.)

MLB 10 The Show (PlayStation 3 [reviewed], PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2)

While MLB 10 The Show remains the best baseball videogame money can buy, it’s no longer light-years ahead of 2K Sports’ effort. Is it better than MLB 09? Definitely, but not by a wide margin.

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.)

Patchwork Heroes (PlayStation Portable)

This game is clearly a product lovingly crafted for Japan ... Patchwork Heroes is a must-download. The price is oh so right, the presentation is simply marvelous, and the mechanics are interesting and, more importantly, loads of fun. There's not much else like the game out there; it'd be a mistake to pass on something this original and offbeat.

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.)

Pokemon HeartGold & Pokemon SoulSilver (Nintendo DS)

Pokémon SoulSilver and HeartGold make a fine addition to the Pokémon franchise and are a must-have for fans of the series ... If you're a hardcore Pokémon fan and you don't own this, you may very well be asked to turn in your badge.

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.)

Red Steel 2 (Wii)

Despite its flaws, Red Steel 2 is one of the best Wii games on the market. More importantly, however, it stands as proof that first person games can work on the Wii, and work really, really well. The game is more than a waggle gimmick.

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.)

Risen (Xbox 360)

Risen's not that good, crushed under the weight of its own scope. Taken individually, Risen's mechanics range from mildly offensive to brilliant; taken together, they're an amalgam of poorly executed and often conflicting ideas, each of which draw out the worst of the others.

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.)

Sonic and Sega All-Stars Racing (Xbox 360 [reviewed], PlayStation 3, Wii, Nintendo DS)

Whether this is a game for yourself or for a younger gamer, this offers enough pick-up and playability to be a good, fun and exciting all-round entertainer.

 

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.)

Toy Soldiers (Xbox Live Arcade)

Well worth checking out and could easily provide a day's distraction at the very least, with potential to become addictive for those who just love watching plastic army men burn.

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.)

 

DLC 

Heavy Rain Chronicles, Chapter 1: “The Taxidermist” (PlayStation Network)

I felt much the same way about “The Taxidermist” as I did about Heavy Rain as a whole -- the story doesn’t always make sense, but it’s worth playing anyway for the sheer excitement of it all.

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.)

 

HARDWARE

Nintendo DSi XL

On its own and with over a year to go before Nintendo launches the 3DS, the DSi XL is the choice handheld on the market right now. It's solid hardware backed by an already solid and ever-growing library of titles.

 

NOT-REVIEW

Metro 2033 (PC, Xbox 360 reviewed)

Seriously, what the fuck was I supposed to do?

 

 



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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