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December 31, 2013

Demo Review 8: FAST Racing League

Oh God, another racing game. And another one that requires to tilt the Wiimote left and right like a steering wheel... Eh, I gotta do what I gotta do. Let's try this. FAST Racing League brings us into a beautifully colored world where racers compete on race tracks placed all over the environment.

When you start, you can only access two modes: Qualifications, and Unlockables. Everything else (Single Player, Multiplayer and Jukebox) is locked. As soon as the qualifications start, you can't help but go “WOW”. This is magnificent. You accelerate with 2, brake with one, and go left and right by tilting the Wiimote. Next, you can give yourself a boost by pressing Down on the directional pad once you've collected enough power spheres, and you can press Up to change your vehicle's color, which will let it use colored boost sections that will work only if your race car is the same color. Sometimes, those colored boosts are on the ceiling, but have no worries; if your car is the right color, it'll flip to get to he ceiling and still get the speed boost. Other colored pads will make you just, so you must try to land safely on the track.

Once you finish the qualifications, you can access the first single player track! Awesome! And you can choose between TWO race cars! The race starts, and god dammit am I horrible at steering with these controls! It's especially annoying because of zones where there are no boundaries and you might fall into the water. I hate this way of playing. Of course, an inexperienced player will have trouble switching the car to the right color to gain speed boosts, and the one just near the end of the track is also quite annoying the first time, but I'm sure that if I had time to practice I would be better at this game.

I hate that damn part with no boundaries...
But honestly, up to that point, this game is EXTREMELY promising! Beautiful graphics, great ideas (flipping and raising to the ceiling to get a boost? Wow!), and a game that seems overall better than 3D Pixel Racing. Let's compare the two. In 3D Pixel Racing, you don't get qualifications to help you with what's to come. The program throws you back to the race track whenever you get a little to far, as in, really way little too far. The designs are simplistic, but that was the point. You access only one thing for every selection, one vehicle, one race track, and the fun is extremely limited. Here, you get qualifications that serve as tutorial, you can choose between two cars when a true race starts, and it's overall very fun. Only problem is that this time, the game takes a bit too long to bring you back on the track when you fall off. Oh, and of course, the damn controls.

Seriously, if it wasn't for those two flaws, this game would be PERFECT. An excellent racing game. Nearly everything 3D Pixel Racing should have been is here. If it wasn't for the controls, I'd BUY this game. However, if those two flaws are big enough for you to hate this game, I still suggest you test the demo, and see for yourself how bad those flaws are inside the game. If you don't mind them, though, you might make a nice discovery.

December 30, 2013

Just Dance 3 (Part 2)

If you missed the first part, don't worry, have no fear
Because you can read it entirely right here
Also, I must admit, the videos aren't mine
I can get four stars on most of those songs just fine
I'm just that awesome, for once I'm not humble
I've played this game so long, of course I'm able
However, on the videos there's this you can see
Some are from the Kinect version; I have the Wii
But all these songs are in the two versions
The way to play changes, but it's the same actions
Enough talking, it's time to get this party started.
I had stopped for two days, it's like we never parted!

(Let's Go To The Mall (Artist: Robin Sparkles); from 0:26 to 1:11)
You don't wanna dance
It's not your thing
On the screen there's the lyrics
If you prefer to sing

Luckily, they're the same
But some words are bleeped out
But just the vulgar ones
If in case when you sing you shout

Let me tell you what this means
This game is directed at teens
Why should you care
We're not here to sing anyway

Come dance, forget your worries
Make some new discoveries
Find out more new songs

(Venus (Artist: Bananarama); from 0:22 to 1:38)
You're wishing to exercise more
Normal dance won't do no more
If it happens to be your case
Here's something you'll adore

They've got it
Yeah, Just Dance, they've got it
You can unlock
Special Sweat sessions in this game
A dance montage
That's really gonna make you train

The sessions are in fact made of
Many dances found in this
They take more energy from you
But it's a total bliss

They've got it
Yeah, Just Dance, they've got it
You can unlock
Special Sweat sessions in this game
A dance montage
That's really gonna make you train

(Party Rock Anthem (Artist: LMFAO); from 0:55 to 2:40)
That's not all there is to find here now
Sweat mashups aren't all there is to find
A few more others come to mind
Sweat mashups aren't all there is to find
That's not all there is to find here now
Sweat mashups aren't all there is to find
A few more others come to mind
Well, kinda like this one
Just watch

The circle, well it shows
Five characters taking the pose
That means it is a mashup
Many dances in one and they're all cropped
Every time, a few seconds
And it switches to another person
Gotta adjust to the change
Switching is kinda strange
You know, I must admit
Not fan of it
I find those too difficult
It's the developers' fault
It's way too hard!
Yeah, even if it's hard it's still fun
Still can collect five stars
It's just not easily done

That's not all there is to find here now
Sweat mashups aren't all there is to find
A few more others come to mind
Sweat mashups aren't all there is to find
That's not all there is to find here now
Sweat mashups aren't all there is to find
A few more others come to mind
Well, kinda like this one
Just watch

(F...(orget) you (Artist: Cee Lo Green); ALL OF IT!)
I play that song here that doesn't record my movements
And I'm like, “F...orget you!” (oo-oo-ooh)
My guess is there was a problem during development
'Cause I'm like, “F...orget you!”
And f...orget that song too!

Thought if I danced smoother
It would go better
Hah! Now ain't that some shh... (Ain't that some shhh...)
And though I keep on trying
The detection's failing
So f...orget you! (oo-oo-ooh)

You know I'm sorry
If I sound really angry
But a game not working well gets me pissed
'Cause for most songs it's fine
And for some it isn't
Angering isn't on my to-do list

I must be a fool
If I still like this thing
(I must be crazier, than I thought I was)
And yet I keep playing
Even I'm not sure why exactly I do that

I play that song here that doesn't record my movements
And I'm like, “F...orget you!” (oo-oo-ooh)
My guess is there was a problem during development
'Cause I'm like, “F...orget you!”
And f...orget that song too!

Thought if I danced smoother
It would go better
Hah! Now ain't that some shh... (Ain't that some shhh...)
And though I keep on trying
The detection's failing
So f...orget you! (oo-oo-ooh)

Now I know
I mustn't feel all low
But this problem's like a deceit
Stops being fun
Once and that's done
Too bad most of them I can't delete

I must be a fool
If I 'm still enjoying
(I must be crazier, than I thought I was)
But I can't stop playing
My physical fitness depends on this

I play that song here that doesn't record my movements
And I'm like, “F...orget you!” (oo-oo-ooh)
My guess is there was a problem during development
'Cause I'm like, “F...orget you!”
And f...orget that song too!

Good thing it's not all of them
It would be a sham
Hah! Now ain't that some shh... (Ain't that some shhh...)
But the ones that are failing
It's really annoying
So f...orget you! (oo-oo-ooh)

Now I don't think I'd be able to endure this
For a bit too long (too long, too long, too long)
What annoys me is that this plagues mostly the
Unlockable songs

Ah, why?
Ooh, why
Oh, why, really?
I want to
I still want to

But I can't like these songs that are working all wrong
So I'm like, “F...orget you!” (oo-oo-ooh)
I ain't gonna force myself to just play along
That's why I'm like, “F...orget you!”
F...orget those songs, booh!

Why should I unlock them?
They have all the problems
Now that's quite the shh... (That's quite the shhh...)
For those I must with a sigh
Kiss my five-stars score bye
I tell 'em, “F...orget you!”


(This is Halloween (Composer: Danny Elfman; song taken from The Nightmare Before Christmas); from 0:17 to 1:28)
This game has brought to you a smile
And you have played for a little while
You do well and your moves are keen
Thus something pops on the screen

That's an achievement
That's an achievement
I never thought that game would need those
That's an achievement
That's an achievement
And be happy, because it has a good dose
Any time
You might get one
One of many achievements

There is one for when you've played fifty times
One when you get five stars, you're sublime
One when you reach about a thousand Sweat Points
These rewards are sure never to disappoint

These are achievements
These are achievements
Achievements, achievements, achievements, achievements...

There are more that this game stores
Kinda bad it doesn't affect your score
In this game, you can get many
You can access them through the menu

Play a dance with four
Each of you with five stars
Another trophy for you to
WIN! One more achievement
This idea's quite decent
Hunt them all
It'll take a while

(Price Tag (Artist: Jessie J. ft. B.o.B.); from 1:10 to 2:04)
This isn't everything you get
You haven't seen everything yet
You wanna see the rest
Well, my friend, you're gonna need wi-fi
Or Internet

Connect all that to your Wii
You can get more songs, what a glee
There's a large selection
wide enough collection
You can buy all of them with Wii Points
Single songs are three hundred
The song packs are six hundred
With three songs in them
Better than paying separately

Gotta take out your money, money, money
Buy a few DLC, LC, LC
Songs from the first two Just Dance
Get them now it's your chance
Come on, take out your cha-ching, cha-ching
Your credit card or ba-bling, ba-bling
Buy a couple DLC
They are fun you'll agree

(Dance All Nite (Artist: ANJA); from 1:38 to 2:57)
Well, time to wrap this up
What's my final thoughts
It's overall great
But flawed in a few spots
What they are, what they are, what they are

The movement detection's
Faulty in some places
But you will quickly get
the controls' basis
And what's more, and what's more, and what's more

It has some songs I rediscovered
Even more that I had never heard
I chose to download some of them
They're so great, they're so great, they're so great

I have to admit, some sounded so good to me
That they're a part now of my song library
Rhythm's addictive, this game makes you beg for more
And it will satisfy you, just alright

The dancers are pretty
Their models are nifty
With the stuff in the back
It's a visual snack

(California Gurls (Artist: Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg); from 1:32 to 2:36)
Most of it
And many modes keep you occupied
I admit
Your dopamine will get amplified
Oh oh

You can party with friends
Or have a dancing session by yourself
Having fun to no end
That's some good workout
Oh, oh oh oh...

Best of all, you will be practicing dances
Following the choreographies
Try them in public, someday you'll have the chance
Oh, Oh, oh, oh...
Exercise is what this video game was meant
To be used for in the first place
But who knows, you might find yourself a talent
Oh, Oh, oh, oh...

(I Was Made For Loving You (Artist: KISS); from 1:28 to 4:27)
Back then
I had five stars in my eyes
First time I played
My talent caught me by surprise
And today
I can't help but play this again
It's like it was made for me
This game's making me all zen

I was made for playing you, babe
You had to belong to me
I'll never have enough of you, babe
You bring enjoyment in me

I was made to dance with you, babe
You are the best sport for me
But I'm not made for beating you, babe
You are tough enough for me

Ooooo, wooohhhhh.....

...(EPIC SOLOS!!!)...

Doo doo doo, do-do, do-do do do
Doo doo doo, do-do, do-do
Doo doo doo, do-do, do-do do do
Doo doo doo, do-do, do-do

I was made for playing you, babe
You had to belong to me
I'll never have enough of you, babe
You bring enjoyment in me

I was made
You had to
Never have enough
You bring enjoyment

I was made for playing you, babe
You had to belong to me
I'll never have enough of you, babe...

(What You Waiting For (Artist: Gwen Stefani); from 1:26 to the end)
I'm like a broken record
I'm repeating myself
I've told you everything
And why this game is on my shelf
I'm reviewing
Not complaining
And now to end this review
On a pretty awesome note
I'm inviting you all
To jump aboard upon this boat
For sure
You will never regret it
Oh, oh-hoh

Look at your wallet
If you find thirty bucks in it
Buy this game immediately
And you'll discover it happily

What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting for?
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting for?

I must recommend
Such a brilliant game
For exercise and for parties
It is money well-spent
Something for everyone
Why would I tell you stories?

You will play it for hours
Boy or girl, it doesn't matter
Buy this game immediately
And you'll discover it happily

What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting for?
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting
What you waiting for?

What you waiting for?
What you waiting for?
What you waiting for?

Go ahead, you'll enjoy it
Go ahead, you'll enjoy it
Go ahead, you'll enjoy it
Go ahead, you'll enjoy it

December 29, 2013

Demo Review 7: BIT.TRIP BEAT

Huh, figures I'd be reviewing another BIT.TRIP demo so soon. Even before we can access the main menu, we're told how the game works. You hold the Wiimote horizontally, the directional pad on your left, the 1 and 2 buttons on your right... and you twist the Wiimote like this, front and back. Well, at least that's clear.

This time around, we see the little black and white pixelated character into space, followed by a rainbow. As you guessed, this has nothing to do with this game, which is yet another old-school arcade-like musical puzzle game. Remember the last one, CORE? It had squares going many directions and you had to destroy them? This time around, the concept is like a one-way Pong. You control a ping-pong paddle on the left, and you spin the Wiimote to move it up or down. Little squares come towards the paddle in rhythm from the right; you have to align the paddle with the squares to throw them back. Each time you're successful, a bar on top of the screen fills up. When you fail and a square goes through, a bar at the bottom of the screen fills up. If you miss too many and the bottom bar gets filled entirely, you enter a simpler, black and white version of the game, during which you must hit a number of squares to go back to the regular game. However, if you miss too many during that black and white version... Game Over!

As he game progresses, we get variations: Squares coming towards the paddle faster, squares that stop midway, squares that are going in diagonal directions, squares that are going up and down while coming towards you... The difficulty increases at every minute or so. I can't imagine how hard the game must get when you buy the full version and reach beyond what the demo offers.

Once again, the game is very simple and you'll quickly get the hang of it. However, the constantly increasing difficulty will give you problems, that's guaranteed. This game suffers from the same problem as the preceding one: The backgrounds are distracting from the game. Sure, they're pretty, but try concentrating on following yellow squares when a red, yellow and orange comet passes in the background, messing up your task! However, I'll admit, the few minutes I spent in this game were fun. I'm no saying I'd pay for this, however. This one was easier than CORE, as I can attest. Despite that, it was still a difficult game.

Go try it out, but buy it only once you're sure that's what you want.

December 28, 2013

Demo Review 6: Frobot

He's a robot... with a giant afro! In another dimension, in a time that doesn't exist... In fact, Year 1 after the extinction of mankind... The world is controlled by robots, and there's that company who claims to want to achieve world peace... Except they want to destroy the world instead. So, seeing as all the robots are in danger, the oppressed ones decided to build Frobot, whose freshness will overcome the dark forces of robotics. Helped by five very human-looking robots (TOO human-looking, in fact; Hello, uncanny valley!), Frobot will dance until the world is saved!

As soon as the demo begins, you're shown how the game works, the controls and what each button does on the Wiimote and the Nunchuk. Your character, Frobot, has to progress through some sort of factory with puzzles. You have to explore around the rooms and solve the puzzles to go forward. Frobot can access a large selection of weapons, from his regular laser gun that shoots spherical lasers to land mines to torpedoes. The levels contain a multitude of traps and things that can kill you. Heck, your laser spheres will bounce off walls and could kill you if you get hit by them!

The story – or at least, the beginning – is a creative idea. All this happens after an apocalypse of sorts, when mankind is extinct, and all that is left on the world is the robots created by us. Feels like the untold story behind the CGI movie Robots. The protagonist seems like a stereotypical disco dude, until you remember that it's a robot! The five assistants are very useful, as well; they give you hints on what you must do. In some cases, it doesn't help much, but eh. Also, Frobot starts with 30 lives. I found that a lot at first, until I saw how easy it was to get yourself killed in this game. My guess is that the developers preferred to give the character lots of lives so that the players could have time to adapt to the controls and the many elements of the puzzles. The 3D environments aren't half bad, either.

That said, it's not perfect. The character moves VERY slowly, and while there's a way to speed him up, it's kind of dangerous. The character isn't impervious to his own weapons, as he will explode if he stands too close to a mine he blows up. Some of the puzzles are very complicated, too.

Personally, I like the idea and the story, but the minutes I spent playing this game proved to me that this game wasn't for me. Maybe it just boils down to how it's made. But in the end, I sill suggest you try the demo before buying the game. Just in case.

December 27, 2013

Just Dance 3 (Part 1)

The Holiday has come and gone,
Leaving behind good emotions and fun.
Christmas, twenty-fifth of December,
And New Year's Eve, a week later;
Both important, both celebrations,
Both times to live our traditions.
Unwrapping gifts, showing our love
And thanking our Lord up above.
...What? We're all of different origins.
B'sides, we all try to avoid the sins.
But one hits hard on Christmas, see:
This sin, my friend, is gluttony.
Yes indeed! You know what I mean
Holidays are time for fine cuisine.
...Who am I kidding? Of course not!
It's time to stuff our faces a lot!
For in families, we enjoy the meals
No matter what our stomach feels.
As a result, we end up sick
From eating pies and candy sticks.
Overeating in general
Increases the cholesterol.
What can we do in this case?
It's too slippy outside for a race
Walking the dog is dangerous,
That black ice is damn traitorous.
Just going out is too freezing.
You will come back inside sneezing.
In your house you must exercise
So you'll avoid illnesses and cries.
As for the game, I say it depends
Whether you have Wii Fit or Just Dance
As for me? Well... I have the latter.
Or rather, the third one, to be clearer.
Welcome to this review, everyone!
By now, I am sure that you want
Me to explain how this will work
Since rhyming is today my quirk.
Simple enough, I assure you;
This is how I'll write this review.
I'm gonna separate it in parts
Each a different musical art.
I'll post in the text a video
That indicates some seconds, and so
You can watch it entirely
Or skip to the part I decree.
I'll take the lyrics from this time
And do the review still in rhyme.
Each song will show an aspect of the game;
I'll keep the rhythm and beat the same.
This is a BIG challenge for me
And it won't be lame! (Hopefully!)
This intro was lengthy enough
So let's begin! (This'll be tough...)

December 26, 2013

Demo Review 5: Soccer Bashi

The title might lead you to believe that Soccer Bashi is a sports game... But you'd be wrong. It's an arcade game who barely uses the idea of playing soccer as a basis for the real game. That is, block-breaking. Some kind of Arkanoid. I think I already mentioned this type of game.

When it starts, you select the number of players. You can play a two-player game in this demo! Hurray! After that, you select a zone; all zones are represented by planets of the Solar System, for a reason I can't explain because there is not really any plot hinted at in this demo. Also, only the first zone is unlocked. When you select it, you're immediately brought to the first level.

You know how a block breaker game works, right? You control a bar at the bottom of the screen and a ball bumps on all nearby walls and blocks. He ball must not fall beyond your bar or you lose a life. When the ball hits a brick, the brick disappears; all the bricks must be gone from the level to beat it. Also, in this WiiWare game, you don't control the bar with Left and Right, but by moving the Wiimote. This way of playing can be a little difficult, but the cursor is shown on the screen so you have an easier time knowing where your bar is gonna go. Finally, when your ball hits a block, a power-up might come out, which you can then use to break more blocks, or break them more easily. You can play a few levels in the demo, and these give you the feeling you should get all the way through the game.

The graphics (or the little there are) are nice, the soccer field is well-designed, and there are some nice touches here and there. Of course, you can't put a ton of details on rectangular blocks, but I guess it's a problem we have with every block-breaker gamer out there anyway. Some detail hint at a plot, but it's hard to tell whether there's one or not... Th controls are not that much of a problem, but if you don't like controlling things with the Wii's movement detection, you might not like it.

The game itself can still be very fun. It has all the challenges you'd expect from a block-breaker. Also, I think I must mention this: Even in the Demo version, yo can access a Level Editor in which you can create your own Soccer Bashi levels! Now that's what I call a good demo. It has sparked in me an interest for this game, and if I had any Wii Points left I might have bought it. If anything, THIS is how a good demo is done. Did you understand that, 3D Pixel Racing?

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I was thinking, how would I celebrate this special holiday on my blog? Well, we're Wednesday, so why not show you even more video game songs?

Those are Holidays-themed video game songs. They're all very funny and, once again, they come from Brawl in the Family.


December 24, 2013

Demo Review 4: 3D Pixel Racing

3D Pixel Racing: A racing game with CGI work so simple that the world is all made of cubes. This feels like a racing mini-game from MineCraft. Of course, seeing as this is just a demo, almost all the difficulty levels are locked; you can access only the first one. Also, you can only play this demo in 1P mode, while the full version can let up to four people play at once. Finally, you pick a car. Guess what? Only one is available! However, one fun thing is that you can change its color scheme as much as you want. You must also pick between Manual and Automatic mode, and finally you pick a driver (only one's available). Last but not least, pick a race track. Big shock, only one's available!

The race starts. The track and its environment is entirely made of blocks, it looks like a race happening in Lego City. The controls are kind of simple, with pressing 2 to speed up and 1 to break, and tilting the Wiimote left and right to steer the pixel car. However, you can see that this game has horrible design flaws in its one and only race track available.

First off, the opponent race cars will never have problems steering. Unlike you; a wrong movement and your car goes off and ends up in the fields. Oh, but that's not the more enraging part; IF YOUR CAR GOES TO FAR OFF THE ROAD (as in, five or six blocks away from the road), YOUR CAR IS WARPED BACK TO THE ROAD. Not if you fall in the water, not iof you hit a hazard. Only if you're barely a little too far from the road. This could be a good idea, if it wasn't being so unforgiving for all the times you can't steer the car correctly.

Everything about this is half-assed. The race itself is bad (though I'll admit that some little touches, like details – such as palmtrees, boats and other background details – also made entirely of blocks, are nice), and the problems in control make it worse. The opponents are too good for a beginner. The only available track's twists and turns will very often result in you being sent off the road, TO REAPPEAR ON IT A FEW PLACES BACK IN THE RACE. It's also really, really LAME that you access only one of everything for the demo. Couldn't you, like, access at least two or three race tracks? Just so you can get a better idea of how it's like? No? Really?

Screw you, 3D Pixel Racing. Your demo convinced me never to buy you. And to you, reader, I strongly suggest you try the demo before even thinking of buying this game. Don't waste five dollars on this unless you're sure you'll like it.

Well, clearly I'll never buy Mario Kart Wii either...

December 23, 2013

Is Releasing So Many Games On December A Good Idea?

Once in a while, I have to ask a question that doesn't just involve Nintendo. No, the question today can also be applied to Playstation games and Xbox games. And, Hell, even PC games. Any console, actually. And not just the console; I'm talking here about the video game companies that make the games.

We all know it, Christmas the time for giving. It's the time to hand a present to someone, and maybe receive one in return. In my household, it's become a tradition since my 13th birthday that each member of the family makes a gift to the two others; as a result, I have to find a present for my mother, and one for my father. And so we all receive at least two presents. But anyway, the Holidays are the time for giving, and as a result a lot of people buy presents, either to people they love or to themselves. December is the month during which stores make the most money. It's a very important month for affairs, for capitalism. As a result, if game companies want to rack up the big bucks, they often have to release things in December or right before December, so that the games will be available in stores for the families to buy them for their resident gamer.

Since this is such a time to make money, we often get many new releases in November and December. This year alone, we've got the PlayStation 4 and the XBox One. And those machines will be among the presents under the tree of many a Christmas celebrating family. But there's a few problems with this modus operandi of releasing so many games around December. Is releasing so many games on December a good idea?

I think I already mentioned the good aspects of the idea: The games come out just before Christmas, so they can be bought and offered as gifts. Companies make a lot of money, stores make a lot of money, this is an overall good period for the economy.

Now, the problems. And trust me, there is a lot of problems. If video game companies release their best games around this time period, it sometimes means that they'll release lesser games during the rest of the year. However, in other cases, it's the opposite.

Video game companies are sometimes in a hurry to release something for December. Problem with that is, you can't speed up the making of a game. It takes time to make a good piece of work. The development of a game is very difficult. The first months are fine, but the last months are Hell. In order for the product to be ready by the release date, the development team has to work many hours a day. As in, MORE hours a day than is humanly reasonable. Twelve, often fifteen hours a day. It's a terrible thing also known as "Crunch Time". In order for a game to be perfect, the developers are ready to make all the sacrifices needed. And the way I read it, I don't want to become a developer. Ever. Oh, by the way, Crunch Time? It can be as long as a whole year.

But that's not what I meant. What I meant is that some companies, in their ambition in making more money at the expense of releasing good games, will instead decide to release a game that cannot be considered "finished". This results in obvious betas being sent out in the open, unpolished games with a thousand problems. And of course, gamers find out soon enough about it. These unfinished games are one of the reasons the industry has lost part of its glory. They also become infamous within the fan community. I think I already mentioned the Sonic The Hedgehog 2006 fiasco?

...Yeah, this is the one example that proves my point. If you're a gamer, me saying this game's name is enough. You know what I'm talking about. Glitches, unpolished designs, godawful story filled with plot holes big enough to fit three elephants, just... Too many things that don't work.

As a result, December is the release of many great games, some good games... and a ton of obvious betas that will enrage gamers on their little video game review blogs. Luckily, people have started catching up with this, and will try to get information on a game before buying it. That's the major problem with releasing so many games on December; some of them are actually unfinished pieces of crap, because profit was more important than good work for a company or another. However, there's another reason why releasing so many games around December isn't a good idea. It's kind of ironic that game companies want to release stuff in December so they can make more money; but so many video game companies do this, that in the end there's no difference. The choice is so large that players have to pick among the games that were released for the occasion. Keep in mind that the new games for home consoles cost between forty and seventy dollars. You don't but five of those at once. So, not only is there competition to take out the games in time for Christmas, there's competition between all the games that were released for Christmas.

And it's a real problem, as gaming shows all of its worst sides when Christmas approaches. The bad sides we don't want to acknowledge about the industry. Releasing so many games in December is, in my opinion, DEFINITELY not a good idea. If anything, it reveals an illness in the way things are done nowadays. An illness that is already causing much damage to the image of video game producing everywhere. And if these bad practices don't stop, not only will they get worse, but we might fear about the future of the industry. I think we have very good reasons to worry. Who knows if a new video game crash isn't coming to knock at our doors, with these problems - and more - being only the beginning...

Enough brooding about the future of gaming. Christmas is in two days, and I wish you a Merry Christmas ahead of time, just in case I'm too caught up in the Holidays to pass by. (And by "caught up", I mean busy playing Wii games with my parents, because they'll now both have their own Wiimote.) Stay tuned for the review on December 27th; it's gonna be freaking epic. And also stay tuned for more Demo Reviews as well!

December 22, 2013

Demo Review 3: BIT.TRIP CORE

Aksys Games offers us many games in the BIT.TRIP series, I think five or six. I will look at all of them one at a time, but not in any real order, so I'll just start with one randomly chosen: CORE.

BIT. TRIP CORE is kind of hard to put under a genre. Is it meant like an old-school arcade game? Is it a music game? Is it a puzzle game? Hard to tell, because really, all three genres could apply. Fine then, an old-school arcade-like musical puzzle game.

You don't get much of an explanation on how the game works at first, so you have to try stuff. What I got is this: There's a + in the middle of the screen, and yellow squares start moving across the screen in a straight line. What you basically have to do is wait for the square to be aligned with the +, and then press the button on the directional pad corresponding to the side the square is on (up, down, left, right), and press A to destroy the square. This makes a little musical note. It starts easy enough, with only one square moving on the screen at a time... But after a while, after a square has started moving, another appears, and then another, and then another, and most of them are going in different directions... Phew! And you must still try to hit them all. Some have differing speeds, so you need to take that into consideration. Oh, and after a while the squares become more difficult to hit, their trajectory curves, and stuff like that.

This musical puzzle game is a bit (pun not intended) fun, but I was really not too good with it. I still did beat one or two levels. I ended on a third one, which had stopped being colorful and instead had only black and white graphics reminiscent of Pong. In other words, I liked it a bit, it was a fun trip, but I doubt I reached the core of the game.

This game sure feels like a love letter to those very old arcade games with simplistic graphics. Kind of like the good old days of Atari, which I'm too young to have seen. The only major problem with this game is that the backgrounds are very unnerving, they distract you from the constant attention your should keep to be able to destroy the squares correctly.

I guess if you have fast reflexes and talent when it comes to puzzle games, have a go at it. If you don't... Well, still have a try at the demo version and see if it's your thing. It might not be mine, but it could be yours.

December 21, 2013

Demo Reviews 2: Furry Legends

Welcome to Furland, a world where cute and cuddly creatures lives in harmony following their creation. Things go horribly wrong when Lord Squarie and his army of cubical minions decide that cute and cuddly shouldn't be the norm. The stronger furry creatures were quickly defeated, and as a result the Square Era has begun. However, not everything is lost; there is exactly one remaining furry creature, Furrzie (yeah, kind of a cheap name), and he might represent this land's only hope to defeat Squarie and his army of cubes who can't think outside the box.

Your little creature isn't even a complete animal, it's just a ball-shaped green thingy who can roll around. This is clearly a game for kids, as the story is simple, the characters seem simple, and the language is watered-down. Seriously, would you have expected the main character to say “What the fluff”? Oh, but no worries, there's also lots of puns on – you guessed it – fur. Fur real. As for the gameplay, you must play with the Wiimote and Nunchuk. And many buttons are necessary, as well as shaking the Wiimote. The levels combine action and puzzles, with moments when you have to hit switches to open entrances, and that kind of thing. It's strange that this game seems to be directed at kids, because some of the controls are complicated.
“Press Z, tilt the control stick in a direction and shake the Wii remote to attack an enemy or press a switch”? Yeah... You must also remember that Furrzie has stamina for his attacks, Hit Points to avoid making him too easy to kill, and a blue bar that can be filled to access a furry's special ability.

On the other hand, the game's difficulty is just fine. Experienced players will find the demo fairly easy, while young gamers might struggle sometimes to find how to solve a puzzle. But that's the target audience, so there has to be some challenge adapted to them. You can also hunt for rare tokens that will strengthen your furry. The environments are colorful, the puzzles are well-thought. The game also likes to toss around references; if you try the demo, see if you can get them all! Actually, there's a slight bit of adult humor in this, too! The music isn't half bad and like I said, the world to explore looks great. Just the creature's little screams can get annoying after a moment. Also, the demo stops after a single level.

I really suggest you try the demo to see if you'd like this game. You could be a very nice discovery. Or you could dislike it, I'm not inside your head, I don't know how you think.