Viral Video Game Blog

GBU Game Review for Brutal Legend (XBOX 360)

I found out about this game based purely on hype. Sure we’ve spoken about this on the podcast but alas my memory is not like the old days. I’m glad the hype machine worked on this one. Now  I cant recant to you the process why this game was developed in the manner it was or what game was the most influential one before that one but…I can tell you I had a lot of fun playing this. Not only just with gameplay but also laughing which very very very rarely happens while playing a video game. So..enough…with the REVIEW ALREADY.
Good: Jokesin,Jokesin, Jokesin’.  The Metal Jokes abound in this game.  There’s a mention of a Headbangers that still has me laughing when I think about it. Dont worry, it’s no spoiler.  The Map is huge and the gameplay is similar in it’s ease to Fable but, ok, i’ll be a jerk this gameplay is what star wars force unleashed wished it could be. The moves are not hard to get down and they actually DO something. Hold B and you create a fire explosion! Sweeeeeet.  There’s a special’s menu, bound to the shoulder button, where you play riff’s, think Wind Waker here, that summons various things or special abilities. Kind of like World of Warcraft 51 point talents. You can summon an animal aid, or your car or my personal favorite Melt Faces where you melt the faces of the enemies nearby. Yeah. Awesome right?   These effects come into play during the battle matches you have both in game and with another person.  In essense you are given the command of an army and attempt to manage it’s resources duking it out with another player by sending your army to take control of their towers. If you think it sounds like an RTS but in first/third person, you’re totally correct. And if you say that’s the 4th type of game I’ve mentioned you’re very smart. This game takes a lot of what works and puts it into a game, and well.  So this multiplayer is a nice additive and completely unexpected. But there’s more that I’ll get to in a bit.  You are also given this weird way of upgrading your character by finding relic’s and doing missions. You earn these fire of the god points that you can use to spend on upgrades in a garage run by Ozzy Osborne of all chracters. Given how completely easy it was to understand ozzy, I think the whole drunk ozzy thing as a reality is bogus. Dude knows his product and sells it. and we eat it up.

Bad: The Multiplayer match appears out of nowhere after a short “how to” session. The multiplayer while fun is not really perfected and a little overdone. I did not expect it to be the last 3 stages of the game. Which it very nearly was. If you want to complete a lot of the side missions (and you will) you’ll have to treck all OVER the map. It’s fun but it gets a tad overwhelming due to the map size. I’m talking the hunting mission. UGH. That was an achievement I worked TOWARDS. 

Ugly: The game tends to get a tad long in the tooth near the end. While almost not wanting the game to finish the Devloper got a few things really right and then OVERDID it. I guess it’s the metal thing where it’s just done to death. I guess in the sense it’s not ugly.

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November 10, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , | 1 Comment

GBU review for Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day (Nintendo DS)

This little game marries entertainment and education – and therefore is referred to as “edutainment.” How cute. Little brain teasers and exercises stimulate your thought processes and get the wheels turning again, but packaged in mini-game format so you don’t even realize you are … gasp … thinking. And since you’ve probably already wasted a few hours (and brain cells) playing your 360 or PS3, the games really do take a matter of minutes – combined. The idea is that you first set up a profile and run a brain age test to determine whether your responsiveness is that of, say, a perky and attentive teenager or a tired old grandpa. By completing a few exercises a day, you will hypothetically see improvements and reduce brain age.

 Brain Age 2

Good: The puzzles are very simple to figure out, but challenging enough to give your brain a little workout. In this increasingly dumbed down world where even our cell phones have tip calculators (I’m not hating, I love this feature), we sometimes forget how to add anything larger than 2 + 2. It actually kind of feels good to challenge yourself.

The interface is user-friendly and makes great use of the DS capabilities. Most of the time you are writing on the screen with a stylis or speaking into the microphone. It works for either left or right handed folks. The host of the game, Dr. Ryuta Kawashima, is an actual neuroscientist whose avatar slips in for funny comments and tips on how to improve your cognitive thinking. One interesting tip I learned – knitting can actually help stimulate your brain waves.

My favorite feature of the game is actually one of the “bonus” levels they give you as a reward for logging in a certain number of days. There’s a simplified Tetris-like game called Virus Buster that is just the most addicting thing I’ve ever played. There’s also a Sodoku feature that you can play if you are so inclined. Personally, I’m not interested.

Over all I think this is the perfect game to throw in your purse (or whatever dudes carry) to play on the subway or while waiting for a table at a restaurant. It’s quick, easy, and fun.

Bad: If you really think that you’re going to get smarter by playing this game, then you’ll be disappointed. It may awaken your cognitive abilities or improve your memory somewhat, but I wouldn’t bank on lasting effects. I found that my interest dropped off after a few weeks, and I no longer log in on a daily basis to play.

It can get a bit repetitive, but that is kind of the point. You are supposed to get better at the different puzzles and track your progress. I imagine this would get real old after months of “training” (but then you could always buy the original Brain Age to mix it up).

Ugly: Nothing really. This is exactly what it presents itself to be – short, simple puzzles intended to make you think for a few minutes after zoning away at your desk job. Not earth-shattering, nor does it set out to be.

June 29, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , | Comments Off on GBU review for Brain Age 2: More Training in Minutes a Day (Nintendo DS)

GBU for Little Big Planet (PS3)

Little Big Planet (Ps3)

Little Big Planet (PS3)

The Good – Fun, ol skool style, side scrolling platformer.  Oozes with so much charm that you’d think Nintendo was behind it. Huge variety in levels within the single player game, covering many themes and objectives. High level of quality in the graphics department, from the cuteness of your character(to which you can have him or her in many styles ) , to the wild and quirky feel of the levels. Co-op gameplay, when’s that ever bad? Huge online component in that you can create your own levels, or just get lost for hours playing the creations of others, there are some surprisingly high quality levels out there.

The Bad – While the gameplay is pretty easy, it’s not strictly 2D, there’s a 3 plane system(background,midground,foreground) that might confuse some at first. At times, controls can be a bit floaty leading to inaccurate jumps, if you’ve played enough Mario or Sonic games, you’ll know what I mean(about the missed jumps :-p). If you’re having internet troubles, the game can be laggy since it’s constantly online(probably keeping prepared for a buddy to join anytime.)

The Ugly – Whenever you have a game with user-generated content, what’s the 1st thing you’re gonna see? Levels and such featuring characters we already know….what’s ugly? Sony having to moderate and remove these due to copyright concerns. I know it’s legal mumbo jumbo that has to be, but it sux 😦

May 11, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , , , , , | Comments Off on GBU for Little Big Planet (PS3)

GBU for Super Paper Mario

So I didn’t quite finish the game. I got about 8 hours in and am over 1/2 of the game. Take this with a grain of salt as you should with all our reviews. Point blank, I reached a few parts that turned me off to the gameplay. I’ll come back another day. But, Overall it was a fun experience. Here’s the GBU

Good: The games move to 3d is so unique and to me, quite fun. It causes some out of the box thinking or, looking at clips of if on youtube because you cant figure out what to do. The graphic’s look awesome and make you actually forget you’re watching in composite of 480 if you can use those component cables. Game play is simple you use the 1 and 2 buttons exclusively. The “wii motion” is when you do a jump move on a bad guy giving more points. It’s called a Style move in game. Elements of the 2nd Paper Mario appear here as other characters appear on the screen. It’s cute. The new character Tippi is cool because she can reveal parts of the screen you dont normally see. Adding another level of game play. She’s not put to much use though. Your party consists of the bigger Mario characters like Bowser and Peach with their own moves.

Bad: You know the saying if it aeint broke dont fix it? It’s put to use here. They changed this game from it’s previous entry. It’s exclusive side scrolling whereas before you could move at a tilted angle. I’m sure this is due to the inclusion/limitation of adding 3-d. Still. The battle scenes are completely gone. Now you’re left jumping on dragons. Weeeeeee. There are good save points, a little “S” box at various points in the level. However when you die, you go back to the loading screen where the game starts up only to go back through the loading process. Why not just restart me at the beginning. I think this was in the earlier one. The menu’s are awful, the Cooking recipes are useless and what is the point of a “card” in game. I can see how much the goomba attacks for? really? Thanks.

Ugly. The walls of Text. You can see them in the link’s I posted. I hesitated to put this in the ugly or just bad. The text is humorous and will certainly be a bonus to many. To me I was enjoying the gameplay (3-d Mentioned before)so much that it changed the pace too much for my liking.

May 4, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , , , , | Comments Off on GBU for Super Paper Mario

GBU for Uncharted:Drake’s Fortune (PS3)

A sequel to this bad boy is dropping later this year so I thought I’d give some GBU love to one of my favorite PS3 exclusives.

The Good
– I’m a graphics whore, so you’re gonna hear me bring this up first alot. This game is friggin gorgeous! Lush, highly detailed jungle environments, incredible water effects(your character’s clothes dry before your eyes!), everything is very CG in quality. Audio runs in 7.1 uncompressed giving the game an expansive feel, highly detailed sounds and effects, close your eyes and you may feel like you’re in the jungle. Fun exploration game play channeling what made the Tomb Raider games good, jump puzzles are challenging but won’t keep you stumped for too long. Fun shooting game play mechanic that’s obviously inspired by Gears of War(it’s got cover). Well thought out checkpoint system that auto saves as well. Fun solid story that’s like Indiana Jones/Tomb Raider in it’s feel.

The Bad
– Sometimes the frame rate doesn’t hold up, some v-sync tearing here and there. Shooting sequences last too long sometimes, can’t move on until they’re done. How many shots to the head can enemies take before they go down? Enemies you face take a bit of a strange turn near the end and alter what you’ve gotten used to at that point. Disappointing end boss fight, then again, that can be said for most games :-/

The Ugly – The discussion about the main character’s tucked in/out shirt look….really…who cares?…play the damn game and enjoy it.

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on GBU for Uncharted:Drake’s Fortune (PS3)

GBU for Boom Blox (Wii)

You heard me raving about it on last week’s(10th!) podcast, so I figured I’d give it some GBU love. Now I like to finish or come close to finishing a game before I review it…but I think I’ll keep that for linear(or storyline) progression type games. This one is more a quick pick up and play for fun joint, sort of like a fighting, racing or sports game.

The Good – Incredibly fun and addictive puzzler, one of those games that’s easy to pick up, and sometimes hard to master. Simple wii gameplay, yet accurate and complex enough for the picky guys like me. Plenty of modes and objectives that’ll keep you playing for hours. Makes you say, one more try, I know I can get gold! What Jenga is to a frozen beef pattie, Boom Blox is to an awesome burger with everything on it.

The Bad – Some modes, mainly some that are in the adventure mode are not that fun. Sometimes really difficult if you’re really trying to go for gold. Graphics aren’t anything special, but they don’t really need to be for this type of game though. Music can get repetitive if you’re a trying some puzzles multiple times.

The Ugly – Your wrist or arm can get really sore if you play for 2 hours straight like I did the 1st time I discovered this gem. What may happen to your TV if you don’t use the wii strap while playing this.

April 21, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , | 1 Comment

GBU for Braid

In honor of Braid finally hitting the PC platform, I’ve decided to show it a little GBU love since it was one of my favorite downloadable xbox360 games last year. If you haven’t yet, try out the demo, if you like it you should buy it cuz it only gets better. This bad boy is a puzzler with 2D platforming elements.

The Good – Gorgeous 2D graphics that really make the ol HDTV pop. Looks like a moving painting. Soothing, beautiful music keeps you sane as you try to solve some of the insane puzzles. We’ve seen time rewind in games before(Prince of Persia), but not of this quality. Each world throws something new to the ‘time rewind’ mix that keeps you guessing and on your toes. Tight platform style gameplay, but it’s really a puzzler. Great challenge to be had.  Seemingly deep story that can be revealed as much or as little as you care to know.

The Bad – Some of the art design might turn off some people, your main character Tim looks a bit goofy as well as the enemies. Some of that ‘great challenge’ trips the fine line into way too hard territory, some of the puzzles will have you banging your head against the wall….or looking up youtube solutions 😉  Some might find that ‘seemingly deep story’ a bit pretentious.

The Ugly – The twist at the end….as far as gaming goes, this one is for the ages…almost as surprising as the Flood showing up at the end of Halo 1, maybe even more so. The speed run achievement that I can’t get 😦

April 13, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on GBU for Braid

9th Podcast!

In the spirit of Hockey season ending we talk a little about sports games, our game scoring system, yes more Wii talk, and the usual lost talk! Listen to a less whiskeyfied 9th podcast!

April 12, 2009 Posted by | The Master Control Cast | , , , , , , | Comments Off on 9th Podcast!

GBU for “Silent Hill – Homecoming”

Allow me to take a page out of the biter’s handbook and follow m’man Chud Rock’s lead as I reach into the knapsack for some GBU action, let’s go back to last fall’s Silent Hill-Homecoming…also partly inspired by this week’s exciting news of a Silent Hill 1 remake. I know you guys are sayin to yerselves, “but Raw, aren’t you gonna be dissapointed by the graphics on the Wii?”….Not at all peeps, as long as it looks as good as SH3 did on the PS2, I’ll be ready to take a trip back to the lovely land of nightmares and demons 🙂

The Good – Silent Hill finally makes it’s way to now-gen systems. Fairly interesting story that holds up through the majority of the game. Graphics that remind you why you wouldn’t want SH to really exist….scenery looks decrepit(as it should), the darkness in the ‘real world’ isn’t overbearing but makes you make sure to keep the flashlight handy(a staple of any SH outing), monsters are creepy, the ‘otherworld’ looks disgusting, rusted and blood covered in more detail than ever before in an SH game. In other words, looks pretty dang good. Sound and music produced by Akira Yamaoka, the same guy who’s taken care of every single SH in the franchise, which means it’s all well done, nerve wracking, and maybe even nightmare inducing…so far so good right?

The Bad – While gameplay has never been SH’s strong suit, it just needs to be a good enough vehicle so one can experience the awesome psychological horror SH is known for, though better than part 4’s, things still fall a bit short. New fighting mechanics added that don’t always respond to what you’re commanding can very frustrating. Save points that are sometimes really far from the last one, if you die, who wants to redo the last 20-30 mins, not me! Ending(s) that are unfulfilling, they still leave themselves open to discussion like in previous games, but nowhere near as interesting.

The Ugly – Moral choices you have to make later on in the story that are ugly emotional ones with really ugly consequences. What is it with games these days forcing moral choices on you? Cool concept but I don’t wanna see too much of a ‘me too’ attitude.

April 9, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , , , | Comments Off on GBU for “Silent Hill – Homecoming”

GBU for “The Pitt” (the 2nd Fallout 3 DLC)

The Good – Anything that extends the Fallout 3 experience for me is good. New area that becomes part of the F3 environment, as opposed to Operation Anchorage where I’ve read that once you’re done….you’re done, no goin back, they tell you you’re free to come and go as you wish in the pitt.  Addicting feching quest(steel ingots!), which not only give you an acheivement when you get all 100, but you get a piece of new gear for every 10 you find. Deep moral tug’o’war in the storyline that really makes you question if you’re making the right choices. Slight graphical improvements made to the 360 version that should’ve been there in the 1st place.

The Bad – As much as I like the storyline, it feels pretty rushed when you get to the climax. Coulda used more quests, when you’re done, you really feel like there should’ve been more, missed opportunties with the new environment IMO. New enemies known as the Trog, can be pretty annoying when they sneak up on you, you wonder why your character is getting beat up all of sudden. Challenge is pretty easy if you’re a maxed out character, Bethesda should’ve raised the level cap with the 1st DLC.

The Ugly – The bugs people went through when the DLC 1st hit xbox live, so much that they had to take it down and fix it. The bloody mess you leave your enemies in after a meeting with your auto axe.

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Good Bad and the Ugly - Game Reviews | , , , | Comments Off on GBU for “The Pitt” (the 2nd Fallout 3 DLC)