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Title: Expect more retro coverage here from yours truly
Posted: June 27, 2012 (02:42 AM)
I decided that it's a bit silly how I have close to 300 games for the NES, SNES and Genesis that I basically never play, especially since I know that I love me some retro gaming. The main issue was that I didn't want to fiddle around with having three separate retro systems hooked up to my television, which already is surrounded by newer systems.
The solution brought itself to my attention several months back: it's the Hyperkin RetroN 3. The problem was that I had a hard time "pulling the trigger" on a purchase, because technically I already have the hardware to play my games. It's in boxes here in my apartment.
Finally, I decided that if this would help me get more use out of my games, it was worth doing. So I made the purchase, along with some knockoff NES and SNES controllers (which are remarkably good and cheap). Apparently, with patents expired, people can make great hardware to play all these old games.
The system arrived today, and I have already reviewed a game as a result. I look forward to (hopefully) playing through and reviewing plenty more retro titles from my collection in the months ahead, if there's interest. I do have a lot of great games--or potentially great games that I've not yet played, despite owning them--that aren't yet reviewed on the site. I'd like to see HonestGamers get back to posting a nice selection of reviews for those older titles, not just the new stuff... though I plan to keep up with that, too, with help from freelancers and staff.
So anyway, that's an update from me. I hadn't posted in this blog for awhile, and I figured this was as good a reason to post as any!
Users with accounts on the HonestGamers site are able to contribute reviews and occasionally other types of content. Below, you'll find excerpts from as many as 20 of the most recent articles posted by honestgamer. Be sure to leave some feedback if you find anything interesting!
Although the various equipment available had the potential to facilitate a rousing adventure that could have offered a true sense of exploration, most stages are instead hampered by extremely linear design with little or nothing worthwhile to see that’s off the beaten path. Item swapping mostly just amounts to busy work, necessary though it is, and that process becomes less tolerable each time you’re forced to take another run through an area because you lost your last life and were returned to ...
Before you begin a game, you can choose to play using either “Easy” rules or the “Standard” set. The latter is definitely the way to go, even if it comes with a hefty learning curve, because it has the potential to dramatically alter the way everything flows. Players can invest in stocks in any region, whether they own property there or not.
Social features bring something different to the new SimCity formula, but you might wish Maxis had left things well enough alone.
Most people have trouble enjoying this game nowadays. In related news, most people have trouble getting past the third level...
Game: Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! (3DS)
Posted: February 04, 2013 (11:21 PM)
Jake and Finn's quest to retrieve their trash from the Ice King borrows a number of cool ideas from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, but the adventure doesn't last long enough to do anything substantial.
Although the stages are large enough to be interesting, you’ll have to visit each one several times if you want to discover all of the castle’s secrets. You unlock life meter extensions and improvements to your various attacks by completing various side quests, so you might have a rough time defeating Mizrabel if you don’t seek out all of your potential allies (though perhaps not, since she’s not actually a difficult opponent).
Since we’ve now reached the fifth game in the series, it’s natural that not every puzzle is a winner, but the stuff that you’ll find here is mostly very good even if it mostly doesn’t utilize the 3DS hardware in any meaningful way. There are some challenges that do repeat a few times, including some irritating ones that ask you to divide a board into four pieces of the same size while gerrymandering your way around chess pawns, but a lot of the brain teasers are intuitive and creative enough to ...
You might not realize it, but even simple repetitive motions like lifting your arm and then lowering it can start to take a toll on a person—most particularly someone who spends his days sitting in an office chair and typing words about video games—and that’s even before you start lifting your legs up high, or twirling in circles like a rose petal caught in a whirlwind.
Properly equipped, your warriors have amazing range and can cleave through hordes of enemy soldiers, even on the Normal difficulty setting. Special moves are also available and they can inflict even more damage, but in general you can save those moves for the more challenging bosses that sometimes storm the field. Those more gifted foes mostly block your slower special attacks unless you wait until they’re open, so you’ll be forced to also block attacks and wait for a limited opening if you want...
Unfortunately, the only objective you’re ever given is to kill everything that moves. That’s not entirely bad, since mayhem can be a lot of fun, but there aren’t enough enemy types available to keep things interesting across so many stages. You’ll wind up fighting most of the same monster waves three or four times over the course of the campaign, and the last 20 stages or so are mostly just battles against the same few giant enemies.
If you grew up around arcades, Midway Arcade Origins is likely to disappoint you because many of the games simply don’t control the way you remember. Home conversions did a great job of making the classic arcade titles function on inferior hardware, and yet these new releases abandon that refinement in favor of ill-advised faithfulness to old code that no longer matches contemporary hardware.
The game changes up who faces who during each event, which keeps things relatively even and ensures that no single player is always stuck going up against a computer opponent. Still, the whole process is definitely the most fun if you are competing with at least two human friends… even though that means you’ll be passing the gamepad and any other controllers around the room as if they’re participants in a game of musical chairs.
However, the game is more challenging for newcomers than the developers likely intended, mostly due to the control scheme. The game simply requires more precision from the touch pad than it allows. For instance, the Basketball attraction features three hoops that move toward the screen, then recede or spin. You have to move the gamepad to affect the direction your arrow points, and then you have to swipe the stylus just the right amount so that you throw the ball hard enough but not too hard.
Game: Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two (Wii U)
Posted: December 10, 2012 (06:19 PM)
Unfortunately, Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is a disappointment compared to its imperfect but promising predecessor. The ambition and inventiveness that were so evident the first time around have been obscured by a sloppy retread that may well leave you wondering why anyone bothered to create it.
Courses in Wipeout 3 feature a variety of obstacles, but for the most part the differences between one hazard and the next are cosmetic. You’ll need to swim across pools of murky water sometimes, but in general you are running along platforms that are suspended above a massive liquid field. Falling into soup when you’re not supposed to will knock you back to the last checkpoint.
Game: Sonic & All-Stars Racing: Transformed (Wii U)
Posted: December 05, 2012 (03:01 AM)
The new tracks also do a great job honoring their source material. Of particular note is the NiGHTS Into Dreams stage, which finds you flying through the familiar orange rings and even chasing after a fat ballerina on an oversized ball who crashes through walls just like one of the bosses in that classic title. It’s quite spectacular and it shows that Sumo Digital really is familiar with the previous titles that inspired this kart racer.
Around half of the rides are single-player affairs, which is disappointing because the game really has the best shot at longevity when you’re experiencing it with a few friends. However, those single-player events also tend to be the most challenging. That fact at least adds to their potential replay value if you’re stuck alone with your disc.
That’s about as nasty as the game will let you get. If you try to toss potentially offensive nouns into the mix, or if you try to use “sexy” or even “bloody” as an adjective, you won’t have any luck. The game is mostly G-rated, and really that’s just fine. It helps make things all the funnier when you find unlikely combinations and engineer humorous outcomes.
Connor is a difficult character to like in some respects, because he has little interest in the plight of the patriots except as it relates to the security of his own people. He tends to act a bit like an overgrown child in some instances, lashing out at the people around him, then trusting them and helping them only a short time later. If he’s not the perfect hero, though, at least his shortcomings make him seem human.
SiNG Party feels like a genuine karaoke experience. If you’ve been thinking about potentially picking up a dedicated machine for that purpose but you already own a Wii U, the game would actually be a great alternative...