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Review Archives (Staff Reviews)

You are currently looking through staff reviews for games that are available on every platform the site currently covers. Below, you will find reviews written by all eligible authors and sorted according to date of submission, with the newest content displaying first. As many as 20 results will display per page. If you would like to try a search with different parameters, specify them below and submit a new search.

Available Reviews
Punch-Out!! (Wii)

Punch-Out!! review (WII)

Reviewed on May 24, 2009

I always enjoyed the portraits and the clever little sayings that opponents offered in the NES installment, but such elements could only go so far. Movements in the actual ring were likewise limited by hardware. This time around, things are much more convincing throughout. King Hippo laughs arrogantly as he faces you, as if insulted that such a puny challenger would dare to face him. Upon finding himself lying on the mat, Soda Popinski will resort to swigging liquid from a bottle before rising to his feet in a rage.
honestgamer's avatar
ZEN Pinball (PlayStation 3)

ZEN Pinball review (PS3)

Reviewed on May 24, 2009

The problem I encountered is that the "quick" matches are often too intimidating for inexperienced players. They amount to a score race, with every competitor playing simultaneously and trying to hit 5,000,000 (or some much higher number) before his worthy opponents. However, there are often penalties in place that take away as much as half of any score amassed. It's easy to quickly fall into a pattern where you have somewhere around 3,000,000 total points, gain around 300,000 on a new attempt, then lose 10% of your total and fall right back to where you were... again and again and again. Unless you're joined by someone more proficient, matches can last an eternity.
honestgamer's avatar
The Dark Spire (DS)

The Dark Spire review (DS)

Reviewed on May 23, 2009

Contrary to word-of-mouth, this isn't a Wizardry-style journey. It certainly pays homage to its legendary predecessor, but its wicked sense of humor and creepy atmosphere lend the adventure a personality all its own. The Dark Spire is an artistic, engrossing RPG that achieves immersion via intense exploration, puzzle-solving, and surprisingly addictive level-grinding. It's an experience, but more importantly, it is game.
zigfried's avatar
Deus Ex (PC)

Deus Ex review (PC)

Reviewed on May 20, 2009

Deus Ex knows what it is. It's a computer game, through and through. There's a reason why the new big-name releases boast about multiple routes and character-shaping; in-depth, branching stories; moral and practical dilemmas. This is that reason. And, in acknowledging how games work and confidently playing to such potential, it shines.
Lewis's avatar
Star Trek D-A-C (Xbox 360)

Star Trek D-A-C review (X360)

Reviewed on May 20, 2009

A lot of downloadable Xbox Live Arcade titles live off of simplicity and a good solid gimmick. Star Trek: D-A-C, however, is too simplistic and its gimmick is to bait in unknowing consumers with the Trek license; and that’s quite possibly its largest offense.
QuasidodoJr's avatar
Dokapon Journey (DS)

Dokapon Journey review (DS)

Reviewed on May 19, 2009

Perhaps the most disappointing difference this time around is that winning against your rivals is no longer an opportunity to serve a huge dish of delicious humiliation. One of the best things about Dokapon Kingdom was the number of ways in which you could poke fun at a rival after besting him in battle. Here, things seem more straight-forward. You can still rob a liberated town or steal a purse full of gold, but that's not as exciting as—and you'll pardon me, I hope, if this sounds juvenile—giving someone a poo-shaped hairstyle.
honestgamer's avatar
Velvet Assassin (Xbox 360)

Velvet Assassin review (X360)

Reviewed on May 15, 2009

Few players will get through Velvet Assassin without grumbling about the camera issues or the many untimely deaths. But those who stick with it will have the privilege of viewing the game’s gorgeous graphics and color enhancements. They will be forced to overcome obnoxiously difficult scenarios that will test their true skills as virtual spies. Most importantly, they will have the joy of executing enemy soldiers with unwavering brutality.
louis_bedigian's avatar
Excitebots: Trick Racing (Wii)

Excitebots: Trick Racing review (WII)

Reviewed on May 12, 2009

Each time you manage a long power slide, you could earn anywhere from one to five stars. Launching into the air and staying there for a lengthy period of time also yields a similar reward, as does weaving between perilous stands of trees or even crashing spectacularly. There's a substantial bonus if you cross the finish line first, but the person who wins is ultimately the one who bags the most stars.
honestgamer's avatar
Demigod (PC)

Demigod review (PC)

Reviewed on May 11, 2009

Though Demigod is an exceptional offering with unique strengths, one that does a fantastic job of straddling the genre fence and moving gaming forward, the multi-player headaches beg the question: is it ultimately worth buying?
frankaustin's avatar
Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride (DS)

Dragon Quest V: Hand of the Heavenly Bride review (DS)

Reviewed on May 10, 2009

Narrative strength is one of two important elements that make Dragon Quest V such an adventure. Monster recruitment is the other. As you wander the land, you'll defeat all manner of beasts that should be familiar to those who have been enjoying the franchise from the beginning. Sometimes, you'll have the opportunity to add those creatures to your army. They'll fight by your side, whether you choose a feisty little brownie or a healer or even a fierce golem. Much of the game is spent with only a few human companions available—as dictated by the furiously twisting plot—so your path to success requires that you cultivate working relationships with monsters.
honestgamer's avatar
Deathsmiles (Xbox 360)

Deathsmiles review (X360)

Reviewed on May 09, 2009

With so many entertaining scenes, it's clear that Cave put a lot of care and attention towards creating an appealing new world. They attempted something similar a while back with Mushihimesama, but this time the gameplay lives up to their previous best efforts.
zigfried's avatar
Breath of Fire (SNES)

Breath of Fire review (SNES)

Reviewed on May 08, 2009

The eight characters that compose Ryu's party all have their own specific uses and abilities, which makes backtracking very useful. Many early-game dungeons have their share of locked doors and crumbling walls hiding rooms full of treasure that isn't accessible until certain characters have joined. While it might not be mandatory to retrace your steps to grab most of these goodies, many are very useful —  ranging from stat-enhancing items to equipment that's likely better than what was at that last shop you visited.
overdrive's avatar
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures: The Last Resort (PC)

Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures: The Last Resort review (PC)

Reviewed on May 08, 2009

There's a slightly uncomfortable predictability about The Last Resort, this second instalment of Telltale Games' Wallace & Gromit adaptation. The first episode, Fright of the Bumblebees, impressed with its faithful aesthetic and witty dialogue, but the mundanity of its first half left a little to be desired. In The Last Resort, you'll spend the first hour collecting things, and the second hour on customer service duty. Hmm.
Lewis's avatar
Elven Legacy (PC)

Elven Legacy review (PC)

Reviewed on May 06, 2009

If you're a turn-based strategy fan looking for something new, a Fantasy Wars fanatic or even a real-time regular who appreciates the RISK-type features many titles feature on their overworld map, Elven Legacy is for you. It sucks you in and dupes you into playing hours at a time, whilst managing to make every minute enjoyable. Whilst some elements such as the unvaried objectives and linear path may put a lot of people off, the game compensates by throwing in exciting fights and a fascinating plot.
Melaisis's avatar
Plants vs. Zombies (PC)

Plants vs. Zombies review (PC)

Reviewed on May 05, 2009

The addictive nature of Plants vs. Zombies comes as a bit of a surprise given the generally repetitive nature of its design. There are several available modes of play that switch things up with varying degrees of success, but they almost all come down to the same basic task: keep your brains in your cranium! Even the generous assortment of zombies that you'll face and the extensive cache of weapons at your disposal wind up feeling limited after awhile, but there's a good chance that you won't even care.
honestgamer's avatar
Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series The Final: Dural (Saturn)

Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series The Final: Dural review (SAT)

Reviewed on May 04, 2009

If, like me, you haven’t played a lot of Virtua Fighter, you might not know who Dural is. In this case your first several seconds spent with her portrait series will be rife with confusion as you try to come to terms with the fact that what you are watching is a series of pictures of a textureless CG model. Horror will truly set in when you realize that that’s what Dural is... a bad CG model which left its skin at home. Virtua Fighter fans call her a robot.
zippdementia's avatar
Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II (PSP)

Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II review (PSP)

Reviewed on May 03, 2009

Similar to the setup of a racing game, each individual mission belongs to a series of missions. This seems like an interesting presentation until you discover that the consequence of losing is also similar to that of a racing game. When you die, the mission is over…for now. Rather than being given the opportunity to try it again, you’re automatically taken back to the main menu, at which point you can now select the campaign mode and start again.
louis_bedigian's avatar
Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 2: Jacky Bryant (Saturn)

Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol. 2: Jacky Bryant review (SAT)

Reviewed on May 03, 2009

Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series Vol 2 highlights these traits by showing Jacky playing with a Dalmation, going grocery shopping and entering a deserted bar to play a rousing game of pool. By himself.
EmP's avatar
Monsters vs. Aliens (Xbox 360)

Monsters vs. Aliens review (X360)

Reviewed on May 01, 2009

If you want to get all of your characters' upgrades (and/or look at the concept art, 3-D character models, etc. you also can purchase), you'll be following up a number of stages with mini-stages covering the EXACT SAME ground you just crossed. Holy repetition, Batman!
overdrive's avatar
Lux-Pain (DS)

Lux-Pain review (DS)

Reviewed on April 29, 2009

The game's primary failure is a very basic one: the story just isn't compelling. One important element for any visual novel is believable characters. Some of Atsuki's classmates manage to avoid standard stereotypes (the fortune-telling blonde is particularly refreshing) but several of the villains are simply outrageous. One early baddie — a bald man with evil pointy ears and creepy narrow stalker eyes — repeatedly professes his love for guns and hatred for schoolchildren.
zigfried's avatar

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