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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
Gears of War 2 (Xbox 360)

Gears of War 2 review (X360)

Reviewed on January 30, 2009

The gunplay is brutal. But it's also masterfully paced, broken up every so often by a spectacular set-piece or a superb on-rails vehicular section. Combat is as effortlessly brilliant as before, with the landmark cover-system playing a predictably huge role. Particularly on higher difficulty levels, failure to fully utilise the conveniently-positioned walls and boxes that litter Gears 2's battlegrounds results in bloody death, so a more strategic approach is often necessary. Nothing too strategic, mind. You wouldn't want to tax your brain too much, after all.
Lewis's avatar
Sam & Max: Season One (Wii)

Sam & Max: Season One review (WII)

Reviewed on January 28, 2009

But you’ll find nothing on the Wii quite like Sam & Max: Season 1.
EmP's avatar
Left Brain Right Brain 2 (DS)

Left Brain Right Brain 2 review (DS)

Reviewed on January 27, 2009

The developers still haven't figured out how to produce a quality assortment of skill-based games. Luck still plays a larger role than it should and sometimes threatens to turn everything upside-down. In one stage, for instance, you have to dig fossils from a field of clay. Since you can't see your buried targets ahead of time, you basically have to tap the screen like a madman and hope for the best. This is an action that most people can easily perform with either hand, so any end results feel hollow instead of informative. Other diversions with more consistency fare better, like one where you push beach balls into large holes at the corner of the playing field, but in the end the available selection is a mixed bag.
honestgamer's avatar
The Maw (Xbox 360)

The Maw review (X360)

Reviewed on January 26, 2009

He might not look like much, but Maw is a powerful creature. As the game begins, he's about the size of a pot-bellied pig. You'll wander slowly across the rocky landscape and he'll follow in your wake, gobbling up the bulb-shaped creatures that pop out from shrubbery when you approach. As things progress, the continuous feasting results in growth and new abilities. Maw can eventually take to the skies, fire lasers from his eyes and even ram his way through solid stone walls. All he needs is a little bit of direction.
honestgamer's avatar
Moon (DS)

Moon review (DS)

Reviewed on January 22, 2009

If you're someone who does a lot of commuting and happen to be a big fan of first-person shooters, Moon might just hit that sweet spot you're looking for. For everyone else, there's little here to distinguish it from any number of first-person shooters from the last decade.
MrDurandPierre's avatar
Naruto: Rise of a Ninja (Xbox 360)

Naruto: Rise of a Ninja review (X360)

Reviewed on January 21, 2009

There’s a good game to be enjoyed underneath the underachieving direction that fails to cater for any audience the game may be aimed at. You’ll just have to employ a little bit of ninja guile to discover it.
EmP's avatar
Resident Evil (GameCube)

Resident Evil review (GCN)

Reviewed on January 21, 2009

In 1999, System Shock 2 showed the world that it's possible to craft an unspeakably brilliant and always-chilling tale, complete with horrifying characters and a relentlessly anxious and unfriendly atmosphere. It also proved that survival horror in its truest sense - a focus on the conservation of resources in a harrowing, otherworldly situation - doesn't have to be restricted by godawful movement and an errant camera, and certainly that tension doesn't have to be ramped up by not being able to see where you're going. Why, when we have a wonderful benchmark like that, are we still lapping up rubbish like this?
Lewis's avatar
Panic Restaurant (NES)

Panic Restaurant review (NES)

Reviewed on January 21, 2009

You control an elderly chef who finds that a villainous counterpart named OHDOVE has just taken over his restaurant AND somehow made all the food homicidal. Personally, I'm a bit skeptical as to how food that attacks people is going to help this place keep customers happy, but unlike OHDOVE, I've never presumed to be a qualified restaurant owner.
overdrive's avatar
Dokapon Kingdom (Wii)

Dokapon Kingdom review (WII)

Reviewed on January 21, 2009

Early on you'll groan with disgust when you lose a fight and have to sit out for three rounds to recuperate. Before long, though, you're learning how to beef up your warrior with levels and equipment. You're mastering the fine art of swooping in for the victory just as two rivals have worn each other down to slivers of life. You're warping across the map to rest up at a safe town, or using items you've gathered to wreak havoc from afar. You're coming to understand that your opponents will always be lucky in battle but that maybe you can plan carefully and be luckier still.
honestgamer's avatar
Cake Mania: In the Mix! (Wii)

Cake Mania: In the Mix! review (WII)

Reviewed on January 20, 2009

Momentum is important in Cake Mania: In the Mix, paramount even. If you can't maintain it along with a sense of working rhythm, the game will unapologetically eat you for lunch. It's quite humbling, really. On the face of things, this is a game about a hot little baker girl (or boy, or... grandpa?) dashing around to fill orders for cakes. Dig a little deeper, though, and it's a demanding time management sim that just doesn't quit.
honestgamer's avatar
Safecracker: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure (Wii)

Safecracker: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure review (WII)

Reviewed on January 18, 2009

Most of the time you play, you'll probably be thinking that you must have missed something. Sometimes the hero will muse about a possible solution and point you in the right direction, but typically that only happens once you've finally figured it out for yourself. Even then, he doesn't always have anything worthwhile to say. Suggesting that a safe looks like cipher puzzles from the Civil War is all well and good, but what if you have no idea what that even means? The game simply demands too much of the casual gamer that it is likely to attract.
honestgamer's avatar
Hokuto no Ken (PlayStation 2)

Hokuto no Ken review (PS2)

Reviewed on January 18, 2009

What Hokuto no Ken lacks in balance, it attempts to compensate for in flash. Huge Engrish proclamations such as "THE BATTLE OF DESTINY" and "THANX FOR YOUR PLAYING!" adorn the screen, blows connect with explosive impact, and animations are elaborate and unusual; one character pulls oil drums from the background, sets them on the ground, and ignites them with shotgun blasts.
zigfried's avatar
Kidz Sports: Crazy Golf (Wii)

Kidz Sports: Crazy Golf review (WII)

Reviewed on January 18, 2009

Compared the rest of its Wii budget label brethren, Crazy Mini Golf is by far the favoured game, but it’s a little like saying testicular is your favourite form of cancer.
EmP's avatar
Castlevania: Judgment (Wii)

Castlevania: Judgment review (WII)

Reviewed on January 15, 2009

Why would someone bother mastering the art of knocking someone into the air, canceling out of a ground-based combo to follow-up with an air attack and then come down with a crushing to finish things off when just waving the Wii Remote around in circles while holding the 'B' button proves equally effective? This game was made for old-fashioned button mashers.
honestgamer's avatar
EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey (PC)

EverQuest II: The Shadow Odyssey review (PC)

Reviewed on January 14, 2009

EverQuest II has fought hard to redeem itself from the hollow shell it once was, and it’s made this possible by dumping uncountable options right into the lap of the player. Returning players will find an extension of worth and new players have found a great tie to jump in.
EmP's avatar
Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi (DS)

Mushroom Men: Rise of the Fungi review (DS)

Reviewed on January 14, 2009

That, unfortunately, is where Rise of the Fungi’s problems begin. Most significantly, the level designs just don’t work. One could argue that they feature the same amount of platforms and climbable objects as any other game in the genre, but what stands out here is their inability to make things clear. There’s a map displayed on the top screen – or the bottom screen, it loves to flip-flop – but that doesn’t help when a gap is hard to view, when a platform is unusually hard to reach, or when the required task feels impossible to complete due to a technical flaw that only luck can overcome.
louis_bedigian's avatar
Kung Fu Panda (Xbox 360)

Kung Fu Panda review (X360)

Reviewed on January 14, 2009

As one of those older gamers, the main thing I enjoyed about this game was its level design. While the stages were all fairly short and very linear, there was a lot of variety. In one level, I was scaling a mountain while not only fighting off constant attacks by a gang of gorillas, but also dodging a non-stop barrage of rocks being flung towards me by their commander. A little bit later, I found myself having to prevent hordes of wolves from destroying all the relics in the abode of the Furious Five.
overdrive's avatar
Final Fantasy IV (DS)

Final Fantasy IV review (DS)

Reviewed on January 13, 2009

Final Fantasy IV DS is not a new game, nor does it pretend to be original. As with many of Square Enix's re-releases of older titles, it is aimed primarily at the nostalgia factor for those of us who were old enough to play it the first time around (and, were it human, Final Fantasy IV will be old enough to vote next year.) However, even if you didn't play it as a wee small thing back when it was on the Super Nintendo and it was called Final Fantasy II, there's still plenty here for you if you like challenging gameplay and well-executed stories.
lassarina's avatar
Big Bang Mini (DS)

Big Bang Mini review (DS)

Reviewed on January 13, 2009

I’ve learnt to destroy heat-seeking cod skeletons with fireworks. Now excuse me while I save the world.
EmP's avatar
Lumines Supernova (PlayStation 3)

Lumines Supernova review (PS3)

Reviewed on January 09, 2009

Each stage is played in a series of “skins.” These skins make up a background and a musical track. Every time you do anything, whether it be moving a block or erasing a stack, the music reacts. the background pulses and shifts. As you stay alive, the skin changes, so that playing the game becomes less an attempt to get lots of points and more an attempt to stay alive to see as many interesting skins as possible.
zippdementia's avatar

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