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Another unexpected 2021 thing: getting WAY back into original Xbox

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3.5 stars

Average score of 18 user reviews

It's not as hot as VR but Open Me! has loads of clever AR tricks 0

Welcome to the hi-tech wonderland of my kitchen!The concept of Augmented Reality games always grabs me but seeing sharp 3D visuals overlaid on grainy, laggy camera feeds usually proves too jarring to be fun. Open Me! has had to fight those expectations as well as coming out of the PlayStation C.A.M.P. program whose past efforts disappointed me. Knowing this going in I tried to ease that expectant sting by grabbing the game on sale and promising to play just a little bit at a time. It worked, and...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

This one's for the fans but anyone hunting for something unique should take a look 0

Across five releases over the last sixteen years Climax’s Runabout series has stuck to its own inexplicable genre. Wacky Mission-Based Arcade Racer? Multi-Objective Driving Adventure? Vaguely Open-World Pedestrian Criticism Simulator? Stylistically it embodies everything a boy could love about 90’s anime: absurd and thin plots that require lots of fast driving, ridiculous stunts and millions of dollars in property damage. Crash City Mayhem definitely holds true to the series style but it also st...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Exhuming an extinct species 1

Dinosaur Hunting has been something of a passion project for me. I was enamored with it as soon as the preview coverage started in 2002 and only grew more excited as it was announced for a U.S. release and subsequently delayed out of existence alongside Western publisher Metro 3D. By 2006 I had found a copy of it but was stumped by the Japanese text and distracted by the shiny new Xbox 360. It’s not as impenetrably Japanese as a dating sim but the text is important enough that it took creating a...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

The cheapest, easiest way to sing poorly on a console 0

You know how this works right?I’m no Pavoratti but I’ve been known to belt out a decent ‘New York, New York’ without much hesitation and as a fan of video games I’ve enjoyed watching karaoke games evolve. I got into Karaoke Revolution on PlayStation 2, dueted alongside Katy in SingStar and loved tambourine tapping while singing in Lips. Those games were fun but we always got tired of singing the same handful of favorites and never getting into the unfamiliar songs. Downloadable tracks are nice b...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Only entertaining when you’re not playing it 0

You suffer this...Up until the moment I started playing Domino Rally I had convinced myself that it would be a sequel to No One Can Stop Mr. Domino. That game had you rapidly and strategically dropping dominoes behind the unstoppable Mister in order to trigger all of the stage’s bizarre surprises in one flawless go. It was a demanding bastard of a game and I really loved it. Domino Rally packs the same kind of peculiar surprises and expects a similar speedy precision but thanks to the ever-unrel...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A gorgeous game bogged down by excessive, unrefined additions 0

For my money the original Trine was pretty close to perfect. It taught its character-swapping gameplay and let you focus on the clever physics puzzles, it was absolutely gorgeous to look at and -- most importantly -- it didn’t overstay its welcome. It’s a lean, focused indie classic whose only fault is that its boring combat is mostly there to break up the puzzle sequences. Trine 2 doesn’t stray far from that formula and starts out strong but the additions to the gameplay managed to kill my exci...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

An unsweetened palette cleanser between games 0

World Gone Sour is another one of those increasingly common games that I buy not for its apparent quality but because of how it revolves around real people I know online. When certified real person Adam Boyes (from co-developer Beefy Media) plays the game alongside equally real Giant Bomb co-founderJeff Gerstmann, their banter is more than just a PR dude trying to sell a press guy on the game. They’re friends and though they may not call me the same, I feel a friendly connection to the two from ...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Pretty, painful 0

My first exposure to Scary Girl -- the gothic storybook creation of Australian artist Nathan Jurevicius -- came in 2009 with the official Flash game. Part platformer, part adventure game I loved looking at the 2D art but didn’t care much for actually playing it. Three years later and I’m surprised to see a Square Enix published follow-up as a full-fledged side-scrolling 3D platformer. Finally, I’ll get to enjoy a Scarygirl game for its looks and its gameplay... I thought.While it starts out pede...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Prepare to hate bears! 0

I first played Triple Town about a month ago when I remembered that Google+ had games. I forget now if it even had a tutorial at the time but I jumped in and started matching three. Indeed, the playfield is set up much like a typical puzzle game with random pieces cluttering things up and you being handed pieces one at a time. The big deal here is that each time you match three you create something new rather than clearing off the screen.As its woodsy styling dictates: three patches of grass mak...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

A Photo Hunt in Reverse 0

 Just take a minute to soak all this in...Unaffectionately coined as Find the Shit games by my wife, you could immediately write off The Ultimate Alphabet as another of those photo hunt/hidden object games that are increasingly popular these days, but you'd be missing out. Sort of an intelligent photo hunt in reverse, The Ultimate Alphabet presents you with an image of hundreds of things that all begin with the same letter and lets you tell it what you see. And though it may seem like a perfect ...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Mmm, spaghetti 0

You wouldn't expect it from "the major Polish games developer" but Techland's Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood nails everything that makes for a good spaghetti western, except for that first chapter. Being a modern action title I appreciate how the story starts at the end of the game and then retells how the brothers McCall got to that familial standoff. I even understand how turning my expectations on their head by starting out in Civil War Georgia is a great design choice but it came off as more...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

On a console full of Mario Kart, why bother? 2

Let's cut all the niceties here and get to the point. A kart racing game released for the Nintendo Wii has an immense shadow to climb out of. Mario Kart Wii is an evergreen top seller for the platform, bringing with it the most recognizable cast of characters, loads of gameplay options, a dedicated Mario Kart Channel to keep up with  stats and the rare worldwide online multiplayer mode that doesn't require friend code swapping. A cheap WiiWare release would have to hit every stride with a deft f...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Like a dirty funnel cake, you still want to enjoy it 0

 This guy hates you and wants to see you fail, fail, FAIL! When the Wii first launched I was excited for most every new game that came out, eager to see what innovative and physically engaging new experiences developers had created. Years later I've mostly given up on Nintendo's hardware but I've fallen into that same whimsical frame of mind over Kinect. The desire to try more games and the shear luck that GameFly sent me a new release are the only reasons I'm playing Carnival Games: Monkey ...

0 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Forget playing a game and just dance 0

So you say you want to dance but hate hooking up slippery pads or relying on finicky cameras? Ubisoft would slap that gear out of your hands, replace it with a single Wii Remote, turn to the camera and yell "Hey man, Just Dance!" And I'd be the excitable co-host begging for more because, despite all my worries, Just Dance really is simple, approachable fun. I was skeptical at first glance as the interface smacks of mid-90's multimedia with stiff, boring menus formatted for standard definition TV...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

My final fantasy with tower defense 0

 The strategy sub-genre known as Tower Defense hit the web a few years ago and its proven so addictive that publishers everywhere have been trying to bring it to our consoles ever since. We've seen penguins, monsters, crabs, and ninjas do it but until Square Enix came along no one had applied the gameplay to an established franchise. Ok, so it doesn't specifically say Final Fantasy on it but Crystal Defenders is clearly a Final Fantasy game, taking place after the events of Final Fantasy Tactics...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Still the best thing about DSiWare 0

 For a simple downloadable title there's a lot of history behind Art Style: PiCTOBiTS (Pictobits for short). Developer skip started things on the Game Boy Advance with the 'bit Generations' series and have evolved the hallmark of simple gameplay coupled with arresting visuals into the Art Style series for the WiiWare and DSiWare stores. To date PiCTOBiTS is the most original and worthwhile investment on the fledgling DSi downloadable service, but it's not quite enough to warrant upgrading from a...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This game has no soul, in a bad way 0

 Zombie Apocalypse feels like a game designed by committee to touch all the bases that a group of investors might think are important to gamers. As a downloadable title it should obviously play like a twin stick shooter but without all those annoying colors and shapes like in Geometry Wars. Zombies are still hot right? It should have lots of gore. It should have the same guns that those really successful action games have. And like those popular MMO's, it should include some amount of dancing. P...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

Pretty Visuals, Bad Puzzler 0

 This whole "puzzle combat" genre is getting mighty crowded but where Puzzle Quest, Gyromancer and Clash of Heroes surround their gameplay with the dark stereotypes of a fantasy setting, Puzzlegeddon looks towards more vibrant fare for its inspiration. Colorful and peppered with playful personalities and animations, Puzzlegeddon feels right at home alongside Puyo Puyo or Worms and its gameplay packs that same sense of frantic multiplayer madness.  Because Bejeweled and AstroPop have already been...

0 out of 0 found this review helpful.