Wednesday, January 9, 2008
America's Army: True Soldiers (360)
Considering this game is made by the actual army, you'd think it would feel more realistic than the military-based games made by Activision and the like. Unfortunately, this game feels less like Call of Duty 4 and more like a failed project from a freshman at Digipen. It's choppy, it controls terribly, and the A.I. is brain-dead. Actually, my experience with the game is probably a realistic portrayal of how I'd fare in the actual army. I wouldn't know what I was supposed to do, I wouldn't be able to aim, and I'd be shot dead immediately. The game's website boasts that you can win "real world prizes" if you perform well in the various wargames. Translation: If you play this game long enough to get good at it, you get drafted.
Soul Calibur: Legends (Wii)
For a while, I held on to a little hope that this game would be better than the first impressions indicated. After all, the original Soul Calibur is one of the single greatest games ever made, and a proper adventure game based on the narrative could have been a blast. Unfortunately, SC Legends is about as far from a proper adventure game as you can get. The game can be fairly summed up as: take your character from room to room and waggle the control wildly to attack the hordes of generic enemies.
Bee Movie Game (360)
Like a lot of other games based on kid's movies, this game certainly isn't complex, but it could be fun for the younger crowd. You control the Seinfeld-voiced protagonist through various scripted and open-world segments, and there's actually a decent amount of things to do. Minigames abound throughout the open-world segments, and they're all simple and enjoyable enough to satisfy fans of the movie.
Mario Party DS
What's true about the last 5,000 incarnations of Mario Party holds true for this latest portable version-if you've played all the other ones and still want more, you'll enjoy it just as much on the DS. If you got tired of the series in the early parts of this century, this will do nothing to bring you back. It's the same general format, just with the expected addition of drawing/tapping/blowing on the mic minigames. I'm still holding out hope that the next Wii version will revitalize this aging franchise.
NCAA March Madness 08 (360)
Like Mario Party, file this under "if you liked it for each of the last five years, you'll like this one, too." This year's addition to the March Madness library feels really no different than the '07 version, which means you'll get some nice animations and decent hoops gameplay. I'd think you'd have to be a hardcore NCAA fan to prefer this over the NBA Live series. 'Hawks fans will appreciate the spot-on portrayal of Allen Fieldhouse.
Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles (Wii)
This concept had a lot of potential to be a great Wii experience. I love the old RE games, and UC offers gamers the chance to play through those early titles from a whole new perspective-a first person, on-rails shooter. The game was also billed as one of the first big titles to fully support the Wii Zapper. Unfortunately, both the Wii Zapper and UC in general disappoint to a degree. The first three RE games on Playstation were all about fighting through a constant, ominous feeling that something was going to randomly bust through a door and kick your ass. UC certainly features a lot of enemies, but that sense of fear is almost completely lost with the new perspective.