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Dan Ryckert

Stories by Dan

Review: Resident Evil 4 (Wii)

Somehow, someway, they've managed to improve upon what was already an almost-perfect gaming experience. The Wiimote and Nunchuk prove their worth in adventure games in an even more appropriate way than with Twilight Princess. It's natural, useful, and above all, fun.

Review: Planet Puzzle League (DS)

Planet Puzzle League doesn't reinvent the wheel by any means. It pretty much just adds stylus and online support to a tried-and-true format, but it's still as fun as ever.

Review: Mario Party 8 (Wii)

I was very excited about the potential of this title, but ended up disappointed at what seems like a lackluster port of a Gamecube effort. Fans of the series will find more of the same with Mario Party 8, for better or worse.

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Review: Spider-man 3 (360)

Unfortunately, this once-entertaining franchise has lost its luster and become a tedious chore of an experience. There are just too many aspects of the game that clearly needed more time in development.

XBLA Review Roundup

Another collection of mini-reviews of the last few months of Xbox Live Arcade titles

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Review: Super Paper Mario (Wii)

It's certainly a very smart game, and the gameplay makes Super Paper Mario hard to lump into a specific genre. It's too smart to be a straight platformer, and too much of a platformer to be a traditional RPG.

Review: The Godfather Don's Edition (PS3)

While this PS3 version adds a few new aspects, it retained the same clunky controls and problems that the last-gen versions had.

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Review: Virtua Tennis 3 (360)

If you own both the PS3 and 360, I'd say the improved graphics on the former should be a bigger deciding factor than the flawed online play of the latter.

Review: Tetris Evolution (360)

I don't know if I can justify spending $30 on a title that's been released time and time again in essentially the same form.

Review: Call of Duty 3 Gold Edition (360)

COD2 featured in-game lag, and COD3 took forever to get into a match. Luckily, the online issues have almost entirely been fixed, and it results in one of the greatest multiplayer experiences on the system.

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Review: The Godfather Blackhand Edition (Wii)

This new Wii version may not be as visually polished as its 360 and PS3 brethren, but the new motion controls make it a completely different experience.

Review: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 (Wii)

Tiger Woods for the Wii isn't the massive upgrade some hoped it would be, but it has potential if they improve the motion next year. It's still fun, especially with four players, but it's just not enough to pry me away from its 360 counterpart.

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Review: Virtua Tennis 3 (PS3)

Gamers everywhere (especially of the hardcore variety) have fond memories of the Sega Dreamcast. When I think back to that ultimately unsuccessful system, two titles jump to mind immediately: Soul Calibur and Virtua Tennis. I'm still trying to forget Seaman.

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Review: Motorstorm (PS3)

Motorstorm is a good racing experience that gets dragged down by an awful menu system and some cumbersome load times. Online play is great, but it's not enough to make up for the disappointing single-player experience.

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Review: Bullet Witch (360)

I'd imagine this game will appeal to a select group of people, namely the type that get pumped up for movies like Underworld.

Review: Def Jam Icon (PS3)

I'm a white guy from Kansas, but I think I'm smart enough to realize that Def Jam Icon resembles "street life" about as much as God of War resembles the US Marine experience.

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God of War II (PS2)

Next-gen be damned. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my PS3, Wii, and Xbox 360. But none have yielded a gaming experience like the PS2's God of War II

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Review: DDR Universe (360)

This obviously isn't my area of expertise when it comes to gaming, but I'll admit to having some fun with this title. Namely, the hilarious realization that I was pseudo-dancing to Chris Brown and Kylie Minogue songs.

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Review: NBA Street Homecourt (360)

If you haven't tired of the series by now, Homecourt won't be the one to set you over the edge. It introduces a great new gamebreaker system and a simplified trick/dunk scheme that breathe new life into the franchise.

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Review: Crackdown (360)

Any title that had the Halo 3 beta attached to it is a guaranteed sell, so this game could have been crap and still flown off the shelves. Luckily, Realtime Worlds has put together a very solid title on its own merits.

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Review: Battlestations Midway (360)

For some reason, certain missions seem almost unwinnable, regardless of the difficulty level. The Vengeance at Luzon stage had me shaking my head in disbelief over how insanely hard it was so early in the game.

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Review: NCAA March Madness '07 (360)

The main complaint most people will have with this game (and any college sports game) is clearly an unavoidable one. As rabid as KU fans are, I have to imagine that they'll be disappointed by the absence of Julian Wright, Brandon Rush, and the rest of the team's likenesses. It's obviously no fault of the game, it's just an unpleasant legality.

Review: Diddy Kong Racing DS

Diddy Kong Racing is still a decent racing game:it's just unfortunate that Rare decided they had to force some touchscreen/microphone minigames into it.

Review: Warioware Smooth Moves (Wii)

Even though the basic premise has stayed the same throughout the four Warioware titles, the method of control has varied drastically. With Smooth Moves, the developers obviously had a great time designing minigames that utilize the Wii remote.

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Review: Lost Planet (360)

This title had a ton of potential. It had an interesting setting, visually interesting alien creatures, gorgeous graphics, and realistic audio. However, it's obvious that Capcom needed to spend far more time ensuring that the game was actually fun to play.

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Review: Elebits (Wii)

Elebits is one of those titles that's so Japanese that it's surprising to see it come stateside. It's got a ridiculously absurd story, a unique control scheme, and somewhat odd gameplay mechanics, but it winds up working out very well.

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Accessory Review: Guitar Mania amplifier (PS2, 360)

I love The Ant Commandos' obvious (and fully warranted) enthusiasm for Guitar Hero, but there are only so many ways to improve on the already-excellent experience.

Review: Metal Slug Anthology (Wii)

I'd imagine that if game developers snorted about four pounds of cocaine, watched the first scene of Saving Private Ryan repeatedly, and played Contra for a week, something like Metal Slug would be the result.

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Review: Resistance (PS3)

If it weren't for this game, the PS3 launch would have been much more of a debacle than it already was. Because of Resistance, however, purchasers of the system have access to a launch title that is better than Halo in virtually every aspect.

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Review: Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam (Wii)

As a longtime fan of the series, I was intrigued at the idea of changing the fundamentals of the game engine. Unfortunately, Downhill Jam is in no way more entertaining than the standard series.

Review: Red Steel (Wii)

If Red Steel were released on any console but the Wii, it would come and go without anyone paying any notice. It would be another generic, sub-par FPS that offers absolutely nothing new.

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Review: Marvel Ultimate Alliance (PS3)

If you've got four controllers and some friends to play with, then I'd highly recommend checking out Marvel Ultimate Alliance. It may have a few glitches, but the extremely replayable and customizable nature of the game make it a very entertaining experience.

Review: Ridge Racer 7 (PS3)

The single player will last gamers quite a while, and the online play only extends the experience. Well worth checking out for racing fans with a PS3.

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Review: Call of Duty 3 (PS3)

The single-player may only be worth one or two playthroughs, but I can see many gamers getting countless hours battling the Nazis online.

Review: Tony Hawk's Project 8 (PS3)

Despite the added immersion provided by the SIXAXIS controls, they're cumbersome and you'll oftentimes find yourself starting manuals when you don't want to.

Review: The Ant Bully (Wii)

You can throw items, swing your stick, and a few other minor functions with the Wii-mote, but it really does nothing to enhance the already-bland experience.

Review: Fight Night Round 3 (PS3)

Even if you're not a huge boxing fan, give this one a shot. If you're new to the series, go ahead and purchase this immediately if you want the best boxing simulation available.

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Review: Castlevania Portrait of Ruin (DS)

Omitting the touchscreen elements was a great idea, and the ability to switch between characters is a nice twist to the series. Portrait of Ruin belongs in any DS owner's library.

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Review: Happy Feet (Wii)

I'd be shocked if anyone anywhere can play this game for more than 10 minutes without being bored out of their minds.

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Review: Superman Returns (360)

It has some redeeming values, especially in the humor department, but the gameplay is far too generic and repetitive to recommend Superman Returns.

Review: Rampage Total Destruction (Wii)

You can move the Wii-mote from side-to-side or smash it down to do basic attacks, but it's not really that much more immersive than repeatedly tapping the button.

Review: Cars (Wii)

Many aspects of the title work well within this environment, but the package as a whole is brought down due to some pretty generic racing gameplay that offers nothing new.

Review: Call of Duty 3 (360)

The single-player may only be worth one or two playthroughs, but I can see many gamers getting countless hours battling the Nazis online.

Review: Call of Duty 3 (Wii)

Call of Duty 3 certainly features better controls than Ubisoft's Red Steel disappointment, but it's a hard sell considering that the 360 version is noticeably superior.

Review: Kirby Squeak Squad (DS)

While it may not last very long, Squeak Squad should certainly please fans of the series. It's not quite as good as Canvas Curse, however, and this throwback title is more of a step backwards than forwards in terms of utilizing the DS.

Review: Smackdown vs. Raw 2007 (360)

Smackdown vs. Raw will do just what it has for the last couple of years. It will satisfy the hardcore wrestling crowd and keep them entertained until the next one comes out, but the casual fan will probably tire of it after finishing the season mode.

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Review: Tony Hawk's Project 8 (360)

Tony Hawk's Project 8 is not a complete re-invention of the wheel as some hoped it would be. It is, however, an excellent compilation of the best aspects of each entry of the series.

The top five games of 2006

With the Xbox 360 in full swing and the arrival of the PS3 and Wii, gamers have a virtual buffet of excellent titles to choose from. Here are's top five picks for the year.

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Review: Rayman Raving Rabbids (Wii)

Rayman Raving Rabbids is one of the best launch titles for the Wii, and shows off different controller applications better than any of the others. You'll blow through the single player in a few sittings, but a few of the minigames will keep you coming back for more.

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Review: Marvel Ultimate Alliance (Wii)

The spirit of the successful X-Men Legends games lives on in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, and it provides a bigger and better gameplay experience. While it may not be an enthralling single-player title, it has some of the best co-op gameplay available.