Friday, 27 August 2010

Featured Game - Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (Wii)

Title: Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors (Wii)
Format: Nintendo Wii Console

Dragon Quest Swords is an odd game and one that lost out in part due to misplaced audience expectations. The look and feel of the game is pure Dragon Quest and a lot of familiar enemies and NPCs show up. Unfortunately this is misleading as it isn't an RPG. This game isn't a sprawling epic RPG, it's a first person hack'n'slash. This is definitely more Time-Crisis-with-a-sword than Final Fantasy.

The sidequests and exploration of the RPGs are missing. Instead you fight your way through waves if enemies while traversing levels where you can only move forward or back. The action sequences are on rails, and the plot is similarly linear. You can replay early levels for items and experience, but the gameplay itself is very basic, using the Wiimote as a sword to perform attacks and special abilities while your party member occassionally pops up to heal you or cast a spell.

Despite this, it is a fun game. Best played on a large screen TV with a bunch of friends who can mock mercilessly, it can be an entertaining way to pass the evening. Just don't expect a standard RPG.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Featured Game - Loco Roco (PSP)

Title: Loco Roco
Format: Sony PSP

This is one of the weirdest, simplest and most fun games for the PSP. You control a little yellow blob (a loco roco) which has to travel the level looking for other yellow blobs, while avoiding a host of strange creatures along the way. When you find them you can join up to form a larger blob, or try to move a swarm of smaller blobs to the level end.

The controls are as simple as they get: by using the controls you tilt the world and the Loco Roco rolls and falls around it as gravity dictates. With its bright colours and catchy tunes this is a game for all ages.

The game spawned a sequel, LocoRoco 2, with more creatures, areas to explore, and minigames.

The game was so popular that several versions have been released, including Platinum and Essentials editions.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Featured Game - Lost in Blue (DS)

Title: Lost in Blue (Nintendo DS)
Format: Nintendo DS (all versions)

Lost in Blue is the story of two teenagers stranded on an island after their boat sinks in a storm. As the only survivors, they have to find shelter, food and resources and eventually if they can, a way off the island. To make matters worse, Skye, the girl is functionally blind.

It's a simple concept and well-realised. Foraging, hunting and fishing are all covered by the game, as well as exploration of the island in an attempt to stay alive while waiting for rescue. Playing through as Keith unlocks a second mode as Skye, although this is decidedly more limited.

With multiple endings, and a second playthrough mode as Sky, the game has high replay value. Even better, it is suitable for almost all ages, although the very young may find it too challenging.

Friday, 6 August 2010

Featured Game - Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice

Name: Ace Attorney Apollo Justice (Nintendo DS)
Format: Nintendo DS

The last game in the Ace Attorney series, Apollo Justice introduces an entirely new cast. Cameos from existing characters tie the games together, but the focus is very much on Apollo as he tries to find his feet in the court system and win his first cases.

The prosecutor, a rock star called Klavier Gavin, is an unlikely someime-ally along with Trucy, an apprentice magician who proves to be tied closely with one of his cases. Apollo has his own ability to fall back on however: an uncanny knack of telling when people are lying.

Set years after the Ace Attorney games, Apollo Justice gives a new twist on the old format - even if in some cases it asks more questions than it answers. Definitely worth playing for any fans of the Ace Attorney games.