Reviews O-T

Title: Sonic Generations

Platform: 3DS (360, PS3, PC)


Publisher: Sega

Developer: Team Sonic, CriWare

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review by: Bill Jones

After so many failed attempts to bring Sonic back to his 16-bit prominence, it feels good to be able to write that Team Sonic has finally created a Sonic game worth caring about again, a Sonic game that boils things down to what we used to love so much about the series, a Sonic that we actually enjoy racing left to right across the screen, a Sonic that successfully spans generations and make us love that blue hedgehog again. (more…)

Title: Super Mario 3D Land

Platform: 3DS


Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo

Rating: ★★★★★

Review by: Matt Peters

A Nintendo launch without a Mario game just doesn’t feel right. That may be the reason why the Nintendo 3DS stalled out of the gate. That empty space has now been filled, as Nintendo gives us Super Mario 3D Land. With a few new tricks up his sleeve and his signature hat, Mario’s ready to save the Princess again. Fortunately, this adventure was worth the wait. (more…)

Title: Rage

Platform: 360, PS3, PC


Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Developer: id Software

Review By: Eric Stuckart

Rating: ★★★☆☆

After years of development and hype, Rage has finally hit consoles and PC alike, unfortunately with a resounding thud. It’s hard not to look at the game as a disappointment more than anything else, as it excels at doing everything in its power to underwhelm players, especially knowing how much potential the game has in its possession.

Given id Software’s penchant for developing games heavy on the action and gameplay with the least bit of emphasis falling on the shoulders of the game’s story — one need not look further than Doom for that — it should come to no surprise that the game’s story isn’t exactly the greatest. It wouldn’t even be much of a stretch to say that it makes that of Borderlands look fleshed out, but in Rage’s defense, that partly might be due to the design of the game. Much of the attention is clearly being directed to the visuals and the gunplay, which are far superior to much of the first person shooter competition out there. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to really make up for everything else that Rage has to offer. (more…)

Title: Shadows of the Damned

Platform: 360, PS3


Publisher: EA

Developer: Grasshopper Manufacture

Review By: Eric Stuckart

Rating: ★★★★☆

It’s pretty standard fare by now to know that when going into Grasshopper Manufacture games, the player is likely to find a satirical, oftentimes unique gaming experience with humor and personality to spare, but it isn’t going to be the most polished experience out there. However, I have yet to be disappointed so far with this expectation, and Shadows of the Damned is no different.

In fact, the main thing that I think really pulls people into Grasshopper mastermind Suda51’s games is his way of always spinning a great, albeit weird, story. Well, that and how it factors into his games’ typically quirky “anything goes” approach. The X factor that might draw some otherwise curious gamers into this outing, however, is the involvement of Shinji Mikami, known for creating the Resident Evil series, as well as composer and sound designer Akira Yamaoka, known for his work on the music for the Silent Hill games. (more…)

Title: “Smasher Pack” DLC for Red Faction: Guerrilla

Platform: 360 (PS3, PC)

ESRB Rating: M

Publisher: THQ

Developer: Volition

Review by: Kevin Haverty

The third round of DLC for Red Faction: Guerrilla expands “Wrecking Crew,” the offline pass-the-controller multiplayer mode. The “Smasher Pack” contains eight new maps and a new play mode called “Behemoth.”

Six of the stages blend in with the stages included on disc and offer more of the same. The remaining two feature some of the hardest to destroy structures encountered in the single-player campaign. Those two maps, “Expansion” and “Imperial,” add an overwhelming feeling. They require strategy and quick wits for the frantic pace of Wrecking Crew. It is a shame that only those two maps stand out. (more…)

Title: Splatterhouse

Platform: 360 (PS3)


Publisher: Nacmo Bandai Games

Developer: BottleRocket, Namco Bandai

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review by: Peter David

The name “Splatterhouse” may conjure a B-movie marathon, or an adrenalin-pumping hard-boiled death trap with no escape. The word takes me back to my childhood. I remember playing the original title on a friend’s console. It was one of the few times when you could play an almost-villain. Yeah, the player had to save a girl, but in the meantime relish pounding the living crap out of everything. It also helped that I had a “Friday the 13th” fetish, so when the protagonist put on a glowing hockey mask, I played him like Jason Vorhees.

That was many moons ago, and with my dark childhood aside, I grew and changed with the industry. But it was with great interest that “Splatterhouse 2010” arrived on my doorstep. After placing the disc inside my beloved 360, I came to the immediate conclusion that…this game is not for children. I cannot emphasize this enough. No one who cannot legally enter an “R” rated film should be allowed to even view this. (more…)

Title: Professor Layton and the Unwound Future

Platform: DS

ESRB: E10+

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Level-5

Rating: ★★★★½

Review by: Sarah Kumley

Professor Layton and his apprentice, Luke, have found another mystery to solve, with plenty of puzzles and strange characters to meet along the way. In this new story, the Prime Minister disappears after Dr. Stahngun demonstrates his new time machine. Other scientists disappear over the next couple of weeks, and Luke and Professor Layton receive a strange letter that is dated 10 years in the future. They follow the directions to a local clock shop, where a portal transports them to London, 10 years from their present. (more…)

Title: Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions

Platform: 360 (PC, PS3, DS, Wii)


Publisher: Activision

Developer: Beenox

Rating: ★★★½☆

Review by: Matt Peters

Since 1992, Activision has published games based on the adventures of Marvel Comics’ flagship character, Spider-Man. After several less-than-stellar games, it seemed that Activision was content to rely on the name alone to move copies. With Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions, developer Beenox has offered an apology to gamers and comic fans alike. Featuring four different versions of the web-slinger with distinctive gameplay styles, this has the makings to be a true crowd pleaser. (more…)

Title: Tournament of Legends

Platform: Wii


Publisher: Sega

Developer: High Voltage

Rating: Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Review by: Archie Easter

In May of 2009, High Voltage revealed Gladiator AD, a promising-looking and rather gory take on roman gladiatorial combat for the Wii. During the course of development, however, it eventually evolved into what is now Tournament of Legends.

Unfortunately, along the way it lost many of the things that made the original concept interesting. Combine this with the game’s numerous glitches and unresponsive controls, and the end result is a legendary amount of wasted potential. (more…)

Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up

Platform: Wii (PS2)

ESRB Rating: E

Publisher: Ubisoft

Developer: Game Arts

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Review by: Dan Braun

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Smash-Up is a perfect example of cashing in on a popular franchise without having to do anything creative or fun. The game unabashedly flaunts itself as a game in the same fighting vein as the Smash Bros. series, but it is clearly an inferior title, due to lame voice acting, muddled animation and just a poorly-executed fighting system.

The game offers an array of modes, ranging from arcade beat-em-up to a convoluted story. Unfortunately, it all plays relatively the same, save for the addition of some terrible cutscenes that provide an abhorrent plot and an earful of some of the crappiest dialogue performances one would ever want to sit through. (more…)

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