recently finished

I’m so done with you!

Recently Finished:

Bomberman Land Touch 2 [DS] – The official reviews for this game were so-so, but I really enjoyed it – probably because I didn’t play the first game in this series. Taking place in an amusement park, the game offers a wide range of mini-games to play through in order to save the universe. I had a lot of fun playing this one, and I thought the mini-games offered were much more interesting than those seen in Mario Party DS. This one is a definite keeper for me; the multiplayer aspect of the game means I can try to kick Ed’s ass for a long time to come. As well, the game features the classic Bomberman game you can play that’s separate from the main story line. This was a wild guess that was also a pleasant surprise. [8/10]

Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles [DS] – A prequel to the big boy console title, Altair’s Chronicles is the game that NEVER ENDED. At least 5 times in the game I thought “oh, the story is over” and I was completely wrong. Seriously, this game felt like it went on FOREVER. It was merely okay and I just wanted to finish it so I could move onto the 360 title (which I still need to get), but holy crap. It definitely felt like a tiny version of Prince of Persia (which was also made by Ubisoft, so it makes sense) and it passed some time, but yeesh. I aged 4 years just trying to finish this thing. Now I am old. [6/10]

Professor Layton and the Curious Village [DS] – And now for something completely different – I don’t think I’ve ever been as frustrated with a game as I have been with this, and yet loved every second of it. Professor Layton is a completely different kind of DS game filled with 130+ logic puzzles. I was eagerly waiting for this title to be released, and it did not disappoint – the only thing that sucks is now waiting a million years for the sequels to be released (it’s a Japanese game; they’re already on the third title and we just got the first). Weekly downloadable content adds an ongoing factor to this game; I’ve already played through it twice in an attempt to find every single puzzle and coin and secret. This game is awesome, unless you’re dumb. [9/10]

Advance Wars: Days of Ruin [DS] – Honestly? I suck at this game. It’s a turn-based fighting game with units and deployment and tanks and planes and I am very, very bad at this kind of game. I bought it because AW is a much-loved series that Ed had really enjoyed on the Game Boy, and I knew that even if I didn’t play it much he would definitely take to it – and he did. I played 6 or 7 missions before I started to get stressed out that my infantry units were being slaughtered, and I handed it over to him so I could concentrate on the 58 other titles I have going. Great game, just not for me. [NA]

Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Slime [DS] – I loved this game. I picked it up on whim, and it completely sucked me in. I was extremely hesitant to play it because it’s made by Square Enix and I hate them because Final Fantasy is a scourge on the face of video gaming, but it was a hell of a lot of fun. I’ve played it through twice now, and it’s still got some draw for me. Definitely a keeper. [8.5/10]

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker [DS] – Given my huge boner for Rocket Slime, I thought I would try this other DS offering from Square Enix. What I found was a mildly engaging Pokemon clone that I managed to sink 30+ hours into. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to enter the Main Challenge, I discovered that I needed to do an additional 30 hours of grinding just to get my monsters up to a battle-ready level. I wasn’t willing to spend that much more time doing the same thing over and over again, so I dumped the title and moved on with my life. It passed the time, but Pokemon does it a little better. [6/10]

Meteos [DS] – A highly-rated puzzle title I bought off eBay because I couldn’t find it in stores. Not bad – took a little while to figure out, and once you’re playing it the game play is very fast. Good music, interesting idea, generic block puzzle type game. I didn’t love it, but I certainly didn’t hate it as much as Planet Puzzle League which was identically rated but loathed by me. [6.5/10]

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations [DS] – I honestly don’t know what to say about the Phoenix Wright games. On one hand, they’re fun and the story lines kind of suck you in. On the other hand, the characters are annoying and I want to slap the judge silly (even if he IS Canadian for some reason). I actually gave up on the second game of the series, but came back for the third and recently picked up the 1st – and I’m stalking the release date of the 4th game in the series, which comes out next month. I find with these games I can only play a little bit at a time before I have to take the next available save point and shut it down for the night. With the exception of the stories, all the games in this series are near identical with even the same characters appearing from case to case. If you’re a fan of one, you’ll like the rest. If it pisses you off, you won’t find anything new from title to title that’ll change your mind. This one is strictly for the already-appreciative, I think. [7/10]

Trace Memory [DS] – Game Stop had a “buy two get one free” deal on used games, so I picked this title up (along with the first Phoenix Wright game and Contact). It was .. okay. It took me about 5 hours to finish and it’s a lineal story, so there’s really no replay value. It’s a fairly old title and a port from a Japanese game, but there were some really annoying quirks that really didn’t add anything positive to the overall experience (repetition, long drawn out dialog, many loose ends to the story). It’s not something I would recommend – if you want story line games, Hotel Dusk: Room 215 did it better and there’s the whole Phoenix Wright series to sink your teeth into. I’m glad the game was free, or I would be annoyed that I spent money on it. On the plus side though, the game is really quite pretty and some of the puzzles were well thought out but those aren’t enough to make this a “must play” game. [5/10]

The Simpsons [DS] – The trailers for this game were really promising, and I have a feeling I would have enjoyed it more if I opted for the non-portable version, but alas the game was merely okay. The animation was a little weird, but the voice acting was spot on. There were a lot of in-jokes, and I really did appreciate the final level, but overall it just wasn’t the best game I’d ever played. It did pass the time and make me laugh out loud on a couple instances, so for that alone I’d say the game was worth it. I’ve heard a lot of complaints that the controls were wonky, and I have to agree – it wasn’t the most responsive game ever, but I attributed that to being on the DS as opposed to a full-sized controller. Still, that should never be the issue and sluggish controls can make for an incredibly frustrating game. If you love the Simpsons and need something new to play, I’d say this is worth picking up (especially if you can find it used or on sale). It’s not revolutionary, but it definitely has some moments. [6/10]

Chibi-Robo: Park Patrol [DS] – Cute and fun – a little repetitive, but enjoyable nonetheless. It’s pretty customizable; there are a lot of different things you can do to build your park. Highlights include the non-stop pumping action (so filthy!), and feeding the French puppet a candy cane. CRONCH CRONCH CRONCH! [7.5/10]

Portal [Xbox 360] – This game immediately made it to the list of my favourite games ever. Go see why! 9.5/10

The Phantom Zelda [DS] – If you get one DS title this year because you are some sort of martyr, let this be it. The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is a fantastic game and truly deserving of all the hype it’s been getting. It’s nowhere near as heavy-handed as Twilight Princess; rather, it’s just a damn fun Zelda title with some incredible gameplay thanks to the unique DS controls. It’s colourful, cute, engaging, and will keep you busy for hours on end. My only complaint is that the main dungeon gets a little repetitive each time you have to return and re-do what you’ve already done, but that’s it. Fantastic game. Go get it. 9.5/10

Need for Speed: Carbon [Xbox360] – I didn’t like this game nearly as much as its predecessor, Most Wanted. It felt really short, the bosses were either too easy or really cheap, and I missed earning money for blowing up cop cars. 6.5/10 – it passed the time, but was not a favourite.

My Sims DS – Ugh. I was really looking forward to this, because it looks cute as hell – but it’s a very dumbed down version of the Sims with some mini-games tossed in. This was EA’s attempt to make an Animal Crossing-like game, but whereas I was able to play AC:WW for months before my attention turned to other games, I gave up on My Sims in one week. I didn’t even have the patience to finish it; nothing the game could have offered me would have made it worth my while to keep playing. It would be a great game for little kids, but if you’re looking for an adaptable world you can do stuff in, stick with Animal Crossing: Wild World until something just as fun comes along. Really, really disappointing game. 4/10

Picross [DS] – I picked this game up for something to do while I waited for The Phantom Zelda to make an appearance. It was okay. I had unfortunately been spoiled by weeks of Gemsweeper on the PC, and found Picross to be lacking. The easy puzzles were very easy, and the normal/hard ones were really frickin’ hard. Good if you’re looking for a challenge; bad if you’re prone to fits of e-rage and have a tendency to swear a lot. 7/10

Mario vs. DK 2: March of the Minis [DS] – This is an older title I just bought recently. I really liked it – it was cute, engaging, and a good way to pass some time. It’s also fairly short; while the number of levels looks impressive on paper (10×8 + an end boss), they go by very quickly. Still, it’s a fun little game that I enjoyed playing. 8/10

Super Paper Mario [Wii] – This review should really be in two parts: Levels 1-5 get a 9/10, and levels 6-end get a 5/10. Here’s why: it honestly felt like the developers got lazy and stopped caring about the content. The later levels have you running through stuff you’ve already seen, when you’re not wandering through screen after screen of nothing. I’m not being facetious – there’s seriously a level in which you run through nothing, AFTER you fight the same “boss” 21 times. I almost gave up on the game at that point, but carried through to the end. It’s cute enough and definitely an engaging premise, but dang – the last third of the game had me drooling with boredom. Average: 7/10

Pokemon Pearl [DS] – I hadn’t played a Pokemon game since I first tried to catch ‘em all on my Gameboy Colour, and I was surprised to note that nothing had really changed since then. Pokemon Pearl (and Diamond) sadly makes little to no use of the DS touch screen, which is a shame because it could have been a lot more fun than it really was. That isn’t to say I didn’t play it a lot – I clocked almost 40 hours in Pokemon Pearl, and managed to get all 8 Gym Badges before giving up on very repetitive Champion Island thingie. Good, but could have been better: 7/10

Daxter [PSP] – Fun, fun, fun. I loved the original Jak for the PS2, and while Jak 2, 3 and X didn’t do much for me I was thrilled to learn that Daxter was a true sequel to the first game. The gameplay was very similar, albeit smaller to fit the PSP. Jak is the straight man to his sidekick Daxter, so it was cool to see the mouthy weasel get his own title. If you’re into fun little action games, this is a great title to pick up. I think Sony’s even built PSP packages around the game – whether it’s because the game is that good or because they’re that desperate to show off the good titles they have, I can’t say. Daxter is definitely worth checking out. 9/10

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