Narrowing years of gaming experiences down to a favourite ten titles is something that’s taken me years to get comfortable with, but I’m finally doing it.

My number six spot goes to…

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Narrowing years of gaming experiences down to a favourite ten titles is something that has itself taken me years to get comfortable with, but I’m finally doing it.

My number eight spot goes to…

Continue reading »

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Sonic-Sega-All-Stars-Racing-box-artMario Kart Klone 2.

Like ModNation Racers and Cars 2, Sonic & Sega: All Stars Racing borrows many ideas from (and owes it’s very existence to) the Mario Kart franchise.

Unlike ModNation Racers and Cars 2 however, S&SASR brings virtually nothing new to the party.

Everything in the game is lifted from Mario Kart, but if you’ve played MK to death and you’re looking for something new- there is quite a bit of fun to be had here.

The game is available on DS, Wii, PS3 and 360. It looks prettier on PS3 and 360 of course, and in the 360 version you can race with Banjo & Kazooie.

There’s plenty of tracks to choose from, plenty of characters and nicely balanced weapons and karts to race with.

The tracks are also fun and have a good range of difficulty. It’s pretty much everything you want in a Mario Kart klone -including a 4 player split screen mode, and it’s one of the few games to come remotely close to capturing the essence of Nintendo’s franchise.

The omission of any multiplayer “cup” or tournament mode is baffling, however, and going back to the menu every time you want to race a new track is quite annoying.

The sequel, All Stars Racing Transformed fixed many of this game’s niggles, going on to be the best Mario Kart Klone of all, but this first entry is still worth picking up.

Thanks to retryquit.com for the box pic.

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wormsbattleGot worms?

From its origins on the AMIGA platform to the flawless WORMS: Armageddon on Nintendo 64, TEAM 17‘s WORMS franchise has definitely stood the test of time.

The series’ first outing for Wii, WORMS: A Space Oddity was a serious disappointment, due to poor controls and a silly user interface.

Thankfully, WORMS: Battle Islands takes the series back to basics, and allows players to do what they want in a WORMS game.

You can name your teams, access your weapons easily, etc. all by using the Wii remote on its own or with the nunchuck, but with none of the ridiculous motion controls that let Space Oddity down.

WORMS is turn based strategy, control a team of worms which you get to name individually, use a variety of weapons and tools to have the last worm standing and win the match.

It’s simple and fun- especially with two or more players. Anyone wanting a decent WORMS experience should look no further than WORMS: Battle Islands on Wii, unless you can get hold of a Nintendo 64 and a copy of WORMS: Armageddon.

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DeBlob Box ArtBounce, baby, out the door…

Grab a Wii Remote and nunchuck and play as de bouncy hero, de Blob. Turn monochromatic cityscapes into technicolour wonderlands as you battle the I.N.K.T corporation, and save Chroma City from a bleak future without colour!

It’s silly and simple- roll, jump, and flip around to paint as much of the black and white environments as you can.

Painting the landscape and killing bad guys earns you points, and in turn allows you to unlock new areas and progress through the game.

There’s a few head scratching puzzles, big boss fights, plenty of humour, and a killer dynamic soundtrack that changes according to how you’re playing.

Simple, reliable controls combined with a bright and charming style make for an original, at times challenging, and thoroughly entertaining game that everyone will enjoy.

de Blob features a fast, addictive 2, 3, or 4 player split screen competitive mode to further enhance the replay value.

And the best news? It was made by Australian developer Blue Tongue.

I would encourage every Wii owner to pick up a copy of de Blob, or the sequel (even though it mixed things up a bit) on Wii, PS3 and 360.

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Mario Kart Wii BoxThe game that created a genre just keeps getting better.

Mario Kart is the fast, furious cartoon racing game that spawned a whole new gaming genre– the kart racer.

 

Each new Nintendo machine, whether hand held or home console, gets its own version of Mario Kart. In 2007, it was Wii’s turn.

It’s a simple formula: vehicles + weapons + outrageous tracks = addictive fun. And it’s addictive fun for everyone, never more so than in Mario Kart Wii, and that was a very good thing considering a fair chunk of Wii’s audience were casual players.

There’s a difficulty level and a control scheme to suit all players. Turning the Wii remote on its side or snapping it into the included Wii wheel is a great way for beginners to learn the tracks, while plugging in a nunchuck provides seasoned players with that extra level of tightness in the control. There was also support for Gamecube controllers.

Knowing the tracks and knowing what each weapon and item does (and when to use them) is the key to becoming a decent Mario Kart player, and Mario Kart Wii’s wider than usual tracks made it fairly easy for casual players to jump in and be competitive.

Mario Kart Wii also featured one of Wii’s more robust online components. Playing against up to 11 other people from around the world was a great way to practice and learn not only the tracks and items, but also how other human opponents play the game.

You’d also earn or lose points based on your online performance, and it was kept reasonably fair by automatically pitting you up against players of a similar skill level.

You also got to see what country each of your opponents comes from via a spinning map of Earth.

It was a great touch, and you really got a buzz from knowing you’re out there representing Australia on an international stage. You could also go online with a friend via the two player spit screen option, but unfortunately, (and inexplicably) the second player only appeared as a guest, and didn’t accumulate points. Since the closure of the Nintendo Wi-Fi network in 2014, these online components are no longer functioning.

The real fun in Mario Kart Wii, however, came when you grabbed some friends and played together in the same room. Two or three people wass great, but four player is where the game truly shines- and modern televisions made 4-way split screen so much easier to cope with.

Mario Kart is the some of the best fun you can have on Wii, and no matter what your experience level or what kind of games you enjoy, you had to love Mario Kart Wii.

Did you love Mario Kart Wii, or does one of the previous games in the series own your heart? Leave a comment!

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Mmgalaxyboxario’s greatest adventure ever?

No figure in video game history is more iconic or popular than Mario.

Since 1983 he’s been wowing audiences with his incredible adventures and continues to do so today, and with games like Super Mario Galaxy in his repertoire, it’s easy to see why.

Simply put, Super Mario Galaxy is as close to gaming perfection as you could ever hope to get.

And it’s one for all ages- newcomers will enjoy seeing the game’s ending by running, jumping, flipping, flying, swimming and skating through the brilliantly designed levels to collect 60 stars to complete the main story.

More seasoned players will enjoy scouring every corner of the 20 plus galaxies for 100 percent completion and a long overdue ‘bonus’ at the end of the game.

There’s nothing much else to say because there’s no contemplating the fact that Mario Galaxy is one of, if not the greatest games ever made.

Mario Galaxy 2 is fantastic too, and has a gamerankings.com rating of 97.25%, making Galaxy and Galaxy 2 the 1st and 3rd highest rated games EVER.

How great was Mario Galaxy? Leave a comment!

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pandora'sIt’s still a bit overpriced if you ask me, but you can still pick up one of Wii’s most critically acclaimed and popular RPG’s for $19.50 instead of $26 until tomorrow, April 23.

Released in 2012, Pandora’s Tower was part of an action-adventure RPG published by Nintendo (in Australia and Europe) and received pretty solid reviews when it launched.

Originally part of my Wii wish list, I ended up playing and enjoying it, even though I never finished it.

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The latest addition to the Mortal Kombat X line-up, wild west gunslinger Erron Black, bears a striking resemblance to another video game gunslinger, the unnamed protagonist others call “The Swordsman”, from Ubisoft’s Wii exclusive, Red Steel 2.

It turns out the character of Erron Black appeared in a Mortal Kombat comic book series, and that version of Erron bears even a great resemblance to The Swordsman.

Take a look at these pictures and disagree.

The unnamed hero, or "The Swordsman" from Red Steel 2

The unnamed hero, or “The Swordsman” from Red Steel 2

Erron Black from Mortal Kombat

Erron Black from Mortal Kombat

I suppose in the days of the old West it was hard (and probably dangerous) to be an individual when it came to fashion. Just ask John and Cole:

Colton White from GUN

Colton White from GUN

John Marston from Red Dead Redemption

John Marston from Red Dead Redemption

I’m being facetious about Erron and The Swordsman, and two pics don’t tell an entire story, but do a quick Google search and you’ll see what I mean.

Thanks to www.designntrend.com, gematsu.com,  and lady-eklipse.livejournal.com for the pics.

You can follow me on twitter: @rustyshell and Miiverse: zinger_AU

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CONDUITboxWii scale blockbuster FPS.

The Conduit was a Wii exclusive first person shooter, but don’t let the unfortunate box art put you off, it was quite a good one.

Set in the near future amidst an alien invasion and corruption at the highest levels of government, developers High Voltage strived to not only push Wii’s graphical capabilities as far as they could, but offer Wii owners the quality FPS experience they were mostly missing out on.

Pointing the Wii remote at the screen to aim and look around, and using the nunchuck’s control stick to move was never quite the optimum control set-up for first person shooters it promised to be, but The Conduit got it pretty near perfect.

This was thanks to the developers giving players the ability to completely configure every single aspect of the control scheme to suit their playing style.

You could adjust the reticle “dead zone”, change turning speed and infrared sensitivity, as well as move every aspect of the HUD to anywhere on the screen, tweaking each element until you got it just right.

This enemy showed up a lot...

This enemy showed up a lot…

Some criticised The Conduit for being too linear and un-original in its gameplay, but I say there is nothing at all wrong with a game being linear, and un-original as the plot may be, it’s still good fun.

What’s more, the game features voice acting by Kevin “Hercules” Sorbo, which is cool… at least it might have been in 1997.

The main campaign was quite short- but thankfully The Conduit had a robust online component that allowed for regional or international matches, with loads of options including game type and weapons, which were voted on before a match begins.

The game was also one of the few titles that made use of Wii’s failed voice chat peripheral, Wii Speak.

wiispeak

Ahh Wii Speak, we hardly knew ye…

The time we spent online was quite good for the most part, although there certainly was some lag, especially when it came to registering your kill.

This was a Wii game using Wi-Fi and I was in Australia, so the odds were stacked against my online experience from the get go.

But hey, at least developer High Voltage tried to offer Wii users a viable online multiplayer option.

A lot was made of The Conduit's look. A 3rd party developer trying to push Wii's graphics was a rarity.

The Conduit looked great. A 3rd party developer trying to push Wii’s graphics was a rarity.

With all the amazing blockbuster first person shooters out there at the time, the critics weren’t too kind to The Conduit.

But look. It had pretty graphics, the best Wii FPS controls outside of Metroid Prime 3, and although you can’t use the online features anymore, it’s still worth playing.

So is the 2011 sequel, Conduit 2.

Did you enjoy The Conduit? Leave a comment!

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