Monday, December 27, 2010

Arcade Classic Returns

If you had the chance to visit an arcade back in the ‘90’s, there is no doubt that you came across X-Men arcade.

This arcade game came out in 1992 and became a favorite of many. Recently this game was ported onto Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. Yet, after all these years is it still as fun as it once was?

I downloaded the game for the Xbox 360, which cost me about $10, which seems to be a fair price.

The game let’s you play as Wolverine, Cyclops, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler or Dazzler. The goal is to battle through eight levels filled with Magneto’s minions in the hope of saving the world. That’s how deep it gets.

The dialog in the game was the first thing that hit me as being really bad. I don’t really know if I can complain about this to much, because I laughed quite a bit.

The gameplay is really just button mashing. You just continuously beat up enemies until you get to the end of the level. It’s really boring if you’re playing by yourself, but if you have a group of friends over or you jump into an online game it becomes less of a chore.

You can complete the game in under a half hour and if you’re playing on the Xbox you can get most of the achievements in one sitting.

Yet, you are treated to two versions of the game. You get the U.S. version and the Japanese version. They’re basically the same. The Japanese version has some differences, like energy pills and also it feels a lot faster than the U.S. version.

The graphics are very dated, but they’re not terrible. I just wished they made slight improvements, then again look what happened to Turtles in Time. I feel if you mess with a games look to much you loose some of what made it special, some if its magic so to speak.

Another weak point for the game is that it’s just a port. Yes, there is a new menu system, which is good, but everything else is limited. There is nothing so new to the game that you’ll be blown away; you’re basically getting the same exact arcade game from back in the day.

If you’re looking for a side scrolling, beat them up style game that you can play with friends then this is a good option. It’s not perfect, it can be very repetitive, but it still has a charm to it.

7 out of 10

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mario Celebrates 25 Years, But Is It Worth It?

It’s Super Mario’s 25th Anniversary and Nintendo is celebrating it with the release of Super Mario All-Stars: Limited Edition for the Wii.I was able to get a copy of this game and I was very impressed with the packaging. You get a game disc that includes four classic Mario games, Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3, all classics.
Now on a separate disc you get a soundtrack, which has various themes and sound effects from many different Mario Games. Full soundtrack list follows:
1. Aboveground BGM (Mario 1)
2. Aboveground BGM (Mario 2)
3. Athletic BGM (Mario 3)
4. Aboveground BGM (Super Mario World)
5. Slider (Super Mario 64)
6. Delfino Plaza (Super Mario Sunshine)
7. Aboveground BGM (New Super Mario Bros.)
8. Super Mario Galaxy
9. Title (New Super Mario Bros. Wii)
10. Super Mario Galaxy 2
11. Coin (sound effect)
12. Jump (sound effect)
13. Super Mario transform (sound effect)
14. 1UP (sound effect)15. Enter a Pipe (sound effect)
16. Hurry (sound effect)
17. Lose a Life (sound effect)
18. Game Over (sound effect)
19. Course Clear (sound effect)
20. Castle Clear (sound effect)

The last thing the package has is a 32-page Super Mario History book. In this book you get interviews and concept art. It is a very impressive package, but it does fall short in some areas.
Let’s start with the four NES games. I love being able to have Super Mario All-Stars on the Wii, but it doesn’t offer anything new. The game itself is a shameless port and that’s all. I mean they actually have instructions in the game on how to play on your Super Nintendo controller.
The games themselves are fun, of course, but playing on my HD TV I noticed some delay. I had to mess around with my TV’s settings to try and reduce the effect of the delay but I couldn't get rid of it 100 percent. Also, the games doesn't support widescreen, which is a huge disappointment.
Besides those problems the games are still very fun to play. Nintendo has also made it possible to use a host of controllers. You can use your Wii Remote, Wii Remote Plus, Wii Classic Controller, Classic Controlller Pro or the Nintendo GameCube controller. I found the best way to play these games is using the Wii Remote.

Moving onto the soundtrack, which is a cool idea and has some cool tracks, isn’t as great as it could be. Half the soundtrack is made up of sound effects that last only seconds, which, in my opinion, is a waste.
For $29.99 or more, since it’s becoming harder to find, I would say it’s worth it for the die-hard Mario fans that need everything Mario. If you own a Super Nintendo and have a copy of Super Mario All-Stars, well you’re all set. This is the same stuff we saw back in 1993.

Now, this is a hard thing to rate, because I can’t just rate the game itself. I need to also rate everything the package includes.

For the soundtrack I decided to give it 6 out of 10. It’s basically a little more than half a soundtrack. The music they do include is classic, but they should of filled the whole CD with music from the games.

Next is the history book. It’s definitely colorful and has some interesting things included in it; I chose to give it 7 out of 10.

The final thing is the game itself. If I was just rating the games individually I would give them all 10’s. They’re all classics and can be played over and over again. Yet, the game is just a port that is not presented in widescreen and offers nothing new. With that said there is no denying that these game are fun to play and they still look very sharp, graphic wise, so I decided to give it 8 out 10.

The overall score is a 7.