One of the first games to launch on the eShop was a small puzzle game from Enjoy Gaming called Pyramids. It was a Solomon’s Key inspired block puzzle game where you played as an adventurer who was dropping in a room, with limited resources and had to escape. You could drop and destroy blocks, shoot snakes in the rooms with the ammo supplied and collect treasure to unlock harder and harder puzzles. Now three years later the developer is back again with a sequel cleverly titled Pyramids 2. The premise is the same, but the puzzles are harder.
What You Need to Know
Pyramids 2 is, as previously mentioned, a block puzzle game. Like before you star as an adventurer who is trying to solve the riddles of the rooms, collect treasure along the way and escape without dying. You can drop blocks on the same level as your character, or one level lower. You must avoid traps, like spikes that come from the floor or fireball shooting statues as well as snakes, monkeys and natives along the way. You earn stars for the speed you finish the level and whether or not you collect all of the treasure in a room. Those stars are used to unlock levels later in the game, with the last set of rooms requiring you to have earned every star in the game up to that point.
Angry Birds is one of those franchises that has a pretty polarizing effect on people. Early on I was one of those people that couldn’t really understand the fad and why there was so much attention on a game that was mediocre at best. The touchy game play and unpredictable physics left me scratching my head. I just didn’t get it. I pretty much ignored the franchise in the early days and said the fad would pass. It didn’t. It’s never really gone away. There are still people to this day that get excited for the announcement of new Angry Birds stuff and the games continue to come out on a pretty consistent basis.
When Angry Birds Trilogy released on DS we were sent a review copy and I gave the franchise another go just to see if it would click with me. It did this time. I think it was the more precise control scheme offered on the 3DS using the stylus that finally won me over. I could see what I was doing without my hands in the way. I was able to get birds to launch where I wanted them to go more often. It finally made me realize the franchise could be fun. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan, but I understood why people enjoyed the game. Since then I’ve sort of kept an eye on it and downloaded a few games here and there to try out. It’s been the releases of Angry Birds Star Wars that kept me playing through every level and now there is another licensed tie in that’s got me hooked; Angry Birds Transformers.
I first read the Lord of the Rings after watching Peter Jackson’s first film in the series back in 2001. I know, I know. You’d think someone who’s as big a fan of these books as me would have read them when I was five years old, but I didn’t. I knew of them, but hadn’t read them. Since then I’ve read them all at least once a year and gotten deep into many of the other Middle Earth stories written by Professor JRR Tolkien. When I heard about Shadow of Mordor and the parts of Middle Earth lore it would be exploring I was excited, to say the least. When I saw that it was taking parts of my favorite game franchise of all time and implementing them into the world of Middle Earth I was even more excited. I’m glad to say that this game held up to my lofty expectations and then some.
What You Need to Know
Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor puts you in the role of Talion, a ranger that is part of a group tasked with keeping watch over the Black Gate to Mordor. The game starts with your family (and yourself) being killed by servants of Sauron. Somehow you survive and seek out revenge on those that took your family from you. The game is an open world action game where you can take on numerous side missions, collect artifacts, upgrade weapons and skills and hunt wild beasts.
I like rhythm games y’all. Games like Rhythm Heaven and Elite Beat Agents are regular entries into my systems. There’s just something about getting into a rhythm (no pun intended) and sort of zoning out on the music. I remember when Kickbeat was first announced and how interested in playing a rhythm game from Zen Studios I was and then disappointed when I found out it was going to be a Playstation exclusive (due to not having a Playstation system at the time). I’ve been a big fan of all the stuff I’ve played from Zen Studios whether it was their numerous pinball tables or their sidescrolling RTS Castlestorm. Now Kickbeat is out on Wii U so I finally get to play the game I was so excited about to begin with. Was it worth the wait?
What You Need to Know
Kickbeat is a rhythm based fighting game. Well, actually it’s mostly rhythm game disguised as a fighting game. Actually, it’s pretty much just a rhythm game that happens to have some fighting in it. Your character stands in the middle of a circle and is surrounded on all sides by enemies. They attack you and you have to fend off their attacks in time to the music by hitting the corresponding face button. The four buttons match up with the position of the face buttons on the controller so it’s easy to keep track of where you’re supposed to be hitting at all times. You play along with the game’s 18 song soundtrack as you try to restore music to its rightful place in the world. There are other modes outside of the main story mode like an endless survival mode where you are not given any of the normal visual cues and you have to survive as long as you can or an equalizer mode that basically plays the game for you so that you can listen to the music and watch the events of the song unfold on screen. (Something more rhythm games should do.
It’s really hard to review yearly sports games on a regular basis. What do you focus on for the review? Do you take the whole game into consideration? Do you focus on the changes the development wants to highlight? I think the most important part of a sports game is the action taking place on the field, court, pitch, table or whatever object that sport takes place on. That’s what I’m going to focus on in this review; the on-field action. What about this year’s Madden game makes it more or less interesting or worth picking up? You’ll have to read on to find out.
What You Need to Know
Madden. It’s football y’all. 22 dudes line up on opposite sides of a football (not the soccer kind), run into each other for 60 minutes and try to get the ball into the end of the field not colored green. Outside of that there is a ton of stuff for football fans to do. So much so that it is hard to fit it all into a review of the game. Ultimate Team once again lets you build your most amazing fantasy team out of cards earned through play or purchased through a store. Online leagues let you go head to head against your friends, or random people on the internet, to see who the best football player amongst the masses is.