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.
Review by Phil Stortzum
The Wii U saw an entire month without any kind of retail release, and without releases your console is not going to sell. Wii U owners have had nothing much except the titles that launched with the system way back in November. March has finally given the struggling system some new titles for owners to play. Arguably, one of the most anticipated is a Wii U exclusive from TT Games and Nintendo, Lego City Undercover. Not only is the title a welcomed and fresh take on the third-person, sandbox-style game, but it is one of the greatest [exclusive] reasons to own a Wii U right now.
What You Need to Know
Our protagonist Chase McCain is back on the beat and has returned to Lego City when he hears news that the man he helped put away behind bars has broken out, the villainous Rex Fury. In order to learn of his location, Chase will have to go undercover and infiltrate various gangs, and even the mafia, to gain helpful clues.
If you’ve played a Lego game in the past, especially an open world one like Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, then you should feel familiar with the gameplay of Lego City Undercover. Lego City, too, is open world, with you following along with the story (more on that later). When you’re not driving around taking in the sights and sounds of the big city, you will be in one of the game’s fifteen levels, similarly structured to past Lego games.
This is still the tried-and-true gameplay you might be accustomed to. This consists of making your way through levels, using your skills and abilities to solve environmental puzzles (which usually comes down to breaking everything in sight) and battling enemies through the admittedly simplistic combat. For instance, busting a certain car allows Chase to use the leftover pieces to build a ladder to reach an otherwise inaccessible area. These missions will have you and Chase going to all sorts of places and participating in all kinds of heists. From infiltrating a museum to steal a ride-able T-Rex skeleton, to taking out baddies in a mine, there is no shortage of interesting places to see and missions to accomplish.
I’m a huge fan of Scribblenauts. I’ve played both the DS offerings multiple times as well as the game available on iOS. Now the game is coming to the 3DS, Wii U and PC with Scribblenauts Unlimited. That means there’s a very good change I’ll play through this game at least three different times. The creativity available in this series is something many people have been looking to and it’s just gotten better with every release. Now the developers, 5th Cell, are giving you nearly unlimited freedom and the ability to create and change nearly everything in the world. Maybe that’s why they came up with that catchy name, but is your freedom really unlimited?
What You Need to Know
For the first time ever Scribblenauts has a story. You play as Maxwell, the same character from every previous game, who is given a magic notebook that will let him create anything he can think of. One day he and his sister, Lily, are out for a walk when they come across an old man who’s hungry. Maxwell thinks it would be funny to play a trick on him and creates a rotten apple for him to eat. Well, that makes the man mad and he puts a curse on Lily that will slowly turn her to stone. Maxwell must then use the power of the notebook for good to collect Starites and save his sister before she turns completely to stone. From there you solve puzzles, much like you always have, in order to rescue Lily.