Rec Room Games Review

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It’s time to play another game from the 5 dollar bin. I got this one for under 2 dollars so I’d say that it was a steal. It’s too bad that the game didn’t actually end up being good though. That was a bit of a let down since party games should automatically be a lot of fun. How can you mess up short mini games? All you have to do is come up with an activity that will be fun for 30-60 seconds and you have your mini game.

The game jumps you right to the mini game selection screen. All 20 of them are available from the get go and there are no other modes to look at. Literally, the only other option here is to jump to the credits and mayyybe options, but I don’t think that there are any. Seriously, you’re basically thrown to the games and there is 0 replay value. Your high scores aren’t even recorded, which is pretty odd for a game like this one. This means that unless you really like the mini games enough to play them a few times, you’ll be done with this game in an hour or less. There is nothing to keep you and it’s rare to find a game with 0 replay value, but this title pulled it off.

The graphics are decent I suppose. They didn’t put a whole lot of effort into them as you can imagine, but I wouldn’t say that they look downright bad either. I dunno, I guess it’s just hard to make a game that I think looks really bad. You’d have to put in a lot of effort to give a game that appearance and I don’t think that companies want to do such a thing. Not just yet anyway! The soundtrack is rather forgettable. It’s decent though, but I’d like some more variety. A few more tunes to keep me excited and ready for whatever comes next. Rec Room doesn’t pull that off, but why should it? This game was in the 2 dollar bin for a reason right!

In the end, the only thing to really talk about here is the mini games. I can either stretch this section out a bit or let the review end early. Hmmm, decisions decisions. Not all of the mini games are lousy, I feel like I should say this as a disclaimer. Some of them had some real potential and others actually managed to live up to that so kudos to the game. If you really think about it, this game could have gotten a quick 7 had it been on the PS3. Then again, I recently played a game with bears on the PS3 that was pretty bad so….maybe not. (That game’s still probably getting a 5-6 though)

The best mini game here by far is the Box Maze. You have to use the Wii Remote to tilt the surface of the stage as you gradually guide your ball to the correct hole. It takes skill and passion. A whole game on that could be interesting so long as it isn’t too repetitive and a plot surrounding the game is around to keep you interested. It was one of the first games that I played so I actually got a little hyped to see how the game would end up. Smack A Squirrel was also decent except for the concept, but they’re toy squirrels so that helps a bit. After all, I’ve skipped out on two Wii Games because they promoted animal violence. *shudders* The problem with this game is that your hammer is unresponsive and often times it will stop you from actually hitting the squirrel and you just tap it, which has no effect.

Then we got to some of the dicier games like Bowling. Wii Sports did a much better job with it than this game, but I’m sure that nobody is surprised at that. Good luck hitting anything with your swings! Alley Ball is another decent game. You have to flick the Wii Remote up to try and land the ball inside of the rings. The controls were surprisingly smooth for this game and it’s certainly a keeper. Disct Toss and Ring Toss sort of make each other a little redundant and likewise with Rubberband Sharpshooter. As you can imagine, throwing anything with the Wii Remote controls is a formula for failure. Table Tennis was probably the most disappointing game in the collection simply because it should have been good. Tennis should always be fun and it’s so easy to implement, but the game forgot how to make your characters miss. As long as you flail around with the Wii Remote, you can keep on returning just about every ball which leads to some very long points since the computer doesn’t want to give up either. The controls don’t hurt this one much, but are still a factor.

Darts is fairly decent, but the controls make it hard to ever hit your target. Chinese Checkers and Peg are quite similar and both of them are no fun at all. Maybe these games are better in real life, but I don’t see the appeal of moving across an empty field or just making lines until everything is gone. These titles couldn’t hold my attention. HillbillyGolf was pretty terrible and even worse than the real Golf. At least..in this version. You throw a little baton thing and the game is really broken. Foosball is surprisingly not that good as you simply can’t control your players quickly enough to do any real damage. Back to flinging the Wii Remote around until you win!

All right, back to the fun games…or as fun as you can get here. Trashcan Basketball is fairly interesting even if you’ll never be able to hit it. You have to throw paper in a trash, but the controls are incredibly unresponsive. Good luck trying to do anything here. Tic Tac Toe Toss has some potential, although the rules are a little odd. You throw things to connect the lines and the game operates on pure chance. Air Hockey is decent. As expected, the controls hold it back a little, but it still manages to be decently fun.

Table Hockey is a lot of fun and actually has a semblance of skill and effort as you try to score. Controlling your players is as difficult as in Foosball, but it’s more fun and actually feels real. Dodgeball is another one of the best games and I may have to actually dethrown Box Maze. Yes, I changed my mind during the review, but I forgot about Dodgeball. This is why it’s good to have the game’s cover in front of me! I made a monster comeback in my first attempt at the game so you can bet that I will not be forgetting it! I didn’t talk about all of the games, but I mentioned most of them. There are 20 in total, so feel free to play them all! (It’s all you can do here anyway)

Overall, Rec Room Games is not my idea of a fun time and odds are that it’s not yours either. Most of the games are simply not balanced correctly so some are too long while others make you wonder how they’re supposed to be fun. There are some enjoyable games here, but considering how long it takes you to beat them, you can still get bored in 30 minutes quite easily. With no high scores to think of, replaying the minigames by yourself or with friends is the only thing to do. This lack of replay value is what ultimately made me decide to give the game a 4 instead of a 5. It was close and the games are good enough to get a 5, but the title just feels lazy and that’s inexcusable for any video game title! I do not recommend this game, even for 2 dollars you could….well, maybe you can still get this game. It’ll still get you your money’s worth, but maybe you should just get a Pepperoni Pizza at one of the dollar shops where it’ll cost you 1:50. Then you can save the other 50 cents for your insurance. No worries folks, I’ll be reviewing more bargain bin games soon!

Overall 4/10

M&M’s Kart Racing Review

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I’ll admit that this was a title that I have been wanting to buy for some time now. Who here didn’t grow up with the famous M&M candies? They were and still are awesome. I feel like having a bag of them right now. They’re just sooo good. Well, that was one of the reasons why I wanted this game, but I also noticed that the reviews for it were rather negative. I like games that tend to get poor scores (especially on the Wii) and I like the M&M’s so throwing in the racing genre was an added bonus. It was about as good as I had expected although it should have been 4 players.

There’s not really a plot in this game so you’ll probably just jump into the tournament mode. There is only one tournament, but it is over 10 races long so it should last you a good 30-40 minutes. The first stages were pretty dicey, but the backgrounds get more interesting during the later levels. You actually get to go to space as well as a chocolate mountain. That sounds pretty fun right? Most of the levels are around 2-5 minutes so they shouldn’t take you very long to complete. One of the levels was especially funny since it’s basically just a generic circle as you follow the road and there’s no danger of bumping into anything. You can just coast along and chuckle at your brilliance.

There’s not much to say about the gameplay. You accelerate with one of the buttons and then you head for the goal. There is only one item in this game and it takes the form of a cup of tea. (It looks like tea anyway) If you run over it, your character will get a slight boost in speed, but your kart will also start shaking a lot so it’s a gamble. It’s great on the easy stages without many turns, but it’s typically not worth it on the earlier levels.

I liked the final 5 stages much more than the first 5 ones. The main reason is that the camera is pretty bad and you won’t be able to see where you’re going until it’s too late. I crashed quite a few times on those levels, but I still managed to squeak out a first place finish every time….except for one level. It was a boat level and I got stuck for so long that I was firmly in last. I quickly redid the level and nailed it, but it’s nice to know that the computers do have a little fight in them. My recommendation to beat the camera is to put on the brakes a lot and keep your foot off the gas when you see any kind of turn approaching.

Don’t worry folks, this isn’t the next Casper! Once you beat the Tournament there is still one thing to do. You have to keep on racing the levels over and over again until you get enough coins to get every kart with every character. It shouldn’t take too long since 30 races will be enough to get enough coins for one character so you just need to enter the tournament like 20 times. Of course, that’s the long way. The best way is to just find the level with the most coins and keep on playing it until you have them all. I’ll probably attempt this someday……if video games stop coming out. I have too much on my plate to worry about this at the moment so it’s going to have to take a back seat.. (Smash Bros on the 21st, DBZ early next year, Big Naruto game late next year…etc)

I got enough coins to unlock one or two cars for the blue (or yellow) M&M and that’s good enough for me at the moment. You can tell that the game was made rather quickly due to the lack of replay value. There really isn’t anything else to do in single player mode and that’s where the multiplayer mode comes in. This is the kind of game that will only have a lot of replay value if you have someone to play it with. The gameplay definitely pales in comparison to the other racing titles, but it’s not that bad when you’re actually playing it. It’s actually fun and you just don’t want to play it in super large batches. As long as you keep this in mind…you’re set! Of course, one flaw in the multiplayer mode is the fact that it only goes up to 2 players. In this day and age, that’s a little unacceptable. It’s the kind of game that would be perfect for 4 players so I don’t see why they didn’t do that. It would be hard to see where you’re going, but that’s already the case in single player mode.

The graphics are definitely not that good. They are better than some of the other Wii games from the bottom of the barrel, but they’re definitely not the next Mario Galaxy. I would actually compare the graphics to some of the older DS games like Alex Rider. While you are going through the course, it’s usually still loading. So, you’ll see parts of the wall not be there in one moment and then they’ll suddenly appear. You’re simply going too fast for the actual game to keep up so the animations are a step behind. It’s a pretty bad sign to be honest, but it’s mostly just hilarious. I imagine that there are a ton of glitches here just waiting to be found.

There’s not really much of a soundtrack here. I seriously don’t recall any specific themes during the races. Maybe I was too excited to notice them, but I’m assuming that they were just unmemorable. I quickly turned on the game as I was writing this review so at least get the theme song (And my stats post) ready to go and it’s not bad. It’s just ultimately generic so you will forget it instantly. I should also mention that the loading times can be rather long so you should hope that you don’t dislike the music since you will be listening to it a whole lot. There is no opening or ending cinematic in the game for beating the tournament so there’s no chance for music at those points.

Finally, you can rest assured that this game does provide each character with a few taunts. Feel free to use them while racing since it won’t slow you down and the voice acting may cause your opponent to crash into a wall while they try to cover their ears. The M&M’s are very sure of themselves and you should hear how confidently they insult the others. The character designs did make me pick the blue (or yellow) one by default since they all looked pretty bad, but at least they mean business. It should be noted that while you are driving at over 200mph, the gameplay speed is very slow. You’re basically going through the stage as if you were on a real toy cart. Since some of the stages are only about 2 minutes, this means that the scenery is pretty limited. (30-40 seconds per lap after all) So, that can be interesting, but maybe it just makes the game more strategic.

Overall, M&M’s Kart Racing won’t last for very long, but it’s not an unpleasant experience. I may not actually play it again until around Christmas, (If at all) but I knew what I was getting when I bought it. It was a little over the usual 5 dollars that I’m willing to shell out for a game, but I knew that it was worth it. If you are going to use the multiplayer option then feel free to add an extra number to the score and if you’re by yourself, then you may want to keep it as you see it. I had a tough time deciding whether this game deserved a 5 or a 6, but I went with the latter in the end. After all, the game is still entertaining and there is a little replay value thanks to the coin collecting. I would sooner recommend Mario Kart 8 or F Zero GX, but this is a fun title if you’re looking for a Wii Racing game that you can get for a few bucks. How can you go wrong with eatable main characters? Also, don’t fall for the hype! There are 15 levels, not 10. Everyone reports it as 10 and it’s the most false advertising that I’ve seen in a while. It’s good for the game not to spoil the secret levels, but everyone else should catch on. We don’t want to underscore the game now do we?

Overall 6/10