Mario Tennis Open Review

It’s time to take a look at a Mario Tennis game that was pretty much overshadowed the instant it came out. That’s because it’s basically the same as playing the Gamecube game except with no cutscenes and less games. As a result, there is little reason to buy this game unless you desperately want to play it on the go. Nonetheless, it was only 10 dollars so I figured..why not? It was basically free thanks to a coupon and I’m glad I got it. The game doesn’t do anything unique, but it still has good tennis fundamentals.

There is no story mode of course and so the closest thing is the traditional Tournaments. There are 8 tournaments and each tournament has 3 rounds. Complete the first 4 to unlock the star version of the character you are playing. The battles never actually get too tough. One thing I noticed about the AI is that if you let them get to the ball then you are unlikely to win a rally against them. Fortunately they can’t seem to handle your serve on any level so you can easily score with your return. If you don’t then you will most likely have lost the point. That adds a little extra tension to the rounds I would say.

You can complete all of the tournaments in a little under 2 hours. To help with the replay value, you can do that with every character in order to get all of their Star Forms and some more items for the shop. Every time you win a match a random item is unlocked for purchase. The annoying thing is that the tournaments don’t get you any money though. To earn money you have to play the minigames. They are surprisingly difficult though so clearing all of them could take some time. This way at least you are earning money and accomplishing at the same time. That’s a plus right? Before talking about the minigames, I suppose I should mention that we also have Doubles tournaments. I was never the biggest fan of doubles and didn’t really go into that mode, but it’s sure to add more length to the game. As per always with sport games, the true replay value occurs if you have someone to play with. Otherwise you likely won’t end up sticking with the game for very long. I find it telling that the game is only 10 dollars when Nintendo games rarely go down in price until a very long time has passed.

There are 4 minigames. One has you relive some of the old 2D Mario levels as you try to keep a rally going while going through the level. It’s a fun concept, but a little too slow for my liking. The level goes by incredibly slowly so it’s more tedious than difficult. Ideally you want to have a good mix of both. It’s probably my least favorite minigame. Then we have Coin Mode. You have to shoot through the rings and gain as many coins as possible. This one is probably the most rigged as it will largely depend on your opponent. As a result I actually lost the Silver version of this game. It’s a decent concept, but I don’t care for the execution.

Time for the 2 best minigames. One is a Rally where you have to keep returning the ball without letting the computer touch it. This one’s actually pretty fun and it’ll definitely test your reaction times as the plants fire the ball at you. You won’t know which one is shooting until the very end. Finally, the best minigame is the rally one. You have to keep hitting a ball back and forth as parts of the stage vanish. This game is taken directly from the Gamecube one and so you can probably see why it is the best. It was just thought through very well and is the right blend of challenging and length. The time goes by slowly at first, but by the end you’ll barely notice. These minigames may not be much, but at least they give the game a little more content.

I haven’t talked much about the actual gameplay, but that’s mainly because there isn’t a lot to be said. It’s a very standard tennis game. You feel the power behind each hit and have different options on how to strike the ball. You fire off a high one, a low one, or a standard shot. You do seem to have special attacks, but I couldn’t figure out how to use them and didn’t even need them in the end so that’s why I didn’t try very hard. Perhaps I would have needed it against Ace level opponents at some point. The game has a dynamic camera view option, but I recommend turning it off. It’s distracting to suddenly have the game zoom in when you head to the net. I don’t know who thought it was a good idea, but it was probably the same person who doesn’t give the game the option to remember your choice. As such, you have to turn it off again after each match. It seemed really random though so at least you don’t have to worry about it happening after every match. Otherwise, I have no qualms with the actual gameplay, it’s what you would expect from a Tennis title.

The graphics look really good. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of the effort went here although perhaps the character models were just grabbed from somewhere. As there aren’t any real cutscenes it probably wasn’t too hard to just focus on the models. Every character looks to be on point and the stages look sharp as well. The game delivers on this front. When it comes to the soundtrack, it’s fairly decent but forgettable as far as Mario games go. You likely won’t remember it all that well by the time you finish the game.

Overall, Mario Tennis Open is a good game. The Tennis gameplay is solid and that’s really what counts. There just isn’t any extra content to keep you busy. Your attention will only stay on this game for as long as you enjoy playing tennis. I suppose collecting all of the items could help if you’re really a serious collector, but there isn’t a whole lot of point to getting it all otherwise. If you see it in stores for a fair price then I recommend checking it out. I can’t imagine grabbing it at full price though. No matter how fun Tennis is, it just wouldn’t have been worth it.

Overall 7/10


Teen Wolf Review

It’s time for a teen party film by the name of Teen Wolf. These guys seem to party more than they actually attend class so it makes sense why they are all bad influences on each other. It’s definitely a pretty interesting take on the whole Werewolf genre and I’d actually say that it is handled better than most. It is a lot different than I was expecting it to be at any rate based on the fact that the TV probably chose the worst poster for it. It suffers from quite a few issues, but not any of the Werewolf ones. Instead, it suffers from the issues a teenage party film usually runs into. I guess if it’s not one thing then it’s the other right?

So, the film starts off by showing us how Scott is a lot like Peter Parker. He isn’t very good at sports. In fact, his team never wins a single game. He’s definitely not very popular and Scott just feels like things never go his way. The popular girl in school won’t even talk to him, but in this case it’s Scott who is being obnoxious since he knows she is taken, but acts like that doesn’t even matter. Well, things all change one day when he begins turning into a Werewolf. Now he can finally become the popular guy he always wanted to be, but it may end up coming at the cost of his old friends. Is it worth the popularity?

The film even seems to recognize the similarities to Spider-Man as they reference the “With great power comes great responsibility” line and it’s Scott’s father who tells him this. His mother also may have been murdered by the school bully as he mentions in passing that he’s dealt with Scott’s kind before and how he got the Mom with a shotgun. This could just be classic bully posturing and he got a normal wolf, but the Mom never actually appears so it’s up in the air. I wouldn’t even say it’s all that implied though so it’s a bit of a stretch. You could also say that the film’s moral dilemma is similar to the huge Bayonetta controversy going on right now. You could pay 5.99 to start winning thousands of dollars through tournies and get popular, but you may alienate your old friends as they struggle to keep up with the freemium characters. As your ego grows larger and the friendships grow smaller, it gets tricky.

I have to give the film huge kudos for having a big plot twist that I actually didn’t expect. Naturally Scott is going through a tough time and his Dad wants to help him. At this point, Scott is in full wolf man mode so if he opens the door then his secret is out. However, if he doesn’t then his Dad’s gonna bust the door open. So, Scott opens the door and you expect him to have transformed back to normal in typical cliche fashion. Instead, he is still a werewolf and what’s more..his Dad is a werewolf too. He takes it very commonly and that was probably the best scene in the film. From here on out his Dad probably should have taught him more about being a werewolf whether Scott was ready to hear it or not, but it was still a cool twist even if the film doesn’t do a whole lot with it.

I also like how the Basketball team completely accepts him instead of everyone suddenly turning on Scott. He’s the same guy after all so why should they start fearing him? They shouldn’t suddenly call the cops and start attacking him or anything. Realistically, he’s just another one of the guys, but with super strength and speed now. It made the Basketball scenes even more hype even if he became a ball hog. I don’t buy into Scott not actually realizing why everyone was getting upset at him to be honest since he made it obvious that his friends weren’t needed, but it was still cool. The basketball scenes actually had a lot more screen time and focus than I had originally thought they would. The final game is super cheesy since the team is up against the champs and all, but it’s still a fun ending. I got some Air Bud flashbacks during this. If the film had stuck to the Basketball plot along with the Werewolf part then this film would have actually been quite solid.

Unfortunately, it does get hurt quite a bit by the romance plot as well as the various party scenes. The first party is incredibly long and definitely doesn’t do the film any favors. It’s basically just everyone acting super obnoxious and playing Spin The Bottle sort of games. Scott’s friend Boof is always trying for him, but he’s trying for someone else leading to one of those annoying triangles. Boof is able to corner Scott in the closet and as with most film leads he doesn’t mind relenting at this point, but he’ll still go after the other girl next. It’s just a very sad case of rebounding since Scott ditches Boof like last year’s pizzeria and immediately goes for the other girl even after she had been mean to him the whole time. After the girl uses Scott and then dumps him, he comes crying back to Boof. This isn’t a good romance since Boof was Scott’s backup pick and she should have been the one to reject him this time.

Scott isn’t even a good character so it’s not like you can root for him. The romance scenes make this painfully apparent. Then he lets his ego control him for all of his Werewolf scenes and can’t control his urges much either. I think that just about anyone would have done a better job of using his powers. He also is willing to buy some beer even though he is underage. At least he said no to the gun, but it still wasn’t a good move. His friend Stiles is the perfect example of a bad influence as he loves to break the rules in every possible way. He isn’t lacking in confidence which makes him charismatic, but also dangerous. His only redeemable quality is that he’s loyal to Scott at least. He cheered along with everyone else when Scott finally scored and it was a pretty hype moment. They didn’t care about standing out, just supporting Scott.

The Principal is an interesting antagonist although his role isn’t all that big. He just has a big grudge against Scott since he had issues with Scott’s father. That would probably make for a decently interesting prequel but since we already know the ending, maybe it’s best to let that lie. The principal, well I guess he was technically the vice principal, (but then where was the principal?) may have lost but he put on a good show. Even if Boof probably made the wrong call in sticking with Scott despite the main character not being loyal, she’s still a good character at least. While I doubt she’s much better than the other teenagers as she was still at the party, at least she isn’t completely off the rails.

Surprisingly, the few scenes we see of school aren’t that bad. I did enjoy the montage of Scott getting knocked out during class since they kept referencing Wolves many times. He handled it pretty well for the most part and even when he ran to the rest room he showed great speed and only slipped a few times on the way. The visual humor of how long the hallway was worked pretty well and this scene also showed how perceptive the vice principal was as he almost caught Scott. It also showed us how one of the friends from the early part of the film really was fake since he got scared off so easily.

Finally, I should give a quick shoutout to the basketball coach. He was definitely great as he hit Scott with the hard truth. He always kept it real and said what was on his mind. Even when the other students turned their backs on Scott, the teacher stayed firm. As long as he had his snacks and got 12 hours of sleep he was close content. At the end of the day that was all he needed and really was a great coach. He is easily the best character in the film and any scene with him in it tends to be pretty hype.

Overall, Teen Wolf is better than I thought it’d be. The humor isn’t bad and the Basketball scenes are really good. It’s just the dreadful party scenes that don’t help matters and Scott is a very poor lead. You can’t feel bad for him because as the Dad mentioned, he dug these holes on his own. Going out with the girl who was only using him was probably the worst part of that. It’s not really a film that I’d recommend, but I can see why it’s well liked. The two best aspects of the film, Basketball team accepting Scott and the father being a Werewolfs were extremely well handled and were really unexpected. It’s not everyday that a film can pull off something that is unexpected while also being good. That alone is enough to keep this film afloat even if it can’t get any higher than that. I think that what we have learned here is that if you want to be a good Werewolf film then you also need to try and be a good sports film. That’s the ticket to victory.

Overall 6/10

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games Review

Whenever someone yells “MARIO AND SONIC AT THE OLYMPIC WINTER GAMES” you can’t help but get very nostalgic. I rented this game a long time ago and had quite a lot of fun with it. While the games are more limited than in the first one, it has improved in every other area. This title feels like the high budget Olympics game that we had been waiting for and the soundtrack is certainly one of the all time greats. My main character that I use in this game is Shadow of course but there is a solid roster of other characters to use as well.

Unlike the last one, this Olympics actually has a story mode of sorts. Essentially you have to play in the Olympics to try and secure the gold trophy. To do this you will have to prove that you are a well rounded athlete who can excel in many different events. You play the Olympics one day at a time. At first there are 2 events per day and then 3 for the second half. You also get 2 break days to relax and go to the shop. It would be pretty sad to play the whole thing and then lose so the A.I isn’t too crazy. Not to mention that many of the events are training so you can’t actually lose. It’s a way to get free points and move up the ranks of you were beginning to lose. You still need to win most of them if you are going to succeed though. As I hinted at earlier though, most of the mini games are rather similar so you shouldn’t have a problem after you’ve gotten used to them.

The best mini game is probably the Snowboard one. It’s very simple and straight to the point. You have to drive down a slope as fast as you possibly can. No gimmicks or anything like that, it’s just a pure bout of skill. You just can’t top it. There is a similar mini game where you are on Skis, but you have to utilize the motion controls more. It’s really the same thing but slower and with more stuff going on to distract you. Nothing wrong with that, but it just can’t compare to the style of the board.

We’ve also got Ice Hockey which would usually be in first place but it’s really hard to move much at all without getting slammed by the other team. That part makes it tough to enjoy the game because you don’t actually get to be playing it much. Good concept though. The game that seems to be the main attraction in this game is the figure skating. You have to pull off moves with the utmost precision at just the right time of you want to get the maximum score. While defeating the computers can be pretty easy you will want to do your best if you’re fighting a human opponent. It’s not my favorite game since it’s very slow paced, but it’s not the worst either.

The worst mini game is the one where you have to slide the discs across the floor. Many party games have this and I can never get any since it has never been good. The very concept ensures that it won’t be good if you ask me since it is a very slow paced game by nature. I’m sure it has its fans, but I am not one of them.

There are also some mini games called dream events which have items included and can get quite chaotic. The Snowball fight game is probably the most memorable one and it’s definitely a lot of fun. Your teammates may actively sabotage you as they get blasted, but it’s a pretty balanced game in that respect. Who doesn’t like a good snowball fight right? Another monk game has a glider where you have to fly and catch rings as you make it to the end. Naturally you’ll want to aim for small rings for maximum rings, but your opponents may have the same idea which will make things tricky.

After a while you will probably grow bored of the snow theme, but at least you can basically say that the game tries out every possible idea. Some mini games may seem like slight rehashes of each other but at least do have things that make them unique. Other party titles just make all of the games the same and don’t even attempt to hide it.

The presentation of the game as a whole is quite impressive. From the main menus to the shops and the levels, this game looks quite great. They spared no expense on the visuals. All of the character models are on point and the level designs are great as well. We even have a Challenger Approaching icon that is sort of like Super Smash which is pretty neat. It shows up before each boss battle and feels quite thematic. Then there is the soundtrack. It’s quite impressive as it takes many of the best Mario and Sonic themes and then throws them into the games/bosses. Listening to the Sonic Adventure themes is always nostalgic and naturally the Mario ones are good as well. I haven’t played the next Olympic installments yet, but I think it’s fair to say that they are going to have a very tough time surpassing this one.

There’s a lot to do in this game so length is certainly not an issue. The main campaign isn’t very long but that’s only the tip of the iceberg as you try to earn enough money to buy everything. You can also go for new records in individual events as well as challenge friends in multiplayer. Multiplayer mode certainly adds a lot of replay value to the game. You really need this in any sport game and in particular, offline multiplayer is a must.

Overall, it’s impressive just how much the series stepped it up with this installment. The game is just a lot nicer to play, listen, and look at. Boss battles was a real good addition and I like having a ceremonial story mode even if it is relatively small. It’s certainly better than nothing. The game’s only weakness is its limited amount of games, but at least the one that we do get are really fun which is certainly the important thing. I’d definitely recommend getting this game. While it may not be as unheard of as it used to be, a crossover with Sonic and Mario is always worth noting.

Overall 7/10

Mario & Sonic at The Olympic Games Review

I got Mario and Sonic at The Olympic Games a long while ago so it’s cool to finally get to play it. I did dabble around with the game briefly before now but the intense difficulty and length of the games temporarily caused me to retreat. Going back to the game, it’s still quite difficult but fun nonetheless. It’s just made solely for multiplayer as the 1 player option just won’t have a great deal of entertainment value in comparison.

There’s no plot of course as you are here for the games. There is a reasonable amount of variety with the games although there isn’t quite as much as the game will have you think. You unlock a game after each tournament but these are effectively just longer versions of the games you already have. Of course I’m still glad to have more options so it’s not as if this is a bad thing. For the first game in the series it’s a rather solid start. You’ll be spending most of your time in this game in the Circuits. There are 5-6 tournaments in each difficulty level. Progress as far as you can in order to beat them all and unlock all of the games. The tournaments tend to have 4-5 games inside. You are given a token which you can use to double your points for claiming victory in one event per tournament, but use it wisely. If you don’t come in the top 3 at the event where you’ve bet your chip, it will be lost. If you use it right, you can afford to bomb one event as long as you do well in the other ones.

Another mode is Mission Mode. There you play one event at a time and accomplish the objective. Finish in 2nd place is one for example. It’s a pretty nice little mode although I didn’t play it too much. I completed Shadow’s missions and called it a day. It’s a nice way to add in some replay value though. At the very least you can’t say that this game was lacking in content. It’s got enough to keep you busy for a very long time and then some. You can unlock emblems, music, and of course the games. Completing all of the tournaments should also take a while. I’d say we’re looking at a game that’s at least 10 hours which is really solid for a Sports title. Although I guess sport titles usually last a while if you think about it. Lets talk about the games.

The first one is the Swimming event. This one’s pretty fun as you just push and pull the Wii Remote/Nunchuk as fast as you can while pressing whatever the screen tells you too. It takes fast reactions to complete, but is certainly a game of skill. There is no luck to be found here and it’s pretty satisfying. I was able to wrap my head around this one pretty quickly. Next up is Archery which isn’t nearly as good. The instructions were unclear and it felt heavily luck based with the wind factor and all. I may just not be properly appreciating the nuance of this event though, but it was one of the weaker ones for me.

The sprinting event is the best one. It’s very simple, just shake your remotes as fast as you can and get to the goal. You’ll get a real workout here, especially in the longer versions. You also have to jump over obstacles in some versions, throw a baton to a teammate, or even use items to slow the others down. I enjoyed these levels quite a bit and wouldn’t have minded seeing more of them in the tournaments. It’s just an event that you can get behind really quickly and we never did get that Track and Field Mario game that I always wanted.

There are also the jumping/spear throwing minigames. Essentially you have to make a throwing/jumping motion as you approach goal. The problem is that the game is incredibly unclear and misleading on when you have to time your jump so you have to do it quite early in order to get it right. Otherwise the game penalizes you. I figured it out the hard way after several shots, but with something like this you should be able to tell where you have to jump on the spot.

There’s also sword fighting which is pretty decent. I’d enjoy it more against a human opponent, but any kind of combat is always hype in my book. It plays out like a Pirates of the Caribbean game as there is a lot of parrying and feints. There’s also a Trampoline minigame which is handled really well as you press a lot of buttons and go for a high score before you finally land. I feel like this was my best minigame as I always beat the computers here. Finally we can’t forget about Ping Pong. That game is a classic and certainly one of the best ones. The computers don’t just roll over either so you really have to earn your win here. Watch out for their slams.

There are quite a lot of games here and for the most part they were all solid. There were a few lackluster ones, but they were in the minority. While these are all of the main minigames, there are also several variations of each one so the gameplay stays fresh. I do have to question what Nintendo was thinking when they made the A.I. though. I seriously can’t imagine a kid being able to beat most of the tournaments. The computers are simply too merciless and you have to really compete to take them down. I beat all of the tournaments under Beginner and Advanced, but Master Class is really something else. Even Beginner was really tough at first and I lost a few times there. Having a practice run before doing the real minigames would help a lot since I didn’t understand quite a few of them.

The graphics are really good and certainly hold up well. It’s definitely nice to see Mario and Sonic racing side by side. I feel like Sonic was still faster, but Mario did a good job of keeping up. The music is also on point to be sure. The technical aspects of the game were certainly on point and as a result this is a very complete game. You’ll have a lot of fun playing it for sure and at this point you can get the game at a good price. I will say that the game is a lot more fun when you’re playing with someone else though. As with most party games, the minigames are made for multiple people. With the emotionless computers, it’ll feel a little repetitive after a while. They’re also surprisingly good as I mentioned earlier so while you may post a score that you feel would have won the bout in multiplayer, that may not be the case here.

Overall, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games is a lot of fun. If the game didn’t have a multiplayer mode, then I would take off one star so keep that in mind if you’re buying it to play by yourself. I’ve played a lot of party games over the years so I can definitely confirm that this is one of the better ones. Actual effort is put behind it and there were no glitches that I could see. I already own the next game in the series so I’ll definitely be playing that one pretty soon. I remember thinking it was a significant upgrade so I’m excited to check it out.

Overall 7/10

Academy of Champions Review

Academy of Champions is one of the more enjoyable Soccer games that I’ve played. For whatever reason, I was never too impressed with the FIFA titles so Mario Strikers and Pure Futbol have been my go to titles for the sport. Granted I haven’t actually played the FIFA games as much as I could have. I can acknowledge that those games have a lot more depth to them, but this title is easy to just plug and play. Adding in popular characters like Ezio and Rayman is just a nice bonus.

Lo and behold there is actually a story mode in this game. It starts off with our young hero receiving an invitation to the world’s most prestigious soccer academy. The person who invited the hero doesn’t remember doing so but decides to roll with it anyway. It turns out that this is all going according to a corrupt teacher’s master plan. The main character is going to need to stay sharp since no one can be trusted.

There may not be much to the plot but at least the game has a story. That’s more than you can say for a lot of its rivals. How the story works is that you go through his various school semesters. Each semester is 20 days with a critical event occurring every 5 days. You can’t afford to lose those days so they are mandatory but the other days are low stakes. Winning will get you more exp so that’s the main incentive for the average day. The other incentive is just your pride.

The activities in a day vary according to different categories. A match event is self explanatory as you’ll play a hand against an opponent for practice. The gossip task will have you chat with your friends about how tough the villains are. Training tasks will have you doing basic drills and then you also get tasks to head to the shop and to upgrade your characters. That was a bit of an annoying addition since it meant that you could not upgrade at will, you had to wait for that day to arrive.

The matches were pretty fun because the gameplay was actually very on point. It’s pretty simple to pick up and play but very challenging to score goals until you learn the tricks. Passing to your teammates is highly recommended along with running side to side as the goalie will take the bait. Each player has a super attack with you can buy to take your game to the next level. They actually didn’t help me much as the A.I. would just block it every time, but it will be good against human opponents. Just stay aggressive and knock the opponents down.

I have to give the game some credit for having full cutscenes. I wasn’t really expecting that. They may not have had any dialogue as that was all done via text box but it was still neat. The character models are a little off. Graphically, the game isn’t bad. The designer just went a little too wild with the character proportions which is what made everything a little dicey. The game was still very clear and you could always tell what was happening. It was good enough for me to enjoy the rest of the game. I’m afraid that the soundtrack was significantly less impressive. There weren’t any tunes that really stood out to me. It was all fairly generic and lifeless. I don’t think the developers put much time into this part of the game.

There really isn’t any replay value aside from multiplayer mode. This is the kind of game where you can’t go back and hire everyone to form the ultimate team. You can replay the last few days I believe so you can grind out some extra stats for your characters but there’s nothing you can do with them anyway. Since the gameplay is good the multiplayer can go a long way. I suppose it will just have to suffice in this case. If you have a friend over, this is as good a pick as any.

One quality of life issue that I had with the game was that you couldn’t see your individual stats for each player when switching up your lineup. You’d have to write them all down or memorize the stats if you wanted to make some changes. It just ended up being a longer process than I would have liked. Finally, the difficulty level of the game is pretty good. You can definitely expect to meet a real challenge towards the end of the game. The tournaments are maybe just a little too long, but at least the game always feels fair. Replaying the level never becomes a chore.

Overall, Academy of Champions was definitely worth the couple of dollars that I bought it for. This may not exactly be a triple A game, but they put some nice effort into it. Incorporating the guest characters into the story would have been awesome but I guess we can’t have it all. Some mechanics weren’t thought out well like not being able to upgrade at will, but the gameplay was on point. I usually don’t care for the “day” system where a day will pass each time you do something but the game pulled it off pretty well. I’d recommend getting this title. You’ll be surprised at just how good it is.

Overall 7/10

Family Party 30 Great Games Outdoor Fun Stats and Records

Stats time!

45766 Points
Characters 10/16
4 Bronze Medals
4 Silver Medals
6 Gold Medals
9 Platinum Medals

Minigame Reciords

Pole Climb 2 1498
Obstacle Race 2 1937
Reflexes 1055
Unicycle 1084
Balance Board 1400
Beach Flag 1950
Boat Race 751
Homerun Match 2355
Quarterback 1826
Free Kick 720
Floating Island 1861
Boxercise 1320
Inner Clock 2 1735
Hammer Strike 1354
Marathon 2281
Get Rich Quick 1375
Hanging Bridge 2162
Ninja 1824
Samurai 2066
Karate 1589
Subliminal 1050
Sniper 1057
William Tell 2179
Planet X 2070
Asteroid Belt 1145
Territory 390
Wanted 2615
Spark Ball 2 1552
Hole 2 1565
Cowboy –
Remembering –
Jumpdive –
Dungeon –

Family Party 30 Great Games Outdoor Fun Review

It’s been a while, but it looks like it’s time to try out another Wii party game. I really went on a rampage buying a ton of these a while back, but they’re finally almost at an end. I have to admit that I’m going to miss these Wii games ever so slightly, but at the same time it will be fun to have them all gone for good. This one is certainly of a higher quality than some of the others like Deca Sports and the 30 games are actually mostly unique. I have to give the game some credit there and the A.I. is tough although not always very balanced.

See, some games are very easy because the A.I. can’t play for beans and then they’re overpowered in others. It’s always hard to know one way or the other at first if you’re going to be in for a really close fight or if you won’t even have to try that hard. It is good that it’s not a cake walk though and you should be able to win pretty much all of the games by the end. Some of them just take 2 tries tor eally understand how to play since the controls and instructions aren’t always clear. They’re certainly not quite as on point as the Mario Party controls, but few games are.

The main campaign mode divides the 30 mini games into groups of 5. You start with only 4 unlocked for the first three worlds so you have to beat them to unlock the 5th minigame for each world. Beat all of them again to unlock the 4th world. There are 6 worlds and since you have to beat them all twice, it’s about 12 worlds of content. Of course, it can be a little tedious to have to win twice each time and if your score isn’t high enough, then your win isn’t even counted. Luckily that only happened to be once. It would be a bigger issue if it was something that happened more often for sure. I wouldn’t call this a very long game, but considering that you can get it for 3-4 dollars from Gamestop, it’s not a bad deal.

As I mentioned, this game has a decent level of quality to it so the games don’t start to copy each other with different colors like certain other sport games. There is really a nice variety here. I won’t mention all of the 30 games here, but I figure that it may be nice to list some of the good ones. This game has a Football minigame where you have to try and gain yards/score. The other three players try to stop you. It seems a little hard to do anything when the deck is stacked against you like that, but it is certainly fun. Another solid game has you control a spaceship and you have to blast your way to the finish. The side-scroller is handled well and it could easily be a real level in a game like that. It was certainly handled well. Track and Field/Marathon was fun as it tests your reflexes. There’s a memory game where you have to remember 10 really quick objects that pass through the screen and the tough part is that all 4 of you get turns at it. UFO is another similar one as you have to beam up people who have a certain description ahead of the other 3.

There are some other active competition type games like a platformer where you have to jump to the finish line. That one’s pretty fun and what adds to the tension is that you can push an opponent into the water. Another game has you hold on to the ground for dear life as it shakes, but an opponent might shove you away while you’re bracing yourself. Honestly, I’d say that at least half of the mini games, if not more than that are actually quite good. It was surprising to see. I don’t want to get crazy, but from a pure minigame perspective, I dare say that these may be better than Mario & Sonic, at least the first game. Naturally, this game lacks other things like the presentation and AAA value that the other title has, but when it comes to the pure mini games, it’s hard to get better than Family Party.

For replay value, you can try to beat your high scores or get more medals. It’s certainly not the most thrilling form of replay value, but it’s something and naturally there is also multiplayer that you can give a whirl. There’s certainly enough content for your dollar here so I don’t think that should be an issue for you. The graphics are all right. I am glad that the characters all got actual design and aren’t just the same kid with a different T shirt each time. Yes, I noticed that even if the game tried to hide the fact. The mini games all look pretty good and everything is on point. It’s not breathtaking or at the level of a AAA game, but it’s good enough. The music is also pretty fine. I like the main menu theme and the music that plays throughout is fairly calming. There’s nothing really wrong with it and I’ll take it over nothing. It’s probably free domain music.

Overall, This game was maybe a little better than I expected. The fact that the developers actually put some thought into this game definitely gets a thumbs up from me. I’m sure it was still reasonably cheap to make, but at least the games were actually fun. I definitely have to give them some well deserved praise there and this game got quite a few sequels and spinoffs/prequels so those may warrant a look as well. Realistically, I don’t see myself getting any of the other games in this series anytime soon, but you never know. You never want to count out anything since you just don’t know what the future will have in store. I’d recommend this game if you’re looking for a party title to check out, but for that you may as well get one of the Mario and Sonic Olympic titles right? That, or you could get Mario Party 4, the definitive party experience. (Yes, I’m not counting Super Smash Bros here!)

Overall 6/10

We Ski & Snowboard Review

I didn’t really care for We Ski after I had bought the game. I only gave it a 4/10 and the game simply wasn’t all that much fun to play. The controls were bad and the game lacked any real heart to it. So when I saw the sequel, I knew that I had to instantly buy it. After all, there’s no way that it could be any worse than the first right? This game is an improvement, there’s no doubt about it. But if people said that this game still wasn’t good…well…they’re not wrong. They’re really not wrong! Still, I like to see some improvement.

The Snowboarding angle is really what hits it home for me this time. I didn’t like Skiing and I still consider it to be a little dicey although it is certainly possible to make a good video game around it. That being said, Snowboarding is a lot more fun and an instant improvement as far as the gameplay is concerned. Once you go with the board, you’ll never go back to the original way to play. One of the improvements is that the hub world has changed to a more structured mission system. You can still have fun in free roam, but it’s not as mandatory to scour all of the mountains. You simply talk to someone for a mission set and then you work to beat all of the difficulty levels for each minigame. Racing is naturally the best one if you ask me. That one actually had some thought put into it.

Furthermore, the soundtrack wasn’t all that amazing in the first game. Luckily, the developers realized this and acted accordingly by adding in some classic music from various Namco games. This includes Pac Man and I may as well say that this was a very good move on their part. Nothing beats listening to good music if you’re riding around the world right? So, that was definitely a solid improvement. Not to mention that the free roam was also a lot more fun. The areas were bigger and more varied. When you fall down, you even do a quick bounce on the snow and you can fall into large fissures. It’s pretty awesome and adds a level of danger that the first game simply did not have.

Unfortunately, I’m not here to gloss over the negatives of the game so let’s take a whirl at it. For starters, the gameplay is still really bad. Being better than We Ski is a slight start, but it’s certainly not everything. It’s still hard to make any real traction at times and you will often find yourself struggling to keep your balance. I always think about greater things while waiting for the game to end. Still, I did play a good amount of it to ensure that I was ready for the review.

The sad part is that the gameplay for the multiplayer events actually isn’t that bad. Likewise, that includes when you play the minigames in single player mode. It shows that the game at least has a little hope, it simply gets thrown to the wayside when things get rough. If you’re just playing it for the multiplayer then you have gotten your money’s worth. If you’re just going to play this for the single player, then you may as well be eating Cinnamon Crunch because you’re in for a long ride. The difficulty levels almost seem unfair in how they’re handled and it makes me wonder if you need some kind of level ups or power ups in order to actually take the win.

There are a few different minigames to be found here like races, Curling, Slopes, Tricks, and I think there’s another one that I’m forgetting. Moguls is fun (Basically the slopes game) because you have to navigate your way through the hills and have a blast while doing it. Keeping your balance is pretty tricky though. Races are definitely the best minigame for sure, but make sure to keep on swinging your Wii Remotes to stay at full speed!. After that, you’ve also got the tricks minigame which isn’t bad, but I kept on performing the same trick over and over! I still appreciate the dedication though. So….not a bad array I suppose.

I actually like the graphics though. They tend to grow on you after a while and that’s always a good thing. The characters are clear and the snow is fairly exciting…….well, there’s not a whole lot of other things to see here! Still, I stand by my theory that this is one of the better animated cash in games. That’s a start even if you can’t see a whole lot of difference between this game and the first installment.

This game actually has a level of replay value thanks to the multiplayer games and the fact that there actually is a lot to do here. It may not be the ultimate game in that area, but it serves its purpose and for that reason, it’s certainly worth the 2-5 bucks that you would have to pay for the experience. It’ll also bolster your Wii collection and that’s always a good thing.

Overall, I guess this game is a fine purchase, but make sure that you don’t get wrecked by the price. Make sure you get it for the 2-5 dollars that it is worth. Otherwise, you’ll feel bad and the game will make you feel even worse. Honestly though, the game can be a little amusing even if I’m struggling to write enough for this review to reach 1000 words. That’s my target for just about every game, but it can be tough to reach sometimes so I’ll just let it end naturally this time. Just know that it’s better than the first We Ski and actually a fairly decent game. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. It’s a way to spend 30 minutes, but you may prefer just using it as a CD via Free Roam. These Pac songs basically write themselves! Spoiler Alert: I reached the 1000 heh heh

Overall 5/10

Madden 2015 Stats and Records

Maddeen stats. I did quite good didn’t I?

PS4 Trophy% 49%

Gauntlet High Score 11

Skills Trainer

Basic Offense 100%
1 Bronze
2 Bronze
3 Silver
4 Bronze
5 Silver

Basic Defense 100%
1 Silver
2 Silver
3 Silver
4 Bronze
5 Gold

Football Concepts 100%

1 Bronze
2 Bronze
3 Bronze
4 Bronze
5 Bronze
6 Bronze
7 Bronze
8 Silver
9 Gold
10 Silver
11 Bronze
12 Silver
13 Silver
14 Silver
15 Silver
16 Gold
17 Bronze
18 Silver
19 Silver
Advanced Offense 100%

1 Gold
2 Bronze
3 Silver
4 Gold
5 Silver
6 Bronze
7 Bronze
8 Bronze
Strategy 100%

1 Gold
2 Bronze
3 Silver
4 Bronze
5 Bronze
6 Gold
7 Silver
8 Bronze