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since 30/11/-0001


Super Smash Brothers Brawl (Wii) 25/06/2008

This is no Melee, this is a Brawl!

Super Smash Brothers Brawl (Wii) Super Smash Bros. Brawl's premise is quite a simple one. 4 fighters from numerous franchises enter an arena and beat their opponents up to increase their damage meter. The higher a character's damage meter, the higher and further they fly when struck. If a character is smashed off the screen, they lose. That's Smash Bros, in a nutshell, and it's been like that since the N64 version. It's a fighting game like no other, with the emphasis shifted from health depletion to damage building. The great beauty of Smash Bros. has always been that the game can be played by everyone. If you're looking for a technical fighter, then Smash Bros. is right up there with your Dead or Alives and your Tekkens. Shields, evasive rolls, items, grabs, smash attacks and even the arenas themselves add layers of potential strategy. Newcomers to the series will easily pick up the controls, and although the game can suit button mashers, a good brawler should easily defeat a newbie. Brawl is a very nippy experience. Characters fly across your screen, only to respawn 4 seconds later. Items are dropped periodically, ensuring that you're never short of items to damage your opponents with, and the arenas themselves can be a great help or hindrance to you. Hectic? Absolutely, but it's one of the things that makes Smash Bros. so unique and different to other beat 'em ups currently available. The biggest addition to the series is a brand new item: the Smash Ball. Whenever it appears, expect every ...

Ghost Squad (Wii) 25/01/2008

How many terrorists can hide behind a sofa?

Ghost Squad (Wii) .... 16, if Ghost Squad's anything to go by! Resident Evil: Umbrella Chronicles, Ghost Squad, Medal of Honor: Heroes 2, House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return... it would seem that if developers want to release an on-rails shooter, the Wii is their console of choice. The latest shooter to get a release on Nintendo's little white box is Sega's Ghost Squad. You play as a member of the Ghost Squad (or Global Humanitarian Operation and Special Tactics Squad to give you their full name) - a crack counter-terrorist organisation operating under the United Nations, called upon in only the most dire of situations. Your three missions will take you to a Grand Villa in the mountains, an aeroplane with the President on board, and finally to a rainforest to rescue a hostage, gunning down a huge amount of Indigo Wolves whilst you're at it. Released originally as an arcade game, Ghost Squad's port to the Wii has been a great success. To add a bit more bulk to the game, you can unlock new weapons (choose from assault rifles, shotguns, pistols or sniper rifles), costumes, 'party' modes, and multiple routes through each mission with every completion of the game. Considering the game's 3 missions can be completed in about half hour max, it's good to know that nearly every time you play it, you'll unlock something new. Every time you successfully finish a mission, that particular mission's difficulty will increase also. There are 16 different difficulty levels for each mission, and some ...

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) 13/01/2008

Simply Out of this World!

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) In his long and illustrious history, Mario has been just about everywhere, and in his latest game, he takes to the skies, and goes on an interstellar journey through space. The plot of the game is a near carbon-copy of every other Mario game: Mario goes to visit Princess Peach in the castle to celebrate the coming of a comet, and, in time honoured tradition, Bowser is there to ruin the day and kidnap Peach. Cue Mario getting transported to a space observatory that's running low on power, so you have to visit different galaxies, collecting stars as you go to power up the observatory so you can finally go and save Peach. The observatory ran by the mysterious Rosalina, is the home to the Lumas, cute, star-shaped critters that found Rosalina when she was younger. They refer to her as Mama, and her history and that of the Lumas is unveiled as you progress through the game. Sounds complicated? Don't worry about it; it's Mario, since when has the plot really bothered anyone, it's the actual gameplay that matters! Thankfully, Super Mario Galaxy is everything you could possibly want from a platforming game. The game controls superbly well, the camera is perfect, and it's a joy to play. Whenever you unlock a new galaxy, you'll want to go there, not just because you want to complete the game, but because you want to see what the developers have in store for you next. The level design is quite simply out of this world (pun intended), each galaxy is different from the last, ...

Super Paper Mario (Wii) 09/11/2007

The game in which Mario becomes Pro at Origami

Super Paper Mario (Wii) It's very, very rare that a Mario game disappoints. He's been Nintendo's mascot since the early days, and thankfully, The Big N have delivered once again with Super Paper Mario. The game is the spiritual successor to Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on Gamecube, and before that, Paper Mario on the Nintendo64. This particular series of Mario titles are what people like to call Platform RPGs. At their heart, they're classic platformers, but you have the ability to 'level up' as it were, just like in an RPG. The titles in the series have always a particular style to them, and Super Paper Mario is no exception. Obviously, you play as Mario, trying to save his friends from the evil (and I use the term loosely) Count Bleck. Add some nonsense about a good and bad prophecy, go out and collect the Pure Hearts, save some random town from being warped into a dark void, and you have your classic Mario storyline. No surprises to be found here then. Points are awarded for every enemy Mario defeats, and once you reach specific point quotas, Mario is levelled up: he either gets more Hit Points or an increase to his Attack statistic. It's very simple, and a lot more could be done with this system, but it works very well. The game is divided into Chapters. Each chapter has it's own Boss at the end, and sometimes mini-bosses, and a new chapter is unlocked with each completed chapter, that is, you've collected the Pure Heart from that area. Playable characters, including Peach ...

Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii) 16/10/2007

I Won't Let You Die!

Trauma Center: Second Opinion (Wii) The great thing about the Wii, is that you'll find games on the console that simply wouldn't be as good if they were released on a rival console. It is the master of innovativity. With the Wiimote, anything is possible. Fact is, Trauma Center: Second Opinion just wouldn't work on any other console. But it works on the Wii. It works very well indeed. OK, you got me. Trauma Center Second Opinion is a Wiimake of the cult DS hit Trauma Center: Under the Knife. Just like the original, you play as Derek Stiles, an up and coming Surgeon who's just graduated from Med School. The year is 2018, and most of today's incurable diseases are now curable. You become more popular with the staff at your Hospital, and you soon find yourself head-hunted by Caduceus, the biggest Health Service in the world. Sadly, it's not all good news, because there's a new breed of terrorism in the future: Medical Terrorism. A group called Delphi have developed strains of a virus called GUILT, and you're one of only a handful of people who stand a chance fighting this new incurable disease. Let's first get the obvious out of the way, Trauma Center is hard, very hard. If real life surgery is as hard as Trauma Center surgery, and no doubt it is, I have only respect for Surgeons. It is a hard game, but never an unfair game. Time and time again, you'll want to throw your Wiimote out the window in frustration, but you'll only end up going outside to pick it up, and have 'one more go' because you were so ...

The start of the existence of everything 28/07/2007

I've Been Touched By His Noodly Appendages

The start of the existence of everything If you ask me, there is only one possible way the World and everything in it could have been created. He did it. And only He could have done it. I am of course writing about the creator, He who made the world, He who created everything inside the world, He who watches us even now. Readers, I introduce to you, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. As a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and a devout Pastafarian, it's my duty to spread His word, and spread His word I will. We are lost without Him, and only when you too are touched by His Noodly Appendage, will you know true life. --------------- ------------- In the beginning was the Word, and that Word was 'Arrrgh!' - Piraticus 13:7 --------------- ------------- In the beginning........ there was no light, only the Flying Spaghetti Monster. He created the World and everything in it, because He was drunk. Or high, no one quite knows exactly. Nevertheless, He is our creator. He gave us a Heaven, which we go to when we die. Inside this heaven is a Beer Volcano, and a Stripper Factory. Our Holy Day is a Friday, the best day for partying. And our garb of choice is full Pirate regalia. Now some of you might think, science has proven that the Earth is millions of years old. Carbon dating proves this. But, He can change this. Every time a test is done, He changes the result of the test with one of His many noodly appendages, just to keep us on our toes. He is invisible to all, and can pass through ...

Datel LAN Adapter for Nintendo Wii 20/07/2007

How does online play on the Wii sound?

Datel LAN Adapter for Nintendo Wii Having got very fed up with the unpredictability of the Nintendo USB WiFi adapter, I decided I neeeded a wired internet connection for my Wii. It would be faster, and more reliable than the wireless connecton, which would in turn mean I'd be keeping more of my hair. Put simply, I had to have a wired internet connection for my Wii. Now I had 2 choices. I could either wait for, potentially, months for Nintendo to release an official Wii LAN Adapter, or I could take a risk and go with a third party, unofficial adapter from Datel. I took the risk, and I have to say, it's one of the best things I've bought for my Wii so far. I usually only ever buy officail gaming products, but in this case, my risk was well worth it. I bought my adapter from for £14.99 a few months back now. The product came in a small, but descriptive box, and included is the adapter with USB2.0 plug that plugs into the back of your Wii. Also included is a 5foot ethernet cable which connects your Wii adapter to your existing internet connection or DSL modem. All that's needed to do is plug all the bits into the right holes, and your Wii is internet enabled. You'll also find a Manual, filled with screen by screen instructions on how to set up your internet connection on your Wii. Setting up the connection is extremely easy, I had no problems whatsoever, and a connection was established on the first try. The adapter is made from shiny plastic much like the Wii itself, and doesn't look out of ...

Excite Truck (Wii) 30/06/2007

Why don't real Jeeps fly?

Excite Truck (Wii) Released in Europe on February 16th, Excite Truck is arguably the best driving game available on the Wii to date. It's the spiritual successor to the Excitebike series, and if you ask me, is a great game to play if you like fun, 'pick up and play' sort of games. Best described as an even more extreme version of Burnout, Excite Truck has you racing over 20 different sorts of 4x4 vehicles (yeah, I can hear you Eco-friendlies moaning in the back!) across the deserts of Mexico, the hills of Scotland, the Great Wall of China, the snowy tundra of Finland, the fields of Canada and the beautiful beaches of Fiji. Each country has it's own style, and at times, the game looks absolutely gorgeous. Controlling the game is very easy, but it might take you a few minutes to get used to the tilt function. To play, you hold the Wiimote on it's side, with the directional pad on the left, and the 1 and 2 buttons on the right. The 2 button is your accelerator, 1 your brake/reverse, and the directional pad activates your Boost (more on that in a minute). To turn your vehicle, you have to tilt the wiimote to the right or left, depending on which way you want to go. The harder you tilt, the tighter the turn your vehicle will make. At first, I kept thinking the directional pad was turn, a la any normal racing game, but after a few minutes, I got the controls nailed. Upon playing the game for the first time, you're asked to create a profile, and complete a couple of tutorial sessions. These ...

Everything that starts with G ... 19/06/2007

Gamer's Challenge: Press A to Continue

Everything that starts with G ... Yep, after scream4bruce's effort, I thought I'd have a go at this. Thanks to tom1clare for creating the challenge in the first place, and I hope you enjoy my gamer views! i) What is your earliest gaming memory? I think, my earliest memory is playing on my next door neighbour's Megadrive. I remember playing The Lion King on it, absolutely superb game, but that might just be nostalgia kicking in. ii) What was your first console? I arrived relatively late to the gaming scene, my first console was a Sega Saturn. It came bundled with Virtua Fighter 2 and Sega Rally Championship. Those were the days... iii) How much do you usually spend on a new game? If I really want it, I'll preorder it and pick it up on it's day of release. Very rarely will I actually pay the price on it's box though. I always part exchange games. Everytime. I think of it as recycling. However, if the game got good reviews, but not great ones, I'll wait untill I find a nice cheap preowned copy. But, as a rule of thumb, if I want the game, I'll get it asap, if I'm willing to wait, I go to the preowned section/ebay. iv) Do you usually play a game that you have purchased through to completion? It depends. If I really enjoy the game, I'll finish it, or finish as much of the game as I can. Most of the time, I don't complete the game 100%, or even complete it, because, 1. I get skint very easily, and it ends up getting part exchanged for something new, and 2. I'm not that good at games ... 10/06/2007

Do something good today I cannot remember how I discovered, but I feel I have to spread the word about this website. The following paragraph is taken straight from the site, and it explains exactly how the project came about, and what it's about: ''The Syrentha J. Savio Endowment (SSE) was established by punk-rock photographer Mark Beemer in 2002. SSE provides financial assistance to underprivileged women who cannot afford expensive breast cancer medicine and therapy. The Shirts For A Cure Project (SFAC) was launched by SSE to give voice to the social concerns of punk bands and their many fans as well as to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention.'' This isn't your average Music merchandise website. Basicly, what happens is a band will donate one of it's tshirt designs to the site. It then becomes exclusive to The site then sells the shirt, and all proceeds go to help women fighting breast cancer. Each tshirt costs $12, plus shipping. Shipping to the UK costs $10.95 for one tshirt for Airmail Letter Post, $19.95 for Airmail Parcel Post. Two tshirts costs $13.00 Airmail Letter Post, and $24.10 Airmail Parcel Post. I ordered 2 tshirts from the site, with Airmail Letter Post. In total it came to $37, which roughly equates to £19, which is cheaper than purchasing the 2 tshirts from a shop over here, or a merchandise website. And not a penny of that money would go to charity, but this does. If you ask me, there's no real contest. Also, the fact that ...

SOCOM U.S Navy SEALs Combined Assault (PS2) 06/06/2007

Soh-com? Sock'em? I give up!

SOCOM U.S Navy SEALs Combined Assault (PS2) Socom Combined Assault (S:CA) is the fourth release in the popular Playstation 2 series. The series, regarded by many as the finest online experience you can have on a Playstation 2, first started in 2003 with the release of Socom: US Navy Seals, and S:CA will be the final game in the series to get a release on the Playstation 2. The game, exactly like it's predecessors, is a 3rd Person Shooter. It is based around a squad of US Navy Seals, who are (supposedly..) the finest Special Unit in the world (them Yanks really will believe anything haha). You play as Spectre, the Squad Leader, and you have to lead your team of 3 others around the maps, completing objectives set to you at the start of the mission. Objectives range from blowing up enemy strongholds to rescuing downed pilots. The game makes excellent use of the USB headset, as you can give orders to your team mates, such as 'Bravo, Deploy Frag', and even better, talk to other people when playing online. This game is based in a made up Far Eastern country, named Adjikistan (which incidentally sounds like somewhere Bush should invade to 'kick some ass' anyway...), unlike the other games in the series, who's missions have sent you to all sorts of places around the world. The developers of the game wanted to make the Single Player experience a bit more realistic, so every mission naturally flows from one to another, and setting the entire Campaign in one Country really adds to the experience as well. There is a ...

Tales Don't Tell Themselves - Funeral for a Friend 14/05/2007

A Fine Collection of Sea Shanties

Tales Don't Tell Themselves - Funeral for a Friend Hailing from the South Wales valleys, Funeral For A Friend are one of todays biggest bands in the alternative scene. 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves' is the band's third album, and if there is any justice in the world, this album will launch them into the stratosphere. Band History --------------- --- FFAF formed in 2001 under the name January Thirst, but soon changed their name. They released 2 EPs, both of which are now out of print, and are highly sought after. They won Kerrang!'s Best UK Newcomer in 2003. 'Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation' was released in 2003, and spawned 3 Top 20 singles: 'Juneau', 'She Drove Me To Daytime Television' and 'Escape Artists Never Die'. 'Hours' was released in 2005, the same year the Band won Kerrang!'s Best UK Band award, played a spot just below Guns 'n Roses at that year's Download Festival, and headlined the Taste of Chaos Tour. 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves was released in the UK on Monday, May the 14th, 2007. Album & Concept --------------- ---------- 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves' is a concept album, of sorts. The band claim the album is based on the story of a fisherman whose boat is destroyed in a storm, and he is the only survivor. He spends days adrift, thinking about his family who are back on land, and how much he misses them. The fisherman becomes delirious, caught up in his thoughts. When he finally reaches land, he realises if he doesn't brave the waves once again, he'd have taken the cowardly way out to get ...

F-Zero (SNES) 09/05/2007

Fast and Hard... ooooooh errr!

F-Zero (SNES) It's that time again folks, it's another Wii Virtual Console review. I haven't done one of these in a good while now, so time to get back on track hehe. This review is of course applicable to the original SNES version also, not just the downloadable Wii version. When F-Zero was first released in 1992, mouths opened, and jaws hit the ground. This game was the first title on the Super Nintendo Electronic System (SNES) that used the famous Mode 7 hardware feature (basically, a fancy graphics engine that could make 2D plains appear 3D, or something similar to this affect. I'm no techno whiz haha). In a time when the majority of games were 2d scrollers, F-Zero looked absolutely amazing. F-Zero introduced the character Captain Falcon to SNES owners, who went on to feature in F-Zero GX and Super Smash Brothers Melée, both on the GameCube, as well as Dr. Stewart, Pico, and Samurai Goroh, other characters from the F-Zero universe. The game is based in the 26th century, and the object of the game is to race around numerous tracks, at speeds in excess of 500 km/h, making sure you finish high enough to finish the race, and not get disqualified. Finishing in a high enough position means you can advance to the next race in the Grand Prix, otherwise you'll have to redo that particular race. You have to dodge land mines and the other racers, and make sure you don’t hit the sidewalls too many times, as your ship can only be hit so many times before it turns into a burning wreck. With ...

Kingsland Hotel, London 03/05/2007

Fit for a King... on a budget!

Kingsland Hotel, London Last weekend, I went to London with three friends for the Give It A Name Festival in Earls Court. 3 days of live music, it was superb! We needed somewhere to stay that was cheap, clean, and with good transport links to Central London. The Kingsland Hotel fitted the bill perfectly! The Kingsland Hotel is situated on the Kingsbury Circle, in North London. Kingsbury doesn't have much to offer, highlights include an Iceland, Subway, Irish pubs and numerous Hallal butchers, but as we weren't spending a lot of time there, this didn't bother us at all. The hotel is a mere 3 minute walk from Kingsbury Tube Station, which is on the Jubilee Line, meaning that you can get straight into Central London (the Jubilee line stops at Wembley Stadium, Baker Street, Bond Street, Green Park and Westminster, along with numerous other Tube stops). It took us roughly an hour from leaving our hotel room to emerging from Earls Court Tube Station. There are also numerous Bus services running through Kingsbury. First impressions of the Hotel were very good. From the outside, the pillars look very classical, posh even, and, to be honest, it looked a bit out of place, smack bang on the side of a roundabout! The lobby is rather small, but very clean, and checking in was no problem whatsoever. All we had to do was show a printout of the confirmation email I'd received after the booking. The staff were extremely friendly, and very welcoming. The Hotel has three floors, and we were situated on the ...

Red Steel (Wii) 21/04/2007

For Love, Honour, and the Wiimote

Red Steel (Wii) Red Steel was one of 3 games I picked up on Wii Launch Day, December 8th, 2006. It had earned reviews from the press ranging from average to pretty decent, but I was not deterred. I'd been interested in this game since screenshots first emerged months before it's release, and I knew I had to get it. So, at midnight, when I went to pick up my Wii, there was my copy, waiting for me. Needless to say, I was still at it untill the sunlight, and school was out of the question! Red Steel is a First Person Shooter, and the best FPS on the Wii at the moment, if you ask me! Far Cry, is, well, shocking, Call of Duty is average, and Medal of Honour is better on the PS2. So if you're after a First Person Shooter on the Wii, Red Steel is where it's at. You play as Scott Monroe, and American engaged to Miyu Sato, daughter of a wealthy Japanese man. On your way to visit her father, he is attacked by unknown men, and your fiancée is taken hostage. You rescue your fiancée's father, and vow to get your missus back. And so, starts your journey across Los Angeles, and later, Japan, in order to get your revenge. Controlling your character is pretty immersive. For instance, if you turn your Wiimote to the side, gangster style, so will your character on screen. The wiimote acts as a pointer, and wherever you're pointing, that's where you'll shoot. You move around with the nunchuck's control stick, and moving the nunchuck certain ways at certain times allows you to do extra actions, such as ...
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