NFL Blitz was developed by EA Tiburon and published by EA Sports. It was released on January 4, 2011 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
One of the most beloved video game franchises of all-time is back. Although EA now has the right to the license, it means it’s being developed by a studio that knows how to make football games. EA Tiburon has tried to make a full-featured product, packed with several online game modes. This does not mean the newest NFL Blitz in the series is perfect. While it’s not riddled with bugs or glitches, it seems like a much more laid back NFL Blitz experience. Which is unlike the crazy atmosphere that usually surrounded past games in the franchise.
The Marvel: Vengeance and Virtue expansion pack for Pinball FX 2 was developed by Zen Studios and published by Microsoft Studios in conjunction with Marvel Comics. It was released December 14, 2011 and retails for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for retail purposes.
The Marvel: Vengeance and Virtue pack is the latest addition to the Pinball FX 2 family. This time we are treated to a four pack of Marvel superheroes, some familiar, others less so. Moon Knight is clearly the most obscure character but also manages to be the most intriguing table on offer here. Thor is rather straight forward but alsoinstantly playable and fun. The X-Men table is nice because it actually focuses on the X-men as a team and not just Wolverine. Finally the Ghost Rider table adds a dark theme to the collection and some overall interesting mechanics. It is a solid collection overall, but none of the tables truly stand out as being amazing.
Trine 2 was developed Frozenbyte and published by Atlus. It was released on December 21, 2011 for 1200 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Back in 2009, Finnish developer Frozenbyte launched their physics based puzzle-platformer, Trine. The game caught the eye of many gamers and now two years later, Trine 2 has launched looking to build on the first game’s success. Leaning on its familiar blend of beautiful backdrops, character switching, and physics based puzzles, Trine 2 brings our heroes from the first game back and sets them off on a new quest to save the game’s mystical universe. But just who are these heroes and why are they important? Each character brings something unique to the game. Pontius, the knight is the warrior of the group who spends most of his time doing what he does best; fighting. Amadeus, the wizard spends his time using magic manipulating the environment. Finally, there’s Zora, a thief who excels at moving from place to place quickly and efficiently and also happens to wield a bow. Three completely different characters with completely different skill sets. If you’ve ever wondered what throwing three playable characters, physics, platforming, a gorgeous and mesmerizing fantasy world, and lots of puzzles into a blender yields, the answer is Trine 2. For better or worse, the answer is Trine 2.
Sonic CD was developed and published by Sega. It was released December 16, 2011 for 400 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
While we’re sure some of you were raised on Sonic the Hedgehog and all his incarnations on the original Genesis, not a lot of you probably had the Sega CD. It was an addon to the Genesis that let you played CD-ROM games, something all the rage in the 90s. Not a lot of great memorable games were made for it (Hello, Night Trap) but one game that made a huge impact on the system was Sonic CD. Now almost 20 years after its release, Sonic’s classic adventure is brought back to XBLA with all new features for a smooth port.
Sonic has to save a planet chained to the world called Little Planet. Robotnik (aka Eggman) has stolen all the time stones that control time itself and it’s up to the blue hedgehog to save the day and time itself. After the recent tepid response to Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, playing a classic Sonic game that a lot of people missed out on proves the character is still timeless and those who missed out on this game won’t need a $300 USD peripheral in 1993 to play it.
Apples to Apples was developed by ImaginEngine and published by THQ. It was released December 7, 2011 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
When the word practical is in question, which comes to mind first: video games or card games? It all depends on the context, doesn’t it? Not in Apples to Apples, where silliness abounds and players can make as little or as much sense as possible. This party game is roughly a million years old and has been played roughly forty bajillion times, and it’s finally found its way to Xbox Live Arcade.
Apples to Apples is a very simple game where a variable amount of players take turns choosing green apple cards with adjectives on them such as “explosive”, “repulsive” or “loud”. All the other players then choose from a hand of seven red apple cards with all sorts of words which endeavor to be like that green card, ranging from actions such as “running” to people like “Leonardo DeVinci”. The goal is to match the green card with a red card as best as possible, but Apples to Apples has always been a party game and party games love house rules, so some players may not play by the book. The XBLA version introduces a single player feature as well as a different variant to the game’s multiplayer, but at its core this is a game of silly comparisons.
Scene It? Movie Night was developed by Sarbarkan Games and published by Screenlife LLC. It was released November 30, 2011 in the US only, for 800 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for review purposes.
Scene It? Movie Night is the latest iteration in the Scene It? movie trivia franchise. The ultimate party game and just in time for the holiday season too. Previously a board game, DVD game and Xbox retail game (complete with buzzer style controllers), but this is their first crack at the XBLA market. Fans of the series will recognize and be right at home with the tried and tested format which remains much the same across all formats: watch a clip then answer the following multiple choice questions. But how will it fair as budget XBLA release?
Joe Danger: Special Edition was developed by Hello Games and published by Microsoft. It was released on December 14, 2011 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
We saw many great XBLA titles come out last year, but there are always a few titles that get away from us on other medium. From the Pixeljunk series to Fat Princess, PSN has its share of great downloadable games. But one that stuck out the most and you couldn’t blame XBLA for being jealous of was Joe Danger. Now, a year after its release, Xbox 360 owners will finally see that lovable daredevil with Joe Danger: Special Edition.
Protagonist Joe Danger has experienced a rise and fall to his daredevil popularity. Realizing he must get back in the game, he straps on his cape and helmet and straddles his motorcycle again. Fans of Trials HD and Excitebike should take note as the game plays in the style of both classic motorcycle games. But what it represents with its influences, it completely shatters both games in terms of charm, replay value and overall fun.
Voltron: Defender of the Universe was developed by Behaviour Interactive and published by THQ. It was released on November 30, 2011 for 800 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
It’s a trend in not only Hollywood, but also in the game industry across the world. Companies are looking back to their roots, resurrecting franchises, and bringing them to new and old audiences alike. It comes as no surprise, then that the 1980’s anime Voltron would get similar treatment. It was beloved by so many children of that decade, and it’s been the subject of a comeback in the last few years. The original series is available for streaming on Netflix, a 2011 resurrection of the series, entitled Voltron Force currently airs on television, and Voltron has finally graced current-gen consoles in the form of Defender of the Universe.
Voltron: Defender of the Universe is primarily a twin-stick shooter. Players are given control of one of the five Voltron lions, each with a unique special attack and stats. Primary cannons are controlled with the right thumbstick, while the right trigger is used to pounce. Melee attacks can be performed with the right bumper, and the left trigger powers a given lion’s special attack. The Voltron stages are presented as a turn-based/quick time event hybrid.
DLC Quest was developed by Going Loud Studios. It was released November 2, 2011 retails for 80 MSP. A copy of the game was provided for retail purposes.
DLC Quest is a hilarious parody that completely lampoons the entire DLC concept. It contains a great deal of referential humor that goes all the way back to possibly the most infamous DLC: the horse armor. The backbone of the game is platform exploration that allows you to collect coins, meet NPC’s, and find secret passages. It is the collection of coins that allows you to buy the in game DLC packs that cause the game to progress.