Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Professor Layton 3 trailor!

The japanese trailer for Professor Layton 3 is now out. God it looks so good, time traveling and everything! Man we better get the second one over here soon.

Friday, September 26, 2008

What're you playing this weekend?

Me? I'm going to be either playing a lot of Viva Pinata 2 or GTA4 (yes I finally got my hands on a copy). Then again Rock Band 2 might take over again....probably the latter.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Point and click on the DS

After picking up what would be last months Nintendo Power I believe (yes I still subscribe); I came across an article about a game I hadn't heard of before that caught be attention: Time Hollow. Upon further reading of the subject of this game I found it's another point and click adventure game based on a mystery going on. Reminded me a lot of Hotel Dusk: Room 215, which I loved.

Your a seventeen year old boy who woke up one day to find yourself twelve years in the future (don't quote me on the exact year number there). You are given the Hollow Pen in order to draw circles which act as portals through time. From what I got, you need to go back in time to change the present so that you can find out what happened. Sounds pretty cool, I'll probably pick it up eventually.

Anyway, this got me to thinking about how many point and click adventure games are on the DS right now. A while ago you wouldn't think these to be any fun, from just the premise of the genre alone it doesn't stand well. A game where the point is to click on something to read some text just so you can go click on something else to read more text doesn't sound like something most people would be into. Yet they seem to hold well on the DS and the games may not seem to be the most popular, they do hold up well when it comes to the review scores they are given.

Myself personally wouldn't find playing one of these kinds of game on the computer if they had only come out for that platform, which is sad for I would have been missing out. Though this would probably be because I don't play games on my computer. My guess is that many people who did enjoy games like Hotel Dusk and Trace Memory, probably wouldn't have picked it up either if they had found it on the PC instead of DS.

Which makes me think why? The conclusion I come to is that maybe it's the portable element. If say hypothetically that Hotel Dusk was coming to both the PC and the DS and I was well informed about the game, which would I have chose? DS. Then again this may be because I don't computer game, so what would the gamer who does both pick? My answer would still be DS. I think this is because the idea of sitting down for a few hours to point and click my way through twenty hours of dialogue doesn't strike me as fun. Whereas on the DS I can read through all this while walking or taking a bus places. Then again I just sat around my house and played Hotel Dusk, so I guess I'm a rare section to that.

So maybe the point and click genre isn't doing so well because people don't want to devote their time to it. There are definitely not as many of this kind of game on the computer as there used to be, and if there's many, then it just goes to show because I don't know about them. But by being able to whip out the DS and go for twenty minutes instead of waiting for the computer to boot up, we find ourselves more into this. Which shows the DS may be restoring the old point and click genre, because they tend to have some great story. Though that's probably because story is mostly the whole game in point and click games.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Not entirely crazy, just mostly

A while ago, Chris and I completed the Endless Setlist in Rock Band. Now with Rock Band 2 out, I have just completed the Tour mode and found the Endless Setlist 2. I plan to do it again.

So your probably thinking; "whatever, he did it before, how is this different?" Well good sirs and ladies, this setlist has around twenty more songs and takes about ten hours with no breaks. Now of course I plan to do this with other people. So I have three friends joining me, though we will only be doing guitar and bass due to that being the only instruments we can play on expert.

Just to add to the ludicrousness, once we complete it on expert to get those three achievements. We play to play it again. Why? Because there's an achievement for going through it without ever stopping or failing a song.

So two weeks from now we will have almost twenty-four hours of Rock Band 2 straight. I'm not crazy. I'm not.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One pair of broken eyes later...

The ever popular Giant Bomb has updated it's homepage site. It can also be turned white, which I'm not a fan of.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Review: Rock Band 2 - 9

Rock Band 2 is the sequel to the highly popularized music rhythm game by Harmonix. The game is clad with fake musical instruments; a guitar, a drum set and a microphone. What Rock Band 2 does isn’t so much a true different take on the first Rock Band, but more just fixes some of the issues the first one had and does so in a surprisingly ‘well worth you money’ way.

Rock Band 2 is a music rhythm game that focuses around making you and your friends an imaginary band. By having fake instruments to be tapped, strums or sang into at certain times, it simulates the experience in a way you would want from fake rocking in your basement. A music rhythm game requires you to hit notes that move across the screen at a certain time. With RB2 you have a note track coming down towards you with colored bars on them. When the bars go in the area at the bottom that matches their color, you have to play that note. Playing that note differs with the instrument. Playing the guitar requires you to hold down the same colored fret button and strum when the note is in place, same goes for the bass. Playing the drums requires you to hit the corresponding color pad when the note is in place, or stepping on the foot pedal accordingly. If your using the microphone, you need to sing the words as they scroll across the screen. You will see lines for the singer and those indicate what pitch you should be at. If the line is high up, sing high and vice versa.

The major difference from the first game to this one is the exclusion of the average single player mode you found in RB1 or the Guitar Hero games. This may seem like something a little crazy but it’s really not because if you’re playing RB, I’m pretty sure you’re playing with friends. The tour mode does a great job giving you stuff to play for a long. It would have been nice to still have the main ‘go through every song’ kind of mode again, because then you can see how well you can play songs on that difficulty. Though it doesn’t harm it that much since when you beat these kinds of modes, you never go back to them, like ever.

Instead of that, this time it’s main focus is on the Band World Tour mode that the first one had. Though the first game had this as a solid multiplayer mode but with some flaws, and the flaws were quite big. Things like having to play multiplayer (or trying to do two instruments at once) made it something you couldn’t play any time you wanted. Now you can play that mode by yourself, which makes sense since there are no other major modes to play alone. It also helps that they brought in the idea to let one character play any instrument you want, so now you don’t need three characters to get all there is out of each instrument. Most importantly they now allow for band world tour to be played online with other people. This is probably one of the best additions to the game for this mode was easily the thing to play in the first game and now being able to play it whenever you want makes it great. And even though you may not be able to talk to the person you’re playing with, it doesn’t feel like you’re missing too much.

Another big addition to RB2 is the idea of band challenges or battle of the bands. In these you get requested to do certain songs in a set list and it’ll rate you on how well you did overall by things like the highest overall score, or the amount of stars you earned. These will be posted up on the leaderboard and by the looks of it, will close and more will be added throughout RB2’s life. Some of these will require an entire band, while some may just be solo or even things like you can play anything as long as there is one vocalist. One of the best things with this is that it shows the overall leaderboard and that it shows your friends leaderboard as a separate section. So you can see which of your friends did better on each individual challenge. Though because of all the leaderboard stuff this game has, it needs to update the servers each time you finish a song/song set which from what I experienced (with a decent connection) took a good ten seconds. This may not sound like much, but when you’re sitting there staring at a loading screen just cause it needs to update scores, it gets old, fast.

The hardware bundled with the special edition of the game is slightly different now too. Though at the time of this game’s launch, you couldn’t pick up the hardware, which always sucks. But if you did have the RB1 controllers, you can use those. The new hardware comes stronger and has sensors in some of the instruments so that you can just hold up like the guitar to the TV and it will calibrate for you. This is a huge advantage now because calibrating is always a hard thing to do and is extremely important in this kind of game. Though when trying to calibrate the RB1 guitar for this game, it never seemed to be able to get it to work. I have no idea why.

Harmonix has always focused quite a bit on downloadable content and just getting your RB library to be as big as possible. This has included with every week they release three new songs to download and every now and then they release a free one. They added the ability to have all the downloadable songs from RB1 to work in RB2 and vice versa. One thing you can do is that if you have the first RB, you can export most of the songs from that game onto your hard drive do you can play them in RB2, and of course these songs will show up during world tour mode put into set lists and what not. Another bonus Harmonix has done is added a code on the back of the manual that will get you twenty free download songs. It tells you to go to their site to input the code in order to get a redeem code to be emailed to you to use in the Xbox Live Marketplace or Playstation Network. As of right now it’s just a message saying thanks for buying the game but having the news of getting twenty free songs is quite great and puts RB2’s songs that come with the game over 100.

The biggest thing with Rock Band has always been the multiplayer aspect. Even once finishing every mode completely, which by the way will take a long, long time; you will still be coming back to this game. With the amount of songs they offer that are rivalled by no other game, you will always find yourself with new things to play. If you don’t have friends around to come over and play, you can always play online with one of the three online modes, or just play them by yourself. Though the game can sometimes seem intimidating to some who aren’t comfortable singing in front of their friends or just in general think they suck at the game. RB2 fixes this by adding a no fail mode where you...can’t fail. This is a great idea, but it still has the crowd bar on the left so you can see how well your doing, which I don’t think was necessary. It will never hit the bottom but it will go down into flashing red, so your track list will flash red. If you’re someone who knows they’ll usually be in there, it can be innerving that it’s always flashing red at you. It would have been a better idea not to have the crowd bar at all so you can just focus on the song and no indicator of failing ever shows itself. After all, if you’re using this mode, you probably don’t really need something telling you you’re doing well, your just there to play and mess around.

Rock Band 2 is the best band rhythm game out there to date and is only rivalled by it’s prequel currently. You can just see that this game was made by people who know what it’s like to go through the real deal here, where over two thirds of the loading screens are information of the band your about to play. Along with subtle notes and how things are generally run in the tour mode, you can feel this game was made properly. Overall, it just feels tight and well put together. You will find yourself having endless hours of fun despite how awful your friend can sing Hello There by Cheap Trick. And with the no fail mode, it’s fun for everyone. You’re definitely getting your monies worth for this game, even if you’re buying all the hardware as well.

Overall: 9/10

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Moment to note: Rock Band 2

You Won...
Merch Girl

"...and act as an unofficial band den mother...a den mother who is always trying to make out with you. Still, congrats!..."

Update: Even better moment
I was playing with a game generated character, and his name was The Duke of Gravity!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Watch it

Tonight on Spike TV at 11:30pm Eastern time there will be a count down to Rock Band 2.

Here's more info.

Seems pretty crazy.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Reverse psychology!

The Office theme and picture pack is now on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 150 MS points and 100 MS points.

New dashboard stuff

With the new 360's new dashboard rumored to be less than a month away; Gamerscore's latest blog entry is all about some of the new features we can look forward to. They plan to do one of these weekly, and they're hopeing that they'll have enough info to make one each week. Though they state to check back regularly to learn more. Keep in mine Gamerscore Blog has recently been added to our blog feed on the side bar if you need a link.

We will try and have a breif overview of their post each time they update so that you can read what exactly they mean.

Today brings us news of the Games Played slot and how it will look and work. When you click on your gamercard you will be able to change themes, check messages, edit your avatar, manage your account, switch profiles, and of course, check your played games. The first card shown on the picture is an overall card to show the achievements you've got and your highest possible gamerscore. I'm not really looking forward to that part, i don't like being reminded that I'm not even half as good as I could have been. The next thing to take into mine is the next panels will be the games you have played, weird thing is, if you have played 500 games; you will see all 500 panels. Hopefully loading this wont be too long. Each panel will show you which achievements you have unlocked, and what's left to do.

That's all for this update. We'll let you know when they update again.

Guitar Hero World Tour setlist revealed

Through all the leaks out in the past few weeks, we now have the official GH World Tour setlist out. Please take note that thirteen of the songs are in this game as well as Rock Band 2.


Here's the setlist, the bolded and italicized ones are in both the games.

  • 311 - “Beautiful Disaster”
  • 30 Seconds To Mars - “The Kill”
  • Airbourne - “Too Much Too Young”
  • The Allman Brothers Band - “Ramblin' Man”
  • Anouk - “Good God”
  • The Answer - “Never Too Late”
  • At The Drive-In - “One Armed Scissor”
  • Beastie Boys - “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”
  • Beatsteaks - “Hail to the Freaks”
  • Billy Idol - “Rebel Yell”
  • Black Label Society - “Stillborn”
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - “Weapon of Choice”
  • blink-182 - “Dammit”
  • Blondie - “One Way or Another”
  • Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band - “Hollywood Nights”
  • Bon Jovi - “Livin’ On A Prayer”
  • Bullet For My Valentine - “Scream Aim Fire”
  • Coldplay - “Shiver”
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival - “Up Around The Bend”
  • The Cult - “Love Removal Machine”
  • Dinosaur Jr. - “Feel The Pain”
  • The Doors - “Love Me Two Times”
  • Dream Theater - “Pull Me Under”
  • The Eagles - “Hotel California”
  • The Enemy - “Aggro”
  • Filter - “Hey Man, Nice Shot”
  • Fleetwood Mac - “Go Your Own Way”
  • Foo Fighters - “Everlong”
  • The Guess Who - “American Woman”
  • Hush Puppies - “You're Gonna Say Yeah!”
  • Interpol - “Obstacle 1”
  • Jane's Addiction - “Mountain Song”
  • Jimi Hendrix - “Purple Haze (Live)”
  • Jimi Hendrix - “The Wind Cries Mary”
  • Jimmy Eat World - “The Middle”
  • Joe Satriani - “Satch Boogie”
  • Kent - “Vinternoll2”
  • Korn - “Freak On A Leash”
  • Lacuna Coil - “Our Truth”
  • Lenny Kravitz - “Are You Gonna Go My Way”
  • Linkin Park - “What I've Done”
  • The Living End - “Prisoner of Society”
  • Los Lobos - “La Bamba”
  • Lost Prophets - “Rooftops (A Liberation Broadcast)”
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd - “Sweet Home Alabama (Live)”
  • Mars Volta - “L'Via L'Viaquez”
  • MC5’s Wayne Kramer - “Kick Out The Jams”
  • Metallica - “Trapped Under Ice”
  • Michael Jackson - “Beat It”
  • Modest Mouse - “Float On”
  • Motörhead - “Overkill”
  • Muse - “Assassin”
  • Negramaro - “Nuvole e Lenzuola”
  • Nirvana - “About a Girl (Unplugged)”
  • No Doubt - “Spiderwebs”
  • NOFX - “Soul Doubt”
  • Oasis - “Some Might Say”
  • Ozzy Osbourne - “Crazy Train”
  • Ozzy Osbourne - “Mr. Crowley”
  • Paramore - “Misery Business”
  • Pat Benatar - “Heartbreaker”
  • R.E.M. - “The One I Love”
  • Radio Futura - “Escuela De Calor”
  • Rise Against - “Re-Education Through Labor”
  • Sex Pistols - “Pretty Vacant”
  • Silversun Pickups - “Lazy Eye”
  • Smashing Pumpkins - “Today”
  • Steely Dan - “Do It Again”
  • Steve Miller Band - “The Joker”
  • Sting - “Demolition Man (Live)”
  • The Stone Roses - “Love Spreads”
  • Stuck In The Sound - “Toy Boy”
  • Sublime - “Santeria”
  • Survivor - “Eye of the Tiger”
  • System of a Down - “B.Y.O.B.”
  • Ted Nugent - “Stranglehold”
  • Ted Nugent’s Original Guitar Duel Recording
  • Tokio Hotel - “Monsoon”
  • Tool - “Parabola”
  • Tool - “Schism”
  • Tool - “Vicarious”
  • Trust - “Antisocial”
  • Van Halen - “Hot For Teacher”
  • Willie Nelson - “On The Road Again”
  • Wings - “Band on the Run”
  • Zakk Wylde’s Original Guitar Duel Recording

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Rock Band + Colbert = :)

Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report has just gotten his song Charlene (I'm Right Behind You) into Rock Band as a free downloadable song. I quickly grabbed it upon hearing this and found it quite a good song. Though lack of the video does decrease it's overall effect - it still is a great addition to any Rock Band library.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Castle Crashers has an Insane Mode!

Hey guess what?! Castle Crashers has an Insane Mode. Which loads of you may have heard something about, I bet a good portion can't find it.

When you start up your normal quest, yes you can use your normal guy (in other words, you don't need to start a new knight) press down. If you have beaten the game as this guy you will be able to move lower on the map from the "Home Castle" area and the "Barbarian Boss" spot. From there you will move down into that cave in the ditch area.

Selecting it makes that spot light on fire for the remainder of the time your in insane mode - so you know which mode your in. Though each time you go into this mode it shows the opening scene. A quick way to get past this is by hitting Start and then Return to Map. Then you can proceed along to where you were next. Exiting is the same so don't think you need to go back to normal to leave properly.

This is great because having my guy at the high 40's in level and not being able to continue on and level up without using the Catfish of Batboss tricks was awful. Now I'm hitting like one new level at each new spot.

Happy Crashing

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Review: Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise - 8

If your one of the many who didn't play the original Viva Pinata or find that it's just a child's game, you really don't know what your missing. Though now's your chance to see what this whole thing is about with Rare's sequel to the first: Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise.

Viva Pinata is all about taking care of a garden full of Pinata pets with focus on collecting them and making them romance. Like a real garden, you'll also be able to grow many different types of plants and decorate it with various materials and objects. Though the main point is to have specific items in your garden to attract foreign pinatas and get them to move in. In VP2 you are doing manly the same thing. Which, if your just coming from playing the first one; you might find yourself bored now. The biggest problem with this sequel is that it feels more like an expansion pack that a true stand alone game.

Like it's predecessor, your main goal is to gain levels by growing new plants and trees and making new pinatas come and join your garden. With each new level you will find that you can buy more things, get new equipment and sometimes get more garden space. The game works well in dishing out the experience points, rewarding you each time you see a new pinata, each time one visits and lots for making new pinatas residents and then romancing them. The main point of this whole thing is to keep expanding your garden and get newer and more valuable pinatas. The next main thing it wants you to focus on is romancing pinatas, which involves them having a baby. To do this you must meet each pinatas romance requirements before they can get busy. Romance requirements can be anything from eating a seed to eating a pinata.

What was a major flaw in the first game was all the loads screens it had for even tiny things like buying one seed. You have to open the menu, go to the next menu, wait for it to load, go through some dialogue then go through the stores menu, then buy the seed. VP2 fixes this issue a bit buy letting you have a seed buying tool in your first menu, so there's no load screens if your just buying some seeds. What makes it that much better is if your over a plant and go into this tool; it opens up a selection of fertilizers instead of seeds. This tool makes things much faster and your not always being forced to waste time at a million loads screens.

The thing with this game is that your always multitasking four or five things are once. You may have just planted a tree, so you need to keep an eye on it so it doesn't dry out, but at the same time you might be trying to romance two pinatas, but at the same time one of your pinatas is getting eaten. So the game can get quite hectic, quite fast. This thing alone is probably the biggest note to set it back for being thought of as a game for kids. It require some serious thought to how things work and lots of focus on many things at once. The thing that probably makes this game the hardest is the idea of sour pinatas, which try to ruin your garden. Every now and then you'll have to kill one by breaking it open with your shovel, just to find it laid two weeds. If you don't get rid of those weeds fast, your gonna have an infestation on your hands.

One thing for people who don't want any of this hassle is a new mode called Play For Fun; where you just get to do whatever you want with unlimited money and no worry for any sour pinatas coming in. This also makes getting new pinatas easier so it essentially just makes the game loads more easy and stress free. Though you won't be able to get any of the achievements when playing this mode and it takes a lot of the rewards out of it. Playing the main mode can be more fun because your constantly being rewarded for all your efforts, which is a nice thing to have.

Probably the biggest difference from the first game is the ability to leave your garden to go to different regions. Some pinatas will only be in the two outside regions: Pinarctic and Dessert Desert and you must go there to get these pinatas. When you in the region you must bait traps to capture the pinatas, like other pinatas you will need to check to see what kind of bait work for which pinata. After catching a pinata you can bring it to your garden and begin working on meeting its resident requirements. This works as an good idea but you'll find yourself ignoring those areas a lot of the time because there's plenty of pinatas to get in the main area. It also doesn't get new pinatas as much as the main region does. This is probably the biggest reason this game feels more like an expansion.

Another big difference this game has over it's prequel is the inclusion of Pinata Vision. This uses the xbox live vision camera to scan cards in order to get special things in your garden. Any card you find can be held up to the camera and whatever the card if for, will plunk down into your garden. Now this works fine in theory but it's much to easy to just find a bunch of high level pinata cards online and use them in order to boost your level. Which is fine if you want to just breeze your way to the top level, but it takes away most of the gameplay.

This game also supports online play with up to four people. So now you can have co-op gardeners going around helping you out. This is a great addition for sometimes the stress of a huge garden can become over bearing and it's nice to have a friend to cut some of the work off you. It also has the option of limiting your guests controls so that they don't just got around killing all your pinatas. This idea is good overall and can be fun if you have people who you know won't be jerks.

Apart from this game being looked down upon from the 'core gamer' Viva Pinata 2 is a great game and will get you addicted if your new to it. It shouldn't be looked at as a kids game because a lot of small kids probably wouldn't be able to take all the stress that can build up if you get lazy. So it's ok to like this game and still be into Gears of War. Though if your into the more fast paced games out there and don't really like games like Harvest Moon, you probably won;t gravitate towards this game. Don't take me wrong, this game doesn't match Harvest Moon, but it's probably the kind of game that would be closest to this, specifically the farming part.

Overall Viva Pinata is a fun and good experience for all. You'll most likely find that you won't have this game and the people who are into it, very much like it. Though it does feel more like it should have been an addition to the first, or maybe some parts should have been DLC, you can't really get to angry at that fact since this game sells for budget price at $40. If the beautiful graphics don't pull you in, hopefully the cute and fun pinatas will.


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

First take on VP Trouble in Paradise

  • 3 Pinata Vision cards with it
  • I need the camera
  • Says it requires the camera, it lied
  • Bilingual on the box makes it cluttered
  • More cut scenes
  • Tutorial mode
  • Not sure if I prefer this box art over the first
  • 48 hour live card, useless
  • New pinatas are cute so far
  • Don't like the surrounding area of the garden as much as first one
  • I should go beat Castle Crashers

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Paradise has some troubles

With Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise now out (I'll be getting it tomorrow due to Canada getting games a day after they launch) I thought I would share my thoughts on the whole vision camera and card stuff that Microsoft is doing with it's game.

The Xbox Live vision camera didn't get huge praise probably because it just seemed like another way Microsoft was getting some money out of you. Which can be a valid argument since it goes for $50 new here and there's only a few games that actually utilize it. Besides being able to video chat with a friend and seeing the actual person instead of a gamerpic in some games, it hasn't really done anything ground breaking. Though thinking that it's only a camera, there isn't much it can do besides Eyetoy like games such as Totemball.

One of the more note worthy tasks the camera was put up to recently was back with Burnout Paradise. Each time you got a take down on someone (destroying their car) the camera would take a quick photo of them. This was a good idea because you got to see your friend's expression at the moment his car got mangled. Other than that, I haven't run into anything exceptional from this.

What VP2 is doing seems like a really interesting idea that if done properly, could really be a cool thing to be able to play around with. What Microsoft wants you to do is print out Cards or put them on a image viewing device (like a PSP or iPod). Once done getting your card(s) you can hold them up to the camera and it will scan them and plunk whatever the card is for down into your garden. This way you can share cards with your friends and unlock content that wouldn't normally be in the game for you without owning the camera.

Strangely enough VP2 was now the selling point I needed to get a vision camera. So if your on my friends list, look forward to crazy stupid pictures of me.

This fact seems like it could open up new forms of uses for the vision camera. Being able to scan certain things could really get people into buying more out of game content. For example, you could be using this instead of having to type in a code to get MS points or even game content like Rock Band songs. For people owning the camera, they wouldn't need to type in those 25 character codes anymore, but people without the camera are stuck doing that.

Hopefully Microsoft has some good ideas for the camera to get more people into buying them. With that, only more vision camera services can come.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Review: Castle Crashers - 8

Castle Crashers is the brightly animated 2D beat 'em up by game developers; The Behemoth and runs for 1200 Microsoft points. The Behemoth was well known for it's first game Alien Hominid HD on the Xbox Live Arcade. It does a good job bringing humor and platforming to a standard beat 'em up style that you would think wouldn't be popular in today's consumer mindset. Though this game does suffer from a few bugs that can harm it quite a bit.

The game has you chase after evil bosses that stole four princess's from the castle. Your quest involves you going through many areas such as the standard locations that would basically represent the 'fire area,' 'ice area,' 'forest area' and so on. Each area has new enemies in which you will need to kill and make it to the boss so save one princess after the other.

Castle Crashers is much like the game TMNT 1989 classic, in the way of it's beat 'em up style of gameplay. So if you liked that game, it's pretty safe to say now that you will enjoy this one. A beat 'em involves usually a high multiplayer value in which you move through levels just button mashing to kill enemies who are walking around and causing havoc. It also relies quite a bit on an RPG element since each enemy you kill awards your experience points or EXP points that helps you level up. You also get more points to use towards stat upgrades like magic and agility.

The biggest thing this style of game has going for it would be that it's a big social game, meaning it should have great multiplayer. Castle Crashers does that; but only for local co op. When the game was launched it's online became apparent that it's pretty crippled. Many people find that they can't get into games or even go online and find other people to play with. Trying to invite a friend in was impossible for me to be able to do and the one time I managed to find someone to play with, the game disconnected the instant we choose our characters. Though some people do seem to not have to much trouble, they only seem to be able to play for a few hours before something goes wrong. This fact really harms Castle Crashers because even with playing the single player alone, you can tell that it would be that much more fun for each friend you have with you.

With that being said, the game still stands quite strong on it's own as a single player game. Each new area involves something new that you need to take into account. Whether this be new styles in which the enemies fight, or new gameplay elements. In some areas you'll find yourself pitted against hooded thieves as they jabbed me with knives and shot me with arrows, while others will have you balancing on fish while you slash at a giant water cat thing. With other side missions to do like trying to find all the animal orbs or unlocking all the weapons in the game. The game even has arenas set throughout the game's map page so you can just get into a random brawl while trying to unlock new characters. Along with some humorous scenes and funny jokes this goes together quite nicely.

Though the game seems to try and go off three main modes, the adventure, an arena and a mini games where you mash the X and Y buttons called All You Can Quaff. Besides the adventure, these seems to try to make these a big deal, making the mini game even available in online and for leader boards. Though this game lasts maybe less than thirty seconds and that's about it, it doesn't interact in the main game at all and comes off as something the creators just stuffed in there for no reason. The arena option also seems like something just randomly thrown in, but has a little more significance. This would be for someone who just wants to play a quick game and kill a bunch of guys. Though it ends quite quickly and doesn't provide anything for a the win so it seems like turning your 360 on and loading up the game would take longer than this mode some times. There's also no way to change the arena mode you have since it's set to the first arena you unlock during the story. So your getting the same thing you have inside the main adventure mode. Some inter-connectivity would have been nice between the three modes with something even as small as getting some EXP points.

The graphics in the game are quite nice as everything seems quite smooth. It follows the same design as Alien Hominid did with it's flashtoon like look. Even at times it feels like this game would be fine as a flash game. The colors though are so vibrant and bold that they look nice on the usually dreary background. With all the different looking weapons, spells and items you can use, you can see a lot was put into this game. Let alone the many different landscapes you'll come across. The games tries to reach many different locations and succeed in replicating them beautifully.

As stated before, there are some bugs in it and one of the main ones I found where in the frame rate. While playing through a level that involved me riding a deer through an abandoned mill while other deer fled along side me. To my surprise I noticed one of the other deer wasn't actually moving in a set motion, more just stuck in one position but moving along side us as if it was flying. The next bug I saw was when fighting a boss, I hit him but for some reason he remained in the air being hurt by some unknown force. I knew this was probably just a random glitch since I played it again and this didn't happen. Among those were some freezing issues that occurred a few times and with all these together, it brings the game down a little. One of the biggest known bugs was that people's data was being erased for no apparent reason, I for one didn't run into this problem but it didn't seem to be only a few cases.

The last thing to note is basically, your gonna end up button mashing. Since it is a beat 'em up, you should already know that, button mashing is the main style for these kinds of games. Though instead of just having the usual one button to hit (like TMNT 1989 classic for example) you do also have the option of a stronger attack and even some magic attacks. Which gets into the territory of how God of War combat takes place. So it does break grounds a bit there with not just straight one button and figuring out to hit that thing like there's no tomorrow. You have some choice. New enemies will also make you have to think of new ways to attack, for instance you need to jump attack the guys who will shoot you with an arrow. You can even jump above enemies and kill many of them without even hitting the ground since you can do so many attacks as long as there's someone below you.

The general value you will get from this game is that it would have been worth the 1200 points you threw down. Being that this was one of the few XBLA games to be priced over the average 800, you would expect that you should be getting your monies worth for it. Castle Crashers would reach that expectation if it weren't for the broken online play it contains. While yes single player is fun and will have you enjoying it and laughing often, you always feel that this would be better if you had some buddies or random strangers to tackle those castles with. So overall I can recommend it, but at the same time I'm very close to not being able to what with all the bugs. I did enjoy the game and haven't run into memory loss problems, but I'm always disappointed that the online didn't hold up.

Overall: 8/10