Weekly Purchase Review – Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire

November 23, 2010

There’s something about exploring the Star Wars expanded universe that is incredibly satisfying in the nerdiest way imaginable, especially when it’s in video game format which is exactly what Shadows of the Empire is. I remember borrowing this game from Max a long time ago but I don’t actually remember playing it so this was a pretty fresh experience for me.

I stole this picture from Google. shhhhh

After revisiting many N64 games I’ve noticed a recurring theme among them…unruly controls. It seems there was no agreed upon way of controlling your character in a 3D space so like most N64 games Shadows of the Empire takes some getting used to. I can’t tell you how many cliffs (which apparently there are a lot of in Echo Base) I fell off because of control issues.

Once you finally feel comfortable with the controls you’ll discover the uninspired game play of Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire. It’s not bad, it just doesn’t stand out incredibly well on the N64. You play as Dash Rendar in either 1st or 3rd person and occasionally in a vehicle. It’s a pretty standard run and gun action game with the Star Wars licensing being the only thing that makes you want to keep playing.

3.5/5 GRUs

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Weekly Purchase Review – Contra III: The Alien Wars

November 17, 2010

Wow! 3 Weekly Purchase Reviews and this one is on time! Each week I’ll be buying a game from Play N’ Trade/Disc Replay or choosing a game from my catalog of unplayed games that I own and writing a short review for it. This week’s game is Contra III: The Alien Wars.

I walked in to Play N Trade with no intention of buying anything until I saw Contra III. I know Konami’s track record on the SNES and I know how awesome the Contra series is so it was an instant buy.

No need for a tutorial. Now hang onto that pipe over the inferno while a plume of flames erupts in front of you.

As I mentioned above Konami’s catalog of SNES games is beyond phenomenal and The Alien Wars is no exception to that rule. Contra III is an outstanding, if not insanely difficult, game that improves on Contra and Super C in pretty much every way. The controls feeling tighter and a little more responsive and the ability to carry 2 guns is a much appreciated addition. Not only does the game offer classic Contra side scrolling action but there are also levels that feature a top down view. While not as satisfying to play, the top down levels are still well done and help the game avoid feeling stale.

Whoever decided to include a boss every 30 seconds...thank you.

If you have a SNES I suggest you seek this one out or if you can’t find it? Try getting Contra 4 for the DS.

4.5/5 Game Review Units


Weekly Purchase Review – The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse

November 10, 2010

Welcome to the second installment of my Weekly Purchase Review. Each week (more or less) I’ll be buying a game from Play N’ Trade/Disc Replay or choosing a game from my (extensive) catalog of unplayed games I own and write a short review for it.

Now I know it’s been a little more than a week since my first and only other Weekly Purchase Review but quite frankly nobody reads this blog anyway so it’s a victimless crime. This week I’ll be reviewing The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse for the SNES which came out late 1992.

Of all the games that allow you to ride a giant tomato on a thorny vine in the sky, The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse is my favorite.

I used to rent this game all the time from Ken’s Video when I was little so when I saw it at Disc Replay I had to drop the $7.99.

The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse is a surprisingly fun platformer. You take control of Disney’s mascot in a journey to save Pluto from the clutches Emporer Pete. What separates it from other platformers of its time are the swappable costume power ups. As you progress through the game Mickey will don different costumes that each give him a different skill set. The wizard costume lets Mickey dispose of enemies with a burst of magic while firefighter Mickey can extinguish flames with a stream of water.

Much of my appreciation of this game stems from nostalgia but even so, the game is a fine piece of 90’s platforming. For those excited for Epic Mickey this is a great game to hold you over. A remake for the GBA came out also starring Minnie Mouse which might be easier to find.

4/5 Game Rating Units


Weekly Purchase Review – Iron Man

October 11, 2010

Welcome to my Weekly Purchase Review. Each week I’ll be buying a game from Play N’ Trade or choosing a game from my (extensive) catalog of unplayed games I own and writing a couple sentence review for it. For my first entry in this series — and let’s be honest, possibly last — I’ll be reviewing Iron Man for the Xbox 360.

Before I start my review it should be noted that I’m a HUGE Iron Man fan. In fact, it was that fandom that lured me into purchasing the game for a measly 5 bucks.

Was it worth the 5 bucks?

No, not really. The only redeeming quality in the game is the fact that Iron Man is in (and voiced by Robert Downy Jr.). Every mission is more or less the same: fly to whatever has an orange marker on it and shoot it until it blows up. This task can get mind numbingly repetitive with only poorly animated cut scenes to split up the monotony of levels. I’m going to give this game a surprising 2/5 stars. Yeah, the game is ugly, redundant, and all around crappy but it has Iron Man in it so I can’t give it less than a 2.