Video Game Reviews – September 2009

Share this:Share on Facebook0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+0Pin on Pinterest0

Blueberry Garden
Erik Svedang/Steam
Reviewed On: PC (Exclusive)
Street: 06.10
Imagine, if you will, a wonderful garden full of fresh fruits, veggies, trees and wonders. Freak chicken-like alien beings graze harmlessly on the swaying grass, and basketball-sized acorns perpetually sprout and roll down the hill. You, being some sort of bipedal mutant bird wearing monochrome clothes from the 20s, could not be happier in this mystical garden. The blueberries keep your stomach full, and you can even fly awkwardly. But wait! While you were munching on some delicious fruits near the piece of swiss cheese that’s about eight times larger than yourself, you notice something ... peculiar about the water. Hey, the lake wasn’t that deep before! And then, it begins. Welcome to Blueberry Garden, an artsy indie game that bursts with charm from beginning to end. The world, the main character, the water and everything else are hand drawn works of art. The whole world is absolutely bursting with life, and it’s a blast to fly your little birdman through it all. Very little instruction is given as to what you’re really supposed to do, but your wanderings help you discover your mission quickly: Get to higher ground. This is accomplished by solving puzzles, eating certain foods, and stacking massive tomatoes on top of cameras and swiss cheese. The game is short, but the price is just so right. At only five dollars, the quality of work put into this game is positively astounding. The melancholy piano in the background is great, as is the artwork, which is as pleasing to look at as the game is fun to play.  –Ross Solomon

The Conduit
High Voltage Software / Sega
Reviewed On: Wii (Exclusive)
Street: 06.23
If the Wii’s library is missing any one thing, it’s a game that makes me give a shit.  Until The Conduit, my Wii was a technologically advanced dust receptacle.  But it was only a matter of time before someone finally grabbed the Wii’s control  mechanism by the balls and finagled it to perform in a way that would appeal to actual gamers (you know, as opposed to soccer moms and granddads hooked on Wii Play).  High Voltage Software’s new FPS controls are as good as it’s going to get, my friends.  They’re fully customizable, and believe me, with the Wii’s shitty button layout, you’re going to want to switch things around. The game itself plays like a throwback to Goldeneye and Perfect Dark, which is hardly a bad thing, but don’t expect a gameplay revolution here.  The developers adhered to the goal of solid FPS gameplay and quality graphics, and in doing so created the Wii’s best title for traditional gamers.  Of course, if you own Gears of War 2 or any new Call of Duty game, the only advancement is the new Wii control scheme.  Nevertheless, if you’ve been neglecting your Wii lately, The Conduit is a  great way to reopen the relationship. –Jesse Hawlish

Motorstorm: Pacific Rift
Evolution Studios / Sony
Reviewed On: Playstation 3 (Exclusive)
Street: 08.28.08
Fuck Gran Tourismo, man.  If I wanted to drive in smooth circles avoiding other cars for hours I’d take my Ford Escort on the belt route.  Motorstorm, on the other hand, is a personal favorite among racing titles.  The recent sequel Pacific Rift awakens the angry redneck within, feeds him peppered jerky and sour mash, straps him onto a rocket bike and sends him tearing through an active volcano.  Yeah, Gran Tourismo can lick my muddy hick balls. Yeehaw! All aspects of Pacific Rift are tightened and polished over the original.  If you feel like you’re flailing out of control – about to spin out into a wall or off a giant cliff – for the entirety of the race, then you’re doing it right.  The sense of impending death by massive car wreck is always with you in M:PR.  Every moment is exciting and every vehicle class is a distinctly different challenge.  When you give the finger (press L3) to a pack of ten speeding monster trucks while boosting between them on your ATV, cackling wildly to yourself, I guarantee you’ll be hooked.  The learning curve can be steep, but M:PR is controlled chaos at its most raucously enjoyable. –Jesse Hawlish


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Luxoflux / Activision
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: PS3, Wii, PS2, PC, PSP, DS
Street: 06.23
For as long as video games have been around, developers have capitalized on blockbuster movies to create games, and generally they suck. Much to my surprise, since the game from the first Transformers movie and the general rule that movie games are lame, Transformers: ROTF is an addicting gaming experience in its simplicities and mission and environment similarities and its ,at times awkward, controls. It’s just fun to roam around as an Autobot or Decepticon and blow the crap out of stuff, drive off rooftops, fly around or pound on your foes. Like the movie, the plot of the game is irrelevant and you won’t even be paying attention to it. This is just an excuse to play as a big transforming robot and blow stuff up, each campaign Autobot or Decepticon is pretty straightforward. Missions are graded on time, accuracy, bonus objectives, etc. all in the goal of gaining energon to upgrade your squad of bots. If you’re an achievement/unlockable whore like myself, the game warrants itself multiple playthroughs. There are some big–time boss fights, the most challenging of which is taking down the Constructicon, Devastator (a Decepticon made up of multiple bots) is not only graphically awe inducing but it is one of those classic taking–up–the–entire–screen boss fights. –Bryer Wharton