Random Game #19 – Scribblenauts: Unlimited [Wii U]

Scribblenauts Unlimited

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

Shortly after getting a Wii U this summer, Target ran a promotion on Wii U games – buy 2, get 1 free. At the behest of my friend, I chose this game in one of the transactions. What a smart choice! After taking a hiatus from the series since the first game, I was wowed by the improvements that had been made to the core mechanics. We sat down with this game for extended sessions, and while the progression was much improved from the first game, so too were the creation options. Our sessions devolved into creating random combinations of items/creatures and watching the world react to them. We have yet to actually complete the game, but the enjoyment we’ve eked out of it is hard to top.

Scribblenauts: Unlimited was developed by 5th Cell and is the product of Jeremiah Slaczka, one of the studio’s cofounders and its CEO and creative director. It was published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. It was released on the Wii U and 3DS in North America on November 13, 2012, and came out on the PC a week later – November 19, 2012. Curiously, this game was published by Nintendo in Europe, excluding the PC version.

Random Game #18 – Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow [Nintendo DS]

Castlevania Dawn of Sorrow

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

This game is the sequel to one of my favorite games – Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow. That game introduced me to the Castlevania series and I was instantly hooked. This game saw the series make the transition to the Nintendo DS while retaining the majority of what made the previous games critical favorites. The phenomenally well-animated 2D graphics, the “MetroidVania” gameplay, the thick RPG elements, this game had a lot going on for a convert like me. One thing that didn’t make the transition was the art style. Instead of Ayami Kojima’s distinctive gothic anime stylings, a more generic anime styling was in place. Despite that shortcoming, the overall package continued to the bolster the strength of these handheld Castlevania games and proved to be an early must-own game for the Nintendo DS.

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow was developed and published by Konami. It was released in North America on October 4, 2005. Koji Igarashi produced it while Michiru Yamane tagteamed the soundtrack with Masahiko Kimura. As mentioned, Ayami Kojima was absent from this project due to her focus of Curse of Darkness.

Random Game #17 – Naruto: Clash of Ninja 1 [GameCube]

Naruto Clash of Ninja 2

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

Here’s another recent acquisition – as in purchased this year. I remember picking it up at a Goodwill earlier this year and haven’t played it yet. It’s precursor though, my friends and I played that a great deal. While not a big fan of the property, I’ve always thought the Clash of Ninja series punched above its belt in terms of licensed anime fighting games. The games are lacking in a lot of the same ways most fighting games are: no in-depth single player mode or story and little extras to keep playing outside of multiplayer. The combat has always felt really good though – very fast-paced, partial to button-mashing, but great fun locally.

Naruto: Clash of Ninja 2 was developed by Eighting and published by D3 Publisher in North America on September 26, 2006. However, it was originally released in Japan on December 4, 2003 – nearly three full years earlier.

Random Game #16 – Guitar Hero: World Tour [Xbox 360]

Guitar Hero World Tour

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

By the time Guitar Hero: World Tour released, I had not only moved onto Rock Band, but moved away from acquiring the annual rhythm game. This being 2008, the genre was red hot and hadn’t been flooded quite yet. World Tour was Activision’s attempt to evolve the Guitar Hero series into a full-fledged band game and by all accounts, they were very successful. Not only that, they introduced a few differentiating features such as the music creation tools and a drum kit featuring cymbals. I only picked it up this year for a dollar or so and have yet to play it. I’ve been hooked on this type of game before and at the very least, I’m looking forward to playing through the game with a friend.

Guitar Hero: World Tour was developed by Neversoft and released in North America on October 26, 2008. It was available for a plethora of platforms: PlayStation 2, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PC, and Mac. The PS2 and Wii versions were ported by Budcat Creations and Vicarious Visions, respectively, while the PC and Mac versions were ported and published by Aspyr Media. These last two were released on July 26, 2009. Activision published all other versions.

Random Game #15 – Casino Slot Machine! [Odyssey 2]

Casino Slot Machine!

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

With Ralph Baer’s recent passing, it’s fitting that one of the random games that gets pulled for me to discuss is an Odyssey2 game. As far as I know, there’s little connection between him and Casino Slot Machine!, outside of the fact that it appeared on the successor to the video game console he invented. As was typical with home video games during this era, the casino genre was prevalent on every platform. Personally, it’s hard to get invested in this style of game when there isn’t actual money on the line, and thus, no chance of a payoff. Especially when it’s a single player game! As far as I’m concerned, a slot machine’s best video game representation is as a distraction in the Pokémon games.

Apparently, a single person developed the majority of the Odyssey2’s library. Ed Averett is the name and from 1978 to 1983, he was the primary programmer at Magnavox. He developed Casino Slot Machine! and it was released in North America and 1980 and, like the bulk of the platform’s library, published by Magnavox.

Random Game #14 – KISS: Psycho Circus [Dreamcast]

KISS Psycho CircusWhen you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

It doesn’t matter who you are, you have an opinion on KISS. Or more realistically, you have an opinion on Gene Simmons. The group and the man are undoubtedly rock legends, but both can come off as cheesy and/or abrasive. I’m not a big fan, but I can appreciate the work they’ve done. With the exception of KISS: Psycho Circus. From what little I’ve played, it’s a gothic first-person shooter with bad controls and little narrative direction. It’s based on the comic book series Todd McFarlane concocted with Gene Simmons. Beyond the requisite amount of time I played to check it out, I haven’t touched it. I’d like to give it a fair shake sometime down the road, but then again, maybe not.

KISS: Psycho Circus was originally developed by Third Law Interactive – a team of former Ion Storm employees – and released on the PC in North America on July 18, 2000. The Dreamcast port was handled by Tremor Entertainment and it was published on October 29, 2000 by Take-Two Interactive. Both developers seemed to flounder within a few years, neither putting out anything truly notable.

Random Game #13 – Forza Motorsport 2 [Xbox 360]

Forza Motosport 2When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

Just yesterday I wrote about R: Racing Evolution and commented that until Forza Motorsport arrived on the Xbox, it was the best bet on that platform. It’s fitting then that I write about this game so soon afterwards. To date, Forza Motorsport 2 is the only title in the franchise that I’ve given extended playtime to. It was one of the earlier games I owned for the Xbox 360 and I played it a great deal. It’s something I still think about returning to in order to clean up some achievements. The game’s damage was something mostly unseen in this style of racing game, as was the graphical customization system, and the breadth of online functionality – including an auction house. It was a feature-rich racing game and one of the early greats of last generation.

Forza Motorsport 2 was developed by Turn 10 Studios and published in North America by Microsoft Game Studios on May 29, 2007.

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