VGA 101: New Additions: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That…

silent hill 4Whee, a library update after a wee bit too long. OK, I never found my missing Silent Hill 4: The Room for the PS2 (what, I never told you it was missing? Well now you know!), so I figured that I probably accidentally sold it off or worse, stuck it in that big box lot of about 80 or so PS2 games I sold a few years back as a freebie. Oops. Anyway, I hadn’t been actively looking for a copy for a while, but poking around on ebay recently, a sealed Japanese version turned up at a crazy low price and my brain said (in the words of the late Merv Griffin) “D’ooooh!” as I ended up bidding and winning this one. I also finally got back the Xbox version I’d lent out ages ago the same day this arrived, so here you go. Yes, the import game has an English text option, so it’s quite playable…

ps3 additionsSome recent PS3 games? OK, two racers and two RPGs for your viewing pleasure. MUD (recently reviewed here) and WRC 3 (which just came in today and will be reviewed soon – so far, it’s quite good), plus White Knight Chronicles II and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, both developed by Level-5, and one FAR better than the other, period. Look, I LOVE Level-5’s games a great deal, but the first WKC, despite some nice-looking visuals and online play (it’s basically a MMO engineered for the PS3), is a pretty dull affair from the chunk of time I’ve put into it so far. The main issue is the combat system which should have been simpler and more action RPG oriented (like a Dragon’s Dogma, or Demon’s/Dark Souls) slogs down to a sea of menus and more menus plus a few menus for good measure. This wouldn’t be a bad thing if the game wasn’t insanely easy once you’ve gotten those menus and powers figured out. It’s also generic to the point of being maddeningly RPG 101 at times and despite a decent character editor, the guy or gal you create is a silent partner to another character who’s not much more interesting. I haven’t fired up WKC II yet, but I’m not expecting much other than better-looking visuals and probably a few gameplay tweaks. It’s not a BAD game, by any means… but it sure is bland for all those large maps, huge cast of characters and lovely CG movies…

Ni no Kuni, on the other hand is beautiful and brilliant, thanks to Studio Ghibli teaming up with the developer to create something visually impressive with gameplay that’s a near total joy. I need to finish this so I can post a full review (I’ve only played about 9 hours so far), so it’s next up after WRC 3 gets taken for more of a spin…

Review: MUD FIM Motocross World Championship (PS3)

MUD_TPCOVERPS3_3D_Eng_Fr_10-2_011013Platform: PS3 (also on Xbox 360, PC)

Developer: Milestone

Publisher: Namco Bandai Games

# of Players: 1 (Online 1 – 12)

ESRB Rating: T (Teen)

Official Site

Score: C+ (79%)


While it’s not without its flaws, MUD FIM Motocross World Championship manages to be a fun and fairly lengthy romp through the wild world of moto-x that mixes in arcade-style controls with some light to medium simulation elements. Veteran developer Milestone, known for its SBK bike race series and some pretty solid road and rally racing games, tackles this particular motor sport with relish as well as making more of an attempt to cater to a younger X Games fed audience and the results are mixed overall. More emphasis on reality (and more top US riders for the fans here in North America) would have been a better focus, as some of the “cool” bits feel a wee bit too forced. While there’s indeed a blast to be had here offline or on, the game can’t quite straddle both arcade and sim worlds and appeal to those who may have wanted a few more (and better) options. Continue reading

MUD FIM Motocross World Championship Slides Into Stores (It’s Time to Get Dirty!)


To wit: Are you ready for plenty of hardcore up in the air and down in the dirt action as you whip it around the track? Well, Namco Bandai Games has done the deed and gotten Milestone’s moto racer into retail and digital on the PS3, Vita, Xbox 360 and PC in North and Latin America, so give it a shot and if it feels right, do it all night. Er, just watch out for blisters on those sensitive thumbs of yours. Hmmm… it’s a good thing I don’t do this site in any foreign languages or Braille, as I’d imaging having a hell of a time explaining half the stuff I write. Hey, it’s not as if I try to offend anyone here – it’s just that I’m good at it (everyone needs a hobby, right?). Er, anyway, if you DO decide to grab this and slide around for a bit in front of your TV or monitor, below are a few helpful tips from pro rider Ryan Villopoto for you to take into consideration. Of course, you can go in cold to this arcade/sim racer, but I’ll bet you could use a little guidance every so often. Five impossible things before breakfast and all that, you know…


Here’s MUD In Yer Eye: Namco Bandai Gets Milestone’s Moto Racer In Stores Next Week



MUD_TPCOVERPS3_3D_Eng_Fr_10-2_011013MUD_XBOX_360_3P_OWP_Outside_v6.1.inddNamco Bandai Games is turning into quite the busy bee of a  publisher these days, picking up distribution rights to a bunch of cool-looking titles from a few developers. Milestone’s upcoming MUD FIM Motocross World Championship is coming to the PS3, PS Vita and Xbox 360 on February 26, 2013, so here’s a look if you haven’t seen it yet. The game combines simulation and arcade racing with some real-life riders and racing that’s based on the FIM series plus some stunt-heavy maps to tool around on when you’re not racing.  While it probably won’t wow the graphics hounds out there, the game looks decent enough and might be a bit of a fun diversion for those seeking a bit of bouncy bike action in an off-road flavor. You can catch bugs in your teeth at home when the game jumps into stores next week (and on PSN for the Vita).

Continue reading