E3 2013: Skylanders Swap Force Trailer: Easy Money, Guaranteed For Activision

There’s really not much to say about Skylanders Swap Force other than it’s going to be a big winner this holiday season. New developer, new engine, updated HD visuals for current-gen consoles, new gameplay, characters and more all indicate that this will be the best game in the series to date. Add in the fact that yes, all those older figures will work with this game and it’s pretty much a given that no matter which platform you pick, the kids will be happy with what they’re getting. Of course, if you’re a kid at heart hooked into the Skylanders thing, you’re thrilled even more because your own allowance is much bigger and you can stock your shelves with every figure you can get your paws on and then some. Er, you do look a bit pale, though – the game isn’t out until October 13, 2013, you know… plenty of time to get outside and work on that tan. That sunshine DOES have a few benefits, you know…

E3 2013: Lego Marvel Super Heroes Trailer: TT Games Makes It Marvelicious!

Yeah, it’s on, again. Eternally busy developer TT Games is really knocking it all over and out of the park with their LEGO games, and while LEGO Batman 2 was spectacular, this looks as if it will top it and yes, Marvel Comics fans are hopping up and down about this all over the place. That said, as much pure fun as these games are to play solo or co-op, I keep wondering when we’ll see TT do a SERIOUS super-hero game, as I can only imagine how cool an open world Marvel or DC game would be if it played like this and had the same amount of characters (or more) to choose from. No, some MMO doesn’t hack it for me – I’m an offline guy and an antisocial jerk, at that. Well, most of the time…

New Young Justice Legacy Trailer: This Hit’s Really Going to Hurt…

Little Orbit and Freedom Factory’s upcoming action/RPG might not help being the fan-favorite show back, but it’s going to be a hell of a lot of fun to play for many out there who want more of these heroes in a more interactive form. Sure, it’s not packing the most amazing visuals, but there’s a ton of fun to be had busting heads and solving some straightforward puzzles as the game progresses. I got a bit of hands-on time with an earlier version of the game not too long ago, so I’m really hoping the final product adds even more polish and does well at retail. This sort of non-MMO hero-packed game used to be a bit more popular a few years back, but it would be nice to see this do well enough that this sub-genre makes a welcome return.

Young Justice Legacy Hands-On: Teens & Titans Collide In Little Orbit’s Upcoming ARPG…

GA_IceRiver_001One of the nicer surprises at the Namco Bandai Global Gamers Day event was a playable build of Young Justice Legacy, set for a fall release on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS and PC (what, no Vita version?!). Fans of the show should be pleased to know that developer Freedom Factory is cooking up a fast-paced action/RPG in the vein of the X-Men Legends and Marvel Ultimate Alliance games featuring stylized 3D visuals and a nicely-sized roster of characters from the series. The game has a few months more cooking to do on the developer’s stove, but it’s definitely going to one of those the more dedicated fans of the currently canceled cartoon should dive right into as soon as it hits stores.

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LEGO Marvel Super Heroes: It’s About Time The House of Ideas Got Bricked!

Take that as you will, but Marvel fans have been clamoring for a LEGO game with their favorites for years, so this way too short teaser trailer is giving them a reason to bounce up and down in their seats. I got a big grin going when I saw that the Hulk that looked as if it was modeled after the late Gil Kane’s version (except it doesn’t have that weird pineapple-shaped head his did), the Galactus shadow and yeah, those old costumes on some of the charaters. Speaking of characters, over 100 will be playable in the game, meaning this is going to be yet another game in the long running LEGO series with infinite replay value. This fall will be pretty darn busy for Marvel fans, that’s for sure…
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Turbo Super Stunt Squad Hands-On: Zippy Trick Snails Remind Me A Bit Of The Old Days…

Image converted using ifftoany

Dreamworks Animation is having quite a busy year with a few big releases zipping into theaters this year, and D3Publisher is right in the same zone, getting out a few cool family-friendly titles tying into these assorted properties. Turbo (set for a July 19 release) is the next film zooming your way and D3P’s Turbo: Super Stunt Squad will also pop up as a multiplatform release (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii/Wii U, Nintendo DS/3DS) a few days before on July 16, 2013 (what, no Vita version?). I had the chance to take the Xbox 360 and 3DS versions for a spin earlier this month and came away with a smile, as the games are coming along as fine and well-made tie-ins to the upcoming film.

While you’re not going to be getting any hyperbole-packed “Game of the Year!” reviews from a licensed game like this (and you shouldn’t expect any, mind you), developer Monkey Bar Games is whipping up a fun, cool homage of sorts to the classic Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater with this stunt-filled racer/exploration game that’s sure to put smiles on a few faces…

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New Addition: Pandora’s Tower Arrives!

rainfall trio

So, I ended up getting all three of these seemingly final US version Wii RPGs and I’m very pleased that I did this when they were their normal prices and not overinflated eBay purchases. I fired up Pandora’s Tower for just over an hour today and it’s pretty interesting so far. It’s a mix of elements from Shadow of the Colossus, God of War, Castlevania and a few other games with a nice JRPG look (some pretty visuals and an appropriately unique color palette). On the audio front, the UK dub is solid and the soundtrack so far is excellent with its bombastic classical and choral elements driving the action and some cinemas. So far, it’s not really “innovative” in any major ways, but developer Ganbarion has done a solid job in taking the hack & slash and having a bit of fun with it. OK, now I need to get a few more posts done so I can get back to playing this one…

Pandora’s Tower: Xseed Gets Wii Owners One Final Great JRPG….


It’s finally here and yep, you should be playing this if you’re a Wii owner and fan of this type of fantasy action/RPG. As I’m seeing a lot of those “Project Rainfall” petitioners whooping it up and patting themselves on the back and heads about how they got those final three important Wii-only JRPGs localized, I’ll have to admit that after playing through Xenoblade Chronicles and The Last Story that so far, these games have been pretty amazing… but not quite the be-all, end-alls some were claiming and hoping they’d turn out to be. That said, I’m definitely not passing up Pandora’s Tower at all, as it might be the most unique of the tree titles in terms of a few things. So, a big fat THANK YOU goes out (once again) to the fine folks at Xseed Games for bringing home that BACON one final time for us Wii owners out there. You’ll only get that in-joke if you hang around the company’s message boards, by the way…

Review: The Croods Prehistoric Party (Wii/Wii U)

croods_wiiu_keyart (Custom)croods_wii_keyart (Custom)Platform: Nintendo Wii/Wii U

Developer: Torus Games

Publisher: D3Publisher of America

# of Players: 1 – 4

ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
Official Site (Wii U) (Wii)

Score: B (80%)

If you automatically expect a licensed game based on a family-friendly hit animated film to be yet another platform jumper in terms of gameplay and the usual appearance on multiple consoles, The Croods: Prehistoric Party may end up surprising you a bit on two fronts. First, it’s only for Nintendo’s consoles and handhelds and second, it’s a board game on the Wii and Wii U and a collection of mini-games on the DS and 3DS. Both home versions are exactly the same, save for the ability for solo players or one in a group having at it to play with the Wii U Gamepad. Like the Mario Party series, you’ll have more fun with up to three friends, but it’s entirely possible to play through the game against the AI and have a pretty decent time… Continue reading

Young Justice: Legacy Gallery: Little Orbit & Freedom Factory Are Doing It Right For The Fans…

Fans of this freshly canceled (or hopefully just “on hiatus”) Cartoon Network show will have one really cool thing to comfort them in these desperate times: Young Justice Legacy is coming along REALLY nicely. While my overall impressions are embargoed for a few more days, I can safely say that fans of games like Marvel Ultimate Alliance, X-Men Legends and yes, even Justice League Heroes should be pleased with what’s coming from Little Orbit and Freedom Factory. That trailer shows off an older build, as the HUD is now different (it’s in a corner now) and anything else you want to know will have to wait (sorry!). As for looks, the stylized 3D visuals mimic the show’s 2D art style well enough and I like that the dev team didn’t go for the overused cel-shading some probably wanted or expected.

Of course, the BIG question is will the game do so well at retail that the powers that be over at Cartoon Network and DC want to kick things back into production? That, dear reader… is all up to YOU. Petitions are groovy and all, but buying the game and telling as many friends with a PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, DS and 3DS (Hey! Where’s the Vita version?) as possible and making sure they also vote with their wallets is the best thing to do if you want to see something positive come from all this hard work. Hey, even if the show never gets a second chance on TV, I’d say the game deserves a solid sequel that addresses that cliffhanger finale, right?

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