September 29, 2009

Upcoming Changes

Recreational Gamers is approaching its 1 year anniversary and it has gone through some growing pains, some trials and what I feel has been a fairly successful full year. With that in mind we are going to be moving the site away from a blog style format to a site that will provide us with much more flexibility in design and the ability to add some more features.

Another change that we will be introducing is a rating system to clearly show what we feel about the game. What that system will be is not finalized, but I am open to any suggestions that readers may have about that topic.

For the readers I do have, thanks for your support and I hope to bring even more content to your eyes over the next year. Another special thanks to the publishers and developers who have provided a small site such as this with games to review and wholeheartedly enjoyed.

Spectrobes: Origins - Wii

Just about a year ago I was introduced to Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals and became addicted to the great handheld game for the Nintendo DS. The Spectrobes series revolves around Rallen, Jeena and their Spectrobe counterparts where they combined forces to battle the Krawl, a creature that is the opposite of Spectrobes.

Rallen and Jeena are members of Nanairo Planetary Patrol (NPP) and through their explorations find themselves pulled through a portal that transports them to a whole new galaxy called the Kaio System. The Krawl also threaten this system and Rallen and Jeena lend their skills to protect the habitants of the Kaio System.

Pokemon lovers will relate to this game if they haven’t played a Spectrobes game before, as a huge portion of the game is collecting Spectrobes by using excavation tools to gain fossils, that can be used to be revived into Spectrobes that be can used in battle. The excavation system for the Wii has been completely changed to take full advantage of the Wii Remote. This time around the fossil blocks are excavated in three dimensions where you can use tools like a drill, blower, laser, bombs, hammer, and scanner. Using the Wii Remote as the handle to your tool you simply point at the screen and chip, blow, smash away at the rock that has encased the fossil. Fossils are not the only items that you can excavate; there are many gemstones that can be dug up so you can use them towards the growth of your Spectrobes. The only negative input I could say about the new system is that it takes much longer to excavate the fossils than the DS titles; however it is a lot more fun and challenging.

The controls for your character and the Spectrobes involve the Wii Remote and the Nunchuk where you use the Wii Remote buttons to attack with your character, and the Spectrobe which automatically attacks its enemy, can be manipulated to do special attacks by flicking the Wii Remote forward to perform a special attack and if you combine it with an attack with your character you perform a combo attack. Overall, the controls work well and are easy to learn.

Over the past weeks I have spent hours playing this game as the storyline is quite extensive and there are plenty of areas, planets and spaces to explore. On top of that there more than 100 different Spectrobes that you can collect and if you are a gamer like myself you will want to search every nook and cranny to add these Spectrobes to your collection.

Spectrobes is definitely a game that will appeal to gamers of all ages, and definitely has appeal to fans of exploration and collecting type games. As a fan of the series I highly recommend this title and the two companion titles for the DS. Happy Hunting!

September 6, 2009

Disney's G-Force

“G-Force is based off of the animated comedy adventure movie from Producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The film tells the story of the latest evolution of a covert government program to train animals to work in espionage. Equipped with the latest high-tech spy gadgets, these highly trained guinea pigs discover that the fate of the world is in their paws. The G-FORCE is comprised of guinea pigs: Darwin (voice of SAM ROCKWELL), the squad leader; Blaster (voice of TRACY MORGAN), a weapons expert and Juarez (voice of PENELOPE CRUZ), martial arts pro, the reconnaissance expert Mooch (a fly) and Speckles (voice of NICOLAS CAGE), the computer and information specialist. Directed by Academy Award®-winning visual effects master Hoyt Yeatman—G-FORCE takes viewers for a ride, proving once and for all that size really doesn't matter.” (Description Courtesy of Disney Interactive Studios)

During the gameplay you take on the roll of Darwin, the guinea pig leader of the covert G-Force Squad, where with the use of a vast array of weapons you complete your mission objectives while battling enemies such as waffle irons, blenders and other appliances you would find around home. You will notice that all the enemies take on the behavioral characteristics of a specific animal like a crab which I found to be a really unique touch. At times, to get through certain obstacles you will need to work in tandem with Mooch. Mooch is another member of the G-Force who happens to be a fly and excels at infiltrating hard to reach places. You can easily switch between the two characters to make use of each character’s special skills.

This game is filled with fun shooter/action gameplay as well as some puzzle solving segments. The gameplay is easy to learn and will be easy for pre-teens & teenagers to adapt to quickly, but the younger kids who may be more interested in this title will need a little help playing through the game. As this game is a type of shooter, this game is equipped with a large arsenal of weapons that may have some parents a bit wary if they steer their children away from games with gunplay involved.

A feature that appears on the PS3 and Xbox 360 editions of G-force is 3-D mode. In this mode you can opt to put on a set of 3-D glasses (included with the game) and enjoy the game from a completely different perspective. When playing through the game I put the glasses on my son. As he watched me play through, his expressions were a delight to watch as he experienced the 3-D feature. This feature will certainly help captivate the target audience of this title and add a bit more value to this title.

As a rule of thumb, I tend to be a little sceptical of the quality of all movie tie-in games as in the past I have found that these games tend to be spoilers to the actual movie and at times seem thrown together in a hurry to be out in time for the movie release. However, when it comes to G-Force this was far from the case, as the resulting product was a top notch game with action packed levels and a fun 3-D gameplay feature that kids and adults will enjoy equally.

Don’t just take my word on the quality of this game and try the game before you buy it via the downloadable demo from the Xbox 360 Marketplace or Playstation Store.