Hey, it's more Game Bytes!
There's a very interesting discussion going on here about people's "rules for gaming." That is, what they specifically look for in a video game. It's a good discussion and well worth your time, even if you're one of those folks who come here exclusively for the comics content.
And now, for some Game Bytes:
"Ys: The Ark of Napishtim"
Konami, for PlayStation Portable
rated E10+ for ages 10 and up (fantasy violence, language, use of alcohol), $29.99.
If you've ever played a Japanese role-playing game, even if it wasonly for 10 minutes, you know exactly what you're getting with this PSP version of a PS2 game.
Game-play and story-line surprises are nonexistent. Combat rarely rises above tiresome button mashing. What's more, getting a hit in can be frustrating because the collision detection is awkward at best. "Ys" isn't a bad game, but it is decidedly average.
"Rumble Roses XX"
Konami, for Xbox 360
rated M for Mature (mild language, partial nudity, sexual themes, violence), $59.99.
I could forgive the in-your-face sexism of this all-female wrestling game more easily if the fighting system were good.
Sadly, it's not. It becomes instantly apparent that the developers at Konami were concerned with making sure the voluptuous characters look really hot and not so much with making a compelling game.
The matches become repetitive quickly. First, punch or slap your opponent to get her off balance. Then grapple her into a nasty hold. Repeat until she's worn down, and then pull one of your super-special moves and pin her down. Now do that for every character in the game.
The lack of a compelling story mode, anemic online play and more add up to a game that fails to capitalize on its (somewhat sleazy) premise. But boy, those chicks sure do look hot in that skimpy clothing.
Nintendo, for Nintendo DS
rated E for Everyone, $34.99.
I enjoyed this game back when it was on the first PlayStation and called "Ballistic." I enjoyed it when it was online and called "Zuma." And I like it now that it’s available on the DS, where the touch-screen features add a bit more challenge to the game.
The core concept remains the same, however. Shiny balls of different colors wind their way down a spiral path. Your job is to make sets of three or more by firing your own balls at the procession, thereby destroying them. If the balls make it to the end of the line, it’s game over.
It’s a compelling premise that, in the spirit of games like "Tetris" and "Bejeweled," proves to be utterly addictive. Even if you played this game in one of its earlier incarnations, it’s still fun enough to be worth another go-around.
Sony, for PlayStation Portable
rated E for Everyone, $39.99.
There was a time when you couldn’t step three feet in any direction in a video game store without bumping into a "Lemmings"-themed game. Now the popular puzzle series has arrived for Sony’s PlayStation Portable, though there’s little here that’s new.
As before, your job is to get as many of the little creatures from point A to point B as quickly as possible. They’re more than a bit mindless, however, and will quickly immolate, end up flattened or otherwise perish if you’re not careful. Assigning them specific tasks, like building steps or digging through walls, is the best way to ensure survival.
The PSP version does a nice job of translating the original game, but this version is pretty much identical to the original, although there are some new levels, online multiplayer and the ability to create your own maps.
If you’ve never played "Lemmings" before, then this game will be a welcome surprise and a happy addition to your PSP library. If you’ve played the series before, however, this game might feel a bit too familiar.
Copyright The Patriot-News, 2006