Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Even more Game Bytes

“Guitar Hero II”
Activision, for the Xbox 360

rated T for Teen, $89.99.

The Xbox 360 edition of one of the best games of last year is notable for a few reasons. One, it offers more songs from such acclaimed rock acts as Alice Cooper, My Chemical Romance and Deep Purple. Two, you can download more tunes via Xbox Live. Three, the guitar that comes with it is a white Gibson Explorer.

Add in the “achievement points” that allow you to boast about your prowess to your friends, and you’ve got enough add-ons to make this iteration feel superior to the PlayStation 2 version. Whether or not owners of the original game need this new port depends upon how manic a fan they might be. If you own a 360 and haven’t checked this game out yet, though, you’re missing out.

“Singstar Pop”
Sony, for the PlayStation 2

rated E10+ for ages 10 and up, $49.99 (with microphones) $29.99 (without).

This karaoke game is completely identical to last year’s Singstar Rocks. The only difference is the list of songs, which focuses more on the Top 40, both past and present, than rock ¤’n’ roll. Your enjoyment, therefore, is entirely dependent upon your desire to sing along with folks like Whitney Houston, Jesse McCartney and Avril Lavigne. For me, that’s not much of an incentive, though I did enjoy warbling to tunes by The Raconteurs and Franz Ferdinand.

As before, the goal is to keep good, if not perfect, pitch with visual cues helping you against a backdrop of the artist’s music video. It’s a cute concept, but slight, and best served when playing with a group rather than solo. If you’ve got a bunch of friends to play games with, then this would make for an amusing diversion, but not much more.

“Bust-A-Move Bash”
Majesco, for the Wii

rated E for Everyone, $39.99.

You would think that it would be pretty easy to utilize the Wii’s motion controls in a puzzle game as basic as “Bust-A-Move.” You’d be wrong. This iteration — where, as before, you fire little colored spheres at similarly colored spheres to make them pop and eventually clear the screen — features incredibly wonky controls. The slightest twitch of your wrist will send the launch arrow all the way to the left or right, making precise aiming much tougher than it needs to be.

Combine that with lackluster presentation and a general lack of variety and you have little reason to play the game. “Blast” does have eight-person multiplayer, but that’s hardly enough reason to shell out $40.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2007



At 11:43 PM, Blogger MegoSteve said...

That's not a Flying V, Chris. It's a Gibson Explorer.

At 4:10 PM, Blogger Chris Mautner said...

Oh. Shows how much I know about guitars.

I'll go fix it in the story. Thanks.


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