Friday, July 13, 2007

Game Bytes abound

"Lost in Blue 2"
Konami, for the Nintendo DS
rated E 10+ for ages 10 and up, $29.99.

I had hoped that for the sequel Konami would fix some of the problems that plagued the first "stranded on a desert island" game No such luck.

As before, you are washed ashore on a small island with a partner. You can play as male or female with your companion taking the opposite sex.

Your job is to stay alive and explore the island, but the former keeps interfering with the latter.

Your charges are constantly hungry and tired, regardless of how much food you stuff in their faces or let them rest. As a result you spend way too much time hunting and gathering and not nearly enough time exploring the island, a problem that only gets more frustrating as the game progresses.

There's a really good game hidden in the premise of "Lost in Blue." Let's hope that someday Konami finds it.

"Pro Stroke Golf"
Southpeak, for the PlayStation Portable
rated E, $19.99.

This is actually a surprisingly rich golf simulation, especially considering its budget price and that it's designed for a handheld console.

The main attraction here is the ability to create your own golf course from the ground up, adding trees, sand traps, hills and scenery as you see fit. Unfortunately you can't share your course online with other players, which seems like a lost opportunity.

The game itself plays rather well on the PSP, though the figures and courses seem a little anemic at times (to say nothing of the commentators' patter). Still, the game play itself is solid enough that fans of the game will find little to complain about.

"Prince of Persia: Rival Swords"
Ubisoft, for the Wii
rated T for Teen (blood, violence), $49.99.

This is essentially a Wii port of "Prince of Persia: Two Thrones" game that came out way back in 2005. It's so identical, in fact, that I wonder why they even bothered changing the name. The only significant difference I can note is that the level of violence seems to have been toned down.

That being said, "Rival Swords" remains a fun, engaging title, and the developers do a solid job of porting the game over to the Wii. Rather than pushing buttons, for example, you battle your enemies by swinging the Wii-mote up and down. It's a nice touch, but not necessarily enough to make me want to play the whole again.

In fact, if you have an older console and can find a cheap copy of "Two Thrones," the experience will be virtually the same. If you don't, then the Wii version will do nicely.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2007

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