Thursday, July 26, 2007

Time for more Game Bytes

“Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree”
Nintendo, for Wii, rated E for Everyone, $49.99.

Like its DS predecessor, “Wii Degree” escorts players through a variety of quick mini-games, all ostensibly designed to improve your memory and reasoning skills. You might be asked, for example, to count colored balls that fall into a basket or finish the path of a rotating railroad track.

So far, so good, and the game boasts a cute, clean art style utilizing the Miis you create on your Wii console. The problem with the game is that a slim number of games is provided. There’s just not enough here to keep players engaged for more than a day or two, regardless of whether you’re playing by yourself or with friends.

“Brooktown High”
Konami, for PlayStation Portable, rated T for Teen, $39.99.

In high school, popularity is everything. At least it is at Brooktown High, where making friends and increasing your notoriety is far more important than whatever classes you might attend.

As a new student at the school, you must chat up the other students before class begins, seeking potential best buddies and hotties. You’ll also have to attend one of four different classes and keep your grades up, which isn’t nearly as difficult as it sounds.

It’s sounds like a great premise, but “Brooktown” has far too much hand-holding to keep you engaged. You only have a few seconds to talk to your fellow students and you can get them to like you by just agreeing with everything they say.

Getting a job or an A+ also is far too easy, requiring only the push of a button or two. Like a lot of students, “Brooktown High” held a lot of promise, but ultimately delivers nothing but disappointment.

“Parappa the Rapper”

Sony, for PlayStation Portable, rated E for Everyone, $29.99.

One of the finest games ever to grace the original Sony PlayStation makes its way to Sony’s handheld PSP platform along with a few extras designed to attract old fans into digging out their wallets once again.

The good news is that the game hasn’t aged badly at all, despite it’s low-tech look. As before, your job is to help the pluckish Parappa get the girl of his dreams by “rapping” (i.e. mimicking another character’s rap by pressing the correct buttons to the beat of the music).

The PSP version includes a multiplayer section and the ability to download remixed versions of classic songs. That’s not necessarily enough to entice those who’ve already played and beaten the game, but if you’ve never had a chance to check this classic out before, now’s your chance.

Copyright The Patriot-News, 2007

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