Review: June 2008 Archives

Exteel Review

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Exteel Publisher: NCsoft
Developer: Team Beam

Platform: PC
Reviewed on PC

Windows System Requirements: 800 MHz processor, 256 MB RAM, nVidia GeForce 4 series video card or equivalent, 1 GB HD space, internet connection, Windows 2000 or XP

Giant fighting robots called "Mechanaughts" meet in sporting arenas or cityscapes to determine who has the biggest gun and the superior pilot by slugging it out with high-powered weaponry and melee weapons the size of small trees.

Wolf of the Battlefield: Commando 3 Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Backbone Entertainment

Platforms: Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3
Reviewed on PlayStation 3

General Ratiev is once again terrorizing the free world, taking hostages and unleashing hordes of minions to fire slow-moving bullets around the landscape. Only a trio of the world's toughest commandos has a hope of freeing the prisoners and putting a stop to Ratiev: Codenames Wolf, Coyote and Fox.

Aces of the Galaxy Publisher: Sierra Online (Vivendi)
Developer: Artech Studios

Platform: Xbox 360, PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360
Official Site:

The frenetic, on-rails space shooter genre has come and gone... and come back again. Sometimes it's a 2D-scroller. Sometimes, it's a 3D (or 3D-ish) fly-by. Regardless of the presentation, these things have always punished their fans. They sucked down your roll of quarters in the '80s and you wouldn't even get halfway through the game. Your thumbs bled, playing the console versions, but you always went back for more. Artech's Aces of the Galaxy is a throwback, next-gen shmup (the currently cool way to say "shoot 'em up," if you're 14). It's a throwback, both honoring and imitating the genre. But it's very next-gen as well, with slick, polished graphics (especially for an Xbox Live Arcade title), an appropriate musical score, and plenty of thumping sound effects. But keep in mind: This is a shmup, and it can be brutally hard.

The World Ends With You Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix / Jupiter

Platform: DS
Reviewed on DS

Neku Sakuraba is a 15-year old boy who enjoys wandering the streets of the trendy Shibuya shopping district in Tokyo and gazing at graffiti. He's not much for human company, though, so he tunes out the crowds by constantly wearing headphones and affecting disinterest in other people. Then one day, he awakens in the middle of Shibuya with no memory, and no one can see him – save a few strange and trendy folks bearing pins or mysterious, tattoo-like wings. A message arrives on his cell phone letting him know that he must complete a series of missions or be erased from existence. Now part of some unknowable game, Neku must learn the rules as he goes and be victorious, just to survive.

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness - Episode One Publisher: Hothead Games
Developer: Hothead Games

Platforms: Xbox 360, PC, Mac, Linux,
Reviewed on Xbox 360

As if trapped in the inexorable grasp of a steam and fruit juice-powered contraption of Herculean proportions, Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness - Episode One (should I call it "Rain Slick"? or "PAAOTRSOD1"? Or perhaps, simply Herbert?) dragged me into an adventure I could not shirk, save for those moments in which I was required to ingest further coffee to fuel my caffeine-addled drive (and the obvious need to occasionally eliminate). Sweeter than treacle to play and more self-indulgent than... well... eating treacle, Rain Slick is like the fulfillment of a prophecy. As if thousands of days ago, a gossamer-clad waifish girl inhaled the fumes of a volcano and proclaimed, "One day there shall be a game, based on the online comic Penny Arcade in which, bearing an anointed rake, you shall battle creatures of metal with a carnal appetite for fresh fruit!" So it came to pass.

Buku Sudoku Review

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Buku Sudoku Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Merscom

Platform: Xbox 360, PC
Reviewed on Xbox 360

"Buku Sudoku takes the pen-and-paper puzzler high-tech with HD graphics, helpful tutorials, single-and multiplayer game modes, multiple grid sizes and the option to display hints, highlight errors, undo moves and even solve puzzles."

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This page is an archive of entries in the Review category from June 2008.

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