Boom Blox Review

19 02 2009

(This article, and my reivew for Bioshock can both be found at TerrorTube.  Check it out, and vote it up, please!)

 

Boom Blox

Boom Blox

BOOM BLOX – Nintendo Wii – Developer/Producer: Electronic Arts – ESRB Rating:”E”

Let’s face it, the world is changing. Everywhere around us new technology abounds, people are doing new and interesting things, and yes, even gaming is hitting the mainstream thanks to the runaway success of Nintendo’s Wii console.

While as a reviewer and a longtime lover of video games, I tend to have tastes that trend towards the hardcore market, it’s worth noting that as a father of two and as a fan of games of all sorts, I am interested in what’s out there for the casual market.

This is what led me to Boom Blox. Boom Blox was created by Steven Spielberg (yes, that Spielberg), and developed by Electronic Arts for the Wii. Spielberg originally wanted to create a game that his kids could play with him, and one that really leaned on basic fun elements. Thus, a game where one throws balls at towers of blocks was created! Yes, in its essence, Boom Blox is about usnig the Wii Remote to throw a ball at the right point in a tower, to knock it over in the most destructive way possible with as few throws as possible. It’s a simple concept and one any child can grasp (especially boys). However, what bogs Boom Blox down, and keeps it from staying within that box of “simple fun”, is its need to expand the gameplay using all sorts of extra elements like special blocks (a bomb block explodes, chemical blocks need to be combined to, erm, explode, and disappearing blocks, well…they disappear.) And throughout the game, you’re introduced to other mechanics as well. There’s a ray gun that lets you zap blocks (or blocky animal enemies) for quick effect. There’s a sticky hand that works like one of those gummy hands you’d buy from a machine in a store for a quarter, inside an acorn of plastic…you simply place it on a block, and then use the “string” to pull it out.
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Video Games Are Bad For You. Unless They’re Good.

22 12 2008

 

The Wii Is Good For You.  The Wii Is Bad For You.

The Wii Is Good For You. The Wii Is Bad For You.

I bring you two conflicting stories today, both brought to light by Kotaku.

 

First, is a sensationalist piece that your mom probably read, telling us how Video Games are terrible things, and that innovation like the Wii, is doing nothing more than PUTTING AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE IN THE HOSPITAL, PER WEEK.  My favorite part of the story?  When this expert in medicine they interview suggests that people stretch before they play.  Yeah, because the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (but CDCaP doesn’t have that nice ring to it))  didn’t just put out a paper that suggests that stretching is probably not so good for you…Nice.

But, to contrast that story, we have one that you’ll likely tell your mom in retort, when you want to bring that new PS3, 360 or Wii over to Grandma’s house for Christmas Dinner, that Video Games May Do the Aging Brain Good!  

I figure, that even if both are right, then this is the right time to bring Wiis into every hospital around the world.  I mean, this way, the elderly get smarter and those who get hurt are only a nurse’s-call-button away from help.





Video Games Are Bad For You. Unless They're Good.

22 12 2008

 

The Wii Is Good For You.  The Wii Is Bad For You.

The Wii Is Good For You. The Wii Is Bad For You.

I bring you two conflicting stories today, both brought to light by Kotaku.

 

First, is a sensationalist piece that your mom probably read, telling us how Video Games are terrible things, and that innovation like the Wii, is doing nothing more than PUTTING AT LEAST 10 PEOPLE IN THE HOSPITAL, PER WEEK.  My favorite part of the story?  When this expert in medicine they interview suggests that people stretch before they play.  Yeah, because the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (but CDCaP doesn’t have that nice ring to it))  didn’t just put out a paper that suggests that stretching is probably not so good for you…Nice.

But, to contrast that story, we have one that you’ll likely tell your mom in retort, when you want to bring that new PS3, 360 or Wii over to Grandma’s house for Christmas Dinner, that Video Games May Do the Aging Brain Good!  

I figure, that even if both are right, then this is the right time to bring Wiis into every hospital around the world.  I mean, this way, the elderly get smarter and those who get hurt are only a nurse’s-call-button away from help.





Amazon.com Black Friday Gaming Deals!!

28 11 2008

 

Black Friday.

Black Friday.

Black friday special, peeps.  Today only, Amazon.com is selling Left 4 Dead on PC for $19.95.  That’s a flippin’ steal, people.  If this game interests you (see my review) then most definitely pick it up here for the cheapest you will EVER see it for at least a year.

 

Also, for Wii

Boom Blox – $19.95 (Reg. $39.99)

Cooking Mama: Cook Off – $14.95 (Reg. $29.99)

Resident Evil 4 – $9.95 (Reg. $19.99)

Animal Crossing City Folk and Wii Speak Microphone Bundle – $39.95 (Reg. $69.99)

 

For Xbox 360:

Dead Space – $29.95 (Reg. $59.95)

Fallout 3 – $39.95 (Reg. $59.99)

Left 4 Dead – $39.95 (Reg. $59.99)

Xbox 360 Wireless Controller – $29.95 (Reg. $49.99)

 

There’s plenty more deals on gaming there, but these were the ones that I thought were most interesting.  Good luck, gamers, and I hope you score that deal for yourself or better yet, for the gamer in your life.  (Or that guy who writes stuff and plays games and is a dad.  And an otaku.  You know…)





For Those About to “BARF!” We Salute You

19 11 2008

So today was another Rock Band day with friends Justin, as well as Natalie.  We had a great time, and like always, rocked it hard. 

However, after friends left, and kids were put to bed, I didn’t quite want to end my gaming night.  So I turned on the Wii, and loaded up the Virtual Console game (originally on the Nintendo Entertainment System):

River City Ransom.  

And while I remember playing it as a kid, I don’t think I had ANY idea what I was doing.  Tonight, however, was a different story.  I beat it.  (YAY!!!)  Which was a very cool experience.  The whole game took me probably about 3 hours to beat.  (Although knowing what I’m doing now, I’m pretty sure I could get that under one hour a next time.)

But it brought back many nostalgic memories, playing an old NES game that I had as a kid… What about you peeps?  Any games that you never finished that you feel should be dusted off at some point?  What game makes you wax nostalgic?





For Those About to "BARF!" We Salute You

19 11 2008

So today was another Rock Band day with friends Justin, as well as Natalie.  We had a great time, and like always, rocked it hard. 

However, after friends left, and kids were put to bed, I didn’t quite want to end my gaming night.  So I turned on the Wii, and loaded up the Virtual Console game (originally on the Nintendo Entertainment System):

River City Ransom.  

And while I remember playing it as a kid, I don’t think I had ANY idea what I was doing.  Tonight, however, was a different story.  I beat it.  (YAY!!!)  Which was a very cool experience.  The whole game took me probably about 3 hours to beat.  (Although knowing what I’m doing now, I’m pretty sure I could get that under one hour a next time.)

But it brought back many nostalgic memories, playing an old NES game that I had as a kid… What about you peeps?  Any games that you never finished that you feel should be dusted off at some point?  What game makes you wax nostalgic?