May 1st, 2009 | by Ryan Fleming News | Posted In: Business

Gamevania: Your Week in Video Games

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Wow, this Hannah Montana The Movie game has become the bane of my existence. Every time I casually break into a girl's house and turn her computer on to WW's most recent Gamevania post (and then ask her about it from the window of the police cruiser) she questions if I really did rent the game. Well, if everyone's attitude is going to be like that, then I guess I will simply have to skip reviewing the DS release I Love Horses. Yeah, take that. Anyway, onward! And as promised last week, I begin by reviewing a game with girls in bikinis with big guns! Unfortunately!

Worst Game Value of the Week
Onechanbara: Bikini Samurai Squad (Xbox 360)
bikini squad
After the Hannah Montana Game debacle, I decided to dig a bit deeper and go for the most manly game I could find. I casually walked up to the counter with my game that featured a freakishly well endowed girl with a katana blade and a gun with a horde of zombies behind her. How awesome is that, right? I knowingly gave my local game guy a nod, which for gamers is the equivalent of a high five, but instead he just looked at me with a sad expression of regret. Could it be that he was envious of the awesomeness I was about to engage in, maybe jealous that he could not live through that amazing first time play through where everything is new and exciting? No, I realized later that it was not a look of jealousy. He pitied me.

Dear God, the horror. This game is the equivalent of watching CSPAN- you keep thinking something cool will happen, but it doesn't and it just goes on and on. Put aside the concept and the game is really really bad—easily one of the worst of the year (at least I hope they don't get worse). Even the one appealing thing, girls with swords and bikinis, becomes almost painful as the choppy graphics, awkward camera angles and poor gameplay mar even that. Boring and linear levels that force you to continually backtrack, uneven levels of difficulty, and dull button mashing plague this game throughout, and it gets worse from there. The fun exploitation soon strays towards awkward, and the dialogue is so cringe worthy and offensive at times that I began to feel a bit like I should go buy some ice cream and rent Bridget Jones' Diary just to even the balance.

Value Game of the Week
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time (DS)
FF CC Echoes
It is an important distinction to make that the version featured here is the DS version, and not the Wii game of the same name. They are essentially the same game, but what appears to be weak graphics and awkward gameplay on the Wii actually work very well as a handheld game that offers hours and hours of play. DS seems to be mostly overlooked in the gamer circuit, which is surprising since they have sold more systems than McDonald's has sold Big Macs. That might be a slight exaggeration, but only slight. Nintendo has sold a lot of DSs. DSes? DSi? Whatever.

DLC of the Week
Banjo Tooie (Xbox Arcade)
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Part of the Banjo Kazooie trilogy that began on Nintendo 64, you can now finish the story out with this Xbox Arcade download. Basically you take a bear, team it up with a bird, and throw in a platformer. Mix in some standard old school Nintendo sensibilities and you have a solid platformer. For an arcade download, you could do much worse for the price. In fact see the Bikini Squad review above for proof of that.

Hot Coffee and News

  • Gamespot.com reports that French game publisher Ubisoft have given le finger to the recession as sales hit $1.5 billion, up 18 percent. Try as we might, I could not find a surrender joke anywhere, they are doing that well.



  • Anyone that has ever played a game on Xbox Live and been team killed because the guy behind you was too impatient to wait for you to move, will privately have a bit of sympathy for 21-year-old German gamer David Heiss. NG4 reports that Heiss flew to the UK to track down fellow gamer Matthew Pyke—who he knew through a forum for the game Advanced Wars—and confront him. Then stab him. 86 times. The shocking part is that it was over a girl, not the game. Pre-pubescent Halo players everywhere can breathe a sigh of relief.



  • Bill Gates' plan to rule the universe hit an unexpected snag this week as Microsoft reported that its revenue was down for the first time. Ever. Roll that around in your head for a minute. A company that has been one of the biggest in the world for decades post its first ever loss. Although the game division reported an increase, the company as a hole took a 6 percent decrease according to Videogamenews.com. The Steve Jobs could not be reached for comment as he was busy laughing maniacally while stroking a cat.



  • No doubt in response to our scathing news blurb where we called it “creepy”, Konami has decided to kill the release of their Iraq based shooter Six Days in Fallujah, according to ZDNet.com. Well it was either us or the thousands of complaints from friends and family members of fallen soldiers that did it. And it was super creepy.



  • One of the great things about covering video games is that rumors can carry the weight of facts, and when they are wrong, no one really minds. In what may be a huge scoop, or what may be filler, 1up.com reports that an upgraded PSP is on the way. It may or may not have new features, and it could be called the PSP 2. Or the PSP Flip. Or the PSP Slide. But maybe the PSP Go!. It might come out in Fall. Take that news reporters!



  • It is hard to ignore the Madden cover curse. Two years ago Vince Young was on the cover, and he subsequently missed half the season with an injury. Last year they thought they would play it safe with Brett Favre on the cover, after all, what kind of trouble could a retired player get into? Well then he unretired, thus tater checking Packer fans everywhere. Oh, and then he tore a bicep and the Jets skidded right out of the playoffs. And it is not just them, Michael Vick was on it, Shawn Alexander, and Donovan McNabb all appeared the season they had major injuries. So instead of just cursing one player, Yahoo reports that Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu AND Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald will share the honor of this year's cover. Those poor bastards.

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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