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I got an iPad a few weeks ago.

Since then I’ve nabbed a ton of games for it, from the terrible free ones like McDonald’s Happy Meal Builder (seriously, try it) to the top-notch like Plants vs. Zombies HD. The accessibility of games and the dangerously cheap cost of them had me all but convinced that this was the way casual gaming would be from here on out. I thought “Well, this is it. Gaming as a whole sure isn’t dead, but it may very well be slipping out of its casual hayday.”

Then, to my great luck, I got a review code for Art of Balance Touch! on the 3DS eShop. A simple game upon first glance, but given a few minutes with it and I realized something rather pleasant: Games are still better on dedicated gaming platforms than phones and tablets. They just are.

Game info:
System: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: RPG
Players: 1
Release Date: November 25, 2011 (EU)/February 14, 2012 (US)
Developer: Namco Bandai
Publisher: Namco Bandai

After the Nintendo DS became a virtual Mecca of fantastic RPGs, it’s strange that the console’s older brother has been around for almost a whole year with barely any games to scratch that role-playing itch. Aside from Atlus’ Devil Survivor: Overclocked, there haven’t been any other RPGs on the 3DS, so thankfully Namco Bandai are finally trying to fill the niche with this recently-released port of Tales of the Abyss. Originally released on the Playstation 2 back in 2006, Tales of the Abyss —part of Namco’s long-running Tales series— told an anime-styled story about “the meaning of birth” and was met with fairly positive reviews. But the PS2 is a completely different system to Nintendo’s handheld console, so does this RPG make the transition to a portable system completely intact?

Game: Mutant Mudds
System: 3DS (eShop)
Cost: $8.99
Release Date: January 26, 2012
Developer: Renegade Kid

I haven’t done a game review in a long time. There are a lot of reasons for that, but mostly it boils down to the fact that I normally don’t enjoy trying to sift through everything I feel about a game, stamp a number on it, and then tell you to buy something you may or may not like. Nothing really makes my opinion better than any of your guys’, and it’s taken a while for me to fully realize that. Still, I’m giving reviews another shot anyway, and hopefully I won’t look back on this one with as much regret as I do my Call of Duty: World at War and The Conduit reviews. Those games are not as good I claimed, but I’m pretty sure this next one is.

What game do I have the pleasure of reviewing today? The astonishingly charming platformer, Mutant Mudds.

Can this hastily created platformer live up to the hype, or will it fail in the wake of Super Mario 3D Land’s release?

If you’re at all like me, you’ve probably been looking forward to Super Tanooki Skin 2D for a long time. After all, since its initial announcement nearly 48 hours ago, the information we’ve gathered, screens we’ve seen, and videos that were posted online were nothing short of astonishing, and when I finally got my hands on a review copy this afternoon, I was ecstatic to say the most. We most certainly don’t get enough 2D platformers in this day and age, and with Maximillion and the Rise of the Mutant Mudds getting delayed until early 2012, we all need a little something to tide us over. With a little luck, that something would be Super Tanooki Skin 2D.

Clearly something in the heavens doesn’t want us to have a little luck.

Game Info
System: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Flight Thing (Simulation?)
Players: 1
Release Date: March 27th, 2011
Developer: Monster Games
Publisher: Nintendo

I admit, I’ve never used a poorly-worded catch phrase as the title to a review before. Other sites seem to do this endlessly, (“Can Zelda slash its way to victory?”, “Will Mario need steroids for his latest sports title?”) yet I’ve never found it to be quite in my taste. For some reason this week I’m feeling different, because (as you can see) there is a magnificent use of puns in the title of this review, if only to allow myself a very easy segue. “How?”, you ask? It’s simple: PilotWings: Resort is not a crash landing, but it’s also no cruise-level flyer.

When I begrudgingly lugged myself down to one of my local GameStops to finally trade in some old Wii games for PilotWings: Resort, I was a little bit… erm… “miffed”. I mean, after all the hype we had seen surrounding the launch of Nintendo’s new handheld, there really wasn’t much to be had in terms of launch titles. Sure, Nintendo had Steel Diver, PilotWings, and some game about animals (elephants, if I recall), but aside from one or two select games, nothing seemed worth even a passing glance. So, needless to say, the thought of trading in 6 games for 1 wasn’t the most appealing one I had had in the last few months. Bottom line? Bleck.

Still, after a few minutes of getting everything traded (and being surprised that I got a lot more than I had expected), I made the purchase, alongside Street Fighter 4 3D, and headed back home to play them.

There are a lot of words one could use to describe a system like the 3DS. “Awesome”, “Innovative”, “Sleek”, “Sexy”; these would all fit the bill very nicely. After all, it’s been seven years since Nintendo first released their genre-busting “Nintendo DS” onto the gaming scene, so it’s only fitting that their next handheld device would be, for all intents and purposes, at least as innovative if not more so than the 140 million seller that the original DS was. While many people have used many words to describe the new 3DS system, and all of them ring true, one word is better than any other at illustrating everything there is to know about this $250 fun-box.

The 3DS is absolutely and unwaveringly Nintendo.

Game Info:

System: Nintendo Wii
Genre: Sports/Party
Players: 1-4
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Nintendo

He has appeared in over two hundred video games to date, has taken on professions
from doctor to professional boxing referee, and his combined sales total from all
his games is over 210 million units. He is, of course, the one and only Mario, and it
seems as though his talents never end. From defeating over-sized apes in the original
Donkey Kong to taking the gold trophy in intense cart races, he is a master of
everything that comes his way.

Game Info:

System: Nintendo Wii
Genre: Platformer
Players: 1
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Hudson Soft

Pacing is something that can either make or break a game. Take too long to get to the interesting parts like, say, Final Fantasy XIII and most people won’t stick around to see what comes after all the corridors and tutorials. On the other hand, if the game starts out strong and then loses momentum, gamers will quickly get bored of the whole experience. A great game should be enjoyable from start to finish, and unfortunately A Shadow’s Tale (or “Lost in Shadow” for all you Americans) fails in that regard. The final result is a game with a few interesting ideas that ends up difficult to recommend thanks to some awful pacing and poor design choices.

Game Info:

System: Nintendo DS
Category: RPG
Players: 1
Release date: November 29, 2010
Developer: Camelot
Publisher: Nintendo

There’s certainly no shortage of RPGs on the Nintendo DS, with Nintendo publishing Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Dragon Quest IX, and Glory of Heracles all over the last twelve months. Joining these titles on the crowded handheld is Camelot’s Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the latest game in a series that has been off the radar since it last appeared on the Game Boy Advance. Fans have been begging Camelot for a new Golden Sun game for ages, so does Dark Dawn live up to expectations and, more importantly, does the series still hold up after a seven-year hiatus?

Note: This review is written by a GamingEverything writer, Jack. I’m posting it here because I thought you’d find it entertaining, and iMovie disappeared so I can’t do “That One Show” tonight.


Platform: Nintendo Wii (via Wiiware)
Developer: Gaijin Games
Publisher: Aksys Games
Release Date: 17 May 2010

I’ve always been a fan of Gaijin Games’ Bit.Trip series, so when I heard last year that a fourth one was coming out that would combine the series’ retro feel with my favorite genre in gaming (platforming) as an homage to Pitfall, I was ecstatic. Unfortunately, I didn’t get around to buying it until just this past week, but it was definitely worth the wait. Bit.Trip Runner takes great accessibility, beautiful new graphics, old school difficulty, and the same dynamic rhythmic gameplay the Bit.Trip series is known for and combines it into one of the best WiiWare releases to date.