Category Archives: Party

Just Dance 2014 (Review)

That’s no way to treat a chair

It’s always exciting when games pop through the letterbox, but a few years ago, I was sent Sony’s DanceStar Party for the PS Move. I was dreading it, but ended enjoying it a lot more than I expected. So, when Just Dance 2014 turned up one bleary-eyed afternoon with its neon-nightmare box art, I knew it was that time again. Time to close the curtains. To apologise to the cat in advance. Time to move the sofa too close to the door. Time to stretch. Time to have a beer. Oh, and time to borrow a Kinect.

This is the fifth full game in the series, which has become frequent enough to ditch the numbered sequels and stick a year on the box. You’d be forgiven for thinking not much has changed; the art style is largely the same with real-life dancers on-screen painted in thick bright colours. Steady improvements have been made to the game itself though. Admittedly, the series started on the Wii with a motion controller that wasn’t up to anything more complex than bowling.

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Pool Nation (Review)

With only Hustle Kings to really compete with, Pool Nation enters the digital pool hall looking to wipe the floor with the posers. No cutscenes, no irritating voice-overs, just pool. We like it already.

You can dive straight into the lengthy tournament campaigns without bothering with the tutorials if you just want to get stuck in. Basic shots are a breeze. Some very handy aiming lines are turned on by default showing the path of the white ball and a separate path for the ball you’ll hit, making even the sharpest angled shots effortlessly simple.

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PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royale (Review)

Requested and rumoured for years, we finally have a game putting together a rich collection of the finest PlayStation-exclusive characters along with some top names from third-party brands for a mighty punch-up. The comparisons to Nintendo’s Smash Brothers are obvious, as they always were going to be, but I’m here to review the game on its own merits.

Buying the PS3 game also gives you access to a free download of the Vita version and I’ll go into details about the portable options later on. Let’s get stuck into the game itself on PS3 first.

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When Vikings Attack (Review)

Picking a simple premise for a game can be enough to make the most basic of efforts entertaining for hours. Just look at Angry Birds, Plants Vs Zombies or Calling All Cars – the latter being the best PSN game you’ve never played.

When Vikings Attack comes at us with its own simple mechanics aiming to be easy to pick up for the masses. Throw in multiplayer, cross-play with the Vita and extra characters to unlock and it’s clear that the developers think the game has a shot. These ambitions spiked my interest and after five minutes, I thought this could work. Sadly, after 15 minutes, it got boring. Half an hour later and it felt like all possibilities of enjoyment were driven from my very soul.

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Hustle Kings (Vita Review)

A cheap price and pool on the go are certainly good ingredients for the Vita’s take on our favourite pub game. No arguments over whose 50p is on the table at 3am either, which is always a good thing.

A very long tutorial begins well enough by telling you how to use the three different cue shot methods and spin shots. But the help and controls for jump shots and straight backspin are terrible and anyone who can do these shots in real life will no doubt be shouting “Bullshit!” many times over.

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Little Deviants (Review)

This collection of thirty minigames is aiming to tempt gamers as a launch purchase as it utilises all of the Vita’s functions. Except the analogue sticks. And the face buttons. So yes! Smear, tickle, rub, wobble and even sing your way through the world of Little Deviants!

The visual style is clearly aiming for a younger market, but nothing’s so garish as to make it unplayable for adults too. So you won’t feel like a berk playing it, unless people are watching you. You play as a race of aliens trying to rebuild their ship so they can return home. This will involve not attacking humans and defending their planet from zombies and robots. As you do.

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Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Review

If the Wii U makes it in time for next Christmas, this could be the original Wii’s last family outing. We’ve had some great times with Wii Sports, Resort, Play, Mario Kart and the last two Olympicstitles, so we were looking forward to a warm-up for next year’s London Games.

Thinking we’d start with some multiplayer games, we headed straight to the London Party mode. Instead of simply choosing a random mix of games or selecting specific ones from a list, we’re given something much worse.

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DanceStar Party (Review)

“Damnit,” I thought, as this landed on my doorstep. I am to dance what Ricky Gervais is to sensitivity. I just don’t care for it. But it turns out, that luring me in with my Achilles heel (highscore challenges and Trophies) was the perfect trick at convincing me to give it a go.

So, curtains stapled shut, cat blindfolded, hidden cameras scoured for, sofa moved, controller charged: I entered the madness. A few hours later, a horrible truth dawned. I’m ashamed to say it, but this is a great game. The PS3 has been in need of something to go against the dance games on the other consoles and this could be a contender, especially given the bargain price tag.

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Carnival Island (Review)

I thought the PlayStation Move would have had dozens of minigame compilations by now but this is the first one in ages. It’s ideally timed for a Christmas purchase too as there are loads of family friendly games to play.

Simplicity is key here as none of the games are complicated. They’re not strenuous either, so you don’t need to worry about letting all the Christmas dinner and beer settle before you haul yourself from the couch for your turn.

Games include 35 varieties on various fairground favourites of bowling, throwing balls, catching, shooting, giant hammer strikes and coin tossing and more. Finally, coin tossing in video game form. I jest, but the games are fiendishly moreish. They control very well too. For throwing, bowling or hitting, you’re usually only required to hold the trigger then do the motion as you would in real life.

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Ape Escape (Review)

The Ape Escape games on PS1 and PS2 utilised the dual-analogue sticks of the controller to masterful effect, so it felt natural to be excited about how the PlayStation Move motion controller would add to the game’s experience.

The original games were action-packed platformers where you had to capture cheeky monkeys. The right stick controlled gadgets like nets, catapults and monkey detectors with fantastic efficiency. The logical step for the Move would have been to use the navigation stick or Dualshock to run around and the Move controller to swing your net and other gadgets.

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Kung-Fu Live (Review)

The ominous safety warning and disclaimer that precedes the game acts as a sinister precursor to the first time you kick a wall, housemate, sofa or yourself in this motion-controlled martial arts PSN title.

Unlike, say Sports Champions, which allows you to play from a lot closer than it recommends, Kung-Fu Live really does need the epic space suggested. So if you can’t clear a square space sized (at least) 2.5 x 3 metres, then forget it. Various player heights can throw up a few problems too.

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PDC World Championship Darts: Pro Tour (Review)

Immediately you’ll realise there’s a problem with playing darts with a PlayStation Move controller. Compared to a dart it’s like throwing a wacky TV remote, it’s just way too big.

Despite this and the hand-cramp it causes during longer sessions, there’s actually a decent darts game here that is fun to play once you get used to it.

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TV Superstars (Review)

Enter your bid to become the next TV Superstar by making your way from a Z list nobody to the ultimate star. Hard work? Graft? Autobiographies? Sleeping with Katie Price? Pfft, just wave your arms around in time to the lines like a mirror-licking basement obsessive.

Mini-games are how you’re going to attain stardom via a variety of TV channels and commercials. You start by creating your character by getting the PS Eye to take a few mugshots of yourself before gasping in horror at the sex offender it seems to have replaced your face with. Got a full beard? It’s only going to pick up the moustache, not a great look. Continue reading TV Superstars (Review)

Start the Party (Review)

Start the Party should be high on your priority list if you’re looking for an ideal Move game for younger gamers. This compilation of brief mini-games is more fun for kids, but the rest of the family can enjoy it too.

PS2 fans may remember the EyeToy Play titles and this is pretty much an update on that format for the PS3’s PS Eye and new Move motion controller. The camera grabs a live feed of your living room and the player on-screen and surrounds them with colourful, crisp borders for each minigame. Continue reading Start the Party (Review)