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Disney's Cars Race O Rama - Nintendo Wii
Disney's Cars Race O Rama - Nintendo Wii
Offered by Electric Lime Gaming
Price: $44.99
57 used & new from $3.41

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Fun Overcomes Some Problems, August 22, 2010
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review's late to the party, but I'll chip in my family's thoughts in case there are any other Wii-owning Cars fans out there still on the fence about this one.

To put it short: Cars fan? Buy this. Not a Cars fan? Nothing here for you.

Let's face it, young or old, you don't buy a CARS game expecting Gran Turismo. You buy a CARS game because you like the characters, and you enjoy the unique experience of racing around in a living, breathing (they don't have lungs, but they definitely inhale and exhale) automobile while other vehicles taunt you and Doc Hudson offers encouragement over the radio. In what other race game can you play as an aging Sheriff car who--as the race begins--sighs, "Am I getting too old for this sort of race? I sure hope not." Then, after pulling off a tight maneuver, chuckles "I didn't know I could still do that!" and, upon winning, declares "Sit-choo-ation is under control." (Or, in a loss, grumps, "This is a complete and total disgrace!") These cars have personalities. Their mood changes depending on their place in the race, they whoop with joy when catching big air, and they yelp when they hit obstacles. THAT is why ya buy a CARS game, and this game delivers that element in great generous heaps of humor and fun.

If you're a huge fan of the movie, you'll enjoy this game a lot. You'll just learn to avoid the problem areas and spend more time with the sections that work great.

PROS:

* Better controls this time around--Wii Wheel works great with this one.
* Sheriff's a playable racer again!
* Sharp graphics
* Radiator Springs Speedway is a fantastic track & environment.
* Tons of gameplay.
* Huge environments to explore.
* The banter between cars is as entertaining as ever.
* Power Boost and Backwards Driving available from start.
* Some fun new characters (Bubba's awesome).
* Slick menus.

CONS:

* Framerate gets AWFUL when many cars are ahead of you in busy environments. This is, by far, the game's worst flaw. Stay in first place, and it's not an issue!
* Terrible pop-in scenery in Tailfin Pass area. Ugly, ugly trees will appear just yards ahead of you. And you'll wish they'd just stayed unseen.
* Story's not very compelling. The generic little cars that make up the competing schools are not very interesting as playable characters.
* Sound glitches crop up during Pre and Post-race info windows--these moments have a rough, unpolished feel to them.
* Still no replay camera feature.

That framerate issue will be the deal-breaker for a lot of players. It's very inconsistent, and seems to depend on how hard the environment is pushing the Wii's limits. The opening races on Radiator Springs Speedway play fairly smoothly, while later areas like Tailfin Pass and Santa Carburera suffer greatly. If you stay out if front, no problem. If more than three or four cars get ahead of you, prepare for framerate chaos. I guess you could view that as your punishment for racing poorly! Despite those problems--and the terrible pop-in trees in Tailfin Pass--the game, in general, looks great. The cars are detailed and sport nifty reflective effects, and everything has a sharp, detailed, colorful look. I wish the developers had been given more time to tweak the game engine to run more smoothly on Wii--maybe dropping some detail to save the frame rate during crowded situations, and redesigning Tailfin Pass, which is clearly asking more of the Wii than the poor little white box can pull off.

BUT...and here's the good news...IF you can overlook those cringe-inducing moments, there's still a ton of fun to be had in this installment of the Cars franchise, because most of the game plays well, looks great, and delivers all the charm and personality you're looking for in a Cars game.

Besides, the framerate isn't always an issue. Most circuit races play fine, Free Driving is a pleasure, and the Rustbucket and Monster Truck races are entertaining and smooth, as are the fun little Guido Kart mini races and Sheriff's chase. Another trick is to switch to first-person camera, which not only increases the framerate, but provides a genuinely thrilling sense of speed.

Add in the Point-to-Point races, Relays, Tractor Stampede and the shallow-but-fun Car-Toon Challenges and you've basically got a Cars theme park on a disc. It's got some glitches, but most of it will make Cars fans smile.

It'll also help tide us over until Radiator Springs Racers (and the rest of Cars Land) opens at Disneyland Resort in 2012! :)


Shuffled Row
Shuffled Row
Price: $0.00

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and Challenging!, August 5, 2010
This review is from: Shuffled Row (Kindle Edition)
I never expected to play games on my Kindle, let alone one as well-designed and fun as this one...and (as of this writing) FREE! What a cool gift to Kindle owners! Simple to learn but challenging, this one's hard to put down. I also enjoyed Every Word, but this one involves more creativity and strategy. I highly recommend it: It's the best word game I've played since Bookworm.


Super Mario Galaxy 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2
Offered by MOST WANTED
Price: $38.49
130 used & new from $19.29

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Greatest Games of All Time, May 23, 2010
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Video Game)
This isn't just the best Mario game ever made--It's one of the most perfect games ever created, and non-stop fun. The visuals are amazing, the music is terrific, the gameplay is sharp, and the creativity and imagination on display blow away everything that's come before. All the slow moments and minor problems from the first Galaxy game have been eliminated in favor of a hilarious, fast-paced epic that never fails to entertain. The difficulty level is just right. Yoshi's presence adds even more variety to the styles of gameplay. The boss battles are far more satisfying and spectacular this time around.

Games don't have to be bloody to be awesome. This one's for adults, teens, kids...Anyone with an imagination, a sense of humor, and a love of pure gaming fun and challenge.


Toy Story Mania! - Nintendo Wii
Toy Story Mania! - Nintendo Wii
Offered by Insane Web Deals...Simply the Best Deals on the Web!
Price: $16.48
106 used & new from $4.97

289 of 305 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Next Best Thing to the Actual Ride, September 16, 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
At Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World, the manic, wildly entertaining Toy Story Mania ride opened in 2008 to rave reviews, long lines and a lot of ecstatic, happy customers. When Disney announced production of a home version for the Nintendo Wii, fans rejoiced, but with a touch of skepticism: Could a home version possibly do justice to the amazing ride? Turns out, the answer is....yessss.....mostly....

Toy Story Mania (the Wii game) is a polished, beautifully crafted game that captures the ride's most important element--the pace and feel of the target games--perfectly. The plate-smashing, balloon-popping, hoop-tossing fun arrives intact. What's missing, of course are the giddy spinning of the ride vehicles, state-of-the-art 3D, water spray and air blasts...And the half hour waiting lines.

Writing as an adult fan of the ride, let me answer the question other theme park fans want to know: Is the home version worth a purchase?

Yes. Just keep your expectations realistic. This is, at its heart, a mini-game collection based around the themes and characters of Toy Story. All the games from the ride are represented (including the pie toss practice round), but not as they appear at the parks: That would be impossible to replicate. Instead, each of the ride's five main games are each represented by three separate, smaller shooting galleries, each filled with goals and secrets. The home version is padded out with additional carnival-style games that range from fun (skeeball and basketball hoops) to average (simon-says waggle fests). In addition to a front-and-center story mode that roughly follows the ride's progression, there are 5 additional story modes--one for each theme (Space, Western, Army, Barnyard and Bo Beep). By playing through each themed story mode, you encounter each theme's 3 shooting galleries and 2 to 3 additional games. Once you unlock each game (through goal achievements or prize tickets), you can head to the game creator area and make your own version of the game to play through. I imagine most players will immediately line up all the shooting galleries and never look at the other mini games again.

Here's the heart of the matter: The shooting galleries are pure gold. No question, they are the reason to consider buying this game. Aiming and firing with the Wii remote feels great--I recommend turning off the cursor for a truer-to-the-ride experience.

The presentation starts off beautifully, with a fully animated intro in which the toys set up the game you're about to play. This is the backstory of the ride, and it's great fun to see it finally brought to life with dazzling Pixar animation. It's right about here, however that you'll also notice one big disappointing aspect of this game: The compete lack of actual music from the films. The game's music score is pleasant (and actually very effective in the army and space sequences), but it's a bit disheartening to find that, with all the care and attention to detail that went into this game, the Powers That Be couldn't fork over a bit of extra cash to license "You've Got a Friend In Me." Cue the old hag from Princess Bride: "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" One other beef: Most shooting galleries end by asking you to shake the remote for extra points. Note to all game producers: Shaking the Wii's remote over and over is not fun. It's never been fun. It never will be fun. No more shaking!

Back to the positives: The character animation throughout is superb. The visual style of the shooting galleries is perfect. The voice work (by almost the entire original cast) is great, though there should be more (you'll hear the same gags repeated before the round in progress ends. R. Lee Ermy is his usual awesome self in the army sequences.

The game includes six 3D renditions of select shooting galleries which must be unlocked and played using the included 3D glasses. Do not expect the same 3D you get on the ride. This is the red/blue style that drains away the color. It does provide an effective, fun sensation that you're actually firing into your television screen. After a few 3D rounds, however, I came away with a headache. Still, it's a nice bonus feature. Ride-themed Wiimote faceplates are also included.

All in all, it's a fun, good-humored, visually dazzling home version of the ride. With the do-it-yourself game sequencer, you can eliminate the extra mini games and simply play the awesome shooting galleries.

Not bad at all. I recommend it for fans of the ride and anyone looking for a fun party game.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2014 10:21 PM PST


Munchables - Nintendo Wii
Munchables - Nintendo Wii
Offered by drawinglive
Price: $22.97
30 used & new from $6.69

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, Silly and Addictive, July 21, 2009
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
If you love games with whimsical style, nonsensical stories, catchy music and solid gameplay, pick this one up. At $19.95, you can't go wrong here.

Many reviewers have described this game as a combination of Pac Man and Katamari Damacy, and that's a valid comparison, though it's more like an off-rails Pac Man combined with Katamari's scale-changing worlds.

Nikita's review covered the gameplay well, so I'll just add a few comments for anyone still deciding. This is solid arcade gameplay set in a dazzlingly colorful, funny fantasy world, presented with great style and humor. Lots of imagination at work, here. There are tons of different enemy characters, all of which can be later viewed (with a rotating, ajustable camera) in the game's encyclopedia section. Awesome use of paper-cut-out-style animation in the cinemas and menus. It's silly and great fun -- Perfect for quick gameplay sessions. I like the fact that the game remembers what you've already found on a level, so when you replay to get the bonus items, you don't have to start from scratch. Nice jukebox mode, too. Excellent for all ages. At its budget price, highly recommended.


Punch-Out!!
Punch-Out!!
Offered by Hitgaming Video Games
Price: $63.10
68 used & new from $18.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intense, Hilarious and Challenging, May 21, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Punch-Out!! (Video Game)
This is a perfect update of Punchout, combining the original's addictive gameplay with stunning, wonderful animation and tons of style and charm. The characters are so entertaining that you'll want to fight them again and again. You'll probably find yourself laughing and yelling out loud as you play: It's almost impossible not to. Like all of Nintendo's best games, Punchout provides a great challenge without being unfair: The visual clues for beating each fighter are right there for you to discover, and once you spot a character's weakness, you'll have to face him several times to perfect the timing needed to take him down.

In a nod to older players who have lives, families and jobs, the game doesn't make you start from square one when you lose a match (or dozens of matches). The game holds your spot in the championship in case you wish to stop for a while, practice against a hologram, or re-fight characters you've beaten. That guy who's giving you trouble will always be waiting patiently for your return, and you resume your climb to the championship when you're ready for it.

Sharp gameplay and a cast of terrific, unforgettable characters make this one of the most purely fun titles I've ever played. I hope they make a sequel.


ExciteBots: Trick Racing - Nintendo Wii (Game Only)
ExciteBots: Trick Racing - Nintendo Wii (Game Only)
Offered by DealTavern
Price: $20.62
59 used & new from $3.83

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic, Thrilling, Terrifically Weird Game, April 25, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This isn't just one of the Wii's best games, it's one of the best games I've ever played on any platform. Sizzling fast, it combines stomach-flipping roller coaster thrills with the insanity of Warioware. Seriously, who'd have thought playing poker while driving a huge robot tortoise at 200 m.p.h. could be so addictive?

It offers tons of things to unlock, brilliant track design, perfect controls with and without the wheel, fun vehicles, and the online mode works perfectly. On top of everything, you even get to throw pies at evil clowns, make sandwiches, play the tambourine and go bowling--all while never slowing down!

If it sounds complicated, don't worry: The controls are a breeze to learn,and the in-race mini-games are intelligently placed along the course to keep the pace smooth.

If you played its predecessor, Excite Truck, this twist takes everything good about that game and mixes in big heaping gobs of humor and insanity, all while cranking up the thrill level to new heights. Any description of this game make it sound strange...and it IS strange. Strange, brilliant and incredibly fun. I highly recommend it.


Wii Music
Wii Music
Offered by coastbooks100
Price: $28.48
188 used & new from $0.01

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charming, Relaxing, and Fun, December 6, 2008
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Wii Music (Video Game)
Wii Music is like an instant vacation to a pleasant, easy-going park. How much you enjoy it will depend a lot on how much you like the Miis: If--like me--you find them charming and funny, you'll have a blast watching your Mii rock out on guitars, bagpipes, harps and conga drums. Be sure to check out code sites for the secret to providing them with alternate costumes.

It's certainly not a "game" like Guitar Hero. Guitar Hero challenges you to keep up with the pace and reproduce the song exactly as intended. Wii Music is about improvisation and remixing. Its challenge (aside from the 3 mini games) comes from trying to create your own 6-part (or less) mix of a popular tune with a tool box of 60 instruments. To get a decent sounding song, you have to be creative with your choices and play well in each part. If you stick with it, it's a blast.

There's a lot going on here: Each instrument's sound changes depending on whether you're using it for melody, harmony, bass,chords, etc. Try doing a barbershop quartet using only voices. Try an all-bagpipe rendition of "Material Girl." Alter the speed of the song and change its mood entirely.

Some have griped about the song selection. I love the choices, though more would be certainly be welcome. All the songs lend themselves well to improvisation. To be honest, they had me sold on it when I learned it included "Daydream Believer," "Sukiyaki," and the Mario Theme. "Loco Motion" was a genius choice, perfect for this.

I really enjoy being able to jam in the menu without even getting into the game itself (The Wii Music theme is a new instant Nintendo classic).

My only real complaints: There should be more than five song choices for the Maestro and Hand Bell mini games.

Downloadable add-on tunes would be the icing on the cake.

I'd recommend this to anyone in the mood for a relaxing, non-competitive way to play around with music.


Cars: Mater-National - Nintendo DS
Cars: Mater-National - Nintendo DS
Offered by Video Game Monsters
Price: $19.95
60 used & new from $0.96

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding DS Racing Title for Fans of the Film, November 4, 2007
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
If you own a DS and enjoyed the movie Cars, don't hesitate to buy this game. Unlike the minigame collection that formed the DS version of the first Cars game, DS Maternational is everything you'd want from a DS Cars game: Fast, fun racing with all the humor and personality of the film. It lacks the virtual-Radiator Springs world to drive around that forms the hub of the console versions, but the racing is smooth and well-done.

This is, hands-down, the 2nd most enjoyable racer on the DS (after Mario Kart.)

The game delivers a fully animated opening cinema (later cinemas from the console versions are presented as slide shows), a solid 3D racing game engine, voice acting for all characters during races (they're a very talkative bunch!) and imaginative tracks with hidden shortcuts that trigger in-race special events.

You begin with a choice of 2 racers (Lightning and Mater), unlocking more characters as you discover secret routes. Unlockable cars include Sheriff, Doc, Sarge, Flo, Lizzie and several others.

So -- for any Cars fans out there wondering whether or not this one's worth a purchase, wonder no longer: This game's a blast.


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