Tag Archive: fairytale

Originally Published: October 20, 2010, on ClassicGameRoom.com

As a part of CGR Undertow, I reviewed Fairytale Fights for the Xbox 360 from Playlogic.

The Holiday Rush

Originally Published: December 21, 2009, on Lundberg.me and 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

I did this last year where I offered some last minute advice to help out people looking to pick up a couple of more items to stuff in the stockings or under the tree and due to positive feedback, we’re doing it one more time!

Now, if you’re looking for games for some little ones and don’t feel they’re ready for an over the top, alien shoot ’em up, or some action-adventure, sword wielding bloodbath, then here are a few E-rated games that will keep them happy till their birthday rolls around.

1. New Super Mario Bros. Wii – Nintendo Wii – Any older gamer will appreciate the nostalgia this game conjures up. Any young gamer will fall in love with the crazy characters, classic side-scrolling platforming gameplay, and the hours of exploration and fun it will provide. Just like every other great Mario Bros. game to ever come out. This Wii game has been flying off of store shelves this holiday season with good reason.

2. The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks – Nintendo DS –Another one of Nintendo’s powerhouse franchises with a new chapter in its long and storied history. What’s nice about this is that the kids can take this with them on the long car or plane ride you’re already dreading. At least it’ll keep the kids out of your hair as you prepare for departure delays or traffic due to the predicted bad weather. Not the longest or most in-depth in the Zelda series, it will more than do the job of distracting the little ones this holiday season.

3. A Boy and His Blob – Nintendo Wii – Rounding out the Nintendo dominance of kid-oriented games is a remake of a NES classic. A Boy and His Blob follows a young lad and his alien, shape-shifitng friend, who can help the boy in a plethora of ways by eating magical jellybeans. These jellybeans allow the blob to turn into a gun, a ladder, a trampoline, and many other useful items as you travel across these beautifully drawn 2.5 D worlds.

“But, Ray! My kid is in high school and I don’t think these childish games will work for him/her.” Never fear! There is plenty of T-rated games just waiting to be picked up.

1. Ghostbusters: The Video Game – All systems – The closest thing die-hards have seen to a third movie, this game picks up about three years after the end of the second movie and brings the story together better than any movie could have. With all the original voice cast returning to reprise their iconic 80s roles, ‘bustin’ has never felt so good.

2. Batman: Arkham Asylum – XBOX360, PS3 – One of the most critically acclaimed games of the year, Batman: Arkham Asylum is the initial offering of what looks to be a long series of new Batman games. With a free-flow combat system that flows like water and a plot worthy of a comic maxi-series, this game is a must have for any comic book fan.

3. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – PS3 – The SpikeTV Video Game Awards game of the year delivers on every front like no other game this year. Plot depth, tremendous characters that pull on your heart strings, probably the best looking game of the year, and flawless gameplay makes this a must have for any gamer’s collection if you have a PS3.

Now you’re wondering, “What about the games for Mommy and Daddy?” Well, there are plenty of M-rated games out there for long after the kiddies go to bed.

1. Madworld – Wii – It’s rare to see a phenomenal M-rated game on the Wii, but Sega’s Madworld delievers in ways I never thought a Wii game could. An unfathomable amount of gore and language brightens up the black and white world of “Jack”, a man tasked with winning a “Running Man”-esque game of death in a world that just screams “Sin City”. Either interacting with the entire environment to find new and interesting ways to kill your enemies, or just relying on the chainsaw on your right hand, you will have fun wreaking havoc in Madworld.

2. Assassin’s Creed 2 – XBOX360, PS3 – My pick for game of the year, Assassin’s Creed 2 expounds on the plot of the first game and trumps the action by leaps and bounds. A new free-flow combat system, being able to wield two weapons at once, poison, guns, and an entire economic system make what was once a repetitive, tedious chore to beat in AC1, makes AC2 one of the most unique mainstream gaming experiences of the year.

3. Halo 3: ODST – XBOX360 – My choice for first-person shooter of the year, any Halo fan needs to have this game. Aside from the amped up difficulty due to you acting as a lower class of trooper than Master Chief’s Spartan self, the film noir aspect of taking over every member of your squad at different moments as you unravel the mystery of the Covenant’s attack is one of the most immersive plot techniques I’ve seen in gaming in years.

Those are the games that will make everyone you know, no matter their age, happy. On this last list, are the games that leave everyone cringing and they will be returned. Guaranteed. Avoid these games at all costs Grandma!

1. Fairytale Fights – XBOX 360, PS3, PC – A nice concept that falls flat on its face. Living through some classic fairytale character’s stories with some bloody hack-‘n’-slash combat is a nice thought, but horrible gameplay, a poorly kept-together plot, and nothing really special about using these fabled characters from fairytale lore aside from the random weapons they find was really a disappointment.

2. TMNT: Smash-Up – Nintendo Wii – It uses the same engine as Super Smash Bros. Brawl, but it lacks everything else. Only a handful of selectable characters, a miserable story mode, and controls that aren’t nearly as responsive as the Nintendo character counterpart. A bitter disappointment for any TMNT fan and another TMNT media project that doesn’t include the original theme music!

3. The Conduit – Nintendo Wii – This is probably one of the most hyped games of the year and instead should be considered as the worst first-person shooter of the year. Basically a remake of Perfect Dark from N64, but with some more high tech weapons and a looser plot. The graphics look like something from the Gamecube and the multiplayer, although probably one of the better ones for the Wii, is still subpar when compared with the multiplayer offered by games for the XBOX 360 and PS3.

Well folks, there it is. For all you last minute shoppers out there, those are some helpful hints. Thanks for reading my article and have a happy and safe holiday season.

-Ray Carsillo

Not So Happily Ever After

Originally Published: November 6, 2009, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com) and Examiner.com

Fairytales. We all know them and all grew up with various incarnations of them. Capitalizing on this ingrained popularity, the folks at Playlogic have created a twisted, sadistic, bloody vision incorporating some of our favorite characters for their new game, Fairytale Fights.

Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, The Naked Emperor (from the Emperor’s New Clothes), and Jack (from Jack and the Beanstalk) have teamed up after a mysterious stranger has come to steal their fame away from them. And in their fairytale world, fame is everything. Without fame, their stories will be lost forever, and their purpose will then cease to exist.

It is an interesting concept for a story. And the universal recognition of these characters will probably sell push a few units, especially when you consider the sadistic amount of violence in this game. To see these cute, cuddly, little creatures chopping each other up in one of the most blatantly bloody games (even if it’s very cartoony blood) to have come out in a long while was a very unexpected surprise.

Little Red Riding Hood chopping up lumberjacks with axes, Jack impaling gingerbread men with swords, and Snow White bashing toy soldiers with frying pans are just some of the examples of the carnage that can be inflicted during your adventures through fairytale land as you try to reclaim your fame in the most violent ways possible.

Unfortunately, this great concept falls flat in its execution. The cartoony graphics and effects give it a feel as if the game is torn between being an E-rated game and a M-rated game instead of just going full-tilt in one direction of the other. The senseless violence is great, but the goofy faces of the cartoon characters and the loose execution of the plot really take away from the overall theme of the game.

Add in that the controls are absolutely abysmal in that you attack with the second control stick instead of just assigning the attack mechanism to a button, there’s no way to lock onto enemies, and an impossible to kill number of enemies that are thrown at you over ridiculously long levels really makes this game a bore that no amount of blood and guts splashed on the screen could save.

I loved these characters while growing up. The Abbot and Costello version of Jack and the Beanstalk is still the defining version of the story in my mind. I think part of my dislike for this game might be its perversion of these classic characters. However, even when I put my personal biases aside, the execution of the game is still abysmal. The game is a glitchy button masher with little to no variety over the course of its 13 levels. Even the four playable fairytale characters have no variety besides their looks. Snow White has no different abilities from the Naked Emperor. Jack is no different from Little Red Riding Hood. Why have four different characters if they all play exactly the same?

This game is a perfect example of wasted potential, a solid premise that falls flat on its face due to cut corners and poor execution. The blood and guts might appeal to a few players out there, but I would recommend that if you are tempted to even look at this game, rent it before looking to buy it, especially for the listed $59.99.

Ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.

Graphics: 7.0: The graphics are cartoony and goofy as to be expected with a game based on fairy tales. Still, the look of this game is a perfect example of corners that were cut as the characters look a little too blocky for a modern console game.

Audio: 6.0: No voice acting in the game automatically docks the game points. The SFX are repetitive and bland. The only saving grace is that the background music actually sounds like something that would be fitting for a fairytale.

Plot/Plot Development: 7.5: A solid plot concept that falls flat on its face due to poor execution. This is a great example of where this game did not know if it wanted to be a mature game or a kids game because the plot was too simple and too simply explained to be geared towards a more mature audience.

Gameplay: 3.0: Lots of glitches over the course of the game made an already horribly handling game come off as even worse. The attack mechanism should have been assigned to a button and not the second control stick, each character should have had their own individual powers or abilities, and the levels were easily twice as long as they needed to be and got repetitive much too quickly.

Replay Value: 7.0: The game does have a co-op feature, which could make it better since misery loves company, and playing this game might make you miserable. Add in a simple arena vs. mode and the game has decent replay value.

Overall (not an average): 4.0: If you are thinking about getting this game, rent it first. The game disappointed me because it was such a wonderful concept but had absolutely no polish to it whatsoever. The glitches were too numerous to count and the game lost itself about halfway through.

I would not recommend this game, but if you’re curious it is out now for Xbox 360 and PS3.

-Ray Carsillo