Monday, November 05, 2007

Greetings Starfighter!

Coming soon to a theatre near you? Is it 1984 yet? - Before I get into something else, I have to help spread the word about The Last Starfighter videogame. That's right, some creative genius is replicating the game from the 1984 movie that was aired on HBO about 4000 times during the summer of 1985. I loved it! The guys from Rogue Synapse, who also made a game that was featured in the movie Tron, are working on the arcade cabinet that helped get Alex Rogan into the Star League. Head to my favorite gaming website for a fuller story and links.
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Wait a minute! Did the Wiimote and a 360 controller have baby? - No, but I understand your confusion. My 7-year old daughter said the same thing. This is the controller for SceneIt? Lights, Camera, Action on the Xbox 360. I took a picture of it with a Schrutebuck so you would have a frame of reference for its size. I saw Angelina Jolie do something similar in The Bone Collector. For the uninitiated, SceneIt is a popular boardgame that combines trivia from films or specific franchises (Harry Potter, Disney, Lord of the Rings, etc.) into trivia questions and is played on a board and with a DVD. Think of it as a modern, pop culture version of Trivial Pursuit. I got an early copy of it on Saturday and used my kids and wife as guinea pigs over the weekend to see if it was family friendly. Yeah, yeah, I know what you're thinking.

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'A casual game on the 360? Give me a break! If I want casual gaming I'll turn on my Wii. This is the 360! I need to shoot something!'

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Don't worry, the 360's not going soft. There are still plenty of tangos, aliens and terrorists to shoot in other titles but lets be honest; the 360 is seriously lacking in the casual games department which helps attract women and kids - a big reason why the Wii has been so successful. At Casa de Terrones, whenever I play its usually me alone, or sometimes with my brother and occassionally my son. My wife enjoys the newly released Tetris Splash and that's it. My daughter? She's forced to go upstairs and play with her Hess trucks.

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Saturday the gang and I got together for three games. I played a two-person game with my daughter and (in a Borat voice) crushed her. Seven-year olds know nothing about cinema these days. Then I played two games with the whole clan and proceeded to wipe the floor with them as well. My knowledge of pop culture and useless information finally came in handy.

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During our game time we came across most of the 21 different puzzle types but rarely had a chance to use the Buzzer, the big botton on the top of the controller. This is where the person who hits the button first gets to answer first, Jeopardy-style. That was disappointing but having a wide variety of question types was nice. Most of the questions were independently timed, meaning everyone got to answer, and the faster we answered the more points we earned. Its very similar to the trivia games played in bars like Bennigans, except once you choose your answer you can't change it. The game boasts 1800 questions never used before in a SceneIt game but despite that we still came across some repeats. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the title but the rest of my family had other opinions.

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The 13-year old boy - I liked it. I didn't know a lot of the answers because it was mostly for adults. It was fun but definetely an adult thing.

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The 7-year old girl - It was okay. It was supposed to be for adults so I didn't know any of the answers. The questions were from movies me and Connor had never heard of but adults have.

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The wife - The questions were difficult and for $60 they should offer a lot more features, its really basic. They should let you change your answers and let you hide your answers (once an answer was chosen by a player it was shown onscreen and the cheating was so rampant, my wife put tin foil over the answers). They should have different levels of difficulty, give you clues to the answers as the timer runs and make it more kid friendly.

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Me - Couldn't have said it better myself. We have the regular SceneIt boardgame, the Disney version, that was only about $25 and the family enjoys it a lot more. That doesn't mean this game is a bust however, it still has potential. The new controller is pretty cool and very ergonomic for casual gamers like my wife and daughter. I'd like to see it used in other casual games. Also, its not like this game wouldn't have been much more fun if I was playing with my wife and another couple or if I had some adult family members over. As its currently packaged, its for adults only but could still be fun (especially after a few beers). I could easily see myself playing this game with my pop culture addicted siblings. When the downloadable content comes out, I'm sure this game will reach a wider audience - but that's the sticking point. Microsoft is going to have to give the downloads away for this to be a success because there's no way they can get families to pay $5 - $10 on top of the $60 pricetag like it does for some other games, nobody will go for it.

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So is this game worth your time and money? Not if you plan on playing it with kids, at least not right now. But if you're the type of person who has friends or family over frequently who like to play board or card games, this might be a nice change of pace.

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coloradojoemail@yahoo.com



5 comments:

Ub3rn00b said...

This has nothing to do with your post but...:
DON'T BUY COD 4!!!
There is a huge problem with COD 4 that some people might not know about until they buy it. And even some of them won't realize the problem until after they play it for awhile. It's a huge flaw in the design of the game.
The problem is that once you put it into your XBOX 360, no other games will go into your console. It's not physically, mentally, or emotionally possible to remove COD 4 from your console in order to get other games in there. You could also lose your marriage, the love of your children, your health and overall wellbeing.

FrostyMelon said...

LOL!

FRICKING ROCKS! OMG! I am totally addicted...the MP of CoD4 - stellar!

Eli the Mad (Beer) Man said...

LOL! Although I do not have the full game yet... I'm hearing the same thing from everyone at AOL who does.

I have played the demo though. And much like the Crysis and UT3 demos, I'm playing through the CoD4 demo again - for the 3rd time.

CoD4, UT3 and Crysis - all real shooters (sorry, Halo Triangled just became the most irrelevant game of the year) - will be duking it out for GOTY.

Ub3rn00b said...

I was just kidding about the losing your marriage thing...but uhh...I just had a huge fight with my GF last night when i was playing COD4. She says I do nothing but sit and play it all the time and don't pay attention to her needs. She says a relationship is more than just sex and eatting together. When did this nonsense start?

Terry "coloradojoe" Terrones said...

My wife said the same thing when Halo 3 came out. It was the first time my gaming really ticked her off. But hey, I was in a race with my brother to see who could get to the online Lt. rank first. What else was I supposed to do? He beat me by 1 day by the way.

I've been enjoying CoD4 as well but for me it hadn't really gotten interesting until the Piggy Back level I just played. It was awesome!